"If there’s a world here in a hundred years, it’s going to be saved by tens of millions of little things. The powers-that-be can break up any big thing they want. They can corrupt it or co-opt it from the inside, or they can attack it from the outside. But what are they going to do about 10 million little things? They break up two of them, and three more like them spring up!"
- Pete Seeger, in YES! Magazine

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

These sure are crazy busy times with the girls involved in their stuff, most of which involves driving to town regularly. But this is our big news. E was accepted to the Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia this summer for an intensive dance training program. She'll spend her days dancing, stretching, dancing some more. It should be an amazing time for her to shine and excel and learn so very much.

We're very excited for her and we're working overtime and extra freelance work to help her make it happen. She has also agreed to chip in with creations of her own to offer as thank-you "premiums" (ala public radio) for donors. If you'd like to support our dancer, or would just like the swag, please consider clicking here:

I'm breaking the blogging silence because, well, we could use your help, if you're keen. We've sold you no Girl Scout Cookies or Boy Scout Popcorn, or 4H Chocolate or School Wrapping Paper. I guess we've been saving all that up for now! Please help us spread the word, too. Feel free to share a link to the GoFundMe effort with friends, family, Facebook. You never know who might want a jar of homemade elderberry jam, a beach rid on one of our horses, or a something crocheted by our dancer!

Friday, October 4, 2013

It Only Takes a Minute

See? Helping out doesn't have to take but a minute:
Source: LiveLeak

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Friday, January 4, 2013

Saving a Megastore - One Honest Customer at a Time

The project:
A couple of days ago I stopped by my neighborhood (within 30 miles - barely) mega-hardware store to pick up a make-your-own shed kit. We've been putting off making the purchase while we work on other financial priorities, but after losing some hay to post-rain spoilage, we decided it was time to redirect some of the funds from my recent freelance writing frenzy. After two hours in the store hunting down various items NOT included in the package set (felt for the roof, tile for the roof, ridge tiles for the roof, and roofing nails - we'll pick up the paint later), I was out the door with two giant packages loaded by five strong men into our trailer.

Today, I unpacked the boxes. They weren't numbered, and there were no apparent instructions, so I was left to assume the instructions were inside the box and that it didn't matter WHICH one I opened first. After cutting through the shrinkwrap, the plastic straps and the cardboard, I finally unveiled the first block of goodies, which I unpacked and stacked for inventory, per the instructions found moments after opening. Then I opened box two. It wasn't until I found the second set of doors that I KNEW something was amiss. I finished unpacking anyway, thinking perhaps this was the multiple-door version and that fact merely didn't show on the package photo. Then I started inventory.

Once I realized I'd been gifted a second complete shed, I called the hardware store and sought out the employee. She knew she'd given me two boxes, but said she thought the shed required two boxes of materials. She checked around with other employees, discovered she'd given one complete shed away, then arranged to pick up the pile which will be repackaged, returned to inventory (which never missed it) and resold.

It took about 20 minutes on the phone for the employee to sort out the error, discuss the matter with her manager and arrange for pickup. She and another employee did all the rest of the work of reloading.

I had spent an extra hour unpacking and inventorying and dividing up the materials.

 Why bother?  
I confess I was temped to keep the shed. We could use more storage around here. It was already unpacked, already out of the store, and the store's a megagiant which probably really wouldn't miss it. (After all, their inventory showed 9 boxes of the roof tile ridges I needed, but they couldn't locate them. I had to drive 30 miles north to another branch to pick up the ridges, of which I need 10 but they sell only in boxes of 50.)

 But I knew the right thing to do was to call the store, explain the situation and let them make a decision about their product.

Worth it?
I had hoped they'd take into consideration several things: the two hours I spent waiting while they hunted down roof ridge tiles that don't exist in their store; the hour I spent driving to another store to pick up said ridges; the $54 for I had to spend for a whole box of ridge tiles even though I need 10 tiles (about $11 worth); the time and money they wasted on gas and staff time to get out to my place and back to pick up the stuff; the loss they'll take on the sale since they'll mark it down now that it's been opened and repackaged.

I hoped, all this considered, they'd mark it as an inventory loss, then just let us have it. You know. As a thanks for my honesty.

Clearly, they didn't, but I'm still glad I called. Had I kept it, I'd always feel a little guilty. Plus, given that this megagiant doesn't even give its employees discounts, I was afraid they'd take the loss out of this poor college student's paycheck once they figured out it was gone. That just wouldn't be right.

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