09-19-2020 Treated myself this year.

By the time I hit 16 years of age I had already been through 5 cars, 2 motorcycles and one tractor that had been modified with a Ford V-8 Flathead engine. Scroll forward to (MANY years) to January of 2005 when I was finally able to afford my very first brand new car, a Hyndai Accent. At the time all I wanted (and this is exaclty what I told the salesman) was a couple of doors, some glass and an engine and I'd be good to go. And that was exactly what I ended up with. It was all I needed at the time as I just didn't want to have to ride a motorcycle to and from work every day.

Now scroll ahead to September of 2020. The poor Accent was starting fall appart at the seams and just wasn't worth the amount of money it was going to cost for the repaires it was in need of. Our close friend "Nurse Mike" had been a fan of Kia for quite a long time and had been through a couple Sportage models as well as a few Soul's when they first came out and has kept up on them ever since. He also knew the dealership quite well and had actually participated in some "think tank" for the Soul. So I asked him if he'd come along with us to look at what they had in stock for the Rio which I really liked. After much discussion, poking and prodding at it, I ended up with a "does ALL this STUFF!" 2020 Kia Rio S Hatchback. I decided that due to my age, I may as well be comfortable and after having driven it for the past month I'm now totally spoiled rotten!!


Shall we Balkanize America?

Shall We Balkanize America, or Unify Her?


Dear readers. Allow me to recount two seemingly-unrelated experiences that clearly reflect two antithetical attitudes towards America’s linguistic unity as demonstrated by two residents of my home town, Irving, TX.

Let’s start with the attitude of a Mexican national who resides in Irving.

At Home Depot one evening, a man approached me and asked for advice on which brand of caulk to buy. I told him that I was not a store employee but that I could give him my own personal advice, if he was interested. Yes, he was interested.

I immediately noticed his heavy Spanish accent. He was struggling to speak to me in English and was having great difficulty understanding my responses. Being a fluent Spanish speaker, I continued discussing the merits of certain brands of caulk over others, in Spanish. He immediately warmed up to me when he saw that the language hurdle had suddenly and unexpectedly been removed. We continued conversing pleasantly in Spanish for several minutes. His wife joined the conversation, too.

He complimented my Spanish repeatedly and effusively. My response, translated into English: “And you, my friend? How about your English?”

He smiled and made the typical excuse that he can’t afford to take English classes and doesn’t have time. I told

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Mama's lifting chair and wheelchair

Hi all.

Another update on mama.

Our mother needs a wheelchair to use only when she goes out of the house. The last thing she needs is to fall and break a bone or get a concussion. Her in-home health care service, New Hope, has gone to bat for her and has set the wheels (pun fully intended) in motion to get Abundant Life Medical Supply to issue her a suitable wheelchair at Medicaid's expense. Abundant Life needs the signed approval of a medical doctor here in Irving, Dr. Terrance Feehery, before they can get Medicaid to pay for it.

Two months have passed; still no wheelchair.

I decided to get more directly involved instead of passively leaving this in the hands of those people who already have a pile of requests for wheelchairs from thousands of Betty Lous. It has been like pulling teeth! However, I think I made a breakthrough this morning when I talked--AGAIN!--to Dr. Feehery's PA and the representative at Abundant Life Medical Supply (separately, of course). The latter finally volunteered to call Dr. Feehery herself and describe exactly what paperwork she needs and ask that he expedite it to her. Yesssss! I, the middle-man, have been eliminated.

I'll let you know as soon as I find out what happens next.

As for the lifting chair, I bought one at Nebraska Furniture Mart for $811, the one she picked out herself in the showroom. But when we got it set up in her room, and after she had sat in it for a few hours, she was in tears from pain. It just didn't fit her contours--especially not her tailbone which was dislocated many, many years ago. She was crying not only from the pain but also from shame, knowing that she had chosen that particular chair herself.

Well, I cheerfully assured her that I could bring back her old chair (a recliner, but not a lifter), and that I had no desire to subject her to such suffering just because of money!

Lanny and Debbye Stone, friends of mine, took the chair off my hands and gave it to Mis Melanie, Debbye's sister who is disabled, lives in their home, and--best of all--loves the chair. They offered to give me the lifting chair that Miss Melanie has been using for the past few weeks but did not prefer at all, compared to mama's. But that chair has a fabric upholstery which, mama wisely informed me, is not suitable due to mama's incontinence and occasional loss of bowel control.

So now, the Stones have two perfectly good lifting chairs, and I haven't lost a penny since mama has insisted on paying me back the $811, a bit at a time, month by month. "Don't argue with me." she advised. "Father God told me to do this."

How can I argue with that!? :-)



Mama's alarming event

Last night mama told me that she had a bad spell yesterday afternoon while talking on the phone to a friend. Her cognitive clarity suddenly became miserably confused to the point where she could not express herself verbally. This scared her badly. "I may have had a small stroke," she said. She experienced no loss or impairment of motor function, only the extreme, alarming, sudden mental confusion.

While I was in the kitchen making toast for my breakfast this morning, she handed me this note:

"Michael: An MD came here to set up this program for visiting nurses/therapists. Do you know how to contact him? Maybe he can draw blood, or send someone who can?!?"

In reality, a case worker met with her to set up her current home health care program, not an MD.

I called Veronica, her current case worker at New Hope (the home care company), and asked her to arrange for a nurse or nurse practitioner to visit mama ASAP. "She interprets the experience as a stroke," I told her. "She is scared and wants to talk to a medical professional."

One of the nurses on staff was listening on speaker phone. She chimed in and expressed her agreement that a nurse practitioner would be a good choice. They promised to pull one of their people off his/her normal route to visit mama right away--if not today, then tomorrow.