Anybody home? This place looks deserted...
Wow, smells musty here! I'd better open some windows and wipe up some of this dust if I'm going to work here.
And spider webs on the keyboard? Nasty!
Oy! And scrub out the mildew in the toilet! Yuck!
There that's better!
Chapter One: The Return
I am Groovy and I am back.
No, really. I mean it!
Not only am I back physically, but I think I am also mentally and emotionally back from an extremely busy and demanding couple of months. I was really struggling there for a little bit to hold it all together - I was overloaded, exhausted, and depressed, but I'm good now. God has been ministering to me and blessing me and renewing me day by day. And my husband? He's been so sweet and loving and helpful and supportive.
And now I have 2 whole days with absolutely NOTHING planned and it feels heavenly!
If I were any more relaxed you'd have to scrape me up with a squeegee...
Chapter Two: The Tidal Wave of Destruction
On July 2nd we loaded up the minivan and headed toward New York to visit Funsocksgirl and J-Man. The plan was to be there midday on the 3rd so we could make a surprise party for J's dad that evening and also enjoy an early bout of fireworks around a lake.
Naturally it was raining as we drove. This did not surprise us since it has rained pretty much every day for the last 3 years. Ok, maybe it's only been
Actually, it was raining so stinkin' hard, that Mulletman was only going 50 mph on the interstate. And he even admits now that, even then, he may have driving faster than was prudent considering the conditions.
We're talking Florida-like torrential downpour with lousy visiblity and some serious hydroplaning. We were listening to our favorite radio station when Downhere was suddenly interrupted by:
Brrrrzzzzp! Brrrrzzzzp! Brrrrzzzzp!
Brrrrzzzzp! Brrrrzzzzp! Brrrrzzzzp!
This is to announce that there is a severe flash flood warning for every part of every state you are about to drive through. If you are washed away by a flash flood, please contact the Weather Safety Bureau at 1-800-Brrrrzzzzp as soon as it is safe to do so.
Brrrrzzzzp! Brrrrzzzzp! Brrrrzzzzp!
Great. Sure enough, within 10 minutes it happened to us. We were on Interstate 95 near Wells, Maine when LOOKOUT-BATMAN-WE-ARE-GOING-TO-DIE! We suddenly came upon a low lying area of the interstate that was - you guessed it (that, or all my skillful foreshadowing gave it away) - FLOODED.
We were in the middle lane with a semi to the right and a large something on the left and...
KERSPLASH!! FOOOOOOOSH! COWABUNGA, BABY!
We were completely blinded by a tidal wave. We could see nothing.
Everything went slo-mo. Mulletman and I did the silent scream thing and WHOOOOOOSH we were back to real time and we could see and there was... WHUMP! ...some big black thing on the road right in front of us.
Except now it was under the car.
We were dragging it. In the middle lane. At 50 mph.
I don't think we were breathing.
Mulletman and I gave each other a wide-eyed, fearful What-the-heck-was-THAT glance and he carefully made his way over to the right lane. Just as he pulled over the rumble strip on shoulder of the road... KARUUUUUMP! ...it (whatever it was) shot out from under the car and flew onto the grass.
And the engine died.
And the oil light came on.
And it kept on pouring. That would be the rain AND the oil.
Now, keep in mind that we have no cell phone and we had dropped our AAA a few months ago. Life was about to get very intersting (and expensive!)
Mulletman kept checking the engine, trying to figure out how bad the damage was, etc. He was soaked and freezing and at a loss for what to do. Finally, he just left the hood up and got in and sat with us, trying to get warm again while he regrouped.
Meanwhile, Silly-Head had to pee. I must say, pouring rain and umbrellas are wonderful privacy screens.
Probably 5 minutes later (it seemed like hours) a guy crossed the extremely busy roadway and came to check on us. The water had stalled his car, but he was fine. He called the police for us. The police were less than a quarter of a mile away because (surprise!) there had been a puddle/flood related accident.
Tow trucks were ordered for a wrecked Mercedes and for our van. Unfortunately, our whole family couldn't fit in our tow truck, so I had to ride in the other truck with the Mercedes owner. She had rear-ended a pick-up truck. Her car was totaled; The whole front end was crushed in. She wasn't hurt, but she was fire-breathing angry.
I can't BELIEVE that woman driving that pick-up! What an IDIOT! She drove JUST LIKE A WOMAN! I mean, here we are going 75-80 mph and she hits her brakes and I plow into her! Can you believe it? I just can't believe it! Who hits their brakes???? On the interstate!!!! Going 75-80mph! Idiot! Idiot! Idiot!
My thinking was that ANYONE going that fast in those conditions was an idiot, but I kept my mouth shut...
The truck driver, however, did speak.
Hey. Ain't that pick-up in front of us the one you hit? Yeah... I'm sure that's her. You want me to ram her? (insert evil laugh)
Anyhoo, after much driving hither and yon, we got to Brown's garage in Wells.
And we got the towing bill. The BIG towing bill.
After much discussion, we decided to rent a car and continue our trip. We left our car at the towing garage to be repaired for waaaaaaay too much money. Fortunately, God has blessed us with ability to pay.
I hope Mr. Brown enjoys his new yacht!
Hello, AAA? We'd like to sign up again!
Chapter Three: Festivities in New York
We arrived in Henrietta, NY right on time - much to our surprise. After decompressing a while with FSG and J-Man, we headed to the lake for the surprise party.
It rained. Surprise!
90+ year-old Grampa got sand dumped on his head. Surprise!
The guest of honor (J-man's dad) was an hour late. Surprise!
J-Man's dad truly WASN'T suspicious and WASN'T expecting the party despite much craziness during the planning. Surprise!
The fireworks were too loud and scary for the girls. Surprise!
We were up waaaaaaaay too late and had an hour drive back. Surprise!
We had a really nice time anyway! Surprise!
Our trip was cut a bit short by the fact that our van was living with a mechanical vampire and we wanted to rescue it. Nonetheless, we managed to thoroughly enjoy our visit. We ate out often, hung out and talked, compared Michael Jackson music videos to their respective spoofs on YouTube, watched Andy Griffith vids, saw some Wallace & Gromit clips, watched the Fourth of July fireworks from the kids' balcony (NOT too loud this time, thanks to the wind), went to the zoo, played at Chuck E. Cheese, played Bolo Ball, played card games, went to a fishery park where we got to incite many exciting feeding frenzies, and walked around with extreme sleep deprivation.
In short, it was awesome!
Chapter Four: Some Quick Updates
- Poison ivy is plentiful here in Maine and now it is encroaching on the girls' swing set. My idea was weed killer. Mulletman's idea was...
Can you guess?
He wants to borrow some goats to eat it down to nubs. Then we can kill the roots with much less toxicity.
Goats. My husband. I know, I am in shock too!
At any rate, you can bet I was ALL OVER that. My friend Wendy has agreed to lend us some poison eaters if we can just figure out some safe, sturdy, cheap, temporary fencing. We've gotta keep the little buggers in and the coyotes and neighborhood dogs OUT.
- Tomorrow I am entering Writers Weekly's short story contest. I won't win, but maybe the forced writing will get my muse whipped back into shape.
- Remember my lamenting the loss of my flat belly? It was just bloat. All is well. Now if I can just do something with my scarecrow hair!
- Mulletman went running before church Sunday and got bit by a large dog. Maybe we can put some of that goat fencing around him too!
- Notcon4med is coming to visit next week. Woot!
- I get to do a wedding cake for a dear friend next month. Woot! Woot!
-Now I need to quit blogging so I can...um, HEY! I don't need to do ANYTHING today.
Woot! Woot! Woot! Woot! WOOT!
So I guess I'll come visit all of you!!!!!!!
It's so nice to be here with all my netty friends. I hope you enjoyed your visit.
No, I'm not upset with you for laughing at my misfortunes.
Ah. You know my exciting, but theoretical "2 whole days with absolutely NOTHING planned"? Well... I finished here and cheerfully went off to visit Tubby Bear's blog. I blessed him with a winsome comment and then clicked over to say Howdy! to Anno. I was just in the middle of typing something about farmshare veggies on her blog comments when the phone rang.
I ignored it. (as usual)
It rang again and stopped. Then it rang through and the answering machine picked up.
It was mom. She was sobbing and hysterical because a hornet had just stung her eye!
She has this little back porch with a storage shed on her duplex. Apparently she went out back to hang some damp slacks to dry. As she was hanging the first pair, the evil hornet of doom - who, incidentally, was housekeeping in her storage shed - stung her eye. Almost immediately the rest of the swarm came after her (hornets can be quite aggressive!). Her front door was locked, so the only way into the house was back the way she came. So she was screaming and beating them off with the other 2 pair of slacks.
Fortunately, she didn't get any more bites/stings!
She has had severe allergy reactions in the past and she has some pretty serious eye problems now, so I dropped everything, left the girlies to fend for themselves and rushed her to the hospital E.R.
The E.R. took her in immediately and both the doctor and the nurse were wonderful - very calm and soothing and attentive.
We spent 2 hours+ there and then another 40 minutes at the store waiting for her prescriptions. Then I brought her back home with me for several hours to "observe" her. (Actually, I wasn't worried about her having a reaction or anything. I just knew she needed more family time and reassurance after her little trauma.)
She's fine now, praise the Lord, and "the guys" (the maintenance men at her development) destroyed the nest and killed the offensive insects. In fact, I think they spent most of the day going from duplex to duplex killing hornets because other folks had been complaining and another little old invalid lady had been stung on the face the same day.
Anyhoo, all is well now, but my quiet, peaceful day was a bit more exciting than I had planned on!