19 February 2017

FREAKY FRIDAY

What a week that also included Valentine’s!  I put all that Happy Valley stuff away the very next morning.  We are now in full-on Mardi Gras mode.  Laissez les bon temps ruler!  I could use a few!  Good times, that is...



And what about that crazy so-called midweek "news conference" that nearly made my head explode!  I should have just buried my damn head in the covers last Sunday and never peeped out.  The whole week just snowballed downhill after that it seems.  The narrative that follows describes JUST ONE of those DAYs!

And what a day it was -- Freaky Friday!  


First, off to the Y --- and I find the cardio room is completely torn up again!  It has been a mess, but usable, for the last couple or three weeks.  They are apparently replacing the floor with some kind of spongy mat covering, or trying to.  No working machines Friday -- at least the ones I use.   Nothing but treadmills, and they were all full.  No idea when everything will be functional again.  They just “want it done right, this time.”   Ugh.  Looks like I will be visiting Planet Fitness this week with Sweet Husband.


He was intrigued by this globe we saw one day at Z Gallerie,
speaking of the planet...





My Mardi Gras decs are sparse 

When you enter my house, a minimalist little Mardi Gras tableaux sits on the hall tree.



The current state of the coffee table.
Those are the glasses I got from Jenna last year,
in keeping with the green, gold and purple thing for Mardi Gras.  



Next, on the way home, I saw that Trader Bob’s is still undergoing a paint job.  Now it it will be known as “The Mercantile” at Greystone.  The SHE-WOLF in charge has posted all over her FB page that everything is just hunkydory and great and wonderful and fine and they are they next greatest thing in Greystone!  I had seen painters over there a couple of days before, and now ALL REFERENCES TO TB’S ARE COMPLETELY GONE!  I am definitely filing a claim in Small Claims Court in the coming week.  Monday is a holiday, and Tuesday I am busy all day, so maybe on Wednesday.  Dragging my feet all week, I still haven't trekked down to Columbiana, the county seat where the courthouse is located, because I was still waiting to see if any money turns up.  (I noticed on another FB page that the consignors in Gadsden had received some checks.)  I didn’t get to it Freaky Friday because we were off to lunch when I came home from my aborted workout. 
Hot Asian Shredded Chicken made in my slow cooker atop couscous with fried okra!
Yum!  True Southern Fusion!
Trust me, "The Mercantile" is the same old SHE-WOLF wearing a new set of lamb's clothing!  Don't go there, don't buy anything, and for heaven's sake, don't try to sell anything there!

In restrospect, a trip to the courthouse probably would have been more productive than going out to lunch.  Pappadeaux’s was absolutely awful!  😞 Hubs took me there for lunch to assuage my hurt and angry feelings over the Y and TB's, and this is what happened:  

The food looked pretty as always,
but it was cold the first time.
The replacement was only lukewarm.
Beware "grilled" shrimp which are drowning in butter and Cajun seasoning!

Chefs will tell you this treatment is a coverup for shrimp that is less than fresh --
even though this was Friday,
presumably the safest day to order seafood in an inland restaurant.
    1. Nasty silverware  -- which we even had to ask for in the first place when the first go-round of food finally showed up.
    2. Nasty napkins -- so we asked for replacements on those, too.  
    3. Cold food  -- when it finally arrived.  Let’s don’t even mention the spoon I had asked for to put some ice cubes from the water glass into my wineglass which took 30 minutes to arrive.
    4. The replacement food was only lukewarm
    5. The server had a major attitude -- and she got NO TIP!  
    6. The manager apologized and comped the food after we demanded to see her and complained.
    7. Last night and twice again Saturday morning, I had what we can politely and euphemistically call in this blog forum an extremely upset tummy, and it was definitely from that awful food.  The rest of Saturday was just a time to read, read, read as I lay around, because I felt like a dishrag all day long after that ghastly digestive upset.  

The fun just kept on coming.  You have had days like this, I am sure...  A letter was waiting in the mail when we got home -- from the Attorney General's office -- the former AG, dear old Jeff, is now the big shot AG in Washington, as you know -- and now the sitting AG Luther Strange is taking his place in the Senate (I think, it's very hard to keep up) -- so nobody is minding the Alabama AG’s office, I suppose.  Who cares about my little problem?  They say they cannot help a little consumer like me.

This again is the Asian Hot Shredded Chicken I made in the slow cooker last Sunday -- the second time around.  It was very tasty!
Recipe soon.
5.  Next, an email from Cynthia Gould around dinnertime (the TV reporter who first broke the story about this bunch the link to which you saw last week), apologizing for not getting back to me sooner.  She said they have been overwhelmed and have a very limited staff.  She, too, suggested filing in small claims court, and that they planned to put some pressure on the AG’s office because they had had so many complaints for which the complainants are always told that they can’t do anything about some of these dishonest business practices.  Like the Sheriff the week before, she suggested talking to the tax office and the business license office.  Looking into these nefarious businesses is the job of the AG's office, and they are not doing it!


What next????  It wasn’t even Friday 13 — is Mercury still in retrograde???


This was only one little day in my life, people!  


So if you were thinking that little ole Scribbler down there in Alabama leads a really charmed life — think again.  My life is just like everybody else’s — a roller coaster!  Right now, it is just experiencing a few bumps.  This kind of mundane aggro probably doesn't make for the most entertaining blog post you ever read, but it is pulled straight from Scribbler's diaries, with a bit of minor editing for colorful language, you understand.😉  


Since we all like to end a meal with dessert, here is a sweet little tidbit to close.  My son has a great new blog post up over on CRAZY IN A GOOD WAY!  Check it out.  Who knows -- he might even start telling you all kinds of stuff you never imagined about the Scribbler that I know you are dying to hear.  Brendan has lived a fascinating life so far in his 49 years, filled with a lot of experiences, stories  that you will find told in a thoughtful and insightful way.     


I saved the blurry photo of the front hall till last.
Aren't you glad?

12 February 2017

WARM WEATHER, GETTING EVEN, AND THE FUTURE

This past week has been a very busy one!  I have had no computer till yesterday, because the speakers blew out and the battery died.  When my son was visiting, he told me my keyboard was worn also out.  Everything has been replaced, and my computer is as good as new.  Much better than buying a new computer in my book.

Torrential rains off and on, mixed with warm sunny days as well as severe storms in some areas not far from here has made for a peculiar weather pattern this week.  Like last Winter, a lot of our days are unseasonably warm, but we have had some very chilly ones, too.  I started another series of shots in my left knee this week, but it is too early to tell yet if it is doing the job.  

Some of the original characters are missing from this photo -- Boo!

Our Internet connection was well and truly fouled up early in the week, and it was probably because lightening had damaged the modem/router thingamajig.   We tried again for a faster speed, but they still say we are too far from the source to support that 18 mg speed.  AT&T replaced the thingamajig so we resumed our binge-watching of ARMY WIVES on the iPad which we have enjoyed.  I was aware of this show but never watched it when it was on in real-time, and I do think it is quite well-done for the most part.  We are into the last season, and like most shows, when the ensemble cast breaks up and many new characters are introduced all at once, it falters.  I suppose that is why it ended.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dealing with that consignment store thief this week has been quite interesting to say the least.  If you follow me on other social media, you might have seen this post I made in various places:



But if you don't, here is what I have done.  At the Sheriff's recommendation, I have decided to file suit in small claims court, and I urge any other consignors or dealers who are owed money to do the same.  You pay a percentage of what is owed as a filing fee, and then if the judgement is in your favor, you recoup that.  Supposedly!  I will keep you posted on how that goes.  I have also filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and with the State's Attorney General, and I have contacted the reporter who first broke the story on a local TV station.  I find that channeling this anger into my workouts at the Y has been very good cardio exercise!  Also, the fact that I have now done all I can do through legal means gives me a feeling of accomplishment.  Let's face it -- that may be all I get.  Slime-balls like the cast of characters who run this business never seem to get caught.  They just declare bankruptcy and move on to a new scam.  

If any of you readers know anyone else who has been fleeced, I invite you to share any and all of my posts about this "Flea Mall" with them.  I have been informed by various sources (a lawyer included) that their store up in Cullman has been shut down, and from what I can deduce, the store manager, consignors and dealers also got the shaft.  The two men involved in the scam have proved very slippery to pin down, and there are other stores still open and operating in the Gadsden area.  What is really awful is that all these problems had been going on for months before I ever had the misfortune to get involved with them!  All the while, they keep taking in merchandise that they are then selling, but subsequently not paying their consignors.  The local owner herself told me she is paying people since the first of the year in cash "off the books," but she will not pay those of us from last year because "we do not have anything in the store anymore."  This totally defies logic!

One of my neighbors bought his house this past year, and the patio furnishings conveyed with the house.  Since the said patio furnishings were not present when he and his family actually moved in,  the man of the house stopped into this same Trader Bob's one day, just to see if he could find some other patio pieces to fill their space. 

Lo and behold, he discovered one item -- a fountain -- in the Trader Bob's store that he was positive was the one he had bought with his house, and he called the Sheriff to discuss it.  The Sheriff came to his house (whose visit I saw with my own eyes as did the whole neighborhood), but he was told that there was really nothing they could do about it, since he had no concrete proof that that particular fountain was his.  Of course, that local store owner knew nothing about it...

Larger problems have been swirling around this business for quite a while now, but prior to what happened to me, I was completely unaware of it except for the situation about the fountain.  This is good a lesson in thoroughly checking out a business before letting them promise to sell your things!  I hope no one else ever gets cheated the way we have.  


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
So after I had done all I could do about that --


Having only a phone and a tablet to communicate with the outside world this past week has given me more time to read -- and that's a good thing.  Who knew I waste so much time on the computer?  I read Ian McEwan's NUTSHELL, and Kimberly Belle's THE MARRIAGE LIE plus I caught up with a pile of magazines.  You may remember McEwan from the movie ATONEMENT even if you haven't read his books.  I have read several of them, and this one was by far the weirdest, although his characters and plots are always rather offbeat.  This is the tale of a murder plot hatched and carried out by a pair of more or less incestuous lovers (the victim's brother and the victim's wife), but it is told from the perspective of his own nine-month fetus who apparently has had perfect reasoning and language skills from about mid-point in his development in utero.  Of course, he is unable to warn his father of his impending fate, but in the end, he gets his revenge by precipitating his own birth in a rather unusual fashion to say the least.  McEwan manipulates the English language in an unparalleled way and is considered very highbrow in literary circles, but he can get quite tedious at times, although this one was intriguing enough to keep going.  Fortunately, none of his books that I have read are very long so I have always been able to see them through.

THE MARRIAGE LIE is a good whodunit, and I was fairly riveted right up to the end.  Have you read it?  I think this might be a good book club selection, because there are discussion Q & A's in the back.  It involves a woman who has just lost her husband in a terrible plane crash, lots of stolen money and a bizarre "friendship" between two childhood neighbors years later.  If you like a good psycho thriller with many rapid plot twists, you will like this one.


One last book I have loved this week and will look back through many times is this decorating book I saw referenced on another blog, but I forget whose.  I have seen some of these images floating around for quite a while since the book came out in 2012, but I was very keen to get my hands on the book itself.  My used copy came from a shop in England through Amazon for about $17, and SEDUCTIVE INTERIORS by Sera Hersham-Loftus is just that -- I was utterly mesmerized by the photos.  My only complaint is that the paper is black and the text is metallic gold, which makes it very hard to read.  You already know I love Boho style, and this one combines lots of that along with really seductive personal spaces.  She and the artsy people she writes about are people I would love to know!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I have run across some really cool things this week while perusing various social media, and here are a couple:

My friend Terri shared a photo of this vintage red stove --
I want it!!!  So does she.
Anyone know anything about a stove like this?

Some gorgeous bedrooms from Romantic Homes.
I could be quite comfy in any of them.

Some great white-painted floors!
I am dying to do this in my bedroom.

This about wraps it up for this week.  I am off to try a new slow-cooker idea I got from Jenna at The Painted Apron -- I'll let you know how it turns out.





05 February 2017

A CAUTIONARY TALE ABOUT MY CONSIGNMENT EXPERIENCE

In October I placed two antique chairs, plus a vintage wicker desk and chair to be sold at a 60/40 split at a local consignment store called Trader Bob's.  The facts in the case are laid out below.  Just the facts, ma'am, just the facts, as Joe Friday used to say.  Remember DRAGNET?


After checking back with the store off and on, it was determined that one chair had sold around the 10th of December and the other December 28th.  I was told that a check would be forthcoming no later than January 10, which happened to be that very day.  I was then told the checks hadn't been delivered yet, that they would call.  When I stopped by a couple more times in the next week, I was again put off each time with first a tale about a part-time accountant who was really slow.  So I checked back a few more times.  Then I was told they had a new accountant who was going to get people paid promptly and that a check would be forthcoming the following week.  That was more than two weeks ago.

We decided to go ahead and pick up the vintage wicker desk and chair the very next day after that, suspecting that all was not rosy.  Good thing.  Unbeknownst to me, there had already been a TV story done by a local reporter on the ABC affiliate in early November, but I was not aware of it till yesterday.  It seems that another woman had been royally ripped off, much worse than I, and she had called a TV station's helpline desk.  Meanwhile, blissfully unaware of all this, I kept taking the proprietor at her word.  Mistake.

Bottom line -- there is a class action lawsuit in the works, which probably means I will never see a dime, while someone out there is enjoying my chairs.  The only other option would be Small Claims Court, but the result would probably be the same:  no money.  You can get a judgement against another party, but it doesn't mean you will get your money.  The printout I finally managed to acquire yesterday of the sales shows that the chairs were sold at a substantial markdown and that they owed me quite a lot less that I am actually due.  When I tried to point this out to the owner, she instantly became verbally abusive, shouting me down refusing to listen and coming at me very aggressively.  Then she literally threw us out of the store, shouting so loudly right behind us as we left, ordering me to never come back, that I truly feared for our safety.  My husband hustled me out the door into the car.   I was still shaking an hour later from this ugly exchange.  

There were other individuals in the store, and there is no way this exchange was not overheard.




So, bottom line, this is what happened to these two chairs:  

(1)  Trader Bob's sold them, but

(2)  they didn't pay me  -- along with many other people whose names were already on a long list for the attorney who is supposedly going to file a class action suit against the parent company.  She claimed she doesn't know who marked the chairs  down, but that is just the "way it works".  I had hesitated to sign the contract in the first place, because there is indeed a paragraph on the sidebar which said they would be progressively marked down they longer they stayed in the store.  

However, the owner assured me that would not happen.  At the time we left the furniture there, we made a firm agreement between us that the pieces would NOT be marked down without my permission which I was not prepared to give because I knew that I could always find another venue to try if they failed to sell here.  There were witnesses to that exchange, too.  However, although that agreement was verbal, it was reiterated to me more than once from time to time either by the store owner and/or her employee.  I had only agreed to 10% off  -- because that is a standard practice in this type of business if a customer asks -- but no more. 

Again here is the link to that TV segment which also contains some good advice about what to look for if you are considering consigning:  http://abc3340.com/news/fighting-for-you/customer-complains-consignment-shop-wont-pay-up







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