Getting Adjusted to Life in the Bluegrass

Last time I wrote about my trip home from Connecticut to Kentucky; would you believe that the temperature back in CT has been in the 30s every morning since I left?  Now it is time to catch the readers up on what I have been doing since my return.

The T-shirt:  First, you will remember I missed the fun, when March Madness became April Madness at the beginning of this month.  Now I finally have the University of Kentucky champion T-shirt I wanted (see my message from April 4).  I was so busy with taxes and preparing to come home that I had forgotten about it.  Then on Friday afternoon I visited the local Meijer store to get a few things, and found the shirts near the entrance to the store, discounted from $15 to $10.50.  You’d think they would sell the shirts until next basketball season, at least, but it looks like they are now getting rid of the last of them.  I’ll have to go back and get one in Leive’s size, and maybe I’ll drive to the UK campus this week to see if they are still “celebr8ting.”

The Buick:  I told you I have had car trouble since Thursday, so on Saturday morning I took the Buick to our mechanic friend in the family.  The spark plugs were fouled, and according to my records they were installed in 2003, so he replaced them.  However, that only helped a little.  More disturbing was the discovery that air compression in the front central cylinder is low.  That could be from a bad valve, a bad fuel injector, or a bad piston ring.  Either way, it means the engine is wearing out, no surprise since I have put nearly 100,000 miles on it in the past ten years.  For the short run, I should not take the car out of town again, and in the long run, it will be more cost effective to replace the car this year, than to keep spending money on repairs for it.  Therefore I hope that my next source of income will be much closer to home than Connecticut.

My Father:  On Friday and Saturday Leive and I went to visit my Dad in the retirement home where we placed him, less than two miles from our house.  This is the first time I have seen him since January 2011.  On each visit we spent more than an hour, and from what I can see, he is well cared for.  Our current plan is to take him out for lunch at Fazoli’s on Tuesday.  We’ll use the Buick, which should be fit for the trip, despite its current condition.  Leive hasn’t taken him anywhere since he arrived, because the Nissan rides too low for him to get in and out without a great deal of help.

A Guest in the House:  At the end of March Leive took in an Egyptian woman in her thirties named Illaria (I hope I spelled that right).  She is a Coptic Christian, and was referred to us by our pastor, who knew she was looking for a place to stay and recommended us.  Previously Leive knew nothing about any of the Orthodox churches, so this is a learning experience for her.  I only got to meet Illaria after coming home, and as you might expect, we compared our knowledge of Egyptian history.  Like this bit about King Pepi II, from the British comedy “Horrible Histories”:

So far the only problem we have had with her is the time she burned incense in the kitchen; that made Leive sick, and I warned that stuff like that can be poisonous for parrots, so she stopped.  And along that line, Brin-Brin puts up a howl when Illaria plays Arabic music, but listens quietly when Leive plays Hebrew music.  More evidence that Brin-Brin is a Jewish parrot (see my message from May 4, 2011)!

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