Corporate Frustration Rant

Before the world went into lockdown, I placed an order for 3 sets of items to be used as favors for a retreat to be held later in the summer if lockdowns allow. The order was to be fulfilled by Amazon fulfillment, so not coming from other distant land. The order didn’t come, then shipping slowed to a crawl due to COVID and since I wasn’t in a hurry, I waited. Months went by and the items could not be tracked because there was no tracking number given. I finally contacted Amazon and according to them, the package had been fulfilled by Amazon fulfillment and they could see that it had never been delivered. They did send me a refund, but this put me back to square 1 on the project. I was able to locate some of the items needed through another source, but some of it can’t be located at a reasonable cost to me.

This brings about two other issues. I designed labels for the containers for this retreat favor and decided that rather than print them at home on labels that would likely fade or smear, I would have Avery Dennison print them on plastic stick on labels that wouldn’t fade or smear. This is a nice service, though those labels ended up costing nearly as much as the containers. I received a shipping notice within a couple of days, the labels being sent Sure Post through UPS to the USPS. Tracking said I should have received them a week ago and tracking hasn’t changed in a week. If you go to the UPS site, it says that once the package is transferred to USPS (Postal Service), you have to contact USPS not them. Their site says the package was transferred in Roanoke over a week ago. USPS site says it is awaiting the package from UPS in North Carolina. Bottom line, it is lost in the ether. I have called Avery and was put in a call back queue awaiting to discuss it with them.

Because of shipping issues and not wanting to have to go out to the USPS or other shipping sites unless absolutely necessary during the lock down, I signed up for the 4 week trial of so that I could buy and print postage at home for anything from stamps, media mail, small and large packages as I was selling some items that I no longer use in my fiber arts and crafting. It took less than their 4 week trial to discover that when you add insurance, you get billed separately at the end of the month though it appears to come out at the time you buy the postage and that you get charged nearly $18/month for the privilege of printing your own postage yourself from home, though you can do it through other services for only the cost of the postage. I went online and processed a cancellation of services form and submitted it. When I received the credit card charge for the insurance and 4 weeks service which I didn’t complete and shouldn’t have been charged if the form had been processed, I called them, accepted that I was stuck with that month but was assured that the service had been cancelled. A month went by with no use and again I was charged for a month of service. I called again on Friday, sat on hold waiting for a customer service representative for nearly 30 minutes, and was told that neither my attempt to cancel online, nor my first call had cancelled, but it would be taken care of immediately and I would be refunded. The refund showed up in my account the same day that the month’s service was recharged to my account, but it was the weekend. This morning after another 30 minutes on hold awaiting a representative, following an electronic message that my account was closed, the representative said the notes showed it was closed, the refund made, and yes, rebilled, but she couldn’t help me because the account was closed and I would be transferred to her supervisor. Another 30 minutes of hold time and the supervisor was able to refund the second charge and assure me I wouldn’t be charged again, and that it hadn’t previously been marked not to recharge. I maintained my calm and stayed nice. But then they had the gall to send me a customer service survey. I wasn’t nice.

Avery finally called back, a much nicer system than sitting on hold for an hour and very quickly offered me either a refund or them to reprint the labels and send them out rush delivery. At least they have their act together.

And don’t get me started on FedEx, they have yet to get a delivery to me without it going to a neighbor or totally astray.

If the Post Office goes under, we are in trouble, we will never get anything ordered.

Rainy Sunday Activity

The rain did come off and on today, so I chose to do stay at home activities. First thing this morning, I finished spinning the wine colored wool that I took on my walk yesterday and began plying it on my largest spindle. It was taking forever and after about 90 minutes, I wished that I had plied it on my wheel, but persisted throughout the morning and early afternoon.

I am trying to finish knitting a shawl with it before the end of June. This is the last 27 grams of the wool. The shawl had a major error in it and I had to rip it back about 2/3 of what I had already knit, pick up the stitches and start again.

After lunch, I started two loaves of sandwich bread for the week. Of course it had to be tasted while still warm.

I know that the fad during the pandemic is sourdough and I have made my share of it, but we both prefer yeast bread, half whole wheat with good stone ground flour.

Between rain storms, I took a basket to garden and picked a basket full of fat shelling peas.

While out there, I spotted 3 chubby asparagus spears among the thin ferny shoots, added them to the basket as well. Since hubby was having a chop for dinner with our corn, peas, and cantaloupe, I pulled a fresh small garlic bulb and a small potato onion. While out there I ran the broody hen off the nest for the third time today, grabbing the eggs under her. This has been a six week brood. Nothing I do breaks her.

The onion, garlic, and their tops were chopped along with half a green pepper that was in the refrigerator and sauteed to top his chop. There were enough peas for dinner and the first batch in the freezer. I planted about 2 or 3 times as many peas as usual and wish I had planted twice what I did. My dinner was many of my favorites, fresh sweet corn, just picked and lightly steamed peas, cantaloupe, and fresh bread. The hens get the pea pods, corn cobs, and cantaloupe rinds and seeds to make compost to feed the garden in the fall or next spring.

While wandering the garden, I picked a few raspberries and a blueberry, but they didn’t make it back to the house.

I love when the garden starts to provide and pay back for all the toil of the spring prep. Every couple of days the suckers are pinched from the tomatoes and the tomatoes and tomatillos are tied higher on their posts. I am seeing blooms forming on both. The cucumbers have been given a trellis, the bush beans are filling out, but no blooms yet. The potatoes have purple/blue flowers and desperately need a good layer of hay applied to them. I’ll tackle that the next dry day. The peppers aren’t doing much yet, but they will. I added more basil seed and a few Chinese cabbage seed to a bed that still had space. The only failure I am seeing in the garden is the corn. I have planted it twice and still only have 3 stalks and the pumpkins didn’t come up. I need a plan for that area that will provide us with something for the table, maybe more potatoes?

Today’s Walk

I periodically suffer from extreme GERD attacks. The first one landed me in the E.R. thinking I was having a heart attack. Now when it happens I grab the Tums, chew Fennel seed, avoid certain foods, but I don’t feel like heavy exercise when it happens. The most recent attack began last weekend, so walking our steep road was not appealing to me, doing the driveway to the mailbox and back, almost half a mile has been about all I wanted to do. Yesterday was better and we went to town to walk a part the old paved rail grade that runs between two towns. The part we chose is usually not busy with walkers, but we know there are a lot of bicycles. We ended up seeing at least a dozen walkers, another dozen bicycles, and three maintenance men mowing the edges. No one had on a mask but us. The path is about 8 feet wide with another couple of feet mowed on each edge. When we were approaching another walker, we moved off the right side of the path and kept going, doing about 2 1/2 miles.

Today I decided to do our road. I had a couple of ulterior motives because we are about to get a few days of rain and it will be muddy and the rain will knock down Rhododendron blooms, and because Artist daughter in law wants Cicada shells. I have been looking around the trees near the driveway and gathered a few, but mostly seeing live Cicadas. I found a windfall of them today along the road and quit counting at 60 gathered.

The one craft that I do that can be done while walking is spinning on a spindle. I stuffed some fluff in a bag, hooked it to my belt loop and took my Jenkins Finch for a walk and parked it in a Rhododendron bush to take a picture of the flowers.

I always love coming out of the woods after climbing this hill and seeing the roof of our house appear below the ridge.

The seasonal wildflowers continue to change. The multiflora roses, another invasive species here is blooming, the dandelion puffs have faded and the Goat’s beard puffs are emerging.

It was a pleasant day for a nice walk before coming home to prepare dinner for us.

Stay safe.