Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Quotes for the Week on Aging

Since yesterday was my birthday, it seems appropriate to post eight quotes about aging.  Hope you enjoy them.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Another Year

Tomorrow is my birthday--I'm not saying which one, but it's a pretty big number.  This has been a stressful year, with a flooded house, a flooded car, three moves and a new place to settle into.  Once I get my bookcases, I'll feel like this is really home.

I'm enjoying my senior citizenship.  My mother always said that aging was awful, but I have not found it to be so.  I have discovered that age brings freedoms--freedom to know myself and be myself, to make decisions, to go where i choose, when I choose.  It's a heady feeling.

I see this as a time for reflecting and remembering.  I picture my life as a tapestry, with threads interwoven in sometimes surprising ways, with some threads way to short but others long-lasting.  I am thankful for my family, for my friends, some of whom I've known since early childhood, some I'm just getting to know in my new surroundings.  I'm glad I chose a profession that give me so much fulfillment and joy.  I'm delighted that I achieved the goal I set for myself at age four--to b e a published author.  I'm happy that I've been able to cross off many of the things on my bucket list...but of course, I've started a new one.

So I'm ready to embark on a new year, with new adventures and, I hope, no more floods.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Quote for the Week

I love cats because I enjoy my home, and little by little, they become its visible soul.
       Jean Cocteau


Cats are smarter than dogs.  You can't get eight cats to pull a sled through snow.
          Jeff Valdez


Sunday, May 15, 2016

Indie Next Generation Book Award Winner

I am honored to be a contributor to Shifts:  An Anthology of Women's Growth Through Change.  On May 11, editors Michelle Duster and Trina Sotira accepted the award at the Indie Awards ceremony in Chicago.  The anthology was also a 2015 USA Best Book awards finalist.  It features poems, short stories and essays by 35 women of different age groups, geographic locations, marital status, parenting status, professions and sexual orientations.  It highlights the strength of women as their life shifts ultimately lead to increased confidence and internal peace.  

Both editors have faced their own transformative shifts in life and found the writing of other women to be healing and inspiring.  "There's a sense that even if we've never met, we, as women, are one community that has common experiences," said Sotira.

My essay is called "End and Beginning" and deals with my life just before and during divorce and than later remarriage.  I am thrilled to be among the writers who contributed stories of their lives to Shifts.

Shifts is available on Amazon for $19.95

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Quotes for the Week

Ever since I got my first library card, I've been a voracious reader.  Here are some Reading quotes to enjoy:

Sunday, May 8, 2016

My Divorce from Comcast

Everybody hates Comcast, don't they?  Not me.  I thought they were great...until I tried to divorce them.  Our parting was anything but amicable.  In fact, it was downright hostile.

It all began in December when I called to ask if I could keep my phone number when I moved to my new apartment.  "No problem," they said.  So a couple of weeks later I cancelled my TV and internet services because this building has their own system.  They have their own phone system, too, but that would have meant changing the number I'd had for decades and which I'd included on the many change-of-address cards I'd sent to family, friends, banks, insurance companies, doctors' offices and anyone else I could think of.  I was not about to accept a new phone number.  I'd just keep my long-standing contract with Comcast and happily go on from there.  Easy to say, not to do.

  The Comcast technician came to install my phone but he couldn't figure out how to connect it.  Neither could the second technician.  Finally, after the marketing director and I spent hours with Comcast, we finally reached a guy from the Phllippines (where else?) who got the phone installed.  No more problems, I thought.  Silly me.

A bill from Comcast for $390 arrived in the mail.  I called them and asked what it was for.  "Your services," they said.  "But I only have phone services."  "No, ma'am. You have phone, internet and TV.  "But I cancelled them," I argued.  "You didn't inform our Cancellations Department."  "I didn't know you had one.  No one mentioned it."  "Well," the customer service person said, "we've been providing services at this address (my old one) and you haven't paid for two months."  "No," I said.  "I don't live there any more."  "As far as we know, you do.  You'll have to get a statement from your former apartment management saying you moved out and bring it to our office."  "Can't I fax it?" I asked.  "No," he said firmly, "you mus bring it in and return your equipment."  "The technician who tried to install my phone offered to take the box and return it for me," I said, kicking myself for trusting anyone who worked for Comcast.  By now, I was no longer a fan.

The lovely and very patient lady in charge of phones at my new apartment building tried to help by explaining to Comcast that I only wanted phone service because other services are provided here and to please cancel my TV and internet.  "Certainly," they said and immediately cut off my phone.  And a few days later, to top it off, they sent a bill, this time for $600!

A few days passed and on Saturday as I left the supermarket, lugging a 14 pound bag of cat litter, my cell phone rang.  Of course, my cell, because I had no other phone.  Quickly I glanced and saw that the ID read Unavailable.  I ignored the call and went home.  By chance, I decided to call the number back.  It was Comcast, reminding me that I hadn't paid my $600 bill. and chastised me for not responding to their call.  After arguing with him, whoever he was, I was routed to the Customer Loyalty Department.  Who knew Comcast had such a department?  

The lady there listened to my tale of woe and assured me she would check into my account and remove the $600 and would call me back on Monday.  Hah!  Of course, she didn't. and, in the meantime I got two more collection calls from Comcast from a department which had no record of my talking to anyone else.

 Tuesday I called Customer Loyalty (by now I knew about them)  and spoke to a different lady (because, of course, the first lady could not be reached directly.  That would have been far too easy.) This lady assured me they could delete the $600 and restart my phone system and said a technician would be by in a few days with a modem.  "I don't think I need one here," I said.  "Yes, you do."  "Could I let you talk to the person in marketing here who is in charge of phones?"  "Marketing!" she sniffed.  "Marketing has nothing to do with phones; they do sales."  "This lady does phones," I insisted, "and she will know if I need a modem," I said as politely as I could.  "Lady, two plus two equals four and my answer isn't going to change, no matter how many times you ask about the modem," she snarled.  By then I had walked downstairs and into the marketing office and handed over my cell to our marketing/phone person.  After an hour on the phone, we all agreed to have the technician set up a modem.

Not so easy.  He couldn't connect to Comcast from this building because, after his supervisor came by and conferred with him, they agreed that this building was only wired for AT&T.  Then they went away,

I decided to try setting up a phone at my daughter's house and having the number call forward here.  The technician who came to take care of this insisted there was no way to connect, and he went away,too.

Eventually, my building managed to get an agreement from Comcast to "port" over my number.  This took several weeks and did not work.  I had just about given up when I got a call from the marketing office here, saying, "Your phone is working."

At last!  I try my number several times a day just to be sure, and yes, it's finally connected.  The building here now owns my phone number, which is fine with me because I don't plan to move ever again.  The downside is that now I'm getting calls to "lower the interest rate on your credit card if you'll give us your card number" at least three times a day.  But that's minor.  I can live with that.  I just couldn't live without my 40-year-old phone number; it was part of my identity...and now, we're back together.

And I'll never. never, never have to deal with Comcast again.  Our divorce is final.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Quotes for the Week: Patiece

I'm posting quotes about patience this week to remind myself I need more of it:

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Books of April

Alice suffers a concussion and wakes up, believing she's 10 years younger than she really is.  How she recaptures the lost 10 years of her life makes a captivating story.  I've enjoyed most of Liane Moriarty's books, and I recommend you try this one.  It's not her absolute best, but I liked it.

Nora Roberts' latest romantic suspense isn't very suspenseful and isn't very romantic either.  12-year-old Naomi follows her father into the forest one night, thinking he's hiding the new bike she wants for her upcoming birthday, but instead she discovers he's a serial killer.  That's Part 1.  Later when she's grown and is a traveling free lance photographer, she falls in love with an old house and impulsively buys it and starts to restore it.  Now we learn more than we ever want to know about restoring old houses and decorating them as well as a great deal we also don't want to know about photography.  One day as she is rescuing a dog on the road, the town mechanic comes along and we know immediately that she'[ll keep the dog and soon go to bed with the mechanic.  We learn a lot about auto mechanics, too.  Suddenly murdered women who have blonde hair (just like Naomi, of course) start turning up.  Someone is copying her imprisoned dad's technique and we know that soon he'll be after Naomi, too.  By the way, Naomi doesn't tell anyone, including Xander,our hero, about her traumatic childhood, but, clever guy, he figures it out when she is upset when she spies a book about her childhood on his bookshelf.  How does he figure out which book she's looking at when he has an entire wall of books?  Well, he's our hero, so why not?  I've been a Nora Roberts fan since I first starting reading and writing romance, but this one is awful.  Maybe she has no more good ideas left.  Maybe I won't read her next release.

Paul Kalanithi is just completing his residency in neurosurgery when he is diagnosed with cancer.  He tells us about his background and the progression of his disease in this beautifully written book which was completed by his wife after he died.  It's been on the non-fiction best seller list with good reason.  Highly recommended.

I love sports books and what better time to read one than during the NCAA Final Four and the NBA playoff season.  This book is about the boys who went from high school to the NBA, about the amazing successes like LeBron James and the failures as well.  Is it appropriate for high school grads to go straight to the big league?  Are they ready for professional basketball?  Here's a book that parents of kids with dreams of being the next Kobe Bryant should read.  I enjoyed it.

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