Monday, March 23, 2009

My new rig...for now...


My trusty Sienna van is in the shop, for a couple of days. I thought I should just use "Ol' Blue", Randy's recently retired pickup, while the van is out of commission, especially since I saw that there is now a "surcharge" for loaners from the dealership. Randy thought I should get a loaner, that it would be nicer, and the surcharge was minimal anyway.


I hate driving other people's cars... It just makes me nervous! What if I break something, or hit something, or just don't know how to drive it...It's uncomfortable to the point that I avoid driving, so I might as well not have it...


This morning I brought the van in to the Toyota dealership, which is high on customer service. Goodness! They have automatic doors for cars coming in for service. You drive through the door into a heated area where you can leave the car and consult with a service manager. When it was time for my loaner, I was hoping that they would just say, " Your little old loaner is parked out there, around the corner, where no one can see you...." and I could go out and look things over and figure out how it worked before braving the streets. Instead, they pulled a lovely little 2009 Camry into the heated service area, handed me the keys, and then hit the button to open the automatic door, so I could exit. I REALLY wanted to take a bit more time before putting the thing into gear, but I couldn't sit there with the service manager waiting to close the door, and the heat rushing into the cold morning...So I started her up, and headed out...found that the brakes were more sensitive than I was accustomed to by tapping on them, almost putting my head through the windshield in full view of the staff. I just kept moving...


It's really a lovely little car. Fortunately, the wipers and lights are set up much the same as my van, so I wasn't washing windows when I really wanted to just turn on the lights, and I soon adjusted to the appropriate pressure for braking. In fact, for the larger skills necessary for driving, I had no problems. It was the little things...like getting the key out of the ignition... Mysteriously, it said "PUSH" which I suspected was important, but it took some time before I could coordinate "PUSH" with turn and get the key out. I'm pretty good at it now! And then there are the buttons on the key for locking...Since my van has no button for opening the trunk, I push them without looking, listening for the right sound to know when I have locked, or unlocked as needed. This one has a button to open the trunk, which demanded more diligence on my part. I can just see me, almost to the store, turning back to hit the button and make sure the car is locked, only to see the trunk popped instead...It hasn't happened so far...


The worst part of having a loaner for me is the parking...Not the actual placement of the car, the finding it back after it has been placed! For someone who has trouble remembering where she is parked, an unfamiliar car is problematic. If I can't remember where I parked the van, at least I know what it looks like! Today I wandered in Walmart's parking lot, looking for gold cars...I only knew what it looked like inside, not outside! And there are a lot of gold cars! Fortunately, the Canadian license plates gave me good clues as to which gold cars I need not try the key in. I didn't know the license plate number either...Fortunately, I remembered that I had parked in the lane with a walkway between the cars, so that narrowed down my search. I did have to back track, but not too far, and there she was, the little beauty! I was relieved to hit the unlock button, push the key in, turn it to start, and drive away with only one jerk from the tapped brakes.


Now she sits safely in the garage, and she might just be there until my van is all better...



Friday, March 13, 2009

One last frosty morning walk...






Daisie and I made sure to enjoy a long morning walk in the frost and blue sky before the rains begin...The weather change is forecasted to come tonight, and to bring rain for a number of days hence. We just had to have a little commemoration -- not just because of the coming rains, but also because we may not have any more frosty walks til Fall...




"Did you bring the treats?"



















Off to stalk the robins...





Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sorry...I just love winter...


What a marvelous weather day today! My favorite kind -- clear and cold...and SO cold! I took Daisie out for her "First Things First Duty Run" and the cold made her very efficient this morning. It was good to get back in the warm house...Soon, however, with the sun streaming in, she was antsy to go out for the Morning Walk. I was about to go get geared up when Randy said, "You're going for a walk??" and then began to read the wind chills off our Weather Station..." minus 3, minus 11, minus 16, minus 8..." and so on as the wind increased and fell off again. I decided to wait.


About an hour later the temp had risen to 21 degrees...and I wanted to get on with my day, so Daisie and I snuck out the back door to head into the wind. I knew it would be a short walk...too cold for more, and it would convince Daisie to be content inside...But it was glorious out there. The air is so clear that you can see mountains much farther away than usual. The white and blue of them is so crisp, as is the air you pull into your lungs. Brilliant sunshine, crunchy ground underfoot, and burning cold quicken your step, and make you feel alive!


And glad to go back into the warm, cozy house...That cup of coffee is so consoling. You've braved the elements, and now have your comfort in hand. Daisie stretches out on her patch of sunshine, snoozing contentedly, as I had hoped.


While some are complaining as winter continues, I must truly confess that I think it has been a spectacular winter! A fearless thing for me to say as raspberry farmers really don't know yet how much of our crop was lost in the first cold snap in December...Sorry folks, I've still enjoyed this season! We have had so much sunshine, so many clear, cold, beautiful days. We had snow before Christmas for anticipation, and better yet, snow ON CHRISTMAS!!! FLAT snow, and lots of it!! And now we are getting just a little bit more on the verge of Spring. I'm just loving it.


I used to be more like most people -- Spring and Summer were my favorites...but the stress of harvest and its preparations have changed that for me. Now my favorite season is Fall -- with the relief of a completed harvest, a bit of warm weather beauty, and the beginning of cozy times with the anticipation of the holidays...Second place is winter -- for the clear cold days, and the stormy ones...


In a week or two, winter will be all done. The farm work will begin, and I will try not to complain as we move into that weather that we can see in any season around here...50 degrees and raining. Bleh!

About Me

Needing an outlet for various thoughts rattling in my head, I've created two blogs -- One about my real life (leslieisverbose.blogspot.com) and one where I can vent. (leslievents.blogspot.com)