Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Homemade Memories ~ DIY Style!

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Especially this Christmas season, I realize that homemade takes precious time to produce!

Will and I caught colds from our youngest grandson, Jude Michael. It started out quite mild but went down in my chest and I've been struggling with sleepless nights of coughing for a month now. The toughest part was the 2 weeks without hot water, when a hot shower would have done wonders for my breathing!

The good news is, after repeated calls to GE, sitting on hold (the longest time being 1 1/2 hours, the average time 45 minutes) emails, sending photos 3 times, paying an authorized GE technician to say it had irreparable damage, being denied a replacement 3 times by "virtual man", we finally were told they would ship us a new unit to replace our hybrid hot water heater! The shipping company called us and said we could take delivery in another week! That would mean 3 weeks weeks without hot water! Will said that wouldn't do and made arrangements to go pick it up the new unit and drop off the broken one. Thank God we own a pickup! Will had it installed in time for lunch.

How, you ask, did we finally get GE to replace our 2.5 year hybrid water heater? Will wrote a letter, with photos included, and sent it out via email to GE Customer Service. The kind woman we talked to each time had to relay our concerns to "Virtual man", the faceless, nameless, vacationing person with authority to say "yes or no". He was so insulated we were never allowed to actually speak with him! Due to the many rebuffs, Will decided to give an ultimatum to GE ... do the right thing and honor their warranty by Cyber Monday night or we were going warn people not to buy GE products. We didn't hear from GE that Monday so Will began posting on Lowe's and other sites his "Buyers Beware" warnings. Tuesday morning an email and call from GE came to the house stating they had reconsidered and the $1400 water heater would be replaced.

I know most would have broken down and just purchased another hot water heater, but Will and I agreed to "rough it", until we received justice. That meant a quick trip to the camping section at Walmart to pick up a 5-gallon solar shower bag. Every morning we filled it, and set it on our concrete driveway in the sunshine to heat up our water. "Showers" had to be taken early afternoon, before the water cooled down. We rigged up a 6-foot ladder to hold the 5-gallon bag up high enough for the water to flow. I positioned a lawn chair in the tub for when we washed our hair to keep the shower head low enough to rinse our hair. We also used an electric tea kettle to heat water, and plastic wash basins for rinsing our dishes and for quick sponge baths. What an adventure!

Our minor inconvenience reminded me of all the dear folk on the east coast who were recently devastated by Hurricane Sandy. It also reminded me of happy childhood times up at my grandparents cottage at Fife Lake, Michigan. We had a hand pump in the kitchen, 2 heavy, metal kettles for heating our water, china potties for use only in the middle of the night and a 3-holed, family-size outhouse. Those were precious times!

These stockings were made 34 years ago when we celebrated our 2nd Christmas with our 17 month old, firstborn, Jason! I remember how excited we were about the gifts we bought him! That Christmas we got him a Richard Scary book filled with stories about Little Bear and Lowly Worm and a Fisher Price houseboat, with little people, baby Jas called ~ Dodos! That same houseboat is in our present bathroom waiting for our grand children to play with, when they spend the night!

My homemade, personally designed Christmas stockings.

These stockings sure beat the knee socks we used as stockings, when I was a kid!

I began with a pattern I designed and cut out of newspaper . . .

The stockings were sewn from an off white canvas material.

I bought extra material and decorative ribbon, anticipating the possibility of more children.

Ring out the bells of joy!

I wanted mine to be a bit Dutchy!

Evergreen for Everlasting Life!

Joy to the World, The Lord has Come!

Emmanuel, God with us! Jesus!

This is the toy room side of our 2-sided fireplace; the other side is filled with 14 stockings for Will and I, his Momma, our kids ~ Jason and Annie, Ben and Deborah, Matt and Jessica, and our precious Grands!

I'm so thankful my Gram taught me how to embroider when I was little. If you've never tried embroidery before, it's a fun way to create special family treasures that will last for years and years! Don't let "not knowing how", stop you. There are so many helps available on the Internet, in books from the library, and in craft magazines to help get you started. Then you'll be teaching your children and grandchildren how to make Homemade Memories ~ DIY Style . . . . Just like Over at Julie's!!!





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