New stuff, in brief

Okay, I will post an update in as few words as possible…

Deer ran into my car.

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Got a new car. Barcelona Red Metallic Toyota Corolla, 2012…

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Quit my job to look after my mother full time.

Managed to post without deleting the fucking thing.

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A Dubash moment

So… We were at the chiropractors and we came down, I put Mom in the car and went to put the wheelchair in the trunk. I put it in, closed the lid. I went to get my keys and discovered that they were most probably in the trunk. My spares were at home… To get in the house, I needed the house key which was in the trunk… You can’t get into the trunk by flipping the seat down. The only option was to call CAA, get a tow to my mechanic and hope he can get it unlocked. When I called him he told me it would be expensive and require a day to do. The option was to get it towed home, get a house locksmith in to pick the front door lock and get my spare… So I called CAA and changed the tow to my house. It would be 45 minutes for the tow truck.

So then, I decided to kill time by posting my dilemma on FB … I got as far as “This is the first time in ages that the car trunk has opened easily with the key… without… having… to … lift… the… floor… latch…”

Yep… I completely forgot the floor latch… D’oh..

Loaner: Chevy Cruze

My poor little Toyota Corolla was dead in the driveway on Tuesday morning and since I had a LOT of running around to do on both Tuesday and Wednesday (pick up Ange and Ryan at respective workplaces and IKEA on Tuesday; and run out to Kemptville to get Mom’s OHIP card renewed on Wednesday) I was going to need a car ASAP. The only rental company I could find that had a vehicle on short notice was Hertz. And while I had promised NEVER to rent from Hertz again after the fiasco when moving back from New York (paid in cash to the penny in US$ and was charged as well on my credit card and told I had to deal with the New York City branch… Visa simply refunded my money when I faxed my receipts but STILL!), I had no choice.

They had a brand new Chevy Cruze  for me. Dark blue, 25km on the clock and the brand new car smell.

I set the alarm off in the parking lot of Hertz and took AGES to find the seat adjust handle (there are three… seat tip, seat height, and back adjust which I didn’t find until after I got out of the car later in the day.

A very comfy ride but the pick up was spotty, sometimes having to floor it in a tight spot and then feeling the gas come and go. Good braking. No complaints there. However, as with any American car I have used, it is a gas guzzler. I used half a tank just going back and forth across town and then another half driving down to Kemptville. In my Corolla (2003), while not getting the mileage I did when I first bought it, if I fill up in Ottawa, we can spend the day running down to Kemptville and all over the countryside before filling up in Kemptville (where gas is cheaper than in town) after only using less than 1/2 tank.

Nice car… nice ride… but until the American car-makers get around to building cars that are gas efficient, I won’t be buying on.

“How are you?”

Here’s a question….

When you ask someone “How are you?” or “How are things going?”, do you expect someone to answer truthfully? Or are you just asking out of  form?

Are you taken aback when they answer “Things have not been so good…” or “I’ve been sick all summer”… or “I have cancer…”

I had the experience this weekend of being asked repeatedly “How was your summer?” and “How’s it going?” and then a glassy stare, and an uncomfortable “Oh dear… Well, gotta run.” when I answered truthfully…

In one case, I received a quizzical look and “Welll… Um… thanks for your honesty.” and then they looked for a quick exit. Now, I am not telling them that I have been abducted by aliens or that I have decided to become a sex-worker to support my crack-habit… I am simply explaining how things have been with my Mom sick and how Mom’s memory is. And these people were all members of our congregation, who I have known for years and, more importantly, have known Mom for years.

The “thanks for your honesty” one was from our minister.

Now, it isn’t as though I am going around unloading on everyone I meet… I’m talking about the people who supposedly “care”.

I sometimes feel like I am from some other planet. When I ask someone how are you? I certainly hope that they are going to say fine because they are. But when they tell me they haven’t “been fine” or that things have gone terribly wrong in their lives, I don’t take this as a personal affront. I stop and listen and offer my sincere wishes for improvement… Even offer to help, if I can.

On the very rare occasion when I encounter someone who I know just complains for the sake of complaining, I probably won’t ask “How are you?” because I know the answer. But why bother asking, especially someone you know well and supposedly care about if all you want to hear is “Great!”?

How about actually caring how someone is? How about that, for a change?

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Or maybe I should just hand out a card that allows them to check off the answer they want to hear….

___   Absolutely peachy-keen

___   My life is complete, now that you asked me

___   If I was any happier, my head would fall off

___   Short of shitting bricks of gold, I couldn’t be happier

___   These are tears of pure, unadulterated, fucking joy….

And, while we are at it… Why the fuck is no one using their damn turn signals this week? Did I miss the memo?

Things do not always go according to plan….

cartoon-cara

In my previous posting, I mentioned that we (my mother and I) were on our way out for a much deserved jaunt after finally having gotten one of the the wheel bearings fixed in our car.

We headed out and wandered about, vaguely headed East to Lancaster, Ontario where we hoped to see if the Snow Geese were stopped on their annual migration North for the Summer. We hit Highway 2 (The King’s Higway, once the main route from Montreal Lower Canada to Toronto in Upper Canada), which follows the St. Lawrence and headed past Cardinal and Iroquois and the historic Chrysler Farm, where a battle during the War of 1812 took place. We passed Upper Canada Village, as well.

Then I spotted the large sign for the Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary and turned down the dirt road headed for it. I had opened my window in order to take a photo of a historic marker along that road (see below) an as we pulled into the parking area, I noticed a rather unnerving rumbling sound from beneath my car…. It sounded as though my muffler was suddenly not as quiet as it had been just a few minutes earlier. Since I had just had it at the shop yesterday, I thought perhaps someone hadn’t tightened something and it was rumbling.

Introduction of Holstein Friesian cattle into Ontario - 1881

Introduction of Holstein Friesian cattle into Ontario - 1881

I thought “I will just have to take it in to Terry (my mechanic) on Monday, just in case…”. We visited the sanctuary and, while there weren’t any major flocks of migratory birds to see just yet, there were some lovely little chickadees and I was able to get the photos that I didn’t get during the late winter walk I posted about two weeks ago. The docent at the visitor centre gave me a little bag of seeds to feed to them and I had them eating out of my hand in no time.

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Mom’s back was hurting so we decided to head back to the main road and go on to Lancaster.

The dirt road, it should be said, was in rather a bad state after the winter. There was a great deal of corduroy-ing over the whole road and pot-holes the full length and I suspect this may have exacerbated the initial problem with the exhaust system. I decided to head immediately in to Cornwall and find a Canadian Tire with a service bay and see if they could have a look at it. I really didn’t want to have it repaired today. If my mechanic does the work, I can pay it off weekly. If I had it done at Canadian Tire, I would have to pay the full shot today… something I can’t afford.

It was already about 20 minutes to 5:00 and the CT service bay closes at 5:00 but one of the great guys there kindly came out and took me for a little test-drive and said he would hoist it and see if he could make it road-worthy, at least.

He did and discovered that the exhaust pipe had rusted apart from the muffler. They didn’t have the parts on hand, so, after splicing in a piece of pipe and two clamps and welding the pieces together, got me (quietly) back on the road again by 5:00 on the dot. I parted gratefully with $62 and change and we headed home, again. They could easily have said “Sorry, you are too late…” and sent me on my way. Instead, they took the time to diagnose the problem and give me at least a temporary remedy. I am forever grateful!

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