Friday, January 14, 2011

and so...

The Subaru is gone. Now it's just me and the pickup. I feel like my Rhino died and all I have left to travel through the world is a paint pony. Not that there's anything wrong with ponies, I just really felt safe on the back of that Rhino. But what's done is done. I sold the Subaru for a couple hundred bucks, and it will start the savings pot for a new truck. I know some of you are shaking your heads at all this, but trust me, that Rhino was dead. Transmission ruined, cat converter gone bad, a destroyed interior, busted fuses, no working wiper fluid tubes, electrical problems...I ride them hard. My lesson has been learned though. Take care of your car and it takes care of you. I ran that Subaru into the ground.

So here's my plan. I will save up a couple thousand dollars over the spring and summer and by fall I'll have a new 4-wheel-drive pickup with room for my dogs and ready for winter. Now, when I say "new" I mean new to me. The plan is to buy an older truck outright for a trade in and cash. I'm past the point in my life where paying the bank for owning a truck for me sounds like a good deal. Cash for title, thanks.

At least that is the plan. If something tragic happens to the Ranger, it might all change. I have learned that "plans" on a farm are really just incantations. You can hope with fury and try your hardest, but sometimes weather, transmissions, and circumstance get in the way. Anyway, I hope to stick with Ford. I like buying American, and I've grown so fond of my little truck I can only imagine an F150 or 4x4 Ranger would suit me just fine. In the mean time, I have to start treating the Ranger like she's the sole vehicle that she is. Tomorrow morning she goes into the garage to repair her broken muffler, get her fluids changed and checked, and so forth. After that is the annual NEBCA meeting in Albany, which I will stay for just long enough to beat any afternoon snow.

The car crisis has been met and defeated in honorable combat. Sorry for the melt down. (You know I'm freaking out when there are a lot more grammar mistakes than usual.) Now back to your regularly scheduled bloggramming.

42 Comments:

Blogger daisy said...

You did what you had to do. You don't owe anyone an explanation. Safe travels.

January 14, 2011 at 7:38 PM  
Blogger Gail said...

Sounds like you made a wise decision. Everyone needs an occasional melt-down so don't feel bad about it. Drive safe.

January 14, 2011 at 8:00 PM  
Blogger CLC said...

We have an old Forester too... we plan to drive it until it wont drive anymore. It is a great car but the transmission might be on its way out :( I think it is time to start babying it a little.

That old Ranger will treat you well!

January 14, 2011 at 8:02 PM  
Blogger Debi said...

Glad to hear that everything's back under control! :) Don't let the naysayers bother you, most of them probably don't know the kind of toll N.Y weather takes on a vehicle, they just don't last as long up there as they do in other parts of the country. Good job on getting so much money for the Subaru, considering how much was wrong with it! The cars I had towed away up there were in such bad shape that I barely broke even on the towing!

January 14, 2011 at 8:06 PM  
Blogger Melanie J. said...

And you'll always have those pics of you and your sheep in the Subaru :) That inspiration doesn't go away.

January 14, 2011 at 8:13 PM  
Blogger Kimberlie Ott said...

Isn't it wonderful to be breathing on the other side of "what am I ever going to do?" I was so entrigued by all the responses you recieved on your post during the crisis, I read them all, top to bottom. You already were forming your answers, as it all unfolded, your gut will guide you if you listen. I want to thank you for making a cold Oregon day a bit of a cliffhanger.......I was so excited to see how it all turned out! Have a nice cozy cup of tea and realize your doing just fine!
Hoping the barn is good and your boss was a cool guy......again, hug yourself and know you will see a new sunrise at the end of each hard day. Remember Aunt Marilla's words in Anne of Green Gables...tomorrow is a new day, with no mistakes in it....loose translation, tainted by memory, but truth nonetheless.....be kind to you......cheering you on in the Columbia River Gorge.......Kimmy

January 14, 2011 at 8:41 PM  
Blogger mdoe37 said...

Best choice for the car-that is ALOT more than a tranny. After reading your post, I walked Dog up the hill. Father dear said, "Well that car ought to be good for 200K, blah blah, and well when I was driving my Ford Pinto. That was 2wd. Tell her to put 400 pounds in the back end of that truck." Of course it was more difficult explaining who you are and exactly what a blog is to an 80 yo, let alone that you hauled sheep in a car. :)

If I remember correctly the car was paid for? Been a whole lot worser if you still had payments left. (in this case worser is a word)

January 14, 2011 at 8:42 PM  
Blogger Moose Nugget said...

I know I'm just a random reader and not someone of consequence in your daily life, but I am really proud to hear that you chose to make do with the ranger and NOT take out a loan for another vehicle.
That, as a CAF CSA member, makes me feel like I am investing with someone who also has some sense!

If you really like the ford brand, think about adding some chilton manuals and some tinker know how to your reading list. My husband was pretty impressed to find me, dressed for a date, changing his spark plugs while waiting for him to get out of the shower and get dressed to take me to dinner. ;p
Some tinker know how will save you money, and if you can tend a farm, run fence and other stuff, you can definitely do some auto-tinkering.
Plus, if you can READ a manual, you can troubleshoot. You'll KNOW you need a mechanic, and less likely to get bamboozled.

Bravo! It makes me proud to be one of your CSA members, Jenna!

January 14, 2011 at 8:52 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

Carry on, Chica!

January 14, 2011 at 8:53 PM  
OpenID urbanadaptation said...

Congrats on getting things figured out quickly, and in a way that works for you. Sometimes stuff happens, unfortunately, and the best we can do is get through it, do what has to be done, and make the best of it. Glad to hear you're on the other side of it all, though.

January 14, 2011 at 8:55 PM  
Blogger GirlSavorsLife said...

And on life goes until the next bump. In the meantime, I will hope for something good to happen to you to balance all this yuk!

January 14, 2011 at 8:59 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Meltdowns are perfectly acceptable here. We are here for you. Even strong women have times of uncertainty.

January 14, 2011 at 9:03 PM  
Blogger karen said...

Great plan Jenna. don't worry about the meltdown. It was great to see how many people feel just like I do about you. We care, we love you, we love that you share your life and all its ups and downs. Thanks for being so generous and such a wonderful spirit. Peace-Karen from CT

January 14, 2011 at 9:15 PM  
Blogger Ohiofarmgirl said...

onward and upward! and we love Fords too.. we basically have one of each.
;-) my Explorer saved our lives. we'll get another (older model) this year.

January 14, 2011 at 9:38 PM  
Blogger Rurality said...

Think of it this way. This is the type of thing that qualifies as "experience".
As in - "She is an EXPERIENCED farmer."
It all adds up to good.

January 14, 2011 at 9:39 PM  
Blogger bellananda said...

hurray for making it through in one piece! for what it's worth, when the boyfriend and i were hauling tons of rock from one end of kc to the other (for landscaping), using rented trucks of all makes, the ford f150 was my absolute favorite, and it's the one i'd buy if i could buy a truck. it handled beautifully both with and without a load (and i mean a LOAD), was comfortable, and didn't guzzle the gas *too* badly. (all of which surprised me, as i come from a staunch chevy family, hearing nothing but bad about fords growing up.)

January 14, 2011 at 11:37 PM  
Blogger kaeley said...

we have a 4 x 4 ranger, 2004. it takes the best of the Yukon and Alaskan winters, our dogs, cats, chickens, and the hauling all of the geophysical equipment my boyfriend needs. it even pulls a trailer with our yurt :) we almost bought a fancy toyota for double the price but are thrilled we didn't - too expensive to fix in a remote area like ours and the little trucks are far better on gas.

sometimes crises happen because we need a change, it makes the decision for us. good luck! we are all rooting for you!

January 14, 2011 at 11:39 PM  
Blogger kaeley said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

January 14, 2011 at 11:45 PM  
Blogger jim said...

jenna- glad that it worked out for you- take your time on buying your next vehicle-take your time and when you get near ready put the word our among your friends what you are looking for. Fords are good trucks- I have had one [4wd] for a very long time however big v8's get terrible gas milage-[0urs has a 5.8l engine and gets 10 miles to the gal. It's an f-150-also had chevys, and Mazda trucks- Do the maint and don't mistreat and they will last a long time- I do like the littler ranger 4wd though-----luck and keep us updated

January 15, 2011 at 12:22 AM  
Blogger Paula said...

It's been my observation that the more serious guys are about having a work truck, the more likely it is to be a Ford. So I think that you onto the right idea for your vehicle. I am not a Ford or Chevy person or whatnot- it's just an observation of mine. Actually, I grew up with Dodge, but as I said, Ford appears to have the market on work trucks.

How lucky you are to have so many friends out there who can counsel you. Everybody has an opinion of course, but the more information you have, the more ammunition you have for making a decision. I think that the idea of learning to do some of your truck maintenance has a lot of merit. As a woman who does her own carpentry, I can say that each step you take toward picking up a skill is very...what's the word?....energizing. Accomplishing new things makes you feel just great, and something useful like being able to do some of the things on your truck yourself will do that for you and save some money. I also thought leaving the truck at the road end of the driveway was pretty sage advice as well. There was a lot of collective wisdom dispensed. You're a lucky girl.

January 15, 2011 at 1:27 AM  
OpenID parkerpages said...

Dear Jenna,

As a long-time reader of coldantlerfarm, and as someone who felt a bit guilty about getting to read your excellent "Made From Scratch" book from a library copy (thus gypping your from any royalties - sorry!), I have made a $100 donation to you in hopes to get you a bit closer to your next 4WD vehicle, or, whatever else your heart desires.

Your blog has been an inspiration - I find myself seeking out and enjoying more and more local, home-grown, hard-won, and self-made products, services, and experiences.

I encourage other readers, who can afford it, to make a contribution to your blog too. Consider all the magazine subscriptions of days past that have never given you so personal a story, and so much to think about, laugh about, and enjoy - now aim what those costs would have toward Jenna and her homestead!

Thank you Jenna for everything that you do - I hope you have an well-deserved great weekend.

Elaine/@egirlwonder
(in Vancouver, Canada - with Hershey, our BCXAussie sending her love to Gibson too)

January 15, 2011 at 2:23 AM  
Blogger ward said...

Here's to a better next week. Sorry you had to suffer such a set back , especially in the middle of a large storm like that. Major pain in the behind.

Peace.

January 15, 2011 at 7:01 AM  
Blogger Holly said...

Many a painted pony has carried their warroirs into battles!

January 15, 2011 at 8:29 AM  
Blogger The Kelly's Adventures in KY said...

Glad that you have a plan, and were able to salvage a little out of the old gal.

January 15, 2011 at 9:19 AM  
Blogger greendria said...

You and your blog totally rock. Please keep sharing your journey openly the way you have. The core of us around here are pulling for you, living vicariously through you, and probably don't pass judgement on anything you do. We all have ups and downs, and reading your beautiful, insightful writings about your ups and downs is obviously very enjoyable to many of us.

January 15, 2011 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Good for you Jenna. I had to make a similar decision years ago about a car that was unreliable. I tried my hardest to get it fixed but in the end I had to get myself a new one. My brother ended up getting the old car fixed a couple months later and drove it for another couple years. I could have beat myself up over giving up on it (I had no car payments with that old car) but I made the best decision for myself at the time and I didn't look back. I think you handled your "breakdown" marvelously. Can't wait to see what this year has in store for you. Best of everything!

January 15, 2011 at 9:45 AM  
Blogger Rainsong said...

I know that car plan, made it myself last summer. All the best to you.... may your cash pile grow while everything else in life holds together...that is my wish for you.

My little honda was stolen and parted out last July. Allstate does not believe that theft is mayhem; they did give us a handful of cash for Miss Honda but not enough to buy a paid-for 36mpg replacement. On the way to saving for a new ride, the truck needed expensive repair. My washer and dryer both quit within two days of each other. What? Now that I am an urban gardener instead of a mountain small farmer a car isn't as necessary but I sure miss the freedom.
Deborah...loving your stories

January 15, 2011 at 10:08 AM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

Ahem. This is your official first reminder. Greenhorns meet & greet on the 20th.

January 15, 2011 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger Odie Langley said...

Jenna you really don't have to explain and I am sure that Subaru was ready for the scrap heap the way you explained it. Seems your mind is clear and focused. Your blog family has no doubt Coldantlerfarm is in very good hands. Keep on keeping on my friend.
Odie

January 15, 2011 at 10:34 AM  
Blogger kaeley said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

January 15, 2011 at 11:13 AM  
Blogger Ben said...

My Brother had a 2 wheel drive Ranger that got around surprisingly well in moderate weather. get some tube sand and tire chains and it should get you around in a 6 inches of weather.

January 15, 2011 at 11:49 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Just to let you know....The 2 Ford vehicles you mentioned are assembled in the US. The F150 is assembled in two plants - one outside Kansas City, Missouri and one in Dearborn, Michigan. The Rangers are assembled in the Twin Cities.

Now, not all Ford's are assembled in the US. Ford assembles the Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan, and Lincoln MKZ in Mexico. They also assemble the Ford Edge, Ford Flex, and Lincoln MKX in Canada. (Actually quite a few GM and Chrysler vehicles are assembled in Mexico or Canada too.)

The rest of Ford's vehicles are assembled in the US. (A lot of Subarus are assembled in the US as well, in a plant in Indiana.)

My Husband works in the Automotive industry. Just because something has a forgein badge on it, it could still be mostly manufactured in the US. Even vehicles with domestic badges can still mostly be made outside the US. NO vehicle is 100% made in the US of 100% parts made in the US. The Domestic car companies have pushed a lot of their parts production and engineering to Mexico, India, and China.

January 15, 2011 at 12:27 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Never ever borrow money for a depreciating asset. Never!

There are hundreds of 4x4 pickups for sale for less than a grand. Buy a solid one and then start making the repairs.

A tip - go to Harbor Freight and buy a tow bar and install it on the ranger. When it quits anybody with a hitch can tow you to the shop.

January 15, 2011 at 1:13 PM  
Blogger SouthernHeart said...

Glad to see you weathered the storm, Jenna. Good for you. You made a decision based on all the factors that work best for you. In the end, that's what it is all about. It is your life and your decision...no one elses! You can be proud of yourself.

I'd like to say that was the last storm you'll ever face, but we both know that we'll each face many storms in our lives. Somehow, they just serve to make us just a little bit stronger each time...

Blessings to you,
Dianne
www.mysouthernheart.com

January 15, 2011 at 4:05 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...

You need to make the truck pay for it's self. In addition to your job, you have two businesses. Your books/blog as a author, and the farm. You can deduct milage as a business expense. Keep a notebook in the truck and write down all of you milage. If you had driven to the NEBCA, it would have been a deductable expense. Now, you can't deduct your commute to your job. But if you drive to work and then after work, stop to do a radio interview,it now becomes a business expense. Your a writer, so your computer, printer, photo equipment, and internet fees are a business expense. You are a farmer so your your expenses for the fiber CSA are a deductable business expense. Start keeping track and you should be able of lower your federal income tax by hundreds of dollars next year.

January 15, 2011 at 5:05 PM  
Blogger Sue in Hawaii said...

Jenna- so sorry you had to miss the BC meeting. I know weather didn't play a factor in it this time (bad timing on Pony's part!) but seems to me that NEBCA should change their bylaws and have their annual meeting later in the year so you folks don't have to risk your lives driving in icy conditions to the meeting. Here in Hawaii we have it in the spring to avoid the rainy season. Just a thought!

And back on topic of vehicles - I'm glad you are buying used. New vehicles lose a lot of their resale value the moment they are driven of the lot so why pay for that? For your next truck you might want to consider selling your current vehicle (usually you get more than for a trade-in) and checking Craigslist for surrounding areas that have military bases as often guys (here at least) sell their trucks when they get deployed overseas at pretty good prices.

We've also found it is more economicial for us to sell our vehicles as soon as they start breaking down, with full disclosure on CL and then buying another one. The car goes to someone who happily can spend their own time and money fixing it and we don't keep sinking money into a dying vehicle. And you end up with a safer one for dealing with those harsh road conditions. I worry about you!

January 15, 2011 at 6:23 PM  
Blogger Sue in Hawaii said...

Jenna- so sorry you had to miss the BC meeting. I know weather didn't play a factor in it this time (bad timing on Pony's part!) but seems to me that NEBCA should change their bylaws and have their annual meeting later in the year so you folks don't have to risk your lives driving in icy conditions to the meeting. Here in Hawaii we have it in the spring to avoid the rainy season. Just a thought!

And back on topic of vehicles - I'm glad you are buying used. New vehicles lose a lot of their resale value the moment they are driven of the lot so why pay for that? For your next truck you might want to consider selling your current vehicle (usually you get more than for a trade-in) and checking Craigslist for surrounding areas that have military bases as often guys (here at least) sell their trucks when they get deployed overseas at pretty good prices.

We've also found it is more economicial for us to sell our vehicles as soon as they start breaking down, with full disclosure on CL and then buying another one. The car goes to someone who happily can spend their own time and money fixing it and we don't keep sinking money into a dying vehicle. And you end up with a safer one for dealing with those harsh road conditions. I worry about you!

January 15, 2011 at 6:25 PM  
Blogger Sue in Hawaii said...

Jenna- so sorry you had to miss the BC meeting. I know weather didn't play a factor in it this time (bad timing on Pony's part!) but seems to me that NEBCA should change their bylaws and have their annual meeting later in the year so you folks don't have to risk your lives driving in icy conditions to the meeting. Here in Hawaii we have it in the spring to avoid the rainy season. Just a thought!

And back on topic of vehicles - I'm glad you are buying used. New vehicles lose a lot of their resale value the moment they are driven of the lot so why pay for that? For your next truck you might want to consider selling your current vehicle (usually you get more than for a trade-in) and checking Craigslist for surrounding areas that have military bases as often guys (here at least) sell their trucks when they get deployed overseas at pretty good prices.

We've also found it is more economicial for us to sell our vehicles as soon as they start breaking down, with full disclosure on CL and then buying another one. The car goes to someone who happily can spend their own time and money fixing it and we don't keep sinking money into a dying vehicle. And you end up with a safer one for dealing with those harsh road conditions. I worry about you!

January 15, 2011 at 6:25 PM  
Blogger Sue in Hawaii said...

Jenna- so sorry you had to miss the BC meeting. I know weather didn't play a factor in it this time (bad timing on Pony's part!) but seems to me that NEBCA should change their bylaws and have their annual meeting later in the year so you folks don't have to risk your lives driving in icy conditions to the meeting. Here in Hawaii we have it in the spring to avoid the rainy season. Just a thought!

And back on topic of vehicles - I'm glad you are buying used. New vehicles lose a lot of their resale value the moment they are driven of the lot so why pay for that? For your next truck you might want to consider selling your current vehicle (usually you get more than for a trade-in) and checking Craigslist for surrounding areas that have military bases as often guys (here at least) sell their trucks when they get deployed overseas at pretty good prices.

We've also found it is more economicial for us to sell our vehicles as soon as they start breaking down, with full disclosure on CL and then buying another one. The car goes to someone who happily can spend their own time and money fixing it and we don't keep sinking money into a dying vehicle. And you end up with a safer one for dealing with those harsh road conditions. I worry about you!

January 15, 2011 at 6:27 PM  
Blogger Sue in Hawaii said...

Jenna- so sorry you had to miss the BC meeting. I know weather didn't play a factor in it this time (bad timing on Pony's part!) but seems to me that NEBCA should change their bylaws and have their annual meeting later in the year so you folks don't have to risk your lives driving in icy conditions to the meeting. Here in Hawaii we have it in the spring to avoid the rainy season. Just a thought!

And back on topic of vehicles - I'm glad you are buying used. New vehicles lose a lot of their resale value the moment they are driven of the lot so why pay for that? For your next truck you might want to consider selling your current vehicle (usually you get more than for a trade-in) and checking Craigslist for surrounding areas that have military bases as often guys (here at least) sell their trucks when they get deployed overseas at pretty good prices.

We've also found it is more economicial for us to sell our vehicles as soon as they start breaking down, with full disclosure on CL and then buying another one. The car goes to someone who happily can spend their own time and money fixing it and we don't keep sinking money into a dying vehicle. And you end up with a safer one for dealing with those harsh road conditions. I worry about you!

January 15, 2011 at 6:27 PM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

HARUMPH! Second reminder about Greenhorns Meet & Greet on the
20th.

Be there or be square...or sommin'.

January 18, 2011 at 4:43 PM  
Blogger Zev said...

I whole-heartedly agree with the Cash-for-Title idea. I share your fear of debt. Keep an eye on craigslist for older 4WD trucks. Some of those 70s and 80s Fords and Chevys are still puttering along just fine.

January 19, 2011 at 2:49 PM  

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