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The Wilson Vehicle Curse

Let me take you to Wednesday before last. Noah was running an errand for work and the car started shaking uncontrollably. He hobbled back to work where the car sat until the next Wednesday when we finally dragged it, going 30km/h, to the auto shop.

After the auto guys looked at it, they told us it was going to be $398 in repairs. Plus $121 to run the diagnostics. After we just fixed something expensive a month or so ago.

We said we’d pay the diagnostics and wait on the rest for now.

Then I got into an accident with the van. It was my fault. I was turning left, and I’m not sure what I was thinking. The SGI (insurance place) person asked me what exactly happened and I couldn’t tell her. Maybe I thought I had a flashing green arrow? I don’t know. But a guy in a truck hit me. He told me later, as we were waiting for the cops after getting our vehicles out of the intersection, that he’d swerved to try not to hit me and that’s the only reason my air bags didn’t go off. Otherwise they would have because I don’t even think I slowed down. We would have hit head on. I remember seeing him, but I think in my head I saw him slowing down since I had a flashing green arrow. Like I said, I have no idea what happened. But the facts were that I did not in fact have a green arrow and he had a green light. Thus, my fault.

The first thing I told the guy who hit me, after we were safely in the parking lot, was that I wasn’t on my phone. Because I wasn’t. I don’t know why I had to tell him that, as he didn’t say anything about it, but I just wanted to make it clear I guess.

We were both fine. Not a scratch on us.

When the cop got there, the other guy and I talked to him a bit and then I told him that it was my fault. He looked a bit dumbfounded when I said that, I guess not many people admit to it right away? He went back to his car for a million years, came and let the other guy go, and then spent another million years in his car. Maybe he was trying to make me suffer. Maybe he legit had to do things that took that long. He ended up giving me a $230 ticket for failing to yield.

The other guy had to get his truck towed because a steel piece was digging into his tire. The tow truck guy bungy’d my bumper up a bit so I could make it home. I called the autobody place on the way home (bluetooth) and they said I could bring it in right away to be diagnosed. Then I called the SGI. We have to pay a $700 deductible plus I get six points off my licence. I was at +2 and now I’m down to -4. I worked hard for those +2! The negative points are $25 each, so that’s another $100. So, basically, it was a $1,030 accident. (Did I do that math right?)

Edited to add: total damage is $9170.33.

So the van was out of commission. And our car was still at the shop. I’d cried instantly upon impact earlier, and a bit more after we’d dragged our vehicles to the parking lot, and then I had to find some way to pick my girls up from school and I cried some more. I put it out on Facebook even though I hate asking for help. I had no choice. It was either that or get a cab, which would have cost me even more. A friend lent me her SUV, which was so kind of her in the first place, but adding that to still lending it to me after I got in an accident just added to her awesomeness.

Noah and I had decided to go ahead and get the car fixed. We did only the necessary parts, spending $400 and leaving the rest for a later date. The shop got it done so fast. We picked it up Thursday evening.

We’ve been using the car for just in-town driving but we had to push it past that becasue I needed to pick Kaylie up from her biodad’s house on Monday. I double-checked with the shop that the car would make the trip and they said yes. So Monday morning, off we went. The younger two kids and me. The ride there was quite uneventful.

When I dropped Kaylie off at the same place last fall, I forgot to fill up with gas before leaving the city to return home. Thankfully, we hit a town a short while later that had a gas station becasue here’s the thing: between that city and my city there are only small towns. Most really tiny with no services whatsoever. So finding a gas station was pretty much a miracle. This time, though, I had it in my head to get gas before we left and then I completely forgot, but I saw my front two tires were low on air so I found a gas station where I could fill them … and then realized I should probably get gas while I was there. Sheesh.

It had rained pretty much our whole trip there and most of the trip back. It was just sprinkling when I went over some railroad tracks and heard some dragging. The kids were watching some Harry Potter when I asked them to pause it so I could listen to what I thought I was hearing. Yup, I heard a dragging sound. Thankfully we weren’t out in the middle of nowhere, well, we were, but we’d just pulled into one of those tiny towns and I saw across the street that there was a little restaurant or something. I looked under my front bumper and saw something all folded backward. Awesome. I cried a little. Because this was just icing on the crap cake that had been our vehicle luck in the past week.

First I called Noah and then I called my dad. My dad is a mechanic and knew right away what I was describing. He was talking me through it when some guy came up to me and asked if I needed help. Yes please. The guy told me that he didn’t want to call me a tow truck because he called a lot of tow trucks but I had no idea why. After he’d torn off the dragging piece with a crowbar (carefully enough that we could get it back on later) he told me that he’s a cop (not on duty, obviously) and said that I was good to go. I thanked him profusely and he told me to drive safe.

When I planned out the day’s trip, I planned that we’d leave at 6:00am, get there at noon, have lunch with friends, leave at 2:00pm, 3:00pm at the latest, and get home before dark. That didn’t happen. Getting lost a few times had us leaving the city at 4:00pm, meaning we wouldn’t get home till 10:00pm, meaning we’d have to travel in the dark. I hate driving in the dark. The previously mentioned incident happened at about 9:00pm, and it was another half hour before we got things sorted out. So I drove in the dark for over an hour. It was terrifying. Apparently our lights suck, so when someone was coming at me, and I had to turn off my brights, I could barely see anything. I had to guess as to where the lines were. I went by where the oncoming vehicle was coming from and guessed at where I was supposed to be driving. The road was narrow. I was so scared.

We finally got home at 10:45pm. Driving in the dark was terrifying. I’m legit shocked that we actually made it home. I figured we’d drive off the road and be found dead in the morning. I must have told Noah a dozen times how happy I was that we were home. When I drove him to work this morning, then Kaylie to school, I was scared the whole time. I don’t want to drive any more.

But we’re home. We made it. We’re safe. And that’s all that matters.

And I’m never doing it again.

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Until May 29 I’ll be fundraising for Preston’s buddy Ronan for the Cystic Fibrosis walk, to fund research to find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis. I’m almost at my goal! $25 away! Donate here!

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Categories: life
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nine

Dear Liliana,

Today you turn nine years old. Nine! Wasn’t I just writing your sixth birthday letter? Did you not just finish preschool?

Nine

I’ve never met a person who loves life more than you do. You fill each day with as much joy as you can.

You love your siblings. You are so excited when Kaylie spends time with you. You look up to her so much. Your brother loves so much to play with you as well. My favourite times are when the three of you show love to each other. You love to play ponies with Kaylie, and you love to play Paw Patrol with Preston.

My Little Ponys are your favourite toys. You have a whole bin of Ponys and Equestria Girls and accessories. If I took away all your toys except your Ponys, you would hardly notice.

You very much enjoy Minecraft. You study your Minecraft books carefully. You got a big Ender Dragon stuffie for your birthday and couldn’t be happier about it. You especially enjoy when Kaylie plays Minecraft with you. I love that you two have that in common. You’re playing Minecraft as I write this, because you don’t have school today and you can do whatever you want (within reason).

You love to dance ballet. Your dance instructor can be quite hard on you, but every time you give it your all and I’m so proud of you for that.

School is one of your favourite places to be. Your best friend at school is Brynlee. You excel in every subject. You get frustrated when you enter a new unit of math and it’s still not fractions. You are reading well above grade level. Speaking of, you love reading more than you love doing anything else in the entire world. I constantly have to tell you to STOP READING when you are supposed to be getting ready for the day or getting ready to go or when you’re supposed to be sleeping. You want to bring a book to the table every morning so you can read while you eat breakfast.

You love camp. You threw quite the fit last summer when it was time to leave. I’m so glad you love it, because I loved it as a kid and it’s fun to see you and your sister enjoy things that I enjoyed too. You can’t wait for this summer so you can go back.

You finally got to go into swimming lessons. You had a rough go of it a while back so we gave you a year or so of a break. But now something in your brain clicked and you can swim! You just need a lot of practice and you need to know that you can do it! I am so happy with you when you do your best.

You are very thoughtful. You enjoy doing special things for people, and you think of kind things I would never have thought of. You care about other peoples’ feelings and you love to be an encourager. You hurt when others hurt, and I love the empathetic heart you have.

I’m so grateful that I get to be your mum, that I get to have you in my life. You bring me so much joy every day, and life is so much better with you in it.

I love you, my dear.

Mama

Categories: Birthday Letters
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five

Dear Preston,

Today you turn five years old. I can’t believe that you, my son, are already five. My curly redhead. My boy. My baby.

Five!

You are an early riser. You’re not allowed out of your room before there’s a seven on your clock and you’re not allowed out of your bed until there’s a six on your clock, but that doesn’t stop you from coming into my room after there’s a six and before there’s a seven to tell me that there’s six and there’s almost a seven. You just can’t wait to get your day started. After there’s a six and before there’s a seven you love to read. Most of your books end up on your floor in that hour because you read through them all and then pile them up. In a heap.

I love your curly red hair. You side with me when your dad says anything about a haircut. You don’t want a haircut. I don’t want you to have a haircut. Two against one. You do get sick of people touching your hair, though. Especially if it’s complete strangers.

You love Harry Potter and Star Wars. You and me and your sisters watch the movies often and you’re a big fan, much to your father’s chagrin. You love playing with my Harry Potter Lego, saying that you won’t lose any pieces this time. You’ve done well lately, my little Weasley, so you can keep playing with it.

I call you my baby often and you say that it’s ok, because you know that you’re my baby, not that you’re a baby. You go by many names, Presto Puff, most of them given to you by your dad. He calls you everything from Grimace to Grandpa. You don’t seem to mind. But when he asks you what your name is, you always let him know that it is PRESTON.

You sure love your dad. You love to wrestle and watch wrestling with him. Though you’re kind of into punching lately. Just with your dad, though. When I finished brushing your teeth the other day, you told me that you want to be just like your dad. I do hope you grow up to be like him, because he’s pretty rad, isn’t he?

Your best friends are Emma, Kesler, Ronan, and Ethan. Your best school friend, besides Ronan, is Hunter. You’re all hugs when you see the two of them as you enter the classroom.

You love school. Some days you don’t want to go to school because you’d rather stay home and play video games. But you always are so happy when I pick you up when school is over. You tell me stories about what happened that day and you’ve made some good friends there. You love your teacher so much. You still give me a big hug when I drop you off, and I cherish every one. Keep hugging me at school drop-offs, ok?

Speaking of video games, you’d play them all day if I let you. Your favourites right now are Super Smash Bros and Plants vs Zombies. I have no idea how to play either of them. You switch from system to system, going through two or three in an afternoon. Not that I ever let you play for a whole afternoon, right Bud? You also love to play Bomberman with your dad, your siblings, and your Auntie Tali.

You’re a snuggler. Your favourite is snuggling between your dad and me in our bed. You give great big bear hugs and you snuggle with me on the couch. You say you don’t like being kissed on the cheek but you allow me to kiss you on your cheek anyway. You’re a mama’s boy and I love that about you. If you’re sitting with someone at the table, you love to sit right beside that person, with your chairs touching. Sometimes this drives your sisters nutty, but I love it.

You are a sensitive soul. When your sisters get in trouble, or if they are hurt, you start to cry. You don’t like seeing others in any sort of trouble/pain.

You are unbelievably kind. Even after your sisters have been picking on you. If Liliana has been unkind but is scared to go downstairs by herself, you offer to go with her. If she doesn’t want to clean her room, you offer to help her. If she wants to play with a toy of yours, you offer it to her willingly.

As I write this, you’re watching Avengers on Netflix and eating multi-coloured marshmallows for lunch. You had a double-chocolate donut and a hashbrown for breakfast. (Don’t tell your dad.) It’s your birthday, my dear, and you can have anything you want (within reason). I assume you’re having hot dogs, leftover from your birthday party last night, for dinner. We had a family party last night to celebrate you being in our lives for a whole five years so far. We’re all so thankful for you.

I love you to the moon and back, Presto.

Mama

Categories: Birthday Letters
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baby, it’s warm outside

It was 20°C on Saturday. It was my favourite day all year so far.

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I can’t believe we were wearing t-shirts OUTSIDE. The most exciting things about the weekend, though, were these: MY TULIPS STARTED COMING UP and THERE ARE BUDS ON THE TREES. I’m beyond stoked.

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I love spring so, so much. It gives me hope that life isn’t actually made of snow. I loathe winter and don’t know why I put myself through a Saskatchewan winter every year. One day we will move to a place with a longer growing season. Which I feel bad saying because we’ve made lasting friendships here we’d miss if we left. But is warmer weather worth it? One day we’ll decide.

Exciting news? I just ordered my Dam seeds. I’m so excited to see green. Gardening is such therapy.

I made a big mistake two years ago and ordered the wrong kind of mulch, so my garden is covered in mulch that is looking to stifle anything I try to grow. It’s super. Last year’s garden was abysmal. SO. I’m building garden boxes this year with Kaylie. She doesn’t know yet that she’s helping me. I built a garden box last year with her and was asked by someone why Noah didn’t make it for me. I have an answer to that: because I could make it myself. I love building things. Noah’s getting pallets for me this year because oh my word lumber is expensive. I’m just hoping the wood is strong enough after I separate the boards.

Now listen, just don’t tell my dying house plants that I’m breaking up with them for the green I can actually keep alive.

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Until May 29 I’ll be fundraising for Preston’s buddy Ronan for the Cystic Fibrosis walk, to fund research to find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis. I’m almost at my goal (THANK YOU, people who donated!!), but we still have to reach the team goal, so don’t let my goal being reached stop you! Donate here!

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Categories: life, the garden project
3 comments

The Bachelor: Ben – Week 8

Hometowns!

Four are left. Who will be voted out sent home tonight?

Orange County, California. Laguna Beach. Amanda’s hometown. They meet on the beach. Amanda’s kids are on their way, she hasn’t seen them yet, which is weird. Whatever. She tells Ben a bit about her kids. Her mom (?) then walks them down to the water. Amanda’s a bit of a weepy mess, as would be expected when one doesn’t see her kids for weeks. Ben chases them around the beach for a while, laughing and playing, followed by a bit of kite flying. Kids are so funny, they attach themselves to people so quickly. As long as that person is into playing with them.

Ben and Amanda drive the kids (one of them crying) to her house. She’s a bit emotional seeing her parents again. Amanda’s mom has a chat with Ben and asks him how he feels about having kids. He said his initial reaction to Amanda having kids was good. He likes them.

Amanda then talks to her mom. She says that since her focus has always been on her kids, she’s felt bad being in a relationship because it would take time away from her kids. (She’s so sweet.) She wants it to work out with Ben, she’s never met anyone like him.

Ben and Amanda’s dad talk. The dad asks how the relationship is going. He asks what the future looks like. Ben says he’d want to be that father to the girls. The dad says that there will be times when he can’t do what he wants to do because the kids come first. The dad says that if Amanda’s happy, he’s happy.

The two read stories to the kids and then Ben leaves. Amanda is in love with him and would be crushed if she was sent home.

Portland, Oregon. (I love that city!)(That bridge looks familiar!) Lauren’s hometown. She’s in love with Ben. They walk around, have some food truck food, and head to a whiskey library. Lauren is excited for Ben to meet her family, but she’s also scared. She wants to tell Ben that she loves him, but she wants to wait to see how the family part goes. If her family doesn’t approve, she can’t move forward.

Why are all these houses so BEAUTIFUL?! Lauren’s dad toasts to the evening and her sister takes Ben away. She asks Ben how things are going. She wants to know about how Ben is with the other families. Does Lauren stand out? What makes her stand out. Ben says he can’t put words to it, but he feels really lucky. And then he sheds a tear. The sister talks to Lauren next. Lauren says that she and Ben are compatible. Ben is her “person”. She’s in love with him.

Lauren’s dad then asks Ben how Lauren is different than the other women. He says his heart stopped the first time he saw her. The dad is wondering how the quickness of this whole process is working, and how he’ll know if Lauren is right for him. He says he’ll know before he’s down on one knee. The dad asks Ben how he’s coping having three other fathers out there. Ben says he’s not coping well.

Lauren then talks to her dad about Ben. He reminds her that there are three other women still in this, so just be careful.

Hudson, Ohio. Caila’s hometown. I’m just gonna go ahead and say that I’m not exactly Team Caila. I just don’t see it. I did at one point, but I no longer do.

Anyway. Caila wants today to be a fresh start. She takes Ben to a bench. “I’ve always wanted to be on this bench.” That’s fantastic, Caila. I hope she goes home. She says she feels at home with Ben. She feels ready to build a home with him. Caila takes Ben to a to warehouse, apparently her dad is the CEO of a toy company. They draw up plans to build a house and then go into the factory and make it from plastic moulds. She wants to tell Ben that she’s in love with him. Good for you, Caila.

Caila brings Ben home to a huge house. Is there a requirement to be on this show? All the contestants have to come from families with lots of money? Caila’s mom: “Have you ever met Filipinos before? … It’s common for us to eat with our hands.” Her mom introduces all the dishes that look mouthwatering and I want them all. Her dad is white. Very white. “How is it like with this microwave fame?” Oh, sheesh. He then lectures her about Filipino culture. Which is equal parts cool and intimidating.

Caila’s mom takes Ben aside and wants to know what it is that sparked his interest in Caila. He says she’s joyful and cute and bubbly. Her mom says that Caila’s still single because she has very high standards. Ben says he’s afraid that his feelings won’t be reciprocated. Her dad asks what’s in Caila’s heart. “How do you block out everything else and focus on your relationship with him.” She says she just focuses on him. The moments they spend together are right. He wants to know that this is normal. But she’s afraid of a huge let-down. He’s afraid she’s going to be crushed. Caila tells her mom that this is real. That’s what they all say, Caila. “I’m in love with him, mom. I know he’s the one.”

Caila walks him to the limo and means to tell him that she loves him but she didn’t allow herself to fully trust him. The scared feeling is still lingering a little bit.

Dallas, Texas. Jojo’s hometown. She walks up to her house and there are roses waiting for her. She opens the card and … it’s from her ex-boyfriend. She’s UP-SET. But then she calls him. He cares so much about her and wants her and loves her and doesn’t want to lose her. Ben then walks up to her house. She tells him about the flowers/letter. She’s kind of a mess. Ben says that he’s glad she made the phone call and ended whatever that guy was trying to start. Jojo says that she’s never been happier, has never been this excited about someone.

The parents’ house! It’s huge. It has pillars and arches. Yikes. Her brothers attack her. One of them is named Ben. Her mom’s had a lot of plastic surgery. She asks what sets Jojo apart from the others. There’s a lot of “y’all” flying around. Her brothers are “really, really, really attached to Joelle”.

The brothers take boyfriend Ben aside and basically ask if he’s going to hurt Jojo. Ben says he doesn’t know what the future holds for him and Jojo, but he cares a lot about her.

Jojo and her mom talk. Her mom asks her if she’s in love with Ben, to which Jojo says she’s falling in love with Ben. I can’t get past her mom’s face. It’s kind of clown-ish.

Her dad asks Ben what he’s going to do to communicate his feelings for Jojo. Ben says that he hopes that he and Jojo can trust each other. Ben says he doesn’t want to make any promises today, but that he falls more and more for her the more time they spend together.

Next up the brothers take Jojo on. “How can you fall for a guy you’ve only had two dates with?!” One of her brothers says to keep herself guarded. They don’t want to see her hurt. She says the only way this is going to work is for her to let herself feel. “We don’t want you to sell yourself short.” Jojo’s confused. Her mom said to give 150% and her brothers are telling her to hold back.

Everyone’s in the kitchen when one of the brothers calls Ben out on brainwashing Jojo and the rest of the women. Where is Jojo in all of this? It’s just her family and Ben in the room. Ben says he’s trying to go about this in the best way possible and he doesn’t want to hurt Jojo. The other brother asks Ben if he’s been coached on his answers. Probably. Ben says he wasn’t coached, and that he’s trying to give them all he can give them. The brothers just look mean. Ben looks exhausted. Jojo’s mom says to give Ben a break because it’s not easy on him either.

Jojo walks Ben out and they review what happened this evening. Ben’s unsettled. “It wasn’t the hometown that I would have liked.” Jojo doesn’t want Ben to walk away feeling like he’s been ambushed.

Back in Los Angeles! The ladies pull up in their limos. Jojo is scared. Amanda says that if Ben proposed to her now she’d say yes. Caila regrets not telling Ben how she feels. Lauren is terrified, she’s in love with Ben.

Ben walks in. Sweating. Shaking. A little emotional I think.

First rose goes to … Lauren. Second rose goes to … Caila. (Boo.) Final rose goes to … Jojo. Noooo!! I mean, I don’t dislike Jojo, I just love Amanda. Chris Harrison comes in and tells Amanda to say her goodbyes. Amanda says that she feels like Ben should have told Amanda in her hometown how he felt rather than getting her back to LA just to send her home. Ben says he wishes great things for her, and Amanda says she’s going to miss him.

Amanda is shocked and at a loss for words. She says she was falling in love with him, and was picturing her life with Ben. Ben is a mess. He says he can’t do his interview right now.

Next week! Jamaica! Overnights!

The end credits are my favourite, because they’re some sort of blooper or funny moment. In this one, Lauren’s two younger brothers ask him about the fantasy suite. After a few sips of wine, Ben says that he respects Lauren and wouldn’t put her in a position to degrade herself.

I love this show.

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Until May 29 I’ll be fundraising for Preston’s buddy Ronan for the Cystic Fibrosis walk, to fund research to find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis. Donate here!

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Categories: bachelor(ette)
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