Saturday, September 27, 2014

In which we're keeping an eye to the sky because it looks better than the ground....

Someone (I assume it was my "Woodstock fella," John Ashton) posted a charmingly cryptic post on the Satellite Paradiso FB page: "Keep an eye to the sky."

 Sounds like a plan to me......

Because it's better than looking at the yard right now

What started out as a simple "fix the leak that soaked the drywall downstairs" culminated in most of the side and back yard being torn up to fix the curtain drain last week and early this week.
Maddy *thinks* her poppies were spared - she told them to keep the backhoe well away from that flowerbed and they did - mostly - but there's not a heck of a lot else left. The worst part is that we don't even know for sure if all this really did anything or not. The back and side yard don't seem quite as squishy - the ground's usually kind of wet, but it seems drier. But then again, we're nine inches short on rain right now and it's been dry for almost two weeks.

And where it wasn't dug up, there are tire tracks. Everywhere.

Where's a deva to even start?

"If we find out they didn't have to do this...."

"Smackdown time?" I think Scaramouche was going to say something else, but decided to keep it G-rated.

"You better believe it."

Aura thinks the poppies are fine, though. They're normally dormant by this time of year, anyway.

"You're going to need to seed it with winter grass and cover it with straw," she said of the rest of this mini-disaster. "If you don't, the spring melt's going to just wash it all away. Maybe you can ask the fella who does your leaves for you if he can do it."

"Or maybe you come with me to Lowe's and help me pick out grass seed," Maddy said.

"We can try. Get some bulbs while you're at it and I'll help you put hyacinths in," Aura suggested. "Hyacinths and hellbores. You need some early spring color around here that isn't daffodils. and see if you can order more of those poppies, maybe."

Leave it to a deva to see an opportunity when most people just see a ginormous mess. But I think this is going to take more than a couple of bags off grass seed and some bulbs......

Friday, September 19, 2014

In which we interrupt this blog for a PSA : Have you seen this Hitty?

Janet Cordell's Hitty, Sequoia, is still missing. She vanished from a woodworking show in Ohio last November.

More info can be found on Janet's website (Link Here.)

With the holidays coming up, there's still a chance she might turn up on eBay or Etsy.

You never know.

Keep an eye out. It may not be too late to bring Sequoia home!

Monday, September 15, 2014

In which - introductions and random pictures....

I think I'd like autumn better if it went right back into spring, but it is a pretty season.....

Leaves won't be changing for another few weeks, but we have some color.

Although Maddy insists that green is a color, too.....

Aura said it was good fishing weather. If - no, let's say when - I'm ever lucky enough to meet John Ashton, I'll have to ask him about that. If he and Aura don't end up talking hooks and lines, the whole time, that is.

Someone, however, forgot to tell the fish - or maybe warned them, I'm not sure....

"Aw, come on, fishies, Why don't you want to eat this nice, fat, juicy worm?"

Besides the obvious, she means? And you really have to hear that last line with Aura's Scottish accent.

The sisters....

Even storm devas like to just watch the clouds go by sometimes.

 And now some introductions....

Meet Kira. She's the sea star (aka starfish) deva who Scaramouche met down in Australia when she was trying to help find that missing Malaysian plane. Kira's hoping to learn how to communicate with - well, just about everyone and everything, the way Scaramouche does.

Kira's very outgoing, outdoorsy and down to earth, as they say. I think winters here might be a bit of a surprise, but I think she'll be able to handle it just fine. And I just love the color of her eyes.

And this is Tempest's friend Zephyr - yup, like the fish :). Zephyr is, appropriately enough, a wind deva. She's very, very shy and hasn't told us much about herself. I think John-John, our intrepid stylist, may be planning his first devic makeover on her. His first words to me were "The poor dear is so cute, but her hair just isn't doing anything for her face!" Don't get him wrong - he's not being nasty. Anything but.

"The only really ugly people - or dolls - I've ever met were ugly because of their personalities, not their appearance," he told me once. "I have, however, met a lot of people - and dolls, for that matter - who have no idea how beautiful they really are. Sometimes you don't even really need to change anything about them. You just have to make them see themselves the way they really are."

And people actually wonder what Shel sees in him.....

Saturday, September 6, 2014

In which second opinions are a very good thing - mostly........

"So this is what they wrote up?" Fawn said.

"Apparently," I said. "They were trying to pressure Maddy into leaving her keys and taking a rental car. They kept saying it wasn't safe to drive. I think she finally convinced them that she had to go talk to the bank about getting the money for the work. With parts, labor and tax, it would have probably been over two thousand dollars."

"And may I add that she totally did NOT state any of this - stuff. She didn't mention anything other than it needing the oil change the appointment was for."

Maddy had a pretty ugly little thing happen at the dealership when she took the Rogue for an oil change. (I need to add that this isn't a Nissan dealership - it's a Jeep/Dodge/Kia/Hyundai place.) The mechanics sent the poor girl at the counter to tell her that they had done a 100-something-point inspection and found all this stuff wrong with the Rogue and she needed to leave it and make arrangements for a rental because it "just isn't safe to drive." Maddy, however, kept politely saying she'd need to go to her bank and speak with them about getting the money BEFORE she agreed to anything and (finally) got the keys back and got out of there. Before we'd gotten a mile, the "check engine" light was on. So Maddy pulled into the Walgreens lot and - hello, loose gas cap. (It wasn't loose before they started messing with her car. Just sayin'.) A few clicks and - no more light.

"It was making a funny little whirring noise every now and then. Like a baseball card in the spokes of a bicycle. Except I hadn't mentioned it or asked them to check it," Maddy said, coming in.

"Is that why you took it to Hyatt's?" Fawn said.

Maddy nodded. "Guess what it was."

"A baseball card?"

"Nope. Mud flap. It had gotten bent and was hitting the wheel. Problem was, it wasn't where I could see it without crawling under the car. They just bent it back into place. And the vibration when I hit the brakes really hard - which I also had NOT mentioned - that they claimed was the "worn bushings" or whatever - that was because the brake rotors hadn't been replaced when I had the brakes done and they were in really bad shape. The pads had worn down just enough for it to be noticeable."

"Didn't the dealer do the brakes?" I seem to remember going with her for that early in my blogging career.

She nodded. "So Hyatts redid the brakes and did the inspection. I actually had been expecting them to tell me that something really horrible and expensive was wrong with the Rogue, but it wasn't. Not that brakes are cheap, but it was a lot less than the two thousand the dealer was trying to charge me. So no more dealer. It's Hyatt's from now on."

"Did you tell them what the dealer said?" Fawn asked.

"No. I didn't want to come off like I was trying to play them off of anyone else. If something was wrong, they'd find it. But you know, when things started going really wrong with my little black Saturn, it wasn't like someone coming out and telling me "oh, by the way, your transmission's shot." I knew something was weird before that. Every time something's gone wrong with one of my cars, there were symptoms. And the symptoms the Rouge had just didn't match what they were telling me."

"Like how?"

"Well, they were saying the torn boot was on the passenger side, but the noise supposedly coming from it was coming from the driver's side. Kind of a clue that something wasn't right...."

"So what are you going to do?" I said. "You should tell someone. Report them. Dutchess Cars, I mean."

"To who?" Maddy looked at the writeup. "And I don't think I have a case with the way they phrased it. I think the best I can do is warn everyone to get a second opinion if something like that happens to them."

"Something like what?" Hawthorne said, coming over to look. "The heck?"

"The dealership's explanation for a bent mudflap." Maddy explained.

"Losers. They saw a female walk in and their eyes lit up with dollar signs - ka-ching! - like in an old cartoon or something." Hawthorne looked disgusted.

"And oddly enough, the Rouge was just out of warranty by about fifty miles," I added.

"Hmmmm..." Hawthorne looked thoughtful. "I'd say it's time we opened up a nice big can of whoop--"

"Hawthorne, stop. Every time you take matters into your own hands that way, something bad happens."

"Yeah, to the idiots who deserve it. Tempest, these morons can't go around thinking that just because a customer is a woman, they can rip her off. It's not right!"

"You also don't know that was what happened. Maybe they just made a mistake."

"That's a pretty big mistake for someone who's supposed to know what they're doing." Hawthorne retorted.

(For the record, I'm with Hawthorne on this, although I don't think I'd trust her taking matters into her own hands either....)

"I say we go all gladiator on them. Fa-tang! Fa-Tang! I tell you, I would make an awesome gladiator, wouldn't I?"

"Nefoedd helpu ni..." I'm not sure what Tempest said, but I think it's Welsh for "Oh crap..."

Maddy's note: It's "Heaven help us," according to Google Translator. I think the devic facepalm says it all, though....