So, there was the difficult decision about the car, brought on in part by my oil-changing deficiencies. Thank you all for your feedback! We finally made the decision to put the money into our current car rather than going into further debt with a "new" (i.e., used but new to us) car. If only we had a crystal ball and could tell what was going to happen down the road! But our mechanic said that he thought the car could absolutely go another 5-6 years and should make at least 200,000 miles; since the car only has 131,000 miles now (we're averaging less than 10,000 miles a year), that seems like a not unreasonable prediction. So we took a deep breath and went for it.
It will take several days to put in the new motor, so now we're taking D's car with us on vacation -- it's a little smaller, but no big deal. So on Saturday I took it into the same shop to get the oil changed (learning my lesson!) and new wiper blades. But the whole time I was waiting for it, I was a basket case in fear that something terrible was going to be wrong with that car as well! But no, fortunately all is well ... except that it turns out that somehow, bizarrely, D. and I managed not to get our registration renewed and our car inspected last August! We've been driving around for almost a full year with an expired registration! What the hell was wrong with us last year?! Of course, I actually know what was wrong with us: last August was when D. got that job that at first seemed like her lucky break but was actually the start of three weeks of hell. So I'm sure that the whole business of the car just went completely out of our heads. And it never went back into our heads for a full year! We're amazingly lucky that we never got pulled over and given a ticket. So our project first thing Monday morning is getting the registration renewed and the car officially inspected.
I'm just stunned at our level of incompetence with adult stuff this past year!
And then, late this afternoon, I headed down to the basement to see what was in the freezer that we might have for dinner ... only to discover everything in the freezer rapidly moving toward room temperature! Aargh! I didn't notice whether the door was open, so it wasn't clear whether this was about appliance malfunction or owner malfunction.
Fortunately, not two weeks ago I had cleared out and organized the freezer half of our upstairs fridge and had brought upstairs quite a lot from the downstairs freezer, so the loss isn't terrible. But still, I had quite a hustle in bringing up the salvageable food and throwing away the non-salvageable. We're now cooking up a storm with the thawed food: D. has a huge pot of chicken soup going, we made delicious fish tacos for dinner, I'm going to throw together a fruit crumble in a minute, and we'll make up a big pot of tomato-meat sauce tomorrow with the thawed ground turkey. And when I went back downstairs a few minutes ago, the freezer was working just fine, so maybe it was just an open door after all, and all will be well without yet another financial expenditure. (And can I say that one of the many lovely things about D. is that she never, ever says things like, "Damn it, WN, why can't you be more careful!" She's a better person than I am.) Mostly all that we lost was frozen vegetables and one frozen pizza, which isn't such a big loss, and at least trash collection is early tomorrow morning.
So I'm thinking that, even if we blew the whole adulthood thing one more time with the no-longer-frozen food, we at least pulled things together in the end.