Dogs, Emotions, family, Life, Travel

A Big Step

Today may be the big day. After I am finished with this I am going to clean out the Jeep. Chris is going to follow me into Traverse incase something happens with my engine and I have two vehicles to look at. Hopefully I can get things done in one.

I am being vague about everything because I need this car shopping to be over. I need that issue off my plate so that I can concentrate on other things. So wherever you are please have a good thought for us today. I have looked around and consulted with both Chris and our mechanic on my choices and been given the thumbs up. So….

If all goes well then I will stop by Mom’s for a little bit. We’ve not seen each other for a while. I can see her two pups as well. Depending on when I get home I may call Dad on Facetime. We’ll see. And I might take the kids for a ride. See what they think of the new vehicle.

Despite getting sleep my eyes are sore and I have a constant ache just behind my left ear going from the top of my head down. I’m not sure if it is from wearing masks or not. I notice that it seems to flare up when I have a mask on.

The sun is out so that is a good sign. Despite getting up early I feel like I’m behind. I should wrap this up and get the car cleaned out. Everything will just go in a trash bag for now. I forgot to grab a box from work. It shouldn’t take long but I am becoming antsy. I need to get Chris up in a little over two hours. I think I will let the kids out in the yard while I clean out the Jeep. We’ll see. Sorry this is all over the place. Thanks for reading and stay safe!

Animals, Books, Dogs, family, Life, Reading, Travel

Tell Sleep I Miss It…

I am so overwhelmingly tired right now.  Pretty sure I didn’t fall asleep before 2am.  Essie wanted to get up around 8am.  But of course I was awake and trying to go back to sleep since 6am again.  Moose was all about staying in bed.  Every time I tried to get up he draped his head across me to keep me laying down.

Chris and I did a little road trip and acquired two used AC units for the house.  One is still in the bed of the truck (I told Chris he can put it in his office as I prefer to keep my window open in mine) but the other is in the bedroom.  With the fan going it cools the room right down.  We need to lengthen the felt cover that is over the window.  Even with the blinds down it gets bright in there when the sun is out.

I got my latest reading material in the mail yesterday.  The debut novel The Bright Lands by John Fram.  It’s a mystery set in a small Texas town.  It reminds me of Christopher Rice and some of his early novels so I thought why not.  Even though I am still reading the other book I am going to start this one.

I got another box from Amazon yesterday.  Amazon UK to be exact.  It contained a 3-in-1 nail gun (it does nails, staples and little U shaped thingys) as well as cardboard letters.  What is this for? you might ask.  I know I did because I never ordered it.  I got ahold of someone from Amazon once we had gotten settled in (we were gone most of the day so the kids needed to be fed dinner, groceries needed to be unloaded and put away and the AC units switched out).  I was told that I could keep it. So I have a new tool in my arsenal.

I can’t keep my eyes open.  I’m going to wrap this up and then curl up with the book outside.  Thanks for reading!  I hope you have a great day!  Stay safe!

Aging, Creativity, family, Life, the World, Travel, Writing

The Realities

We awoke to ice bits hitting the windows this morning.  Winter is being a stinker!  Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  Not much celebrating will be done this year as all the restaurants and bars (along with gyms and such) have been closed by our governor.  Only thing available with them will be take out.  That being said apparently there is a special unemployment thing for those that get laid off because of all this.  And I think that is a good idea.  So many people are living paycheck to paycheck.  We’ll see how all that works.  So far we are both still employed.

I am having a hell of a time finding any motivation in all this.  I have time, I have energy but I don’t have the motivation.  There is nothing making me want to work on my writing.  And if I can get myself to finally face it I have no idea what to do with it.  No idea where my story is going… and the reviews should be fairly easy to write but no.  The words don’t seem to want to come for any of it.  So I just sit and stare at my notebook with pen in hand.  It is very annoying.  I am going to pull out some of my writing books that have exercises in them and try a few of those.  Something has got to give.

The world is a scary place right now.  Dad is in Montreal and if something should happen to him I won’t be able to get there if they close the border between the U.S. and Canada.  I know he’s not doing well.  His arthritis in his neck (it is actually all through his neck and back) is getting really bad.  He has problems holding his head up because of the pain.  But his doctor says there is nothing they can do to stop the pain.  I know he has had nerve endings cauterized in his back from the pain there.  He has problems sitting for any amount of time now so he spends most of his days either in his recliner or on the couch trying to get comfortable.  He will go days without contacting me because it hurts to sit at his computer (and that is saying something… he has been a computer programmer his whole life and has never been without a computer it seems).  So I don’t know.  I see his health getting worse and nothing can be done to help him.

It looks as though the sun is coming out and the clouds are disappearing.  Something good this morning.  Maybe it will warm up too.  Thanks for reading!  I hope you have a great day!

Books, Dogs, family, Life, Motorcycles, Racing, Reading, Sports, the World, Thinking, Travel, Writing

Weather, New Books and Racing

The temperature has dropped and we are supposed to get snow.  Everything is covered by a heavy frost.  Bah humbug.  I need to go make my car payment.  I will probably take Moose and Stella.  Essie usually doesn’t want to go but I always ask.  If she shows interest then I get her in the car.  If she wants to stay home I let her.  Today feels very blah.

I got a whole update to my library here at home.  Someone left around 100 or so books in their vehicle and never came to get them.  So guess who brought most of them home?  There were four I thought Mom would like (I sent photos of both the front and back so she could read the blurbs and she wants all of them) and seven for Chris (I also sent a phot to him and he was excited about my choices).  A bunch are going to the library (a lot of kids books and non fiction that no one has an interest in or duplicates of what we have).  I amazed myself by being able to find homes on shelves for all my new books.  I haven’t piled a single one on the floor for storage.  Chris was suitably amazed.

That was my bright moment for the day.  With all the worries about the virus three races have been cancelled between MotoGP and F1.  So now Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas will be the season opener waaaaay off in April.  And that is assuming that there are no travel bans between now and then.  Texas was supposed to be the third race of the MotoGP season.  F1 has cancelled their China race.  I wonder how many more races will get cancelled.  (Yes I do understand that this disease is affecting much more than racing.)

I saw a cartoon yesterday that talked about limiting interaction with other people and staying home.  It then had a cartoon of an introvert who said, “I’ve been preparing for this my whole life!”  That is how I feel.  I do need to get out more but I am ok with limited contact with people.  Chris and the dogs (and you folks) and I’m good!

I keep glancing outside.  It looks cold and I don’t want to go.  But I do need to go make my car payment.  Sigh.  Maybe I can stop at McDonald’s and get cheeseburgers for the kids.  It gets us out of the house.  Sadly on a day when I’d rather just stay home!  I guess I had better get to it.  Sooner gone sooner back home.  Thanks for reading!  Have a great day!

Books, Life, Motorcycles, Racing, Riding, Travel, Writing

Hope as a Writer

The day has dawned dark and grey but I am hopeful.  Not that the day will get brighter but that the day will be good.  It’s interesting how one can come to depend on strangers for comfort and support.  I think that is because they don’t have to care and when they do it makes you feel worth something.  Family and friends are supposed to care and there are times you wonder if they are doing it because they are required to (in regards to various situations, not as a whole). I have been blessed to find many strangers who have become my friends by writing this blog.

My most recent case in point (in regards to my writing and riding) is the motojournalist Jerry Smith.  For Christmas I got a copy of the book Missed Shifts by Jerry Smith.  It is a collection of articles, essays and blog entries he has made over his 30 plus years of being a motojournalist.  I found it on Amazon and put it on my wish list and Chris got it for me.  I am almost finished with it sadly.  I love the small bits that I can read one or more of at a sitting.  They all deal with motorcycles, riding them and writing about them. His stories have made a big impact on me. I compared his writing style to that of Hunter S. Thompson because it can be that irreverent and blunt. It is really a joy to read. The man equally loves writing and riding and was lucky enough to be able to combine both his passions and make a decent living from it. Oh and he loves dogs (he has a dog named Daisy through a lot of the later stories and mentions other dogs he has had over the years). He has ridden with some of the racing legends and interviewed (or just chatted with) others. He has some amazing stories. He’s also gotten into a few scrapes on a motorcycle. He tells you about some of those too. Well I decided that I needed to write a thank you letter to Jerry Smith for such a fine book to read and imparting various nuggets of wisdom that I found along the way. I didn’t expect an answer but I had high hopes.

Yesterday I got a lovely email in response. He thanked me for reminding him what he loved about his job and why. He was also very pleased (his word) to know that he’d reached someone on that level. (Truthfully I was very pleased to be reached on that level. I need the snow and cold to go so I can stretch my wings on the bike.)

So never underestimate the power of your words. You can always help someone. Your stories will give someone else courage to keep going.

Thanks for reading! Have great day!

Dogs, Life, Travel

The Further Adventures of Essie

I think I can safely say that Essie enjoyed her little adventure yesterd ay.  Apparently the other two were “quiet as church mice” while we were gone.  The weather was pouring rain when I got everything loaded and we left for work.  I got her settled in the trailer with the heat on, blankets from home and a bowl of water.  Then I headed back out to do the inventory of the lot.  But the time I got back in not only was I soaked but the pouring rain had changed to heavy wet snow and was coming down thick and fast.

Once I got back in to write my list I had to settle her again.  We took a tour of the trailer so she could sniff everything (she actually did this twice) and then she snuggled in with me on the couch.  I got my list written and sent in and my driver (also known as the repo man) came in to sit for a spell.  Essie barked and bit when he came in but settled in beside me and just kept and eye on him.  We chit chatted til someone arrived to get their vehicle back.  At that point we had a good four inches of snow on the ground.  That was in about an hour and a half.  Once everyone left Essie and I settled in to read and share pictures on Facebook and with family members (she was such a ham!). I was very pleased to see her go and get water to drink from the bowl at various times.

Around noon another friend stopped by to meet Essie since he’s seen all the pictures.  She was not happy with him. I felt bad because he is such a sweet guy. Even when she “warmed up” to him it was chilly at best. But he stayed for a while and we chatted and shared music we liked. Essie pretty much laid across my lap and dozed off and on.

At one point the wind really started to pick up. All that heavy snow that was in the trees was now on the ground and the trees seemed to be tryin to touch their roots. But the snow and rain stopped. Essie was very good about going potty. I wasn’t sure how she’d do but she left me know each time and I put her coat on her and we’d tour the yard til she did her business.

We left right at 2pm on the nose (Essie seemed to know what time it was as she started getting restless about quarter to 2pm) and headed to the vet. I was a bit anxious as our appointment was for 3pm and everyone said the roads were bad. It turns out they were just wet. With all the rain we got before hand it just made it slushy and with all the traffic it was pretty much just wet roads.

Since the roads were good (even if the drivers were not… they seemed to think the roads were all but impassable 🙄) we arrived around 2:30pm for our appointment. Essie was shaking so bad when we walked in the door. Everyone was trying to comfort her. A few minutes later she went back (I had to go with to the door or she refused to even budge) and a few minutes after that she was back beside me on the couch. Everyone thought she was so cute in her coat her Gramma made her too.

On the trip home I stopped at McDonald’s and got everyone a cheeseburger. We missed Chris by a few minutes but I waved as we passed on the road. We were home a few minutes later.

So Essie had a good time despite herself.

I don’t know if she will ever like car rides (she never has) but she did very well yesterday on her adventure and I am proud of her.

Dogs, family, Holiday, Life, Thinking, Travel, Writing

Notable Things, Like Certifying in a Cemetery

The morning has dawned foggy with a little chill in the air.  Today is the start of the National Cherry Fest in Traverse City.  With a bit of luck I will miss most of it.  I know that I will be there atleast one day because we want to go spend some time together out of the house.  I’m not driving so I am ok (mostly) with that.

I was able to sleep in today.  Moose was behind/draped over me and Essie was curled up in the crook of my legs.  Stella was towards the top crowding her Daddy. But she was in a small ball.  Everyone is back inside and asleep.  I am still yawning myself.

Today I need to get atleast my interview done and submitted.  So I may bail on helping a friend move.  Chris said he would go regardless.  When I agreed to help move him I did not realize that cleaning would be involved.  I don’t mind schlepping things from one place to another but it sounds like this is more of a cleaning party.  I am not up for that.  Even for free pizza and beer.  Although I am tempted to be honest.  It is something to get me out of the house and in a new environment.  So I may still go.  The plan was to get the front lawn mowed while Chris was gone due to his bad allergies.  Otherwise he will be here when I mow (he works in Traverse and took the week of Cherry Fest off smart guy that he is).  I will need gas for both the mower and my car.  I should also see if I have enough to do the notary thing.  I still don’t have the money from Dad but I might have enough to do it on my own right now.  I know he needs it asap.  That would need to be done well before noon as I would have to got to the post office for a notary and to send it.  Nuts.  I don’t know what postage will be.  I want to get it to him fast but I am worried about cost.  This is so he can renew his permeant citizenship status in Canada.  Bless him he waited until the last minute so I am rushing around.  Well there it is.

Ok, I kid you not.  I did a Google search for notaries where I live.  One was the UPS Store.  The other?  The local cemetery.  Whaaaat?!  Do I just knock on a random gravestone and hope for the best?!  Or is there a special section or grave I go to?  What are their hours?  Do I leave it overnight and pick it up in the morning?  What is the payment?  I could probably pull together a story from this.  Hmmm.  As a matter of fact my imagination is already going with it.  The rest of this may be garbled.  lol

I should probably get on with things.  I have a lot to do this weekend behind the keyboard.  If I start now all will be quiet and I will be (mostly) uninterrupted.  I hope everyone has a great day!  Cheers!

Dogs, Life, Travel, Writing

No Rest For the Wicked

I am whooped.  I got my article written and sent out.  When I left yesterday morning it was around 10am for work.  I got home around 5pm.  I had to feed the kids, load up some bottles and cans in the car (here we get 10 cents for every one we return, that comes in handy when you are short money before payday) for gas then head back out the door to cover a meeting (I left at 6pm to make sure I had time to return the bottles and cans and put a few gallons of gas in the car) at 7pm.  The meeting lasted til around 8:30pm or so.  That got me home around ten minutes to nine.  I did my best to play with the kids the hour I was home between jobs.  I guess it worked because I had no accidents when I got home.  Yay!  Sadly big storms hit just as we were going to sleep.  EVERYONE was freaked out last night.  I stopped looking at the clock after 11:45pm.

For those wondering what I did those seven hours of work I drove.  A lot.  I did my first stint helping to repo cars.  He needed someone to drive one of the vehicles back and I needed the hours.  The fun part is driving cars I otherwise would not have access to.  The downside is getting the cars from the people.  You feel a bit like an undercover detective driving around trying to find the various vehicles.  It was an interesting experience all in all.  I almost got to ride a repoed motorcycle but it was a huge bagger (essentially a big engine Harley with saddle bags) and I didn’t feel comfortable trying to ride something that big.  So I bowed out.  I’m also a bit anxious about the possibility of riding someone else’s bike (nevermind my own) sooooo future adventured may await!  lol

They are supposed to finish our garage today.  I am not holding my breath.  We had that promise last Thursday and they never showed.  Didn’t call either.  I left around five messages over the course of a few days before he finally answered the phone.  And that was Monday.  So we will see.  With the short hours they work I don’t see it happening with what still needs to be done.  I need to leave work on time today because I want to be here before they leave to make sure they are doing things right.  Unless things are done correctly and the way I want them no money.  It has been almost a year now for a garage that was supposed to be done in a few months (last fall if any of you remember).

So far no seizures for Stella after that one the other day.  Atleast none that I have been present for.  The kids are all back asleep and making their various sleep sounds.  Stella sounds like a human sometimes with the sounds she makes.  Ok, by the clock I need to get moving here.  I will try to read more of your blogs when I get home since I am short on time.  Cheers!


Dogs, Life, Travel, Writing

Happy Busy Rescue Day Stella

I’m fried so I honestly don’t know how coherent this will be.  Mom’s surgery went well so now she has her follow up this morning.  After she and I are done  then I come home and get Stella and Dante and go to the vet.  Once that is done I come home and get Chris and we take his bike into town so they can do the recall on his bike.  Then I can stay home.

Dante has eaten a little but there is a big puddle of liquid on the carpet.  It’s from Dante but it is not an accident.  This worries me a lot.  This whole week has been a blur.  This is the only real online stuff I’ve done.  I’ve not gone to the other site all week.  By the time I get home and e everything else taken care of I’m wiped out.  Dante has come and laid down beside me.

Mom and I had a mini girls day yesterday.  It was fun.  We got some paperwork taken care of at the lawyers as well.  Hopefully that is all that needs to be done for a while.

Today was supposed to be a happy day and be all about Stella because she has been with us a year as of today.  (Which also means it will be a year yesterday that I found out I’d be losing my job of 15 years).  I was going to take her to the vet then get the kids cheeseburgers to celebrate.  Plans have changed just a bit.  I’m sorry baby girl.

This will be short as I cannot focus (my guardian angels had better be out in force today please) and I need to make sure everything is where it needs to be so I can grab and go each time I get back to the house.  I hope everyone has a great day!


Books, Creativity, Life, Travel, Writing

Books and Stores and Bookstores

My reading glasses have been broken.  So I tried to go back to my old glasses.  They don’t even help anymore.  I think we have eye insurance now.  I need to find out Monday and see what is covered.  I get so frustrated trying to read the smaller print.  And that is what most of my books are is small print.  I am glad today is the last day of the week.

Chris and I did go out yesterday.  It was a good time.  The food at lunch was good.  For whatever reason neither of was satisfied with the experience.  Could be little things.  Our waiter was good but not enough.  Not what we are used to when we go there.  Could’ve been the freezing wind and overcast skies added to it.  We then headed to one of our book stores.  I am not a fan of our local BAM.  Not the least of which is because Borders used to be there (I grew up downstate and when I was a kid Dad took me to the original Borders… before they became huge.  We went almost every weekend.).  I started at the magazine racks and grabbed Poets and Writers.  Chris found me a nautical magazine that had the ship I celebrated my 21st birthday on.  The HMS Rose.  I guess they have renamed her the HMS Surprise.  Not too happy with that but she is not my ship… although I do have a cannon named after me.  Complete with bronze plaque thank you so much!

The HMS Rose in all her glory!

Once I got over my excitement at finding my old friend (and I literally do have the tee shirt too.  Once Chris gets up I will dig it out and take a picture) I drifted (pardon the pun) to the automotive racing section of the magazines.  No F1 magazines at all.  No motorcycle racing magazines either.  Had nascar (I use all lowercase because I REALLY don’t like them) magazines but nothing on other racing.  A voiced my irritation out loud and left the area.

They have an embarrassingly large amount of the bookstore dedicated to very NON bookstore things like tee shirts, vinyl toys, games (party type games in most cases).  It kinda annoys me but I can’t say anything because I got through the socks, tee shirts and mugs just like anyone else.  I found (oh JOY!  BLISS!) a refillable fountain pen that was relatively inexpensive.  I also found a lot of other things that I wanted to take home as well (the Cheshire Cat mug with original artwork and the cat disappears when you put hot liquid in, the Godzilla stuffed animal, journals, Edgar Poe stuff, H.P. Lovecraft stuff…) but I refrained.

I tried to find the section on writing (this is a bookstore right?).  It took me about 5 minutes.  I found the Reference section.  With the science and maths and… Wait.  What’s this?  Damn.  Only a dictionary.  But.. nope.  Only writing speeches.  But I must be close.  SAT testing.  Nope.  Too far.  Oh wait!  What is this?  Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott.  Ok!  We might have something!  One Year to the Writing Life by Susan M. Tiberghien.  A few more titles popped out amongst the non writing books.  You know what?  Out of maybe 15 or 20 titles the ones that interested me I already had.  There was one book that I pulled out but back because it reminded me of one I had.  So that was a bust.

We rounded out the trip with coffee.  Specifically turmeric chai latte.  Oh yum!  It was delicious!  The only mar on the moment was the fact that there was just the one gal (a gentleman came up to wait on us finally) and the people behind us (there are two people making drinks mind) got their drinks before we did.  Simplicity of the beverages ordered had nothing to do with it.  They switched who was making our drinks at one point then switched back.  Both of them were very nice and the drinks were very good.  BUT!

I came home with two magazines and a new fountain pen.   I am happy with my purchases but I also remember why I avoid going to BAM unless I have no choice.

Good grief!  This has turned into one of my longer posts!  Sorry about that!  Thank you for reading!  Cheers!