Thursday, June 26, 2008

Blame it all on a traffic cone

As some of you know, i have a love/hate relationship with my Sebring Convertible. I happen to LOVE it; it happens to HATE being driven.

Now, i say that last part b/c of the amount of time it's spent in the shop since i got it last fall. There was a time when the days with Joe, the mechanic, far outweighed the days in my (crowded) driveway. I used to long for a sunny spring day when i'd have the car in MY possession so i could ride with the top down & the cliched wind in my hair.

Since i finally got it back for good (~ 6wks ago), the temperature has been way too hot for any top-down driving. It might shock some of you that a convertible lover like myself actually has a high when it's too hot for the hair to blow around. Nothing like the wind feeling like it's been sent straight from Hades!

Today, started out as a normal day in life with the convertible. We went to work, top up, a/c on. When it was time to leave for my doctor's appointment this afternoon, everything was good. We were tooling along Interstate 295 as we usually do when we head into Mechanicsville.

Suddenly, things changed forever.

I was in the far left lane, slowing as i noticed the unmarked state trooper with lights on stopped at the shoulder. As a matter of fact, this was no normal police car pulled over to the side of the road. The trooper was out, standing there as though he was waiting for a moment to shoot across the 3 lanes.

What the heck does he want to run across the street for? Is he suicidal or what?

Well, ask my car. It knows what was going on. There was an orange traffic cone in the middle lane. Oh good... middle lane. i'm safe!

Before i could exhale, the little orange booger was in MY lane. What the??????

The car ahead of me managed to avoid it. He moved on down the road safe & happy.

I know what you are all thinking now... you are thinking that i ran over it. That my CAR just raced straight ahead for it.

WRONG... we were on our way around the cone (laying on its side in the middle of my lane!) going a respectable 30mph or so. That's right, car, slowly, around the cone, into the left shoulder area. Good, take it slow...


uh yeah, that would be the noise i heard when the green minivan left it's mark on my right rear panel & bumper. hmmm... i guess that would imply that the bumper still looked like a bumper. I think it looked more like shredded wheat. How many of you knew that there was STYROFOAM under that bumper????

In addition to the visible damage, there was one sign that meant BIG PROBLEMS... that was the right rear tire sitting at a angle. Now, granted, i'm no mechanic or car expert, but i know THOSE tires aren't supposed to move in that direction. Can you say axle all messed up? hmph.

Since there was a cop right there, it was a convenient way to garner an eyewitness. (yeah... now that's what i'm talking about.) It happens that this Trooper wasn't even from the area. He was driving through town on his way back to West Point where he works. Obviously the good guy in him decided to try & help us poor motorists out & move that cone. Too bad it didn't work out that way for all of us. double hmph.

The green minivan actually hit me, bounced off me, crossed 2 lanes of traffic & clipped another car on its way over to the right side of the interstate. (uh huh - got some good damage on that little green monster too!)

I spent the next hour or so waiting for a trooper from the area, watching the troopers run across the street while we all melted in the 95+ heat!

The tow truck was called (thanks AAA!) They showed up & drove my car to the shop. We left before they did & i couldn't even look back. It's just sad when you see your little car on that big truck!

Of course the insurance company was called. They asked about 100 questions, but they are on the case to determinne who was at fault. Luckily for me, the trooper who saw the whole thing happen offered to tell what he saw should the need arise.

i guess we'll wait & see what happens with the decision to fix or call it quits. I hope it's fixable. I still LOVE the car... & i am going to make it see things my way!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Open for Business - FINALLY

As most of you know, the road to a clean, sparkling pool has been long, winding & full of potholes for the Graysons since inheriting it with the house. Possibly the #1 reason for Aaron & i to argue during the summer, it has been a bone of contention since the day we first took the pool cover off in 2006.

We've run the gamut of things to do with the pool from adding unknown amounts of chemicals, whose real purpose i couldn't tell you, to emptying the pool completely after the episode of runaway tadpoles invading the less-than-ideal water conditions of Spring 2007. (I know all of you in Hanover would like to thank us of the start of the county drought conditions last year!)

There can't be anything more frustrating than having a nice big pool right outside your door & it never being clean enough to get in (well, that's the most frustrating until you start to talk about cars!). So... this year we decided it was make or break time. I couldn't listen to anymore threats about cutting down all the trees in the back or bulldozing the pool into the ground. Action had to be taken before it was too late! (Or before the pool was used for much more sinister purposes!)

That's right, we made some changes this year. First we switched to a chlorine pool. It's MUCH easier to maintain & so far hasn't caused us to take out a loan to pay for the chemicals. Then, probably the BEST decision we made - we HIRED someone to maintain our pool all summer. I have to say it's quite a deal. She (sorry, it's not a 'pool boy') comes once a week to check the chemical levels and to vacuum anything that might have fallen in. All i have to do is don a bathing suit & hop in whenever i want - assuming the water temp is up to my standards. Yeah, it's a rough life!

So... all of you who have asked about the pool & when you could come over in the past 2 years, WE'RE OPEN! Bring your bathing suit & come on over! We are ready for guests!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

We have a new baby!

I know this is going to come as a shock to some of you, but Aaron & I have our first baby!

He was born 7 weeks ago in the country (Goochland County) to a pair of star-crossed lovers - rat terrier and schnauzer. The last of his siblings to finalize the adoption paperwork, he, nevertheless, found his way into our mixed family (or should i say - mixed up family).
It's been a learning experience for the parents & the siblings with late nights, early mornings and baby noises that just don't give away much in the area of what's going on. His siblings are on the fence about the newest addition to the Grayson family. Sydney & Jake go between ignoring him & giving him a lesson in the household rules; Roxy & Schmoo, well, what can i say, they have never been that fond of change. As lots of siblings think when their baby brother/sister is brought home, he's just another mouth to feed, someone to steal their toys & their parents' attentions. I'd say they are ready to send him back! :)

Mom & Dad are doing ok. One of us isn't too keen on the 5am potty & feeding time, but i guess that's the price you pay. We have to practice some restraint & let him cry himself to sleep. There has been a lot of tiptoeing around the house after bedtime! Though it's been challenging with a new baby in the house, we are committed to not making the same mistakes that were made with Jake and Sydney. There are big plans in the littlest one's future!

He's cute as can be & very funny to watch. He's learned how to jump up the little step from the Florida room to the den already. He's better at using the potty than Jake. And he doesn't mind sharing his toys with the others. He's not found of thunderstorms and just today he found his voice. Scared the 2 older ones when it came out; Roxy and Schmoo said they thought it was similar to a squeaky toy. & yes, that is a noise that can get annoying after a while!

I have high hopes for the youngest Grayson. First he needs to master potty time... he'll be the pride & joy of the family when that happens.

Oh, by the way, we named him 'Orion' --- like the constellation. It's a nice name, but knowing how this house is, it's going to be shorten to something sing-songy soon :)