I tried to post yesterday evening – I really did. Unfortunately, I only got about three words into the post before I realized that I was sitting there with my eyes closed and there was no way I’d be able to type out much more than that. I went and sat on the couch to have a sandwich and talk to J but I kept falling asleep and smeared peanut butter over the front of my shirt. Yep, that’s me – keeping it classy. J went through her spectrum of voices to try and convince me to get off the couch and go to bed, everything from “friendly reminder” to “supportive” to “stern wife” to “I’m pretty sure that’s a threat”. Finally, I managed to get moving, brushed my teeth, and then I fell asleep when my head hit the pillow.
As has been pretty common lately, yesterday I woke up tired. I really need to figure out what’s going on with that. Anyway, I had breakfast, did my exercises, sent my texts, and did some stuff around the house.
Much to my surprise, the weather forecast turned out to be accurate – it got up past 20C yesterday! J and I had moved the truck out into the driveway Wednesday evening and it was still sitting there, covered in dead leaves and still wearing last winter’s dirt. Despite that, I really didn’t want to go outside and had to argue with myself for half an hour or so before I finally forced myself to go outside.
I got all of my motorcycle/car washing stuff (bucket, wash mitt, Zip Wax, nylon scrubbie, toilet brush, bottle brush), hooked up and untangled the hose, and went out to the truck. Just as I was about to start, I noticed this:
I ran my finger over the puddle, gave it a sniff, and determined it was dirty, oily coolant. Or dirty, coolanty oil. Or coolanty, oily dirt.
I popped open the hood, grabbed a flashlight, and tried to find where it was coming from. Then I grabbed my ground pad and very ungracefully scrabbled along the ground until I was mostly under the truck. The truck has a skidplate, which is great up until you want to find where something’s leaking from – everything leaks onto it and drips from the edge so there’s no telling where things are leaking from. I was too lazy to take it off, so I spent the better part of an hour shuffling from one side to another, feeling around, and stretching and bending parts of me that don’t normally stretch or bend, until I found this:
AH-HA! So there’s obviously a coolant leak. The stuff on the ground was dirty and oily because it puddled in the (dirty and oily) skidplate before ending up on the ground. I hope that things are leaking because of the clamp – it looks really rusty and might be broken, which I may be able to fix myself. A couple of years ago I would’ve been able to replace the hose myself but I don’t have the self-confidence to do that right now. If the radiator is cracked or has a hole, then I’m definitely not going to be able to fix it. Fortunately, the truck isn’t being driven right now, so there’s still some time to investigate some more and figure out a plan. If it has to go to a shop, the local garage has been pretty good so far.
After I was done investigating, I took a 15 minute break to relax and calm down before I gave the truck a good wash. It took quite a while – it was pretty windy and parts of the truck would dry so quickly that I’d look back at them and couldn’t remember if I’d properly washed and rinsed them – but eventually I was done and the truck looked nice and shiny – not bad for a ten year old truck!
As I was washing the truck, I kept an eye out for rock chips and scratches so I could go back with some touch-up paint and a q-tip to fix them up. There were quite a few of them so it took me quite a while to get to them all. Where the bottom of the tailgate meets the truck has quite a few deep scratches and chunks of paint missing (there were rocks stuck in it) so I took the tailgate off and put it in the garage. I’m going to lightly sand and then spray down the whole area with fresh paint to try and keep rust from starting there. If the paint doesn’t 100% match, it’s no big deal – it’ll be hidden by the tailgate.
By the time I was done putting everything away (and taking pictures), I’d been outside for about five hours and I was getting pretty anxious to be back inside. I went back in, fired off a couple of texts, and got an interesting one from my mom. She asked, “Did you enjoy it (and you can’t lie)?”
Well… I enjoyed the fresh air, the rabbits that kept scooting around or sitting and watching me, the music that I had playing, and I enjoyed the feeling when I stood back and looked at the truck and saw how clean and shiny it was. The first and last hour were quite difficult, though. Finding a puddle under the truck right at the start did not help at all – I wanted to go back inside and forget about it. I took a picture of the front door with the deadbolt in the locked position before I went outside and I looked at the picture quite a few times for reassurance. I also took short breaks every so often to sit down in the garage or in the truck and do some breathing and grounding exercises to try and keep myself from winding up too badly. As the afternoon went on, that became more difficult to do. Still, I think I’ll consider it a success.
Of course, once I was back inside, I had to fight to keep myself from going back out and checking the garage and truck doors were locked. I ended up going back out twice but managed to keep it at that.
J was at a meeting and didn’t get home until around 8:30PM so I caught up on some reading and made myself a quick supper. By 9:00, my evening medication was already starting to kick in. By 9:30, the combination of being tired all day, the medication, and five hours of working out in the fresh air had me sitting on the couch with my eyes closed and peanut butter on my shirt.
Looking at Wednesday’s post, I didn’t get a few things done – I didn’t get the rust protectant applied, and I didn’t check out the spare tire. Still, I think I got a fair amount of stuff accomplished. Rumour has it that there’ll be a couple more nice-ish days coming up so perhaps I’ll get back outside to get more stuff done.