My Blanken World

My world of boys, textiles and moving.

Freaky Friday October 24, 2015

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This Friday was a bit more eventful for me than most.

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Every week day morning is usually the same, like most peoples, while the rest of the day usually goes wherever it decides, but usually pretty laid back.  Friday started out pretty normal.  Get up, take second-born to his tech class, come home.  Take the dogs out, bible study, shower, yadda, yadda, yadda….

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Once I left to go pick him back up, that’s when things got weird.  At the end of our collective driveway, at the bottom of the hill, there are several tree’s blocking the view left and right and another dirt road, with a “major” street between.  To the right is a rather large, sharp corner.  As I slow down and approach the cross street to turn left, a car from the right *literally* flies passed me.

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When I say *fly* here, I mean, it was about 20 – 30 ft off the ground, and going right towards the top of the power pole across from me.  The driver’s side of the car takes out the top of the power pole, flips right-side-up and the two drop to the ground.  Having cleared the fence around the hay field on both sides, the car sat there, smoking and sad.  Parts dropped around it, tires squashed and pushed out, and the top mushed flat.

After my initial shock at what just happened, and my exclamation of “HOLY SHITZPA” (apparently I become Jewish when in shock?), I begin calling 911.

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Cars are now starting collect to make sure everything is alright and that no one drives through the now downed power lines.  Amazingly, the guy opens the door and walks out.  *He walks out!*  Not even a scratch!  I watched this car do two flips in the air and drop from the height of a power pole, and not a scratch on him!

Having gotten the call in to the police, and see that he is fine, and taken care of, I ask permission to go get my son.  After telling my husband once we got home, we realize that they way the corner comes around, he should have landed exactly where I stopped when I saw him flying.  Some way or another, after he hurled around the corner, instead of going straight to the left as he should have, his car flew off to the right, into a pole instead.

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I was feeling very lucky, safe, and protected.

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So hey, why not take your sons out for a drive?  Sure, why not!

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I’m on my second and third driver.  I’m “seasoned” at this point.  No problem.  Except that the second-born likes to go fast… in our mini-van.  And the third-born seems to just not have the knack for this whole driving thing.  The first two seemed to get it, short of a minor few “Don’t pull out in front of them again” moments.  My third-born just doesn’t have this.  When taking him out, I feel more like I’m in a National Lampoon movie.  Herky-jerky, grabbing the steering wheel to save on coming traffic, a few tears – usually his, and mystified at how one can’t turn a corner without tipping?  However, he is progressing.

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Our drive was to and from the tutor’s.

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The second-born get’s to drive to the neighborhood she lives in because he’s ready to be out with other people now.  But as we pass the police officer going 10 miles over the speed limit, I hear “Oh crap – I should probably slow down?”  Ya think?  And no, you slamming on the breaks wasn’t noticeable at all by him.  *rolls eyes*  And then proceeds to speed back up to round the corner with those lovely squealing noises he thinks are requirement for good drivers..  “It wasn’t *that* fast mom!”

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*Switch*

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It’s the third-born’s turn now.  He does great through the neighborhood, ok, good… well, we didn’t hit anything, until we get to the cul-de-sac.  It’s gravel.  At the top of a hill.  And facing the sun.  We progress around the turn, the whole time with me telling him to slow, Slow, SLOW!  I realize we’re already sliding sideways on the gravel and now have three options: Slam into a cement and metal electrical box, taking out everyone’s power and the front of the car.  Go over the side of smallish cliff.  Or go hurdling down the street at breakneck speed, taking out a few cars and possibly a house.

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Lovely.

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I go to grab the steering wheel to attempt control of the car (parents don’t get a break pedal) and take the closest, safest option, when he finally figures out the break pedal.

Don’t get me wrong – I love a good cookie in the car.  One that’s planned, not near a steep drop off and not when death is an option.

We finally slide to a stop, now on our second turn of the cul-de-sac.  I turn to look at his brothers in the seats behind us and their eyes were the size of cookie we just made in the gravel.  Not a word was said.  Silence.  I turn to the third-born to calmly *I swear* explain the difference between slamming on the breaks – causing sliding, and gently slowing.  Neither of which mattered I guess, since he was actually pressing on the gas for most of it.  Only hitting the break at the very end, sending us into our final, glorious tail spin.

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Very much, not my day.

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We turn the car towards home, looking down the hill we’re about to go down, and take a collective deep breath in hopes that the third-born get’s the whole idea of going slowly.

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Oh, but we’re not home-free yet.  We still have to pass through the electrical repairs from the earlier wreck.

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They have flaggers out controlling the traffic.  In my homeschooling, drivers-ed mind I think “What an excellent learning moment!”  (Apparently I have lost my blooming mind!)  We wait for the first of the three flaggers to tell us we can go.  We pass all the electrical trucks no problem and I tell him to “Eek out into the street.”  Eek is a technical term for “Don’t peel out” btw.  

We “eek” up to the stop sign, no problem.  And that’s when the two other flagger’s, left and right, tell us we can proceed, which ever way we’re going to go.  I tell him “Go.”  Nothing.  Flagger’s begin to wave more emphatically.  “Go!”  He slowly rolls forward.  Flagger’s are about to lose their arms as they fling them wildly as cars are piling up in all three directions.  “Son GO!”  He peels out on the gravel, spraying the workers behind us with rocks, making a small squeal as we crossed the paved road on to our drive, where he is now spraying the other two flagger’s with gravel from our side.

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*sigh*

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A glass of wine is acceptable on a Friday early afternoon right?

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Not feeling like we should end that way, I let the other two boys out at the house and take another quick trip around our property, to let him end on a positive note.

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If you don’t hear from me next week, it’s because I’ve died.  Either from a plunge off of a cliff, a mail box impaling, or fright from no break pedal of my own.

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In all, we ended safe and sound, and knowing what we’re going to work on for the next week.  My freaky Friday left me feeling very blessed that my guardian angel is, in fact, faster than my teenagers.

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Drowning in DIY October 17, 2015

I have been thinking of you non-stop, but that doesn’t translate into actual sit down time.  When you haven’t had time to check your email for 3 days, blogging doesn’t even have a chance.

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With our new, *paying*, non-crappy, non-psychotic (literally), actually leaving their house on occasion, fixing it when it needs it and allowing repairmen in, non-state-aid renters, we’ve sort of had money to start the renovation we began last year.

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Well, sort of.  We think we finally finished the last of the repairs the last renters caused.  After they stole the utility meter, copper piping, copper wiring, soaked the carpet in dog waste, left human waste in buckets on the deck, broke the fridge, caused a minor flood… the last repair (we hope) was to fix the re-wiring they did on the third floor.  The *entire* third floor.  And our current renters – total champs about it!  I could seriously hug these people!  The first two months of rent money went to “that house” still, but this month – all ours!

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Well, sort of.  Being a (new) dentist isn’t cheap, so after paying a lot of insurance(s) (yes there is more than one we have to pay) for the next six months (on top of student loans, taxes, business fee’s, advertising, on-going education, new/updated equipment, etc) it will be ours.

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Well, sort of.  We have to start Christmas shopping.

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I could go on, but I’ll spare you….

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I do know that I save *tons* of money doing majority of the repairs myself.  The new spigot I put in myself saved us about $350.  The new outlet outside, about the same.  The 9 outlets that were already wired, but just needed the actual outlets, another $500 (was the lowest quote).  Sometimes it’s totally worth having someone else do the job though!  The windows will be done by pro’s.  I’m not even remotely big enough to get a window in, especially when it comes to the 5′ x 12′ windows.  But I *can* hunt down the best price for them.  (Or, in the case of the big windows, a company that will just make them – very hard to find item.  Thank you Fleetwood!  The only company we found that could make the windows in that size, or at least call us back about them.  Either way, they get our business!)

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What I can do?  In the last three months I’ve:

  • Painted 1800 sqft, including the ceiling.  With four different colors.
  • Added one new spigot.
  • Added one new outdoor outlet.
  • Repaired the faulty outlet in the covered area that is about 12 ft up.  (No I have no idea why.  And yes we use it.)
  • Hooked up 9 new outlets in the garage.
  • Replaced 11 lights in the house.  With three remaining.  (Can’t quite decide on what I want?)
  • Rewired the kitchen light so it’s actually grounded.
  • Replaced 3 switches.  Switching from toggles to fancy/shmancy dimmer switches.
  • Discovered you can spray paint switches/outlets to get any color you like.  (Very carefully!!)
  • Kitchen ceiling tiles.
  • Removed a hanging kitchen cabinet.  (Looks so much better now!)
  • Repaired where we took down a wall.

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What I still have left to do feels a bit overwhelming though?

  • Trim.
  • Cabinet re-staining in the kitchen and bathrooms.  Also the bedroom doors.
  • Floors.
  • Kitchen and bath tiling.
  • Windows/Doors.
  • Shower plumbing.
  • Kitchen and bath sink replacement.
  • Painting the fireplace doors.
  • Possible ceiling fan in living room. (still deciding on that one?)
  • Pendant lights over the stove.

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It’s all about finances and how much I can fit into my daily schedule now.  On top of our usual schedule of schooling, tutors, youth group, volunteering and normal projects, we now have two permitted drivers that I have to teach to drive and I’ve got very little time left to do much else.

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However, I have designated Saturdays as my “No working on the house” day, and “Don’t bug me, I’m not even getting out of my pajamas” day.  Maybe if I stink enough, they won’t even come into my sewing/office room?  Did I mention I moved my office down to my sewing room?  This designation gives me a chance to breathe, and get here each week.  Along with some sewing time and a little time for my hands to recover – so many blisters!

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The most comical part in all this, is that the people at Lowe’s are actually starting to learn my name!  I have been there at least once a day for the last three months.  The place I used to love to just wander around and get idea’s, I’m starting to sort of dread.  Just send our paycheck to Lowe’s please.  They’ve been pretty awesome though.

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I know, first world problem!  But after the last 2 1/2 years of dealing with the insane renters and their, well… insanity, this is a huge blessing.  And thanks to an ever working dentist man and some actually decent renters, at the end of most days, my biggest worries (now) are what color the floor should be, if I’m going to shock myself again and if I’ll survive today’s drive with the boys.

I get to take a pause from remodeling the next few weeks, so our finances can catch up with the projects list, but I by no means will be idle.  A requested memory blanket, Christmas gifts to be made, and *hopefully* (if I can pick out the right color finally), cabinets to be redone.  That’s free right?

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Pictures coming soon…..