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!!

Flag on the Play is now available!

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It’s here! Flag on the Play is available for your pleasure right in time for Super Bowl Sunday!

The first time we had the Super Bowl in Dallas we had ice and snow, making owner Jerry Jones and Dallas look pretty bad about handling inclement weather. Um…some one needs to tell Mother Nature the Super Bowl is not being played in Dallas this year. We have an ice storm going on right now with a two to four inch accumulation.

Last Friday, we were at seventy-three degrees. Go figure! Well, the groundhog did see his shadow which explains it.

I hope everyone enjoys their Sunday and I look forward to a good game. None of my teams made it, so this will be less stressful to watch!

Six More Days until Flag on the Play!!!

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That’s right! On January 31, Flag on the Play will be released! I hope you enjoy it as much as I had fun writing about it! It is a romantic comedy about the NFL. It is a work of fiction and I made sure not to offend anyone’s teams.

We have had beautiful weather for the weekend! It is to be in the 70’s today. Unfortunately, overnight the temps will drop dramatically as a cold front moves through. That’s one of things I like about Texas weather; it doesn’t last long. Just wait a couple of days and it will change.

Since I complained about not having enough time to write, my family left me alone yesterday. Yup! They actually went out and ran errands without me. I sat down at my laptop with my fingers over the keyboard waiting for some divine inspiration and nada. My mind was a total blank.

Even last night, I didn’t dream which is highly unusual for me. I decided to treat myself to a movie to get my creative juices flowing. I might go for a walk too.  Maybe I will see something to trigger my imagination.

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Wishing all a very happy New Year! Christmas was pretty awesome. We had a quiet time and then were invited to our neighbors for their Christmas dinner. Almeda is from the Philippines and served a traditional dinner of her country. Very tasty and she worked very hard on the preparation. We brought chocolate chip cookies and all I can say, cookies cross all international lines. They were gone immediately!

Now, we are awaiting the arrival of my sister-in-law and her husband. They will only be here for four days, so we want to make sure all the days are accounted for. It’s been over a year since we’ve seen them.

I thought we had it bad when our ice storm hit a couple of weeks ago, but my sister in Toronto has had it worse. They had no power for a week. They live in an older area of Toronto and have huge old trees. The ice did major damage to power lines as well as their trees. They have been staying at my nephew’s apartment while he is on vacation in California. The hard part is the pets. nTombe is a 15 year old Blue Kerry Terrier who suffers memory loss and Emily Jane is a kitten. Without their usual surrounding, there has been lots of ‘accident’s in the apartment.

My book. Flag on the Play, due out 1/31 is hitting close to home. It’s very eerie that what I wrote about last year, is actually happening….

Holiday Madness

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I try to be a very organized person. I have ‘to do’ lists every day that I follow religiously. I map out my day almost to the minute such as; from 7 – 9, I work out. Shower, read, do laundry, work, write and then run errands. Why do things go wrong???

When I go to the grocery store, I have another list of items that I need to get. Sometimes, even though I’ve written it down, I will forget to pick up something but I attribute it to forgetfulness and sticking to my alleged time table.

My pet peeve when I go shopping is the lackadaisical people who just lounge through the store, yakking on their cell phones right in front of the item(s) that I need. Then they get to the check out line only to rearrange their items on the belt while the cashier is ringing it up. Really? As a cashier, they know their stuff. A lot of times, they arrange things because of bagging. You know, trying to get all the cereal  boxes lined up; getting produce in the same bag; chips, bread, eggs… So, I’ve had my items on the belt; this lady in front of me has rearranged everything and oh? She forgot to inform the cashier that she’s an employee and needs her employee discount. The cashier asks for her card? Oh? Do I need a card? I do know my employee number, won’t that help? The cashier doesn’t know how to do this without the card…let’s call a supervisor. Oh? The supervisor is on break? I lost my patience. I suggest to the two of them for this ’employee’ to go to the Customer Service desk to get her discount. No, that’s not the way things are done. Forty five minutes later, I finally leave the store.

Let’s also mention that I really couldn’t finish my shopping because of the ice storm, the store’s shelves are empty. Now, I have to go to another store that I know is pretty well stocked but the prices are little bit higher. Not so fast…there is an accident closing both sides of the road due to icy roads (yes, 7 days after the storm). How do I get there? All back roads and another thirty minutes longer.

I come home, eat my lunch and now have to go to the post office. I’ve mailed out all of my Christmas cards and now, on the 11th, I will mail my packages to ensure that they will arrive in time. Two hundred other people have decided to do the same thing. Another forty minutes later, it is now three in the afternoon. But to me, it was five o’clock somewhere, right? That drink went down smoothly!

Deep Freeze

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When we moved to Texas four years ago, I was really excited. You see, I had had it with cold weather and snow. I looked forward to sunshine, hot summers and mild winters. Imagine my disappointment when the first year we lived here, we had thirteen inches of snow in one day. Granted it melted the next day, but I know for a fact, that I was the only one who didn’t have a snowman in my yard. (We still have our snow shovels and I used them to clear out the driveway.)

You see, Dallas doesn’t have snowplows. They don’t use salt, they use sand trucks. Needless to say, those trucks don’t even come close to the town I live in.

I forgot to mention the first Christmas here, we had a small ice storm. Our neighbor tried to thaw out his frozen pipes and ended up setting his house on fire. It took four neighboring communities fire department to reach us because the roads were a solid sheet of ice and the trucks could not negotiate the roads. The house burned down to the ground.

Then let’s not forget the fiasco of the Super Bowl held in Dallas. The weather was snow and ice, crippling the roads for days. After that, the city of Dallas did purchase some snow plows.

Question is. where are they now? We have been stranded now for four days in a deep freeze. Those brave enough to venture out have found that the food stores are empty. Roads are impassable. I can hardly walk outside without falling down.

The good news is that I was able to turn in my edits earlier than normal for Flag on the Play due out 1/31/14. I figured I’d better get them done while I still had power.

I guess these experiences have made me a stronger person. But I can’t complain. Welcome to Texas!