Thursday, July 22, 2010

Never Too Old to Learn

Today Mr. Fixit received some “old folks” mail as I call it. It was an advertisement from the Scooter Store. Of course, I just had to make a remark. He said, “You’ll be getting this stuff pretty soon--you received you Medicare card yesterday.”

He’s learned to dish it out pretty well. He zings me every now and then. He had a good teacher--me. Hoisted by my own petard.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Grammar 101

This morning as I was channel surfing I came to the Syfy channel. The program info for "Haven" included the following sentence that made me cringe:

"Nathan and her investigate the destruction of a local bar."

The person who writes these short program descriptions should have at least a basic knowledge of English grammar. And I wonder about the person who hired the person who wrote that sentence.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Never, Never Again - A Tale of Terror

Friday when Mr. came home from work, he suggested that we go exploring. He had Clingman’s Dome in mind. That the highest peak in the Smoky Mountains. We haven’t been there since Ben who is now in his 40’s was about 3 years old. I love the mountains so I was ready to head out and reach the cooler temperatures of the mountains. I should have re-read my March 6, 2010, post. As I am the navigator (map reader and the one who says “Turn here”) on these little trips, I saw on the map a route we had never taken before--the Blue Ridge Parkway. “Parkway. That must be a nice drive through the mountains,” I thought. Little did I know. There were no warnings for those of us who can’t abide heights. I was simply thinking that the word “parkway” meant of pleasant drive. I did learn my lesson--my days of mountain driving are over. Never, never again unless I’m on a four lane (minimum) highway.

While the Blue Ridge Parkway is no Yungas Road in Bolivia (I was going to post pictures of this road , but I can‘t even look at photos of high places. The link will have to do.) I was absolutely terrified for what seemed like hours. Mr. Fixit kept asking me if I wanted to turn around, but I was afraid that it would be even worse going down the way we came up.

We reached a maximum elevation of 6,030 (Clingman’s Dome is a little higher). That means that the only direction is DOWN--6,030 feet. The road is a two-lane road that is well maintained except for the area with the rock slide blocking one lane of traffic. There were numerous tunnels, none of them very long, thank heavens. Of course, the route is serpentine. It seemed that most of the curves turned 90 degrees. In fact, we saw two or three curve advisory signs with the curve going almost 360 degrees. While the width of the road was ample for a two lane road in normal terrain, we were literally ridge riding, meaning that in several places if you looked to the right you could see maybe 15 feet of grass and a drop of 6,000 feet, then turning to the left you could see the two lane highway surface, another 10 or 15 feet of grass and then 6,000 feet of DOWN. I was begging Mr. Fixit to slow down, whimpering, and using my imaginary passenger side brakes. I was terrified! I don’t think I have ever been so afraid. The worse part of the ride were the 90 degree curves when you couldn’t see the pavement around the curve--just the DOWN right in front of the car.

I tried not looking at the road, but I just had to look. Not down, mind you, but straight ahead to aid Mr. Fixit in his driving (begging and whimpering.)

Another astounding thing to me was the number of motorcycles and bicycles on this road. I didn’t know there were so many nutsy people in this world.

When we finally reached a four lane highway, I shouted “Hallelujah” and thanked my maker for our deliverance from the hellish road. I would have done a little victory dance, but my seat belt prevented that. We never made it to Clingman’s Dome.

Seriously, this worsening fear makes me sad and angry because it means I am giving up what used to be a great pleasure for me. I have always loved mountainous terrain and have dreamed of living in the high country. No more, no more.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Adventures in Cat Care-giving

The little black and white cat has always had a problem with might be described sinus problems in humans. His little face swells around his eyes, he sneezes, and sometimes has a runny nose. He also coughs up phlegm just like a human.

Since Monday the problem has been worse than usual. He seemed to be having trouble breathing and he had no appetite. Instead of the rather sweet little kitty sneeze, he developed a cartoon-like SNEEZE! That would almost blow anything in front of him down.

This morning I decided that it was time to try to get him in the carrier to take him to the vet. Our carrier is cat-sized. We tried and tried to get him in it to no avail. It was traumatic for him (and the other cats, too) and I thought I was going to have a stroke. We trapped him in the dining room and kitchen. He was hiding under the china cabinet. When I pushed him out, he ran under the buffet. I was pushing that filled china cabinet and buffet around the dining room with the power of Wonder Woman.

The problem was, aside from his being a limber cat who turns into limp, slippery spaghetti with pointy claws, the opening in the carrier was just too small. Mr. Fixit went to Walmart and bought the biggest carrier he would find. A Saint Bernard would have been comfortable in it and probably could have a friend to visit.

Mr. Fixit donned his protective gear, oven mitts and a long sleeve shirt, and picked him up and pushed him in. I slammed the door. He got out once because the door didn’t catch right, but we humans prevailed and took him to the vet. The vet is never too pleased to see me show up with my half feral buddies. I asked him if he had a shark suit. I’m not sure that he thought that was funny. He have him a big dose of antibiotic and a cortisone injection with very little problem though.

My little sweetie from Hell ate a little bit tonight at supper so maybe he’s feeling better. It would break my heart to lose him even though he is not very co-operative.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Adventures in Dentistry - Rerum

Even though my dentist is very good and causes me very little pain, having him drilling away in my mouth is not the most pleasant way to spend an hour or so. As I reclined in the chair with the sound of that drill almost as anoying as those darned soccer horns I tried to distract myself. I thought about this exchange my brother and I had several years ago about dentistry. I bet my guy thinks I'm absolutely nuts after seeing me with a goofy smile on my face.

From: Lucy

To: Kevin

I went to the dentist again today. He did more impressions for my new partials. He had a tool like a Drimmel with which he cut notches in some of my teeth to hold the new partials in place.

I usually close my eyes so that I don't see what he is doing, but once I opened my eyes, and there was smoke rising from my mouth! Thank goodness, they had a fine spray of water going at the same time or my remaining teeth could have gone up in flame. It smelled like bacon that has been burned in the microwave oven.

From: Kevin

To: Lucy

Yes, you are VERY lucky that the water mist was working, and you're right about the bacon smell. During my last extraction (we old hands at this, refer to teeth pulling by the technical name, extraction), the dental micro-hydrator (more technical terminology) in the next cubicle became plugged with enamel debris, and a little old woman's mouth burst into flame. Needless to say, the dentist and hygenist were shocked into stunned inaction. All they could do was watch in horror. The little old lady, with teeth and tongue ablaze, jumped up from the chair and ran down the hall past the entrance to my cubicle. It was quite a sight. Bright yellow flames were licking at the old dear's blue-toned coif. Her screams still haunt my slumber. As I am on the safety committee at work, I had noted the placement and type of fire extinguishers in the building. Knowing that there was a Type ABC extinguisher located on the wall at the end of the hall for which she was headed, I ripped my bib off and ran after her. I knew that the flames would obscure her vision and chances were that she would run into the wall, bounce back a few feet, and probably fall to the floor in a blazing heap. I made my way through the smoke filled corridor, and as I predicted, I found her in the floor right in front of the extinguisher. My safety training took over at this point, and I grabbed the extinguisher and used the fire safety acronym P.A.S.S. Pull the pin, Aim the nozzle toward the fire, Squeeze the trigger, Sweep the area of the fire. Just as I got the fire out, the stunned dentist arrived and began resuscitation. She was transferred to the burn unit at the University of Louisville where she underwent many painful skin graft procedures to her cheeks, lips, and the tip of her nose. There wasn't much they could for her tongue though. She was left with a stump. The poor thing will never again know the joy of a Baskin-Robbins double scoop rocky-road waffle cone. As for me, my stomach still lurches at the smell of certain microwaved pork products.

I thought I told you about that. Didn't I tell you about that?


Damn, I miss his quick wit, his rather macabre sense of humor, and his cleverness. I miss talking to him.
I miss his run-on sentences. I miss having a brother.