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    At least we have our health (stop that coughing over there)

    June 9, 2008

    OK, you think I may have fallen off the face of the earth? Well, you see, there was the broken A.C. unit upstairs. Two techs later and a “thank you, ma’am, that will be at least $2100 to fix. And by the way, it doesn’t have any refridgerant in it. Which means that you have probably killed the only part of the unit that wouldn’t have needed to be fixed for another 12-14 years.”
    No problem. We know how to adapt. So what if that news came on the hottest day of the year so far. Three digit hot. Buy Mega Millions tickets and move down into the basement where the air conditioning still works. Actually it works on the first floor too. We are golden. Sure we’ll have to all sleep in one 10 x 10 room, a la Little House on the Prairie style, but it’ll be fun. An adventure, if you will.

    Then there was the big storm. The storm that my husband warned me about as I dropped The Boy off at his little nature camp at the local park. Tornado warnings? This isn’t Kansas, people.

    Until I came out of BJ’s. I saw it rolling in and I had that cart going at least 15 miles an hour. Everyone thought I was crazy in the parking lot but I knew exactly what was about to happen. I slammed the door with The Baby inside as the storm hit with rain pelting me and the wind blowing my shirt over the top of my head. That moment I knew panic. The phone rang and my husband told me that it was really bad. As I raced down the road, I saw huge bolts of lightning hitting what appeared to be the park where I had left my son. At an outdoor camp. I passed downed trees and practically threw up. I roared up to the camp to find the counselors carrying kids to the minivan to drive them across the lot to the concrete bathroom. I threw the kids in the car and raced home. Except I had to get out once to help a group of 10 people try to move a tree out of the road. We got home to find the power out. And apparently a tree in the back yard was struck by lightning and the top came down, taking out about 5 trees in it’s wake. And the fence. But it wasn’t on the house. It left a massive dent in the ground where it landed. Which is better than on our heads.

    Then the car broke down today on the interstate as the temperature hit 100 at 10:40 in the morning. I called the Cake Lady and she was on her way. Then my phone went dead. So there I was in the middle of 16 lanes of traffic, in 100 degrees, with two kids in the car and no cell phone. I stood by the car for 15 minutes before these really nice guys in a garbage truck stopped to help me. Maybe it was the tears streaming down my face that made them stop. Maybe they were just angels. I don’t know. I couldn’t get it together and one just handed me his phone. Who to call? There are funky rules about the interstate. You can’t just call a tow truck. It has to be a tow truck with some sort of agreement with the state. I rolled the dice.

    Operator: 911, what is your emergency?

    K: I’m sorry to call 911 because this isn’t an emergency but my cell phone died and I don’t know the non-emergency number for the police so I can call them because I am broken down on 395 in 100 degree temperatures and I have two babies in the car.

    Operator: Ma’am. That IS an emergency. Where are you?

    Not 90 seconds later the VDOT emergency assistance guys rolled up. I love my husband and all, but I think I could have kissed those 250 pound ZZTop looking guys who got out of that truck.

    My children? Everything is a friggin’ adventure. I blame this on my mother’s genes. The ability to see the excitement in even the most frustrating times. The guys left their truck running with the A/C on and I got in with the kids. The Baby? Just tried to drive the damn truck off the entire time. The Boy? Fascinated, OBSESSED with the handle to the window. WTH? That truck was so retro.

    The Cake Lady drove up, took the kids and upon extensive discussion with ZZ Top, I was off to Auto Zone to buy a battery and bring it back so they could put it in for free. For THAT? They got cigarettes, cold water and beef jerky.

    Sure my car died as I rolled into my driveway. Sure the battery solution that cost $84.95 isn’t the solution and I’ll probably have to park my car because it will be too much to fix. But bad things come in threes. And I had my three. So now I’m off to sleep LHOTP style in the basement. Unless that’s the sound of locust I hear outside my window…

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    1. Karen says:

      That’s what we call a bad awful day. Except yours lasted more than a day. That wasn’t locust outside was it? Please tell us it wasn’t.
      Things have to get better soon!

      June 9th, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    2. Trena says:

      Oh Kristen, I’m so sorry! You are correct though–bad things do come in 3’s, so you should be golden for at least the next week 🙂

      Crossing my fingers and toes for you that things look up post-haste.

      June 9th, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    3. Bellamomma says:

      Wow! I knew your husband wanted you guys “off the grid” and all ~ but to take out the A/C unit, kill the car & slowly yet surely remove electricity from your life … he’s really amping up those efforts isn’t he??

      😉 Crossing fingers that your luck changes soon. At this rate you’ll be taking out a postal worker in a bloody rage over their new prices – the next time you manage to make it to the post office that is.

      June 9th, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    4. adrienne says:

      wow – mommy does need a cocktail.

      June 9th, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    5. Stimey says:

      Sometimes it gets overwhelming. I am glad all of you came out of it okay. I’m sorry to hear about your trees and your car and your AC and your fence. I agree with adrienne.

      June 9th, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    6. Carrie says:

      Wow- that sounds like quite an adventure-filled day! Glad you all got through it okay- hope your car makes a full recovery soon.

      June 9th, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    7. tvtown says:

      I fail to see how these events are an excuse for not blogging. I don’t even know who you are anymore.


      June 10th, 2008 at 3:12 am

    8. Kimberly says:

      Next time, please call me. You can totally stay here!

      So glad you are alright. I am mixing a pitcher of drinks now. It will be ready when you get here. (you need it.)

      June 10th, 2008 at 3:33 am

    9. Meg says:

      Mommy needs to curl up in the fetal position and burrow under the covers and not come out for like two whole days!!!

      Our car battery died yesterday, right as hubby was loading the kids for yet another late run to the school bus. All we could think of was, hey, at least we’re not on the interstate! Oh wait – that was you. SORRY!

      June 10th, 2008 at 3:56 am

    10. Devan says:

      As my four-year-old would say — whoa, buddy! I knew something had to be up with the lack of tweeting and blogging. I had a flat tire incident recently with a baby in the car and temp. in the 90s, so I can relate. Although mine was on a country road waaaaaay out and I had to wait an hour before anyone came by! Soooo glad you are alright!

      Thinking of you, hon!

      June 10th, 2008 at 5:28 am

    11. De in D.C. says:

      ugh, sorry that your past week has been such a mess. And thank goodness for ZZtop impersonators! Last time I broke down, nobody stopped in the entire 2 hours I was on the side of the rode. Luckily I did have a phone though and had already arranged for a tow.

      On the bright side, think of all the free firewood you’ve just inherited! 🙂

      June 10th, 2008 at 6:22 am

    12. Kellie says:

      Jeez, Honey, you need more than a measley ol’ cocktail. Mad Dog 20/20 sounds appropriate… maybe the ZZTop Angles could direct you to the best place to make that purchase in your area…

      June 10th, 2008 at 6:34 am

    13. cricket says:

      yikes…i’m so sorry you’re having to deal with all of that…i’ve had that happen with my battery dying before, and it turned out to actually be a problem with the alternator. once i had to replace the alternator itself, which wasn’t fun, but twice it was a part connected to the alternator which was a lot less expensive to deal with…auto zone or places like it can test it out for you and narrow down where the problem might be…one place even refunded me for the battery that i had originally bought that died again because it wasn’t actually the battery…anyway, that’s a long rambling suggestion, sorry… :/

      June 10th, 2008 at 7:45 am

    14. Amy says:

      I was beginning to wonder what happened to you! I’ve been checking your site everyday for a new post and nothing!! I guess you had a good excuse though. Sorry about all your bad luck – it will get better!

      June 10th, 2008 at 8:17 am

    15. Danielle says:

      Ahh! While I’ll admit to begin slightly hormonal- your 911 call made ME CRY!!!

      Total suckage!

      Mommy Needs a New Mini Van
      Mommy Needs a Fairy Godmother

      I hope this week is better, although it’s still effing hot out there….

      June 10th, 2008 at 11:20 am

    16. carolyn says:

      Good God it’s the Apocolypse and it’s only happening to you. So sorry.

      June 10th, 2008 at 11:47 am

    17. deichmans says:

      K, I was beginning to wonder if you had a few too many Cosmo’s at the Sex & The City opening night…. 🙂 Hope all works out — I was in the Pentagon City last week when that supercell storm blew thru; pretty sure I saw the Wicked Witch of the West riding a bicycle in the clouds. Stay cool (our own a/c here in east Tennessee is struggling, tune up tomorrow).

      June 10th, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    18. Manic Mommy says:

      Auntie Em, Auntie Em! Glad you, the boys, and Toto are okay.

      BTW, you know you can get a window A/C for like $100.00 at Home Depot, right? Money well spent!

      June 10th, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    19. Todd says:

      Ditto what Cricket said. Either the belt to the alternator, or the alternator itself has gone. If you are wondering, the alternator provides the electricity required to fire the plugs, run the radio, etc. and charges the battery.

      Any mechanically inclined friends can replace it, so don’t fret too much.

      Good luck


      June 10th, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    20. Jennifer/The Word Cellar says:

      Am I the only dolt who had to look up the acronym LHOTP? (Even though you’d spelled it out earlier in the post?) Love the ZZ Top guys. I was once rescued by a tow truck driver with the word “Meatball” tattooed on his arm. And so he shall forever be known to me.

      June 10th, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    21. Shannon says:

      Oh my goodness, I am SO SORRY you had to go through that. It has been just as hot here in N.C. Thank goodness for the good ole country boys, right? My suburban locked me out of it three years ago, with the buddies in it, when I stopped to get gas at Sam’s. My twins were thrilled when the fire truck rolled in to save the day. It doesn’t take much to get a male-child excited…. thank god.

      June 11th, 2008 at 5:24 am

    22. Marelle says:

      That was all so terrible and so funny at the same time. Honestly, I flipped through it really quick to see if you would bitch about me calling you–good! You didn’t. Then, I thought is was so funny that you didn’t think it was an emergency. I think I blame that on your mother too since of course after living in South Florida all those years–getting stuck in a car somewhere in God-awful heat was just part of life in general. haha

      June 14th, 2008 at 8:33 am

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