Update on the car rant

Regarding this earlier post, a car has been found. Pictures coming soon. ūüôā

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Blog Share #12

Here we are with another referral blog, although as with most of that type, I don’t remember exactly which blog I was on that led me to Grandmalin. I’ve found, through writing this blog share series, that bloggers are truly an interconnected family in so many ways. That is a nice thing indeed.

Grandmalin writes at Breathing Space.

Grandmalin introduces herself by noting:

“This is where I come to talk to myself by dredging up an old photograph or a memory and beating it to death with my keyboard.¬† One day all this blather will be treasured by my progeny.¬†¬† Deluded as that notion might be, it‚Äôs what keeps me here.”

A self-taught artist, all sorts of faces pop up on regular occasion at Breathing Space. Cut paper art has also been making an appearance lately. Grandmalin has a room (dare I say studio) in which to perfect her art. I have a shelf, in a closet, to hold my knitting supplies. Dare I say I am slightly envious.

Besides sharing briefly on her About page, this blogger has separate pages which highlight her family history, both ancestral and more current, as well as a page titled Before The Lights Go Out; a collection of semi-autobiographical tales based on her relationship with her sister.

Lin happens to be one of those bloggers who is real and I don’t mean in the physical sense, although I’m pretty sure she isn’t some sort of robotic automaton posing as a human blogger. She writes of what she has lived, and what she lives each day. Her work is honest, and her words are ones that I, and I would guess many others as well, can and do relate to. She has a witty side…no, really Lin goes beyond witty. She has a way of telling a story that is so straightforward, yet so comical, that I often end up laughing out loud. Reading Breathing Space makes me happy and there are many days when I truly need that.

Here are a few recent posts so that, if you don’t already follow Lin, you can check yourself for being neglectful of this blogger, and then click that follow button over there on her right side column.

What Happened Yesterday

Balls

Art du Jour 37

Art du Jour 20

 

Do I or Don’t I; Should I or Shouldn’t I…

Honesty time: I’ve debated about writing this post for a few days now. Had I posted this immediately ‘after’ I would have been in full-blown bitchy rant mode. I have calmed slightly, but I know myself, and I know that this could (will?) turn into something unpleasant very easily.

There are certain relationships in my life that are…complicated…as my blogger friend The Dancing Professor once noted in a comment about some topic that has been long forgotten. This post centers on a large portion of my frustration surrounding that relationship, and could tangentially be a bitch fest for the world to read. I am going to attempt to prevent that, but you’ve been warned.

Onward-

The still-living-at-home-daughter, aka: the youngest daughter, aka: the anxious to be employed new geologist daughter, will soon be in possession of her third car since turning 16. I know that there are posts in my archives that detail a back story, but to save you time…

Car #1 was a manual transmission which she did not know how to drive. The clutch was replaced in and around her attempts to learn. The clutch went out a second time in and around her attempts to learn. I have confidence that she could have mastered the concepts, just not in a car that she needed to be reliable, usable without fail on a daily basis, and that she really wanted to drive. She hated the car, hated the idea of manual transmission from the get-go and unfortunately was never fully consulted about this type of car prior to it being handed to her as her First Car. I have long held a decided resentment about all aspects of this purchase. The car did not stick around to be repaired, nor was it a good fit to begin with.

Car #2, her current, but now death trap car, has served her fairly well by limping along with failing systems and parts, for about four years. It actually was a perfect car for her from the standpoint of body type and designed use This is the Jeep that she almost always wanted. It took her to the deserts of Oregon for 6 weeks and back. It has taken her on road trips, and mountain excursions. It has cost her enough money in gas that she probably could have used that money for a brand new car. She has watched it slowly die from neglect. This past weekend she was extremely fortunate that the dying part was not reversed. She came home Sunday night from a road trip far, far away. Monday morning she had no brakes. None. Zero.

This is where the possible tangent/rant/bitch fest could begin. My car knowledge is limited at best to rudimentary maintenance and knowledge on things like tires, oil, fuses, odds and ends and pieces and parts, odd noises that signal things like worn out brake pads, dripping fluids…basically I know enough to know when I need help. I have tried with all three of our children to pass on my skills in observation and the ideal that ‘if it doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t, so get to a mechanic soon or you might be screwed and unhappy’ version of motherly advice. The other parental figure in this equation may or may not have a greater depth of understanding when it comes to cars. I think that the knowledge is there, but I have often questioned why it has never really been used to teach our children certain things about the vehicles we have purchased for them.

There seems to be a pervasive laissez faire attitude going on. Something like, “once the check is written, you’re on your own,” or possibly something along the lines of “drive it until it dies because it didn’t cost much,” or maybe even something like “I don’t know how to teach you what you need to know and unless you ask, beg and plead (which still won’t do you any good) you really need to take it upon yourself to figure out this vehicle because it will die on the road.”

There is also greatly divergent ideology regarding monies spent on a vehicle and maintenance equating to the need not to replace said vehicle every 2 years. As an aside, between three children they have driven/owned what will soon be six cars while under our roof.

That said, we are not rich folk and it was never our intent to simply hand each of our children A BRAND NEW CAR! at age sixteen. Financially circumstances have been different as each child has reached that magic age and waited anxiously for a car key so there was that factor as well in the consideration of make, model, year, and condition of the vehicle they received, but they all understood that it was never going to be NEW new.

This back story is inadequate to supply a complete picture. So many other factors surround this ongoing issue- responsibility, communication, roles -but…as I don’t often write about spousal issues here, you are just going to have to understand that you are missing copious amounts of information that would add greatly to my desire to rant and blame and fixate on anger and the like.

To conclude, we are now in the hunt for Car #3 for this last daughter who cannot, at this time, afford to purchase her own car. Why not just fix the brakes, you ask? Oh dear, dear reader. There is so much beyond just fixing the brakes that this vehicle needs. The cost to fix the brakes alone would far surpass what this old, tired, sad monstrosity is worth. This car will be sold for parts, and that won’t get us much. We will watch it be towed away. It’s time came and went so many months and road trips ago.

I am painfully aware that buying a used car is always fraught with risk. Buying a new car can be risky as well. I hope to split the difference this time. Car #3 will be newer than the standard old versions purchased in past years, but we are also not taking on a car payment, nor is the daughter able to do that at this time. I want a vehicle that has a reasonable amount of mileage for its age, parts and systems that are now, and will (fingers crossed) continue to be functional into the near future, and most of all something that I don’t have to fear, more than necessary, will lead to a midnight call informing me that the daughter is stuck, or worse. Car #3 will cost substantially more than the typical 2-3K that previous cars have been purchased for. It will be a car with a model year that begins with a 20 instead of a 19. It will not be purchased simply because a friend knows a friend, or because it was top of the line when it was new, or is an only one owner car. It will be researched as much as one can possibly research a used car. It will be checked and prodded and tested, as much as one can do in that area as well. It will be maintained. The daughter herself, in her infinite wisdom and self-determination has already seen to that, lining up a resource who is very willing to teach and guide on the necessary basics.

There should be obvious lessons that cheap and un-maintained gets you nowhere in the end. Finding and spending a reasonable amount initially will hopefully pay off in the end, although we know that there are no guarantees. This post however, must be the last and final post that I write regarding cars purchased in our household. They (the adult children) are now, or will soon be, all on their own and I, quite frankly, am done with this whole used car business.

On educating our young

We have a semi-momentous event beginning next week in Miss Gs world: her momma and I are going to start some informal preschool activities with her for a short time each day.

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This adventure is not about the system of education that encourages making a toddler into an adult sounding, forward thinking academic by age five. I personally think that Miss G is rather bright, but grandma, nor her parents, are at all about turning her into a PhD candidate at ten years old. I foresee feeling woefully inadequate soon enough on the education front with her anyway, pushing and prodding isn’t necessary.

She has though, for some time, and quite vocally, been extremely curious about school, where the neighborhood kids go with their ‘pack-packs’ each day, and when she can join them.

Mom even looked into local pre-schools in her area. There are those associated with professional daycare programs, but Miss G is not in professional daycare so that seemed rather silly. There are a few independent, private programs, but for varied reasons (ideology, cost, days offered, cost) it was decided to hold on an outside program for now. I too have a few programs in my area of slightly less cost, and more general ideals, but the days offered just don’t coincide well either when two different people are the drivers on two or three different days.

Mom has been putting together a very simple and short program of activities that focus on a specific letter, or shape or number and we will work on the chosen special character for one week at a time. While this plan isn’t going to satisfy Miss Gs desire to ‘go to school’ she is coming to grandmas one day per week now and that mixes up her usual routine a bit, hopefully giving her newer and changing views of her up-to-now limited worldview. I have quite a few places for activities around my locale as well that will allow us to get out and explore, so the timing with spring around the corner couldn’t be better.

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Miss G has had a big year already what with first advancing into true toddler mode, then accomplishing (almost) the whole potty training endeavor. She is articulate, able to grasp concepts about emotion and consequences, and feelings, and so very inquisitive. I find great joy in just, very literally, watching her think. She will be chattering about something, pause-often significantly-to puzzle out the correct word or idea that she wants, then toss it into the conversation and carry on. She does much the same with physical tasks as well, practicing over and over until she accomplishes her goal. We can definitely apply the label determined to Miss G.

Age three is just around the corner, as are other changes to come for her and her world this year. While I know part of the appeal of ‘going to school’ for Miss G is simply the interaction with other kids, I think we can all find ways for her to learn to socialize as well. There’s actually a drop in activity program nearby that I can utilize on her day’s with me here, as well as library programs close by. Miss G has a smart momma who has decided to ease learning into the everyday routine. It’s only Miss G, at this point anyway, that doesn’t realize that her school isn’t going to be much different from what we’ve been doing with her everyday for 2 1/2 years. It’s amazing how, with just a bit of structure, play time can turn easily into school time.

The official Caillou backpack doesn’t hurt either.

Huff/Post50: Thanks for defining ‘older’ for me

I always run across articles on the Huffington Post that I like, and I’ve followed HuffPost Women for some time now, mostly because they post blogs and articles pertinent to gender and feminism. I often share those articles on the Facebook version of IATIW.

In a moment of wandering and exploration yesterday I decided to also take note of Huff/Post50¬†because, well I’m over 50. I also qualify now as older apparently.

I suppose that I never really think too much about age when I visit the articles on feminism and gender at HuffPost Women. They are significant to me because of my interests and beliefs, not because most of them focus on individuals who are in their 20s.

I can’t think about anything other than age when I visit Huff/Post50.

I was rather happy to run across this article yesterday, finding promise in the fact that this page designed for the over 50 crowd was also addressing feminism and current practice surrounding BDSM. Being over 50 doesn’t mean being none-sexual, so I thought, “Well yes, it’s not just the younger crowd who is posting about submission and bondage and 50 Shades in articles like this.

This morning though, Huff/Post50 greeted me with:

These Stunning Older Celebrities Ruled the Red Carpet...¬†including photos of what they call ‘post-50’ (insert older) celebs like actors Steve Carell, age 52; Julianne Moore, age 54; and Melanie Griffith, age 57. Thus I am defined clearly as ‘older’ at 55. Thanks Huff Post for making this clear to me.

I also received some valuable information in articles that clearly define the way I spend my days in contemplation of my age:

Six Foods That Actually Relieve Gas¬†…filed under ‘bloating.’

The Conversation I Had With My Younger Self¬†…notably filed under ‘aging.’

The Top Retirement Fear of American Seniors¬†…filed under ‘concerns,’

and just one more-

5 Ways to Make Yourself¬†Irresistible¬†To Your Partner– Again¬†…filed under ‘relationships’ with the requisite sexy female leg suggestive of so many things that I could rant about, but won’t at this time.

I also can learn how a¬†New Anti-Aging Chocolate May Make Skin Look 30 Years Younger.¬†It’s called…”Esthechoc.” Again, I cannot start a rant that may never cease if I begin now so all of you, please rant for me either silently, to those who matter to you, in the comments, or share your own posts on aging if you feel so inclined.

I have to get busy learning how to have enough money for retirement so that I can successfully appear 25 again and seduce my partner after some life-altering yoga workouts that may also work in combination with all those foods that are systematically reducing my flatulence problems. No one told be that being ‘older’ meant so much work.

Blog Share #11

I’ve been neglectful about blog sharing, but in my defense I have been doing some…readjustments…in the blogs that I read regularly, the blogs that I followed more as a courtesy, and then those blogs that post so very randomly that I forget about them until a strange name pops up alerting me to a new post. At that point, it often seems like whatever attracted me to the blog originally has either changed, or I admit I just wasn’t that interested to begin with.

I’ve decided that I’m a bit of a blog snob. It takes a lot, and I can’t often express what that ‘a lot’ thing is, to pull me into a blog and more importantly, make me want to continue to read. I am also fickle, and because I’m searching for something to round out my life, to smack me in the head and open my eyes to…happiness, the future, the answer to why I’m here…I tend to be easily led from blog to blog but find little of substance that keeps me around. There are some great blogs out there, lots of them, but they aren’t what I’m searching for, which is -apparently- the answer to all my life problems.

However, on my always go to list is Behind the White Coat. Can you guess what this blog might be about? From Victo’s own introduction:

“I have been practicing for over ten years as a family practice physician. I started working on this blog as an outlet, a place for the honesty that I cannot indulge in elsewhere. Sometimes I have felt that I will explode with words‚Ķall of the words that I have had to leave unsaid. So here they are.”

“At this point I have no idea where my musings will go. My intent is to write and post at least once a day, covering topics ranging from motherhood, medicine, and life in general.”

Yes, we have a practicing physician who writes about life as a doctor, with all the funny/sad/scary/outrageous, and even disturbing encounters that define her professional life, but that physician is also a woman, with children and family, and issues, and a past, and a future, and opinions. I know that it’s a novel idea, but this blogger doctor is – HUMAN – and honest, about her life and medicine as it is today.

I enjoy reading her insights about the state of healthcare, and her stories about her practice. I respect her honesty on issues that aren’t always easy to discuss, or that have straightforward answers. I love that she gives opinions and critiques and isn’t afraid to speak out about both the ‘right’ and the ‘wrong’ in our system. Readers also get to see the other side. We get to experience what happens when the white coat comes off, when the career woman becomes the individual just trying to manage that daily life.

I hope that you’re curious. Check out this recent post, or this one, or maybe this one.

I think that the tagline behind the title of this blog, Behind the White Coat, says it all:¬†Beats a real human heart…

Yes, it does.