Carol the Van

image

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”!)

IMG_7484
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…

 

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.

No labor yet, having “twinges”…

I’m having “twinges” that are somewhat regular but I don’t think it is labor. Not yet anyways 🙂

So I am cooking right now. Then I will shampoo my hair, it is quite unruly at present.

I plan to vacuum the living room and clean my room.

Then I will go re-pack my bags and check my list.

I don’t think I have enough food in my refrigerator to leave those at home while I go away for a couple of days when labor is really here. I need another day before I really labor.

Maybe a trip to the grocery store for a few more easy stuff. I may if I have time try to toss together baked chicken casserole with dressing and cream of something soup in it.  Maybe grab a few more loaves of bread and butter. I already bought milk Friday because the boys have been flying through chocolate milk, well….. milk period… Lately!

Wednesday’s Rambled Musings

Today was a productive day.

The Greg Ott Center for physical therapy and sports performance

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had the opportunity to chat with some really nice people while waiting on D during his long physical therapy rehab sessions.  The ladies, whom I chatted with, were an elderly mother and her daughters. The mom and a daughter were in for rehab also. We sat and chat about life, children, food, and television shows. I am always enthused to meet school teachers who are not the least bit offended that I homeschool. This sweet lady even commended me and offered encouragement that I am doing the right thing for my children. She even called my children blessings after finding out I had so many. She grew up as one of five. It was an encouraging couple of hours we sat and talked and made the time go by faster.

I was also able to go through a few of the little boy items and box up some give away items. I have them stacked in the hallway so there is visual clutter. DH and I will take the items to a donation site on a day when we have plans to pass that way in a few days.

We are really enjoying studying Georgia O’Keeffe! She was a great artist. I love her paintings. We are enjoying her paintings and working on our own mini replicas.

I am constantly hungry and constantly nauseous. The two are diametrically opposed!

I have 2 cameras. One is an old Canon Powershot S50 and the other is newer Nikon Coolpix S220. At any given time neither camera works. I think I have both working now. D has a basketball game tomorrow against CSCL in South Charlotte. I am praying one of the cameras will work for me. I like the Canon. It is older but the pictures are of better quality. The 10 megapixels on the Nikon doesn’t do much for us because the picture quality is poorer.

December 13, 2011 Thankful List

Daniel cleaned the living room! I can see my floor again. It is December 13th and we have no decorations up yet. I usually am excited, bake cookies with the kids, plan fun stuff to do, we love crafts and such. This year I believe the gloomies have taken residence in me and have not the faintest clue of how to evict them.

I have been praying a lot. I decided that maybe I should list as many things that I can think of that I am thankful for.

December 13, 2011 Thankful List

1. God loves me unconditionally

2. He sent His Son to save me

3. He has much grace for me

4.  My husband loves me

5.  My husband has a job

6.  Most of my children are caring people and hard workers.

7.  A lawyer may be able to help us keep our home. We have lived here for 15 years.

8.  We have a decent sized wood stove, so we can keep our house warm.

9.  I have had some great nurses caring for me, who actually seem to care and are not just doing their job.

10. My teeth aren’t hurting.

11. I still have morning sickness but I am able to keep down food now.

12. I can feel baby moving around.

13. My children are fed well.

14. We have relatively fresh filtered water to drink.

15. I have a great group of friends with my local Classical Conversations. They are definitely a God inspired group. I literally would not know what to do without them.

16. I have some great internet friends, some whom I have met and some who I have not met , but would love to meet one day!

17. We own our minivan, no payments and it runs.

18. My husband makes more than minimum wage.

19. My husband works so close to home that he rides his bike and I get to keep the van. I don’t have to get up early to take him to work or wake up early to pick him up from work or all of the crazy schedule stuff I have done this year for his temp jobs.

20. I  love planning meals, cleaning house and taking care of my family in general.

21. Daniel cleaned my living room without me asking or offering bribes or rewards.

22. I have the best mother-in-law and father-in-law. They are hard working, down to earth, just really good people.

23. My regular internal medicine doctor really listens. He heard my stomach pains and is the only doctor who felt I should be tested for celiacs. My other doctors said I just had to live forever with my IBS symptoms. This year is the first year when I have actually felt “Alive” physically.

24. Glasses. Without them my vision is poor. I am very thankful for my glasses.

25. My old Canon camera. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. It takes excellent pictures to be so old.