nodramaqueen: (Default)
Ugh, I need to post more often...
Pretty much the same old, same old here. I have been officially diagnosed with fibromyalgia on top of my MS. This is a very new diagnosis for me and I'm still adjusting. I am allergic to most of the medications they use for fibro, so my internist tripled my neuropathy meds in hopes that will be effective. It actually seems to be helping, but I'm having a really hard time acclimating to the higher doses.
My parents are doing well in their assisted living facility. My dad quite likes it. He is down the hall from his older brother (my beloved Uncle Dick is 92!) and they visit every day. He enjoys the fact that he can take his numerous daily walks even in bad weather because everything is indoors. I set him up with cognitive therapy twice a week, and he is very engaged in that. My mother is slowly adjusting to her new reality and is a bit depressed about the loss of her beautiful home and I think she is a bit lonely. Her best friend died last summer of cancer, so she is still figuring out how to deal with that. She and Holly did everything together. But she is relieved that she has resources now to help her with my dad.
I'm fighting with my home owners insurance about getting a new roof on my house. I've had the roof repaired three times in the last year already. I got clipped by a tornado, (boy, that was one night I spent in the bathtub with my dogs! I'm not scared of bad weather, but damn, I've never heard wind like that in my life!), we've had terrible storms with really high winds, and lots and lots of hail. Big hail. Golf ball sized hail. Ugh. I'm tired of shelling out a hundred bucks every couple of months to get Big Yank (don't ask-- he's quite a character) out to fix my roof. It needs to be replaced. My insurance company disagrees. We'll see who wins this battle, lol.
Everything else is pretty much quiet. I've been making an effort to get out more and spend time with friends. It's very easy for me to be in the house for a week at a time and not speak to anyone. Working at home can be very isolating.
My flowers are blooming, the yard looks good, and my dogs are all well.

Here I Am!

Oct. 4th, 2016 08:05 pm
nodramaqueen: (pic#423897)
Wow, once again, I have completely lost track of how long it's been between posts. Oops.
Much new with me and mine, too much to post here. I started working from home (same job, just do it at home) in January of this year. It's much better for me as I can move around when I need to and can manage my many meds more easily. I have also lost 30 pounds since I came home to work! Without dieting! I have found that I am one of those women who does well with the snacking all day (healthy snacks!). My biggest bugaboo was bread and chocolate. I don't keep either in the house, and I don't eat them if I go out unless I get a hamburger. If I'm dying for chocolate, I can have a cup of sugar free pudding. Anyways...
My father was diagnosed with dementia (NOT Alzheimers) in July of this year. He and my mother are moving into an assisted living facility in November. It is a lovely place and just down the hall from my dad's brother. I am very fortunate that my parents can afford to do this. Of course, meantime, there's a lot of family drama.
I tried to strike up a tentative relationship with my long estranged sister a few months ago. Until she decided I wasn't being sympathetic enough about her menopausal symptoms (hot flashes) and informed me in no uncertain terms that I simply don't know what it's like and can't possibly understand what it's like to "live with a health condition". Yeah. Because apparently MS is nothing compared to menopause. And now we're not speaking again. I forgot what a self absorbed little bitch she is. Didn't take her long to remind me...
My ancient Chihuahua died of oral cancer last year-- it wasn't the kidney failure that got him but a very fast moving cancer instead. My Gidget (terrier/Chihuahua mix) has proven to be a fabulous bouncy little replacement and she makes me laugh every day. My other two dogs are good dogs too. Colton (boston terrier) sleeps in laundry baskets like a cat, and Chloe (black pug) just shares her hair... everywhere.
That's the short version of what's going on in my world. But I think I've got drama enough to tide me over, LOL.
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I only got to see the last forty five minutes of the Bruce Jenner interview last night. It made me quite annoyed with myself that I didn't get to see the whole thing.
I am old enough to remember watching Mr Jenner win the Olympic decathlon, and I thought it was one of the most amazing displays of athleticism I'd ever seen.
Now I have seen this man display the most astounding courage, the most soul wrenching honesty, and a true depth of class we should all aspire to.
I am humbled.



*Mr Jenner has not yet specified that a new name or pronouns should be used, so please forgive me for my use of his current name and male pronouns.
nodramaqueen: (pic#313473)
Geez, gone a long time between posts again. Sigh.
Well, I did finally land a job. Took me almost 3 months. It doesn't pay what I'm used to-- which I have adjusted to-- but the biggest issue is the medical benefits are dreadful. And due to my MS, I have enormous medical bills. Soo... I have been forced to file bankruptcy.
Meanwhile, I'm in the middle of a full blown MS flare (my first in several years) and not doing well at all. That's been going on for almost a month now and showing no signs of abating, damnit. I am in the process of adjusting to a new MS medication (an oral one), so I'm hoping if it works for me, it will start working soon! I'm quite miserable and painful at the moment.
I am still able to work, thank god. I am working as a claims examiner and I actually quite like it. There is no phone work involved at all and it keeps my brain busy. I find I enjoy figuring out the intricacies of healthcare billing and solving any problems. Right now I am a bit hampered by MS "fog" (uncooperative brain!) but I am fighting my way through.
I'm still loving the 2012 Honda Accord I bought in June and it's getting very good gas mileage. It also proved to be a real trooper in the horrible weather we had this winter. My job site was forced to close on several occasions in February and early March due to severe ice storms.
Well, let's see how long it takes me to post again! Argh, I really need to get organized...
nodramaqueen: (pic#313473)
Well, I've had an exceedingly craptastic August.
Laid off with no warning from my job of six years.
Lost an old friend in a car accident two weeks ago.
Despite an excellent resume and great references, have been unable to secure employment so far. Nobody wants to hire someone with MS.
Apparently my only financial option at this point is to file bankruptcy-- and my lawyer can't guarantee that I won't lose my home.
I'm ready for August to be over. Hopefully September will be a better month.
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So, last night I traded in my 2010 Honda Accord for a 2012 Honda Accord with 37,000 miles on it. Mine had 81,000 on it already, LOL.

The 2010 Accord has been giving me major headaches in the last 5 weeks. It has a mysterious air conditioning problem that the dealership can't figure out. In the last 5 weeks, it has spent four full days at the shop, and even with the warranties has cost me $350. They fixed the ac long enough for me to make a trip back to Pennsylvania, but a week after I got home, the ac died again. Urgh! It was at the dealership two whole days this week, and when I went to pick it up yesterday after work, they weren't sure if the repair they made was going to last. They wanted to tear apart the evaporator casing, but my warranty wouldn't pay for it unless they actually found a leak when they did so. Which would leave me with a $1,000 bill if there's no leak. Apparently there's no way to check that casing for a leak without actually tearing it apart (it's under the dash, and the whole dash has to be removed to get to it-- a six hour job). So I told the service advisor to keep the damn car and walked into the showroom and bought the 2012 Accord. Hahaha.

I love this car! It's basically the same as my 2010 (same body style, same style interior), but they made some tweaks that make it so much better. Transmission is MUCH smoother, it doesn't have that annoying electronic hum, the stereo is better, the dash displays are more organized and user friendly, and the interior is beige and dark brown instead of all beige. The steering wheel is different and much more comfortable. This car is red like my other one, but with a slightly different tail light assembly.

It's rated for a slightly higher gas mileage, so I'm very anxious to see how that works out.

I'm really upside down on my car loan now, but hopefully this Honda will last a long time without the issues that other one was having. In addition to the ac problem, that car had a minor transmission slip and the cd player liked to burn up my cds. It was nickel and diming me to death! I did get this newer car for a very good price-- but I had to add a portion of my previous car loan on top of it, so that flipped it upside down. The dealership really did work with me on getting the newer car (they came down $2600 on the price) and gave me a reasonable trade on my 2010 even though they're going to have to wholesale it and not resell it on their used car lot. My car salesman also pulled the custom floor mats and trunk liner from my old car and put them in the newer one, LOL. I promised him I didn't see a thing....

It's going to be 95 degrees today, and it's really muggy and miserable. But I now have a car with a working air conditioner! Yay!

Spring!

Apr. 5th, 2014 07:15 pm
nodramaqueen: (pic#423897)
I have to say, I do like spring. Love dandelions and all the daffodils that just seem to spring up out of nowhere around here. I always thought daffodils had to cultivated and tended like tulips, but there's a version that seems to grown wild in my area of the state. I've even seen bunches of them in cow pastures.
So, long overdue update. I'm still working, still muddling my way through my life, LOL. Managed to break a tooth, so I'm undergoing my first crown procedure. Fortunately, I don't have a dentist phobia, but it's still not exactly enjoyable. Especially since I keep breaking the temporaries. Argh.
Lost my elderly fawn pug, Molly, in February. She was 12.5 yrs old. Spirit was willing, but her body wasn't, and I had to make the decision to euthanize her. She was so excited to take a trip in the car and go to the vet (she loved my vet and his staff) that it just broke my heart.
My Chihuahua turned 15 this week. He is in early renal failure but still doing well. He's going with me as usual when I make my trip home to Pennsylvania in May to visit my parents. They love him and he likes to take road trips. It will be his last.
I have obtained a new dog as of about a month ago. Didn't plan on getting another, but, well, they just sort of fall into my lap! She is a two year old Chihuahua mix. She came from a hoarder situation. Her owner had 31 dogs in a tiny mobile home. She had never been outside, she was flea/tick infested, she was malnourished, she was not socialized, and she was not housebroken. First three days I had her, she spent hiding under furniture. A month later (with a lot of work and love), she is romping in the yard, playing with toys, snuggling with me and the other dogs, and she is doing well with the housebreaking. Her name is Gidget and she is a joy.
Lovely spring day here today, if a bit cold. Had lunch with a dear friend-- and managed to kersplat! outside the restaurant. Tripped over the uneven sidewalk. Huge lump/scrape on my knee, bruised knee and palm, and wrenched my back. So I'm sitting here with a bag of frozen peas on my knee, and eying the narcotic pain relievers I have left over from my kidney surgery. They look pretty good right now...
But despite that, it was a good day!

Apathetic

Dec. 29th, 2013 06:10 pm
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Another year almost gone. Wow. I feel like I have accomplished so little this year. Huh. Another year where I feel like I have spent most of my time fighting illness and medical bills. The MS? Yeah, that's a given, but now I'm battling kidney stones too and a chronic foot issue. Ugh. I found out yesterday that my cranky old Chihuahua has gone into kidney failure. He's 14.5 years old, so it's not entirely unexpected, but, geez. He's a tough old boy, so he may last a lot longer than anybody thinks. We'll see. My oldest pug is also having serious medical issues (spinal arthritis). I suspect 2014 is going to be a bad year for my dogs.
I am curious to see what the new year brings...
nodramaqueen: (Default)
I've gotten so bad about posting! I can't get on blog/journal sites at work, which would be the ideal place to catch up. Oh well.
I've returned to my old MS medication as of this month (the monthly infusion) as the new one I tried didn't work. Sigh.
I developed a kidney stone-- that was a surprise! Never had a kidney or bladder issue in my life. It was a big one, and had to be removed with a scope and a laser. I had a bad reaction to the anesthesia and spent the night in the hospital. (It was supposed to be a day procedure.) The real problem was the stent the urologist placed in my ureter to keep it open. It was extremely painful. I spent a week on pain meds (which didn't help enough!) and on the sofa or in bed. Finally he took the stent out. I'm still undergoing tests to figure out why I developed a stone and how to prevent a recurrence. Joy.
I acquired a new dog in July. He was given to me by a local rescue as he has severe skin issues and they couldn't adopt him out. He's a Boston Terrier, about two years old. I've named him Colton, and he's a very good boy. I've got his skin pretty much cleared up, but I'm still working on how to keep it under control without steroids. He's going to work with me for the first time this coming Wednesday. I'm anxious to see how he does.
Still getting used to the new car. I've had it since Jan/Feb, but it still feels unnatural to me, LOL. We're supposed to have bad weather this week, so I'm very curious to see how it handles the roads. This car must earn my love! LOL.
Going to a friend's house for Thanksgiving, and I'm even making peach cobbler. It's an event! Diana cooking! I'm just looking forward to watching movies on their huge flatscreen TV, haha.
Happy Thanksgiving!
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Hmm, I haven't posted in long time. Probably for good reason, LOL. I'm not much fun these days.
Still getting used to the new car. It's nice though.
My job? They've introduced a new computer program for us to use-- with no training. WTF? Oh, they tried to train us a couple of times, but the system kept crashing. But they insisted on making us start using it. Guess what? IT STILL DOESN'T WORK. My job right now is a nightmare. My department told the powers that be, that this system wouldn't work properly for us (even when it's not crashing) but they don't listen to us. Now, the corporate bigwigs are freaking out because, oh, guess what, it doesn't work for us and they can't pull their precious reports, etc.
And people wonder why I smoke...
Two weeks ago, my beloved Emmy died in her sleep. She had been fading, but was still eating and drinking and happy to go hang out in the yard in a sunny spot. She truly didn't seem ready to go yet. I got up for work one morning and she was dead in her crate. Quite the shock. Needless to say, I didn't go to work that day. I took her body to my vet for private cremation. My coworkers called my vet and found out how much the cremation was going to be, and they took up a collection to pay for it. $150! I don't think anybody has ever done anything that thoughtful for me. Ever. The girls (and the IT guys) said they knew how devastated I was, and that I don't have that kind of money at hand, so they just wanted to help.
I miss her every day. Stubborn old dog. She took the decision of euthanasia out of my hands and went when SHE felt it was time. I"ve had a lot of dogs and I've loved them all, but there are a precious few who are special. Emmy was one of them. She came to me from a terrible life. She was heartworm positive, had two kinds of cancer, and then a serious bladder issue-- but she didn't let any of it knock her down. She enjoyed her three years with me, and she made me laugh every day. You really can't ask for more than that.
I've started a new MS drug -- hopefully it'll work.
Hope everyone else's life is swimming along. I've not had time to catch up on my reading page for a long time. I can't get on LJ at work, which is a total drag.
Anyhow, sun's out, spring is definitely here, and it's all good...
nodramaqueen: (unsee)
My beloved 2000 Honda Accord EX finally passed on last week. At 227,300 miles, the engine unexpectedly died. It may be kinda weird, but I loved that car. I drove it for ten years, spending an average of two hours every weekday in it. It carried me through some insanely dangerous conditions during the Nashville Flood, toted me through ice and snow storms, and zipped back and forth to various points in the US to visit friends or family. It never had a major mechanical issue and it never once left me stranded. It was comfortable and roomy enough to haul dog crates and assorted baggage, and it still got over 30 mpg. I MISS my car!
I've got a 2010 Honda Accord LX now. It's nice, it's big! (my, the Accords have grown over the years!) and it's red. It doesn't handle quite as well as my old EX (EXs are the sportier versions of Honda Accords), but it's adequate. I'm curious to see what the mpg will be, as I drive about 2000 miles a month. I'm sure I will grow to appreciate it, but right now I'm so sad over my old car! My ex husband says I'm strange because I cried over the death of my old Honda. Yeah, this coming from the guy who won't part with a decrepit truck he's been hanging onto for 20 years! Ha!
I told him it's not just grief over car death, but sorrow at the reality of car payments! I haven't had a car payment for years!
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It's a four day break from work-- yippee! I'm in the middle of reading two books, watching Torchwood Miracle Day and Strikeback, cleaning, and taking lots of naps, LOL. I'm also planning on making chili and cornbread on Christmas Eve, which for me is a three hour, kitchen wrecking affair.
My beloved Emmy, the French Bulldog, is feeling much better after her fabulous vet and I did some serious research and put her on three new medications about a week ago. I haven't had to put her diaper on for several days now, and she is acting more like her old self. I'll take that as a Christmas miracle, thank you!
My kind of holiday! I spent so many years working pretty much every holiday, that I take my downtime as a gift in and of itself, LOL.
Happy Holidays to Everyone!
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I nearly lost my Chloe on Thursday. At work of all places. I work in a dog friendly office, and she comes with me most days. She's a 2.5 year old black pug, and she has her own bed next to my desk, and an assortment of toys. She's a real charmer whose only fault is she is a food gulper. She was starved as a youngster, and it's a behavioral trait I have not been able to eliminate.
One of my coworkers gave her a biscuit, one of her favorites, and one she has eaten many times. This time it nearly killed her. Apparently she tried to swallow the whole thing, couldn't, bit it once or twice, and gulped the pieces. A large piece became lodged in her throat. I was facing my computer and didn't realize anything was wrong until a coworker said, "hey, something's wrong with Chloe". I turned around in time to see her pitch over on her side and start paddling. She was completely silent due to the choking--if my coworker hadn't noticed the problem I probably wouldn't have gotten to her in time. As it was, myself and the coworker who gave her the biscuit hit the floor. I Heimliched her (Chloe, not my coworker!)--no results. My poor pug was already blue from anoxia. My coworker flipped her up sternal, and I stuck my fingers down her throat. Well, one finger. Chloe, like most brachycephalics (squashed face breeds) has a very hypoplastic esophagus and trachea. I could only get my forefinger into her throat. I located the chunk of biscuit deep in her throat, but I couldn't grasp it with one finger and there was no time to hunt for some kind of utensil. So I pushed it down her esophagus. Pulled my finger out and swept as much of the copious thick saliva out of her mouth and the entrance to her trachea as I could. Bless her heart, my little girl took a breath, pinked right up, and started wagging her curlique tail. It took her a few seconds to get her feet back under her. It took a lot longer than that for me to wrap my head around the incident, let me tell you!
This is not the first time I've had to deal with animals or humans with compromised airways, but it's different when it's your own pet. There's a whole other level of adrenaline involved! Thank god the coworker who leaped in to help me is a former veterinary nurse like me-- she didn't panic and she knew how to hold Chloe.
I phoned my vet to confirm at home treatment for Chloe's abraded and inflamed esophagus (benadryl and topical lidocaine--which I have at home). Forty eight hours of soft food, and she's completely back to normal.
I have four dogs, three of whom are elderly and two of them have serious medical issues. But it's the two year healthy dog that nearly slipped away from me! There's no rhyme or reason...
And I have new gray hairs!

Strike Back

Oct. 3rd, 2012 06:59 pm
nodramaqueen: (Default)
My latest guilty pleasure is watching Strike Back, the Cinemax series. Anybody know where to find good Strike Back slash fic?

Over It!

Sep. 7th, 2012 11:59 pm
nodramaqueen: (pic#313473)
In the last month I have missed nearly a full week of work because of an MS related equilibrium issue that made it impossible for me to drive. I had another brain MRI (because of the equilibrium problem). I had an endoscopy. I've had five doctor visits--three with blood draws. And my usual infusion today. I am tired of people poking and prodding at me! Even with good sticks, I've got three large bruises and a mild phlebitis at one catheter site. I'm over it!
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The final tally for these past scorching July days: 23 days in July were 90+ degrees. Six of those days were 100+ degrees. The humidity ran 60 to 80%. It was the hottest July on record for my part of the state.
It's now the second day of August and it's been 98 degrees with 70% humidity both days. For god's sake, if I wanted to step into a sweat lodge every time I go out the door, I would build my own and invite chiseled hunks of naked manflesh!
I'm over this weather!
nodramaqueen: (Default)
Pretty much stuck in the house since Saturday afternoon with a stomach ailment, so I've been watching an inordinate amount of the Olympics. I've always enjoyed the gymnastics, having a sister who was a national level competitor many years ago. At least I know what they're doing! LOL.
I like the swimming and diving events too. Gotta say, I miss the days when the male swimmers wore speedos. But hey, the divers still wear the itsy bitsy scraps of cloth! Eye candy for everybody, but especially us prudish Americans. You just don't see speedos here, with the exception of certain beaches and/or subcultures. And those are considered suspect by your average American, sorry to say. I would go so far as to state that here in the Bible Belt, in my own town, a man showing up at the city pool in a speedo would at the very least be denied entrance to the facility. At the worst, he would be harassed and probably smacked around by the local rednecks. Sigh.
Anyhow... I'm enjoying the nice tight butts, speedos or not! Damn, I'd hate to have to do all that waxing and shaving though...
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It's the Fourth of July (you know, that big American holiday that involves lots of fireworks and outdoor grilling). I'm in the house hiding from the heat and watching random TV shows. I have discovered I really like a few of the nature oriented reality shows like "Swamp People" and "Gator Boys". The "Gator Boys" show is kinda cool because they actually rescue nuisance alligators from being killed by trappers. And they do it barehanded.

Anyhow, it's only supposed to be 98 degrees today. A cold front! Sheesh...

Joanne Soper Cook has deleted her LJ account. I have spent very little time there in months, so I have no idea why she did so. I see she has started a blog elsewhere, but it's pretty minimal at best. I have followed her writing for a few years and own four or five of her books-- I am curious as to why she left LJ. She was a prolific poster.

Read Lynn Flewelling's latest Nightrunners book the other week ("Casket of Souls"). Awesome book, probably the best since the original trio of novels. Also tried Anne Lyle's debut novel and quite liked it. Kevin Hearne's latest Atticus book is fabulous as well. My team leader and I especially love the Irish Wolfhound character in these modern druid tales. He can "talk" to certain people and is quite funny. We have an Irish Wolfhound at work, a gorgeous reverse brindle youngster. I haven't seen an Irish Wolfhound puppy in years and this one came clomping in the door a few months ago with a new employee. And I do mean clomp. He was barely ten weeks old and all feet and legs. He's still trying to figure out that whole "majestic dignity" thing. LOL. It was so weird; Amy and I were talking about the Hearne books one day and looked up to see this Wolfhound coming up the stairs.

Okay, enough randomness for one day. I'm off to read Barry Eisler's latest short piece. And to drink some good ol' Southern sweet tea.

Melting...

Jun. 30th, 2012 12:12 am
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Good god, the weather is trying to kill me! We've had unseasonably hot weather here since the end of March, but now it's hit a new high. Literally. It was 109 degrees today. The highest temperature ever recorded for Middle Tennessee. My house air conditioning unit couldn't get the temperature below 80 until about 9pm. And I have a good, solid, well maintained central air unit. What I wouldn't give for some shade trees! My house has no shade and the front of the house is in full sun all day. Of course, it would help if I could get the pugs to quit laying on the air vents. Smart little buggers.
I shouldn't complain though-- one of my friends can't get her house temperature below 85. Ugh.
Tomorrow and Sunday should be 106 and 104 degrees respectively. We're not supposed to drop below 100 degrees until Thursday. And the humidity is climbing as well.
But hey, the upside is, we're also in a drought and all the vegetation is withering away. I don't have to worry about mowing the grass...it's dried up! LOL.
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I didn't realize it has been so long since I posted anything on LJ. I try to stop by and read posts when I have time, but...
I just got back from a week visiting family in PA. I took my friend Jana with me for the drive (about 13 hours), because she was dying to see the Amish. My parents live in Lancaster County, PA, which has the second largest population of Amish in North America. We had a good time doing all the touristy Amish stuff, LOL.
My team leader from work moved in with me for a couple of months eariler this year (marital issues) and I didn't charge her any rent, so she house sat the dogs for me for free. Heckuva deal.
I'm feeling okay. Had a go round with shingles in May that totally sucked, but it's gone now. Trust me, you don't ever want that experience!
I have been push mowing my own yard but will have to pay someone soon to do that for me. It's too damn hot already. We've been in the 80s and 90s since beginning of April!
I've been going to the gym at the county recreation center for about three months now. It's quite nice and very cheap. My friend Jana and I go at least twice a week. I figure mowing the yard counts as my third workout day, LOL. Hey, I've got a big yard! I was surprised to find how debiliated I had become from the damn MS. I still can't do the treadmill without hanging onto the bars because I can't keep my balance. But I'm getting stronger and my stamina improves every week.
Work still sucks big time and I hate being trapped there. I love the company I work for but I hate my particular job and I especially dislike my manager. My plans to move back into the medical field evaporated with my MS. I can't afford to lose my medical insurance. Oh well.
My beloved Honda has rolled over 213,000 miles and it's still faithfully transporting me. It drove like a champ this past week-- I put about 2000 miles on it. At 33 miles per gallon. I love my car even if it is old and a bit raggedy.
Okay, time to quit putting off cleaning my bathroom...
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