Sunday, June 24, 2018

when the going gets tough

Sometimes a little escapism is just what one needs.

As I mentioned in my last post, we were hoping for an easy fix on our central air conditioner. After some excuses (some valid, some seemingly not so), the HVAC guy, Rocky finally showed up. Turns out, our AC was fried. I wasn't surprised - it's 30 years old. The "good" news was that our furnace, despite being the same age, still has another 7-10 years to go. After agreeing about installing a new air conditioner, it's been one excuse after another why Rocky couldn't show up. Yesterday - Saturday - was the last straw. I got up extra early to get ready, expecting Rocky and his partner to be here. Rocky texted me at the last minute, claiming his truck broke down. He sent me photos of his truck being towed away and said the service department couldn't even look at his truck until Monday. So now he was hoping for Tuesday to install our AC. Oh, it gets even better....but first, my escapism story.

I was disappointed and frankly, pissed off due to Rocky's excuses, but because it was a beautiful day, I decided to get out of here and take a little day trip. I went to my happy place: Evanston.

I always start out by visiting Hewn for one of their homemade scones or muffins. I sat outside on the benches they have set up in the nice weather, enjoying my treat and people-watching.

Next, I walked up the street to Secret Treasures, my all-time favorite vintage shop. I did indeed find some treasures...this set of aqua (or is it turquoise? Either way, it's my favorite color) Buffalo China (USA) diner dishes and creamer.

And this aqua and white striped McCoy pitcher. I love vintage pottery, but especially McCoy. I walked by this piece twice. I picked it up and held it and looked it over and put it down. Walked around the shop and thought about it. Would I regret not getting it if I didn't buy it? Probably. I'm glad I bought it. It's a beauty.

Evanston has a ton of gorgeous houses. I've featured some on my blog in the past. I was driving around and found a street I don't remember being on before. It was lined with beautiful homes, so I pulled over, parked the car, and went for a walk.

This home was having work done on it. I love the architecture.

This home is almost fairytale like, but elegant.

I then went to the farmer's market where I bought baby greens, romaine and breakfast radishes. I accidentally deleted the photos from the farmer's market, so I had to steal this one from my IG page. The way this vendor displays their vegetables is always beautiful. There's another vendor at this farmer's market that sells their authentic tamales and tacos. We get something to eat from them every time we're at this farmer's market. Since it was lunchtime, I got a chicken red mole tamale, and headed for a shady picnic table. It ended up that I sat across from a lady from Chicago and we had a lovely conversation while we were eating. ("A stranger is a friend you haven't met".)

A trip to Evanston wouldn't be complete to me, until I've visited the lakefront (Lake Michigan). All the shades of blue never fail to amaze me. 

 I sit on the boulder and just gaze out at the water. It's so peaceful.

 Looking the other way into the park. This place is never crowded, even on a weekend. You might see some dog walkers, joggers, a family having a picnic, some teens playing Frisbee, or lovers walking hand-in-hand, but never many at one time. I took my blanket and laid in the shade under a big oak tree. That's when I decided to take a closer look at the photos that Rocky sent me of his truck being towed away. I zoomed in on them and it hit me: There were no leaves on the trees in the background!! Not by his house, nor in the background of the house across the street. These were obviously old pictures! Busted! I called Brian at work to tell him. Brian then called the tow truck company and talked to the guy that had been on call since 4:00 a.m. He hadn't had any tows all day! I immediately texted Rocky and called him out on all this. Told him if he was going to be a liar, at least be a good one. Do you know what he replied? He said, "Whatever. Trees are dead do (sic) to the wetlands." Riight. It got even uglier from there with him saying he was going to send us a bill for a service call (he had waived his service call fee when he finally showed up, since he was a day late) and that if we didn't pay it, his brother was a "lean (sic) lawyer." What a horrible, dishonest businessman.

In the late afternoon, I finally headed for home, but stopped at Gigio's Pizzeria to get slices of pizza for Brian and his work partner. I made a special delivery on my way home. Gigio's is a place that has special meaning to me and Brian. We ate there all the time when we were dating. And when he was working nights as security in the local hospital, I'd pick up pizza after I got off work, and bring it to him for dinner at the hospital. Thirty-six years later, and I'm still delivering Gigio's pizza to him at work. 😉

Back to Rocky and his HVAC business, I did warn locals on my FB page and my town's FB page about him. I was going to write a review on Yelp, but I did my research first and found that you can be sued for slander for posting negative reviews on businesses. Of course, there's loopholes - you have to word your review just so - but I didn't want to take any chances. I also chose not to report him to the BBB - at least, not just yet. I'm still thinking about it. Again, I read about filing a complaint against a business, and it involves communication with that business. I don't know if I want to go there. I've already blocked his number on my phone so I can't receive any more texts or calls. I'd rather just forget this whole thing and put it behind me. Though to cover my behind, I took a drive out to his house today and took photos of the trees and wetlands surrounding his property. No surprise that everything was very green and lush - no bare trees.

We have found a new HVAC company - one that was recommended by several people and has an A+ rating on BBB. We'll be calling them first thing tomorrow morning. Here's hoping we can get a new AC unit installed ASAP...after this week of cool temps, it's heating up again. It's already 82 degrees in the house today and will only get worse as the week goes on. To be continued!


  1. Can you believe it? What is happening to the work ethic? Perhaps the new company will do a much better job for you and you are well rid of the other one. Meanwhile, summer is there and you with no AC. If I were you I'd be wanting to eat all my meals out until you're cool again.

    You were so smart to get out and have a lovely day away, doing all those things so dear to your heart including delivering a meal to your sweetheart.

    The architecture that you showed is so beautiful. Those houses must have been built when builders were true workmen. And could there be a more perfect blue for your home than your new china pieces? They wouldn't have been in the store long, would they?

    You took a tough day and turned it into a pleasant one that you certainly needed. A lesson for all of us. So much better than staying home and stewing.

    Good for you, Melanie!

  2. I am so angry for you! Oh my goodness! Bad business but I am glad you discovered their deceit and are now going to a better business. I'm glad you took yourself to a favorite place and enjoyed it!! The saga continues!

  3. OMGOSH, Melanie! I hate to deal with dishonest people. We had a car repair guy that was the same way. We finally caught on to him and I did report him to the BBB because I didn't want anyone else to go through what we went through.

    I hope you can get the work done quickly. I don't know if I would trust him on the furnace inspection either. Sometimes it is cheaper to have both units due at once and it pays off in the long run because today's units are so much energy efficient than the older ones. You might want to just talk to them. Often, reputable companies will offer financing if you have to do a full job-furnace/ac. That other guy is SUCH a jerk.

    I am glad you were able to get away for the day though and just unwind a but PLUS deliver pizza to your guy! lol Have a great upcoming week. xo Diana

  4. I'm so sorry about your contractor experience. I have to say having a very handy husband means I rarely, if ever, need to call anyone to help out. It sounds like a day out was just what the doctor ordered...what a beautiful trip. And I love your pizza story. How romantic and sweet...

  5. those dishes are gorgeous! I'm glad you were able to salvage part of the day, and I cannot believe what a jerk that a/c guy is. I would definitely turn him in. His bit about a lawyer brother is about as reliable as everything else he said.

  6. Oh friend, I hope they can get you a new one soon as it's going to be HOT at the end of the week.
    Talk about making lemonade out of lemons, what a great escape. You deserve it. :)

  7. Your escape sounds and looks so fabulous. I wish we had a town and a big lake like that near us! Good for you for making lemonade out of a crappy day. Rocky's behavior is one for the books. Geez.

    I never tire of seeing pictures of your outings. Your part of the country has so much to offer -- I guess every part does -- but there's something so cozy about America east of the Mississippi. Very different from the west.

  8. I can't stand people who do business this way, but there are a lot of them it seems. However with the power of social media, it's hard for them to keep their business going with bad reviews. You made lemons out of lemonade and had a wonderful day. Good for you, my friend!

  9. I think you have done a lot of good for others with the facebook posts, which will be shared, hopefully. To me a personal facebook post is more reliable than the ones on Yelp. I wouldn't trust him if he feels "crossed". Best of luck with the new A/C soon. Thanks for the Lake MI photos!

  10. Hope you are able to get your A/C fixed soon, so sorry you had to deal with someone like that. Sadly there is not a lot of great customer service left :-( I am on Instagram quite a bit so I did send you a request to follow your account, mine is jillkh :-) Your photos are so lovely! Hope you have a great afternoon!


  11. OMG about the AC swindler. What is wrong with people??!!!! Seriously!!! I thought I was the only one that got these knuckle heads. I hope you report him to the better business bureau and if he is listed on any review sites warn people about him. I would ignore his bill and he does not have a leg to stand on and if he could take you to court the judge would not grant him a thing with how he treated you. In fact it could turn around and the judge could make him pay you something for not doing good business. I always feel people like "Rocky" that bully and threaten do not have any means to back anything up. So just ignore him. What a jerk. I hope you can find someone else to help you with the air conditioning. We are getting a new furnace and Air installed in the next few months. We have a great guy with a good reputation so I hope mine is good when he does our work. These are big purchases and you want a reliable person that is ethical to. Those places in Evanston sound fabulous. I love to drive along the lake up that way just to see the beautiful old mansions facing the water. Gorgeous homes with such wonderful history we have around us. Hoping for a better week for you.

  12. My poor friend, I feel for you. It's bad enough when things break down and you need to have them repaired or replaced, but dealing with unscrupulous people is heart breaking. You're spending your hard earned money and it's going into the pockets of crooks. I'm glad to hear that Brian called him on his lies.
    On another subject: Love your McCoy pitcher, so happy you bought it, you will love it forever :) You also touched my heart when you told your story about your favorite pizza place and how you are still delivering pizza to the man you love :)
    Happy 4th of July!
    Connie :)

  13. By now, I hope you are in air conditioned comfort!

  14. I'm replying to your comment on my post here.

    Comments no longer go to my email and so until I figure out how to fix it, I have to reply on your posts.

    Your name is in the giveaway.


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