Mom’s Visit

Even though Mom had just been down to visit the previous weekend for my birthday, she came down again this Saturday so we could spend some time together.  After dropping some of her stuff off at the house, we headed out for our girls day.

We started at the Glass House in Decatur and got our creative juices flowing while we ooh and ahh’d over all the beautiful pieces of stained glass.  Our next stop was Clinton where we stopped by a couple of crafty/antique stores and had an excellent meal at the El Rey Mexican resturant.  Then we headed over to the Book Barn in Forsyth where we once again ooh and ahh’d over all the books and ended up walking out with a good number of them (luckily I had plenty of store credit!!)!  After that we stopped by Target for some Starbucks and to pick up a movie for the night, Law Abiding Citizen.

Hobby Lobby was next on our list and ended up being the store of the day.  Mom was looking at some iron artwork to put on the wall above the guestroom bed and when she went to check out we found out all iron pieces were on sale, 50% off!!  After hearing that, we put the piece mom just bought in the car and then went back in the store to look everything over with fresh eyes (i.e., we wouldn’t have paid full price, but at 50% off there were a few we really liked!).  I ended up getting two pieces and a beautiful glass bulb (lawn ornament), and mom ended up getting another piece as well!

Last on our adventure was stopping by Richland so I could show mom around the new office area and training room.  Last time mom had stopped by Richland my office was back in the “bat cave”, so I was excited to show off my new workspace!

After all of that (yes we did all of that in one day!), we headed home where mom got stuck in the driveway and ended up backing up all .5 miles of it to get to the house (we were talking to Ty & Austin and laughing so hard they could barely understand us).  James then cooked us an amazing steak dinner and hung the iron pieces I had bought that day!  I hung one over our bed and the other in the alcove going into our bedroom.  I also set up the glass bulb in the living room, which looks amazing!

Also during this time, Mom pulled out all the nail polish she had brought with her to give to my cousin Danielle.  My mom has a nail polish addiction, which is quite evident from the picture below!  Yet, Mom has found a new high tech way of getting her nails done that uses special nail polish, but then lasts for THREE weeks with NO chipping! She’s tried it a couple of times and liked it enough that she bought the whole system and thus has no need for regular nail polish anymore.

After looking through the crazy abundance of nail polish (can’t tell that she likes pink can you?),we made some of our favorite whirley pop popcorn and watched our movie, which was really good… except we wanted the *bad* guy to win at the end and instead he died 🙁 .

Tractoritis

Monday, February 15, was a day of no school because of Washington’s Birthday.  What?  You thought it was President’s Day?  Well, the government is out of touch with the rest of the nation.  When you get a list of the federal holidays for 2010 from the Office of Personnel Management from the US government, you get this note: “This holiday is designated as “Washington’s Birthday” in section 6103(a) of title 5 of the United States Code, which is the law that specifies holidays for Federal employees. Though other institutions such as state and local governments and private businesses may use other names, it is our policy to always refer to holidays by the names designated in the law.”

Kona went to Walmart in the morning, so I spent some time clearing out the drive so that she could get in and out of the house.  Once she got back in, I called it quits for the night.  I pay a lot more attention to the weather, especially the wind when there is snow on the ground, than I ever did in Forsyth.  I saw that Tuesday was calling for higher (sustained winds of 15 mph with gusts into the 20’s).  I knew that the drive would drift shut and that we would probably have to go through the ditch and eventually call Steve to come plow out the drive (another $160 – although last time he didn’t charge us for the full time he spent, so it probably would be more this time).

I got up early Tuesday and started the plowing about 6:15 am.  By 7:45, I had it cleared out enough that she could get out of the drive, but it was drifting and it was going to drift more throughout the day.  She left to go to work and I went into town to pick up more diesel and to tan (I’m getting mighty pale).  When I got back about 10:30, the lane was starting to drift shut, but it was still passable.  Knowing that the winds were going to continue all day (they were set to die down about 6 pm), I decided to just let it go.  I went and took a nap for a while because I was exhausted.  Then about 1, I decided that I would go fight the drive and try to at least keep it from drifting shut.  I came back to the house about 3:30 and sent Kona a message that it might be possible but that I would save the end of the drive for last so if she came home and saw the end was cleared, she should be able to get through and, if not. to go through the cornfield.

The problem was that the snow was only as high as the cornfield and so it kept drifting back.  I found that it I piled the snow up higher, then the wind wasn’t strong enough to get it up and over the snow into the drive.  Now, when a stronger wind comes, it will and it will be worse, but for now, it was working.  I had about 1/2 of the long stretch that really drifts bad pushed back away from the drive and piled high when I sent her the email at 3:30.

A little after 5, she comes a barreling down the drive and I’m headed the other direction trying to get the snow out of the way.  I had been doing some work on the end towards the bridge and it might have been passable, but I wasn’t sure.  I was trying to do a one last push the snow out of the way before she got home.  She didn’t look like she was going to slow down, so I finally whipped off into the cornfield and let her through.

I continued to work on the drive and push the snow back so that it was piled up on the west side and the snow was not blowing into the drive anymore.  It turned dark and it was almost 7 pm before I finally came into the house.

I spent 7.5 hours on the tractor on Tuesday, hence the title “Tractoritis”.  My body was so sore when I came in.  Especially my knees.  They had taken a lot of vibration and were in extreme pain.  I went to sit down and couldn’t bend my right leg.  I also got a sore throat while I was out there.  Amazingly, this winter has been fairly healthy for me — a few days of the chills, but nothing major; I’ve wasted more tissues squashing Asian Beetles than blowing my nose.

I got up early Wednesday because Kona had to go to Urbana to take of some things and I had a chiropractor’s appointment.  I was moving around a lot better after a shower than I was the night before.  I made Kona call me when she got to the end of the drive and she said it was in pretty good shape, so I guess I did a good job.  There’s not room for two people to pass each other, but luckily, that’s not a major issue out here.   The chiropractor said my back was really tight.  I kind of already knew that.

Kona’s Birthday

I was an extra special girl this year for my birthday… I got to celebrate it THREE times!!

On my actual birthday, I started with opening a present from my parents.

I got a travel jacket from Scottevest!! It’s the most amazing jacket with a ton of hidden pockets and sleeves that can be removed to turn the jacket into a vest!! Perfect for traveling!

In the evening, James took me out to eat at Texas Roadhouse, to Dairy Queen (where he had another entire meal), and then to the movies to see “From Paris with Love”.  Yet the best part of the day was that the part for my treadmill finally came in!! James got it installed and the treadmill put back together, so finally (after over a month of having it, but not being able to use it), I was able to try out my new treadmill!

I had a great time playing around with it, but not quite as  much fun as James had.  It was being silly and showing off and ended up flat on his backside! Quite funny!

My second birthday celebration came on Saturday when my Mom & Dad came down to visit for the day.  On the way to our house they stopped by my grandparents and picked up the kitchen table they’re letting us have, which was really really nice (we’d been using a card table as our kitchen table since we moved into the house)!  After getting the table into the house, we loaded into our car and headed to Forsyth for lunch. My parents thought we’d be eating at a steak house since they know James doesn’t care for seafood that much, but instead I choose Red Lobster.  James and I had just had steak two days before on my birthday, so I was definitely ready for some lobster and shrimp.

Kona and James at Red Lobster!

James was a good sport about it and even tried some shrimp scampi for the first time!  We finished up the meal with chocolate mocha cheesecake for dessert back at our house.

The third birthday celebration was with Gene & Alice at Cracker Barrel on Sunday, Valentines Day.  We hadn’t seen each other since early January, so it was very nice to get caught up and spend some time together.  Overall a great way to end my birthday celebrations!

Stuck

Tuesday we woke up to more snow! I’m not sure what time James got up to go plow, but he woke me up to… “Honey… could you get up and get dressed? The tractor got stuck in the ditch and I’m going to need your help to get it out.” So I hurriedly got up and got my warmest clothes on, including my snowpants and heavy winter coat.

We drove James’ car down over the bridge and all the way out to the road to see if it was passable (which it was), and then turned around and headed back to where the tractor had slid off into the ditch.  James hooked a chain from his car to the tractor and then manned the tractor while I used his car to try and pull him out.  It took a while (with me continually killing his darn stick shift!), but eventually we were able to get the tractor out.  I told James that maybe he should come inside and call it a morning, but he headed out to do more plowing and I drove the car back to the house to get ready for work.

Almost halfway through my bath, I heard James come in and then… “Honnneeeyyyy… Guess what?”.  Yep, he was stuck… again! This time in the field!  I finished with my bath and quickly got ready so I could go out and help get the tractor out of the field!

James was trying to preemptively block some of the drifting, but unfortunately didn’t realize there was a sizable dip in the field and ended up getting the tractor stuck.  The following pictures illustrate the fun we had getting the tractor un-stuck! James finally ended up unhooking the blade and using the bucket to help him rock the tractor backwards and out of the dip!

After getting the tractor out of the field, James kept plowing, but focused on the lane! I went back to the house, finished getting ready, and braved the drive to work!  Later in the morning, James e-mailed me to let me know he made it to Menards (to get some winter plowing supplies) and home, but our lane had already started to drift over.

James (11:30AM): I’m home — barely. Made it through the drive, the roughest part was at the top. The really deep stuff at the bottom hasn’t completely drifted shut, but it’s working on it and it won’t take long. There was snow blowing onto the car from the tires spinning — that’s how bad it was. And it’s turned cold.  12 degrees outside.  I went to get more diesel and it had frozen, so I had to use another pump.

James (12:31PM):  Parts of the drive (towards the top) are drifting almost faster than I can keep it plowed out. It’s started snowing again.

James (1:05PM): I hope I can keep it plowed out enough to get you home, but I seriously doubt that we will be getting out tomorrow. I’ve pretty much already accepted I’m going to take a personal day and not go into work tomorrow.  With this wind, there’s no way the drive is going to be passable and although I might be able to plow the field out, it will just drift back shut. They don’t show the winds letting up until 5 pm tomorrow.

James (3:54PM): Drive is impassable.  I made it most of the way through the deep part — one time, but it was filling in faster than I could get it out. The field on the right (towards Argenta) is in pretty good shape. Take a right as soon as you enter the drive before the telephone pole (there’s a yellow sheath on the guy wire).  Go IN FRONT of the telephone pole, there’s no ditch there. Stay fairly close to the driveway, maybe 20 feet or so from it all the way.  You may see where I’ve driven through there with the plow, it may be covered up. Keep going through the field all the way past the last telephone / power pole.  There’s another yellow cover on the guy wire.  Go past that and angle towards the drive (you’ll pretty much be lined up with the bridge when you do this). The field has a lot of ice on it, but if you go steady, it should be okay.

After these conversations, I was more than a little worried about being able to get to the house and was happy that Richland called closed the campus as of 5pm.  The roads home weren’t *too* bad, but the challenge was getting from Emery Rd to our actual house! The following pictures document the view of our lane (completely covered in drifts) and my voyage through the fields to get home!

Other than one place where I thought for sure I was stuck, driving through the fields wasn’t that bad and I was able to safely get home.  Yet, with the wind still blowing the jury is still out in regards to whether we’ll be able to get back out tomorrow to get to work! We’ll definitely try (James is suppose to be giving a test tomorrow), but who knows what tomorrow might bring.

**Update** Wednesday morning James got up and plowed a path through the field so we could get to work.  The lane was drifted in even worse than yesterday afternoon, so I ended called Steve (the guy who came and plowed us out last time) and he’s going to come out first thing tomorrow morning (after the wind stops) and plow us out!

Olympic ice carving

Yes, the Olympics have ice carving… Well at least the “Cultural Olympiad” has ice carving and apparently the 2006 Bronze medal winner is from Argenta!! His name is Aaric Kendall and being an Argenta native, the town decided to hold a fundraiser to help pay for his trip to the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

The fundraiser took place from 7AM-7PM Saturday in the parking lot of the Friends Creek Community Building in Argenta, and after James finished plowing the drive I headed over to check it out.

Amazing star sculpture!

When I got there it was decently busy with a number of people standing around watching the carving and many more inside eating and taking part in the raffle.  I spent most of my time watching Aaric work on his main sculpture of a leaping woman holding a dove and an olive branch… or at least that’s what it would eventually look like!

In addition, I also enjoyed watching another guy who was doing starting an ice carving on the other side of the street and some wood sculptures done by a different artist!

I ended up not staying that long because of the cold, but it was a very neat experience and it will be cool to say I saw a gold medal Olympian at work if Aaric ends up winning in Vancouver!

**Update** Aaric DID end up winning the Gold medal for ice carving!! Now I really can say I’ve watched a gold medal Olympian!**

Northern Drifting

Saturday morning we headed home from Kewanee not sure if once we got there if we’d be able to actually get to the house!  When we left for Kewanee Friday afternoon, it was snowing and the weather report indicated that there had been a lot of northern wind overnight.

Amazingly, the roads on the way home were all good and when we pulled into our lane I thought we might have lucked out! There was a little snow covering the lane, but nothing we couldn’t handle.  That is, nothing we couldn’t handle until we crossed the bridge and looked up the hill towards our house!  As the pictures below show our lane was completely drifted in from a little before the crest of the hill almost all the way to the house!

View of the lane all drifted in!

So what did we do? James backed up, turned the car about 90 degrees towards the west, and headed out through our yard (between the creek and the trees) for the house!

Other than the small problem of briefly getting stuck as we tried to top the hill, we successfully made it to the house! Yet, now James had to get out and plow out the lane so we could get back out!

James did a great job plowing out the lane and I took a little walk around to enjoy the sunny weather and the beauty of our land!

View of the creek

And the hunt is on!

Thursday night, James and I were downstairs watching CSI: Miami and out of nowhere, James asks me if I want my Valentine Day gift now.  I looked at him kind of strangely and said something to the effect of “Since its ten days until Valentine’s, I think I’d rather wait”.

J: She doubted that I actually had gotten her anything.  So, after she said wait, I played it off like “Good because this gives me a chance to get it”.

After that I don’t remember the exact sequence of the conversation, but basically it was us going back and forth with James saying he wanted me to go ahead and open my gift (which he had actually bought wrapping paper for, instead of just wrapping it Christmas paper like he normally would have done) and me saying I really didn’t want to open it because I wanted to wait for the actual day.  Yet, I succumbed to James’ logic that he doesn’t like holidays of any type and would rather me open it the gift now so it could be a “just because/birthday/Valentine’s” gift. It also helped that he got me curious of what my gift might be because he said at first I would think “jerk”, but then I’d really like it, and then I would cry.

So, once I gave in, James took off upstairs and told me to wait a minute so he could get his camera and everything ready. Once he had everything ready, he told me to come into the living room and that my first clue was “Where Christians think it all started”.  I was like “What????”.  I had no clue what was going on, but quickly figured out. I was going to have to find my present based on his clue!  After some prompting from him, I finally figured out the present had to be somewhere in or around the religion section of our books.

J: She didn’t really pick up well on the clues.  So I asked “What was the major holiday we just celebrated.  She got the Christmas thing and when I asked what it was about, she said “The birth of Jesus.”  Yet she was still unable to put it all together, even though there was a book right in front of her nose by John Dominic Crossan called “The Birth of Christianity”.  She needed to pull that out to find her gift.

The following pictures do a pretty good job documenting what came next.

So what was my present? It was steak knives (or Stek knives if you’re from Sweden/Ikea).  This is the part where James said I would think “jerk”… and he was right! Well kind of.  I wasn’t thinking jerk as much as, “If this is what he got me for Valentine’s Day, I’m going to stab him with one of these”, LOL, just kidding!!  The reason for this is that James is always giving me a hard time because he says I always use “his” knives for the wrong thing. For example, if I’m cutting something I’ll just grab the first knife I see… which might be steak knife. Anyway, I guess this was James’ way of either (1) making sure I had my own knives to use or (2) making sure we had new steak knives that I hadn’t ruined by cutting other things with them. Regardless, I wasn’t all that excited when I saw the knives until I saw the message he had written on the front of the package!

Look in the nursery closet

It was a message saying, “Look in the nursery closet”.  This slightly confused me, but after being married to James for almost 7 months, I figured I’d roll with it!  So, as the pictures below show, I headed to the nursery (no we are NOT pregnant, but if/when we do have a baby this will be the baby’s room) and started looking around in the closets.

J: Kona looked all through the closet and finally found a box.  It was kind of heavy for her so she struggled while getting it down.  It was wrapped and when she unwrapped it, she missed the one side of the box that had printing on it.  So she had to open the box up to figure out what it was.

And my present was… One of the Ikea Billy bookcase extensions that I’d been wanting since we got our Billy bookcases back in November!  The extension goes on top of the regular bookcase and adds an extra shelf, which if you have as many books as we do, is a very good thing! Yet, not only did I get the extension, but another note directing me to my next present!!  This time I had to head downstairs and do some searching in the small storage room!

As the pictures above show, I not only got another Billy bookcase extension, but another note directing me somewhere else!! This time to the office closet!

What a mess, but I found another extension and another note!  By this time I was laughing and really enjoying the game of running all over the house looking for presents!! James also seemed to be enjoying my fun as he took all of these pictures chronicling my hunt! So where was I off to next? Back to the small storage room!!

In the small storage room I found yet another bookcase extension and another note directing me to check out the family room loveseat.

Behind the loveseat, I found a Billy bookcase to replace one of the bookcases upstairs (that we don’t like that much because they’re cheap and can’t support all of our books!).  After a bit of struggling to get it out from behind the loveseat (it was really heavy and ackward!), I also found another little sticky note telling me to check under the daybed in the nursery!

Under the daybed, I found another height extension and another note telling me to check out under “mom’s” bed (this would be the bed in the guest room that I affectionately call “my mom’s” room!).

Under mom’s bed I found another bookcase for upstairs and a note saying to “look under the stairs”.  This seemed strange because that would be the in the big storage room, but I headed over to check it out!

Under the stairs I found a really long box that was also really really heavy!  Once I got it out from under the stairs I moved it around until I was able to see that it was a tall DVD shelving unit! Finally, I can get the DVD’s off the floor!! And, I found yet another note directing me this time to to look under the sink at the bar (this would be the downstairs bar area).

Under the sink I found extra shelves for the new DVD shelving unit! A must have to fit all our DVD’s on!!  One of the shelves also had the now quite familiar sticky note telling me the next place to go was upstairs behind the piano!

And what did I find behind the piano?  Another bookcase to go upstairs! Now I had found all three that were needed to replace the three already upstairs, but I had another note directing me to look where the extra shelves (for the bookcases that were already upstairs) were stored.  Thus it was back downstairs to the big storage room!

In the big storage room I found extra shelves for the new bookcases for upstairs and a note saying that this is it! My hunt was over and I had found everything! And wow was everything a lot of stuff!!

Here I am with all my loot!

Kona and all her loot!

J: So what did she get in all?

  1. Behind “The Birth of Christianity”, 6 Stek knives.
  2. In the nursery closet, a Billy half-width height extension for the downstairs bookcases
  3. On top of the desktop organizer in the downstairs storage room, a Billy full-width height extension for the bookcases
  4. In the computer room closet, a small height extension for the bookcases
  5. Downstairs next to the vertical filing cabinet in the storage room, a large height extension for the bookcases.
  6. Behind the love seat, a full-width, half-height Billy bookcase for upstairs in the living room.
  7. Under the day bed in the nursery, a full-width height extension for the bookcases
  8. Under “mom’s bed”, a full-width, half-height bookcase for upstairs
  9. Under the stairs, a BESTÅ shelf-unit to use as a DVD rack
  10. Under the bar sink downstairs, 4 extra shelves for the DVD rack
  11. Upstairs behind the piano, a full-width, half-height bookcase for upstairs
  12. Beneath the extra DVD shelves (from the existing DVD racks upstairs), 3 extra shelves for the three upstairs bookcases.

So, was James right about me first thinking “jerk”, then being really happy, and finally crying?  Of course he was (he’s always right!)… When I first opened the steak knives I was a little put off, but I quickly realized there was a lot more to this gift and ended up having a lot of fun tracking down each one to see what it was!  Then, once I was finished and had a chance to think about everything involved with this gift (i.e.,  the time and effort to go get everything and keep it a secret from me, then the time and thoughtfulness in hiding each part and doing the clues to the next thing, and the fact that he got me pretty much all of the Ikea bookcase things I had been wanting), yes, I cried! It was the most amazing thing anyone had ever done for me and is by far the best “just because/birthday/valentine” gift I’ve ever received! But, James still isn’t getting HIS Valentine’s Day gift until the 14th! 🙂

Trip to Ikea

*Note* James didn’t post this until AFTER he gave me my gifts!

When Kona and I made our first trip to Ikea back in November, we had both wanted to get the height extensions for the Billy Bookcases, but they were out. Actually, it had shown online that they had them in Schaumburg, but not in Bolingbrook, which was closer.  So I had driven the extra distance to Schamburg, just to find out that they didn’t have them in stock, despite what the website said.  Now, in fairness to Ikea, the website suggests that the “in stock” feature may not be reliable.

Periodically, I would go back to the Ikea website and see if they had them in stock. They had the full-size ones but not the half sized ones and we had both agreed that would look really stupid to only extend some of the bookcases.

They did have them in stock, if I wanted to go to California or Atlanta to pick them up.  They didn’t even have them available on the website, so I couldn’t pay for them and have them shipped here.  That would have been so costly that it might have been cheaper to drive to Atlanta and pick them up, but I was hoping it wouldn’t come to that.

I noticed on Monday that they finally had them in stock and so I made the decision to go get them on Tuesday before they ran out.

The problem was that I had two tests that needed made up before classes on Wednesday and I was behind in making up lecture notes for the wiki in differential equations.  I had done some work on the Finite exam on Monday night, but since I go out and find real data when possible and rewrite the tests every semester, it was taking a long time and I needed all the time that I had to work on the tests.  On top of that, they were calling for snow up north on Tuesday.  But I love Kona and I know she has really been wanting these and they were within reach for the first time since we had bought the house and discovered Billy Bookcases.

Kona had no idea what I was up to.  I told her that I had a lot of work to do and so I wouldn’t even respond to her emails if she sent me any that morning because I was that busy.  What happens is she’ll email me with something to do from work and I’ll do that because I want to make her happy and then I’ll procrastinate getting my stuff done.  But I was really down to crunch time and I wanted her to know it.  What was really happening was I wasn’t going to be home, but she wasn’t supposed to know that.  I didn’t lie, I was busy, and I wasn’t going to respond to any of her emails.

So, Kona and I went and voted on Tuesday in the primary election.  I then came home, shut down some things, and started on the long trip to Bolingbrook.  It took about 2.5 hours to get there and was about 155 miles away.  Luckily, it was Interstate driving most of the way except for the first 6.5 miles, so I made good time.

I went in and picked up all of the stuff I was getting her.  I also picked up a wall shelf to use as a DVD rack.  I knew we would be freeing up the DVD racks from upstairs with the bookcases I bought, but I wanted something a little sturdier.  It’s amazing how a $60 product from Ikea is built better than a $100 product from Menards or Walmart.

I had thought about going to Fry’s Electronics while I was up there, but I decided to just come back home, having already spent enough money that day.

After getting home, I unloaded the car and went about the process of spreading her gifts throughout the house, turning it into a scavenger hunt.  The clues were fairly straight forward, so she wouldn’t get frustrated while looking for them.  But I did try to make sure that they alternated from downstairs to upstairs just to keep her moving.

That was all done by 4:30 on Tuesday.  Then I went to work on the tests that really, really needed to be done by Wednesday.  Unfortunately, I developed a massive headache and wasn’t getting any work done.  I went and laid down for a while and when I got up, I had to wrap up in a robe because I was so cold.

Kona had to stay late to work with some adjunct faculty and so it was about 8:39 that night before she got home.  I had just finally started to snap out of it and was on a roll working on the tests, so I continued and finished up the Finite test before going to bed.

There were 12 gifts hidden throughout the house.  Some of them were in plain sight if you were looking, but if you weren’t they would blend in with the surrounding clutter. I felt fairly safe that she wouldn’t find any of them, even though it was still almost two weeks until Valentine’s Day.

The Treadmill

I bought Kona her birthday present back in January.  In fact, it was slightly more than a month before her birthday when I got it.  It was a treadmill from Walmart, the Gold’s Gym 480.

I had gone to dad’s on January 9 to return his laptop after fixing it and stopped by Walmart in Mt. Zion.  Kona had headed to her friend Katrina’s wedding, although I didn’t know she was going at the time (she hadn’t been feeling good and this was right after the really bad weather).

I picked up the box, but it took two people to load it onto the cart and it took two people to put it into the car.  It was so big that the tailgate wouldn’t close all the way on the car, so I tied it down with a bungee cord.

When I got home, I put it onto a dolly and moved it downstairs where I assembled it.

I knew it was for her birthday, but she also knows that I don’t like celebrating things and I’d just as soon give it to you now than save it up for some special day.  Besides, she said she’d use it now, rather than waiting until her birthday.

Well, I got the whole thing put together and it didn’t work.  The motor that turns the  belt wouldn’t turn.  The panel lit up, the automatic slope adjuster motor worked, but the belt wouldn’t turn. Well, it was too late to call technical support that night, so I waited until Monday, January 11, one month before her birthday, and I called and went online.

They called back and diagnosed the issue as being a console unit and they would ship me a new one.  It would arrive in 7-10 days.

Wrong.  It was on back order.  It didn’t ship until January 23th.  Except it didn’t really ship then, that’s just when UPS was notified that there would be a shipment.  It really shipped on the 25th and we watched as it slowly made its way across country, from Utah to Kansas to Missouri to Illinois.  On Friday, January 29, it was out out for delivery to final destination.  I was hoping it would be there when I got home on Friday night.

Nope.  Nor was it delivered on Saturday.  Now, UPS marked it as being delivered at 4:09 on Saturday, January 30th, 19 days after it was ordered.  It still hadn’t showed up on Monday.  I called UPS.  The company shipped it “basic” service, which means that UPS delivers it all the way to the local post office, where the postal service delivers it the rest of the way.  The UPS lady told me it would be delivered tomorrow (meaning Tuesday).

Our postal service is abysmal in this area.  There have been other packages that have arrived in the local post office and just sat there until we went in and asked about them.  Not attempt to deliver, no notification that a package had arrived, etc.

It still hadn’t come on Tuesday or Wednesday.  I called UPS back.  “We have no further information available”.  I was supposed to call the company back and get a tracking number for the USPS. UPS said that there were two numbers on the box to start with, one for UPS and the other for USPS.

On Thursday, I had to go into town, so I stopped and talked to the postmaster in Forsyth about what was going on.  It’s not his post office, but we have always had good service from them and never had any problem receiving packages.  He suggested I fill out a rural delivery paper that says they can leave it at the house or some other location if it won’t fit in the mailbox.

I went by the Argenta post office to check and see if they had a package for us.  They didn’t; nothing for Jones.  They couldn’t do anything with the UPS number, they had to have the USPS tracking number and I should call the company to get it.  They also said there’s no way that UPS could have delivered it at 4:09 pm on Saturday because there’s no one there at that time to accept delivery.

So I go home and call Iconservice once again and wait and wait and wait.  Finally I get through to Wendy who tells me UPS had delivered it and I was going to have to call them to find out where it is.  I went through the whole story how had I done that and they said to call you.  Well, then I needed to go to the local post office and give them the tracking number so they could look it up.  I told her I had just done that and they said to call you.

After a while of getting no where, I finally asked “What do I need to do to get UPS to tell you it’s lost so you’ll ship another one.”  After some more hem-hawing, she put me on hold and came back with they were going to ship another one.  I asked if there was anyway they could ship it straight UPS and not use the basic service because of the bad problems we’d had with that.  She agreed and then the kicker …

The part is on back-order again.

She has no idea when it will be available.  So now it is very unlikely that Kona will be able to use birthday present until after her birthday.

All, in all, the experience has been very frustrating.  I want her to get her treadmill because it will make her happy and I want to use it to shed some of the 40 lbs I put on last year.

I’m still holding out hope it will get resolved.  I can’t take it back to Walmart easily, it barely fit in my car unassembled and I had to pull parts of it apart to just get it through the door into storage.