Hair-raising tales from the dork side

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Are you moving any time soon? By Linda Kozar

A message from Linda Kozar:

I've moved twelve times in my life, so far and that's just average. How many times have YOU moved?

Moving Tales, Adventures in Relocation is an anthology of true stories about moving. You'll enjoy reading about other people who relocated and re-motivated after their moving adventures.

For instance, the disastrous move Connie Power and her family went through...


A Murphy’s Law Move
By Connie Power
Of the seventeen moves my husband and I made in our thirty years of marriage, one was particularly memorable.

My husband and I had just sold our larger house in Arlington, Texas and were excited about an anticipated move to Colleyville. Our two oldest children were in college and our youngest would be starting his senior year of high school in the fall. We could now purchase a comfy, smaller home and trade time spent attending youth sports activities and doing yard work for more time for the two of us to pursue our own interests. We were very excited about discovering just what those might be!

Our pert, super-efficient, female real estate agent had done a remarkable job selling the house for us. She knew it well because she had sold it to us six years before. Knowing our propensity for relocating, she had kept in touch, driving over from her office in Grapevine each Christmas to deliver a very handsome gift. No stale fruitcakes from Julie Ann! She was, however, extremely vexed that she had been unable to find a house for us to purchase yet, but I had assured her that we could manage in a nice apartment for a month or two while we kept looking for a house.

Moving day arrived and while we waited for the expensive hourly movers to arrive, my husband was on his computer, giving away as many of our belongings as possible, so we wouldn’t have to pay to move them, store them, and move them again. Since we thought we would be buying another home within a month or two, we decided to use PODS, which are portable storage containers. Theoretically, your belongings can stay in the rented POD at the storage location until needed, saving wear and tear on furniture and other treasured possessions.

The man in charge of our move was Tony. The man had sworn up and down that he and his crew were experts at loading PODS. I had insisted on hiring the movers myself because my husband might have hired someone incompetent . . .

This is a good place to interject that while in the middle of last minute packing the day before, I had just found out that our oldest son, Justin, would be in from UT that weekend. He had to take the train from Austin to Ft. Worth because we had taken away his car (long story). I had no idea why he wanted to come for a visit, but didn’t give the matter much thought. I had more important things on my mind.

That drizzly morning, before the movers arrived, I walked one of our friends out to her car, apologizing that my husband had already given away the bookcase she wanted. Our driveway was on a steep incline (a hill, really) and the combination of my flat tennis shoes with rubber soles, the wet pavement, and my inattention, produced a disastrous effect. 

Suddenly my feet flew out from under me and my entire body was catapulted against the concrete. As I lay on the driveway, struggling to stay conscious, I somehow managed to reassure my friend I was all right. But I was far from all right.

I don’t remember how my husband found out what had happened. He was inside the house, still trying to give away our stuff, but I do remember asking him in a weak voice to call an ambulance.
I honestly thought I had broken my tailbone. Somehow, I had managed to scoot a couple of inches onto the wet grass, where I battled nausea and loss of consciousness. While waiting there for the ambulance and the expensive hourly movers, a morbid thought crossed my mind.
Is this it? Is this how I’m destined to meet my Maker? Wet, broken, and waiting on yet another moving van?

The ambulance finally arrived. After the X-ray in the hospital showed nothing was broken, I asked to be released as soon as possible. I needed to be at home to oversee the movers, though I still couldn’t stand up straight or lift anything.

My husband was home, in the midst of the move, so he sent our son, Justin, to pick me up at the hospital—an action that did nothing to relieve my stress level. But eventually I was back home—which is when the day actually got worse.

As I mentioned before, Tony was the supposed “brains” of the moving operation. But the man kept getting into long conversations with anyone about anything that would keep him from working or paying attention to important details.

Then it finally dawned on me why our son had come in from college that weekend. He thought he might be able to get his car back from us (long story). Fat chance. So my husband had to leave in the middle of everything to take him back to the train station.

Next, I discovered that the movers had placed our boxes of breakable items on the bottom of the stacks in the POD. Our expensive leather couch was packed standing on its arm!

That night, many hours after the whole moving fiasco should have been over, one of the movers fell through the roof in the garage! Thankfully, he wasn’t hurt. But I sure wanted to hurt someone.
After about a month, things were looking up. The pain in my tailbone and spine subsided. We hired different guys to unload our PODs and moved them to a house we’d leased short term. However, our “short term” leasing situation lasted for over a year.

But the good news is, a few months later we let Justin have his car back. 


Linda Kozar is the co-author of Babes With A Beatitude—Devotions For Smart, Savvy Women of Faith (Hardcover/Ebook, Howard/Simon & Schuster 2009) and author of Misfortune Cookies (Print, Barbour Publishing 2008), Misfortune Cookies, A Tisket, A Casket, and Dead As A Doornail, (“When The Fat Ladies Sing Series,” eBooks, Spyglass Lane Mysteries, 2012). Strands of Fate released October 2012 (Hardcover/Ebook, Creative Woman Mysteries) and her nonfiction title, Moving Tales, Adventures in Relocation, released in 2013 (Indie-Published). She received the ACFW Mentor of the Year Award in 2007, founded and served as president of Writers On The Storm, The Woodlands, Texas ACFW chapter for three years. In 2003, she co-founded, co-directed and later served as Southwest Texas Director of Words For The Journey Christian Writers Guild. She and her husband Michael, married 24 years, have two lovely daughters, Katie and Lauren and a Rat Terrier princess named Patches.

Represented by: Wendy Lawton, Books & Such Literary Agency

Member of: CAN (Christian Authors Network), RWA (Romance Writers of American), WHRWA (West Houston Romance Writers of America), ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), Writers On The Storm, The Woodlands, Texas Chapter of ACFW, Toastmasters (Area 56) The Woodlands, Texas, The Woodlands Church, The Woodlands, TX.

Linda Kozar is the author of six books. Her latest, titled “Moving Tales, Adventures in Relocation,” is a collection of stories from people who experienced the good, the bad and the ugly when they moved. www.lindakozar.com  http://bookishdesires.blogspot.com


Friday, March 15, 2013

End of Week Sneak Peek @ Moving Tales, Adventures in Relocation!




This week I'm posting whole stories or excerpts from the book with shots and bios of the authors. I hope you've enjoyed the previous posts. Here's another!

I hope you will love Moving Tales, Adventures in Relocation as much as I do!
 Buy a copy on Amazon


Moving Out to Sea
By Sharon Leaf

As my husband Torre parked his van near the dock where the World War II ship MS Restoration was moored on the outskirts of Seattle, I asked, “Are we setting sail next week as scheduled?”
Torre and I had moved several times while living in Southern California. We’d even moved to Sweden to attend Bible College.  However, moving onboard a ship for fourteen months was definitely a new adventure.  We believed in the Restoration’s mission to transport Russian Jews from the Black Sea to Israel, so we were ready to sail the seven seas.
Torre surveyed the vessel. “We’re going to have to spend some time in dry dock. The bottom of the ship has to be sandblasted and painted.”
As I removed my sunglasses, reality stared me in the face.  There she was, high and lifted up, in all her glory.  “Yes, I can see that she needs a complete make-over,” I sighed in disbelief.
“We have electricity, but there will be no water,” Torre explained apologetically.
“No water?” I gulped, swiping already sweaty hands on my freshly washed jeans.
“Usually, no one is allowed to live on board while in dry dock, but the company is in foreclosure, so the bank has granted us permission.  This is a miracle because most of the crew is either from out-of-state or from
Sweden and they don’t have anywhere else to stay.”
My husband pointed to a pile of water hoses.  “These are hooked up from the dock to the ship’s deck.  The galley needs water, and there is one head—I mean restroom—to wash our hands.”
“In other words, we’re Waterless in Seattle,” I said, hoping my play on words would lighten the mood.  Torre stared.
I raised my palms. “It’s a joke.  You know, the movie, Sleepless in SeattleWaterless in…oh, never mind.”
But later, I realized why he wasn’t laughing. After dinner, the female crew gathered on deck to make the dreaded trip to the dry dock facilities.  Flashlights, towels, soap, and clean clothes in hand, we trekked across the parking lot.  As we turned each corner we were oh-so-careful not to step in oil puddles.  We formed a single line, walked up the stairs, and then directed our flashlights on a sign that read Dry Dock Restrooms/Shower Facilities.  Ana-Karin, a tall, energetic Swedish nurse had arrived earlier that day and was more than ready for a hot shower before retiring to her cabin. She held the dirty wooden door open. “We must enter at our own risk.”
I flipped on a greasy light switch and began breathing through my mouth as I walked past the toilets and urinals.  I pointed to a scratched door with a sign that read Shower Room.  Ana-Karin led us through the doorway, turned on another light switch, and then wiped her hand on her white slacks.  Our eyes fell upon grimy cement floors, cobwebbed corners, and shower stalls with torn curtains, brown stains, and green mildew that I could swear I saw moving.  It was all I could do to keep from letting out a Yuk, but it was my first day on board and I wanted to make a good impression.
The group was about to turn and walk out, completely discouraged with the mess when Ana-Karin spoke out in what I call Swenglish—a mix of English and Swedish.  “This might be acceptable for the men, but this is no place for rejectional ladies.”
“Don’t you mean respectable?” I asked.
Ana-Karin blushed.  “Of course that is what I meant…respectable.
“But what else can we do?” I asked, a silent prayer going up for a small miracle from heaven.
Deena, the buxom galley girl suggested, “Let’s all pitch in and rent a cheap motel room across the street. That way we can take turns using the clean bathroom.”
I checked my armpits, and then reached in my pocket and held out a package.  “I brought a year’s supply of Handy-Wipes…Handy-Wipes anyone?”
“Aren’t those American nurses?” Ana-Karin asked.
Deena chuckled.  “You’re thinking of Candy Stripes!”
Embarrassed, Ana-Karin stood tall as she announced, “Cleaning this place will be my job.  I’ll begin first thing in the morning.”
Grateful for Ana-Karin’s enthusiasm, I dashed back to the ship and filled three large pails with cleaning equipment, bright yellow plastic gloves, and gallons of bleach. 
The next morning the girls watched in admiration as Ana-Karin marched over to the dry dock facilities.  Deena and I followed close behind, carrying her cleaning supplies—the least we could do for our new Swedish friend.  Later, when we returned to see if Ana-Karin needed more cleaning products, we were amazed to see the difference that she had made in such a short time.  Her massive labor of love was heaven-sent.   I turned to Deena. “My friend, I think God has sent us our very own Martha Stewart.”
For the next fourteen months we labored on a ship with no air conditioning and no stabilizers, which resulted in a lot of seasickness. We dined in the troop mess with forty-five-plus crewmembers, dwelling
in a 7 x 7 cabin, surviving a heart attack, and then finally being able to serve our eight special passengers, the Russian Jews, on the five-day journey from Sochi, Russia to Haifa, Israel, I understood how privileged I was to be on the Restoration’s 1995 maiden voyage. The day I waved good-bye to the three families on Haifa’s dock, I thanked God for allowing me to be a small part of His end-time plan to bring His people back to Israel.  After Rob and I flew home, the Restoration rescued over a thousand Russian Jews from the Black Sea area.
Rob and I recently moved from Southern California to South Carolina, but nothing can compare to our move out to sea.
I walked off the Restoration a changed woman.  Not perfect, but with a lot more patience, understanding and love for others.  Rob and I have moved several times since. The latest move took us 3,000 miles from Southern California to South Carolina.
But no move can compare to the move we made out to sea.

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If you or somebody you know is packing up for a migration across town, across the country or around the world, Moving Tales, Adventures in Relocation, offers a welcome diversion to the broken dishes, lost furniture and everything else that always seems to go wrong during a move. The lighthearted, and sometimes unbelievably true stories of those who’ve moved in, moved out and moved on, will move your heart and lift your spirits.


Linda Kozar is the co-author of Babes With A Beatitude—Devotions For Smart, Savvy Women of Faith (Hardcover/Ebook, Howard/Simon & Schuster 2009) and author of Misfortune Cookies (Print, Barbour Publishing 2008), Misfortune CookiesA Tisket, A Casket, and Dead As A Doornail, (“When The Fat Ladies Sing Series,” eBooks, Spyglass Lane Mysteries, 2012). Her latest novel Strands of Fate released October 2012 (Hardcover/Ebook, Creative Woman Mysteries). She received the ACFW Mentor of the Year Award in 2007, founded and served as president of Writers On The Storm, The Woodlands, Texas ACFW chapter for three years. In 2003, she co-founded, co-directed and later served as Southwest Texas Director of Words For The Journey Christian Writers Guild. She and her husband Michael, married 24 years, have two lovely daughters, Katie and Lauren and a Rat Terrier princess named Patches.
Represented by: Wendy Lawton, Books & Such Literary Agency
Member of: CAN (Christian Authors Network), RWA (Romance Writers of American), WHRWA (West Houston Romance Writers of America), ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), Writers On The Storm, The Woodlands, Texas Chapter of ACFW, Toastmasters (Area 56) The Woodlands, Texas, The Woodlands Church, The Woodlands, TX.


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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Moving Tales, Adventures in Relocation--A Sneak Peek--Moving Smurf


This week I'm posting whole stories or excerpts from the book with shots and bios of the authors. I hope you've enjoyed the previous posts. Here's another!

I hope you will love Moving Tales, Adventures in Relocation as much as I do!
 Buy a copy on Amazon


Moving Smurf

By Sofia Arroyo

As I was moving out my dorm room after my second year of college, I encountered some unexpected problems. I own a rather large beanbag couch, six-feet in diameter, and I had to get it down four flights of stairs since we had no elevator in the building.

I briefly considered just dropping it out the window instead of hauling it down the stairs, but there were bushes at the bottom floor, so I decided against it. I was fond of my large blue beanbag and wanted to keep it for the next year of school. With the window option “out the window,” I decided to roll the beanbag I called, "Smurf," out the door and down the hall--squeezing the thing, little by little, out the door.

Once finally out, I rolled it down the hall toward the stairs. Then I pushed the thing down the stairs, half a flight at a time. Four flights of stairs later, and huffing and puffing, I finally made it out of the building and into my car. The beanbag barely fit into the back of my hatchback 2002 Volkswagen Golf.

Coming back from summer break, I had to get “Smurf” back into my new dorm room. Again, my room was on the upper floor, but this time we had an elevator. I squeezed Smurf back into my car and drove it back to campus. With the help of a friend, I rolled the beanbag up the sidewalk and inside the building.

Once inside, we decided to see how fast we could roll it. Then, all of a sudden, my friend tripped and fell onto the beanbag. Physics were not on my side. I fell and flipped over the beanbag and landed on my back on the other side of it. All in a split second! And I didn't even know what hit me.

We recovered and got to the elevator, but discovered that the dorm
elevator was not very big. So we pushed the beanbag inside and hopped on top of it to get up to the 3rd floor. When we got there, we had to roll of the beanbag and out of the elevator.
Finally, we settled Smurf into the new dorm room. I haven't moved it since!



~*~


If you or somebody you know is packing up for a migration across town, across the country or around the world, Moving Tales, Adventures in Relocation, offers a welcome diversion to the broken dishes, lost furniture and everything else that always seems to go wrong during a move. The lighthearted, and sometimes unbelievably true stories of those who’ve moved in, moved out and moved on, will move your heart and lift your spirits.


Linda Kozar is the co-author of Babes With A Beatitude—Devotions For Smart, Savvy Women of Faith (Hardcover/Ebook, Howard/Simon & Schuster 2009) and author of Misfortune Cookies (Print, Barbour Publishing 2008), Misfortune CookiesA Tisket, A Casket, and Dead As A Doornail, (“When The Fat Ladies Sing Series,” eBooks, Spyglass Lane Mysteries, 2012). Her latest novel Strands of Fate released October 2012 (Hardcover/Ebook, Creative Woman Mysteries). She received the ACFW Mentor of the Year Award in 2007, founded and served as president of Writers On The Storm, The Woodlands, Texas ACFW chapter for three years. In 2003, she co-founded, co-directed and later served as Southwest Texas Director of Words For The Journey Christian Writers Guild. She and her husband Michael, married 24 years, have two lovely daughters, Katie and Lauren and a Rat Terrier princess named Patches.
Represented by: Wendy Lawton, Books & Such Literary Agency
Member of: CAN (Christian Authors Network), RWA (Romance Writers of American), WHRWA (West Houston Romance Writers of America), ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), Writers On The Storm, The Woodlands, Texas Chapter of ACFW, Toastmasters (Area 56) The Woodlands, Texas, The Woodlands Church, The Woodlands, TX.


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Cozy Mysteries by Linda Kozar

Gate Beautiful Radio Show--November 21, 2013

Family Reunion--Oregon 2012

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Meet The Christian Authors--2011

Meet The Christian Authors--2011
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