No, that’s not a metaphor, but more on that later.

I had hoped that life might just slow down a little and that I’d be able to get back in the craft room and back to blogging more frequently, but as you’re probably already aware, that’s just not happening!!  Don’t think I’ve stepped foot in the craft room for a week, and no more cards have been made or challenges entered either.  So, what has been going on?

Taking up quite a bit of time right now is the racing that I volunteer to help out with, I seem to have become Chief of Grid again, after our other Chief quit at short notice, due entirely to the crap going on in her own life right now and having way too much on her plate to deal with.  On the one hand, she was very unhappy at letting people down, but on the other she was relieved to have got at least one thing off her plate.  I, on the other hand, have had to jump back in, taking full charge of the safety of 100 race car drivers, organising them to get out on the track at the correct time, training new Grid staff as we have been short this year, and being completely answerable to both the drivers and the track stewards for anything that happens on grid or any decisions me or my team make.  I’ve done it before and generally have no problem with it, but I’m getting a bit tired of a lot of people relying on a few so they can go and race and have fun, but not being willing to step up and lend a hand themselves.  *Rant over!*

We’ve also been experiencing a storm laden start to summer, can’t recall if I’ve mentioned this before but we’ve had some pretty severe storms and a number of tornadoes since the beginning of June.  We had a tree come down in our back garden and our neighbour had a large tree come down in his that partly blocked the main road behind him.  There were also trees down further down the street, some of which had snapped the utility poles and brought down the power lines.  We had no power for over 18 hours and a flooded basement with that one.  There have also been numerous smaller outages too.  We were at a friends for a barbecue dinner a couple of weeks ago and it suddenly got really muggy, the wind dropped completely and then the tornado sirens in the area were activated…. dark purple and orange might be a cool colour combination for card making, but it really spells trouble when the sky is that colour! It was gone midnight before anyone was able to leave the party, but it didn’t matter, we were still having fun!

The weather was once again a factor this past weekend at the race track and we actually had to abandon racing for only the second time in our 52 year history.  We got through Saturday just fine, it was just hot (86F) and a bit humid, but there were scattered, severe storms forecast again for Sunday.  We ran everything as quickly as we could, trying to stay ahead of the weather fronts that were whipping all around us, until one of our young drivers got a little off track and put about a third of his Camaro race car through the sound wall, popped one of the boards right out!  That was right before lunch, but we had to extend lunch in order to get the wall fixed and by that time it had started to rain.  We managed to run just one more race when it started thundering and lightening, that’s an automatic shutdown for us as we have corner workers out on track in exposed positions hooked up to headphones and stuff and we have to bring them back in to the paddock for safety.  It was just after this that Independence Township activated all of their tornado sirens.  That sent everyone scrambling to get down their canopies and secure all their stuff as we’d be sitting ducks in high winds.  The Competition Board had a quick meeting, checked the radar, listened to the police radio reports and decided that discretion was the better part of valour, and we should pack it up.  People needed time to get their paddock and/or camping spot cleared and packed away before whatever was coming our way hit us.  As it turned out, the storm veered North and missed up completely, but id did rip right through a campground, tossing big American RV’s and caravans into a lake like they were Tonka toys, and sadly claiming one life.  We made the right decision.  There were also two more confirmed tornadoes a little South of my house that plowed through a rural area and caused no significant damage.

So, what else?  I’ve been having a bit of car trouble recently, mainly in the mornings on start up, my little old car has been idling very badly and twice has stalled completely as I’ve gone to pull away.  Andrew gave her a thorough service on Monday night and found a perished bit of hose on the vacuum system that would definitely have accounted for the trouble.  Tuesday morning she was as sweet as a bell and I drove to work happy and confident in my car again, only to find myself broken down on the side of the road about five miles from home after my alternator packed up!!  Sodding Murphy’s Law or what???  I called AAA (US equivalent of AA) to arrange for a tow truck, and then called Andrew to come out and sit with my car so I could take his car and carry on to work.  By the time the tow truck arrived he’d figured out it was likely the alternator and the tow driver said exactly the same when he heard how everything shut down so suddenly.  I now have a reconditioned alternator that Andrew fitted and a smooth running car once again!

We have had some fun though too.  Last Friday night we went to the park with some friends and their two children for the annual Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s free concert at a local park.  It’s always brilliant, and it’s amazing that a world class symphony orchestra puts on free shows at five local parks over the summer, we always make time to go to at least one.  And we’re off camping too, literally in an hour or two.  I’m just finishing my lunch at work and I’ll leave at 1pm today to head home and we should be on the road by about 2pm.  Monday is American Independence Day (4th of July) and where I work is also shut tomorrow (Friday) so we’ve decided to take a mini camping break.  We’ll be taking the kayaks and the bikes too, and for once we have a lovely forecast, hot on Sunday at 91F, but NO STORMS!!!  Probably shouldn’t have said that though should I????

Tomorrow (July 2nd) is also our 16 year anniversary of arriving in America!  I’ve now officially spent more of my adult life in America than I have in England.  I think I’m turning into a “half and harf”!

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