so they aren't so cute right now, i agree, but by august they'll be proud-looking peregrine falcons! still trying to pick their down off and get ready for flight right now. you, too, can become as obsessed as i am with Mariah & Kaver's little babes... www.rfalconcam.com - be sure to read their history & the stories of where their older siblings have been spotted. amazing. and Mariah & Kaver come back to this same nesting box on the Kodak building in Rochester NY every year. ***so 2 days ago, i was leaving work and i heard this noise. it went BOIIIINNNGGG under my car, and i felt a THUMP under my left foot. i thought, "hunh," and turned up the radio. said a prayer that i'd make it home - husband was out of town of course, so i'd be stranded by the wayside poor me. the next day, before i could turn the radio on, there was a CLANG CLANG sound when i hit a bump. again, i thought, "hunh," and turned the radio on. loud. but i know that technology does not follow logic, or else we wouldn't need mechanics and garages, just louder radios, so i called my Saturn dealer and said, "say, by the way, how much does a boing-clang-clang cost to fix?" he seemed to know immediately that it was a $700 minimum charge for boingclangclang. yikes. now i won't re-bore you with the litany of unexpected bills that have popped up like weeds in my checking account garden, but let's just say if it got any redder in the column to the left, it would be time to go into the witness protection program. oh, and the mechanic said Do Not Drive the car. so about 30 minutes later, and at least 40 minutes from home, (can he be SERIOUS?? i have too much to do) i am lost in the Worst part of town. an area so bullet-ridden and scary that even the gangmembers won't live there. they commute. i am a small, old woman in a car that clearly sounds like the ice cream man is coming with a Clang Clang of it's bell. this is not the Good Humor woman. and i'm lost because of construction detours. detours with once highly visible detour signs. that have been stolen or disrespected to the point that they are un-visible. there are not even mangy dogs wandering the area. oh, and my cell phone - in collusion with the car - decided to just shut off. no particular reason. just zip. bill was paid. battery charged. just said "i've had enough of listening to your endless stupid trivial chatter on and on every day i can't take it anymore too-da-loo." so if my car decided to scramaloo also, i would be stranded in this no-man's-alcatraz of humanity with no one to call, and no thing to call no one on. so i did the only thing i could. i drove down the side street that was torn up by one of those grinder machines (no doubt to make escaping the law less fast) till i got to the street i needed to be at, waved at the construction guy who was waving furiously at me (i couldn't read his lips, but i had an idea he wasn't shouting have a good day and God be with you), turned left and arrived at my destination. leaving was as much fun. just do everything above in reverse. in the middle of my abject terror and prayers for my mortal soul(just in case the Catholics are right), my friend Jennifer calls. and my phone actually rang! yes! she talked me down from the ledge as i made way way through all of the above. thank you jennifer. she suggested another mechanic. novel idea. i stopped by the only Honest Mechanic in my area on the way home, and he drove my car around the lot. guffawed. put er up on the lift. handed me a horseshoe shaped 8" piece of metal (oooo! ahhh!) that he dug out from under my car wheel general area and declared that was all that was left of my spring. and btw, i also need a new strut. well i know i've put on a few lbs in the past few months but sheesh to have a stranger just say it out loud like that....anyway, the boingclangclang would cost $200 at his shop. so tomorrow, i'm in for a new spring and a new strut. yeah baby. it seems like things are trying to put a damper on my ability to save money for my workshop trip. but i will be going no matter what. this only makes me more determined. and at least there's 1 less thing to go wrong with the car now! so it's time for me to get some stuff done here....go turn the cell phone off as punishment - to bed early for it. hey - annmarie from work who procured the autoclave suggested a blankie drive for the rehabber...if you have any old blankies, flannel material, or adult wee-wee pads (like the hospitals put down on the beds...mondo size) please let me know. no towels though...little claws get stuck in the loops. thanks y'all! L.