Thursday, July 31, 2008


and I'm in my car - a LOT. I've turned into a veritable shuttle cab this summer, taking the kids here and there and everywhere in between. At least, that how it seems a lot of the time. Only I'm not driving my car. No. My car would be rounding week 3 in the shop. Yes, week 3. It seems we ignored that CHECK ENGINE light a wee bit too long and have now realized it was trying to tell me that perhaps the thermostat might need some tending to - or replacing - instead of just trying to annoy me with it's tempermental, constant presence on my dashboard. All urgent and "look at me!". Which we naturally ignored. Of course we did. Plus, the car seemed to be functioning normally and not at all giving hints that something might be amiss. Except for, you know, that damn check engine light.

So when my car overheated on the way to day camp it should have been no surprise to me at all. Only it was. The car wasn't running hot - I swear! Until I came to the 4-way stop and white-hot, hissing steam came pouring out of it.

After getting the kid to camp (we were practically at the camp anyway when this happened, thankfully) and calling Mr. Chick and calling a tow truck, the verdict came back: blown head gasket. Which, to my uneducated, feminine ears, meant nothing much. To my husband and most other guys it meant completely pulling the engine apart (taking the top half off?), sending it to a machine shop to fix any warped parts, and apparently waiting for weeks to get your car back. It also means lots of $$$. How many $$ is as yet unknown. I'm scared about that part, and we get a screaming deal from our mechanic who only charges us his cost for part. We don't pay for labor or anything. In exchange, Mr. Chick gives them free legal services. It's a very nice arrangement started with Mr. Chick's dad and the shop owner. Now their sons are continuing to honor it.

So I'm driving Mr. Chick's car and he's driving an old pick-up truck from the mechanic. And I'm spending a lot of time in the car. The kids have had swimming lessons, gymnastic lessons, Nicholas had a day camp at the Y, both kids did an arts and crafts camp (excellent!) and they both had a soccer camp. We've gone up to my parents lake house and are headed there again this weekend. I've enjoyed a girls weekend in Sunriver, and Mr. Chick left this morning for a few days on the east coast - he's a speaker at a conference. It's just been... busy. It's summer! We spent one whole weekend just doing yardwork - long overdue (was nice having the pick-up truck to take debris to the dump and get several loads of barkdust). There have been several birthday parties to attend.

One night I joined my sister and her kids for an all-comers track meet close to their house. Their family does them each week and they are big track and field enthusiasts. My kids were interested in trying it out, so we went. It was awesome! As a kid I did lots and lots of all-comers meets, and usually placed in every event I did. I was a natural sprinter as a kid and then, well, puberty happened and all bets were off. Nicholas and Lauren held their own in their age brackets. Lauren, when running with other 4 yr olds, took 1st place. When the group involved mixed-age, she didn't shine as brightly but still ran with a big, goofy grin on her face. Nicholas never took a blue ribbon, but placed 3rd a couple of times. This gave him tons of confidence and made him feel very proud. His 7 yr old cousin is a natural speed-demon and would take the blue, but no one expected little Nicholas to be a contender and take 3rd. He's never, ever raced before and most of the kids there had. The starter pistol made my kids flinch and they would start their race with their hands over their ears, but it all worked out once they got going. Both tried hurdles (N. placed 3rd), the 200 (L. placed 1st), the 400 (N. placed 3rd) the 4x100 relay (N's team placed 2nd - cousin was anchor and Nicholas was first runner), and Lauren did the 60-yd dash (placed 1st) and the long jump. It was a fun, fun evening and both of them are clamoring to do it again.

So you can see that I just haven't been spending much time online. And strangely, I haven't missed it too much, either. I've just been running around and trying to enjoy summer. Literally running. I have my Hood-To-Coast relay race with Mr. Chick coming up in 3-ish weeks so I've been in training, trying to increase my speed and distance. And it's working - I'm feeling stronger as a runner. But it's come at a price. A week or so ago I noticed my feet were tender. Turns out I've got a mild case of plantar fasciitis, which is inflammation of the tendon on the bottom of the foot, resulting in pain in the heel. I can't quit the team or running, so I've been running every-other-day in some discomfort. Not when I run, but afterwards. Nothing I can do about it except take ibuprofin and rest it some. Lovely. I'll try to do my best to post updates more regularly, but it's summer! You should be out doing something, not sitting in front of your computer! :)

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