Mother’s Day

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Mother’s Day! I miss my mom who died six years ago. After my father died, she was a very unhappy woman who had no wish to live without the love of her life. She died exactly six months to the day of my father’s death.

Estelle was a true New Yorker who had a lot of spit and fire in her younger days. I remember when we moved to Chicago when I was young, poor Chicago had no idea who they were dealing with. She was not afraid to go in the worst part of the city by herself. Hell, she was from New York and had seen everything. And could she pick fights. The family will remember her when she tracked down the waitress in the restaurant after we had been seated. It was my father’s birthday and we had selected a restaurant that overlooked the Fox River in St. Charles, IL. Us sisters and grandchildren went in first while my parents parked the car. My mother instructed us to ask for a table that overlooked the river. The waitress seated us elsewhere. We just took it because we knew we were a large party. When my mother came in and saw where we were, she demanded to speak to the manager and sure enough we were given the proper table!

Estelle was also a fighter in the grocery store parking lots. If she wanted that space, she was bound and determined to get it. She got into many arguments and one lady even slapped her!

I could go on about her and my sisters and I like to say, oh my God. I sounded just like Estelle! But she always was a fighter but not at the end. She just gave up. I’d say, Mom? What about your daughters and grandchildren? She would just shake her head and not answer me. She stopped eating and taking her medicine. She even bit the caregiver! I am crushed she gave up on me.

Life in the Fast Lane

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What a week! I have a hate/love relationship with cars. I love them but when they break down and I have to deal with repair shops, I hate it. Since I’m the one who works from home, the responsibility of getting the cars repaired is up to me. When I grew up, my father made sure I knew how to change the oil and change a tire. Since he traveled extensively by car when I was growing up, I learned with each break down he had, the mechanics of the engine. Of course all that has changed with computerized engines, but getting ripped off by repair places has not changed at all.

First off, you avoid the dealer when your warranty has expired. They charge you an arm and a leg. I had a fantastic repair man I used when I lived in PA but being down here in Dallas, I haven’t been able to find a decent repair shop.

My sob story…Our 2006 Mazda 3, the passenger door’s bolt kept popping when being opened or shut. Kind of sounded like a pop gun. I took it to a place close by to have them take a look at it. I dropped it off at 10 and walked home. I’m thinking serious things when they hadn’t called by noon. Finally, they called and said nothing about the door being fixed but my oil was really dirty as well as the brake fluid. Okay, I couldn’t recall the last oil change but it probably was a while ago, so I gave them the go ahead. My husband keeps an Excel spreadsheet on all of our cars on his pc. I didn’t want to wait the ten minutes it takes to boot up his computer and then to find the file, so I’d deal with his wrath when he got home. The bill at this point was $150.00. I’m waiting and waiting and around 3, I call them to see when the car would be ready. Well, they found another problem. The power steering hose is leaking and that’s an additional $500 for parts and labor. NO! All I wanted was the door to be fixed. Now, I’m angry. I told them no and I would pick up the car in ten minutes. I did boot up the pc only to find out that we had replaced the power steering hose 800 miles ago done by NTB.

When I picked up the car, the mechanic bent over backwards showing and telling me about this hose and how I shouldn’t let this go. It didn’t look like it was leaking to me and if anything, I’m taking it back to NTB. The end of this story? They didn’t charge me a dime for the door. Loose bolt. Which is why they went out of their way to find something wrong with the car in the first place. Never going back there again!

On a happier note, a friend of mine who owns a gift and card shop here in Flower Mound gave me a call out of the blue. She had an author at her shop who had a book signing and asked me to come in to meet her. I did. Her name is Ann Winston, the title of the book is Love and Other Lies. We had a blast trading stories. We were soon joined by another lady, Lois. Lois is an unusual name, so we tend to be friends when we meet. There is a Lois Club which I am a member. She hugged and kissed me and called me her daughter. It made my day to meet such great people!

If only the car repair shops had ethics like that…

Hoping for Spring!

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Have you ever had a week where you ask; Where did the time go? I had that kind of week. I was busy every minute of every day. The only disappointment was that I really didn’t devote too much time to my writing because I seemed pulled into too many directions. I vow this upcoming week is not like the last one. I feel vibrant with all sorts of ideas that need to be written down.

I am so proud of my friend, Barbara Huffert. One of her earlier books, Drake’s Rule is going to print. It’s one of my favorites by her and I couldn’t be happier for her!

The weather here has been totally awesome with highs in the 70’s but this will all change next week when we return back to winter. It was nice as it lasted.

I am wishing all of you a great week ahead!

Bitten & Defiant! Yeah Barbara!

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From my good friend, released 2/7/14!

So disappointed in the Super Bowl this year. I was hoping for a more exciting game. This is where you find yourself saying; Next year.

Weather here has been a real disappointment. We broke a record for having the most days below freezing in a row. We’ve had barely an inch of powdery snow on Thursday and broke another record of having the most traffic accidents, over 700, in the Dallas and Fort Worth area.

I love to power walk and I thought to myself, last year at this time it was in the upper 60’s and I walked almost every day. Not this year, that’s for sure. I’m on the treadmill instead watching Country videos on CMT. It gets kind of boring. I love being outdoors, the fresh air and people who honk at me because they recognize that crazy woman who walks every day. Other people are walking as well with their dogs and I get to sneak in a pet or two!

We have a pool with this house. Our first ever and it has been a bittersweet affair. I love to swim but the maintenance of having one is a real budget drain. It seems something always goes wrong with it; the Polaris looses a wheel every winter and summer. (I swear there is a party going on at night while I’m asleep.) The pumps break down, the filters need to be replaced and how about the new board to run the entire operation?  $$$$  The first year, I tried to maintain it myself, but it was too overwhelming. So now we have a pool service that has been taken over for the third time. The technician comes and cleans the pool but rather than him knocking on the door, these guys call the office who in turn calls me to ask if I’m home? Uh, yeah. I’m answering the home phone number?  This Friday, I got the call from the office to tell me the pool needs serious water. If there is not enough water in the pool, the pumps cannot work properly. Remember me saying how cold it has been? With the pool, there is a Freeze Guard that kicks in when the temps are close to freezing to fire up the pool so the pumps and pipes don’t freeze. My poor pool has run nonstop for the last five days braving the cold and dry weather.

At this point, I haven’t even opened up my blinds because the cold air seeps through the windows and it has been cloudy and very depressing. After the call, I did open up the blinds and I saw my pool and they were right. It needed a lot of water. I’m thinking to myself, no big deal. I walk over to the outside spigot, turn it on and nothing. Duh! The spigot plus the hose is frozen. Great. What am I supposed to do? I called my husband frantically and he said just relax. With the warm up expected over the weekend, the spigot and the hose will thaw out. Just unravel the hose so it will thaw out later.

Now the hose situation is one where he has jerry rigged it so it is really two hoses latched together.
You have to understand that I’m only five feet tall and this hose, feeling like a popsicle, is close to 72 feet long. I’m glad no photos were taken of me trying to wrestle with this thing. Now what?

I now can hear the pool trying to turn on but it can’t because of the lack of water. I am seeing $$$ about the electricity bill and more $$$ if the pumps break down because of this. Finally, I came up with an idea. Taking my two buckets that I use for cleaning the house; one is a two gallon, the other a four gallon, I fill each one up twenty five-times and empty them into the pool. Finally, the pool is running!

It took an hour to do this and I felt great! However, the next morning my body protested and I could barely make it out of bed. My back was killing me not to mention my biceps from lifting the buckets of water.

Saturday, the temps got into the upper fifties. My husband calmly attached the now thawed out hose, threw out part of the hose that was filled with holes, turned on the spigot and voila, filled the pool with water. He turned to me to say; Patience, Lois. Grrrr!!

Happy New Year!!

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What a great New Years! Family came down from Illinois and we had really nice weather in Dallas. They didn’t want to leave because of the cold snowy weather they were going home to face.

I got to show them what really goes into writing a book; the edits and selecting of the cover art (which I have to say for LazyDay Pub is tops!!) I think as readers and teachers, they have more support of the hard work that’s involved.

We finally made it to Fort Worth to see the Stockyards and the worlds largest Honky Tonk, Billy Bob’s. That was fun. It’s only been four years that we’ve lived here and it took company to go there.

They introduced us to a game called Apples to Apples. I have never laughed as hard in my life! We must have played for hours. I can see the more people you have play, the more fun it is.

The other thing we got a chuckle from is how many rolls of toilet paper we went through in 4 days. Five people and almost 6 rolls of it. I think it’s because we ate and drank a little too much but it was kind of funny to see how many rolls were lined up on the counter to go out to the recycle bin!

Starting tomorrow, we are back to normal. At least we had fun while it lasted!

Happy New Year and may God bless!

LoisKasznia

Big news for me is that I got a new smart phone. It’s not the latest but when it comes to smart phones, the easier it is for me, the better. I think I’ve been to the phone store twice now in the two days that I’ve had it to figure out how to do something! Now I know to not only check my aol account but to also check my gmail account. Duh!

I wrote a lot this week which is a good thing, since I didn’t get a chance to write all weekend. We had out of town company and had a blast!

Now is the hard part of getting the house back together, washing sheets and towels and vacuuming. How could 4 people make such a mess? If my mother in law came for a visit, I would fail her white glove test, that’s for sure!  What I’d really like to do is to crawl into bed and not wake up until tomorrow. Don’t see that happening. Darn!

One last comment…why do all my favorite NFL teams lose? Argh!!! I swear the games are fixed!