Monday, January 28, 2013

Nearby Adventures

Greg and I went to Inman today to try out the Harvest Cafe. It was wonderful. We will be going again for sure.

The plan was to head back after lunch, but we ended up going a different direction. One of the many things I love about being able to work mobile!

It was a beautiful day in the mid-seventies temperature wise. So, it was a shame to not go enjoy it.

Somewhere along the way I took this snaphot because it struck me as a "typical" Kansas scene. In reality, these views of uninterrupted horizon are getting rather scarce in many parts of the state. There's usually a structure, some power lines, or something else made my humans in view.

It could be argued the cultivated field is also made by humans, as well as being cleared of trees by them, but I'm going to overlook that little detail and enjoy a relatively natural scene.

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Redefining Normal

We went to dinner tonight at our favorite local diner. We decided to sit at the counter and during the meal heard a commotion behind us. A gentleman had gone to move his chair out of the way of someone passing by and had toppled off of a small step. When he got up, it was clear his fingers were broken. Maybe he had had them on the edge of the chair as he fell over in it, and they were crushed, but I'm not sure.

He was incredibly stoic. They were bent backwards and he was bleeding. I know it had to hurt. I asked if they wanted us to call 911 and his wife said she would take him but they needed to pay. I told them to just go, we'd take care of that. The restaurant just comped their food, but I didn't want them to waste any time getting some medical care.

It reminded me just how we never know what will happen at any given moment. Never.

I'm sure they were just planning on having a meal out, maybe with plans for some other errands. And the next thing they know they're on the way to the ER. Hopefully he won't have any permanent damage, but I know that must have been really painful. And not having use of his right hand for some period of time is certainly going to be difficult.

We go through our days expecting everything to be "normal." We make plans for tomorrow and next year and retirement. In reality, any moment could be the last we know before having to redefine "normal." 
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Friday, January 18, 2013

New Car

I have a new car. I didn't really want to get a new car, but learned before Christmas that my car really shouldn't be driven at highway speeds anymore. So, I had to do something.

I rented a car for the trip to Kentucky for Christmas and did some shopping around there and online. I even went to Nashville to drive a Smart Car. They're so darned cute and I really liked it. But, they're only rated at 40 mpg and the Honda Civic is 39 mpg.

In fact, it seemed all roads keep leading me back to the 2012 Honda Civic. I didn't start out to get that particular car but it just kept coming up. So, I now have one.

Before Christmas they were offering lease deals on these that were really appealing, with about $2,000 down and about $200 a month. But a local dealer was wanting to get the 2012s off their lot so much that they offered the same deal minus the $2,000 down. After much research, and talking to other companies, no one could beat the deal they were offering, so Wednesday afternoon we did the deal.

Greg went with me so he could drive the other car back for me (and of course take photographs!). The car is so old and has so many miles they couldn't offer me anything substantial in trade on it. It would be a great car for a high school kid who just needed to get to and from school or something similar. Maybe the perfect solution will come along. I'm thinking maybe I'll donate it if nothing else comes up.

Anyway, I'm very happy to have this decision done for the moment. It was taking up way too much of my mental energy thinking about this for the last month. It's done for now!

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Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Days and the Ideas

I am blessed these days to have opportunities to work on projects I really love. Most of them involve a lot of computer time - writing, social media, etc. I've also been working on some other website projects of my own. All of these have left me less energy for blogging here.

It's a pity, because delightful, fun things continue to come into my world, and I'd love to share them all. But, I'm adding more snippets to Facebook these days just because it's easier. Please feel free to connect with me there.

This is also a time when I've been sorting through things in my house and finding new homes for many of them. I have some ideas of things I want to arrange differently so I am working on that, too.

Meanwhile, my brain continues to spawn a thousand new ideas a day. I wish I had the time and energy to bring them all to fruition. Instead I'm sorting through them, deciding which are deserving of my attention. It feels unfair to have to leave some ideas unfulfilled, but necessary nonetheless.

Oh that I could just find a way to make more hours in the day!

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Monday, January 07, 2013

First Impressions... and Second Ones, too

Word came out today of a restaurant closing that we enjoyed going to. I'm sorry to learn of this, but it reminds me what a tremendous impact can be made on people from one bad experience.

This place became somewhat regionally famous for a few years and when visiting friends who lived in the area we would go. The food was good, and that's what kept us coming back. The atmosphere was okay but nothing spectacular and the service was the same.

Then one Sunday we decided to make the thirty minute drive over for lunch. We arrived to find a buffet of food that was nothing like what we'd previously had. It was barely edible, and the quality of a chain steak buffet place, if that. I don't frequent those places because I look at the buffet and think, "There are 400 things here, but nothing I want to eat." This was much the same, only without the selection. We all left hungry and paid about 1.5 times what we would have paid at a chain place. So, less selection and less quality, but more money.

And, the worst part of it was, our expectations had been dashed. We were expecting good food during the entire drive. We were preparing ourselves for something delicious. That wasn't what we found. We never went back. 

Was that fickle? Yes, absolutely. The public is fickle. If we'd had stellar service every time we'd been there would have been another draw. If the atmosphere was stunning we might have wanted to go back for that. But if the food is the thing and it's suddenly not good, there's no reason to go back.

Obviously, our very occasional visits of 3-4 people a few times a year, were not significantly affecting their bottom line. But, if that experience were repeated with dozens and dozens of people over many years, it would add up to a negative impact.

Everyone has a bad day, and goodness knows I've been the recipient of much grace from many people over the years. But this is a good reminder of how important it is to give people a great experience in every interaction with you.

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Sunday, January 06, 2013

Holiday Season Coming to a Close

I spent Christmas and New Year's in Kentucky with family. It was a nice time, and as you can see from the photo, we had a substantial snowfall there - about nine inches I'd guess. It was beautiful - big, puffy flakes that covered everything. Blissfully, we never lost power. But, we were snowed in on the farm for a few days. My brother got out with the truck, but I stayed put.

It was no problem at all except I had wanted to go to Nashville to drive a Smart Car and it delayed that until Saturday. On the upside of that, friends from Kansas City were in Nashville on Saturday so I got to have lunch with them.

The reason I wanted to go drive a Smart Car was that I learned right before Christmas that I need to replace my car. I ended up renting a car to drive to Kentucky because I didn't have time to do anything about that before then. Needless to say, this was not news I was happy to hear, but I'm sure the perfect answer will present itself.

I love the Smart Cars, but they don't get very good gas mileage as you'd expect. So, I think it's not the right choice for me. I'm considering if I want to buy something or lease. Not sure what to do, but I'll find something perfect.

During the holiday season I got together with six women I graduated high school with. Some of them I hadn't seen since graduation, none of them more recently than our ten year reunion I don't think. However, Facebook is a great way to reconnect with people. You do feel like you get to know people by being involved in their daily lives. One of the women was so kind to organize and it was great to see everyone. Usually when I go home I hardly leave the farm. It was nice to see people from high school, and in some cases from grade school. 

Now that 2013 is underway, I'm looking at what's around the bend. As usual I made no New Year's Resolutions, but did spend a little time thinking about what the next year should be. So many options. I am so blessed and so fortunate.

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