Carol the Van

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Since every other part of Carol is practically new……

We’ve got quotes on replacing her transmission.

It will cost $3500 or more for her to get a rebuilt transmission. I’ve been calling around looking for a transmission to buy and get quotes from my favorite HondaWorks to put it in. So it would be a better conditioned transmission.  If I had not put so much money into Carol already ……, her new engine has only 80,000 miles on it. Everything in her is practically new. Now all she needs is a transmission and maybe I have a great van for about 10 or more years???     Her replaced parts have warranties.

Sitting around stranded at home with all these boys and Anna has been challenging. We can not all fit into hubby’s work car. So NO library trips, no park trips, no field trips, etc.

Reworking my schedule and appointments. I can not take the children, I have 2 in car seats so logistically it simply does not work.

Carol the Van… despite her issues and the short time I have driven her, has been such a blessing to us.

I was able to bring home a gifted book shelf in her, Costco trips, I could fit all of my kiddos and groceries too. We could take library trips, Walmart trips, ride to grandparents, yard sale or estate sales, anything. Carol represents freedoms for our large family and She represents living life and having fun.

 

Letting it go… ‘venting’

I’ve been thinking A LOT lately about my accident from two years ago. Trying to again, come to terms with things, such as our finances, where I am in recovery, my health, medical bills.

I have medical issues aside from my accident related issues. I’ve felt physically bad lately. I work very hard, but lately I sit and rest in between chores and duties around here.

I’ve felt a huge sense of frustration. My frustrations are currently focused on people. Those who want to be social justice warriors and rescue criminals.
I’m really bothered that some people chose to raise money for and pay the large bail that was set, for the illegal alien who hit me.

( I feel, he should not have had a bail set at all!!!)

He’s an illegal alien!!!

He left the scene of the accident!!!

He got out of the work vehicle he was driving and He took off running!!!

His  vehicle was full of empty alcohol containers!!!

From his finger prints, it was found out, this was NOT his first offense.

He had a habit of drinking and driving.

He couldn’t be charged with DUI, because he left the scene didn’t get his blood tested or a breathylyzer and he wasn’t found for about a week.

His charges were puny, like assault and battery, unsafe movement, felony hit and run, open container, not lawful following traffic signal, I don’t remember how it was exactly worded and I don’t care to look at the police report anymore.

I felt screwed over by the guy who hit me, and by those in charge who did NOT keep me safe. If they could not keep the guy in jail, the least they could have done, would be to deport him. He never showed for court. He “disappeared”!)

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A few days after the accident. My nurse assistant showing me how much better my face looked.

 

 

I’m need to share and vent about the situation, so I can move along again. I think I’m healed completely emotionally, then sometimes these feelings creep in and I must address them. I don’t really talk to anyone about them. I have tried a time or two, in the past.

I am not allowed to completely vent my feelings, before I’m told, ” You can’t do anything about it, so you should just be grateful for your and your baby’s life and move on.” ( I was 36 weeks pregnant the day of the accident.)

That is what I’ve done. I am grateful and I have moved on.

I’m so very grateful for our lives. I have friends who were in less serious car accidents and “small” fender benders, who lost their babies to death before arriving at the hospital.

I know the same could have and should have happened to me, as bad as I was hit. It is a total MIRACLE, A G-d thing!!! That she and I are here today and both walking and talking and breathing on our own. My neck was broken at a level where I could have been on a ventilator and in a wheelchair for the rest of my life, but I am breathing on my own and walking. My saving grace, my spinal cord was squished but not severed.

My entire focus for rehab and recovery was  being able to 100% physically take care of myself and my family without physical assistance. Which I have mostly accomplished.

I don’t want to be told How grateful I should be. I am grateful. Very grateful and so very blessed beyond measure. I really needed to just let this side out also. The anger, and it be okay to let the anger out. Not making me any less grateful or happy that we survived. But also to fully heal and recover and let go of anger. I am told the anger could be part of the reason I am in so much pain. Not just from my having surgeries and my spine fused.

I have to let go and let G-d. Part of that is me sharing what’s on my heart without judgement. Just getting it out.

I’m also making this vent public, just in case there is someone else experiencing what I have and maybe wants to talk about it or know the anger is part of healing too. I just don’t live in the anger but feel it and move on.

I think people think having a bunch of illegals roaming around, is a victimless crime. Someone told me it’s equivalent to stealing cable and told me “every body does it”. I’ve never stolen cable!!! never considered it either. But that is another post…

 

Miscellany Post Random

Thursday was such a long event exhausting day! I had my first visit with a particular specialist. I got an awesome vibe from this doctor. I’m a skeptical RN patient. I know and I’ve seen way too much. This doctor knew this about me and was not put off at ALL. He knew it was so not about him and that was apparent! He sold himself well and spoke to my heart. That being said, I have a very brief hospital visit coming soon.

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So…. Carol the van, her check engine light came on.  She felt weak and lost her gusto. She would hesitate when i take my foot off the brake, instead of zooming forward with her normal liveliness. I called my normal Asiaworks and they are closed for vacation until next week. So I went to their other office,  Hondaworks on Scaleybark. Denny gave me some bad news. Carol’s transmission is giving out. This doesn’t surprise me but totally ticks me off, making a hard day really a test of my resolve and heart. I knew immediately it would be an expense I can not currently afford.  We’ve been using up our saving, since I got hit by that illegal alien drunk driver 2 years ago. We have good insurance but I still have a ton of out-of-pocket expenses.

(Excuse my “lack of compassion” for illegals and this entire D.A.C.A.  and D.A.P.A situation….. no one is paying my bills but me and I’m still suffering physically and financially two years later, for something NOT at my fault at all!!!)

My Odyssey year up to 2007 are notorious for terrible transmissions. It been one hellacious thing after another. I will only purchase another used vehicle if either Asiaworks checks it for me or Compact Cars on Independence boulevard near Matthews will check it out for me and say its a great buy!! AJ’s shop isn’t worth the mention.

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I absolutely ADORE Harris Teeter home shop or shop online program!!! I’ve shopped Harris Teeter since I was a child. They’ve given me excellent customer service. I actually save money by not going inside the grocery store. I buy my list instead of looking at everything. I check my E-Vic weekly and make my order online for what I want. They even take coupons but it credits on your next purchase.

UGH, I permitted… WAY TOO LONG!

After a very LONG time of  AJ having my van to fix its issues, I’m actually having those issues fixed by an excellent mechanic.  We’ve had a series of issues since I bought the darned thing from him. supposedly, it was the daily driver for his stay at home wife, who mostly drove her two little kids to school and shopped.

I was told she wanted a Jeep or small SUV instead of a “Mommy Van”. The van also supposedly had a fresh oil change.

 

On September 19,2016 I contact AJ asking him if he checks engines on cars or vans prior to purchase. If he could tell if anything was wrong with them and whether it would be a good purchase or not and how much does he charge. I had found a nice 8 seater Honda Odyssey EX L I wanted to buy from someone, online and local.  He told me Honda Odyssey vans are 7-seater and he owns one.  He stated he owns one and his is for sale but only has 7 seats. I inquire about the year. I emphasized that I have no interest in ANYTHING under a 2007. They have bad transmissions and will need to be replaced. I want a working DVD player, GPS, and backup camera. He says he has a 2005 Honda Odyssey Touring, it does have navigation system, backup camera and backup sensors. It has seven seats and there is a table in between the two front seats that can be changed to a seat. In fact a friend of his has a seat for it same color leather and everything, just sitting inside his garage, he never uses it.  Hubby talked me out of the van I wanted AJ to check and said lets look at AJ’s. His wife drives it, he wouldn’t allow his wife to drive a bad car, would he. I insisted I really want the other van. It had 8 seats and I fell in love with the other van. We never looked at it together. I looked at it alone and test drove it and tried to talk them down a little. Despite not taking it to a mechanic to check it.

AJ brought his van by my home, to leave with us for the weekend to test drive September 30, 2016. He said drive it around a couple of days and if you don’t like it, bring it back. Monday October 3, 2016 he comes to pick up the van, he wants to change the axles and oil on it.

October 4, 2016 he returns the van. My Verizon iPhone car charger is missing. He brings it by, thought it was his.

October 27, 2016 I inquire about the TMPS light. He said the tires are new but non PAX tires. PAX tires are ridiculously expensive. These tires are brand new tires but do not have the sensors on them like the PAX tires.Push the ! Button on the steering wheel and it will go off.

November 19, 2016 I called AJ. What is the grinding sound the van makes when I make right turns? So on Monday November 21, 2016 I took it in to AJ’s shop.

Wednesday November 23, 2016 AJ returns my van. It now has a new noise. AJ what is that noise? It’s the emergency brake he says. I drove it with it on. It will go away soon.

December 22, 2016, it’s still making a weird noise!

Thursday January 19, 2017, It’s still making noise and I inquire whether it is fixable. Its squeaking and / or grinds loudly and scares the crap out of me!! He says he’ll check it for me.

January 31, 2017 “My parking brake is SCARY LOUD! I’m afraid to drive the van. He said I’ll check it out for you.

February 3, 2017 My van is parked in my driveway.I started it and it began smoking and the check engine light came on and that noise is even louder!.He said he’ll look at it on Saturday.

Saturday February 4, 2017 He has bad sore throat and headache and stayed in bed. Says he’ll pick up van on Monday.

Saturday February 11, 2017 AJ comes by to look at and pick up car. I say I should have it towed by AAA. Its smoking. He starts it up it doesn’t smoke. He says its fine to drive 5 minutes away to his shop.

Tuesday February 14, 2017 I ask, well whats wrong with her (my van). He says he’s still working on that.

Thursday February 16, 2017 He  comes by to talk to us about the van.

Thursday February 23, 2017 I requested a van update. he says he’s working on it.

Some time between Friday February 24, 2017 and March 5th he gets a call from he brother to go see his 80-year-old daddy right away. He’s in Jerusalem in a coma in the hospital.

Friday March 10, 2017 I didn’t realize he’s been calling from a weird number, I had refused to answer because I didn’t recognize it!

Tuesday March 14, 2017 AJ is in London and should arrive in Charlotte by Wednesday.

Tuesday March 21, 2017 I asked AJ if a Helicoil would work with the stripped bolt.

Friday March 31, 2017 He texted me saying he hasn’t received a new replacement engine yet. They’re hard to find and expensive for the 2005 Honda Odyssey Touring.

Saturday April 8, 2017 Old engine is out, new one in. he’s going to put on new gasket and spark plugs.

Wednesday April 19, 2017 A good engine came today. It has 73k.

Monday April 24, 2017 The engine is in the van but the van is not ready.

He told me his dad passed away. ” This is life”, he said.

Wednesday April 26, 2017 He says he’s done with the van. She’s running great. He drops off my van.

Thursday April 27, 2017 He asked for his payment $1750

Thursday May 4, 2017 I ask what is VSA? The light is on and my van is shaking hard.

Wednesday May 10, 2017 He picks up my van. He says its variable timing solenoid.

Thursday May 11, 2017 He returns my van. With a middle jump seat, which i ned to have a seat belt installed for and the table that can fit there.

Friday May 12,2017 My van is noisy, and dragging. I swore to husband I WILL NOT take it back to AJ, no matter what. I have to take it to someone who knows Hondas. I’m tired of not having a vehicle and I don’t feel safe in the van. My neighbor, several doors down recommended Asiaworks, Inc. She told me that, these are great, honest people who WON’T cheat you and WILL get your car running or tell you it isn’t worth the money.

Technician Diagnosis:

My timing belt tension adjuster is what is causing the squeak, grind idle. I’m also over due for timing belt package by mileage (due at 180k)( Includes: Timing Belt, water pump, drive belts, timing belt tension adjuster, timing seals, and oil pump orings.)

My radiator is leaking.     Need Cotter pins in front lower ball joints and front tie rod ends because they are missing.     There was a previous fire in the engine compartment , fire extinguisher powder residual is very obvious. Frame bolts are loose, side engine mount bolts are loose. Power steering pump is leaking but can be resealed. Vtec solenoid is leaking and needs reseal. Needs front struts and rear shock absorbers, my new tires are starting to cup. My front engine mount is broken. I need a new positive battery cable. My real main seal is leaking and I need to go to a large major Honda dealership for a brand new driver’s seat buckle switch from American Honda to make my SRS light go off.

 

Sooooo ……my $5000  2005 Honda Odyssey is actually costing me $11,650 total.  I really should have bought the initial van I really wanted. Hey hubby lookat how much money we saved on this van owned by a “mechanic”. I feel like AJ owes me $3000!

Carol the van has finally received a proper diagnostic!

So…. I have a new mechanic.

I was driving Saturday when my van was misbehaving. I pulled off the road shut her down for a few minutes and restarted and drove straight to Asiaworks, Inc.  My neighbor recommended them, after my explaining all of the trouble I’ve had with my van and my mechanic.

I found out the funny smell, I’ve smelled for months, every single time I drive Her, is from my leaking radiator.

The “lawnmower” sound, I’ve been complaining about is from my timing belt tension adjuster going bad.

I was sold a van from a mechanic who didn’t do any basic maintenance on the van.

So I need a timing belt package, this is just regular maintenance after a certain amount of mileage. It saves your engine and your safety!

I had to leave my van and should get a call Wednesday or Thursday to come pick her up. I have a very long list of things that are wrong with her that are getting fixed. Mostly maintenance type stuff. The timing belt being a very dangerous one to have need of.

The new mechanic said, there is NO WAY, a mechanic should have allowed me to drive that van in that condition!  I should not have been driving it with the timing belt tension making that noise. I was clueless, as to the cause of my concerns and fears. All that I knew was, that syrupy weird smell isn’t normal, my van shakes too much and isn’t riding smoothly, and my engine sounds more like a lawnmower and that ISN’T normal. I was scared to drive it and afraid it would break down on me at anytime.

I’m not a mechanic but did have my van at the old mechanics shop, more than I’ve had it at home since we purchased it last year.  I don’t know cars but i do know sounds of change and that unsettle feeling in the pit of my gut.

My old mechanic is a beater mechanic. He doesn’t know Hondas and should have admitted to that or at least referred me out to someone. I did want to change mechanics way  earlier, but he’s so nice, my husband really likes him and assumed he knew what he was doing.

Now its down to me feeling safe in my van and wanting to make sure if I’m on the highway to my mom’s, I won’t break down with a van full of my babies!

I’m finally at peace while awaiting to get my beloved Carol back in excellent repair.

Life With Sons

Basketball practices and games

Squishing on the sofa to view Dr. Who on Netflix or AIV

Sticky hugs and cheerio breathe

FORTS FORTS FORTS and FARTS

Star Wars and LOTRs and Legos galore. The latter are frequently on our floor!

Endless Appetites and late night snacks…..sometimes air-popped popcorn and cheese with mom

Costumes Batman Spiderman Captain American Superman WAR PAINT

LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE

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Working on having peace with part time Job {Mindful Mothering Mondays}

I thought my tutoring would fall in sync with our lives. It was and is a godsend to have found Classical Conversations. It lines up with what we believe. ALL subjects point to God. They are all interrelated.

The work we do, in Challenge II, is work I would also be preparing for my own Challenge II student. It was supposed to be fairly simple and easily fit in with our lifestyle.

I’ve finally come to the realization, when prepping for this semester, this takes a lot more time to prepare for more than one student. I take into account where the child is, I try to individualize, as I would my own.

It takes a lot of time from my small children ( I have 4 boys whom I consider littles). If I give them my normal attention, then prepping deprives me of sleep, which also takes me from my children. I am an “interesting” person when sleep deprived. I really thought it would be something I could do in about 20 minutes per day. But really it is an actual a job, that make take me a couple hours per day. I’ve changed my thought about  it.  I now approach it differently. I thought it was a gift and an honor to give of myself and share with others, the knowledge God has so blessed me with.

I have resolved myself to the fact, it is okay to have a part time job, that in essence, takes time from my family as long as there is compensation and benefits to the family.

I’ve had to rearrange our schedule. Hubby works an odd work schedule. I must keep the children quiet for quite a while in the mornings. I take one of my sons to school( small private Christian school) daily. I need to be in bed early so I can wake up in the mornings to get him to school on time.  Then add to the mix, a daughter, whom I take to work often. I don’t know her work schedule for pickup or drop off. Oh…  at least once a week everyone’s schedule collides!

I want more time to raise these littles. They are growing so quickly. My older kids are such great people. I want to invest more time to raising these younger 4 into great people too.

I pray daily for God to impart HIS wisdom into my brain and heart. I am in deep prayer about whether I should continue tutoring CC  next school year or whether I should take time off to get my home in order. I have a child in Essentials class, this is his first year. I haven’t been able to really help him because I’m tutoring during Essentials. There is a “help” class for the new parents on Fridays. So far they’ve clashed with my previously set scheduled activities, whether volunteering, doctor’s appointments or etc…

I have been vigilant this year, 2014, to schedule things in my control, on others days. Maybe we will catch up??

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Babbling about PPD

I am struggling greatly with postpartum depression. I feel as if I need some rest and mothering right now. I haven’t had a break since I had the baby, except when I was in the hospital.
I feel because I was so ill this pregnancy and stayed home A LOT, that I have been forgotten. I rarely attended church and haven’t gone to small group.
I can’t emotionally deal with other people’s issues and some questioning.
Someone told someone that I left my church and attend another church. I find it crazy how little rumors start and run rampant.
I know that I need to be surrounded by positive godly people until I heal from inside out.
I always have such a hard time after having my babies. I know it’s just a season.
I have some great children and I am so thankful for ALL of them!

Tomorrow is a new day!
This is the day The Lord hath made!
I will rejoice and be glad in it!

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A new day

I awakened this morning determined to be positive. I took the girls to school, came home long enough to have a bowl of oatmeal, returned to pick up the girls, took Kayla to work, returned the rental after I filled the gas tank. Cooked some dinner, took Kara to work but had to take Kayla’s car, my van started but cut of then started but battery light came on. Returned home to finish cooking dinner. Picked up Kayla after she called to tell me she was done at work. Had to explain why I was driving her car and when the van would be fixed. Worked more on dinner, had the boys eat, load the dishwasher and cleaned kitchen. I had planned to make cupcakes but did not.
I picked up Kara at 11. Then we stopped and grabbed few things at Bi-Lo. I came home, and told boys to sweep floor and go to bed. So I am typing my day on my phone before falling asleep.

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I’ve missed being online!

My hard drive died a few weeks ago on my old DELL D410. So All I have had is my Pandigital Tablet and that thing is great for reading books, perusing Facebook and even surfing the net. It is NOT great for blogging. Too sensitive and types what I don’t want.

 

So I feel like I have been away. I took to writing in my paper journal again.

 

Today I am busy. My slaves… dryer and washer are not in complete cooperation with the programming..so I am trying to figure out the Laundromat thing today. Those appliances are at least 15 years old so maybe it is time to replace them. First I will call a repairman to see if it is a simple inexpensive fix or if it is death.