Here I am, trying to be a good daughter and wife and aunt and friend and all that, and this past weekend was just a cavalcade of one f**k-up after another! I decided to go to Birmingham to tell Dad about his fan club and since I was going to attend my brother-in-law's birthday party I also packed up a pile of stuff for my niece since she's becoming sort of a VintageChristine-ette and I love it that someone in my family actually wants old crap--I have a bunch of Mom's wedding silverplate that we had tried to sell when we opened up the antique mall booth but no one wants to pay what it's worth. Of course now I'm banging holes in some of the pieces to make windchimes, but the really nice serveware is going to the family. I also took I HEART George pendants for female family members and the book I just had printed with all my 2010 blog posts.
I "loaned" it to Dad but it's actually his to keep. Oh, and friends--he was THRILLED TO DEATH with the fan club and would LOVE to receive fan mail from y'all! He lives for the mail since he doesn't have access to a computer.
Then I hopped in the car along with my trusty doggie companion, Holly, and off we went, stopping first at Mickey D's for a bit of greasy sustenance and a "senior" coffee. An hour out, I spilled the nice hot steaming coffee all down my right leg and for the NEXT hour went through all kinds of hilarious-if-you-saw-them-if-you-were-a-truck-driver contortions trying to keep my right leg above the seat to dry off while at the same time trying not to drive into a ditch and kill myself. I reached Laurel, MS and (unbeknownst to my husband) took the off-ramp there to hit an estate sale. Immediately thereafter, my car started making a horrible grinding grating I'M GOING TO EXPLODE noise and became almost impossible to steer. I managed to get myself into a gas station parking lot and, hysterically called my husband. We assumed our brand new one-month old $3,000 rebuilt by Aamco transmission had blown up so I got towed to the local Aamco garage where we discovered that the transmission was fine but a HUGE bolt holding the brake caliper thingie to the wheel had busted loose. One of those things that the mechanic looks at and goes, "Wow, I've never seen THAT happen before!" and you feel just, oh I don't know, so darn proud of yourself and your vee-hickle.
So Mike drives up with the Dodge diesel pickup, I transfer all my crap and the dog, he drives back home with the stupid-looking doughnut tire on the car and I head on up to Birmingham. Went to see Dad the next a.m., dropped off the box of goodies to my niece, and then decided that I really just wanted to go home after all the excitement yesterday.
By way of introduction to our truck, something is causing it to ding ding ding in an erratic fashion because there's a loose wire somewhere in its bowels that makes it think a lamp is out. Which there's not. There's no rhyme or reason or particular time this happens, but once it starts, the dinging is about on a par with the constantly yapping dog next door on the irritation scale. Of course we've taken it to the dealer, they ran it through their computer, and of course found nothing wrong. When we suggested that they just dismantle the warning bell, they reacted like this: "WHAT?! YOU CAN'T DO THAT!", then did the sign of the cross, threw garlic at us and locked the door. Well, of course I might be exaggerating a bit, but there is no way in hell anyone is going to stop the ding. Apparently you can't just cut a wire--you have to basically get a whole new computer.
So, I'm merrily driving down the interstate, my stomach clenching everytime I hit a bump (which on Alabama roads is about every six inches or so) since that tends to set off the dinging, and of course it starts up. Just one ding to start, then nothing for a mile or so, then another ding or two, then nothing, then ding ding ding ding ding ding ding, then nothing, then all hell breaks loose and it's like the truck is screaming, "I have aliens in my head and I can't get them out and it hurts like a muhfuh and ding ding ding ding ding!!!!!"
Then it stops and it's quiet for 40 miles.
And then, 20 miles outside of Laurel, MS (yes, that same Laurel, MS from yesterday), the truck jerks and gasps, the temperature gauge shoots into the stratosphere, I hear major grinding, my power steering and power brakes disappear, smoke starts pouring from the engine, and I assume that it's going to blow up and I silently say bye-bye to my dear husband. I managed to get it into ANOTHER gas station parking lot, got out the cellphone, called you-know-who and said with the greatest of irony, "Honey, you won't BELIEVE what the f**k just happened."
Waited for an hour and a half for the towtruck and spent another hour and a half in gloomy pissed off silence as the driver got me home. Turns out the waterpump had blown up, shredded the belt, punched holes in the fan and sprayed water/antifreeze everywhere (hence the smoke). We had a replacement waterpump since Mike squirrels away things like that like I squirrel away Fenton glass so all we had to spend money on was a new belt and more antifreeze (the fan is still usable, it just looks like plastic-eating mice got at it).
Unfortunately the wheel wasn't so easy to replace but Mike found one online for $189--couldn't find one at any of the million and a half junkyards dotting the landscape down here.
So that's how MY weekend went, my dear friends. On the plus side, Dad is doing just GREAT and is looking forward to hearing more about his fan club. If you'd like to drop him a line, send me an email so I can share his address.
I've been meaning to share photos of my fabulous rain oil lamp (only took a year and a half to get it hung up) and a few other things, so now that I've completely zombiefied you with this tale of woe, here's some fabulousness! This is a corner of my living room and I love the PBN's, sunburst clock, gravel art kitties, and my newest Jesus Knocking On The Door light-up picture. The rain oil lamp fits in perfectly!!
What's so cool is the oil beads march down perfectly one after the other. Amazing! Don't you just love Miss Naughtiness?
Now, this is just the most awesome little lamp and it looks like it's right out of one of the greatest movies of all time, "Invaders From Mars". Remember how those big goofy Martians would lumber around, then point their ray guns at a rock wall, fire, the wall would go all bubbly and then explode and they'd lumber on through. That's exactly what this lamp reminds me of! The shade is plastic but the legs are wood and it works. Verrrrrrrrry cool.