Lori Pickens

Fifteen on Friday


I’ve been planning Five on Friday posts in my head for weeks, but never found the time to write them up, so today I’m shooting for a Fifteen on Friday instead. I figured I would just start typing and see where I end up?

1.) Car troubles. Last week I mentioned that the check engine light came on in the jeep. We replaced one of the ignition coils, and the jeep seemed to be running much better. Wednesday of this week, it came back on. Mom took it back in for us and the machine said it was complaining of the same part. Our model has eight ignition coils, and it was again slot #1 that was throwing the error. So the guy’s at Kincheloe took the part and swapped slot #1 with slot #3. The error moved to slot #3, so they were convinced that we had just received a bad part. The part is under warranty for two years, so Advanced Auto gave us a new one. Actually, Southside Advance Auto was out of them, so Mom had to drive to Belpre to get one from their store. Anyway, Kincheloe put the new part in slot #1 and sent us on our way. All was good for a day or so, and then the check engine light came back on. I took it back to Kincheloe and they said it was the ignition coil in slot #1 again. At this point they didn’t know what to think. They thought maybe we had another bad part by the way it was acting, but the chances of two bad parts from two different stores is fairly unlikely, but they really can’t say for sure if it was the part or if the wiring going to it was bad, or if the computer was bad. So, they again swapped out the ignition coil from slot #1 with the one from slot #3, and this time left them that way. The plan is that is the check engine light comes back on, and #3 is throwing an error ? they think it is the part. If the check engine light comes back on and #1 is again causing the error, it might be something more serious. So far we’ve had no sign of the light either way, and I’m praying that it just stays that way.

2.) Grandma Reber. My grandma has an aneurysm in her abdomen. When she was in the hospital this past spring they noticed that it had grown from a 2 to a 4 in the last couple of years, so they wanted to check it out. On the 2nd of this month they did a small surgery where they went in to evaluate it and see if they could put a stint in it or if they would have to operate and remove it completely. That day the doctor said it was small enough that they could do the stint and they scheduled her surgery for the 15th. We were all very relieved to hear this. The stint requires a day or two in the hospital and then a few days to recooperate. The removal surgery would require a two-week stay in the hospital and like two months before she would be back to normal, daily activities. My grandma is an on-the-go lady and not the kind that wants to be couped up in the hospital or laying around in bed all day! She went into the hospital Wednesday morning to start the procedure. Well, we later found out that Grandma’s arteries are too small and they couldn’t do the stint after all. At this point they aren’t ready to do the other surgery too, so they basically just stitched her up and said they would watch it for now. I’m just very bummed for her! I know she was ready to be done with all this and now she is going to have a week or so to recover from a surgery that basically did nothing for her. I really don’t want he to have to go through the removal surgery, so please pray that the aneurysm stays the size it is now, and she can just go about her happy life. Love you Grandma! I know you’ll be up and at ’em in no time. 

3.) Bad blogger. I have been reminded a few times in the last week or so that my blog was out of date. I do apologize for my lack of posts and updates. Sometimes I forget that people actually read the thing ? especially since I never get any comments, and often feel like I’m talking to myself. Part of me wants to use the excuse that we have just been super busy ? which we have. But I also should admit that there were several days that I frankly just didn’t want to post bad news. Kind of the “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don?t say anything at all” theory. There were several days that I was down about the house stuff and nothing happening when people said it would. Clair was sick or working on other jobs and couldn’t get to the basement. The second shower door panel came and was a worse fit than the first one. The family room furniture for some odd reason wasn’t loaded on the truck when it was supposed to be. The blinds took a week longer than they were supposed to. The jeep was acting up and taking up time and money. DJ hurt his toe and couldn?t work on the yard. Painters were busy or not able to come to an agreement on a bid. The bank lady sent the wrong paperwork and had to redo it. The color for the concrete pad didn’t come in on time. You get the jist. There were several days when it just kept seeming to pile up. I was sad ? sad and stressed, and I figure my blog posts would have come across that way, so I just didn’t post at all. I know we are incredibly blessed to have this house and all the wonderful people who have helped us through the process, and I never want to come across as ungrateful or complaining. So now that we are on the other side of all that ? or at least most of it ? I went back and filled in photos from most of the activities. Some of them have scrolled off the main page, but you can read them all from the September blog archive. Please feel free to catch up and leave comments, so I remember people actually read all or some of my ramblings. I again promise to try and do a better job of updating.

4.) Shower door panel. Today Ron brought a third glass panel from Basco. It again did NOT fit. This one was actually pretty close to the right size, but the holes were in the wrong place. Since Ron installed the original panel and door, to make this one work he would have to move the already installed hinges, which would leave holes in our tile. Clay suggested that maybe Ron could make a template out of cardboard and send it in to Basco. At this point Ron is just tired of the whole thing, and said that Basco needs to send someone to figure out the situation and finish the install. I know Clay feels awful about the problems and is working hard to get something resolved for us.

5.) Slimfast bars. Many of you may remember last fall when I blogged about my beloved Cookie Dough Slimfast bars and how sad I was when they were discontinued. I still miss them dearly, but after a few months tried to fill some of the void with a new Slimfast bar. I have since switched to the Choclately Vanilla Blitz snack bar.



They aren’t nearly as good as the cookie dough ones, but at some point I had to move on and try to find something else. Well, a week or so Mom comes home from the store and says she has bad news. She did buy the Choclately Vanilla Blitz bars that I put on the grocery list, but the sign above them at the store said “close-out sale”! Are you kidding me? Do these people just hate me and as soon as I start liking something they decide to stop making it? Mom bought every box they had ? bless her heart! Again, this was during my sad, stressed house period, and wasn’t exactly the news I needed. Then this week, my Aunt Michelle sent me an email. Apparently she has been emailing the Slimfast company about her (and my disappointment) in the discontinutation of the cookie dough bars and now the vanilla blitz, and she finally got a response. This was the message that she forwarded to me:

Thank you for writing us regarding the Slim-Fast Chocolate Cookie Dough Meal Bar .

As you know, the product you have contacted us about has been discontinued. Our company’s goal is to provide consumers with a variety of products to meet their needs and preferences. As you may know, marketing is a complex function, and many business factors are taken into consideration before discontinuing a product.
With that being said, you may be interested to learn that both the Chocolate Cookie Dough and Fudge Brownie Bars are returning soon due to popular demand. You should be able to locate them on store shelves by year’s end.

They seriosuly could have led with the part about it returning, but either way I will take that as awesome news!

This was her email message to me:

” so the deal is – when I find the cookie dough, I will buy all I can…”

Does my aunt rock or what!!! Love you Michelle

PSA for everyone else. If you see these cookie dough bars in the store, please call me immediately! Or buy a box and send them to my house.  Either way I will be very grateful!



6.) Big Bang. I keep hearing commercials saying that Big Bang Theory is moving to Thursday nights. I am highly disappointed in this news. My Thursday night is already booked between Bones and the Office, and frankly Big Bang theory was the only thing I had to look forward to on Mondays. Maybe I will have my Aunt Michelle email ABC and ask them to move it back?

7.) Women’s Bible Study. The Liberty Street women’s bible study is starting back up next week. We meet on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month. We are doing the Beth Moore’s study of the story of Esther. I really enjoy Beth Moore’s study’s and learn so much from them. If you would be interested in coming, please feel free to give me a call or send me an email. We would love to have you!

8.) Favorite little buddy. Evan came to visit the week of Labor Day. He is awesome and I love spending time with him. I took a ton of pictures, that I haven’t had time to edit or get on the blog yet, but I will share them as soon as I can. He starts 1st grade this year, and I can hardly believe it!



9.) NYC. This time next week, Mom and I will be in New York City. I am super excited and definitely ready for the break. We are planning to see a couple of shows and maybe do a little shopping. If you know of any must-see shows or shops, please leave me a comment or send me an email.

10.) The paint situation. I’m not sure what all I have shared about the paint situation here. Basically as a recap? when Kendell?s crew went to touch up the paint, the paint did not match. Paint from the same buckets no longer matched. There was about a month of experimenting with different options trying to get the paint to match until finally both Kendell and Sherwin Williams decided that the easier option would just be to repaint any of the walls that had problems ? which was about 80% of our walls. Sherwin Williams agreed to pay for the paint and the labor to repaint. Kendell?s crew is getting ready to start a new job and was not interested in putting in a bid to repaint the house. Sherwin Williams scheduled four appointments with four professional painters to come out, have us show them through the house and submit a bid. Three of the painters ended up coming and going through the house. The plan was to average the three bids and that figure would be used as what Sherwin Williams was willing to pay. After a few days of waiting one of the three painters decided not to submit a bid. So now we had two. Obviously if you average two numbers, you are going to be able to cover one but not the other. We contacted the lower bid and began discussions with him. At first there was definitely some confusion as to what was included in the bid and also some discussions of extra walls that might need to be painted to make sure everything matches up. We also decided to upgrade to a better paint that is supposed to wash better and touch up more easily. We finally worked out an agreement and started work on Tuesday. We went with Chuck Waters. So far he is doing a fantastic job. Chuck and his crew are very courteous of our home and careful on the hardwood floors, and the walls look so much better! We have a lot of trim and crown molding and they have done a fabulous job cutting it in.

11.) Space. After four weddings this summer, various other sessions, and my own photos, my laptop is running out of space. I bought a second external hard drive. Even with things backed up on two EHDs and DVDs, it makes me very nervous to think about actually deleting images off of my laptop. I got a 2T Western Digital hard drive from Sams if anyone is interested.

12.) Baby Bryleigh. I think Bryce and Kaleigh have finally landed on the name Bryleigh. Obviously it is a combination of their two names, and I think it is super cute. I?m very excited to have another little niece on the way. I took some maternity photos for Kaleigh today. We had a lot of fun, and I appreciate how trusting Kaleigh was with letting me try different poses.

13.) Faithers. Speaking of nieces, Wes and Faith stopped by the other day to check on some of the progress on the house. I snapped this shot of Faith and Uncle Nathan out front. I just love to see them laugh and play together ? it?s pretty darn cute.



14.) Hmmm? fifteen things is going to be harder than I thought. Oh, I thought of another one?

15.) Robyn. DHD got another new designer – Robyn Meierotto! She is super talented, and she released a ton of awesome new kits yesterday. All of her products are on sale all weekend, so be sure to check out Robyn?s shop. You can also read a little more about her on the DHD blog.

Wheh. That was a lot of info, huh? Maybe you?ll think twice about asking for updates next time

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