Category Archives: Off The Porch

Mama Drama

I’m mom to three girls – and while there is occasional drama, we’ve managed to work through the growing up issues pretty smoothly (so far, anyway).  My oldest was always quiet and thoughtful and she’s grown into a confident, caring young woman with definite opinions.  My middle daughter was the busy bee – and she’s like a butterfly, putting her sweet, but definite imprint on the priorities in her life.  My youngest is a mixture of all of us – she’s a little shy, but very loving and totally ornery.     The parenting skills I developed while raising the girls include:

  1. the evil mommy look – and they respond:

I’m blessed with one son.   He’s a free spirit, has never met a stranger and loves what he loves with passion.   Little children adore him, he has the patience and kindness to get right down on their level for as long as they want.   Big guys like him.  He has a charisma that attracts the female crowd – I remember him at age 4 skating around the rink with 10 year old girls on each arm.     The evil eye does not work with my son – nor apparently with the young women who call at all hours.  (Where are their moms?)

Anyway, I’ve found I need some other parenting technique, as  he will wink back, smile and proceed to do some daredevil stunt that makes my heart stop.    My husband is little help – he shares some of the things he did with his 2 brothers.   Bless his mom’s heart!

That said, “Boys will be boys” doesn’t always work at our house.  Last week was one of those times when he made a particularly bad choice.  Initially I was stunned, then I was mad and I’ll admit I did not know what to do.  I found out quickly that yelling at him was having no effect.   I then did what any responsible mother would do.  I took him to get a tetanus shot.  And I lectured him some more.  And some more.

My sister-in-law had mentioned buying the book “Life Strategies for Teens” by Jay McGraw (son of  How’s-That-Working-For-Ya? Dr. Phil).   I got it out and assigned it  as homework to my wayward little man-child.  I’m reading a chapter at night, then he reads it the next day and we talk about it.  The book is based on the 10 “Life Laws” that Dr. Phil has written about – but it is translated into a teen’s perspective.  My son isn’t quite a teen, but we’re getting a head start.

We’ve finished the intro and Nicholas actually made a list in his journal of the life laws.  He was particularly intrigued by the first one “Either You Get It – Or You Don’t”, and he thinks it specifically applies to me.  It will be his reading assignment today and I’m anxious to hear his take on it afterward.

Anyway, here is my list of parenting techniques for boys:

  1. yelling
  2. grounding (although restricting activity does have merit)
  3. tears
  4. redirection (worked until age 3)
  5. evil eye
  6. sitting on him

I’m totally open to suggestion.


Giving Thanks

AHS Home Warranty

We bought our home in July and purchased a home warranty with AHS Home Warranty.   Last week, my oven stopped working.  I thought it possibly had a short in the electrical wiring.   We called in the repair and a local repairman showed up to fix my “cooktop”.   I directed him to the non-working OVEN and left him to his business.

He poked in the oven and determined the element was burned out, borrowed my phone to call AHS Home Warranty.  After a lengthy discussion, he advised me he didn’t have the parts and AHS would be putting out a search for them.

After hearing nothing, I called today and found they have determined it will cost more to repair my oven than it is “worth” and will give me a cash settlement equal to the replacement parts. So now it is my responsibility to replace the entire oven for the price of 2 small parts.

Since my entire oven is non-functional, I asked about the bottom unit – and she claimed I would have to submit a SECOND work request and then lshe aunched into a lengthy explanation of the difference in cooktop, range, oven, and double oven.   I’m sitting here looking at the oven – it is ONE appliance with TWO cooking compartments.  You don’t replace one without the other.  It comes out in a BIG HUNK OF CONNECTED METAL.

She then lectured me on the necessity of calling in the repair order with the exact problem – OVEN DOESN’T WORK – doesn’t seem to fit the bill.   I’m supposed to KNOW what is wrong?   I suppose their job would be made easier if their customers could supply a part number and do a search for the cheapest in inventory, order it and hand it to the repairman when he arrives!

I asked to speak to a manager, and was denied.  I asked for names and she said Marsha, her supervisor, would contact me.  Marsha’s manager is Sandy who reports to Julie, the manager.  A lot of hierarchy don’t you think?  After another few minutes of lecture where I was unable to get a word in edgewise, Ms. Customer Service (the woman I was speaking to refused to give me her name),  then hung up on me.

So, please feel free to pass this information to anyone considering a HOME WARRANTY.  I’m already out $55 for the initial service call, have no oven, and have no confidence in AHS to bring any type of fair and reasonable resolution.

This is from the AHS website:

What if I have an appliance that just can’t be fixed?

If AHS determines your covered system component or appliance can’t be repaired by a service contractor, it will be replaced.*

* Not all home systems and appliances are covered (oven is) To receive a copy of the contract that details specific coverages, exclusions, and limitations, please call 1-866-634-1442. Coverage includes single-family homes under 5,000 square feet. The trade service call fee applies to the initial visit by a technician for each covered trade. Additional charges may apply to some repairs and replacements. AHS may provide cash back in lieu of repair or replacements in the amount of AHS’s actual cost to repair or replace that item, which at times may be less than retail pricing. Systems and appliances 1) will be replaced with units that have comparable features, not necessarily the same dimension, color and/or brand; 2) must be in good working condition on the effective date of contract; 3) designated by the manufacturer as commercial are not covered. Improper maintenance of any covered system or appliance may result in denial of coverage for lack of maintenance.

UPDATE:  11/20/2008  A field representative from AHS stepped in and is addressing the situation.  A follow-up visit by the repairman is anticipated.  Her follow-up with me was thorough, respectful and helpful.   I will continue to update this experience as it unfolds.

The stove was eventually replaced.  Thank you!



to every soldier, then and now, who sacrifices to give us freedom and keep us safe.

You – are our true heroes and we love you.


Today I woke up:


I don’t know what causes it, I imagine it has to do with a patch I am supposed to change on Wednesday and Sunday still being in place on Friday.  My son claims I have “The Alt Himers”.  He’s funny like that.

grouchy2So today I’m going to change the darn patch, go to homeschool group, come home and finish reading “The Other Boleyn Girl” and start my new Jodi Picoult book in honor of my dear friend Linny’s birthday.   She gave me the book, I read it on her birthday, how’s that for a cool gift?   Linny and I have history.  We went on a wild, drunken drive one night – and we weren’t even drinking.


What am I grouchy about?  In addition to the burden of reading chores, my house needs to be dusted, I’m 2 years behind in scrap booking, I need to sew, lesson plans await,  my top oven quit working yesterday, I need to have my roots done, my grocery list is blank, my husband is going out of town, my camera batteries are dead, and the mainstream news annoys me to no end.

I partially attribute my disposition to the media, “anonymous” campaign workers and disloyal Republicans who blame Sarah Palin for the failure of their politics.  I’ve laughingly called BS on the “Democraps”, but John McCain’s staffers take the whole cow patty.   Mr. McCain – you need to get wrapped around this like stink on….bullshit

As an outspoken, aggressive woman who managed for 20 years in a male-dominated industry, I should not be surprised.   America may have a “browner” President (my daughter insists there are only shades of brown people) and the glass ceiling may be cracked, but it’s THERE.  And the injustice is just WRONG.

I admire Sarah Palin.  She is a Christian, a charismatic leader, a smart woman, a loving wife and mother.   She delivers a speech, changes a diaper and worries what her kids will wear on national television.  Imagine that!

I pray great things for her, peace above all.  She is a lovely woman with grace and class.

For the media who choose to tear down instead of help rebuild:


What she said…

Mommy Life gets it right – As We Welcome President Obama Here’s a brief snippet, but please read her whole post.

Let us pray that under President Obama’s leadership we will finally see the end to the bitterness and hardness of hearts – on both sides – that has stood in the way of reconciliation and final healing for the sin of slavery. Conservatives voted for Sen McCain for political reasons, not because of racism. But we can all share in the pride at how far our country has come. May the reality of an African American family in the highest place of honor bring assurance to every person on Earth that in this regard the American spirit, with the grace of God, has triumphed over evil.

Jesus Go Home

You can dress up like a devil, a ghost or a witch – but dress up like Jesus and you are sent home from school.  What a load of crapola!