Amazon is Trying to Ruin My Valentine’s Day

I just returned home from a solo trip to North Carolina where I was visiting my daughter and her family. I wanted to make sure I was home for Valentine’s Day because, well, you know, I had a hair appointment. They are kind of sacred.

Bob and I don’t make a huge, big deal about Valentine’s Day. We blame it on the commercialism and crowds – the 2 Cs. But we do not ignore this holiday. Ignoring it is tantamount to romantic suicide. We feel free to make light of it, but we always recognize it in some way. We’re not stupid! You don’t stay married for over 42 years and not learn a thing or two!

For instance, when I was in North Carolina I ordered something for Bob. Over Amazon. The account which we share. Which means that there are no more real surprises in life!

Of course, I forgot to tell Bob that something was coming. Something that I would like him to set aside without opening, and while he was at it, please keep his eyes off of the Amazon app on his phone – at least the orders section.

My mistake.

So, when I got home last night I noticed the opened gift on his dresser. Of course, he apologized.

It was really no big deal. None at all. But then I got to thinking.

Me: I was wondering why you opened the mysterious package that arrived while I was away.

Bob: It was addressed to me (they all are). I didn’t remember ordering anything so I figured you did.

Me: But why did you open it?

Bob: I wondered what it was.

Me: So, you didn’t think it was for you.

Bob: Right.

Me: Why did you open something that you thought was for me?

Bob: I wanted to find out what it was.

Me: So, it didn’t really matter who it was for, you were opening it.

Bob: Now you understand.

It’s hard to argue with that kind of logic.

So, a big HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY to Bob and to all of you, too. May your day be filled with scintillating conversation.

Flowers from Bob, waiting for me when I got home. He’s so sweet.

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Bob and the Fob

Time for a Fob Story

We have two cars in our family, but mine is clearly the favorite. It’s newer and has more safety features than Bob’s does. For instance (in the newer category), I have a push-button starter. I leave my key fob in my purse. You can also start the car remotely, which has been helpful in keeping good attitudes when it’s 95 degrees outside so we can enter our car with the AC blowing. I have used it for the heat once, but if I lived up North, oh baby, that would be a desirable feature.

But initially there was a very minor, oh so small, downside. I hesitate to mention it because I know by now you think of me as a technological genius, but here goes:

The adjustment to the key fob was fraught with problems for me. You see, I’m a checker. With this newfangled thing, you simply have to have the fob with you for the door to unlock or lock. A pass of my hand over the “lock” and it locks. Or does it?

With my old car, I would yank on the handle to make sure I locked the door. Now, with my fob in my pocket, I would yank on the handle and the door would open, like it’s supposed to. How in the world was a checker like me ever going to be confident that her car was locked? It was mildly traumatic. For a few weeks I would dig my fob out of my purse and manually push the lock button, like someone would do way back in the year 2013. Embarrassing. Even I knew this was ridiculous, so I engaged my handy-dandy engineer, Bob, to help trouble shoot this enormous problem. (As I’ve told you before, always have an engineer around. They come in very handy. I’m so glad I had the good sense to marry one.)

Bob indulged me by keeping the fob in his pocket, locking the door, and walking away. I’m not sure if he walked away for the test or just to distance himself from me, but either way it worked out because I could pull on that car door handle until the cows come home and have proof positive that the car was locked.

Now I hardly ever doubt myself (at least when it comes to locking the car). I am a confident door locker – I thought you’d be happy to know that. I can pass my hand over the handle and walk away.

But Bob has his own fob problems. He has trouble with the unlock feature – his hands are not as delicate as mine, so sometimes it takes a couple of tries for him to register the unlock feature when he puts his hand around the door handle. Another problem with Bob and the fob is that he loves the remote start. Often on a cool evening he will use that feature and when we enter our car, I’m greeted by an AC blast. Well, that drives me crazy, but Bob is so happy to start the car from far distances, I’d hate to end that kind of entertainment for him. Then one day I realized that I always have a fob in my purse, so I can get in the car first and shut off the air. I tell you, my life is complicated.

While on the subject of riding in the car with my husband, I’m wondering if anyone else goes through a scenario like this one. It’s getting slightly warm in the car, so I open my window. Things are perfect for about two seconds, then Bob realizes that he, too, is warm, so he opens his window. Of course, I become cold and wind-blown, so I close mine. Bob becomes aware that I’m uncomfortable so he closes his window. It’s the cooling cycle of life, I guess. We finally give up and turn on the AC with the dual control feature.

Yes, there are a lot of things to overcome in our modern world, but as long as we laugh with each other about them, I think we’ll be okay.

So, Now I’m Famous(er)

I am overwhelmed by the love and support I have received from you, my wonderful readers and friends. You shared my post about my new book over 20 times, and I have received an enormous amount of encouragement from you in my comments and on my Facebook feed. Thank you!

I have to say, I’m having the time of my life. This is a dream come true for me. It is made possible by my friend and writing mentor, Rob Swanson, who is the creator of Prevail Press, the micropublishing company that has walked me through the entire project to create this beautiful book (illustrated by Anna Kester). Rob has a vision to enable good writers to publish good books. He knows the challenges of traditional publishing and the time involved in that pursuit and realizes that it won’t work for everyone – actually it won’t work for most of us. I love his business plan. You can check it out here and see what is going on in these beginning stages of Prevail Press, as well as meet their other authors.

In addition to all of this, I am now a YouTube star! I know what you’re thinking – it was just a matter of time. Please check out my video explaining why I wrote the book. Filming it was one of the weirdest things I’ve ever done, but you have to give the public what they want!

https://youtu.be/NWygNFDc0BE

Thanks again and remember, just in case you haven’t ordered it already, ALWAYS LOOK FOR THE MAGIC is available through Prevail Press and on Amazon in both print and electronic versions.

Click here to order on Amazon.

 

We have Winners!

I had the hare-brained idea to get my dad’s Bunny Rabbit out of retirement to select the names of the two people who have won a copy of my book. He was so excited, he spent all afternoon at the hare dresser.

(When you read my book, ALWAYS LOOK FOR THE MAGIC, this will make more sense to you, if you can’t figure it out already.)

Bunny Rabbit was always a wild and crazy guy. He’s a little unconventional. He usually made a huge mess when he would assist my dad with his magic act. He is soft-spoken (he does have a hare lip), but his heart is in the right place.

One at a time, Bunny Rabbit!

I put all the entry names in his hat and asked Bunny Rabbit to choose one and then another. I don’t think he entirely understood me as he immediately started throwing things around. So, I adjusted my plan accordingly and decided the last two names in the hat would be my winners.

Congratulations to Melodye Jones and Kim Sutter. You are the winners! I will contact you soon about getting a book to you.

Congratulations, Kim and Melodye!

Remember, Always Look for the Magic is available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/097932517X.

 

THE BIG REVEAL

Once upon a time a woman began writing down the stories her father told about growing up in Baltimore during The Great Depression. Knowing that one day her father would not be around to share them, she wanted to make sure that they weren’t lost for her children and grandchildren. She had always been entertained by the antics that seemed to be an everyday part of his younger life, and she loved the way his eyes would twinkle when he told those stories.

As she began to write down those stories, they took on a life of their own and became a work of fiction – my work of fiction. Yep – I’m the woman!

So, here’s the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: I’m excited to tell you that my new novel, ALWAYS LOOK FOR THE MAGIC, is now available on Amazon, both in print and digital formats!


Here’s the link where you can order it: https://www.amazon.com/dp/097932517X

This is a light-hearted book, full of warmth and laughter, that will be enjoyed by people from 8 to 88.

I hope you will click on over there and order a few dozen for yourself, your children, your grandchildren, your neighbors, and your neighbors’ children.

Also, after you read it would you kindly give me a review on Amazon? That would be so helpful. Thank you!

 

AND, THERE’S MORE! You can win a copy of this brand-new book! Here’s how to enter:

1 entry for commenting on this post.

1 entry for sharing on Facebook.

1 entry for sharing on Twitter.

(You can use the hashtag #look4themagic.)

I will do a random drawing tomorrow (Thursday, Feb 1) at noon and announce two winners. Winners must reside in the United States.

Thank you so much!

Suspense Can’t Really Kill a Person, but It Can Be Mildly Annoying

 

Hi there! Can I have your attention please?

I haven’t forgotten that you are waiting for my announcement.

I have decided that it’s time to tell you my big news – tomorrow.

One more day – that’s 24 short little hours.

I should have all of my ducks in a row by then. So, hang in there, faithful readers.

Get lined up, ducks!

The Excitement is Growing

I’m working out a plan to tell you my news.

I’m trying to map it out, but it may take me a few more days because I am a non-mapprehender. I attempted to find the proper name for my map malady, but there doesn’t seem to be one, so I am launching this new word. I hope you like it. (I googled mappus ineptus, but I figure that didn’t come up because it’s archaic.)

Anyway, I’m off to run a few errands. I’ll get back with you soon about my big news. And, yes, I’m still sooooo excited! I can’t wait to tell you all about it. But I will.

I’m So Excited (and I Just Can’t Hide It)

Bob says, “This is going to be HUGE!”

Things are getting pretty exciting around here.

Oh, but you’re probably in the middle of something right now.

I’ll post more later.

A Sign of a Healthy Valentine’s Day

This is a public service announcement. If you’ve been caught up in the post-holiday clean-up or the crazy cold weather that has invaded the country, then allow me to put you on notice that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. To be exact, 22 days as of this posting.

As I ponder the sign at the corner Walgreens, I realize it is more important than ever to plan ahead for this day of unleashed romance. This is a night when restaurants set up extra tables and there are long lines at the grocery store as men pick up handfuls of flowers as they head home from work. The card aisles in the stores get picked over so badly that if you are pale like our family, you may have to show the DNA results from Ancestry.com to explain the Mahogany brand being chosen as the best of the remaining three cards.

Sidebar: Yes, I have received the Mahogany brand before, and while the verse was very nice it was unusual to have white-as-white Bob and I being portrayed by a couple of a different race – not that there’s anything wrong with that. Our kids called their dad out on being a last-minute shopper, while Bob said he didn’t know what they were talking about. For the record, I’m sure both sides were telling the truth.

But I’m not hear to warn you about card choices, though I will say it was long overdue for the card industry to recognize that it’s a colorful world out there. I’m here to join with Walgreens and encourage you to get a flu shot or do something equally special for Valentine’s Day like Lysol down the house. Do you know how many germ-infested people have used their disgustingly dirty hands to look through those cards? Some have probably flipped through them while awaiting their prescription for strep, flu, or bubonic plague, while sneezing. And the close quarters at restaurants are a veritable petri dish of influenza. That’s not the kind of culture you’re looking for on Valentine’s Day, that’s for sure.

Thanks, Walgreens! You truly are a caring organization.

In case you’ve been under a rock somewhere, let me inform you that the flu shot takes two weeks to gain efficacy in your body, so you still have a few days to ensure a very special Valentine’s Day. If you’re not an immunizer, you may want to stay under that rock for a few more weeks until flu season passes. Or you could do what Walgreens is really promoting, plan on getting those shots together for Valentine’s Day. Now that’s love!

Household Tip You Might Not Want to Try

I don’t share many household tips here, but I came across a surprising way to shine my granite countertops.

It all started with an ambitious idea to clean my electric teakettle. Hard water deposits were shrinking its capacity, so I needed to do something before it only held enough water for a single gunky cup of tea, plus my mom mentioned it was getting gross.

I’m not much of a tea drinker. I prefer coffee. If I’m drinking tea you can assume that one of three things is going on in my life:

  1. I’ve had my coffee quota, and I am cold. This can happen during the two weeks of winter that are spread throughout the months of December through February in Central Florida.
  2. I am sick. This often coincides with those same three months. I think it is brought on by using air conditioning one day and the heat the next during those crazed arctic blasts that make their way down here and wreak havoc on our landscape taking temperatures from 80 to the 40s in a few short hours. Sometimes it gets down to freezing and I have to go out with a jacket and gloves on and cover our plants so they don’t get frostbite. Often, I overdress and end up sweating, and then I get a chill as I shed layers. You Northerners, I know, will have no sympathy for me, but life is pretty darn hard down here during those few days. Sometimes I even have to wear socks.
  3. I am out of wine.

I love my coffee in the morning and I love my coffee pot, too. It has the good manners to let me know when it needs cleaning, unlike my tea kettle that makes me actually look inside of it and judge for myself. White vinegar, of course, was the way to go. I would tell you exactly how much, but I’m sure you know how to google and I don’t really remember the ratio of vinegar to water anyway.

So, one fine Saturday morning, I grabbed the jug of “vinegar.” I did exactly what google told me to do, turned on the kettle and walked away.

Image result for mount st helens eruption

Mount St Helens (photo credit Wikipedia)

I came back a little later to discover the kettle had done an imitation of Mount St. Helens back in 1980. She spewed all over the counter and puddled down into the top two drawers. What a mess! There were suds everywhere.

The worst part of it was the smell, which was so strong it burned my eyes. I had to air out the kitchen for a couple of hours. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with the vinegar until a couple of hours later I was doing laundry, and there on the counter by the washer was the bottle of vinegar I used. Only it wasn’t vinegar. It was ammonia – sudsy ammonia.

So, as an upside, we got a new tea kettle. It’s very nice and won’t need cleaning for a while. Plus, ammonia, which I would not recommend using because it’s so hard on your skin and eyes, evidently does a great job shining up granite. Who knew? Certainly not me!

 

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