Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Stupid Mini Van

I seem to have bad luck in the vehicle department. Earlier this spring, this happened:

Notice the wonky angle of the tire. That’s due to a snapped ball joint. It snapped while I was driving down a gravel road at about 45 miles per hour. Needless to say, I swerved out of control. Luckily I was able to keep the vehicle on the road and upright.

But as you can see by the tracks in the pictures, it was a close one. Hitting that ditch at 45 mph would definitely caused a roll over. My kids were with me, so I’m sure you can understand how lucky we were. We were also only about 5 miles away from home and only had to wait for about 10 minutes before my hubby came to pick us up, which was also quite lucky.

Fast forward a couple of weeks, and I got a flat tire. Like the snapped ball joint, this was on the rear drivers side. I drove all the way to work (remember that it’s a 43 mile drive) without noticing it. By chance my husband had made his monthly trip to town that day and was able to patch it up while I was working. Again, I was quite lucky.
Well, this morning my luck ran out. As I type this (in a word processor document, which I’ll paste into blogger later) I am sitting in my van on the side of the road. Flat tire again. Rear driver’s side again. This time, I didn’t make it all of the way to work. This time, I wasn’t just five minutes from home. I’m halfway to work.

I tried to use my handy built in air compressor, but nearly 10 minutes crouched at the side of the road only produced 1 additional psi in my tire. I tried to limp the rest of the way to the nearest town, which is only about 4 miles away, but the “thump, thump, thump” noise and bouncing made me change my mind and find a nice place to pull off the road. My husband is on his way. Supposedly. I’ve been sitting here a long time.

Sitting here in my broken down vehicle makes me miss my old car. It was the best car ever. I drove that sucker for over 100,000 miles my very own self and I was never broken down on the side of the road. Not once in five years. I loved that car so much that I crammed three car seats in the back for nearly a year. It was a Pontiac Vibe and was clearly not designed for three car seats in the back seat. But I crammed those kids back there and listened to them complain about being squished because I loved that car.

With the new mom-mobile mini van, we have a lot more room but we seem to have a lot more problems as well. Ugh! I wish we had mass transit! What I wouldn’t do for a rural train system…

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

On the benefits of domestic employees

For the summer, I've hired a teenager to stay at my home and care for my children. This allows me to wake up super early and get only myself dressed, fed, and out the door. If I shower the night before, I can do it in twenty minutes. I can then drive to work and put in a 10 hour day while my children sleep in as late as they'd like and spend a leisurely day tootling around the house. I found a particularly wonderful teenager, and I come home to happy children and a clean home. And since I hired a teenager and not a professional nanny, it's not any more expensive than my usual daycare bill.

It's bliss, pure bliss.

Coming home to a clean house is the most amazing, life changing thing that's happened to me since the birth of my last child. I marvel at the sudden existence of free time. I obviously give her the weekends off, but the effects of her presence continue while she's gone. This weekend I:

* did like 12 loads of laundry
* organized my entry and finally got all of the hats and mittens washed and stored away. Yes, it's June and I still had hats and mittens out.
* shampooed the carpet in the entry. It was really gross and took a long time.
* crocheted 5 or 6 dishclothes. We were running low.
* hooked up the new modem and wireless router. Our old one was fried when we got hit by lightening a couple of weekends ago.
* watched Julie and Julia from Netflix via our wii. So handy... and I can fold laundry when it has to take little loading breaks. And Meryl Streep needs more Oscars. That woman is amazing.
* put a good sized dent in the flooring installation in my bedroom. It's been partially tiled for like 6 months. I think that I'll finally be able to finish it this week.
* cleaned the rarely used dining room (also known as storage room #2). The table is completely clear.
* dusted. really!
* scrubbed (really scrubbed and not just wiped down quickly) the shower. I forgot that it was white and not the ivory color that it usually looks.
* started a lovely shawl for a friend who's getting married in August.
* went fishing.
* went shopping for something other than groceries (crafting supplies for the friend's wedding gift).
* snuggled my kids.

* snuggled my husband.

I love my life right now.