Women – I have something to discuss with you today. I just know this is going to touch your hearts as much as it touches mine. Are you ready for the topic? Car problems. There you go – I heard your sighs all the way here at the Hotel Thompson. Why do car problems bother us so much?
As a younger woman, I tinkered with cars. Can you believe that? But coming from a large family where I have seven older brothers, my dad made sure I knew my way around a car. I have a fond memory of when me and Jim first started dating. I had a Dodge Omni at the time that was unreliable as a Dollar Store pregnancy test. One time, I was going home from his house. His mom/dad followed us because they knew my car was unreliable. About half way home, sure enough my car stopped running. I pulled over to the side of the road and got the flash light out of the glove box. I handed it to Jim where he proceeded to look at me like a deer in the headlights. He said, “What do you want me to do?” Without missing a beat, I opened my door and said, “Hold the flashlight for me.” So there we were outside of the car, hood up, Jim holding the flashlight and me tinkering underneath it with the carburetor. That’s how Jim’s mom/dad found us when they rolled up beside us… of course they were laughing hysterically and yes I got it running again.
So, I’m not a stranger to the makings of a car; however, with all of the newer electronics in cars these days, I’m not as good as I once was. That’s when last week on Thursday my check engine light came on and I squealed like Bacon. Really? It’s already a tough time of the year. I’m closing the year 2015 at work and I can’t begin to tell you that my mind is mush from all of the number crunching. I had so many errands to run last weekend – grocery shopping, pharmacy, plasma donations, Houdini needed a bath, Bacon needed piggy chow and the purr things were about to abandon the Hotel Thompson if they didn’t get some treats and fresh litter. So my hands were full as well as my calendar and wallet.
Being resourceful though and Jim still to this day not having a mechanically inclined touch in his entire body, I did what any solid mind girl would do. I sat down and had me a cry. You know one of those gut sucking the world is coming to an end cries. Of course this was outside of the Hotel Thompson. Had it been and the anipals heard me, I would have been licked to death 🙂
And do you know what else doesn’t work when your Check Engine light is on? Take a guess – your remote start. Now, remote start is one of those things that I didn’t think I would use all that often if ever and I never thought I would miss it. Let me tell you something. I missed it totally! I use it to turn on the Jeep in the mornings to get the frost off the windows. I use it running to the car in the evenings to turn on the heat before I get in. Gosh, I was missing this!
After my cry, I hit the internet and researched the problem with the Jeep. That’s when I learned two things. The Jeep has a lot of extras that I didn’t know about (which is good) and I found the problem (which is better.) You see, if the check engine light comes on and flashes – then you have an engine problem – good to know huh? But if the check engine light comes on solid, then more than likely it’s a gas problem. It could be either you got cheap gas, the gas cap is dirty or the gas cap is not tight. Looking back at where I got gas the last time, I think it was dirty. So with a paper towel in hand, I took the gas cap off, cleaned it and then put it back on tight. Now it says in the manual that you may have to crank, drive around and park it 4-5 times before the light goes off – if you fixed the problem.
For the entire weekend, it never went off. Really karma? Can’t you throw me a curve? So there I was running errands and with every re-crank begging to the Gods to fix it but it didn’t. I had enough Sunday night so I went to bed early. I was tired, cranky and frustrated. I get up to go to work Monday, walk to the car, crank it and oh my glory heavens – the light was gone. I swear I heard angels singing. Really I did.
So my question women – why do car problems frustrate us??
Tags: adventure, animal, appreciation, bacon, Bad, car, car problems, check engine, comedy, cute, daddy, devil, entertainment, freedom, Friends, fun, funny, games, growing up, happy, hate, Hotel Thompson, humor, Jeep, Love, miniature pot bellied pig, Mom, pet, pets, pig, play, playful, priceless, problems, smart, snorts, spoiled, stress, trouble, vehicle, women
Happy New Years my friends! Can you believe that it is already 2015 – Where did 2014 go? Today, I’m going to do something a little different here on my blog. I want to share with you something that my mother wrote recently on handicaps. It may be a little long, but I hope you take the time to read it. I think this will be perfect to start this new year with awareness and kindness and paying it forward. Enjoy and let me know what you think 🙂
Let’s play a game. Close your eyes, tight now no looking. Now, I want you to try to do things around your house. Go to the kitchen and get a drink; try going to the bathroom; turning the television on; or making a phone call. Can you do it? Can you remember the layout of your home? Can you remember what your phone looks like and where the numbers are? What about the remote control?
These are all problems that my husband encounters everyday. You see in 2004, he was in a minor car accident and almost died. That’s right I said minor accident. He was only going 30 miles per hour when a car accident happened and his airbags deployed. The force of the airbags against his chest caused massive blood clots in his lungs. He was in intensive care for nearly 12 weeks coming close to death several times. In fact at one point, the doctors asked mommy if she believed in miracles because it was time to start praying for one. 😦
Within two years of his accident and many, MANY surgeries that we lost count, he lost his vision. This is not a story to say, “Oh dear, you poor thing”. This is a story to enlighten people, restaurants and businesses. Handicaps are not just visibly seen by wheelchairs, walkers or canes. Some handicaps you would never know unless you knew the person. This is my husband Jim. He does everything we do just with a little help.
When we go out together, we are always holding hands. This is something that we have always done for the 26 years we have been together. But now, it’s also to help guide Jim. He doesn’t use a cane and it’s not because of vanity. Jim and others with vision impairments want to be ‘normal’ as much as they can be and I can deal with that. Wouldn’t you? He does everything you and I do but just with a little help.
When we go out to eat, we hold hands walking to the table. If you are close enough to hear us, you might hear me say, “Walk straight, your chair is to the left.” And you will see Jim walk straight to his chair just like he ‘saw it’. You may hear me discussing the menu just like regular people do on, “What do you want to eat?” You might even hear me tell him when the food comes to the table, “Chicken on the bottom, green beans to the left and corn to your right.” But other than that, Jim can eat all by himself just like a big boy. 🙂 So, you might not ‘see’ that he has a visual impairment. And after dinner when we walk to the car, you will see Jim open my car door for me and then walk to his side and get in. Does that ‘look’ like a handicap to you?
But here is where we need to step up in businesses and restaurants. We are all for a little romantic dinner in a restaurant where the mood is set and the lights are low. But some restaurants tend to push the envelope a little more these days. But for someone with a visual handicap that might ‘see’ perhaps a little light to guide them, a little mood set with lights low makes them completely blind. The little bit of tunnel vision Jim might have in one eye is now completely blocked by low light setting and where he might be able to look ‘naturally’ before now he can’t. You add the low lighting with a white table cloth and white dishes, he is going to stumble around on his plate. His drink might get bumped. He may drop his napkin. Waiters/Waitresses – please note this is not something that he is doing ‘on purpose’. Please don’t say something to him negatively. Please don’t “talk down” to him like a child. And by all means watch what you say not to insult. People with vision impairments don’t do these things on purpose. They don’t want the extra attention. They want to feel normal in every aspect that they can. When we ask for a table with a little more light, don’t make a big deal by the request. I mean we could eat at home and we often do but don’t we all want to go out from time to time?
And bathrooms in public – sigh. More businesses and restaurants really need to come up family bathrooms. We have come across these in our travels and they are fabulous! Why do you ask? Well, hopefully in your own home you know the layout of your bathroom. But in a strange place, can you imagine closing your eyes and feeling your way around in a bathroom when you have to potty? There have been a lot of times that I will walk Jim to the door, open it and try to peak in to tell him where everything is – beware men – I’m not trying to look at what you are doing 🙂 Really, I’m not.
If you see someone that is acting ‘off’ and it doesn’t ‘show’ that they have a handicap, they may just have a visual handicap that you don’t see. Instead of walking by or acting like you might catch it, why don’t you stop and chat. Don’t worry, they won’t bite. Believe me, just because they are visually impaired, they do have a sense of humor still.
If they are trying to go to the restroom, why don’t you volunteer to guide them. Trust me, they won’t hesitate for your help. If they drop their flatware on the floor, why don’t you replace it and touch their shoulder and say, “No problem sir”. If you have someone that asks for a more lit table, don’t belittle them or act like it’s a big deal – accommodate
And don’t think Jim is being a snob if he doesn’t shake your hand when you offer yours. Just a heads up – most people with a visual impairment can’t see your hand. 🙂 Sometimes it helps if you touch their shoulder and say, “Good to meet you”. And of course, if I’m there I will be glad to tell Jim your arm is extended. Don’t worry. You can shake hands. You won’t catch his blindness.
Most handicapped people don’t want a free pass. They want to feel like they fit in and can still do what they once could. Jim is the same. He knows our house like the back of his hand. He takes care of the kids and the house. He can clean like you wouldn’t believe! He makes the beds. He does all of the laundry. He does the dishes. He can cook for himself. Astonishing huh? It just takes a few tweaks on my part to make his life like it once was. The microwave is marked, the washing machine is marked, the dryer is marked – all with little tabs that he can ‘feel’ to turn on and off.
I’m not writing this story for sympathy. I’m not writing this story for money. I’m writing this story for knowledge on visual impairments. The next time you see someone with a visual problem – where you see it with someone using a cane or being guided by someone, don’t fear them or treat them differently. Be kind and helpful. And hey – why not even help their caregiver out for a while. Do you know that must people with visual impairments still like to do things for their loved ones. This has been one of the biggest downfalls to Jim’s vision. There are times that he would love to go get me a card or some flowers but how can he when he can’t drive himself to do such a wonderful gesture? Perhaps if you know someone with a visual problem, offer to take them out for such a trip 🙂
In the new year let’s start practicing a little Luke 6:31, “Do to others as you want them to do to you”. Happy New Years!
Tags: adventure, bathrooms, blindness, businesses, canes, car, cleaning, cooking, daddy, Do onto others, doors, eat, family, family bathroom, Food, freedom, Friends, growing up, guidance, guide, handicap, handicaps, happy, Happy New Years, help, Hotel Thompson, house, husband, impairments, laundry, Love, Luke 6:31, menu, New Years, normal, people, pet, priceless, problems, public, resolutions, restaurants, smart, snob, vanity, visible, visual, visual impairments, walkers, washing, wheelchairs
Maybe this is why Mouse Girl here at the Hotel Thompson sings to her people in the middle of the night? I’m not really sure. But she can be heard performing nightly in the hallways where the sounds echo throughout the house. Shakes piggy head – and trust me. She has this same problem – her voice is a lot worse than her problems I’m sure – snorts.
Tags: adventure, animal, bacon, cat, comedy, cute, entertainment, Friends, fun, funny, games, growing up, hallways, happy, Hotel Thompson, humor, miniature pot bellied pig, Mouse Girl, nightly, pet, pets, pig, play, playful, priceless, problems, purr thing, silent, Silent Sunday, singing, snorts, spoiled, Sunday, trouble, voice, Weekend
As you know, mom/dad are
leaving me going on vacation this Saturday. The packing has started a little bit here/there for the beach adventure. They have secured me a “pig sitter” – a beautiful person named Hannah. All of the stars have lined up and they feel everything is fine.
But deep down in my pot belly, I just don’t feel so good. There’s a weird butterfly feeling that keeps bugging me. Maybe it’s mommy separation? Mommy left me for a few days when I was around six weeks old but I’m two now. It’s been a long time since we’ve been separated. She says she will call and skype. But, there’s that feeling in the depth of me belly. I can’t put my hoove on it. It’s strange.
So friends, be forewarned. I have some of you on speed email. If a problem arises, you will hear from me. I don’t want to worry mom/dad on their trip. I just have a feeling. Do you know what this feeling is?
Tags: adventure, animal, anxiety, baby, bacon, Bad, comedy, cute, daddy, entertainment, freedom, Friends, fun, funny, growing up, happy, Hotel Thompson, humor, kid, Love, miniature pot bellied pig, Mom, mommy, pet, pets, pig, play, playful, priceless, problems, separation, Skype, smart, spoiled, teenager, trouble, vacation