I woke up five minutes before my alarm went off, to talk to a bookkeeper about a bill. Yes, we owed more than she told me back in the spring. Sigh. But she's happy to expect payments in September and October to finish it. After that, we won't owe anything until the next repair, or Spring, whichever comes first.
Then I tackled the bills next to my keyboard, including balancing the checkbook. The third shoe fell from Flar's visit to the ER back in June. 1
The ugly chore of bills having been settled, I lolled about with a nice breakfast until Knight showed up to help me with my car. First we bought a new wheel at Day's. 2 Then we drove to S&S auto to have them put the tire on the new wheel and do an alignment.
While they were looking at the car, we walked over to Sonic for a bite, then Wal-Mart for cascade, salt, and storage devices. I bought a useful drawer for Tigger's brought-home-from school-work, and a useful set of drawers to hold three years of receipts for easy filing and retrieval. Knight bought a gift for a co-worker who is leaving.
Then we walked back to get the bad news about my car. I got so flustered by the time he got to the phrase $800, that I was almost crying. I really didn't catch the details, except that he couldn't do the alignment without a lot of money, and that wires were showing in both front tires.3 Knight told him to rotate the tires, and we left for $20.
I am not a car gal. Flar knows more about cars than I do, I wouldn't call him a car guy. Brody is the car guy in Flar's generation of his family. Knight is my car guy. 'Swhy he accompanied me yesterday. Anticipating that help was part of calming me down on Saturday. I know how to drive safely in a regular, working car. I'm far from perfect at executing that. I know book knowledge about some basic irregular car conditions. I do not feel competent to drive a not working car. I have two days now of being explained ways cars can work improperly -- explanations meant to help me understand what is going on -- but the information doesn't stick. Heck, I still don't get the hemi explanation, which is just for fun knowledge: I mean, which direction is convex? Toward the spark or way? Or, does hemi refer to a concavity?
So, back to my car. The alignment is so bad that the tires have been eaten alive. Rotating them means putting better tires in front, and buys me a week to drive around.
We got home in time to take the boys to the 5:15 showing of Herbie.
Before we went into the movie, my lead called me. Twinoven and her hubby have two children already, with twins on the way. They have two five seaters, and they're looking get into a minivan, somehow. I tossed her my idea of a trade: my car, with repair money, for her working car. The one she'd have for trade is a '92 Mercury Marquis with 66K on it. I also told her my concerns about the car, and we agreed to talk with our husbands and talk again tomorrow.
I think I'm grieving for my car. I've owned it too long, and I'm not ready for it to be junk. But, I'm afraid it's time for it to go, and that it wouldn't be a reliable car for a young family. And, I'm pretty sure I'm not going to get the $1500 we've wanted for it, since it needs so much mechanical work.
After the movie, I told Flar all of this. He said we could always rent a car for me to drive while we figure it out, and asked me whether I wanted to do that. Thinking about how I felt, quivering in the S&S Tire store, I told him I don't want to make decisions about my car. I don't feel competent to know about it anymore.
So he told me we would pursue three course of actions concurrently: (1) look into choices of cars at the local lot that offers $2k push/pull/tow trade-ins. 4 (2) offer a straight-trade for the '92 Marquis and my car, with various problems repaired. 5 (3) drive my car a few days and see if I should get a rental. Then I fell apart at the prospect of yet another decision.
I got Critter to pack me a dinner while I changed for work, and arrived only 1.5 hours late.
Work is supposed to be my stress-relief. But they've been remodelling the building lately. The elevator work has been meaning that I've had to walk down the stairs to leave at night, but last night it wouldn't come to the ground floor, either.
And, they've started the work on the backdoor sidewalk, that means we have to use the front entrance. On the other side of the building from the parking lot. With the more sensitive door entry key, that took about 8 tries before it excepted my card.
So I drove to the office in a bit of a mood, which only got worse between my car and the ops room. There was only one queue of 600+ documents that were about 80% up-arrow/enter/up-arrow/enter/enter/pick-a-l
Getting to bitch WITH someone instead of rant AT them was quite helpful to my mood, really.
On the way home, I called Flar to warn him of my early arrival and to request an alcoholic concoction. Then I called Knight and asked about getting an estimate from Mooks to counter S&S.
Flar obliged me with a blend of cranberry, orange, banana liqueur and cashaca, and then talked to me about my day and his, while I sorted some receipts into my brightly colored envelopes in my new receipts filing system.6
By the end of the day, prospects seemed brighter, and I went to bed early with Flar.
Some of the brightening:
1 Flar is going to look into the bill to verify all of it is owed, and then I can call the hospital and make arrangements for payments.
2 It's quite likely I'll be able to return the wheel to Day's, as S&S said my wheel wasn't in very bad shape.
3 Knight explained in smaller words on phone later, and then emailed me what to tell Mooks this morning.
4 This would involve a small loan, but I'm making enough at Source right now to cover it.
5 So I'm to get an estimate from Mooks, then find out where to do AC work and get an estimate, then buy new tires -- assuming they like the deal, and Flar likes the Marquis.
6 Flar is ever closer to reaching agreement on a deal with one of his clients that would pay our monthly health insurance and get him a car lease, so that really is a bright spot on the October horizon.
The rest of the brightening involved making a new icon for my whiney bad day posts, hanging out with Knight in his sick bed this morning (bronchitis is not particularly infectious) watching Wonderfalls and a really weird new reality/game show, and finally, driving home in Knight's car. He's off until the weekend, so I get to drive his car while mine's in the shop.
And now, for the laundry! (cue the super-mom theme music, take three steps, and point one hand)