When Life Hands You a Guardrail…

You get a new motorcycle, right? No? You mean life hasn’t handed you a guardrail lately? Or ever? Yeah, me either, at least not literally. I guess that’s a good thing!

motorcycleBut a few weeks ago, that’s exactly what happened to my husband. He was riding his motorcycle to Washington D.C., a trip he makes every year around this time. He still isn’t sure, but figures he must’ve hit an oil slick or something, because he went around a curve just outside of southeast Ohio, and the bike’s back wheel slid out from under him. He jumped off just in time to avoid being pinned against the guardrail.

It was just one of those freaky things that could happen to anyone. My husband is a very skilled and experienced rider–he even did if for a job for a while (funeral escort), in all kinds of weather and conditions, so he knows what he’s doing. His ankle was twisted up quite a bit and he suspected he had some cracked ribs, but he and his friend managed to extricate the bike from the guardrail, tie up the broken trim and lights, and…

He rode the rest of the way to Washington. And three days later, rode back home, over 700 miles. When he (finally) went to the doctor, they x-rayed him and said he had three broken ribs.

Despite the bike being perfectly rideable, the insurance company totaled it, so that day, he ordered a new one. A 2014 Ultra Limited–exactly what he wanted–had just come off the truck at his dealership. He picked it up last week.

Most people thought he was nuts. (Okay, this is not unusual.) Mostly, for riding all the way to DC and back with broken ribs. A few were surprised he bought a new motorcycle again so fast. But no one who knows him well is.

The bike is Harley’s top of the line model, and is of course very nice–cushy, smooth ride, and has everything you could want on it. We’ve been enjoying it a lot already!

Our daughter got a job. This might not sound like a big deal, but…she’s 18. And has no work experience except for a couple of months working in the dining hall on campus this past school year. So, the job market being what it is for that age group, she’s put in at least three dozen applications since February for a summer job. Not one nibble. Not even from the restaurant in our neighborhood, the owner of which is friends with my husband. He liked that she had experience as a cashier (one of her dining hall duties), but didn’t have any openings.

Until last week. He called her on Sunday and asked her to start the next day.

We got another new storm door–this time for the front door. And–wait for it–yes, my husband installed it! After messing with the back door all weekend (it seemed), he decided the front storm door needed replacing too, and did just that. This time, he measured correctly, and it only took about three hours. It looks really nice, too!

crab boilOn Saturday, my husband and some friends threw a spontaneous crab-boil. We’d never done this before, but it turned out to be quite easy (especially for me, since he did it all 😀 ) and lots of fun! DH looked it up and found this recipe, bought the shrimp, potatoes, and sausage, and friends contributed crab legs, corn, and beer. It was delicious! Our daughter, who loves to cook and bake, made this amazing red wine velvet cake. Yes, you can taste the wine–there’s 2-1/2 cups of wine in it! (She has the cookbook linked from the blog, which is for a three-layer cake). The wine enhances the chocolate! The Mascarpone icing was awesome, too– the perfect topper to a perfect meal and a great time with friends. Best of all, there was very little cleanup.

What I read this week: Still working on the fantasy novel (it’s a long one), and still laughing at last week’s comment by Coleen Patrick linking “fantasy novel” with a nonfiction book for women and “the men who want to know what’s going on with (women).” LOL!

ROW80Logo175As for my ROW80 update, well, I missed Sunday, so that’s why I’m posting today. I did meet my writing goal, but spent the day at my brother’s with family to celebrate Father’s Day and my mom’s birthday, which is tomorrow (Wednesday)! Happy birthday, Mom!

Oh, for this coming week, going to shoot for 2,000 words, plus homework for the online  writing workshop I’m currently taking.

And for this week’s puppy picture, Isis in her latest napping spot:

Napping in shower

That’s a 36″ shower stall, so that gives you an idea of how big she’s getting. She went to the vet for a checkup this week, and already weighs over 30 pounds!

So, can you believe my husband took on installing another storm door? Ever had a crab boil, or red wine velvet cake? What do you do when life hands you a guardrail? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

When a Two-hour Job Takes Twelve

storm doorWe’ve all been there–somehow, a project that was supposed to be easy, turns out to be not so much. For us this week, that project came in the form of what we now refer to as the storm door from hell.

We needed a new storm door for a good couple of years now. Twenty years of Rottweilers banging on our back door had taken a toll on the one that came with the house, and it was literally falling apart. So my husband ordered a new one. It didn’t occur to him to ask me how to measure for it (in my previous life as a graphic artist, I designed advertising and related materials for the home improvement industry). It apparently didn’t occur to the salesman from whom he ordered the door to ask either, even though DH mentioned that he’d never done this before. The salesman assured my husband that it would be easy to install, and should only take a couple hours.

You can guess where this is going. Yup, DH got the hinge frame in, the door hung, and… it was too wide. He’d ordered a 32″ door, and we needed a 30″ one. Worse, it was a special order door, so there was no returning it, even if he hadn’t already drilled holes to mount it. He’d also chosen a very nice, top-of-the-line, most likely to be Rottweiler-resistant one, so it cost a bit too much to just toss or give away (or sell cheaply). The other thing is, when my husband decides to do something, he is nothing if not determined…

We ended up going back to the store for lumber, and bolting another frame onto the exterior of the existing one–fortunately, there was room inside the brick edge. There’s a gap around it, but it’s on the back of the house that few ever see.

But we weren’t done yet. Even after we got the frame right (this took several tries), that door fought us every step of the way, it seemed. My husband had to go buy a larger drill bit to install the handle, and even after that, the handle didn’t go on right. There was a big gap at the bottom of the door, and the expander was barely large enough (this had been the case with the old door, too). Because of the way we’d had to frame the door, my husband had to chisel out sections of the old door’s frame to install the brackets for the closers.

But finally, we got it in there, and it is a nice door.

81Y7zQElrfL._SL1500_What I read this week: I’m Too Young for This by Suzanne Sommers.  Here’s the description from Amazon: Why Wait to Feel Good Again? If you’re in your thirties or forties, your body is changing, and so are your moods, sleep, health, and weight. Tired of being at the mercy of your hormones? Armed with the knowledge in this book, you don’t have to be. Perimenopause can be enjoyable if you know what to do. I’m Too Young for This! details how you can get your body and mind back on track, safely and without drugs.

I’ve read a few similar books, and this is definitely worth looking into (and I am). This book is written in conversational, easy-to-understand language, with a bit of humor too. Recommended for any woman in this age group or older, or the men who want to know what’s going on with them!

I am also reading a fantasy novel, but didn’t finish it, so will blog about it when I do.

ROW80Logo175ROW80 Update: Writing went well this week. I kept up with my workshop, figured out my ending, and wrote 1700 words. Still not a lot, word-count-wise, but exceeded my goal, so that’s a win! This week, I want to do the same, preferably more, but I don’t want to push it just yet.

And now for the obligatory puppy picture, because you can never have too much cute:


What about you–what have you taken on that should have been easy, but wasn’t? Have you read any good books lately? Do you think Isis is ready to get her driver’s license? If you’re participating in ROW80 or set your own weekly goals, how are you doing with them? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.