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(post, Annie Witkamp)
For almost a week now I have been trying to track a package I ordered weeks ago (water filters if you must know). When it didn’t come a few days after Amazon said it would, I contacted the seller. She told me I had received it, that’s what UPS had told her (not surprising considering my history with them) and since she didn’t provide a tracking number, it made tracking quite difficult for me. I was forced to open a claim with Amazon. I also tried to get info from UPS but nothing going since I didn’t have a tracking number. By the way, would it kill you UPS to have a considerate, non-patronizing rep answer the phone and talk with customers? Oh it would, ok, carry on. I am a person that doesn’t like confrontation unless absolutely necessary. I try to be courteous, friendly and understanding but when someone talks to me like I am 3, I tend to fire away and tell that person “what’s up.” Anyway… The seller contacted me the other night and said she was having problems with UPS and they re-routed my package (that sounds dirty) but I found out yesterday that they re-routed it to her. (WTF mate?) She was kind and said she was sending me a second one for free with the one I had paid for weeks ago. I dropped the claim that night and contacted Amazon to make sure it had stopped since it was hurting her business. I received an email from Amazon this morning asking if they could charge me for the item…..no, I already paid so I wrote to them again and am awaiting a response. All I wanted was better water (sobbing and gulping in the air), my hair is a mess but then again it’s naturally curly so that’s the way it goes. These things happen all the time to us. UPS (and USPS) around here are nothing but headaches for us….I’m a supporter of the handlers that do a great job but let me tell you a tid bit about what has happened in the last 2 apartments (again only problems in Minnesota). On more than 3 accounts, the person delivering didn’t leave the notes that stated they had tried to deliver and other times, they left the package (that was to be signed) in the hallway where 50 residents could see. Sometimes, they would take the package to the rental office and no one in the office or from UPS or USPS would tell me that they had done so and I would have no idea where it was for quite some time. (This included my wedding dress.) In this new apartment, the bright green door with a big/bold address, I guess, is hard to find and many times I see the truck pull up and come this way but leave still grasping the parcel. I could be wrong but don’t the same few delivery trucks/drivers come to specific towns so wouldn’t it be worthwhile for those persons to figure out where this address is for future reference? Other times, the person leaves the package out on the street for all to see and if you don’t happen to walk along the sidewalk soon after, it can be taken. They never bring the package the one flight up to my apartment door. (My dad would say but there are 23 steps…) The mailperson has left our bank checks outside our door…..there are 5 other apartments up here. I don’t get it, I thought there was some kind of responsibility carriers have with mail/packages. Although, sometimes it goes in our favor; for instance, a package was delivered for a family that hadn’t lived in the last apartment for years (don’t ask me how) and I happened to find one of the persons on facebook. She thought I was a weirdo but told me to open the package and it was a box of expensive sugar-coated nuts from someone that was her dad’s friend. I was willing to do what was needed to get those nuts to them but the postal service was not going to take them back and deliver without me paying (even though it was their bad). I contacted the father and asked if he wanted us to meet him somewhere but he said he now lives two hours away and was so touched that he wanted us to keep them. If you happen upon this sir, thank you! Now for the pièce de résistance, the chili, not one of my recipes but another one to add to my collection due to its level of ease, tastiness and it being classic Fall food. I love Fall and you can read a little more about that here. (I know, you are probably saying “you’ve said enough.”) I came across this on Kalyn’s Kitchen which has low glycemic and low carb recipes, a very helpful site. Originally it was for the crockpot but I wanted it to be a bit faster so I did the stovetop version she provided. I only changed a few things- like the type and amount of beans, used less onion, more stock and chopped a few chipotles in adobo instead of using Ancho powder. After cooking the onion and beef, it simmered for an hour and was ready to go. I added a little sour cream, more cilantro and cheese to top it off. Beef and Bean Chili with Lime and Cilantro Serves 6 Ingredients: 1 large onion, chopped finely 2 tsp olive oil (or canola oil) 1 lb. lean ground beef salt/pepper 1 ½ quarts of beef broth 2 15 oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained 2 15 oz. cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained 2 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes (juice and all) 2 tbsp coriander 2 tbsp chili powder 1-2 chopped chipotles in adobo (depending on the amount of heat you’d like) 1 tbsp cumin ¼ cup lime juice ½ cup or more of chopped cilantro your choice of shredded cheese (topping) sour cream (topping) more cilantro (topping) any other toppings you like on your chili (avocado, pico de gallo, peppers, lime slice etc.) Heat a large pot with oil over medium heat and then add onion and salt/pepper. Cook until softened and then add ground beef, cook until well browned. Put heat to low and add broth, both beans, tomatoes, coriander, chili powder, cumin, chipotles in adobo and tomatoes. Simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, then add lime juice and chopped cilantro. Simmer 15 more minutes and serve. Top with sour cream, cheese, and more cilantro or whatever you desire on your chili.