Cleaning house physically, emotionally, and mentally.

Last weekend daughter and I were in the Portland area for a half marathon. You can read about the first part of our trip here.

We had to be at the race before 7:30 so we were up early and hit the road. A few miles down the road, my TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system) light went on in the car.

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Oh crap! We cannot be dealing with a low or flat tire right now. So we kept driving and made it to the race. It was crowded and I decided to take a chance and try to find parking at the Start line. Hurray, perfect parking space.

Daughter got her race packet, met up with her friend, and off they went into the sunrise. Now I could deal with low low tire.

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I called AAA and they sent out someone to put on my spare. Then they told me where I could get the flat repaired. Of course the one and only pen I had to write down the address was dead. Great — is this how the rest of the day was going to go?

By now, I had to use the bathroom. I have not used a porta-potty for years, but that was my only option. Gross beyond belief! I would rather drop trou in the woods than use another porta-potty again.

Tow truck guy comes and changes the tire. Really nice guy. Race is near end and I get to see daughter cross the finish line — 1:53, in the top 20%.
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Race is done, spare tire is on, so we visited a nearby tulip farm. Beautiful tulips!
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Now we have to get the tire fixed so we can drive some 400 miles back home. Driving 55 MPH on a 70 MPH freeway is not fun. Where is the love and understanding from my fellow drivers? Anyway, we get to the recommended tire store and am told it will take all day because they are super busy. Not an option for us, so the tire guy suggested we try Walmart, just a mile up the road.

The WM tire guy was very nice and understanding of our time issue. So we left the tire, drove back to the hotel. Daughter took a quick shower and we checked out. And then back to WM. Tire was fixed and put back on the car — all for $10.

We officially hit the road around 1:30 and headed home, later than planned, but on 4 good tires. Arrived home just as it got dark.

And that is how Walmart saved the day. Thank you to the incredibly sympathetic tire guy who helped us out.

It is impossible to just sit in the recliner without having fur company.
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And then after the changing of the guard, it was bath time.

I am participating in the A-to-Z Challenge again this year. My theme is My Favorite Books. Most of the books I will be posting about, I have read more than once. After all, they are my favorites.

Q is for QB VII by Leon Uris.

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QB VII refers to Queens Bench, courtroom 7, a specific courtroom in England, where the last part of the story takes place. This historical novel concerns a libel lawsuit, Nazi concentration camps, a Polish doctor, and details the lives of those involved.

The book, published in 1970, is broken into sections, such as the lives of the defendant and plaintiff before the lawsuit, the defendant trying to prove his assertions, and finally the courtroom drama. And such drama!

I am a huge Leon Uris fan and have read most of his books. Exodus is a favorite too.

I am participating in the A-to-Z Challenge again this year. My theme is My Favorite Books. Most of the books I will be posting about, I have read more than once. After all, they are my favorites.

P is for The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.
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This huge book (800+ pages) is a historical novel about the building of a cathedral in 12th century England. Detailed character descriptions provides a vivid picture of life at that time in history.

I found the story very interesting and even though it is quite a long read, I could not put it down. And then I had to read the sequel, World Without End.

I plan to read his current series, the Century Trilogy. The first book, Fall of Giants, was published in 2010. The second, Winter of the World, came out in 2012. And the last one, Edge of Eternity, is due out this September. I have been waiting for it because I like to read them all in order, without interruptions. I plan to start them in July or August so I will be ready for the September unveiling.

Regardless of the Century Trilogy, if you are into historical novels, I highly recommend The Pillars of the Earth.

I am participating in the A-to-Z Challenge again this year. My theme is My Favorite Books. Most of the books I will be posting about, I have read more than once. After all, they are my favorites.

O is for One for the Money by Janet Evanovich.
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One for the Money is the first book of the hilarious Stephanie Plum series. This was published in 1994; the latest book in this 21 book series will be out in June.

Stephanie is a charming but inept apprehension agent, better known as a bounty hunter. The characters throughout the series are funny, sexy, weird, and lovable.

I have read all the books in the series, but the first handful are the best. There are some laugh out-loud moments that to this day make me chuckle.

I shot that sucker right in the gumpy.

I must admit that the series (for me) is getting old. I want some resolution in Stephanie’s love life. Be it Ranger or Morelli, just make a commitment.

But if you want several quick reads that leave you laughing and drooling (for Ranger), take some time and indulge in Stephanie Plum’s discombobulated life.

I am participating in the A-to-Z Challenge again this year. My theme is My Favorite Books. Most of the books I will be posting about, I have read more than once. After all, they are my favorites.

N is for Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert Massie.

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Tsar Nicholas Romanov and his large family was the story that paved the way for the Russian revolution. This historical fiction book was published in 1967.

Think Rasputin, Anastasia, and the little Tsarevich Alexei with hemophilia. The author had a personal interest in the royal disease hemophilia because his son, Robert Massie Jr., was diagnosed with the disease. The Massie family co-authored Journey, which details the family’s journey while learning to live with the disease.

Robert Massie, Sr. wrote other books about the Romanovs. His Peter the Great: His Life and World biography won a Pulitzer Prize in 1981.

If you have any interest into the fall of the Romanov empire, this is your must read book. And I also recommend reading Journey too.

I am participating in the A-to-Z Challenge again this year. My theme is My Favorite Books. Most of the books I will be posting about, I have read more than once. After all, they are my favorites.

M is for Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden.

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This historical novel, published in 1997, tells the story of a young Japanese girl and how she becomes a geisha. There is a great deal of cultural insight into geisha training.

Beautifully written, the book engaged me into a life completely unknown to me. Treachery as a means of survival is a common theme seen throughout the book which spans several decades.

This is a lovely book, and it was made into a beautifully-filmed movie. Read the book first, and then see the movie.

This is such a favorite of mine, even my daughter has read it more than once.

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