30 05 2008

Let’s see, I lost my wallet and spent three days looking for it.  Felt like I lost my brain because all my phone numbers, calendar, appointments, cards, receipts, and to-do lists are in my planner/wallet thingy.  Neal used this opportunity to deliver another lecture on the benefits of “putting one’s calendar on the computer.”  Some sense in this- computer is not likely to be stolen out of the cart at Wal-mart as the wallet was.  I lost $60 cash, $180 off the bank card (may be retrievable as we have contested) and three days of feeling like a brainless moron.  I give thanks and praise to God that whoever took the wallet and cards to Target was kind enough to bring it back to Wal-Mart and turn it in to the help desk!  How often does that happen?

After we got through that, we took Pat to the physician for his one-year-old MMR shot (So he’s two and a half?  We got it done, didn’t we?)  Then it looks like Patrick got German Measles from the shot they gave him. He ran a low fever for several days after the shot was administered.   About six days after the shot his fever went up very high. (Don’t know how high- couldn’t find a thermometer in the wrack and chaos of a newly-moved-into house). It felt like you could fry an egg on his forehead. I gave him Advil and Tylenol, and put him in a luke-warm bath (which he did not appreciate at all) to bring his fever down. Neal missed all the excitement, as he was on a Camporee with Donal over the weekend.  (Did I mention I had to attend D’s court of honor and pack him & Neal for a camp-out?  While moving?  With one hand tied behind my back?)

The next day, around noon, Patrick broke out in spots that slowly spread down his back and tummy and into his diaper area. It never blistered like chicken pox, and it lasted about four days, so we’re thinking it might be Rubella (not sure how this is spelled.) I REALLY missed my internet connection during this, as I could not research symptoms.  Or even how to spell it.  I did a phone-in to mom & she read symptoms to me out of her family medical guide.  This was very sacrificial of her, as she & dad were trying to go out to a Memorial Day weekend movie and ran a little late to help me.  Thanks mom!

Oho- and why didn’t we have an internet connection? You may well ask. Another example of gross inefficiency on the part of a utility company. But I’ve already spent so much time complaining about it to Neal I don’t feel like complaining here, so the dreadful story of the flat-faced, dead-eyed, no-one-pays-me-to-think cable repair man will go untold. I will mention, though, that the moving guys couldn’t deliver the storage pod with the rest of our furniture and equipment because the cable person left the cable dangling so low over our driveway that it hung up on the truck and had to be pried off with a rake and ladders and a good deal of unkind language.

However, after registering an official complaint against the man, a much more competent gentleman in a utility belt showed up today, and only took about three hours to undo what was incorrectly done and hook us up. I am frazzled, but I am on line! They’re coming back (supposedly) in a couple days to bury the dangling line so the last of our goods and chattels can arrive, and there is still some mistake in the computer system that says that our service is active at both houses, but other than that, we seem to have resolved the issue.

Why does life have to be so frustrating? You never read a book where they have to call the cable people back about sixteen times and have five visits by three trucks and six separate people to do something as simple as hook up your cable. On paper, vaccines prevent disease instead of spreading it, and people manage to move without losing their thermometers, tweezers, nail brushes, or the bolts from the bunk bed.

I did discover why the trash company asked that we leave out the trash Sunday night for Monday pickup when the truck arrived at 4:30 a.m. I ran out in my nightshirt and panties, and still missed them. We had become accustomed to the route in town that arrived around 10. So I had to take everything to the dump.

Going to the dump here is an adventure. Neal loaded the truck with a big barrel of three weeks of garbage, a broken chair, two pallets, a torn apart bunk bed, an old lamp, a set of venetian blinds, carpet, cardboard, and a sack full of old doorknobs. I stuck in four children (one with German Measles, two with bad attitudes), a diaper bag, water bottles, blankie, and a laundry hamper full of recycling. Drove to the dump watching the rear view mirror to make sure a diaper didn’t come flying out and smash into someone’s windshield.

Having arrived at the dump, our first stop was the recycling area. You have to drive up a steep concrete ramp onto a narrow platform fifteen feet high above the dumpsters for the different kinds of glass and plastic. The man in charge of the recycling area came up and delivered a gratuitous lecture to my daughter about how if she threw the wrong bottle in the wrong area he would charge me $100 fine and she would get no Christmas presents. Brenna became very worried. He watched over my shoulder while I was trying to sort the recycling pointing out that I should have sorted it before I came, that there were two vehicles waiting, and that half of what we had in the recycling should go in the kitchen garbage because the cap rings hadn’t been removed, even though there were a ton of bottles with cap rings in the recycling bin.

I lost patience with him and drove off the steep ramp which, from the cockpit of Neal’s enormous truck, looked about as wide as a sidewalk. We got back in line and waited while someone else (with nicely sorted trash) had their turn, and then made a second try at it. I managed to muscle the large white barrel full of three weeks of diapers, kitchen garbage, and two inches of rain water off the back of the truck, but while I was tipping it into the bin, I accidentally tipped it towards me and got a stream of brown garbage water down the front of my shirt and into my bra. I wanted to strip off my shirt and take a spit bath with a handful of baby wipes, but we were nowhere near finished with the trash yet, so I had to get back in the truck and get in line for the weigh-in station.

Brenna and I did have a fair wash with the baby wipes and hand sanitizer while we were waiting for three garbage trucks, two pick-up trucks and a trailer full of tires to weigh in. My shirt was still wet with distilled garbage, though.

The lady at the weigh-in window knew me already from the last two times we had come to the dump. She waved at all the kids and asked me to declare my trash. I said, “Old furniture & stuff,” and she replied, “I don’t see any furniture, just pallets.” I didn’t feel like trying to list all the miscellaneous junk we had in the back, so I just growled, “It’s under there.” I think she sensed that I had already had about all I could handle, so she just waved me through instead of insisting that I take the pallets to Area 2 for construction debris before continuing to Area 1 for general junk.

We drove the long way around to Area 1 (which reminds me of Area 51 in it’s desolation and air of ominous mystery). The trash-crawler bulldozer was crawling up and down the slope of the garbage pile right above where we have to unload. It is absolutely huge, tipped sideways to a threatening degree, and drives back and forth within ten feet of where you are pitching things on the pile. I flinch constantly, expecting something to slip and throw the gargantuan machine down on top of us. We unloaded the truck as rapidly as possible, considering that the wood was full of nails, the carpet so heavy we could barely lift it, and we were staggering and stumbling over the loose, trash-filled mush of the dump ground while trying not to actually stand below the trash-crawler. When we got back in the car, the little boys were engulfed in a swarm of thirty or forty large-bodied black flies.

I passed out more hand sanitizer, but we weren’t finished yet. You are not allowed to put cardboard or metal in Area 1, you have to take it to the metal recycling area. The metal recycling guy is tatooed from here to there and perpetually impatient with women and children. He took one look at us, sniffed with disdain and rattled off, “Bin B for the lamp, cut off the cord, bin C for the door knobs, fencing in D, and cardboard in E.”  He stalked off to harass the man who was unloading the trailer full of tires and left us to sort in peace.

Then we had to circle around and get in line again for the weigh lady behind three more dump trucks.  She always seems pleased to see us.  I suppose she doesn’t see many loads of small children working at the dump- mostly tired, irritated dump truck drivers.  She charged me five dollars, counted heads, and, in a final act of grace and benediction, gave us all some peanut butter candy in the slide-out drawer.  I paused before we left the gate to pass out more hand sanitizer before Bren gave out the candy and we gratefully went home.

My daughter’s comment on the whole situation was, “When I have a husband, I think I’ll make him go to the dump for me.”  It’s good in theory, unfortunately not always sound in practice.  There are only so many hours in a day, so many days in a week, and Neal has to spend an awful lot of them at the office.  Besides,
going to the dump is educational!  Right?  Right!  Donal read the sign declaring that they practice random load searches and accept no poisons, toxins, or radioactive waste.  He asked, “What do we do with all our radioactive waste?”  (I think he meant that “our” as a general, rather than a personal pronoun.  Obviously we do not produce radio-active waste as a by-product when we mop the floor or make peanut-butter sandwiches.)

I replied, “Aha!  What a wonderful thing to research and do a report on!”  (This is what we homeschool professionals call a “teachable moment.”)

He groaned and slid down the seat until he nearly disappeared.  “I’m sorry I asked.”




2 responses

30 05 2008
Linda Miller

Dear Angel,
I’ve been missing your blogs so much and am delighted to find you reconnected. As usual the way you’ve been amusing yourself since you’ve last had time for a chat is totally unbelievable. I’m with Brenna, the next time a dump run needs to be made, Neal is the one who needs to make it. I’m pleased to have been a small help when you needed so much more, but at least it was a bit of reassurance I hope. Hope you all have a wonderful time visiting with your friends & fishing. I know you all really need a break and a bit of soul renewal. All my love to you all, Mom

2 06 2008

Angela — good to see/hear you again! I know Brenna has the right idea. She needs to remember that!
Did I ever tell you about Stanley and his choo-choo train? Well, if I have, I’m gonna tell you again!
One Christmas some friends with older children gave us a TON of nearly new toys. They were most welcome, but that’s another story. Among the toys was a very large metal train. It had an engine big enough for a small boy to sit on, and it had a coal car and several other cars. It was either sat upon and scooted or pulled around by a rope. Stanley loved his train, and took it out with him whenever he sent outside.
One day in late fall, we had our first snow. (Back in them days Alabama did have snow!) Mother sent Stanley out to being in his train. This meant about 5 trips. Finally, after the fourth trip, he came in and took off his coat. But Mother looked out and saw the coal car still suffering at the hands of the elements. She insisted that Stanley MUST return and bring in the coal car.
Stanley put on his coat and shuffled out the door. He griped, “When I grow up and have ME a husbant, I’m gonna make HIM go after that coal car.”
Right on, Brenna!
Love y’all

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