Monday, August 14, 2006
It puts things in perspective
So. I've been having car troubles. While driving last week, we heard a 'clunk' and my car got louder. I recognized this noise as the exhaust breaking at the front of the car (catalytic converter) rather than the back (when the muffler falls off LOL). I brought it in Friday to be fixed, and yes, they had to replace the exhaust system from the cat back. The muffler was under warrenty, but the tail pipe was almost three hundred dollars! I bit the bullet and paid around 400.00, figuring it was due for an exhaust system, normal wear and tear, blah blah and blah. When they were done, I went to drive away and realized that a) the car is even LOUDER than when I brought it in, b) when in drive the car had a vibration so strong that it gave me double vision, and c) it was only loud INSIDE the car. Outside, it sounded like a typical Ford Escort (kind of like a golf cart with athsma). It was too late in the day for them to fix it right then and I needed the car over the weekend so I decided to wait until this week to bring it back. Today they had an appointment open, and I was figuring that maybe one of the clamps was too tight or attached to the wrong part of the frame and just needed adjusting (that happened the last time I got a new exhaust system, but at the back of the car). It turns out that the ONE bolt that holds my engine in place was sitting on one of the hoses, the nut was gone, and my engine was essentially being held in place by the hoses and the new exhaust system. We think the clunk I heard was the nut falling off, the bolt falling out, and my engine falling. The added strain and sudden weight knocked off the exhaust system, which was probably ready to go out on it's own anyway (it was pretty rusted where it broke, that is why there was no reason to look much further into the problem). The mechanic had noticed that the engine was low, and recomended that I consider replacing the mounts soon, but the extent of the problem was only visible from the above view, and he pretty much was only looking at the underside of the car where the exhaust system is. The engine was now sitting directly on the frame and new exhaust system, causing the heavy vibration and noise. I was like, wow, I never considered the engine might try to fall out! The mechanic told me that it was no joking matter. If I had been driving and it let go fully, that engine would have fallen, bounced, and likely killed both DD and I. I DROVE THAT CAR ALL WEEK-END. WITH MY DAUGHTER IN IT. I made the decision to drive it all week-end and bring it in this week because I was lazy and didn't want to have to walk to pick up DD from day camp. My own laziness could have killed my child. They fixed it, no charge, but it was very sobering. This was not the kind of thing to think about with a sore throat, sinus headache, and aching ears. Saturday night we went to a campfire at my brother's house. What he has done with his yard is rather impressive. Immense plantings with paths winding through, a sitting area with fire pit, a grassy strip with a horseshoe pit, a tiki bar, and more. The bugs were out so he lit some of those citronella torches. I think I am part bug, because if I am anywhere and they have those things out, I spend the next few days with a sore throat, headache, and sore ears. And I am withdrawing from a medication because my prescription ran out, and my doctor is insisting on a visit and blood test before renewing. Itching like crazy, like I am being bit by mosquitoes only not. This happened the last time as well. It sounds like poor planning, but because of insurance restrictions and things this is the only way we can do it, and I have to endure two weeks of intense itching that the doctor and drug company insist is completely unrelated, but only happens when the prescription runs out. But what do I know, I drove a car around for two days with the engine ready to fall into my lap. As I write this I am eating a tomato sandwich. Toasted bread, miracle whip type stuff, salt, pepper, and slices of a sun warmed vine ripened home grown tomato. It was the last of the miracle whippy stuff but just the beginning of tomato season, which sounds like a big problem since I won't be buying any more. Don't panic! There is another version of the sandwich that calls for toasted bread, butter, salt and pepper, thin slivers of sweet onion, and slices of a sun warmed vine ripened home grown tomato that I enjoy just as much. It gives me onion breath (poor DH) but that is the price we pay for bliss on bread. Notice how I am much better about paying these prices when it is others that get the brunt of them...after all, DH has to endure the breath even though he doesn't get to partake in the beauty of the sandwich. And I am ok with that ;). Shhhhhhhh. Do you think they know they are about to be eaten? I wonder if they have a feeling something is going on. Poor tomato family. Mommy, Daddy, baby. Or, more appropriately, breakfast, lunch, and salad. On a side note, why the heck is my windowsill so dirty, and why did it take a picture for me to notice? I am a bad baaaaaaad housekeeper. I have a question. On any given day, Ruby asks to go outside a million times. By "ask" I generally mean that she gives me a meaningful stare, but sometimes she actually 'wuffs" or spits, or oofs at me and leads me towards the sliding door. Many times she immediately plops down on the step and looks forelorn. Why does she ask to go outside if she doesn't want to go? What must the neighbours think, seeing her sitting on the step looking sad and bored. Do they say to themselves "What a bunch of meanies, making that poor dog sit outside like that"?. If only they knew! I have a second question. How dirty is this window, and like the windowsill, why did it take a picture for me to notice? Crikey.