Monthly Archives: January 2012

NASCAR, Here I Come!!

Okay, so I have to tell you about last week’s adventure.  You might say that last week was…..mmmmmm….. a tough week.

On Sunday,  I heard my friend was back in the hospital.  So I decided to visit her instead of napping.  (Oh there is nothing like a Sunday afternoon nap!) But my friend is more important.  The plan was…..since Mark and I were alone, we were going to enjoy our last few dollars on our Chili’s gift-card before I head to the hospital.

We went home to grab the cards and discovered we had a leaky tire.  That’s cool…. we will just take the jeep and grab a can of fix-a-flat.  So, off to Chili’s.

Wellllll….. that didn’t happen.  There was a 45 min- 1 hour wait.  ((sigh))  So we settled for the Rib Crib in a near by town.  Oh, we were seated in a timely manner but it took over 45 minutes to get our food.  Boo Hoo.

After visiting a couple of stores for the fix-a-flat, we were headed home.  Mark fixed the tire and I went to visit.

Now I know you are thinking….. so what….. sounds like a pretty ordinary Sunday. And yes it was…… except Sunday’s tire flattened out my week!!

See, our van has special tires.  They are not very popular….. and on top of that…. very expensive.  Finding a tire can be a little painstaking.  In fact, it took all week.  I had to air the tire each day and hoped it didn’t blow out.  A hassle.  But a necessary evil.

Okay, so, I had a very busy week.  I was driving around like crazy on a bad tire. Each day, I would call around looking for a tire.  Really we needed to replace the front tires.  We were hoping to have the leak fixed.  I knew that I had to find a place with at least 3 tires.  A needle in a haystack.

So I guess you are thinking….. Okay Regina, this sounds like complaining.  Hang on it gets better……

Remember I held a purse exchange earlier this month.  I have been driving around town with purses filled for the ladies at a battered women’s shelter.  They were to call me to meet.  I was at their mercy which I didn’t mind.  I understood for safety measures had to be in place.  Got it.  Not a problem.  Except, I was driving around with a bum tire.

Now the tire, isn’t the funny part of this story.  Oh it will, but not yet.

Wednesday night, I snuggled down with my old spaniel, Fred.  He can’t see nor hear very well.  He is often spooked and tends to be a little…..mmmmmm….. grumpy.  Again, I was snuggled down with him in my arms.  I nuzzled his head with my nose.  He was spooked and jumped at me.  He bit my lip.  Blood everywhere. He was growling and thrashing and coming at me again.  I yelled.  He realized it was me.  He left.  I had a bit lip and it hurt like crazy.

So, now that isn’t all….  The lip swelled and looked horrible on Thursday.  And to top it off…. I had a MAJOR zit show up on the side of my nose.  It was huge.  Red. It was swollen.  My whole nose looked as if it was broken.

See where I am going with this??? I had a busted lip and a “broken” nose.  Look like I had been beaten.  Naturally, that is when the shelter called to meet me.

I met with her, unloaded the purses and the whole time, she looked at my injuries.  Don’t you know that she was thinking, “Honey, won’t you come with me?”  I wanted to explain…. but I am sure the sound of “My dog did it” wouldn’t cut it.  Sure she has heard it all.

So, now that you are laughing, I have to tell about the tire.  See, it is like this.  I was so busy on Thursday with errands and stuff that I forgot to air up the tire. And on Friday morning, it was FLAT!  A pancake…. flat.  Mark couldn’t change the tire because he had to get the kids to school.

No problem.  My dad taught me how to change a tire.  It had been a while but I think I can manage.

HA!

Did you know that the spare tire in a van is up under the van???  It took me forever to find it.  I didn’t know where on earth the jack was much less the spare.   Thank goodness, I remembered the little storage door along the back panel of the van interior.  There was the jack or at least some metal looking thingy that had the word “jack” on it.  What ever happened to the big jack and the tire tool?   AND the instructions to change the tire.

Instructions.  Thank God.  I was going to have NO problem what so ever changing this baby!!!

Ahem.

Well.

They are written in some kind of code.  I understood not a single instruction.  They made no sense and the illustrations were no help at all.  They kept saying “tire tool” and the picture was the same as the old fashioned tire tool.  But no where could I find the tire tool.

See, they forgot to say something like….. Hey lady, it is the handle of the jack…. yeah, that metal thingy….. the handle….. it is the tire tool.  Don’t they know about labeling????

So, once I figured out that the tire tool doesn’t look like the one on the instruction sheet AND that it was the handle of the metal jack thingy.  I was in business.   Only has taken me 15 minutes or so just to figure out the whole jack/tool thing.

Okay, now I found the spare.  But how to get it off the underside of the van was another story.  Again the instructions left me boggled.  See they said to look under the well’s mat and find the little thingy-ma-jig.  Okay, sounds simple.  But there is no mat.  Just carpet.

Here’s the thing.  I have seen Mark change this tire.  Yet I don’t recall him tearing out the flooring to release the spare.  Again, the illustration was no help.  I looked.  I pulled on the carpet.  I couldn’t find it.  Thought maybe there was a string to pull. I don’t know.  I felt stupid.  In fact, I yelled at the van, “I have a college degree! This shouldn’t be  so hard!”

After about 20 minutes of scratching my head and running my hand across the well over and over again, I found the little bitty flap of carpet that exposes the release.  Not a mat. A little 2 inch flap. Mat. Flap. BIG difference!!

Okay, so now I have released the spare’s coil.  Now I just have to get the coil off of the spare.  Ahem.  The instructions tell me to turn this weird looking thing into the unlock position and it will magically release the spare.  HA!  Right!  first of all the weird looking thing didn’t match the weird looking coil thingy.

So now picture this…. Me tugging, yelling, and kicking the spare.  Yes, that’s right.  I was having a spare tire melt down.  It wasn’t pretty.  I pulled.  I turned. I could not get this spare off the coil.  I sat down in the middle of my driveway and wanted to cry.  I missed my 1980 Horizon.  The spare tire was so easy!

Now we are about an hour into this process.  I finally figured out that all you had to do was turn the rectangular metal piece and push it through the hole.  No unlocking system.  Easy as pie!

I have the jack, the tire tool, and the spare.  I am ready to take off the flat.

((chuckling))

Oh yeah.  ((Laughing))

That’s right.  Ready to change the flat.

The instructions tell me to place the jack at the designated place on the side of the van.  I will find a notch….. okay.  Simple enough.  Now by this time, I should have figured out that the instructions were wrong.  I have enough evidence to support my theory.  There isn’t a notch.  Basically, just put the thing under the van’s side and start jacking.  But no, this college grad wants to do it correctly so I spend a few minutes trying to find the notch.  Finally, the impatient college student took over and just put it under the van and started to jack.

No sweat.  Got it up and changed the tire.

Only 2 hours into this process.  Think I might have a job at NASCAR! What do you think???

So once I got everything back in its place, I had to shower off all the grease and black dirt before I left for the tire shop.  I finally found a place that had… that’s right 3 tires.  Thank God.

Well, I was off to the store.  I backed out of the drive and I hear, “Thumpty Thump Thump.”

I hung my head.  The spare must be flat.  Deflated, I looked out at the tire.  No, still good.  So I thought “Okay, just my imagination.”  Thumpty. Thump. Thump.

I get out.  Kick the tire.  Everything seems to be okay. I even checked the other 3 tires.  All good.

I stood there in the driveway scratching my head.  Then I realized as I went through the whole tire changing saga in my mind, that I didn’t tighten the lug nuts.  That is why the whole thumpty thump thump was happening.

I don’t know if it was insanity or what but I busted a gut right there in the middle of the drive.  Laughing so hard at myself, I was crying.  See the instructions failed to tell me to tighten the lug nuts.

Oh my!  Funny Funny Funny!!!!

May your day be blessed….. God bless…..

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Across the Bridge

This week we walked 53.62 miles for a total of 210.54 miles which is
6.22% of the way towards our goal. We ended up near Rangeley, ME.

This weekend, Mark, the kids and I along with our lab, Domino, and our spaniel, Ginger, walked across the Big Dam Bridge in Little Rock.  The sunshine perfected the walk as it warmed us from the cold river winds.

The river is up from all the recent rain.  The dam waters turned and churned.

I leaned over the railing.  The height made me dizzy and whoozy.  The roar of the churning water echoed and drowned out our speech.

Funny.  Those turbulent waters could easy represent my recent feelings.  Angry. Roaring.  Boiling.  Unsettled.  Wrestled.

Watching the water fowl soar over the water, I dreamed of finally feeling free.  Freedom to soar.  Freedom to fly past the angry waters.  Someday.  I will soar.

We spotted the white dots of the Least Terns nesting on a sandbar.  Together. Strength in numbers.  Once endangered lives.  Now, flourishing.

On the other side of the bridge we enjoyed the warmth of the sun.  Dogs rested.  Son played on a hill.  Pure happiness.  Pure joy.  Content.

Ahhhh to be young again.  Freely laughing without a care.  Rolling down a hill.

Enjoy your Monday….. God bless…..

I Want to Exchange These, Please

My brilliant idea……..

have a negative thought, place a penny in a jar, a tangible representation of how many times I put myself down…..

Ouch!

Look at those thoughts!

16

I ran my finger across the cool metal.  Why must I be this hard on myself?

Beloved…..

God whispers.  Nudges.

A flashback to my teaching days.  I had a particular student who enjoyed insulting  students.  For a positive exercises, my students wrote down every insult they could think of and then we had to write a compliment for each.  The said student had a rather tough time thinking of compliments.

I had to do the same.

Beloved……

God whispers. Nudges.

I opened my journal. Numbered my page 1-16 and tapped my pen.  God, you’re gonna have to help me.

Painstakingly words flowed.  Half way down the page…. I heard…. You’re insane, you know that…..

The number 17 was written without hesitation.  I wasn’t even going to acknowledge that thought.  I wasn’t even going to allow it to stop the Holy Spirit flow of compliments.

Warmth spread within me….. I just returned my negative thoughts…..a refund in a sort….. an exchange

I am embracing what God intends for me to see….. I am His…….

God bless……..

A Penny for Your Thoughts

Stupid.

Failure.

Idiot.

Rotten.

Ugly.

Fat.

Loser.

Words that float in my head.  Embedded insults to myself.  There is no use in denying the truth.  I believe those words.

Heavy words weighing me down spiritually, emotionally, and even physically.  Words I hate, yet yield to them, always.

God’s truths are to be heard.

Accepted!

Adopted!

Loved!

Beautiful!

Lovely!

Pure!

Saved!

I thought I would turn those negative thoughts into something tangible and good.

My grandmother would often hand me a penny and offer, “A penny for your thoughts.”  She knew I needed to talk…. unload. I would take that penny and spill my guts.

A penny for your thoughts…….

Each time I think something negative about myself, I will put a penny in a jar.  I will give those pennies to my son’s Sunday school class.  They are raising money for the 30 Hour Famine.

So far, this morning, I’ve added two cents to the jar.  I will have a visual representation of how many times I tell myself something negative.  The truth may be hard to swallow….. Ahem.

Embrace.  Give. Love. Serve.

 

Lost in Thoughts

This morning, the hum of my computer lulled me into a wordless mind.  Words wouldn’t come.  Throughout the morn, I prayed, sought, and words wouldn’t come.

Inspiration left as desperation entered. Mom gone.  Career faded.  Words never came.

I wanted to cry. No tears came.

I wanted to shout.  No sound came.

I wanted to run.  No movement began.

I wanted to hide.  No comfort came.

Unsettled.  No words came.

I held my love note for today.

Tell 5 people God loves them.

Duty. Keeping a promise. I texted three simple words.

I will give God’s love.  Oh, may there be words to follow.  Great inspiration to write.  Words to create from.  Words that would hold a miracle.  Words to come.

Words came.  Great inspiration. Creation. A Miracle……. in 5 replies.

God loves you, too.

Embrace. Give. Love. Serve.