Monday, November 28, 2011

No Sunday total for this week

Sorry, I don't have a total for this week. We just didn't go grocery shopping, since we would be away for most of the week.
We drove down to Soldotna to see my in-laws for the holiday. The original plan was to have all of us drive down together (me, spouse, two younger brothers and one girlfriend + one dog) but my MIL started panicking about "putting all eggs in one basket". So she rented us a car (even with the cost of gas it was supposed to be cheaper and easier than taking the truck) and it was two in one car, three (+dog) in the other. Oh boy. The drive down worked out great. I drove the Fairbanks-Anchorage leg, then Shane took over for the Anchorage-Soldotna leg while I napped.
We had a great weekend. Lots of good food, lots of family time. We played dominoes every night, and discovered that couples cannot sit next to each other during games. While playing "Sorry", it didn't matter that Shane was sitting across from me. So we switched to "Clue" and had two games ruined by people either guessing prematurely and then announcing to everyone else what it should have been instead of letting someone else guess, or cheating by accidentally not showing a clue they had. We went back to dominoes after that.
We looked up funny videos on Youtube, listened to the brothers humming "Moves Like Jagger" all weekend (it was stuck in their heads), and watched more football than I do in the whole rest of the year. It was great.
It was also (other than the driving) fairly low-waste. When we went to the coffee shop, I remembered my reusable mug. Even my FIL, when he was running out to the coffee shop, brought my mug to get me some tea. The turkey carcasses (yes, two turkeys since there were seven of us at the house and 6 assorted relatives for Thanksgiving day) got reused to make turkey soup when most of the meat had been carved off and made into sandwiches or topped with more gravy and eaten straight. The dogs got plenty of meat, skin, and fat. They loved it.
As for Black Friday, I'm a little ashamed to admit that I did take part this year. But it was for a good reason. Shane and I figured out that our combined phone plans were costing us nearly $90/month, and if I got on his family's plan that would drop to $30/month. Spencer needed a new phone because he's got a bad habit of dropping his in lakes and hot tubs. The phone company has a promo for Thanksgiving weekend of a free phone. So we went. My old phone (which is mostly still usable) will get donated to a charity that will make use of it before recycling it. In terms of phones, in most people's eyes I "downgraded" since I went from a touch-screen to not a touch-screen. But my phones without touch screens have lasted about 3-4 years, while my touch screen is getting somewhat spotty after only a year and a half. I'd rather go for functionality than how cool it is.
The drive home was...well. I put us in a ditch. The rental car companies don't put winter tires on their cars because it's not "worth it". So we had somewhat bald summer tires and on a downhill corner I started spinning out and turned the wheel the wrong way. Totally my fault. You're supposed to turn the wheel in the direction of the turn, but it's instinctive for most people (myself included) to turn the wheel the other direction. I know what I'm supposed to do in that situation, but it's not instinctive so I did the wrong thing and by the time I formed the thought of the right thing to do it was too late. I had way over-corrected. Shane told me that when we go down at Christmas, he's going to take me to the high school to work on spinning out until it does become instinctual to turn into the spin. I might make that happen before the drive down there, though, just to be on the safe side.
I must say, it's very dramatic to have all of that snow fly up over the windshield. No one was hurt (except perhaps the dog, who hit the dash--Shane checked her over and said that at most she's got some bruises) but we needed a tow. Luckily, the other car was no more than a couple of miles behind us so they soon drove up. Also luckily, there happened to be a tow truck that stopped less than five minutes after the accident. Turns out, someone about five miles further up the road had hit a moose. (Ouch! They looked ok when we passed them later, and a cop was there.) After calling the tow company, it was decided that since our vehicle was still running we'd be the first pulled out. It took a while, since the chains needed to be attached to parts that were buried in the snow.
And it cost $200. Ouch. Thankfully, between all of us we had the cash on hand. So now we just owe money to a younger brother. What a pain. As for the car, the only lasting damage was to the left headlight. The bumper partially popped off because of the snow piled up while it was being pulled out, but Shane got it put back on. You wouldn't think that such a critical piece of car safety would be so easy to come off/put back on, but it is.
We got home very late, but safe. The cat was very happy to see all of us and scolded us quite vocally while he rubbed against us and purred. Usually he's got a soft purr, but when we've been away he turns into a little engine that hums almost constantly just at the sight of us. I missed my little guy!

*Correction: it was not the bumper that came off, it was the fender. I know nothing about cars.

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