Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Things I don't want to know...

Dottie was so used to staying up until I called at midnight on my break that although I've been trying to make it to bed by midnight and get up around 8, she isn't ever ready to lie down before 12:30 or 1. We've spent the last few night catching up with the "Terminator" series that ran last fall as she and both boys were big fans of the movie and it was one she wanted to watch. Well written, well acted to this point; we're about 6 episodes in at this point.

Last night she talked me into watching a 3rd hour at a few minutes after midnight. Things had run late because when John got in his '98 Neon to go to work yesterday it would move about a foot in either direction and then "bind up"; he told me it was like the transmission was slipping. He took their van to work and called me at noontime, I told him to check his fluid levels, etc.. He called when he got home, 4-ish and was telling me this and that; it really sounded like the transmission was "gone". I told him call my nephew, the one that graduated Wyoming Tech last spring and pick his brain. Brett said it sounded like a bound caliper, and that is common in front wheel drive things.

So I took stands over, put in in neutral and tried to roll it backwards. A big "groan" came from the right rear. John came out of the house we jacked it up and I spun that wheel with my foot; it was bound but freed up- the left didn't.

I've never had any luck getting the rear drums off this car; I helped John do front brakes on it, and my other son with fronts on his 2003 Neon. I've checked Dottie's fronts and tried to slip the rear drums off her Malibu, which the manuals say all 3 cars should do; no "give".

Another call to Brett, and he said get a big sledge and beat the drum all the way around the edge and it will come off...

I did that once 25 years ago to an early 70's Impala I had, and yes, the drum came off...in pieces...

I told Brett that and he said not to worry, it won't break, but I'd best figure on putting some arm into it with a 3 pound sledge.

The left one took about 15 minutes of a steadily increasing beating. It still had friction material on both shoes, but the adjuster wasn't exactly "free" to turn.

The right rear I started out at the intensity that took the left one loose, and about 10 swings later it was off.

The friction material from the front shoe had popped loose and slid around, jamming into the rear shoe and locking that wheel after a half turn in either direction.

John went and picked up shoes last night and we'll put it back together when he gets off work tonight...

So dinner was late as I grilled when I got home from his house after 8 last night; she had put the trash out when she got home at 7 and hit the shower while I cooked. We watched the beginning of an episode then I went through the shower around 9:30.

We finished the 3rd episode a bit after 1; she was up at 8 to get ready for work; I set my clock for 9:30 and when it went off told her goodbye, then said "screw this" and reset it for 10. At 10 I turned on the kettle and set it for 10 more minutes.

10:05; the phone rings. Thinking something must have happened on her way to work, I don't even try to grab glasses to read the caller ID, I just answer it.

Heavy breathing...then click...

Get up, turn the clock off, more than a bit pissed off that my last few minutes of snooze was ruined. Get my reading glasses, check the caller ID...

It was my mother.

I didn't call her back...there have been a lot of issues I've never written about here and suffice to say there are reasons that Dottie is usually the one to talk to her. I could spend years talking to someone about things that have occured just in the last 25 years and never get to the ones from my childhood...

I just started to write some of them out, but I just can't bring myself to do it! My stomach is doing slow rolls and my heart is pounding...


Usually I manage to choke it all back and deal with her in a family setting; there are reasons I never go see her alone, and avoid talking to her on the phone.

If it were truly something important she'd have called back or the nursing home would call; I'm grateful I don't have to worry about that aspect of things!

Dottie was going to go by on her way home from work and see her as I'll be working on John's car anyway tonight, and then pick up barbecue from one of our favorite places that's 2 blocks from Mom's nursing home, so she'll try to figure out what's going on.

Sadly, it was all bothering me so badly that I told Dottie most of what I couldn't write above; she's not any happier about things than I am, but deals with it so I don't have to.

So now I'm going to go take my frustrations out on my lawn. I mowed and shopped on Friday last week, but this week I get to go have a colonoscopy on Friday; it's going to rain a bunch the next few days, and if I don't get ahead of it by the time I feel like mowing again it will be knee high. Tomorrow I run the weekly errands, and Thursday I get to start preparing for my "exam"...

May the week be kind to each of you!


A couple of hours later...came in to cool off before I finish the lawn, and to "lose" the little neighbor boy who wants to help so badly. I was bloghopping a bit and went to type my name and typoed; not uncommon for me, and all kinds of variations on my name have come from my fingers before, but this one was new:

alian...damned if I don't feel like one sometimes!



von Krankipantzen said...

Ah, Mothers... Still got that sledgehammer laying around?

Just kidding.


CrackerLilo said...

I didn't know you had problems like that with your mother. I'm sorry. *hug*

Mine turns me into a sullen 13-year-old all over again.

Bet you're really glad you did all that exercising after working on the car, huh?

I hope the colonoscopy goes well and your week is kinder to you!

Thank you, by the way, so much for your support about my brother.

kath said...

It is so sad that so many of us have had issues with out mothers. I pray that I did it right enough so my children don't have such feelings.

Hello my friend.. and I hope you are finding lots of happy in your retirement.

ZILLA said...

Dottie's a peach. Always good to have an understanding "buffer" to help us work around the difficult relations.

My sister Alice's favorite typo is "Alive." :-)

I suppose colonoscopy is not the most pleasant procedure, but it pays to be pro-active where health is concerned. Good for you, and I hope your results are A-Okay.

alan said...

Kranki- I think things like that, then I feel guilty for it, then try to convince myself I really shouldn't waste the effort...lol!

Lilo- The heat index was over 100 when we started putting it back together, but at least his driveway has shade, unlike mine! The bit of weight I've lost made it more bearable, though I've got a long way to go! You're right about the Mom thing; I already had enough things from then without her adding to the list!

Kath- I have no doubt you got it right, you couldn't have done it any other way!

Zilla- The stories I could tell would make your hair turn white; that Dottie has put up with me all these years is amazing, but when you throw Mom into the mix anyone else would have run screaming!


Connie in FL said...

A wise man once said...

You can pick your friends but you can't pick your kin.

Or, something very close. Ain't that the truth!

HAR said...

Dear Alian,

I feel you on the mother issues. It seems as if you handle it quite well. Many of us lose our tempers and let it get to us or go back for more...etc. That's not healthy.

Dottie DOES sound like a peach. You must have realized that by now.

And about all of those mechanical problems that you know so much about, I wish my mind worked like that.

Sassy said...

I avoid my mother as much as possible. It sucks that we have to avoid our own mothers, doesn't it?

alan said...

Sassy- I had kind of gathered that and felt so sorry for you! I see all these wonderful mothers out there, and wonder if this is karma for some past offence or just "the luck of the draw"!


Green tea said...

I feel bad..maybe it's a guy thing?

I was very close to my mom..but my brother had issues.

I imagine my sons do too.. :D

Hubba and I are on different sleeping schedules..he goes to bed around 9 and I am lucky to make it by 1:00AM
I like sitting out on the front deck at midnight and watching all the animals from the nearby
nature area going into peoples yards.
Lots of deer and last night 3 raccoons chasing each other up and down our boulevard tree.