Friday, April 1, 2016

Recall

Yesterday, Patrick and I finally took the Pilot to the local Honda dealer to get the recalled airbag replaced.  This is a true (Lord, I wish it were a joke) account of our morning at Honda Koons of Manassas.

First of all, getting into the dealership is a miraculous feat unto itself. The only way to get into it from the main road is via a driveway/road that is not only not labeled, but one of three unlabeled "drives" within a few yards of one another in a strip of road about a quarter of a mile long located between a large intersection, a gas station, and the on-ramps to one of the biggest highways leading into Washington DC.

Then, upon getting into the area of the dealership, there is no exterior signage directing you towards the "Service Department". So I park in the Customer Parking spot in the front and get out of the car. A man sees me pull up and park, and damn near pees himself trying to get to me. A woman, alone, in a Honda Pilot pulling up to a Honda dealership! Bless his heart, he was seeing dollar signs and commission galore. A repeat customer! A woman! She'll buy from me and pay anything I want as long as I have the right color and a cup holder for her Starbucks! That's all women care about when buying a car.

So, Mr. BIG SMILE comes out, walks over to me while I'm getting out. I smile and say, "Hi. I have an appointment to get my airbag replaced."

Poor thing is so deflated all he can manage is a slight eye-roll (I think he was trying to suppress it but it was so strong, a little just had to squeak out) and to indicate with a head tilt and finger point over his shoulder before uttering something about me needing to go around back.  I smile and thank him and start to get back in the car. Mind you, I have my purse, my water bottle, and my coffee all with me, which I'm now juggling to get back in the car with me without spilling. As I'm doing this, not only does he not offer to help or at least hold the door for me, but he actually says, "Or I would love to sell you a brand new one." To which I laughed, snorted actually, and said, "Yeah! I'm sure you would!" Then he reaches into his pocket and pulls out his business card to hand me.  AS I'M ALREADY JUGGLING THREE THINGS AND MY CAR DOOR THAT'S CLOSING BECAUSE OF THE SLIGHT INCLINE IN THE PARKING LOT. Jackweasle then stands there holding out his card as I manage to get back in without spilling anything, and reopen my door so I can take his card.

So ... back in the car, Patrick has parked the Jeep and gets in the Pilot with me and we drive around to the unmarked service area where there are three bay doors each with signage saying to pull up and door will automatically open.  OK. That's nice, but does that pertain to me? Is that info for the mechanics? The customers? The Almighty? I can't tell. There are also no signs saying "Service/Repair Parking Customers" or anything of the like. So I find one parking spot, pull in, park, get my purse, water bottle, and coffee, and get back out of the pilot. Use the human-access main door to enter said Service area. We were very sweetly greeted by the service staff. I said that I was here to get the airbag replaced, and they said to pull on up to the bay door, it will open, and I can pull in to get checked in.

O.
K.

Wouldn't it have been kind to have this written on a sign outside? Maybe?

So ... I get back in the car, again juggling my purse, my water, my coffee, OH, AND MY KEYS this time, because I was thinking I was going to give my keys to the mechanic to drive my car into the bay to do the repairs.

I drive up to the first of the three bay doors. It opens just like it said it would. I drive in and then over to the two men directing me to the second lane. Now I think ... do I pick everything up again? Is this the last place I need to put my car? Do I need to do my own replacement too? Upon getting out, there is a man standing with my husband with a clip board getting the final information. He's very nice and seems very willing to help ... my husband. I lost count, but I do believe it was at least three times during the entire process that my sweet husband said, "Ask her. It's her car." to which seemingly shocked and awed the people there. WHAT?!?! A woman who OWNS a car? How is this even possible?

So, the back and forth of what all we needed done, asking Patrick, me answering, asking Patrick again, me answering until he had all his notes completed and we thanked them and walked through the office into the show room to take a look a the newest Honda lineup.

Quick back-story on me ... the first car I ever bought with my own money was an '88 Accord. Before that I had an '81 Accord that was my first love. Named Arthur (after Arthur Dent of Hitchhikers Guide) when my mom bent the fender when it was originally her car. Arthur then became mine, and I'm not sure there will ever be a love affair as pure as my love for Arthur. In fact, I fully believe the spirit of Arthur is in every car I own. Arthur is my protective chariot. He cares for me, protects me and now my babies with me, and I protect him. OK ... so, that being said, There was a time when I could tell you the year of the Honda by the body style.

Even further back in the back story, before I was driving Original Arthur, I had a VW Karmann Ghia with severe electrical malfunctions. I got the Chilton and rewired the entire car by myself.  I'm not new to car ownership or repair. If I could get a Bondo scented perfume, I'd probably wear it.

Out of the seven cars I can claim to have been "mine" in the past 30 years, two were VW (a bug before the Ghia), then my '81 Accord, then my '88 accord, then a brand new (my first and only brand new car EVER) 2000 Jeep Cherokee Sport, then back to a Honda (Odyssey this time), and finally to my current love, my 2006 Honda Pilot.

So again, I hope I have somewhat established that I love Honda's. I know Honda's. My family, as a collective, have owned and currently own more Honda's than I feel like trying to count right now.

This brings us back up to yesterday's story. Thank you for sticking with me through that side-bar.

We walk through the office and into the showroom to see the new Honda Lineup.

There are only four or five cars in the show room. No big deal, Honda's are wicked popular I know they are snapped up as soon as they are available. So we look at the cars in the showroom, then venture outside to see if we can find a new Ridgeline or Pilot.

And yes, we were like chum to the sales sharks in the showroom. Polite smiles and "We're just waiting for our Pilot's airbag to be replaced" seemed to happily calm the feeding frenzy inside.

Outside we go. Another salesman materializes at our side and he asks what he can help us with. I told him I wanted to see the new Pilot or the new Ridgeline. He very nicely told us that they didn't have any Pilots, that they only get three a month, and they are sold practically as soon as they are on the lot. He could order one for us (umhum, I'm sure you could) or we could call to see when the next shipment would be in and we could come look then. About the Ridgeline, we're told that he's "just as much in the dark about that as we are" again instilling much confidence in your product knowledge.

No no ... it gets better. Each time "I" ask him about a vehicle, he looks at Patrick to answer. I then decided to really floor him and I asked him if Honda was in the process of making another convertible. He honestly looks like I've spoken Swahili. He repeats the word ... "Convertible"  as if trying to process it's meaning. Then says, "No. But we have the new Civics." (long pause ...) I think I must have blinked a few times and then given him an "oh, bless your sweet heart" look because he looked down at the ground and said, "Yeah, but they aren't convertibles."  Patrick turned around to not laugh, but the sales man wasn't discouraged! I wanted to be sure we knew that he knew what he was talking about! "Oh, but Honda IS coming out with an alternative fuel cell car!" This was directed at Patrick again, because, what the Hell would "I" know about alternative fuel cells. In unison, Patrick and I say, "Oh, OK. That's cool." And ... No lie, sweet sales man says, "Yeah. It's called ... um ... the civic LX-P ... Oh, no, wait, that's not it, it's um .. the ... awe man, I can't remember."

So we smile real big again and say we're going to just wander around and look at what's on the lot.

Pickin's were pretty slim out on the lot. Again, understandable with Honda's resale records/statistics. This dealership is attached to a GMC dealer too, and the used cars share the same lot, so we moseyed on over to the other side of the lot looking here and there at a few random selections. not impressed, we head back towards the Jeep to go run errands etc while the Pilot is being repaired.

We notice a Jeep Wrangler with a sticker in the window about all of it's stats, but no price. Like clockwork, another salesman materializes and asks if we need any help. I ask about the price of the Wrangler, and he sweetly smiles and walks over to the vehicle to look at the sticker, because clearly I'm too dumb to be able to read it. But what is this? There is no price on it. He whips out his handy tablet and does some very important scurrying, then looks puzzled and tells us that it's not in their database yet.  "OK. No problem. Thanks anyway." we say. He instantly perks up, like he's just completely had the past three minutes of his life erased from his mind and cheerfully says, "OK! Let me know if you have any questions!"

Patrick and I stifle our laugh as we thank him again, turn and head back to our Cherokee to leave. We look at each other and laugh about the fact that no one on the entire lot could answer any questions we had.

The mechanic doing the work on my baby called to double check what else we wanted him to look at (our key fobs needed things and I wanted to check on updating the GPS) and he told me that a headlamp was out and the brakes needed to be replaced soon. He was VERY nice. I OK'd the headlight replacement and thanked him for the update on the brakes but said not now. He told me i needed to get online to buy the GPS update from Honda directly. Lastly, he told me about the $180.00 replacement charge for the fob, and after I recovered from the guttural explosion of expletives that spewed from me, I told him that wasn't necessary. He then very sweetly offered to take the working parts from one and put them into the other to make one key and fob that worked instead of two that don't. I asked about the charge for that, and he said he'd do it no charge. WOOHOO! Thank you Chris from Koons!

I finally get the call from Chris from Koons letting me know my baby is all set, and we go pick him up. Arthur 5, not Chris. The airbag replacement was a recall, so no cost to us, the headlamp was about $20.00, the labor was about $10.00, so for about $30.00 I have a new airbag that won't send shards of plastic and metal into my jugular upon impact, a working key and fob, and both headlights. OH! AND a complementary car wash!  Not too shabby, I'd say.

So all-in-all, I'm very pleased with the service and work performed at Koons Honda Manassas. And really the sales team gave me a great story to tell, so I thank them too. Had I been in the market to buy, this story would not be so lighthearted, as I would still be fuming over the lack of product knowledge, but as it stands now, a nice morning spent with My Honey and my sweet Arthur is happily awaiting our next adventure.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

New things in the Home Store

Hi.

I've spent a few hours today adding new things to The Saucy Dish Home Store.

I can't tell you how much fun its been making, creating, and designing things for the store, for my friends, and for my family.  And there are still more goodies to come. I'm working on some lamps, more wearable goods, and that's just the beginning.

If there is anything specific you would like to see in the shop, or in your own home, let me know. I love custom orders, love making things, and love making people happy.

Let me know what you think. I appreciate the feedback.

Thanks ... and stay saucy.

PS ... A sneak peak of new things to come...

Friday, March 4, 2016

Stadium Blankets

Here's a sneak peak of my Honey's New York Giants Stadium Blanket. 



This yarn is A-Mazing!! Super soft and a little shimmery. But still really manly, of course. Machine washable and dryable so beer, mustard, cheese-whiz, and/or anything else that gets dropped on it, spilled on it, or that it gets dropped in or stepped on can all come clean in the wash. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

New Year, New Look, New Things



Hi!

I've been a little quiet as of late, but that's only because I had a lot of things brewing. But now, I'm very excited to introduce the new blog design and new added features!

Notice the tabs at the top of the page.

"The Saucy Dish Home Collection"
This is where I'll post all of the one of a kind items that are officially for sale.

"What I'm Making Now"
This is a collection of the things I have in process, ideas I'm finalizing, and things that will soon be in The Home Collection.

See something in the Home Collection or What I'm Making Now that you kinda love, but wish it was a little different? Then check out...

"Customizable For YOUR Home"
Here you can request the exact same items you see in the "Home Collection", or "What I'm Making Now" but then change it up based on your style, taste, size, colors, or other design requests. And ... see something on Pinterest that you love but don't have the time/energy/patience to make? Send it to me and I'll see if it's something I can make for you.

In the coming weeks/months, expect to see a lot more items being added. I'm hoping to get a Shopify store connected to both the blog here and to my Facebook page. If you're not already one of my Facebook followers, please take a quick second to "Like" The Saucy Dish on Facebook. And then, while you're there, you could be a doll and click the share button and let your friends and family know about the fun new things going on here at The Saucy Dish too.

OK ... so, as much as I love hanging out and talking, I need to go get back to the shop to make more things, design more things, and take pictures of the things that you need in your home/office/life too.




Thursday, October 22, 2015

Armageddon

Armageddon is one of those movies that just about every time it comes on TV, I have to watch.

It's almost a guilty pleasure. I have a Bachelors in English with a concentration in film and media studies. Really all that means is that I learned how to write movie reviews. But it also gives me the ability to turn my nose up at movies that cause brain damage to those who watch them and to raise my eyebrows in wonder when I find someone else who loves Jean-Pierre Jeunet films or anything from Miramax. If I hear that James Horner composed the score, I'm a little more interested in seeing the picture. So for me to love a full blown special effects driven movie feels almost like I'm breaking the rules. 

Here is the link to the IMDB page where you can real the official credintials. Who's in it, who made it, which awards it won, so I'm not going to go into all that. I'm just going to tell you why I love it.  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120591/?ref_=nv_sr_2

First of all, it's the cast. And, yes, I know I JUST said I wasn't going to talk about the cast, but I meant I wasn't going to talk about them in the, "9 time academy award nominated blah blah blah" sense. But I mean, COME ON! Bruce Willis, Ben Aflfleck, Billy Bob Thornton, Steve Buscemi, and Liv Tyler. 

Her role (Tyler's) in particular struck me. I fully believed that she loved her daddy (Willis) and honey (Affleck) tremendously, and I still cry right along with her in that one scene. If you've seen it you know what I mean. If you haven't seen it yet, I don't want to give it away, but my Lord, I ball like a baby every time. I fully believed that all the other rough-necks in the drilling crew loved her like a daughter too. This group of actors was such a fantastic blend of smarts, pretty, funny, and sincere. I bet they had a blast filming it. They look like a group that probably spent a lot of time goofing off and being silly while on set.

The special effects are cool, I guess. I'm not all that into big explosion scenes in multi million dollar blockbusters. I mean, they are cool to watch, and in a high energy movie like this or in Independence Day when the aliens are blowing up landmarks they are awesome and add to the story, but it's not the type of movie I'm going to jump to watch and if there are just explosions and damage to personal and/or public property for no real reason, that's not my bag. I prefer the homemade low-budget effects. Original Star Wars, Tremors, Monty Python, you know, back when making a movie was fun and you got to hold a camera and chase your employees in giant costumes on a hand made wagon being pulled behind a jeep. Which of course no one would do now because that's dangerous and someone could get hurt.

On a personal level, the movie holds a special place in my heart. I watched it once with my now husband and a fraternity brother of his in his room on his teeniney tv and when the "Leaving On A Jet Plane" scene came on we all sang along at the top of our lungs, flopped all over each other in a big pile laughing and singing very badly and way off key and being silly. 

Armageddon is a movie with a very good combination of love story and action making it appealing to a larger fan base. In addition to that, the love story is both a romantic love and a family love. So it's not all boobies and bombs at all. The relationships appeal to my feminin side, but I also enjoy the macho "let's go blow shit up to save the world" part too. 

At this point, of course, I should go into the dichotomy of this and the juxtaposition of that, the protagonist and antagonist, the struggles, the obstacles overcome. Or I should point out certain screen shots, fades, editing, cinematography, zooms, pans, etc. 

But no. Not here. Not with Armageddon. It's just fun to watch and I don't feel the need to dissect it and turn it into a choreographed essay-like document I would have submitted 15 years ago with footnotes, a cover page, and a side of anxiety over whether or not my works sited page was formatted correctly. 

So, with all that said, and for the reasons described above, I'll say it again. Armageddon is one of those movies that just about every time it comes on TV, I have to watch.


Saturday, October 17, 2015

Recycled Towel Bathmat

Needing a new bathmat and having no money to buy one, I decided to experiment with cutting two old towels into strips, braiding them, then sewing the braid together to create the "new" bathmat. 

To my amazement, it worked wonderfully and came out perfect. 

Here is how I made it. 

I picked out the 2 regular sized bath towels that I wanted to use. They were a few years old, had a tear in one and a bleach spot on another. 



I then cut the towels into about 2" strips. 


I didn't want the tough "seam" part of the towel, so I cut them off as well. 


I used a large round tipped "Tapestry" needle and size 10 crochet cotton thread. 


After cutting both towels into strips, I started to assemble the braid. Using the above thread, I made a very simple stitch to hold together the start of the first 3 strips.

I then sewed a new strip to the ends of the previous strips as the braid grew. 


The 2" thickness of the strip made it very easy to keep a flat braid. I wanted this to be the case because I wanted to make sure the mat was as soft as possible. 


After I had one long "rope" of the braided towel strips, I laid it out to see if I liked it as a circle or oval, and to check for size. 



We decided on the oval, and it wasn't quite large enough with just 1 towel so I continued with the second towel to make it large enough to fit in front of our shower. 

I measured the space in front of the shower door (very technically with my leg) then I sat on the floor and began to lay out the braid to get the final size I needed. 

The finished mat is a spiral of the braided strips. To create the oval, I started with a straight section of the braided rope, then turned it 180 degrees, keeping it flat and even. Think of a paper clip as the core design. 

Once I had the size I wanted, I began to sew it together. I really just wove the crochet thread through the braid. I believe I only pierced the braid with the needle at the very beginning and end. 


Using the large needle, I was able to easily weave the thread through adjoining sections of the braid. 


Keep the thread tight, but not too tight, or you'll bring it up like a basket rather than a flat mat. If it's not tight enough it will appear to unravel and look yucky. 

By weaving the thread in and out of the braids side-by-side like this, you hide the thread. 


I continued to weave the thread through each section of braid until I had secured all of the rope to itself resulting in the finished oval shaped bathmat. 




And there we have it. The upcycled bathmat made from 2 regular sized bath towels. 

Send me pictures of yours after you make it! I'll be making more myself. The kids now want one for their bathroom too.