And The Universe Said “Here, Have Another”

I’m not going to lie, these days I get a little cranky when too much time goes by without the opportunity to make a little sawdust in the shop. As far as I’m concerned, that 300 square feet is officially The Happiest Place on Earth. (Note to self: You really need to get on the heat situation out there so that you don’t turn into a murder-your-face-off rage monster from a lack of shop-time this winter.)

With hurricanes and Halloween this week, I’ve been too busy battening down the hatches for the windstorm that hit us Tuesday, and then dealing with the aftermath in the form of a 24 hour power outage that resulted in having to flush the toilets with buckets full of water from the tub and cold sponge baths in a 50 degree house. So what I’m saying is, yes. Yes my life is as glamorous as you imagine it to be

Wednesday, after I did my usual passing out of candy to the trick-or-treaters routine (which usually results in at least one small child bursting inexplicably into tears), I drove home got out of my car, and heard this:


Yeah. You know that moment where you’re totally exhausted and nothing in the world sounds better than crawling into bed in your newly powered-on and heated-up house, but instead you end up dressed like a lumberjack laying underneath your car trying to figure out how the eff to remove the spare tire?


I revel in that moment.

Truly. And I mean, it sucks right? Nobody wants to be laying on their garage floor at midnight on a Wednesday pondering the mysteries of lug nuts. But I’ll tell you what, the Universe and I have a little agreement… right at the point where I think I’ve taken all I can take, when I’m saying I’ve done all that I can do, whatever fates govern things like houses and flat tires look at me and say, “Listen girl, this is not all that you are made of. You can handle more.” And then they give me another…


Another house. Another challenge. Another unexpected expense. (Hello, four new tires that I probably needed but was putting off buying so that I could get a generator.) Another problem to solve. Another project to start.

And every time the Powers That Be add one more thing to my plate, it reminds me how grateful I am. I’m grateful that my car essentially got a flat tire in my garage (instead of on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere). I’m grateful that I own a lot of tools. I’m grateful that I feel capable enough to handle any new challenge that comes my way, even when I’m a little frantic and tired and ready for a break.


I’m definitely grateful that I own purple uggs, which not only compliment my lumberjack outfit nicely, but are also good when you want to stand on a tire iron in order to loosen a lug nut. (Hey, it worked.)

But now… Now that the power is back on and the water is running and my car has four new tires, I’m really, really grateful that I get to take a nap. And then go play in my shop.

Happy Friday, Internet. Hope it’s full of sawdust, challenges, and awesomeness. And cookies.

25 Responses

  1. You make some good points here, particularly about the courteous venue for the flat. And I like your writing style (i guess it’s just your natural attitude) making a woe-is-me complaint sound so plucky and positive. I know that’s your whole joie de vivre, but it’s still somehow a pleasant surprise every damn time.

  2. I too own a yellow Xterra. And I will tell you one thing: Getting the spare out of an Xterra is a straight up bitch. I have been stranded in the outer realm of my city where cell service does not exist and AAA cannot be reached. Luckily obscenities cannot be heard either. What I am trying to say is: I totes feel your pain. I hope you had a bottle of wine waiting for you when you got inside your newly heated house.

    1. I definitely should have read the manual SOONER, I can tell you that. Least intuitive release of the spare tire ever. (But high five for yellow Xterras in all other respects.)

  3. I am a firm believer in the ‘life doesn’t throw more at you than you can handle’. It may take some creative accounting and/or wine, chocolate & tears, but you will get it all done.

    You’re awesome. 🙂

    1. Thank you! I like to think if you’re not at least a little uncomfortable, then you’re not giving it all you’ve got…

  4. Still remember the first flat I ever changed on a 1982 Datsun B-210. 15 years old with a mechanically challenged mother as a storm approached I did what you did. Stood on the tire iron and got the lug nuts loose one by one. If I don’t have a really long pipe the same strategy still applies today. Really enjoy your blog – kind of like a little present to start my day 🙂

  5. What DO you have in your veins? Red Bull? Espresso? Cuban coffee? I just read your “Pink Lunch” post and my awe of your energy went up more notches and, frankly, I didn’t think it could go any higher. Or else, I will have to conclude that you are also crazy…but crazy in a good way. I just wish you lived next door because I would so follow you around and touch you for DIY inspiration.

    1. Funny story, I gave up caffeine before I bought my first house (so almost a decade ago)… I think it’s like anything, I’m just used to the work! Plus I don’t have anyone to take care of but myself, so a lot of that extra “chores” time just goes to building stuff!

    1. I know, right? Even when I read “insert rod into hole above plate” I was looking under the car for some kind of metal plate. Took me like five minutes to realize they meant license plate.

  6. When my husband had his Xterra we had to change the tire once too. That spare is a pain in the ass. We had to get out the manual to find out that you had to take this little tool and stick it through the damn hole above the license plate just to drop the spare. I thought it was hilarious though that you had to stand on the tire iron. I did the exact same thing my husband looked at me like I was crazy but it worked.

    1. I think we could have a YouTube montage of people a.) trying to find that damn hole, and b.) all the stupid things you do to loosen a lug nut and get a tire off. I actually had to lay on the ground and kick the tire with both feet to get it off.

  7. And I suddenly realized that one DIY powertool addict saying that to another may leave your readers with the wrong impression. We are putting on fancy dresses, getting our gamble on, and letting rugged men buy us lots and lots of drinks in Vegas. There, point made.

    1. Ahahahaha. And here I thought I just got my first ever Vegas wedding proposal by a chick. I will totally put on a fancy dress with you and hit on dudes with beards, but I will not marry you Sarah, no matter how many beers we drink!

  8. I totally do the standing on the tire-iron thing. There is no other possible way for a girl barely over 5′ tall and w/ puny arms despite the fact that I work out to loosen those damn lug nuts. I actually do a little bouncing on it as well. Works every time.

  9. Generator fund for xmas maybe? I hope you get one soon I hate to think of you stuck without power out there, what will you do with no power tools?

  10. Hurray for naps! I wish I could take one. Instead we are driving 4 generators to the Jersey shore tonight.

  11. Your an inspiration… well, maybe not the purple uggs.

    I made an adapter to use with my cordless impact driver to raise and lower my spare tire. Make getting the spare out a lot faster.

  12. I should have added to my comment above. As a long time Red Cross Disaster Services volunteer I try to practice what I preach. Long term power outage and lack of water supply are the two biggest problems for the majority of people in a disaster. If everyone would keep a box of emergency supplies such as food, water, gas camping stove, etc., there would be far fewer people that would need our services. Even if you don’t have heat, you will likely be okay in your home as long as you have plenty of dry clothing and food. I always keep my emergency supplies stored in two foot lockers and my camping gear close by. If I do have to evacuate my home I just grab and go camping.

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I'm not interested in a mediocre life. I'm here to kick ass or die.