The last couple of days have been… trying.
But also beautiful.
We warmed up enough for the trees to be covered in frost that is still there. Then we got a gentle snowfall. Today was bright and sunny, the trees looked like picture postcards, and everything was sparkling.
It all looked quite lovely.
The girls and I also arranged a surprise for my husband, after he had gone to bed.
One of the things my husband has been trying to do to keep himself occupied at least somewhat, in spite of the constant pain, and the brain fog of medications, is take up some new hand crafts. Including leather working. He was quite enjoying it, but lack of a very sturdy surface to work on made it difficult.
So, the girls and I did some re-arranging.
The shelf Mead Baby was on got moved out, and the desk my father made for me when I was a child was moved in.
My husband is also left handed, so the design of the desk works out for him, too. It’s got room enough for his tools and leather in the drawers (no more cats scattering the leather pieces all over the carpet). The stitch pony can be tucked away between the desk and the piano, next to the jo staff and boken, and there’s room for his paracord loom, too. Once the Mead Baby is done and away, we can set up a lamp. There is no outlet here; just an extension cord coming up through the floor from the basement. Only one thing can be plugged in at a time.
We just have to figure out some sort of seating that will be suitable for his back pain, and also for a shag carpet. 😀
The other major thing I had to deal with was my mother’s car.
I had called her to let her know about what was found, and the estimates. Her response had been to say she would talk to my brother about whether or not the car was worth fixing. It had been a pretty pleasant phone call, which is never guaranteed with her. Especially when money is involved. Still, she had even complimented me on my “good heart” and all the things I have to put up with.
I had already filled in my brother along the way, as he had been helping my mother with her car before we moved out here and knows it better than anyone else. So after my mother called him, he filled me in on how that conversation went. Basically, he thought he was able to assure her that it was a good little car and worth fixing, but couldn’t say one way or the other, what she might decide.
The call I got yesterday was…
… way out of left field.
To make it short, my mother decided she would pay for the tires, then give me the car “for free”. She also said that this was what my brother had recommended.
Which was a lie, and pretty much the complete opposite of what he had actually recommended.
I called her on that.
Things went downhill from there.
It mostly comes down to my mother having zero understanding that it costs money to take care of things, and if you don’t spend that money to take care of things in the short term, it costs more in the long term. And since I didn’t fall over myself in gratitude over her oh-so-generous offering to give me a broken car, she lost it.
This is actually a very typical pattern for my mother. For so many years, she had my dad, then my older brother, taking care of things for her that, when she discovered what things really cost and how much work they really were, she would find ways to foist the responsibility – and expenses – onto others. We have discovered that this was the major motivation she had in asking us to move out here “for free” and take care of the property for her, and has managed to slough off all responsibility for it onto myself and one of my brothers – but in such a way that she believes she has done us a favour. Oddly, in the “conversation” that ensued, she brought up the fact that she “lets” use live here for “free”, but in the process revealed that she somehow thinks we’re actually earning something by living here. This is a new one. She also claimed I wanted her to pay for a new roof (I have never asked her to to that) and also Canada is the best country in the world, the freest country, plus I don’t even go to church and didn’t send my kids to school, … *click*
Yeah. She hung up on me.
So that left me in a pickle, because I have to focus on our own vehicle. Thankfully, the garage is still trying to find stock wheels to replace the low profile ones, so there is no hurry. Also, I arranged to bring our own vehicle in this afternoon.
The noise I’m hearing sounds like a bearing. I’ve had to replace bearings before, so I’m familiar with that droning noise. Still, I’m not sure that this is the actual cause.
When I got to the garage, I found my mother’s car, still up on a lift I notice they save for the longer, slower jobs! It looked so forlorn! LOL
The mechanic got my van up on the open lift and started checking all the tires. I was able to stay nearby and answer questions, make comments, etc.
While he was under the van, he made a comment about how my ABS light must be lit on my dash. I said yes, then told him about how the wires were found to have the connector torn off, and the ends tied off, but when a new connector was put on, it still wasn’t working. He’d interjected with a comment about seeing the wires as I told him about the recommendation to replace the entire harness. He mentioned seeing the wires again.
I was confused.
He told me to go look.
Now, for background on this, I didn’t find out about the torn off connector until I had to get the van safetied before I could insure it in this province. I wrote about it here and here (the links will open in new tabs).
It’s a good thing I am documenting all of this here on the blog, because I’d forgotten I’d had bearings replaced at the time, too. This was almost 2 years ago.
This is what he showed me.
I remember being shown the connector before they installed it. Why isn’t it there?
About the best I can come up with is that, after it was tested and didn’t solve the problem, they suggested replacing the harness. After I gave the okay for them to order one in, maybe they took the connector off, capping the wires, because they were expecting me back in few weeks to have the whole thing replaced.
But I paid for that thing. It should have been left where it was.
No other mechanic I’d gone to since then had commented on the loose wires. Mind you, I wasn’t able to be right there while they worked on it, either. Anyone who noticed it probably thought it was intentional, since the ends are capped, and promptly forgot about it while working on whatever they were supposed to be working on.
So that was a bit of a surprise to discover!
Not something to deal with, now, though.
After going over all my tires, he could find nothing wrong. He asked me about where I thought the noise was coming from, and I couldn’t really say. It just sort of surrounds me as I drive. (Later, during the drive home, I asked my daughters. The one sitting in front with me couldn’t really say much either, other than she thought it was the front. My daughter sitting in the middle could at least say for sure that the noise was NOT coming from the rear. )
He was not in a position to run it to hear the noise for himself, though. He asked if I could come back tomorrow afternoon, when the other lift would be free, and he could run it on that one.
So that is what I will be doing.
Normally, today would be our day to go into the city for our monthly shop. I’m hoping to have more information tomorrow. Until then, we picked up a few little groceries, then headed home.
I wasn’t home long when the phone rang.
It was my mother.
It was probably the shortest phone call I have ever had from her. Maybe 30 seconds!
She told me she was thinking about things and decided; I should tell the garage to fix the car completely, then bring the bill to her, and she would pay for it.
I asked if she was sure, and she said yes. I thanked her, and then she said she had to go.
I don’t know what happened in between yesterday’s call and today, but whatever it is, I’m grateful for it.
So when I am there tomorrow, I’ll be able to tell the garage to go ahead with her car. They should be able to do the brakes, pulleys and serpentine belt right away. Getting the tires might take a bit longer.
I’m just glad it can be done.
If all goes well, I’ll know what’s going on with our van soon, too.