I've been driving Hubby to his bar on Friday and Saturday nights. Did I mention the whole car inspection sticker fiasco? No? Ah, I've been remiss.
So I need to go back even farther. Let's see.
First, way back in October, before going to the wedding, I took the car to be inspected. The night before. I know that's pushing it, but I really expected it to pass, and I had been kept pretty damn busy up until the last minute.
They failed it because the plastic lens on the turning signal was cracked.
Now I *think* that isn't even a failing offense, but they weren't about to give me a sticker and, of course, they had already removed the old one. I went to the Motor Vehicle Bureau the next morning, thinking they would give me a 10-day sticker, but they said that's only for new registrations, they won't do it for failing the inspection. With my son's wedding the next day, I really didn't have a whole lot of options. So I went to Tenessee without the sticker. (Outside of New York State, it wasn't actually illegal.)
I *did* mention here that my husband hit a deer on the way home. The deer took out the front headlight, as well as finishing off the turning signal. Now I couldn't even take the car somewhere else to be inspected (where I know they would have passed it), or just replace the turning signal.
I ordered both light assemblies on ebay on the following Monday. On Wednesday afternoon the headlight came and on Thursday morning the turning signal light came; and I took them to my garage. They couldn't get the headlight in. Yes, it would fit in the socket, but getting it past the frame, bumper, and radiator was impossible, so I took it to the body shop they use.
He got it in! Yay! Then he walked away and came back to it and the lens was shattered. Apparently the hood hadn't been bent up out of the way enough, and the pressure of it digging into the light was too much for it. So I say, what do we do from here? He wanted to order a new light from his usual source. Okay. $8 more than ebay, but carries a warrenty. Let's make this into a simple list:
Monday - ordered new light (don't know why he didn't do it Friday)
Wednesday and Thursday - he was sick, didn't go to work
Friday - found message on his answering machine to call the company. Didn't call.
Monday - called them, they said the light would arrive on Wednesday
Wednesday - it didn't come
Thursday - still didn't come
Friday - ordered new light from ebay
Wednesday afternoon - light came; called Bob, he was about to leave for the holiday weekend
So that *since* Bob broke the headlight, we have been without an inspection sticker for 4 weekends!!!!!!!!!! (We're still running the car, you understand. The broken headlight works, and the turning signal is fixed, so we just keep our fingers crossed.)
I *must* take it back to Bob, because he owes us for the broken light; otherwise I'm out at least $50.
So anyhow, Dale goes to a particular bar to dance on Friday and Saturday nights. I can't dance anymore, and am glad to have him go without me - he needs both the exercise and the outlet. Another man goes with him; Dale picks up Stephan, then goes to the bar. Stephan, who doesn't drink, drives back to his own house and Dale drives home. Usually he doesn't drink a whole lot, though I'm nervous about it anyway.
But I'm not about to let him drive home when he's been drinking and there's no inspection sticker. It would be like Monopoly - go to jail, move directly to jail ...
So Mary and I have been trading off getting him (and Stephan) to the bar and home again. I take them at midnight, and Mary picks them up at 4:00 AM. (This is only an hour before her usual time to get up for work, so not the hardship that it sounds like.) This weekend Mary is away in New Jersey visiting her daughter, so last night I took them both ways. Not a lot of sleep to face a busy Saturday on.
Karen is the handicapped woman that I took to and from work for six weeks. She has to move. Her story goes like this: Someone was stealing her mail. Because she's always tired and her brain doesn't work like it ought (and believe me I understand) she wasn't really aware when the bank started telling her that they weren't getting her automatic house payments - mail being stolen, y'know? And the person stealing the mail obviously stole her identity and drained her bank account. So no one was getting paid when she was merrily writing checks for her bills.
So her credit is in the dumpster, and the bank foreclosed and sold the house, all before she was really aware of it.
Bank took her to court for eviction. The totally unsympathetic judge gave her one month to vacate.
She's handicapped, moron! She can barely get up the stairs once a day to go to bed. She can't lift anything. Her house has been getting worse and worse for two years as her back deteriorated. She can't *begin* to clean it, much less pack up her stuff. And with her financial mess, she has no backup money for such things as movers, helpers, or down payment on a new apartment.
My regular helper, Carlos, has been going down once a week for several weeks now. He has cleaned up the kitchen and bathroom and all of the kitty litters, and packed the stuff from the dining room. And that's about all. I went to look at it on Friday, because she wanted an opinion on just how small an apartment she could get herself into.
I said, "We can get your stuff into Senior Housing with a bit of ingenuity, but there is no way it's going to be packed up in a week." Or a month. Or, at the current rate, a year. "You're going to *have* to pay for it."
So I talked Son and Daughter into $5.00 an hour and today we went down there. My system is this: Each helper (Son, Daughter, and Carlos - three people is ideal) has at least three boxes. I pick up an item and say something like 'books' or 'personal' or 'kitchen' or 'crafts' and the person responsible for that box takes the item and packs it.
This works really well, and a lot can be done in a very short time. Define short.
We worked really well for an hour. Got the upstairs hall cleaned up. (This was about 8 to 10 boxes worth. They weren't small.) Then we were out of boxes.
I *had* happened to run into boxes on Friday, in front of a food pantry to be picked up by garbage collection. They had been reduced to flat cardboard and neatly staked into larger boxes, so I was able to pick up a couple dozen. Good thing, too. But they needed to be reconstructed, requiring tape, and I had forgotten to bring some along. I had brought plastic bags in three sizes - kitchen, trash, and contractor; kleenix, dish clothes, work gloves, drinking water and pepsi; but no tape.
So Son went to the store. Should have been a half hour, while Carlos took a cigarette break and Daughter and I rearanged to set up operations in one of the bedrooms. But he was also mandated to get orange juice and Rice Crisps for Daughter, as well as bread and Miracle Whip for turkey sandwiches.
He couldn't find the Rice Crisps. He was gone for an hour and a half.
When he got back, we worked for another half hour, and Son was getting dizzy. He's not in the best of health himself. We broke for lunch. After lunch we went back upstairs, and Son was feeling faint, so I sent him home, and the rest of us continued for another hour.
Four hours. I had wanted to get in six with all of the four of us. We'd have gotten so much further. But by that time, my hips were telling me not to pick up one more item from the floor, and I really have to listen. I'm not supposed to be able to do that at all, and risk dislocating my artificial hip.
Anyway, we had to stop at 3:00 because I had to take Carlos to BIL's to do his weekly cleanup. By the time we got home, collected up a few more things, did that, and got Carlos home, it was nearly 6:30. Just in time for Husband to go to the 50th birthday party for a coworker.
Tonight the finger-crossing stopped working. On his way home, Hubby got stopped by a cop who noticed the lack of inspection sticker. How he saw that in the dark with headlights in his eyes leaves me amazed, but there you have it. He *didn't* give him a ticket, for which I'm truly grateful, but he *did* follow him home. So no, I didn't go out again to take The Dancing Pair out to the bar. That's the upside, I guess.