Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Car Accident Update

Well, I'm still not at work yet. My back still hurts with parts of it still being sore to the touch. I don't think I can sit up in a chair all day yet.

We did run to see the car today and to get my stuff out of it. I was most concerned about my GPS. The GPS looks like it came through a lot better than I did!

All in all, about $3000 in damages to my car and it will be ready in about 10 days.

For how I feel, I was really expecting to see a lot more damage than this! You can't see clearly in this picture, but there are a few dents in the actual trunk hood, on the left just under the lights. That will be fixed, not replaced, and then I am getting another bumper. Really, it doesn't look like $3000 in damage to me! Or else that's a real testament to the Honda line.

We also stopped to get a look at the police report. Yes, she was cited for this accident. But, the surprising part of it all is that she wasn't driving a Ford! It was actually a Hyundai.

Well, perhaps in her heart she's a Ford driver. The car isn't in her name, but what I assume is her Dad's name. It is a college town after all.

Now I'm contending with phone calls. Brother Michael warned me just yesterday that ambulance chasers would be calling me. Sure enough, I had my first one today. A man named Woody called me (how can you trust a guy who's name is Woody?) and said he represented a Dr. named so-and-so. Dr. so-and-so wanted to offer me a free of charge 10-point chiropractic examination. After all, it could be a horrible case of whiplash, and if that goes untreated for too long, then permanent damage is sure to set in! My mind may be a little foggy from the pain pills, but I asked him to repeat just who it was he represented, and he hemmed and hawed and acknowledged that he worked for the chiropractor. I told him I would take his offer under advisement and call him back if I felt I needed his services. Suddenly he got very rude, said something like "fine!" and hung up on me! See? I told you that you can't trust a Woody!

Between Workman's Comp calling, my HR department calling and one more that said she represented the "doctors" involved in my care, no one seems to know what I'm supposed to do next. The crap hospital I went to gave me no orders other than to take it easy and to drug myself up. Well, that's what I've been doing. I figure if I can't sit up all day, I sure as hell can't go to work. Now one hand is checking with the other hand and we'll see what they come up with.

For now, it's been an exhausting morning and I need a nap.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Ouch. That Hurt.

In case anyone missed my big story of the week, I was in a car accident on Friday afternoon.

I was working diligently at the audit site on Friday. About one in the afternoon, I decided to run out to the closest fast food restaurant my GPS could find me, grab a fast sandwich and get back at it. Yes, I used the GPS since I am not familiar at all with the town in which I was working. Wendy's was 1.4 miles away and so that was the winner.

I went into Wendy's, ate my lunch and then headed back to the audit site. The street that the audit site is on is a four lane very busy street. I was in the left lane at a dead stop, with my turn signal on, indicating that I was trying to turn left. Again, it's a busy street and I was sitting there for awhile, waiting for traffic to break so I could make that turn. The next thing I knew was BAM. I was smashed into from behind. The speed limit on this street is 45 mph and I never heard her hit her brakes before impact. Based on the fact that I was sitting there for awhile waiting for traffic to clear, I am assuming she was doing at least 45 mph and just smacked me. I don't know if she was talking on the phone, or if she was texting or even if she was driving a Ford. I do know though, that she was cited for this accident.

My car was pushed quite a ways forward as I could no longer see the driveway I was trying to turn into. My seat was now reclined at about 45 degrees and I was in so much pain I could barely breathe. I have had back surgery in 2002 and now that was all I could think about since my back was absolutely killing me. I had the presense of mind to take the car out of first gear and put it into neutral and pull the emergency brake. The only thing I didn't do that I should have done was shut the car off.

I grabbed my phone out of my pocket and dialed 911. I know I was near hysterical so they tried to triangulate my position. The dispatcher mentioned an intersection of two route numbers that I did not recognize. Luckily, I knew the address of my audit site, and since I was right in front of their property, I gave her the correct address. I was assured help was on the way. I guess "on the way" is a relative term when you're in pain. It felt like hours, but I'm sure it was just minutes.

The paramedics and the police showed up together. I was taken out of my car in a neck brace strapped down to a backboard and taken to the nearest hospital. As a public service announcement, if anyone wants to take you to Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna Ohio, don't go. That's all I'm saying about that.

They finally after over four hours gave me a pain pill and told me I was free to go. Nothing was broken, just bumps and bruises. Ron was there with me, so he helped me get dressed and we were on our way home.

I still am not sure where my car is or what the damage is. I guess tomorrow when the insurance adjuster is on duty I'll find out more.

I hurt in places I didn't know I had. When I was in the hospital, my back was my major and only concern. Between yesterday and today the rest of the owies came out. My collar bone hurts, my neck hurts, the base of my neck hurts, my shoulder and my elbow, my back is killing me; yeah pretty much everything but my baby toe on my right foot. It hurts.

The weird thing is I feel guilty for hurting. You see people after accidents and there are bumps, bruises, stitches, casts, something. I have nothing. There are no casts, no stitches, not even a lousy bruise. But that doesn't negate the fact that I can't sit, I can't stand, I can't lay down. All that without a mark on me.

The audit site was over 60 miles away. I was terrified every single day of the drive over there and back home. People out there are idiots and I see evidence of this every day. People pulling in front of you, cutting you off, driving like maniacs. It took everything in me to keep going back day after day. And, what happens? I'm at a stand still in front of where I need to be. All I need to do is turn into the driveway and drive up past the pond and to the visitor's parking lot. Any idiot should be able to do that. I guess not me. She came out of nowhere and could NOT have been watching the road at all, and just HITS me.

So what do we learn from this? DO we learn that defensive driving pays off? No. Do we learn caution is always appropriate? Obviously not. We learn it doesn't pay to leave the house. Period.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


The current audit I am working on is a pretty far drive from home every day. I am out of the house before the crack of dawn, leaving between 6:15 and 6:30 am.

The only good side to leaving at this time of morning is the traffic is marginally less that I usually deal with and I get to witness a beautiful sunrise every morning. Or, at least until the sun gets high enough that it blinds me for part of the drive.

On the Ohio Turnpike, in between the I-77 exit and the Route 8 exit is a huge bridge. When I say huge, I really mean huge. It feels like it is a million miles in the air. I’m sure it’s not that high, but it is high! And, the road in this area is a few long meandering “S” curves. If it wasn’t for the ungodly hour of the morning, this would be a beautiful sight. But, I digress.

In the morning at this time of year, it is not uncommon for there to be low fog or clouds, at least until the sun comes up to burn them off. Driving east, you come out of a curve and see the beginning of the bridge and the part of the valley it spans. The valley looked like when you are in a plane over the clouds and all you see is the white puffy clouds below you but no land. That is exactly what this looked like! It was kind of awesome seeing the clouds coming up and around the bridge.

At least until I got on the bridge itself. That’s when I realized that the low cloud cover actually covered the road! Here I was breezing through one day last week at about 68 mph when suddenly it was all around me. I couldn’t see 20 feet in front of me. I slowed down immediately, hoping someone was going to pass me so I could just follow them! Unfortunately, everyone thought I knew what I was doing and they slowed down to match my speed and just stayed behind me. I definitely found out then just how easy it would be to drive off of a bridge.

Finally, reaching the other side of the bridge, the weather cleared and we were back up to speed. For a few minutes there, it was a surreal experience; or an episode of The Twilight Zone.

At least the drives to and from work are never ending sources of stories.

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Year Later . . .

Saturday was a family day.

First of all, Saturday was the one year anniversary of my Dad's passing. I can't believe it's been a year already. It feels like it was just yesterday. We wanted to commemorate this day and make it a day dedicated to Dad.

Brother Phil and I met up with brother Jim in Meadville PA, home of my favorite nephew! Thanks to Mike and Jenny who let us invite ourselves over and then put up with us as we used their house as a meeting spot to leave one vehicle and have a good potty break in the middle of our trip!

We left Jim's vehicle at Mike and Jenny's and headed on to Sheffield. Since we were concentrating on Dad today, we started with lunch at one of his favorite restaurants, Dutch Treat in Spartansburg PA. It's a quaint little place in the middle of Amish country, so you're sure to get some good old fashioned real food. No fru fru stuff on this menu. While you won't find quiche or lattes, you can be sure that meatloaf and coffee is on the menu. So, we had lunch and talked about Dad.

From Spartansburg, our next stop was Warren. Our Aunt Mary, one of Dad's older sisters, is in the Warren Manor in Warren. Since it was also her 95th birthday on Sunday, we stopped in with some flowers to do a little visiting and a little bad singing. Aunt Mary was trying to take a nap when we got there, but we quickly changed her mind on that idea! The aides came quickly to help her back out of bed from her afternoon nap and we sat and did enjoy a nice visit. Here is a picture of 95 years young with two of her favorite nephews!

That's Jim on the left, Aunt Mary and Phil is on the right. She thought Jim and I looked the same as the last time she saw us, but she was taken aback by Phil. She couldn't remember him having that much of a beard last time she saw him! I think that took a little for her to get used to!

We also got to meet Aunt Mary's room mate who is a lovely lady. It was just such a nice visit, and Aunt Mary was happy to see our motley crew. We left as they were started to get everyone together for dinner.

From visiting, we headed on to Sheffield to the local funeral home. In true family form, we were procrastinating with the ordering of the headstone. It only took us one year to the day, but we were finally there to finish off that business. Between the three of us, we chose a simple headstone that is similar to the rest of his family's markers that are at that cemetary. In this computer age, we were immediately given a computer drawn rendition to which we all made sure his name was spelled correctly and then Jim gave the official John Hancock on the form to have them go ahead with the stone! The stone should be in and installed in about six weeks.

From the funeral home, it was time to head to the cemetary. It was raining like the dickens but we stood there under umbrellas and again, just talked about and thought about Dad. Going back to the day a year before when we stood in those same spots. I still can't believe it's a year later already.

Shortly thereafter, it was time to head back to Meadville again. After a round of hugs playing catch with the kids and bathroom breaks, we were all back on our way. Jim headed back to Erie while Phil and I headed back to Ohio. It was a long day, but I'm glad I went.

Now, if I may be so bold as to speak for all of us, we miss you, Dad. There will forever be a hole in our hearts.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

He's Heeeeeere!

Yes, he's really heeeeeere!

As of Saturday at approximately 12:30 in the afternoon, this was brother Philip, with brother Jim as copilot, driving to our house. After the countdown that started at over 800 days, the final day had arrived.

After a quick leg stretching break, the four of us headed to a storange unit to unload the trailer.

With four of us humping it, we had that trailer unloaded in an hour. A few things were put back into our vehicles that were heading back to the house.

I had picked up a ham and we all just sat and had a nice lunch and chit chatted. We just had a nice family kind of day. A lot of chatting, a lot of laughing and very little arguing. Hey, c'mon now! We are family. There has to be SOME arguing!

We introduced Phil to the wonderful world of Wii! I'm glad I made that Mr. Phil Mii before he got here. We all bowled a bit, did a lot of laughing. I have a feeling that the Wii is going to get a lot of use from all of us.

Eventually, we ended up doing a grocery store run. Someone (perhaps most of us) came up with a great idea for the evening. Does anyone out there remember Phil's punch? Holy crap! We have a huge cooler full of punch. And, the four of us sure did get punched last night! To tell the truth, if you just raise the lid off of the cooler right now you can cop a buzz just from the fumes!

Now the bottom of the cooler is full of maraschino cherries. If they marinate just one more day in that punch, those cherries will be dangerous.

So, it was a quiet night at home last night. Now we just need time to get reacquainted, and get Philip moved in.

So, when anyone is in the neighborhood, please stop in and say hi! Philip is in the house!

Friday, September 05, 2008

That’s One Way To Shop

Wednesday really did turn into one of them days.

After work, I made a quick stop at Kohl’s that is close by the audit site before the long drive home. If anyone has shopped at Kohl’s, you know their aisles have to be the narrowest of any store’s aisles. At least their shopping carts aren’t as long as most. The carts are only about two feet long but four feet deep!

I was in a tight aisle looking at bedding when a lady pushing a shopping cart was trying to get through. Before I could move up an aisle to let her get by, she tells me never mind, she’ll go around. This lady was in her 60s and very nicely dressed. I smiled, said thank you, and went back to looking.

I finally found what I wanted and then moved on to the little rubber backed mats that were on sale. I just recently bought a new recliner and it just slides across the hard wood floor every time someone sits down or gets up. I thought maybe a rubber backed mat would help. I was looking at the different mats when who tries to get by me again? Nice dressed lady. We laugh that we’re both shopping for the same things today and we start to talk about the mats.

I tell her my purpose for the mat, and she gives me a look. You know the kind. When someone totally disagrees with you but won’t say so in so many words. She said it MIGHT work. Hmm. I’m not feeling great about my choice right now.

Anyway, I figured how wrong could I go with a $12 mat? If it doesn’t work, I’ll take it back. We were looking at some other little area rug things, some of which ran $60 and up for a little 2’ x 4’ or so. While they were gorgeous, it was much too big for what I needed, nor did I want to spend that kind of money. Nice dressed lady chose one though, and put her choice in her shopping cart.
Once I chose my cheap one, we both ended up walking towards the front of the store to the check outs. We chatted a little but once we neared the check out counters, she veered off, took her rug out of the cart and was pushing her cart in with the rest of the empty carts by the door. I thought that was strange, to take your cart back before you checked out, but what do I know.

Then I saw it. She pushed her cart in line with the rest of the empty carts, and with her $60 rug under her arm; she walked right out of the door! Who’d have thought?

I guess the saying is true; you can’t judge a book by its cover. Who’d have imagined this nicely dressed 60 something lady would be a run of the mill every day low life shoplifter.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Where Did All The Poop Go?

I know, sometimes I think about the strangest things. Right now I’m thinking about goose poop.

First, in case no one has had the opportunity to see goose poop, let me tell you, geese can poop! It’s not the normal bird white splatter on your shoulder or on your windshield. I don’t know what geese eat, but wow, they can have some monster turds.

The building where I am conducting the current audit has some gorgeous landscaping. It’s a long winding drive up to the administration building. On the way up this road is a huge pond with a fountain. It really is beautiful and very peaceful. Well, at least 50 geese have made this pond their home and I’m probably being very conservative with that number. When I’m driving up the road in the morning, the geese are in the pond or lazing on the banks of the pond. They are pretty much in the same place when I’m leaving here. Well, during the night, they must be walking all over the property up by the administration building. In the morning, all over the parking lot and all over the walkway up to the building, are covered with goose turds! You really have to watch where you’re walking or you’ll get a mess all over your shoes.

Yesterday morning, about 9:30 or so, I walked back to my car to get my printer out of there. In the two plus hours that I’ve been at work, someone had gone through and cleaned up all of the goose poop! Sort of like a Poop Patrol!

Part of me was thinking just how cool that was, that someone actually stayed on top of all of the poop. Then I thought again about it. I may think my job sucks, but at least I’m not picking up goose poop every morning. Eww.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Pull Over And Get Out Of The Car

Yes, those are the words I heard from our local police yesterday.

Ok, it was a driver’s license checkpoint, but still! I heard those words!

For real – have you ever heard of any city that does driver’s license checkpoints? In the afternoon? This is the second one I’ve been stopped for in Lorain.

They block off a couple of side streets to impede your running away, they post officers on a couple of other side streets to stop traffic and they block about two blocks in total on the main street which just happened to be the same street I live on, not two blocks up. They had most of the length of the park marked as the check point with at least 30 cruisers sitting there waiting to chase down someone who saw the checkpoint and then tried to avoid it.

When it was my turn for the officer to walk up to my car, I was polite, with my hands at 10 and 2 on the steering wheel, window rolled all the way down. When asked for my license, I explained it was in my laptop bag which was behind the driver’s seat. I asked him if I could get out of the car to get it. That’s when he told me to "pull over and get out of the car"!! See? I didn’t lie!

So, I was directed to pull over onto the grass in the park where I had four officers close by watching me take my laptop bag off of the floor of the car. Duh, do I really look like a gun toting crazy person? On second thought, don’t answer that!

One of the officers came closer, took a good look at my license, the one with the horrible picture, and said I was free to go.

I guess I got off easier than the guy that was parked next to me on the grass. The driver was nowhere to be seen and the tow truck was there hooking up to his car. Sucked to be him.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Mom Would Be Proud

Ok, other than my siblings, I don't know if anyone will appreciate this, but:

Yesterday, neither Ron or I wanted to cook dinner so we decided to go out. We went to a fast food BBQ place. Hey, it's not much but they have great pulled pork and Ron loves their ribs.

Anyway, we're at the counter placing our order when Ron tells me oops, he left his cash at home. His pockets are empty.

Being the ever helpful girlfriend that I am, I tell him it's ok, they take bank cards.

Then we get to the register and he tells me oops! He forgot his wallet!

Yeah, my Mom would have been so proud. And, yes, I bought dinner!