Sunday, December 10, 2006

Shopping, Anyone?


Was it ever so peaceful shopping in a Christmas village?

Do you see signs of commercialism here?

While eighty percent of all people were at the shopping malls today, I passed. I'd rather strip the bed, poop patrol the yard, wash several loads of laundry, vacuum all of the floors, and shake rugs.

This is going to sound like an editorial by Andy Rooney, so please pardon me. My idea of an enjoyable Christmas shopping experience is to take the day off from work and hit the mall on a Wednesday morning at 9:30 a.m. Or, better yet, order on-line! My shopping list has gotten quite a bit shorter over the years without the teachers, bus drivers, and swim coaches on it. And even though my list is much shorter these days, I still don't care to drive to the mall on the weekends and come home exhausted and stressed out. I can do without the bumper to bumper traffic, driving around for thirty minutes to park one-half mile away from the mall entrance, wait and sweat in lines, manuever around blocked aisles, watching mothers and fathers ignore the screams of their tired and hungry children, and listening to non-English speaking vendors and customers. No sir. Not for me. My time is too limited to waste it mingling with greedy and pushy people. Just my little old opinion...

I've had the Pond Woes lately. When things aren't right in my pond, I'm out of sorts.

A few days ago, I turned the pond pump off for two reasons. It's been screaming and whining loud enough to hear it inside the house and the winds were so fierce a few days ago that the pond was losing water. That is ice, yes. Our pond installer, whom we have known since last November, is a very talkative, likeable, artsy kind of guy who loves to create beautiful water gardens but his promise to provide maintenance on his product is an outright lie. After several incidences with him, we are taking care of it ourselves. He knows me well enough to realize that when I call for help, I really need it, since I've been pond-keeping for many years and I'm not the kind of gal who won't get my hands dirty or do the work. With my hip-waders and rubber shoes, I get in with the fish and do my own clean-ups and adjustments. It's especially fun and refreshing to wade around the pond during the hot summer months! Because he is so busy, he chooses to wish us luck; therefore, since I'm a very kind person, I'll wait until after January 1 to let him know I'll no longer be needing his non-services and hand him his walking papers. I'll just need to pay someone else to correct his mistakes. Finding contractors who provide service on their products is a challenging ordeal these days...


Relief! Michael installed a new pump that we ordered from the manufacturer.

Have I been grumpy lately? A little. It's probably the diet pinching away on my last nerves. Now that I have hacked away at Christmas shopping and unreliable contractors, I want to end this post with something sweet.

A neighborhood cat came to visit today. The cat slipped through the fence and retreated, not knowing that Bella and Chloe only wanted to play..."Come Baaaaack, kitty!"

9 comments:

LauraHinNJ said...

That cat made out better than Chet Baker's visitor!

I'm kind of curious about this pond guy - what maintenance was he supposed to do for you? I didn't realize there were companies out there that did that kind of work.

We've had pump issues in the past - they tend to get gunked up with sediment and then start screaming and whining like you said because they're sucking in nothing but air. Our pumps tend to go in the middle of a heat wave when I'm sure my fish will boil without any water circulation!

Anyway, I hope tomorrow's a better day.

Mary said...

Laura, my dogs chase anything that moves in the yard. The kitty was "lucky" today :)

There are loads of pond installers and maintenance people out there. Michael and I have always had our ponds installed because I can't even imagine the effort it would take to dig three feet and haul in rock that heavy. This guy (as the rest do) offers maintenance and service, as well as a warranty on the skimmer and pump assembly. They will come out as often as you want for a cleaning, which might include draining and power-washing. Unless your pump dies, he won't be bothered with a screaming one because he's too busy. So we took care of it ourselves. Seems he bought a batch of three-year-old pumps at a huge discount that are defective but he won't take care of the problem. This is our third pump in a year. The other two he replaced, (I had to drive to get it and install it myself), and he returned the defective ones to the manufacturer. He installed the skimmer/filter assembly that hasn't fit well and he won't address it or come to look it over. But, he'll come to do work or deliver Koi and supplies with an invoice attached! HA!

I hope you have a better day tomorrow and feel better.

Susan Gets Native said...

It's so hard to find good help these days.

I am right with ya about malls. "Mall" is a four-letter word.
My favorite shopping is right now, in my pajamas, watching "Prancer" and no crowds, the kids are in bed....ahhh. This is living.

Jan said...

On line shopping with store pick-up, try that mary-we started and just about completed our shopping that way yesterday!! i am finishing on line this morning!!!Ponds must be like swimming pools with the maintenance.

Janeyms said...

Mary, with my foot problems this year I have done almost all my shopping on line and what a blessing. I have found that Amazon is a GOD SEND! They have the nicest customer service reps that actually call you when there is a problem shipping, even if it is from another seller that is listed in their marketplace. This year has been the best yet for finding everything on my list and I'll NEVER feel the need to grace the malls again! People who are rushed and out of sorts have no place in my life so mall shopping is a thing of the past. I go out now to look at everyone's decorations and Christmas lights and alway come home with a smile. Don't worry about that WW visit last week either, the weight will come off and think of it like this ...you could be gaining that weight rather than loosing it. No matter how small the number on that scale is, a negative is always better than an positive!

Mary said...

We've been doing a lot of on-line shopping in recent years. It's great. Michael seems to enjoy the malls this time of year so I send him out with a list. I just don't have time for it. Really, I'm not a grinch, but I was at the mall with Gina on Saturday and within an hour I was thinking, "I gotta get outta here!" I went home and Gina and Michael went on their merry way...

Jess Riley said...

Oh, get me started on contractors; ours has been MIA since September on siding & roofing our house. THe materials are stacked in our driveway, rain & snow-soaked.

(My dog has a similar reaction to cats, despite having had her doggie-butt kicked by one as a puppy.)

Mary said...

Jess, where's the "Daisey" post?

Anonymous said...

I love the bit about no longer needing someone's 'non-services'. As I 'mature', I find myself weeding out lots of folks who provide non-service for me.

And the mall? Satan lives there.