Category Archives: General Updates

The Car Incident

I can’t call what happened a car accident because there was no actual accident.  There was no crunching or crashing or other car injury.  H and I were fine after the fact, however, it was stressful as all heck.

We went to visit family over Memorial Day.  We are 6 hours from my parents and about 8 from his.  We were visiting around the South Dakota lakes that have been really floody this spring.  Things had improved substantially, so we ventured forth in our trusty sedan.  Well, it was a bit too much for the car to handle.  Over the bumps and valleys, mud, and little streams across roads, our undercarriage bumped a few times.  It wasn’t behaving badly, so we headed back to my parents house from his.

We left a bit earlier than planned because bad weather was supposed to arrive about 5:00 pm.  At 4:45, we were driving along, in 30 mph winds, when all of a sudden we heard a great “woosh” sound and the car was being pulled.  H thought that we’d popped a tire.  We pulled over on the interstate where people were travelling 80 mph.  We checked tires, which were fine.  Then we got to looking underneath the car, which revealed that our plastic spatter shield had fallen half off.

After a little bit more fiddling on the ground, we decided to call AAA.  This was decided as H was trying to puzzle out the problem.  He was considering and qualifying, like any good engineer will do, but I wasn’t having any of it.  The weather was supposed to get bad at any moment, so I needed a decision.  After my kind prompting, which may have been a bit of a yell, he said we should call AAA.

I will pause this story to endorse AAA.  You may not need them frequently.  You may not need them for years at a time, but when you need them, you need them so much!   Everyone in the world should have a AAA membership.  It is important.  They’ll bring you gas or tow you and help you when you’re distraught.  AAA is important!

The person we spoke with told us that it could be an hour before someone got there.  We were listening to Dracula on audiobook and had plenty of gas, so we proceeded like we had been without the forward motion.  About 5 minutes later (now about 5:05), the AAA guy got there.  He got the ruined spatter shield off the car and got us back on the road.  He even followed us for a few miles.

So, we’ll have to get a new spatter shield and refrain from taking our car off-roading or country roading again.  Car incidents are still no fun, even if everything turns out okay.

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Dream Analysis

I had a dream I was at a choir concert standing next to a boy I hated from high school, and he was mocking me.  I was also on a really slippery piece of flooring sliding back and forth.  Then, a syrupy sweet girl from elementary school told me that I should really be trying harder to stand still.

I think I’m having a wee bit of anxiety about the new job starting. 

I also fell off my chair at the temporary Library location today because of the slippery tile floor.  Good.

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Saying Goodbye Again

My grandmother passed away suddenly on February 27th, 2011.  She was 82 years old.  Her obituary is posted here.  Those of you who have read this blog for a bit will know that my paternal grandmother passed away in October after a fight with dementia and congenital heart disease.  It has been a difficult winter in my family for grandmothers.  The doctors are guessing that she had a heart attack, but that doesn’t make it any easier.

H and I took the week off from work and drove home.  We spent a few days cleaning, sorting, and organizing everything to make sure that my grandfather’s transition into the nursing home will be as easy as possible.  They were married for 63 years, which is impressive by anyone’s standards.  She will be remembered as a kind soul and excellent caregiver.  I will miss her immensely and am sad that I did not make more effort to call them on a regular basis.  I know that death sneaks up on us all, but I hope this will be an opportunity for me to be a better grandchild to my grandpa.

I have been considering a tattoo of the words, “Sometimes when you fall, you fly” as a reminder to myself to be brave, a sentiment from which most of us could benefit.  I think now, I may incorporate a bit of my grandmothers into that tattoo.  As they were named Violet and Ruby, I am thinking I will put two flowers with the words.  A purple Viola odorata for Grandma Violet and a Viola Cornuta Arkwright Ruby for my Grandma Ruby.

I am grateful that she had an easy passing without pain or difficulty, but it doesn’t make saying goodbye any easier.  I plan to start writing to my grandfather every week, too.  I want to make sure he feels loved, because he has lost half of himself, which would be devastating at any time, but especially after 63 years of marriage and without warning.

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Don’t I Look Sheepish

Clearly I am the world’s worst blogger.  It has been over a month since I last posted because graduate school is a cruel mistress who unceremoniously took all my time and wouldn’t give it back.  Yesterday I finished my degree final and passed, so that is one step closer to graduation.  Now I need to pass my 3 remaining classes (including a terrifying midterm in two weeks) and find a job.  Hopefully this will not be as painful as I am anticipating.  I’ve been applying for jobs consistently with a few interviews and no offers yet, so I just keep hoping.  Financially we’ll be fine if I’m doing something other than my dream job, but I think it will be fairly demoralizing to have to take a random job I don’t want with 2 master’s degrees.  Today I’ll apply for another handful of jobs and add them to the list of jobs I’ve applied for.

Other highlights include a tax refund and plans to pay off over half of the loan on H’s car because we hit our short term savings goal in February.  We are being consistent and controlled with our financial lives, and starting to see some positive results of our tenacity.

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Reflections on 2010

With the end of the year, it only seems appropriate to do some reflecting on the year that’s passed.  This year has been a pretty big adventure year for my little life.

The Good:

I’ve begun and nearly finished a second master’s degree.

I got married (yay) and will pay taxes for the first time as a married person (yikes).

I’ve been really healthy this year.  I can’t recall being on antibiotics once and have had very few colds to deal with.  This is pretty impressive considering I was on antibiotics about 5 times a year before my tonsilectomy.

My dad came through a hip replacement with no complications and is looking forward to golfing once some of the snow melts.

The Bad:

I said goodbye to my grandmother this year.  Although she’s not with us anymore, it’s good that she’s not in pain or having such terrible issues with dementia.

H and I have had a couple of fights that were the biggest of our relationship.  This can be attributed to our newlywed status and the fact that we never lived together, but  I hope we don’t have any of those again soon.

I have taken the two hardest classes of my entire scholastic career and at times thought I wouldn’t survive.  This is saying something given the fact that I have been a student since I was 5 and will turn 25 in a few weeks.

All in all 2010 was not a bad year.  Here’s looking forward to 2011 and a new set of adventures, like full time employment (I hope.)

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Human Again!

Much like Lumiere and the other people/objects in Beauty and the Beast, I’m feeling human again!  This is great news, but I still have lots of homework to do.  No time for bliggity bloggity bloop.

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Saying Goodbye

My grandmother passed away last Thursday.  We went home to where my dad grew up to say goodbye.  I cried, my mom cried, my sister cried, my dad cried.  My brother didn’t cry, but he doesn’t do things like that.  It was one of the hardest weekends I have had in a long time.

We saw lots of family members and had an opportunity to remember grandma when she was healthy and happy.  She lived in an assisted living home for 9 years and had dementia before that to prompt the move.  I was barely a teenager when she stopped being well so I don’t remember all that much of her, just flashes and brief memories.

I do remember that she had a big laugh.  She loved to sing and be with friends and family.  She loved baseball.  She would wait for the local baseball season to start all winter long, just biding her time until late spring when baseball would start to pick back up.  She was a wonderful woman, surrounded by people who loved her and came to say goodbye.

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