Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Crash and Burn

I don't know what it's been with the last month or so. Everything in my house seems to be falling apart for one reason or another. I won't deny that I've played a part in some of this, but piling on the stress isn't going to help me out here, universe!

It all started with my back fence, which has been in poor shape for years now.
One day, I noticed that one of the trees growing along said fence had a branch growing straight into the fencing. It was clearly not helping the fence stay up. The remedy was clear, I thought. So, out came a saw and down came the branch...right on top of the fence. Duh. Now it really needs repairing, but I haven't been particularly motivated to go talk to the neighbors behind me. I have a suspicion they don't have the money to repair such things. And that's O.K., but it makes for an awkward conversation.
Then, a couple of weeks ago, I was roasting a chicken for a nice weeknight dinner, when the light suddenly came on in the oven. Wait. What? My oven light hasn't worked since we moved in here 7 years ago. Oh, that's not a light. That's a fire. *sigh* I hate my oven. I often say it's a lovely kitchen decoration, but it's always sucked. Now it sucks more. The heating coil had failed spectacularly and caught on fire.
This has happened before, so I ordered the part from England and waited about a week for it to arrive.
In the meantime the thermostat for the house decided to take a vacation. It apparently likes tropical locations where the weekday temperatures are consistently 90 degrees, it doesn't need to keep track of time and insists that it's always the weekend, although it couldn't decide whether it was Saturday or Sunday, so displayed both...every day of the week.

My new heating coil arrived for the oven.
Very pretty, huh?

I installed it myself, only to have everything short out and melt the wiring. It was pretty spectacular, like someone set off a firework in the oven. Smunch eagerly diagnosed the problem while I slumped to the floor in defeat. It was pretty humbling. The range is dead. I need a replacement. It's gonna be expensive to fill the danged hole it'll leave and wouldn't you know it? The busted range is not a standard size, so I have to find someone to cut down the granite countertop too. Lovely.

Oh yeah, and somewhere in there I sideswiped a parked SUV on my way to a yoga class downtown. I don't know how my distance judgement got so bad. I've never actually hit another car before. (Lots of other things, sure.) I did the honorable thing and left a note on the windshield. The owner of the SUV was super understanding. I think she was mostly relieved that someone was nice enough to leave a note. Although, I made a mess out of the corner of her bumper, I naturally made a bigger mess of the mommymobile, scratching at least three different panels as I scraped along her bumper. Nice. Not at all stressful, that.

You'll notice a significant lack of male help in all these descriptions, although I admit my dad installed a new thermostat for me (as he had a spare one in his garage?!) and attempted to help me with the oven.

I don't talk about it much because it's awkward, I don't enjoy discussing it and I'm muddling along pretty well, but I've been living on my own for a year now. The kids are here a lot, so I'm hardly lonely. I've learned that I have great friends and great neighbors and that this house that I love is mighty big for one person and a lot to take care of. But I'm capable. I'm really, really capable of handling everything on my own. It's just kinda stressful and keeps me far too busy.

So, apologies to anyone learning about my marital woes via my blog. If I've seen you only in a group setting or not seen you at all, I almost certainly haven't mentioned it. By way of answering most of your burning questions, here are the answers to the FAQs of my life:

  • No. I don't want to talk about what got me here. It's a long, long, convoluted, confusing story.
  • Yes. I have a therapist.
  • Yes. I've thought about the kids. I do little else. Honestly, they're doing really, really well. Despite everything else, both their parents are crazy about them and are doing everything possible to support them. 
  • Their dad has them in the evenings every other week and every other weekend.
  • I still go to all their sporting events, except when Smunch's baseball team continuously reschedules things and I've booked myself on a yoga retreat that should've fallen nicely between tournaments. 
  • Sometimes I'm lonely, but time to myself isn't all bad. I prefer having the kids here, but I enjoy them so much more when I get to miss them a little bit. I can honestly say I feel like a better mom when I try to do less.
  • Yes. We've tried counseling.
  • It wasn't anyone's idea. I don't think this kind of thing is ever in someone's plans.
  • No one has filed for divorce and we're still on friendly/civil terms most of the time, but yeah, a whole year is a ridiculous amount of time for a separation.

So, the car has been repaired...and I'll recommend Magnussen Car West without any reservation. If you have State Farm, they'll even give you a free rental car if the repairs are over $1000. They returned the mommymobile on time (early, in fact), looking great, washed and vacuumed. I was very happy.

My house is now the appropriate temperature on the appropriate days. Thanks, Dad.

The range is still dead. Cooking pies in a neighbor's oven for Thanksgiving was a real pain in the rear. (At least she was out of town). A new range will be installed after the granite countertops are cut tomorrow. It's slightly used, which means it was deeply discounted and that rocks. I'll be sorry to lose the cool-looking black oven, but I'm hoping the new stainless one will work a lot better. And it won't have this:

Why, yes! That is the oven control. Oh, you're worried that my oven only went up to 230 degrees? That's centigrade! And the fact that I won't have that means that I can take this off my wall too.
It's been taped there for seven and a half years now.

And the fence? Well...I could just wait for it to fall down and claim it on my insurance. Or, I could walk around the block to pay a visit to the neighbors. Guess I'll have to do that regardless. Gotta focus on that oven thingy first though. There are Christmas cookies to bake in the foreseeable future!

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