Monday, July 17, 2006

How was your Monday?

Nothing like a peaceful Monday. And this was nothing like it (ba-dum-DUM).

First, an overview of our agenda -- at 9 a.m. the tree guys were scheduled to come take down several trees endangering our house. At 11 a.m. (but be there by 10:30) Charlotte had a routine follow-up but fairly complicated urological test scheduled at the children's hospital. Charlotte's urologist wanted us to come see her directly afterwards, but their office is closed from 12 to 1 for lunch, so we would have to go to lunch ourselves, and then come by no earlier than 12:45 to talk to the doctor about her results.

Also today is the day we start a doctor-ordered yeast-free diet for Charlotte wherein there is NO YEAST allowed. (Or fruit, or cheese, or peanut butter, or anything else that I give her regularly. Only things like turban squash, kale, and other things no 4-year-old in their right mind will eat. Okay then.)

This is what actually transpired:

I went out nice and early to move the camper van to the neighborhood pool so a tree wouldn't fall on it. In so doing, I discovered that one of our lovely children had left the radio on. For about a week. And so it wouldn't start. (bad)

No stranger to jumpstarting cars, I figured I could jumpstart this one myself. Except this is a 1984 VW van, so, after putting it in neutral and rolling it back and forth by myself, I discovered that the battery isn't anywhere near the engine. (also bad) (FYI - for those who might be curious, it's under the front passenger seat. Which doesn't really move much in this particular car.)

So after a panicked (yet grumpy) call to my parents, I decided to call AAA, who told me that they were a little backed up (ya think??? -- metro Atlanta at 8 on a Monday morning?). Like 90 minutes backed up. Nevertheless, about 15 minutes later an extremely cheery AAA guy called to tell me he was in my driveway. YAY! (very good)

Except he had never worked on a 1984 VW van, he had to ask me where the battery was, and even after I told him, he couldn't get to it either. (bad)

But he could haul me up my slanty driveway to the road, where I could pop the clutch to start it. And that's what finally worked. I let it run about 45 minutes, until we had to leave for the doctor. However, at 9:40 the tree guys still hadn't come, and they were about "20 minutes away." The kids and I took the van down to the pool where we parked it, turned it off and it resolutely refused to start again. We walked back to the house where there were no tree guys. I would have to leave without seeing them. (bad)

Had excellent traffic (unheard of!) all the way to the doctor and got there 10 minutes early. (very good!) Managed to get 3 kids through admissions, Charlotte's testing, and out of the parking garage through a construction exit (inadvertently), and therefore did not have to pay for parking. (also very good -- much patting of self on back)

Got kids to lunch at sandwich shop, managed diabetes (Hattie) and yeast-free diet (Charlotte) issues semi-competently, and got to follow-up doctor's building 10 minutes early. (good)

However, Charlotte tripped in the hallway right in front of the doctor's office and so was ushered into the waiting room bawling, with a bloody knee and a rising bump on her forehead, complete with embedded carpet weave pattern. (very bad)

The doctor said Charlotte's kidney valve issues were very mild and (although she really fought committing to this) seemed to agree with me when I asked her if the condition was improving. (good)

Left the doctor's office and got home with everyone essentially intact to find the tree guys hard at work cutting down lots of trees we had agreed on and some others I didn't think were going to be, but not the ones right next to the house that we were really looking forward to having removed. (bad)

Turns out that this was not really their fault, as much as I got confused when getting different quotes on the job, mixed up who was taking out which trees, and in my haste to get the lowest bidder, selected the wrong contractor. Although maybe we would have discovered the discrepancy in our expectations if they hadn't been an hour late and missed me altogether. (very bad)

The sales guy for the tree company (short guy; former Marine; originally from Bar Harbor, Maine; wearing high-heeled over-the-calf boots with his shorts, oh yes) told me (as he spat almost continuously into my yard) that he could do all the remaining trees for a mere $1,800 (very bad), which was a "very strong" quote. Especially because we were lucky to have working for us today the accomplished Randy, who was named #1 or #2 in the state by Vermeer. No, not the 17th century artist -- the tree-cutting school (what do you mean you haven't heard of it?). Apparently Randy's very hard to get, now that he just got out of prison.

You don't say.

I think it's time to go hide under the bed before Tim gets home to find that the kids have been entertaining themselves all over the house and there's no yeast-free dinner prepared.

No comments: