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Thursday, October 29, 2015

It Broke?

As I finished an abdominal ultrasound, a woman rushed in, saying she was the manager of the hospital facility. I was lying there with pants pulled down revealing only stomach with blouse pulled up and covering only my breasts.

She apologized, telling me I had to reschedule another test because the machine would not work. Test is a hidascan and I don't know how to spell it. It seemed that the whole room was flooded from rain coming in. Broken machine?

I wondered why they did not tell me earlier. Surely, they found it this morning. But, no. It obviously happened while I was having the ultrasound. As we left to take me back to the lobby, I could see the room in disarray and water all over the place. They told me that water was pouring from the room into the hall. Men were gathered and walking around part of the lobby, looking at the ceiling.

NOW, I must fast again and drive the 50 miles while starving. They suggest coming in at 7 am, but I am not getting up at 5 am to get ready and drive in the early morning traffic and half dark conditions.

At least I was able to get my vacuum cleaner bags! Charlie was supposed to but did not, partly my fault I suppose. I was not going to be able to get them myself because I was not going to wander around starving to try to get on and off the Parkway. Then, they would be closed by the time I finished the tests.

It has always puzzled me as to why buildings are built with flat roofs. One church near me kept repairing their flat roof over the years. Finally, they put in a peaked roof. (Is peaked roof the right term?)

Do the tar people lobby architects? Without doubt, it would cost less over the long run to just put in a peaked roof

Your turn
Have you ever been amazed at the work it takes to maintain a flat roof? Do you watch as constructions continue to construct flat roofs everywhere? Would it not be cheaper to spend the money up front on a peaked roof? Is there anyone out there who can solve this continuing mystery of building things that will always fail?

A New Thrifty Habit

As I look around and try to organize, I find things that need to go.

There was a time when my grandson loved t-shirts with skulls. In my house today, I found a t-shirt with a skull. I had bought it before I heard the news that this was not something he still liked. He had moved on. I took it back and am $8.13 richer. For two weeks I have gathered up things like this, plus things that are a great deal that I don't want to look at or store, things my granddaughters would like that are dirt cheap. Or, maybe not.

So, I am about $30 richer over two weeks. Now, these things were collected over a year and a dollar or quarter at a time...well, except for the t-shirt.

Since I have not been able to mail anything since last February, things were stacking up, falling down, sliding out of sight.

Shopping one day, I put three greatly reduced things in my cart, looked it over, and decided they could stay in the store.

Several weeks ago, I had someone help me go through my fabric. We got the job half done. She took home about half of the half we handled. Hopefully, when we go through the other half, I will find even less that I must, just must keep/  She is only 16 and learning to sew. When she shows a great interest in a piece of fabric I want, most of the time I just give it to her.

Since I have managed to sustain this habit of getting money back and leaving things in the store that I could really "use," I am calling it a habit. Now, I am parsimonious, but this is beyond my usual parsimony.

Your turn
Have you looked around with new eyes and taken many things back, gotten a refund and never missed the items?  What thrifty habit have you formed?

Monday, October 26, 2015

Doctor Visit

Here is how it went down:

sign in
supply id and insurance card
wait in waiting room
nurse stuff--my weight, blood pressure, temp, that kind of stuff
sat in exam room
talked to dr
nurse gave me a shot.

TIME: 32 minutes for all the above activity.

I went in because of severe vertigo, terrific pain in ears, tight throat and neck, swollen glands, temp. My October allergies finally caught up with me. I have been suffering all month long but none of the above symptoms.

The majority of the time spent inside the building, from car to car, was spent with the doctor! It is a walk-in place with this one fabulous doctor. (there are other doctors there) He talks to me! He explains things! I am never in the dark about what is happening in my body, why he gave one med over another. Of course, I mostly ask, but he does not hesitate to fully explain. Since he is usually at a walk-in place about 30 miles from here, I could still drive there if I were desperate to see him. Severe vertigo started last Thursday, but I managed to last until today when he was in town.

He is so unlike the other half dozen I have seen in this walk-in office. He is absolutely the best doctor I have ever seen other than specialists.

Your turn
Does your doctor see you quickly? Does he talk to you and explain things?

Dehydrating Hot Peppers

As soon as the Bell peppers were out of the dehydrator, I popped something else in.

I am not a fan of heat in my food, but someone gave me about 8 hot peppers, some of which were jalapenos. Since I was too tired to open them and get the seeds out, I placed them whole into the dehydrator. Then, I still did not want to put rubber gloves on, so I held onto the stem and sliced one long gash the length of the pepper.

When the peppers were very dry, I stuffed them into a half-pint jar. Maybe tomorrow I will put on gloves, cut the stem off and put them into the coffee bean grinder that has never seen a coffee bean. This won't be a product I can use. Maybe I will keep it around. Maybe I will give it away.

I still have the ground pepper I made from cayenne peppers a few years ago. It is rarely used, and then it is used for food someone else will consume.

When I receive something I will not eat, cannot eat, or I am allergic to, I process it and give it away.

Your turn
Do you ever make your own pepper by dehydrating and grinding hot peppers?

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Dehydrating Bell Peppers

I found Bell peppers for $0.48 cents at Sprouts and price matched them at WM. Bell peppers were $0.78 at WM. So, I saved $1.50.  This winter, they will be $1 or more. Five huge Bell peppers dehydrated fit into a half-pint jelly jar. It is always shocking how food shrinks in the dehydrator. I usually put only a half inch strip from a Bell pepper into soup or whatever for flavor. I love the flavor in other foods but cannot bear eating it.

There are pictures, but I still have to figure out how to get the Easy Share Kodak drivers for me new computer.

Because of the dehydrating process, the pieces are tiny. It would be easy to use half of the one cup yield in one pot of food. However, four or five pieces would equal the strip I use. Of course, for lots of things I would use 1/4 of a pepper to season. Lots of Bell pepper goes into meatloaf at my house. Since it must be smaller than the pieces I dehydrated, I will rehydrate the Bell pepper and use my kitchen shears to make it smaller for the meatloaf.

Your turn
Do you use Bell pepper as regularly as I do? Have you ever dehydrated Bell pepper?

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Can You Help with this Car Question?

My bulbs for the rear lights and brake lights are both out. Moisture gets into the light fixture thing. Auto Zone sold me something to put around the seal where it touches the car. But, it ran right off as I applied it.

The car is old. The seals are old. Is there a type of silicone applicant that I can apply while the Auto Zone guy is changing the bulbs? Can you give me the brand? I don't want to order online, but I can and will shop for a certain item. Monday is the day this happens, so I don't have time for ordering. However, I may have to.

One person told me to go to a body shop and ask what to use. What is their motivation in helping me not use them? (rhetorical question ONLY)

Auto Zone guy told me that anything used outdoors was going to contract and expand with the weather. He obviously knows nothing about things builders use on buildings!

Your turn

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Yogurt and Customer Service

When I was in Huntsville, Charlie gave me three cups of yogurt. I left it in the car longer than I should and was not comfortable eating it. So, I gave it to my two hens. Did you know that chickens love yogurt? I can actually hear them slurping it up! The older and larger hen must keep going to wipe it off her beak after each slurp. The little one just keeps slurping.

When I finally reached customer service for Royal Vacuum Cleaner bags, the woman at customer service had to be coerced into looking for information. I bought the vacuum cleaner in about 1985. It is only 30 years old, yet she was hesitant to even look for a source of the bags now.

"That's very old. I doubt I can find any bags."

Well, why don't you try?

This model number is only three digits. It's not complete."

Yes, it is just what is on the vacuum.

"Well, this might take a while."


"I still need the serial number."

I told you I cannot read it. I told you the vacuum is a canister, long and a hideous blue. It says Power Tank on the top and 4.3 horsepower. Do some research. You work for the company!

Are you sure that is not "Tower Tank."

Yes, I'm positive.

Okay, this is going to be hard to find.

It is an ugly blue! Find it!

She eventually came back and gave the alphabet number on the package of bags I needed--just one letter. It was what I thought I had bought for over 30 years.

All this took 30 minutes. It was incredible how sad she sounded, downtrodden even, that she was going to have to look up something! She would have been satisfied if I had just said, "Okay, I will toss out a good vacuum cleaner."

Customer Service has all but forgotten the last half of the title!

Your turn
What kind of battles have you had with CS? Do your chickens make a slurping noise when they eat yogurt? Do they love it as much as mine do?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Giveaway

Since I now have Windows 10, I am having to learn how to do things to get the job done. I cannot copy and paste like I did with 7. I cannot use the mouse to get the job done.  So, I must use ctrl-C and ctrl-V to copy and paste. This will be my first attempt.

If you want to enter the giveaway, click. Hey, it appears to have worked! Sluggy always has great giveaways. especially when there is chocolate involved. I have been remiss in posting this, but you still have plenty of chances and ways to enter.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Monday Chores

1. Take my car to the shop again!
2. Go washing machine shopping again! This time exbf will take me to Decatur for the washing machine.

Same song, second verse.

I am really tired of all this.

3. Return the indoor antenna that does not work.

To prepare for the stressful day, I am eating way too many chocolate chip cookies. I think it is helping alleviate the stress. now, I need to put a chicken in the crock pot and get a few things from the car.

Update: I just posted and was reminded that today is Saturday night, not Sunday night...sigh.

Your turn
What is planned for your Monday?

Friday, October 16, 2015

What Else I Did This Summer

Since I did not have my computer to entertain me, I depended on TV. I could not read as in "sit down in read a book" because of cataracts and the one missing lens. I did NOT want to listen to the radio. I did want to watch TV.

I have an antenna that exbf put up facing the wrong direction, so I cannot get the one station that I do want to watch. He maintains he did it right. I don't think so.

Let me give you a rundown of bad TV and some good. I even watched Cops Reloaded once and almost enjoyed it! It was a fruitless search to find the good.

Remember Laramie? I didn't. John Smith was a real hottie, cute, blond hair, one of the better looking actors of the day. He made it really big but worked bit parts here and there. There was one thing that bothered me. He had the tightest pants I have ever seen. The seam in the back was imbedded in his well-formed backside. The front was so tight I could tell whether he was right or left-handed!

Other than those distractions and questions about why those pants were so tight and why I had never seen him in the other things he was in, I liked the show.

When exbf was here, I turned it on to show him because he could not place the actor. When he saw Robert Fuller, he blurted out his name and knew everything he was in.

Then, there is ion television. There were house makeover shows, garden makeover shows, and another kind of makeover that I don/t remember. These were horrendous. The designers said the books were clutter and had to go, the sofas and shelves were too clunky and had to go. Many of the homeowners had toddlers or very young children. The designers declared that the children should a section for their toys, should play there, stay there, and not bother the parents in the kitchen or study! Whaaaat?

Then, the designers put in new spindly furniture, nothing with curves at all, but something trendy.??? The designers rhapsodized about separating children from parents, and the put low candles with open flames in reach of children. In one case, the designers put the children downstairs in the basement so the parents could read or watch tv or cook upstairs.

My babies, toddlers and preschoolers usually moved to wherever I was located as soon as they realized I had relocated, even to the bathroom for a moment. If they were not under my feet, I went to see what they were up to!

Then, there is Design Rivals, two designers, at least one of whom was gay. He, himself, joked about it. It was/is a great design show.

I have forgotten the name of the garden design show. But, I was horrified when the parents of two small children, maybe two- and five-years-old, were presented their garden makeover. The parents stated they wanted to entertain their friends with small children. The designers rhapsodized over the fact the children were at the back of the yard, separated from the view of the parents, so "parents did not have to see the children at play."

Let me tell you, I would be sitting where the children were playing. In my experience, parents cannot leave children from several homes untended, especially when there is an age range and several children. I would not want my three out of my sight! My children were good children. Most of my friends had very good children, but they all did something or started to do something that I or my friends had to veto or go to stop. I don't want my two-year-old playing unmonitored with an eight-year-old and other children! 

I did get my fill of Criminal Minds, but it is rough watching it for 7 or 8 hours in one day. At first, I did not realize it showed all day. Tonight, I saw for the fourth time the episode where Hotchner's wife is murdered. Jack was "working the case." Haley (wife) is murdered and Jack (son) saved himself by hiding.

Walker, Texas Ranger slugged so many people without damaging his hands. Each thud was identical. Plus, he kicked so many people in the face and none of them bled. Interesting. Nope, I watched this maybe five times all summer.

Mostly, I had religious channels or selling programming, neither of which I wanted to watch. There was an HSN at the bottom of the screen. It took me weeks to even become curious, then realized it was Home Shopping. Network. THEN, I saw a QVC in the corner of the screen. So, now I know what QVC actually is. Most nights, I would watch these for maybe five minutes total. The sellers never revealed the fabric content of most garments. They would point out silk or wool. There never was an acrylic reveal!

I was frustrated most hours of the day and night with no access to a computer and no access to decent TV programming. Plus, the library does not allow any blogs on their computers.

Does anyone have an inside antenna that gets tv? The Leaf did not. Sluggy, what model is your RCA? I know you are not able to tell me right now.

I know some of you do without tv. I won't. I want to watch the news, so hulu or Netflix is not what I need. I like watching Meet the Press. So, an antenna is what I need.

Your turn
Do you have the same problem with limited coverage of programs you really want?

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Publix Arrives! Dick's, too!

The town has been a-twitter with the news of these arrivals. Dick's arrived mid September, on the eleventh, I believe. I have no intention of going to Dick's. For those of you that don't know, Dick's is a sporting goods store.

Last night, I went to Publix. Before I was near the store, I could see the glow in the skies. The parking lot which is an extension of the former shopping center, was lit like a fairyland. The parking lot lights are pure white, unlike the yellowish ones adjacent in the other parking lot. Plus, there were triangular flags as banners strung from the lights to the ground. You know the kind I mean, like the ones in car lots.

Although all Publix I have seen were spotless, this store was doubly so. I browsed and looked for products not found in Cullman. After enquiring about these products I have found in Publix in other towns, I gathered the ads and came home to read.

People say the deals are great if a person buys the bogo items and has coupons for those items. There is always a free item each week if one buys $30 of other items. That is one deal I probably will never try since I never buy that much in groceries at one time.

This week, the free item was Publix peanut butter. The ingredients turned me off. I don't remember the ingredients, but there were more than two. Sugar and another fat/oil are not on the Smucker's I buy.

Maybe I mentioned this, but a newspaper headline stated:
Cullman has the smallest Dick's in Alabama  snort

I can just imagine the person who was responsible for that headline was snickering about being able to put it up.

Your turn
Have you ever shopped in Dick's or Publix?  What was your experience? Have you ever gotten good deals in Publix?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Bargains Last Night

By using the price match at Walmart, I got things I needed at a very good price.

Milk was 2 gallons for $4 at Kroger. I bought 2 gallons. Milk was $3.69 at Walmart.

Apples at either Aldi or Sprouts were $1.95 for a three-pound bag. Granny Smith and Gala were my choices. So, I have six pounds of apples for $3.90. That same six pounds was over $8, not sure about the exact price.

Bananas were gotten for $0.44/lb. I think they $0.69 at Walmart.

Boneless, skinless chicken breast were $1.69. Even though the price was only $1.99/lb., this was a better price. I think the total saved was about $11.

I didn't figure the total amount saved or the percentage of the original price. 

The apples may be dehydrated to use for later. I hope Gala is a cooking apple. Otherwise, they will be snacks. Granny Smith are so good and so tart that I make a face while eating one! But, I still love them

Your turn
Do you eat or cook with Gala apples? What bargains did you find at the grocery store this week?

Monday, October 12, 2015

Washing Machine Saga Continues+Raccoon

Because I only slept for 3.5 hours, felt horrendous because of lack of sleep and allergies, I decided I could do without a washer for one more week. After all, I have not had one for nine months!

I checked out the GE online, the one in Decatur. That is where we were going today.  It seemed like just what I want. We can go when I feel better.

I did want to show him one washer in town, however; so we went there. Then, we went to Sears. I thought they had shut down, but they just moved. Let's say the selection and service were sorry. He just sat in his vehicle while I pre-shopped.

Even though I went to sleep at 3 am, I knew I could make it through the day with 6.5 hours sleep. He gets here at 9:30. That much sleep was not to be.

Around 6:30, I went to the bathroom and was almost asleep when I heard a chattering sound. It sounded sort of like a squirrel. But, the sound was deeper and had a little whimper sound in the chatter. The sound came closer and closer. Finally, I got up and looked out the door window. Nothing. I opened the door and found the cutest little raccoon toddling across the yard toward me. When it saw me, it hurried and scurried up the steps.

The last thing I need is a raccoon in the house. I grabbed a stick from a project of mine. I shook it at the little raccoon and it stopped, then it came forward again. When I pecked the concrete with the stick, it ran very quickly, but stopped to look at me. I threw the stick and missed the raccoon by a mile. Really, I was about a foot off. The raccoon saw the stick coming and jumped to fight it before the stick landed. After it fought the stick for a few seconds, it wandered off toward the fence next door, still calling for its mama.

When I lay down, I had to get right up out of curiosity. Baby raccoon had climbed the fence and was holding onto the top of the fence, peeking over. It stood on the top rail of the fence to peek over. By the time I got the camera, it was gone. I could hear it going away still trying to find mama.

Had I not been in a skimpy gown and barefoot, I would have tried to kill it. Even then, I would worry that mama would attack me.

I lay back down and could not sleep, so I got up for the morning with too little sleep. As I lay there, my ear was killing me with a shrill noise in it. A few minutes later, I raised my eyebrows only to have the room spin violently as I clutched the mattress.

Hopefully, I will beat this and not get worse.

Exbf said the baby raccoon must have wandered too far from its mother. That makes sense since it came from far away and went far away from my house. The mother must have been across the block. I doubt mama left the baby.

Your turn
I know you have something to say. Here is your chance. Don't worry about being on-topic.

More on the Washing Machine Purchase and Other Stuff

When I said I went shopping those two days, I have to clarify. The KMart shopping and the Lowe's shopping each involved an electric cart. I left the third store before the door could close behind me. The fourth store shopping trip lasted less than five minutes. Neither had an electric cart. Each day, I went home and lay down with a temp and allergy headache!

One of the stores was a rent to own store that also sold washers. I could purchase a previously rented washer for $15 less than buying the same washer new. I told the guy that was not enough of a discount on used appliances. He looked shocked but did not care.

Tomorrow, exbf will drive me to Decatur to Home Depot so I can look at another washer or I won't be going. There will be several small stores that carry appliances, so maybe I can find an older model that suits me.I am not sure if I am winning or my allergies!

This afternoon, I went back to KMart and to Lowe's. The washing machines were as flimsy today as yesterday.

This afternoon, I cooked 10 lbs of leg/thigh pieces and stored them in freezer bags, all for exbf. While the pieces were hot, I pulled off most of the skin which the chickens enjoyed. I have the broth in the refrigerator, so I may keep one package of cooked chicken and make chicken and dumplings.

Tonight, I decided to cook some apple slices with cinnamon and a bit of sugar and scorched them because I had to lie down. It's late, but I am planning to cook boneless pork chops I paid $1.99/lb for with a price match at WM. That price was almost half of the WM price. Most of the fat was trimmed, so I felt doubly lucky not to be paying for the fat I do not like and will not eat.

Tomorrow, I plan to have pork chops, slaw, tomatoes, and collards. I wish I had sweet potatoes, but I have not gone to the sweet potato farm for my 80 lbs of sweet potatoes. This year, I swear I will bake them all immediately and freeze the innards.

Your turn
Just curious, have you ever rented an appliance?

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Buying a Washer

Friday and Saturday were washing machine shopping days. I have been without a working washer since January. I did not realize it was leaking until I stepped on a soft floor where it is rotting out.

When I told a friend I needed to call a repairman, she called the next day and said her husband said to let him look at it first. Well, that was over six months ago. Friday, I was at the end of my rope. Blankets were never washed and stored away. Since I had some on the floor in a pile to wash, I really don't want to start using them dirty. One has globs of something dark on it.

I never washed my sweaters because commercial washers would ruin them. Gloves need washing; scarves need washing.

Since January, I have spent about $10 each week at the laundry. Hauling clothes to the car, into the wash and hauling even heavier wet laundry up the stairs has taken its toll on me. Plus, some days, my friend insisted I wash at her house. NOW, her washer broke. But, her husband and her friend got right onto that problem.

I am very discouraged by the machines out there. I refuse to have a HE washer. Besides, they are very expensive. My predilection  for other machines left little to choose from. My current machine is Amana. The only Amana in town has a flimsy, flexible knob that is surely destined to break. Hotpoint looks like a child's toy.

There is a knob with option: heavy dirt, medium dirt, light dirt...or something like that. When I asked what that option controlled, the guy said it controlled that amount of water used by the machine. WHAT?!?!? I want to control the water height. So, if I put in a blanket lightly soiled, I only get a little water?

Plus, I  cannot find a machine that allows me to choose the wash cycle water temperature and the rinse cycle water temperature independent of the other. Just because I want to wash in hot water does not mean I want to rinse in hot water.

Another thing, one machine had a water temp choice that included cold and tap cold (or something like that). Does that mean the water is cooled before washing and the tap cold is what comes out of the tap. Honestly, the temperature of tap water matters little to me.

I think I bought this washer in 1996, so I have not looked at a washer dial in the store since then. How long has this been going on. Choosing the washer I have was easy. These new ones completely stump me.

Since I married in 1966, this will be my third washer purchase. I hope the next washer I buy will be the last one I need. My two washers lasted 49 years. The machine repair guy said most only last about five years. Aaaargh!

Tell me it's not true. If it is so, I should need another three or four washers in my lifetime. If I could find the same quality washing machine, I would buy it. It appears a good washer is not available without buying HE. However, I don't think they are good washing machines.

It is in the 40s, and I need clean blankets, coats, and sweaters!

Your turn
Have you found the new washers to be flimsy and with confusing options or too few options? Do you have a brand or model to recommend, one still on the market and not HE?

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Losing Confidence

Always ask for notes from your office visit to your doctor! You might be surprised at your recorded medical history.

One report stated I was a smoker. NO WAY! I was told by the office staff and the doctor it was a computer error. I interrupted the doctor, telling him there were no computer errors, just operator errors. He looked crestfallen and reluctantly admitted that was right.

Today, I received an office visit report that stated I was 89-years-old. WHAT? I have been told I look 45. I think I look my age, 69. But, 89? I do look great for that age.

Also reported: I never went through menopause! WHAAAAT? I asked if anyone actually listened to what I said or read what I wrote on the sheets I had to fill in on my history.  She said he talked into a machine and it just picked it up wrong.

On my list of medications was a medication I have not taken for 15+ years. sigh

Folks, there has got to be a better way.  If all this incorrect information is passed along, I fear it may color the way doctors diagnose and the medical treatment I receive. I have not lost confidence in my doctor. I have lost confidence in the systems that collect, hold, and dispense our medical information.

Your turn
Have you ever had mistakes made in your records?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


This weekend, I purchased a two-pound bag of chopped collards. The idea was that the chickens and I could share. The little one wrestles a long piece until she gets a bite. So far, Janis Joplin just pecks around and leaves most of the collards.

Obviously, they don't care for collards. However, the need green stuff since they don't get out for grass and weeds. I am not taking any chances with these two expensive girls! I will try something else green for them. They love leftover salad with ranch or Italian dressing. Since tomorrow is the church dinner night, maybe there will be salad to bring them. I always eat all my salad, but many people barely touch it.

I put half the collards in a huge pot with about two inches of water. They are not steamed, but cooked very little. Collards will be eaten twice a day until they are gone. Some people don't like collards, but I do. I really prefer them without any ham or seasoning. I compromised that by putting in a Tbsp. of bacon grease. I cannot really taste it, but I do know that oil on raw salad greens helps the body to access the nutrients. Maybe it is that way when greens are cooked. At any rate, the bit of fat gives the whole pot a good mouth feel.

As I eat these, they are barely wilted, a little tough. However, I am really hungry and these will fill my stomach and satisfy the need to chew. So far, I have chewed this bite 40 times, and I still need to chew more to break them down.

Collards are the best green for the liver, low calorie, and filling. Well, for the moment I am being filled. I will probably be starving soon.

When I losing weight, I eat good-for-me foods. Then, when I get to the evil food, I am so stoked about my eating accomplishments and am physically and mentally satisfied with good food that I eat less evil food. I sort of trick myself into less of the evil food I really want and intend to eat. Actually, sometimes the craving has left me.

Let food be thy medicine~~Socrates

Later, I am going to use my prize money from the fair to buy KFC Tuesday Special--Chicken breast, mashed potatoes/gravy, cole slaw, and senior drink. I get unsweetened tea.  I don't eat the skin. I feel very self righteous when I don't eat the fried skin. I cannot stand chicken skin, never have.

I do take a walk on the wild side now and then.

Your turn

Do you ever eat the good-for-you foods before you eat the evil foods? Do you like collards or other greens? Do you like them virtually unseasoned--no salt, no ham, no pepper, no oil?

October: My Least Favorite Month

I am not impressed with those who rhapsodize about the charms of October. Falling leaves mean my lungs suffer. Cool and damp days bring on head congestion. The leaves falling also mean sinus problems and headaches. Sinus problems lead to sore throat and ear congestion, asthma, fever, and malaise.

Even though the scenes can be charming, I had better watch from behind glass. However, I never have the opportunity to avoid all the dangers to me.

My daughter has asthma. Once, when she was in the first grade, I told her teacher my daughter could not go out because of her asthma. My daughter came home barely able to breathe. She said her teacher said it was okay even though I told my daughter and the teacher my daughter could not go outdoors. It was a crisp, cool day and the leaves were falling profusely.

So, I went to the classroom the next morning and asked her why my daughter was told to go out anyway. The teacher assured me it was such a lovely day that she had her go out. "I just had her sit on the curb. She did not run." I explained that my daughter should not be out because of the falling leaves, that running would not hurt her. I had the teacher give her work to my son to bring home.

The teacher looked hurt. Right! I hurt her feelings. I explained my daughter would probably not be in school for a few days. Still, she was one of my favorite teachers. I have never talked about this before.

The times she was left indoors, the janitor came in and was touching her, hugging her and making her afraid. I complained that I did not mean left alone. I complained to the principal who acted like this old guy touching my daughter was no big deal. However, when a doctor's wife complained, the janitor was fired and parents were never informed.

I digress.

My first semester at UAB, I requested special permission to take 15 hours or something well over the limit. I had horrible allergy problems beginning in October. Of course, I was not free to remain indoors or at least avoid windy days when the leaves were falling. I had to drop an important course and ended up failing another class I thought I could handle.

Later, when I had retaken and passed the course, I mentioned I failed Humanities Participation. Several people were shocked, asking, "How could you fail Humanities Participation? It's only one hour!" Well, this was a course where you had to attend six events--dance, play, lecture, art, etc. Then, each student had to write a one-page paper. The problem was none of these events were on weekdays when I was already there. So, I would keep putting off driving over 50 miles in an effort to recover with rest. Well, nothing worked. So, I failed.

That month, I took three antibiotics at one time, yes, prescribed by the doctor. Finally, I recovered. My problems started with allergies. Eventually, I did have much congestion in my head, chest, and ears. He could not figure out how to help me.

In subsequent years at UAB, I was almost as ill. I thought leaving school would help. Nope. I learned to be proactive and to start otc meds at the first sign of any head congestion. That was 25 years ago. Last year was the first year I did not suffer. It looks like this year, despite anything I do, I will be ill. I am ill, actually. I just hope I can stave this off.

Yes, I love Halloween and changing seasons. But, this is the only month that consistently sees me so ill. I do have problems in other seasons and months, but this is consistent.  Right now, my face hurts; my teeth hurts; my neck hurts; my throat hurts; the back and top of my head hurts; my ears hurt.

Your turn
Does October or fall and leaves falling cause problems for you? Does another month cause you distress? Oh, I have year-round allergies, so I am faced with a new problem all the time. But, October is the worst.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Bought a Vehicle

Last week, exbf totaled his vehicle, the Ford Explorer. On Wednesday I pre-shopped for him at the same place the bought his vehicle last year. I sat in the office and listened to the list of cars the guy thought he might want after I obliquely told him what he wanted.

I picked out one without going out to see it. The salesman gave me the Car Fax report. When exbf got home from work, I read it to him.

Thursday morning, he went to his bank and was approved for a certain dollar amount. Then, he drove here and got in my car while I ran out to drive him.

The salesman brought it up to us at the office and we took a test drive. I was concerned with a noise behind me. Exbf said it was just the motor. "The motor is back there?"

He assured me the motor was in front of me, under the hood. Then, he said it was just exhaust noise. "Any exhaust making that noise needs to be fixed!" He still did not believe me.

We were planning to have a local mechanic check out the car. I told the guy about the noise which exbf still insisted was nothing. The mechanic reported it was cupping. I knew what he meant. The tires are wavy, not smooth.

When we went back to the dealer's, the salesman was happy to hear all the belts and hoses were good. Exbf was doing this reporting. I quickly interrupted him to bluntly ask for the best price. He came down. Then, I told him the vehicle needed rear tires, at least, and informed him of noise and the cupping problem and asked how much he was going to reduce the car since we had to buy tires. (There really is no "we" and the salesman knew it.) I figured the guy thought he should listen to me since exbf never objected to a word I said.)

The man acted shocked and hurt. "But, I just gave you my best price!" Exbf said the man was partly shocked and partly acting. I really held my ground with the guy and exbf allowed me to talk. I run a hard deal.

So, he relented and will have two new tires on it in the morning. If he gets them installed in time, exbf will come get his car; if not, I will pick it up.

Exbf never commented on my being right about the noise. He forced me to gloat! I told him he should thank me. He said not a word!

I can say I have never picked out a used car that was a disappointment.

You are worried I only considered one car and he drove only that one and bought it? Well, his credit union will only finance a newer car, must run it through Car Fax. I picked the car/vehicle that fit the bill for him. He would have looked further if he had not been satisfied. Plus, exbf does not want a car, just a higher vehicle. He has trouble lowering himself into a car since he needs two hip replacements and two knee replacements. He bought a Nissan Rogue CX or CV or some two letters.

Your turn
Do you ever go with anyone to help pick out a car or help with the salesman? How do you handle it?