First, the good news: our I-600 arrived at USCIS in Vietnam today, according to Fed-Ex. So now we wait for an acknowledgement…umm, hopefully, because that’s where things got screwed up last time.
Now – onto the rest of the day:
Hunky and I have our minivan in the shop on base. This minivan would be an English-style Mazda MPV with less than 80,000 miles, that we have had for less than a year. Shortly after we purchased it (as in the next day) from another military member, we noticed that it emitted a lot of smoke. We thought for sure that it wouldn’t pass British inspection in December, which is a lot more involved than US inspection, but it did. But the smoking has gotten worse, and I’ve become more adept at checking dipsticks and adding oil to the engine than I would like. So Hunky and I put it in the shop – which involved a couple of trips to base, I might add. And Hunky left for a 10 day trip today.
The mechanics call me later in the morning, telling me that the engine is unsalvageable, that it will cost at least $4000 to get a reconditioned engine, and that he recommends that we just scrap the car. Lovely.
Meanwhile, I’m driving our old CRV – the car we brought from America. And oh yes, on Saturday night, the check engine light came on, and it hasn’t gone off yet. Now we think the problem is with the light, because the car doesn’t smoke, overheat, and we just had the oil changed with all the fluid levels checked. Still, check engine lights make me a little nervous, especially when we have one car in the shop. And when Hunky is gone…
So I’m not sure what possessed me to drive 2 hours to our local IKEA today, but I did. I did because we don’t have any outdoor furniture, and because we now have a large yard, as well as neighbors that like to sit and chat outside, outdoor furniture is a nice thing to have. And I found a table that would be perfect at IKEA online. And I checked the stock for the nearest IKEA, and low and behold, they have the table in stock. So off the kids and I go this morning. And we get there with no car problems, only problems with my head as I spend the whole drive checking the oil temp every 5 seconds, and imagining that the car isn’t running right.
As usual, I manage to find a good number of things that I would like to purchase at IKEA, and we finally make our way down to where the garden furniture should be, only its not. As it turns out, all the garden furniture they have left is in a pile in the corner near the check out. And no, they haven’t had the table I want in stock for at least a month, and won’t get it again until next year. Humph.
So I find some other garden furniture that I like okay, and load it all onto the trolley with all the other stuff. Except I had to move some stuff around to fit everything in, and I’m just realizing tonight that the poster-sized frames that I got to frame my super-cool new WWII propaganda posters somehow got left at the store. Rarrr! The saving grace is that upon checking my receipt, at least they didn’t make it to the cash register either. But still! The store is 2 hours away – and those frames actually looked decent, and they only cost $10! Not happy with myself or IKEA.
And then we drove back home, where I went to our local DIY store. Where they had garden furniture on clearance. And I liked the set there a whole lot better than the mish-mash of garden furniture that I bought at IKEA. So I bought the furniture there too. Which means that soon, someone will have to drive 2 hours to IKEA to return the furniture I bought there. Needless to say, I don’t think I could convince Hunky to do it.
On a positive note, I managed not to lose O or Y in the store.
On an even more positive note, when we got home (at long last), one of my neighbors made Appletinis – and shared. Have I mentioned that I love our new neighborhood?