Monday, March 19, 2007

A week ago, I wasn't even pregnant...

Settle down! It's not what you think!!!

Today, I took delivery of my first "mine-only" car. It/She/He is a silver 2005 Toyota RAV4 (no comments from the environmentalists, thank you) fully, as "they" say, loaded. My banker, insurance agent, sister-in-law and various friends egged me on. The Jr Boy encouraged. I (sort of) got over my "I want everyone to like me" persona and negotiated a price I (and the bank) can live with despite much whinage by the seller who was "losing money because he was helping his sister out." Guy was a bit surprised to hear (almost as surprised as I was to say it) "Your issues with your sister are not my problem. If you want to talk about being owed money, you should perhaps talk to someone other than a woman who is owed $47K by her indigent b-i-l." Nothing like the old "my family members are more trashy than yours" card!!

Today I learned that buying a car is sort of like labour: after it's all over (if you're very lucky) you don't remember much about the pain, the doubts, and the uncertainty of a safe delivery. There is still, however, The Name. Does the name you picked out beforehand fit the new arrival? (Himself scared my mum by saying, "If it's a boy, Fred; if it's a girl, Fredelle." Apologies to all you Freds/Fredelles but those weren't names my mum wanted to hear. And Yes, the Jrs know how lucky they are)

All our cars have had names and long lives: Mortimer the Meteor (our friend had Bartholomew the Buick) Berte the MGB, Trout the Toyota Tercel, and Sam(oyed) the Ford Escort. Names (except for Berte who came named) were chosen after the vehicles arrived and a certain "familiarity" with one another was established. When Trout and The Sr Boy were rear-ended at 358,000+ kms and IccyBiccy said "total loss", we immediately looked for a replacement and found the same again only a year and 150K kms younger. The naming fell down a bit there as it became Blue Trout (the other one had been green) or truite bleu when practicing our (lack of) bilinguality. I realize that there seems to be a slight function of alliteration going in the names but they all seemed to be quite accepting of the monikers we laid on them as long as the gas kept flowing and the oil was changed regularly.

The New Car is in the garage - very in the garage - so in the garage that I can't see over the top of it to wave g'bye to The Jr Boy as he roars off with a 6-pack for a night of ???. Berte-the-MG is wondering about the lummox taking up all the space and air. Tomorrow, the garage gets a serious sort and re-arrange (well 20 minutes worth anyway). I am now solely responsible for oil changes, tire pressure, brake shoes and alignments not to mention rotating tires and washing and waxing. It's a bit overwhelming so...

Tonight, I am drinking my birthday champers (thank you, Kate) and thinking of names.

All suggestions will be considered. Final decision rests entirely with The New Owner.

No longer a Car Buying Virgin (and available for consults), looking for a good deal on a hitch and.....

still breathing.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

You Would Have Been So Proud....

Every year, the rumble of Bike heralded The Beginning: it was the "we made it through the winter" sound of Riding Season about to start. Most years, it was relatively tame: bike moved out of basement with much grunting (his) and breath-holding (mine), a fire up and a ride down into the gully and up again to the driveway. Then the scarf, sweater, overpants, jacket, helmet and gloves, a kiss, a wave, and he was gone.

The First Ride varied in length: from only-long-enough-to-warm-up-the-oil on those times the sun's brightness fooled him into thinking it was warmer than it was, to a tank-emptying romp up the Westside Road and back. He always came home with a grin. I was always glad to hear the returning rumble.

On Thursday morning, I noticed The Jr Boy's Girl was up in the garage. From the basement without any need for my assistance. Must have happened while I was out trying to get insurance for the rescued Blue Trout Toyota.

Ten minutes ago, wrapped in sweater, scarf, jacket, gloves and helmet, TJB rumbled off. Yes, the roads are still gravelly but what's a mum to do? His dad would have been right out there with him.

And they'd have been gone for a while.

Still breathing.

Friday, March 09, 2007


About three days ago, I quietly wondered how I would manage being sick "alone".

I'm finding out.

Not much different as it turns out... I'm still a sodden, whinging, non-coping mess.


Still breathing although with my mouth open.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


This may be a big surprise: I don't do change very well, especially change that is mixed up with stuff I think I "ought" to know/understand. As in: changing this blog b/c someone somewhere decided that Gargle should be running my perfectly happy little BlaggerBlog. Before you all get shirty with me, I am sure that this must be all for the good but would someone please explain to me why my email address is now the sign-in and sits at the top of this page so any dorkus walking past (in my family room this is not a big issue but...) can see, read, memorize, and email me more crap than I'm already getting??? There is NO paranoia in my mind whatsoever, just irritation that something that worked fine for me has to be changed because it wasn't ________ enough for some nerdniks somewhere. I wonder if they are the same people who invented airbags (which are more likely to kill or maim women and children) because stupidstubbornyoungmostlyamericanmales wouldn't do up their seatbelts and the gummint doesn't believe in survival of the fittest or smartest?

I liked my old sign-in. It was mine - I invented it, I was the only person who used it and now I've got something that is convenient and generic. Faugh!!! I will have to figure out how to change it and this from one who usually uses a fountain pen.

Further aggravation: The Reno Guys have been out of the house for a few days but they are not finished. Everyone who has done renos says this is normal. The plumbing supply company hasn't supplied the supplies so the plumber hasn't come back, the electrician hasn't come to figure out why the floor isn't heating, the tilesetter is due for a one hour sort out but I'm not sure if he will have to come back after the plumber, the painter forgot to paint the pocket door. I am still sleeping in the basement. I figure I'll get my room back in time for the heat of July.

More aggravation: Still getting bills from Reno. How on earth do people who don't have the time to chase IckyBicky and all the assorted others manage??? This being a widow by accident is damnear a full-time job and it's not one I would recommend to anyone. No job description, lousy hours, no possibility of promotion, remuneration squabbled about at every turn. Grrrrr...

In better news, The Jr Boy et moi resurrected the Toyota from the gully and are waiting for the insurance company's computers to come back on so we can run Blue Trout legally instead of the "borrow the licence plate" style of former days. We both felt a bit odd after our success - a sense of one more thing that The Sr Boy used to do that we have taken on and, as with his shoes that we wear to shuffle out the compost and garbage, the fit is awkward and unwanted.

The Paperwhites planted on Saturday are greening already.

Still breathing.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

10 Years' Warranty? No Brainer....

It's Saturday where I am and it's March. Much of the world is rolling down to the agony of winter on the beach and, further south, 24 hours of dark. Those of us north of the equator are starting to get a bit 'opeful that Spring/primavera/printemps might be coming soon. And if that lovely rollicking season is near at hand, what can that mean chez moi?

That the dod-gasted bloddy furnace has decided that if the bathrooms can get ronavated (yes, I know that's not how it's spelled but Canadians will understand) with new sub-floor heating, it is no longer required! ARRRRGGGG and likewise dammit!!!

Yesterday, I finally decided that sleeping in 5 minute blocks while wondering if the heat provider will actually click back on after running for only 2 minutes, is not, in this new life, "an option". Checked the file for the last visit from the furnace guy. It was March, 2001. Hmmmmm, I seem to recall being told then that "this was only a temporary fix".

I called the service guy. I cleaned up the bathroom he would have to walk through to get to the furnace. I took off my toque and the blanket I had draped fetchingly about myself and straightened my fleeceovertheAransweaterovertheturtleneckoverthelongsleevedtoverthe you get the picture attire and opened the front door to "Rob" (according to his shirt and business card). He said "wow, it's cold in here!", put house slippers on over his boots and clumped downstairs. First off, of course, he rehung all the stuff I had taken off the furnace (doors, filter), then turned it on and, thank the Holy, it did what it had been doing for the past several days: ran 2 minutes of fan time, cut out, waited 3-5 minutes and cut in again.

Aside: Don't you just hate it when stuff runs perfectly for the repairperson? This furnace definitely was not paying attention to the fact that "Rob" was a different person squatting in front of it holding a flashlight in his mouth. Dumbum furnace: I can't hold a flashlight in my mouth without gagging.

So the choices were: Door #1: ~$800.00 work to fix a 25 year old furnace which would then work but still be a 25 year old furnace. Furnaces are not like Chanel suits or Rolls Royces: they do not increase in value with age.
Door #2: ~$3000.00 for a new installed furnace with "A Ten-Year Warranty"

No Brainer

The installing crew comes on Friday. "Rob" fixed the fan to run constantly until then. If it quits, he will come back and "make it work".

I slept 'til 0900.

And woke up to 5 cm of new snow on the deck

but no coyote prints.

Still breathing