Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Chaos of the Unexpected

Well, this end of year is proving to be a challenging one for me, but that's not really that unusual. It often times is. This year however, I've tried to remain calm and not get spastic about the details. I fear I may have succeeded too well. Since for the first time ever we will be out of town for the week of Christmas and my husband has been traveling this month, we postponed our Winter Solstice Brunch, which we historically have held on the Sunday prior to Christmas, to the Sunday AFTER Christmas. That meant I didn't need the seven or eight boxes of holiday stuff out of the attic . :-)

We wouldn't be here for Christmas, so no tree. We wouldn't be here for Christmas so no holiday decorations , we wouldn't be here for Christmas so no holiday dishes or towels. Are you sensing a theme here? Or perhaps a lack of one? Oops. I seem to have accepted the fact that we won't be here and have completely blown off the holiday. Oops.

Now you may say, well, that's no big deal. If you aren't big on Christmas, so what? Except I have kids. And one of them is only eight. Big oops. Now I am sitting here stunned and wondering how I will be able to shift my thinking into the holiday mode while we are away. Because right now, I'm firmly in the day to day grind.

It doesn't help that various house and car problems keep popping up. My truck stopped blowing any hot air last night with the heat. Scared the beegeezus out of me. No heat would mean no water, no water would mean bad bad things for an engine that stays cool via a water-filled radiator. Especially since we're looking at freezing temps and sleet, etc for the weekend. Thankfully, I had a second car to drive. My husband's. Because he's on business travel. And he won't be back until 24 hours before we are due to fly halfway across the country to spend the next week and a half with my wonderful mother-in-law. Are you getting any clue as to how low the holiday is on my priority list? And I'm not even discussing the slow tire leak.

No? How about the fact that my washing machine made a noise today that caused the entire house to shake, the dogs to bark and the kids to yelp in fear? It's toast. Not a good thing when you need clean clothes for a family of five for a week and a half. Holiday? What holiday? I don't need no stinking holiday. Oops. Sorry, my bad. This too shall pass, as they say, but in the meantime I'm having a really hard time feeling merry or jolly.

As for my writing. Uh, what writing? I've been trying to get in all those end-of-year 'got to be done by the 31st' things. Did I mention that I have three kids? And they are probably still expecting a normal christmas. Guess I need to find that holiday spirit and let the numerous things that are not merry and jolly wait until later. I do keep carrying around my laptop in the vain hope I will get fifteen minutes somewhere to get some writing in, but it doesn't seem to be happening. Well, I guess fate has figured I've got a five hour flight each way for writing and that's going to have to be when I get to write.


BernardL said...

I think getting a small tree, and throwing a bunch of lights on it would be simple: like a Charlie Brown Christmas. Then string up a bunch of lights around the room with the tree, and leave the whole shootin’ match up until the end of January. Your kids will love it, and every time you look at the lights, you’ll get the spirit.

Your no heat in the truck is a little more complex. Check the basics first. Remember, with freezing temps, the truck may not show overheating even when nearly empty of coolant; but if you’re low on coolant, the heater will not work. So, check your radiator coolant level in the morning as a first step. A second, but much worse cause could be a head gasket leak causing an air pocket in the cooling system. That would also shut the heat off. The first sign of such a problem would be a creamy substance on the underside of the oil filler cap. If it’s there, you have probable head gasket problems.

I hope the washer and writing problems work themselves out. :)

Virginia Lady said...

Thanks for stopping by, Bernard. There was plenty of water in the overflow reservoir, and now I'm getting more heat. We're thinking it's possibly a thermostat that's stuck, but it'll have to wait until after I get back from my holiday trip for my husband to diagnose. No substance on the oil cap that I could see, thanks for the heads up on the head gasket. Gee, and I was thinking the heater core was a bad thing. That's even worse. =:-0

Oh well, I did get some writing in today, since I couldn't do laundry. :-) And a new washer & dryer are supposed to be installed on Tuesday. The day before I leave. Not bad at all. Expensive, but not bad.

I like the little tree and lights idea. I was online and there's USB trees you can buy and plug in to your computer on your desktop. Maybe I can get one of those too.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Well, glad you resolved the washing machine problem.

I'm sure you'll make it a nice Christmas for the kids, whatever you decide to do.

Sending a little holiday cheer your way. :)

BernardL said...

If there is a leak in the system, the radiator won't draw the coolant from the overflow tank. If your truck also has a radiator cap on the radiator, check the level in the radiator itself.

Virginia Lady said...

Hi Jennifer, Thanks for the warm wishes. I hope your holiday season is a good one!

Bernard, it's a '97 F150 8 cylinder engine, and there isn't a radiator cap as far as I can find. The whole radiator is covered in shrouding and that's bolted on. I'm waiting until we get back from Phoenix to deal with this one. My husband's Neon gets better mileage anyway, so I'm driving that in the meantime. Thanks for your advice! It's always nice to know you have friends when things get challenging. :-)