Second shopping attempt and, what the heck is going on?

We are having another beautifully mild day today! Just look at this image I got off one of the trail cams.

What a gorgeous sunrise! So moody with the fog. I changed the batteries on the camera yesterday, so it’s slightly out of position from where I want the motion sensors to be focused, but that just put it in the best position to get the sun rising behind the tree.

On the down side, this was screen capped from a video, and in the video, the sun was actually flashing like a strobe light. πŸ˜€ I was able to catch a frame in between flashes. In other videos, the sun was a giant, blinding orb covering most of the frame.

The camera has since been adjusted. πŸ˜‰

It was a gorgeous day for another trip to the city. In past winters, I would have appreciated the mild weather and dry roads for such a trip. It would make things more pleasant for someone who doesn’t like to shop in the first place.

Things are not normal, though, and I was dreading the idea of trying to shop at Costco, but we still needed to get bulk items in flat cart quantities.

It didn’t happen.

When I got to the Costco, the line up outside was actually longer than it was when I tried to go there on Saturday! As I messaged my family to let them know I’d arrived, the line got longer, even as I could see it moving forward.

Since I wasn’t even sure if I’d be allowed in the store with my shield, I wasn’t about to stand in line outside to find out.

I decided to go to the Walmart in the smaller city. I wouldn’t be able to get everything, as it wouldn’t all fit in a cart, but at least I know I would be able to get most of it.

So after about 2 hours of driving, I finally made it to a store.


On the plus side, I did get almost everything we needed. Also, it was not the least bit busy, which is what I had expected at the Costco on a Monday morning!

We’re going to run out of cat litter before the month is out, but we shouldn’t run out of either wet or dry cat food. I was even able to get the big bottles of hydrogen peroxide they were out of stock of last time, to treat the hot water tank when it gets that sulfur smell again. I got only about half the protein for the price that I would have been able to get at Costco, but I won’t be trying to shop there again this month.

So we are mostly stocked up for the month. The rest can be bought locally, though we’ll have less room in the budget than usual for that. We will manage.

At least we would be able to, if nothing breaks down.

Which brings me to the first, “what the heck is going on” topic.

There’s something wrong with the van.

In past trips, when the van was loaded down, I could feel that it was struggling with the weight. A month’s worth of cat litter and cat food for more than 25 indoor and outdoor cats adds up. Add in our own grocery items, and it becomes an issue for our vehicle. It’s get up and go just goes away! I found that loading the heaviest things in the middle of the van (we’ve taken out one of the middle seats and simply left it out), seems to help.

As I was heading home from the Walmart and was starting to leave a controlled intersection, the van just did not want to move! But move it finally did, and it even got up to speed normally.

I had intended to fill the tank at Costco, but never had a chance to, so I was going to stop at a station when I passed through the town my mother lives in. When I got there, however, something told me to just keep on going. We have jerry cans of premium gas at home for equipment we can’t use right now, so I figured I’d just use those up, rather than have it sit in the garage all winter. I just did not want to stop and get out of the van again, if I didn’t have to.

I’m glad I didn’t.

When I turned off the highway onto the gravel road, I slowed into the turn as usual, but when I tried to accelerate again, nothing happened.

The van had stalled.

It started again without issue, but when I reached the gravel road to our place and stopped at the stop sign, it stalled again. No stuttering or any kind of warning to show there was an issue.

When I stopped at the gate and then drove into the yard to unload, it was fine.

I have no idea why this has started to happen.

I had hoped we’d be able to have a winter without vehicle repair expenses for a change! I’ll have to take it in to get it looked at. Whether or not it’s something we can fix this month, or something that has to wait until next month, we shall see. Until then, thankfully, we can use my mother’s car.

Then there is the other “what the heck is going on” issue.

This is something that has actually been happening more often in general, but it was a real problem while I was driving today.

I couldn’t breathe.

I kept finding myself suddenly gasping for air.

I thought, perhaps, it was because my sinuses were a bit stuffy, but I’m a mouth breather, anyhow, so that shouldn’t be it.

This is something that I’ve had happen to me while I’m, say, sitting at my computer. I’ve never really thought of it as an issue, though. I thought it was that whole “oh, I forgot to breathe” thing that happens when you’re really focused on something (when my husband was still working as a programmer, forgetting to breathe or blink while coding was common enough to be a running joke). However, having it happen while I’m driving is something else entirely. I seemed to be better while walking around, so I thought maybe it had something to do with being in a sitting position; pressure on the diaphragm, perhaps? But then, as I was standing and telling my daughter about it, I found myself running out of breath while I was talking.

I have no idea what’s going on.

I feel fine. There is nothing out of the ordinary. There are no other symptoms. I’ll just be going along as normal, then suddenly find myself gasping for air.

I need to make a doctor’s appointment, but with all the restrictions right now, health care for non-Covid related things are rationed almost out of existence. I’ll call the clinic anyhow, and see what they suggest. Perhaps I’ll start with a telephone appointment, first. I don’t know.

Meanwhile, we had parcels to pick up at the post office. (My husband finally got the rest of his Christmas gifts from me! LOL) I got my daughter to drive and we used my mother’s car. With the restrictions, my daughter has not been able to book the 2 hours of driving with an instructor she needs to do before she can book another road test. I don’t think they’re even doing road tests right now. She does have a license, and is a very good driver, but it’s still a learner’s license, and I have to be with her when she drives.

We’ll have to go out again, tomorrow. We still need to do a dump run, though if we use my mother’s car, we won’t be able to fit much in there and will have to make several trips. Probably on different days that they’re open, rather than multiple trips in one day. The Mingle Masks I ordered should be in tomorrow, so we have to go to the post office again. Plus, they were out of deer feed today, so I’ll be picking that up at the same time, too. I’ll have to drag my daughter around and have her drive me, just to play it safe.

What I really want to do is just stay home and be a hermit.

Ah, well. It is what it is! πŸ™‚

The Re-Farmer

2 thoughts on “Second shopping attempt and, what the heck is going on?

  1. The Van… It could just be the engine is worn out, along with the weight. I don’t recall how big the engine is (if you’ve ever said) but even 6 cylinder engines can have trouble with that kind of load. *IF* it’s running rich to compensate, the engine may have essentially flooded out and stalled.

    NO idea what’s happening with your breathing though. Just follow through on checking with a doctor there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is a V6. Oddly, the engine doesn’t sound like it’s stressed in any way. My brother things something might be blocking air. He’s discovered mouse nests in his air filter, for example. I tried using my OBDII reader yesterday, and it won’t connect to the ECU to do a scan! I’ve never had the problem before. I’ll have to call up the garage, but not this week. I’ll just use my mother’s car for now.

      As for the breathing, yeah; a call to the doctor is on the to-do list for this afternoon!


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