Archive for July, 2008

A couple of days ago, I had to tow a broken car, with a broken car. I, being the driver of the broken Chevy S10, towed the broken Chevy Astro Van. I like to be in control and the Chevy had no power; hence it was like wrestling a drunken bear to keep it on the road. I doubt I could have wrangled its powerless steering over Brown Counties hilly, curved roads. 


I reasoned that the Chrysler Voyager, which is our “good” car was not going to do the pulling as it was the only thing I own that is not rusted or dented, and no one would promise it would still be that way after towing the Astro Van. Half way home, I was not certain I had made a wise decision. I had visions of having two stranded cars stuck away from home.


Something is wrong with the S10’s computer. It sputters and dies and has the cough of death until the “check computer” light comes on and then it runs, well not okay, but better. I even paid money to an online expert to try to figure this out.


It has a rusted tail gate that is held on by a strap and it has no muffler. During the tow, I reached a point where I could not tell whether I was actually hearing the muffler still or if my ears were going to hear that noise permanently.


I inherited the Astro Van from my father, and it also does not have a muffler, but that is not a problem as it was the broken car, with a starter and a fuel problem. This car has 180,000 miles on it, so I guess I shouldn’t complain too much. But, the door locks don’t work (a common Astro problem) the drivers window won’t go up and down (down sometimes, up no)and it does not have air conditioning. Which is deadly when the windows don’t work. We needed to get it home, so that it could be worked on. It’s our second best car. Sad!!!


The tow took forever, with people turning their heads to see what major piece of highway equipment was tooling down their road, as the S10 struggled to pull the beast up the hills. I turned wide into our driveway, hoping the Astro would not turn into the gully, then down the last 400 feet of our drive. I aimed where I was told it was to sit, in the grass, where I received confirmation that I had made the right decision.


Bam! The unpowered Chevy Astro van plowed into the towing S10.


I’m sure he tried to stop, but he has a history. We bought a new refrigerator once and by the time it arrived at our house it had scratches and dents on three sides. The back was pristine though, he pointed out to me. This is also the man who put his tools on top of the washer, while installing it, so that the lid was all scratched before it ran its first load.


He is the proverbial bull in a china shop.

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On a lighter note, after baring my soul about my grandkids and after reading Pollyanna’s reading challenge at http://prsunshine.wordpress.com/pollyannas-reading-in-wonderland-challenge/ I thought I would tell you about the THE BEST mystery I have ever read; and believe me, I started with A and went to Z in Mysteries, at the Lake County Public Library. It’s a research library and it’s hugely wonderful. I am not the best reviewer in the world, but gosh this book is so good, I can’t wait for his second one to come out.


I do my treadmill each morning. I do not find this a particularly fascinating pastime and I’m at a slow pace yet, so I read to pass the time. This is not the easiest thing to do on the Body for Life Program, as you increase and decrease speeds constantly. I try to reserve the book for the treadmill, thereby: 1. Having something to read each day and 2. Forcing me to work on my own YA Novel and not sit all day and read someone elses book.


First day, with The Chemistry of Death, I did my twenty-one minutes, pulled the plug and stood on the machine for another fifteen. I finally had to sit down and forced myself to leave the book on the machine.  Day two, FORGET THAT, I read on the treadmill and took the book with me. I spent the rest of the day, feet up, reading the most wonderful Mystery writing I have encountered in a long time, maybe ever.


This is Simon Beckett’s first novel. His words just suck you into the landscape. I first wrote a line that his words were poetry but then I read the back cover and Tess Gerritsen said that already. But, environment is really a character in this book (as we are always supposed to do). He sucks you into it with the protagonist entry into the rural town. 


But, oh how he handles all of it. You think you know who the Antagonist is; oh no, it must be this guy, no it could be that guy, and soon you just forget trying to guess and enjoy the journey. And, at the end, it’s the same way. No spoiler here because this book is just too good to do.


Even if you are not “into” mysteries, this is a must read book.

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As a continuation to my sleeping problem:


Sometimes the problem is really bad, like after we took the boys in and I literally did not sleep more than two hours a night for three months. I missed the rest of my grandchildren so much and the fight with my daughter of eleven ran through my mind, over and over and over. You know those; What could I have said? Where did it all go so horribly wrong? Why didn’t I just call out DFS at the time? (Answer to that was, I had no idea how bad it was until I got the boys home and listened to them talking among themselves and about their lives in their mother’s home.)


The worse thing that was replaying in my mind was worrying that the children we left behind felt abandoned. It is a restrictive extremist home and abusive. I have written DFS and our school system here has reported it, but I will likely not see my grandchildren again until they are old enough to seek me out. I just hope they are safe. If you live in Glenrock, Wyoming and know, please email me.


But, I digress, and that’s the problem with my sleeping too. I digress all night. I found out that listening to books on tape helps. But, not knew books that I have never read, so I am the major person who checks out the Harry Potter, Books on CD, at our library. Hence, the computer light is on all night for my laptop. I have not figure out why I do not have Harry Potter dreams though.


I always had problems sleeping, but now, it’s a major problem. On the nights I get to sleep, if anything wakes me up before I am deep in sleep, I cannot go back to sleep, so the voice in my headphones helps to blot sound out too.


So when, a few weeks ago, the doctor told youngest boy to take Melatonin. He does not sleep well either, in fact he and Gaffer (oldest boy) never get to sleep before 2 or 3am, even on school nights. They are, obviously, not morning people.


The Melatonin worked so well for youngest boy that I decided to try it. Whoww!! Dream/nightmare time. Two nights in a row, I had the same vivid dream.


Now, I usually remember my dreams and I dream a lot. I can even remember a few I had repeatedly when I was a kid. When I had measles I had a recurring dream about a human size chocolate chip cookie, which rolled around on the streets. It wasn’t a nightmare. I’m thinking maybe I should go into advertising because it’s a lot like the cookie in the commercial that sings and get’s eaten. I also tend to dream about cake a lot. I mean I taste it in my sleep even. I have a major frosting issue. I go to weddings for the cake.


A Melatonin dream, I am finding, is a bloody dream. In the dream, my hands and arms, up to my elbows, are covered with blood: Chrome smelling, thick, sticky blood. I think I was going around looking for the source of the blood, if I remember and not thinking about the Melatonin causing it, I took one the next night and had the exact same dream.


I didn’t take Melatonin for a while, after that, and then I took half a pill for a while. My memory being the length of a gnat, I forgot all about the bloody dream. Then, I hadn’t slept for three nights and was getting desperate and actually took two pills one night. 


The nightmare came back. This time the blood was on boxes. That’s all I remember at this point. Chrome smell, sticky, thick blood on boxes. 


Vivid dreams and nightmares is listed as a side-effect of Melatonin. Blood is not mentioned. You are warned.

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My brain shuts down early in the evening and irritating Chihuahua wants to go to bed at 8pm. She will sit up in front of my husband’s chair and beg him to leave the room, until he finally does. Yes, ladies, I do rent irritating Chihuahua out.  She will then sit and stare at me. If I am involved and ignore her, she will finally curl up and go to sleep. However, she will then refuse to move when I am ready for bed. Her 6.2 lb body becomes forty pounds of “I told you to go to bed and I ain’t movin.”

i guess I should explain here, that due to a bad back and a horribly damp cold supposedly finished basement area, that I cannot bear to sleep in, I sleep on the couch upstairs. Then, there is always the ghost down there too, which my mother says explains the horrible, damp cold.

#1 problem is: I sleep in the front room. Sleeping in the front room has many drawbacks. One, is the fact that way too many people work late and come through the open floor plan front room/kitchen to go downstairs to their bedrooms.

#2 problem is: There are too many resident, and non-resident, boys over the age of sixteen here at any given time.  All of them require two hour feedings all night. Note to new parents. It may end when they are a few months old, but it starts again at age 15.

#3 problem is: There are exactly, at any given time, twelve items (I counted) in my vision of sight area with at least one glowing light. This does not include the cell phones being charged or the #%#! computer, which everyone seems to leave on all night. It’s something about VISTA (Hard to believe, huh????). It doesn’t shut down right and the blue light glows all night and gradually brightens and dims all night, as if beckoning someone to come so it can trap it in its non-working snare. Whereupon, I get up, go and start it up so I can shut it down and sit there until it is off, which takes like a millenium because if you shut the screen before it is shut down, it will not shut down and the blasted blue light will continue to beckon to all the planes in the flight path going south from Indianapolis.

#4 problem is: Of the twelve items that are permanently lit up, one of them is a stereo, belonging to oldest boy, Gaffer, (occupation, not his name, although it is a thought and it does suit him.). Gaffer hooked the stereo up so we could get better sound when we watch DVD’s. The problem is, the stereo has a light show that beats many rock bands. You may not turn it off, EVER! It runs when the stereo is turned off and I can’t throw it out because it does not belong to me. So, I have to get up again to cover it with a double folded throw because youngest son likes to listen to music on it.

#5 problem is: At this point, I crawl into bed muttering and after saying SH_T! I get up and take my pills. Then, I get up next time to adjust the %!#^ air conditioning. At this point, I say, Doors locked, dog’s food fluffed, dogs water filled, flashlight, pills, alarm, and lay down, safe in the knowledge I will never sleep more than two hours at a time. EVER!

I have put masking tape over the light on the air purifier. It’s light is a beacon on the ceiling that rivals that of old auto sales yard spot lights. I get up every time the electricity goes out and punch the stove so that light will not continue to blink all night. I unplug both printers at night. I firmly believe these glowing lights on everything are a plot by the oil company to make us use more power.

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Obviously, it is going to be one of “those” weeks.

First there was:

My tomatoes are off to a good start. 

Oh, wait! What is that white spot on the leaves?

That doesn’t look good. I picked up the leaves and probably dislodged an egg or two. I’m sure there are a few on another plant that I missed.  This doesn’t look good either:

Sorry, this is blurred but the major action is inside the tomato.  Whatever it is, does not eat the skin until the very last thing.

And this is how they end. 

PLEASE, if anyone knows what I can do or what this is, I don’t want my baby melons to end up the same way.

July 25th update: Against every fiber of my being, I have sprayed it with chemicals. Actually, the hose wasn’t working right so I more like drizzled it to death, I just hope I haven’t 1. fried them and 2. poisoned us.

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It is now 9:19 pm. I have just gone on my blog and see that today is a new day in WordPress world and I have 0 views for this new day; Wednesday, which I am presuming probably started at 9:pm on Tuesday.


Now, I am irritated enough having lived in the Central Time Zone most of my life and now having had some idiot legislature vote that we now belong with the east coast. If they had given me an ocean view, I could have accepted it as I would not be sitting here now watching Tim Burton on “The Directors”, I would be sitting on my deck, listening to the ocean and watching the stars. But, no, I am sitting in a stuffy, air-conditioned house, that sometimes has electricity (last night it went out three times).


So, why, if it is 9:19pm in Indiana and on the East Coast, and I live in Indiana, which should be 8:19, just why is it tomorrow in WordPress land?


I have tried setting my Timezone for UTC -4; which seems to be closer than the UTC -5 that I am told I should have it at. But, I have tried both and UTC -4 gets me closer to the time I am at; probably because frikkin Indiana is now on the East Coast.


So, why is it that WordPress changes me to a new day three hours before midnight?  This is one of those little things in life, I cannot let go of, like deleting extra programs on my computer.


Okay, to further complicate the matter. I just published this and it does, indeed tell me it was published today, Tuesday July 22, 2008. So, it is only tomorrow, Wednesday inside of WordPress, where my cute little graph chart resides. I feel so much better now!

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Doesn’t it drive you nuts?


When you have five people in the house with cell phones and you are sitting in the house, with just the goofy Chihuahua, and everyone else is either at work, or wherever they have gone to avoid mowing the lawn. And, the house is quiet. Then—


You hear a “chime”.


Ignore it. It’s someone’s phone as among those five people are two who rarely even know where their phone is. Then—-


It chimes again. And, again; I get up and go to the kitchen, it chimes, but not there. Upstairs bedroom: chimes but nope, not there. Return to the front room and there it is again, the dratted chime.


I know a lot of the rings. One sounds like an old telephone, another plays Law & Order. But, no one’s cell chimes like this. I finally sit back down and it chimes again; close. I lower the laptop lid and, there, sitting behind my computer is:


MY cell phone, sticking out its tongue at me, and chiming. Why is it chiming? It’s never chimed before. In the three years I have had it, I have never heard that chime.


By the way, I am the only one to still have my original cell phone. One boy has lost two. This is oldest boy who ran across the street in Santa Fe and turned to see a compact car run over his IPod, “Oh good, he thought the protective case I bought for it worked.” Oopps! Don’t run out there to grab it, there is a pick-up truck coming. Oh, well, the protective case is cracked but I will replace that. Oppss!  Don’t run out there! Semi truck, coming and going, leaving behind bits and bobs of iPod and protective case.


Two other cell phones met their demise in pockets at a music festival when a monsoon struck. Middle boy upgrades his and gives younger boy his old one. Younger boy just has bad luck with them functioning.


But, apparently, I have a voice mail. The screen of my cell phone tells me so. I have never had a voice mail. The screen does not tell me how to retrieve the voice mail. I have no idea how to as I push the right button under the slash and every other button I think might work. The message is now gone and no one is home to show me how to retrieve it, and even after they come home and show me, I forgot and some idiot decided to leave me a voice mail YET AGAIN! My cell phone is indestructible as I pound it on the desk to make it quit chiming.


PLEASE, whoever you are, STOP LEAVING ME VOICE MAIL!!!!!

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