TED Talks App, Time for Change…

Have you heard of TED Talks? Of course you have. Is there anyone that hasn’t? I suppose I shouldn’t presume that everyone knows about TED Talks just because I do, and because I have heard of them for quite a while, so, here is what the organization has to say about itself:

TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages.” (TED)

These talks are great, informative, and the range of topics available seem nearly endless. I love TED Talks, which shouldn’t be surprising to anyone – learning in bite-sized morsels. I have to be honest, though. There is one thing I wish was different about these talks: I wish they were longer.

The other night, as we are getting ready for bed, Lance announces that he now has access to all of the TED Talks. The rate at which my head snapped around should have caused damage. “How did you do that?!” The information gatherer in me was at the highest attention, ready to happy dance at any second.

“There’s an app,” Lance replied, casually, as if there was nothing significant about his discovery. Sometimes, I wonder if we live in the same Universe.

Thankfully, I hadn’t shut my phone off for the night, yet…Google Play Store, here I come. I have bookmarked a number of talks, have about a gazillion more topics to peruse though, and listened to about 10 talks already. To say this is a bit of heaven for me is to understate things. I am obsessed. I think I could spend at least a full, solid day just bookmarking the talks I will want to listen to.

The timing for this to come into my life couldn’t be better, since I have soooo much time on my hands. I can’t drive for Uber, and cleans have, yet, to pick up for the season, which is a bit disturbing. After the two weeks of being stuck at home when my license was suspended and, now, its been another two weeks stuck at home while the Prius is in the repair shop after being hit, I am a bit stir crazy.

Now, I know I’m usually pretty good with being home, but this down time doesn’t seem to be going quite that smoothly. I feel like there is SOMETHING I should be doing, but I couldn’t begin to tell you what that something might be. Maybe I should be looking at other forms of income, which I keep saying I’m going to do but keep not doing.

I’m starting to see how complacent I have become in my life. There are a ton of things in it that I want to be different from what they are, but I keep not doing anything about it. I’m not sure if I just got too overwhelmed by…well, everything…or what exactly has gotten me to this point, but its way past time for me to do something about it. What that looks like, I’m not sure, at the moment, but there is definitely some change that has to start happening or the slide back into the financial and emotional abyss is certain to happen. I’m not ok with that.

I’ve said to quite a few people who know completely what my situation is that it is really hard to hold on to hope this way. Hope is something I think one must fight to hold on to with their whole soul. Without it, what else is there? Hope is what gives you the ability to do things, I think, to make positive changes, improve one’s life, a necessary key to finding enjoyment in one’s life. Without hope, I think one is just waiting for this all to be over with, and that is not living but waiting to die, in my opinion.

So, today, I’m going to find what it is that provides me with the seeds of hope, what brings me around to center, again, and ignites my creative mind. I’ve learned over the years that creativity is a necessity for me. I become pretty set in depression without it, and stop finding anything that brings enjoyment to me. It’s all just plowing through to the next day, the next challenge. Having this knowledge at least gives me some direction.

I know I put money in front of a lot of things I want to get into doing. Money has been such a focus for us over the last 7 or so years, that I have put it in use as a deciding factor for a lot of things. I’m not saying this is such a bad thing, but I think I have taken it to a really bad level, used it to keep me from moving forward in too many areas of my life that I believe I would have already plunged head deep into.

I’ve, also, stopped really checking in with myself. With all of the challenges that come rushing in at random intervals, sometimes one right after the other, I have de-prioritized myself. Not good. How am I supposed to take on these challenges to the best of my ability if I’m not even sure my best can show up? Ugh. Yeah, I’m seeing a whole lot of things that I just haven’t been doing the right way. Now, to change that. I think I will start with listening to Judson Brewer’s TED Talk: ‘ A simple way to break a bad habit.’ Its a start, right?

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Prius Update, Rental Car Swap, Less Sun and Lower Temps…

The repair shop texted me yesterday to let me know that the repairs have been started on the Prius and I should have my car back in about 11 days. Woot! I hadn’t received an estimate from them so I had no idea what they had found in their inspection of the vehicle. Easy enough. I drove over and spoke with them.

The guy handling my repair order is a super nice guy and has been great about explaining things to me in a way that I understand them, which I love. He let me know that his mechanic hadn’t found anything that looked like it was damaged after a visual inspection of the rear end, but, after the dent has been pulled out and the new door put on, they would do a more thorough investigation on it before sending the Prius over for an alignment. After the alignment, paint.

After the repair shop, I headed over to Enterprise to see if they would swap out the Jetta.

2015 Chrysler 200

2015 Chrysler 200

The charging ports didn’t work and I use my phone way too much to not be able to charge it while I’m out and about. Plus, the Jetta really ran like crap. I think it is having a transmission problem – at least that is what it felt like. Anyway, they swapped it out for a 2015 Chrysler 200. As you can see, it is also white. Have I mentioned I really don’t like white cars? Anyway, this is a much nicer car with about 10,000 fewer miles on it than the Jetta had. You know what else is super cool about this car?? It has a dial to shift into the different gears, from park to drive and all in between. LOVE IT! Downside with this one – it needs oil badly, so I’ll be finding out what type of oil they already have put in it and putting some in, if Enterprise doesn’t do so for me.

I have a bridal shower to go to today. My best friend’s son is getting married and his fiancée invited me to her bridal shower. I have to admit I was surprised, especially since I have only met her a few times, but I guess this will give her a chance to get to know some of the people her soon to be husband grew up around. Nice.

The rain is back today. Its been trying to rain all week, succeeded in kind of raining a couple of times, but today, continuous rain. I can’t say I’m upset by it, though it would be nice to get some nice solid days of sun and warmer temperatures, again. The temps forecasted for this week are from 58 to 67 degrees. This seems way too cold for May around here.

Well, I need to start getting myself put together for the bridal shower. Have a great day, Everyone!!

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Learning How to Drive, Again…

So, after not hearing from any insurance company, mine or the woman’s that hit me, I called her insurance. I have to say that USAA is super easy to work with, bordering on enjoyable. The representative I spoke with was very informative, easy to speak with, friendly, answered all of my questions without a single note of judgement in his voice. I had not expected that.

Within 15 minutes, the USAA rep had me set up with a USAA approved repair shop (which means USAA will guarantee the repairs) and Enterprise Car Rental. At some point today, I should hear from the people who deal with income loss as a result of the accident. I have to say I am feeling a bit less anxious about the whole thing.

After talking with the rep about the damages to the Prius and letting them know that I think there may have been some damage to the rear suspension in some way, he decided that we would put the Prius in the “unsafe to drive” category and he arranged for me to drop off the car asap at the repair shop. Enterprise was already waiting for me when I got there.

2015 Jetta from Enterprise

2015 Jetta from Enterprise

Enterprise put me in a 2015 Volkswagen Jetta. Its like learning how to drive a car all over, again, after driving the Prius for the last 4 months. I actually have to slide the shifter into gear and into park instead of bumping a joystick into gear and pushing a button to put it in park. I’m practicing starting from a stop, too. The Jetta wants to go from a complete stop to 60 mph at the slightest touch of the gas petal.

In order to use my phone in the Jetta, I will need to pick up an auxiliary cable since it does not have bluetooth, which is a bummer, but at least I have that option. I’ve gotten used to the center console, my command center, in the Prius. The center console, where I usually rest my elbow while driving, is so low in the Jetta, it’s useless as an arm rest. I actually think I like the Prius better than the Jetta. It could just be a comfort thing since I am so used to the Prius. At any rate, I am grateful that having to drop the Prius off for repairs is  not going to upset my work schedule at all.

Unfortunately, I still can’t drive for Uber. They are not ok with using a rental car. I think the worst part of having the rental car is that I have to cover the insurance for it, which is $36 a day. I hope they get the Prius done in a couple of days or this could get really expensive and I may need to talk with USAA about that.

Well, I have a clean today, so I had better get going. Have a great day, Everyone!

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Rain and Shower Therapy…

The rain is back and I’m pretty ok with that right now. I’m feeling a bit wrecked, at the moment, so the perceived seclusion the rain provides for me is welcome. I have nothing pressing planned for today, or tomorrow, which is perfect, since I am feeling the need to isolate and heal from the recent events over the past month or so. Its hard, sometimes, to just keep plugging along when the challenges, the seemingly larger challenges, seem to be just pouring in, one right after the other. I’m taking some time to engage in some self-care to rejuvenate my soul so I can put my armor back on and face the battles in progress and the ones that are sure to come.

I had a clean yesterday. Lance came and helped me knock it out, which I am grateful for. When we were done, I headed to the Y for a therapeutic, hour-long shower. Yes, I said hour-long shower. There is just something about sitting in a shower that is as hot as I can stand it, just letting the water wash over me, envelope me, that I find so…well, healing, but that’s not all. I want to say ‘safe,’ but that just seems a bit odd, though no less true. Maybe protected is a better way to put it.

Anyway, with my eyes closed, hot water washing over me, it always feels like I can think about things without reaching the level of overwhelmed. Maybe that is because there is nothing pressing for attention while I’m in the shower, nothing that absolutely must be done (other than getting clean), no one needing my attention, I am completely alone. Sure, at the Y, there are other people around, but once the water is on and the curtain is closed, they really don’t exist anymore – sort of like when you put a child in time out, removing outside stimulus, and giving them time to think about their actions, only I go there willingly. One of the best parts is that, though the thoughts are constant, hitting on each and every topic, there doesn’t seem to be the need for me to be really present to find the solutions in the thoughts, sort of like a fan running in the background.

This time, the shower didn’t feel as restorative as it usually does, though it did provide me a reprieve from being in the middle of it all. I’ve began to notice my desire to do things that I normally love is diminishing, again. Perhaps I need to go back into the doctor to get on an anti-depressant, again. I’m not sure how I can make that happen, financially, but…well, I’m thinking about it. Sometimes, it just doesn’t seem worth it to get on an anti-depressant when my life seems to be pre-loaded to provide me with intense challenges that leave me feeling like there is no way I will ever get on top of them. Yes, I’m complaining.

I started listening to Brene Brown’s Rising Strong, again, yesterday. I hoping to find my strength somewhere hidden in there, or, at least, something that will re-trigger my belief in my ability to face and effectively handle the challenges in my world at this time. It’s worth a shot, right?

I’m going to be taking the Prius in to Doxon Toyota on Monday to have it checked out. I’ve noticed that it is functioning differently than it was before the accident. Once I reach my cruising speed, it has been kicking into electric vehicle mode, which, in itself, doesn’t sound like such a bad thing. It bothers me because this is not how it has ever gone with the car since I first drove it off the lot. Also, when I came out of the Y, the battery showed as only being at 1/4 charged, another thing I have never seen with my Prius. This makes me think that something got jostled around when the lady in the Volvo hit me. Hopefully, it’s an easy fix. While I’m there, I’m going to ask them if they have any recommendations on where to take the car for an inspection and estimate of what it would cost to fix what they find in regard to the accident.

Well, I’m off to go read Breathless by Dean Koontz. After reading a few chapters of it so far, I think I have actually read this one before, as well. Oh well. At least I have something to read. Have a great day, Everyone!!

 

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The Day was Going So Great…

My poor car!

My poor car!

I was having a really good day, yesterday. I got up, made my coffee, watered my garden, got dressed, and headed out to drive for Uber. It took a minute to get my first ride request, but I hadn’t gotten up super early (4am just seems to tank me too much) so I wasn’t too worried about it. When I finally got it, it was a nice fare to get things kicked off.

My second ride was a really nice one – from Tacoma to Tukwila. The woman was super nice and we joked and laughed the whole way, and she ended up giving me a $10 tip at the end. Super nice.

I wasn’t really feeling like driving in King County, so I headed back down to Tacoma. I wanted to stop at a Goodwill to look for some Summery-type tops since what I have for anything short sleeve is t-shirts that either have paint on them or stains from cleaning – nothing I would wear to drive for Uber. I was going to wait until pay-day, but the tip would at least allow me to get a couple of shirts. We have hot weather forecasted for this week (upper 70’s, low to mid 80’s).

I look at the shirts at Goodwill and didn’t see anything I liked, so I wandered around for a little bit. I ended up buying a couple of books – Breathless and Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz. It wasn’t until I was showing the books to Lance last night that I realized that I have already read Life Expectancy. Crud. Oh well. At least I have one book to read, which is a gagillion times better than having no book at all.

Across the parking lot from the Goodwill is an Entenmann’s Bakery Outlet. I used to stop at this store every now and again when my daughter was little to get a little treat for us. When I left Goodwill, I decided to head over there and get myself a treat before heading back out, again, to drive. At least, that had been the plan.

As I’m driving across the parking lot, I remembered that there is a craft store near the Entenmann’s. I still need to paint the details on one of my lawn art bees so I can put them out and I was thinking I would go check in there to see if they had what I need after I stopped at the bakery. I wouldn’t be able to get the paint then, if they had what I need, but I would know where to head over to after payday. Then, I heard this awful noise.

As I started to turn my head to look toward the noise, I felt the car move. When my eyes hit the back passenger side window, my mind just couldn’t make sense of what I was seeing for a second. And then everything clicked. I had just been hit by a car that was backing out of a parking spot.

The woman who was driving the car got out of her Volvo and said “I didn’t even see you!” I looked at her, my brain still swimming a bit, trying to process what happened, and I replied, “I would have guessed you didn’t or I imagine you wouldn’t have hit me.” I pulled into a parking spot, grabbed my insurance card, and called my insurance company, MetroMile.

As I’m talking with my insurance company, finding out exactly what they need and getting a claim started, the woman driving the Volvo keeps saying she is already 17 minutes late for work and needs to go. All I could think was ‘ well, that explains why you didn’t see me.’ She had backed out of the parking spot fast enough to move the Prius over about a foot or so.  I’ll admit that the fact that she kept repeating it made me a little worried she was just going to hop in her car and drive off. Thankfully, she didn’t.

After getting all of the info I needed from her and hanging up with my insurance company, I headed toward home. I couldn’t believe my car had gotten hit. I’ve only had it since the end of January, was just getting back into driving for Uber after two weeks down due to the deal with my license, and now this. This is too much. I can’t help feeling like the Universe is trying to say something to me here, though I know it is probably just all coincidence. Life happens, which is something I am quite familiar with.

When I got on the freeway toward home, the Prius didn’t feel right. I started to wonder if maybe I should be driving it home. ‘It’s just the stress of the accident making it feel that way,’ I kept telling myself. When Lance got home, we went for a short drive with him sitting in the back, next to the door that was hit, to see if he could smell exhaust and/or feel anything that might indicate something was off with the back-end of the car. He said he didn’t smell any exhaust but it did feel like the rear end was off. Ugh. This sucks.

When the adjuster called, she let me know I had two options: use my collision insurance, with a $500 deductible, which is the quickest way to have the car fixed and back on the road, or have the woman’s insurance, USAA, deal with it. Since I do not have $500 to pay the deductible, I’m stuck waiting for USAA to fix my car. Crap.

I can’t drive for Uber until the car is fixed, which means I am stuck coming up with the weekly car payments on my own somehow. I think I need to return the Prius. If I’m not driving, the payment is a bit much for me to keep coming up with. To say I’m a bit overwhelmed by the whole thing is a bit of an understatement. I was feeling like we would be able to finally get moving back to good after the driver’s license thing, but, apparently not. At least, not through me driving for Uber, again, since that is, now, not an option. I have to figure this out. Any suggestions, insights, from anyone would be greatly

My Painted Daisy

My Painted Daisy

appreciated.

On the upside to yesterday’s fun: my Painted Daisy finally bloomed.

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Back to Uber, Figuring it Out, and the Garden…

Painted Daisy - maybe today!!

Painted Daisy – maybe today!!

So, I started driving for Uber, again, last Friday. I had planned on going out and driving on the night of Cinco de Mayo, but I didn’t. I ended up getting my license, hitting the car wash and thoroughly washing the Prius, then heading out to just see where I ended up. I didn’t make it back home until around 8:30 that night. It was a good day.

I headed out the next morning to Uber drive, but that didn’t last very long. Every time I tried to accept a ride request, the Uber Partner app would get stuck in a thinking circle saying “accepting ride,” and not go any further. I would have to shut down the app and restart it in order to find out where my ride was at. The Uber Partner app wouldn’t link up to either of the navigation apps (Waze or Google Maps), so I would have to pull over and manually enter the address. Frustrating but manageable. Then, when I would end a ride, the app would get stuck with a thinking circle, again, saying “ending ride,” and go no further. Shut down app, restart it, and then it would end the ride. Again, extremely frustrating.

Usually, if the Uber Partner app is getting glitchy, all you have to do is uninstall it and reinstall it, again, and all is well. Not this time. I uninstalled and reinstalled the app twice with absolutely no improvement. Ugh. Not good. After only being able to accept and complete only two rides in almost two hours due to the problem, I realized the problem had to be with my phone.

The replacement G4 Tmobile sent me had issues from the beginning, but nothing that was super problematic and nothing I couldn’t just deal with for now. The fact that I was having issues with the Uber Partner app was unacceptable. Thankfully, Costco has a deal going on right now on a Samsung Galaxy S7.

The deal at Costco is unbelievably awesome! You get the Samsung Galaxy S7, a 32″ Samsung Television, a portable battery, and $40 in a Costco Cash rebate for the cost of the tax on the phone and tv.   O.O   I added a phone case with a glass screen protector for another $25, bringing the total up to $106 at check out. This deal couldn’t have come at a better time for me, honestly. By the time I made it out of Costco with my phone and the tv, I was exhausted. It took forever to accomplish this one thing since this deal is amazing and a lot of people are taking advantage of it. I headed home to set up my phone.

I went out and drove for Uber the next morning and did ok. The app worked exactly the way it is supposed to. Another problem solved…YAY! I’m hoping I have reached the end of this series of challenges.

After driving on Saturday for a few hours, the feeling of not wanting to drive for Uber anymore was really intense. I’m trying to decide if this feeling is just a result of not being able to do so for a couple of weeks so this is sort of like starting all over, again, or if it is a result of having to struggle through these challenges and finally being honest with myself that Uber is not going to be something I can do long-term. Maybe the post-chaos processing is leaving me with a bad taste in my mouth in regard to Uber, despite Uber not having a single thing to do with it. There is a bit I need to figure out here, and soon. I’m staying home today to try to get my head wrapped around all of this so I can make some decisions. Like I said before, I will continue to drive for Uber regardless of the decisions I make about it, at least until I can replace that source of income, should I decide Uber just isn’t the right choice. I’m giving it time, though. No blind jumping.

My garden is coming along nicely. I am losing a pumpkin plant and I’m not sure why. It was laying on its side yesterday, roots still in the ground and covered, still looking healthy. I stood it up and re-packed dirt around its base, but it was back on its side this morning. Disappointing, yes, but I have another one I put in its place and try again.

One of my Columbine plants has started having blooms in a few different colors. Its kind of

Yellow, PInk, and Light Purple, all on one plant!!

Yellow, PInk, and Light Purple, all on one plant!!

pretty, but I have to admit it makes me wonder what is going on in my soil. I’m pretty sure that Columbines don’t change color due to soil content, which I feel is backed by the fact that the Columbines on either side of this one are still true to their original colors. Hmmm…guess I’ll have to do some research on that one. It still looks healthy so I’m really not sure at all what is going on there.

Well, I’ve got a busy day planned for myself, mostly full of research – work, plants – so I’d better get to it. Have a great day, Everyone!

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Return to Freedom…

Today is the day!! My license has finally been released and I will be heading over to the Department of Licensing to reinstate my license!! Woot woot!! I’m beyond excited, happy, can hardly contain myself, is it 9:30, yet?!

I found out last night around 5:15 that my license had finally been released. Of course, this was 15 minutes after the DOL had closed for the day, but that’s ok. It wasn’t Friday with no open hours on Saturday, which would have just been torturous. The worst part of the whole deal is that this is the one day that the DOL office closest to me opens at 10am instead of 9. Oh well. Having to wait one extra hour after having to go this long (two weeks has it been?) without my license is more than manageable. Now, what to do to distract myself so that the time just cruises by…

I’m probably going to have to stop into the Uber Support Center today to have my account reactivated since its been a minute since I logged on. No biggie. It’s just a stop in, ‘hey, I’m back,’ and things are good. It’s rather fortuitous that I will have my license back today since it is Cinco de Mayo, which means it should be a great night to drive for Uber, money-wise.

Part of me wants to hop in the Prius and just drive. Not for Uber, but a random wandering drive. I do have a full tank of gas, which means a ton of miles I could drive. I can’t decide. I’m just too excited about returning to driving freedom.

The first stop I’m going to be making is at the car wash. Not one of those drive through type car washes, but the type you wash it yourself. Call it a re-bonding ritual with the Prius. Hell. Call it whatever you want. I’M SO EXCITED!!!!! I’m thinking I’ll probably just do a full detail of the car. Then, again, I may just wash the heck out of it and then go for a drive. I may not have the patience to actually do the full detail.😉

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The Garden is Starting to Bloom!!

Today is day 7, the earliest day that the documents that I turned into the DOL should/could be processed. Of course, I have already headed over to the DOL website to check if my license has been released for reinstatement. It’s was only 6:30ish when I checked and there is still the hold on my license, but I’m thinking/hoping that just means it’s too early since the DOL isn’t even open, yet. I’ll check, again, later on. My fingers are so incredibly crossed that it almost hurts.

Yes, being home for so long, not by choice, is driving me a bit bananas. I’ve done everything that I am capable of doing at the moment with the gardens. Sure, I have a few more sunflowers I need to get into their own pots or to be planted somewhere, but I need more dirt and have not quite decided whether or not I really want to put them straight into the ground.

Some things are starting to bloom, which is super awesome! Lance’s Anaheim pepper

First bloom on Lance's Anaheim Pepper plant

First bloom on Lance’s Anaheim Pepper plant

plant has one nice, large bloom on it with more buds preparing to open, and his raspberries are covered in buds and blooms. I have a number of my Bachelor Buttons blooming, one of my Painted Daisies that I planted last year, which did nothing, is about to bloom with a few others not too far behind it. The Allium is finally in full bloom, their purple globes

Allium

Allium

quite beautiful despite their leaves indicating they are less than happy with the soil they are planted in. Maybe I’ll move them at the end of the season. My three Columbine that survived last year’s heat, though didn’t bloom, are elegantly gorgeous, and each one is a different color: yellow, pink with an antique white middle, and purple.

Columbine

Columbine

My feverfew is getting quite large and has just started throwing out some little white blooms, and one of my Echinacea plants has a nice healthy bud on it already. To say this pleases me doesn’t begin to cover it.

My pumpkins are doing quite well, at least double in size from when I transplanted them, but there is something going on with a couple of them that I need to figure out. One pumpkin plant was very wilted, yesterday, despite having had adequate water. Another one is turning yellow even though its stature is that of a very healthy plant. I’ll be heading over to a bunch of the gardening websites later today to see if I can decipher whats going on there.

The vegetable garden is doing great! I lost one broccoli plant, but one out of 5 or 6 isn’t bad, especially since the others are looking like they are doing very well. The corn has grown to about 5 inches tall and this, of course, makes me smile. I had a couple come up as two but I was able to separate them and transplant the extras successfully. I had no idea if one could actually successfully transplant corn in this way but apparently you can. YAY!

My rose bushes are doing very well, also. The only thing going on with them that I need to figure out is that one has aphids and the other does not. Odd. I’ll figure it out. They both have little buds on them, though, and I’m excited to see them in bloom. These are my first rose bushes of my own, which just adds to the excitement.

The squirrel nabbed another sunflower, yesterday. I guess I didn’t have enough marigolds around them. I had extra marigolds, another 12 of them, still in their starter cells they came in, so I grabbed them and set them around the sunflowers the squirrel is hitting up the most. This brazen squirrel sat fairly low in the tree while I was doing this, so I had a little chat with it. I let it know that it needed to stop eating my plants, that I had been super happy it had shown up but now I just want it to go away because it is killing all of my sunflowers, and to knock it off. I didn’t lose any more sunflowers after that so either the talking to or the addition of more marigolds seems to have worked so far. I’m guessing it was the marigolds, though the little girl in me wants to believe it was the talking to. Yeah, Cinderella I am not. Or Snow White.😉

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Still Waiting on My License and This Week’s Garden Saga…

Well, I’d love to be able to say that I have my driver’s license back and have been back on the road, driving for Uber, but, alas, this is not the case. I, apparently, misunderstood what they had told me when I called the DOL (Department of Licensing). What I thought they had said is that bringing the signed and notarized payment agreement into one of the DOL offices would expedite things, as in not having to wait the 7-10 days for the paperwork to be processed by the DOL. This is not the case, so I am still waiting for the paperwork to clear the DOL. Ugh.

So, after sitting in the DOL office for just over an hour, they called me up to the counter, faxed the documents into the head DOL, and told me that it would be 7-10 days. Crap. I wanted to throw myself to the floor and have myself a good old fashion toddler temper tantrum. I didn’t, of course, but the feeling was more than there. I’ve been checking the website every day since. This is utterly frustrating.

One thing that has come out of not being able to drive, with spending so much time alone at home, in my garden and hanging out with the dogs, is that I have discovered I don’t really want to drive for Uber. I think I have come to realize that it causes me to be in a high stress state most of the time, despite feeling like the social anxieties have been tempered a bit. Now, to figure out how to bring in money in a different way so that I can continue to make the weekly car payments on the Prius.

Once I have my license back, I will continue to drive for Uber until I can figure out how I am going to make this happen and while I’m starting to make it happen – don’t quit the job you have until you have found a new one to replace it. I’m not sure what this looks like, the new job, but I’m figuring it out. I’d like to find something that is still super flexible, though I’m doubting it will be quite as flexible as driving for Uber.

My gardens are coming along quite nicely. I have transplanted some of the sunflowers into the stump garden area. Though I’m not certain how well they will do there due to the more acidic Ph of the soil, but I’m remaining confident that I can make this work. That is, if I can successfully deter the recent squirrel we have acquired.

Dastardly Squirrel

Dastardly Squirrel

A few days ago, I saw a squirrel eating out of the bird feeder I have hung up on the tree in the stump area. I get that this is normally a source of contention with most people, but, since I haven’t seen a single squirrel in our yard since we moved here over two years ago, I was excited to finally have one in our yard. “Eat away” was my thought. I was excited and happy to finally have a squirrel in my yard.

In the past, when we have had regular squirrels visiting our yard, we have welcomed them. Sure, they like to eat all of the bird seed put out, but we were ok with that, somewhat, and would buy squirrel feeders and food for them. We have even gone as far as to name the different squirrels. I’ve never had any problems with them, but, then again, I didn’t have gardens they could destroy.

After discovering our new ‘neighbor,’ getting excited about its arrival, I discovered later that day that the little creep was chewing my sunflowers off at the bottom of their little stalks in an attempt to drag them away, either to eat in private or as nesting material. The first day, he/she managed to kill 6 sunflowers! Yesterday, I woke up, made my coffee, and wandered out to the stump garden to take a look around and busted the little bandit attempting to escape with one more sunflower. I was so mad!!!

I pointed out the creature to Mr. Brucie Bruce and told him to get to work. Brucie laid a little bit away from the tree, watching the squirrel, the squirrel yelling at him from the safety of a high branch the whole time. I went straight to my computer to look up how I deal with this latest challenge. I was not going to lose all of my sunflowers to this heathen.

What I found online, mostly, was stuff that I just didn’t want to do – traps, granules you shake on the ground that have to be reapplied after it rains, sprays you make or buy that also must be reapplied after it rains – just not what I was looking for or instilled much faith in their abilities. Then I came across an article that told me little rodents, such as squirrels, HATE the smell of marigolds. I Googled marigolds and squirrels and found other sites that backed the first article. (sorry, I did not keep track of the articles and/or sites I visited. I was in war planning mode, and that was more important at the time). I went up to Wal-Mart and bought 42 marigolds. (this may sound a bit much, but, like I said, I was in war planning mode).

I came home, transplanted more sunflowers into the now vacant spots, then planted marigolds next to every sunflower in the stump garden. So far, so good. I did not find any sunflowers chewed off this morning, though I do keep going out and checking about once an hour. Yeah, I’m a bit over vigilant about this, but I have been working really hard to get the stump garden going and I’m not about to let some rat with great PR and a bushy tail get the better of me and my hard work.

I’ve transplanted all of the lupine to their new homes in both gardens. Its been about 5 or so days and they all seem to be doing very well so I believe the transplanting did not damage their tap-roots. YAY! I put some in the stump garden where the tulips were and some in front of the Hollyhocks. I can’t wait until mid-Summer when everything is in bloom. Both gardens should be very beautiful. I’m so excited!!!!

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Transplants, Blooms, and Getting My License Back…

I have had so much time to just dawdle in garden this past week!! I am definitely loving being able to wake up and just wander out to the gardens and do whatever I feel needs doing or whatever it is that is actually in need of attention, without worrying about time. The sun was out all week, which, of course, just adds to the whole thing.

I've transplanted some pumpkins into their kiddie pool garden :)

I’ve transplanted some pumpkins into their kiddie pool garden:)

The sun is gone this week, with our temperatures plummeting from the 80’s to the mid/upper 50’s to lower 60’s. I think its going to be the type of Summer where temps go back and forth from super warm and sunny to rainy and much cooler. The pattern seems to be establishing itself. I could be wrong. We shall see.

The first Bachelor Button bloom of the year!!

The first Bachelor Button bloom of the year!!

My Alium isn't looking too happy where it is, but its still blooming!

My Allium isn’t looking too happy where it is, but its still blooming!

Whatever the weather has planned for us over the next few months, my plants seem to be loving the current conditions – bulbs are popping up, things are starting to bloom, and veggies are pushing their little bodies up toward the sun. I am loving that. Oh, how I love this time of year, with all of its growth and promise of more.

In my excitement with how everything is doing, I have possibly started way more plants than I have room for or the ability to take care of. I have offered up pumpkin plants to the neighbor and my best friend, so the extras on that have found homes. I’m starting to think I may have planted too many sunflowers, as well. I know. TOO many sunflowers?? Is there such a thing? Obviously, not in my book, regardless of room or available pots/dirt.

My Lupine sprouts...

My Lupine sprouts…

I started to transplant my Lupine yesterday. Yes, I know you are not supposed to transplant Lupine due to its tap-root, but mine are small enough that I don’t believe their tap roots are developed enough to be damaged by the move. Fingers are crossed!

So, it has become apparent to me that I did not explain very well the whole Lance’s accident in October, insurance company (State Farm), and my license being suspended thing. I’ll try to clear things up.

In October, Lance got into an accident: he hit another vehicle. Lance has had a suspended license for quite a few years due to unpaid tickets. All of the vehicles we own are in my name so he can still drive to work with his tools and with a reduced risk of him being pulled over since if the plates on the vehicle are ran, it comes up as me and licensed. Risky, not ideal, I know, and it’s not the way I like things to be, but this is part of just trying to keep things moving forward in my world. Unfortunately, since he is unlicensed and the vehicle is in my name, financial responsibility falls on me, not him, in the eyes of the law. That said, financial responsibility for the accident he got in is mine. State Farm, the insurance company of the vehicle Lance hit, is very rigid on their payment plans for paying off a debt owed to them due to an accident with one of their clients. The amount they want down to start payments and release my license so I may have it reinstated is a lot: $850. Since that amount is not something I can easily put together in my world at this time, my license was suspended.

I did not receive notice of the suspension, but found out about it when I went to the military joint base to pick up a pass to get on base so I could pick up a Uber client. Thankfully, I did not find out my license was suspended with a client in the car. It was a shock and quite devastating to find out.

I called State Farm to find out how to set up payments with them and get documentation stating that a payment plan had been agreed upon, signed by both State Farm and myself. The documentation is what I need to take to the Department of Licensing in order to reinstate my license. Since State Farm is completely inflexible about payment plans that include documentation, it looked like I was not going to be able to get my license back any time soon. This would mean returning the Prius, since I would not be able to drive for Uber, which is how I make my weekly car payment and my insurance payment. Quite honestly, my license being suspended could affect a whole lot of my life.

After sitting with this for about a week, and not being able to find a viable solution, I was beginning to lose hope in a whole lot of areas. I have worked really hard to get things going in a positive direction. Part of that has been working on my credit. Having to return the Prius would not reflect well on my credit. Neither would Xchange Leasing having to come take the Prius back due to non-payment. I really felt stuck. Really stuck.

My mind kept working on the problem, trying to come up with a solution that wasn’t going to just make things even worse in the long run, when one possible solution came to me: perhaps I could borrow the money from the guy (Cayle) I do move out cleans for. This possible solution was something I really had to sit with for a minute. I wasn’t exactly comfortable with the idea of asking Cayle for a loan. It’s not that I thought he would be unfair with the terms or outwardly judgemental, but more about adding this into our business relationship. Plus, would the payments I would have to make to Cayle eat too much into our ‘staying alive’ income was something I really had to consider. I gave Cayle a call.

We spent about an hour talking about it. I explained what had happened and what I needed, moneywise, to get things rolling, again. We discussed the loan, what payments would look like, what this loan would look like with interest and all that, and what was fair to both Cayle and myself. I needed this conversation to determine whether or not it would be a wise choice of action to take a loan from Cayle. After talking terms and all, we went ahead with the loan. I borrowed enough to get payments with State Farm going with documentation, reinstate my license, and to make a car payment since I am, as of today, two payments behind. I’ll have to spend a lot of time driving for Uber to get completely caught up, but making the one payment eases the load a little bit.

So, today, after I finish this post, I am calling State Farm to get the ball rolling. Provided everything goes well, I should have my license back by the end of day tomorrow, which means I will be able to start driving for Uber, again, along with all of the other benefits to my world having my license back brings with it. Again, this is not an ideal situation, but it is the best I could come up with to keep things continuing to move forward in my world…left foot, right foot, repeat.

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