It's a new year, and there have already been ups and downs. But that, dear reader, is life in a nutshell, isn't it?
Bad News First
After waiting nearly two months for the new 2023 Honda Civic Sport to arrive at McCarthy Honda last Saturday, we were excited to pick it up. A brand new car to lease, and just in time for my husband's birthday. How nice would that have been?
But apparently the new game (or maybe its an old game, I'm simply not familiar enough with leasing/purchasing cars to know) is to hike up the price at the last minute claiming your credit score has changed. I know it hasn't because I'm notified any time it goes up or down. Nice try, McCarthy Honda.
Money has always been a trigger for me. The absolute worst thing you can do is change a price on me at the last minute. I'll walk away, no matter how much I want something. Screw that.
So, no second car, well, technically third car. We still have a 20-year-old Honda Civic. It needs some work, either a new battery or possibly a starter, since we have to jump it anytime we want to use it. I had hoped to fix it up and pass it on to the teen, and we still might, but my husband and I are definitely going to be sharing the "new" 2020 Mitsubishi Mirage for now.
That's okay. It really is. It means we have another $375 per month to sock away towards renovations on Cottage East, which hopefully will see some major movement this year with a projected completion date of September 2024. Silver lining, folks, silver lining.
The other loss? My wonderful vintage stove that we had over in Cottage West. Recent gas line replacements coincided with the smell of gas in our short-term rental house. When a guest commented on it, I called the utility company figuring there had to be a loose connection somewhere. Nope, there was a part going out in the guts of the oven that meant the main pilot light kept going out, which meant gas leaking into the building. No bueno, and really no way to fix it. We don't have access to 90-year-old Roper stove parts. So down it will go to our basement for now. And our old glass-top electric stove has been moved in. My husband should finish the wiring for that today.
Once again, I find a silver lining. Yes, I lost a really cool vintage look, but I gained a fully functional stovetop and oven. With the vintage Roper, guests could use the stovetop, but not the oven, since the part that regulated the temperature no longer functioned. So now, they get a fully functioning stove and oven and that equals more value for their money. A fully functional kitchen - stove, oven, refrigerator, microwave and toaster oven. And not just that, but around one foot more room. The old stove was around 11 inches wider than a standard stove. My wonderfully smart husband managed to adjust the plumbing at the sink and we pushed the entire sink cabinet over a foot, giving a wider pathway into the hallway. Perfection!
Morning Pages and More
I set a second goal at the beginning of January to write a minimum of 500 words every single day this year. Yesterday, I nearly fell off of the wagon and missed a day. I had hit a rough spot in a short story in progress and didn't know where to go with it. The disappointments of the day, the need to sidestep and take care of business, and an overly cluttered house all contributed too. I ended up turning away from the story The Earth Sees Me, and turned instead to Subtropolis, both of these stories are in G581: Plague Tales, my current work in progress. I managed to crank out 531 words and call it done for the day.
Today, first thing this morning as I was writing my Morning Pages (Google Julia Cameron and Morning Pages if you are unfamiliar with this term) and I wrote, "Feeling stuck in the short story The Earth Sees Me..." Suddenly, as if a switch had been flipped, I knew exactly where to go with the story. So much so, that I immediately detailed it in the Morning Pages and then took notes in Scrivener so that, after I press Publish here, I can go and finish it.
This feels rather magical, honestly. I sit down each morning with maybe a sentence in my head, maybe an idea or two of what I want to write about, but usually not even that. Each morning I find myself thinking, "Today I won't know what to say, I won't be able to fill three pages full of thoughts, ideas, plans and more. Today I will fall short. What in the hell am I going to write about for three pages?"
And every day, at least, so far, I fill up those three pages. And what's weird, or maybe I should say surprising, is that I find little nuggets of gold in it. Ideas, solutions to problems, insight. I don't sit down with an itinerary, but I often walk away with a concise idea of what needs to happen next. And that's huge, folks. HUGE!
So anyway, that's enough for today. I'll leave you with this cool meme...
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