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2013: Rebuilding Year

I’m back. I had to step out for awhile to take care of some stuff.

So, this has been quite an eventful year with a lot of ups and downs. We are still not having a winning season but are holding our own.

First, the good things: I found a beautiful house at a rock bottom price in a very nice neighborhood. I live about a mile from where my grandparents lived. Pittsburgh is soooo much better than New Jersey in so many ways. People are just nicer here. Well, most people are. More about that later.

On the not so good front:

This year we faced a serious health crisis in the family. It’s still two steps forward and one step back. We are making progress, slowly. It has been very expensive and relapses are still possible. But the worst of it seems to be behind us.

Irrational people. This fall, I found myself dealing with four of them, only one of whom had a legitimate excuse for her behavior. The others seemed to be indulging themselves. Unfortunately, that’s when my cardiovascular system started to signal that it only had input jacks for three irrational people. The fourth was threatening to overload the system so it had to go. I’m pleased to report that as of this morning, my blood pressure has returned to it’s normal 117/76 after two alarming spiky readings. No blood pressure medication was necessary. I just had to eliminate the source of the stress.

And the power steering on my car is malfunctioning. Added to the oil pressure problem and the electrical issues, it may not make sense to continue to repair it. I’m running the numbers now but it looks like I need a new car.


It could be worse but there are still some significant obstacles for my family to overcome. Thanks to all of you who have stuck with this blog for the past 6 years. I couldn’t have gotten this far without all of you and especially, Katiebird.

Happy New Year!

Don’t drink and drive.


23 Responses

  1. I am glad you’re back. I hope all health issues you referenced go well in the future. Happy New Year! (After the past two years, 2014 has to be better, right?)

  2. Thank you for this update, Riverdaughter — I’m glad to read this. And especially glad that your blood pressure has improved!! This has been a hard year for many of my family members and friends. I really hope 2014 is better.

    One of the best things about the last 6 years (6 years!) is our friendship.

    Happy New Year to All you and all our Conflucian Friends!

    • I’m glad all is well. It’s so bad I won’t go into it. Happy New Year Rd. They put me on the high blood pressure pills. Glad you were able to delete the stress in your life.

  3. Glad you re back and in good health, Happy new year, missed your posts, Jan

    Verzonden vanaf mijn ipad

    > Op 31 dec. 2013 om 21:35 heeft “The Confluence” het volgende geschreven: > > >

  4. I wish I could “like” other comments, ’cause I would love all of the above. Happy New Year RD and friends – may all of our lives be better – filled with happiness, peace and health.

  5. Happy New Year, Doll. I’m sending you and yours good wishes from here to eternity.
    katiebird, Happy New Year, your light shines right through my computer screen. You’re a gem.

  6. Missed you RD! Have a wonderful new year

  7. Glad you are OK. I was going to inquire at the end of the last comment thread, but comments were closed.

  8. Just a suggestion about a new car. Granddaughter just got a lease deal from GM and paying 160 per month with a nice Cruze that is loaded and gets 35 mpg. The money she saves in gas and repairs pays for mo payment. VW has a lot of leases nothing down $159 per mo. I have leased before and find it a nice option. Just turn it in and no worries for the life of the lease. You get the best years of the cars life.

  9. Also, I find that dealing with car problems (not counting health) extremely stressful. I can not do anything with a car. I always feel vulnerable and incompetent. If I have a good car that area of my life can be put on automatic pilot. Getting a used car is more expensive than a new one often. Peace of mind is a great side affect of new car.

  10. A better new year to you and all.
    I moved closer to my granddaughter (now 9 months and a fire sign just like her gramma), and suddenly blogging has lost some of its importance. But I check in every day and was getting worried. Your voice is needed and appreciated.

  11. Riverdaughter, thank you for your voice, insight and perspective. It’s good that you are taking care of yourself, you are a treasure. 2014, here we come!

  12. Good to know that you are back, RD, and we’re gonna hear you roar ….

    Happy New Year and good things to come.

  13. I’m glad you’re back. Even when we don’t agree, you are still one of the finest writers I know. And I still encourage you to try your hand at a book.

  14. Welcome back, I was hoping your absence was being too busy with work to blog, sorry to hear it was otherwise.

    On your car problems didn’t you have the steering replaced back in Jersey?

    If so was there a warranty?

    Since dealers will sell a car to anybody with a pulse there are a lot out there that were never serviced properly because the owner couldn’t afford it. That makes buying used a double crap shoot.

    On another note Ted Rall ran afoul of the Kosholes with a cartoon critical of Obama. It made for an interesting week.


  15. I saw an ominous and typical phrase in the NY Times business summary. The story about the head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission departing his job said, “Wall Street is hoping for a friendlier regulator.” What a contradiction in terms. Wall Street obviously wants no regulation and merely federal bail outs and economic measures designed solely to pump more money into “the market”, aka the ongoing fraud machine.

    When I first got out of college (1974) the business section in the Chicago Tribune covered local and regional businesses. Typical stories talked about new products or new managers being brought in and what changes were likely. They actually covered the effect of the changes on employees and customers. The wall Street Journal did somewhat the same on a national basis. Companies tended to be larger and their was more stock market coverage.

    Now, the “business section” is pretty much all about the stock market except for stories about foreign trade and/or foreign deals and “investments”, aka outsourcing or takeovers. Fiat for example just took over the remaining 41% of Chrysler from the UAW Trust Fund (pension fund) doer a little over $4 billion. The deal was considered “fair” by the NY Times and the market disapproved, slightly. That means that the workers got ripped off but less than usual.

  16. Best wishes to you for a better New Year that smiles on you and yours. You totally deserve it. Cheers!

  17. Before you spring for a new car, try the power steering leak sealer products, I managed to get two more years out of my mother’s 1994 Toyota Corrola by doing that. (had to add power steering fluid in about every 2 months, but luckily that’s not too horridly expensive.

  18. Scene in a movie, guys hooting and hollering as a girl walks by. Overheard… “I hear she’s a 117 over 76”.

  19. In the last few weeks, I’ve had a broken landline, a broken cell phone, the cat chewed through the charger cord on the new cellphone, broken WiFi router, a printer that won’t work with Windows 8, a wreck that likely totaled my car, a diagnosis of lung and bone cancer in the only sibling with whom I am close and his denial of same, running back and forth to take him to the hospital for tests because his wife won’t drive in snow, unpleasant contact with the other sibling, and a probable recommendation for back surgery for me which will take 3-6 months to heal.

    I think that I have you beat. But it’s not a contest and I hope that all of us have a healthier, less complex 2014.

    Happy New Year!

    • Sorry to hear about your bad news of late. Queen Elizabeth over in England called her bad year an annus horribilis which, apparently, is bad year in Latin. Mine was in 2011. I nearly died due to congestive heart failure (blood pressure was 40/21 and at one time my heart was pumping out only 7% of what was coming in. I was hospitalized four times and was in rehab for another two months. The first floor of the house was flooded when I was in the hospital causing $60,000 worth of damage from less than a foot of water. To top of the year, in December our dog got sick and had to be operated on. Oh, yeah, Barbara, my significant other for 25 years suffered through re-organization and a semi-downgrade at work (same pay, though). Now that’s a bad year.

      Well, two years later everything is much better. The house was finally repaired and the repairs paid for by flood insurance. The dog is till around at age 9 (that’s 68 for a Great Dane). The B*** who took part of Barbara’s job just resigned. She doesn’t even want the rest back anymore. And I’m obviously still kicking the proverbial tires. And I weigh 80 pounds less. I’m hoping to feel considerably better in ayear or two if (and when) I get a heart transplant.

      And after all of that, I have a better attitude on life, get along better with Barbara, and realized that although the dog cares about Barbara first, I’m in the running, too. She (the dog) actually stood in the doorway by the third time to prevent me from going away to the hospital.

      So, Jean Louise and RD, hope that your personal annus horribilis is over and things for everybody get better and better.

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