Thursday, 30 June 2011

Standing At The Edge.....

Of a nervous breakdown?

I have just had one of those weeks.  You know, one of THOSE weeks.  The one that makes you want to turn off your phone and pull the covers over your head lest ANYTHING ELSE goes awry. 

I came fairly close to standing on my porch and screaming at the top of my lungs until some nice young gents in white coats came to take me away. 

Because I feel that crazy.

And then I came to work and there's MORE craziness.  Which is normal, because my cross-shift is a grape short of a fruit salad, but it seems even worse right now because of all the craziness at home.

Let me take you back to a lovely Wednesday evening.  My Mom and her puppy Zoe came to see me.  Zoe is staying with me while I'm on days off because my folks are on vacation and then she's going to Kay's for a week.

So, Mom and I met Kay and Ave at the Farmer's Market for a little visit.  Whilst sitting in the grass eating hot dogs and minding our own business, we hear an air horn.  I happened to be facing the correct direction, when what to my wondering eyes did appear?  Why two young men, flapping their gear.

Yes.  Streakers at the Farmers' Market.  And while I was simultaneously enjoying the view (young and fabulous and delicious - chubby & small endowed do not streak) and leaping towards my niece to shield her eyes, I was howling with laughter at the idiots.

After all was said and done at the Farmers' Market, Mom and I picked up dinner from 5 Guys Burgers & Fries in Sherwood Park to eat on the deck at the house - because it was a perfect evening.  It was DEEEEEEE-LICIOUS!!!!  Good grief.  I could have eaten TWO of the Little Cheeseburgers. 

You would think that this would herald the start of a perfectly wonderful set of days off. 

Then the trouble started.

I picked up the phone to make a reservation for dinner another night, only to find no dial tone on my phone.  With no dial tone, my only option was to get online with my service provider and figure out what could be done.  Right in the middle of an online chat with a service technician - the internet went out.  Then it came back and between myself and the service technician, we figured out a temporary solution so that I would at least have a phone as no-one could get to the house until JULY 7TH. 

Yes.  July 7th.  That would be 17 days from Wednesday night.  Apparently, someone needs to hire more staff.

Then, while getting ready for bedtime, Mom comes strolling down the hall to tell me there's no hot water!  Went into the utility room and felt up the hot water tank - sure enough.  It's cold.

And it's 1am.  No-one to call until the next morning.  Yay.

So - bright and chipper at 8am, the call went into yet ANOTHER service provider.  Now, sometimes these guys are hit and miss.  One time I called because I had no hot water before and it took them two days to get to me and then they couldn't even get it lit.  Anyway, the young lady I spoke with told me that someone would be at the house within the next 24 hours - possibly that same day.

I sort of hate that.  I mean, most service providers will give you a date and a "between time".  Like "today between 2 - 4 pm".  Which isn't terribly convenient, but at least you can sort of plan to be around at that time.  But when someone says "oh, sometime within the next 24 hours", you can't really do anything.  Like grocery shop or get gas or whatever.

Anyway - Mom stuck around until about 11 and then went on home, so it was just me and Zoe to fend for ourselves.  I mowed the lawn and then stepped out onto the deck to catch some sun and read my book.

A couple of weeks ago, I realized I had horrific tan lines and that if I ever wanted to wear a strapless dress or anything similar, I would look like a total idiot with my tan lines.  Then I decided that no-one ever SEES me on the deck and that if I wear a skimpy bra, no-one would NOTICE I was wearing a bra, just that maybe I was wearing a skimpy bikini.

So, there I was, on the deck in my "bikini".  To be honest, I felt exactly the same as when I went topless on the beach in Greece....  Weird and exposed.  But I've sat out on the deck in a "regular" bikini - why should this be any different.  But it SO WAS.

I heard some banging and a truck door closing, but I figured it was my neighbor going to work and prayed that he wouldn't come by for a quick visit before heading out. 

Then it happened.  Footsteps on the front porch and BOOM.  There was the guy who came to fix my water heater.  I tried to quickly get my tank top on - but he noticed me RIGHT AWAY.  Needless to say I was quite embarrassed.  And then got to spend 10 awkward minutes with him while he lit the water tank and then went on his way.

At least he'll have a good story to tell his wife when he gets home.

And then, later that evening I took Zoe outside to wander around in the yard - looked over at my car.  Flat tire. 


I have a little air compressor in the car (which has saved me many, many times - if you can find one - get it), so I put air in the tire and waited a couple of hours.  Then I did a little test drive to my corner store and home again.  The next morning - tire still looked good. 

So Friday morning, I got up and went to the grocery store.  When I came out of the grocery store - the tire looked definitely low.  Between home and the grocery store (a 7 minute drive), and my 45 minutes in the grocery store the tire had lost 10 pounds of pressure.  Not.  Good.

I called the local tire shop - again like 5 minutes from my house - and was able to get it in quite quickly to have the tire looked at.  While I was waiting for the tire to get looked at, I ran a couple of errands that were in walking distance and when I got back to the shop, the car was already back outside.  I took this as a very bad sign. 

Sure enough - when I walked in the door, the guy behind the desk smiled at me and said "Well, Heather" to which I replied "it's not good".  Nope, there was a hole in the sidewall of the tire that they would not be able to repair.  Yay.

When one tire needs to be replaced, it is recommended that you replace both tires on the same axle.  Know what I mean?  Need one new front tire?  Nope - you need TWO new front tires.  Anyway.  The price that they quoted me for two tires was absolutely ridiculous.  So I called my local "warehouse" grocery store that also sells tires and they quoted me only another $100 for FOUR new tires.  I decided to go that way.

Now, the "warehouse" place runs their tire center in a strange way.  They make appointments in the afternoons and I couldn't get an appointment soon enough - and who in the world wants to be stuck in the "warehouse" when it's beautiful outside?  But in the mornings it's first come, first served.  So I was there bright and shining about an hour and fifteen minutes before they opened, facing the entrance and watching it like a hawk.

The SECOND the doors opened at 10am, I practically RAN in to the tire center.  But I was the first one there and I was able to get things rolling really quickly - even though I'm sure I looked like a complete idiot.  And then I found out that they don't HAVE the tires they originally quoted me on and I'm going to have to pay an additional $200 on top of the original quote.  Grrrrrrr. 

But as I think about it - the tires were long overdue to be replaced.  The old ones were cracked and worn out and I've had other problems with the tires.  And I'm not sure if I actually saved a whole pile of money at the "warehouse", but it needed to be done.

So it's done.  And it only took them about an hour to finish - hooray for them.

Thankfully, the rest of Monday passed along without event and on Tuesday I had to take Zoe to Kay's, as I had to go back to work and Zoe needed to stay somewhere. 

And when I said it was time for me to go and Zoe was immediately at my feet waiting for me, my heart broke into a zillion pieces.

Maybe it was because I'd had a stressful week and Zoe was a source of comfort the whole time.  Maybe it was because (and I've realised this before) that when Zoe leaves, I really really realise just how lonely I truly am.  Maybe I was just tired and needed to let go of all the stress.  Plus I felt totally guilty for leaving her behind.

Whatever the reason - I bawled like a little girl in front of Kay and her family, and then bawled all the way home in the car.

And then I was air-sick on the plane.  Which I very rarely ever am.  But it woke me out of a dead sleep and had me clutching the seat handle the rest of the way, and trying to break the sweat that I broke out in.  But I didn't puke. 

And because of all this tire fabulousness, it leaves me a little more strapped for cash than I prefer.  So no golfing for me for a little while.  *sniff*

This leaves me to thinking - can't I get a break????  Haven't I had enough!?!?!? 

Fingers crossed for less stressful days ahead, this is the Cane Girl - signing off.

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