Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Good Start, Bad Ending

The day started off nicely. I headed to the new farm this morning since today was farrier day there. The weather was exceptionally pleasant, breezy and overcast but with a temperature in the high 70's. The horses were in a great mood, very relaxed and copacetic about life.

When I know I am going to be bringing horses in later in the day I usually slip their halters on while they are eating breakfast. It makes it easier to sneak up on them later and just grab the halter. I watched Hemi and Thomas playing a fun game of halter tag with each other.

Hemi and Thomas playing halter tag

Later in the morning I started bringing horses into the barn for some spa treatments. I am one that really enjoys grooming and bathing horses so I did a lot of grooming and bathing of horses. The farrier came mid-day and as always we had a pleasant time chatting and gossiping while working on the horses. After the horses were done with their pedicures and spa treatments they went back outside and resumed their regularly scheduled program of grazing. I watched them grazing for a few minutes and enjoyed the serenity.

The Big Boys grazing quietly

I wrapped up my work there and was heading home. Jason was going to be finishing out the day at the new farm and I needed to do some errands and other things around the house. I'm driving along on the interstate and suddenly all is not well. The dashboard on the truck lit up like a Christmas tree and the electronic readout is flashing "battery not charging" at me. Ummmm, what the heck?

Then I realize I have no power steering, no power anything. Thankfully I happened to be right at an exit ramp and I exited the interstate and coasted into the parking lot of a gas station that was right off the ramp. I pretty much pulled my arms out the sockets turning the steering wheel, and shifted into neutral and stood on the brakes and stopped. I was very thankful to have made it off the interstate in one piece minus one serpentine belt. Stupid truck only has like 30,000 miles on it. GRRRRRR.

I call AAA to have a tow truck come. Talk about a frustrating conversation:

AAA operator: I need the address of your location
Me: I'm right off of Exit 'X' on I-65
AAA: But I need the exact address
Me: I just coasted off of I-65 at Exit 'X'; I have no idea what the address is.
AAA: What street are you on?
Me: (starting to get a very irritated edge in my voice) I'm on whatever road is right off of Exit X on I-65

We continue round and round on this scenario until she finally gets it that we're not going to be giving out a street address. Geesh. Then she asks where I want the truck to be towed.

Me: Walker Chevrolet in Franklin
AAA: What is the address for Walker Chevrolet
Me: We aren't going through this again are we?
AAA: Well I need the address to give to the tow truck driver
Me: I can assure you the tow truck driver will know where Walker Chevrolet is located.

I finally end the world's most frustrating conversation with AAA and wait for the tow truck. In the meantime I thankfully track down my dad who is able to come and rescue me.

While I am waiting for the tow truck and my dad I start having the "it could be worse" conversation with myself. I do try to be an optimist. I start with "it could be raining right now. I could be stranded here in the pouring rain." Well, that was the cue for a torrential downfall of rain to start. My goodness I must have peed in someone's Wheaties today. I can barely hear myself thinking over the driving rain but I try again and go for a safer one this time - "at least I'm not hauling horses." Yes, thank goodness I am not stranded on the interstate with horses in tow in the pouring rain. I instantly felt better.

The tow truck and my Dad arrived within a few minutes of each other. The clouds parted and the rain stopped so at least no one had to get wet while the stupid truck was loaded onto the tow truck. Right now I am not a fan of Chevrolet Duramax Diesel trucks. Right now I would like to have another Ford Powerstroke diesel. I said to Jason it is no wonder GM is bankrupt, they can't build a decent vehicle.

Stupid Truck loaded on the tow truck

I now refer to the truck as Stupid Truck. Stupid Truck is at Walker Chevrolet awaiting a new serpentine belt. Stupid Truck should be back in our driveway shortly. The rest of the day was uneventful which was nice.

A video from Sunday. It was windy on Sunday and all of the horses were hyper. This is a video of Faune, Gus, Chimano, Winston, Romeo and Asterik running around and being silly. ALL of the horses were acting like this but I had my camera handy to capture these guys on video.

Clay rolling while B-Rad and Alex watch

B-Rad decided he was going to roll too

Then Alex joined in the fun

B-Rad watching Alex

B-Rad bumping Alex and saying "that was fun, eh?" (they pick up the phrase "eh" from Jason)

Leo and HemiApollo
Maisie and MyLight
Darby and Ogie
Romeo and Sebastian

Faune, Chimano and Winston (who is sticking his tongue out for some reason)
Lexi and Cinnamon


PhunnieOne said...

I must say when I saw bad ending I thought it was a really bad ending, I was relieved when it was just the truck that died.

On a side note the half moon chewed condition of the fence under Norman's chin reminds me to save for metal fencing when I eventually have a farm. lol

Funder said...

Ugh, a sucky day indeed! Glad you made it back home safe.

Lauren said...

*I* have a Powerstroke Diesel.


Seindria said...

Oh man... I've been there, damn serpentine belts. But my car (1993 Buick Skylark) had many more miles...(114k-ish) I live north of Knoxville, so I-40 and 640 are very typical roads for me to be on. In 1999, after my mom got remarried, I was on my way to S. Knoxville to take my Mamaw a piece of wedding cake. I got onto 640, and not a half mile after getting onto the interstate, I heard a huge -SNAP- and, like you, lost power steering, power brakes... I was also doing about 65-70, and I'm not very big. I wrestled the car to the side of road, popped the hood, and hopped out. Then I saw where my belt should be, a shredded bird's nest.

I didn't have a cell phone, but I got lucky and someone soon stopped to call me a tow truck. Then someone else stopped. Then a state trooper.

My belt broke because I had a bad water pump, which wore out the tensioner arm, which caused the belt to drift. Here's hoping your's isn't that bad.

Lara said...

Melissa! The same thing happened to me! (Five years ago, but really, really similar!)
Car died on the highway and the steering went out like that. (Yes, it's a complete workout!) :) I too coasted off the exit ramp and straight into a gas station. Very lucky in that regard.
But my Jeep was not even two years old. It's nuts how these things happen.

Anonymous said...

May I have Maisie and Norm photos? Thanks!

Get U.S. Rider coverage - much better than AAA - they came and got our truck and towed, not once, but twice (bad alternator replaced by bad alternator . . .) when my husband was on a recent trip to MS. And they fix trailer too - it's all included, and they'll find a vet if you need one and will make sure your horses end up in a safe place, rather than on the side of the road, if you break down. They service trucks with dualies too which AAA won't. The coverage is by person, and covers you no matter what vehicle you are driving.

Karen said...

I love the dog running with the horses in the second video! LOL!

SmartAlex said...

Dear AAA Operator:

YOU are sitting comfortably in your cubicle in front of a computer.

I am sitting in my dead truck at a GAS STATION, next to the middle of nowhere.

I pay you to sort these things out. SO. Start sorting.

Heck, I can get a tow truck to an interstate exist 3 states away, from the comfort of my desk, and I'm not even trained for it.

Jason said...

Anybody remember the country song, "Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road" ?

Substitute "truck" for "skunk" and don't change anything else and you've about summed up Melissa's feelings on the subject.

And I'd have lost my patience with AAA a whole lot quicker than Melissa did. Our Interstate exit numbers are in line with mile marker numbers, making it even easier. When Exit X and Mile Marker X are one and the same, it doesn't take a genius to route a tow truck to you !

RuckusButt said...

I totally remember that song!

There's a dead TRUCK in the middle of the road, come on STINK!"

Ahem. Melissa, I often find myself trying to be an optimist. It feels good for the character, doesn't it? Not sure I'm all that successful though. You're right though, it could've been worse.

Wonderful photos and video. Can you ever tell how dry it's been though, quite different from last year, I think...isn't it?

The halter tag is so neat. You can tell the halters are not usual accessories when they are out and they are investigating these new play/torture devices, lol.

Jason said...

Last year both the trees and grass were still summer green in late October. It's hard to get used to living in a place where moisture determines the time of leaf change at least as much as temperature does.

We finally got some real rain but it's too late for the trees and the warm season grasses. However, the cool season grasses are really beginning to come on.

amy324 said...

I'm way behind on reading blogs, but I had to pop in here and let you know that I have had a difficult evening, but I laughed out loud when I saw Bella running with the horses. Your blog always cheers me up. I feel like I know each of those horses. I'm sorry about your truck. I have a Ford powerstroke diesel and I love it, but trust me, they are not immune. Captcha = shipa Should have been the blog entry about the truck stop at midnight! Bad shipa!