Goodbye, My Friend

Sit on the lid and laugh!

Build for yourself a strong box
Fashion each part with care
When its as strong as your hand can make it
Put all your troubles there.

Hide there all thought of your failures
And each bitter cup that you quaff
Lock all your heartaches within it
Then sit on the lid and laugh.

Tell no one else its contents
Never its secrets tell
When you’ve dropped in your care and worry
Keep them forever there.

Hide them from sight so completely
That the world will never dream half;
Fasten the strong box securely
Then sit on the lid and laugh

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All Dogs go to Heaven

This was written for my cousin Lori because she loves dogs.

The noisy intersection was filled with people hurrying, each in their own world, ignoring fellow travelers. They were abruptly yanked from their reverie when they heard the screech of brakes and a sickening bump!

The victim’s scream was mercifully short! Onlookers were frozen in horror; the victim lay, crumpled under the bus.

“Oh, my God, he just ran out in front of me. I couldn’t stop!” The driver’s hands spread palms out in front of him, beseeching the multitude of witnesses to back him up. 

“Someone call 9-1-1!”

Freddy Connely dropped to the ground, peering under his truck, knowing the poor devil pinned there was not alive, but still hoping.

Joe Bannon emerged from the blackness of death, starring down at the man under the bus until he realized he was looking at his own face staring back.

“Wait a minute, that guy looks just like me!” he said one of the bystanders.

No one answered or acknowledged his remark. He slipped between people, and to his astonishment, walked right through a couple of the frozen statues. A young woman clutching her child’s hand yanked the kid so hard its knees hit the pavement as she dragged it around the corner and out of sight.  

Joe Bannon couldn’t accept that mangled body, lying bleeding under the bus was him! “There isn’t a drop of blood on my new suit, and what’s this, walking through people?” He tried to talk to the bus driver, but he continued trying to solicit agreement from everyone but Joe, who was standing right in front of him.

The scene faded, and Joe found himself in a lovely green meadow, beside a sparkling meandering stream. Looking into the clear water, he saw beautiful rainbow trout swimming just below the surface. Tearing his eyes from those beauties, his attention was drawn to the magnificent snow-capped mountains, in the distance under the blue skies with fluffy white clouds! Starring mesmerized, he was amused, seeing the clouds shaped like dogs. He had never been an animal lover, he tried the animal thing several times, but it just wasn’t for him.

The scenery was so beautifully soothing, Joe felt tired and slowly sunk down to the soft grass, instantly falling into a deep sleep. He slept peacefully until something wet touched his face. Swiping at the moisture, he continued sleeping, until he felt a wet grainy tongue lap his face. 

Startled awake, all he could see was a large pink tongue in front of his eyes; he sprung into a sitting position.  He found himself staring into the face of a St. Bernard dog complete with a Brandy barrel on a chain around his massive neck. They sat motionless for several minutes looking at each other, until Joe heard a voice saying, “If you would like a drink, be my guest!”

“Thank you, I think I could use one after the day I have had,” Joe said and proceeded to enjoy sipping the nectar of the God’s. Looking around, not seeing the dog’s master or any other human, he was shocked; the dog was speaking.

“You’re a dog. You can’t talk!” Joe exclaimed.

“In the world, you came from, that is true, but here things are a little different.”

“How different can things be? Where are we?” Joe sputtered.

“Where do you think you are?”

“Well, since I was hit by a bus, figure I am either in Heaven or Hell!”

Bernard lifted his massive head and laughed for several minutes. “You humans are funny creatures!”

Joe was struck speechless, hearing the dog laughing. He thought, “This is the strangest dream I have ever had.” He pinched himself, and feeling the pain, he knew he was awake unless that was part of the vision, too! “When I wake up, I will miss this beautiful valley and not having the chance to catch one of those magnificent fish.” 

“What makes you think this is a dream?”

“Well, for one thing, dogs can’t talk, and St. Bernard’s with the Brandy Barrels is a myth. I can accept that I died in that accident, but this isn’t the Heaven or hell I imagined. Which is it?”

“Which do you want it to be? By the way, please call me Bernie.”

“Well, Bernie, at the moment, it feels more like heaven, or would be if I had my fishing equipment!” Joe said, pouring another generous cup from Bernie’s barrel, and taking a long drink, anticipating the answer to his question.

Instantly his old Jebco rod appeared beside him. “Well, hot damn, I guess it must be Heaven, although I am a little surprised I made the cut! I can’t wait to taste those trout. Am I allowed to build a fire?”

Throwing his baited hook in the water, a magnificent trout grabbed his hook and leisurely swam away.

“Wait a minute! You can’t do that! I caught you fair and square and want

you in my frying pan.”  He rapidly reeled in his line, but the fish ignored

him, no matter how fast he reeled, and damn, the fish was smiling.

“Dammit! What kind of fishing hole is this? I can bait my hook, dangle it in the water, and the fish bite, but swim away. I love trout, smothered in butter, fried to a golden brown in a frying pan over a campfire!”  Suddenly the grief and unfairness of his death overcame him, and he began to bawl big gulping sobs. 

Bernie, couldn’t stand his blubbering and said, “Stop that blubbering right now!” It is always a little strange the first couple of days, but there’s no need to get hysterical.”

Joe’s blubbering and tears slowed down.

“I want you to meet someone.” And he stepped aside so Joe could see a puppy standing looking at Joe with a hopeful look on his eager face. 

“He’s kinda cute, but I’m not a dog person.”  He thought, “Maybe if I ignore it, it will run away. A human companion is more to my liking.”

Bernie said, Joe, this is Rex, he wants to be your friend. Rex jumped up in Joe’s arms, well his chest, and because Joe didn’t move his arms, Rex lingered a few seconds and dropped to the grass.  He stood there looking up at Joe with those sad puppy eyes, begging him to pick him up.

Joe wanted not of that! “What’s the meaning of this? I have never been a dog person, they don’t like me, and the feeling is mutual.”

“Wonder why that is?  You can see, this puppy wants to be friends.”

“Yeah, right now, it does. But the feeding, the cleaning up after it, walking, and trips to the Vet will take up all of my time.  I don’t have time for any complications in my life, I have an important meeting I have to get to… and looking he his cell, he said, “Right now!”  Looking around frantically, he remembered where he was and sunk to the ground.

Rex took that as a sign and crawled into his lap, snuggling closer, shining those puppy eyes up at Joe.

“You will have all the time in the world to play.  Rex is never sick, he loves to run and chase sticks and is the best cuddler in the world.” Bernie said.

Joe was losing patience, which he didn’t have in abundance. “Alright! Where the hell am I?” He jumped to his feet, dumping the puppy on the grass.

“Joe, where do you want to be?”

“What kind of question is that? I was just in a horrendous accident, and probably in surgery right now, dreaming of this place.  It can’t be Heaven, or there wouldn’t be dogs.  OMG, I must be in hell!  He said, slumping back to the ground. Without Joe realizing it, he stroked Rex’s baby soft fur and couldn’t help noticing the silky feel.  He continued stroking the fur, eliciting moans of pleasure and more snuggles from Rex.

“Joe, why do you want to be in Hell?”

“I don’t want to be, but where else can this be? Fish I can only look at, a dog that will hate me, and no people to talk to. What else do you have in your bag of tricks to taunt me for eternity?”

“What else do you want?”

“Knock it off! Answering my questions with more questions!”

“Okay, I will tell you! You are in what I will call the “Inbetween” and will stay here until your character develops enough for dogs and other animals, love you!”

“What do you mean?  I am petting it, aren’t I?  Can I go the people hell or Heaven, now?”

He started patting the dog’s head with gusto, and right on cue, the puppy growled and moved away, giving him a sorrowful look.

“See, they don’t like me, and I don’t like them much, either.”

“That is too bad.  Most of the people arriving here are thrilled with this tranquil meadow, puppies to cuddle, fish to catch, and clouds to watch. 

“Didn’t you see that your puppy took an instant dislike to me?”

“Once you get to know the inhabitants of this valley, you will love it here, like everyone else.”

“Everyone else?  Where are they? I need people, not dogs!”

“First, you have to learn to be kind to dogs, and if and when they accept you, then you will ascend to the next phase of your enlightenment!”

“What? Give me another drink from that barrel!” Joe said, reaching for the barrel.

“All your needs will be provided for, as long as you stay here, but I will be moving along to greet my next visitor. 

Bernie turned, and in an instant, he was running across the field and disappeared over the hill.

There are warranties and there are warranties

Many of the major appliance companies have a warranty that survives the one the salesperson tells you about in the store when you are dazzled by the gorgeous new appliance.

I always ask if they have one, even if I am not sure. 

When we purchased our new washing machine from Spenser’s Appliance (You know the slogan, “You have a friend in the business”) in February 2019, we were not thrilled with what was available.  Every appliance has a computer embedded within.  I thought, “Well, GE is a good company, so I was sure I would get years of service and declined the extra warranty. In July 2020, it stopped spinning, with a full load of towels. 

I called Spenser’s (you remember my friend in the business) and was told it would be just shy of $85.00 to have a service person come out, AND the $85.00 did not become part of the repair.  There was no mention of an additional warranty.  I called around and found someone to come out for $59.00, which was also not part of the repair. 

Well, the repair person spent several seconds and declared the control board was bad. A new one, along with the labor, would be about the cost of a new washing machine.  When I picked myself up off the floor, I paid him and decided to write to GE to see if there was something they were willing to do. 

So I did; my case # 04229845 was acknowledged by GE on 7/29/2020, with this reply: “Thanks for reaching out to us.  A member of our support team will reply as soon as possible. If you’d like to provide any additional information, please reply to this email, and your case will be updated.”

If you know me, you know I am a little impatient!  I wrung out all the towels and let them dry on my sunporch. I waited for almost 2 weeks for an answer from GE. 

Finally, remembered B&B Appliances, sell new and renewed appliances.  Even though we were in the middle of a pandemic, we drove to the store. We bought a used washer without ANY computer activated equipment. They have a 6-month warranty. 

It was installed, and the useless GE washer was taken away.  I put one load through it, and it made a terrible noise.  I called them, and a service person came out and declared it DOA.  When I called the store, they told me it would be another week.  I was disappointed and made that clear to the poor customer service person.  The phone rang just as I was picking it up to call and apologize, and he said a new washer would be delivered the next day, and he was sorry for the delay.  Now that’s service!  

About 2 or three weeks later, I got a call from a live person from GE.  She told me if I had not been so hasty (her words) and had waited until they got around to answering my email, she would have sent a GE repair person.  It would have been repaired FREE, and GE would have issued a 5-year warranty. 

My question to GE is; If you were willing to give this level of service, why didn’t Spenser’s “MY Friend in the Business” know about it? 

My second question is: Why didn’t you tell me that in your first email reply?

By the way, GE, can you give me ONE good reason to give you any feedback?

Consider this your feedback!  Why would I need to purchase a warranty on a washer that by now is in a landfill??? I’ve received at least 6 emails offering to sell me a warranty on my washer from you! Don’t hold your breath!

No Bake Cookie Dough Chocolate Cups The Recipe Critic

Be still my heart! Two of my favorite things, chocolate, and cookie dough!

Ruby & Nolan’s Great Adventures in Space

Book:1 Science Project

This is an intro to my series of 7 Young Adult books. Ruby and Nolan were in grade school when I started this series; are now teenagers. It was fun following them from youngsters to young adults.

How does a family cope with making life-changing decisions?  Does the family become closer or drift apart?  

Let’s peek inside the lives of a family of four that makes a decision not many will ever make.  They agreed to leave the comfort of their home, families, and earth and journey to an uninhabited planet many light-years away. 

The entire family makes the journey.  However, this story is mainly about their two pre-teens’ adventures.

Ruby and Nolan Weller make their weekly climb up the hill by their home to check the Solar Panels.  They are shocked to find two of them mangled and broken beyond repair.  Searching for tracks of the animal that did the damage, they discover a large, brightly colored rock.  Deciding it would be a great science project, they slide it down the hill with one small mishap and hide it in their play fort’s wood box. 

For the next few weeks, they conduct their scientific study.  When it starts growing, they realize it isn’t a rock at all; it is an egg!  They know back on earth, eggs do not grow!  Whatever is in that egg, it is big!  And it is hatching!

Nolan hopes it is a pony, even though he knows ponies do not hatch from eggs.  Ruby thinks it might be a chicken or a bird but is concerned with its size!  What could go wrong?  After all, it will be a baby? 

Dearly Beloved and Unbeloved

Today is Friday the 13th and I thought some fun might be in order. I wrote this when we were Activity Directors for a Resort in Apache Junction. We were planning a renewal of marriage vows.

Dearly  Beloved and Unbeloved

We have gathered here within the site of Lost Dutchman’s Mine on Superstition Mountain to renew our commitments to all of our long-suffering spouses.

The ceremony is short, just like our memories!   Which is a blessing, or none of us would still be married to the dumb-ass person standing beside us!

Matrimony is a solemn state, to which none of us entered into in our right minds.

 If anyone present can show more than one reason why any of these people should still be joined, speak now, and we will all forget what you said in 5 minutes or less

Do you solemnly swear to continue suffering in silence, through all the peccadillos, you each display the rest of your life?  Or until a divorce is a new addition to Medicare part Z with no deductible?

Do you promise to stick together through sickness and health?  Sickness is more likely, and health unlikely?  

Remember the joy, which lasted through the honeymoon, and regret, which lasts forever!

After giving and receiving many insults throughout the years, we pronounce you joined at the hip in your RV until it is paid off or forget where it is parked.

Bang Bang Chicken Kabobs

You really ought to have a LOVE button on your posts. This is so yummy looking I might do it soon. Just need fresh peppers and I am ready.

My dream purchase or a nightmare!

I am a frugal shopper; some would call me cheap!  I want every ounce of bang for my buck that the advertisement promises.  I can be a little unyielding when I am treated like it doesn’t matter.  It does!

During the Christmas promotions, Amazon advertised “Renewed” computers at bargain prices!  Yippee!  I fell in love!  The object of my affection was a Dell Optiplex SFF Computer Desktop PC Intel Core i5 Processor, 16 GB Ram, 2 TB Hard Drive, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, DVD-RW, and Dual 19 inch LCD Monitors! 

The dual monitors would be amazing!  I am a writer with 12 books on Amazon!  I dreamed of working on my manuscript on one screen and my Chapters, Timeline, Characters, and reference materials on the other screen.  

I was so enamored; I checked every day to make sure it was still there, and the price had remained the same.  I checked three online stores, and low and behold, it was still on Amazon, and the price stayed the same bargain.  I happily entered it in my wish list and dreamed of how great it would be to finish the manuscript I was toiling away on, anxious to publish.

Christmas came and went, and I didn’t have the courage to order my heart’s desire.  In April, my world came crashing down; the keyboard on my laptop suddenly stopped working!  What to do?  What to do?  It appeared this was the incentive I needed to bite the bullet and order my heart’s desire.

I waited anxiously for my package to arrive.  The day finally came, and I laid everything out on my desk.  I searched the box for the packing slip and instructions to make sure it was complete.  To my surprise, there was no packing slip!  I have been a Prime Customer for several years and have bought many items that required assembly.  Never have we received an item without a packing slip and clear instructions for assembly.  Not a happy camper. Grrr!

I found one page folded to 5 X 7 colorful paper with not one word about setting it up, but there was an 800 number to call.  We decided to try the deed ourselves.  Bet you know where this is going, don’t you? 

There were several sets of cables, and we worked for several hours trying to hook everything up and finally realized some cables were missing. There was a mystery cable that I found out later was useless.

In desperation, I called the telephone number for Customer Service help on the little 5X7 paper.  I told the woman that answered that I thought they forgot the packing slip.  She informed me they do not use packing slips and asked what cables are missing.  I said I do not know since I don’t know how many should have been in the box.  She said she couldn’t help me if I couldn’t tell her what cables were missing.  I said without a packing slip, I didn’t know.  I said, “I can’t use the machine if I can’t put it together.  Maybe I will have to send the computer back because, without the proper cables and instructions, it would not work for me!”  She immediately nearly shouted at me, “You just have buyer’s remorse!”  If she had listened to me, I could have described the cables in the box.  The company could have sent the proper ones.  But she seemed to be stuck on one thing.  She hung up on me!

I admit I might have said a naughty word or two; I was getting pretty frustrated, disappointed, and angry!  Here I had my heart’s desire and couldn’t use it!

I took several deep breaths and tried calling back to apologize and try again to get help.  Amazingly there was no answer after several tries. 

I called the Amazon help number and got a message because of the COVID 19 virus. The only help available was online.  By this time, steam was coming out of my ears! 

I wrote a negative review for Blair Technologies and Amazon!  It is not smart to piss off a writer! 

I did one smart thing I purchased the Asurion warranty for $39.95.  I’ll tell you about that later!

This started to look like an uphill battle, with no help from a real live person!  I am funny that way, I like a real person or a written manual!  So with tears in my eyes, I started the process of sending back my dream computer.  I printed the label and instructions.  After reading them, I discovered that the Amazon/renewal company could retain up to 50% of my purchase price as a “re-stocking fee” if there was ANY damage!  I just knew in my little heart of hearts, there WOULD be damage!  Can you imagine how devastated I was?  Now I didn’t have a working computer and if I sent it back I could out several hundred dollars!  

Well, dammit, I decided I would get that dammed computer together if I had to hire someone!  I filed the packing label in the circular file (wastebasket) and started googling!

I watched a million Youtube videos.  Between the two of us, we figured out what was missing and ordered the cables from Amazon.  I know what you are thinking!  How could I trust them?  Well, remember, I said we have ordered many items, and they always included packing slip and instructions! 

We finally got the computer hooked up, but I could only get mirror-screens, not the promised dual-screens.  Dammit, this is a nightmare!

I remembered the warranty I purchased from Asurion and placed a call to them.  They were sympathetic after hearing my story and assured me they would help.  They discovered no warranty with Dell anymore because of the age of the original computer.  Still, Asurion agreed to honor the warranty I bought.  They sent me a box and a prepaid label to mail the CPU to them (the drive).  In a few days, my CPU came back with a new HDMI plug installed. 

I couldn’t figure out what they had done to the drive, so again I called and got a sweet patient woman tech, who educated me on why they installed an HDMI and how the hook-up was supposed to be done.  I learned the difference between a VEGA and HDMI plug and how to hook up all the cables.  I learned that you need a VEGA cable from one screen to the Vega port on the drive and an HDMI cable from the other screen to the new HDMI port they installed.

When we attached them to the proper ports, voila, we had dual screens.  I am not a demonstrative person, but I wanted to hug that woman!

The negative review did not make Blair Technologies happy, and they wanted it removed!  They offered me $10.00 AFTER I removed it!  I chose to ignore them, just like they ignored me!

I know it wasn’t pleasant, but I don’t like to be bribed!

I received the following email from Blair Technologies:

Hello Brenda, I see that your negative feedback is still against our account. I was hoping it would have been reconsidered by now. I would like to change my offer for your order satisfaction to a $20 partial refund, leading to removing the negative feedback. I truly hope you consider my offer since negative feedback impacts us greatly as a small company, and we are trying hard to keep up with the stay-at-home buyers who need computers in this crazy virus time. Once the feedback is removed, I will gladly issue the $20 partial refund to your order. Please let me know if that is acceptable to you.  Thanks for your help, Mary Blair

If Ms. Blair or another customer service person had called me.  They could have offered to help me at any time when I was tearing my hair out!  I would have gladly removed the negative feedback.  They certainly had my telephone number. 

My advice to non-techies that are purchasing a renewed item online, to also purchase the Asurion warranty.  It was money, well-spent!  I also suggest that you do a lot of research about the item that you are purchasing online. 

Dream purchase becomes a nightmare

I am a frugal shopper; some would call me cheap!  I want every ounce of bang for my buck that the advertisement promises.  I can be a little unyielding when I am treated like it doesn’t matter.  It does!

During the Christmas promotions, Amazon advertised “Renewed” computers at bargain prices!  Yippee!  I fell in love!  The object of my affection was a Dell Optiplex SFF Computer Desktop PC Intel Core i5 Processor, 16 GB Ram, 2 TB Hard Drive, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, DVD-RW, and Dual 19 inch LCD Monitors! 

The dual monitors would be amazing!  I am a writer with 12 books on Amazon!  I dreamed of working on my manuscript on one screen and my Chapters, Timeline, Characters, and reference materials on the other screen.  

I was so enamored; I checked every day to make sure it was still there, and the price had remained the same.  I checked three online stores, and low and behold, it was still on Amazon, and the price stayed the same bargain.  I happily entered it in my wish list and dreamed of how great it would be to finish the manuscript I was toiling away on, anxious to publish.

Christmas came and went, and I didn’t have the courage to order my heart’s desire.  In April, my world came crashing down; the keyboard on my laptop suddenly stopped working!  What to do?  What to do?  It appeared this was the incentive I needed to bite the bullet and order my heart’s desire.

I waited anxiously for my package to arrive.  The day finally came, and I laid everything out on my desk.  I searched the box for the packing slip and instructions to make sure it was complete.  To my surprise, there was no packing slip!  I have been a Prime Customer for several years and have bought many items that required assembly.  Never have we received an item without a packing slip and clear instructions for assembly.  Not a happy camper. Grrr!

I found one page folded to 5 X 7 colorful paper with not one word about setting it up, but there was an 800 number to call.  We decided to try the deed ourselves.  Bet you know where this is going, don’t you? 

There were several sets of cables, and we worked for several hours trying to hook everything up and finally realized some cables were missing. There was a mystery cable that I found out later was useless.

In desperation, I called the telephone number for Customer Service help on the little 5X7 paper.  I told the woman that answered that I thought they forgot the packing slip.  She informed me they do not use packing slips and asked what cables are missing.  I said I do not know since I don’t know how many should have been in the box.  She said she couldn’t help me if I couldn’t tell her what cables were missing.  I said without a packing slip, I didn’t know.  I said, “I can’t use the machine if I can’t put it together.  Maybe I will have to send the computer back because, without the proper cables and instructions, it would not work for me!”  She immediately nearly shouted at me, “You just have buyer’s remorse!”  If she had listened to me, I could have described the cables in the box.  The company could have sent the proper ones.  But she seemed to be stuck on one thing.  She hung up on me!

I admit I might have said a naughty word or two; I was getting pretty frustrated, disappointed, and angry!  Here I had my heart’s desire and couldn’t use it!

I took several deep breaths and tried calling back to apologize and try again to get help.  Amazingly there was no answer after several tries. 

I called the Amazon help number and got a message because of the COVID 19 virus. The only help available was online.  By this time, steam was coming out of my ears! 

I wrote a negative review for Blair Technologies and Amazon!  It is not smart to piss off a writer! 

I did one smart thing I purchased the Asurion warranty for $39.95.  I’ll tell you about that later!

This started to look like an uphill battle, with no help from a real live person!  I am funny that way, I like a real person or a written manual!  So with tears in my eyes, I started the process of sending back my dream computer.  I printed the label and instructions.  After reading them, I discovered that the Amazon/renewal company could retain up to 50% of my purchase price as a “re-stocking fee” if there was ANY damage!  I just knew in my little heart of hearts, there WOULD be damage!  Can you imagine how devastated I was?  Now I didn’t have a working computer and if I sent it back I could out several hundred dollars!  

Well, dammit, I decided I would get that dammed computer together if I had to hire someone!  I filed the packing label in the circular file (wastebasket) and started googling!

I watched a million Youtube videos.  Between the two of us, we figured out what was missing and ordered the cables from Amazon.  I know what you are thinking!  How could I trust them?  Well, remember, I said we have ordered many items, and they always included packing slip and instructions! 

We finally got the computer hooked up, but I could only get mirror-screens, not the promised dual-screens.  Dammit, this is a nightmare!

I remembered the warranty I purchased from Asurion and placed a call to them.  They were sympathetic after hearing my story and assured me they would help.  They discovered no warranty with Dell anymore because of the age of the original computer.  Still, Asurion agreed to honor the warranty I bought.  They sent me a box and a prepaid label to mail the CPU to them (the drive).  In a few days, my CPU came back with a new HDMI plug installed. 

I couldn’t figure out what they had done to the drive, so again I called and got a sweet patient woman tech, who educated me on why they installed an HDMI and how the hook-up was supposed to be done.  I learned the difference between a VEGA and HDMI plug and how to hook up all the cables.  I learned that you need a VEGA cable from one screen to the Vega port on the drive and an HDMI cable from the other screen to the new HDMI port they installed.

When we attached them to the proper ports, voila, we had dual screens.  I am not a demonstrative person, but I wanted to hug that woman!

The negative review did not make Blair Technologies happy, and they wanted it removed!  They offered me $10.00 AFTER I removed it!  I chose to ignore them, just like they ignored me!

I know it wasn’t pleasant, but I don’t like to be bribed!

I received the following email from Blair Technologies:

Hello Brenda, I see that your negative feedback is still against our account. I was hoping it would have been reconsidered by now. I would like to change my offer for your order satisfaction to a $20 partial refund, leading to removing the negative feedback. I truly hope you consider my offer since negative feedback impacts us greatly as a small company, and we are trying hard to keep up with the stay-at-home buyers who need computers in this crazy virus time. Once the feedback is removed, I will gladly issue the $20 partial refund to your order. Please let me know if that is acceptable to you.  Thanks for your help, Mary Blair

If Ms. Blair or another customer service person had called me.  They could have offered to help me at any time when I was tearing my hair out!  I would have gladly removed the negative feedback.  They certainly had my telephone number. 

My advice to non-techies that are purchasing a renewed item online, to also purchase the Asurion warranty.  It was money, well-spent!  I also suggest that you do a lot of research about the item that you are purchasing online. 

Recipe by Sarah Ross photography

omg just what you need to see the first thing in the morning. Dream about going out to dinner and having a large helping of this Ambrosia of the God’s without worrying about anything but your waist!

The “Good Old Days!”

It is hard to imagine that sometime in the not too distant future, our children will look back to 2020 and say, “those were the good old days” NOT!

We might sit on our front porches and recall the year that our country nearly had another Civil War. Some will say it was over a small piece of cloth, some will blame the COVID 19 Virus, others will say it was over historical statues of concrete, and still others will say it was over Police vs Rioters. There will also those that will think it was stupid and unnecessary. I tend to agree with the latter.

Why is it so difficult for rational human beings to sit down and talk without HATE sitting in on the talks. One side thinks it is more important to have a robust economy, the other side thinks it is more important to have clean water to drink, clean air to breathe, and fertile land to plow, plant, to raise healthy animals.

Now here’s a thought! Why can’t we have both! If both sides gave up a little, and met somewhere close to the middle, it could happen. Don’t expect me to tell you how to do it. Those in power already know that we have to give a little to get a lot, but everyone wants it ALL and to hell with the other side.

The U.S. sounds like a bunch of unruly brats! I know, I know, it has always been done this way, and many believe it should. Until there enough clear thinking human beings that believe in the objective of leaving a better world to their children, than it was when they received it from their parents!

The “Me too!” and the “I want it now!” generations will give away to the “let’s share, there’s enough for all of us!” And they decide to concentrate how we are alike and not how we are different.

I know it won’t all be peaceful and light, because you can’t suddenly erase thousands of years of prejudice with a swish of a brush, but we must move closer each new generation, or we are doomed to repeat our mistakes forever.

We do have to move closer on that wall that we are huddled, or just like Humpty Dumpty, we might have a great fall, and we will never be put ourselves back together again.

Outside Your Comfort Zone

If you never step outside your comfort zone, you will never grow.  If that sounds ominous, it is!  I have always dreamed of writing professionally, and have been told by several people “do something about your writing?” I have so far self-published 12 books and they are available on Amazon.com.

Last month I was invited to do a reading from one of my books by El Charro Hipster Restaurante located just off Grand Ave. with plenty of parking.  The address is 1325 Grand Ave, in the heart of a beautiful Art Hive!  This is a new program, conceived to “Bring Back the Art of Conversation!”

I said yes before I thought about all the reasons not to step outside my comfort zone.  My hubby encouraged me and listened to my reading many times and make helpful suggestions. I loved reading the excerpt from “The End of the Road” and had a great time.  I was thrilled when a woman approached me and said she would propose it for her book club.

The Peralta family made us all feel at home. BTW, the food is fabulous, the wait staff is friendly and helpful. El Charro Hipster is environmentally friendly by using only 100% compostable items. I brought home half of my sandwich and had no qualms about putting the container in the microwave to re-heat it for a late-night snack. Anyone that knows me knows I will not use ANY plastic to re-heat any food, ever!

I enjoyed the experience so much that I am reading an excerpt from “Immortal Enemies” my Sexy-Sci-Fi book, March 18th.  This is the book that my Daughter edited and said, “Reading about sex that her Mother wrote, she had to read it with her eyes closed!” BTW the “readings” are only 10 minutes long and start a 6:00.  Come early and stay late for music and fun. It is a chance to meet new and experienced authors.  I am a newbie author.  My first book was self-published in 2016.  Since then, I have self-published 12 books, Sci-Fi, Mystery, and Young Adult. I will have several Immortal Enemies books available for purchase and will be happy to sign them.

www.facebook.com/ElCharro-HipsterBarAndCafe

www.linkedin.com/in/elcharrohipsterrestariante

www.instagram.com/elcharrohipsterbar.cafe

 

El Charro Hipster Flyer 1

 

I am looking for a Doctor, or Is There a Doctor in the house?

The new medicare year has started and we have to “pick” a new Doctor!  Oh! Not all of us do, but some of us lucky ones do if our Doctor has “opted out” of Medicare, or if we are disappointed in the “Customer Service” our present one offers. Many of the Physicians act like we are getting FREE Insurance!  One of them actually said I should be grateful for my FREE Insurance!  About 1/5th on my SS check is deducted to pay for my “free” insurance.

I started paying FICA when I earned $1.15 an hour working at a Fire Insurance in Hartford, CT as a keypunch operator. Us “girls” were never hired to work across the room in the “Computer department” with the MEN who made more than twice our pittance.  

I remember the days when looking in the “help wanted” ads there were two categories: Help Wanted Male and Help Wanted Female.  Guess which one paid more?

You could say my working career was rocky, at best.  One of my last jobs before I met and married my husband was in my home town at a Shoe Factory sewing the backs of skates, bowling shoes and golf shoes on an industrial serge machine.  I proudly admit I was fast with my hands and was campaigning for a higher price per case to increase my pay, unsuccessfully, I have to admit!

Two things contributed to that; I was in favor of unionization, and I let my supervisors know that my body was off limits!  I was 18 years old and full of piss and vinegar, ready to conquer the world!

One day one of the bosses called me out of the bathroom to read me the riot act for not getting back to work instead of smoking!  I told him I had a right to take a bathroom break in no uncertain terms.  He disagreed and finally to make a point, I picked him up by the front of his shirt and raised him a foot off the floor and at his insistence, dropped him.  I am pretty sure that I didn’t endure myself to him or management, if he told anyone, because no one saw it.

The second thing was my campaign to get higher wages was met with cold stares or laughter by my immediate boss.  He wanted to date me, but I said, NO! He used to try to meet up with me by asking me where I was going rollerskating and showing up only to find I was at another rink!

I saw him put his hands around the girl next to me and touch her breasts.  When he approached me, I faced him and clearly told him, “Don’t ever touch me, anywhere on my body!”  He was so cock-sure of himself, one day he tried.  I attempted to give him a vasectomy with my scissors!  His hand got in the way, so it was unsuccessful!  I was walked to the door and told I was fired. I drew unemployment, after my interview with the male interviewer! I have mellowed a little!

After my two children were in Junior High, I got my Real Estate License and contributed handsomely to the FICA coffers! Along with a few other low paying jobs, because the parity between Men and Women’s wages had not changed much in 40 years.

This year my Insurance Company merged with a huge Pharmaceutical Store and probably they were trying, but our “New Cards” did not arrive in the mail.  You have to show that card to get any service!  We waited nearly an hour on the phone to try to find out how soon they would be in the mail. My husband figured out how to print them.

I have been having some serious eye problems by a specialist, referred by my Doctor and they called me to inform me that they had been calling and faxing a request for a renewal of the referral. When I called the doctor’s office to ask about the hold-up, I was informed that I needed to bring the card into the office.  My ID number was not enough!  I will admit I was a little hot under the collar to have to cancel my specialist appointment and wait a week or longer to get in.  My husband works full time and he has one weekday off!

I guess asking the Doctor why they didn’t renew the referral when he knew I had more appointments with the specialist was the wrong thing to do.  How was I to know they don’t talk to each other?

When you call a Doctor’s office one of the special numbered buttons to push is if you are a doctor’s office to get right through. It appeared to me that when he showed me the file, telling me that they wouldn’t know how many times I saw the specialist is he didn’t get any reports, that this was somehow my fault.  But is it my responsibility to make sure he is informed?

 

 

Thank You, my Seattle Friends

It seems like yesterday that your folks invited us to park our Motorhome in your driveway so we could visit with our Daughter, Dawnzella for a two-week visit.  She lives a stone’s throw from your house and is besties with your whole family.  She is known as Dawnzereli to you, and in my books, as Donzereli your dragon friend!  We were excited to meet you, Ruby and Nolan as you reminded us of our own two children, Dawnzella and Christopher.  It was almost being with them again when they were your age.

We had a blast playing with you.  When we opened our curtains on the side of the motorhome facing your house, it was your cue to come visiting.  Usually, within a couple of minutes, we would hear a polite knocking, and then the fun would begin.  And yes, we let you get away with pretend driving, running from front to back of the bus and jumping on the bed!  You couldn’t hurt Miranda, our motorhome is a tough cookie!  She only has 40,000 miles on her and is barely broke in.

When we said, okay kids, time for lunch, see you later! You politely said,  “See you later and exited, waving on your way home.  Thank you for the fun, two weeks!

We sent Christmas gifts to you every year until you started getting a little old for Barbie and G.I. Joe things, so one year I wrote a story, putting your whole family in space in a new world.   My, how time has flown, I finished book 6 and will be ordering your copy in a day or two.  Merry Christmas!  I wish we could do it all over again.

This year Ruby and Nolan meet a new friend, Briauna who was washed up on the beach and unconscious.  They, of course, tried to help her.  She was grateful and asked, “Do you want to come to my home for a visit?”  They said, “That would be fun, but, we can’t breathe underwater and your home is under the sea.”

She said, “No problem, I can give you the “gift” and you can breathe like me underwater and when you go back home you will be as you were!”

You’d jump ant the chance, wouldn’t you?   The question is: Is Briauna telling the truth?  In, “Ruby and Nolan’s Great Adventures in Space Book 6: Merpeople, you will learn the answer.

Brenda for President!

I’ve reviewed ALL the Democratic Candidates and have come to the conclusion that American People don’t have nearly enough candidates to pick from!  So I am throwing my hat in the ring for President of the United States!

Concerning my qualifications to effectively execute the complex aspects of the Office of the President of the United States of America!  After watching how the office is being run at present, I think I can do it with one arm tied behind my back! It is a well-known fact women can multi-task.

Here is my platform :

  1. I am really easy to get along with as long as you do exactly as I say! I am a Post-menopausal Red Head, left-handed, Gemini!  Which should tell the head of any country that messing with me would not be in their best interests!
  2. I will appoint pre or post-menopause Women to be my ambassadors. Guaranteed they won’t tolerate backtalk from the male-dominated societies of the world.
  3. Since I am a woman, all the old White Men will assume that I am complacent and will do as I am told! It will be a pleasant surprise that I am neither!
  4. I have been married to my one and only First Man for 58 years.
  5. I will have to read from a teleprompter; otherwise, I will forget where I am and why I am here! Much like everyone else my age.  So no running off at the mouth and making a fool of myself and the country,  won’t happen, not that we haven’t already been there!.
  6. Let’s talk about age! I am willing to admit I am old!  I have no desire to lead forever, no worries about a dictatorship!  Both my Son and Daughter are old enough to live in a 55 age community, they have no desire to follow me unless I am making pizza.
  7. And I won’t be re-decorating the white house, it looks pretty damned lovely compared to my double-wide mobile home or my 2005 Coachmen Motorhome!
  8. I plan on sleeping in every one of the bedrooms at least one night, and anyone that sends contribution will get to sleep in one for one night too!
  9. I will be happy to accept all the Pac money I can get! As long as they don’t mind signing my little agreement that says, “Sorry, Sucker, will do what is right for the country!  You are the one being screwed for a change!
  10. I expect to be a one-term President!
  11. With the tax I am planning on slapping on the Millionaire and Billionaires, there will plenty of money to raise the minimum wage to $25.00 an hour, not that sissy $15.00.
  12. With the money left over from the millionaires and billionaire tax, everyone gets full coverage insurance, and nothing is pre-existing and no co-pays!
  13. All the stupid “No rules” things that are in place in regards to clean water, air, and the land is repealed!
  14. You still have to pay for college, BUT the interest is SIMPLE INTEREST, i.e. you figure the % on balance ONCE, and it is added to the amount owed and is never calculated on the declining balance over and over. You will find you can pay it back before you die.  And the full amount you pay each year is deductible from income tax.
  15. There will be steel beams for sale! We don’t need a border wall, we need compassion for those that are fleeing injustice and will be welcomed with the original open arms that the Statue of Liberty intended.
  16. There will be no bail-outs for corporations that get in trouble for risky speculation! You are on your own, just like the workers that made you rich!  No golden parachutes on the taxpayer’s dime!

 

Did I miss anything? I find it hysterical that I need to state that this is just for fun and is intended to be sarcastic, and no money will be accepted!

 

I’m doing it my way!

In one way or another, we are all storytellers. Be it via jokes retold from childhood and pranks played on our friends, or a bitter experience in our past.

Have you ever had someone remark that their life story would make an interesting book?  Most of us think ours would, but unless it is presented as an exciting narrative, it will probably lay on the shelf gathering dust.

Many years ago, I felt the need to let the stories inside my head come out and play.  They started escaping the year one of my teachers assigned us 5 pages of what he called “Randon Notes” written in longhand, and submitted every Friday.  I decided to have fun tantalizing him with continued stories.   I wish I had been able to save them, but alas, they burned along with our homestead shortly after graduation.

I have been able to resist most of the offers of successful authors to pass that wisdom along, at a hefty price to newbies.  To be honest, I have signed up for one or two of them and discovered I was doing it all wrong!  I was supposed to be writing every line correctly. Unfortunately, most real people talk in the manner of their education and experiences they have faced in their life.  I used one program that corrected my style of writing so much that I ceased to exist!

My Husband of 58 years and my illustrator and best Beta Reader remarked one day that my book didn’t sound like me anymore.  I was at first a little ticked, didn’t I do everything the program instructed?  I decided to read it like I was a reader, not the author, and I realized it was good, but it didn’t sound at all like me. My life experiences give my books a different slant than other authors. I have stopped using that program, so what you read is what you get!

My advice to newbies would be to read everything you can get your face over and pay attention to how they write!  Write every day!  Have fun letting your mind wander through space and time.  You should try to be as grammatically correct as you can, but even the best sellers make mistakes.  BTW Grammarly is your friend! Nobody is perfect! Go ahead and self-publish your book, so what if only your relatives buy it!  You can feel good about the fact that you did it! There are places to get technical information on how to format your book and upload it. It’s not rocket science, I did it, nuff said!

I have 12 books self-published and working on the 13th, which is a sequel of Murder on Lake Haverly! If you like my stories, do me a favor, review them on Amazon or Barnes and Noble and tell your friends to try them. There are 8 Young Adult books and 4 adult books. Six of the Young Adult books are sequential! Two of them are about my Daughter’s imaginary friends! You can find my books easy by typing Brenda Colbath in the Amazon or Barnes and Noble search bar, and they will pop up, most of the time on one page. Be sure to like and follow me to be notified when a new book is published. Thanks!

My latest children’s book

If you have read:

Ruby & Nolan’s Great Adventures in Space Book 1: The Science Project, 2: The Hatchling, 3: The Keep, 4: The Others, 5: The Wormhole,  you can skip right over to Chapter 1 of Ruby and Nola’s Great Adventures in Space Book 6: Merpeople.

The Weller family, consisting of Ty, Robin, Ruby, Nolan, and Pebbles their dog, agreed to be part of a settlement on a newly discovered uninhabited planet several light-years from Mother Earth.  I am not sure Pebbles, their dog agreed to go, I think she was happy to go anywhere with them!  They arrive on the Planet by spaceship slipping through a wormhole; taking days, instead of years to go between worlds.

In book one, Ruby and Nolan stumble upon a pretty rock; they keep it for a science experiment because it was warm and had a slight vibration. They decide it is not a rock, but an egg! It starts growing! They know that eggs do not grow back on earth, and when it hatches, they meet a dragon!  He becomes their friend; they name him Donzereli, after their Uncle Dawnzereli back on Earth.  Dawnzella is a friend of the family.

Donzereli invites Ruby, Nolan, Bonnie, and Shamus to his home in the mountains.  Dr. Allen agrees not to tell the parents if he is asked to go along.  They have a blast flying on dragons backs to the Donzereli’s family Keep.

When they learn their parents are coming to take them home for punishment, Donzereli takes them deep-sea fishing, also without parental permission.  They are netted and taken aboard a flying ship and come face to face with “Others,” and find they are humans like themselves.  After a fun-filled time at the Others Keep at the amusement park, they go home again to face punishment.

Ruby, Nolan, Bonnie, Shamus, and Dr. Allen try, but can’t seem to stay out of trouble!

They get home, and three Consortium representatives show up to view the progress of the settlement.  The Weller family must find a way to introduce them to two groups of inhabitants that they are unaware of existing!  They will have to show that making friends will give them a more significant return on their investment than mining the abundant resources by force if necessary!

The representatives go back to Mother Earth without a decision of what will happen.   An alliance is formed; the Dragons can collapse the Wormhole, temporary or permanently to create time to negotiate with Earth.  Our group of explorers will be to stay or leave.

After months of uncertainty about their future, the Weller family needs a vacation.  What could go wrong with a weekend camping at the beach?  Maybe it is what Ruby and Nolan discover exploring while Robin and Ty relax in the shade sleeping with a good book on their chests?

Could our adventurers meet another group of inhabitants from the Sea?  Of course Ruby and Nolan are the first to meet the Merpeople!  Could the members of the Consortium be coming back with the decision of their fate: to go or stay?

This is not online yet, but I am giving you a preview of the cover.  Usually, you can click on it to be taken to Amazon.com to purchase your copy, but not today!  It will be online very soon for only $.99 ebook form, the Paperback will probably be $5.99.  Email me at hotshower@colbath.net to be notified when it is published.  Thanks!

X R & N Cover Book 6

So you hated the ending?

You read over 200 pages and the only thing you have to say is, “I hated the ending.”  That is good!

What that says to me, is you loved my main character or characters!  Can I will tell you a secret? I hated the ending too! But I also loved the characters.

I created the character because I love strong females that can travel through the trenches of life and still remain a lovable human being. One that takes life one step at a time, and places one foot in front of the other even when she can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. She faces every day with a big sigh and pastes a smile on her face and treats everyone with kindness that fills her heart, no matter how much hurt dwells inside.

My character of Jena in my latest book “The Spirited One” is one of my favorites. Her life started out challenging to say the least. She lost her parents at an early age and aged out of Foster Care.  Along the way life threw her a bushel of lemons, and she accepted them, and fought her way  to the promise of a beautiful life. She was loved by many people, and she learned to return that love. Many people never get that chance.

She was hated by some not because of something she did to them, but because of something beyond horrible that they did to her!  Her will to live was amazing! Her desire to make them pay for murdering the love of her life makes her wake up screaming every morning from dreams that remain a mystery.

So thank you for reading my book and falling in love with Jena, and hating me for the ending, but in between Jena might just teach you about lemons, lemonade, and love.

In case you haven’t read it and you want to:

You want me to do what????

Am I the only one that noticed this? As a “Peeking over the hill,” female seeking employment find the employment advertisements a tiny bit confusing? The flowery phrases used to describe the kind of work the employer is looking for leaves a lot to be desired. It should not require a 6 paragraph narrative clearly states what you want to accomplish and what you expect of me.

Also clearly state the name of your company and where you are located. Not everyone is willing to make an hour or more commute. I appreciate not having to plow through the brain-freezing strange and unique forms. You will get fewer applications, but fewer turn downs. Yes, Virginia, some of us will turn down jobs because of the commute.

Please do not assume I am stupid enough to not figure out when you ask, “What year did you graduate from High School?” I do not realize you want to rule me out because of age. And please do not rule me out because of lack of experience when I state I have 30 years in the field you are seeking employees. That coming from someone barely out of diapers is insulting.

I do love the new way of saying “Sorry sucker” we don’t want you by saying, “Although your qualifications are impressive, we elected to move forward with another candidate.” If they were so damned impressive, why didn’t I at least get an interview with a real person?

Throw away those “personality quizzes!  You know, the one predicting my temperament and if I will steal you blind. I have never passed one, and I was a Realtor for 30 years, helping people with the most expensive purchase of their lives.

I absolutely hate anachronisms! Say what you mean. If you are too lazy to type a few words, well, I am not interested in what you are offering.

If you require a resume, why do you need me to fill out a non-interactive employment history? Most of my boss or supervisor’s either moved on to bigger and greener pastures or on to their great reward, and many companies are no longer in existence, through no fault of mine.

Also, do not require me to present myself at a “cattle-call” interview, two minutes long. If you are going to interview a million people for a job that barely pays above minimum wage, count me out! I realize that “times have changed!” But surely, not so much there is never a face-to-face interview, ever?

Just so you know, I am an old school, “8 hours pay for 8 hours work,” and I do not require, need or want you to supply treats, and games with prizes. I want to play games of my choice on my own time with people I know and like. I would appreciate a bathroom within walking distance and the agreement to allow me to go when necessary. No need to ask why you already determined my age.

Don’t get me started on the employment gap! Many people retire and need to seek supplement retirement. What’s wrong with that? It should not be a mortal sin to need to work again. Maybe you should think about maturity and experience is an asset, rather than a deterrent.

 

 

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