Monthly Archives: November 2019

The 100th Anniversary of My Dad

They say the third time is a charm.  I don’t know who “they” are, but I’ve started writing two previous times, and I just got stuck.  I want to share with you about the 100th anniversary of my dad’s birth, which was November 28.  I was getting bogged down in the story, and then last night I remembered what I learned in my coach training.  Don’t get bogged down in the story.  We don’t need the story—we need to know why the story is significant.

First, he was my dad, so that has significance for me.  But, of course, not much for you.  So here are a few things that made my dad unique:

  1. My dad was an immigrant.  He was born in a German community in Romania, and when he was 10 years old, he took the voyage over the Atlantic Ocean with his mother, and four younger brothers, where they landed at Ellis Island.  After their physicals and whatever else they had to do to be admitted to the United States, his aunt met them in New York, and they took a train to St. Louis, Missouri, where they met up with his father, who had prepared for their arrival.


    The Passport Photo

  2. My dad was the oldest of eight children, with seven boys born, before his sister was born.  I think that made him a born leader.  His mother required the boys to wash windows and scrub floors on a consistent basis.  Not only was their home clean, these boys didn’t have a lot of time for mischief, although, my dad did tell a few stories of boyhood mischief.  He also learned a good work ethic.

    Grandma & N clan

    The only photo I have of all the children with their grandmother.  Photo taken approximately 1939 or 1940.

  3. My dad worked for two defense contractors (Curtis Wright and McDonnell Aircraft) Andrew Nothum Army Pvtbefore being drafted into the army during World War 2.  He was a noncombatant, and served as a medic.  His basic training was in Miami Beach, Florida.  He was there for 18 months.  He then was sent to Spokane, Washington, and Riverside, California until he was deployed to New Guinea in the Pacific, where he was stationed until the end of the war.  I don’t know a lot about his army days, but he always thought that young men needed to serve time in the military because it would make a boy into a man (whatever that means).
  4. He was an entrepreneur, and started his construction business in the early 1950’s.  Most of his family of brothers were “self-made men,” who like my dad, “didn’t play well with other children,” and became their own bosses as business owners.  Not only were he and his brothers business owners, they were very successful in their careers.  The American dream was alive and well with this family.  They worked hard to accomplish all that they did.  My dad started small and grew, from park buildings, to  homes, and then to commercial buildings with his specialties being schools and churches.  One can still drive around the St. Louis area and see many of the buildings he constructed.
  5. My dad was complicated, and not an easy person.  I don’t know if it was because of his first ten years in Romania, his being an immigrant and teased at school, or what, but he was not an easy person.  His life focused on business more than anything.  He worked long hours, and because of that, was not involved in his daughters’ lives, such as school functions.  As long as my mom ran the house well, he was hands off in most of our upbringing.  I wish I had a dad more involved, but I did have a dad who supported us well.  We were well fed, had a really nice shelter over our heads, and he paid for our college educations.  I am not complaining at all, but balance would have been nice.


    The only photo I have of our whole family together, circa 1958

  6. My dad mellowed as he got older.  He was widowed at age 74.  He once commented to me that he would not have known how to cook and clean if my mom had not been sick for years.  It was skills he ignored in his young adulthood, which he had to learn later.  Well, maybe his mother, back in the day, taught him the cleaning skills, but he taught himself to be a pretty decent cook.
  7. When I look at photographs of my dad and his family, I am struck at how handsome
    Mathias N 17 yrs

    My dad’s father

    these brothers and their dad were.  I was told that my grandmother called it the “Nothum Curse” because women were always attracted to these handsome men.  There is a “Nothum look” that I cannot explain, but I see photos of cousins and their kids, and most of the boys have these handsome Nothum features.  I think it’s the eyes.

  8. I argued with my dad—a lot.  He was stubborn, and so am I.  We did not see the world the same way.  He had in his head what I should have been, and it was unspoken, but it was spoken when I wasn’t what he thought I should be.  There was a period of time where I didn’t like him at all.  I didn’t think he had my best interests in mind.  Maybe I needed to go into the military so I could have grown up faster.  Over the years I realized that in his way, he had my best in mind.  He didn’t know how to kindly share his dreams for his daughters, and was good at telling us what we did wrong instead of praising us for what we did right, but all in all, he really did want the best for us.  As I have gotten older, I have forgiven him for not being able to express that to us.

My dad passed away in 2010.  He was a few months over 90 years old.  He remarried after my mom died.  He was married to my mom for 53 years, and his second marriage lasted for eleven years until his death.  He moved to Arizona after my mom’s death, where two of his brothers lived.  He outlived those two brothers.  In fact, he outlived all but the three youngest siblings.  

What did I learn from this man?  Some lessons were learned through the negative example, and others through the positive example.

  1. I learned that positive words to my children build up their spirits, rather than telling them what they do wrong.  They, as I did, know what we do wrong.  We don’t need to beat ourselves up any more than what we already do to ourselves.  Because of continually feeling judged by him, I committed to myself to love my children unconditionally.  I don’t always agree with them or their choices, but that does not change my love for them.
  1. Working hard will bring its rewards.  My dad was poor as a child.  He worked hard, started his own business building bathrooms in parks, until he was a player in the commercial building business.  
  1. My dad was self taught—he only went through the 8th grade.  He was smart, and never quit learning.  We had a set of World Book Encyclopedias in our home when I was in grade school.  Every so often he would tell me to go to the bookshelf a pull the letter “B” or another letter of the alphabet—that’s how the encyclopedias were.  Everything you ever wanted to know about anything that started with that letter was in that particular book.  He would sit and read the whole book.IMG_0006
  2. My dad had a crazy sense of humor.  I think along with looking like his side of the family, I got his off the wall humor.  I don’t particularly remember any jokes he told, but he could always make everyone laugh at his antics.


  3. My dad was good at carrying through most promises he made, except for the little stuff he told us as kids.  It may not seem like much, but my dad promised two things we never saw.  The first one was a swing set, and the second one was a playhouse.  He was a building contractor and he would draw pictures of

    My son proudly on his swing set.

    a playhouse, and we would ohh and ahh over the drawings and promises in our heads, but those two things never happened.  When I had my first child, my sister reminded me of the swing set promise, and said she made dad honor it, so I called and asked for the swing set.  The next thing I knew, we had a swing set in our back yard.  I learned if I tell my children if I am going to do something, I just better do it.  Sometimes, I waited to the last minute, because I didn’t want to promise them anything I couldn’t deliver.  So, if I planned a special outing, I didn’t talk about specific plans until I knew we could make them.  I hope I was 100% consistent at this, but I may not have been.  I did my best, and still try to do my best with my kids and grandkids to deliver on my promises.

It is hard to believe if my parents were still alive, my mom would be 101, and my dad would be 100. I have become the “old” person now that they are gone.  That’s such an odd feeling.  Yesterday I was young, and then I woke up and wasn’t!  I still wonder how these years went so quickly.  

I don’t know what my family will say about me when I am gone.  I don’t know if I will have the privilege to become a centenarian.  I don’t know if I will depart this earth much sooner than that.  I just know our parents have an impact on our lives way past their departure.  I suggest to you, as I continually ask myself, what am I leaving for my kids and grandkids to remember about me?  Does my behavior teach them lessons in a positive or negative way?  Something to think about . . . .


The only photo with just me and my dad.

Children with Cancer

Being 70 years old, I see a lot of friends becoming sick.  I recently wrote about losing so many of my classmates.  Although this is sad, nothing bothers me more than hearing about children who are critically ill.

I have been very fortunate that there has been very little major illness in the children in my family and extended family.  I have a nephew, when he was 18 months old, contracted spinal meningitis, was in the hospital for an extended period of time, in very grave condition.  When he recovered, it was discovered that this illness had robbed him completely of his hearing.  He became profoundly deaf.  I know that at first this was quite a challenge for my sister and her family.  He just turned 50 years old this month, and although, he cannot hear, he is a healthy person with a career in IT, married, and the father of five children.  That was the most of any serious childhood illnesses that hit our family.

SAMSIn 2013, I married Dennis and moved to Fulton, Missouri.  Shortly after our marriage, I attended a neighborhood meeting.  One of the neighbors told me that the family next door to me had a child who had been diagnosed with cancer, and they were out of town for his treatment.  I never met Sam.  He passed away from this dreadful disease in 2014.  During Sam’s many hospital stays, he was always focused on the other children in the hospital.  This boy had such a tender heart.  He always prayed for them, and he wanted them to be comfortable.  After his death, his mom, dad, and twin sister start a foundation called, Super Sam Foundation, for fighting childhood cancer.  This sweet family, who just wanted to live a “normal” life, became the catalyst for a foundation that comfort packssupplied comfort packs for sick children, their siblings, and their parents, because it was Sam’s wish to take care of “all the kids.”  Not only that, this small family from this small town, won the hearts of the community and the surrounding communities.  They sponsored a 5k and 1 mile fun run, golf tournaments, corn hole tournaments, and an annual Hope Gala.  The foundation has raised money to actually fund research for childhood cancer.  It is an ongoing issue because not much funding is going to find a cure for childhood cancer.  The foundation annually goes to Washington D.C. to meet with legislators to encourage them to raise the amount of money used for childhood cancer research.

This was new to me.  Through their Facebook page, I read about family after family in mid Missouri, all over the state, and even farther out, of so many children being diagnosed with cancer.  It is hard to read these postings of children in the fight, of parents doing everything they can do to get their child treated, and hoping and praying that their child can be healed.

ribbonIt is heartbreaking to see the the postings of children who have “earned their wings.”  They did not survive this terrible disease.  It is heartbreaking to read about a child who was in remission, to have the cancer return, and return with a vengeance.

I just had no idea that so many children, and so many families were having their lives turned upside-down because of this terrible disease.  Why are so many children getting this disease? When an older person gets cancer, our addle brains think that over the years they have lived in a hazardous area, or smoked, or had some high risk behavior that may have caused this.  But . . .  children?  They aren’t walking around smoking, or living a high risk life.  They are playing with their siblings and friends, going to school, and enjoying life as a child.  Then, BOOM!  They are healthy . . . until they are no longer healthy.

I don’t have answers.  I wish I did.  I do know we live in a broken world, and everything is broken.  So, people get sick, bad things happen everywhere, and I know that this earth is not my permanent home—my permanent home will be in God’s presence for eternity.  There will be no more sickness, danger, or death.  But for now, those things still happen.  



There is not much I can do.  The best I can do is help fund organizations like the Super Sam Foundation.  Five years later, the Santuff family is still fighting for “all the kids.”  What am I doing to help this fight?  What are you doing?  I do know this family is stronger today than they were 6 years ago.  But they are strong without one of their loved ones.  That shouldn’t happen.  

The other day I opened my Facebook account, and the Super Sam


Sam & Ava

Foundation had a post on their Facebook page, of which I am a follower.  Today posted was a paper that Sam’s twin sister, Ava, wrote about Sam.  I don’t know if it was a paper she wrote for school, or just one she wrote because it was on her heart.  It is a love story about Sam, and his super powers, and that in the end he is healthy in the presence of God.  It is probably one of the sweetest things I have read in a long time.  This girl is only eleven years old.  I cannot wait to read her book when she is an adult—she writes so well, and can teach us so much.  I got permission to post her paper.  Please read it.  Please think about how you want to fight this evil disease.  Please pray for all the kids and the families that are in the fight today, and really pray for those families who have a hole in their family with the loss of their child.  Here is Ava’s paper:

“Live On”

A Tall, yet all too real, Tale written by: Ava


1 S&A

Sam & Ava

There was once a great evil. It was almighty and everlasting. There was also a fun-loving, and pure hearted little boy, Sam. He was a normal boy, with a mom, dad, a twin sister, and a big family that loved him very much.

One day he was on an adventure, gathering black berries for his family. When he came home in his lightning fast race car he noticed he had something in his nose. He thought it was just a big booger, but it was nothing close to it. It was the evil. A shard of the evil had gotten into his nose.

After a couple days his family had decided to take him to see a wizard that would be able to help him with the shard of evil. The wizard told the boy that he had that shard of evil running through his body. He was very lucky though, because he had been brought in very early and that he was going to be okay.

The small but strong boy went into a room were a group of wizards would try to remove the shard from his nose.



Once he came out, he was good and healthy. It was all good again, and everything was normal again… until everything wasn’t.

He had found that the evil had spread to his bones. It was the start of the Great War, Good vs Evil. It would be Sam against the great evil that was lurking within him.

Sam had been in the battle for a couple months now. He was very strong and courageous. He also had friends, sidekicks, and his twin sister to help him fight. As if the fight wasn’t hard enough, the poison killing the evil was also killing his hair and energy.

1 Super Sam FSam had many superpowers. About half way through the war Sam had obtained the nickname of “Super Sam”. He was so smart he could solve any equation. His strength was incredible, he had the ability to lift up houses, buildings, and juggle them in the sky while flying. But the best super power he had was his ability to make his twin sister clean his room for him.

Super Sam was fighting so hard, he swinging his sword of blue flaming lightning, and it could slice through a great white shark like cutting paper with scissors. And firing his arrows that were so sharp they could shoot through twelve mountains. But it wasn’t enough. The evil had a secret weapon though, it was a snake, it was the size of a worm with venom that could kill armies and armies of men. It was invincible. But Sam had a way about him that was so stubborn that he wouldn’t let the worm sized snake win the Great War.

Ava w: signHe had beaten it. The pure hearted, strong and kind boy had won it. But it took such a great deal of energy to swing his sword of flaming lightning that he had to retreat back to the one he loves most, God. Super Sam was a hero to all who have known him. Sam was so strong and powerful and he was such a good person he deserved to go to a place with no suffering or pain, only joy and happiness.

And as for me, Sam’s twin sister, I can say that the Great War of 2014 was terrifying, but Sam was so brave and strong he rightfully won it. And now he deserves to be drinking orange smoothies and eating boxes and boxes of plain cheese pizza. Though my one minute younger brother went up upon the stars unlike I had expected, he still will always be in my heart. So live on Super Sam.

I hope this doesn’t seem shocking to you, but there are just too many kids suffering with this awful disease called cancer.  It needs to be stopped in its tracks.  I am grateful to the Santuff family for their commitment to fighting childhood cancer, and for being a source of encouragement to families going through this journey.

How can you help?

  • Pray for these kids.
  • Pray for these families, parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
  • Donate if you can to some organization that helps fund research and care.  If you don’t know one, try the Super Sam Foundation.

1 supersamlogo

My Computer Bit the Dust

I did it now.  I killed my computer.  I am mourning its demise.  When I bought this computer five years ago, I tripped in my living room, and the MacBook Pro flew from my hands and sailed across the room, and hit the floor.  It put a dent in the wood floor.  I was panicked.  I picked it up and carefully opened it.  It turned right on. It was alive and well.  Just like when we trip and fall, and bounce up and say, “I’m good.  No problem.”  This computer has served me well for five years.  I took it on every trip I was on.  I have 6 cloud computingwritten my blogs on this computer.  I connect with my friends through Facebook on this computer.  I had 38,178 photos, and 711 videos on this computer.  I had a multitude of music on it, the most downloaded from my personal cd’s, and the cd’s no longer around.

Fortunately, a few weeks ago, I was considering trading in my laptop and purchasing an iPad Pro.  It is smaller, and could do most of the things I do on the computer.  Dennis has a large screen iMac, and I made an account on his computer for me.   (That’s where I am typing now).  It’s totally separate from his documents.  Before I did this, I moved all my documents on the cloud.  We have a shared cloud with a ton storage,  it’s terabytes, but I don’t remember how many, but there is plenty of room for all of our documents.

gatewayMy first experience with personal computers was in the mid 80’s when my dad purchased a Gateway computer, manufactured from all places, Iowa!  Remember the Gateway computer?  It was shipped in boxes that were printed to look like Holstein cows.  They were great computers in their time.  Anyway, I was working on my Masters degree at the time.  I was poor, and a personal computer was not in my future.  I would write my papers, and then go to my parents’ home, and type it on my dad’s personal computer, with big floppy disks.  Then I printed the paper on a dot matrix printer that sheet fed paper that was perforated between sheets.  I thought this was really high tech.  I was always afraid when I typed on my dad’s computer that I would do something wrong and break it.  These contraptions were new.  My dad kept telling me I needed to learn DOS, and that was a foreign Unknownlanguage to me, and I never did, nor did I ever need that skill.  Personal computers became more simple so we average people could use them.

I had Macintosh computers since almost the beginning.  My oldest son got his first Mac or Apple computer when he was in high school.  He just turned 47 years old.  (That’s a whole other story how I could have a 47 year old son when I am only 45)!  In the quadraearly 90’s I bought an Apple Quadra 840AV.  That AV stood for audio/visual.  Yes, I could do video, but it was slow, it chugged its way through the program.  I also had a separate scanner, and in 1994, I made a 1995 calendar for my family.  Everyone was in awe that I could do this.  There were no calendar programs.  I made a video on it, and it took hours, and it crashed often, but it did the work.  It was new and inventive.  

In the late 90’s, I had a job that I was doing a lot of work in the Windows format, dellespecially Excel documents.  It was time for a new computer so I decided to purchase a Dell.  I could do work from home on Excel and Word.  Although, if I recall, I first had WordPerfect.  I loved WordPerfect, and to this day, I think it outshone Word, but it disappeared, and if you were on a PC, you had no choice but to be using Word if you wanted to do word processing.  What a funny term that we used to call, “typing a letter!”  I had this Dell for a couple years.  It was continually getting viruses.  It would bog colorfuldown.  It was just a horrible experience.  My sons, all Apple users, told me to go back and get another Apple computer and kick that Dell to the curb.

I didn’t have that pretty color (pick the color you wanted) Apple computer.  When I bought my first iMac, I was amazed that I didn’t have this ugly 1stMactower with the drives, and all the slots.  They were ugly and took up a ton of room.  My computer was one big screen, and everything lived behind that screen, including a slot for the cd drive.  (I miss those).  I liked being able to pop a CD or DVD into my computer.  That is gone.  We now download everything—I own it but I can’t put it in my hand.  It’s in that thing called the internet and the cloud. So that’s a photo of my “new” iMac.  The screen was thick. The 2nd one was much thinner with none of the slots in it any longer.  The monitors are now very large and thin and sleek.  A few years ago, I ditched desk top computers for the laptops, first the MacBook Air, and then the MacBook Pro.

So, the other day my MacBook Pro actually committed suicide.  It was on the sofa in our living room in Arizona.  All by itself, it jumped, okay, slid off, and the hinge side of the laptop hit the floor with a mighty “BANG,” and I knew, deep down–I knew, it was bad.  cryingWe have ceramic floors—nothing soft like carpet, or semi-soft like wood—just hard ceramic.  BOOM!  It was gone that quick.  Like a gunshot in the the heart of my laptop.  I was utterly heartbroken.  A few days before I went online with Apple’s trade-in site, and I could get $600 for my trade.  Just like that, at the blink of an eye, BOOM!  My computer is worth ZERO—did I say $0.00.  Nada.  Nothing.  A big giant paperweight.

I have not purchased a replacement yet.  The young man selling devices at the Apple store asked me what I use my computer for.  Let’s see — Facebook (of course, all grandparents are busy bragging and sharing photos of their precious darlings), Blogs.  That is the biggie for me.  I love writing my blogs.  I love playing with Photoshop, and adding graphics to my photos, and combining photos.  I always liked a good book with lots of pictures.  Graphics pull our attention back to the what we are reading, and I want lots of graphics on my blogs.  I guess you have noticed that already.  I told the sales person that someone suggested I get an iPad Pro with the pencil to do my blogs.  I’m not sure it is the best solution, but then maybe I am just connected to a computer device.  I do Excel spreadsheets for address lists, etc.  But, my husband has an iMac—the desktop computer.  I have an account on it.  My documents are in the cloud, and I can access them on any device.  

The decision has not yet been made.  I am not sure I want to do the iPad Pro.  It’s as expensive as the laptop.  Because I have a great phone for photos, email, and Facebook, I can go a week without making the decision.  On top of all that, it is mid November.  Christmas is just around the corner.  I am not sure I want to spend my money on me.  I have kids and grandkids I would like to spoil with the spoils of my past employment (retirement funds)!  It will take some thinking.  I am a techie girl, so the decision will need to be made soon.  If you have an iPad Pro and are using it in place of your computer, please comment below of how that is working for you.  In the meantime, I shall mourn the loss of my dear friend, the MacBook Pro.  You served me well until you thought it wasn’t worth living anymore—you cost me $600.  Maybe I shouldn’t mourn—maybe I should be angry at the selfishness of this laptop to destroy itself before I could trade it in.  Maybe it was mad at me because it knew I was considering setting it aside for a new model.  Maybe it thought I was an unfaithful owner.  Maybe I’m thinking too much about what a computer (who cannot think—I don’t think) is thinking!


Halloween Shopping For a BIG Treat!

house with thiefWhat a week I have had.  It started with the excitement of watching someone try to break into our home—from cameras looking at a Missouri home from our Arizona home.  If you did not read about it, you can click on this link “How Safe Is Your Home?” and see what happened.  That was Monday, and today is Saturday.

Halloween 1981We didn’t know what we were going to do about Halloween which was this past Thursday.  When we lived in Fulton, Missouri, our home was on a three acre wooded lot.  There were only about 20 homes in the neighborhood.  If there were any children living in our neighborhood, they went into town to Trick or Treat.  I am just guessing because in the six years I have lived in that house, we had no one knock on our door begging for a sugary treat.

Now we are in San Tan Valley, Arizona.  What were we going to do living in a neighborhood with thousands of Jack Niki 01home?  How many kids would come to our door?  Could we be prepared?  Do we even want to be prepared?

My last few years of being a single woman in St. Charles, MO, I quit doing Halloween.  The kids would start hitting the neighborhood before I got home from work.  My living room was in the back of the house, so every time a child rang the doorbell, I would get up walk C3BC3C87-32E8-4037-B040-57E00C627DB4across the room to the front door.  I couldn’t sit on the front porch because it wasn’t very big.  I didn’t know these kids or their parents.  The first year I was at this home, and the kids knocked on the door, I asked them for their story, joke, song, whatever, they did for their treat.  The just look at me like a deer in headlights.  Really?  When I was a kid, I had to tell a joke or do something for the candy given.  Yes, it was a quid pro quo Halloween, you give me something (entertainment) and I will give you something (candy).  By the way, quid pro quo is not illegal, depending on what you are asking for in exchange for something–just thought I would throw that out for those who are not familiar with the term other than in the news.  I just felt like the fun of day was gone.  Just knock on my door, expect me to give you candy, and you bolt, never to see you again until next Halloween.  That wasn’t fun.

Halloween has become such a huge holiday, even for adults, today.  Really?  I know, many of you love the costumes and the haunted houses.  Sorry, I just don’t get it.

Halloween-CandySo, now we are in Arizona, and we are in a family community, and neither of us are excited about what to do on Halloween.  We went back and forth.  Should we stay home, sit in lawn chairs on the driveway (once again a house with the living room in the back), and pass out candy to the hobgoblins who cross our path?  It’s not Missouri, so the weather would be conducive to sitting outdoors.  But, how much candy would we need?  There are 2,700 homes in our community, with sidewalks leading to our home!  Do we buy a ton of candy, and run out, or get left with a ton of candy we don’t need?  I know only two kids in our neighborhood, and they are really sweet kids, but I think they can handle the disappointment of our home being dark for the evening.

We decided not to do Halloween.  We would spend our day running errands, and go out to dinner and then a movie.  Of course, our plans never turn out quite as planned.  I was getting the maintenance done on my Lexus, and we drove to pick up my car.  Let me back up a bit here.  I bought my Lexus in Missouri, and it is housed here in Arizona.  My dealership in St. Louis was wonderful.  They answered all my questions, were kind and polite.  Last year on our way out, I had an issue with my airbags, and when I called Lexus, they told me to find the closest dealership, stop there, get this fixed before we travel any further.  We were a half hour out of Oklahoma City.  I called them, and they put me on their schedule.  When we arrived (during a major rain storm and flooding), the service manager put a note on the board that we were traveling through, and they took our car ahead of others, and within 10 minutes, found the issue—somehow we must have stuck something under the passenger seat, and dislodged the airbag sensor.  They corrected it for free, and we were out of there in 15 minutes.

On Monday we called for an appointment at one of the Phoenix Lexus dealerships, and they made me an appointment for 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning.  We arrived there, and you would have thought you were at the airport.  The lounge was filled with people.  After waiting about 10 minutes, the service writer came to find us.  He said that it would take a few hours to do this work, so he gave us a loner car.  He stated that the car should definitely get done by 3:00 p.m.  Wow!  Five hours to service my car?  

We decided that rather than going all the way home, almost an hour away, we would go to our favorite shopping area, walk around, get some lunch, and waste time.  Dennis suggested we see a movie, but the service writer had not yet called to tell me if there was anything else the car needed.  Finally, it is 3:00 p.m., and I have not heard from the service writer, so I called to see if my car was finished.  He told me to go on home, that I could get the car the following morning.  Wow, this is just the 40,000 mile maintenance.  At 5:00 p.m., he called me and said they just got my car in and went over what they found and recommended.  Okay, let’s back up again.  Lexus of Superstition Springs gave me an appointment for 10:00 a.m. for routine maintenance, and didn’t get it to a mechanic until around 4:00 p.m.  What is wrong with that?  Why would you give me an appointment for a time that apparently you know is hours away from working on the car?

One of the items he recommended, I was very reluctant about but said I could go with it.  He said he had to order it, but not until I paid in advance for it, and it would arrive within 10 days.  I just rolled my eyes (I was at home on the phone—he didn’t see) and said okay.  The next morning we are leaving for the dealership, and I sent him an email and told him we were on our way to pick up my car, and that I decided I did not want this other thing that would take 10 days, just wanted to pay for the maintenance.  When we arrived, I went to the cashier to pay, and she informs me I pay the service writer.  So, once again, I am waiting.  He comes out to get me, and he asks me if I got his email reply.  I had not looked at my phone.  Here is the kicker.  He stated in the email, and I will quote, “Too late. It’s already installed.”  Really?  I was told I had to pay up front for it.  He didn’t have my money—he should not installed it, but because it was installed, I had to pay for it.  The email, didn’t say sorry or any apology—just a “too bad, so sad” message.  Oh, he gave me a 10% discount, like that would mean anything.  I bit my tongue, and we bolted from that dealership.  

IMG_0390We went out to lunch, and then I told Dennis I wanted to go look at a RAV4 at the Toyota dealership.  It was a car I was thinking about, and I just wanted to look.  I told him, that we will go and look, and we will not buy anything.  I also said that we will not drink their bottled water because they put stuff in it to hypnotize you to wanting to buy a car (that’s a joke).

A young lady met us as we pulled in and asked how she could help us.  She took us over to the RAV4’s on their lot, and we talked about the bells and whistles I wanted in the car.  I do like bells and whistles!  Actually, I love technology, and I wanted a car with the latest and greatest technology.  She handed me the keys and told me to test drive it, and just keep it under 100!  

This car drove like a dream, and having a camera rear view mirror which actually showed not only the lane behind me, but on both sides, was most impressive.  There was so many things about this car that I loved.  We came back in, and she asked what it would take for me to purchase the car.  I wanted to know what they would offer me for my car.  I really wanted this number because I knew someone who told me he wanted to buy my car.  She came back with an offer, and we both shook our heads no, and thought we were done.  She once again asked the question, turned the paper around to us and handed a pen to write in what we wanted.  I handed the pen to Dennis, and he wrote a number that I thought was pretty crazy.  Her eyes got big, and she wasn’t sure if that was possible.  Well, they lowered that trade requested by $2,000, but deleted $2,000 from something else so that the price would be what the bottom line was that Dennis had written down.  Now she was ready to make the sale.  I got panicked.  I had told this other person that he would have first option on my car.  I had to get ahold of him.  The sales lady looked confused because she just gave us an offer we couldn’t refuse.  Dennis looked at her, and told her that I was a retired HR manager, and that ethics is huge to me, and when I say I am going to do something, I do it.  

She said, okay, go ahead and see if you can call him.  I sent a text and didn’t get a response.  I called him.  I asked him if he could match what they offered, and he replied he could not.  He was hoping the price would be like $5,000 lower.  He said told me to trade the car.  He also thanked me for calling him and allowing him first option.

So, what did I do?  I handed over the Lexus to them.  I drove out a brand spanking new Toyota RAV4 with a total of three (3) miles on the odometer!  I did not buy the car I test drove.  As lovely as it was, I wanted a red car, with leather seats, and all the bells and whistles.  We had to go to the back lot to see find my future car.  It was scary.  I just had IMG_0391the Lexus maintenance done, and it seemed wasteful, but in the long run, I still needed to buy tires, and the work I had done, may have helped what Toyota could have offered on the car.  In the end, it was a win/win for us all.

From the time we walked into the dealership and the time we left with a car was about four hours.  Why does buying a car take so much time?  Yes, we looked.  We test drove.  We sat down and dickered back and forth on the price.  She got approval.  We went to financing and did paper work.  Not only that, the next morning was spent calling the insurance company to change coverage, moving my satellite radio from the old car to the new, and cancelling my Lexus Enform which is like OnStar, and return to the dealership with the other set of Lexus keys and title.

On our drive to the dealership, I tested some of the technology.  I had it on cruise control with radar.  It kept me in my lane.  The car has adaptive cruise control, so as the car in front of me slowed down, so did my car.  Then the car in front of me came up to a red light.  I had my foot near the brake, but I waited, and the car slowed down, and then stopped without me touching the brake.  I will not normally do this, and will brake on my own, but it was amazing to see that this really did work!

So, Happy Halloween to me.  I like my red Halloween costume which I shall wear for many years.  

I am not sorry for the decision I made.  I am sorry I took my car to the Lexus dealer before checking out the Toyotas, but in the long run, it will be okay.  The night I got home after buying the car, I was really stressed out from the whole ordeal of the day.  I couldn’t sleep—it was after 3:00 a.m. before I fell asleep.  Check this link if you wonder what makes you sleep.  I was exhausted yesterday.  By dinner time, I was not functioning.  I was so tired that Dennis and I decided we both needed to cancel any plans for running around today and do things at home we want to do.

Dennis has been busy on his computer scanning hundreds of documents so he can shred these papers.  Yes, we are techie, and we prefer our information in the cloud rather than all over our home.  Then he plans to hit the mountain for a four mile hike.  For me, I decided, I will bake.  Baking relieves tension for me.  The ingredients are waiting, and before I post, I will add photos of the baking experience today.  By the way, most of it is going in the freezer, some being given to friends, and just a tiny bit of this baking available for us to eat today.


Orange Cranberry Scones


Chocolate Chip Cookies w/pecans