Granny Pam

Granny Tells You What's Going On
  • .: Welcome :.

    I have found enough energy to hop over here and spruce the joint up a little.

    Papa will be retiring at the end of February, and we may have more adventures to document. Or not. But I wanted to be ready!
  • July 2014
    M T W T F S S
    « Feb    
     123456
    78910111213
    14151617181920
    21222324252627
    28293031  

    What’s Shaking, Granny?

    Posted By on May 10, 2011

    My little corner of the world is undergoing some changes. One of our daughters moved into an apartment last week, leaving an empty space in our home. I wiped up and swept up the rooms, and began moving books, magazines, and other items belonging to the genealogical society into the empty space. It was a struggle to get it all up the stairs, so I stopped when halfway done. Today, I will get the rest up those stairs.

    It also appears that our other daughter will be taking an apartment soon, leaving us with an empty nest. Those who know me know that these daughters are beyond the age when most kids fly off, but we enjoyed having them with us. We will miss the day to day contact and conversation. All the cats will disappear from our lives, too. I will especially miss the cat that curls up in my lap each night. We will be waiting until the summer festival season is over before deciding if we will get our own cat or kitten. I know there are many awaiting adoption, it is just a matter of whether we will stay put enough to properly care for another family member.

    I finally got started working on our little space by washing and painting one door. It needs another coat of paint today; later this week I will move on and do another door. I have decided to take every project a little at a time, so I will have a little variety in my days. I will probably start a project list, or perhaps two lists, one for inside and one for outside.

    By this time last year, I had purchased plants and planted my flower pots. D3 helped with the process, since she has the green thumb. With her gone, and her sister headed off, too, I will be planting fewer pots. They need frequent watering, and I might not be able to keep them going when we take trips. Hanging baskets are out for sure, or at least in the numbers we have had in the past. Papa and I will shop for plants together this weekend, and find what pleases us both. My morning glories came up from last year’s seed, but not as thick as in the past. I am going to throw a little seed in there today.

    We did get the vegetable garden planted last night. We planted peas, radishes, lettuce, spinach, rudabaga, cucumbers, green beans, cilantro, dill, parsnips, cabbage, broccoli, carrots, beets, zucchini, and some things I have forgotten. Papa put some popcorn and buttercup squash in one little corner of our garden. The rhubarb is looking great, we need to have pie this weekend, too. We will get tomato, cabbage, broccoli and pepper plants this weekend too. Yes, you saw cabbage and broccoli twice. I will buy just 4 plants each, and count on my seed to have more of the same later. We left space to transplant the plants that come up from seed, and some will replace the green beans and other early maturing plants.

    Here it is, dark and empty looking right now.

    close

    And a closer look at the Raspberries and rhubarb.

    rub-rasp1

    Now, on to today’s adventures!

    Just a Quick Road Trip

    Posted By on March 9, 2011

    We are headed down to Maumee, Ohio tomorrow to see Lost & Found in concert. If you aren’t familiar with Lost & Found start with this video:

    There are a bunch more videos on YouTube, but why settle for them, when you can see the real thing? Lost & Found are one of our favorites, and they do not appear in or around southeastern lower Michigan too often. Hope to see you there!

    What You Doin’ Anyway?

    Posted By on March 3, 2011

    What in the world have you been doing?

    Well, a lot of things, and most of them take more time than I expect.

    Thing One?

    Well, the flyer for Pickin’ on CF is finished. I also updated the CMS on that page today.

    Anything else?

    One more that I will mention today. We are having an indexing party over at the Oakland County Genealogical Society. I have been sending and receiving files so fast that my head is spinning and I am having trouble keeping up. There have also been quite a few book sales over on that site. By next week, you will be able to pay member dues on-line, too. This does suck up quite a bit of time.

    Do you do anything besides volunteer?

    Well, the usual, cook, clean, and I do sleep a little. Last weekend our two little granddaughters visited and we hit the Detroit Zoo. It was fun, even in the snow.

    DSCN0432

    What is coming up?

    Summertown Road will be at the Kentuckians of Michigan tomorrow night, don’t miss that. There are quite a few good Bluegrass shows within range over the next few weeks, hope to see some of at them.

    Sad and Pathetic — My Little Rant

    Posted By on February 23, 2011

    This morning, I headed over to my feed reader for a quick look at the headlines. The sad reality that the library in my city, Troy, Michigan, will be closing on May first was the first thing to greet me. Tweets showing that the Libraries in Birmingham and Rochester Hills will not serve Troy residents, even for a fee, were front and center. Look for yourself, if you need a good cry: http://twitter.com/#!/troylib

    Life without reading? Life without learning? Without a library? I can’t imagine, and I am sure I am not the only person who feels that way. I have never lived without a library nearby, and spend much of my childhood roaming the stacks, and carrying books between my home and the library.

    There was a millage proposal last fall; the Friends of the Troy Library had a plan to keep the library open. Several self-serving groups took out petitions to muddy the water, and made it their business to dispense misinformation about the library, and the city finances. They managed to confuse an already confused electorate enough to defeat the proposal. It was small consolation to me that the original proposal failed with the largest number of votes. I have no idea what is wrong with people who are so interested in keeping a few dollars in their pockets, they jeopardize the quality of life in the city by allowing this to happen.

    What is wrong with you, people?

    Long Gone

    Posted By on February 18, 2011

    Yes, I have been MIA. I am back, but probably not as regularly as I should be. What is up? Life, I guess. I haven’t accomplished as much as I would like this winter, but something about the touch of spring we have had lately has energized me. Not all the way to “Energizer Bunny” status, but I do feel the renewal of spring in the air.

    I have not accomplished as much of my personal genealogy as I hoped to this winter, but have made some progress. I also did this, and updated this, and did this, and mostly kept up here and here, along with a little makeover here.

    Since we have had a few warmer days, I am thinking of other things, like my flowers, the vegie garden, and cleaning the garage. Spring for sure when these things come to mind. I have heard a few birds chirping lately, and this morning the snow is mostly gone. To be sure, we are a long way from spring here in Michigan, but I do feel some hope that it will finally arrive.

    So, back to a few projects I have piled up here, and looking forward to a trip to the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana tomorrow to do a little genealogical research.

    Come on spring!

    IIIrd Tyme Out in Royal Oak

    Posted By on January 22, 2011

    Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out appeared at Royal Oak Shrine High School on Friday, January 21st.

    Since Oakland Community College withdrew support for live performances, the Bluegrass Series there was discontinued as of last May.

    Through the efforts of several individuals, including Tom Laing, the Royal Oak Bluegrass Series has been created. Although no further bookings have been made, it was announced that organizers hope to have a series of four concerts throughout the year.

    IIIre tyme out 050
    Mr. Van Rohr was the MC.

    IIIre tyme out 052
    IIIrd Tyme Out

    IIIre tyme out 069
    Wayne Benson

    IIIre tyme out 054
    Russell Moore

    IIIre tyme out 047
    It was a great evening, and wonderful to see so a good crowd; since it was a cold night.

    You may see the rest of our photos in the gallery.

    I Am a Guest, Again

    Posted By on January 21, 2011

    I submitted a few comments to fellow blogger Tipper, of  The Blind Pig and the Acorn, the other day, and lo and behold, they ended up as a guest post!

    I’m honored, thanks to Tipper.  Head on over and read the post!

    Winterfest 21, Perrysburg, Ohio

    Posted By on January 21, 2011

    We had a great time on our mid-winter break down at Perrysburg last weekend. Larry Efaw and his family put on a great show which was enjoyed by the largest crowd in recent years, and we were glad we were among them.

    The show was a great mix of regional and nationally touring bands and included the Deepwater Bluegrass, Wildwood Valley Boys, the Larkins, Summertown Road, Remington Ryde, Idletymes, the Prater Brothers, the Whittaker Brothers, Vertical Limit, Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, and the host band, the Bluegrass Mountaineers. Charlie Patton was the MC, and did a fine job,as usual. It is quite a thrill to see him sing both the US and Canadian National Anthems, a capella, to open the show.
    pburg 11 002

    Don’t every let anyone tell you that Rhonda doesn’t know where the camera is.

    pburg 11 381
    Hunter Berry and Rhonda Vincent

    It was nice to see Larry supporting a local band on his show, in this case, Deepwater Bluegrass. These folks are single-handedly responsible for the great bluegrass shows which are presented at Glass City Opry. I hope you are attending them as often as you can, we sure are.

    pburg 11 004
    Deepwater Bluegrass

    A special treat was seeing Janis, Lewis, Travis, and Jamison Lewis, who are appearing as The Lewis Tradition.

    pburg 11 111
    Janis Lewis Phillips

    pburg 11 113
    Jamison Lewis

    pburg 11 104
    Travis Lewis

    pburg 11 110
    Lewis Phillips

    Although bluegrass purists would question the keyboard Jamison plays, it sounded just right with Lewis Family music, and eighteen-year old Jamison’s harmony blended right in. The new Lewis Tradition CD, Precious Memories, was on my must purchase list and I have been playing it almost full time since I got it home. The Lewis Tradition was headed to Marion, Virginia for a taping of Song of the Mountains, so watch for them on your PBS station soon.

    One more little sample, then I invite you to check out the gallery for more photos. We remember Stanley as an eight-year old mandolin whiz kid, and have seen him play every instrument on stage.

    pburg 11 350
    Stanley Efaw

    Enjoy the rest of the photos in the gallery.

    A Chat With Peggy

    Posted By on January 8, 2011

    I wanted to to check out how a website handled a manufacturing order. I walked through the entire process, which involved a wizard that could use a little work. Well, maybe the wizard was fine and I need work, who knows? Anyway, I was missing a little information after I took all the steps I could find. I was missing the actual cost of the item, and the shipping charge to get it to me. You should understand that the reason I walked through the wizard was to find the cost and shipping charge for the item, so I was bummed that I didn’t have it. I noticed a prominent button marked “CHAT”, so I clicked on it. That was the start of a convoluted journey I am still wondering about twelve hours later.

    If you have never used on-line help systems, they bring up a box, and you can type questions to a customer service person, and they type a reply. This works like any instant message or chat program you may have used.

    Disclaimer: I changed the name of the customer service representative, but of course they already change that, so it is no big deal. I also altered a few words to hide the type of company I was dealing with. I really don’t intend to trash them, but I would love to re-write the manuals that their customer service representatives use. Or perhaps it is the translation that is causing trouble? If you have never seen one of the new Discover Card Commercials, here is a sample to show why I chose to use “Peggy” as the name of the customer service representatives.

    In a stroke of luck, the chat software allowed me to save a transcription of the entire event, which took more than fifteen minutes. What I am presenting here is just a section of the entire painful process.

    Chat Log:

    You: How do I find the manufacturing cost?

    Peggy:: Hi Pam, Welcome to support.

    You: Hi, did you receive my question?

    Peggy: I’m looking into your query; please give me a minute or two.

    You: fine.

    Peggy: Pam, you can calculate the manufacturing price of through the cost calculator that is readily available.

    Peggy: Above the manufacturing cost, you can set your own price.

    You: Is the manufacturing cost the one that is listed in the final step of the wizard?

    Peggy: The manufacturing cost is the minimum price and you can set your own price above it. And the same will reflect to public.

    You: Where do I find the manufacturing cost?

    Peggy: Do you want to know about Cost Calculator?

    You: No, I want to know how to find the manufacturing cost.

    Peggy: You can see the manufacturing cost at the pricing section wizard.

    You: Is there any way to navigate to that area without going all the way back through the whole process?

    Peggy: I’m sorry, at this time we will not be able to navigate without going all the way back to whole process.

    Peggy: I really hope in the near future we will be able to provide you this feature.

    Pam: OK. Next question, how do I find out the shipping cost?

    Peggy: We only charge actual shipping so there are too many factors for us to be able to offer a shipping price.

    Peggy: While we hope to be able to offer a comprehensive shipping calculator some day in the future, for the time being, the easiest way to get a shipping estimate is to just add the desired number items that you are interested into your cart. This will allow you to explore your shipping price and then you are welcome to delete the content from your cart if you decide not to purchase.

    You: OK. So, I have to put the item in the cart, and enter my shipping address to see how much the shipping is, right?

    Peggy: Yes, you are right.
    You: How do I set the price for the item after it is made?

    Peggy: Once you finish in the wizard, on the revise page, you can click on the change button of pricing section and can change the price.

    END of CHAT (thank goodness).

    Well, there was a lot more, but this section was painful enough that I found that Bill, while listening of me talking yelling swearing at the computer screen, had updated his Facebook status to let everyone know I was chatting with “Peggy.” Nice.

    I do have one piece of advice for you if you must talk to any customer service representative these days:

    1. Know the terminology used on the site. Don’t confuse the issue with your words or impressions. If they say cost, say cost. If they say price, say price. However, I suspect that the instructions in this case were causing the confusion.
    2. Know what you want to know, and keep repeating the question till you get an answer. I wanted the manufacturing cost and the shipping cost, which would produce my total cost. No sense and asking for anything else, in any other way.
    3. Patience. You’ll need more than I have.

    IIIrd Tyme Out in Royal Oak From Tom Laing

    Posted By on January 7, 2011

    I received wonderful news from Tom & Barb Laing regarding the now defunct Oakland Community College Bluegrass Series. For those who didn’t know, Tom has been working tirelessly behind the scenes to find a way to bring bluegrass concerts back to the area. Here is his unedited message:

    Friends,
    Your patience has been rewarded! Our NEW Royal Oak Bluegrass Series kicks off on FRIDAY, JANUARY 21, 2011 at 7:30pm with IIIrd TYME OUT.

    Our NEW location is the Sanders Auditorium at SHRINE CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL. The address is 3500 W. 13 Mile Rd., Royal Oak, MI.

    Tickets are available online, by phone, or at the door (while they last!). Tickets for adults are $20, and a student (with I.D. card) pays only $10. See below for details.

    As many of you know, Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out is one of the premier bluegrass bands traveling the country. Russell is the reigning “Male Vocalist of the Year” as chosen by the International Bluegrass Music Association. Their a cappella gospel numbers are not to be missed, while their hard-driving bluegrass is a real treat! For more information about this band, go to their website at www.iiirdtymeout.com.

    Parking is free and there is plenty of it.

    ONLINE TICKETS: Go to www.shrineschools.com. Click on high school (3rd picture to the right). Click on the banner for the Royal Oak Bluegrass Series and follow the instructions.

    TICKETS BY PHONE: Call 248-541-4122 ext. 455

    A SPECIAL NOTE FROM TOM LAING:

    You folks have been very supportive of the OCC series over the years, and I hope you will make every effort to attend this concert and bring your friends! We need a huge showing to show the high school that we appreciate their efforts in helping to keep bluegrass alive in the metro Detroit area. So, if you want these concerts to continue, please come!! Thanks!

    Tom and Barb Laing

    I went to the Shrine Schools site last night and purchased our tickets, Bill and I will be there with bells on. I hope everyone who is able will join us!