Russ was home for nine days. It was great to see him and we had some wonderful discussions, watched some shows, and I cooked full meals for the first time in a year!
But I can't believe the number of things that went wrong. The day he got back, the car broke down. After that, we couldn't drive more than about eight blocks before it overheated. This really limited anything we were going to do. I was supposed to go to the zoo in Omaha. I was lucky if we got to Wal-Mart. For someone who is pretty much housebound the rest of the time, this was a real blow. I need to get out when Russ is here because weeks of staring at the walls of this house will drive a person crazy, especially in the winter when it's too cold to go for long walks.
The good side is that Russ had just driven the car down from Minneapolis and it could have developed this problem out in Nowhere Iowa in the middle of the night. As it is, the car is parked in the driveway and a friend took Russ down to Omaha to catch the flight.
I did not get moved into the other house. The broken water pipe turned into a huge problem, mostly because the person who used to live there redid some of the work and didn't have a clue what he was doing. Russ got a lot of it done, but he couldn't get it all.
And that didn't matter, because the gas company had the lines in the house checked and said they would NOT turn the gas on to the house. That cost us another $200. Plus all the money and work Russ -- and someone he hired -- put into the water pipes.
Now, you can look on the good side on both of these. Russ might have thought the water pipes were fine after the first fix, and it could have come apart the day he left, and I'd be in a real mess. We could have had the gas turned on and then had a dangerous problem. So, despite it being incredibly frustrating, these were somewhat good things in the end.
I woke up the day after Russ got home with my voice mostly gone, and the inability to swallow anything without pain shooting through my right ear. This continued for a couple days, spread to the other ear... and then cleared up.
It was in the 70's when Russ arrived. It snowed before he left. Not a lot of snow, but enough to make certain we couldn't get anything done outside, especially since it got very cold. And Edmond got sick and we had to take him to the vet -- a real trick in this weather with a car we feared was not going to make it that far. (Russ is thinking water pump. That along with all the other failing pieces means he's going to have to get a new car rather than try to fix this one. It's just not worth it.)
Before we realized that I could not move over to the other house, we had focused entirely on getting it ready for me. We didn't work on the stuff at this house until yesterday, after we got the news on Friday that we couldn't have heat at the other place. Needless to say, we didn't get much done. Russ tried to get the heating system to work a bit better, and it seems nicer today, so that's good. We did not work on the kitchen sink, which leaks and has a spigot that comes off if you bump it (always fun to have water shooting up while trying to do the dishes!). We didn't get anything done with my office, but I can get a lot of that myself. As long as we don't have a bitterly cold winter, I'll do all right. This house is awful when the wind blows, but I've survived it until now, and I'll manage another winter.
Oh, the good electric heater I usually plug in on really cold days died, too. I still have an older one that I can use if I have to, but it's going to be tricky since I keep blowing fuses here at the house, so I have to be careful of what's on when.
This was the most frustrating, annoying set of days I ever remember, and there came a point where we started worrying about doing anything at all, for fear it would turn worse.
Russ taught his three classes, at least, and that money will come in sometime over the next few weeks. We replaced my dead printer with an inexpensive HP that prints on discs so that Russ could print off a bunch of discs to take with him copy his stuff onto, and sell on Ebay where he makes a few dollars a month. They look great, so that was a good investment. He was also able to take my Sony DSCH1 since I have the new Canon, so he'll be able to do some work, too. So those things worked out. We took a desk chair from the other house to replace the one with the broken wheel that I'd been using. That's better, too.
Edmond is much better today. I'm not as ill as I was. Russ is riding to Omaha with a friend.
I have only written about 30k for NaNo so far. Usually I'd be up to 100k about now. I don't know if I am going to have a better rest of the month or not. Right now, it's kind of hard to care. On the other hand, I don't have to think about packing things up and moving them, so that's a bit less work, and maybe I can get my office back in order and feel like working here. Maybe I can even take my frustrations out on the novel.