Tuesday, September 1, 2020

September: All About Changes by @JoanReeves #RomanceGems

Happy September! Or, How I Spent My Summer

Based on the last 36 hours here at Casa Reeves, I should have titled this post, "Rolling With the Punches." Or maybe, "Rolling With the Power Outages."

Life can be very strange and unpredictable as 2020 and COVID19 have shown us.

Many days ago—seems like forever—we awoke at 5am because the air conditioner had not come on. The power was off.

Houston, We Have a Problem

That day was a long hot, sweaty one of waiting. Waiting for our electrician who was prompt and told us we had a major problem.

Waiting for the power company to show up and tell us we had a major problem—and we were fully financially responsible for fixing said problem. Our underground power cable that runs from the transformer to our electric meter had failed.

What the?@#!?

Waiting for another power company representative to show up and immediately have a sign a legal document saying we would pay for them to run a temporary power line from the transformer at a cost of $479.00 for 30 days. If a new cable was not installed, inspected, and approved by the end of 30 days, we agreed to pay another $479.00. This is in addition to the usual electric bill.

Sweat As a Weight-Loss Plan

After two days of being hot and sweaty and finally getting a temporary line, we left for our house in the country. We stayed there where Corona seems nonexistent and people go on living their normal lives until we had a call saying come home. The crew to dig up the old cable would be there the next day.

Darling Hubby went home the day before. The crew never showed up on the appointed day. A day later, they came and dug it up. Another crew would be needed to lay the new cable at some point in the future. DH returned to the country.

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting

Days later we were told they would be there this past Saturday. We returned to Houston. No crew arrived. WiFi as iffy as a dandelion blowing in the wind. Monday, yesterday, they showed up and immediately cut the temporary power off. Then proceeded to dig up our back yard to a depth of 3 feet.

They laid the new cable then turned the power back on for us to do some essential things. I was so concerned with packing food in ice, sending out some essential emails, and other things that I didn't remember I had not written today's post!

Power Off, On, Off Again

The net result of yesterday was the power went off again. Can you say hot, humid, and sweaty? Then, praise the Lord! Our temporary power line was reconnected which is why I am now online and back to business.

The Punchline

The ending to this tale of woe has not been written yet. The power company has to come out, inspect the line, sign off for another power company rep to come out and actually connect the new cable to the transformer.

Get this. They have 10 to 15 days to do this, and they only come out on a Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. First come; first served. Our request is in. If they don't get out before 15 days have elapsed, we get to pay another $479.00!! Oh, and the laying of the new cable cost $1900.00. We don't have the electrician's bill yet.

Moral of This Story

Drink wine. Lots of wine.  Okay, I'm thinking. I guess that, like the bumper sticker says, sometimes SH*T Happens and there's just nothing you can do about it. So be philosophical. It will get fixed when it gets fixed.

Oh, and if you live in an area where utilities like electricity are decontrolled, and you receive letters informing you that you can pay so much a month as insurance on your various utility lines that go from a transformer or natural gas pipe to the meter on your house, you should probably sign up for the plan.

This is going to end up costing us almost $3,000.00.

September & Changes

See September brings Changes. I'll be about $3,000 bucks poorer in a few days. *LOL* No, that's not the kind of changes I planned to talk about today. 

We're shaking things up on the blog. Less content focused at other writers because most readers aren't interested in that. We want to bring you content that YOU, the reader, want.

I don't know if my house woes is what you want. Probably not, but I did give you a good tip if you live in a decontrolled electrical area. *g*

Other Changes for Romance Gems

No more monthly Giveaways. We appreciate and love all of you devoted readers, but the Giveaways are attracting the wrong crowd, like those who don't do the requirements and lie about it. Nancy Fraser, our wonderful Contest Manager, spends hours verifying eligibility. That's time that she could use for other things. We may occasionally do a special event Giveaway though.

Then there are the comment spammers who target just about every post with comments asking if we want to seem him, her, or them, naked. I and a couple of other volunteers spend valuable time moderating those pervs. 

By the way, Comment Spammers, if you're looking this over, I think I can speak for everyone who writes or reads this blog. 

NO! We do NOT want to see you naked, dressed, or any other way—unless you're wearing an orange jumpsuit and are behind bars! Go bother someone else!

What to Look For

Based on my post, more about who we, the Authors of Romance Gems, are. We write, we read, we have families and households to run. We laugh and complain sometimes, and we share triumphs. We exchange information and funny bits.

You'll find posts that talk about the inspiration for a story or why we chose a particular setting or how we use what happens to us in life in a story. You better believe you're going to see a heroine in a story who has a power cable cut! Somehow, some way, that's going to work itself into a story.

September Author Spotlight

Kathleen Lawless is basking in the spotlight this month. Click Author Spotlight to visit that page or click the menu tab for that page. 

Embraceing Change

Please accept my apology for getting this posted so late. I hope it doesn't bore you, and I'm serious in advising you to get utility insurance if it's offered to you. Or get a whole-house standby generator which is an expensive investment but probably worth it in case of storms and such. 

The August heat eventually will give way to falling leaves. It's a good time to take a breath of fresh air and relax. 

It's been a tumultuous year. One of the things I've enjoyed most is creating the Last Chance Beach concept which all of the authors breathed life into.

Reading the stories in Last Chance Beach: Summer's End is what helped get me through this last month of craziness.

The box set is still only 99¢ and is available on Amazon. Last Chance Beach: Summer's End is an exclusive short-term publication. 

If you haven't picked up your free copy of Cocktails on Last Chance Beach, do that too. Our little recipe book is still in the Top 100 of Bestselling Special Occasion, Beverages, etc. on Kindle.

TIP: A cocktail can be especially helpful in power outages. 

Our Short Story Romance Collection will go away in early November so get a copy now and enjoy all of the stories.

I wish you a wonderful month of happy times and good reading—and a cocktail as you read Last Chance Beach: Summer's End.


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  1. Oh, my Joan you sound Hot! Hot! Hot! Here's an example of open wallet out flies dollars. Thanks so much for the tip. I've had a couple of AC failures this summer. Thankfully, nothing as disastrous as this and fixable for a few hundred dollars. Sending you cool air/breezes from the hot, hot south. Namaste.

    1. Marcia, we've had a couple of AC failures too this summer. One was a poor dead mouse fried by the compressor. We may be opening our wallet next spring for a new unit!

    2. Thanks for those cool breezes, Marcia.

  2. Oh, my gosh... I join Marcia in sending you cool breezes. Thanks so much for illustrating the glamorous life of a bestselling author!

    1. "ROTFL* Yep, that's my life. Non-stop glamour. Come to think of it, the only author I know who led a glamourous life was Judith McNaught. Oh, and Danielle Steele, but I never met her personally.

  3. Joan, wishing you smooth sailing for the rest of the year--2020 will go down in history as one of the worst ever. But, does it have to get personal?

    1. So far, I don't know anyone who has had an amazingly good 2020. I'm pretty sure everything is in retrograde.

  4. Yikes, I'll never get an underground cable, though maybe that won't solve the problem. Sorry, Joan. Hope you're cool and stay all powerful to the end of time.

    1. Well, you either have an underground power cable or overhead wires. No escaping one or the other if you have electricity. *g*

  5. Despite life's lemons and your bill for making lemonade, you still manage to keep your sense of humor. Thanks for sharing. Sending a cool breeze from the PNW where we don't need AC, but we sure do crank the heat up on those cold rainy days in November.

    1. Ah, the benefit of living on the Gulf Coast. Rarely do we have cold November days.

  6. Meant to add, thank you for my wonderful Spotlight this month.

    1. Oh, you're welcome. I was crossing my fingers to get it published before I lost WiFi again. Just now got it back a short while ago. I'll be glad when this problem gets fixed.

  7. No one wants to hear the words 'a major problem'.


    1. Thanks, Mary. We've heard those 2 words a lot this year.

  8. Holy Cow, you've had some problems!! So sorry! Hope they get all fixed and you don't have to worry about them again!

    1. Fortunately, I think the internet connectivity problems will be fixed next week.

  9. Oh wow, you have my sympathies. We had something similar with the water.
    debby236 at hotmail dot com

  10. Btw, readers. No need to leave your email address since we are not doing Comment and Win this month.

  11. I shouldn't laugh but you do bring a sense of humor to your disasters! (Otherwise you'd probably go nuts.) I admire your fortitude, Joan, and hope it's smooth sailing from here on in.


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