Posts Tagged ‘#carshopping’

It’s been a busy few weeks. To make a long story a bit shorter, on July 11th hubby went back to the oncologist and found out he DOESN’T have cancer! I have a feeling the doctor doesn’t give that news very often. The tests that were run showed he doesn’t have the JAK2 gene that is the marker for Polycythemia Vera. His blood was in acceptable ranges so he didn’t need to have blood taken out. His C/T scans came back normal. All organs are of normal size with no tumors. Greg was pretty much convinced he had blood cancer. So was the doctor. I never really believed it. I thought it was denial but really it was faith. I can’t even imagine a life without my husband. It was happy news but also almost anti-climatic. After many SNAFUS with Merit, Greg finally went in for his sleep study on July 19th. The results go directly to his doctor so he’ll have to make an appt. to see Dr. Z again.


The next day Greg wanted to call his mother and tell her what had transpired. He hadn’t told any of his family because he didn’t want to worry them. His father had died of cancer and his eldest sister had 2 bouts with cancer. He knew his mother especially would take it hard. Right away on the phone, his mother sounded like she wasn’t as sharp as she had been. We hadn’t talked to her since Spring so it was more noticeable to us since we don’t see her every day. She’s 83, so I guess that’s bound to happen. After talking to her, Greg’s eldest sister calls us and says that she wants to make sure Greg’s ok. His mother had called her and scared her half to death with only part of the information. So after reassuring her, Greg felt the need to call his other sister and one of his brothers (Dan) to clear things up. On July 6th, his brother Dan had texted him and invited him to go to the oldies car show up in Iola, WI on Friday the 13th. He said yes even though at that time he didn’t know if he had cancer or not. It was to be a day with all 3 of his brothers. He was to get up at 3 am and drive up to his oldest brother’s in WI. Then he would drive the 2 of them up to Dan’s (who lives across from their mother) and then they’d stop in Green Bay and pick up Brian and head to the car show. I didn’t know how Greg could do it since he was so stressed out and he’d been training 2 people at work for the last few weeks, working extra hours.
Part of his reason to call his brother Dan on the 12th was to tell him he couldn’t go. That day our 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee (that he got in 2003) got a crack in the radiator while we were in rush hour traffic (4 pm) in Chicago. It had been overheating anytime we were stopped in traffic with the a/c on. It’d been in the 90’s which wasn’t helping. We’d been talking about getting a new vehicle for awhile but then decided to try to make this one last. Greg had put $4000 into it in the past few months: new brakes, new tires, new oil pan, new front end alignment, new floor mats, I can’t even think of it all. We took his vehicle to our local mechanic and he had to replace the entire radiator. That cost us $587 when we picked it up Sat. 
Friday while it was in the shop, we took my car (after getting a new battery) and went Jeep shopping. There are like 5 dealerships in the general vicinity. We went to Fields in Glenview first. It was an impressive dealership. There’s a waiting area with tv and couches like most have. Then there’s an area where there’s retro tables and a food court. They have a popcorn machine, coffee bar, soda in a cooler and they also serve ice cream and soft serve. I’m told there’s pizza there at times. We though it was nice but if it cost several thousand more for it, would it be worth it?! We found the vehicle we liked which is a 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee “Sterling Edition” in a granite crystal metallic with a lighter two tone interior. The only thing I didn’t care for was that it was a DEMO with 5,387 miles on it. The salesman told us that model was rare and they only had one other and it was a DEMO too. I didn’t believe him, I thought he was just saying that to sell us. We couldn’t agree on price and he let us leave without trying to keep us. A lot has changed in 15 years since we bought a vehicle! The salesmen used to keep you there at all costs and would ask all kinds of personal questions to find out about your life. That way they could sell you on different features of the car. This salesman asked us nothing. Now everything is done online. We researched online and the other dealers either admitted they didn’t have a Sterling Edition or they lied. We went to Sherman Jeep because the person on the phone told us up and down that they had that model. When we get there, they didn’t know what we were talking about. The place was so ghetto. It was dirty inside and just looked sketchy. The saleswoman we had could barely speak English and didn’t know her product. She went and got another guy and he knew even less. They said they’d find out what they did have and get back to us in a few minutes. We waited 20 minutes and no one ever came back so we left. We had an appt. to go up to Antioch, IL to look at a Sterling Edition on Sat. but then thought about it and wondered if it would be worth the hour drive to find out they lied and didn’t really have one. Just then, the salesman from Fields called and wanted us to come back in. We picked up our old Jeep and cleaned it out and then took it over there. With the trade in value, it brought the price to what we were willing to pay so we decided to go for it.
Putting out that kind of money makes me very nervous. I even said we’re a lot like the Clampetts (from the Beverly Hillbillies) with having such a fancy vehicle. We jumped like 3 generations of technology since we purchased a vehicle last. Everything is different starting with how to open the door. The auto feature on the fob to Greg’s old Jeep hadn’t worked in years and he had to unlock his side with the key and flip the lock button to open for me or the tailgate. The new one has keyless entry, keyless start (!!), satellite radio, no cd player (??), separate air conditioning controls for each side, the list goes on and on. 
We haven’t figured out how to do everything yet. The salesman (JW) seemed to rush us once he knew he had the money. He was supposed to wait in the car while we set up U-Connect. We had to call by pushing the button on the back of the rearview mirror. As soon as they answered, he left us. The operator was walking us through the registration but then came to the part where you go to your email and click on the link. Well, there was no email. I went inside the dealership looking for JW and couldn’t find him anywhere! I came back to the car and finally took his card out and texted him to come and help us! He finally showed up and then he said he had typed in our email address wrong. It’s 6 letters and he had added an extra b. He said he would take care of it “right away” but it would take a few days for the email to come. Well, we waited 8 days and finally on Sunday we went and sat in our driveway and called U-Connect again. They told Greg to go to Mopar.com and register from there. Then me and my big mouth (which comes in handy quite often) mentions that we called a week ago and were still waiting on the email. The operator confirmed that the email was wrong in their system and they had received nothing telling them to correct it. Within 18 hours they had sent a new email and by 24 hours later, Greg was signed up. I am more than a little irritated at JW but we have to go over there and deal with him again so don’t know if I want to lay into him or not. He was supposed to put a sticker on the windshield for “free carwashes for the life of the vehicle” at any Fields but of course, he didn’t. We also need him to show us some features like the parking assist, how to set the windshield wipers to be automatic when it starts to rain and how to turn off the radio! We’re stoked about the sunroof though. I think we’ll have fun figuring it out.
I pretty much ask myself every day, “Why does everything have to be so hard?”. THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID.

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I’ve got a bad habit of writing and not publishing. It’s not because I don’t think it’s good enough. It’s probably not. It’s not because I’m going to tweak it, because I won’t. I have so much to say that I get called away by some task and plan to go back and add to it. And then I never do. Then weeks or months go by, what I have to say is old or no longer timely, so I let it go. This one I wrote on Sunday Sept. 3rd and before I sit down to write a ‘catch up’ of all that transpired on vacation, I’ve got to put this one out there. Sorry for the disappointment of not having a “fresh” post to read.

Things are going surprisingly well. I don’t want to jinx it but life is good. We’re getting ready to leave on our 2nd rv trip of the year in a few days. This time we’re heading to the SW corner of Wisconsin. About the only area of WI we haven’t covered. It’s always risky to try someplace new but if it turns out to be fun, it’s well worth it. We are bringing my mother-in-law with us again. She had a wedding on Sat. Sept. 2nd so we delayed our vacation a week so she could go along. She’s so excited and we feel good about including her.

Wed. Aug. 16th I rode in with Greg to work. The supervisor of the TSA Canines asked the inspectors if any of their family members would be willing to help out with training the dogs (no pay). Greg volunteered me because he knew I’d enjoy it. I was supposed to be utilized from 8 am until 11:30 am. I had to sign something saying I wouldn’t talk about what was done or how so I’ll leave all the details out. Their other volunteer called in sick so they weren’t able to use me in the way I’d hoped. Greg took half a day of sick leave and after I was finished, we went to the nearby Buick dealership. As I’ve mentioned before, we’ve been “sort of” in the market for a new SUV. We looked at both the Buick Enclave (3 rows of seats were too big and no one but children could fit in the back row) and the Buick Envision (hubby is 6’ even and he hit his head on the ceiling in the backseat). We wanted to like the Envision so had to look up how it could be towed behind the RV. You have to remove 2 fuses every time and start it every few hours. It’s a huge hassle after how easy the Jeep makes it for towing. So we are back to getting another Jeep eventually. Hubby just rolled over 100,000 miles but it should last awhile yet. Ideally, he would wait and get a new one when he retires.
I never thought we’d be those people who obsess about retirement. It’s at least 7 years away but we talk about it almost daily. Hubby can hardly wait and I can’t blame him. I am really looking forward to being able to travel and take long trips cross country again without worry about running out of vacation time. There is a totally different feel to travel when you don’t have to hurry home. If you’re enjoying some place, you stay longer. If you don’t care for some place, you move on. We’ve also been talking a lot about moving. I love it here but our house is small. We have one less person, you’d think we’d need less room, not more. But you’d be wrong. 😉 The town we live in is great but the state of Illinois is an abomination. Our state government is so corrupt and we have such high taxes. The beginning of August, they instituted a tax of a penny an ounce on “sugary drinks”. This is all types of soda and juice, people. It doesn’t matter if you’re buying diet soda, they still tax you. $2.88 tax on a case, $1.44 tax on a 12 pack and 67 cents on a 2 liter bottle. The city of Chicago (which our town borders), also taxes plastic grocery bags and bottled water. Give me a break!! 7 cents a bag and 5 cents a bottle tax on water. Michael Bloomberg has spent over 6 million dollars advertising to ensure that the soda tax went through. He lives in New York so I don’t know why he’s so invested in Chicago. If he had used that money for charity or some real “good” in the world, it would’ve been better. The government officials who are pro-tax, say the tax is for health reasons. To help people make better choices. Then why are they taxing water?! People are going to other counties and across state lines to purchase soda. This is hurting small business owners and even large stores in the area. It is unbelievably short-sighted. People aren’t just going to these other counties to buy soda, they are taking their entire grocery shopping elsewhere. I feel it is incredibly unfair. If it was truly about “the health of children”, McDonalds food and every other fast food place would have an extra tax on top. People are going to eat bad things. We can’t stop them. Kids who used to stop at the store for a soda after school may buy a giant candy bar instead. How is that better?! 
 I apologize for getting off on a tangent. Back to looking for a place to live. There’s no end to apps that allow you to house hunt online. Our problem is we can’t decide where we want to live! It looks like we may end up in WI again. I know what type of house I want though. As old as I can find. The ones with dark woodwork, pocket doors, a huge farmhouse kitchen with a pantry. Most of the old houses that haven’t been torn down have been refurbished into generic inside. If they’ve been kept up, then the price tags are anywhere from half a million to 3 million dollars. I can’t pay that. We could never afford anything close to that and even if we could, it seems wrong. To spend that kind of money on a house. I know being in mansion doesn’t make you happier. So then we come full circle and talk about living here forever. It’s not the worst thing in the world but there’s no room for guests. Or a workshop for hubby or a craft room for me. Or a place to store our rv at our residence. I always say “when you don’t know what to do, do nothing”. 
Friday Sept. 1st, after literally close to a decade, I got hubby to clean out his bedroom closet. I could have done it but I wanted him involved. He hates doing it and I knew it would put him in a bad mood but we did it. Now the trunk of my car is full of stuff for Goodwill. We have so much more to go through, like my closet and literally half the bedroom. It’s just like eating an elephant—one bite at a time. I have to keep telling myself, “Every little bit helps”. 
We’ve found 2 new tv series on Netflix to watch: Reign and Call The Midwife. They are both excellent. Call The Midwife brings me to tears almost every episode. We’ve just been having the best second half of the summer. I would write more but I’ve got a million things to do. So this is where I ended before we left on vacation. I had high hopes of coming back to it but was busy making stuffed peppers and bean salad to bring along on our trip. I need to catch you up on our vacation but it will be in another post. I’ve got to get this out there before it gets lost somewhere in my emails of unpublished posts.

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