Thursday, September 20, 2012

I Gave Him the Ride of His Life - Again!

This is Part 2 of "If it Ain't Broken..." if you missed it, you can read it here. If you don't want to read part 1, I'll just sum it up for you. Every vehicle (car, work van, tractor, mowers) we own has broken down this year. Every vehicle except our little red pick-up, and that's because it claimed the year before as it's year to visit the mechanic several times. So finally, fine-all-ly, all our vehicles were in tip top running shape. Sigh of relief.

(Insert evil laugh here.) Hubby and I were on our way home from the painting job, and after a few gutter estimates, driving our little red truck. The time was 7 p.m. and we were happy to be almost home. Almost. We were driving merrily along, when all of a sudden, the truck made a jerk, and then promptly lost power. Hubby and I just looked at each other. No words were needed. We were thinking the exact same thing..."No freaking way!! Are you kidding me????" 

Luckily, this happened right beside a large parking lot, so we just coasted right into it. And, luckily, Amazing Daughter was home, so we called her to bring the big chain so we could have the truck pulled to the mechanic's. While we waited for her to arrive, Hubby checked the gas tank. He had just filled it the day before, and the gas gauge registered half-full, so he was confident that there was gas in it. However, the gas tank was empty. So, we quickly called A.D. back and told her to bring a gas can. Well, she was already on her way, so she had to turn around, go back to the house, get the gas can, and come back. 

In the meantime, we tried to contact my brother to borrow his truck to pull ours.  When A.D. arrived, Hubby put gas in the truck and we crossed our fingers as he turned the ignition. Not surprisingly, nothing happened. 

By now, it's 8:00, and we're starving. No word from my brother. So Hubby sent me and A.D. to Wendy's. He told me what he wanted from the 99 cent menu. (I couldn't remember precisely, but figured I'd recognize it when I saw the menu.) The only chicken item was nuggets, which he doesn't usually go for, but, that's what I ordered for him. When A.D. ordered the chicken sandwich off the $1.19 menu, I realized that was probably what he wanted. Oh well. I'm sure nuggets will be fine. When we got to the "pay window", A.D. decided that she wanted Diet Coke to drink, could they add that on? Oh boy. You do NOT want to confuse those poor people like that. It caused quite a stir, but she did indeed get her Diet Coke. They gave us our order, and we drove off. As I was going through the bag, I noticed that there were no nuggets in the bag. Great.  So, we turned around, and went back for our nuggets. We told them of the mistake, and I ordered another chicken sandwich for good measure. They gave us our chicken sandwich right away, but had to "pull up and park" and wait for the nuggets. Apparently, in the confusion of the Diet Coke disaster, they had forgotten to even make the nuggets! By the time they brought the nuggets, Hubby is calling to find out what in the world happened to us! I started to explain the whole mess, but he did not want to hear it. My brother was finally home, and we were to stop by and get his truck.  A.D. and I started cramming french fries in our mouths so we could eat them while they were still hot. 

So now, it's about 8:30, and getting dark. I have to drive my brother's truck. I recently had to make a trip to the eye doctor. Yes, it finally happened. Can't see distance, can't see to read equals bi-focals. However, when I'm painting, I don't need glasses, plus I don't want to get them splattered with paint, so I didn't have my glasses with me. But, now I had to drive. Not. Good. But, I drove.

By the time I met up with Hubby and A.D., he had eaten his chicken SANDWICH. (Whew! Good thing I ordered it the second time around. A.D. and I split the nuggets.) She found a short-cut, I took the long way, as usual.

Hubby is hooking up the chain, and I realize that I will be doing the pulling. Just to make sure, I ask if he wants me in our truck doing the steering. No. I have to pull.

O.K. Now, I have to pause to tell another story. Several years ago, I took our car to get a regular oil change. I pulled in, they changed the oil, told me to start my car, and nothing happened. It was deader than a door nail. They quickly said it was not due to anything they had done, and pushed me and my car out of the garage to make room for the next customer. Nice. I called Hubby to come to my rescue. He came. He had me get in the truck so he could hook up the chain. He had planned to drive the truck (which I didn't know), but when I looked back to see what he was doing, I saw him give the "forward ho!" motion. I crapped a little in my pants, checked for traffic, it was clear, and off I went, pulling him behind me. I was amazed at how easily the truck pulled the car. I hardly knew it was behind me. Don't worry! I was very aware. I knew that I would have to slow down gradually when we got to a stop light. Anyway, we made it just fine to the mechanic's. Luckily, it was a straight two mile drive. I thought I did a very good job, never having pulled anything before, nor having any last minute instructions from Hubby. When we parked the car, poor Hubby got out. He was shaking and dripping with sweat. Apparently, I mis-read his "forward ho!" motion. It was really a "pull up just a little" motion. Opps. Yes, it was the longest two mile ride of his life!

Now you understand why I thought I'd be the pull-ee instead of the pull-er. 
This time he gave me a few instructions. Don't go over 35 mph. (He swears I was driving 50 mph the first time. I wasn't.) Keep the chain taunt. OK, I'll do my best. I didn't mention that I couldn't see all that well because my glasses were at home. So, I just spent the entire trip praying. So, off we started, with Amazing Daughter following us. I turned on my emergency blinkers and kept my speed at 25 mph. I quickly discovered what happens when the chain is not taunt. Jerkiness. I thought I was doing a fairly good job, even though I experienced a few jerks. However, when I checked my rearview mirror, I caught a glimpse of Hubby, arms flailing in a forward direction while yelling, "Gooooooo!" Apparently, now I'm driving too slow. Geesh! I had to make a few turns, which made me nervous, but I managed. We all finally made it to the mechanic's. I got the truck pulled into it's parking spot, Hubby got out, exclaiming, "Thank God, that trip is over!"  Amen to that!

I promptly got out of my brother's truck, and got in with Amazing Daughter. I didn't want to hear a lecture of my bad driving. We got my brother's truck safely delivered back to him, and finally made it home by 9:00. That was a long two hours!

Turns out the ignition starter went out. Or something like that. So now our last remaining vehicle, our riding mower, is the only one still waiting to be repaired. Fingers crossed that nothing else breaks down!

Until next time.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Freedom Friday

I received this as an email the other day, and it was so touching that I wanted to share it with you. I don't remember hearing this story on the news.

A chaplain, who happened to be assigned to the Pentagon, told of an incident that happened right after Flight 77 hit the Pentagon on 9/11.

    A daycare facility inside the Pentagon had many children, including infants who were in heavy cribs. The daycare supervisor, looking at all the children they needed to evacuate, was in a panic over what they could do. There were many children, mostly toddlers, as well as the infants that would need to be taken out with the cribs. There was no time to try to bundle them into carriers and strollers.

    Just then a young Marine came running into the center and asked what they needed. After hearing what the center director was trying to do, he ran back out into the hallway and disappeared. The director thought, "Well, here we are, on our own."

    About 2 minutes later, that Marine returned with 40 other Marines in tow.  Each of them grabbed a crib with a child, and the rest started gathering up toddlers. The director and her staff then helped them take all the children out of the center and down toward the park near the Potomac and the Pentagon.
     Once they got about 3/4 of a mile outside the building, the Marines stopped in the park, and then did a fabulous thing- they formed a circle with the cribs, which were quite sturdy and heavy, like the covered wagons in the Old West. Inside this circle of cribs, they put the toddlers, to keep them from wandering off.

    Outside this circle were the 40 Marines, forming a perimeter around the children and waiting for instructions. There they remained until the parents could be notified and come get their children.The chaplain then said, "I don't think any of us saw nor heard of this on any of the news stories of the day. It was an incredible story of our men there. There wasn't a dry eye in the room. The thought of those Marines and what they did and how fast they reacted; could we expect any less from them? It was one of the most touching stories from the Pentagon.
Remember Ronald Reagan's great compliment: "Most of us wonder if our lives make any difference.   Marines don't have that problem." 

God Bless the USA, our troops, and you.  

        It's the Military, not the politicians that ensures our right to life,liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It's the Military who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag. 

       If you care to offer the smallest token of recognition and appreciation for the military, please pass this on and pray for our men and women, who have served and are currently serving our country, and pray for the family of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.

Until next time,

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

If it Ain't Broken, We Don't Own It!

What a year this has been, and we're still in September. It seems that everything we own has broken. Sometimes I think this should be our theme song:

We bought a little tractor this spring, and got a royal grease job from the seller. Oh yes. This tractor had been in the family for years and the son had restored it. That was their story at least. Hubby used it one time and we realized we had big, big problems. It had to be completely rebuilt - new engine, new this, new that. Now it runs like a dream, but at a much higher cost.

We have a car we want to sell. So, after I got it all cleaned up, and drove it out by the road with a "for sale" sign, I noticed that the "engine light" was on. Great. We had to take it to the car dealer to find out why. The battery was bad. Hubby said it was a new battery. The mechanic said it was a bad battery. So, we got to put another new battery in the car. And, to top it off, we got no offers on the car.

We have a walk-behind mower, and also a riding mower. Something broke on the walk-behind, don't ask me what, I can't keep up with all the mechanical language of parts. They all sound the same to me. Finally, the walk-behind was fixed, and now, you guessed it, the riding mower is broken. We've got a guy coming to look at it tomorrow.

But, I'm not done. We have a yellow box van truck, which contains our gutter machine. On our way to a job, we heard a loud pop! A hole blew in the exhaust pipe. Not to mention the spitting and sputtering for the first 30 minutes of a trip. We had that thing to the garage three times before everything was fixed on it. It finally runs like a dream.

Then my dishwasher started acting up. My new dishwasher. I had it all loaded with dirty dishes, pushed the "on" button, and nothing happened. I pushed it again. Still nothing. I pushed it again, this time with extra force. N-o-t-h-i-n-g. I hollered out to Hubby, "The dishwasher's not working!!!" So, I unloaded all the dirty dishes and washed them all.  From time to time, I'd push the "on" button to see if it would work. It didn't. Finally, we had to call the repairman. Hubby dialed the 800 number, and was on hold for 30 minutes. At last, he was able to talk to someone. For some reason, at that moment, I decided to try one more time to see if it would turn on. Oh yes. It turned on! So Hubby hung up, because if they came out to look at it, and it wasn't broken, we would be charged for a service call. So, I loaded it back up with dirty dishes, hit the "on" button, and nothing happened!  I hit it again. Still nothing! GRRRRRRRR. This dishwasher was messing with me, and I did not like it!! So, again. Unload. Wash by hand. I tried intermittently to see if it worked. Yes, when it was empty, it turned on. Not helpful. So, I ignored it for a week and tried again. It is now working just perfectly. Don't ask me what the deal is. I suspect that the dishwasher got confused. It is still under warranty, so I will not be at all surprise that the day after the warranty wears off, my dishwasher will not turn on again. It's not that I'm pessimistic, it's just that I know how things work around here. 

But, this is just the preview of the story I'm about to tell. It is a bit of a long story, and I must get busy and start scraping paint off our house. I will share Part Two of If It Ain't Broken, We Don't Own it, in the near future. You won't want to miss it!

Until next time,

Friday, September 7, 2012

Freedom Friday

Welcome to the first edition of Freedom Friday. Hopefully, it won't be the last, but, we'll see how organized (ROFL) I can be. This is my feeble attempt to blog about the two most important issues in our lives: religion and politics.

Last night, Hubby and I couldn't bring ourselves to listen to another rendition of the "hope and change" rhetoric, and while channel surfing, found ourselves watching something called "Intelligence Squared" on PBS. Apparently, they raise a question then have both sides debate it. The audience answers the question before the debate, then after the debate, and the winner is determined by the percentage of changed votes. Last night's question was, would the world be better without religion? Not surprisingly, those who answered "yes" won the debate. It's PBS after all, and it was easy to tell by the questions which way the audience was slanted.

I don't remember the names of the highly intelligent humanists, but, D'nesh D'susa (my apologies because I'm sure I have misspelled his name) and a rabbi (whose name I also can't recall) were on the "no" side. If I had known I was going to blog about this, I would have written down their names and taken better notes, but I've just been thinking about it all morning. We started watching the show in mid-point so I don't know all the arguments that were made.

To sum up the Humanist viewpoint (which I would hasten to also call a religion), all religions have just made a mess of the world. Religion is for the weak-minded, their lives are in as much of a mess as non-religious people. In his closing remarks, he actually said, "We all just need to do unto others as we would have others do unto you." 

Did he really just quote the Bible? Oh, yes he did. But, the world  would be better without religion, I thought. So, how can he quote something which he obviously despises?

So, let's just take religion out of the world. There's no more Bible, no more Koran, no Book of Mormon, no book of anything that spouts religion. How do we know how to treat each other? We have no Ten Commandments to tell us how we should live. Humanists think people will just automatically go about doing good things because that is our nature. Children have to be taught how to hate, don'tcha know. Children are born loving others, unselfish, sweet little humans, and they only become hateful because of their religious upbringing, which is divisive. When they are hungry, they unselfishly wait patiently until their mothers have time to fix them some food. What child has been told to stop sharing so much? There has only been one child who was born that was totally unselfish, and that was Jesus Christ, God in the flesh. Opps, I forgot. No religion.

The fact is, that we can't imagine a world without religion, because whether humanists/atheists want to admit it or not, religion has and does make the world better. If there was no religion, why should we treat others as we want to be treated? What would be the point? Because we want to be a good person? How would we even know what "good" is without religion? If we are our own god, then, good would be what I determine it to be, and may not necessarily be what you would determine it to be. If there was no religion, the world would be in total chaos. How many hospitals have been built in the name of religion? How many schools and universities have been founded because of religion? How much art and music has been inspired because of religion? 

Yes, I know that wars have also been fought in the name of religion. There have been some horrible things done in the name of religion, but that doesn't mean religion should be erased from our existence. Do humanists/atheists believe there would be no wars if there was no religion? That there would just be peace and love as each "god" lived their own lives, not bothering any of the other "gods", doing good "just because"?

Humanists can't comprehend a loving God, who created us, and in spite of our sinful nature, wants to have fellowship with us. A God who is so holy, that he required a perfect and atoning offering, so that we could be forgiven of our sins, and have perfect fellowship with Him.

People are not perfect with religion in existence. How could they possibly be perfect without religion? But, then again, who would determine "perfect"? The Ten Commandments were given to teach the people how to live. Without the law of "thou shalt not kill", how would we know not to kill? Without the law "thou shalt not commit adultery", what would keep us from committing adultery?  

At the end of the debate, which side do you think made the first move towards good conduct? While the "enlightened" humanists were relishing in their victory, congratulating themselves, the Christian and the Jew walked over to congratulate them.

And so, I must disagree with the 59% of the audience that said the world would be a better place without religion. I would not want to live in a world where religion did not exist. 

Until next time,

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Oh yes it did!

The hose clamp flew right out the window!

Isn't it amazing that no matter how many precautions are taken, something happens that if you had tried to do it on purpose, it would be impossible?

I (nearly) always throw down a tarp before I paint. Sometimes it doesn't fit perfectly into the corner, leaving a tiny 1/2 inch area exposed. Without fail, a drop of paint will fall, landing directly into the exposed circle. 

I also have a habit of tossing empty shampoo, soap, etc. containers out of the shower, while I'm taking a shower. Otherwise, I forget about them, and the next time I'm in the shower, there is no soap or shampoo. It's very inconvenient. So, I developed the rather brilliant system of tossing out the empties as a reminder for replacing them. However, you would not believe how many times I've blindly tossed a container, and it landed directly into the wastebasket. It's happened more than once! In fact, for a while, I hit it more than I missed it. And that defeated my purpose of seeing an empty container to remind me of what needed replaced. However, you know as well as I, that had I been aiming for the wastebasket, I wouldn't have hit it in a million years!

So, the other day, Hubby and I made a trip to The Home Depot to buy a little nozzle head for the power washer. He didn't want it to get lost or broken by tossing it into the back of the truck, so he placed it on top of the dashboard, where we could keep an eye on it.

We left the store and were now on our way to the job site. We had stopped at the light before making a left-hand turn to merge onto the highway.

It was a lovely morning, and my window was rolled down about half way

We made the turn. The nozzle started sliding. I made a grab for it, but was too slow. The nozzle continued sliding. Right out the window.

I told Hubby, "It just flew out the window!"

"What did?"

"The nozzle!"

"Are you kidding me?"

"No! It's on the road!"

He screeched over to the berm and jumped out of the truck. Luckily, traffic was light, and it hadn't flown way out in the middle of the intersection.

He quickly grabbed it, and shaking his head in disbelief, got back in the truck, and we were on our way.

But seriously, what are the odds?

Until next time,

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Labor Day Book Fair!

Welcome to the Labor Day Book Fair!

Wayman publishing has teamed up
with many phenomenal authors
to bring you this Labor Day weekend event.


For three whole days
--September 2-3-4--
you can download these featured
e-books  for FREE.

. . . And . . .

You can download many other books
to entertain you in the days ahead.

Discover Upcoming Books!

Author’s biography
The author was born in Athens, Greece in 1955 and is a dual U.S. / Greek citizen. After obtaining his Engineering Sc. B. degree in 
mechanical engineering from Brown University in 1977 he went on to 
Harvard Business School where he earned his MBA in 1979. He is married 
and has two children and lives in Athens but often visits America (Boston where his daughter studies and his son works). He is currently employed by the largest Greek manufacturing Co.
 (10% of Greek exports) as the Senior Financial Analyst. His interests 
include poetry, romance fiction and actively following economic 
developments in the U.S. and Europe.
Coming Soon!

More Details Coming Soon!

. . . Also . . .

You can enter to win CASH or physical books
by outstanding authors such as
Valerie Bowen,
Adrienne deWolfe,
Peter Thomas Senese,
Lucy Swing,
Kara Tollman.

  In honor of Melynda Fleury--who 
has bravely been fighting diabetes and almost completely lost her 
Wayman Publishing and Rick Gualtieri are also donating 5-10% profit from select physical book sales to the American Diabetes Association.

We hope you enjoyed discovering new authors and their stories
at our Labor Day Blogfest and Book Fair.

If you'd like to share this post,
please free to grab the following code from this site.

On a completely unrelated note, while you all are shopping around for books this weekend, I would like to recommend my Amazing Daughter's first book, Nude Honesty.
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