Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Told you I needed to be able to blog about other stuff

Man, am I ever glad I got those memes out of the way yesterday. Because today is a whole new chapter.

Remember the The Amazing Technicolor Dream Van?

(I was going to post a picture, but I guess I was so THANKFUL not to have to drive it anymore that I took it off my computer. You'll just have to click on the link to refresh your memory.)

(Back? Good.)

So, last spring I was blessed to procure the car I'd really always wanted, and put away the van. It was a good thing - there was no air conditioner, and I was slightly embarrassed to pull up to interviews and news stories, dripping with sweat, and exit a vehicle that looked like a box of Crayolas.

Man, am I ever shallow.

Anyway - the point is, I haven't had to drive that van in over a year. And, up until last summer, it was a "backup" vehicle. Amanda drove it for a while after she'd wrecked her car, and my mom borrowed it for I remember not what reason.

But, in the time of rising gas prices and not-rising salaries, both my mother and my sister repeatedly ran the gas tank VERY low. And so, one summer night last year, as my mom was using the van to ferry stuff to her storage room here in town, the fuel pump quit. My dad - the mechanic - said it was probably (at least partly) due to having to work so hard to get the last little bits of fuel out of the tank.

Not that I'm blaming anyone, mind you. That's my dad's job.

Thankfully, she was just around the corner, literally, from my house when it happened. So they pushed it to my backyard, where it has sat for the past year. Steadfast and unmovable.

Jason has mowed the grass around it.

But last week, my dad and Jason took a couple of parts off of another van he was about to send to the scrapyard, including a fuel pump and an air conditioner condenser. And Jason spent the past few days repairing The Amazing Technicolor Dream Van, which, since it has been immobile for a year, has now added "pollen green" to its list of colors.

And I was all, "Now we can sell it!" And Jason was all "We can sell my Jeep, and I can drive the van!"

It has been, shall we say, a bone of contention betwixt us.

Because I feel it would be slightly "emasculating" for Jason to drive the van. The Jeep is cool! It's macho! And it's all one color!

Like I said. Shallow.

Well, Jason seems to be getting his wish. Because yesterday as he pulled into the driveway after a trip to Memphis (wherein he found that all the stuff in the freezer at the auction was ruined, thanks to a tripped breaker) all manner of steam started spewing from beneath his hood.

Because it seems that one of the pulleys on the engine (you know, the round things that hold on the belt) had bent, and, in addition to freeing the one belt from its important place in engine operations, cut into the metal pipe attached to the water pump.

So, now we're down a belt. And a pulley. And most likely a water pump. And hopefully nothing else. Because, remember, we just spent a couple hundred dollars on that Jeep, replacing the alternator and its bracket when he was in South Carolina.

Unfortunately, the van wasn't quite ready for Jason to drive it this morning. The tags had expired in February, and by the time he got home, the tag office was closed.

(He also tried the "We haven't charged the air conditioner" ploy with me, but I reminded him that I'd driven PLENTY of miles in that van with no AC. Don't even start that junk!)

My parents came to get Anna Marie last night, and my dad drove the van back to his house to put a vacuum on the AC system to make sure it will hold the freon. And Jason said, "Do you mind if I take your car to work tomorrow?" And I responded, "Um, do I really have a choice?" Because why would he even ASK? I can walk to work. If I need to go somewhere while I'm here, I have use of a company car. And his workplace is 30 miles away. Ergo, common sense would dictate that I'm hoofing it for the next two days.

And so I did - down to the court house (oh, don't feel bad, it's only about 3/4 of a mile from my house) and to my office. And I'll be hoofing it home and back for lunch, and then doing the same thing (minus the tag trip) tomorrow.

But, I'm trying to look on the bright side. Yes, things are difficult right now. But we just fixed the van two days ago. And we didn't have to pay for those parts (which would've cost about $400) because they came off a van my dad was going to junk anyway. And Jason did the work himself, so there was no labor cost. And Jason can take my car to work, because I can very easily walk and since school hasn't started yet, I don't have to worry about getting Anna Marie there.

And it might be hot outside, but the sun is shining. And I can wear capris and flip flops to work, so it isn't like I have to walk over to my office in hose and heels.

And yes, school starts next week, but I've bought almost all of her supplies already. And she's been so blessed by a lady at Jason's job, that I don't have to buy her any new clothes!

Since we've been exposed to some new music at Cornerstone Church, Jason's gotten into the habit of finding the new songs on the 'net and loading them onto his Zune. But there's been one that I spent a good bit of time last night after he went to bed trying to find, with no luck. But today, as the lyrics run through my head, I can't help but think that my search was not totally in vain.

Because it talks about how God is able to do "exceedingly, abundantly above all that we could ask or think." And about His love washing over us. And right now, that's what I need to remember - that He's got everything under control, and He loves me very much.

Besides - I've been unable to stop my hand from entering the box of Lucky Charms and grabbing a few bites every time I've passed by the last few days (blame stress!) and all this exercise can't help but do me good.


wendster said...

I got half way through this entertaining post and my hubby needs the computer .. . and I notice that it's almost time for the bookstores to close and I need a new book TONIGHT. My mastermind team is reading it.

Be back shortly!

I agree with you on jeeps. Why keep the van over the jeep? We love jeeps.

wendster said...

Just got through getting all caught up on your life and BOY DID I MISS A LOT! Poor AM ..! All of those allergy tests and no "you have allergies" prize. That's good and bad. No need for allergy meds, but no solution either. Drats.
And that van. Men. Who understands them? I'd rather drive the jeep ... but maybe he sees more use in using the van? Amazing it runs after being parked in the yard for a year.
Thanks for nominating me for the award! COOL. I'm surprised you remember my pants project. Heh heh ... and a little proud. (big head --> me)
And way to go on losing even MORE weight. You are amazing! 90 pounds and then some. That's inspiring. I had a carb-infested long weekend ... started eating piles of carbs on Thursday (grilled cheese sandwiches twice a day and bags of gluten free cookies and pretzels ... pretzels with hunks of cheese eaten with them) ... my stomach felt TERRIBLE but I kept right on eating. Crazy. Stupid. Took four days for my stomach to settle back down. One whole day of eating just fruit. That seemed to do it. So now I am within a pound of my goal weight for last Saturday ... got two to lose by this Saturday ... and SUMMER CAMP coming up at Sequoia. Summer camp equals BREAKFAST MEAT. PILES OF BREAKFAST MEAT WHICH I LOVE. But I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to make it into the 160's (goal is 169 by this Saturday) so that should support me in eating proper-er at camp.
Amen to the budget blues. I have saved up for months to go to camp and am still HOPING I have enough by Monday when we leave. Aiyee aiyee aiyeeeee.
What else?
Hubby found a copy of the book I need here at the house. Whew. That's money I don't have to spend.
Oh! And we had a 5.8 earthquake today. That's big. We really felt it but nothing fell from anywhere and we are all fine.
That's about it from me.
Hugs to you and yours. And have a fudgsicle ... maybe while you are walking to burn off the calories. Hey ... AM had TWO of them ... I'm sure you could have one too. ha.