Another Trip to Saturn

I took my car in to Saturn yesterday so they can decide (and hopefully repair) whatever is causing the Check Engine Light to come on. I had requested a Vue for my rental so I don't have pain getting in and out of the car. Normally they have a shorter vehicle for me to use and it really is hard on me. They had a green Vue waiting for me, for which I am thankful.

Saturn called me this morning, the car is finished. They said a wire that runs under the threshold trim piece (that you step on or over when you get into the back seat) had a break in it. I guess time will tell. I swear if that warning light comes on one more time, I'll come undone.

I think this is the ninth time I have had to take the car in with that same warning. It is hard to believe that they have so many different explanations as to what is causing it to come on. Oh, well, maybe I'll have more time go by before it happens again. I sincerely think the car has to be a lemon.

When we were taking the loaner car to Saturn, the low coolant warning light came on. Steve got the book out of the glove compartment that explains what the warnings mean. It said not to drive the car if the car is overheating when that light comes on. So, we called Saturn and explained the situation so we'd be covered even though it wasn't overheating yet. (You just never know!) They responded to just bring it in after filling the tank.

That ends another chapter of the Saturn Chronicles of My Life! Halfmoon

TRUE Powerball Dreams

On the light side, I had a dream two nights ago that I won the powerball!!!! I woke up when my back was throbbing pretty bad. (Right when Steve and I were trying to decide whether to contact my nephew for investment advice or contact the Powerball office but tell them not to reveal who we are yet! Which do you do first? And how safe is that ticket with you?)

Of course, I have to get up then and go to the ladies room. I remember thinking "Oh no! It was just a dream :(." I kept repeating the numbers in my mind cause who knows, they might be winning numbers! I went back to sleep and immediately started dreaming the same dream. I became excited again, it wasn't a dream after all. Unfortunately, I woke up in the morning and knew the truth of it. And I couldn't remember those numbers. I should have written them down. What a bummer!

Do you ever have dreams that affect your life? I never believe the people on the radio or television who supposedly tell someone what their dreams mean. I guess it's great if it leaves that person feeling better. I just don't see how someone else can know what my dream means.

Steve told me he was going to get $20 worth of Powerball tickets Sunday. Of course, he came out to the car with one Powerball and one Super Hot Lotto. He slays me. I figure if I'm going to be lucky, one ticket is enough. I rarely get more than two numbers on the ticket and neither of them is the Powerball number so it isn't worth zip.

Well, until the next drawing I'll catch you all later! Keep on dreaming! Halfmoon


My sons love to go out and play paintball. They come home looking like they've been in a war - a paintball war. I have always wondered if that means they aren't very good at it? They have so much fun though! I really need to go watch them sometime! My daughters have even talked about going and joining their brothers in their paintball war sometime.

I was looking for the perfect present to give my oldest son. His birthday is in April And I really think that he would like one of these spyder guns.

I think the packages are an excellent deal! Here's one that I think Steve would really like! I may have to ask my son Josh if that is something that Steve needs. But, I almost don't want to ask him because his birthday comes up right after Steve's and if it's a hit, I'll probably get Joshua the same thing.

Wow, the more I look through this site, the more amazed I am at my sons' hobby. I never knew it had such a vast array of things you could buy from the paintball guns to masks to harnesses.

This really makes me want to go out and watch my sons play! Maybe I'll even shoot a few paintballs at them.

Well I survived another visit to the dentist. Before having them work on my teeth, I had my semi-annual checkup so my teeth were cleaned. Guess what! I have two more cavities. Wonderful! At least they were both on the upper side. Nothing like having more of the same to look forward to. Pretty soon, all of my back teeth will be gold crowns (but, they are pretty). I had the permanent crowns put on two teeth. Of course, they were on the upper and lower quadrants of my mouth so I had to have shots in both areas.

If you know me, you'll know I am trying to get all of my medical and dental work done before the end of February while I have two insurances. So luckily Maggie is able to get me in to fill those teeth in two days. Man! I know, life isn't always fair.

I used to be a dental assistant (which I hated) so I know what the dentist is talking about when he talks as he goes along. (I'm not sure if that is better or worse!) I worked at a pediatric dentist office where my kids went. I actually wanted to be a dental receptionist there and Dr. Braley said they would train me for the front office and they'd also train me as an assistant. How exciting is that???

Until you see these screaming little kids who misbehave so badly before they even get their teeth cleaned. I don't mean the ones who are scared, I mean the ones who just act naughty. I wanted to tell the parent to take them into the bathroom and spank them, they'd straighten right up. Of course, that would be child abuse now.

Then there are the early teenagers who come in with braces to have their teeth cleaned and they haven't even brushed their teeth. Ugh, gross! I'd hand them a toothbrush and toothpaste and direct them to a sink. Man, what a drag. After they removed the stuff stuck in between their braces they came to me and I cleaned their teeth!

Did I mention cone cuts? When you take an xray of the teeth and the equipment is not lined up just right, you get to see part of the side of the tooth through the front or back of it (sort of like an echo or outline). That is a cone cut. Of course, now they have guides for the dental assistant to place the equipment just right!

The final straw was when a 38 year old mentally disabled gentleman had to have crowns put on his back teeth. Did I mention that I can feel the patient's fear and pain? The poor man started crying before the first shot was given. It took a lot out of me to assist the procedure.

After the procedure Dr. Braley went to his office, I followed him and by this time I was in tears. I asked him how much notice he needed to replace me. He told me he knew whenever a patient bothered me, that I was just a sensitive person. He understood why I couldn't continue in that profession. What a wonderful man.

After that I subbed for Maggie (front office) whenever she needed a day off or a vacation. It never failed that some major change (like a new printer) would have occurred. She gave me wonderful notes that helped me adjust. Dr. Braley retired and now Maggie works for Dr. McNurlen who is a wonderful (and gentle) dentist. And the dental hygenist is really great. As you can tell, over all, I really love having this dental office. I now have my husband, son, and daughter go to them.

That's it for now, my cheek and tongue feel normal again (until Thursday). Maybe then I will have no cavities for a long time!!!! Halfmoon

Check Engine Light

I've written before about problems with my Saturn Vue and it's check engine light warning. Yesterday I took it in to have it checked out. The first thing they told me was that it had a gross air leak. Well, great! Wonder what caused it this time and why it's worse than before.

I sat in the waiting room watching an educational channel about cloning humans and a cult that calls themselves Ranians. That took my mind off of my Vue for a short while. Brad came up to me and asked if I ever fill my gas tank while I let the engine run to keep warm. NOOOOOO! (That would be stupid, wouldn't it? I mean I only would do that if I had a death wish. With all the stickers on the pumps that tell you to turn off your car, don't talk on a cell phone, sparks etc.) So, that ruled out, they would continue looking to see what caused the leak.

Back to cloning humans, cats, and dogs....oh brother! I decided to read the book I brought with me in case of something such as this. I really got into the gist of the story I was reading when Brad came back. Now they think it has something to do with the solenoid (sp?). The right rear part of the car is not getting electrical connection??? Do I ever hear a rattling back there? No. They think maybe a mouse might have chewed on the wiring, they'll check it out. (Is this a big joke? Is my life secretly being taped with bizarre happenings to see how I'll react?)

Do I want to stay another hour or should he try to get a rental? (Which he doesn't think will happen as they are short on rentals with all of the accidents on ice.) I said I would appreciate it. By this time I had a headache and my face and neck were feeling hot. I just wanted to go home and lay down. He must have thought I meant that I'd rather stay when I meant, yes, get me a rental. Another hour passes and Brad is back again. They haven't found it yet. Could I bring it in and leave it for a day and they will get me a rental. So I set it up for Tuesday at 9 am.

While driving home I became depressed. I am so sick of dealing with Saturn. I wish they could just take the car back and give me my money. This is so unfair. Yes, I remember that life is not fair. This is the fifth Saturn we have owned in our family. I've always loved my Saturns. Somehow I now have a lemon.

I was just passing the Waukee area when my granddaughter's mom called me. She had just passed me and said I looked really tired. I vented to her about my car and felt much better. I actually had a smile on my face when we hung up. Thanks, Angie! Well, until Tuesday, life with Saturn will be out of my mind. Halfmoon

Powerball Dreams

While writing about timeshares and wanting to go to Hawaii, I began to think again about the Powerball lottery. Steve and I joke about what we would do if we won the Powerball, but I really have a specific dream about it.

Right now the Powerball is up to $100 million. If we won that, we should at least clear $40 million. With that windfall I would buy a large tract of land in a wooded area. Enough land so that each family would have at least five acres of land. Then we would build a house for each of our kids. Our house would have a mother-in-law apartment attached so that Elsie could live with us, yet still have her own space.

We would buy each of our kids a new car or truck. Next, I'd ask them for all of the bills they have to date, and we would pay them off. Then I would tell them that they have a new start in life and from this day forward, make their decisions good ones. Next, we would give each of our brothers and sisters a generous amount of money to help them out. We would make sure that Mom Manning is comfortable for the rest of her life.

Also, we'd have get togethers for both sides of our family because family is what is most important in life. I remember when I was young we used to get together for a Hog Roast at my Aunt's house and then eventually at my cousin's place once a year. There were also a lot of times when we spent time with my cousins when they'd come over or we'd visit them. Now we only see them when someone is seriously ill or unfortunately at funerals. It is all so very sad. I don't want that to happen to my kids.

Enough about sadness, I intended to write this about dreams. I keep hoping we can win the Powerball so we won't have to live in this house forever. I want a medium ranch-style home with a large eat-in kitchen, a dining room large enough for meals with our kids, and three, maybe four, bedrooms on the main level. I want the basement to be finished but the stairway will need to have a handicapped elevator (or a real elevator) so that I can go down and enjoy the basement area too. There would be two or three bedrooms downstairs (enough for guests), a large family area with a large screen TV and theater seating. Also, we'd have a room with a pool table, foosball table, and other games to play so the kids and grandkids didn't get bored.

Our house, now, has two bedrooms on the main level and two on the upstairs level (that I rarely visit because of the stairs and my back and knees). It's heck getting old. My dream house will not be far from Des Moines so that we can get groceries or go shopping easily. AND, it will be on pavement. AND, it will have an attached garage (I hate walking to and from the garage in the cold or at night!)

Well, enough of dreaming. Back to the real world! Halfmoon

Timeshare Tidbits

Josh and Shelley wanted to spend a week in the Disney World area but needed a place to stay. Josh asked if they could buy an extra week in our timeshare. Since they were willing to pay for the week and the guest certificate, we had no problem with it.

I gave Shelley the information she needed to log onto RCI and check into prices of a week in Orlando or Kissimmee since both are about five minutes from the Theme Park. She couldn't find one that they could afford unless they took Taylor out of school for a week. After she and Josh discussed that idea, Shelley called the school and found out the week before the end of school would be fine. By choosing that week they were able to get a one bedroom unit for the amount they could afford.

Next, I checked out the week indicate but the RCI online system was having problems. I then called RCI and then three-way called Shelley. After a bit of work, the customer service rep was able to confirm the week for them. Hooray!

I stayed on the phone when the rep told me I hadn't banked the 2009 year yet so I did so. He then informed me that we hadn't exchanged our 2008 year yet. I thanked him for letting me know and for all his help. Then I checked my exchange availability and sure enough 2008 hadn't been used. I thought our trip to Alabama was the 2008 exchange; nope, it was the 2007!

That excites me because that means if we decide to go somewhere next year (besides Hawaii), we can invite our kids to join us. I would like to invite Steve and Angie, Sydney and Jadah plus Abby and Justin to go somewhere! They have been unable to go the last few years. Actually, Steve hasn't gone on any trip with us since we took the kids to the Bahamas when they were young.

Of course, Hawaii would be my first choice, but the airfare is out of range to take such a large family. Oh, well, someday.....Halfmoon


We went to Steve's mom's yesterday for her birthday. The get together was supposed to be today but with the weatherman predicting a blizzard, some of us went early. Polly, Angel, Joe, and Peg and their spouses had the same idea.

It was great seeing Mom and the family. We had a lot of laughs and shared some concerns. Kathy and Joe brought soup and salad and ice cream. Polly brought cake and Angel brought cookies. Needless to say it was difficult to turn it all down.

I think everyone had a wonderful time. While there, Abby called and told me she had a craving for my turkey dressing. She has Tuesday off and wants to come out. She will bring the green bean casserole. She doesn't want turkey, just the dressing. I explained to her I cannot make my dressing without boiling the neck, heart, and gizzards for it.

So, I made Steve go with me to Fareway and we bought a turkey and some of the fixings. We put it in the oven at 1:00 pm or so and it should be ready now. Yummy! As an afterthought, I put a frozen pumpkin pie in the oven. It won't be ready till later, but I can't wait. Best go check the food! Halfmoon

The Outback

Yesterday was Valentines Day and my Sweetheart (Steve) took me to the Outback! What a treat. We had steak, steamed veggies, and a salad (and, of course, the brown bread that they serve). What a wonderful meal. The Outback is my favorite restaurant.

Steve had left me a nice card in the morning so when I woke up I found it. A week ago he bought me the Newsboys CD that has "Something Beautiful" on it. I love that song. Actually there are seven or eight songs that I really like.

On the way home from Council Bluffs Wednesday Abby had me listen to "In the Belly of a Whale". It was great! Sure made the ride home go by quicker with us singing along to good songs. What a way to end our day! Halfmoon

Valentines Day

Today is Valentines Day and it is really cold out. I've lived in Iowa all my life and I still never get used to it. The low tonight will be -5 degrees out (brrrr).

Every day has new potentials to find joy. I wished I could go to Heather's and see her and the kids but Alyce and Heather are both sick still so that is out of the question.

I'm at the library in WDM using their computer so I can chat and get caught up on my emails. I really appreciate that we can use their computers. Not a lot to do except that. Oh, well, I guess I'll check the pharmacy and see if they have my script yet. Can't wait till we get the hard drive to put in our old computer. If Steve gets it up and running, I'm going to go ahead and buy a laptop, too. Halfmoon

Visiting Uncle Marvin

We went to see Uncle Marvin today at Mercy Hospital. He is much better, recognizing his family and is not as combative. As long as they are in the room, he is not restrained. They still are not sure what caused this episode.

He has been told he'll have to go to a nursing home for about a month before he can go home. That is because he has to be able to feed himself and walk. He is unhappy about this but seems resigned that it is inevitible he cannot go home yet.

He didn't have his hearing aids in so we had to talk loud for him to be able to hear us. It took quite a while for him to recognize who I was. I finally talked to him about my dad and that I was the youngest in Jack's family and he seemed to know me. Of course ten minutes later he didn't know who I was again.

He talks with a slur, I wonder if he had a slight stroke. What a day! Halfmoon

Trip to Council Bluffs

Abby and I are going to go to Council Bluffs today to see my uncle. She has today and tomorrow off so we'll stay all night at my sister's house. That way we can see him today and tomorrow!

I'm so glad I don't have to drive alone as it is snowing out pretty heavy. I hate driving there in a storm. Gotta go! Halfmoon

Uncle Marvin

I received an email that my aunt found my dad's brother unconscious on the floor. She called an ambulance and when they came he came to and become combative. They restrained him and took him to the hospital.

It seems that he had a seizure, although they do not know if he had it and then fell, or if he fell and then had it. Uncle Marvin is either 79 or 80 years old and has had seizures in February four years out of five. Man, life sucks sometimes. It is hard to think about him being the last one alive in my dad's family. I'll make arrangements to go see him. Halfmoon

Point of Grace

Steve and I went to Point of Grace this morning. Man, is it cold out! The high today is either 4 or 5 degrees! BRRRR! The sanctuary is set up like a stadium. The seats look like they actually can be pushed back to the wall. The seats are comfortable, though. They are cushioned and have a cupholder and you are allowed to drink something during the sermon. I've never heard of that before.

Two weeks ago we went to Lutheran Church of Hope and it was good as far as the sermon and worship portions. The thing that was bad was the two women talking through the whole worship service (sitting behind us). It was very distracting to say the least. Made it hard to try to worship.

Last weekend we went to Point of Grace and it was pretty good. The theme right now is on Pure Sex. This is geared to sex within marriage and so far we've enjoyed it. We are trying to determine where to fellowship. I prefer First Assembly of God as far as worship and I like the way the pastor presents the sermon (more from the Bible, I think). The drawback to First A of G is the distance to get there.

There will be a "Love and Respect" seminar the end of February and first of March that we are considering going to. They showed a preview which had me laughing quite a bit. The guy on the screen had me down to a 'T'!

We're trying to listen to the Lord in where he wants us to go. Time will tell. Halfmoon

Library Time

Ok, that was fun! I'm at the library online and looked at the information. The computer I can afford is about $804. The computer I would like is over $1100. If you add the warranty to the one I can afford, it is close to a thousand dollars. Man, if it weren't for the fact that I'd like to work on the computer in the living room, I'd go for just getting a desktop. Decisions, decisions.

Ok, why do I need to get a laptop? I want to work on it in the living or dining rooms while Steve is home. Then I would feel close to him still though he's watching TV or doing his checkbook. I also could take it with me when going to Heather's, Jackie's, or Sue's. What do I do?

I really wish we could have broadband or wireless. I'll bet that will cost a lot. We cannot get broadband where we live. A satellite is something like $299 to start and $65 a month after that. Everything costs money! Halfmoon


Steve and I went to look at the Dell computers at Walmart yesterday. He wants to get a desktop and I want to get a laptop. Hopefully we can get both. The first thing we notice as we head towards the computer area is the display of Valentines Day cards. I asked if he wanted to stop and get his mom one while we were there.
He headed into the birthday card section and I went directly to the Valentines area.

Of course I found a beautiful card that says exactly how I feel, so I grabbed it. I then walked around the back of that area and found him looking for a card for his mom's birthday which is either the 14th or 15th of February. (I didn't realize it was this close!)

He couldn't find a card he liked, so I picked up one and read it out loud to him. I got a lump in my throat and almost started crying as I read. He said that one was ok. I picked up another one and loved it too. He said "You can give that one to her." I thought that was silly and put it back. Then I started thinking about how neat it would be to give his mom one just from me and decided to grab it.

As we walked away from the cards he said "We aren't going to get each other cards are we?" I just smiled and kept walking.

On to the computers. I called Heather to ask her if the amount of memory was what I needed on the first laptop. I read everything the first one offered and she pointed out that the chip the computer ran on is no longer being sold online. Dell is now using Intel in all of the computers. I checked the other computer and it had the same thing. So I decided to wait and see what they had online instead so I can get the latest laptop they sell. Such a deal! Halfmoon

Jackie Called

I was getting ready to go outside and help Steve clean up the stoves in our garage in case someone comes to look at them when the phone rang. My sister in Alabama, Jackie, called. She had talked with Mike (her son) who told her we were able to get a timeshare for the week of the Ball.

I let her know that I tried every day to get one in hopes that someone would cancel and something would open up. Lo and behold my luck finally hit the jackpot! We were able to get the week from March 29th on for seven days. It is nearly two hours away from Prattville, but it will be nice to have our own space while we are there.

We talked a long time and it was great hearing from her. She is now walking some without her walker, determined to walk down the aisle with Randy! Halfmoon

Another Appointment

Well, another trip to the orthopaedic hand surgeon. The two cysts on my left forefinger are back, plus now I have one on my right smallest finger. I asked the doctor what causes them and he said "arthritis". Well, great, just what I needed. I knew I had arthritis in my neck and right knee, but had not had my hands diagnosed with it.

I need to remind myself that life is not fair. The doctor gave me the novacaine injection on the forefinger and said how lucky it was that he went right down into the joint. The next thing he does is just exchanges the bottle of fluid of the syringe for the cortisone and injects it too. I guess I was lucky in that I didn't have to have two shots, but it didn't feel great while he was changing the bottles. On to the little finger on the opposite hand and I was done. I hope it lasts a while this time. I'm tempted to just pop them with a sterile needle myself.

Power Outage

First, I suppose I should tell you I am at the Library to use their computer as our computer completely stopped working. Hard drive issues. But, Steve finally has admitted it is time for a new computer and we have set Saturday as the day to go shop for one.

Second, our power went off at 11:32 a.m. today. I didn't really mind it until I'd been there for an hour and a half with no power. Now it is one thing to be without a computer, but it is another thing to not be able to watch t.v. either. I started going stir crazy.

I have an appointment at 3:00 to have my second tooth drilled on today. The first was Monday and I sat for 2 1/2 hours under the drill. It is imperative that I get it taken care of today in order for the impression to be sent for the crown. My dental insurance (as all other insurance) ends the end of this month as far as I know. In order to save a lot of money, it has to all be done by then.

I decided to drive in early, since I was sick of being at home with nothing to do except read (which I'd been doing since 9:30 a.m.). I went out to the garage and first I noticed the garage door opener wouldn't work. After I struggled to unlock the service door with keys, I realized "Dummy, there's no electricity!"

I tried to remember what Steve told me you had to do in order to lift the garage door manually. To no avail I could not remember how to do it. You have to undo something (and I had a sneaky suspicion it was something to do with this handle that was about three feet above my car). Of course, I could not reach it so I tried to lift the door anyway. Ha! It wouldn't budge. So now I'm realizing that I cannot go to the dentist.

To begin with I originally had a 9:30 appointment which I cancelled because of the snow storm (8 inches of snow). When I called back in they told me there was a 3:00 cancellation. Now I wouldn't be able to go anyway. I had flipped the garage light on so I would know if the electricity came back on. I sat in the doorway of the garage and smoked a cigarette, then decided to go back into the house and wait to see if the electricity would come back on.

Lo and behold, the kitchen light was on (though the garage light wasn't on when I left the garage). I was so excited I went back out to the garage and got the car out in case the electricity went off again. Happy now that we had electricity and that I had the car out, I drove slowly to the interstate. Our road (which is normally the last one to be plowed) wasn't bad. What was bad was the entrance to the interstate. I almost lost control of the car right where you get onto the interstate. Luckily my car swerved out of the snow finally and I was on my way. The interstate was great so I made it here in good time. Guess that's it for now. Halfmoon