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 So the past couple weeks have come and gone very quickly – yeah I know, no surprise. Christmas is over, and in the midst of all the rush we squeezed a trip into Seattle for a couple days. I am so lucky to have a place there where it is always comfortable to just hang out – thanks Mom for your unending hospitality.  I feel really bad for those who don’t have the relationship that I do with parents. 
Christmas was a different thing this year – I  forget how (nearly) the entire family in the space of one or two rooms can quickly raise to a fever pitch! If you don’t feel like joining in for a bit there is a lot to sit back and take in – half a dozen conversations surround you. It just hasn’t been that way for the last many years in So Cal. As corny as it sounds, I really love my family and am glad to be a ‘participant’ in gatherings once again. 
On Christmas Eve we went to Justin & Megan’s house for dinner, and he cooked pheasant – which was not anything like I remembered it. It was really good, and a side of veggies, and wild rice with fruit – yum.Oh, and a couple bottles of champagne.  The next day mom made prime rib which came out perfectly rare – can it get any better?  
We left Seattle Wednesday, and stopped to look at granite for the bathroom and go to the Verizon store. This turned out to be one of the better moves I’ve made. You see, my old phone crapped out on the way back from San Diego. After stopping at a Verizon store outside Salem, I called Asurion – the insurance company that contracts with them. It took over 25 minutes on hold ( what else is there to do while driving – I used Richard’s phone ) I filed a claim for a dead phone, with a replacement to be delivered in two days. Seemed like a good deal for the $50 deductible. The phone arrived – and I can only say that it was an unbranded ‘lookalike’ to the LG8500 Chocolate. It was just a little funky and just not quite right. The charger that they supplied didn’t work, but I could use my old charger, so……..         It became more and more obvious that the replacement was a piece of crap, and because I didn’t want to mess with it I was nearly willing to accept it, and just wait and upgrade in a few months, when the contract would allow. Ryan though, urged me to pursue it, and am I glad I did.  We went to the Verizon store, I explained the situation, and the guy there felt that we needed to call Asurion once again to explain the issue. Funny thing is that he was able to immediately connect me to someone ( no waiting) , and three representatives later,  things seemed solved. Lets just say I had my doubts – they offered to ‘upgrade’ my replacement phone to an LG8550 – the newer version. I waited, not expecting anything other than another refurbished? piece of junk. Going to the Verizon store paid off, when this afternoon a brand new, packaged in the factory box, phone arrived. No generic clone with a less-than standard battery. No charger just tossed in the box. A brand new everything, including a car charger.   I am happy.   So tomorrow I will make the trek across the river to have all of the data transferred from the dead phone to the new one.  In this world, I guess it is the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. 
There is so much to do in the next few weeks – the cleanup from the hurricane is still to be dealt with – lots of downed wood to be cut up, and boxes and boxes to get unpacked. We will be home for a while. Yea! Hopefully the new bathroom cabinet will be in next week, and then we will tear apart that room. Lots of sewing to do for my client. And a trip to Seattle somewhere around the 6th to go to the theater ( Jersey Boys  with my mom and sisters ). 

So merry Christmas, and Happy New Year to everyone!  With just a little luck, it won’t rain on New Year’s Eve in case we go to watch fireworks down in Long Beach.   
But if it does, thats okay. 

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