jemyl: My orange male cat, Brudder (Default)
The new icon is my male cat, Brudder. He got his snaggle tooth fighting with his now deceased litter mate, Little Boy, about six years ago, before Little Boy, who looked just like Brudder but with very, very green eyes and a bit coarser fur and a smaller size, met his maker at the talons of our neighborhood hawk. He almost made it home too, that evening, but the hawk got him next door. I cried for days and still miss the little guy. He and Brudder were Mama's kitties from kittenhood. Now I try to protect Brudder from a similar fate, but he really loves being outside for some part of each day, so I figure I'll keep him in from about four or five pm until morning which agrees with both of us. He also has come to like his creature comforts of a soft place to lie down and a pleasant air temperature. LOL

My van is affectionately known as Big Blue for obvious reasons once one looks at it. Big Blue is a 1989 Ford Econoline 250LX with a 351 V8 engine, an old but quite serviceable Braun wheelchair lift in its side and rust all over. Big Blue passes everything but a gas station to whit she will only hold up to half a tank of gas without leaking around her tank seam, she gets 10.3 mpg on the highway (which is 99% of my driving here), burns and leaks oil to the tune of a quart every 20 miles and has radiator problems such that she uses about a quart of water every time she goes ten miles or more and has a brake fluid leak on one of her rear cylinders such that she uses about a quarter cup of DOT#3 every sixty miles or so. I carry oil, water and DOT#3 as a matter of course. She also has a special switch to get power to her auxiliary fuel pump and no A/C, didn't come with it. I always run with all the heaters on full blast and windows open as much as I can get safely and dry-ly.

Big Blue gets me there, most of the time, and will run about 55mph easily and safely without complaining. Much more speed than that and she sucks oil, sucks much more gas and tends to overheat a whole lot more.

This week I had a new problem with Big Blue. On Sunday last week I found that she had a flat passenger side rear tire. It took me until Friday to get the right compressor located and my body functioning without anitbiotic caused dizziness and nausea well enough to get the compressor on her tire long enough to get it aired up full enough to drive Big Blue into Hawthorne to get the tire fixed or the spare put on.

Sadly, the tire had a hole in the sidewall, from dryrot according to the young tire guy. The spare was and is good so it is on Big Blue now. A serviceable new tire for her will cost from $114 to $195 there. She takes 215-85-16 tires and the ones she has on her now are actually the $195 variety i.e. Firestones. I don't like any of those prices so did NOT order a tire. Tomorrow I have to go into Palatka so I will spend the morning as I wait for the bug man and meals-on-wheels delivery lady calling the tire places I know about in Palatka to see if they happen to have a good used tire for Big Blue. I wouldn't do that except I figure I can put it on the spare and I plan to get rid of Big Blue in about four months provided I can sell enough stuff so to do, and I do need to do that. $1500. I figure I can find a good used small pick-up or SUV for that price or maybe a small van. I don't want to have payments either. Something better than Big Blue with maybe double the gas mileage would be great. I can then save for a bit better vehicle from there.

It just seems to get harder and harder for me to get ahead. If I cannot find a good used, affordable tire, I will have to run with no spare for a while, which I do not want to do as it leaves me in the position of having to buy a tire immediately should I lose another one.

Just thinking about this tires me out (pun intended). Time to get a bit of food. I made some really good soup today and I have a couple of bowls of my yummy chicken and grains left in the freezer. Mmmm, the freezer calls! Peace---Ellen
jemyl: My orange male cat, Brudder (Default)
Last week kind of ended a bit weird when I left the headlights on for the van whilst I went into CVS to pick up my meds and some Halloween Candy. All was well until I got to the line to check out.

First I had to wait about twenty minutes for the pharmacist/clerk to finish with the lady two in front of me. That was OK as the lady in front of me and I chatted a bit. She was from one of the lakes just a bit south of me and in our fire district. We talked about who we both knew and what was going on with Station 20, where to get an ankle brace in the store and such. The lady waiting for the pharmacist to redo her prescriptions two ahead of was an old friend/neighbor of the lady ahead of me so the three of us got to introduce ourselves and chat while we waited.

It took the lady ahead of me about five minutes once she got to the pharmacist. They had made an error on her script too, but it was easily fixed.

Finally, it was my turn and I thought I was home free. I should have known better. First the clerk told me it would be $42 for one of my meds. Here we go again, I thought, and asked her to check that it was run right through medicare Part D and United American, my supplement. Of course, it wasn't and had to be rerun, including having the other pharmacist check that I really did have that insurance. Translation I sat down to wait another fifteen minutes for them to correct it. They just couldn't believe that I had reached my catastrophic section of Part D. Once they, finally, confirmed that I got both scripts for $0 copay. Whoppee! that means all my prescriptions from now until January First of 2012 have no copay.

I will also likely mean that I have to have them rerun each of them at the pharmacy. For some reason they just cannot seem to get that I am a medicare and United American senior citizen. I'm not sure why this happens almost every time I go in there or even what they are trying to use as my insurance company. I just know that almost every time I go in at least one of my scripts has to be redone because they have the wrong copay. It is not a bit deal for me, except when I go in around 8:30 to 8:45 at night and the pharmacy closes at 9. Now if they had it done right, this would be no problem. They just hate to have to rerun my scripts that close to closing. I think, subconsciously, that is sometimes why I go there at that time. It is also because I often fall asleep early in the evening and have to bust butt to get there in time, or a meeting runs late.

One of our firemen, Richard, was there with his brother to pick up a script for his mom. He was teasing me about my making sure I had Halloween candy I didn't like and I said hi to his brother. Then I left with my stuff and went to my van. When I approached I said "Oh shit" under my breath when I saw the lights still on. Now, this was fairly early in the evening, not quite dusk when I left the store.

I opened the door and immediately turned the lights off. Then I loaded in my purchases, opened my window, turned on the auxiliary gas pump switch and turned the key. There was NO SOUND, not even and unhh. The air under my breath was blue, at me, as I got out of the van, closed the window and locked the door, hoping I could catch Richard and Raymond to give me a jump so that I could get home.

Of course they were no longer in the store and their car was gone, just my luck. Since it was now approaching seven hours since I had food, I phoned my surrogate, the ass chief, to see if she knew of a place in Hawthorne that I could call to come out. She didn't and I told her I would go over to the pizza place have a meal and see if Bobby, the owner's husband was there as he was our first fire chief and would likely be able to give me a jump, especially since I had cables in the van.

Bobby and Judy drove in as I was pushing my cart across the parking lot. He told me he would love to do as I needed, but couldn't access his battery because he wasn't sure where it was, just that it wasn't under the hood of his new Chevelle. Someone told him it was under the back seat. At any rate, he couldn't get at it to give me a jump.

I toddled over to Family Dollar and got oil and litter. Then I went back to the restaurant and ordered a small calzone and a diet pepsi. It came and I was almost done with my first piece when one of his employees who was on the way home agreed to give me a jump. She drove me back to my van and we got it started. Then I drove over to where Bobby and Judy had been keeping an eye on my cart with my four quarts of oil and two bags of litter in it. Bobby handed that stuff to me through the window and I drove home, kept the motor running for an additional fifteen minutes and came into the house where I finished off another piece of my calzone.

That was Thursday night. Then Friday I put the trickle charger on the battery for 24 hours.

Saturday morning I noticed that the van wIas listing to one side more than usual. I quick check revealed that the passenger side rear tire was flat ----- only on the bottom though, LOL. I swore, keeping the air quite blue for a few minutes and investigated the spare. I have what seems to be a full tire spare mounted inside the van by the back seat. That is when I noticed that the van's tag ran out, was due in September and I totally forgot it with all the rest that was going on ---- more swearing as I have to renew it soon before the state reports my tardiness to my insurance company.

I explored using my airbrushing tank compressor to air up that tire on Sunday. The compressor tipped over as I wheeled it out of the garage side door. I ended up twisting both my right wrist and my back getting it back on its wheels and out of the door ----more blue air and ouch! Then I tried to use it to air up the tire and the back pressure put the tank into the red zone so I had to quit. That unit is meant for airbrushing and low pressure uses. The van tires take 80psi on the rear axle and 58 on the front. It took me most of Saturday evening to figure out where to find that information in a legible to me format.

Part of the reason doing the tire was so hard is that I am on nitrofurantoin, a nasty antibiotic, and it is kicking my butt with dizziness and such, especially when I have to bend over to access the tire valve. I only have a few more days to take it and it IS making a difference in my chronic sinusitis. I only hack up stuff about a tenth of as much as I was doing. That is the only reason I have continued the stuff.

I digress ---back to the van ---

On Monday, I found the other little non-tank Campbell Hausfeld compressor and switched the fill hose to it from the tank one. It worked like a charm and filled the tire. I don't have a gauge, so I can't check that I have enough pressure in it, but there is enough that I would be able to drive it into Hawthorne I think. I filled it and left it to see how long it took for the tire to go flat again. It looks to be about 24 hours, which is good. Hopefully there is only a nail or some such in it and I will be able to get it plugged.

Tomorrow my friend, Jill, is taking me into Hawthorne to go to the bank etc. At that time I will check with the two places that do car stuff to see if they are able to handle a full size van tire for repair, including remounting it on the vehicle. If they can I will be in business. If not, I will have to step up my hunt for one of my car battery compressors so that I can drive to Palatka to get it fixed. ARGH!

Now in all of this the best part is that during this time I got some really great mail. Ravan sent me a great CARE package. In it I found lots of green tea, even some instant iced, farina, oats, raisins, craisins and I think, some rice flour. That means I don't have to go shopping for breakfast foods or green tea this month. It leaves only some paper goods, garbage bags and cat food that I will have to get at the grocery this month.

On Monday, my volunteer from Suwanee River Economic Council told me that many of the meals on wheels clients are only getting three meals a week now. The funding for the program has been cut. Luckily, I am not one of those who gets the fewer meals or who is cut from the program. I am very grateful because I use that food to feed myself, with just a few additions, like fresh greens for salad, tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, condiments and seasonings, to feed myself for the whole week.

I eat some of the meals just as they are, usually for dinner. Some of them I take apart and combine to make soup for lunches and then I use the bread and milk to make soups and open face sandwiches for lunch and for toast for breakfast. I use the fruit on my cereal sometimes as well as for desserts or to change up and add to ramen noodles for a lunch soup.

With what Ravan has sent me and those meals, I can make a lot of things. Tonight I made a big pot of about four cups, cooked, of mixed grains (rices, barley and millet) with some Italian vegetables and four cut up cooked chicken thighs, chicken boullion and lots of seasonings like ginger, cinnamon, poultry seasoning, lemon pepper, onion, garlic, chicken grill spice, dried basil leaves and a dash of olive oil. A splash of lime juice was also added near the end of cooking to brighten the dish up a tad. It is good, but the first dish was not quite done enough. The grain rice was too hard to suit me so I added another two cups of water and cooked it another thirty minutes on simmer. That did the trick.

Now I'm off to put the somewhat cooled chicken and rice into containers for refrigerating and freezing. It will provide several more meals for the rest of the week. I might also make some tomato base soup in a day or so. After I put the chicken 'n' rice up I will eat my last meal for today and get to bed fairly early. Jill is picking me up at ten in the morning and I want to do the water and take a nice shower before she gets here. That means I have to get up early instead of going to bed early ( in the morning) and sleeping until ten.

Please pray that the van tire can be fixed and that I can either sell some stuff to make the money I need for bills this month or that I can get into Palatka to get a short term loan again. I hate to do the loan, but bills have got to be paid over the next week. Most are due by the 27th and my fire dept dues are also due now. Peace -----Ellen

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jemyl: My orange male cat, Brudder (Default)
jemyl

July 2012

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