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Tchotchkes

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Location: Connecticut, United States

marybb1@gmail.com

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Busy time of the year, isn't it? Nothing exciting going on here. A family member is getting a new puppy and I will get to play with him and maybe puppy sit. My two dogs are getting up there at 10 and 12 so I new puppy to pet and love sounds like a nice counterpoint to watching my babies slow down as they have.

My husband's so busy at work that he's averaging 11 hour days -- add in travel and during the week we have only the dinner table to talk. After that it's too late to do much more than clean up and go to bed as he gets up around 3 AM most days.

Weekends are filled with family stuff and friends. So, he doesn't have much time to do the home maintenance he did before. Which brings me to the follow up on the ants.

The ants, after being treated have gone away. Well more specifically they aren't in the house. But, we have found where they are in large numbers: ON the house. Yes, the gutters were overgrown with crapola from not being cleaned out and apparently provided a pest penthouse for the little buggers. Husband found a big hill of ants living in our gutters. Are they the tiny feet I heard scrambling across the roof? No, those are squirrels or maybe anteaters who've traveled from afar to witness the penthouse ant hill. I'm getting itchy just thinking about ants over my head -- glad they were removed and with luck I'll be antfree for a while; next year we'll check the gutters for sure.

I'm back to my migrant worker job of blueberry picking which is unfun. I hate the scratchy branches, the bird poop on the leaves as they always "pick" before I do and then eat and poop blue. Our bushes are more like trees now so I can't even reach the most succulent berries plus we have a homicidal Catbird that likes to swoop down at me as if he's going to remove my eyes with his open, flapping beak.

I hate bugs and berry picking but it must be done.

In fact, I'd better get going and start picking now as the bushes are filled with feathers that I can see from my upstairs window here in the office.

Bubba Burgers...try them they are so good. Get the ones with onions. xoxo

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The heat is oppressive but so is dealing with any institution, organization or even looking for a professional ant killer.

I'll start with finding an ant killer. Basically you can pay anywhere from $100 to $1000 -- nice range isn't it? One woman asked me how many ants I'd seen that day to which I replied: seven. She then had to put me on hold to create a personalized pest treatment plan for me...so I waited. She came back on the phone and told me I would need 7 treatments which would come to approximately $687.98 -- I paused, then said: Look, that's about a hundred dollars an ant - a little steep for me so I guess I'll just squish them with my fingernail.

The next person I talked to said he could come right away and put ant bait out...I said we didn't want ant bait, we didn't want to encourage them into the house for any reason, even to take back poison to the nest. I told him that this year we used ant buttons and had ants for two months. No bait.

He tells me that there are 30 thousand types of ants and my ant buttons must not have been effective on the types of ants I had. So I asked him if he had 30 thousand types of bait for each type of ant - which he found off putting - as much as I did at the thought of luring them into my house for one last doughnut eating orgy before going to that big ant hill in the sky.

Then the snip guy who was mad when I said his estimate was higher than two others I had but I thanked him for his time. He then says wait a minute: Is this how you pick an exterminator, based on price? I said yes. He says: How about cars do you buy cars based on price? I said as a matter of fact I do...He started to ask about how I chose my doctors when I realized this combative relationship wouldn't work for me...so I told him we weren't clicking so goodbye.

I have other ant stories - after spending 4 to 5 hours to get quotes, but the ones above stand out in my mind.

Now we get a notice that our or actually my husband's account info has been lost by another bank handling 401Ks. Ergo, they will give him 2 years of free credit monitoring. So, first I try to sign up under my own email and name forgetting the oh so private retirement account is protected from my prying eyes.

A number pops up that I should call - so I decide to call it thinking that they must need his SS number or that tried and true firewall of security: the old mother's maiden name which god knows only that individual person can possibly know...sure.

Anyhow the woman tells me my husband has to call - she can't talk to me.
I say: Oh are you familiar with my husband's voice or just any old male caller will do?
She's a bit flustered but then says: well we have to ask him questions that only he knows the answer to.
Like what I say...I know all his answers to any question you could ask.
I then tell her his SS number, his birth date, his mother's maiden name, his mother's mother's maiden name, his first dog's name, his first car's make, and his favorite flavor of ice cream.

Nope, he's got to call. So I say I'll have a male voice call you if that makes you happy.

Then I went into his email for which I have access and filled out the form via email as if I were him and bingo we have the credit monitoring working...how holy stupid is this?

Next stupid thing I had to deal with was CDs which husband has been getting as a form of keeping track of money he needs to put away for quarterly taxes. Anyhow, it's filled out in his name as he's the one going to the bank with a survivorship for me. Someone tells him this isn't good and that if he died, I'd have to wait to redeem this money and it would go into probate and could be taken from me...so he now is not renewing his CDs. I tell him I'll call the bank and that I'm sure we can work something out since you can get a joint CD online from banks for crissakes.

(He's getting these CDs from a bank that is near where he works but far away from where we live.)

I talk to the manager who will not budge. I would have to come in -- he tells me -- before my name could go onto a CD. I say, don't you just need my birth date, ss number, and maybe a license -- wouldn't that be enough? Nope, I must come in so he can see me. SEE ME? Why does he have to see me? I then say do you take a picture of me is that why? He is now pissed off too - so I've managed to piss about 6 people off in 6 hours of this crap phone work.

The final pissed off person was me when I got a letter from a collections agency for a walk-in urgent care visit from 15 months ago when my husband had a sore throat. At the time, I had trouble with the walk-in and had to make numerous phone calls to both my insurance company and the billing coordinator until finally we all agreed that I didn't owe them a cent. Never again did I receive a bill until I get this collections notice.

So I call the collection guy who was rude, mean, wouldn't give me any information and told me to cool my heels. (Sure, I'll cool my heels why my credit is attacked erroneously or maybe hacked into because of those documents that were lost by the bank for which I tried for hours to sign up for my free credit monitoring!!!!)

That one is still not resolved but I have to tell you -- people are nuts and the ants keep looking better all the time...at least I can squish them and be done with it!