Sunday, February 24, 2008

Um - - What???

Update: I Googled this, and found out that this is "A mildly spiced cake, with raisins, served warm, with warm custard sauce." (I'm still not convinced)

Steve and I went to World Market, next door to Borders in Fort Wayne, where we spotted this:

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I don't think I want to know . . .

Book Signing!

Saturday, Dear Hubby Steve and I decided it was time for a "Day Trip", so we decided to head on over to Fort Wayne, Indiana, and check out Eileen Cook's Book Signing for her recently released book, "Unpredictable."

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There was a nice group of people at the signing. Eileen did a brief reading from the first chapter, and then answered questions from the audience.

Some of Eileen's family members were there, and it was very obvious how proud they were of her (especially her Very Proud Father). They have good reason to be!

Eileen signed my book, and graciously took time to talk with me. She is very personable, and you can tell she loves what she does.

On the back home, Steve drove, and I took the opportunity to browse through the first chapter. I can already tell that I am going to thoroughly enjoy reading this book!

If you are looking for a good read with plenty of humor, please check out Eileen's book. I guarantee you will not be disappointed!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

In A Book Store Near You

Look what has made it to the shelves of the WaldenBooks store in my little part of the world?

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The author, Eileen Cook, is on tour to promote the book, which debuted February 5th.

From the correspondence Eileen and I have shared, she seems like very nice, very talented lady. I wish her all success with her writing career!

So if you want a good read, go check out Unpredictable!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

By Popular Demand . . .

After all the bitching, moaning and complaining about FlooringAmerica, and saying how nice the floor actually turned out, I have had a couple of requests for pictures of the beautiful floor . . .

Ask, and you shall receive:

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Pretty, no?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Big "5-0"

No, not me - -

Dear Hubby Steve turns 50 today! And believe me, he wears it well, or at least in MY opinion he does!

I haven't been able to talk him into posing for a "Big 5-0" picture (yet!), so for now, a picture of his cake will have to suffice:

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Happy Birthday, Babe. I love you!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Project is Finished! (Part Two)

Installation day was finally here. The installers showed around 9 AM and proceeded to bring in the flooring and their tools, and headed on down the hall to scope out the situation. I locked the cats into one of the bedrooms to keep them out of the FLOOR PATCH COMPOUND and the GLUE (from past experience, I know to do this - - THAT is another post all its own!). I then retired to the sunroom to read the morning paper, drink some hot tea, and stay out of their way so they could get the job done and get the hell out. Yes, I was still harboring bad feelings towards FlooringAmerica at that point.

As it turned out, I had good reason to.

They had not been on it very long - - just long enough to put in the patching compound to seal any seams in the subflooring - - when the first "snag" came up. It seems that one small part of the subfloor, where four pieces of the flooring met, was not glued down as tightly as it should have been. It was going to need a couple of screws on 2 of the corners to make sure the floor was level.

I said a COUPLE of screws. Remember this.

Anyway, the one installer came out to the sunroom and told me about this, and said that they would need to leave, have my husband "work on it" that evening, and then they would come back tomorrow to finish the job.

Excuse me? They wanted to LEAVE? Because of a COUPLE of screws? And come back TOMORROW? Meaning, of course, that I would have to try to arrange to get more time off the next day, which was impossible to find out at that point BECAUSE IT WAS A STATE HOLIDAY AND CAMPUS WAS CLOSED!

I told them they would have to speak to my husband about this. They said he could call in after he got off work. I told them he was on break, and I intended to call him NOW, and they could speak with him NOW. He was still protesting this as I dialed and got Steve on the phone. I handed the phone to the installer, who (very unhappily)took it and started trying to explain the situation.

A couple of minutes later, he handed the phone back to me, and Steve said, "What the hell is he talking about? I have screws, and a drill, and they can just get it done while they are there!" He wasn't getting any arguments from me on that!

I went downstairs, found the screws they needed, brought them up and handed the box to they other installer, who immediately informed me that the other guy was on the phone with their boss to find out what they were supposed to do about this. I totally ignored that, and just politely asked if they would need a drill to use; if so, to let me know. I then walked out of the room and back to my newspaper.

A few minutes later, I noticed that it had gotten very 'busy' - - apparently their boss had told them to "do whatever it takes" to get the job done. Suddenly, the screws had been placed in the subfloor (all TWO of them), they were suddenly very nice and polite, and the flooring got installed - - PERFECTLY - - in no time at all. They then got all their equipment picked up and hauled out, and went on their merry way.

The floor is beautiful, by the way.

However - in their haste to get out of there . . . they took off with the box of screws belonging to dear hubby. I made a call and asked their supervisor to have them drop the box back by the house.

Tomorrow it will be ONE WEEK. The box of screws has not been returned yet.

I know it's a small thing, and I should probably let it go. But after this entire ordeal - - I'm not going to.

But one thing is for certain - - we will NEVER, EVER do business with FlooringAmerica again. EVER.

It's a good thing the floor is as beautiful as it is.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Oh! And?

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Happy Valentine's Day!

Now go hug somebody.

♥♥♥♥♥♥

Project is Finished! (Part One)

The bathroom project is FINALLY finished! *whew*

But not without its problems . . .

The main problem was with the company we used to get the vinyl flooring.

Ever heard of FlooringAmerica?

They are new here in town, and Dear Hubby went searching for flooring the Friday we had the major snowstorm. They were the only company open that afternoon, and we needed flooring QUICKLY - - so he decided to give them a chance.

BAD move.

He came home with some flooring samples and we put them down against the wall tile, decided which one looked good, and then decided to go back the next day to place the order.

When we got there Saturday morning, we showed the lady Steve had been dealing with which one we were interested in. She got out her calculator, did a lot of figuring, and then gave a slip of paper with the number $1,470 on it.

YES. One Thousand Four Hundred Seventy Dollars.

For a 12 x 8 bathroom.

I looked at her and said, "EXCUSE ME? I don't think so!" She started in with some big long explanation about floor prep and installing and transitions and seaming all . . . I just kept looking at her and said, "This will NOT do." I said to Steve, "Ready to go elsewhere?" The lady looked a little panicked and said she would refigure. Which she did. And gave another slip of paper with the number $1,140.

I gave her another look. And said, "No, this will not do at all." I then said to Steve, "I'm ready to go elsewhere." The lady looked more panicked and said, "No, no, let me see what I can do."

She went to the showroom floor and picked out a couple more samples. We looked at them - - they were very similar to what we had picked out originally - - so we took them home to see what they would look like. One looked good, so we went back and told her which one we wanted. She grabbed her calculator and started figuring, and then gave us the figure of $320 for flooring and installation. We could live with that.

We placed the order and asked how soon the flooring would be in and could get installed, as we were under a pretty tight timeline. She told us - - MANY TIMES - - that trucks came in on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

TUESDAYS and THURSDAYS. She told us NUMEROUS times. Remember that.

We didn't hear from them on Tuesday, so figured the flooring would be in on the Thursday truck. Well, Thursday came, and was almost gone, and we had still not heard from them yet. So Steve called . . . and was first told that they were too busy to talk to him and they would have to call him back. (That man is WAY more patient than I am, apparently - - I would have handed someone their ass right about then.). They actually DID call him back, but seemed to know nothing about the flooring . . . until the guy on the phone FINALLY found the order and told Steve, "That truck comes in on Mondays."

Mondays? MONDAYS??? (Please see above)

They told Steve they would give us a call next Tuesday and schedule an installation for the FOLLOWING week. Remember me saying Steve was more patient than me? Well, this is when he lost it. He started in on the guy and told him in no uncertain terms when the floor needed installed, and no later than that . . . and ended the call.

Later on, there was a message on our phone that the flooring would DEFINITELY be in on Monday, and that he had put us on the list for insallation on the following Tuesday.

But the fun was just beginning . . . I will write about the installation adventure in my next post!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

For the Moment - -

It's been a busy weekend! So, until I get a chance to post more, here is something for you:

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Her Most Serene Highness Lady Liz the Weary of Much Leering
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title


Um - - whatever.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Aftermath

Now that the dust has settled from the oil tank explosion, cleanup is beginning - - and in the daylight, you can really see what happened, as seen in this video from our local TV station, found here

Unbelievable . . .

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Mother Nature's Fury

We have had HORRIBLE weather lately. First, 12 inches of snow, and now thunderstorms that have dumped almost 4-1/2 inches of rain on our area, causing flash flooding throughout the area.

And the thunderstorms? Vicious!

Last night a heavy thunderstorm moved through our area around 5:30 PM. I was still at work (taught a class last night) but Dear Hubby was at home. There was a very bright bolt of lightning and a large clap of thunder; he knew it had hit somewhere close by. He looked out our sunroom windows, and this is what he saw, about 1/2 mile from our house:
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That is a picture of three OIL STORAGE TANKS - - lightning had hit and caught 2 of the 3 tanks on fire!

Hubby called 911 to report the fire. Rescue personnel immediately flooded the area, and the road just past our house was blocked off.

They had just gotten a good stop on the fire, when it re-ignited, causing one of the tanks to explode:
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Flames were literally shooting hundreds of feet in the air!

The news crew interviewed Dear Hubby, since he was the one who reported it. The link to his broadcast is here.

They finally got the fire under control around 9:00 PM, just before I got home from work (so I missed all the excitement!). Fortunately, no one was injured during the whole ordeal.

Mother Nature can be a vicious bitch sometimes . . .

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Today Is the Day!

It's finally here - -

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Eileen Cook's new book, Unpredictable, is available TODAY!

Look for it at your favorite bookstore or online seller.

Well? What are you waiting for? Get going! :-)

Monday, February 04, 2008

FOG, FOG and MORE FOG

Update: What is it with people? It is FOGGY - - REAL FOGGY - - you practically cannot see your hand in front of your face. And yet - - there are freakin' IDIOTS out there who insist on driving their dark-colored cars with NO HEADLIGHTS ON!

Unbelievable.
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It is FOGGY out today!

I'm not talking your kinda misty, eerie, wispy tendrils of fog - - I'm talking the DEADLY, CANNOT SEE A DAMN THING type of fog. And the Dense Fog Advisory for our area has been extended until 9 PM tonight.

It's nasty.

Example: I left the office about 1/2 hour ago to make a quick run to the Post Office to mail a package.

I was back to the office within 10 minutes.

No, I don't work that close to the Post Office - - but I COULD NOT SEE. You cannot see the cars in front of you at the stoplight until you are almost hitting them!

Heck, you can't even see the stoplights!

I'm not kidding.

I have cancelled my appointment tonight after work and am heading straight home. The 5 minute drive may take me 20 minutes, but better late than sorry.

If the weather in your area is anything like ours is here today, PLEASE be careful!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Winter Wonderland

Update: Late afternoon (4:30 - 5:00)
Rain, rain and more rain - - LIGHTNING and THUNDER.

Un-freakin'-believable . . .

*sigh* Welcome to Winter in Central Illinois . . . . .

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We had an unusual Winter experience this morning.

Yesterday, the temps climbed into the upper 30's. Overnight, as the air cooled a bit, it drew up a lot of the moisture from the melting snow, creating a heavy blanket of fog. As temps cooled down more, the fog froze, coating everything in crystal:

The trees in the front yard:
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And in the back:
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One lone sentinal in the back yard:
One Lone Sentinal

The bush next to our garage was beautiful:
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All the trees and fields around our home were encased in crystal shells. Absolutely breathtaking.

Too bad it has to be so damn cold to be this beautiful!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Friday, February 01, 2008

SNOW DAY!!

Campus is closed - -
The snow just keeps coming down, more and more - -
The wind is kicking up - -
It's a good day to stay inside!

Except for this afternoon - - once the snow tapers off and the wind starts to lay, it will be time to go out and scoop the sidewalks. Steve is outside right now with the tractor and blade getting the drive cleared in front of the garage so we can get out if need be . . . I think the news said we had 11 inches of snow - - it's really deep out there!

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This extra day will also give Dear Hubby and me an extra day to finish up a MAJOR project in our Master bathroom. We thought it was just a faulty toilet, but unfortunately has turned out to be much, much more than that. Apparently, something underneath it had been broken for a long time, and had been leaking all that time. When Steve went to pull up the old toilet, the floor came up with it . . .

He has torn up the floor, all the way through to the basement, and had to replace the subfloor and overlay all around the toilet area. Fortunately, the rest of the subfloor was able to dry out okay, so just the overlay needs replaced on that. He will probably get that finished up today.

Tomorrow we have to find new floor tile and get it put down, at least around the toilet area, so that we can put in the new unit. Then we can lay the rest of the floor tile.

This has been going on all week - - my poor Dear Hubby has really had his hands full! I wish there was more I could do to help him, but it's a small enough area right there that two people won't fit . . . so I just stand back and offer (im)moral support . . . (hey, it's the least I can do)

If you have bad weather in your area today, please be careful and stay safe!