Monday, September 25, 2017

Popcorn Factory Update

Well, I thought I'd go ahead and give you an update on The Popcorn Factory. And as you can probably tell by the *COW graphic, it's not totally a good one!

When last we left our hero on September 11, The Popcorn Factory had screwed up the free shipping on the order and had refused to send an email confirming the adjustment when I phoned them about it. I ended up cancelling the entire order in the amount of $143.63. And they refused to send me an email confirming the cancellation and added that it would take seven to ten days for me to get my refund. I said that was unacceptable, but they wouldn't budge.

This morning, on Day Twelve my bank balance showed no refund and my PayPal balance showed no refund. So again I phoned The Popcorn Factory. Oh, my, were they sorry about my situation. They checked and said that indeed, the order had been cancelled, that the refund had been initiated on September 11, and -- unfortunately -- I had been given wrong information. In fact, they said, since my order had been through PayPal it would take 30 days for me to get my money back. But not to worry, the refund had been initiated on the day the order was placed. So I need wait only eighteen more days for the refund. Again, I used the word unacceptable. Again, they didn't budge. They told me to call PayPal.

So I did.

PayPal was overly busy and their machine said they would call me back in 31-47 minutes and promptly at 32 minutes my phone rang. They couldn't have been nicer! Here is what they told me, and this is important:

First, it never takes thirty days for PayPal to issue a refund. 

Second, The Popcorn Factory did not initiate my refund on September 11. In fact, they never initiated my refund at all.

Ms. Helpful offered to open a dispute and then offered to open a claim; I agreed to everything. She told me that I was now out of the conversation, that the dispute was between PayPal and The Popcorn Factory, and that my money would be back in my account no earlier than today (!) and no later than Friday.

So, friends, again, MOOOOOO to The Popcorn Factory, and KUDOS to PayPal!

•Cranky Old Woman

Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Baby Bureau

 I believe I've written previously on this blog about The  Baby Bureau, a wonderful local agency that collects new and gently used baby things, up to size 18 months.

My Circle has supported this organization for a number of years, timing our collections with the semi-annual rummage sale at church.

 This year we have an opportunity to expand our giving! The church has come up with a handful of "ministry grants," and one need only have a plan and fill out an application for the perusal of the Powers That Be.

Our Rummage Sale was on a temporary hiatus and it occurred to me that the young moms in our church may not know about The Baby Bureau, and how much the agency would appreciate their babies' outgrown clothing.

 I applied for a grant of $100, enough to purchase backing, batting, and binding for four baby quilts. I would make the tops out of scraps from my stash. 

My grant was approved! I set to work! I pieced my four tops and purchased my supplies. My initial plan was to machine quilt them myself, but after being less than impressed by my efforts, I decided instead to tie them.

Baby Bureau Sunday is coming up early in October. The congregation has been invited to bring in their baby things. The Baby Bureau agency will assemble packets of clothing and blankets according to size and furnish them to moms who don't have a lot of money.

I didn't spend my whole hundred dollars AND the Rummage Sale is back on!

Life is good.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Crazy Anne

Everyone and her cousin seem to be making quilts from Jen Kingwell's patterns. And some of them have "invited" me to make one, too. I decline. This designer's quilts are intricate and striking. And they have too much going on, for me. It's a case of their not being to my taste, but I can appreciate the artistry behind them and the work that goes into them.

Recently one of the Jen-ites posted a picture of a block that she was making for, I think, Gypsy Wife. The block is called Crazy Anne. Without delving too far into Anne's presenting problems and mental history, I thought the block, while a traditional one, had a bit of a contemporary flair. And I had these wonderful bright bundles that I'd acquired after getting started back in March at the Lancaster show. So I made a block. And then another.

And here I am, sewing rows together already! Anne's going to need a border, and I have a plan for that. Alas, it will necessitate buying some fabric!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Who Made This Masterpiece?

I went to the Mancuso Show at Oaks last week and saw some very nice quilts. This one stopped me in my tracks. I was so taken by it that I forgot to capture the name of its maker. If anyone knows, sing out -- I'd love to give that quilter credit. Meanwhile, I'm about to head downstairs and rummage through my black-on-whites and my brights . . . .

Monday, September 11, 2017

Mooing About Popcorn, Of All Things

Such an exasperating way to start the day: Cranky Old Woman here mooing about popcorn, of all things.

I want to share with you my experience this morning with The Popcorn Factory. It wasn't good.

I thought I'd send a little autumn surprise to some people I know, and past experience with products from The Popcorn Factory brought them to mind.

I was happy when I got to the website that there was a code for free shipping, so I placed a large order and went to the check out to find there was no place for the free shipping code. I went through to PayPal, thinking that I would be rerouted back to The Popcorn Factory to confirm the order and that the place for the code would be there. That's not what happened; the order went through with nearly $40 in shipping charges applied.

So I phoned to have it fixed. The person I spoke with said he would remove the shipping charges, and I was happy about that. I asked him to send me a revised order confirmation that would show the actual charge, and to refund my PayPal account. He declined the first request and said it would take 7-10 days to put the money back into my account. Yes, you read that correctly: He refused to send me an email confirming that they shipping charge had been removed. I was astonished!

I told him that if he wouldn't send me the email, then to cancel the order and to refund  my money completely. He agreed to cancel the order and, again, refused to send an email confirming the cancellation. Furthermore, he said it would take 7-10 days to refund the money I had paid just a few minutes earlier.

A conversation with his supervisor yielded the same result: A refusal to send an email confirming either the removal of the shipping charges or the cancellation of the order, and a 7-10 day wait for a refund.

I thought it was a good idea to share this experience. If you are looking for a nice surprise gift for someone, the popcorn from The Popcorn Factory is very, very good. But their customer service is very, very bad. You can decide for yourself it it is worth it.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Elizabeth to the Rescue

In my job as a chaplain at our local hospital/level one trauma center, I carry this little black 6" x 9" notepad holder everywhere I go. Inside, of course, is a notepad and a pen, as well as business cards and another set of tiny forms I use in trauma work.

I also carry a portable phone and a beeper with me everywhere I go.

So I can never wear anything that doesn't have pockets.

Last week my friend Elizabeth posted on Facebook about some special pouches she was making. They had a zipper and a pair of elastic straps. I asked Elizabeth if she could make a smaller-than-usual size pouch that would fit my pad holder; my thought was that I could put the beeper inside the pouch and somehow manage to carry the phone, which does have a clip on it. We back-and-forthed for a few minutes and today my postal person brought me an absolute marvelousness.

Just you look at this treasure! The zip pouch is gray, the pocket on the front that will hold the phone is purple, and so is the zipper. The beeper is small; it will go inside the pouch and maybe even those darned keys can come off the lanyard and go into the pouch, too.

Thank you so much, Elizabeth! I'm almost eager to go to work this weekend and try it out! And I'll wear my blue dress that doesn't have pockets!

Sunday, September 03, 2017

What To Do

I have never been a particularly fearful person, you know, the kind of individual who worries a lot about things that are unlikely to come to fruition. I confess to a bit of uneasiness during take-offs and landings when I fly, and that's about it. 

But in the past eight-and-a-half months, I've had times of downright terror when I look at what is going on in my country. Terror isn't the only feeling; there is anger; there is sadness, there is despair. And there is helplessness.

I remember how hopelessly said I was on November 9; I blogged about my feelings then. I said that the election may have changed a lot of things, but it hadn't changed who I am. 

Over these months, though, I've lost sight of that resolve. I've given in to fear and the other associated feelings. This morning, however, I received a none-too-subtle reminder that I'm not completely helpless in the face of our country's situation. I received a clear outline of what I am to do. 

If you attend a church that follows the Revised Common Lectionary, you may have heard what I heard. But if you didn't, let me share it with you now. It comes from the 12th Chapter of Romans:

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; 10 love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly;[b] do not claim to be wiser than you are. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. 18 If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God;[c] for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.