My mom is the genesis of my quilting disease. She started quilting when I was going into 5th grade, and the first quilt she ever made is the one that was on my bed all the way through middle school, high school, and in my apartment and first home with my husband until we got a down comforter.

I have never made a quilt for her, which annoys me, when she’s made so many for me. I think there are at least 3 of her quilts if not more of them in this house. Two of them are hanging on the walls.

We have also never collaborated on a quilt together. So we’ve decided to change that.

What we’re going to do is generate a bunch of random quilt parts — the Parts Department, if you will — using the colors that make us happy from our scrap stashes. And then at some point in the future (December? or after her annual trip to Colorado this winter?), we’ll get together and start arranging these blocks and strips and random fabric items into a quilt piece. Her color palette is mostly the same as mine; it’s perhaps not quite as bright, but we shop at the same Crackhouse so they’ll probably go together quite well.

The interesting thing about this is that we will likely bicker about who gets the privilege of doing the machine quilting on it — both of us LOVE that step, and are getting better at it and growing to enjoy it even more than the process of putting together a quilt top. It’s sort of like the journaling on a scrapbook page — quilting is the lifeforce of a quilt. It’s what gives it depth, warmth, and spirit. Maybe we’ll both do some of it. But this is unusual because most quilters pay other people to do the machine quilting for them — something I would love to do for people one day when my life isn’t quite so scheduled. I’m too cheap to pay someone else, and so is my mom. And, frankly, I enjoy the challenge of sharpening a skill that most people find to be “too difficult” or intimidating to do themselves.

We’ll enter our collaborative quilt in the “group quilts” category in the quilt show next October. I love that. And if we can get Helen and Alice to put handprints on it, it can be THREE generations of collaborators.

Cell phone hell.

Last Monday, I dropped my cell phone into a puddle during a wind and rainstorm while I was on the way into a church meeting. I got into the meeting, realized I didn’t have my phone with me, and figured I had left it at home. I then sat down and enjoyed a FOUR HOUR meeting. When I went home, I searched for the phone. Not in my car, not in my room upstairs, not in the kitchen charging, not in my jacket pocket, not in the room where I had been packing T-shirts… No clue where it was. Decided I must have dropped it in the parking lot at church, because Jerry had called me on the phone prior to coming home from work, and I obviously had it then. And the only other place I had been was at church. So that left….. church.

So, at 11:15pm, I drove back down to church (because the other option was to lie there awake, pissed off, and wondering what the hell happened to the phone). I went, equipped with Jerry’s cell phone and a Mag Lite so I could a) search for the phone in the dark parking lot, and b) clobber anyone who was stupid enough to come near me while I was holding it and in that state of mind.

I pulled into the parking lot, and saw the phone glinting in the streetlight, submerged in a 3/4″ deep puddle of rain.

At home, Jerry took it apart and shook out the water, and I called the phone insurance company. I have been paying a monthly fee to have insurance on this phone (The PuddlePhone), which covers stuff like this.

SO. They (Asurion) take all the information, and my replacement phone will be delivered Wednesday, and I have to be home to sign for it. Lucky for me, Wednesday is the day of the PSAT, so all of my Wednesday morning tutoring sessions have been cancelled. I received the phone as planned, charged it as instructed, and activated it. Then I was talking to my mom on it later, and the screen went white and I couldn’t get it to do anything. I popped the battery out, back in, and turned the phone back on. It rang (Jerry this time), but I couldn’t answer it. Screen went white, but the Asurion Phone kept ringing until I popped the battery out again.

Off to Verizon I went on Wednesday evening, since the instructions that came with the phone said that “if you have problems, contact Verizon Wireless at….” — well, I interpreted that to mean, simply, Contact Verizon Wireless. And since I wanted to talk to a human face-to-face, I chose to go to the STORE rather than call the 800-number. Apparently, this was my 2nd mistake (the first being dropping the PuddlePhone on Monday evening).

At the store, the woman behind the desk in the technical services section declared it a display problem, and swapped out the Asurion Replacement Phone with a Verizon Replacement Phone. Because the phones are not shipped with batteries, she put the Asurion Battery into the Verizon Phone. Happy with the exchange, Elaine left Verizon and went home. Third mistake.

On Thursday, the phone still did the same things — blank screens, ringing that I couldn’t answer, randomly dropped calls with a subsequently dead phone. However, the PuddlePhone started up great and seemed to work fine. So I went back to Verizon, and waited in line for thirty minutes to have the tech guy (a very nice guy named Harold) tell me that Verizon wasn’t supposed to have replaced the phone since it was an insurance replacement, and defective replacement issues need to be taken up with Asurion. He put the PuddlePhone battery into the Verizon phone, moved over my phone book for free, told me to call Asurion to resolve the situation, and sent me home.

So I finally called Asurion today, and they told me to go BACK to Verizon to find out the ESN (part number) on the Asurion phone (that was exchanged at the store Wednesday night), so that they could decide what to do. Whatever they would do, I was told I would have to ship back the entire defective replacement, including the phone part that apparently worked. So now I’m supposed to ship back the PuddlePhone and its battery, and the Asurion phone and its battery. Except that I don’t HAVE the Asurion phone anymore, so I have to go back to Verizon and get the information about that phone, and call Asurion from the store to make sure everyone has given everyone else the required information to complete the transaction.

Back at Verizon, I spoke to Harold again, who took me over to a floor manager (not the store manager, mind you), who looked up the ESN of the Asurion phone. They gave me the ESN of the PuddlePhone instead (but I didn’t know that yet). I called Asurion from the Verizon store, as instructed, and Harold, the Asurion rep, and I had a conversation that basically ended with me finding out that the ESN didn’t match the one Asurion had sent me, and Verizon had voided the warranty on the Asurion equipment when they exchanged the phone Wednesday night.

So now I’m out the $50 deductible, I still have to return the PuddlePhone and its battery (which works) by Thursday, or I will have a $300 “non-return charge” for not sending back the damaged equipment; the Asurion phone’s battery doesn’t work, so the Verizon phone is useless to me. And neither Asurion or Verizon will replace the battery, both pointing at the other and saying, “They need to resolve it.” And none of the Verizon stores in Huntsville HAVE a battery for this model phone, nor does the regional warehouse. So I can’t get one (at least not from Verizon — we have found them online). And the Verizon warranty was voided when I dropped the phone in a puddle, so they can’t/won’t replace anything for free anyway.

I was so patient and nice to Harold while he helped other customers that he found a Free Phone in the back (a glittery blue thing, and big) that I could use “until January,” when my contract is eligible for an Early Upgrade. No problem! I was all set to take it, until he told me that it didn’t do text messages or pictures, both of which are functions on my current phone. Um, no. I don’t want to downgrade when Verizon made as much of a mistake as I did in this mess. So Harold asked that I come back tomorrow when there’s a manager on duty, so that I can get the situation resolved by people who have the authority to resolve it. Fair enough. So I’ll be there tomorrow morning at 11:30. Lucky for me again, my morning tutoring has been cancelled by the fact that Parent-Teacher Conferences are tomorrow, so the kids don’t have classes, so I don’t tutor.

Here’s where I’m confused, though: I’ll accept some of the blame for taking the Asurion phone to Verizon, which I shouldn’t have done, apparently. But why should *I* have to pay for a new battery (which I can’t get locally) or a new phone (and at full-retail, no less, since I’m mid-contract), when a Verizon employee is the reason behind why my warranty with Asurion is now void? This makes no sense to me. Harold couldn’t really help me with this, and the story is so confusing at this point that I think he wished that the Earth would open up and eat me, even though I was being nice (VERY nice), given the circumstances. I’m not mad at him, I’m not mad at the girl who exchanged the phone (she was just trying to help), I’m not mad at Verizon, and I’m not mad at Asurion. I basically just got myself wound up in a lot of Red Tape, and unfortunately I just have to get myself out of it.

But damn. A deadline, since I have to ship the PuddlePhone back by Thursday. So I MUST go deal with this tomorrow. And I MUST have a new battery or a new phone by Wednesday, when I leave town for 6 days. *sigh*

And, turns out, the PuddlePhone worked just fine once it dried out. And that’s the most annoying thing of all, really. Apparently submerged phones usually don’t work for very LONG after they’ve dried out, so it’s probably just as well, I guess.


I am going through an incredibly selfish time in my life.

There. I admitted it.

It’s all about me. I’m not getting laundry done, I’m not getting the house cleaned up, I’m not getting dinner planned, I’m not spending enough time with my children.

But I am getting lots of quilts done. And scrapbooking. Well, not really scrapbooking, but I’m thinking about it a lot. And I’m spending an inordinate amount of time on the computer (even if it’s not on this blog).

This has got to stop.

This weekend, I vow to get more done around the house — to make the kitchen livable again, to plan meals for the next week or so, and to stop being annoyed when my children want to spend some time with me.

Creative productivity is one thing. Being enslaved by it is not good.

Big Job

In less than three weeks, I will be going to Texas for a scrapbooking retreat. This means I must pack all of the things that I might need and take them with me (or ship them ahead of time). I’m told that I don’t really need to bring tools, since there will be SO MANY tools there. I am going to bring my trimmers, though, because having to borrow someone’s trimmer would make me insane. But the rest of the tools I’m OK with borrowing.

Tonight I started getting the photos I have organized and in order, and started sketching out how (I think) I want to do the pages. This weekend, I’ll start pulling the papers and embellishments I need for those sketches.

And then, in three weeks, I’ll be panicking because I’m over the weight limit.


This is FUN, you understand.