My last couple of days haven’t been all that great. Actually, I can’t say it that way, it’s been the last week but off-and-on, culminating in today.
When we left California, we still had about a year left on our DirecTV contract. Upon moving to Alabama, we hooked it back up and switched from the $75/month premium plan to the $29/month family plan to finish out our contract. We got AT&T for our land line and DSL internet. AT&T owns DirecTV, so we were able to get a good deal on a bundle. However, the phone had annoying static and Jason had horrible issues with the internet. While he was playing World of Warcraft he’d get kicked offline every 15 minutes or so. During the day while he was at work, I’d have to reboot our router every few hours because it would randomly lose connection with AT&T.
Jason called Mediacom and found out that they would pay up to $300 to buy us out of our DirecTV contract if we switched over to their cable TV; also, their internet promised to be much faster than AT&T could provide. We happily switched our TV, internet, and phone over to Mediacom. The installer came last week to hook us up. He spent four hours talking to himself and drinking all of my lemonade, tramping up and down from my attic, and complaining about what the DirecTV guy did to our cabling. When he left, I had fast internet but only while tethered to my modem (leaving us to set up our own wireless network, which AT&T included in their service), the cable box didn’t work all I had were 11 broadcast stations (which I could get with a pair of rabbit ears), he left the DVD/VCR and Wii unconnected, and whenever I got a phone call the internet would pause until the call was over. What kind of service is this?
We called Mediacom to complain but they said that the soonest they could get another installer out was a week later, today. A rude man showed up on our doorstep this morning and spent about thirty minutes fiddling with the TV. He tuned the TV to a news station, made some really off-color comments (not under his breath, he turned and commented to us), and did nothing but attach our DVD/VCR. I still don’t have a functioning cable box.
Another separate issue, but I want to get all of the rant out in one post… My car is having a breakdown. We haven’t had a single problem with it since bringing it here to Alabama. We towed it on a trailer behind Jason’s truck, so it didn’t even get all of those miles put on it. It’s on mile 4,000 (approximate) of it’s last oil change, but it is supposed to go 5,000 between changes. Never had a problem with that before, ever. It’s about a thousand miles from it’s next scheduled maintenance (85,000 miles) but it’s not supposed to freak out like this until you miss a significant maintenance event.
Jason and I took my car to Sam’s Club earlier today because it needed gas and Sam’s Club has the cheap stuff. Right as we pulled into our driveway the car started making awful noises and the engine light started blinking. I parked it and popped the hood. A really bad smell was coming from under the hood but nothing jumped out at either Jason or I. The engine temperature was normal and the oil light wasn’t on. I turned the car off and we took Jason’s truck to our afternoon appointment, vowing to figure out my car tomorrow.
With only one working vehicle and two working individuals in the same home, we face a serious scheduling problem. Luckily, I am home all day every day and neither Jason or his mom work far from the house. Until we get my car towed to a mechanic and fixed, I will be taking my mother-in-law to work at 10 am, coming home to spend a few hours with Jason, taking him to work at 2:30, swinging by to pick up Carol from work at 3:00, catching a nap after dinner, and driving back to pick up Jason from work at midnight.
How did my life turn into a carpool mommy when my only child is still living with his father 2,700 miles away (at least until October)? We’ve got some savings we can use to fix whatever is wrong with my car, but I’m hoping and praying that it won’t zap the whole amount we have socked away. That would be really bad for our tiny budget and we likely wouldn’t make it through the month if we didn’t have a little that we could pull from savings to get us through this month and next until Jason gets his flight pay back (he has to get re-qualified to fly since it’s a different plane than he worked on in San Diego). We budgeted to pull a certain amount from our savings for the first two months (three at most). After those first couple months, we’ll be fine without pulling from savings.
I do NOT want to refinance my car AGAIN in order to pay for car repair. I had to do that when I got my brakes done because they snuck up on me.
What can I say? At least I picked this month to plan all of our meals from the start and bought all the food we’ll need today. If we run out of cash due to the car, at least we’ve already got food for a month.