Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter!

I got a great night's sleep, raring to sit down and write, but guess what? My characters have decided to take the day off to enjoy Easter. I guess I will too!

Happy Easter to everyone!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Back to Normal! Writing it is!

The wedding season is over for us! Now it's back to disclipline and writing. My characters are chomping at the bit! I hear you! Let's go!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Life in Texas

I love living in Texas. You don't have to shovel sunshine and it doesn't get bitter cold. It's a big state and I'm still exploring it. You can travel all day by auto and still be in Texas. Out in western Texas and the Panhandle, it's mostly tumbleweeds and big sky! It's beautiful and I can't wait to see the rest of it. But there is a downside to the weather. The storms are more violent than I've ever experienced in my life!

I was born in Massachussets, lived in upstate New York for the first years of my life and then moved to Chicago, IL. Then my father transferred to Springfield, IL and lived there until my early twenties.

Springfield is tornado prone. I don't know how many times during the spring and summer, we hung out in our basement waiting out the storms. I loved watching the storms! Then, I moved back to Chicago and experienced more storms, snow and cold, cold weather.

Got married, had a child and moved back east to Pennsylvania. More snow, more cold but where we lived, we avoided tornadoes. I think it's because the house was on a mountain, the tornadoes would occur in the valley below us. We still had bad storms and lots of snow but I still was fascinated with storms.

I don't care what people say but the storms here in Texas are scary. I never used to be afraid but now I am. Maybe it's because the land of our development used to be a ranch that never recorded severe weather, but the storms are horrific leaving severe damage.

In 2011, we experienced a hail storm that damaged our roof, fence, air conditioning units, our patio furniture and window screens. It was expensive and our insurance rates went through the roof (no pun intended)! Having holes in your roof of your house makes you not take things for granted.

Silly me. I thought that was a once and done deal. Ha! We got home from Chicago on Saturday and of course I had errands to run. I spent most of Saturday doing just that. Yes, the forecast on Sunday called for severe storms and I thought nothing about it. Since 2011, we've been dodging them.

Sunday evening, the storm came out of nowhere and the hail was the size of a softball. It pummelled our roof for a good fifteen minutes! No! Not again! We didn't lose power and we ran around the inside of the house and didn't see any holes. But the next morning, we saw the damage outside. I'm not a roofer, but it didn't look as bad as in 2011, but what do I know? We had three damaged gutters and I checked the downspouts for signs of roof debris and only saw it one gutter. Two of our plastic deck chairs were broken and an outside planter was damaged. The holes in our lawn from the embedded hail made our lawn look like a putting green.

Then I heard from my friends in the development across the street from ours. Skylights were broken, windows were broken, cars were totalled and the list went on. Now, there are roofing contractor signs in everyone's yards except ours.

I called my insurance agent and he is sending a professional out to look at it, The roof is only six years old and I don't know the age of the other roofs. But I don't want my rates to go up again! I'm trying not to panic...

Oh? And as I write this, guess what? We are under another tornado warning....never a dull moment!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Back to Work!

Whew! Home sweet home! Back from a hectic trip to Chicago. It was good to catch up with my relatives and enjoyed their company.

The wedding was a blast and we are so happy for my husband's Goddaughter! Met lots of great people.

The best part of mingling with people are the stories you learn about them. I have plenty of material to use for future books. Not in a bad way mind you, but the experiences are life's lessons.

Now, I feel more optimistic about my NHRA story and am anxious to tackle it head on.

It's been a whole week since I've written anything and I'm chomping on the bit to get back to work!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Family Drama

Sorry to be late posting my blog! We were in Chicago attending our fourth wedding. What a blast!

Even though I'm not writing, my family is giving me lots of research for more stories! Do other folks have family mishaps like mine does?

If so, I'd love to hear about them! Feel free to email me at LoisKasznia@gmail.com.

As you know, The Sin Bin is about hockey, especially the Blackhawks. I'm excited they're doing well this year because they are in my story!!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Four Weddings....

So, next week will be our third wedding in eight months. I feel like I did when I graduated from college and all my friends got married at once. Now, it's the younger family and friends who are getting married.

In August, my nephew got married in Toronto. In October, our best friend's daughter got married in New Jersey. In February, my girlfriend's daughter got married here in Texas the day before we left on vacation.

Now, we're headed to Chicago to see our cousin, my husband's Goddaughter, get married. He will participate in the wedding by performing a reading.

In April, we're headed back to New Jersey for my cousin's Granddaughter's wedding. With the exception of my daughter's wedding (who knows when that will be), I'd like to take a break for a while.

And no funerals either. I know what you're thinking....Four Weddings and a Funeral, right?

Monday, March 6, 2017

Life in Pieces

Back to reality! My husband and I had won a free vacation and used it last week to visit Maui. With his work and my set back with four of my books, it was a much needed vacation.

It was a weather phenomenon in the state of Hawaii. The Big Island had a snow advisory after it received over a foot of snow in the mountains. Kauai and Maui received drenching rains which caused beach erosions. We were told to stay out of the brown water in the ocean because that's where sharks lurk, looking for food. The island of Oahu was hit just as badly as the others.

Other than having only two days to enjoy the sunshine and the pool...(remember, no swimming in the ocean and the beaches where we were staying were not safe), we still had a great time. The whales kept us entertained as well as the birds singing at sunset. There is plenty to see and do. The staff at the restaurants and hotels are great.

As with the Kasznia's, things always seem to happen to them. On Wednesday, we decided to explore the western part of Maui. We've always hung around up north because of the golf courses and our time share's location. As we set out, we rounded a curve and the dashboard lit up with an error message. We were losing tire pressure in the right rear tire of our rental car. I called the Roadside Assistance from Alamo and they were very helpful. If we could limp it back to the airport where the rental agency was located, they would give us a new rental with a full tank of gas. Or, if we didn't think we could make it, they would send a tow truck to repair the tire.

The road we were on is only a two lane road and heavily traveled. It wasn't raining yet, so we decided to continue our trip to the airport. We made it with seconds to spare. The tire went totally flat the minute we drove up to the gate. Alamo staff saw to our needs imediately and within ten mintues, we were in another car with a full tank of gas.

Back tracking our way to the highway, the skies opened up and the rain came down in sheets.  Now it was lunch time and my husband had a craving for Fish Tacos. He had read in the brochures that the best tacos are Maui Tacos, in a strip mall on our way to the west side of the island. We pulled in and ran through the parking lot to the shop. We looked around only to find it was a take out place. There was no indoor seating. You make do. We ordered our tacos and made a bee line to the car. The tacos were delicious but messy, but it was a way to pass the time as we sat in the car. When we were done, we looked at each other and decided we really needed to wash up before we continued. We stopped at an Outback and ordered a beer and used the facilities.

Back to our journey only to learn that the road we needed was closed due to flooding. We headed back to the condo and hunkered down for the night.

Thursday, the sun decided to make an appearance and we relished it. We went swimming and soaked it up. Friday, we played golf and had a great time.

Saturday was check out and that's the other thing I have to warn you about visiting Maui and other islands in Hawaii. Affordable flights are red eyes which leave during the evening hours. They range from five to eleven pm. The check out time is noon. What do you do from noon until eleven pm? I'm talking about the CST and EST. If you're on mountain or the west cost, this is not an issue for you. I wish they'd move the check out time to at least two.

After an eight hour flight, we arrived at DFW at six in the morning. Tired and cranky, we went to get our luggage. Oh. We watched the carasoul go round and round and only three bags of luggage were on there. Um, those three were not ours. We waited an hour while the clerk tried to locate our bags and couldn't. We had to file a missing luggage report and catch our bus to the Park N' Fly where our car was parked. Guess what? It was cold and pouring down rain.

The bags were finally located and we got them at two in the afternoon. I so need another vacation even if it's only two days to get back into my rhythm. These are life experiences which I call research are for my next book!