Saturday, June 2, 2018

Change ... as in oil

Errands to run and an oil change.  That was the agenda for my only day off this week. Even though the sun was high ... and more than a little warm ... I set out with the top down!  Driving the top down always makes me happy.
Got the first couple of things checked off my list and headed to the automotive center to get that oil change.
Pulled in and the older woman at the counter was friendly ... and flustered.  Seems it had been a busy day and one of the registers was without a cash drawer.  So she could only check people in ... not out.
She asked which oil change I was interested in today.  The basic one just offered the oil and oil filter.  Nothing more or less.  The standard oil change had those things plus checks on a variety of things ... and a vacuum.  It was $10 more.
I ride around with the top down as often as possible, so my front floorboards are always in need of a vacuum.  I opted for the second choice.
I had noticed the rain this past week that I was desperately in need of new wiper blades.  Since that was one of the things that would be checked, I told her go ahead and have them put those on.
I wandered into the big box store to do a little shopping while I waited.  She had said it would be about 20 minutes. First I went and gathered up a couple of things I knew I needed and the pulled a fun impulse buy off of the sale rack.
Nothing like a good bargain!
After I made my purchases I was heading back to wait in the automotive area when my name was called over the intercom stating that my car was ready.  Perfect timing!
When I reached the counter, the younger woman cashier was checking out a man who didn't speak very good English.  He had a friend with him who kept interrupting the transaction to ask if he could purchase the large pile of non-automotive items at that register.
Patiently, the cashier would ask if the items were a part of the man's transaction who had received automotive services.  The man said, "No."  She would begin again to explain to her customer about his automotive service and the 2nd man would interrupt again asking if he was going to be able to make his purchase at that register.
There were 4 or 5 of us in line waiting to conduct our automotive business. Finally the man who didn't speak very good English indicated that he would pay for his friend's items so that the transaction could be completed.
In the meantime, the older woman who had the register with no cash drawer attempted to assist those of us in line. She was very frustrated that she was not allowed to handle the transactions for those paying with a card ... since no cash was involved.  Still, she remained outwardly cheerful.
It was obvious that the day continued to be challenging for the helpful cashiers in the automotive department.
Finally it was my turn.  The cashier told me that I had been a quart low when I brought my car in and that the mechanic was recommending a new air filter soon.  Then she said, "Oh, they didn't vacuum because there were items on the floor behind the driver's seat."
Big sigh.  I wondered aloud why they had not vacuumed the front floorboards since it was obvious the were in need of cleaning and had no items of any kind on them. She smiled and asked if I would like to have the car pulled back in for them to do it.
I shrugged and said that it was ok but that the vacuum was the main reason I had chose to go with the upgraded oil change.
"Wait! Don't insert your card yet," she said cheerfully.  "My manager is here and I bet he will let me give you a $10 discount so that you only pay for the basic oil change."
About that time the manager appeared, as if on cue, from a back room.  She explained to him that my car had not been vacuumed and asked if she could charge me for the basic oil change instead.  He was fine with that. 
The line behind me had continued to grow.  The automotive counter staff never lost their cool even though everyone was having to be funneled to the one register.
The cashier did some things on her screen and waited for the manager to return to type in his code.  He walked over.  She reminded him that it was a $10 discount that she was wanting to give to me.  He was perspiring and looked a little harried.  He smiled at me quickly and tapped on the screen.  She looked at the screen and back at him incredulously.
"No," she said. "That's not right." 
With another quick smile my way, he said, "That's what I want to do" as he walked away.
Slowly she turned the screen towards me and said, "That's your total for today's service."  
I was stunned.  The original total was $54 and some change.
I told her that was not what I was expecting.  I hadn't even complained. Not really.
Much like the manager, she tossed me a quick smile and said, "Well that's what he wanted to do for you ... and he did."
She handed me my keys and sent me on my way.
It was a very good day.
(C)  June 2018

Tuesday, May 1, 2018


I awoke from a deep sleep and instantly began recalling my dream.  Not so much what was actually happening in the dream, simply that everything in my dream had something to do with the number 4.

Dates added up to 4.  Encounters with people were in 4s.  Tables were set as 4 tops.  That kind of stuff. Then I rolled over and looked at the clock before falling back to sleep.  It said 4:44.

Related image

Later in the day I began to wonder about the significance of the number 4.  So I did a Google-search for "Meaning of the number 4".

At the top of the list was an article titled "5 Reasons Why You Are Seeing 4:44 - The Meaning of 444".  Intrigued, I clicked it open to find "Did you just see 4:44?  You were guided to read this article". 

I kid you not. 

So here are the 5 reasons:
1.  You Are on the Path of Awakening.
2.  You Are Fully Supported in your Life Journey.
3.  You Are on the Right Path, Just Trust.
4.  You Are in Harmony with The Universe.
5.  Listen To Your Intuition.

All good stuff.  And it resonated with my inner spirit.

Further research tells me that when you see a repetition of the number 4, angels are trying to reach you with a message.  And it is an important message so you must be sure your heart and mind are open to receiving it.

Angel number 4 resonates with practicality. It is also about organization. This can mean you need to get your life organized or that you have a very organized life.  Most definitely the first on in my case!

Determined and productive come into play as well.  The message might be to keep working on something until it is completed.

Another possible message has to do with patience and devotion ... a reminder that you don't like to give up on people.

It seems that angels send you the number 4 as an answer to your prayers. The answer is forthcoming and will become clear if you keep your thoughts positive and your heart open.  Sure.  I can do that.  I am a positivity and possibility consultant, after all.

And if the number 4 keeps showing up, it is a message that the angels are surrounding you offering up encouragement and support in all that you are doing right now.

One of the last things I read about the significance of the number 4 and the message it held for me was plain & simple.  Deep inside I heard the familiar Ding! Ding! Ding! that always lets me know that I have stumbled upon the truth.  It's the one I am choosing as my take-away ... for today!

You Are Right Where You Are Supposed To Be

May 2018

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Friday Flats & Fences

It was Friday ... and Jessi was coming to help at the tea shop in the afternoon.

She was ready when I got to the workshop to pick her up after lunch. We hopped on to the highway to head on in.

On the way for just a few minutes when I heard the dreaded flat tire sound on the pavement. I pulled over safely on to the shoulder and dialed up AAA. Within 15 minutes a nice older gentleman pulled up in a swanky AAA Roadside Assistance vehicle. He made a face as he pulled the ancient do-nut style spare out of the trunk of my latest project car.

It's a 1995 Toyota Celica Convertible. Been driving it for a few months but have never had any reason to examine that spare ... until today.

Quickly he changed out the tires. "Don't go over 50 on that one," he said. "It isn't safe."

I figured it was good to limp on in to the tea shop and then back home. I made the call to arrange to have a couple of new tires put on first thing in the morning.

Jessi had a lovely time playing hostess at the tea shop. Some of her friends stopped by and she made new friends as well.

When it was time to leave, we picked up a drive-thru dinner as we made our way to a performance of The Little Mermaid at a high school in a nearby community.

No information could be found as to the location of the Auditorium or parking anywhere. It was as if the expectation was that no one from the general public would be attending the performance ... only those who were familiar with the fairly large campus.

After receiving conflicting directions from others trying to find a spot, we ended up parking about 4 blocks behind the high school only to discover that the entire campus was surrounded by a 6' chain link fence. We had to trek a few blocks to a main street and then cut through the parking lots of the police station and post office in order to reach the building that had been pointed out as our destination.

Upon arrival it was obvious that this was not where we were wanting to be. A nice custodian person let us in a back door and explained that we were on the wrong side of the campus. She suggested that we trek back to our car and then head back around to the front of the school. There we could attempt to park along with other play-goers ... and, oh yeah, there was also a basketball tournament under way. Reluctantly, she directed us through a maze of hallways that allowed us to arrive at the auditorium just in time for the curtain.

Jessica loves live theater. The performance was magical. The young talent was strong and had us captivated throughout the show.

After the show a nice high school staff person told us that we could go through the building ... the way we had come in ... to the back parking lot so that we didn't have to wander around the dark side streets to where our car was parked.

Following our imaginary trail of bread crumbs, we made our way through the building to the backside of the campus. Thinking we had found our exit, we pushed the door open and stepped outside. Just as the door slammed shut I realized we were not in the parking lot. Rather we were in a courtyard surrounded by one of those 6' chain link fences.

The gates were all locked and, of course, we were locked out of the building.

Image result for chain link fence

Trying not to show my panic to Jessi, I headed for the gate and cheerfully handed her my purse. I was wishing I had my PF Flyers. You know, the shoes that make a kid run faster and jump higher from my youth.

Boldly, I scaled the fence and slid down the other side. It wasn't pretty but I was hoping it looked easy to Jessi.

As she handed me my purse along with her PattiCake & Howie John, I said "Come on, Jessi. Climb over." So she tried ... putting her hands through the chain links and attempting to find a toe hold.

"I can't!" she declared.

"Sure you can," I encouraged. "Put your hands here on top of the fence and then put your foot there on that (waist-high) bar."

In a flash, she was on top of the fence. Her move was super hero worthy. Precariously balanced on top for a moment or two, her pants leg got hung up and experienced a little rip on the way down the other side.

There are no words to express how awed and amazed I was at her bravery. I was so very proud of her. Jessi, on the other hand, was more focused on the little rip in the bottom seam of her pants. I assured her I would mend it or buy her a pair of new pants.

Full of ourselves for overcoming our obstacle, we quickly made our way to the car and hopped on the highway to head home. We were heading north when the ancient do-nut spare that had been put on earlier in the day started making a funny whining noise before it gave up the ghost. By the time I was able to get clear of the construction zone and exit into a parking lot, I could hear the metal of the wheel grinding the pavement.

Second call to AAA of the day. This time for a wrecker to tow it on over to the tire shop that I was already planning to visit first thing in the morning.

Like a true knight in the night, Roland rescued Jessi & I from the side of the road. Another fine man of the same ilk named Bruce came for my little car.

Two new tires the next morning. All's well that ends well.

March 2018