Humble Pie

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I ate a slice recently (it was not sweet or served à la mode).

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I didn’t have to eat it, but I chose to eat it. I could have justified my behaviour or downplayed it, soothing my pride. Or I could have let the anonymity of the telephone cloak my identity. It would have been so easy…

I took my car in 5.5 weeks ago for an oil change, a squeaky sound, and the all-too familiar “herky-jerky” transmission in my new car. They changed the oil, fixed the brakes, and promised to order a new clutch kit to (cross your fingers) deal with the “herky-jerky” once-and-for-all!

I was told to check back “next week”. I did. I was told it would take another week, but he promised he would call me!

He promised.

He didn’t call me. So I called him back. He would look into it and promised to call me back in 10 minutes.

He promised.

He didn’t. By the time a hour and a half had rolled around, and I was sitting on hold listening to “beep beep” (for 10 minutes), I was ready to crack craniums and bash brains. So I hung up and called back.

The main receptionist answered and I calmly let her have it. I didn’t swear. I didn’t call her names. But I imagine I was a loud, ranting lunatic whose voice pitch kept getting higher and higher until only dogs could hear it. She apologized without making lame excuses. She remained calm and poised…and professional. She sweetly called me “ma’am” and then politely transferred me to the correct department…where I got put on hold. BUT eventually I made contact with “he who makes empty promises” – who promised to call the next week when the part came in.

I hung up the phone.

I felt terrible. I mean, really horrible. After all, I’ve worked in offices too. Haven’t I made “first contact” with more than my fair share of loud, ranting lunatics and passive-aggressive mind-blowers too? Haven’t I been left shaken after an encounter of the oddest kind when I was simply doing my job?

“Pride is concerned with who is right. Humility is concerned with what is right.” – Ezra T. Benson

So I ate some humble pie.

I called her back. I apologized profusely. I shared that I’m really not that “kind” of person and I’ve been in her position. I thanked her for remaining calm and professional. We talked and laughed for over 3 minutes – this stranger and I caught in a bad moment in my day.

As we closed our conversation, she thanked me. No one had ever bothered to call back before. She was more used to being clobbered, than commended. Maybe more of us just need to swallow a bite of humble pie before we open our mouths!

“We learn humility through accepting humiliations cheerfully.” – Mother Theresa

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Post-script: It’s been 5.5 weeks since I took my car to the dealership. I called last night to see if my clutch kit had arrived – it hadn’t because it was never ordered. It turns out “he who makes empty promises” was fired 2 weeks ago…for not returning calls and not ordering parts. I swear, it wasn’t my doing!

 

 

Wilderness Wednesday: The Wind

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And all about him was the wind now, a pervasive sighing trough great emptiness, as though the prairie itself was breathing in long gusting breaths, unhampered by the buildings of town, warm and living against his face and in his hair- W. O. Mitchell, Who Has Seen The Wind (1947)

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“To destroy abuses is not enough; Habits must also be changed. The windmill has gone, but the wind is still there.” – Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

Happy Wednesday!

Jeans, Glorious Jeans

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I object! In fact, I strongly object!

I have not struggled all these years with Booty Blues, trying to find the perfect pair of jeans (I’m still looking, by the way), only to be told that I have less than a decade to find them!

As if it wasn’t bad enough to learn the horrible truth about heels and flip-flops, according to the most recent British survey of 2.000 people, people “should retire their jeans at age 53”!

Even the director of the surveying company was shocked by the results! Yes, jean shopping is stressful. We’ve all been there. One in ten consumers will try on up to 6 pairs at a time (which is smart because no 2 pairs of jeans are alike), while 6% of consumers will end their shopping trip in tears (I only cry when I shop for bathing suits and bras).

It gets worse!

Another British survey early in the year concluded that 47 was the actual age to stop wearing jeans and shears long locks! In fact, the earlier study concluded that women over 38 shouldn’t get tattoos (oops – I was 40!), women over 34 should stop taking selfies (oops – did that last week), women over 44 should’t go clubbing or attend music festivals. Finally, women over 40 should stop trying to learn how to use new technology! Twitter shouldn’t be used over the age of 47 and Facebook accounts should be deleted by age 49 (did you know in 2014, 56 percent of online adults over 65 had Facebook accounts?).

Which begs the question – who are these people? Because I want to ask them these questions again when they turn 40!

“You can be the chicest thing world in a t-shirt and jeans – it’s up to you!”
– Karl Lagerfeld

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/most-annoying-study-reveals-age-when-women-are-too-old-for-jeans_us_581a31fae4b0c43e6c1d98dd

http://www.today.com/video/the-age-at-which-you-re-too-old-to-wear-jeans-is-799048771812

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-age-when-women-are-too-old-for-long-hair-and-skinny-jeans_us_5787a4b0e4b0867123dfdd87

 

On my sensible hat…

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“You’re really not a winter person, are you?” Hubby quipped.

I was dressed in a thick, cushy sweater, huddled over the open oven door, hands outstretched, warming them. The oven was turned off; I was simply taking advantage of the waning warmth.

Winter appeared suddenly this week. With only one prior snowfall that didn’t amount to anything and temperatures soaring close to 20C as the weekend approached, I wasn’t completely prepared for the bone-chilling drop in temperature or the lasting appearance of wicked white stuff. So when we reluctantly donned our winter wear Monday morning, I was surprised to find out Little Guy had no winter hat. I am certain I stocked up last Fall! Hubby couldn’t find his gloves on Saturday, so put the snow tires on his car Saturday afternoon wearing an old, ratty pair of fingerless motorcycle gloves!

Time to be a Proverbs 31 woman…

“When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.” (v.21)

…after I went to the mechanic to have my snow tires installed. Don’t judge me – it’s cold and wet out there!

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Maybe it’s because I went to Walmart (hello People of WalMart), but I went a little crazy and I bought gloves, hats, socks, boots and long underwear for my men. And worst of all, in my smug merriment, I bought a hat for me too. Even though I know I look stupid in hats!

That evening, I proudly showed it to Hubby:

Me: See, I listened to you and I bought myself a sensible winter hat!
Hubby (exasperated): OK, but I’ve been chasing you to wear sensible winter wear for the last 20 years!!
Me: Yeah, and…I listened…

Shortly after this enlightened conversation, Hubby called his mom (I’m pretty sure our recent conversation was unrelated) but he did tell her I bought a sensible winter hat. My darling mother-in-law quipped, “Oh, she must be getting old”!🙂

“I have a soft spot for MOMS. My other soft spots are from eating too much.” – John Wagner, Maxine cartoonist

But she wisely speaks Truth. I am getting old… and apparently forgetful! And also a little blind, because this hat just doesn’t seem sensible any more.

 

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My brother would say”It’s perfect”!

“Next week I shall begin my operations on my hat, on which you know my principal hopes of happiness depend.” – Jane Austen

Happy Weekend!

Wilderness Wednesday: Bessie

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Why are cows always named Bessie?

I can’t really say how or what caused me to pose this question, but the answer…is not clear.  What is clear, according to scientists, is that cows given and addressed by names are happier and more productive. Another British study found that cows named Daisy, Gertrude or Buttercup produce more milk than their unnamed sisters. Apparently Bessie, a derivative of Elizabeth which means “pledged to God”, didn’t make the top 3.

Mrs. O’Leary’s cow was blamed for starting the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, but according to Smithsonian.com, Mrs. Leary and her cow were just scapegoats in a great tragedy. There is no record of what Mrs. O’Leary  named her cow.

My Dad named his cows when he was in 4H. One was named Julia after his aunt; I not sure she was flattered. He even named one after my Mom…she married him anyway!

Did you know there’s even a cow character in the Marvel universe? At least that cow has a strong name.

Let’s call this one Patty – as in “all beef patty”!

“Cows are amongst the gentlest of breathing creatures; none show more passionate tenderness to their young when deprived of them; and, in short, I am not ashamed to profess a deep love for these quiet creatures.” – Thomas de Quincey

Happy Wednesday!

Letters from a German Medic


Some stories are worth re-telling.

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My Great Uncle was killed in action in 1944 – but it is the letters from “the enemy” that make this a remarkable story.

  My Great Uncle was born in 1924 and enlisted in the Canadian Army Dental Corps in December, 1942. He needed his parents’ permission to join because he was only 17. He remustered to the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1942 and headed overseas to the United Kingdom in August 1943. He was attached to the Royal Air Force and went missing in action in 1944, at the age of 20.

  It was several months of agonizing waiting before his family found out what had happened. My Great-Uncle had been the rear gunner in an Avro Lancaster went missing during a night operation in France. The rear gunner was in a “bubble” on the underside of the airplane. I was with my Grandfather when he…

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