Ever tried to calm a terrified 82-year-old?

Not to mention a mirroring-prone Velcro dog who reacts to his grandma’s panic and fretting by whining and going into a wheezing or coughing episode (because you have to keep these dogs calm so their tracheas remain clear)? Shoot! (I actually called his vet to see if we should bring him for a follow-up, but after talking to us and listening to him on the phone, Dr. Komkov said I could bring him at 7:30 AM Monday when she comes in and she’d take a quick look, because he sounded like he just had ‘roid rage and shallow/rapid closed-mouth breathing as a result, not some serious problem. She is a wonderful person. She can look at him before we leave on the TRIP FROM . . . um . . . Paradise? Whatever. My mother needs to be seen and sedated, as well, but we’ll have to make do with plying her with Valium. (not really) (well, we DO have a script for it)

My hip/back seized up all night. Must remember to get Arnica gel tomorrow to load into purse and tote. It’s stress. What stress? The roof (we are having it done later in the month), the various cars, the trippe, the need for LSD and hemlock . . . no, I’m not stressed at all, but thanx 4 asking!

What’s more, this morning we headed over to the Kia (not iKea) (not Key-Ah) dealership to see what might be done about The Sorento. Hubby’s beloved purple-mist Sorento is six years old and is loaded with all the features he never used but loved to know were there. Unfortunately, it’s also four-wheel-drive, and the differentials and so forth had not been maintained and greased, so they were grinding gears and eating themselves up. I nagged daily about getting it looked at after the problems with the ride started, so it is NOT MY FAULT. However, the repair bill stood at $2780 this morning, and they said they needed a transfer box now. This is a $5K part new, and they found one at a junkyard (!) that had 85K miles on it they could get for $1200. (O YAY SAVMONY) Labor was $650. No guarantee that after this nothing more would be found.

So . . . we went to see if they would consider a trade-in. They were very accommodating (no cars were selling, I suppose) and after test-driving a couple of cars, Hubby decided he wanted a new brown Sportage. It’s a smaller car and gets better mileage, but this one has a built-in GPS and satellite radio. After quite a bit of discussion back and forth with the finance people and so forth (we got our repair bill forgiven, which was the main point of all this!), he drove home his new car! New payments of EVEN MORE for 72 months! I try not to think about that part!

As we walked outside to transfer the ham radio plates, ham radio antenna, multitudinous books on Java and such, and other gadgets from the old to the new car, a mighty cold wind whipped up. I thought we’d been transported to Chicago on the shore of the lake for a minute there. It was SO COLD that I dug out both cardigans out of the Ford (they will never get that van away from me, never) and put them on, and then took my old stretched-out pink-gray hoodie to hubby, who was freezing as he unscrewed the ham radio license plates. It was so cold that he wore pink!! It didn’t look bad. Regis Philbin wears pink shirts. Shut up. But anyway, IT WAS COLD. The wind must have been 30MPH. It kept slamming car doors on people.

He really does like the new car, but this is too much change at once. We got home and I cooked leftover-hash and tried to clean the kitchen so it would be clean when we get home a week from today (AAARGHH). We made a run to the store for a new lamp timer, as one of the ones we used last time is nowhere to be found, and got a long-sleeved sweater for Mama. (I meant to get her a cashmere or two at Kohl’s on the big shopping day, but I failed.) The Devil has hidden my good black pants and I am about to go off to freezing America’s Heartland with two pairs of black leggings, a very snug pair of houndstooth pants, and two long gray skirts. WHERE HAVE YOU PUT MY GOOD PANTS, DEVIL?!?! Yeah, I know, if you told it would ruin the fun.

Mama doesn’t want to go, but I told her that she’s in this one to have fun. I really think we can have a good time. When we get dumped in Wichita, I will have her making Christmas cards (already have the supplies) with rubber stamps and so forth, and watching DVDs (picked up a couple of series the other day), and perhaps even seeing a few sights. We can relax and just meet some new people. I mean, what’s the w–oops, never mind jinxing ourselves. She is always terrified she or the dog will have a choke/cough attack and be far away from their genius doctors. (Ours is Dr. Bell, who is miffed at me for letting hubby miss an appt. last week and canceling my own last week . . . it will take a lot of Scooby-Doos to get back in his good graces . . . Teddy dog’s is Dr. Komkov, whom Mama always calls “Dr. Kumquat,” and I live in fear that she’ll call her that, sigh) I contend that they’re basically in good shape and under proper treatment, and surely we can survive a few days away and on the road.

I only hope.

Pray for us!! We don’t leave until Monday, but there is still the finding of pants and packing of misc. to do. And the mental preparedness. Om . . . om . . . oy!!

The birds get ready for a storm


Some of us are just born happy little travelers

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Author: shalanna

Shalanna: rhymes with "Madonna" and "I wanna," and is not a soundalike with "Hosanna" or "Sha-Na-Na." Aging hippie with long hair, husband, elderly mother, and yappy Pomeranian. I've been writing since I could hold a crayon. I started with fiction, which Mama said was "lying." “Don’t tell stories,” she would admonish, in Southern vernacular. “That's all in your imagination!” When grownups said this, they were not approving. So, shamed, I stopped telling stories for a few years--rather, I stopped letting anyone read them. I'm married to a fellow computer nerd who doesn't really like hearing about writing, but who reads sf/fantasy and understands the creative drive. I'm actually a nonconformist/hippie still wearing bluejeans and drop earrings and the Alice-in-Wonderland hair with headbands and sandals. Favorite flavor is chocolate/orange, favorite color is either Dreamsicle orange (cantaloupe) or bubble-gum pink, favorite musical is either Bye Bye Birdie, Rocky Horror, or The Producers . . . wait, I also love The Music Man. Is this getting way too specific and irrelevant yet? Obvious why I don't sell a ton of flash fiction, isn't it? To define oneself, I always say, it is good to make a list. How about a booklist? Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth, Cheaper by the Dozen C.S.Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (all the Narnia books) J.R.R.Tolkien,The Hobbit/LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy Gail Godwin, The Odd Woman F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby J. D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye (before dismissing it, actually read it) George Orwell, 1984 Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle Donna Tartt, The Secret History Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn James Allen, As A Man Thinketh Mark Winegardner, Elvis Presley Boulevard James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum Winnie-the-Pooh/House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie The KJV and NIV Bible (each translation has its glories)

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