Friday, October 28, 2011

HOUSEHOLD PROBLEMS

I think I've listed all the problems we've had before after moving back to north Georgia, but I'll go over them again.

The ceramic kitchen range top had a hole in it the size of a boiler pan. We got it replaced but it didn't work. Repair people came back, couldn't get it to working. Another repair person came out and fixed except for one burner. Another person came back and fixed it, but then another burner didn't work. Finally a supervisor came out, fixed so all burners work. Of course the 'hot' light indicator stays on all the time. That's okay. I can live with that.

At the same time this was going on, we hooked up the old washer and dryer. The washer pranced around the utility room, the dryer didn't cut off. Bought new ones.

The heat didn't work; people came out and fixed. Still didn't work. Came back, fixed. This summer the air didn't work; people came back and fixed. Only the heat kept coming on even when the air was on because they had previously fixed the heat by having heat strips in the furnace come on all the time, whether it was set on air or heat. They fixed that, but we had to turn on the air inside, then run out and press a reset on the outside thingie. People came back, decided it needed to be rewired and we needed a new airhandler. We bought the air handler, they rewired and put in a new thermostat. Then it turned cold recently, and we had heat, right? Not so. We called, they came out, decided a wire had been left disconnected and fixed. That was a week or so ago. We'll see.

In the meantime, we had a plumbing leak but didn't take much to fix it so let's not mention it. However, we also had the icemaker refuse to turn off when it made ice so it sprinkled ice all over the kitchen when the freezer door was opened. And the dishwasher lost its mind; I had to push the wash cycle, let it wash an hour or so, turn it off, let it drain, then push the rinse cycle a couple of times.

So Vince came out earlier this week, put in a new icemaker -- we don't have to remember to turn the icemaker off at night any more! -- fixed the dishwasher and voila! We're in business.

Except I went to wash dishes today and guess what? I turn it on, it turns itself off. Immediately. No washing, no rinsing. Nothing. I can't even do the manual push-the-wash-button, then cancel and push the rinse-button routine.

I'm sobbing. Vince's voicemail is picking up. Looks like it's dishwashing by hand for a few days.

So what else can go wrong? No, I don't even want to go there.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

BAREFOOT Book Review

BAREFOOT is by Elin Hilderbrand, another of her Nantucket Beach books that I always enjoy.

Three women, two of them sisters, head to the beach for the summer. All have baggage. The oldest sister has brought her two young boys and is about to undergo chemo for lung cancer. The younger sister has lost her job as college professor and reputation after sleeping with a student. The friend has found out that, after several in vitro attempts, she's finally pregnant. And that her husband is cheating.

As usual Hilderbrand does a great job of drawing each woman's personality as well as the babysitter hired to help with the boys, a college student who's drawn to each of the women in turn. They all have battles to fight and decisions to make. And we're with them all the way.

Seems to me the entire book is about choices. The choices each woman and the babysitter makes, the choices supporting characters make, the choices all of us might make. Some are good, some are bad, but in the end they must be lived with.

Good book.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

AMICALOLA FALLS

Went up to Amicalola Falls in north Georgia yesterday for my guy to take photographs. The falls were gorgeous and the weather a perfect autumn cool. Colors not so great because a lot of the leaves have already fallen, probably because of the drought this summer.

Anyway, here's a photo of the top part of the falls. Unfortunately, the other two are of trash people left that collected in the pools below.




Darn litterbugs are bad as chiggers.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

UNWANTED PAST

When my best friend and I were young, we haunted the library even though Mrs. Brown, the librarian, was one grumpy old lady. To be fair, she had thousands of books she manually checked out and in, then had to shelve them all by herself. But we were kids. She scared us to death.

We read practically everything in the children's section (this was a small town library in years long gone) and asked Mrs. Brown if she would pick out some adult books we could read (no middle grade/young adult categories then). Yes, we were currying favor with her. But children weren't allowed in the adult section back then. We had no choice.

Anyway, the first things she gave us to read were the gentle romances of Grace Livingston Hill. Maybe you know her. Christian romances. Heroine didn't smoke, drink or -- heaven forbid -- wear makeup. This last was pretty radical even in our day. But we went through them fast, and she started us on some more authors like Emily Loring and others I can't remember. But she kept giving us Grace's books again. And again. And again. When she was finally too busy one day to pick some out for us, she told us to look for our own books. I think it was the happiest day of our lives. Never again, I told myself, will I hear about Grace Livingston Hill.

Well, years later, a friend was recommending books to me. Guess who was at the top of her list? Yep. Old Grace herself.

And today, I look at Kindle's free selections and guess who has a book there. You know it.

Will this woman dog my footsteps forever?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

DIARY OF A SMALL FISH

Pete Morin's first novel is about a lawyer, a small fish caught up in a net to expose government corruption.

Massachusetts attorney Paul Forte has a passion for golf. He loves it and plays it whenever he can with anyone he can. I'm not a golfer but evidently, when someone invites you to a golf game, you don't pay your own way; you reciprocate by inviting them to play your own club course. Paul never thought of it as a federal crime.

But one morning, he wakes up and opens his door to a federal marshall. He's been subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury.

Paul's a little concerned but assumes the man they're after is a man he's golfed with. Nope. The prosecutor's set his sights on Paul. Seems he has a grudge. But no one knows why.

I consider this a 'smart' book. Not as in intelligent-smart, but as in stylish-smart. The offhand references to Hyannisport, the Shrivers, the MBTA all lend a realistic tone. The dialogue is crisp, sometimes funny. As at the end of the grand jury interrogation, after Paul had listed all the different lobbyists he'd golfed with and where they'd eaten afterward. The prosecutor asked if any of the jurors had questions for Paul. Only one of the twenty-three jurors raised a hand.

"Did you say your dinners were always at the Impudent Oyster?" she asked.

"Yes."

"How's the osso buco?"

That's what I mean about smart.

This is an entertaining read, with a hero you want to see come out on top. No dead bodies in this one, but I'd recommend it to anyone tired of the same old lawyer mysteries.

Good book.

Friday, October 7, 2011

HEAT

My fears are realized. The heat repairman has come and gone. He got the heat fixed but my guy cleverly stopped him from leaving and made him check the air.

Yep. The heat worked but the air didn't.

The repairman worked for another half hour and couldn't fix it. So he's coming back with someone else to look at it. Maybe today, he says.

Maybe.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

STUPID APPLIANCES

Ever noticed how when one thing around the house breaks, others follow?

When we moved back to north Georgia last winter, we had appliance problems.

The washer walked around the utility room when it washed. The dry refused to cut off. We bought a new washer and dryer. Easy peasy. Hard on the pocketbook though.

Next, the tenants managed to make a big hole in the kitchen stove top (one of those ceramic tops). The replacement took a while to sort out. Had to order a top. Then one eye didn't work. More parts. Then the double eye didn't work. Then we needed some kind of blueprint thingie to get the wires uncrossed. After, oh, 4-5 repair visits, it finally got fixed. Except the hot surface light stays on all the time. I can live with that.

Then the heat went out. A couple, maybe three visits took care of that. Then it was time for the air. Guess what? The air didn't work. Turns out the heat worked because the heating strips came on all the time, even with the AC on. Got that fixed, kind of. Air still didn't work. A new air handler solved that problem. Except my guy had to run outside and flip a switch on the doo-lolly to get the air to cool. They rewired the entire thing and put in a thermostat. Air worked. Hallelujah!

Now it's autumn. Time for heat. And guess what. The heat doesn't work. The repair guy comes out, says it needs a part. So we're waiting. He's supposed to come back tomorrow with it.

In the meantime, the dishwasher refuses to turn off. It cuts on and washes its little heart out. So I have to go in after an hour or so, cancel the wash, let it drain, and then turn on the rinse cycle. Which does work, thank goodness. Repair guy comes out and guess what. Needs a part. He's to call when it comes in.

And this isn't even mentioning stupid computer problems.

When does it end????

Saturday, October 1, 2011

BUNDLES

So when we moved, we bundled. You know: TV, telephone, internet. No cells.

We went with the other big one so we couldn't do cellphones, but it's okay. We still came out ahead because this guy in Best Buy gave us a great deal. At least for a year. Then we'll see.

So far we like it. A couple of small problems getting adjusted. Learning to use the box and the internal message center on the phone. Stuff like that.

Except for one thing we can't figure out. Every once in a while we'll be watching TV and this big blue - yes BLUE - screen comes on and says YOU ARE NOT AN AUTHORIZED USER and refuses to show the picture despite our protests that yes, indeed, we are authorized users and we have the receipts to prove it.

I discovered early on that flipping to another channel and then flipping right back clears it up quite nicely, thank you very much. But my guy gets totally frustrated.

And now football season's here. This can't be good.