Saturday, September 20, 2008

Donation for a Good Cause - NOVA

I was recently contacted by an attorney in Frankfort that specializes in issues surrounding violence against women, primarily domestic violence and sexual assault. She had picked up my business card at a horse show about a year ago and asked for a silent auction donation for an upcoming NOVA conference. The conference will be held in Louisville, Kentucky September 28-October 2.

Attorney Dina Barlett explains that NOVA is the National Organization for Victim Assistance, a private, non-profit organization of victim and witness assistance programs. This organization is dedicated to advocating on behalf of crime victims nationwide. Advocates play a vital role in helping women who are trying to rebuild their lives after leaving an abusive relationship or surviving a sexual assault. One of NOVAʼs primary roles is to train victim advocates so that they can assist these women in a meaningful way.
To learn more about this worthy cause, please visit the NOVA website at

Here is a picture of my donation - a light blue Chalcedony bracelet and earrings with azore blue Swarovski crystal and sterling silver. I hope they have a great conference and silent auction!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Still No Power & Customer Service Lesson

Day 5. Still no power. We are growing restless! Slowly power is being restored, but they are still saying it could be 14 days for some people. I will say that I am getting more sleep this week as when it’s dark in the house, you might as well go to bed. It’s nice to go to work just to have light, a/c and email and internet access.

We just heard there are some generators in stock at Lowe’s and my husband is in route to get one. Hopefully they will still be there when he arrives! I am crossing my fingers. The borrowed generator we have only holds about a gallon of gas and runs out in about 2 hours. Of course it’s Murphy’s Law that if we do purchase a generator then the power will come back on! I heard there was a utility truck in the neighborhood. First one we’ve seen since Sunday. I just dropped off 30 lbs of laundry at the laundromat. They weigh it to give you your price. For $23 they will wash the 30 lbs of dirty clothes, dry them and fold them for me, plus they are using their water, electricity and detergent. That seems like it’s a pretty good deal, whether you have power or not!

Switching gears for a moment, I had two good examples of customer service in the same day today. First one was at the laundromat. I had been in there maybe 3 years ago and dropped off a comforter to be washed. I recall the conversation because the lady working had a young daughter that liked art and we talked about that. I never expected her to remember me years later. She asked my name today and when I told her my last name she quickly looked up and said “You’ve been here before, and I know how to spell your name.” She remembered my last name as being German. Impressive. I told her I remembered her daughter, because back then I had planned to drop off some art supplies to encourage her to follow her creativity. I didn’t do it then, but now wish I had.

So in my 2nd occurrence today, I went to lunch at Famous Dave’s (BBQ). I had not been there in awhile and the waiter had waited on me at least 6 months ago, if not longer. I sat down, he pointed his finger at me and said “iced tea.” Yep. He remembered that or just got lucky, I thought. I had a notebook with me and a magazine today. He returned with my drink and said that someday he hoped he’d see me come in and not be studying for school. I told him I finally got my degree in April and my school days were over. And now I recall that I was taking a tough class when I was talking with him last, so I think it was almost a year ago when I was taking economics or something like that.

So the moral of the story is, remember your customers. Take mental notes. Remember their face, their name or something about them. It will pay off someday down the road. I was impressed that these two remembered me!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

In the dark, literally

If you don’t hear from me for awhile it’s because we have no power and no phone service. There was a huge wind storm (remants of Hurricane Ike) in the Louisville area on Sunday with 75 mph winds. (Actually it was IN, KY and Ohio) Power lines are down and on Sunday there were 275,000 people in the Louisville area without power. I was in line at Walmart when the power went off. They are saying it could be up to two weeks before everyone has power again. Schools have been closed as over half of them do not have power. Traffic lights are out and it's been crazy on the streets with people not stopping, horns blowing, etc.

Sunday was okay because it was the first day without power and it was the weekend. It was daylight out and I managed to get a lot of paperwork done and filed away things that have been piling up. That day seemed productive. Yesterday I worked late. When I got home from work it was already dark in the house. There was nothing to do but go to bed. We did play cards with a flashlight on the kitchen table. As one coworker pointed out, this is a good time to bond with your family as there are no distractions like the internet, t.v., xbox, etc.

This is a rather humbling experience. It makes me realize how much we depend on power. Simple things like having ice in your soft drink or the electric garage door opener we take for granted. You can't find a bag of ice anywhere in town and generators are sold out. Right now we have a borrowed generator that will run for about 3 hours before running out of gas. It’s not practical to run it at night as someone could steal it. (I’ve heard reports of this happening). Plus at $4.15 a gallon it’s pretty expensive. As luck would have it, our freezer was packed with food. I have moved a lot of the frozen dinners to work, as we do have power here. And we threw out quite a bit of stuff we just can’t keep cold like ice cream, popsicles, etc. It takes some creativity to figure out how to feed the family with only a gas grill and trying not to open the refrigerator or freezer. Luckily we have a side burner so I can cook something outside. I do have access to an oven at work. So I think I will bake some things here at work and take them home, like frozen lasagna. Trying to get creative so we don’t have to eat fast food every night!

We are fortunate that our water heater is gas, so we do have hot water. I am counting my blessings about that. Taking a hot shower is our only luxury at this time. Our clothes are wrinkled and my hair is wet when I come to work, but at least we can take a hot shower!

We are trying to save the koi in our pond. Without the filter flowing, they will be deprived of oxygen and they will die. (Another benefit of having the generator.) We stopped feeding them to cut down on the ammonia that will form in the pond from waste. And we put fresh water in the pond to give them more oxygen. Right now we just have the pond filter running and the refrigerator, just a few hours at a time.

For those of you that have power, count your blessings!! Hopefully we’ll be back up and running soon. In the meantime, I need to find a place to do laundry!