a long time no post

I haven’t posted anything in ages because Paul’s deployment kicked my butt, I always spent anytime I had online talking to him, so everything else sort of slipped to the side. I hope to start doing better again.

Today we repaired the a/c on the Van; we were quoted $210 by the dealership but did it ourselves for $80. We got the leak in the front passenger side repaired by the Dodge dealership for $90 (it was a Dodge repair bulletin, but not a recall so they wouldn’t pay for it.) While at the dealership they also identified that the high pitched, ringing in you ear sort of noise is the power steering fluid pump. We knew about the noise, just not it’s source – so now we know we can fix that too, I have looked online and the cost is around $60 for the part including shipping.

I have been rather pleased with our foray into being mechanics. Paul replaced the solenoid on our Sentra about 6 years ago for $30 after being told by a dealership that we needed to replace the whole starter motor for $250. A handy neighbor we had tested the motor for us, and told us we only needed a solenoid. I made him an English trifle and he taught Paul how to fix the car. It was so easy to do we came to the conclusion we could really save ourselves some money by doing things ourselves. So far we have replaced the Van’s speed sensors, (with parts off the internet for $15,) the brakes, (I am particularly proud of this one as I did it myself because Paul had a broken thumb,) and now the a/c blower. So far we are up around $850 in savings over quoted dealership prices vs. what we have done ourselves. Anyway the Van got a new battery today too, and will be all spiffed up and ready for us to drive it down to Florida on Wed next week. Sarah and her husband Scott are flying into town on Tuesday so they can come down with us. We are looking forward to the trip, I love Sarah dearly and I am excited to get to know her husband better.
Paul had his first day of work down in Richmond today; he is very excited about the work down here. For the first time he doesn’t have a secret computer, he is working in an office I can come to, no burn bags, etc. so the level of security is a big change. He will also be working in a more businessy analytical sense, which is perfect with his MBA. Everyone is pretty excited to have him there, and his commute has been cut in half over what it was in DC. The best part is the flex hours though, he can come in early and leave early if he wants, or he can work 9 hour days and have every other Friday off, or work 10 hour days and have every Friday off. I hope it is as nice for him as he is hoping, he is a really good analyst and I love it when he loves his job.
Since his job was so secret I didn’t know exactly how good he was until his decoration last Wed, when they were talking about him I was sooooooo proud. I had no idea he had invented methodology that had been adopted Air Force wide, he did studies on IEDs that they said saved Military lives now and in the future, and he did some sort of study that showed something really important – I don’t know exactly what because I am not a top secrety type, but apparently it was soooo special that he presented it to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force (who even sent Paul a birthday card) and they gave him a Commendation medal for it (his second in 5 months as they also gave him one in the Middle East for his above and beyond work there) According to the commander who was giving Paul the medal, only Paul could have done the study because it was his own created research. All this my friends was done as a Lt, they kept going on about how unheard of that was, I was fit to burst! So in the future when you hear of General Griffith, you can smile and remember how you knew him when…… ; P
Paul installed shelving into my sewing room closet so I can now get organized in there, which I did most of this morning. Most of my fabric is still in boxes in the garage, so as soon as he brings that up for me I will be doing pretty well. I have decided I need some filing cabinets in there and a few other organizational things, but there is an end in sight in that room.
See, I’ve been feeling like a slug all day, and apparently I HAVE accomplished something…….. still not my history paper yet, but that has to be before the 30th so I can only procrastinate on that for so long.
Catherine

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