Where Do You Get Your Oil Changed?

Things I Value:

My husband offered to have me leave my car at home for him to do an oil change (although very kind, that’s not the part I value). Since he’s been building a farm table in his shop at home, he wouldn’t be needing his work truck and I could take it into town to see my patients.

$800. Reclaimed barn wood farm table. 7’x37″.  Call Herbert for this table or custom orders 719-651-6480.  Shameless advertising by a proud wife. 

Nothing against the smell that has lingered for the last ten years of the previous owner’s armpits, but when the oil change boutique gives my car an oil change, I get a break from work.  I get to sit in a recliner chair and have coffee.  Recline.  Relax.  Put my feet up.  Enjoy me time.  Relax.  Chill.  Relax.  Write (this) and chat with my dad and my brother at the front desk.

Well, I don’t even really know the guys at the front desk since I just met them three times ago when they performed an emergency alternator replacement and they aren’t my dad and brother because my dad’s in Germany and I don’t have a brother, but they may as well be because they make each person that walks in the door feel like family.

And all this family and relaxing happens right here at our local oil change boutique.  With me in a leather recliner chair.  Not kidding, you read that right, a recliner chair.

Yes, I have to pay for the oil change where my husband could have done it for the cost of supplies, but then I’d miss the whole recliner, relax, write, coffee, put my feet up, chat with the guys experience.

And that there is better than a pedicure. For me, time where I am forced to put my feet up and lie back in a recliner chair really is a better investment than a pedicure and one of the best $68 cups of coffee I’ve ever had.  It’s not that the coffee was delicious, it’s that the experience was.

I’m not good at spending money on myself. I tried that a couple weeks ago when I actually did get a pedicure and it didn’t end well (story about that in a future addition), but this feels different.

I am spending money on my car.  Therefore the recline, relax, write, drink coffee, put my feet up, chat with the guys experience benefits my car which transports me to work and my boys to soccer practice and our family to soccer games.

I love it because I’m not really spending $68 on myself.  I’m just reaping the side effects.  But considering a pedicure, they could upgrade the oil change boutique one step further by adding foot massages.  Just a thought.

Now for the reality check: it’s not always sweet peas and roses when I go into the oil change boutique. There are only two recliner chairs and they don’t take reservations.  Last time, an elderly lady and an old man in a neck brace were occupying the recliners and it would not have done to haul one of them out to appease my desire for a recliner chair. 

I did not outwardly complain as I downgraded to one of the standard lobby style waiting room chairs but did place mental wagers on whose car would be ejected first from the garage so I could assume the position.  If it had been anyone other than my elders, I would have volunteered to arm wrestle for their early departure.  Even though I don’t milk a herd of goats anymore, I can still beat granny at an arm wrestling match.

Bring it on Sister.

Oh my gosh.

How embarassing.

All this over a stupid recliner chair.

Marketing/Customer Experience:  If you need any ideas for how to win customers at your oil change location (if I’m your customer), step up your coffee area to include a keurig, cream, sugar, nice disposable coffee cups (i.e. not white styrofoam), granola bars, tea and a couple recliner chairs (or more if you don’t want granny getting kicked to the curb by a sweet 40-something with recliner rage).

You might say, “We’re good, we already do that.  We have a coffee pot with some cream and sugar packets over on that table in the corner.  Help yourself.”  

But dare I say that your coffee pot, when empty, has a brown film all over the inside and when it’s half full, it’s the afternoon and the coffee’s from this morning?  Sure, I’m being nitpicky, but if you give your women customers (ok, me) a little more of a spa experience, they (ok, me) will show up in droves for oil changes at your shop!!

In conclusion: It was the thought of losing my time in the recliner chair sipping from my cup of hazelnut fresh brewed keurig coffee that gave me the guts to deny my husband the experience of back slithering under my car to emerge with oily hands and another week’s worth of back pain.

#appreciatethesmallthings,

Lindsey

P.S. I don’t get paid for talking about the oil change boutique. I just really like going there and when you get good service it’s the right thing to do.  My dad (the real one) owned his own business for years.  He always told me if your customer gets good service, they might tell one person.  If they get bad service, they’ll tell twelve!  I decided to flip that on its head.  I got good service and, with your help (please share this on your social media), I’m telling hundreds!

P.P.S.  If YOU go into the boutique to have an oil change, let the guys at the front counter know their daughter/sister Lindsey sent you.  They’ll have no idea what you’re talking about.

P.P.S.  I forgot to tell you that front counter dad, while I was kicked back with my coffee, walked toward me, ripped open a giant box of granola bars and said, “Linds, you want a granola bar?”  Only my family calls me Linds.  And my college BFF’s.  I tell you, front counter dad treats you like family.

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7 Benefits To Back Pain

As many of you know, my life as a fast moving train was derailed last Monday when my back went out.  After a year of no back problems, a year of thinking my change in employment would eliminate the risk of future back injury, it is the truth when I tell you I’ve been fighting off some minor depression this week.

I couldn’t work for 2 days, and on day 3, after only working in the morning, I was MAD at the situation.  Tired of and still not thinking (or standing) straight because of the pain, I came home, curled up and fell into a deep sleep of escape.  Man, this was really feeling like a lemon.

But, when given lemons, I can make a damn good lemonade.

So here are 7 Benefits To Back Pain:

1. You don’t have to make the bed.  Because you actually can’t.  Bending, twisting and yanking aren’t part of your recovery plan.

2. You don’t have to blow-dry your hair.  You can’t bend over at all and raising your arms overhead is hardly possible since you have to hang onto the counter top at all times while standing.

3. You don’t have to shave your legs.  After a few days, you get a 5 o’clock shadow, but this is your time to practice being a hippie.  You can’t even reach your knee, let alone your lower leg and propping one foot up on the wall is out of the question, so you accept your inner gorilla take some Tylenol.

4.  People might offer to rub your back.  Personally, I would stay away from strangers on this one, but if it’s anyone you know, let ’em do it.  Never pass up a back rub.

5. You begin to understand why your grandfather walked, always bent over, with his hands clasped behind his back.  You physically can’t stand up straight. Your bones just don’t allow that at this time.  Therefore, gravity is pulling the top half of your body toward the ground with each step.  If your arms keep dangling there, gravity pulls harder.  You figure out that if you clasp them behind your back, resting on your gluteus maximus, you feel slightly lighter and your nose drags further away from the ground.

6. You understand the benefits of  your grandmother’s rolling walker with a built in seat.  You can use it to hold you up while you walk and sit on it when you need a break since you can only walk part way to the mail box before threatening to fall over.

7.  You learn to accept help.  Even though you might not be good at it, you find you must accept, otherwise your Taco Bell will not make it to the stands at the soccer game.  Even the car keys are too heavy to carry.

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Thanks to Carrie and Emily for the laughter. Photo credits to Carrie Canterbury.

I’m fortunate.  When my back goes out, it goes back in and I’m usually back to 100% in 2 weeks. But I know there are people out there, and you might be one of them, who live with chronic back pain.

Chronic or not, I encourage you to see the bright side of your situation.  Look for the things you CAN do.  Make changes, temporary or permanent, to your work, home life, recreation and leisure that will cause you to get the most fun and enjoyment out of life.  Appreciate and seek out the things you CAN do.

  • If you can’t go to work because you can’t complete the necessary functions safely for yourself or the people around you but CAN go to your son’s soccer game where you will be able to ice your back in the car, do your stretches on the bleachers and fill your spirit with laughter and new memories created with your girlfriends, do it.

 

  • If you want to fulfill your consulting obligation but can’t load the car with all of your presentation equipment and have committed to teaching 50 kids how to be better employees at their summer jobs but CAN ask a friend to go with you to load and unload and set up, because you know how much your presentation will impact the lives of the young people you are influencing, do it.

 

  • If your doctor says by the time you have grandchildren, you may not be able to use your arms and you fear not ever being able to hug them but CAN make quilts now so that when you have grandchildren each one will have their own quilt to wrap up in as their hug from grandma, do it.

 

  • If you can’t walk as fast as usual but want to make the annual girls night New Year’s Eve hike to the summit of the local hilltop to light off sparklers but CAN ask your bestie to go up at your pace and help you sit and slide down the steep spots on your butt, do it.

Do it because you only live once, because we all should appreciate the small things and because it’s good to have friends.

Lindsey

P.S.  Thanks to Mom and Jeanie for the inspiration, Emily and Carrie for the soccer trip.

P.P.S.  On day 1, instead of sulking all day, I used my time in the recliner chair to find a good chiropractor and write this.

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Holding up the flag pole kept my nose off the ground and our soccer team won 2-0! Photo credits to Carrie Canterbury.

 

 

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What Does Your Armpit Smell Like?

There’s that saying, “It all comes out in the wash.”  Well apparently for me, it all comes out in the armpits. 

Here are the facts: 

1. In school, I was a “good girl” who didn’t drink or do drugs.

2. Marijuana is legal in Colorado. Even recreational marijuana. But you knew that.

3. My back goes out every year or two and has since high school. It sucks. Really sucks.  True to form and right on schedule, it went out Monday in the middle of performing a highly risky procedure: putting on my sock.

I followed all the rules when I was in school. I was a good student. When my friends went to a party, I never went. Which is why now, as an adult, I can hardly even say the word marijuana. It has been ingrained in the fibers of my being that it’s “against the rules”…even though it’s legal and many of my patients and family use it in various forms, I find my mental lips pursing with visions of a prim and proper old lady school teacher wagging her finger at me…tsk, tsk, tsk.  

(I know! Get over it!)

So you can also understand my delay in accepting it into part of my reality, despite the fact that I live in Penrose, Colorado, home of way too many skunky smelling grow houses. 

But when the back pain kicked in at a friend’s house on Sunday and she and her husband touted the pain relieving benefits of their homemade marijuana rubbing alcohol, I decided to throw caution to the wind and accept.

Under the following condition:

It better not stink. I HATE the smell of marijuana. There’s the smoke smell and there’s the skunk-grow smell. I would have flat out refused if it had any odor at all. But, after taking a whiff and nearly being flattened by the vapors of the rubbing alcohol (akin to taking a whiff of black pepper…stupid choice), I determined although the liquid looked like a swamp, I could not sense marijuana and proceeded with the plan.

Herbert rubbed it on my back and I hoped for the best because we still had to go grocery shopping and ride in the car for an hour home. Two tasks that would be easier accomplished with less pain. 

The results are in:  It sort of helped. Nothing to write home about, but I did feel a little better. 

And so are the other results:  Two days later, after my morning cup of coffee but before my shower, I noted an offensive odor coming from my axillary area.  My husband, who is brave with addressing my frequent bodily malfunctions, aimed his nose toward my armpit, and reported it smelled like goat pee.

Although I could sense the similarity, that wasn’t it. I am known for having a REALLY good smeller (and not known for sleeping in the barn).

Case in point: Last week, I smelled a gas leak in a house when neither the resident nor the emergency responder’s gas leak detector sensed it.  Turned out the hidden oven pilot light was out.

No, this was not goat pee. 

This was weed.  Straight up bud smell.

Coming from my armpits. 

But, how on EARTH?  I’ve heard things about the body organs processing ingested items and excreting them through the skin, but if that’s the case, why don’t my armpits smell like caramel macchiatos?  Or honey nut cheerios? Or spaghetti and meatballs?

I get rubbed with pot laced alcohol one time and smell like this??  It was seeping OUT OF MY PORES!  Although I had to milk and Chocolate wouldn’t mind the odor, I couldn’t stand the thought of that smell even being on my milking clothes!

I contemplated throwing away my PJs and jumped into the shower (well not really, it was more like I gingerly lifted one leg at a time over the tub edge while holding onto the wall, squatted as little as possible to turn on the water and emerged 20 minutes later with only my hair, face and armpits washed because I couldn’t reach anything below my waist and because any movement I attempted was slower than molasses.  Shaving my legs was out of the question and my feet might as well have been at the bottom of a cliff.).

Refreshed and deodorized, I slugged on, but became quite mortified when, trapped in a three hour car ride with two friends later in the day, my armpits began seeping again.  Not as potent, but still not your run of the mill B.O.  Turns out it’s not a one shower affair.  The good news is, after owning up to the situation in lieu of them wondering why my car reeked if our soccer boy teenagers weren’t even in it, they reported they didn’t notice a thing.

Please note: If you will not judge my unshaven legs, I will not judge your choice of marijuana use. I am just writing to let you know in advance that I will be able to smell it. (But since you are not of age, My Boys and Friends Of My Boys, consider yourselves forewarned.  If I smell it on you, trust me, you WILL smell like goat pee.)

Have a good day,

Lindsey/Mom

P.S. In case you’re wondering, the foul odor lasted only that day. By the next day, I was back to my usual self and, as I sit here in the sun writing this two days later and sniff to the left, all my sweaty armpit smells like is deodorant. Phew.

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Why I’m Back, An Update

Thank you to everyone for your kind words upon my reappearance as The Goat Cheese Lady.

Where have I been? Well, I have spent the past year as Lindsey: Soccer Taxi Driver.

When you live in the country, driving to and from town for soccer practices and games occupies most of your waking hours.  There’s barely any time left in the day to work and be a mom and wife.

OK.  So that’s not entirely the truth and as we hang out more together, I’m sure more details will surface, but in a nutshell, and as I just updated under “About” on the menu above, here it is:

I am Lindsey.  At first I was a city girl.  Growing up, the closest thing I had to farm animals were a cat and a cockatiel.

In 2009, Herbert (my husband) and I bought our first milk goat and I instantly became an urban farmgirl, attempting to balance city and farm life..before I knew “urban homesteading” was a thing.  That’s when we began The Goat Cheese Lady Farm, hence The Goat Cheese Lady blog you’re visiting now.

After moving to the country in 2014, I embarked on life as a rural farmgirl. We continued teaching farm and cheesemaking classes, raising more goats and began construction on our cheese creamery.

But life had other plans and in 2017, we decided that, due to financial and health issues, we had to close the farm for business. No more classes, no more creamery, a lot less milking.  We went back to off farm jobs, I as an Occupational Therapist, Herbert in construction with his business, D&A Home Remodeling.

At that point, I made a silent promise to myself that I would corral my entrepreneurial mind and focus on a job for a year.

Well, it has been a year and I am back.  Not to classes, cheese, soap or lotion, but back to writing.  I love it.  I’m not sure where it will lead me, but that’s where I’m starting.  I’ll continue to write as The Goat Cheese Lady for now, and whatever the future holds, I’ll let you know.

Our two boys are 14 and 11 and continue to be louder than my sister and I ever were.  We have two dogs, Montaña and Flash, a cat, Jumpy, a flock of chickens and three goats.

Yes, we still have Lucy, the goat who helped us start it all and was milked by over 1,000 people. She’s retired but still the boss. Chocolate provides enough milk for our family with some to spare for the dogs.  Soccer friends, school friends, coyotes and mice are frequent visitors.  There are way too many flies and every so often we see an owl.

I’m glad you’re here.  Sometimes you’ll laugh out loud, other times you’ll be inspired to appreciate the small things.  My hope is that, over your morning cup of coffee or your afternoon work break, you’ll enjoy the antics and inspiration that are my daily life.

So, there you have it. I’m back in action.  Slinging from the hip and hoping it hits your funny bone or your softer side.  Stick with me and spread the word.  Let’s enjoy life together!

Lindsey

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circa 2012. We’re a fair piece older now.

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Why Live In The Country?

We have a new neighbor across the street.

No, nobody moved in or out, no moving trucks have been on the scene. But a new miniature horse!

Life in the country never ceases for opportunities for amazement and as I sat on the deck this morning, I had another country experience.

I heard the horses talking.
For most of the time we’ve lived here, there have been rodeo horses about a mile down the road, neighbor’s horses in their various fields and pens about a half to a quarter mile west of us, and three right next door.
Just yesterday, after arriving home from a long day of Denver soccer and trying to find the exit at Ikea, I heard voices and a new noise across the street.
In the distance, I saw the little neighbor girl out with her mom and a horse about mid-thigh high.
This morning, the new resident introduced herself to the neighbors.
It was 7:22 and I was out with my coffee, enjoying the peace, the breeze and swatting at occasional flies.  The seed head Irma gave me last year has grown into giant sunflowers that shined their faces toward me. I was watching for the little yellow hummingbird that was flitting around just before I came out.
That’s when the rodeo horses started the conversation. They neigh-neigh-neighed far in the distance and like a wave much more kind to the ears than a string of dogs howling at one another, the half mile horses responded, followed by the quarter mile horses.
The mini horse let out its morning greeting in proportion to its size, “I’m herererere, I’m hererere, I’m hererere!”  And finally the boss of the three in the corral next door ended the morning song.
It’s beautiful here in the country.  If you’ve never been, you ought to try it sometime.
#appreciatethesmallthings,
Lindsey
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(Suggested) Addendum To Driver’s Manual

There are a few interesting driving techniques that will need to be applied when you take your first trip to my neck of the woods.  I’m not sure if reading this will reduce or increase your stress, but at least you can say you were warned.  And, just in case anyone in the Colorado State Department of Motor Vehicles decides to add this to the manual, I have come up with this intro:

“The following shall serve as an addendum to the Colorado State Drivers Manual.  Anyone who lives in, near, or thinks they may ever drive through Canon City, Colorado, must read this addendum before operating a motor vehicle in the vicinity.”  

Here they are, in order of difficulty, from easiest to hardest.

1. Roundabouts.  If you haven’t encountered a roundabout in your driving career, they are pretty simple.  You just need to slow down as you come toward the driving circle and look left.  Then:
a. If someone’s coming, don’t go.  Stop. Literally. There’s not a stop sign, so it feels kind of weird, but stop anyway because your other alternative is getting T-boned in the vicinity of your left front tire and driver side door. Once the coast is clear, proceed to step “b”, below.
b. If no one’s coming, go.  Merge to your right, into the roundabout.  Stay in the roundabout until you get to your desired right turn and take it. If you miss your desired right turn, you can continue around the circle until you reach your desired right turn for the second time. Try not to miss it again, the risk of dizziness and confusion increases exponentially.  Note: The Walmart Roundabout contains a pinkish, flatish center portion. This is not a lane. You will be quickly identified as an Out-Of-Towner or as Extremely Elderly if you drive on that.
The roundabouts are the simplest of the odd ball driving situations in Canon City, so practice those for a while. Once you master the Walmart, Cemetary and 15th Street roundabouts, you’re ready to progress.
2. Canon City S Turns.  Somewhere in the road planning past, the main highway cut through Canon City flanked by frontage roads on either side. This creates a challenging situation when one wants to turn left from one frontage road, cross the highway and end up going the same direction on the opposite frontage road. This is what I now term the Canon City S Turn. Brace yourself.
Let’s say you want to get from Ace to Big 5.
Step one. Get into the left lane when you come to the stop light on the frontage road.
Step two.  Stop, pull the emergency break, turn off the car, recline your seat. You’ll be there for a while. The lights in Canon City are notoriously long.  After you finish your cup of coffee, turn your car back on, release the emergency brake and prepare for your green light.
Step three.  When your light turns green, proceed. There’s one way to take your first Canon City S Turn and that is with white knuckles and your eyes closed.  Assuming you stay the course but before getting to your final destination, you will pass under and next to various red lights, all of which tell your subconscious to stop because that’s what they taught you in driver’s ed. But, do not follow your gut because your gut will tell you to stop mid turn, which will leave you smack in the middle of 7 or 8 lanes of traffic pointed at you from all directions. (Picture being stared at by a giant fly eye.) Silently curse driver’s ed for not teaching you about Canon City S Turns. Fix your eyes on the lane you’re aiming for, say several Hail Marys and gun it to your to your destination.
Step four.  When you arrive in the correct lane on the opposite frontage road, open your eyes, release your hands to resume blood flow, take a giant deep breath. Congratulations. You have successfully arrived at the other side of a Canon City S Turn unscathed.
Good luck.  If you are a person who learns by experience, come on down and give driving a try in Canon City.  Let me know what you think.  If you are a seasoned pro, give some advice in the comment section.  If you’re somewhere in between, drive safely.
Adios for now,
Lindsey
P.S. No, you actually probably shouldn’t close your eyes because that would be even more dangerous than the S Turn already is.
P.P.S.  After a few times through the Canon City S Turns, you may consider starting a turn at the tail end of a yellow light.  This is understandable because you know if your light turns red, you’ll be there long enough to brew a pot of coffee.  In any other situation, this may be a viable option.  But here, I would urge you to reconsider. Remember the fly eyes?  If you’re in the middle of the S when their lights turn green, you’re toast.
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Tips to Avoid Ironing

I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

I hate to iron.

No, that’s not the secret. It’s not really common knowledge either, but it’s not the secret.

I’ve also gained about 7 pounds, which I can’t quite figure out because I’m eating about the same and exercising a lot more. Even though that’s kind of personal, that’s not the secret either.

I keep telling myself that muscle weighs more than fat. It’s just that it isn’t muscle that’s hanging over the top of my pants. Oh well, whatever. There are things that are important in life and muffin tops are not one of them. Mostly I try to ignore it, but the days when I slip into a semi wrinkly, just out of the dryer pair of pants that I hung over the chair last night in hopes that the wrinkles would fall out by morning, are the days that I realize my time wearing zip-up button-fastened pants could soon be over.

I’ve lately contemplated shopping at the maternity store because at least everything there has elastic waist bands. Alternatively, I could shop at Sears in the elderware department but I’m guessing I’d come out looking more like a 43-year-old granny than a glowing, newly pregnant mom-to-be.  To further my argument for shopping in the motherhood section, two of my favorite skirts are my sister’s from when she had Lily in 2006. Who cares that she wore them when she was 9 months pregnant and I’ve worn them for the past 12 years not pregnant?   Is that weird?

Don’t answer that.

To thank you for your patience in my getting to the point, I’ll finally tell you the secret. There’s an upside to gaining 7 pounds and still squeezing into the pants that you wore when you were 7 pounds lighter. You actually don’t have to iron. When you paint them on, the wrinkles get stretched out.  You do that little dance to get each leg firmly impaled in the second skin, shake your hips to get the waist band up high enough, suck in to attempt pulling up the zipper without breaking a nail and fasten the top button before passing out.
Voila!  It’s miraculous!  The wrinkles are gone!
The fact that your underwear line also shows through is beside the point. Just wear a long shirt. Then, when your thighs stretch the side seams and each bend to pick something up off the floor threatens to rip open the butt seam, no one will really notice.
What they will notice are your nicely pressed pants. They may wonder if you bought them off the stretch pants rack or if they’re just snug khakis, but they won’t notice a wrinkle!
Unless of course, you have skinny ankles. Skinny ankles are a problem. Fat ankles would smooth the wrinkles out all the way down to your shoes, but skinny ankles won’t do that. Basically, you have a problem. Smooth sailing down to your knees, obvious non-ironing further south.  For this, there are two solutions.
1. Only wear capris.
2. Tuck your pants into knee high boots.
Either option can work, and you still won’t have to pick up an iron. The moral of this story is that, really, it’s always possible to look at the bright side!  Sure, your pants don’t fit, but heck! You don’t have to iron!
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