Friday, November 13, 2015

It's O'Dark Thirty

Up and at em!  That's what my brain said at 3:18 am this morning.  Good Grief.  I'd like to sleep for more than 4 or 5 hours.  Not sure if this is an "Age" related issue or what.  Waking up early feeling like I can't breathe, having to go to the bathroom and being unable to turn it all off.  So what better time to write a blog post, right?

Let's get into this!

OK, We've officially moved.  We purchased property in June, Rented our house in the city, and moved to the country on September 20.  We spent a lot of time moving and downsizing, and we still aren't completely finished.  Good Grief!  It's amazing what you accumulate in 18 years in the same home.  So we are now officially living at the new property and working on getting things organized.  Hubby is working on the yard and has cleared out the orchard and vineyard of the over growth, mown a path around the property, and cleared an area for my garden, and my chicken coop.  I'm still organizing my craft room.  The room is still full of boxes although I've managed to unpack 15 of them.  UGH, I have a lot of STASH.  I shouldn't need to buy another thing as long as I live.  Yeah, right like that's gonna happen.  I've already ordered more yarn!

I'm hunting for lavendar and cedar chips to make sachets for my craft room to help protect against moths.  Yes, I've seen one or two. I'm now on the war path.  Things are definitely different here in the country.  For starters, the quiet.  It is so quiet here.  It's also very dark at night, but OH MY the stars are amazing.  And on a clear night you can see beyond the bright stars.  The other day we were up early and able to see Mars, Jupiter and Venus ( I think that's right).  I really need to get a telescope out here.  It's gorgeous.  The downside?  Yes there is one, and it is a HUGE one.  The internet is beyond slow with tons of limitations.  Oh I miss my Brighthouse lightening speed with Echo.

Ok, lets talk about the needles -

The baby blanket in yellow and gray is off the needles, although not blocked. (it's still packed so no pictures)

Greg's man socks in brown - well I went to stitch those and broke a needle.  Knowing that my other needles are still packed I did what any other sane person would do..... I ordered new ones from knit picks.

So when the needles I arrived, I started new socks!  I bought the yarn in Ormond Beach thinking it was a self striping yarn.  NOPE, I now refer to them as the ugly socks.  Not my favorite, but I will say the yarn is really quite nice.  It makes a nice fabric.

I have purchased some lovely yarns and gadgets recently -

Most recently is my Santa sock pattern which is a self patterning yarn.  I can't wait to stitch with it.  The yarn is from Artistic Yarn by Abi.  She has an etsy shop that I somehow stumbled across.

In Hand -

Many of my cross stitch projects are still packed or in places I don't quite remember, so I took a trip to Brick City in Ocala.  This is the closest cross stitch shop to me.  It was nice and I love the fabric selection as I haven't had that in awhile, but it was difficult to understand the patterns.  I will need to spend a little more time there.  I did make a purchase as Halloween was on my mind, so I purchased Lizzie Kate's I can drive a stick snippet, and Cats on Parade by Blackbird Designs.  I purchased patterns, floss and fabric.

Following my shopping trip- I started Lizzie*Kate Snippet "I Can Drive A Stick" and finished it.  I used PTP 32 ct Belfast Linen in "Pickled" colorway.  I used WDW floss in "Onyx"  I love this piece and am still considering how I want to finish it.

I purchased the Country Stitches Online exclusive Reindeer Games limited edition and I love it.  I will be starting that next.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Settling In

Life here on the Wiggins Hobby Farm is beginning to settle in.  We moved up here near the end of September and have been busy unpacking and

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Sunday, June 7, 2015

A New Era Emerges

It's been an eventful week.  Lots of running around and getting things done.  We closed on our new property on Friday.  We are now official home owners in Hernando, Florida.  WOW, we now have multiple properties.  We are very blessed.

We spent Saturday with the sellers.  Training on the irrigation system, seeing what they will need to leave behind for us to clear, keep or donate.  Walking through the orchard and learning about the care of the trees, and which ones need to be removed.  Meeting some neighbors and making new friends.

We are slowly learning the lay of the land and the area which will soon be our new homestead.  Bruiser accompanied us on our trip to show him the property.  He exhausted himself walking the property, investigating the pond, tractor, and sheds.

Now we begin the task of clearing out our current home.  We need to decide what we keep,sell, donate, leave and pass on to the kids.  After 17 years in our current home there is a lot of stuff to declutter.  The kids will be renting the house, so what we don't take right away won't be an issue, we have some time.

Right now it's all about research and learning what I need to know about having a hobby farm.  Chickens, bees, pigs, orchard, vineyard, vegetable garden, goats.  Good grief there is a lot to learn, but I'm excited to begin this new chapter in our lives.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Frustration and Disappointment

My Experience with T-Mobile and T-Mobile’s Corporate store #9324
 (8712 W Hillsborough Avenue, Tampa, FL 813-249-5016)

I’m writing to share my recent experience with T-Mobile.  Let me first say that I have been a loyal T-Mobile customer for 14 years.  On September 26, 2014 I  visited T-Mobile’s corporate store # 9324 located at 8712 W Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa.  My purpose was to upgrade my I-Phone 5 to the new I-Phone  6 using the JUMP program.  My son (DS), Daughter (DD1) and Husband (DH) were with me, as both DS & DD1 wanted to upgrade their phones as well.  So my transaction at T-mobile looks like this –
                                   JW (me) JUMP from Iphone 5 to Iphone 6 – turn in my white Iphone 5 received credit on the purchase of a new Iphone 6 (white).
                 DD1(daughter #1)– Jump from IPhone 5S to Iphone 6 – turn in her black Iphone 5S for a Black Iphone 6
D                               DS(son) – Adds his previous Verizon line to my existing phone plan He purchases the new Iphone 6 (128 gb) and keeps his Iphone 5 that was already paid off

Our service by Rep at the T-mobile store was labored.  We were there a long time.  This rep was slow and inefficient.  We didn’t think much about it at the time, as every encounter at the T-mobile store seems arduous and inefficient.  It was a busy day with lots of people coming in to purchase the new Iphone 6.  During the purchase process T-Mobile turns on and sets up the new phone and then transfer’s date from the old phone to the new phone.  Eventually, I’m given a receipt for my purchase, and we leave the store with new Iphone 6’s and Iphone 5’s left at the store.

In October/November DH noticed the bill was higher than normal (our bill went from $158 avg monthly billing to over $400 avg monthly billing) and made an outreach to customer service.  Customer service indicated that it could take 2-3 billing cycles for the correct billing to appear and the phones to be credited correctly.  So we waited. We have continued to see bills over $400 every month since.  DH asked DD1 to take care of it as the issue was with her phone (or so we were previously told).  Over the course of Jan-current, DD1 has talked to the T-mobile customer service via mobile, visited the T-mobile store at Citrus Park Mall, and visited the store where we purchased the phones.  All with the same run around.  T-mobile customer service tells you it’s a store issue, T-mobile store at Citrus Park Mall indicated we needed to return to the store where the phones were purchased.  Store #9324 tells us we need our receipt.  Round and round we go.  Finally I’d had enough.  I asked DD1 to take care of this issue Today (May 29, 2015)  now let me tell you about the experience…

DD1 shows up at the store and starts texting me the issues – She speaks with the Retail Associate Manager.  DD1 reports that he is going through their physical records, and returns that there is no proof that the phones were ever turned into the store.  This is skeptical as he is back and forth about not having or being able to see previous sales receipts, and no inventory of phones ever received, yet he’s showing DD1 documents indicating that there were no phones.  He tells her we didn’t do enough to rectify this issue and can’t provide proof of the phones so there is nothing he can do.  DD1 and the Retail Associate Manager go round and round, and eventually he indicates that this is our fault for waiting so long.  Meanwhile, I call T-mobile customer service and explain the story above about the phones and Jump and the issue with my bill.  The rep, transfers me to a retention specialist who offers me two options. 1) return to the store where the phones were purchased or 2) write a letter or email to customer relations detailing the issue. 

I am completely unsatisfied with the result, and I head to the store. By this time I’m really upset.  NO ONE at T-mobile has offered any assistance, no one has attempted to research my issue.  No one has taken any accountability for an error on the account.  On a whim I call customer service back, I’m so angry and frustrated I’m in tears.  Rep #0840259 answers the line.  I lay out my story, express my frustration and tell her I’m totally appalled at the customer service I’ve received thus far.  T-mobile has taken NO responsibility for the corporate store, the store takes no responsibility for an employee’s error, and they infer that we are at fault or lying about turning in a phone. She provides the necessary concern and sincerity to me and believes me then soothes me with a promise of research and hope that potentially a resolution may exist.  I’m on the phone with her an hour.  During this time She has completed research and can verify that both phone line IDs have not been used since 9/26/2014 validating that we do not have the phones. She is also able to find in the warehouse using the phone IMB # that DD1’s phone was received by T-mobile.  She advises that my phone is unaccounted for, but why would the store only ship back one phone when two were traded.  I can’t tell you the relief I’m feeling at this point and hopeful that the resolution is in sight.  All I want is my phone bill adjusted to show the proper monthly payments.

While holding for CS Rep  to complete whatever actions she needs to take, I go into the store and talk to Retail Associate Managr.  I ask for the Manager and district manager’s names.  He tries to tell me this is my fault and I explain to him, that the error was definitely on the store and the poorly trained associate.  I advise him that I will be there when the store opens on Monday morning. He assures me I can see the Store Manager at that time -

CS Rep returns to the line with the following resolution –
1)      A full refund and payment has been made by T-Mobile paying off DD1s’s phone
2)      She provides information to me about how it will appear in my bill and when I can expect to see the credits in the system
3)      She advises that I will still need to see the store manager for the correction to the bills for both phones however she has credited my phone with 3 months of payments.
4)      She tells me the full account number, the amounts on each phone and the dates to retro the correction back to.
5)      She advises if I’m unsatisfied with the store manager’s response to my issue and/or the district manager’s I should call into customer service while still in the store to have this cleared up

So there is still more to this saga and I will continue to report my experience. 
At this point, I’m hopeful for resolution, but I’m doubtful it will be initiated by a corporate store that takes NO accountability for it’s associates error and attempts to shame and belittle valued customers.  I also realize it takes more than 1 call to customer service to receive any help, and that T-mobile overall does not take accountability for the corporate stores.  This issue could have been resolved at any number of points during the last 8 months but T-mobile has left me with doubts as to the type of company they are and even though Amber was a ray of sunshine and helpful and everything a customer service rep should be, I’m still pondering leaving T-mobile over this issue. Maybe Verizon or AT&T will value me more as a customer.

6/1/2015 So- Today

As instructed by rep @ T-Mobile customer service – I returned to the store #9324 on Hillsborough to speak with the Manager regarding the credit to my monthly payments for both telephone lines.  I arrived at 10:15am and was told that the manager is not in the store and would call me on Wednesday after he’d had time to research the issue. Once again this store failed to meet the expectation I was led to believe on Friday.  I was assured I would have the opportunity to meet the store manager today, but unfortunately the manager does not want the story from me directly and is avoiding taking responsibility for his store.  I called T mobile customer service and spoke to a CS Rep who was nice and reviewed the account.  I explained my conversation with the CS Rep  from Friday, my issue with this corporate store and that they failed to meet my expectation yet again.  She indicated she would process the refund for the monthly payment back to the purchase of the new phones, and would file a formal complaint against this store. How can you show such indifference to an issue in your store?

 I’m left wondering, why I had to go back to the store in the first place?  Couldn’t the CS Rep have taken care of all of it on Friday?

I will check my account on Thursday (allowing for time for payments and refunds to be properly adjusted in the system) and will post an update.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Spring me

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Great Florida days

Vacationing in Ormond Beach. Having a great time with family. Getting a bit of stitching done .  Not getting much knitting done maybe when I return home.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Mojo is missing

Please help me find my stitching MOJO.  It seems to have disappeared.  I haven't knit, cross stitched, spun, weaved or crafted in over a week and 1/2.  Where are the Powerpuff Girls when you need them?

Sunday, April 26, 2015

A New Outlook

As I follow my morning routine this morning, I can feel a nudge and drive in my soul pulling me toward a simpler lifestyle.  I believe this all started with the loss of my Job at the end of March.  I took some time off to really think about the direction I want to move in.  My kids are grown and are leading their own lives.  My husband is a working from home, and I just want less.

Being a Capricorn, things have always been important to me.  Why?  I don't know.  I like to have the latest gadgets, a variety of clothes to choose from, books and movies to occupy my mind, and enough knitting and stitching (craft) supplies to keep me busy.  But as I look around my home I can see that 17 years has really accumulated a lot of STUFF.  We've rotated things out and made donations, but I still have a lot of stuff, everywhere.  The attic is full of not only our own things but now my children's things as well.  A business, A craft room, the man cave, have all been over run with things.

So during my soul searching "time off" I came to the realization that we can do whatever we want.  We aren't tethered to jobs in the city anymore.  Our children are capable of living alone and have.  Two no longer live with us and the third, well he's home from the military and enrolled in college.  He needs to finish school.  But being over the age of 21 and having been in the military (and living miles away from mom) makes him a man.  A man capable of fending for himself.  Does he really need me?

I had a conversation with my husband that began with "Honey, we need to talk.  We need to discuss what we want and what we don't want.  Where do we want to go in the next 5 years, 10 years?  Where do we want to live?  Where do we want to retire?  I think we need to make sure we are both on the same page."  His response was as expected, " OK, when do you want to have this talk?"  "Well" I replied " I was thinking we could have a brief discussion now, then take some time, say a week, to think about things and then revisit this conversation in detail.  I just feel a need for change."  He's an awesome man, and agreed.

Following our conversation, we'd come up with some definite "on the same page" thinking and desires.  We were both on the same page, just maybe on different paragraphs.  We agreed that it's time to downsize our life a bit.  Less is more.  We agreed that if a job opportunity took us out of Florida we'd be excited about that, however to move of our own volition out of the state for a fresh start was impractical due to parents needing us here now or in the future.  We both agreed that we are over Tampa, and ready for a more simplistic lifestyle.  We don't need to have Chinese food delivered, or be able to run to Culver's for hamburgers because we are too tired to cook.  I'd like to have some chickens and have fresh eggs, I don't want to have neighbors, with blaring music or screaming kids that echo through the neighborhood.  I'm ready for change.

Embracing change is the first step.  We are embarking on a journey, but we're taking those steps together, and in reality, he is all I have ever needed.

Officially, we move at the end of June.  To  a house half the size of my current home.  To the country with  2.5 acres of land on a pond, with a vineyard of muscadine grapes, a small persimmon tree orchard, and two established (yet overgrown) irrigated garden areas.

I'll be sharing my journey, as I downsize,  I expect there to be some struggle for me as I let things go...

Friday, April 24, 2015

Great Mail Days

Is there anything more exciting than getting goodies in the mail?  I don't think so.  I LOVE to get magazines, and packages in the mail.  The anticipation of receiving a purchased item just adds to the excitement when it finally arrives.  You just have tear through the packaging to get to the item.

Some things I received in the mail this week:

1) My favorite white eyeliner - I needed a replacement so I ordered NYX white eyeliner on Amazon.  I LOVE Amazon Prime - get it in 2 days.

2. Machete - Wait a minute I didn't order this?  Hmmm, why would Amazon send me a Machete?    Well that's a good question.
ME: "Hello Amazon?  I received a machete that I did not order.  I think there has been a mistake."                                      
AMAZON:"Do you have a shipment tracking number?"                                                               ME: "Yes I do. That number is #### #### #### #### ###"                                           AMAZON:"I'm sorry we don't see that tracking number.  The item may have been sent to you as a gift.  If you weren't expecting a gift, then it's possibly an error, so you can keep the machete, or donate it.  Do what you like with it."      
  ME: "Ok, I don't know who would want to send me a machete but thank you for looking into it."  Have a nice day"

3.  My antioxidant capsules recommended by my dermatologist.
Today Choose Joy by Lizzie* Kate
Never Give Up by Lizzie* Kate

Collect Moments Snippet by Lizzie*Kate

Autumn Tree by Barbara Ann Designs
I know what to do with my eyeliner, and my Heliocare.  However, the Machete?  I gave that to the hubby, and now the only remaining question is... What do I stitch first?

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Life Happens

I'm a terrible blogger!  No, no it's true.  I just get side tracked by something shiny and I'm gone.  Talk about a short attention span.

I've had the last few weeks to take a hard look at myself, and decided changes are in order.  As often happens, LIFE just happened.  My job was terminated due to budgetary cutbacks.  Well that's always a bummer.  And I"ve spent the last few weeks, wasting the hours, playing Diablo III, goofing off on Facebook, Beginning a Project Management Course, doing some chores, and trying to figure out What I want.  I'm not sure I've managed that yet, but stay tuned, more is coming....