Friday, November 28, 2014


There it is, the damaged tire from Thanksgiving Eve.  S is out right now looking to find a replacement.  As you can see the tread is pretty new, which makes the situation fairly curious.  We can't remember exactly when we bought the tires, but it wasn't more than 3 or 4 years ago, and certainly less than 25,000 miles.
After this week of eating I am excited to start the new workout program a friend selected.  Sunday we had a feast with my parents, we failed to remember to send home leftovers with them, so minor feasts Monday thru Wednesday, and then a grand feast at S's moms house with a full dozen relatives!  We've had the traditional turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and pumpkin pie as well as the less traditional squash fries, brussell sprouts, and walnut/cranberry pie.  We've had pea and cheese salad, apple fluff, cherry pie, prune cheese ball, and multiple gravies.  We may not need to eat again until Christmas!
It really was great to see so many of our family members.  S and his siblings hardly ever gather in the same room, so it was fun to see them interact.  The cousins all got along famously - especially considering they only met this week.  VF was running around like a wild child wanting to play with everyone.  She had pillow fights in the TV room, dance party in the sitting room, and treasure hunting with GJ in the basement.  She learned that going bump, bump, bump, down the stairs is fun, and that squirrels like to eat peanuts.  She gave hugs to everyone, and was in such a winning humor all day that her uncle commented on how she "never cries."  All in all, it was certainly a reminder to be thankful for the important things in life.  I hope all of you had wonderful Thanksgivings, shared with a loved one, and ending with full bellies.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Eve

Last night the family loaded into the family car (ok station wagon) and headed out for Ottumwa to have Thanksgiving at GJ's house.  Pretty straightforward - right?  Should take about 2 hours, but with a bit of snowfall we were prepared for it to take a bit longer, but not nearly as long as it ended up taking!!  Between Williamsburg and Belle Plaine our car started making a funny noise.  At first we thought it could just be the snow covered road.  Ah, wishful thinking.  As the noise suddenly got worse, and as S reports, the car started pulling to the right we reluctantly pulled over.  Upon inspection the front right tire had blown.  S industrially pulls out the donut and starts changing the tire while I pulled out the insurance cards to try and contact our Emergency Roadside Assistance.  With a bit of help S got the jack under the car and we were thinking it would be smooth sailing to finish changing the tire, when there was a setback.  The aluminum lug nut wrench cracked when trying to remove an especially tight nut.  When S would apply pressure to it now it would simply spin because it would separate.  Good thing ERS was working on finding us a hero.  The rest of the story is pretty boring.  Sit for 1 hour while ERS calls around to find someone.  Sit for 45 minutes for the guy to get here.  Sit for 15 more minutes while he changes the tire.  I will say that for that especially tight nut he had to go back to his truck and get a wrench with about 2 to 3 feet of leverage to get the torque to move that nut!  Thanks BJ's towing!  Kevin we appreciate you!

Lessons learned?  Have a 4 way lug wrench in your car - don't count on the crappy factory one.  (Technically V learned this lesson years ago in car care awareness class, (Thanks Cassill Motors) and she told S to buy her one.  He didn't.)

Also you know those mile markers that have posts with reflectors between them?  Well those posts have the mile marker on them as well.  So if you are on the side of the road just find a post and you will know exactly where you are.  They are every 300 feet so you wont even have to walk very far.
I'll update with a picture of the tire later - Happy Thanksgiving!!!