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I should have known when I planned out every penny for the year that we would hit a speed bump.  What’s that old saying?  The sure fire way to make God laugh is to make plans?  Something like that.  I must be a favorite comedienne to the big guy.  lol

So, we somehow avoided crazy repair charges on Abe’s car earlier this month, and soon after, my car started making an annoying squeaking sound.  Turned out to be brakes.  Got new brakes and an oil change, and then soon after, I notice a spot in the driveway from underneath my car.  At first I assumed it was melting snow, we have an abundance of that here, but yesterday, I noticed it was alarmingly large, and upon closer inspection, it was most definitely not water.

Ugh.

Being the super good worrier that I am, I started thinking of all the worst case scenarios that could be causing my car to bleed in my driveway.  A quick Google search had me scared enough to go inspect the puddle closer, so I grabbed a paper towel and sopped up what I could to get a good gauge on the color, consistency and smell (weird, I know) of the fluid.

oil

 

There is a green print on the paper towel, so ignore that green color showing through the yuck.

Definitely a dark brown color, thin and watery, with a very faint smell of gasoline, mostly smelling like, gosh, I don’t know, car gunk?  I snapped the picture and showed it to Abe, but was already pretty sure it was oil.  Having just had the oil changed when we got the brakes fixed, we were hoping and praying that it was a super simple thing, like not tightening some doo dad enough, or whatever.  The car was running fine, so it was our hopes that it wasn’t serious.

Now, again, being the full time worrier of the family, and taking my job very seriously, I refused to drive the car.  Not even the super short drive to pick up Bella from school.  It is a real fear of mine, having grown up driving an old 1974 Monte Carlo that broke down regularly, that my car will break down in the middle of the parent pick up line at school, and I’ll be trapped, no way out, blocking all the cars behind me and having no clue what to do.  (I told you I take my worrying job very seriously!)  So Abe volunteered to leave work early, pick up Bella, and take the car into the shop to see if it was in fact a quick and easy fix.

It never is quick and easy, is it?  I mean, it never is for us.  Always lots of fun little detours and usually lots of unexpected money.

Again, ugh!

It would appear that my car has a blown head gasket.  Boo!  We’re looking at repairs well over $1000, closer to $1500 or more and several days of mechanic labor, not to mention the fun of being a one car family in wicked cold temperatures, making walking to school kind of out as an option for the moment.

Yeah, so, I need to learn to quit making plans!  Haha!

In all honesty, I complain, but I still know we have it good.  We are so blessed, with our health, our safety, the roof over our heads, my amazing friends and family.  It is a small, albeit expensive bump in the road, and definitely not something I had planned on, but I know we’ll get through it.  Everything for a reason.  Some reasons are more fun than others, but yeah, you get the idea.  🙂

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Blooming

“And the day came when  the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to bloom.”  Anais Nin

I came to a sudden realization this morning that I haven’t seen or spoken to my sister at all in over a year, my brother in over two years.  My reaction wasn’t one of surprise or sadness, really just more matter of fact.

My family is, for lack of a better word, bizarre.  On my mother’s side there is a lot of mental illness and addiction problems, and on my father’s side, more addiction and Latin stubbornness.  My parents are both the more anti social ones of the bunch, and are happy to stay at home and gripe about the world around them.  They are happy to have close family over, but never stray far from home themselves.  I can count on one hand the number of times my mom has been to our new home, and on the same hand, I can count the number of times my dad has ever been to this home or our last one.

When my paternal grandmother was alive, she would have everyone gather together for parties and holidays.  Everyone was welcome, everyone was family.  Friends, neighbors, people she just met, all were welcome in her home and each one loved and respected the same.  Her home was a happy one, filled with joy and love.  When her husband, my grandfather died, the get togethers were designated to different homes, sometimes my parents, sometimes different uncles, but it was never the same.  My parents complained when extra people showed up, if they weren’t immediate family, they had no business being there.  I never understood this.  As the years went by, the gatherings got smaller and smaller until it was just my parents and my siblings.  The emptiness was sad, the holidays felt lonely.

As the years have passed, my parents have only become more and more alienated by their own petulance.  With my brother still living at home with them, I can’t help but feel like their misanthropic tendencies have rubbed off on to him, and even my sister, who also lived with them for quite a bit longer than average.

My husband’s family is always together.  As my mom once not so eloquently stated, “They throw a party every time someone farts.”  Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, vacations, even just because.  They are very tightly knit, something my grandmother strived for and something, while my mother may put on show to loathe, I can’t help but think she is secretly envious.  Being crotchety is lonely work.

I miss my Grandma Ola and her ability to gather everyone together, grudges and work be damned.  This is the woman who would make a friend for life by asking the stock person at the grocery store if they had any rocky road ice cream, her favorite flavor.  They would point her in the direction and she would reply, “Oh no, I don’t need to buy any, just wondered if you had any.  That’s my favorite.”  Then somehow, this stock person would get invited over for dinner, or ice cream, or sweet tea, and just like that, they too were family.

I want my house to be like my Grandma Ola’s.  I want everyone to feel welcome and at home.  I want my friends to feel like family and to know that they are loved just as though they were.  I hope as my children grow up and make friends and eventually date, (ack!), that their friends and dates feel equally comfortable in our home.  All I want is love and happiness.

As we grow and become more of the people we are destined to be, sometimes it is without the people we grew up with.  Our paths and circumstances take us all to different places, and it is in these times when our vision is refined and able to see  surroundings for what they truly are.  I am surrounded by my husband and my children and my furbabies in our wonderful new home.  I have dear family and friends that I am fortunate to be blessed with and interact with on a regular basis.  My siblings aren’t around, but they have their paths, and perhaps one day our paths will cross again.  My door and heart are always open.

 

The Crud

Oh, that lovely time of year, when the weather fluctuates between blizzards and teases of the spring to come!  Stuck indoors, on gloomy, icky days, sharing books, the couch, and inevitably, germs.

Ugh.

We have a nasty case of the crud in our house that is finally starting to pack it’s bags and go away.  Coughing, stuffiness, runniness, and phlegm.  So much phlegm.

Everyone got it this time, the boys, on death’s door, as usual, and the girls, just grabbing an extra tissue or two and going about their day.

I don’t know about you, but I am SOOOOO ready for spring!!  And also Mucinex.  Yes, I’m due for my next dose.  *sniffle*