July 29, 2013

Blue Monday

I am attempting to maintain a good attitude, to not take my frustrations out on my children...so far it is working, but my fuse is getting shorter with each minute that passes...

It all started 10 days ago...we'd taken our truck into the dealership shop for some planned/expected service...in January, we were told that we needed all manner of things done to the tune of around $3000.  We did what was necessary (brakes) and put the rest off...it started out all well and good - drop truck off, ask for oil change, differential, blah, blah, blah amounting to "make truck better please"...that evening, the Service Writer calls and tells us that as the tech was removing the last spark plug, it broke and that they wouldn't be able to finish the truck that night.  I'm wondering \ how, exactly, one breaks a spark plug, and why it couldn't be removed and replaced in the 52 minutes prior to them closing for the night...but needless to say, they kept our truck overnight.  No huge deal - BB has a motorcycle, and I have my car.  We were fine.

BB went to pick up the truck the next day, and it was one of those "pull out of the dealership, drive home, park it in the garage" sort of things...we were exhausted, it had been a crazy week.  That was on Friday.  Saturday night, we loaded up into the truck and drove to Saturday night service for Church, went to dinner, came home and as we were driving home the Check Engine light came on...Strike 1.  We pulled into the garage and BB lifted the hood to see if maybe they'd forgotten to tighten the oil cap when they changed the oil and discovered HUGE, deep scratch in our hood...Strike 2.  Being Saturday night at 8pm, there was nothing to do but wait til Monday morning.

BB fixed our sprinklers, we had a birthday meal for my mom, and prepared for our week.  BB took the truck to the dealership Monday morning, had their courtesy shuttle take him to the office and we began our week - wherein I had discovered I was being asked to work in the bookstore that has space in our Church, decided that if I was going back to work, I'd better get myself cracking down on my lengthy project list I'd been procrastinating for the better part of 7 years.   Around 10am, the dealership called me telling me the light had come one because we needed a new fuel pump.  To the tune of another $900...Strike 3...we proceeded with the service because neither BB nor I are mechanically inclined beyond changing a flat tire, and basic filter and fluids...Part got ordered, delivered and installed, and BB brought home the truck and we again parked it in the garage.  The kids and I spent the week deep cleaning the main and 2nd floors of the house - seriously cleaning...baseboards were scrubbed, handles, knobs, switches, walls, windows, fans, light bulbs were all cleaned.  I took a damp rag along the carpets where they meet the baseboards to pull loose any junk that my vacuum doesn't get (ick...), we emptied closets, tried on clothes, filled 2 lawn bags with trash and recycling...it was cathartic.  I did somewhere around 22 loads of wash, patched holes in walls, touched up paint, and hung curtains in Princess' room...

Friday night, BB looked at our deck (built of pressure-treated lumber for joists, beams, and posts and Tr.ex decking) and noticed that our pool (a big soft-sided one with an inflatable ring) was listing to the South...we inspected the underside and discovered that a joist was broken...Strike 4.  Instead of having a whole team of people to empty, clean, reorganize and re-load our shed, I was left to do it alone while BB moved sprinklers in preparation of where our pool would be living from here on out.  We went to my brother's housewarming party, and had a lovely dinner/date night...

Sunday found us trying to do all the prep work for repairing the joist - cutting down rose bushes, clearing out junk that has accumulated under our deck over the last 10 years (which is a LOT).

We decided that we needed something fun after working all weekend, so we loaded up after lunch, went to a cool nearby Mall and then came home, grabbed our Shelby girl for training class, went to training class, brought her back home, then went to dinner at a local steakhouse.

This morning, I was tasked with the errands of getting a new joist, and materials for repairing window screens, returning the League baseball equipment on behalf of BB, buying food for Shelby, and returning a small chipper/shredder to my folks.  I loaded up the baseball gear and chipper into the truck, drove to my folks, hit the gas station to fill the tank, where we were parked next to some idiot that decided that he could leave the nozzle in his tank, FILLING the tank while he went in to the store for a soda...the automatic stop thingy didn't stop, so about 5 gallons of gas was spewing out of his gas tank all over the ground.  I ran over to stop the pump, and the car on the other side of the island told the employees.  The owner of the car came sauntering out, soda in hand, calmly saying "that's never happened - it's supposed to stop when the tank's full", didn't say thank you to anyone involved in the situation, but waited til the employees were a bit out of his way and zoomed away...Strike 5...

We made it to the store for joist and screen stuff, no issues...paid, and as I was braking at the stop sign at the exit of the parking lot, my 6-month-old rear brakes started squealing again (we'd been told last week there "just brake dust" in them)...Strike 6.  We'd driven not even a mile from the store when the Check Engine Light came on AGAIN!!!! Strike 7.  I called the shop and left a message for our Service Writer, came home, unloaded all the stuff in the truck, put the kids and baseball stuff in my car, and went our not-so-merry-way to the Feed/Ranch store from which we buy our pet supplies.  Again, no issues, right in, grab a cart, grab bags of food (got one for FREE today!!!!!!), pay and as we're heading out, Littlest One begins wailing behind me...and I turn to discover that somehow, she's gotten her sandal caught on something and instead of stopping and asking/waiting for help, she yanked her foot free and broke her sandal...Strike 8

I swoop her up, stick her in the cart, load up the car, and take the kids to a local school that is hosting a Summer Food Service lunch (kids 18 and under eat free, and adult meals are only $3)...Dealership calls back and says they can't look at the truck til tomorrow...Strike 9, and that it may be a faulty fuel pump...Strike 10

Instead of coming home and tackling another project, we watched the end of Dis.ney's Mu.lan, snuggled a bit, and then I sent them for naps because I need a break.

I didn't, however, raise my voice, lose my temper, voice frustration or anger, complain, or gripe about anything other than the idiot at the gas station (which I simply said "that man made a dangerous and dumb choice")...

I have thanked God for controlling my tongue, because that was truly Divine Intervention...and for holding my thoughts captive.

I am tired, worn out, have the beginnings of a chest cold and just want to take a nap...so I'm logging off, to go lay in bed and read for a bit while I listen to the rain fall, and be thankful for the moisture that is alleviating the drought conditions, minimizing fire season, and keeping me from having to run my sprinklers and pay the City for the privilege of a green lawn and growing garden...

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