Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Necessity is the mother of.... toys.

I don't recall sending this pic a few weeks ago, during the Very Snowy Day. Lots of snow and ice that day. I got home and laughed at the tracks in the neighbor's driveway, indicating that they couldn't make it up the ice.

Then this happened to me:

Hmpf. Yep, that's my driveway. And my tracks.

It's not that steep! But my little Saturn VUE (SUV) wouldn't make it. 2-wheel drive no longer cuts it. We're not in Texas anymore, Toto.

So, I went all-wheel drive shopping this week.

I have owned three Saturns. I've loved them. Because of this, the Saturn dealership back in Texas would bust their keisters to get me what I wanted. Even when I brought my sister in to get a new car, the sales manager said to the salesman, "Be sure you make her happy, no matter what she wants."

The Saturn dealership here doesn't quite feel the same way. I told them what I wanted. I told them what I did not want, which was to raise my payment about a certain level. They refused to deal, though. They offered me a ridiculously low trade-in. The salesman knew it, too. I saw how he watched my face for a reaction when he showed me the figure. He was afraid I'd react exactly the way I did.

Shove it, buster.

And he went over my stated budget limit by $45. "Is that really a big deal?" he asked. "I mean, maybe you could go to Starbucks less."

I don't go to Starbucks, buster. Shove it again.

So, I went elsewhere. I went to Ford. And I came home with.....

An '08 Ford Edge. I like it. A lot! Handles smoother, nicer interior, has all the safety features I like, and it's AWD.

Now, I need to replace all the lovely stickers I had on the old car. A pretty wolf sticker from Ranger. A window decal that says, "My other vehicle is the Millennium Falcon." And one that says, "Area 51 Parking Permit." that one in Roswell at the UFO Museum. No kidding.

Excuse me, dear Diary, as I go for a drive....

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Small flashback

Anyone remember Fella?

For those just tuning in, I'll spare you the backlog of reading: "Fella" was called "New Fella" for awhile. He's older than me. a middle-school football and basketball coach. Took him three dates before he touched me. He never held my hand in all the movies we went to. each Saturday, August 07-February 08, we had dinner and went to a movie. We had one hot and heavy 10 minutes that got interrupted and went nowhere. He had a little problem stepping outside of himself. So, when I noticed I was doing all the calling, I stopped. We didn't talk again.

He had a little hangup about one detail about me. I'm a Mormon. This whole idea puzzled him, to the point of amusement. His own amusement, I might add. He asked me questions about it. Then, he'd laugh at some of my beliefs, and say things like, "How do you know the men aren't meeting together just to come up with new ways to suppress the women?" I seem like a suppressed woman? I mean, if that's the case, they're failing. Miserably.

But he still poked fun at me. It was annoying.

Flash-forward, to present reality. Our church meeting time recently changed. We used to go from 1:00-4:00, but now we go 9:00-12:00.

Oh, and by the way, guess who is the new women's Sunday school teacher? Yep. Good ol' Blogget. I do it once a month. I like teaching, so it's an okay calling for me.

But I digress. Again. Anywho....

That means the other ward that uses our building overlaps with us a little. As we're leaving, their first-hour in the chapel (this is the meeting with everyone together, hearing "sermons" and all) is letting out.

So, I'm leaning against the wall, talking to my mother. I thought I looked pretty good that day. I'm wearing my new look-how-much-thinner-I-am Sunday dress. My hair is pulled into a braid, with curls escaping around the edges. The chapel doors open, and I look up.... see Fella coming out of the chapel.

I smile as he looks up and sees me. He does a double-take. His eyes scan me up and down. He smiles back, nodding a hello to me. There's a small Hispanic woman behind him, who looks older than him. She starts to look where he's nodding, but he quickly takes her elbow and guides her the other direction.

My smile turns to a chuckle. My mom is puzzled. "Remember the dinner-and-a-movie coach guy?" I ask her. "Who made fun of me being a Mormon?" She nods. I pointed to Fella's back. Mom gapes. She's subtle that way.

So, somehow, he landed himself among the Mormons. That makes me smile, for a lot of reasons.

I wonder how that crow tasted?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Political crapola

I hate political crap. I really and truly do.

No, I'm not talking about the swearing in of the new President of the US of A. Although, I hear him being hailed as the greatest President since Kennedy....even before he's been sworn in. What kind of nonsense is that? For pity sake, make the man prove himself and actually earn the accolades. Or criticism. Whichever is deserved.

But I digress.

I hate political crap. And I can feel it happening all around me. The ground is rumbling with all the maneuvering that's going on. I'm keeping my head low and my nose clean. My ear is to the ground, listening to the rumblings.

Here's the deal. The college's head of Student Services and Outreach retired. My office is in the same suite as the Student Services people. Two other Extended Studies people are in this suite, too. My boss and the continuing education person. It made sense for us to be here because Extended Studies is part of Outreach.

My boss is head of Extended Studies and the satellite campus in Montrose. Two hats. So, he's in this office about once a week.

So the new head of Student Services was hired. But his title doesn't say "Outreach" now. My boss pointed this out to me and said we need to watch and see how it settles out. Well, it settled out that they moved Extended Studies to be under Academic Affairs. Why? No idea. This puts me on pins and needles because the head of AA is reputed to be very disagreeable. I've never had a conversation with her, but looks that will change....

My boss calls last week to tell me this, and drops another bombshell. They took away one of his hats. He's no longer head of the satellite campus. He's 100% Extended Studies. Personally, I think he's sugar-coating that he's had his other hat removed.

He says to prepared for office move #5. The new Student Services guy wants only his own people in the office suite. Yesterday, I hear something about the continuing ed person moving for sure. She's packing. And my boss is preparing to move, too.

I have friends in another department who desperately want me among them. So, I communicate this to the AA lady. Know what she tells me? I'm not moving. My boss and the other lady are, but not me.

WTF?!?! My boss doesn't even know this.

So, now I have to analyze this. Is it good? Is it bad? What the hell does it mean?

Dang, I hate this. Let me tell ya, I'm dotting my i's and crossing my t's, though!

Monday, January 12, 2009

They happen in threes

And all three happened in one day for my family.

Before anyone panics, I'm referring to hospitalizations and not deaths! Thank goodness. Each had their complications, though.

First was my sister. She had a hysterectomy on Friday, but it had to be done the big-ol'-incision way, not the easy laproscope way. Well, "easy" is a relative term with this kind of thing. Her husband, my unbelievable-effing-idiot brother-in-law Marine, is headed back to California on the 22nd, though. I'm playing it by ear to see if she'll need help, so I can hop in the car and head that way as soon as he's gone.

Hop in the car with Ranger, I might add. His kids live less than 10 miles from my sister. The situation with his son isn't getting better. He's dodging Ranger's phone calls. When they do talk, he's silent and unresponsive. He's changed his online photos of himself to ones that are very dark and brooding. Ranger is about beside himself. It's a helpless feeling, not knowing what's happening or what to do. His son is an adult, but the gut is saying something strange and serious is going on, and the boy needs help.

The second hospitalization was Matsi. She also had a hysterectomy, but they call hers spaying.

Apparently, it's rude to say your sister is getting spayed. Hmpf.

Dear sweet Matsi is fine, but she had complications, too. The vet said that in 30 years of practice, he's never seen this before. From what I understand, they sever the arteries to the uterus and tie them off with sutures. Well, Matsi had an artery that retracted, and pulled out of the suture. When they went to close, she kept bleeding. They had to go find the bleeder and fix it. So, she has an unusually long incision. And is mondo-shaved, poor thing. That's gonna itch.

But here's Matsi recuperating. You can kinda see the shaved belly. And this is her new favorite spot. My bed. I found her here when I got out of the shower this morning:

The third hospitalization was my aunt. She lies in an assisted living place near here. She has retardation and has limited use of her right side from a stroke about three years ago. She also has a weak heart and smokes like a chimney. On Friday, they took her to the emergency room with chest pains and jaundice.

It's not her heart; it's gall stones. So, they did surgery on Sunday and removed her gall bladder. However, the stones were lodged too far down to get, so they are doing a second procedure (as I'm typing this) to get to the stones and remove them.

The problem is that after the first surgery, she wouldn't breathe on her own. She's awake and aware, but can't breathe on her own. They've put her in the ICU, on a respirator. The nurse says it's odd, but she seems contented to be on the respirator. Apparently, most people try to pull it out themselves, but not my aunt.

I'll keep you updated, dear Diary. When it rains....

Friday, January 09, 2009

Happy New Year!

And I've hit the ground running! Again, I've been a neglectful blogger. I'll try to get things up to speed without making this another one of my novels. ;o)

First off, the holidays were glorious! We had a white Christmas, with everyone gathered around the toasty woodstove. Ranger spent a lot of time with us, and it really felt like "family," you know? My mother has really started getting over the damage caused by my sister over the summer, so some of that tension is gone. She's warming up to Ranger. Drama Queen and her mother came over for Christmas Eve, and we loaded up the car and went looking at Christmas lights. Great fun! Even Matsi went with us that night.

Ranger helped me find the t-shirt I wanted to get for Daughter's Christmas pajamas. So, when she tried it on later that night, she was so delighted with it that she had me take a picture with my phone and send it to him. She made this little heart sign with her hands, and I think it made him tear up a bit. Both kids are warming up to him, too, now.

For New Year's, we all went to dinner at this Asian restaurant. We had bites of each other's orange chicken, Thai barbecue, and sushi. That was mine :o) Love that stuff. They have this roll of spicy salmon with cream cheese, that lightly fried....yum! But I digress....

At the end of the meal, we distributed the fortune cookies and had a good time reading them all. Son's made me laugh the most: "It's about time I got out of that cookie." Haha!

But we had one extra. Ranger snagged it and said it was for the whole table. He cracked it open and read the fortune. His eyes went wide, and he shot a look at me that I couldn't read.

"What is it?" my mother asked.

He looked at me again.

"Let me see," I said. My mother was thinking it was something dirty. I took it from his fingers and read:

"You or someone close to you will be married soon."

Oh. Wow.

A silence fell for a moment, but DQ broke it. She did a fake swoon and said, "Oh Son!!" To which he responded with a "Stop that" frown, and we laughed.

I kept the fortune.

Ranger's ex called a couple of days later. His son's grades came in. Now, he's 20 and in college, but struggling. A lot like Son is. By the way, Son starts homeschooling next week. The program is a good fit for us and his learning style. My ex is WAY pissed because I didn't ask what he wanted us to do. Oh well. Not terribly bothered by that.

Anywho, Ranger's son got two W's and two F's. No one is happy. He lied about what the W's were, but I work for a college and know that process. His mom has chewed him up one side and down the other, and given him ultimatums. Ranger wants him to come here and take a break from all that's happening there. Work for awhile. Gain an appreciation of what's being spent on his schooling. Think about what he wants to do. Etc.

The trouble is that he can't get his son to talk to him about it. He won't call. He won't answer calls. We suspect something has been said about Ranger being really mad and disappointed in him. He's not, really. He's more concerned with what's happening with his son that this even occurred. But we're at a stalemate until the boy talks to his father. So, stay tuned....

The day after New Year's, I went to the doctor. New Year's Eve, I noticed a lump on the back of my neck. The doctor checked it out and said, yep, it was unusual. It's a swollen lymph node, she said. It's normal to see the forward ones swollen, if you're sick, but not the back ones. It could be a virus, she said. She ran the bloodwork to check for all kinds of the more rare ones. Or, it could be cancer.

If the bloodwork is clear, then I see her at the end of the month to check it again. If it's still there, then I see a specialist who can biopsy it. Bloodwork is clear so far. And it's still swollen.

My chiropractor worried me. I told him about it, but I think he misunderstood and thought I was saying I was tender there. He said, "It's actually good if it's tender because it's doing it's job, filtering toxins from your body. We don't worry unless it isn't sore."

It's not sore. I'm trying not to worry too much.