First, I was burned out. Completely and totally. When I was not working or running around, I went into some sort of shut down mode and needed a break from life and extras.
Second, I did not have much to say since the big lefty is still rehabbing the hip with Yoda. Once he finishes with Yoda, he heads to Jersey. After he completes his transformation, he goes back to Seattle to be discovered.
Third, the holidays were upon us and my elves were no where to be found. They disappeared....evaporated....went on strike...were MIA.....unless there was food on the table, I was alone...#whattheheck....
Once we celebrated Christmas, Tink, the pups and I headed to South Carolina for the week to chill and ignore all student requests for a grade change. On the way down I 95, we noticed a pattern...the pattern was that we would speed up for a mile and slow down to a crawl for five miles. Frustrating? Yep. After 14 hours in the car in stop and go traffic, my right leg started to spasm and either we had to stop and find a hotel that allowed dogs only 50 miles from our destination or find an alternate route.
Fortunately, we found the route along the back roads and made it to the house. I was wrong in my assumption that if I left the house at 5 am, I would miss all I 95 traffic and be early in our SC arrival. Boy, was I wrong.
We finally arrived to the island and it looked like it was spring break. The traffic was a nightmare, but we persisted until we got to the house. Hurray! Time for pizza, salad, a glass of merlot, and bed....in that order.....
As a side note, I must admit that the pups were terrific. They slept most of the way and we only stopped twice to let them do their business at a rest stop.
The next day, Tink and I had to go to the grocery store to pick up chicken and kibble for the pups and decided to use the car in the garage that is kept at the house for when we are in town.
I opened the car door and was knocked over with a scent that could be compared to sweaty sneakers, rotten trash, and fishing bait. I immediately blamed dad and made no bones about him not cleaning his truck before he left for home. Dang, it smelled so bad, that I was going to abandon it along I 95 for anyone without a nose to take. First, I would place a sign on it...."free...one stinky car...low mileage".
Rather than abandon a perfectly good car, I opened the windows and took it on a spin around town thinking that that would eliminate the smell.....Wrong!
Yep, as we drove, the scent got stronger and I began to gag as I crossed a bridge. Pulling out Siri, I asked for a car detailer who made house calls....found one....he was coming to the house in two hours...cool....how much? yeah, sure.....no problem....I got some spare change and can sell a pint of blood at the hospital....
My car detailer, Rodney came after driving two hours. He found the source of the scent...a rodent....squirrel, perhaps, died under the car and his bones were visible on the garage floor right under the engine...rest in peace, you varmint!
OK, Rodney spent three hours working on what he called 'death' smell. When he finished, I could still smell it, although the car was amazingly clean and shiny! Uh, Rodney, it still stinks. What gives?
"Well, death, Miz BPM takes a while to go away" as he told me a story of vultures and how they find the carcasses to eat by identifying the smell of death. Yum....
As we continued to chat, he told me that he has not worked since Thanksgiving since his contracts had dried up. I was certainly glad that I could help out in my little way. Also, he was a veteran and his father was a marine. Semper fi!
While Rodney was finishing work, a neighbor drove by, saw Rodney and hired him to power wash his mildew-y drive way. In the meantime, dad also wanted the car that I drove to the house detailed. This seemed to be a very good day for my new friend Rodney.
It was now 5pm and Rodney wanted to clean the interior rather than hitting rush hour traffic. The next day, he could finish the car and the neighbor's driveway.
OK, Rodney, if you can see in the dark, go for it. While you are working, Tink and I are going to pick up our take out for dinner. Want anything?
It took us 45 minutes to pick up Rodney's dinner and as we drove into the driveway, he finished the interior of the car. It was now pitch dark and no one could see in front of their faces since there are no street lights. Giving Rodney his dinner, we said good by and see you tomorrow as he backed out of the driveway.
As Tink and I entered the kitchen, we could see that Rodney's van was not moving. Was he dead? Did we poison him?
Nope... It seems that Rodney backed his van into a ditch in the neighbor's front lawn and could not pull out of it. Oye! That's right! Oye!
After calling security, Dave, my new security friend who stopped by to assess the situation, contacted a towing company. Thinking that I could use my AAA card (since Rodney was not a member), I made plans to use it when the van and Rodney were pulled out of the ditch. I did not want Rodney to be in the hole financially as he pays the money that he made detailing my car for his tow.
While waiting for the tow truck, my neighbor finally notices that there is a large white van in the middle of her front lawn with a police car's lights shining like a strobe, along with Dave, the police officer, Rodney, Tink, two pups, and me with a needed glass of Merlot standing in the street as if it were a block party. As she joined us, I met another neighbor who seems pretty calm for having a large white van embedded in the front of her house. I decided at that moment that she was cool and I liked her. We exchanged contact information and decided to get together to hit a few tennis balls before I left.
Finally, the tow truck arrives and takes 5 minutes to pull the van out. I handed the guy my AAA card and he refused it. Apparently....yes, apparently, there is an unwritten policy that states if security or police call AAA instead of the card holder, we cannot use the card to pay for towing.
Yikes! Is this going to be an "ouch" or an "forget about the boots that are on clearance this month" invoice?
"95 dollars, mam." Crud....double crud....triple crud. I just paid Rodney, the tow truck guy does not accept American Express, and I do not have the check book....Uh, Tink? Got any money?
And so, Tink was my hero as she pulled out a Visa card that was a gift from Christmas to pay for Rodney's van. As he got into the van to leave, he whispered in my ear "you don't have to pay for the second car tomorrow." What a kind man.
However, I could not not pay him for his work. After all, he has not had steady work, did a terrific job on the detailing, and proved that he was a decent guy. In a word or three...I swallowed it and insisted that I pay for all of his work. After all, it wasn't really his fault. I gave him the burger which must of distracted him as he pulled out.
And, because of Rodney, I met two neighbors who seem pretty cool. So, I have Rodney to thank for it.
On to the stinky car.....it still stunk. I bought some cinnamon scented pine cones and hoped that they would mask the scent.
Rodney scrubbed the undercarriage ....scent gone?
Dad finally arrived and was also disgusted by the scent. He opened the hood of the car and finally, we had a reason for the smell. It seems that our friend, the squirrel, made a nest in the motor. There were acorns, droppings, some twigs, and a bar of Irish Spring soap! Yep, the squirrel pulled the soap into the car and used it as a blanket.
AS dad scrubbed the top of the engine to eliminate all traces of the squirrel, we drove to dinner with the air conditioning blasting to rid the car of the scent. Did it work?
Then I googled getting rid of rodents and smells in cars. It seems that we have to place traps around the car and not bars of Irish spring soap, leave the hood of the car open, and add moth balls around the tires. Mind you, this car is in the garage.....
On the way home from dinner, he picked up Lysol and sprayed it into the vents, ran the air conditioning and heat full blast, and kept fingers crossed that the scent is now gone.
I will know in a few minutes when we head out to run errands. All I want is for the odor to dissipate. Is that too much to ask????
So, let's review.....
if you remember, last year....I had the same problem.
The car's internal wires were eaten by a squirrel. Leaving me with squirrel poo and a huge invoice from the dealer to clean it up and replace the wires.
This year, I did not see evidence of eaten wires, but the squirrel left me a gift...that is...the gift of scent.....Kind of like, Jean Nate gone bad.....
Before we leave, it is going to be my mission to rid the garage of squirrels looking for a warm dark place to nest during the winter. Let them find a nice tree to nest in or perhaps.....a little ditch across the street....
For now, I am going to booby trap the garage and make sure that this does not happen again.
Happy New Year to all!