Thursday, November 10, 2011

Smoking Gun

You know it's that time of year when you plug in the diaper wipe warmer. I got a gleeful giggle from little Toby when I used the first warmed wipe. It's nice to be appreciated.

It's also the time of year when I'm trying to get a lot of pottery made, glazed and shipped in time for Christmas. My excema is going wild. I normally have it on my hands, but for a while now, I've had it on my face. I keep wanting to scratch my eyebrows off. At a Halloween party I was complaining about my skin and all of the rest of my annoying health issues. My friend suggested that I might have a thyroid problem. Apparently, thyroid problems can be responsible for: skin issues, eyebrows fading, hair falling out, soreness, weight gain, exhaustion, depression, and fertility issues, but they are super-easy to cure. I walked into my doctor's office praying for a thyroid problem.

Sadly I'm healthy as a horse, so all of that stuff is just because I'm getting old. My kids have been telling me that my butt is jiggling which is great to hear first thing in the morning. Every time I see a Groupon for some sort of cosmetic procedure I stop and think for a few minutes whether that might be the answer, and then the phrase, "Why paint a wreck?" comes back to my head.

I guess I've slacked off a bit on my health/beauty regimen. My New Year's resolution of 2011 was to be more proactive about maintaining my dye job, but right now my roots make Brittney Spear's look good. I go to this amazing colorist. He's really precise about it, and he takes pride in his work-a virgo. That sounds glamorous, but the reality is that I bought 9 boxes of my difficult-to-find haircolor on ebay, and Tim is the colorist. After the drama of his daily life, it pains me to ask him to don the too-small gloves made of saran wrap to do my hair. What does he get in return besides a wife with a passable head of hair? I flush out the wax build-up in his ears.

It started when we were in Costa Rica in 2005. Tim’s ears were so plugged with a yearlong construction project’s residue of wax and funk. The water from snorkeling and surfing on top of it rendered him deaf. Rumors about the stuff that comes out of people’s ears had always intrigued me-a pea size ball of wax? I have a sick interest in that sort of thing. We traipsed off to the doctor’s office to sort him out. The doctor was a 34-year-old Costa Rican comedian in a surfer town. The bulk of his clientele come in to get their ears cleaned, so he’s pretty good at it.

He let me be his nurse/Vanna White. I got to look through the ear light thing; I got to take Tim’s blood pressure, and I got to hold the bermuda green u-shaped tray under Tim's ear as the doctor squirted the syringe of water in. The gunk all came out in one chunk after one shot, and it was the size, shape and color of a cigarette butt. I screamed in terror/glee as the doctor blew on the top of his syringe as if it were the tip of a smoking gun.

Speaking of a smoking gun, we had another epic journey in the RV last weekend. Tim needed to go to Syracuse to receive his "Leed Platinum" certificate for the house he designed for a low budget house competition. (He won the competition. :) We figured we could stop in Syracuse on our way to help out my mom in Massachusetts. It didn't dawn on us until we were arriving late to the ceremony that we'd gone woefully out of our way. We screeched up to the tent in Sunflower (the male RV is named Sunflower Rose McDonald which always makes me think of the surly tomcat next door named Muffin) Tim jumped out to make a little speech and receive his plaque. One of the other speakers did refer to Tim as the only architect he knew that drives a vehicle bigger than the houses he designs, but it went well. The owner of the house let us go through it. The kids ate a bunch of sweets, and then we got into the RV at 5 pm to head northeast for 7 hours. On our way out, Ted, an architect who works with Tim, suggested we put some air in the back left tire. It was not looking good.

We got onto 90 with a couple gallons of gas and a flat tire only to be told by the toll taker that the nearest gas was 15 miles the wrong direction or 33 the right direction. We limped along for 15 miles and opted to get off 90 to fill up. It took 2 gas stations for us to figure out that no gas station was going to have an air pump strong enough to pump up the massive RV tire. We pulled off in Utica to go to a Walmart tire center. It didn't service RV's. We went to BJ's, in the same massive stucco shopping jungle, and the tire center had closed an hour before, early for Veteran's day. Tim went in and convinced the kid who normally works the tire place to open for us-YAY! The tire was, in fact, completely flat, but the kid had no way to get it off.

Good thing we have RV coverage on AAA! Nope...the state of New York AAA doesn't have RV coverage, and there was a sleet storm, so everything was backed up. They said they would try to find an RV person and send them, so Tim sat waiting in Sunflower, and I took the 3 kids into BJ's to look at the toy aisle and the sleepy suit aisle. An hour with 3 kids in BJ's telling them they can't have anything after 5 hours of minding them in an RV had rendered my patience level low.

There was more AAA drama, so we resigned ourselves to eating dinner at Applebees where there was a wait to be seated. That was depressing on so many levels. My phone was about to die, and AAA only had my number. There were no outlets to be found on the floor at Applebees, and Steel needed to poop. Tim took Steel to poop, and I suggested he take my phone because there's always an outlet in the bathroom. There was some sort of wiping mishap at the exact moment AAA called to say that they will send someone, but it will cost $300. That left Tim covered in shit, screaming into the phone in the Applebees bathroom while I was trying to figure out how to order a vegetable off of the menu. Toby wass screaming because the guy behind us was eating dessert, and Jack Peter was drawing. Drawing sounds benign, but when Steel returned he'd commandeered all of the drawing paraphernalia, so a massive battle ensued.

The phone rang again, and Tim said, "OK! I'll be there!" He hung up and said to me, "They've got someone who can do it under the AAA policy, and they'll be there in 20! I'll go meet them at the RV." I insisted that I go meet the RV guy. My almost dead phone and I trudged the 1/4 mile across the 3 parking lots to get to Sunflower. The guy came, but he didn't have what he needed to get the tire off. He said he'd check the tractor supply store and come back. He returned and said he needed to give someone a tow, and then he'd go back to his garage to get what he needed, and he'd be back. It was becoming clear that our home for the night was going to be the BJ's parking lot, and we hadn't packed any bedding, and it was sleeting. I went to BJ's and spent $156 on bedding, made up the beds and went to help Tim bring the kids back. I grabbed a shopping cart and caught them 200 yd. away from Applebees. Tim looked awful, but I was rejuvenated by my shopping spree and cuddly bed making. I said, "You go to WALMART, relax, buy some beer. I've got the kids." I threw them and their balloons all into the cart and careened through the sleet to Sunflower.

The cart ride, the new cuddly blankets, and milk sorted all of them out as did the excitement of putting on clothes and sleepy suits at the same time. (I was terrified they'd freeze to death in the night) They went to sleep, and Tim and I drank beers and ate pretzels and naughty cheese until the AAA guy came back which he, incredibly, did. Tim went out to help. The next thing I knew the engine was up, and we were driving.

What the????

I was drunkenly gabbing on the phone to Sweet, so I chose not to worry about it until I'd told the whole story to Sweet.
said, "You're going WHERE?????"
"To the AAA guy's garage, so he can use a compressor to get the f-ing tire off!" I replied. "WHAT??? Turn around! He's going to kill you all! You can't trust an AAA guy in Utica, New York!"

No smoking gun-we're all still here, and we had a lovely night sleeping outside the guy's garage in our cozy Sunflower. It probably worked out better for my mom to have the chaos for 1 night, anyway.

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