Country Living Series

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Another daughter and one of THOSE days

Our friend GG, who makes such ethereal and beautiful jewelry pieces, is staying with us for a few weeks. We're so tickled!

GG's folks live across the country now, so frankly we thought we'd never see her again after she left boarding school. But an unexpected opportunity arose to have her stay with us for an extended period of time, and we jumped at the opportunity with both feet.

We had a place to put her -- a spare bedroom -- but frankly it was a MESS.

This bedroom is tucked under the steep roof of the house and its only windows are low and on the floor. Kind of a neat room, if a little dark.


As with many spare bedrooms, it had become a catch-all for everything. We spread the corn crop up there to dry. Younger Daughter used it for sewing. We have overflow books in there. In short, GG's visit was the perfect excuse to clean it out.

So little by little we sorted, organized, discarded, donated, and otherwise got rid of the mess.


Progress...


When at last the floor was clean, we moved the fold-out futon couch in as a bed (with a plywood board underneath to shore up the saggy, lumpy mattress). Clean sheets, warm blankets, ready to go... just in time to travel to the airport.


Late on Thursday evening, there she was!


GG is like another daughter to us, so she slips right in with our family.

And she (along with our girls) is a trooper. Today we were coming back from Coeur d'Alene, climbing the steep grade heading out of town, when the car suddenly made an ominous sound: thumpthumpthumpthumpthump. Flat tire. Crud.

As I later emailed to GG's mom: "Managed to limp to the top of the grade and pulled over. Naturally I was in a place with no cell phone coverage, so I called 911, who connected me to the State Police, who called [name deleted] road service (which we have instead of AAA). Apparently our service call was "declined" (it's Saturday, after all, everyone knows flat tires don't happen on Saturdays -- remind me to renew our membership with AAA on Monday morning). So a very nice policeman showed up...


...but because the car was parked on a slight slope, his jack wasn't high enough to lift the car to pull off the tire and neither was mine (a comedy of errors), so the policeman called a Les Schwab fellow with a mega-jack. Meanwhile the girls set up a spontaneous tea party by the side of the highway...


...and made the best of a bad situation until the Les Schwab fellow arrived...


...who was very nice and efficient and had me on my way in five minutes...


Since we were driving on the spare "donut" tire, we crept home at 40 mph, so we only got home about an hour ago. The girls were TROOPERS."

Such was my email to my friend. An hour's drive ended up taking four.


So GG will be with us until at least after Thanksgiving, and we'll savor every moment we can. Despite the flat tires and THOSE kinds of days.

25 comments:

  1. Glad all is well, and I hope you all enjoy the visit. But I have to ask, is that a SF 49ers umbrella?

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    1. Yes, purchased at a thrift store solely for the purpose of being altered for a project.

      - Patrice

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    2. I noticed it because I do enjoy football. I am one of the rare moms who has bonded with her son over football. We are both 49er fans. he is grown and on his own now, but we still text and talk when games are on.

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  2. I would replace that donut with a full size spare and get a better jack. I just got new tires and kept back one of the tires to serve as a spare.

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  3. Seeing your treadle sewing machine and knowing you don't have electricity, I wondered if you have seen the Janome machine used in place of the old machine. I got one from Amazon for $249 to drop into my treadle base. It does fancy stiches and especially nice buttonholes. Well worth the price.

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  4. Patrice--My wife has been trying to prepare for a time when this might happen to her. I'd like her to have the equipment and the knowledge necessary to get herself home. Any lessons learned that you can pass along?

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    1. GET A BEEFIER JACK.

      And don't break down in an area without cell phone coverage.

      And get AAA instead of a lesser unnamed competitor.

      - Patrice

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    2. There are different levels of AAA coverage - living in the country you need at least the Plus level. It gives up to 4 tows a year of up to 100 miles each where the basic level only goes 3 miles or to the nearest AAA approved shop.

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    3. Get a "Jackall" and teach your wife how to change a tire. We lived in the boonies for year. She knew how to change a tire and put chains on, and we both felt safer with her knowledge.

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    4. MAKE SURE YOUR SPARE IS KEPT AT THE PROPER PSI. So many people put their spare on just to have it blow 1/4 mile down the road because it wasn't maintained. Change it in the driveway once before you actually have to change it and consider marking the jack points somewhere. Some owners manuals are just hieroglyphics in this area. A spare shirt and a thing of baby wipes gets you presentable afterwards. Remember that levers are your friend and the further down a lever you can get your body weight the more effective it is. Crack the lug nuts loose on the ground by stomping on the wrench. If either of you lack the strength or technique to crack them loose slip a cheater pipe in your flat kit. It's not hard. I'm a 24 year old gal who is NOT strong and I can crack the lug nuts off and tighten them till they start crunching.

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  5. I totally understand your plight. Some years ago I was with Allstate Motor Club. As I came out of a restaurant at 10:00
    PM on Saturday night in downtown LA. and I discovered
    that I had locked my keys in the car. After several calls and many promises I was informed that service was not available under their service contract and I would have to make arrangements on my own. Just like you, I was on the phone to AAA first thing Monday morning and I have been with them ever since.

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  6. We live out in the country and use to get flat tires all the time,
    until my brother told us to start using 10 ply tires on our truck.
    Since we only have the truck I am not sure what to do about a car. Yes they are expensive, actually too expesnsive, but we don't
    get flats any more. And that is any good idea to keep the best of the old tire back to use as a spare.
    Blessings
    Debby

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  7. I believe those young friends just made a lasting memory they'll cherish for their lifetime.

    I see by your reply to Robert Knowlton that you have learned your lesson my dear, especially with regard to breaking down in a no coverage area. ;)

    Interesting aside, I don't know if it's still the case, but not that long ago Amtrack gave a nice discount to AAA members.

    Congratulations on the addition of a fine daughter and I'm glad you're safely home.

    A. McSp

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  8. Several years ago our daughter was visiting a cousin in Arizona. Since she had flown there, she was using her cousin's car. She accidently locked the keys in the car. She called AAA, which responded immediately. There was no AAA sticker on the car, but she had her card, which they asked to see before unlocking the car. She said that the man responding was very polite, but it was obvious that he thought she was an idiot. Her response was to exaggerate her (real) southern accent and act like a sweet little helpless southern belle. He ate it up! He became even more polite and made suggestions as to where she might go for local interest on her visit! My extremely capable daughter said that sometimes it was necessary to seem helpless to get results.

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    1. Wow, that's great that she rewarded him for being an a-- and reinforced the whole "females are helpless" stereotype that people like me have to fight. How about next time she stand up for herself if she's so "extremely capable"? You do NOT need to seem helpless to get results. EVER

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  9. It always helps to have a backup plan, and a backup plan for that. Keep a tire patch kit and a mini-compressor that plugs into your cigarette lighter in your vehicle. (Amazon.com carries a nice kit by Slime for around $45+.) With that one can easily plug a hole in the tire without having to jack up the car or take the tire off. It also doesn't hurt to carry a couple cans of Fix-A-Flat in case it's dark, cold, an unsafe area and/or raining and you don't want to take the time to repair the tire.

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  10. Worst case scenario, even if you get that bigger jack and/or a full size spare, 3 to 4 cans of 'fix-a-flat' can get you home, or into a town, whichever is closer in an emergency, when you just don't have the time to wait for AAA.

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    Replies
    1. If you ever use that junk be prepared to buy at least two new tires.

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  11. Patrice, Off topic question was your internet out for a few days last week? I could get your web page to load and was wondering if it was on my end? Also couldn't get paratus familia site to work either. Thanks Don

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    1. I'm sorry to say the problems might have been at your end. We didn't notice any interruption of services and no one else mentioned difficulties in loading either of the blogs.

      - Patrice

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  12. Patrice...unrelated... can you shed some light on the possible prosecution of a church minister in Coeur d'Alene who refuse to perform an unnatural wedding (gay wedding)---I've heard a seven year prison term for this refusal...can you shed some light on this and if there are any rallies organized to support the minister.

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    1. I only heard about it this morning, so I don't know anything more than you do. Sorry!

      - Patrice

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  13. A caution about geting a beefier jack. A normal floor jack MUST be used with a jack stand. Those things have wheels and will roll. Consider looking at another scissor jack but one that gets a little taller. They are much more stable and safe on the side of the road.

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  14. Patrice, I know you like to be prepared for whatever comes your way and this was a great lesson for you and the girls. Don needs to give you and your daughters all a lesson in tire changing. AAA is great but sometimes you can't wait hours for help. My dad made me change tires before I was allowed to drive alone. I cried and felt so sorry for myself for having a mean dad, but now that I am a parent, I understand why he wanted me to be self sufficient.

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  15. Trouper, not trooper. Sorry, revoking your Grammar Nazi credentials.

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