April Fool’s Day Came Late This Year

danger-april-fools

So last week for Thankful Thursday I told about my recent adventures in Automysteryland. If you missed it, please go read the post entitled Stranded-Not Stranded.

Well, I got my car back on Saturday and drove it the 7 miles home and then did not drive it again until Monday when I needed to drive the freeway an hour to get to Seattle and meet for my doctor’s appt. I made it maybe 15 minutes down the road when suddenly I noticed the check engine light was on. I had been without my car for nearly 2 weeks while numerous mechanics and mechanical shops investigated the cause of my mysterious problem. I did not have any problems on Monday, just the warning light was on. Nonetheless, I wasn’t going to take any chances. On my way home from the doctor I went directly back to the dealership who had seemingly fixed the problem.

They checked the error codes and it said catalytic converter. He knew that was not really the issue because they had (as did all the previous mechanics) checked that. So, he said he thought it was an O2 emission sensor on the passenger side of the car. He said it would not impact driveability. I need only be certain to get it fixed before my tabs come due in January.

The next day I had another doctor’s appointment about 40 minutes from where I live. I got in my car and was ready to go. The check engine light was not on as he had “erased” the code. I was driving down the 2-lane road that is the only ingress/egress from my city, chugging along at 40 MPH when without warning my car started jerking violently forward and backward, forward and backward. The dealership was only about 4 miles away so I was determined to try and get there. Once there, I knew, I’d be able to get a loaner car so I kept on about another mile and a half when suddenly everyone was redirected back from whence they came. The road was closed in both directions due to an automobile exit. I was told that I would have to go in the other direction and take another, specific route to get to the dealership which was now only 2 and a half miles from the closure. I turned around and headed back in the direction of my home, but the problem mysteriously vanished. So, I kept going and took that alternate route. An hour and ten minutes later I arrived safely at the dealership. Turned it in and got the loaner for the holiday weekend. When I left I forgot about the road closure and turned toward home and, wouldn’t you know it, the road was opened. Perhaps, had I just waited there at the side of the road I would have gotten to the dealership faster and saved myself stress, time, and gas.

Anyway, apparently the joke was on me. As now we are back to square one with the mystery that has been eluding mechanics with decades of experience for weeks now.

So 2 of my 3 reasons for a Thankful Thursday last week have been erased. I am still grateful that none of the plethora of mechanics took advantage of me. The other reasons are gone. I am therefore grateful this Thursday for my loaner car. For without it, I would be spending Thanksgiving stranded at home.

Happy Thanksgiving my minions! I hope you have a wonderful day and find at least one thing to feel truly thankful for on this day.

☀ Memee

Stranded-Not Stranded

Stranded-Not Stranded | Memee's Musings

Twelve days ago I was driving along when all of a sudden my car started slowing down on it’s own, it slowed, and slooowed, and sloooooooowed.  It felt like their was a chain attached to the undercarriage at the back of my car and that that chain was hooked up at the other end to a giant freighter ship.  I had accidentally left my house that day without my cell phone and just needed to get to my friends so I could feel safe instead of finding myself stranded.  I got off the arterial and slowly made my way closer to closer on roads less traveled and I did not stop, I rolled through the stop signs and eventually made it to the block the restaurant was on.  As I pulled into the parking space my car died altogether.

I went inside and got to work calling a tow truck.  Of, did I forget to mention, it was a Sunday so all auto shops were, of course, closed.  My car was dropped off at one of the very best automotive shops in my county and I waited for word of what was the problem and how much it would cost to fix it.

The next day they telephone me to get more information.  And I told them everything I could think of to describe what was happening.  In my mind I was thinking, fuel injection system, or transmission, or timing belt… all expensive fixes.

They drove the car and nothing.  It was fine, no issues.  Tuesday, they drove the car, nothing, no issues.  Wednesday they drove the car, nothing, no issues.  They drove it in town.  They drove it on the highway.  They drove it up very steep hills.  They put over 70 miles on the car and it ran perfectly for them every single time.

So, on Thursday I went to pick it up.  They did not charge me.  I drove it around the corner and came to a stop at a red light.  And the car started rocking hard, jerking forward and back.  My pressed my foot harder upon the break, pushing it up against the floor pad in fear that my car would leap out into the traffic of the busy arterial that I was waiting to cross.  I watched as the RPM gauge jumped up and down with the jerking motions of my car.   When the light changed I crept forward and then, without notice is jerked again and suddenly I was speeding fast through the intersection.  I thought, well, it seems fine now so I kept going without incident.  Without incident that is until I came to the next stop light.  Again, it began jerking wildly as the RPM gauge hopped like a kid on a pogo stick and then, suddenly the car stalled altogether.  So I put it in park and hoped it would restart, which it did, so that I could try and go back to the mechanic.  I was only about a quarter of a mile away.  It should be fine.  The car started right back up and I began driving, but next it stalled out while I was driving down the road.  It just gave up and died.  Well, it didn’t actually die.  I was able to restart it again.  But the fact that it died while my foot was on the accelerator certainly added more stress to my already quivering-with-fear arms.

I did make it back to the mechanic shop and telephoned a friend to come pick me.  Now that the car was behaving badly we immediately took it on a test drive so they could see, feel, hear what was happening.  They did not think it was the transmission because if it was, it would be consistent rather than intermittent.  It was beginning to get late in the day and they would be closed Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  It would not be until Monday when they could try and figure it out and make a real diagnosis.

And on day eight of not having my car they test drove it again and, wouldn’t you know it, it ran perfectly.  No warning lights or error codes to be discovered.  They began to suspect that it was the Catalytic Converter (the part alone costs a thousand bucks).  However, they had no definitive way of knowing that was the issue and didn’t want to replace such an expensive part when it was just a guess.  They recommended I take it to another mechanic who had another tool for checking the Cat as their tools were not indicating an issue.

So on Tuesday my son drove me to that city so I could move my car from that shop to one about a mile and a half up the road.  My son followed me in his vehicle and at first I had no issues.  I made it maybe 4 blocks and then I hit the hazard lights as my car was slowing.  I turned off the arterial road we were on and made my way to lesser trafficked streets.  This meant I would be turning left and right at various points (using my arm as blinkers) but at least I wouldn’t have to worry quite as much about being hit by another vehicle.  Eventually we made it there, but not after my car slowed to a stop and important moments, both were mid-turn in the intersections.  The second turn was onto a major road I could not avoid.  At that turn it came to a full stop though the engine did not die.  I aimed my steering wheel toward the sidewalk deciding I was probably going to have to tow it the remaining 3 blocks when, all of a sudden it car lurched forward.  It was very scary, had I not reacted swiftly I would have leapt onto the sidewalk and hit a decorative tree.  Of course, thinking swiftly meant turning away from the sidewalk and back into the traffic.  I was lucky though, timing was perfect to keep me safe.  I jumped in front of a van instead of hitting the van had it been a second later. We managed to get it to the second mechanic shop.  Another excellent shop.  And the next day, Wednesday, he told me that it was not the Catalytic Converter.  He too was stumped by what was causing the issue.  His best advice was to take it to the dealership.  Which of course I wanted to avoid the high cost of dealing with them for my 14 year old car.

I would never be able to drive the car to the dealership, the closest of which was a 20 minute drive on the freeway.  So I called a tow truck and had it delivered to them yesterday.  I was 10 days without transportation at this point and felt grateful that despite the enormous price I was likely facing ahead, at least I would be given a loaner vehicle.  I have appointments tomorrow, Friday, that I had already postponed a week.

Today I get the call.  They found the problem.  And it was a remarkably simple one.  It could have, would have been discovered by any of the mechanics who looked at it before had the check engine light come on.  The dealership, in fact, admitted they got lucky in discovering the mystery.  The coolant sensor literally crumbled when their mechanic touched it. Once replaced the car ran perfectly so I got off easy on cost.

This Thursday I am grateful that I once again have a running automobile.  I am grateful that none of the mechanics who looked at the car ripped me off.  And I am grateful that the fix was affordable.

Here’s the mysterious little guy who caused me so much stress:

Stranded-Not Stranded | Memee's Musings

 

The wonderful photograph at the top of post was taken by Christopher Windus and acquired through Unsplash. It’s a great source for free photos under the Creative Commons Zero license, so check that site out!

Doctor, Doctor, give me the news!

So yesterday I talked about my long absence and how bipolar depression wreaks havoc on my life. Bipolar patients used to be called manic-depressives because they lived life on two extreme ends of the same spectrum, with the middle being considered “normal”. You don’t have to read the entirety of yesterday’s post to understand the depression side, but do feel free to page down to the large blue lettering to jump right into my symptoms.

If you’ve read about my extreme lows, here is a partial example of my behaviors during an extreme high. I am leaving out destructive behaviors and illusions of grandeur because, frankly, I am not that forthcoming about my life. I am, in person, a private person. I have worked with people for years and they know practically nothing about my life outside of the job despite the fact I am fun and engaging and seem to have sincere connections with those very same coworkers. Some people describe me as mysterious. I’m not trying to be mysterious, alluring, or secretive. I just feel safer keeping my private stuff private.

Now that is a crazy statement… a blog writer, who shares her innermost thoughts and feelings on the Internet where nothing is erased and anyone can stumble upon it, describing herself as a private person!

Hello Doctor,
Today’s Thursday, right? Where to start? Oh, yeah, at the beginning. No, that’s not right either, it actually started earlier than that, Saturday. Yes, Saturday, Oct 29th. I had gotten my normal sleep schedule 2 a.m. to 11 a.m. — well, I guess technically that is Sunday — I got my solid 9 hours sleep as recommended for adults my age.  Saturday itself had been a pretty normal day for me.  You know, me lying around in bed, not getting dressed, eat, sleep, repeat.  Eat, sleep, repeat.

Anyway, back to Sunday.  As you know, I had to fast all day and begin drinking that nasty prep at noon for my procedure the next day, Halloween Monday. I drank tons of fluid and used the restroom frequently and entertained myself with brainless Netflix fodder. Scuttling off to the restroom every few minutes or so meant no real hope for rest that night so I didn’t even bother pretending I would be going to bed. I just kept on keepin’ on. I had to check in at the hospital at 9:30 a.m. Monday and it is an hour’s drive. My internal workings finally settled down at 6:00 am Monday and so I did manage to get 2 hours of sleep. The procedure lasted only half an hour so I got another half hour’s rest at the hospital.  And when I woke up they were taking the endoscopy mouthguard out of my mouth.

I had been dreaming.  It’s nice to know that when they put you into a full sleep for surgeries you get to dream (rather than having zero, nothing, blankness and blackness like when having a grand mal seizure).

A friend picked me up and drove me to her house where after about 2 hours of chatting I asked if I could go lie down for a cat nap on her bed.  She said yes and just as I was standing at the bedside, removing my shoes, my son arrived to take me home.  We had the hour drive and a stop at the pharmacy.  We got home. I ate dinner and WHAMMO!  I wasn’t tired anymore.  So I turned on the Netflix.  And around my normal time, 2 a.m. turned out the light to go to sleep.  But I didn’t fall asleep.  I tossed.  I turned.  And I harrumphed.  I listened to the clock ticking off the seconds of sleep I wasn’t getting and I watched the sun become brighter through my windows.

I did manage to make it to group that morning, Tuesday.  My first time back in a year.  And it felt great seeing my old friends again.  I puttered around afterward getting my errands done and in the evening pulled up, what else, my handy-dandy, ever faithful, binging buddy, Netflix.  And then I felt it sneaking up on me like a herd of wild elephants.  I was awake.  Wide-wide awake.  My mind was clear and the fog had lifted.  Needless to say, I didn’t sleep that night.  I had too many notes to make; too many things I would need to write down so I would remember when the fog inevitably returns.

So yesterday, Doc, yesterday I was feeling pretty great and I accomplished a lot! I did laundry, cleaned my bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen and even made three meals and, shockingly, I even hopped on the treadmill! Then I stayed up all night cleaning up my email boxes and working on two of my blogs which I haven’t touched in 7 months. At 10:00 a.m. I decided to try and sleep so I turned out the lights and crawled into bed. It felt warm and cozy and welcoming. Two and a half hours later I awoke full of energy and made a beautiful breakfast, put the clean dishes away, swept, vacuumed and even moved furniture to do a real thorough job on all the floors. Then I cleaned the terrarium, took out the recyclables and garbage, packed unwanted stuff into my car and went to Goodwill, the bank, the grocery store, the pharmacy, got my son the flu shot, picked up applications at the Y for membership, bought gas, returned home, put the groceries away, walked the dog, answered important emails, and then made dinner. And I feel like I can just keep on at this crazy whirlwind pace.

Please doctor, what is your diagnosis?

Doctor Doctor | Memee's Musings

So now as I write this blog post on Friday I can tell you that I did force myself to sleep by taking a sleeping pill.  Went to sleep at 2:00 am and woke up at 10, so that’s 8 hours of sleep last night.  And today I was very active again just as I was on Wednesday and Thursday.  But I can feel the tide beginning to turn again.  It is always so short lived.  The happy, bouncy, proactive, efficient, productive Memee is starting to retreat again.  Tomorrow I hope she will give me one more day with several good hours before she hibernates for weeks or months again.

I did the math for you I have gotten 10.5 hours of sleep in a time span of 144 hours.

The wonderful photograph was taken by Emre Ergen and acquired through Unsplash. It’s a great source for free photos under the Creative Commons Zero license, so check it out!

This month: Pet Poetry!

Pets! | Memee's Musings

Pets come in all shapes and sizes and personalities. Some of us have a favorite while others define their homes as a zoo.  All I know is that the make life so much richer.  I cannot imagine life without a pet by my side.  Families who don’t have pets are confusing to me.  I just don’t understand why people would want to deprive their children of the wonderful unconditional love and friendship that a pet can give, not to mention all we learn from them by being witness to their lives.

And so this month, in honor of my best friend, Forest, who has been sick this past week with his first episode of Canine Vestibular Disease, I am asking that you focus your poetry this month on your pets and that special relationship you share with them.

IMPORTANT DATES:

Submission deadline is Sunday, April 24th, 2016 at 23:55 PST.
Submit now!

Voting opens at 00:05 PST on Monday, April 25th and ends on Saturday, April 30th at 23:55 PST.*

MEMEE’S POETRY PARTY RULES OF CONDUCT:

1. No naughty thumbnail pictures. (This will disqualify you.)

2. Submit the URL address to your relevant original poem.

3. Please try to visit at least two party guests, leave them a nice compliment or begin a friendly discussion with them. It’s a party: Mingle, people, mingle!

4. This party’s unique hashtag is #pets, use it. Link back to me and, of course, if you tweet me, I’ll tweet you… tweet, tweet! (Even if you don’t have a twitter account please use the hashtag as a blog tag.)

5. Let your followers know that you’re partying at Memee’s Musings and they’re invited to drop in and join the party! Just give them this direct link: http://www.inlinkz.com/new/view.php?id=625302 or send them to the Current Party tab to read this post https://memeesmusings.com/category/current-party/.

Spreading the word about your linking up is also the perfect excuse to show off your participation badge!  Because I do not vote it is important that you participate in promoting the event. The more word of mouth the more activity and the greater the traffic impact on everyone’s website. Also, remember, once we start hitting 100 bloggers linking up then tangible, in-your-hand prizes will be awarded to the winners along with their trophy and bragging rights.  So challenge your fellow poets to party with us and solicit your followers to read all of the poems and vote their favorite (while the voting window is open).

Collect your participation badge and find more answers at: Memee’s Poetry Parties.

HELPFUL LINKS:

Here’s a Video.
Or if you prefer infographics, go to this post.

*(If you don’t know PST just Google “What time is it now in PST?” and calculate against your time zone)

New Beginnings

New Beginnings | Memee's Musings

Not all beginnings start on a new path.
Barriers between here and there
A single span bridges the cross over.
Covered intentions lead to other side.
The mystery in those strange lands
Beckons from inside and afar.
Shadow currents twist and turn
Below runs a subtle river

Wooden beams grown around me
Wind peers through the windows
The cross breeze tries to distract
A clear view of a foreign land
The challenges lie in wait.
Direct wolves surely slumber
In the woods sunlight passes
Freely I move to new Beginnings.

☀ ☀ ☀ ☀ ☀

This beautiful expression of New Beginnings as told through the framework of nature was voted as last month’s favorite poem at the March Memee’s Poetry Party.  I send congratulations and gratitude out to Mark and hope that you will visit his site, Coloring Outside the Lines. He travels the world and takes marvelous photos and writes posts which I enjoy. If you enjoyed this piece of poetry, please visit his site and let him know!

☀ ☀ ☀ ☀ ☀

Submitted to Memee’s Poetry Parties by Mark, writer-photographer at Coloring Outside the Lines 3-23-2016.
Original Poem:  New Beginnings © Coloring Outside the Lines 2016-2018. All rights reserved.
New Beginnings post© Memee’s Musings, 2016-2018. All rights reserved.
Photograph © Coloring Outside the Lines 2016-2018. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

Forest

So some of you know my best friend is Forest.  He has always been kind and supportive of me and loves me despite my illnesses, my moods, and my availability. On Friday he got sick. I was worried that he had had a stroke. When he tried to stand up, he would fall over. He needed my assistance to walk. Of course I rushed him right away to the emergency hospital and they did a full workup on him. His blood panels and neurological functioning all came back excellent. Everything was fine. Turns out he is experiencing a bad case of vertigo. I know what that feels like. I’ve been there.

Mine was brought on by a medication I had been taking for years, I just eventually developed vertigo as a side effect. It would come and go and usually I could wait it out. One day, however, it was worse than it had ever been before. I lay on my bed with my eyes closed but I could feel the world tilting despite not seeing it. I couldn’t keep my eyes closed because it was fascinating, how rapidly the room spun around me. However, having my eyes open was a big mistake. I ended up nauseous. And I had already laid there for quite a while. Eventually I needed to get to the restroom. I couldn’t wait any longer. Very slowly and with careful movements I attempted to move to the edge of my bed where I planned to slowly lower myself to the ground.

I failed in grand style. I got to the edge of the bed but as soon as I dropped my closest leg off the edge of the bed, my entire body hurtled itself toward my nightstand, and the lamp followed me, crashing to the floor. I panted and heaved as I tried to regain my composure. It had been exhausting just getting to the floor. I still had to make my way to the bathroom and new I wouldn’t be doing it on my feet. If I was going to get there I would need to crawl. It wasn’t far, just across the hall. I would, like a baby, reach my arm forward and then my leg, my other arm, and then my other leg and then, PLOP, I’d fall straight sideways. I would literally flop onto my side. It took me an hour to get there.

Forest isn’t as dumb as me. He is keeping his eyes closed and sleeping it off as much as possible. He also has the benefit of an anti-nausea medication and he is receiving water through a subcutaneous bag I hook him up to each day. Like my vertigo, this is episodic. Unlike mine, however, he will likely continue to experience this off-and-on for the rest of his life. It’s a blessing though. I mean, he will recover. He is otherwise very healthy and in zero pain. I went out and found him a great fashion accessory, a handle! Diagnosis: Old Dog Vestibular Disease.

New Beginnings Poetry Challenge

This month Memee’s Poetry Party is all about new beginnings. The idea came about because I have been spending a lot of time over the past week thinking about my friends whom I wrote about in my post Placed in the Middle. However I also realized that new beginnings do not always mean starting over, and that there are always, constantly, new beginnings sprouting up all around me. This is truly a broad theme that goes beyond the concept of When on door closes another opens. I am hoping to see a wide spectrum of entries on this #newbeginnings theme.

And speaking of new beginnings, you might also take this moment to think of some new beginning for your life or your blog’s life.  For example, you may decide you want to host weekly linkups on your blog. That would be a new beginning, right?  Well, you can use that blue froggy picture link above to do just that. Click it and see what magic happens in your blog’s future!

IMPORTANT DATES:

Submission deadline is Thursday, March 24th, 2016 at 23:55 PST.
Submit now!

Voting opens at 00:05 PST on Friday, March 25th and ends on Thursday, March 31st at 23:55 PST.*

MEMEE’S POETRY PARTY RULES OF CONDUCT:

1. No naughty thumbnail pictures. (This will disqualify you.)

2. Submit the URL address to your relevant original poem.

3. Please try to visit at least two party guests, leave them a nice compliment or begin a friendly discussion with them. It’s a party: Mingle, people, mingle!

4. This party’s unique hashtag is #newbeginnings, use it. Link back to me and, of course, if you tweet me, I’ll tweet you… tweet, tweet! (Even if you don’t have a twitter account please use the hashtag as a blog tag.)

5. Let your followers know that you’re partying at Memee’s Musings and they’re invited to drop in and join the party! Just give them this direct link: http://www.inlinkz.com/new/view.php?id=616703 or send them to the Current Party tab to read this post https://memeesmusings.com/category/current-party/.

Spreading the word about your linking up is also the perfect excuse to show off your participation badge!  Because I do not vote it is important that you participate in promoting the event. The more word of mouth the more activity and the greater the traffic impact on everyone’s website. Also, remember, once we start hitting 100 bloggers linking up then tangible, in-your-hand prizes will be awarded to the winners along with their trophy and bragging rights.  So challenge your fellow poets to party with us and solicit your followers to read all of the poems and vote their favorite (while the voting window is open).

Collect your participation badge and find more answers at: Memee’s Poetry Parties.

HELPFUL LINKS:

Here’s a Video.
Or if you prefer infographics, go to this post.

*(If you don’t know PST just Google “What time is it now in PST?” and calculate against your time zone)