Saturday, February 09, 2008

What a week

We began the week still down to one vehicle, with a prediction from the repair shop of Friday for finishing.

This was VERY unwelcome news, as it meant our entire routine was completely upended. This was the last week of basketball and I seriously needed to attend the games (both high school and middle school ones) to take pictures and to support my students. We also have Isaac's piano lessons in Denton each Tuesday. It was not shaping up to be a pleasant week trying to coordinate our far-flung schedules with one van (which had grinding brakes itself).

Tuesday during my lunch hour, I got a call letting me know that Isaac's piano teacher needed to reschedule the lesson for Thursday afternoon.

Then Tuesday afternoon Rick called to say that his vehicle was finally fixed and he'd gotten a church member to drive him over to the repair shop to pick it up.

Hallelujah!! I missed the Monday night games, but the Tuesday ones were a "go."

This morning, after attending a morning tournament game for the middle school girls, we drove down to Denton to the JustBrakes place. They charge $99 for a regular servicing, and I knew the brakes were sounding really, really bad. The guy there manning the phones was super-nice and very professional. After JoeMama picked us up and took us to her house, he called with the bad news. Apparently my calipers had been set improperly the last time someone had worked on them, and I'd been driving around with too-tight brakes which had worn down to metal-on-metal. He said it wasn't my fault, that I hadn't been treating them badly, they were just not fully releasing.

And, unfortunately, because everything on the front brakes had to be completely re-done, it was going to cost five times as much.

I knew he was right, though. I can usually sense pretty well when a mechanic is BSing me, and I had known all week that the brakes just didn't feel like normal squealy brakes that needed pad replacement. I told him to go ahead with it.

There's a great deal to be said for a specialty repair place such as JustBrakes... since all they do is brakes, they've got the needed parts on-hand for pretty much anything to do with brakes and they get it done right then. Rick seems to be fixated on using a Midas repair shop, no matter where we live... which is fine for him, but because they're an all-purpose place, they always have to order the parts and it takes a lot longer and we're out a vehicle while we wait.

This time, I decided to just take care of it myself instead of letting Rick work out the details as usual. It had only been a couple of days since we'd gotten his van out of the shop; I wasn't terribly keen on spending another week being shuttled around in it, waiting for mine to be done.

Add to that, the postal worker who he replaces on the weekends is very, very pregnant and due at any time. Once she goes on leave, he'll be working Monday through Saturday driving the postal route. And once that happens, we really do need both vehicles to be in working order. He had had to use my van twice to drive his rural postal route, and it's just not set up to operate from the passenger seat well.

Five hundred dollars poorer, but my van doesn't grind to a halt now.


I just got an e-mail from Dawn in Haiti; she said that one of my friends from Cayes was killed in an accident coming back from a trip to the Dominican Republic (the country on the other side of the island of Hispaniola). He was a music minister in his church and was the one who had gone out of his way to find me a "tambou" (a Haitian goatskin drum) as a gift from the Haitian teachers.

She also mentioned that music camp is scheduled for July 20.

Yes, I'm tempted. I have air miles collected on a credit card that HAVE to be used up this year. And if I have the repair surgery in early June, that should be a decent recovery time.

I *so* miss Haiti. I'd really really really like to go back.

We shall see.


Last night, the varsity girls basketball team played in a game which would determine whether or not they'd go on to the playoffs. We were all quite excited about the game; the principal had asked me to put together an impromptu "pep rally" during lunch, which I did cheerfully. hehe "Cheer" fully... ha! I got the teachers together and we did cheers in the cafeteria.

At the game, the cheerleaders asked me to run a sign across the floor in front of the stands to get the crowd excited. I'm game for that kind of silliness, of course, so I did. I ran across the floor, holding the sign above my head. The crowd cheered crazily. I switched directions to run back, but my feet didn't follow along willingly, and I landed on the floor with a >SMACK<. The crowd laughed hysterically, and I hopped up and finished my run with a laugh.

After I got home, however, I realized that I wasn't unhurt. My left shoulder (which I had landed on) was complaining loudly. I took some Aleve -- which is a no-no with my tummy in such bad shape, but my pain relief choices are nil since Tylenol has been nixed due to possible liver issues -- but I puked it back up shortly afterward, so it didn't matter anyway.

Today it's still very sore. If it's no better on Monday, I'll be scheduling a visit to an orthopedic doctor to see what's wrong with it.

I swear, if it isn't one thing, It's another.


The pediatric shrink decided to try Depakote instead of lithium for Martha. We're in transition for the next few weeks, which means lots of explosive moods and abusive verbiage. (Why is that different from the usual? you might ask) She seems to be completely oblivious to the effect her behaviors and words have on the rest of us. She wanted to go to the Valentines Dance next Friday night, and the requirement for this privilege was that she couldn't get any "time-outs" (we've had to resort to this sort of toddler-esque punishment to effect any change, since nothing else seems to work). Today she was in one of her perpetually rude moods, which eventually resulted in a time-out. I feel bad about her not going to the dance, because I want her to develop friendships. Sometimes I really, really don't like motherhood. I'm just hoping I can make it out alive. I pray continually that she can get some relief soon; it must be exhausting to be that angry all the time.

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