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A carryover from the Crayola, the old 1987 Toyota Corolla that got traded in for the Silver Beetil, the new 2015 Toyota Corolla — a year old next month, actually — is the little Teletubby plushie keychain fob I’ve had, seemingly forever, dangling from the rear-view mirror of the Crayola, and now from the Silver Beetil, that helps me spot the Beetil in a parking lot (you’d be astonished at how many late-model silver sedans there are in this town).

If you know anything about the Teletubbies, there are four of them, each a different color:  Green, purple, yellow and red.  They each have a name, Tinky-Winky, Dipsy, Lala, and Po, respectively.  I have the red one, Po.  (Mine has now faded to pink.  The Texas sun is brutal that way.) There’s an explanation that I do when somebody asks about it, or when I want to point it out:  “It’s a Teletubby, it’s Po. I relate to Po. I’m po’, too.”  It’s a pun/carom off the Southern/Afro-American pronunciation of “poor”  as “poh” (the origin of the “po'” in “po’boy sandwich“). (Black American Vernacular pronunciation typically elides final consonants.)  I did the schtick for the East Indian-American salesman at Gene Messer, where we got the new Toyota, and it sailed right by him, but the Black man who happened to be walking by at the time and who overheard it, cracked up, because he totally got it.

Anyway, Po changed cars when I did, because I’m still po’.  Even more so, now that my car insurance premium has tripled.  And, let’s face it.  Nobody likes to be poor. I certainly don’t.  And I am poor.  My monthly/annual income from Social Security falls between 100% and 120% on the Federal poverty guidelines, (i.e., between “at poverty level” and “just really poor,” according to the Federal Gummint)

Anyway, what started me off on this whole tack was looking at how many books I’ve reread this year owing to not having anything new to read.  There for a while, I could budget $20 a month for books.  If you buy used books through Amazon that could be as many as 5 books a month (I’m averaging 13 at the moment), which  is about right.  I got a Kindle because of my space problem — I only have room for five bookcases now(!), so I can only keep the books I know I will want to reread multiple times — but ebooks/Kindle books are almost as expensive as the dead tree editions —  anywhere from $11-$25 a book depending on how old the book is, and the genre.  Yep.  The proverbial rock on the one hand and the proverbial hard place on the other.  Sigh.  And the libraries here have nothing I consider interesting/fit to read.

I know.  I should count my blessings.  I have a roof over my head that (mostly) doesn’t leak, a nice sized apartment (600+ square feet) that is weather tight and in good repair, that I can afford to heat and cool. I can afford to eat regularly. I have shoes to wear and decent, climate-appropriate clothes.   I have a nice car (bought with my dad’s life insurance money) and I can afford a tank of gas a month.  I have TV and internet, and a rinky little cellphone. I’m able to scrape by without having to work, thanks to my mom, so I can be available to travel whenever she wants to.  I have my health.  Life could be a whole lot worse.  Still, I feel entitled to see the glass as half empty if I want to, and I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t wish that what the glass was half-full of was good German beer and not water . . . grumble . . . grumble . . .

RedditlogoI also have a left arm full of flu shot, which I got Thursday at the VA.  My arm was somewhat sore yesterday, and today apparently, my shoulder and upper arm have the flu and that particular region is not happy with me at all.  As I was driving home from the VA, I also noticed that in the big vacant lot behind the VA clinic, there is a prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) burrow.  I did a double take, and sure enough.  Three of them at the entrance to a burrow.    Really odd to see any inside the city limits — or to see one at all, as almost all the land use around the city is for farming and farmers (and ranchers) consider them pests.

While I was out, I got my car tags renewed as they were due for renewal this month — They’ve changed the procedure.  It used to be that once a year, you had to get your car inspected for road-worthiness at a State Inspection Station, and they gave you a sticker; and once a year, you had to get your vehicle registration, for which they also gave you a sticker.  You had to have both stickers and they both had to be valid, or any law enforcement officer who notices they aren’t will give you a traffic citation; however, having one was not a prerequisite for getting the other.  Now, you have to have a valid state inspection first, which they give you a receipt for and the inspector registers it in the Department of Motor Vehicles computer.  Then you go to a county clerk’s office, they look you up in the DMV computer database, and see that you have a valid state inspection and give you your new license plate and/or registration sticker (that’ll be $66, thank you very much). So now, you just have the registration sticker on your windshield /windscreen instead of a registration sticker and an inspection sticker.  Apart from having one less sticker to fool with, it also assures that nobody gets a registration sticker unless the car has passed inspection within the past year.  Anyway, that’s done and paid for, for another year.

Recently I’ve noticed that we’re sliding around to that part of the year where I’m going to have to start wearing more clothes inside.  It became apparent to me just now that my usual summer attire of a cotton tee-shirt dress and bare foots isn’t enough clothes.  I need to get busy and finish my new pair of sock feet because having bare feet on cold floors is now becoming undesireable.  The high for Monday is supposed to be 68 F/20 C, and the highest high in the five-day forecast is 80 F/26.6 C. It’s going to fool around and get winter on us, if we’re not careful . . .

I have the extension cord, but I need to move my dining room table so I can move my china cabinet and plug it into the wall outlet behind the china cabinet, so I can use my sewing machine.  I really need to get those lap robes done.  I’ve had the microfleece blankets to make them from for over a year.  However, there has been a tendency for roundtuits to be thin on the ground . . .