Monday, April 30, 2012

Z is for The End

Blogging from A to Z in April has been another great exercise in dedication. I am sad to see it end and yet relieved to go back to my blog when I get the chance ways. :-) I am so thrilled to have new followers and hope y'all stick around to see what else Aunt J-Me has to say. I do apologize for this being so uninspired...Darling Daughter had asked that I save Z for her. Alas, after her telling me, "No, don't write one...I'll do it" humpteen million times, she finally said, "Meh...sorry. I don't know what to write." 


Z is for Zoo and Zebra so here are some pics from our recent trip to the Zoo.












Saturday, April 28, 2012

Y is for Youth...

I murmured to Darling Daughter, "Youth is wasted on the young," as we watched a little girl run back and forth in front of the bleachers at Hubby's game last Friday. The little bitty's LOVING parents were telling her to run to the end of the rink and back so they could time her. She would happily race off in what was surely her best sprint, and DD and I would see her LOVING parents giggle and shake their heads at her...THEY TOTALLY WEREN'T EVEN TIMING HER! buttheads...yeah...I said it!


Nevertheless, MY darling daughter told me in that lovely teen-agery, I-am-smarter-than-you-and-you're-just-dumb tone of voice, "J-Me, that like makes like no sense at all."


Me: "What? 'Youth is wasted on the young'? It is an old saying...I didn't make it up, but it makes sense if you think about it."


DD: "No, it totally doesn't make any sense at all."


I let it go because I don't wage wars with teens (JUST PISS POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE LIKE DAVID'S BRIDAL!). Anywho...I couldn't think of a Y is for ...I kept coming back to Youth and Young. So here it is Darling Daughter....the research for "Youth is wasted on the young."


George Bernard Shaw penned this little ditty, and he meant that young people waste their time being young doing senseless or "youthful" things that have almost no value or use. The mature people who have useful ideas and such wasted their youth and have little time or energy to make their ideas useful (paraphrase of the answers.com answer).


I wish I knew how to speak French because this would be a fun one to learn: "A 16th century Frenchman, Henri Estienne, had much the same idea and said 'Si jeunesse savoit; si vieillesse pouvoit' (roughly: 'If only youth had the knowledge; if old age had the strength') which is a well-known saying in France" (Source).


SCHOOLED YA!

Friday, April 27, 2012

X is for Hugs...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MYMAMA...THE WOMAN WHO COULD TEACH THE WORLD HOW TO LOVE! (xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo) to the (><) power...yes, I am a geek, but I am HER geek! I can't wait to see her this weekend!



Ever wonder why X in xoxoxo is for hug and O is for kiss? When I was little, I used my genius brain to switch it up the other way because the X looked like two arms crossing in a hug and the O looked like an open mouth or puckered lips. Urbandictionary.com says it should be like looking at the two participants in the hug/kiss from the bird's eye view. I can see that for keeping it straight, but I liked the following history info (once again being a bad Ex-English teacher and using Wikipedia): 



  • Hugs and kisses or xoxo is a term used for expressing affection or good friendship at the end of a written letter, email or SMS text message. The common custom of placing X's on envelopes, notes and at the bottom of letters to mean kisses dates back to the Medieval Ages, when a cross was drawn on documents or letters to mean sincerity and honesty. A kiss was then placed upon the cross, by the signer as a display of their sworn oath. It was also used in early Christian history as much of a display of the same. Since most of the common people were unable to read or write, the 'X' was placed on documents, and a kiss placed upon it as a show of their sincerity, gradually, as it was used so often, the cross was hurriedly drawn and often resembled an 'X'.
  • The 'O' is of North American descent, no one really seems to know how it was started. It has been said that when arriving to the US, Jewish immigrants would use an 'O' on documents, not using the sign of the cross, and shop keepers would often use an 'O' when signing documents, in place of an 'X'. Perhaps now it is used as the 'O' being rounded represents arms encircling another, as in an embrace.'X' is used to signify a kiss and 'O' is used to signify a hug. The use of 'X' to signify a kiss dates back to as early as 1765.

Anyone else feel like they learned something today? Go hug and kiss your loved ones! 


Thursday, April 26, 2012

W is for Wisdom...

10. Poor Choices make great stories.
  9. A sincere apology makes it hard for people to hold a grudge.
  8. Never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly.
  7. Perception is reality to the individual.
  6. Keep "ex" phone numbers in your phone but mark them all as "DO NOT ANSWER!"
  5. I smile when people call names because they are basically saying, "I am (insert whatever name they just called you)."
  4. Once you reach the age of 18, you are responsible for making your life whatever you choose so you have to stop blaming whomever you think screwed you up.
  3. Marry your best friend.
  2. Learn something new every day.
  1. Love is the best gift to give yourself as well as others.

bonus: Make someone happy every day, even if it is yourself.


Share with me your truism wisdom...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

V is for Verdict...

Meh...I have been stumped on this one for a few weeks. I first thought something to do with Bills becoming laws, which led me to Law, which took me to the thesaurus and so on and so forth...I decided on verdict. Blah-di-blah...










PHOTO SOURCE
I was dream storming with the Hubster on Sunday night and told him about what I really really want to do. I want to put my time and energy into helping change the laws in Texas regarding deaths and injuries caused by distracted drivers. So we don't want to pass laws restricting cellular use while driving...THE ALL KNOWING PERRY (NOT!) says we shouldn't be trying to regulate the behavior of grown people....der! Isn't that what all laws do?


Nevertheless, in today's world of technology, there has to be a way for law enforcement to have the ability to find out on the spot if an accident that resulted in death or injury was caused because a driver willfully used his/her electronic device, was distracted and caused the accident. YES...IT IS AN ACCIDENT. However, it is a willful act to use your electronic device even if it causes an accident. The charge would be manslaughter just as if you were drinking and driving and injured/killed someone. Texas Penal Code: § 19.04. MANSLAUGHTER (a) A person commits an offense if he recklessly causes the death of an individual.(b) An offense under this section is a felony of the second degree. Punishment: 2 to 20 and $10K. 


MY VERDICT--that still doesn't bring back the life you took but it might slow you down if you knew you would be busted. I didn't break my parents' rules as a kid because I was afraid of the belt, not because it was wrong. I was a kid; I didn't know right and wrong completely, but I knew the pain of that belt on MY behind!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

U is for Umbrella...


PHOTO SOURCE
i LOVE u umbrella

u keep me dry (unless the rain comes in sideways)

u keep me shaded (except when the sun is anywhere but overhead)

u protect me (unless the wind blows you inside out)

u ...awwww pppppbbbbllllttttt!

u work when you want and i just have to pray you want to work today...

at least you're pretty to look at.

Monday, April 23, 2012

T is for Teaching...

In 2003, I worked for SuperPages.com and was less than satisfied with where my life was going. I had just had a visit with my girly doctor who told me that if I was going to have children, then I should do it before I turned 30. With less than a year before that deadline, I thought to myself, "I just need to do something where I work with children."

I started researching what it would take to be a teacher and was disheartened at the expense of going for an alternative teaching certificate. I prayed about it...God, if you want me to be a teacher, then I know you will provide a way." The VERY NEXT DAY SuperPages' CEO sent an e-mail to everyone in the company announcing an voluntary reduction in force. I looked up and said, "Alright! Answer received..." and I didn't hesitate to take the package that would take care of me financially while I pursued my next adventure.

I spent the next 9 months substitute teaching and attending the Educator Alternative Program. On the final day of our intense summer school program, I drove from Flower Mound, TX, to Queen City, TX, to interview for my first teaching job. I was so excited and nervous that I ran off and left my big-girl grownup shoes at my apartment. I knew Queen City was the place for me and that Charlotte Williams and Steve Holmes were the principals for me to work for when Mrs. Williams put me totally at ease about having to wear flip-flops to my interview.

I spent two years at QC and loved every minute of it. I also spent two years teaching English at a middle school in Flower Mound and loved the students and my fellow teachers. In my excitement about teaching, I thought I would love teaching special education but was proven wrong by the politics that engulfs that arena. I let two of the adult versions of school-yard bullies stress me out and cause me mental trauma. I left teaching, something I loved so dearly.

In six years, every student who entered my classroom became a child of my heart. I was not their mama, but I loved each one of them as a mother would. I taught them English and Reading and, from what I have heard from them over the years, so much more. Some of those first "babies" are now grown and have friended me on FaceBook. I hope I still provide some sort of knowledge to them each day. If I could, I would go back to teaching at QC in a heartbeat and be the teacher I was back then. I miss making a difference teaching.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Update: STILL Don't Trust David's Bridal

UPDATE: 05/03/2012-- My mother-in-law called the Frisco store and they are only giving her the $50 discount not the $150 they should have refunded to her. I guess the only consolation is that with more than 500 unique visitors to this post, David's Bridal will lose more than they gained by being deceitful. I encourage all brides to go elsewhere for their wedding attire. Bait and switch is fraud.

WELCOME TO MY BLOG...IF YOU ARE HERE TO POST ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH DAVID'S BRIDAL, PLEASE POST BELOW IN THE COMMENTS. THE E-MAIL ADDRESS FOR DAVID'S BRIDAL CARES IS DBCares@dbi.com. I HOPE THEY ARE ABLE TO HELP YOU. WE DO NOT HAVE RESOLUTION AT THIS TIME.

UPDATE: 4/26/2012 8 a.m.--I just received an email from the better business bureau. David's Bridal has 22 days to respond to our complaint.

12 p.m. on 4/25/2012 UPDATE--I have written a letter to Fox 4's Saul Garza who produces the "What's Bugging You" feature each week. We still have not resolution at this time. 


2:07 P.M. ON 4/24/2012 UPDATE--WE HAVEN'T HEARD A PEEP OUT OF DAVID'S BRIDAL TODAY. 


UPDATE TO THE TWO PREVIOUS UPDATES AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST: 4:50 p.m. 4/23/2012--After speaking with Alicia and finding out the store's management had spent the afternoon blowing up her cell phone while she was at work and leaving distressing voice mails, I thought all would be resolved. However, it is not. David's Bridal corporate customer care only offered a $50 discount...that is NOT a dress for $50. Here is what I just sent to the DBCares@dbi.com as well as posted on their Facebook: I have just completed an update telephone call from Alicia about your conversation earlier. She reported on what you spoke about, and I wanted to let you know that this campaign will not be satisfied by a $50 reduction on the $179 dress. If Davids Bridal wants me to post a positive update, then Davids Bridal will refund all but $50+ the appropriate tax to my mother-in-law, as promised by Barbara the sales associate while we were in the Frisco, TX Davids Bridal. Bait and Switch, to give Davids Bridal the correct definition, is a form of fraud, most commonly used in retail sales but also applicable to other contexts. First, customers are "baited" by advertising for a product or service at a low price; second, the customers discover that the advertised good is not available and are "switched" to a costlier product. When my mother-in-law calls to have her payment adjusted, I suggest you adjust to the cost of the dress that Barbara told us on Sunday $50 plus tax ONLY.




Dear David's Bridal Customer Service,


I have just returned home from helping my sister-in-law purchase her wedding dress, an event that is traditionally full of dreams and whimsy. However, I am literally shaking with rage at the way she was neglected and mishandled by your company's sales force at the David's Bridal in Frisco, Texas (Store number 0045 at 121 and Preston Road).


Alicia made an appointment for today at 2 p.m. to try on wedding dresses. She, the bridesmaids and the mothers all arrived on time for the appointment full of excitement and joy at this special time. We were told that our sales person Barbara was "just finishing up with a previous appointment" and would we mind waiting five minutes. After 20 minutes of waiting aimlessly, I went in search of the one gown that my sister-in-law had deemed as the one she wanted. I found it and found her size. I escorted her back to her dressing room that was labeled with her name and wedding date. I found a passing sales associate who was more than happy to find the appropriate under garment to try on with the dress (I wish I had caught her name as she was the only person in this shop who was helpful in any way).


Only after we had Alicia in her dress did Barbara "swing by" to see how we were doing. Because the dress of Alicia's desire was not the correct size, Barbara asked a few questions to see if there was another dress she could find that might fit a little better. After trying on this dress, Alicia knew that her first choice was what she wanted for her special day.


Barbara was on her second "circle by" (Barbara kept using the terms "swing by" and "circle through" throughout our entire appointment, never making Alicia a priority or focusing on her appointment time) when we told her that BR1016 was the dress we wanted to order. Barbara scurried off to place the order and "circled by" four more times giving us the excuses of overrides and not having enough time to order the dress before the Oct. 27, 2012 (six months) wedding date. Finally, Barbara came to me and my mother-in-law to tell us the bad news of the wedding dress being discontinued in size 16W. She told us the "good news" was that the sample dress Alicia tried on, a 16, could be let out the small amount needed for it to fit perfectly and that the dress would only cost $50. For that deal we all agreed it could be altered to perfection. Barbara even said, "Don't use our [David's Bridal] alterations because they are a rip off."


My mother and sister-in-law went to check out with her dream dress in hand. They waited in line for 20 minutes only to find out that the dress was not going to be $50, as Barbara had said, but rather $193.77. I was standing off to the side and did not hear this or it would never have gotten this far to me writing a letter in complete and utter disgust at such a blatant bait and switch con perpetrated by your sales force. We were standing outside on the sidewalk and Alicia seemed distraught and my mother-in-law was explaining that the 16W that we wanted to order was discontinued but because the sample dress that we purchased was a 16 (not 16W) that it was full price.


I returned into the store with the dress and the receipt and told the manager Soraya and Barbara that this was a shady practice and that they were going to honor the promised price of $50. They told me that because my mother-in-law and sister-in-law had gone ahead and purchased the dress that they would not refund the difference. I was so angry at this that I called Barbara a liar and I raised my voice. For that I am sorry for embarrassing my family. However, Alicia and Kathy are extremely shy women who would never make waves in a situation like this even if they felt that they were mistreated and conned. I however, am not that kind of woman. I do not stand for mistreatment of anyone!


I am writing to request that the corporate office of David's Bridal please refund the difference of the price my mother-in-law paid from what she should have been charged with tax on $50.


Sincerely,
Jaimee Hunter
Maid of Honor


UPDATE: 4/23/2012 @ 9 a.m. I would have figured with my posts on Twitter and Facebook and an overwhelming of reponse to my posts, that David's Bridal would have jumped on correcting this situation. No response at this time, but it is Monday Morning! I wasn't surprised to see all of the shared horror stories that came pouring in...


On My sister-in-law's Facebook, Erika wrote, "i went to the one in lewisville for my bridesmaid dresses and they were really rude.. so i went elsewhere..."


Gina also shared on Alicia's facebook, "We use to partner with them when I worked for a tux shop, both brands were awful."


On My Facebook, Philicia responded, "15 years ago, we ordered the brides maids dresses for my wedding from [David's Bridal]. We were told they would arrive in plenty of time for the wedding & for any alterations if necessary. A couple of them came in a couple of days before the big day. The night before my wedding we were doing alterations on the dresses. Thank goodness for my grandmother & her sewing skills! Stressful time that could have been avoided."


Also from Facebook, Krissy wrote, "I could have warned you to stay away! I got a beautiful dress on the $99 sale, but it needed alterations. When we went back, the hemline was CROOKED, the bustline was uneven, seams were showing, the train was ruined...and they said there was no way to change it. Then, they offered to refund the dress cost, but said the alterations charges were NONREFUNDABLE!!!! Awful! [David's Bridal] ruined my wedding dress and acted like it was no big deal."


From my friend's Facebook where she shared my link, Kacie wrote, "I wish I had known this before my wedding. :-/. I didn't have any problem with [David's Bridal] for my wedding but they were horrible when I was a bridesmaid at my brother's wedding."


UPDATING THE UPDATE! 9:49 A.M. I received a text that a Tweet had been received from "@DB_Cares: @jaimeechunter So sorry that you were disappointed with your visit. We'll be reaching out to Alicia to address her experience."


MORE UPDATING TO THE UPDATING OF THE UPDATE: 10:26 a.m. I received the following Facebook message from David's Bridal "David's Bridal Hi Jaimee, we're so sorry to hear that you were disappointed with your sister-in-law's recent appointment in our Frisco, TX location. A representative from our Corporate Customer Service team will be reaching out to Alicia today to address her concerns. We look forward to connecting with her and thank you for bringing her concerns to our attention.")

Saturday, April 21, 2012

GUEST BLOGGER--S is for Solace

MyMama, OURGayla, Sister/Daughter-inLawDana,
JamesIII and me, March 2010

A few weeks ago, my beloved mother guest blogged "H is for Happy Home" to help me with the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. This is the second piece I told you that she wrote for me at that time. Is it possible to burst with love and pride? Each tear I shed while fixing this up for her, was filled with so much love and so much pride. Welcome back to "Aunt J-Me Says So"....my hero, MYMAMA:


When my beautiful talented daughter (that's me!) made the offer of guest blogging I looked at her list of available letters and jotted down "happiness", "home", "religion", and "William". What I write about each of these my beautiful talented daughter (that's me again!) knows she may edit change or ignore and no offense will be taken (I WOULD NEVER MESS WITH GREATNESS...okay, I'll stop now). I have complete trust that my beautiful talented ex-English teacher of a daughter (sorry, one more time...that's me!) knows the limits of my education and would not want me embarrassed by said limits (I KNOW NOT OF WHAT SHE WRITES).  

So having covered "happiness" and "home", I have moved on to where my solace has come from. In times of grief, solace comes in many forms.


I parted ways with organized religion many years ago. However, when we lost our oldest child a year ago, religion showed its purest and most saving grace to me. A group of people whose only connection to my husband and me was that our son and daughter-in-law were members of their church, opened their doors for our dear Gayla's memorial service. Dennis and Debbie are not just a minister and his wife. They are people who came into a stranger's home, tried to give comfort and, in so doing, renewed for me the belief in the goodness of people in general.


On the day of that memorial service, my daughter-in-law's aunts served food to a flood of people who came for the BBQ that our daughter-in-law's parents had furnished. They felt our pain and our children's pain and gave the solace of their service. We will never be able to express to these ladies and the church's ladies group, who furnished desserts, how they personified the love of their fellow man to a heartbroken family.
Will-I-Am and JamesIII, March 2012
The solace that is William has come over the course of the first year of his life. The night he was born was three days after his Aunt Gayla's death. I spent part of that evening trimming 100 photographs of Gayla to be stuck to her memorial programs. William's great aunts eventually helped me finish that project. His very pregnant mother had helped me write the obituary and order the photographs. The solace of having such a wonderful woman as a daughter-in-law should not be left out of this story. She and my beloved son have allowed us to keep William and his big brother JamesIII for a couple of days a week.


JamesIII was born to unadulterated joy more than three years ago. Happiness followed him into this world, and the night he was born, my only tears were joyful tears. There is a movie of me grabbing my son and crying those tears of joy for all the world to see. Also, there, just at the edge of that movie, is his dear Aunt Gayla, watching in the crowd. 


DarlingDaughter and HerMemaw
March 2012
As much joy as came with William, there also came sorrow that his Aunt Gayla would not be there to see him born. Now at one year of age, William is the one that brings my husband's smile. He may become the family dare devil. He cannot be convinced that just because he CAN climb up on low furniture that he will not be immune from falling off said furniture. 


Solace comes from my family. Our grandchildren range from one year old to fifteen years old. That is quite a spread, but where the two littlest give solace through their innocence of the pain, Darby was not spared that pain. Her solace comes in shared acceptance of what cannot be changed. She has seen me distressed and stepped a little closer to give her solace. She may not even be aware she does it, but I am.   

Friday, April 20, 2012

R is for Rain...


I fell in love and fell pretty dang hard the first time I ever heard Gary Allan's "Songs About Rain." When I was dream-storming about R is for???? I instantly thought of Rain and how I have been falling asleep to a hypnosis relaxer that is rain falling on a roof and wind chimes. I always image this porch bed that I found on Pinterest and a lazy Saturday listening to the rain and napping on the porch.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Q is for Quit...

This is how it feels...
PHOTO SOURCE
Quit, abandon, leave, abdicate, bail out, bow out, check out, chicken out, cop out, cut out, decamp, depart, desert, discard, discontinue, ditch, dump, drop, drop out, evacuate, exit, flake out, fly the coop, forsake, get off, give up, go, go away from, hang it up, kiss goodbye, leave, leave flat, leave hanging, pull out, push off, relinquish, renounce, resign, retire, run away, run out on, surrender, take a walk, take off, throw over, vacate, walk out on, withdraw, yield...

Some days, the depression and anxiety are so intense any one of those would apply. But then I think, what would I do if I did? If you quit one thing, aren't you just beginning a new thing? If you shut the door, didn't you just go somewhere new?

Quitting is easy...surviving makes you your own hero.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

P is for Party...and Pressies!

Darling Daughter turned 15 and wanted to go to the zoo. It was a party to celebrate her birth! Each of us found some laughter throughout the day. My heart healed just a bit more. I felt more like my old self. DD is my reason for moving forward each day. Having our family and friends around us gives me peace in my soul (no anxiety all day!). We are both blessed to have such wonderful family and friends with whom to spend the day, and my greatest wish would be to spend every day that way. I had a pretty good time playing with the snazzy work camera too (I know what I want for my next pressie day!). Even through that joy, I still felt the missing parts. I guess that will always be.

NOTE: I have heard several times this week, "Give yourself permission to heal." How does one do this? Do you just say, "J-Me, you have your permission to not be sad." Is it something I am supposed to think, say, or do?



Tuesday, April 17, 2012

O is for Opposable Thumbs...



Darling Daughter and her bestie Dew have been struggling recently with growing up and being independent and making wise choices. Dew's mom and I have been tag teaming our girls to try to make it easier for them to understand that it takes a village to raise them and not totally warp them beyond repair. In my efforts, I shared this parable with Dew and told her I was totally going to include it in my blog.

ME: Dew, you have your puppy, Chester. He's your baby. You have to make sure he eats, drinks, and is well loved. You have to let him out to potty and give him baths.

DEW: Uh-uh

ME: In return, Chester loves on you, snuggles with you and gives you big wet kisses. He loves you because you take care of him.

DEW: Yeah-huh.

ME: Now imagine that when you get home today, Chester has grown opposable thumbs and a working brain. He has fed himself, bathed himself, let himself out to do his business.

DEW side glances at my crazy-ness and tries not to smile.

ME: To add insult to injury, Chester tells you he doesn't need you any more and that he would prefer sleeping in his own bed. Every time you call Chester to come snuggle and be loved on, he ignores you or flat out says, "Nah, Dew, I don't really like being hugged and petted. I have thumbs now. I can take care of it if I need to."

DEW: Eew!

ME: Now, why did you go there? I was keeping this very PG. You know that is NOT where I was going.

DEW: Sorry...(she still giggles)

ME: Carrying on...any who...how would it make you feel if Chester didn't need you anymore? How would you react if during all of this, he also started playing in the street and leaving the house at night to roam the neighborhood with all the other dogs who recently grew opposable thumbs? They trash their owners and say, "She just doesn't understand!"

DEW: I get what you're saying, Ms. J-Me.

ME: Do you? Cuz I think I got lost in the idea of dogs with thumbs. Anyway, your mom and I are doing the best we can. We get that y'all are ready to be grown and independent of us. Maybe we are not ready. Also, when we see y'all make unwise choices, you just prove that you are not totally ready, and that scares the bajeezzers out of us. I guess I am saying, give your mom a break and a hug.

DEW: Okay.

Did the parable of the dogs with opposable thumbs fix our problems...no. Will she remember it someday...yes. Now we just pray we get them to grown without too much permanent damage along the way.

Monday, April 16, 2012

April 16 is Eggs Benedict Day!

NOTE: It is also Darling Daughter's big 1-5...man I feel old!

This is not part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge, but I just couldn't resist letting everyone know to celebrate the incredible edible egg today because it is Eggs Benedict Day. No, I am not into tracking my favorite food awareness days. However, The Pioneer Woman sent me an e-mail today (RSS feed) letting me know it was a cool kinda day like that. I have made her recipe before...my only attempt at this intimidating meal...and had some success. It's really not that hard to make! Try it!


Benedict's on UrbanspoonToday, however, I opted to try a little Breakfast/Brunch/Lunch restaurant in Addison, Texas. It's called Benedict's...what else! I even played my great-big-dork card when I walked in at lunch and asked, "I know y'all are called Benedict's, but do you serve Eggs Benedict?" The friendliest waitress ever to work in a diner immediately started singing the praises of their lovely eggy dish. I don't remember everything she said, but she had me at "everything from scratch." Can I get a D-I-V-I-N-E!?!