Thanksgiving is over for another year. This year, we were so blessed to have my parents and my Aunt Melita visit for the week. They came early, and we girls shopped all week. Dinner was on Thursday, and they went back for one more day of shopping on Friday before heading back up north on Saturday.
We had a warm day for Thanksgiving. It reached just over 60 here. Friday was mid 40's, and Saturday morning, when we all got up at 6 am, it was 19F out there. Brrrr! But just wait few hours or a day, and the weather will change again. We did get our first snow last week, I think it was Monday or Tuesday. Lasted for a couple of days on the ground before the big warm up. It's cooler this year than last, as I checked my journal last night, and it was in the 60's for the whole week of Thanksgiving last year. They did say that this winter was going to be 30% colder than last. What I think that means is it's going to be more normal than last. But the hard part is - oil is WAY up from last winter. I paid $2.99/gallon a couple of weeks ago. This time last year I think I paid somewhere around 2.29. Now that's sad. And it's said to be going up, unlike last year where it continued to go down until February. I paid as low as 2.09 last winter. Guess we are just going to have to dress warmer this winter.
I digress. Thanksgiving. We had both turkey and ham, plus the requisite mashed potatoes and gravy, candied sweet potatoes, peas, corn, cranberry sauce, coleslaw, shrimp ring, and misc hors' dourves. We were thoroughly stuffed. We had started celebrating early in the week after a trip to Costco. Never let 3 related women shop for groceries together. Bad idea...too much food! Costco happened to be having a 'sample day'. We came out having had a 5 course meal! Seemed that way, anyway. We got Spinach/Artichoke dip with flat pretzels, Bruschetta (sp?) with Panetini (garlic bread crips), and a Brie bread ring. Needless to say, the first two were gone in 3 days. We also had two pies, Pecan pie (very good!) and apple, which tasted good, but like most bakeries, the apples weren't cooked enough. We were going to do the homemade pumpkin pie thing like every year, but got lazy this year. Too much shopping to do. :0)
I had alot of smoked ham left. Melita made her famous glaze for it, and I saved what I could of it. So good! I'm thinking of making a quiche with some of it. Ham and Egg. Mmmm....
Now - how to lose those 5 lbs I gained last week...
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Posted by ctgardengirl at 1:27 PM
I stepped out onto the back deck, then back in and shut the door. Then I ran downstairs to my computer. Looking out the window, there was the hawk! He'd been there the whole time I stood on the deck!
So I raced back upstairs for my camera, back downstairs, opened the door ever so gently, and crept outside. I was very casual in my approach. His back was to me, but he was watching me. Amazing how they can turn their heads around backwards like that. I would stop, look around, the raise my arm to take a shot, then a couple of feet closer, until I was about 25 feet from him. This approach was the best, because it was straight from the house, and there were no branches obstructing the shot.
I WISH I had a better camera. And, the batteries gave out after the 12th shot. I raised my arm for another shot with the zoom on and...nothing. But here is the last shot I took of him. Not so bad. I could go back out and try again, as he is still sitting there, but he was so good the first time, that I thought maybe I'd try again later when he comes again. There will be other times. He stayed here all last winter. But I have really got to get a better camera. I really like my little A520 Canon, but want so much to get something with a real zoom lense. Oh well, gotta save those dollars first.
Oops..he just flew down into the woods about 50 feet further away. He is so funny. When he first lands, he waggles his tail. In fact, it's still waggling. Maybe he likes having his picture taken! :0)
Posted by ctgardengirl at 1:14 PM
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Cold last night - into the 20's. Cool today - 40's.
Neighbors are using a leaf blower on wheels that you push. She was blowing the leaves onto the tarp, covered up the tarp, and ran over a corner of it, sucking it up into the leaf blower! LOL! No leafblower now, back to doing it by hand.
Posted by ctgardengirl at 2:17 PM
Well, to make a long story short, they are picking up the whole thing and I owe nothing. It was damaged by drivers (noted on receipt) and before the redelivery of the new one, I decided this one wasn't the one for us (way too tall - run and jump into bed!!) sheets didn't fit it, and not as comfortable as the store model. This was a $3000+ mattress.
I started the ball rolling on picking a new one from the same store. Ran into difficulty, because the new one I wanted was quite a bit less. How do you 'exchange' for a same or higher mattress when it already costs over $3000??? After speaking with 2 salesman, 1 store manager, customer service (after a 35 minute wait which was supposed to be 4 min), and finally the district manager, we got this issue straightened out. Since it was damage that was done upon delivery and noted as such, I had a window of opportunity to change my mind completely. After all the hassle with this company, and not getting a straight answer from anyone for days, I was in a complete panic and totally stressed about the whole mattress buying situation. After much research on the Internet, I decided I didn't want to deal with this company AT ALL. I must give the district manager credit - he called me within 30 minutes of me finally getting through to customer service, and was willing to accommodate me considerably. But I still decided to just wipe the slate clean, take more time on deciding where and what. So this should all end on Tuesday. Whew!! I can't wait.
In the meantime, I spent hours on the Internet researching similar mattresses and companies, and came up with another local chain that sounded promising. 30 day money back guarantee! Wow!! Very nice people, helpful, accommodating. It should be delivered on Wednesday. Much cheaper mattress too, which I feel much better about.
So here's more of what I learned.
1)Comparison shop at least 3 places. I had purchased at the second place, mostly because of their financing options, proximity and selection. I read most people purchase within by the second place they visit. Maybe that's ok, but take your time and DO YOUR HOMEWORK.
2) Ask a million questions! Ok, maybe not that many, but ask away. 99% of the time, what you get is what you keep, so you better like it!
3) Read the fine print, ask about warranty (be clear on that) opinions on the mattresses, etc.
4)Go home, think about it, before you sign on the dotted line. We made an impulse purchase at the second store we visited. We thought we were well informed and knew what we wanted. But when we got home, I started to panic over the thought of paying for a mattress for 3 years!!! (stupid, I know - should have gone home FIRST and thought, Do I REALLY need this mattress at this price???)
5) Start with the LOWEST cost mattress you think you will be happy with. Trading up is no problem, trading down is nearly impossible.
6) If they act evasive when you ask questions, or reply with a noncommittal answer, go someplace else.
7) Try some mattresses you like. Note the specs on them, ask for copies of the spec sheet to take with you. (They can only say no, right?) Compare prices on similar mattresses to be sure it's in the same ball park and you are not over paying. Let me say this, you will likely over pay at the place I first bought my mattress, even though they dropped the price nearly a $1000 to start with and threw in the mattress pad.
8) This is so important: CHECK OUT THE EXCHANGE FEE!!!! If I was doing just a routine exchange, it would have cost me $400 for the king size!!! Plus redelivery of $80!!! And, the difference in mattress costs if I upgraded. Nuts, huh?
9) Check the company out with the Better Business Bureau. This last mattress I just ordered came from a company that didn't have ANY complaints for the last 3 years. The one noted above has over 300.
Enough said. Good luck on your mattress purchase and sleep well.
Posted by ctgardengirl at 1:50 PM
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
Posted by ctgardengirl at 8:20 PM
Thursday, November 8, 2007
We bought a new mattress this week from Sleepys. I hesitated before going there because of all the bad publicity, but they had selection and a good no interest plan going on. We bought a more expensive set, but when the deliverymen brought it upstairs, they put a hole in the bottom of the mattress. Not a big one, but I was disappointed nevertheless. I was going to keep it, until I did some quick research on the internet and discovered that is would instantly void the warranty. I was really glad I had made them write on the invoice the damage that was done in case I had changed my mind, which I did. No problem, they would send a replacement pronto. So I set up another delivery.
In the meantime, I changed my mind about the mattress we had chosen. For one thing, it's so tall! I mean, with our king sized canopy bed, and the 2" taller box spring, it hiked that up to my waist! I literally have to heave myself onto this bed. And I'm nearly 5'9. It's really that tall. The mattress is like 17" I think. My sheets won't fit. It would mean all new bedding, including a comforter that was oversized.
I rethought this whole pillowtop thing, and went back over to look at another mattress. I decided on one that is about $1000 less, and quite comfy actually. It's an ultra plush Sealy. And the best thing, it has latex instead of alot of memory foam. Now, memory foam is nice, but it's very warm. I can't take the warmth. This is why I sleep with the window open a crack nearly all winter, and the room turned down to nearly 60F. (with a down comforter of course!) Latex is temperature neutral. Your body heat doesn't affect it. So I was quite delighted to discover this after asking the salesman what the coolest bed in the place was - he didn't even mention this bed. I had remembered reading about it on the internet, and of course, couldn't remember what to ask for when I got over there. So here's some advice for mattress shopping:
#1) Measure your current mattress, check out what height your sheets are, decide how tall you can go, and add the 9" boxspring to that amount. There are low profile box springs you can buy which range around the 5" size. This can save you buying all new bedding (with a king size, that can get costly and add several hundred to what you are already spending on the new set). So go armed with your size limits.
#2) If going up to the second floor, remember to check out your stairwell for potential problems. You don't want to pay for delivery to then discover it can't get up the stairs.
#3) Decide on your budget beforehand, to keep you from impulse buying before you get there. (Lesson learned here)
#4) Check out ALL the fine print before you sign on the dotted line. Mattresses are unique. They cannot be returned for a refund, only an exchange. Usually a 14 - 30 day time limit, plus redelivery charges, PLUS an EXCHANGE FEE of $200 - $400 depending on the size of the mattress!!! AND, usually you can only exchange for a same or higher priced mattress, not lower. IF you stain your mattress in any way shape or fashion, they will NOT take it back. I've heard of ink dots voiding the warranty, so use that mattress protector they give you with your new set.
In my case, it's a damaged mattress, which was noted on the delivery invoice, and I notified Sleepys that morning, within a couple of hours. The sooner, the better.
I am now waiting for the phone call which will tell me what they can do for me. I've asked for a cheaper mattress, no exchange fee (was in my original contract that I had 30 days no charge to exchange - ask for this!) No redelivery fee, since they have to come out anyway to get the damaged mattress.
And lastly, I comparison shopped on the internet, found a comparable mattress for $500 less than their sale price, printed it off, took it in, and hopefully they will accept that. There are 3 minor differences - one is coil count - the internet one is 782, and mine is 805. There is this triarea (or whatever) foam thing exclusive to Sleepys (of course) and the size difference is 1/2 to 1". It's extremely difficult to find the exact same mattress at two different places, because each store has them specially made for them so you can't do this. That way, this "we will pay 20% less than the competitors for the same or comparable mattress' thing is nearly impossible to do. But I'm going for it anyway. You can try, right? I read somewhere on the internet someone wrote 'It's harder to buy a mattress than a used car.' Boy, were they right!
Don't hurry, take your time, try them all, lay on them for at least 10 minutes. This is an investment of your money and your health. You spend a 3rd of your life in bed, so make it as restful and comfy as you can. It's worth it. You are worth it.
My cat Max is sleeping on my desk as I type. In the evening, he just follows me around where ever I am, and hopes to find an accomodating lap at some point. If not, a desk or whatever will do. He loves me, what can I say? :0)
So other than rushing back over to Sleepys again today, I ate at the chinese restaurant next door, returned something to Circuit City, and went to Kohls. I really need to stay away from that store. I always find something to buy there. I did well today though. I went for Fiestaware and they had what I wanted 40% off. Love their quart bowls (great for chef salads) and their jumbo chili bowls (can't remember what they are called)- great for that and smaller salads. Nice and deep. I love the red and cobalt. I wish the red was deeper and the cobalt just a bit lighter though.
Raked leaves when I got home, bagged shortly thereafter. Leftovers warmed for supper. I'm about done in for the day. (shopping is exhausting you know!:0))