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No, I’m not talking about FIFA Soccer, though that is on every public television in every place in town, including the grocer.

Ten months ago, we needed new phones and instead of dealing with the provider I had been with since moving to the mountains with no contract, we switched.  That was an epic fail.  Since our switch, my phone has had to be replaced because it wouldn’t hold a charge and would get so hot that I couldn’t put it in my pocket and we have had spotty to no service on our property and in our house.  About 3/4 of all calls do not ring, and we may or may not get a voicemail eventually.  To have any success making a call, we have to stand on our back deck. We have had two incidents in recent weeks where one of us tried to call the other from our land to our house or from the top of our driveway to the yard and the calls haven’t gone through.  Both times were emergency situations, not life threatening, but situations that required the other immediately.  We picked this service because of their advertisement about coverage.  This is what we have most of the time.

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Zero service, no bars, just the universal symbol for NO.  Today we decided we had had enough and returned to the place we bought the phones and signed the contract to complain and possibly get out of the two year contract 14 months early.  After dealing with a testy young man who finally after about 15 minutes of automated attempts to connect with a service tech, put Jim on the phone with the tech.  We don’t know if we got anywhere or not, but allegedly they are going to work on it.  As we don’t have a land line and as we are seniors working a small farm, and Jim riding a motorcycle and me traveling to babysit a few times a year, we need reliable cell service.  If they can’t make this right, we may have to take the hit and cancel the contract early to go back to the provider that works on this mountain.  This may be a loss.

The win is the soap.  It isn’t pretty, sure couldn’t sell it at a fair or the Farmers’ Market, but it lathers nicely and smells good.  There are 25 bars in two essential oil scents curing in the spare bedroom.

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We will have plenty of soap for our use for a while, and to share with any of our children that want some bars.  The two batches reinforced some lessons from my mentor.  I reformulated the lye solution concentrate for the preferred of the two recipes to make it more superfatted using a lye calculator and wrote the recipe down where I can find it again, along with reminders about measuring everything by weight next time.  I consider this a win.

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