Monday, January 31, 2011

So You'll Feel Good About Yourself

I'm going to tell you how stupid I can be so that you will feel good about yourself.

First the back story.

My husband and I went to a church leadership training in Lawton on Sunday afternoon. Daryl drove my car and I worked on a plarn sleeping mat during the trip to the church in Lawton, about 22 miles from our house.

The workshops were quite good. It was held at Centenary UMC, a warm, friendly, comfortable church. The best thing about Centenary is their coffee. They make Douwe Egberts coffee from syrup in a Douwe Egberts commercial coffee maker. Oh, my! It's good, even the decaf.

Daryl chose Safe Sanctuary and Prepare for Disaster classes. I went to a Prayer Ministry class led by Nancy Horton, wife of our District Superintendent, and then a Community Garden class led by Terry Koehn, pastor of St. Paul's UMC, where I learned not only about creating a community garden but also made a pot out of newspaper and planted a bean seed. Will it grow is yet to be seen.

Daryl drove home again, I was still crocheting and drinking a last cup of Douwe Egberts decaf. We pulled into our driveway, Daryl got out and I moved into the driver's seat so I could go to school and finish the school newsletter.

It had been a really nice afternoon.

But then, when the newsletter was done, I went out to my car and discovered I didn't have my keys. Back in the library to search for them, they were nowhere to be found. I looked around the car and on the sidewalk but didn't find them there either. My purse with my spare keys was locked inside the car. I felt like crying. "How can I be so stupid?"

I was able to get perspective instead of having a melt down on the streets of Indiahoma. My car would be relatively safe in front of the school library and I was just two blocks from my house. It wasn't like the time I locked my keys in the car at a self-serve car wash. No keys, no phone, no money, no nothing. There weren't even any other people around. But that's another story.

I walked the two blocks to my house and searched through purses and counter tops to see if there might be a key somewhere. I did not find one anywhere.

Good grief! It was 8:00 on a Sunday night. I decided to call AAA to ask when they could send someone out. I had my account number written in my datebook (which thankfully wasn't in my purse) but not AAA's phone number. I called my daughter to check for the number on her AAA card (mine was in my wallet, in my purse, in my car). 1-800-AAA-HELP. I should have known that.

I called the number and talked to a really nice lady whose first response was, "Are you in a safe location?" I told her I was at home in my living room and she sounded genuinely relieved. She got my information and I expected her to tell me that they don't send people out to unlock cars on Sunday nights. Stupidity does have its drawbacks. But instead, she asked for the location of my car and said she'd have someone there soon. Really? I was surprised.

Within an hour, I got a call from the rescue man saying he was getting close to Indiahoma and needed instructions on how to find my car. I gave him directions and then started walking. He pulled up next to my car when I was still 1/2 block away.

There were two guys. One used to play basketball for Tipton so he'd been to the school before. His helper attended Job Corps and we knew people in common. They had their car thief tool inside my window before I got to the car.

"Can you open your locked car door from the inside without unlocking it?"


10 seconds later he had my door open. What a relief. There were my keys, laying on the passenger seat. I must have dropped them when I picked up my school keys. Tipton boy got my AAA number and then headed back to Frederick via the base line. I DROVE home.

What seemed very traumatic just a couple of hours earlier was now resolved and everything back to normal. And no one called me stupid, except for me.

Have a blessed day knowing God's got your back.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Be careful who you make fun of, you might turn into them.

On the third Friday of every month I get off work at noon because I work on the following Saturday. I was just hanging around the house waiting for 3:30 to roll around so I could go exercise when I realized the day’s date was JAN 14, the day before Matt’s birthday!

Matt is one of my four nephews and nieces who all have birthdays in January. I had birthday cards and presents bought for all of them, I just hadn’t realized it was time to start mailing them. Yikes!

I was running around the house looking for a box that would hold Matt’s 6 piece present. Is a box of my own or a flat rate box a better deal? I weighed and measured a generic box and then looked up postage on the USPS website. It would be half the cost of a flat rate box. I wrapped the six pieces in tissue paper and laid them in my box.

That’s when the search for the birthday cards began. Where are they? What would I have done with them when I took them out of the Hallmark bag? Your guess is as good as mine.

Time was running short so I addressed the box, wrapped tape around it and headed to the post office. It was 3:25. As I followed the postmaster in from taking down the flag, he asked, “What took you so long?”

We usually have long conversations about nothing; but that day he was ready to close up and go home. He got my package taken care of post haste and I was out the door in time for him to lock it at 3:30.

Walking to my car, I realized there wasn’t a card or any explanation of the gift inside the box. It’s a good thing I put a return address label on the package or Matt would have no idea who it was from. I thought, “I need to text Matt and let him know about the phantom box that was coming his way.

Of course I didn’t have his phone number, so after exercise I called my mother-in-law and got it from her. I texted Matt a message that was becoming a short novella when I decided to wait till the next day and wish him a happy birthday and warn him about the box in fewer words.

It took me nearly my entire lunch break to write the text message to Matt. I don’t text very fast and I gave him nearly as many details as I’ve given you. Message sent, Matt was taken care of. On Tuesday after Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I’d need to mail Lisa’s package to her.

I stopped at Beth’s house to get Owen so he could spend the rest of the weekend with us. I mentioned to Beth that it was Matt’s birthday to which she replied, “No it isn’t. Matt’s birthday is January 22.” I believed her because her birthday is July 22.

I told Beth about sending Matt a text message and she thought I probably didn’t have Matt’s new phone number. She was right again. I had Matt’s old Oklahoma City number instead of his new iphone Tulsa number. I got Matt’s number corrected in my phone and sent a text wishing Micah a happy birthday with a brief version of the birthday fiasco.

My Tuesday To Do list now says: send gifts to Micah, Abby and Lisa.

I’m not sure, but I think I might hear Grandma Jewell laughing, “That’ll teach you to make fun of me, now you are just like me.”

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Indiahoma Makes National News

It started out with a little service project making sleeping mats for the homeless out of plastic shopping bags (like you take home from WalMart).
Zeke Campfield from the Lawton Constitution came to school, interviewed the students, took pictures and wrote another fabulous article that appeared in the front page section of the December 28th newspaper.

When we came back to school in January, one of my students said his dad saw our sleeping mat story in USA Today. Right. They are always kidding around so I figured this was another one of their tricks.

"No, really Mrs. Perry, our story was in USA Today." They got on the Internet and brought up the online USA Today shortened version of Zeke's coverage. I still didn't totally believe them but was impressed with their computer abilities to fake a website URL and believable content.

Later that afternoon at the public library, I looked at the USA Today they had out on the
newspaper stand and there it was, in real news print, our story.
Oh my gosh, how cool is that!?!

I am amazed that making plarn sleeping mats was the most
interesting thing going on in Oklahoma on January 3, 2011. But I
am really glad it was.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Christmas Traditions

If you don't start celebrating on the 4th Sunday before Christmas and continue to the 12th day after Christmas, you may not have some of the quirky traditions that have developed at my house.

Today I checked off another activity that I can do by myself, or as Owen would say, "On mine own." I have two nieces and two nephews and they all have birthdays in January. My tradition is to go to the Hallmark store after Christmas and buy them birthday cards and also stock up on Christmas goodies at 75% off. Besides four cards, today I got some Christmas cards for next year. I love being surprised in December when I open the box of never-been-used Christmas stuff. It's like opening a gift from myself.

I also bought a Christmas mug, cute! There is one thing I know to be true, you can never have too many mugs, Christmas or otherwise.

There's something in the Hallmark bag for Owen and me to do together next year: a magnetic countdown to Christmas calendar. I hope he'll enjoy doing it. I know I will. Plus, I'll have to make it a point to see him everyday in December. That's something to look forward to.

There's also a birthday surprise for one of my FRIENDS (NaBlo January theme). Narrowing it down a bit, my friend's birthday is in December. If you can guess who you are, be sure to ask me when your birthday rolls around, "Where is that birthday present you bought me at Hallmark?"

The remaining items in the bag are for Epiphany. Epiphany is the last day of our holiday celebration. We take advantage of after Christmas sales to get a final gift or two to exchange. No one is asked what they want. They get whatever seems appropriate and is on clearance sale. Epiphany is, after all, a commemoration of the Wise Men finally finding Jesus and disclosing that gentiles are called to worship Jesus too. The Wise Men didn't ask Jesus what he wanted and I don't know any two-year-old who would ask for gold, frankincense or myrrh.

I used to write a letter to my mom every week. I loved to write about bargains and successful shopping trips. She always made a positive comment in her weekly letter to me. She's been gone now nearly 10 years. Is that possible? I still miss her, and I thank you for sitting in for her, reading about my trip to Hallmark.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

What a Disappointment

We've been talking about upgrading our coffee pot, actually replacing a dying one with a better model.

We'd like a 12 cup coffee maker with a removable water reservoir and a thermal pot. It doesn't seem like it would be hard to find such a coffee pot. Think again.

One happy e-search on took me to Wolfgang Puck 12-cup Programmable Coffeemaker with Stainless-Steel Thermal Carafe. I read the product features and found it also has a removable water tank. Things were looking good.

The coffeemaker was originally $150 on sale for $100. Good savings but it is more than we'd usually pay to make coffee. But it's Wolfgang. I have a set of his knives and I love them. I put his coffeemaker in my cart.

Being the frugal shopper that I am. I did a google search and found the coffeemaker for sale at several places, one for just $90. I looked at that site and read the two reviews posted with there. They were awful, nothing but bad comments and warnings not to buy.

So I went back to Amazon and read the comments there. 29 reviews gave this product 1.5 stars (one is as low as you can go). What do these titles tell you? Coffeemaker is a dud, Don't waste your money, Java Junk, awful purchase, Poorly Engineered, Do not Buy, Worst Maker Ever, and my absolute favorite: What the Puck?

After I read 24 complaints about this coffeemaker and 5 by people who were happy with their purchase, I took Wolfgang's coffee pot out of my cart. I was so disappointed.

Maybe they'll fix the errors in this model and come out with a new and improved perfect coffeemaker. Hope springs eternal.

Please leave a comment if you know where I can get a 12 cup coffeemaker with removable water reservoir and a thermal pot.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

I am not planning on posting every day this month, although the theme "Friends" is tempting. I am not signing up for NaBloPoMo's blog roll but I will visit the site to see what others, especially my friend, Maria Perry from India, are writing.

I really like all of these badges for January. Not sure which one I will post on the sideboard.