Sunday, November 30, 2008

Of Cars and Crap

Oh for pete's sake!
So, I'm on the way to Moscow, Idaho--not Russia, today to get some holiday shopping done, pick up groceries, and be on the radio. As I am always early for EVERYTHING, I left the house at about 7am.
By 8am, I'm sitting on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck. The dash lights had been wonky for a day. Then, they went REAL wonky. Then the car started chugging and slowing down. Then, I pulled over and called a tow truck. They wanted to know where I was. It was so foggy I was unsure, other than the mile marker on the highway (yes, I pulled WAY off the road).

The tow truck guy and his wife...and their dog...came for me. They were very pleasant. Thanks to my habit of buying AAAplus, I have 99 miles of towing up to three times a year. So I got a 33 mile tow to Moscow, where my most excellent friend Maia picked me up. We got brunch, then some craft supplies, then over to her place where she and her sister and brother-in-law gave me one of their cars to use until I can get mine sorted out. How amazing is that?
Not only are they funny, they are so sweet. It's a new subaru with 120,000 fewer miles than mine (that's right FEWER). They are willing to sell if mine is a goner, but I'm so attached to Betty (my subaru) and want to drive her 400k miles just like the elder we work with who drove a similar subaru 400,000 miles. It recently passed away.
Sometime tomorrow I need to decide how much I'm willing to spend on the repair. Always a tough decision so I'm going to have them run a full diagnostic and check on the thing. If there are a bunch of things about to go bad...well, then we'll see. But if it's just a few hundred more dollars in repairs for another many thousands of miles, I'll keep using the car.

Environmentalist and frugal principals say to "make it work, make do, or do without". Doing without a car is a slim possibility. It would be monster inconvenient and probably impact my job too much. So, we're starting at the other end and trying to "make it work".
Here's hoping.

The word from the mechanical husband of a friend is that the wonky lights could be the alternator going out. That's not that bad. You'd expect to replace that at 200k miles (Betty has 205k miles). So let's pray for that.

Frugality says also "don't pour money down a rat hole" (that's either frugality or one of my Grammas). Hmmmmm....
Keep in mind that Grampa once replaced the manual transmission in a POS pickup truck with an automatic, then replaced the bed (rust), and I'm pretty sure the engine. We used to tease him that while it occupied the same space as the original vehicle, he'd replaced the entire thing and thus it was a different truck.
So I'm genetically inclined to repair perhaps beyond the bounds of reason.

THEN do you know when you've hit the point of spending more on repairs and hassle, than you would buying a different car? You don't know until after.
Also, a different car can have problems too. I hate that.

OK, on another topic, just because I haven't done a "No 'Poo" update lately...the hair is fine. I dropped my good hairbrush in the trash in a public bathroom the other day so I haven't been able to brush it as much as I'd like, but it's still doing fine. Not itchy even with the change in the weather.

OH! And, yesterday I accidentally made a super good vegan pot pie.
I had roasted root vegetables earlier in the week and needed to recycle them creatively.
So, I grabbed a pie shell that I'd had in the fridge at the trailer for a while.

Put the bottom crust in the pie pan.
Put in 3-4 cups of left over roasted root vegetables (sweet potato, regular potato, onion, carrot--seasoned with rosemary, thyme, oregano, salt, pepper--roast until tender).
In a sauce pan, fry some chopped garlic in oil (I think it was 4 cloves or so).
Add a tablespoon of good vegetable bouillon mix (no salt kind), a quarter cup of nutritional yeast flakes, a quarter cup of flour. Stir and fry that together a bit.
Then add enough water to make a thick gravy. It was probably about a cup or a cup and a half.
Into the gravy, put a cup of black beans (because they are left over and frozen in the freezer), some corn, and some green beans (all salvaged from the freezer).
When the frozen beans/corn have heated through in the gravy, pour the mess over the veggies in the pie shell.
Top with the other pie shell. Seal the edged and bake until you think it's done.
I left it in the 350 degree oven while I cooked some squash so probably 45 minutes or an hour.

It is seriously good. El Kid thought it had meat in it...heh heh. He came back for more before bed.

And good night.

1 comment:

Fly Right said...

I'll keep my fingers crossed for your Subaru! My '99 Mazda is still purring after all these years--mostly city driving, so not a lot of miles, but rough ones for sure. Our van is a '96, but it was my dad's for the first 11 years of its life, so it was in like-new condition when we got it. Yeah, people around here drive like crap when there's weather of any sort (snow, rain, sun).