Tuesday, July 30, 2013

And I also did a couple of watercolors this summer...trying to get back into painting and relearning techniques. Ok...these aren't great...but they are a start..

Didn't do a lot of design this summer...well I guess I did a logo and business card for a small business in Nokomis, Florida. Here are the options...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Dishonest businesses...they really aggravate me!

Ok..so now I've started preparation for the northern venture and what do I run into? Crooked mechanics! I KNOW, I KNOW...they aren't all that way...in fact my ex and my son are both very honest and very good mechanics. But let me tell you about my experience in the south. Nokomis, Florida, specifically and if any of you are looking for where NOT to bring your car for repairs, email me!

My brakes (or something) are making a screeching noise (this is a couple of weeks ago.) Aargh...since my car is a 2003 Saturn Vue with over 200,000 miles on it (I love this car and don't want to give it up) it could be anything, right? So I take it in to a Honda quick oil change and ask them to check the noise. Bringing it in right on my appointed time, the manager takes one look at me and my car and sends me down the road...says that this OTHER dealership knows a lot more about Saturns...yeah, whatever. So over to the other place I go....and after a bid of $1200 and an oil change, I leave, not willing to pay that kind of money for a repair on this old of an auto.

I'm starting to panic. I have to leave on a 2000 mile drive with two dogs and my ex in a couple of weeks! I don't want to risk car issues on the road so I spend a couple of days looking for a new car. Then I happen to think of my honest mechanic relatives up north (my ex being one and my son) and give them a call. No, no a resounding no, they say. Don't do it, don't pay it, get another opinion first. Best advice ever..why didn't I think of it. So I go into another local business, they tell me it's a quick fix and they do fix that noise for under $100. Whatever! Now comes the rub...

I know I need a couple of new tires and thinking I should get them before 'the drive' I go BACK to this business...buy the tires, ask them to replace a headlight that has recently burned out and to take a look at the abs sensor as it might need replacement. I trust these guys, right? Well, not really...because now they're telling me the rear abs sensor can't be sold or replaced by itself...has to be replaced with the attached housing (all for over $200 when the sensor costs about $50) oh and by the way...you also need to replace your caliper (again for a couple of hundred) so by the time I'd get done with everything...about $600. Geezus...do I have STUPID on my forehead? Again, thank goodness for honest ex's and kids that know this kind of stuff...and my friends here in Florida too...as all warned against having this done without another SECOND opinion.

And sure enough...that stuff about the abs sensor alone or with housing? It can be replaced alone. Another dishonest business on (or off) my list. The caliper? Rarely needs replaced and I've done it once already...but my ex...is going to fix the abs and look at the caliper BEFORE we drive back to the north.

The message in all this? Here it comes...brings out the politics in me...We have turned into a country that places profits first and damn any integrity in business. Look at the Koch Bros...look at Wall Street...look at the banks and the state of our housing/mortgage industry.You believe in all that trickle- down bulls--t that started with  ‎Reaganomics? What seems to have 'trickled down' is none of the wealth and much of the immorality in business...that's all for my rant, today.

Well not quite all...my pool company...they do a fine job when they expect me to be here...enough said!


This week is the beginning of the summer's end, in my life anyway. It came way too quickly in some ways...and way too slowly in others.

As many of you know, I make the trek south for the summer...the only time of the year that my schedule is flexible enough to visit a house recently purchased in Florida. Sacrificing some quality time with my kids and grandkids in the north, my time in southern summer is spent teaching online, catering to my dogs, swimming, and catching up with political news and views missed during the busier parts of my season. And since time is available, my 'finish what you start' nature is aggravated with myself for ignoring my blog during the summer months. Or ignoring it all together, when writing is something so enjoyable....aaahhh...but then the water beckons.

Beach in front of Gulf Sands Beach Resort

Dock in back of the house
Pool in back of house...and Jessie
Not sure what it is about water and me...but there is definitely a link. Maybe being born in the midwest without major bodies of water around, being around them now satisfies an unknown need. Regardless...both states that I live now and the one that I spent my young adulthood have BIG bodies of water close by....the Pacific...Lake Michigan...and now the Gulf. And I think it's hereditary...all my kids seem to gravitate to water...in activities and in relaxation.

Sorry...gotten off track here...my intent of today's blog was to bring closure to the summer months this year as well as start and chronicle the trek north. This week will be spent in preparation...car repairs, house cleaning, yard work and paying all final summer expenses. 

So...what was accomplished THIS summer that wasn't done previously? Hmmm...well, three watercolors were finished and a fourth begun. Learned a recycle trick for all those damned plastic bags that seem to accumulate in the closet. Babysat a hotel for a week (chief cleaner, office manager and the like.) Saw one current movie every week...and read at least a book a week...learned to download to my Nook from two libraries...one in Michigan and one in Florida...swam daily when weather permits or unless I was too lazy that day...planted chives, avocados, tomatoes, green peppers and ate them (all but the avocados..they weren't here yet.) Transplanted two bushes, and planted lavendar...all are surviving so far. Learned to make fruit smoothies...and ate them regularly for breakfast.

Geez..the list is kind of paltry, isn't it. But I did work all summer...teaching online classes...and loved it. Going into the final two weeks of the class...and students are doing great. So, next post should begin the journey north (with a side trip to the way north...Alaska!) Can't wait :)

Road trip 2021

 A picture review of 2021 Sister Trip. As baby of the family, I’ve committed to visiting my three older sisters as often as possible, before...