Monday, October 25, 2010

Yes, I know I'm crazy

But when you have a dog this cute...what is a girl to do?
But enter her into a doggy costume contest!?!?

Sunday afternoon we took Punky and her friend Daisy to a doggy costume contest on Grand Avenue. Daisy dressed as an adorable squirrel, holding a nut, and her buddy, Punky, dressed as a Bumble Bee.

Well I know I talk a lot about my dog, but the truth is that I love ALL dogs. I do not discriminate, big or small...I love them all. And at this costume contest, there were some of the world's cutest dogs. And let's just be honest, the type of person who would bring their dog to a costume contest, and in most of the cases (besides Punky and Daisy), MADE the costumes from scratch...well clearly I wanted to be there to see the crowd.

My mom has this theory that people subconsciously choose dogs that look like themselves. Well I wish I had been quicker with the camera, because this event was no exception. Here are some of the standouts of the afternoon. Pardon the poor photography, these puppies moved fast!

The winners of the contest...the Peacock family...

Golden Retriever Peacock

Baby Chocolate Lab Peacock...

And Child Peacock...
I mean honestly? Have you ever seen anything more hilarious/adorable/frightening/cute in your life????!!!!

Next up....
A very blurry princess. Here was a Shih Tzu dressed as a princess, tu tu and all!  The dog Mom? pretty much looked like she ought to be wearing a tu tu as well.

Now I have had a special love of cows all my life, so here is my personal favorite....The St. Bernard, dressed as a cow!!! To die for. Punky adored this dog. He literally flipped her on her back and she just sighed with glee. Clearly she loves cows too.

And finally, after the costume contest was judged, the contestants were able to go bobbing for hot dogs in the kiddie pool. The St. Bernard loved it. Ate most of the hot dogs. Punky was scared. But stuck around because her buddy, the St. Bernard seemed into it.

I mean honestly, as crazy as you may think I am for dressing up my dog, at least I did not hand sew a costume for my pooch. (hmmm....note to self...next year, must sew costume for dog)  

But you cannot pay for that kind of entertainment. You should have seen the mother of the Golden doodle pooch, with the worlds biggest, frizziest blond hair. I swear, she and the dog were cut from the same cloth.  And the Golden Retriever dressed up as a Mexican working Burro, whose mom looked like she had just removed her own poncho. Oh....and the Maltese, dressed up as a pirate, whose parents looked like they had smelled something bad, their noses were perched so high in the air.

A fantastic afternoon. I recommend you dress your pet, or child in a crazy costume. Our parents did it to us when we were young. Now it's your turn.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Monday - Friday


You spend the vast majority of your life working, so you better enjoy it. 
So I enjoy my line of work for several reasons. Now sure, there are days when I do not so much enjoy my chosen profession, but normally I like it. 
I like it because it attracts quirky people. 
Because every day is different. 
And not just different like, “I worked on this totally new kind of database today” different, but different like the following:

While standing in the hallway with a coworker he tells me the following story:
“So I was showing space to a prospective tenant yesterday and I noticed there was something on the ground. I bent down to investigate the strange thing on the ground, and quickly realized that it was a dead mouse. The prospective tenant was quickly walking closer to me, so there was nothing I could do but try to kick the mouse away. I tried to kick it to the side with my shoe in a sly sort-of way, but realized that it was STUCK TO THE GROUND. So I kicked, and it sat there. Firmly planted into the concrete sub-floor. At that point the prospective tenant noticed what I was doing and said, "Hey...when my boss comes back to see this space....get the mouse out of here""

To which normal people would have been screaming and squealing. But no, property managers, retort with better stories. 

So another one responds:
"Yea, well I used to manage a building for another company, and we had this massive snake problem. You would pull off a ceiling tile, and 20 dead snakes would fall out of the ceiling."

This is the life. 

And ya know what? I don't even mind. I think I would go nuts manipulating spreadsheets all day long. Or making power point presentations. Yes, I guess I thrive on the strange things that happen in buildings all across America. Just think about the walls that surround you right now - I'm guessing that building is not as straightforward as it seems. Snakes or dead mice may just be lurking in your midst!

haha - continuing the gross theme in honor of Halloween!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Halloween

I love a good costume.  Personally, I don't enjoy dressing up, but I do love other people in costume. And animals. Animals in costumes. Just not the scary scream mask costumes.

And thus...every year around this time, I reveal what little Miss Punky L. Frank will be for Halloween for the present year.

And this year...
She will be a bumble Bee!!!!


And a quick history of her previous costumes as we walk down memory lane this Monday morning...

Who could forget the first year, when Punky dressed as a French Maid...




And then there was the following year when she choose to dress as a Hot Dog (or a Frank as we like to say)
But we didn't love this costume because it didn't fit her as well. Note the mustard is on her back. It just wasn't as high quality as we would have liked....

So year #3....
We found a better hot dog costume...

And ya know...just as we're walking down memory lane....her dad has been known to appreciate Halloween as well....
Brad and Jeremy, all ready to go in their matching Spiderman costumes.

Happy Halloween!!!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

The places we shop....

I believe the places you shop tell a lot about where you are in life, and what is important.

In Middle School I had to have the newest Limited Too outift for school. I just could not live without my white denim shorts with embroidered sunflowers, and a tee shirt with matching sunflowers. Oh....and a hair bow to match.

Highschool I was all about Abercrombie, I just needed to have that $90 sweater that would fall apart in 2 minutes. And I vividly remember fawning over this yellow wool sweater, and they had my size on the mannequin but not on the shelf. I asked them to take it off so I could buy it, and they refused, saying the display items were not for sale. Temper tantrum ensued. 

College...we shopped at Target for 3M hooks, plastic dishes and Easy Mac.

Well now, Jeremy and I have moved on to Menards. Yes, we love to "save big money at Menard's". As pseudo-homeowners we have scoped out every hardware store in town searching for random items such as a rake, shovel, light fixtures, and our statewide search for landscaping pavers.  And...we have declared that Menard's is king.

And not just because we like the jingle (though that has a little something to do with it), and not just because you can get everything from light bulbs, to mail boxes, to rakes and pavers, and not just because their prices are so freaking low that you have to wonder what type of labor practices they observe... BUT .... you can also get things like...
potatoes...
Yes...your friendly neighborhood Menard's sells potatoes. Ya know, just in case you were buying a chain saw and decided, gee...I'd really love some potatoes with my chain saw. There you have them. You can find it all at Menard's.

And so we move on to this next stage in our lives, transitioning from pseudo-homeowners, to real homeowners next month. And it is with great pride that we welcome this new phase of shopping needs. We will wander the aisles, wondering why there are so many varieties of screw drivers, and staring aimlessly at the glittering wall of toilets and embrace this new stage of life.  We will continue to wish we were handy, and watch others in amazement as they buy tools to fix things...and we buy tools...to hire other people...to fix our things.

Never before have I looked at our credit card bill and wondered where all the money went only to see line items of, Menard's, Home Depot, Menard's, Menard's...  Yes, we are really growing up now.

It's true...life is changing.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

RECANT!


Well....I officially recant my words on Monday in regards to Jimmy Johns. Yes, it sucked that they didn't have bread. And yes, it did almost jeopardize my ability to move into our home. BUT...I have never, ever seen a company that is so committed to customer service.

Let me explain.  After my blog post, I received a comment:
Anonymous Jimmy John's said... 
Kara, I personally apologize for your underwhelming experience. No french bread is like pop without fizz, it just ain't the same. Let me know which store ran out and please send your contact info to facebook@jimmyjohns.com so I can fix the issue. Thanks!   
 
First, I was shocked that they found my blog, and that they had taken the time to contact me. And after I got over my shock, I wrote to them, and sent my contact information. I figured I would never hear from them again, but that they have some pretty sophisticated search engines that alert them to negative press about their company and that was how they found my blog. I mean unless of course the CEO of Jimmy Johns reads my blog. Which would rock.  
 
By the following morning at 8:30am I had a call from JJ's corporate offices, apologizing, and letting me know that they would take care of the 'situation'.  By 10:00 am I received a call from their regional manager, and by 3:00 the store manager had called to express his apologies, and send me a gift card. Now...if they just wanted to cater that open house for me...we'd really be in business! 
 
But honestly, there are so many examples in the world of poor customer service that causes you to avoid that certain locale. And it is typically one person, or one small thing that ruins the experience for you, and you are quite likely to share that bad experience. It is rare to find a company that cares so deeply about the customer experience that they will not only go out of their way to find you and apologize, but also remedy the situation within a matter of hours. Jimmy Johns...I am impressed. I forgive you for not having bread. I am actually so impressed I am blogging about it right now, and have told countless people about the positive experience I have had. 
 
So bring on the Turkey Tom with avocado, no sprouts please. Jimmy Johns, you are the top of my list after this one! (but you're be even higher up if you wanted to cater that open house...) :-)

Monday, October 4, 2010

I wouldn't exactally call that freaky fast

This past weekend was the remodeler's showcase in Minnesota, its like the parade of homes, but for remodeled homes. Well our builder had an amazing house on the remodelers showcase this year. But...it requires them to sit at this house all freaking weekend long, meeting and greeting people, and I assume, answering the same dumb questions over and over again. So, being that I am Jewish, and my main concern is that people are always fed and happy, I asked if they would need anything over the weekend.  I offered to bring over lunch, or whatever they needed, knowing that they would all be there all day, unable to leave.

So Sunday afternoon, the interior designer called and asked if she could take us up on the offer. Could we perhaps bring them Jimmy Johns?  Sure! No problem, Jeremy and I were tooling around trying to pretend we were home-dwellers, but really we are just homeowners, who don't dwell there...and it was getting old. So of course we could run to Jimmy Johns and grab them some sandwiches, and Caribou because she really wanted a latte.

So we walk in and order 7 sandwiches. A lot of sandwiches, but not like an extreme amount. 7..that's reasonable....it's like 2 families worth.  The employee takes my order, and then gives me a blank stare. She takes my credit card and then says...
"Uh, we don't have any bread."
"Excuse me?" I respond..."I am at Jimmy Johns, right? Have you gone all Atkins on me here?"
"Well uh, no ma'am, but we have just one loaf left, we are all out of bread" she replies
 "Is this a joke?" I ask
"No ma'am, it will be 25 minutes for those sandwiches" she explains
"25 minutes, that doesn't sound freaky fast to me. In 25 minutes I could call another freaking Jimmy Johns and have my sandwiches delivered to this Jimmy Johns that doesn't seem to have it's staple ingredient." I blurt out
"Uh, do you want your sandwiches or not ma'am" she asks.

And then I continue to ask how a sandwich shop can run out of bread, its livelihood. And perhaps instead of chatting in the back, they should have baked the freaking bread. I know, a little extreme, but seriously, we were at Jimmy Johns, and they didn't have bread. It's like going to a bank, and having them tell you they are fresh out of money.

So Jeremy, always the calm one devises a plan to use what they have left of their bread, and put the other ones on something else, because we had hungry people to feed, who have our impending move in date in the palm of their hands. We have to feed these people. They need to show this house, and then finish our house. And they can't do any of that if they don't have sandwiches, so we need our freaking sandwiches on bread, thank you very much. We need sandwiches on bread so that they can finish this house, and then finish our house. Did they not understand that these sandwiches were the difference between our lovely life in our new house, and more days in the shoebox?

She didn't seem to understand that. 

Jimmy Johns, rethink that whole freaky fast thing. I'm guessing it requires bread.