Sunday, June 26, 2011

More drama about the trees

Okay, I've now cut down most of two trees and a large bush. To finish cutting down the two trees I either need a chain saw or an axe. I have access to a chain saw, but I'm afraid to use it, and I do not have the clothing made to protect myself from accidentally sawing through an arm or a leg, and I'm not sure that there is proper safety equipment for protecting fingers. So I think that the chain saw is out, and I should acquire a big axe. Or, at least, a normal sized axe, as opposed to the current small axe with the twelve inch handle.

I'm getting warnings that I should not be much safer with an axe, but I would feel safer. My plan is to first try to borrow one, but if that doesn't work by next week I will probably end up buying one.

But I'm not really that worried about those trees now. Most of the current hassles are about the little fruit trees I bought on eBay.

As I have mentioned earlier, I saw a five-in-one pear on eBay. After I won that bid, I also bought two Stella cherries and a five-in-one apple from the same seller, to make good use of the combined shipping discount. So I ended up spending about thirty-five dollars on the plants themselves, plus shipping, which then came to about fifty-two dollars.

The trees were all supposed to be dormant. They weren't. The cherries were dormant. The cherries were thin little twigs that arrived dormant and have now grown into healthy little plants. I think that they are to small to be of much help to me, and after next winter they may decide that Texas is not to their liking and not bloom and never have fruit. If they do fruit it will be years and years from now, as they are just too small, and not a season or two away from having fruit as in the plant description. But I really have no serious complaints about the cherries. For an extra five bucks and two dollar shipping, I thought that it was worth trying.

The other two trees were different. It's odd to get such different quality stuff from the same seller. Again, the trees were smaller than I expected. Not really smaller than described, but the smaller than I had pictures in my head from buying bare root trees in local stores. They were just thinner than I had imagined, and I wonder how you can have a healthy graft on something as small as the pear. The pear had leaves all up and down the plant, in about twelve places. It didn't look like I'd expected a five-in-one pear to look like. I wondered if I got a single variety pear by mistake. And plants that already have leaves usually don't like being sent in the mail, and they especially don't like it in May or June in Texas, it's just too hot. So the plant looked quite limp and sick. The apple looked a bit better, but it only had three sets of leaves at the top. Again, not the dormant plant described, and not what I expected a five-in-one apple tree to look like. And while the roots of the cherries were still moist, the apple and pear were maybe just a bit damp.

I gave all the plants water, and having almost no planting instructions (other than to plant with the burlap on), I kept the trees inside for three days, thinking that water and air-conditioning would help the plants recover, as I'd been instructed to do that with some other plants I'd bought from someone else.

In three days the cherries were starting to grow, and you could tell that they were in fact dormant trees instead of dead sticks. The apple looked about the same. The pear had lost leaves and the remaining leaves were turning black.

I suspected that in it's weakened condition the pear had caught fire blight. I wasn't sure if there was anything wrong with the apple, just that it wasn't thriving like the cherries. I put all four trees outside in part shade. I worried that it might be too hot for them, but I knew that other plants I've kept inside for more than three days suffer.

The cherries immediately improved and started to grow leaves. The pear turned even more black. The apple did not appear to change at all.

I gave up after a few days of this and complained to the seller. The seller said this was all normal, and that the leaves would grow back.

Another week went by, and the pear was totally leafless and black. The apple was starting to dry out. Again I sent a message to the seller, who again said this was normal and that the leaves would be replaced. If I would do a scratch test I'd be able to see that the plants were still alive.

Okay, the plants were still a bit green on the inside. But I still think that they are dying, and that if they don't actually die at least parts of the plants I wanted are probably dead. The rootstock might still be alive, it might grow more leaves at some point, but the leaves weren't going to grow back where they had been. The grafted parts were probably dead, and I'd never get five kinds of pears or five kinds of apples.

I sent another message to the seller, asking that I not be required to mail back dead plants for my refund. Proof of death could be provided with photographs. I just wanted my money back, and if I got it that day or the next day I'd still leave positive feedback. I thought if I worded it just right, that I'd get my money (except for the cherries, which were still small but healthy), and that would be the end of it. Otherwise I'd file a complaint.

Instead I got an offer of new plants. According to the seller, the new plants had been kept in a cooler and were just starting to have buds. And I would get them soon, possibly Tuesday.


I did not get the plants Tuesday, and I did not get the plants Wednesday, but they did arrive Thursday. And they came in a big tube, and I imagined that they had sent me bigger plants to make up for the hassle.

The apple was about the same as the first one, only this one has four sets of leaves. Leaves. Not dormant, not just budding out, leaves.

The pear was just budding out, and it was a bit larger than the first pear, but it already had blight, right there in the tube. At least, I think it is fire blight, cause it's a pear. My husband thinks that it is freezer-burn, cause it's been in a cooler. Whatever it is, it's making the leaves black and curled up.

I sent the seller another message, and again the seller says this is normal. Trees just look like that when they start to bud out.

Well, that has not been my experience before. My experience is that if it looks like blight then it's probably blight.

Anyway, on my eBay account I noticed something about the deadline for dispute resolution being on the twenty-seventh. There's no way that I'd have healthy plants by then. I've thinking that I should complain, just to get an extension. So I started doing that, though I'm supposed to be checking little boxes, and the little boxes don't really fit my situation. I finally settle for "item not as described" as I think that is the main problem, that the seller didn't originally send dormant plants, and now it is just too late and too hot to have healthy plants sent in the mail. And I would never have started this whole thing if the ad wasn't for dormant plants.

Then there are more boxes, and a place to describe the problem in more detail, and at the end you are asked if you want a full refund, if you want a replacement item, or other. I check other, and write that I want a refund if the plants die.

To be on the safe side I send two complaints, one for the pear and one for the apple. And eBay says someone will contact me by July 2. And I figure that will be good, because that will give me another week to see if the plants are going to die, and then I can say for sure that I want a refund, or maybe they really will get better and I'll just keep them.

Except I guess that at least part of this process is automatic, and the seller says I can have a refund if I send the plants back by the June 28. Only now I have to send back four plants instead of two. And while I just found it annoying and an unnecessary expense to ship back dead plants, sending back live plants is a problem for me. This will probably kill the plants. I don't really like to kill plants.

On the other hand, if I pack them well enough and they don't die, I'm now thinking they'll probably be sold to someone else.

This sucks that I'm supposed to do this by the 28th. I was thinking that I'd complain and get an extension. From the 27th to the 28th isn't much of an extension.

But most of the time I think that mailing the plants back and getting some of my money would be better than keeping these two plants, as I can't imagine that either one would actually grow into five-in-one fruit trees, and one of them has fire blight or something that looks like fire blight.

I just feel bad.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Wasting my time for mom

My mother called last Saturday and asked for a favor. I don't mind doing my mom a favor. I just don't see that I should have to waste the whole day to do it.

My day went something like this:

I get out of bed and do the usual stuff while I wait for my husband to get out of bed. This doesn't take as long as usual, because on Saturday he has to work earlier than most other days. So I read the "news" on Yahoo while he takes a shower. I don't have a bath right then, there isn't time, but that's okay, cause I had a bath just before going to bed the night before. I brush my teeth and get dressed.

He is soon dressed and such, and we go get a McSomething for breakfast. We then come back home, make sure that he has everything he needs for the day, pack his lunch, etc.... He leaves at about 8.

I water the plants and look at a few things on eBay. At almost 9 I still haven't had a bath. I figure that I should get a few more things done outside before I do that. I'm still trying to remove two trees from the backyard, and I've cut down a large bush in the front yard, so I have this almost daily chore of cutting branches down into smaller pieces and tying them up for removal. There's not much point in taking a bath before I get this done, as I would just need another bath after.

I'm thinking that before I do any really hard work (and getting really sweaty and really needing that bath) I should go to Home Depot. In my head I start organizing my day. I'll go to Home Depot first, while I'm still clean, and buy string and check for clearance paint and lumber in the scrap pile. If I find lumber, that will be a lot of work, work results in sweat, things that result in sweat should be done before taking a bath. So Home Depot first. Then the rest of the outdoor work. Then the bath. Then lunch. Then indoor work that will probably not result in sweat. Then at some point I'll probably go to my brother's place. Then after all of that I might need another bath before bed, just because it's June and it's Texas and it's hot, even if you don't do that much stuff that usually results in sweat.

So at just about 9 I have a mental schedule of my day in my head, and I'm getting my keys out so I can go, and just before I leave the phone rings.

My mother doesn't feel well. She hasn't felt well all week and should probably have gone to the doctor earlier. But she didn't do that, she waits till Saturday to decide she needs a doctor, and she can't see her regular doctor on Saturday so she'll have to go to the minor emergency clinic type place.

Seeing someone other than her regular doctor probably isn't going to do much good, but she has decided that she really needs to go, and she has insurance that will pay, so she's going. She wants me to drive her to the clinic.

The clinic is right next to the Home Depot. Not only do I not mind doing my mother a favor, this happens to be where I'm going anyway. And I now feel better about the plan to go there, as earlier I'd wondered if it was a waste of gas just to go looking for clearance stuff. I could probably get the string someplace else.

My mother doesn't want to leave right away. She wants to take a bath first.

My mother is one of those people who always takes a bath first, even before going to the doctor. The is because a.) having a bath almost always feels good, and b.) my mother is one of those people who thinks that when you feel bad you should get up anyway and do all the stuff that you would have done if you felt good, and maybe while you're doing that you'll sort of forget that you feel bad. So maybe having a bath would really make her feel better, and maybe she'd stop feeling bad and not even need to go to the clinic.

But I'm thinking that she's sick and that she really does mean she's just going to take a bath first. I know that on a normal day (when she is not sick and asking for something other than a ride to the doctor) that the delay is going to be two or even three hours, and that I should say no, or that I should agree to whatever she's asking only if we have a set time later in the day and I can get my work done first. Usually, if she wants to do something at 9 she won't really want to go anywhere til 11 or 12. But I'm thinking that she's sick and that she's not going to be putting on makeup and doing her hair and such, or whatever it is that she does for those two or three hours. I'm thinking that she's literally going to take a bath and brush her teeth and get dressed and comb her hair, and that she'll be calling me back at about 9:30.

So I agree. My mother is sick, and I'll do her a favor, but it is early in the day and I'll probably still have time to do some of the stuff I'd planned to do before lunch.

I don't take a bath myself. All of the earlier reasoning and plans still apply, I'm just delaying for half and hour or so. And I don't even know if it's going to take that long. She's sick, she might be in a hurry, and she might call back very soon.

I watch TV for about half an hour.

I remember that there's stuff in the car that can't be in the car if I'm to have a passenger. The bag of clothes that I keep intending to drop off at Goodwill is still in the front seat. The stuff I bought at the garage sale two weeks ago is still in the back seat. Other stuff is in the floor. I've totally forgotten about it. I never have passengers. I just don't think about it anymore.

I run outside and look at the mess. A lot of it is junk that I don't really know what to do with. Some it is actual trash that needs to be thrown away. But I don't have time to sort it out. My mom needs me, and she'll be calling soon. I get a container, shovel everything in that I can, dump everything on the living room floor, and take the container back to the car and shovel in more stuff.

I find some glasses of the prescription before this one. I had wondered where those were. And here they were in a hard case in the front seat of my car, most days inches away from me, unseen. But I don't have time to do anything other than notice what they were and shovel them into the container. Then I take the container into the house and put it on the living room floor.

Okay, that was work. Not a lot of work, but it was starting to get warm outside. So the result of working outside when it is warm is--sweat. I don't like it. It isn't much sweat, but I don't like it. I haven't planned to have a bath this early, but now I want one. I decide that I can't have one, there isn't time. I have a Coke and watch more TV. The sweat dries up and probably isn't noticed by anyone but me. I don't think that I smell bad or anything. I remember to check the answering machine just in case my mom called in those few minutes that I was outside making sweat. Nothing. I go back to watching TV.

Sometime later I notice that it is about 11. I am sort of halfway mad at my mom and halfway wondering if her guts exploded and she's bleeding to death on the bathroom floor. Maybe I should call her.

But, she does finally call me. She is ready. She wanted to call and make sure I was still at home before she called the clinic.


She calls back. There's about a two hour wait at the clinic. But, she has heard that before, and she knows that she can "sign in" online, and that she can wait at home for the clinic to call just before it is her turn.

Okay, so I've just wasted two hours of my day because I thought she was really sick and needed to go to the clinic. But she wasn't that sick or she would have wanted to go at 9 or 9:30. And now I find out that she can do something online to reduce the time in the waiting room, but she didn't think that it was important enough to do that earlier, so there's probably going to be another two hours of waiting.

I don't ask her why she didn't do this online thing as soon as she got out of the tub, but that is what I'm wondering.

She says that she'll call back.

I still haven't had that bath. I still haven't done any work, other than getting all that stuff out of my car. And I can't either do my outside work or have a bath, because she thinks that it might be a while before she calls, but she doesn't really know that for sure. And I really don't want to start anything else that I would have to stop in the middle and/or put things away if she called.

I'm thinking that I should eat something. In my earlier mental schedule of the day, I either got things done well before lunch, or if I had taken mom to the clinic when I imagined she might have got done right about lunch time and we might have had lunch together. But now if I have lunch with mom it will be after noon, or even after 1, or even later than that. So I have some soup, and that way I won't starve, but I can still have lunch later with mom if she wants to do that.

While I'm heating up the soup she calls back, and says that she feels better. She still wants to go to the clinic, but she thinks that she feels up to driving by herself. She suggested that I go on and do whatever it was that I was going to do, and then if I get done in time I can drive her after, but if I don't get done in time she'll go by herself.

No, either I am driving her or I'm not. I'm not going to drive to Home Depot, buy stuff, take it home, pick up my mother, drive back to the Home Depot, and then wait for a hour or so. If she isn't sure she can drive, I will just wait some more.

She's sure. I go and eat my soup.

Before I finish my soup, she has changed her mind and calls back to ask if I can still drive her to the clinic. Since I haven't left yet, that's okay.

I go back to watching TV. I can't see getting anything useful done while I'm waiting for her to call. And I still haven't had a bath, cause I don't know for sure when she's going to need me. It will probably be still another hour, but it might not be.

She calls back and asks if I could come to her house and wait with her. Sure.

It is about 1 when I get to her house. The clinic calls not long after that. I drive my mom to the clinic. I know where I'm going, but she complains that I'm taking the wrong street. I'm driving. This is the street I'm driving on. This is the way I drive to Home Depot. The clinic is right next to the Home Depot. They have the same parking lot and everything.

Mother is still explaining how her way is faster when we get to the clinic. I am distracted a bit. Someone else doesn't stop at the four-way stop sign. He didn't hit us. Clearly his fault if he did, but I rather not be hit just the same. And I'd rather not have someone in the passenger seat talking about directions, especially to a place we're already at.

My mom gets out of the car, and I drive a bit closer to Home Depot before parking.

I decide against the scrap lumber and the clearance paint. I wonder if there had been more stuff available at 9.

I wander around the store looking at odd things I have no intention of buying anytime soon. I just need to kill some time while the doctor is talking to mom.

I think an hour passed. That's long enough I think. I head to the clinic.

Mom isn't anywhere I can see. I sit down. Someone puts in The Blind Side dvd. After a while mom calls my cell phone. She's waiting on an X-ray or something. I watch about half of the movie while I wait.

At about 3 my mom is done with her doctor visit. I think that it was a waste of time. She has a stack of papers of tests she should have in the future and such. I don't think that they did anything to make her feel better that day, except to tell her to take some over the counter meds that she already had at home. She does get sick like this a lot. Probably these suggested tests are things that have been done in the past. They probably aren't going to learn anything this time that they didn't already know from last time.


But now that's she's seen a doctor, and they did not rush her to the hospital to have some test that's supposed to be done on an empty stomach, and they told her it was okay to eat something if she felt like it, I thought we'd be either rushing to someplace for lunch or at least rushing to the grocery store. But she doesn't seem in a hurry to do either. There were coupons at the clinic for Chick-fil-A, cause there is one in the same shopping center, so she decides to go there.

After we order our food she remembers that she should take some tablet before eating, and she can't find any in her purse. They sell them at Target, also in the shopping center, and if she'd thought of it she could have bought some earlier. It isn't that far, and I volunteer to go get some.

So I walk to Target and buy her some pills. When I get back she's going on about how she didn't think that I meant to walk. But it isn't that far, and it's less trouble than moving the car again.

So she thanks me and pays for my lunch and I take her home. It is nearly 4 now. There's no point in doing anything before going to my brother's place. Except when I got home I did finally have a bath.

I said something like she couldn't have really been that sick if she felt like waiting two hours to do her hair. She disagreed. Or, she should have at least signed in online before she did her hair. Again, she disagreed.

She just doesn't seem to get it.

When I got home I found that I had dropped the missing glasses and they were on the side of the street. I had run over them. The case is ruined, but it seems like the glasses themselves might be fixed. I think that they just need some adjusting.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

The Wicked Witch is dead

Okay, not really. Nobody died. I'm just happy that the election is over, and S didn't win. Not even close.

I ended up voting for A, R, and M. The winners were A, R, and J. J got 69 votes. M only got 26. D, who didn't send me a flyer (or anyone else that I spoke to) got just 7 votes. I can't remember what the others got, but S got less than 50, and I think the other two got about as many. I should check on that later. Of the people who voted, 85 chose A, and 88 wanted R.

I was worried about choosing between J and M. It was hard, and I was afraid that the votes split between them would allow S to remain. J ran last year, and it seems like he got more votes last year when he didn't win, but I guess more people in general voted last year.

M can run again next year, if he wants to. I was surprised that of all the people who didn't win last year, only T and J ran again this year.

Of course, the person I most want gone runs again next year. Or, at least, next year is when his term is up, and I assume that he will run again.

There's a story going around that S was not a good loser, and almost had to be carried away from the voting area. I was in the general area, and I would have thought if there was anything interesting like that going on that I would have heard it a couple of doors down, but I did not. So I don't know if it's true. But it wasn't even close, and a recount wasn't going to help, so I don't know what it was that she supposedly hung around to complain about.

Next year should be interesting.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Confusion and Disappointment

Before anybody gets really excited, this post is mainly about eBay purchases, and mainly purchases of plants.

And to answer an earlier question, the seller in Michigan was not the Michigan Bulb Company. This was someone on eBay, I'm guessing that they only or mainly sell from eBay. They have high positive marks, and have been in business for a while, though I've learned this doesn't always mean what it seems, as sellers can buy their high positive marks and such from someone else.

I don't know why that was such a surprise to me. People can buy and sell eBay businesses. Just as people buy and sell regular businesses.

Anyway, I have no reason to suspect that the business has been sold, and that I didn't buy my plants from the same person who actually received the high marks, just that it is possible.

Okay, so I ordered two Stella cherry trees, a 5-in-1 pear tree, and a 5-in-1 apple tree. I have always wanted a 5-in-1 pear tree, and when I saw one on eBay that no one else was bidding on, I bought it, maybe without really thinking it through. Having bought that tree, I thought I'd take advantage of the discounted postage and also buy the cherry trees (at the time I noticed them no one else was bidding, but I ended up paying five dollars), and then I noticed the 5-in-1 apple tree (people were bidding on them, so it took three tries and about twenty dollars for that). So instead of the one tree for ten dollars plus about twelve dollar postage, I bought four trees for about thirty-five dollars and another sixteen in postage.

Now, I have bought plants online before, mostly recent purchases from eBay, and they arrive in different conditions, mostly I think depending on the type of plant more than care given by the seller. I have had great success with daylilies from three different sellers, but I've had trouble with about half of the other plants I bought this year, mostly from the same people who sold me the daylilies. So I think that it's just that daylilies and other bulbs don't mind the shipping process and other non-bulb type flowers and such aren't too happy about it.

So I think that bare-root trees are one of the things that don't mind being sent through the mail, if it is the right time of year. But May and June probably aren't the right time of year, at least it doesn't sound like a good idea to ship something from here, as we should all be done with most of our planting here and a lot of the plants left in the stores are on clearance. But the seller was from Michigan, and I know that things start growing a lot later in the season there. So the seller claimed that the trees were sent still dormant, and I thought that it might be true, and if so it was probably okay for them to keep sending plants.

I also know that dormant bare root trees pretty much look like dead sticks. This has always been a bit of a problem for me. How do you know if you've bought a healthy plant or a dead stick, if they all equally look like dead sticks? For example, asparagus really looks dead right out of the package, but if you buy it at the right time it rarely is. Usually you follow the directions and plant them at the right time, and they emerge, though this is weeks or even months later. However, this year I bought two packages, maybe a bit too late (though not late enough that they were on clearance), and one package was fine and more than half of the other package was dead. I have no idea if they were dead when I bought them or if I did something wrong when planting or what. They all looked the same.

So the description says that what I will get in the mail will be dormant, and that it will look like a stick, but not to worry because it will sprout leaves after planting and will probably have fruit in two or three years. So I have a picture in my mind that I will be getting four sticks in the mail, and that maybe they will have some greenish buds on them, or that they might really look dead, or that they might have leaves already and that would probably be bad. And I thought that two of the sticks would be five-pronged at the top, because they were supposed to be grafted with five different varieties.

Well, I got a mixed bag (or rather the products in the box were mixed), and nothing was quite what I expected. They came Thursday afternoon, a day later than the predicted "between May 25 and June 1." Not sure why those dates were predicted, since I bought the items on May 17th, but they weren't sent out till May 28th. Obviously the package cannot be delivered on the 25th if it isn't sent out before then.

I was expecting the trees to be one or two feet long, which they were. I just didn't expect them to be so thin. The apple is the thickest, and almost what I expected, but not quite. The pear is much thinner than I expected, and the cherries are just little twigs.

However, the cherry twigs did arrive mostly dormant, and now that I've put them in pots one of them is starting to show signs of life. Or maybe it is just my imagination.

The apple tree has leaves coming out of the top of the tree in three places. Not five places like I would think. I suppose other leaves could appear later, as there are bumps lower where there could be growth, but I wouldn't think so, not if all five varieties are supposed to bloom together to cross-pollinate. I'm wondering if I got a 3-in-1 tree by mistake, but I didn't see any of those advertised.

The pear tree is just the opposite. Unfortunately, it has leaves growing almost the entire length of the tree, in about thirteen places. Not at all the five-pronged stick I was expecting. I suppose each variety could have been tiny little grafts two or three places each, but my first thought is that I got a single variety by mistake. If so I've paid way too much, and I don't even know what variety it is. And of course the leaves are dying, though I don't think the whole thing is dying, maybe just the leaves.

I've got all four in small pots in the living room, thinking that it is too hot for the poor trees to go outside after their traumatic trip.

Well, I don't quite know what to do. First, I think that I've spent my money unwisely. With shipping and everything, I spent less than fifty-five dollars, but I'm thinking I could have done better with it. I might have found something around here on clearance. Or, I might have saved the money til next year and ordered trees in March or something. I am worried that the pear tree was a bad idea. Half of the varieties are good for this area, but the other half will probably get blight. I don't know if the blight will just kill half of the pears or kill the whole tree. And that's if I actually have a 5-in-1 pear tree and not just a mystery one variety tree. The cherry trees are just tiny twigs, and I might have been better off buying one larger tree. And I didn't really need an apple tree, I hadn't originally planned on it, but it just suddenly seemed like a good idea after buying the other stuff and qualifying for the discounted shipping.

So I might just be having some regular buyer's remorse, and not really have a reason to complain. I don't want to complain. I don't want to give someone bad marks if they don't actually deserve bad marks. But I was supposed to get dormant 5-in-1 trees, and they were not dormant, and it now occurs to me that it will be years before I have any idea if they are actually 5-in-1 trees.

Anyway, I haven't yet contacted the seller, and I haven't yet left feedback.

In other news about eBay, I lucked into some dvds, and I'm now looking into buying more. No one was bidding on Surface, which wasn't my favorite show, but no one bidding and the starting bid was two dollars and the shipping was a reasonable three dollars. No one bid against me, so I paid a total of five dollars. After that, I decided to look at other dvds. While looking for Invasion of the Body Snatchers, I found Invasion the series (again not my favorite show, but a good deal) and the same seller had Invasion: Earth, which I did really like when I saw it the first time and I wouldn't mind seeing it again. The dvds were Buy Now under four dollars each, reasonable shipping, with discounts for multiple purchases. So I bought both for just under twelve dollars.

All three are coming media mail, which means that I might have to wait a while, but I noticed that both sellers sent the packages the next day, and there are tracking numbers. I am now worried that Surface is lost. Yesterday it said out for delivery, which could not have been possible, from Missouri. Today is says status not updated. I'm wondering if this is just what happens with media mail, or if maybe the shipping label was lost. If my address is lost and the seller's address is still readable, they should just send the package back to the seller to try again, and it should all be okay. If both addresses are missing, I don't know what happens. Should I try to contact the post office in Missouri, or should I ask the seller to do that, or is just hopeless? I have bought from this seller before, and I'm sure they would do something, but I think they'd just do the easy thing and refund some of my money, if not all. But I don't want the five dollars back (and I certainly don't want just the two dollars back), I want the dvds.

Anyway, is it stupid to think about doing anything so soon?

My other dvds are now being sorting in Greensboro and are probably fine.

Today is the day of our little election. We had some discussions about absentee voting, and we were told that we could not do that. There's an exception for the disabled, sort of, but the disabled still have to be in their homes at the time of the election. I'm told that we cannot have absentee voting because of a by-law that says you cannot vote by proxy or by email, though in some cases if the member is out of town a spouse can vote for him or her if the election officers are told in advance.

I am thinking that does not totally cancel out the possibility of absentee voting, and if arrangements are being made for the disabled a similar arrangement cold be made for other people who are going to be out of town. For the disabled person(s), a form is taken to the home and filled out, and the ballot is placed in a sealed envelope and taken by an office employee to the election officer and put in the ballot box. So it isn't a proxy, and it wasn't by US mail, and technically the disabled person wasn't absent on the day of the election, just unable to leave the home.

I would think that the same sort of thing could be done for people going out of town. Prior to the election, they could go to the office, vote, place the ballot in a sealed envelope, put the envelope in the locked ballot box, and put the ballot box in the safe. And that would not be a proxy or a ballot delivered by mail, and we could have absentee voting without changing the by-laws.

But no one listens to me now, and I doubt that my health is up to being on the board on top of dealing with my personal situation. Besides which, I never know when I might get the chance to go out of town, and would not like to take into account meetings and other board obligations when I go on trips.

I have received flyers from all nominees except D, one strange letter of general complaints about board members and nominees and pizza and too many kids at our one meeting which kids are invited to, and one additional flyer begging people to go out and vote (though the author neglected to mention if he or/she was for any particular nominees). Off the top of my head, I'm saying yes to A, will probably vote for R, and my third vote will probably go to that other guy's son, cause he did later come around and campaign for himself. My brother suggested the third vote go to the other R, who did later send out a small flyer (and with very small print to keep costs down, but at least it was sent out), because he was the least liked person mentioned in the complaint letter, and we don't agree with much said in the complaint letter.

We had a similar complaint letter last year, but we are not sure it was the same author (both were anonymous), because most of the complaints were about different people (unless maybe the author has switched sides?).

So voting for A, probably R, probably the other guy's son, or maybe J. Not D because he didn't send a flyer and I don't know him. Definitely not S, cause she needs to mind her own business. And definitely not T. Even if I liked T, it would probably be a wasted vote. She is odd, and I doubt she will get enough votes to be a serious threat to anyone else.

Really, I wish I could just somehow vote against S three times without having to think too hard about who to vote for.

Next year we get to vote again M.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

More problems, not just the plants

I am still waiting on that package of live plants. It is an eBay purchase. When I started bidding on them several weeks ago, it seemed like a good idea. It is really too late in the season to plant such things around here, but the seller is from Michigan, and there the trees I ordered were supposedly still dormant, so I thought that would be okay. And at the time we were having unusually cool weather here too. It sounded like a good idea at the time.

The package was supposed to arrive between the twenty-fifth of last month and the first of this month. They all say stuff like that, but my experience before this has been really good, and the sellers usually either send the stuff the next day after payment, or at the latest maybe Monday of the following week.

Anyway, the first has now past, and I don't have my package. It was supposedly sent on the twenty-eighth. Well, there's a tracking number for the twenty-eighth, but there's no info after the tracking number. It doesn't even say that the package has been picked up yet, much less that it's been moving through the system anywhere.

Anyway, I'm about to miss another short trip, and this one I would have liked to go. I usually go to this place. Not that we do anything really special anymore, but I like the motel where we stay, and we sit in the hot tub and such. And I would have left this morning and got back Sunday. Four days is a bit long to leave the plants already in the ground, but I might have given everything a good soak and tried it anyway. At this point I'm not having trouble with anything already in the ground, just worrying about plants still in transit.

There's another reason that I won't be going out of town this weekend.

It is that time of year again for electing our board of directors. Eight people are running for three seats. The election is Saturday, and Saturday only. We used to have nearly a week to vote, but now it's just the one day. And yesterday I learned that there is no absentee voting.

I suspected as much, but I went and asked for an absentee ballot yesterday. Just in case the package came last night or early this morning, I wanted to be ready to go. No luck either way.

Anyway, I have three votes, and I'm not quite sure who they should go to.

The term is for three years, so my buddy B who was elected last year is not running this year, he's still on the board for another two years. Also, I am starting to wonder if that wasn't a mistake voting for him last time anyway. He is maybe getting too friendly with the dreadful M, and S, and I'm not liking S much now either. S is threatening people who don't paint their sheds white. There's no rule that they should paint their sheds a particular color, just that the sheds be painted and kept up. There is, however, a rule that sheds only be made of wood or metal, and that the size of the shed be limited. I haven't gone to look, but I hear that S has a shed that is too large. So S with her over-sized shed is threatening people who have sheds she doesn't like or that according to her are not the right color.

S is running for re-election. Not that she was ever elected to start with, she was appointed after someone else had to quit. Anyway, S has got to go. I don't quite know who to vote for, just that I don't want S to win.

A is running this year. A is already on the board, and my brother likes him, so I'll vote for him. A has sent out flyers and such. I rarely vote for anyone who does not send out flyers. If they don't care enough to send out a flyer, why should I think that they care enough to show up for meetings or do anything else they are supposed to do as board members.

Other than A, R has also sent me a flyer and gone around shaking hands and such last weekend. So probably R will get my vote.

It is the third vote that I still don't know about.

It might go to J. I think that J has been on the board before. He ran last year, but did not win. Last year he sent out flyers, but I have not received one this year.

Also, someone's son is running for the board this year. I don't know him. Everyone knows his dad, but I don't know him. He hasn't sent me a flyer, yet. I can't vote for someone just because everyone knows his dad. He has to get out and do the work himself, send out flyers and such.

S has sent out flyers, but again I'm not voting for her.

The only other person who has sent me a flyer was T. I am not voting for T. When she moved in across the street, I heard that she went door to door introducing herself as a bitch. Well, we will take her at her word and not vote for her. There is more to that story, but it is too long to get into right now. Just without a damned good reason I'll not be voting for T.

Okay, so that's yes for A, probably for R, and maybes for J and the other guy's son, and no for S and T. That leaves another R and D who I don't know, haven't heard anything about, and haven't sent me a flyer.

I guess that they've got two more days to get my vote.

Anyway, a bit sad that I won't be going anywhere this weekend, but it's probably for the best.