It started the night before last, when we noticed that the upstairs air-conditioning didn't seem to be working properly. I figured I'd let it go overnight and see if the temperature came back down to the correct level; if not, I'd call the repairman in the morning.
In the morning, it was clear that the unit was malfunctioning. It was also clear that Thing Two's right ear had blown up like a balloon overnight. A bug bite of some sort, we guessed. Called the nurse at the pediatrician's practice, called the HVAC guy. Nurse said to use hydrocortisone cream, Benadryl and ice; HVAC dispatcher said they might be able to get somebody to the house that day between 3 and 5 unless the predicted thunderstorms materialized, in which case it would be next week sometime before they could send somebody out. (Note that yesterday it was extremely muggy here with highs in the mid-90s. Further note that my parents were visiting us from the West Coast and a friend of Thing One's was also expected to arrive that morning for an overnight stay while his folks were out of town.)
Took the kids to their scheduled soccer camp, did some shopping with Mom, Thing One's friend arrived. Picked the kids up from soccer, made lunch, threw the kids in the pool while we waited for the A/C guy. 3 o'clock, 4 o'clock, no sign of him. Clouds start rolling in, wind picks up. Repairman showed up at 5:15, just as the first raindrops started to fall and the first rumbles and flashes began. Mercifully, he did in fact stay to finish the job and the part required was one he had on his truck. $350 later, the A/C was functioning again. Meanwhile, I was trying to cook dinner for the kids, so I got the repairman started outside and then came back in to work in the kitchen. I was standing at the stove stirring spaghetti sauce when I felt a sharp pain in one thigh, followed quickly by another...investigated and was horrified to discover that a yellow jacket had apparently flown up between the two layers of my skirt while I was outside and was stinging me through the inner layer! (Thank God I am not allergic.) Terminated that little bugger with extreme prejudice, grabbed an ice pack from the nearby freezer and kept stirring the sauce while holding the ice pack propped between my leg and the front of the stove to keep the ice on the bites. Thankfully, my dad had returned from the drugstore with the hydrocortisone cream for Thing Two only fifteen minutes previously, so it was now available for BOTH the bug-stung family members.
Got the kids' dinner cooked and the four of them fed. It was probably 6:30 by that point. The plan was to wait to feed the adults until Himself got home from work, and I was starting to get moving on that when Dad asked me why the ice dispenser on the fridge wasn't working.
You guessed it...the power had just gone out.
It was a brownout, not a complete blackout, so we did have some water and dim lights, but certainly not enough power to cook. Or to run the newly-repaired air conditioning, for that matter. Himself came home hungry half an hour later; still not able to cook, we gave up and ordered a pizza! The power didn't come back on till almost 9PM...still not sure what caused the problem. Fortunately, we have an abundant supply of wine in our basement courtesy of Himself's collecting habit, and it was put to good use last night. Also fortunately for my by-that-point-absolutely-and-utterly-nonexistent patience, the younger two kids fell asleep quickly and the older boys were very quiet and well-behaved in their basement sleepover-lair.
I have rarely been so happy to have a day over with in my life!
As a side note, because yesterday didn't do enough damage to my cortisol levels, this morning I noticed that the DOWNSTAIRS air conditioner appeared not to be working.
Fortunately for my sanity, it occurred to me to check the fuse box BEFORE I called the A/C guy back to look at the other unit. As sometimes happens, the power outage had blown the fuse and I had to flip the switch to reset it: after that the temperatures crawled back down to their appropriate levels again. Bloody hell!! Enough already.
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