Monthly Archives: January 2012

Just When You Thought….

…things were going to go one way, they go another…

And it’s good.

Remember the accident last week and how worried I was that my car would be much more damaged than we first thought?

Well, apparently it’s not.

Not worse than we thought.  In fact, the damage is minor and I should be getting it back in the next couple of days.

Wish it were so simple with my neck and back, but humans aren’t cars are they?

And we can’t just go down to a salvage yard and pick out replacement parts now can we?

Because imagine the possibilities if we could.

Me:  Yes, I’d like to see if you’ve got a 25-yr. old chassis, preferably one that’s at least 5’6” tall, that I can trade for the one I’m currently  using?

SalvageMan:  Sure, we’ve even got them in varying leg lengths. 

Me: SCORE! I’ll take the looooooooooong-legged one.  And, while we’re at it, do you have a lifter for my chin?   Mine is sagging a bit…or, a lot.

SalvageMan:  (rifles through some paperwork) Yeah, here it is.  I’ve got a 30-yr. old chin/neck assembly out back.

Me: Awesome.  How much do I owe you?

SalvageMan:  Well, with your insurance you just need to pay the deductible and you’re good to go.

Me: Suh-weet!

Sigh…wouldn’t it be nice?

Oh Hi!

Umm…yeah, about today’s post…

Sigh…there isn’t one.

Hey, YOU try getting bronchitis and rear-ended all in one week and see how you feel.

I’ll be back…tomorrow…

An Open Letter….

…to the skinny refrigerator spammer

Dear Mr. Skinny Refrigerator,

I realize that you have a great need to expand your market.  After all, who needs a skinny refrigerator until they see one and suddenly think – oh, damn I really need one of those?

However, spamming my site over 30 times in two days is not going to get you the desired results.

It is however going to get you my full attention for the next few minutes.

1.  I don’t want/need to discuss my refrigerator’s weight issues, and frankly think George would be rather angry that I am discussing these issues publicly.

2. A skinny refrigerator is like a skinny baker.  Un-trust-worthy. Think about it, if a baker is skinny then he/she is not eating what he/she bakes.  That gives me pause.

3. At the prices you charge for a skinny refrigerator, the damn thing should be packed with Belgian chocolates, bottles and bottles of Dom Perignon, and the finest Beluga…and come with a lifetime re-supply clause…for free.

4.  My blog is read by about three people, you’ve seriously overestimated my influence.

No go away while I console George, or I will have to make the obvious comparisons to a man’s skinny refrigerator being reflective of other parts’ inadequacies.

 

UPDATED – A Funny Thing Happened…

…on my way to work Tuesday morning.

Only it wasn’t funny then.

Come to think of it, it’s not terribly funny now but you people are soooo demanding I’ll try to make it funny.

Let me preface the following by giving you a little backstory.

When I was one my mother was rear-ended with me in the car.  This was pre-car seat days so I hit my head on the dash, causing my first whiplash injury.

Yes, I realize a blow to the head as an infant explains a lot of things about me, but I digress.

At 8, my mom, stepsister and I were rear-ended at a stoplight.  The other driver was traveling at an estimated 50 mph at impact.  I sustained a pinched nerve in my arm, a fractured lumbar, and my second whiplash injury.

As a teenager, I took it upon myself to care for an ailing stallion quarter horse.  As his health improved he rewarded my efforts with a rousing rendition of “Trigger: The Bucking Bronco” one morning.  I broke my nose, orbit bone, deeply bruised my lumbar (yes, same side), had road rash on my face and a severe concussion.  Oh, yes..and whiplash number three.

All was quiet until I turned 30.  One morning, on my way to take two of my kids to school, a driver ran a stop sign just as we were passing the intersection and t-boned the car.  The kids were a little bumped and bruised and I had whiplash number four.  I also sustained a lower back injury, and the next day was literally crawling around on hands and knees because the pain was so intense I couldn’t walk.

 – This was also the first time I experienced intense anger at the incredible stupidity of some most drivers, and as I raged at the at-fault driver he dropped his keys in the middle of the street and backed away to his car, hands raised in the air. Hell hath no fury like a woman whose children may be injured due to your stupidity, let me tell you –

A year and a half later, on the same street but at a different intersection, I was t-boned again.  This time I was alone, and this time the at-fault driver tried to run. 

Oh.Hell.No.

I blocked his retreat with my car and waited for the police to come.  When they got there he was less than cooperative and only gave them enough information to get out of there.  As a result, there was a huge delay in getting my car fixed and in getting my fifth whiplash and second lower back strain treated.

*helluva backstory so far, right? and..it’s not over…*

Nearly twenty years pass and then one day, on the freeway, a lovely little Saturn Vue developed an irresistible attraction to the rear bumper of my car.

At 60 mph in the pouring rain.

Four complete rotations and one quarter mile later, my car came to a stop on the shoulder of the freeway.  I have no idea how, but I didn’t hit anything/one else and no one hit me.

Second trip in an ambulance, strapped to a backboard, and whiplash number six on the books.

By this time my neck was holding together with prayer.  An MRI revealed – facet syndrome, arthritis, three ruptured discs (inside, “jelly” gone), and moderate stenosis.

Go look up those terms if you don’t know what they mean, I’ll wait.

:stoops to pet cat and nearly shrieks from pain:

Back?  Good, you are, I trust, quite versed in my numerous neck ailments now.

Yes, I had lost some mobility in both arms, but the surgeon said not to do anything about the damage – aside from controlling with pain medication – until I lost too much mobility to function. It’s a delicate operation and since my spinal stenosis means my chord is right *there* it will involve a neurosurgeon, too.

Oh.Hell.No.

And, so, for the last two years I’d been maintaining status quo.

Until Tuesday morning.

I was completely stopped at a light on the south end of my little town, minding my own business.

BAM!!  No, wait..it was more like BAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, I’d been hit from behind.

It wasn’t a particular hard hit, he was probably not going over 20 mph, but it was enough to tighten the seat belt (and leave a small bruise), take my breath away and snap my neck in the familiar forward/back motion of classic whiplash.

Holymotherofgawdwhatthehell?! Was my first thought.

I looked up in my rearview mirror and pointed to a parking lot next to us.  No need to tie up other commuters, so we pulled in. 

This is our conversation:

Me: What happened?

Asshat: I looked down to do my breathalyzer, and when I looked up I hit you.

Me: Breathalyzer? Like inhaler or like drunk?

Asshat: Drunk.  But, I’m not drunk.

:waits while the first part of this exchange soaks in:

With me still? Good.

Me:  I’m calling the police, don’t you dare try to leave.

Asshat: I’m not. Why do we have to involve the police?  Can’t we just exchange information?

Me: (crying from pain as it began to settle over my neck and lower back)NO!

Asshat: Why?

Me: Because I am hurt, that’s why.

Asshat: How is that possible.  I barely hit you.

(at this point the dispatcher is on the line and I’m giving her details. Asshat is continuing to argue with me)

Asshat: (backing away from car) I’m going to get my *stuff*?

Me: Stuff?  Oh hell no, bring me your keys.  Right. Effin’.Now.

(apparently I looked pretty damned intimidating, because he came back with keys in hand)

Asshat: (now standing outside my window, talking to his wife on the phone) Yeah, go on without me…she says her neck is broken.  I dunno, I barely tapped her.

Me: Bullshit (and the dispatcher told me not to argue with him)

Me: (to dispatcher) Oh I’m not going to, I’ve got the mother-lover’s keys. (then rolled up my window and locked my door)

Asshat: (louder now, so I could hear him through my closed window)  Look, I stopped a safe distance behind you and just took my foot off the brake.  I hardly touched you.

Me: (nothing, I ignored him as I saw the cops and ambulance pull up)

Over the next few minutes the paramedics checked me out and not wanting to go to the ER I signed a release and they admonished me to get checked out. I told the gorgeous young man – and really, is it a pre-requisite that all paramedics be just dropdead gorgeous or what? – sadly, this is not my first rodeo and I will get checked out…I was going anyway as I was pretty sure I had bronchitis…and then I coughed and a fresh spasm of pain shot through my neck and back.

Feck.

Then the police officer came over to me and here is our conversation.

Police: Do you have his keys?

Me: Yes.

Police:  He says you “snatched” them from him.

Me: (chuckling) Right. I’ve not even gotten out of the car yet.  He gave me his keys when I demanded them.

Police: Why did you think you should take them?

Me: In-car breathalyzer, protestations of calling y’all and telling me he was getting his *stuff*…two and two in my book.

Police: (grinning) Well, you shouldn’t have done that.

Me: Maybe not, but if he’d of run I’d of chased his ass.

Police: Bad idea.

Me: I didn’t say it was a *good* idea, but I know me.

Police: (chuckling) Yes, and apparently you can be quite intimidating.

Me: Damn straight.

I finally got out of my car and headed to the back to see the damage.

I gasped.

There was none.

Nothing.Nada.

I couldn’t see a thing.

The front of Asshat’s car was slightly wrinkled and his license plate looked pretty smashed.

I looked at Asshat and he at me.

Me: Wow.  To look at it, you’d never know you hit me.

Asshat: See.  That’s what I was saying before.

I finished getting all of the information from the policeman, thanked him and apologized again for scaring the little man, and went home.

I went to see my doctor later in the morning and she confirmed two things – I have bronchitis and whiplash number seven.  Lower back is torqued again, too. Orders to stay home a couple of days, load up on the pain meds and a new ‘script for muscle relaxers, later I was finally home…and hurting.

Feck.

Back home I inspected my car and found a small dent in the bumper, some scratches and a bent tailpipe.  It’s almost like Asshat’s car went under mine slightly.  Makes sense as his front end was low to the ground and my back end is higher than most cars’ front ends.

I spent two hours on the phone with my insurance company and his, and am going later today to get the car inspected for damage.

I’m in soooo much pain, it’s like a haze in front of me and I’m slogging through one foot at a time.

Double feck.

See, told you it wasn’t a funny story.

And, now I feel like I owe you something…

A horse walks into a bar and the bartender says, “Why the long face?”

Bah-dah-bumpski!

I’ll be here all week, or at least until the surplus tank I ordered to use as my personal car gets here. 

Really, it’s the only practical solution.

UPDATE: So, on Wednesday I took my car to the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier’s *recommended* shop for an eval.   When I got into the car that morning I had fully two inches of water in the floorboard of the passenger’s side.  We’d had a monsoon blow through the night before.  Further inspection revealed that my passenger door is bowed outward, and the right side of my car where the trunk lid meets the side panel is pushed down.

If you know anything about cars and bodies, then you know that *may* mean frame damage…and that’s a death knell for a car this old.

Feck, feck and feck.

Anyway, my suspicions about just how/where the asshat hit me were confirmed by the estimator.  He went under the car on the right side, bent the tailpipe, muffler and bumper on that side.  And, as I also suspected the impact was well over 20 mph, more like 30 mph.

 Hopefully a thorough frame inspection will reveal no damage and the door and trunk lid can be repaired by re-hanging.

I seriously doubt, given my luck, that it’ll be that simple but I’m hoping I’m wrong here.

Feck, feck, feck.

About Beek…

…my grandpa who died last week…

When I was little, Grandpa Beek was the only solid male figure in my life.  He was an Army medic and served in Korea and Vietnam, earning a Bronze Star along the way.  He was big, blustery, profane and I adored him.

He had one arm much shorter than the other, a curly mop of hair that sat right on top of his head and tattoos up one arm and down the other.  His ears were large and Dumbo-ish, and I adored him.

That is until the day I overheard him loudly tell my mother he didn’t want me calling him “Grandpa” anymore, because he wasn’t my grandpa.

I think I was about 8 or so and my world swam in and out of focus as those words rang in my ears.

What on Earth was he talking about?

I walked into the room and all eyes turned to me.  I pretended like nothing had happened and I continued to call him Grandpa Beek.

Over the years I finally got the courage to ask my mom what that had been all about, and she said it was because he was my step-grandpa and felt way too young to have a grandchild at the time.

He’d also just gotten back from a tour in Vietnam.

So, there’s that.

Time passed and my Grandma died at a very young age from surgical complications.  At first, Grandpa Beek kept in touch with my mom and me. 

Then, he re-married and the communication slowed to a trickle.  Finally, it stopped altogether.

By that time, I was married and raising kids of my own.  Kids I wished could get to know gruff ol’ Grandpa Beek, but every attempt to reach out to him was rebuffed.

Hurt and confused I gave up.

Then, two years ago I joined Facebook at the urging of cousins to keep in touch with family and was friended by my aunt – Beek’s daughter – who is only five years older than me.  We’d grown up thick as thieves,  but like everything else time and distance came between us.

Still, when we did re-connect it was as if no time had passed.  We quickly caught up on one another’s lives – our kids, husbands and grandkids.  We exchanged pictures and I finally asked about Grandpa and why he had turned his back on me.

She said she didn’t have a clue.

I asked her to take a picture of me and the kids to show him at the nursing home where he now lived.  

She did, and he said we had a lovely family, but he wasn’t interested in talking to or seeing me.

The wounds were refreshed, so I quickly covered them and didn’t mention it again.

When he passed last week I asked my Mom, again, if she knew why he’d shut me out.

Her response?

….and I swear I am not making this up…

1.  He remarried and because his new wife looked, and acted,  like my Grandma, my mother kept comparing the two.  It grated on new wife’s nerves.

2. When he and new wife moved from Indiana to Arizona they were involved in a near-fatal car wreck.  My mother never did a thing to help or contact them when it happened.  (I had no clue that it had happened).

3. My mother constantly rode Grandpa about a $100 debt he owed her.  Mom says she doesn’t remember this, but my Dad does.  (Really? $100? Really?)

So, I guess it all makes sense now, and Grandpa if you’re listening I’m giving Mom $100 on your behalf.  

You can pay me back by buying me a beer when I get to Heaven, and in the meantime keep a barstool warm for me.

RIP Grandpa Beek

Anyone Miss Me Yesterday?

Anyone?

:crickets chirp:

I’ll take that as a yes, because I’m feverish.

I got sick in the middle of the night Friday and spent the weekend alternating between trying to get laundry and housework done and lying on the couch wondering how many muscles I have and how could they all hurt so bad at once.

Then, there was the cough.

I have asthma…not severe, just moderate.   Add that to a chest cold or bronchitis and you have breathing that is painful and labored.  It’s exhausting.  I do have, and use, rescue inhalers but this upper respiratory infection won round one.

And round two. 

Round three was a draw as I was able to drag myself out of bed Monday and go to work…which, incidentally, is where I’m writing this from.  I have to wonder if round four will go to me or URI.

I can say the upside of being feverish is the lovely blush to my cheeks.   Except when the fever spikes and then I look like a clown who forget to take off her rouge.  Everything else is pale and white, and my cheeks have gigantic bright red apples on them.  Hence, the need to keep the fever at or below 100.  So far, so good, today.

I’ll stop whining now, just tell me you missed me.

And bring me some chicken soup, will ya?

Where Have You Been?

Just take a look at all the crap awesomesauce you missed this week!

On Monday, there was no post.  It was a holiday, but that’s not why there was no post.  Actually, I got lazy…or maybe I was totally honoring the memory of Dr. King (a personal hero – truly, no bullshit here) by occupying the couch all day.   One of those things.

Tuesday, though, came along and I practiced the art of the tease.

And, on Wednesday I made like the mailman and delivered.

On Thursday I proved, yet again, that my best protesting days ended with the Vietnam War.

Friday was experiment/jack with you people day.  Go me.

Now go out and enjoy this 75 degree, sunshine-y weather! 

Hmmm?  Wassat?

It’s 20 and snowing where you are?

Buwahahahahahahaha!!

One, Two, Three….

NAZI……

:stands back to watch page counter and wonder about the collective sanity of the Internet, also likes jackin’ with you people:

In Solidarity….

Blackout…

Huh?

Waddayamean that was yesterday?

Well ain’t that just like me, a day late and a dollar short.

Frankly, I never understood what anyone had against sopa-pillas.  I love the Mexican dessert, especially with lots of honey and melted butter all poured down inside…mmmmmmmm…

And, what did Pippa Middleton ever do to anyone –  I mean except her sister, wossname, whom she totally stole the limelight from?  I think she’s an adorable little lady and I love her name.

And, how are sopa-pillas and Pippa Middleton connected?  Is she starting a Pippa Pillas restaurant?  Cuz, I’d totally go there and pig out.

Totally.

Hey, Pippa…are you paying attention here?

Where was I?

Oh yeah, sopa-pillas and Pippa Middleton.

What the hell was/is all the fuss about?  Half the Internet was blacked out or down or whatever – apparently only yesterday.

I don’t get it.

You people need to explain this to me.

:walks away scratching her head:

There Be Fairies Here!

Because she’s awesome with a generous helping of awesomesauce, my daughter-in-law made me this for my birthday last week:

Side view

This is handmade…handmade…from items found in the woods near her house, and clay she formed into mushrooms (top), and a plate (green) with a loaf of bread cooling on the window sill.  That ‘sill’ is actually part of a turtle shell. See the windchimes on the right? 

Back view

Tiny rocks are stacked to create back wall, a small window opening which has a set of windchimes hanging in front of it, is barely visible.  Reindeer moss adorns the roof. Merrie McCleary, the garden fairy, is currently out tending her garden.

Front view

From the front, Merrie’s stone porch has a small flower pot with a beautiful blue flower in it.  A thyme wreath hangs next to the doorway. 

I am simply amazed by this magical creation and have placed it on my mantel.  I think Merrie approves.