Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Dumb and Dumber

Just how dumb do some people think I am? I probably wouldn't want to ask that question to some of you personally, because you know me well enough to give a fairly honest answer (that I probably don't want to hear). But at least you know me!

Last week, we took our van in to Dobb's to have work done on it in order to get the "Check Engine" light to go out. After waiting six hours, they told us they had succeeded in getting the light out, but their instruments were showing the van still had a compression leak somewhere. They didn't think it would pass emissions testing. Well, they were wrong on the first count, it passed emissions with no problem. We still made an appointment to have them spend another day trying to find the problem, because the van has emitted a raw gas smell ever since we got it. Since that's the vehicle we use to transport Don's powerchair, when I took the van in Tuesday evening, he had to stay home while Dondra met me at Dobb's and brought me back home. The young man at the counter when I dropped my keys off (the same young man that had told us to bring it back in to have it checked further) asked me my name. I told him it would be under "Donald Stewart." He checked the computer and asked if it might be under another name. I told him that was highly unlikely. He asked for the license plate number (Woe is me. I've never committed ANY license place number to memory!) I had no idea what it was, so I told him to go outside and check for himself - space #16. When he came back in and went to the computer he said, "Oh! Here it is! It was under 'Don', not 'Donald'." I should have seen the signs of trouble ahead right there, but I didn't. They were going to call us today when they had everything done, but assured us it would take all day.

At 9:30 this morning, "Mike" called and said they had checked our car and there was absolutely nothing wrong with it. I asked him why,then, the raw gas smell is always so strong after the van has been closed up in the garage overnight. First he said he didn't know. Then he proceeded to tell me that I COULDN'T be smelling raw gas because there were no vacuum leaks. Supposedly, the car had been compression tested and everything was okay. He said, "Well, ma'am, how big is your garage?" I said, "Well, let's put it this way. It's large enough that the car is in there right now and there isn't a HINT of raw gas odor!" He continued assuring me that I couldn't be smelling raw gas, so I asked him to hold while I handed the phone to Don. I said (loudly enough that Mike could hear), "Honey, would you please talk to this young man? He's telling me that I couldn't possibly be smelling gas. I'm just wondering how dumb he thinks I am!"

Okay, I know. That wasn't very Christ-like, but give me a break! Where do repairmen get off thinking every woman they encounter is as dumb as a fence post? I've been around car repairmen all my life, and I think I know what gas smells like!

Anyway, we brought the car home. The "Check Engine" light is off, which is good. Tonight will tell whether the garage reeks of raw gas in the morning. Either way, it CAN'T be the odor of raw gas, because Mikey says so!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Normal's Good

Our life for the last couple of years has been one continual roller coaster ride. Up one day and down the next. But, I'm thrilled to say that, for the last six to eight weeks, life has seemed to move on with uncharacteristic boredom. Don has digressed very little, if any at all. Some might attribute that to the drugs that I infuse twice daily. We think that could be a factor, but we're positive that the prayers of friends and family nation-wide certainly can't be hurting! He's been using his riding mower to cut our grass as well as my mom's. He isn't sleeping as much during the day. He's been enjoying spending time outdoors when his friends or family come to visit. I continue to be too busy some days, but it's very rewarding at the end of the day to look back and realize how well he's done.

On top of all the above, Don celebrated his 70th birthday this week. I know it sounds like a cliche', but it seems such a short time ago that we were young together. Time passed much too quickly. We're not living these golden(?) years like we might have imagined, but just living them without having to worry quite so much about day-to-day living is quite acceptable. I'm content to forego the excitement for a while. Yep. Normal's good!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sometimes I Need a Reminder

I had a routine doctor's appointment this morning. I was anxious to go. I've been what I feel is excessively tired lately, and my left foot has been hurting to the point that I'm unable to wear heels. I know. I know. That's a "pride" issue, but I do like to dress up occasionally. I had blood work done last week and was hoping the doctor had an easy solution for me. I honestly told him that I had felt unusually weary in recent weeks and wondered if, maybe, my B12 levels were low again or my gluclose count was high. He had my blood results sent in to him, and everything looked fine - better than at some other times, in fact. I felt a bit uneasy, and he began to talk to me. (I should mention that our general practitioner is a born-again believer, and I have great confidence in his relationship with God.) Apparently, the reason I'm tired is that I have so much "extra" on me at the moment. Did I need to be reminded that stress can wear me down? I guess so. He asked me how I slept, and I commented that I NEVER slept a full night and rarely got more than a couple consecutive hours of sleep. I have sleep aids (sleeping pills), but I really don't like to take them. At this point, I was tearing up. I told him that it somehow seemed "unChristian" to rely on sleep aids to help me get a night's rest, and I was embarrassed that I wasn't strong enough to deal with the added stress without it showing on me physically. By this time, he's crying, too! My wonderful doctor reminded me how that I couldn't be my best for Don if my body was too exhausted to function. Also reminded me that I should stop worrying about what people might think and try to do what is best for myself and Don at this point in my life. What a revelation! I know all those things, but I needed them brought to my remembrance.

He took the time to have my ankle x-rayed. No broken bones, but I have apparently strained or sprained it within the last few weeks. I don't even remember doing it.

So, nothing has changed, but I feel a little more capable of dealing with life on a day to day basis than I did first thing this morning. That's a good feeling.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Is There Ever Enough Time?

I'm bone weary again. Yes, I'm fully aware that I sometimes (often?) take on more than I should, but it is also true that there are just a lot of things that HAVE to be done. We had the four grandkids yesterday evening. Dondra brought her two little dogs and came over as well. We played games, watched a movie, and had a great time. I had put a roast in the slow cooker before going to bed, because I planned to do beef and noodles for dinner/supper today. When we all got up (the girls slept until almost 9:30), we went to Denney's for breakfast. After we got home, I hurriedly peeled and chunked potatoes and put them in water, so I wouldn't have that to do later in the day. In the afternoon, I took two of the children with me to the mall to look for an Easter outfit (can you say "too fat and sassy for my own good?"), and Don kept two of them here with him. It was a good shopping day. I found a dress, which my two wonderful grandchildren told me looked great on me! I got to thinking on the way home that, since Jeff and Julie were working like towheads trying to refinish their floor - a job that has gone on much longer than they had originally planned - I should invite the whole family over for supper. Neither Dondra nor Jordan could come, but Jeff and Julie were glad for the break. So, I prepared a yummy supper, if I do say so myself. Julie helped clear, but they really needed to get back home and get back to work, so I declined her offer to help with dishes. After the dishes were done, I got a call from a friend reminding me that we needed to run over the song she plans to do at the service tomorrow. She was coming to the house in an hour. I grabbed the opportunity to sit down and rest. Like a flash from the blue, it dawned on me that I needed to get food prepared for the Easter dinner tomorrow at Carolyn's. Oops!! Fortunately, I had taken the hamburger out of the freezer yesterday, so it was partially thawed for the stuffed peppers. I had to make a mad dash to the store for sour cream for my baked cheesecake before I could finish it and stick it in the oven. So, two or two and a half hours later, I'm finally able to sit down again. Only problem - now it's bedtime. Believe me, I'm ready to crawl between the sheets. Surely next week won't be so busy. I dare not look at the calendar. I'm not sure I could take what I see!