My sage advice is this…listen to your instincts!

I learned a lesson, the hard way.

My daughter and grandson had just moved to Phoenix from LA last Saturday with the help of her dad. I had hoped to meet them Saturday to help unload, kiss my little fella and welcome my daughter back to her home state after twenty years in California. They got a late start and didn’t get into town until the evening. So a trip up wasn’t going to happen. We had made previous plans to meet up with our Phoenix family on Wednesday to kick back, watch fireworks and be together, but I wanted to see them, so…against my instincts to wait until July 4th, I decided instead drive up yesterday, drop off my mom at my sister’s house and go to my daughter’s new place to help her get things put together. I figured I could help her best by keeping Bubba busy while she got some stuff knocked out and settled in.

Wrong!!

Mom and I left after church, stopped for a burger and drink, and headed out on the two hour drive to my sister’s place. She lives in Glendale which is northwest Phoenix. Things were going okay until after I turned off Hwy 79 onto Hwy 60. Now remember this is mid day, summer, central Arizona. I was about two miles down the road after my turn when I heard a loud knock on the bottom of my car, drove a bit more and there was another one, then a couple more. I was getting concerned since I hadn’t noticed stuff in the road. This red car came up beside me and the woman was vigorously pointing at my front tire. Damn!

I pulled over, got out and saw I had a flat tire that was shedding chucks of tread. The couple in the red car pulled off in front and she hurried over asking if I needed anything and if they could help with changing the tire. She was dressed beautifully so I reassured her I had AAA and I didn’t want them out there on the hot asphalt changing a tire. After a few moments of convincing her I was okay they left. Called AAA, and they responded quickly and efficiently telling me I was a priority since I was on the side of the road, and informed me a truck was on its way ETA 2:41pm.

My radio clock said 1:56pm! Nearly an hour at 102° outside.

So with about fifty minutes to wait, I put up the sun screen in the wind shield, rolled down the windows, turned off the a/c and the car, and proceeded to wait. I had a bottle of water that I wet napkins for mom and I to keep cool. There was a breeze so we had good old fashioned evaporative cooling. It wasn’t cool but was survivable. We also had ice cold drinks. My mother is 88, and not in the best of health.

I was stressed.

I spent the time, letting family know the situation, where we were, and the status while I watched the progress of the Phoenix Metro Towing truck heading my way on the app provided by AAA. Just want to say, they were great and kept calling to check on  us. Anyway about 2:20pm I looked in my rear view mirror to see an Arizona State Trooper pull up behind me. Suffice to say I was relieved and knew no matter what it would be okay. He got out and came over to mom’s side and asked how we were. I said the tow truck was coming in about twenty minutes. He looked at mom and asked me if I had plenty of gas and a good a/c. I replied I did and he said to start the car, pull farther off the road, set the brake, and turn on the a/c for mom and let’s start to change the tire. I was so on this and that’s just what I did. Mom was doing okay and I was being proactive.

I discovered I had no jack!

The only thing I had was the tool to lower the spare and pump the jack. “Shit!” yep yelled that out loud to all the desert creatures and the trooper. He went around and got his jack, but it was too big to fit under the low front of the PT Cruiser with a flat. Please God!?!? But then who should drive up, Mike with Phoenix Metro Towing. The trooper told him the deal with the jack, he went and got one that worked like a charm. Mike was my new best friend! He got the flat off, and pointed out I was missing a lug nut and the lug looked like it was broken. Okay, but can the tire stay on? Yep.

Right on!

Since it was a Sunday Discount Tire and Big O Tire are closed. The closest place I could go to get two new tires was the Walmart on Apache Trail in Apache Junction. This put me about 50 miles from my sister in Glendale. Amazing Mike, after giving me directions, followed me to said Walmart and then departed for parts unknown. I pulled in and as luck would have it no waiting! But…when the attendant was checking me in and saw the lug nut/lug situation he said Walmart can’t touch it. What?!?!? Nope, the liability, but he filled the donut spare with the proper air pressure and wished me luck.

In the meantime, unknown to me, hubby had called sister to ask her to find a place that was open that could get tires. I got back on Hwy 60, headed west. I had gone about three miles when I saw a highway patrol car behind me with flashing lights pulling ME over. What now?!?! The lovely woman officer came smiling up to my car to inform me when she first ran the plates it came back as a different vehicle, but a second time it came back as my car and I was free to go. I mentioned the flat/spare situation and she said that she thought the Discount Tire on Power Road was open on Sunday so I thanked her, and once again headed out. Turned off on to Power Rd, and found the tire store right away. Nope – closed. My sister called at that point to say her hubby had found a Pep Boys on Peoria and 67th that would do the work, was waiting for me and they closed a 6pm. It was 3:25 and 107°. I asked her to ask him if he thought I was good on the spare for the forty miles and I heard him say “Yes!” so back on the 60 we go.

I know there were plenty of drivers yesterday who were cussing the lady driving the purple PT Cruiser down the highway at 60mph but screw ’em, I had no options if that donut failed!

Twenty minutes later I pulled into the Pep Boys parking lot. I went inside and told the guy at the counter I was the lady with the Cruiser. He looked at me like I was speaking Klingon. He told me  that when the guy called he told them he couldn’t do it. This isn’t happening. I had to have something work out. My brother-in-law showed up and when he talked to the guy he realized it was the Pep Boys on Peoria and 75th, so off we went. We walked inside, and up to the service counter.  Manuel at the counter turned to another guy and asked if he talked to a man about tires for a PT Cruiser. He said, “Not me, that was Devin. Hey Devin, the guy with the cruiser is here.” I let out a huge breath, handed over the keys, got in my brother-in-law’s car and mom and I went to my sisters house.

My brain in a fog, my head aching and my mom very quiet, I ate, played with my grandson and hugged my daughter who were waiting there for us.

An hour later I had the car back, with two new front tires – mom and I would make it home. The Cruiser has an appointment this Friday to get the lug fixed, two new back tires and an oil change.

If I had followed my initial instinct to wait until Wednesday, my husband would have been with us, there is a good chance the tire would have been flat and replaced before we left, and I would have had a fun time with my family celebrating our great nation’s birthday.

Wednesday is off the schedule now since the Cruiser is going to the car doctor. The family had planned a get together here in Catalina on the 14th so I will still have family time.

Listen to your instincts.

Cheers!

-N

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The words are back

I’m very glad to share I have been writing again!

I sat down, opened the file, read what I had already written – I’ve done this before with no results – and when I reached the end of the text another line came to my mind, then another, and before I knew it 1000 words were knocked out and my mind was flying. It was bliss. I’ve since added more words, plotted the next couple of chapters, and fleshed out an important character I didn’t yet know very well.

This fed the creativity in my brain for the cosplay costume I am making. I was becoming so stale it was disconcerting and depressing. I can’t express how great it feels to get things moving once more. One thing I did discover is I need to ignore the distractions, specifically a person whose negativity is counterproductive. I shut the door, blast the Netflix or music and get busy writing and sewing. Woo hoo, it’s fun.

I spent four days in the LA area with my sister, Mary, and I think that started the brain cleansing. The laughing we did felt great. A good, long, loud belly laugh does wonders for the perspective. We spent hours at the ocean, we cruised down one canyon and up another listening to great music, singing, and remembering. Went to a wine tasting, had breakfast at Weiler’s-twice-and spent plenty of time with Melissa and Charlie (love kissing that boy.) Got a little too much sun. I felt young, bright, free, and adventurous. It was a perfect respite from the tension that flows from the negative person in my house.

I would have liked to have Chuck along but this was a girls trip. Next time!

The nights are cooling off, finally! The days are still too close to hell fire for me, but thank goodness for refrigeration and lots of fans to keep the air moving. My nephew is holding his own in Army basic, hubby is busy with his leather working, my kids are busy productive humans, and life is going on.

“There’s no such thing as too much magic, pixie dust, or fun.”

Cheers!

-N

Blogging, writing and rain storms

Last night my sister told me the reblog button is not showing up on my posts. I hadn’t realized this was occurring. Has anyone else had this happen? I recently changed my theme and now I’m concerned this has created a problem.

I’ve made contact with the WordPress mother ship and hope to have an answer.

In the mean time I am making progress on two-count ’em-two stories. My historical romance is coming along splendidly. I hope to finish second draft edits the end of this week, then I send it to my beta-readers. The second one is a contemporary fiction and I am currently at 12k words. Believe it or not, I’m having fun bouncing between the two of them.

I am so excited to tell every one that my baby sister has started her own blog! gammyjoy.wordpress.com. Give her blog a look and a follow, please. I am so proud of her jumping into the blogging universe.

Tropical storm Javier may bring us some heavy rain this week!! Whoopee, that makes me a very happy woman. My woman cave is messed up while I do a lot of sorting and tossing. It’s funny because when I do this to a room, closet, etc., it seems to do the same thing for my mind.

I have been looking for some part time work to supplement hubby’s income.20160527_093059

I am pleased to share I have actually been paid some royalties these last four months!

I am an author y’all. Right on.

 

Cheers!

-N

 

Role reversal

For many years I have been unhappy with the way I looked. Specifically my weight. My husband has always been supportive and loves me no matter what. I was good at making excuses and there were so many times he would encourage me to be more active, but I was a typical overweight person who would jump into exercising for a few days and then would let stress, life etc. give me the excuse to stop.

I would talk about how much I walked at work (a big facility) or I would say I was cutting back on calories (except at work) and justify my laziness. I remember my sister telling me to just make goals and go for it.

She was living in California and not working at the time and was losing and toning daily. I was jealous of her free time and envious of her daily routine. She was dropping the pounds and looking great. I was not. By the time she moved back to Phoenix she was so skinny, tan and beautiful. I was truly happy for her and she really did look wonderful. I didn’t look so great.

I knew my co-workers made the time for fitness and I also knew they were just as busy as me, so what was my problem.  Solution-I was lazy.

Skip to now.

My husband’s work in North Dakota has made it possible for me to “retire” and after months of not working and being a couch potato I was packing on more weight. I would do energetic things here and there like riding my bike or taking walks but not with any consistency. My brain just wasn’t interested. After living in North Dakota for about seven months in a nice and fairly large RV I returned to our Tucson home. The RV is in storage and I was back home. Still not working except for blogging and working on a couple of writing projects, I began to become rather reclusive. I cleaned my house, easy without messy hubby there and didn’t go anywhere. It was nice but not necessarily healthy physically or mentally.

I needed motivation.

About two months ago my niece asked if I wanted to come as her guest to the gym she goes to with her family. I thought why not? I’m not a gym rat and never have been but I like doing the weight training. The gym was not huge (no pool or spa) but was really comfortable and welcoming. I saw several other women who looked just like me-ok I can do this. I really had a good time especially being with my niece and nephew. They were encouraging and before I knew it I had been there an hour and had broke a small sweat.

I went back with her a couple more times. I talked to my husband about joining and bringing him as my guest as she had done with me and he agreed!  This began a transformation for me. Initially I was going into the gym every other day for an hour. I had an “aha” moment when the lure of the local state park walking trails attracted me and began my alternating the gym and the park. Yes-I was going everyday!

I have only missed three days in the 4-5 weeks.

My husband works two weeks on and two weeks off, so he flies down here for the two weeks off. We have really enjoyed doing my exercise routine together.  We each have our gym thing we like and are exploring more outdoor trails and pushing the limits. It has become routine for me and I am realizing the effects of my efforts in pound and inches.

I have quite a way to go but my brain has quit fighting and started to embrace this new lifestyle.

Now I am encouraging my sister, who is working way too many hours at her job she loves, is becoming a bit stressed out and has gained a few pounds back.

Role reversal.

-N