Friday, May 31, 2013

JACKING UP THE PRICE, AT ALL COSTS

 
There has been a noise in the front end of my car for a while now. It always intensifies when I tap the brakes. Recently though there was a shimmy and shake added to the sound. The vibration got so bad that it made stopping difficult. Usually my husband handles these things but with the new job he can't.  So we made an appointment at the car dealership and yours truly took the car in. I arrived  promptly at 1pm with my Kindle in hand. We had been given an estimate of the potential work ahead of time. It would be about $200 to replace the brakes and about $80 more to put in new rotors. And the job would take about an hour and a half. I pulled up a chair and settled in. That's when the fun began. Lady from automotive came out to the waiting room and told me the front brakes were fine, but that the back brakes and rotors needed replacing. AND, here's the BIG... AND... it would NOW cost $340. That is $60 more than they originally quoted. No explanation given as to why the price went up. That's just the way it is. Unfortunately I am a captive audience, need the car repaired and gave them the go ahead, despite the new price. AND she tells me it will now take two and a half hours.  So I hunker down and wait. Time slips away and before you know it, she's back. I think she's going to tell me the car is ready. She doesn't. Instead she asks me if the front end has been shaking. I tell her that's why we brought it in. Then she says, looks like the front rotors are the problem. We can try to machine and turn them, she tells me. That will cost you $130 extra. But most likely they will need to be replaced too, so you're looking at an additional $220. Which would bring the total cost of the job up to $560 which I realize is DOUBLE the original estimate of $280. I called my husband who was about to go into an important meeting. I'm upset. He's upset. But we agree it needs to be done. So we approve. Off she goes. I wait and wait and wait. At 4:45pm she comes to get me. It's done. I breath a sigh of relief. They were able to turn the front rotors, instead of replacing them. That saved us $90. She hands me the bill. And I surprise her by handing her a coupon for 15% off services rendered.
 
 
Her feathers are ruffled and she then tells me they CAN NOT honor it. It doesn't apply to repair work. I ask her to read the coupon. Nowhere does it state that and I suggest that they better honor it or bring the owner in. They refuse to give me the 15% but do knock $60 off the bill. I'm tired. It's been a long day. I can see the name of this game is to take advantage of the customer at all costs. So I pay it. The noise is still there when I tap the brakes. The shaking is gone. But now, two days later, the engine doesn't want to turn over, without a struggle. It's back to the dealership tomorrow. I have a theory. The battery is in the wheel well where they were working to fix the brakes. Maybe a cable accidently came loose. You think they planned this to make more money or is it a fluke?


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

BLOWING OUT CANDLES, ANOTHER YEAR OLDER

 
 SOMEONE HERE IS GETTING OLD
 
 
WINDOW SHOPPING
FOR CAMERAS AND COMPUTERS
 
 
WHO KNOWS WHAT THE BIRTHDAY FAIRY MIGHT BRING
 
 
THE PARTY GOT STARTED
 
 
 WITH THE USUAL FRIENDS
 
 
THERE WAS WHITE CAKE
WITH BUTTERCREME FROSTING
YUM, MY FAVORITE!
 
 
 AND A GIFT OR TWO
 
 
 
AND A GOOD TIME WAS HAD BY ALL
 
 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

LLAMAS AND LOOMS AND RUGS

 
When we were out and about we saw some interesting rugs on display out in the town square. Unfortunately they weren't for sale. Someone was there demonstrating how they were made on a loom.  Fascinating. But what really sparked our attention was where the wool they were using came from. And the leather on the chairs they were sitting in. It was from Llamas. Much to our delight the family brought three of them to exhibit. And we got to pet them. Some people even tried to ride them. Are they not adorable?  One was groomed like a poodle. It's handler was a little girl. Their eyes are so BIG and expressive aren't they? But we were told when they get mad they can be quite mean, hissing and spitting. Fortunately we didn't witness any of that behavior. According to National Geographic, "Llamas contribute much more than transportation to the human communities in which they live. Leather is made from their hides, and their wool is crafted into ropes, rugs, and fabrics. Llama excrement is dried and burned for fuel. Even in death, llamas can serve their human owners—some people slaughter them and eat their meat."
RUGS RUGS RUGS
 
TOO CUTE FOR WORDS
IS THIS LLAMA RELATED TO A POODLE?
 
 
 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK!


We have a solid wood door with windows on the front of our house. It's been here over 60 years. When we tried to replace it years ago we found out they do not make doors that size. So we could either get one custom made, at an exorbitant price or buy a door as is and do major construction to the front of the place, also expensive. I opted back then to refinish the one that was there. I painted the outside and left the inside alone. It was quite a project because I textured the finish, then covered the windows. Nowadays you can buy that kind of paint but when I did it you couldn't. You had to layer and use assorted tools to achieve the textured look. Unfortunately, time has deteriorated the door and it now has big cracks in it. My husband's solution to this is to put a strip of duck-tape over it. Not an attractive alternative, to be sure. So I've been threatening to do something about it. I began looking at doors. If I could find one not too cost prohibitive, then we can afford to make the construction changes needed to replace the old one, at this time, because my hubby got a job. After looking at countless doors I  hit pay dirt. I found one that is not only cost effective but looks nice and already comes painted. Now all we have to do is find the right handyman to fit it in position and rebuild that part of the house.
CURRENT FRONT DOOR
UGLY RIGHT?
FATIGUE GREEN
I'M FATIGUED DEALING WITH IT
HUBBY'S SOLUTION TO REPAIR CRACK
DUCK TAPE IT TO COVER PROBLEM
MY DREAM DOOR IS NOT HAPPENING
BUT I LIKE THIS ONE TOO
BECAUSE IT'S SOMETHING MORE AFFORDABLE
AND WE CAN PICK THE COLOR...
WITHOUT HAVING TO PAINT IT OURSELVES
PERFECT!
 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A LITTLE BATTY, I SUPPOSE

 
I am cleaning out an attic bedroom that looks like a hoarders convention had a party in it. As I was taking bubble wrapped items out of a large box, to put them into bags to donate... I saw something brown and furry in there. I poked at it with a book and it got a creepy crawl. I instantly thought BAT. And hightailed it outta of there, slamming the door closed. But over the course of the evening my curiosity got the better of me. So I donned a bulky leather winter coat, boots and gloves and went back up there to see what was what? I carefully removed everything from the box half expecting to see the little fur ball again, dead or alive. But when I reached the bottom of the box where I saw this thing crawl, it was empty except for a giant dust ball. Now I'm wondering if I imagined the whole thing because the lighting in the room is poor? I was tired. My husband wasn't home. And the dust ball kind of looks like a bat??? Or is the creature still up there waiting to be found again??? And rear it's ugly head???
 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

GREAT EXPECTATIONS

 
DO BUTTERFLIES REALLY LIVE IN THESE HOUSES?
I BOUGHT THIS YEARS AGO
AND RECENTLY REDISCOVERED IT
TUCKED AWAY IN A CLOSET.
SO WE JUST GOT AROUND TO SETTING IT UP.
IT'LL BE EXCITING IF THE
BUTTERFLIES ACTUALLY CONGREGATE HERE.
 
 
MEANWHILE I'VE BEEN WAITING TO GET
MY CONTAINERS PLANTED THIS SPRING
.
 
BUT THE WEATHER HAS BEEN UNPREDICTABLE

 
 
SO FINALLY...
I PUT A FEW THINGS OUT ON MY PORCH.
AND WOULDN'T YOU KNOW IT...
FROST IS EXPECTED TONIGHT.
JUST WHAT WE ALL NEED, COLD TEMPS.
These flowers may not LOOK
like much but they set me back
twenty-five dollars.
 I'M NOT INVESTING ANOTHER DIME IN
SPRING UNTIL SUMMER ARRIVES.
 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY

 
IT'S YOUR DAY LADIES
DO WHAT YOU LOVE...
ENJOY. BE HAPPY.

Friday, May 10, 2013

SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED


I am the first to concede that I am not a mechanically inclined person. But I have been known to put a thing or two together in my time. Recently we bought a floor lamp. It was the kind you had to build. It sat untouched in the box for a couple weeks. I expected my husband would do it, but one thing after another got in the way. So I decided I would do it myself. This was not necessarily a good idea. But I dived  right in and did it without reading the directions. I did this because directions often confuse me more than not. But in this case it complicated things. I ended up putting the lamp together backwards. In other words I started from the bottom up. Therefore the lamp was wobbly and would not stand up straight and the top piece with the socket would not fit in. Frustrated, I told my husband what a cheap piece of  garbage it was. He came over to check out the problem and started laughing at my feeble attempt. He took one brief look at the paper diagram and informed me I should have started from the top down and followed instructions. He had the lamp taken apart and put back together properly in a matter of minutes. Then a light went on. What would I do without him?
 
WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS LAMP?
IT WON'T GO TOGETHER.
 
 
 
MAYBE I SHOULD HAVE
READ THE INSTRUCTIONS.
NOW WHAT?
 
 
HUBBY HAD TO
TAKE WHAT I DID
COMPLETELY APART
AND START OVER
 
 
AND IN MINUTES
THE LAMP WAS ASSEMBLED
AND PUT IN PLACE
 
 
 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

AN EASY CHEAP FIX

 
The thermometer went up to almost eighty degrees the other day. It was nice and toasty out there. A sign spring has finally sprung.  The only problem was when I got in my car it was stifling hot. I could hardly breathe. My air conditioner didn't work. So I complained to the hubby. He knew just what to do without taking it into the car dealership. At the Chrysler place they would have charged a fortune to tweak and boost my coolant. But for $20 my hubby bought a can of  synthetic air conditioner booster at a local auto parts store. He attached some hoses, turned a nozzle and the air conditioning was back on. I was able to drive again in comfort. I must admit though, if I had a convertible, the top would be down, and I would be just as happy, though hot as you know what. THANK GOODNESS for AIR CONDITIONING.
 
 
 MAGIC IN A CAN
 
 
TUBING CONNECTED
 
 
NOZZLE TURNED
 
 
DOES IT WORK?
 
 
IT'S SO COLD...
NOW YOU NEED A COAT.
 
 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

OLD GIRLFRIEND, 1930's & THE MIRROR

 
The mirror is from the 1930's or earlier. It may or may not be from Europe. It's been in our home for almost 30 years. It is an antique like us. It belonged to the parents of my hubby's high school sweetheart. That sweetheart was not me. Her family gave the mirror to my husband's family sometime back in the 1950's when my husband was dating her.  It used to be in my in-law's basement over their laundry tub. I always loved it. From the first time I saw it, it wielded a magical spell over me. There was just something so charming about it with it's etched glass and pewter fobs. And it never bothered me that it was associated with an old girlfriend. When my hubby's parents passed on, we inherited it.  I briefly entertained the notion that I could then bequeath it back to the old girlfriend. But decided it best to let sleeping dogs lie.  As it turned out she too had passed away. So we brought the vintage mirror home and looked for a place to put it. When we redecorated the bathroom, a few years later, with an old cabin motif, we decided the mirror fit in with the theme. I added a metal set of pine trees to the fob on top and made it my own. Everyday I marvel at how well it fits in with our decor. I love old time mirrors and the reflection you see in them, don't you? Note the shower curtain and wallpaper in this one.
 
 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

HATS! HATS! HATS!

IT'S DERBY DAY
I'M OFF TO THE RACES
LIKE MY HAT?
 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS

 
 
 
 
 
"FLOWERS CARRY ON DIALOGUES THROUGH THE
HARMONIOUSLY TINTED NUANCES OF THEIR BLOSSOMS."