Sating your car-related curiosity

I’m sure you’ll all be super-relieved to hear the outcome to our car woes. Well, at least part of hit. After three weeks of attempting to fix the fact that driving Brunhilde bore an uncanny resemblance to riding a bucking bronco, she is finally fixed! The transmission place replaced a solenoid and now it’s happy. I don’t know what a solenoid is, but I do know that getting ANYTHING fixed on a car for $275 calls for a celebration. So now she’s had all sorts of codes fixed by Midas, which, um, I’m sure will be great AND she’s stopped lurching around. Huzzah! Now to bring the other car in for the $500 missing trim…. really soon. I swear. Then again, duct tape is attractive….

In other completely fascinating and expensive news, we’re bringing in a contractor to work on the rotting wood on our window frames. You know, I knew that owning a home would involve expensive maintenance, but I’d never guessed just how BORING the expensive maintenance would be. I imagined, you know, redoing the bathroom. Or something. Not window frames. Ah well.

So now that you’ve suffered through reading about my car and house woes, I reward you with pictures! Of cute kids! Only some of whom are mine! (And a bok choy.)

http://picasaweb.google.com/fairoriana/September2010#

Some days are just like that

Today was not the day you look back on with fond remembrance. No. No it wasn’t.

Today actually started yesterday, when I was sick. I’m never sick. I am terrible at being sick. I have no sick skills. If you got grades for ability to be sick well, I’d get a D+. Maybe. I never believe I’m sick. I refuse to acknowledge I’m sick. When forced to confront the fact I’m, you know, sick, I then proceed to try to do things I shouldn’t do and apologize profusely about inconveniencing absolutely everyone and feel guilty when I end up watching Deadliest Catch on DVR instead of being Mrs. Productivepants. But yesterday, I had to admit I was too sick. My sentences weren’t sticking together. The verbs sort of drifted right while the nouns drifted left and the thesis statement sat down on the floor and wouldn’t move. I got sent home by my boss.

Well, it was obvious to me that if I was too sick to string together coherent sentences (and you don’t want to KNOW how long I started at my screen thinking “Maybe I should compose a blog post since I’m too sick to move” and couldn’t figure out how to make an entire sentence do my bidding.), I was probably not going to be sufficiently recovered to go into the office today. Plus I had no meetings. So I stayed home, drank tea, read YA novels and took care of myself.

HA! That’s what a smart person who is sick would do. *I* took a car in to the dealership and then worked from home, quite productively.

The cars are the second reason today was a crappy day. Just before we left to go camping, Brunhilde, a fine 2002 Saturn SL1 with automatic shifting and power locks and windows, baybee starting doing something veeeery funky with this clunk every time it shifted. We took it to Midas. They identified $500 of codes that needed to be fixed. We heaved deep sighs, thanked heavens for emergency funds, and coughed up our credit card number. When we returned from the camping trip and picked her up, my husband noticed that the problem was in no way resolved. He politely mentioned this to the folks at Midas. Who, apparently, hadn’t actually DRIVEN it. So he made an appointment to bring it in this morning. He had to walk back from the dealership to our house — about two miles — in the rain.

Meanwhile, while in the second car, our 2007 Toyota Matrix named Hrothgar (or Hrothcar if I’m feeling coy), about a year and a half ago my husband got in a fender bender. This fender bender, well, bent the fender. Or the side piece of plastic that goes under the doors and prevents, um, bad stuff from, um, doing things. I don’t know what it does, but he knocked it loose. We never fixed it because, eh. My pride is not much wrapped up in my cars. On our way back from camping, in a flash of brilliance, I decided to bring the boys through a car wash. They love car washes! This one was nice and powerful… and dislodged the fender thingy almost completely so that it dragged along the ground.

On the plus side: we had duct tape in the car because we were ready for camping. On the minus side: even I have too much car pride to willingly drive a vehicle held together by duct tape.

So, unbeknownst to my husband, *I* made a car appointment to get it super glued back on or something this morning, at the EXACT time his appointment was for at the dealership, 5 miles away.

Midas took another look at Brunhilde, said, “It’s the transmission. We can’t help you. But thanks for that $500!” The Toyota dealership said, “We don’t have the parts to fix this today, but we noticed your serpentine belt is all worn out. The part will cost $500 once we order it, and the belt is $200.”

So… we’re up to $1200, and we still haven’t fixed the transmission on Brunhilde.

But still! I was cheerful! I made dinner! I sashayed a little as I peeled eggplant! My husband took the kids to the park to play after school!

He came home a few minutes before I expected him to, though. Not much of a surprise. And Thane was crying. I’d be lying if I said that was highly unusual. But when my husband came through the door, ashen-faced, he said, “Thane’s been hurt.”

Thane’s right arm lay flaccid at his side. Touching it provoked screams. You could distract him for a minute or two, but the minute it shifted at all there were more screams. We gave him Tylenol, snuggles and an ice pack. He wept bitterly and made no move to extricate himself. I called in my trump card. You see, my neighbors are nurses — one of them is an ER nurse. It looked bad to me, but I’m a programmer. What do I know? My husband called my neighbor. I carried a wailing Thane over. She gently touched his hand. Screams. She tried to move his arm. Bitter tears. “You have to take him to the ER.” It was obvious to both of us that this child had broken his arm, or wrist, or maybe clavicle.

I packed snacks (ah! The joy of being an experienced mom!), left a dinner it had taken me 90 minutes to prepare on the stove for my husband and son, and strapped my wailing child into the car for a trip to the emergency room.

He stopped crying on the way there, and recovered enough to identify the color of cars we passed. Ah, Tylenol! But still, very injured child.

When we got out, I noticed he had Puppy clutched in the broken arm. Hmmmmm.

As we went through the vitals check, he pointed to trucks in the book with the “broken” arm. Hmm hmmm…..

As I held him to give the nice lady my name, rank, insurance number and free access to my checking account, he pushed me away. Hard. With both hands. Hmmmmmmmmmm hmmmmm hmmmmmmmm.

I sat down with him. I gently palpated his finger. His hand. His wrist. His arm. His elbow. His upper arm. His shoulder. I moved his arm up and down. Nada. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

I went up and apologized to the nice woman who had taken my information, and took my perfectly find child home.

On the one hand, I’m really glad he’s perfectly fine (and I really hope that Tylenol isn’t actually good enough to block the pain of a broken arm). On the other hand… seriously. I feel like a complete idiot. And I really try very hard to respect that professionals who I know in friendly contexts are my FRIENDS and not my personal physicians or something. And I made 90 minutes making that moussaka and it was cold when I got back and it wasn’t even goooooood. WAH!

So bring on Thursday, because Wednesday was not my favorite.

Addendum:
Except while I went downstairs to fold laundry. I was watching baseball, and Grey requested to accompany me. Then he asked me how to fold clothes. Then he folded ALL his clothes the way I showed him (mostly) and many of his daddy’s. He says he wants to help me fold laundry EVERY time. And then he put his clothes away.

Knock me over with a feather.