Some days just don’t go as planned.  And the saying that “Bad things happen in threes”, well it was more like fours and it’s only 1:00!

The day is Wednesday.  On the agenda- at 8:15 my sub is coming over.  The girls and I have pedicures scheduled for 10:00.  I was hoping to make a quick stop at the recycling center to empty our overflowing paper and plastic bins, then spend 45 minutes at Kohls before our nail appt.  Anticipating our appointment to end about 11:00, enough time to drop Riley off at a friend’s house and pick up pizza for lunch for the daycare- get home at 11:45 to relieve the sub, feed everyone lunch, then settle in for “quiet time”.  Go with the flow for the remainder of the day, but leave the house at 6:30 to do a little more shopping before my 8:00 massage appointment.  There.  That’s how my day was supposed to go.

Here’s how it went.

Woke up at 5am, hopped on the treadmill and did a 25-minute walk/run routine.  Treadmill is making noise, has been for a couple days, just a matter of time before it “poops out”.  Jim gets on at 5:30 and about 15 minutes into his walk/run routine the treadmill starts screaming. Literally.  Like a banshee.  Jim slows it down and the screaming stops.  He slowly brings it back up to speed, it never “screams” again, but it does continually make a high-pitched sound (we think the belt is rubbing on something, but we can’t see where).  The deck is starting to sag and flex, it didn’t a couple weeks ago.  It’s been worked hard over the past couple months.  Suppose it’s time to shop for a new treadmill or pay the money to have this one serviced.  Anyway, that’s problem #1 of the day.  I put “look into treadmill servicing” on my to-do list.

The next couple hours are status quo.  Nothing exciting or out of the norm.  At 8:15 my sub arrives, we chit-chat a bit, then I grab Riley and Brooke and we head out the door in my Expedition.  I loaded all our recycling into the back, thinking we’d make that quick stop before our shopping and pedicures.  I decided to take the country roads (Rosedale and 229th) instead of 209th and TV Highway because it’s seems like more of a straight shot.  Everything is still status quo.

I turn onto 229th and as I push the accelerator for the slight incline, my truck doesn’t respond in it’s usual way.  It acts like we’re trying to climb up a giant mountain, not a bitty hill.  I think to myself, “that’s weird” but don’t think much beyond that.  We continue up the road and about 3/4 mile later, the truck does the same thing- acts like we’re trying to climb a giant mountain in too high of a gear and the vehicle shakes and the “check engine” light illuminates.


At that same moment we are 1/2 a block away from Rosedale Elementary school, so in that second of time I slam on the brakes and pull in.  I shut off the truck- see a bit of gray smoke from the exhaust, roll down the window to smell the air- it reminds me of gunpowder or hot metal.   I’m not sure what I should do.  Cancel my pedicure?  (Yes, that is the first thing I think of.)  But I don’t want to!  Should I try driving to the dealership?  Try driving home?  Leave it parked here and call someone for a ride?  Can I borrow someone’s car to get to my pedicure appointment (yes, still worried about that obviously!)?  Call AAA and have the car towed?  What do I do?

After a brief conversation with Jim and starting the car again, no engine light on, I decide it’s best to drive the car home.  I can take Jim’s truck to complete our morning plans. This time, instead of taking the backroads, I would take TV Highway and 209th.  If the car totally dies, at least I’ve got a shoulder or center lane to pull over on.

We make it home.  Barely.  The Expedition seems to be OK if we’re driving on level ground or going downhill.  But if I give it any significant amount of gas it starts freaking out.  And on an incline, even the smallest incline, we were “the little train that could”.  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.  The SUV had a hard time parking in our sloped driveway!  And when we got out of the car….ewww….smelled like grinding hot metal.  It reminds me of old tractor parts, greasy black engine parts, maybe with a hint of welding.  I don’t know how to describe it, but I knew the smell.

That can’t be good.

I know nothing about cars, but it’s got to be something major with the engine, or something major with the transmission.  Time will tell.

Task #2 added to my list: Figure out how to get the SUV towed to the dealership, and make an appointment to get it fixed!

So back at home, I’m thankful that Jim took his motorcycle today and the girls and I switch vehicles.  I didn’t bother with the recycling though.  We had killed too much time.  It was after 9:00 by then.

We can still make our pedicures.  But we don’t have time for Kohls, just barely had enough time for Starbucks.  Along the drive, though, my bluetooth headset freaks out and stops working.  Great.  If bad things happen in threes, there’s number two, right?

We made it to our appointment 8 minutes before 10:00.  The sign said “Open”, so we went in.  Immediately after the guy greets us, I hear car doors slamming one after the other after the other, and next thing I know there’s 10 more ladies filing in behind us.  And at that point, only 2 employees.  I tell the guy that we have 10:00 appointments, all three of us.  I hear the next gal say she has a group of 5 (but I don’t hear whether or not they’ve made appointments).  The next gal says the two of them have a 10:00 appointment, another mother/daughter combo is there and they say they have a 10:00 appointment, and then another lady comes in individually and says she has a 10:00 appointment as well.  Holy cow.  There’s 13 women (supposedly) with appointments for the same time slot.  A couple more employees appear.  I think there’s maybe 6 now.

The guy gets the group of 5 settled and in place, then directs me and the girls, then seats everyone else.  For some reason we were not the first to get started, however.  That was OK.  More and more employees were filing in, but still not enough that everyone could have their own nail tech.  Fortunately, Riley and I did have our own, so all was good there.

Long story short, my nails were done by 10:30 and I stayed seated next to the girls, waiting for them to get finished.  Problem was, Brooke hadn’t even started yet.  Knowing that I wanted to be out of there by 11:00, I considered telling them “never mind” on Brooke’s appointment since they didn’t have anyone there to service her, but I knew she would be crushed at the lost opportunity to have her nails painted all beautiful.

“Worst case scenario we’d be out of there by 11:15”, I thought to myself.  I called Tezshick to let her know that we were running late and that I wouldn’t be able to meet her at our prearranged location to drop off Riley- it would probably be better if she just met us at our house at 11:45.  I had to be home by then to relieve the Sub, so I knew that would work out.

They started Brooke’s nails about 10:40.  And they didn’t move me over to the paraffin dip area until 11:10.  I was still OK.  We would be out of there by 11:20.  Oooohhhhh…’s getting to be crunch time.  They’d better hurry.

They don’t.  They don’t dip my feet.  I sit there patiently and wait.  Other women came and sat in the area and other techs tended to them and took care of the dip and wrap.  But nobody came for me.  Finally, at 11:20, I’d had it.  I was REALLY late now.  I put my flip-flops back on and headed up to the staff-less counter.  The guy who had done Brooke’s nails comes over and I complain that I’m out of time and have to leave- I need to pay- and nobody came over and did my paraffin dip.

He wasn’t very apologetic. He doesn’t offer me any type of credit.

The paraffin dip is one of my favorite parts!  It really helps make your feet extra soft and smooth for several days.  I felt robbed!

Grr…. I’ll write a letter of complaint and see if I can get a discount on my next treatment.  Grrr.

And the girls are dawdling and not leaving, and not working together to get into the truck quickly.  We are sooooo running late.  No time to pick up pizza for lunch.  So now I need to come up with a last-minute plan to feed seven kids.  That’s always a fun challenge!

So I count the spa experience as my 3rd bad thing. I’m three for three.  I suppose the lunch thing could be number four.

The good part: I only hit one red light on my drive from Gorgeous Nails to 209th  Ave.  It’s 11:32 and I’m still trucking along (like that?) so I decide to take a gamble and go to Little Caesars to pick up pizza anyway- I should be able to make it in and out and back home in 10 minutes, right?

I made it!

Home.  I have kids greeting me, some have lots to say, Trevor (he stayed home) wants me to climb on the roof and retrieve a paper airplane, Britta is trying to tell me how the morning went with the kids, Brooke and Riley are hungry, I need to get the pizza in the kitchen, I need to go to the bathroom.  Everything is happening all at once!  So I delegate.

Kids- go wash your hands and get ready for lunch.

Trevor- go wash your hands and start dishing up pizza for the kids.  We can talk about your airplane later.

Girls- go put your stuff away and get ready for lunch.

Britta- (chit chat)

And finally time to go to the bathroom.  Ahhh.

After everyone is down for nap and quiet time, I start making phone calls.  I won’t bother you with those details, but suffice it to say the treadmill might NOT get fixed, instead we may just need to buy a new one.  And towing the SUV was no simple task and required a call to my father-in-law to have him here when the tow truck arrived.  Darn AAA rules.  The SUV was towed to Landmark Ford around 2pm.  They wouldn’t have time to look at it until the next day.

The rest of the day went fairly normal.  I managed to wash a couple more loads of laundry, but never found time to fold them.  Everyone picked up a little early (which makes that moment feel like Christmas whenever it happens!) and I had dinner on the table by 6:30.

Then I was out the door and off to my massage.  My desperately needed 90-minute massage.  And it sure felt goooood.

Update:  Landmark called the next morning and said that one of the fuel injectors was stuck open and that gasoline was mixing with the oil in the engine and that’s why it wasn’t running right.  They’ll fix it and I should get the vehicle back Thursday afternoon.  And we did!  YAY!