Monday, December 31, 2012

Howie Update

I was at work today, doing what I do when I received a phone call from the owner of Howie’s garage.  Apparently when Howie came up in the scheduling meeting he was not happy to have him back for the third time with the same problem.

He wanted answers to questions the mechanic didn’t have so he called and asked me directly.  No, Howie was not making strange noises before he stopped this time nor either of the prior two times.  Yes, he got a new battery and wiring harness before the first starter went bad.  Then, when I mentioned the crayon smell was back, he was very interested and said that is important.  Seems Howie really isn’t supposed to smell strongly of crayons.

We had a lenghty conversation and I was very impressed that he took the time and actually listened to me.  He did not speak to me like I was a clueless idiot as the garage owner I went to previously had.  He seems to understand the meaning of customer service and cares that things are done properly.  He’s also concerned with the reputation of his business, something that not every business owner seems to be these days.  All in all it was a good thing.

So no, Howie is not fixed yet but I feel confident he will be soon.  In the mean time, I’ve been doing some urban hiking, mainly to prove to myself that I can, even with blisters.  Anyone up for some vicarious exercise?  My treat this time.

Whatever your plans are tonight, be safe,  Happy New Year all!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Friday, December 28, 2012


I feel really, really dumb.

Howie is still non-functional.  With it being the very end of the month, the nice garage people are tied up with last minute inspections, people who had set appointments.  So they haven’t even started to figure out what’s going on with him.  Okay, I understand that.  When I have an inspection appointment I want my allotted time too.

My very wonderful friends have been letting me drive one of their cars the last few days.  Have I mentioned how wonderful they are?  Anyway me, being me, can’t allow myself to impose forever.  Which leaves me with several options.

Take next week off.  Not good.  I don’t want to use up that much vacation the first week of the year for such a silly reason.

Take a cab to and from work.  Not good.  Too expensive.

Hike.  Only a mile and a half or so.  It would be fine except it is dark.  Reading is really not the safest place to be hiking around alone after dark.  Not the neighborhoods I’d be going through.  I really prefer not to start out the year by getting shot.

Take a bus.  Perhaps.  I’ve never taken a city bus.  I have no clue how to go about it but I decided it couldn’t be that impossible.  So I went online and did some research.  As far as I can tell I need to take Route 4 to get to work and Route 3 to get home.  Fine.  Only thing is in all the buses I’ve seen throughout the years, none of them have a route number.  They all have a destination.  And several different buses go to the same destination so how exactly do I know which to hop on?

There’s a woman at work who I know rides the bus so I questioned her.  Apparently the things I am clueless about are common knowledge to everyone who has ever ridden a bus.  So much so that she didn’t understand what I was asking.  It ended up being a bizarre conversation.  Me, mounting frustration.  Her, hysterical laughter.

The schedule lists the beginning stop, the ending stop and two in between.  Only in Reading there is a bus stop on pretty much every corner of every full street.  The corner closest to me isn’t on the list.  If I stand there will the bus stop for me?  And how do I know which one to get on when more than one goes to the same place? 

Then there’s the problem with getting off the bus.  Do I need to ride all the way to the end or is there a way to disembark at the corner nearest to where I work, again not list on the set schedule?  If I can get off where I want, how do I tell the bus to stop?  Or doesn’t it?  Is the door left open and I leap out when it slows for the stop sign, ready to roll when I hit the ground?

Then there’s the paying of the fare.  There are passes available.  Only no where could I find where to purchase one.  At a sales outlet the website says.  Hmm.  Sure would be nice if they provided a list of them, wouldn’t it? 

That’s when I decided it would be better to take my chances and hike.  Or I could continue to inconvenience my friends who are beyond wonderful to help me as they so kindly do.  I have told you how absolutely wonderful they are, haven’t I?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Monday, December 24, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Krampus, the Yule Lord by Brom

Have you read this yet?  Why not?  Go get your copy today and dig in.

Brom has retold the legend of Krampus bringing it into modern times, adding his own lure throughout.  It’s a wonderful tale that had me captivated right from the start.  He weaves together the natural and the commercial, old and new, mythology and Hollywood, Krampus versus Santa in a way that is unforgettable.  And, not to be specific and give anything away, it ends with a sigh and left me smiling.

On top of being a master storyteller, Brom is also an extremely talented artist.  His illustrations throughout the book add something truly special.  You’ll love them!

So after all the hustle and bustle of the season is over and you’re ready to relax, curl up somewhere cozy and read this.  You’ll be happy you did. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Some Days...

It's such a struggle to get to work on time.  I got out of the shower this morning and went to get dressed, only to find Beau snuggled up inside my jeans.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I Am So Spoiled!

I arrived home to find a box, at least ten pounds, between my doors.  It was labelled "Fragile - Baked Goods".  Hmm...

Inside it went.  I was very restrained.  I fed the kitties before allowing myself to open it.

Three layers of total numminess from a very dear, sweet friend who spent all day Sunday baking to send me Christmas treats.  Naturally I had to sample everything as I packed it into containers.

Everything was incredible but the brownies exceptionally so.  Walnut with caramel, Nutella and Grand Marnier.

It doesn't get much better than this.  I love my friends!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


You know it's too cold inside when a slushie purchased 7 hours ago has not yet melted while sitting on the end table the entire time.  Yes, that's me in my writing gear.  Who would ever have thought heat would be a disposable luxury?  And it's not even that cold outside yet.  I really need to find a solution to this one before I chatter my teeth to bits. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Home Again

The Sweater
 I went visiting to gift this year's sweater to my dear friend Kim.  Now that she has it, I can show it to you.

With my friends.  Isn't it perfect for her?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Out and About

And up to no good!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Today's Adventure

I don’t know if you recall but I’m had some difficulty with a wet floor around my toilet off and on for about a year now.  After having the wax ring replaced, needlessly it was determined to be the feeder line.  It was tightened up and I was told to watch it.

My floor was not good to begin with.  It was obviously replaced before I moved it.  The ex did a shoddy repair that didn’t help matters.  When the leaking continued and the ceiling below it started to show seepage I decided I had no choice.

I was at work one day, discussing the situation and stated that I needed a handyman.  Five minutes later I walked out the door to go to one of the other buildings and there, parked by the curb right out front was a van with a handyman sign painted on the side.  Okay, so the universe provided one.  Thank you!

Today I had the day off.  I called him two weeks ago and he said sure, he’d come today and yes, it would only take today.  I only have one bathroom.  That is essential.

Bright and early he appeared as promised.  He went about taking out the old toilet which had cracked due to the floor being unsteady.  Five minutes later there was water pouring down through the ceiling into my dining room.  The pipe leading to the feeder line snapped.

That mess cleaned up and he pulls up the floor to see what he had to deal with.  Do you know what it’s like to be sitting downstairs, listening to ongoing muttering about what a disaster it is and how impossible it is and how he has no clue what to do?   Not fun.  No, not fun at all.  Nor encouraging.

But off he went to Lowe’s to gather supplies.

Six hours and much muttering later, he says he thinks it should be okay.  Not very confidently.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Yay Me!!!

It's finished!  It's gorgeous.  It's magical!!!  I'll share a pic of the whole thing once it's gifted but I must say I'm very pleased with it.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Happy Weekend

When I born, my grandmother lived next door to an artist.  This was my birthing present.  Sadly, I do not know her name.  I wish I did.

She had a basset hound named Gomer who would come and stay with me whenever I visited my grandmother.

Happy memories. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Still knitting.  I'm getting there...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

It's That Time Again

I don’t need to have TV to know that the listings are overflowing with Christmas specials and holiday movies. Feel good, sometimes sappy with hardships but all with a happy ending. Don’t misread what I’m saying. There’s nothing wrong with that. Some are even good movies.

But they’re false advertising. Life, real life, doesn’t always have a happy ending. Problems aren’t magically resolved. Some can’t be overcome no matter how hard they’re worked at. A stranger does not show up on the doorstep to make everything better.

There are people hungry now who will continue to be long after the holidays are over. There are still hardworking people losing their jobs to the economy. There are people losing their homes. There are dedicated, longtime employees being forced out of their jobs by circumstances that should not be tolerated. There are people with hearts full of love who have no one to share it with, lonelier than ever.  There are people going without much needed medical care because they can no longer afford health insurance even though they have decent jobs. There are people giving up treasured pets, their only source for comfort because they are unable to continue caring for them. There are people who are sad to begin with that slip into deep depressions they may not survive. This list could go on and on but I think you get my point.

Life is not a movie. Many who struggle all year round suffer even more this time of year. As you go about your daily lives try to keep that in mind and be a little kinder to those you meet. They may be crying behind their smiles. You, if you act with decency and compassion, could make a difference without ever knowing it. Isn’t that the true essence of the season?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Busy, Busy

I've been picking at Indiscriminate Slaughter for a week and I think it may be finished.  Time to shop for an agent.  Hmm.  Wonder how to go about that?  I guess I need to figure that out.  Anyone know?

In the mean time, I have to finish the sweater I'm knitting for a very dear friend for Christmas, even though I'm developing a case of Knitter's Thumb.  I'll be back when it's done. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Happy Weekend

Day 69 - 365 challenge
Perhaps a book cover?