Friday, August 31, 2012

The Scary Tumble

Okay, so I spent the first week and a half of August helping the daughter and son-in-law move from Pennsylvania to Georgia. I was the grandkid wrangler and the relief driver.

The wild child--aka Mowgli--is 9 years old now, and doing pretty well with his autism, as long as you keep him busy. His parents prepared him really well for the move--by the time we were packing things up, he was mostly worried that we might not get the basement television in a box. We found him trying to pull it up the stairs by its electric cord...

Rocket Girl is 18 months old, and very busy too. When the movers came and we were desperately throwing things in boxes as fast as we could go, she got her own little shoe-box-sized cardboard box and carefully put Bob the Tomato, a book and a stroller toy in it. She was packing too.

So, we drove to Georgia--a day late because one of the cars broke down and had to spend a day in the shop. Then the same car wouldn't start after our overnight stop in Virginia--but after we jumped it off, it started every time after that. (Turned out, the connectors were bad, not the battery.) The daughter didn't make orientation for her new job, because of all the car issues, but we got there before school started.

The bridge--with boy
The new house is down a slope from the street--a fairly shallow slope with a straight driveway, and a parking area at the bottom. Then the lot drops steeply down to a really cool creek behind the house, with a curb at the edge of the parking area to keep cars in place. There's a bridge over the creek, and wild child spotted it immediately. He loves that creek, and that bridge. When she was house shopping, the daughter described this house to me as "The Calvin & Hobbes house" because it's the kind of house C&H would have loved--the back yard slope is one of those Calvin would go sledding down, complete with "terraces of death."

When the movers arrived, Mowgli was anxious to get "his" television out immediately, and so climbed up in the cab of the truck. Three times in 30 minutes. His mom took him bicycle riding around the neighborhood to distract him. When they got back, she watched him pedal around the moving van, watching the car coming down the street, to make sure he was careful. Then when she got around to the end of the van, she saw him riding his bicycle down the driveway. And apparently he forgot about brakes.

Mom's hollering "Brakes! Brakes!" He's going faster and faster. The movers are yelling. And Mowgli speeds across the parking pad, hits the curb and goes airborne. He landed about five or six yards down the hill.

Do you see the tire tracks???
He got a bad bruise in his crotch, and tire tracks across his forehead. The bicycle fork got bent. Other than that, he was fine. And the next day, as we went out the garage to the scene of all the excitement, he informed us that we needed to be careful of "the scary tumble." That may now be the name of the hill...

I stayed in Georgia a few more days, long enough to get Mowgli registered for school and go out to meet his teacher. And now life goes on.

I'm going to be doing some traveling this next month, getting Daddy's cataracts seen to. He apparently doesn't remember how he's supposed to see, so he doesn't realize that he can't see now. But I do have time for writing, between trips to Austin. I've been very good and written every day this week. Even when we had our fire adventure.

I took a half day (after writing) and went shopping yesterday. I am now outfitted from the skin out, head to toe. I bought a new hat, shoes, draws, jeans and shirts. I bought a present for my niece's wedding shower--but the shower is on my birthday, so while I'm going up there sometime next week, I may not stay through Saturday, because the shower is so late in the day. If I come home, the fella will take me out. We went out to Benno's on the Beach for his birthday today. For the next week, the fella will be older than me. ;)

Which reminds me. I need to go get my driver's license renewed. At least they've reopened the DPS office on the island, after our last hurricane.

Surf's up this weekend because of Isaac, but fortunately, that's all we've gotten from it. Y'all take care.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Where there's smoke...

I'm a little embarrassed, it's been so long since I posted a blog, but we had some excitement at the house this a.m., and I can't settle down until I talk to somebody about it, and I can't get to my office where the e-mail is, and I've already talked to everybody around here about it...

We had smoke, but we didn't actually have a fire.

We've been fighting with an air conditioner that doesn't want to stay fixed for almost two months now (of course, in the hottest part of the summer--and it hasn't been that hot of a summer...). The fella turned it off last night, because it had apparently frozen up, and when I turned it back on this a.m. (When are the dang hot flashes supposed to stop??), I smelled a little burnt smell, like dirt burning off maybe. Went on to eat breakfast, and about an hour after I turned it on, I smelled a serious, big burnt smell. And it looked kind of hazy, like maybe there was smoke. So I texted the fella that I was turning the a/c back off, and that it smelled bad. He called me back and asked about smoke, but I just wasn't sure. Sometimes my glasses get hazy... So I walked around and looked, asked him to come home...and when I went to see if it was any worse at the attic access (where the a/c is), there was smoke all in that back hall. That's when I called 911.

They sent two rescue units, four police cars, three or four fire engines (don't know if the picture is actually one of "our" trucks, but it is GPD), and the battalion chief. They could smell the smoke. They could see the smoke. They couldn't find the fire.

The first two policemen to arrive went in the house--I assume to make sure I was the only one home. (I was already out on the front lawn.) Then 6 or 7 fully turned-out firemen went in. I think they did finally decided it was something in the a/c that burned up. They opened up both units (we have one for the bedrooms and one for the front of the house), turned them off, turned off the breaker, turned off the gas lines running by--pretty much turned off everything a/c related that they could turn off. Three of the four trucks stayed until they'd checked everything and decided it was the a/c.

The firemen were so nice. They appreciated that I called them to come check it out, rather than trying to do it myself. They'd rather come out on a nice cool-ish, breezy day--and then not have to fight a fire... (Cool is a relative term in Texas, in August. It doesn't start cooling off until October, here. But it might be 88F (31C) instead of 98...)

The repairman, Phil, came by and said it was the blower motor that burned up, plus the insulation inside the unit. They're going to replace the whole thing.

In other news, the summer has pretty much been a bust, writing-wise. I figured out that from the third week in July through the third week in August, I either had company or was out of town (mostly wrangling grandkids) except for about four days. In which I pretty much lay around and ate bonbons. Or Cheetos. Whichever.

I discovered the e-book lending at the local public library. I've also been doing some freelance editing, and between the two of them, I've been inspired to get back to work, however. I've written one whole day in a row. I'm going to try to keep it going. Wish me luck. I've got a lot of work to do. And now that I've vented to the world--I shall remind myself to write a blog about the grandboy Mowgli's "scary tumble," and then get to that work. The windows are open and there's a fan going, and I've kind of gotten used to working in 80F temperatures. It should be good.