Cars & Cookies

Have you ever been given advice that just plain made sense? That was the case recently for me; Tuesday found me at my Knit Night, arriving in the rented PT Cruiser. After answering several ladies questions about my recent car troubles, a new lady to our group asked me a few questions then said that sounded exactly like the same problem she’d had a few years ago. She explained that when you move an older gas tank, there are small rust particles which are jostled around and can clog the fuel line filter, causing the start/stop problem I had been experiencing. She said it’s an ‘easy fix, not very expensive’, but also can be very difficult to diagnose.  The next morning the car dealership called to inform me that, once again for the third day in a row, my car “Starts up just fine!” I decided that I’d about ‘had it’ in the ‘waiting for them to find the problem’ department so I told him to just change out the fuel line filter. (He probably thought I was nuts, but Hey! It was a sale, so he wasn’t saying anything.)  $253.47 later, my car’s back home (same day/Wednesday), it’s running fine and I’m happy. WAS that the actual problem? I don’t know…we’ll just have to wait and see, but her advice sure made sense to me!  Yes, to answer Momma’s question, the PT Cruiser was fun to drive; it hugs curves very nicely at higher speeds (as opposed to my minivan, which doesn’t). My only complaint on that vehicle is that the seats-to-pedals ratio is a little strange for those of us who have short legs; I had to get in the car and move the seat closer to the pedals to drive, then when I wanted to get out I had to move the seat back some so that my hips wouldn’t hit the steering wheel! Goofy. I loved the floor shifter; very ‘retro’, but it took my husband to figure out how to open the back hatch/gate (have to double-click the unlock button…I ended up putting all my groceries on the seats because I couldn’t get it open when I needed it!).  It was a ‘fun drive’ and would be a good car for a single person or someone who didn’t need to transport more than 4 people. OH! The only other complaint I had was it’s horrible (in my opinion) on gas mileage! I drove a total of 42 miles with it, which registered at 1/8 th of a tank used. At $2.47 (9) per gallon, it cost me $10.00 for an eighth tank! In my minivan I can fill up the whole tank for $33.00 !!! (at that same price per gallon). I would sure hate to have to pay to fill THAT ONE up all the time…whew!

This week is the church youth group’s bake sale (to coincide with their garage sale), so that finds me baking up a storm. Have made brownies, multiple batches of Cranberry/Oatmeal/Walnut and Peanut Butter Cup cookies plus 6 mini loaves of Banana Nut bread and Chocolate Chip bread. The teens are going on a work/missions trip to Georgia August 8th and the monies raised will go towards their trip (that also goes along with the bottle drive, ‘fun run’ and car wash they’ve already held. I don’t mind baking and was able to snag some mini loaves of zucchini bread that one of their leaders baked (YUM!).

That about wraps it up for my adventures this week. Hope you’re having a good week!

Hugs;

Pammie

Published in: on July 31, 2009 at 9:30 am  Comments (3)  

Egg Carton Greeting

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It’s hard to have a bad day when you open up a new carton of eggs and there, on the cover, is a big, cheery greeting:

“Good Morning, Beautiful!” with a cute smiley face! I just thought I’d share that greeting, in case you might be having a ‘not so great’ day…like mine, sort of. Let’s start with my ‘new/rental’ ride: a black PT Cruiser! Why, you ask, am I driving this lovely vehicle? Why quite simply because my dear minivan decided to do another ‘start then immediately stop again’ yesterday morning just when we were attempting to leave for church (and later, a funeral home visit for husband’s 90 yr. old uncle who died…the ride is 1 + hour away from our house); needless to say, we didn’t make either event.  Later that day my husband went out and tried to start my car…it started up just fine! And again later in the evening and once again this morning!  That’s IT! I cried-it goes to the dealership to see if they can diagnose just what’s causing this! I was just very grateful that we weren’t at church (1/2 hour away) OR the funeral home…1+ hours away and had that happen. Not exactly sure what AAA would do with towing from that far away (even WITH the AAA Gold card) and I certainly didn’t want to TEST it, either!

This  morning I drove my van to the dealership, encountered a nice man in the Service Department who seemed to think I was a bit ‘crazy’…at least that’s the opinion I came away with after trying to tell him that I didn’t want my car to sit there overnight just so he could ‘see if it’s just a morning thing’ or not…apparently he thought it might be something like DEW in the engine??? (My guess there-not his) but he kept repeating (like I was either deaf or totally stupid) “Now each time this happened…it was after it sat overnight and you went to start it up in the MORNING?” (NO, you Imbecile! Once in the morning and once on another day in the afternoon!!!) Of course, you know I didn’t say that…I just kept repeating the “once in the  morning, etc.” part. After repeating this mantra FOUR TIMES he finally wrote something like that on the sheet. I also explained to him that I would be renting a loaner vehicle and didn’t really want him to charge me for a full day’s rental just so that he could have my car sitting in their lot until the morning so he could ‘test out his theory’! He assured me that they would hook it up to their diagnostic equipment then reach a opinion based on that (we’ll see….somehow I’m still of the opinion that my van’s going to sit there overnight without anyone looking at it until morning…sigh).

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That’s my ‘tale of woe’ for the day; got to go grocery shopping in my shiny black PT Cruiser…BUT I couldn’t figure out how to open the back hatch to put all my bags of groceries in there, so they ended up on the floor and back seat…still worked ok. It’s a nice vehicle; air conditioning, power windows & locks, floor shifter, Ok radio…seems to be good on gas and, at $35 a day, not a bad car. Last time I rented a car it was $45 per day and a smaller car, so this works for me (as long as it isn’t a long time for the rental!).

Been keeping myself busy knitting 3 more dishcloths for part of a friend’s birthday present; I really couldn’t think of a good gift and then thought: she might like some hand-knit dishcloths and a few kitchen implements, so I had fun buying some linen dishcloths, hand towels, 2 nice spoon-shaped spatulas (everyone needs more of those!), 2 big sturdy ‘chip clips’, some pot holders and and little plastic basket to put them all in. Almost done with dishcloth #3; will give them to her Wednesday.

That’s the ‘scoop’ for the beginning of another week.  It’s 80 degrees, sunny with a slight breeze – nice, but hot.

Enjoy your day!

Hugs;

Pammie

Published in: on July 27, 2009 at 2:54 pm  Comments (1)  
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Like My Friend “Nemo”…

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I “Just Keep Swimming”!

As I’ve said before, this has truly been a really crazy/busy/goofy week … especially when it comes to cars! I told you the tale of how my brakes failed on Tuesday; the repair place didn’t get my car back to me until yesterday morning which totally wiped out my going to Knit Night on Tuesday evening AND my special needs group on Wednesday night. That was a bit frustrating but, if I could have chose any week to miss both groups, I guess this one was the best-BOTH groups were really down on numbers which made the two lovely people who are my assistants in both groups have a better evening of it while managing both groups alone.

Thursday found me “with car” again and I happily completed several errands to the Library, Post Office (where I picked up a box of 168 more squares!) and a quick trip to the grocery store.  A little later I jumped in my car to drive middle son to work, turned the key only to find that the car would start then immediately quit again! This drove me nuts! Middle son ended up getting a ride to work from his boss and I waited until my husband got home to drop this latest ‘bombshell’ on him.  After a bit of tinkering with my car he came in the house and said: “You have NO GAS!”  “WHAT?” I sort of yelled; I just got a full tank on Monday and I haven’t driven very far at all!  We called the repair place and, of course, they didn’t have a clue WHY I would have lost an entire tankful of gas after they had to disconnect and remove the tank in order to put in new brake lines. Frustrating, for sure. Husband drove to the nearest gas station and got a gas can full of gas, poured some in my tank and then asked me to ‘start it up’.  Low and behold, his guess was right! He surmised that my car had either: “vapor lock” OR  the on-board computer, after having the gas tank removed and re-attached, didn’t read that the car actually had gas…it read “empty”. Once we ‘boosted’ the tank with a little gas, all was fine again, the gas gauge read “Full”. We took a little drive around the neighborhood with my husband following in his car, just to test it out.  This has certainly been ‘THE week” for car troubles!

Today is babysitting my grandson again (as well as tomorrow, 3-8 p.m.) so I know that I’ll be needing a nap come dinnertime, for sure! (Last night we were all feeling a little tired and husband, myself and grandson all took about a 1- 1 /2 hour nap (mine was shorter as I had to get up and prepare dinner) but it was a well-earned rest, for sure.

Hoping that your day is bright & sunny; it’s now a wonderfully sunny day outside after yesterday’s rain. Had to get up early to go drain the accumulated water out of the sandbox; my grandson will SURELY be expecting to go play outside today (even IF the sand is actually more like sand/mud!)

Hugs;

Pammie

Busy Week-Delayed

confused ladyI am a firm believer in the fact that sometimes the Lord intervenes into our daily lives in ways we can’t always explain.  If you read my previous post you know that my schedule today was really hectic.  All went well for almost the entire day…except…I drove middle son to college, during rush hour traffic – that went well until, while driving home…a older lady decided while underneath a green turn arrow (with me behind her accelerating for the turn) that she needed to STOP right under the light, in the middle of the intersection! I have NO idea what she was thinking but I began pushing on my brakes and praying BIG TIME that I wouldn’t hit her. Brakes squealed, I prayed and, miraculously, I missed her rear bumper by about 3 inches; to say I was shook up would be putting it mildly. After that incident the drive home took on a new, kind of scary form…my brakes wouldn’t respond well at all, very mushy and almost totally on the floor. Got home safely (with my 3 yr. old grandson in the back seat…another reason I was freaking) and when I gently pulled up to our garage door I had almost no brakes at all and the brake light came on.  Last month I took my car in to Midas to have the brakes worked on; I located that paper and will take them there in the morning. If I remember correctly, if they worked on it and it fails – it’s free. Midas is within walking distance from my home; not a fun or quick walk, but I can manage it. It should take me about 20 minutes to walk home from there and then back later after they fix it.

Tomorrow is another kind of ‘scheduled’ day – middle son has to be to work at 6 a.m. and needs a ride. I’m going to ask my husband to drive him there. I will drive to Midas at the same time (it’s on the way) and have my husband stop back to pick me up after slipping my keys through their ‘overnight drop off box’ with a written report of what’s wrong. That should eliminate one of the ‘walks’ and only leave the walk back there to pick up my car (if all works out well).

Well, friends, it seems that I needed some ‘down’ time instead of getting together with my fellow knitters tonight. I called my Assistant and she’s going to head up the meeting for me, so now I’m free for this evening. Middle son has a ride home from college from a friend, husband is (hopefully) enjoying his well-earned “boys night out”; that leaves youngest son and myself. WE are going to enjoy BLT’s for dinner! I hadn’t planned for them for tonight, but I feel like I’ve earned them.

Hope you days (and nights) are working out better than you planned.

Hugs;

Pammie

ps: On hind sight, this reminds me of the quote from Robert Burns poem “To a Mouse”:  “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley.” (meaning: the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.)

Published in: on July 21, 2009 at 6:14 pm  Comments (1)  
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Another Busy Week

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Lately it seems that my ‘summer vacation’ isn’t as vacation-like as I’d hoped. Since middle son’s car died last week it’s turned into Mom’s Taxi Service; don’t get me wrong – it’s not that bad (he’s been also having his friends drive him), but tomorrow/Tuesday is one of those really crazy days.  It’s been a weekend of church and baking cookies & brownies for youngest son’s Youth Group Missionary Trip coming up next month. (he reported back that the cookies & brownies both sold out…they were both mixes, but turned out really yummy). Today was doing house bills, grocery shopping, cleaning up the dishes & garbage and a bit of laundry.  Tomorrow – ah, tomorrow…one of those “wish I didn’t have to try to schedule this one”‘ days. The morning isn’t looking too bad, we might even try to squeeze in a quick trip to the beach for a few hours; our local library had a special offer for all Library card holders: ask at the resource desk and they would give you a pass good for one free day at any of our parks (that’s $6.00 free).  The card is only good for a week and I didn’t really know that when I asked for it; that makes it a bit dicey on the scheduling – really hoping it doesn’t rain! At around 4 p.m. I get my grandson for 1 1/2 hours; during that time I have to drive middle son to his college Japanese class which is a half hour away/freeway driving. Oh joy…baby in car, me going the expressway to and from…sigh. At around 5:30 he will be picked up, then at around 6 I leave for my regular knit night. At the same time my husband is going to a “Boys Night Out” with the guys from work. It’s a great time for him to just ‘get out’; they stop at a pub near their work and he loves going because they have great Shepherd’s Pie…his favorite.  I don’t begrudge him this because it’s only once a month and lately they haven’t gone, so he’s more than ‘due’.  During all this rush of scheduling, youngest son will be joining his friends at the local high school pool for swimming. That wouldn’t be so bad, but I’m having a heck of a time figuring out just when I’ll be able to swing by and pick him up! I’m hoping for around 5 p.m….really hoping that works out. He ‘could’ walk home, but I’d rather he not. Ah, the fun of life, eh?

Let’s see – what else happened during the past 2-3 days? I managed to get four dishcloths knit for a young friend of mine in our knit group who just got married Saturday. (Kind of like knitting squares, just different material used). I got her two coffee mugs, 4 cotton dish towels, the dishcloths and a box of various fruit teas (she’s a vegetarian); it was a kind of impromptu gift, hope she likes it (didn’t know her kitchen colors).

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Babysat my grandson several days last week and will again this week. We played in the sandbox, assembled puzzles, played ‘cars’ and took naps; kept me busy and tired out later! I get him Tues, Thurs, Fri. and Saturday this week…do I see a very tired Pammie in the near future? You bet!

Other than all that, things are good here –  everyone is healthy and that’s a blessing. I know I’ll muddle through this week same as last week…one foot in front of the other, lots of knitting and the occasional nap!

Big Hugs;

Pammie

ps:  I should add that middle son hasn’t had any free time to go looking for another car; he’s thinking Honda this time…we’ll see.

A Little Pronouncing Fun!

Just ran across this on another blog and thought you might enjoy giving it a try. I did it and it was ‘spot on’…Yep, I have a”Up North” accent!

What American accent do you have?

Your Result: The Inland North

You may think you speak “Standard English straight out of the dictionary” but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like “Are you from Wisconsin?” or “Are you from Chicago?” Chances are you call carbonated drinks “pop.”

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Here’s the link-go give it a try!

http://www.gotoquiz.com/what_american_accent_do_you_have

Hugs;

Pammie

Published in: on July 17, 2009 at 3:09 pm  Comments (1)  

Driving, Groceries & Goodies

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I’m kind of  ‘holding my breath’ while applauding the resourcefulness of middle son in asking for rides from his friends to get him to college and the midnight opening of the latest Harry Potter movie. Yay, son! Also youngest son volunteered to have the church bus pick him up for vacation Bible school (he’s working as a Teen Volunteer, escourting younger kids to and from events), thus freeing me up completely for my ‘fun event’ tonight: our Knit Group’s Movie Night! Yes, we get together to knit almost weekly, but this is a step-above that.  One of our members has a lovely condo complete with basement refinished into what she lovingly calls a “Man Cave”. That’s a basement furnished with those huge theater seats: reclining leather connected seats, cup holders, little built-in side tables, the whole bit! A built in bar and counter area and also several tables & chairs round out this total MOVIE THEATER experience. Did I mention Surround Sound? It’s got that, too.  Add to that opulence a pot luck dinner brought by our members and you’ve got a complete Ladies Night Out! We bring our knitting, eat great foods and watch a current movie…what more could you ask for? Tonight is Taco Night and I’m bringing “Triple Chocolate Mess” dessert with French Vanilla ice cream, just to be decadent. (I posted that recipe on a earlier post, just in case you might be interested). The movie is: “A Beautiful Mind” which I’ve been assured is a tear-jerker but very good … I’ll let ya know, later.

Managed to get my running done early today: Post Office (checking to see if there might be a box of knit/crocheted squares…nope), Library to pick up a free one-day pass to any of our county parks courtesy of the Library (that includes our local beach! YAY!) The pass is good for 8 days and I’m looking at my calendar and scoping out this Thursday (as long as nothing ‘else’ gets in the way…like sons with car problems). Did a quick run to the grocery store for THREE items: Kleenex, bacon, and Pierogies (I know…what an unusual grouping of things, eh?)…ended up with several ‘other’ items, like chicken legs & thighs on sale for $7.90…they were in a big bag and after cleaning and re-bagging there were enough for 2 dinners (1 leg/thigh each, for 4 people) and 2 extra leg/thighs left over. I looked over all of their various offerings of chicken parts and noticed that even if I only bought one package of one type of chicken part (like legs or thighs or breasts) I’d still be spending at least $7. 00 and getting less meat in the deal, so this seemed to be a good deal:  10 rather large legs & thighs for $7.90!  Also noticed beef cube steak  (hey, it just called to me! “Hey! Buy me! I’ll make a tasty dinner for ya!…I heard and complied), so much for my little foray for only three items.

It’s a beautiful sunny July day (in the 80’s); my ‘schedule’ is relatively free (at the moment)…think I’ll go knit for a few. Enjoy your day!

Hugs;

Pammie

Lotsa Driving…sigh

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Hi!  It’s interesting how what looked like a rather calm week is swiftly turning into a frenzied driving marathon. To put it all in perspective – middle son’s car died…AGAIN! He’s put over $2,000 in it since he bought it and I’ve just returned from picking him up and escorting the tow truck driver back to our house with his car; this time it looks like it’s a ‘goner’. It seems the tow truck guy said that his brakes are ‘bled out’…when he turned on the engine, it ran but you couldn’t shift it AT ALL into any gear, and all the dash warning lights were on.   Add to that ‘fun’, this son goes to college a good 15-20 miles away on Tuesday evenings…make that the same same Tuesday evening I’ve just spent the past two days arranging a Movie/Knit Group night for…at the same time as he’s due at school. Oh…did I forget to mention that youngest son is now volunteering at the church Vacation Bible School, which just happens to be at the same time…guess who drives him? Right now my poor brain is spinning trying to figure out how all this is going to happen, but I’m sure it will all fall into place when we get closer to that time (at least I HOPE it will!). Middle son talked to his friend about driving him to school tomorrow, so we’ll see how that goes. OH! There’s one more little ‘fly in the ointment’…tomorrow at midnight is the premier of the latest “Harry Potter” movie, of which middle son bought advanced tickets…enough for 4 people…people he was going to PICK UP to go with him. Do you see where this is going?  The last I heard as this son went out the door with his friends was that he was trying to talk said friend into driving him BOTH to school AND to pick up the other people to have them all go to this movie premier at the same time (as long as he pays for the gas)…we’ll see how this all pans out. IF the friend agrees, that would definitely free me up to drive youngest to VBS AND allow me to go to the Movie/Knit night (youngest can ride the church bus home, thus freeing me there, also).  See what I meant about the “Lots Driving?”  Sigh…….

The best I can say about all this ‘mess’ is: “Thank heavens it didn’t occur NEXT week when I’ll have my grandson for a large portion of the days/nights!”  I’m sure that somewhere in the near future there will be lots of drama over buying another car; I’ve suggested that since he has such abysmal luck buying cars that he try leasing a vehicle, that way if it breaks down…the dealership pays for the repairs! That didn’t seem to go over very good with him; I’m chalking that off on his being still upset over his car dying…again.

Guess you could call this a “high stress” day/week…we’ll see. I see a LOT of knitting in my immediate future (just to relieve the stress!).

Hope you’re having a MUCH better day/week than I am thus far!

Hugs;

Pammie

Published in: on July 13, 2009 at 2:52 pm  Comments (1)  
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The “Fourth” Revisited

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Hope your holiday weekend was enjoyable; it was a slow, quiet one around here with each of us kind of moving at our own pace/doing our own ‘things’ like TV, computer games, video games or knitting (guess which one was me!?)  The weather was really nice (if you had any picnic plans) staying in the low 70’s, sunny with a nice breeze.  I took a walk around the back yard just looking at what’s blooming.  Enjoyed eating some wild blackberries which come up every year and looking at our hanging basket flowers (Everblooming begonias…and they’ve really held up to their name…so far there’s never been a time since I purchased it  without lots of gorgeous salmon-colored flowers ; will try to remember that next year when searching for the ‘perfect hanging basket’.  The day seemed just right for bird watching as well: Common Flicker (the one that looks like a Red-Headed Woodpecker), 2 large bluejays, big fat robins sunning themselves on the picnic table and even a few Nuthatches.

On the knitting/crochet scene I got to experiment with some yarn that was donated from a friend who works at a church; the donor specifically stated that they wanted the yarn to go to a charity-type work and she thought of me.  The yarn is called Red Heart “Grande” and it definitely lives up to it’s name; I’ve never worked with yarn of this size before and it took several days of contemplating before I came up with a plan. First I tried knitting it, using the largest needles I have (11.5) and it really didn’t do the yarn colors justice; the work was too thick and closely woven.  This brought  back thoughts of crochet and so I purchased the biggest crochet hook I could find: a size “P” (11.5mm)! This  really worked fine for my project and was able to zip up one afghan in a few hours, using just double crochet.  There were 8 skeins in all and 4 make a good size for a child’s size afghan.

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Over the entire weekend we had a steady stream of ‘teens/young adults’ visit our two younger sons, but for the most part it was another quiet weekend.

Hoping you had a great weekend.

Hugs;

Pammie

Published in: on July 6, 2009 at 9:26 am  Comments (3)  

Made the Front Page!

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Tried to make this bigger, but this is the best I could do. Maybe you could click on it? Sure didn’t expect to be on the front page!