Tuesday, January 11, 2011

good news and bad news

My day started with an exciting trip into Manchester, Vermont for a visit to a local NPR studio. Lynne Rosseto Kasper of the Splendid Table was calling into the station to interview me about keeping backyard chickens and how to deal with tough roosters. I had never been in a real radio booth before, and just sitting there with my headphones and the giant poofy microphone made me feel all sorts of special. It was a quick half hour, and I think it went well! The segment will air in two weeks, and hopefully spread the gospel of backyard chickens to the foodie masses. Before I said goodbye I gushed at Lynne about how much I loved her show. I really do. I've been listening for years. Falling in love with cooking is a side-product of growing and raising your own food. Cooking is a celebration. I am damn Mummer.

My day ended however, in a transmission shop. The Subaru is dead. The transmission is at a point where replacing it would cost about $3,500 and I don't even think the old girl is worth that much anymore, certainly not after what I put her through. Even if I wanted to replace her for sentimental reasons, I can't afford to. It was a hard blow to this small farm. It's the only four-wheel drive vehicle I have—and while I am damn lucky to have the pickup here to remain the lone workhorse—it's not a snow car. The Ranger just can't handle ice or any road covering beyond a dusting. Hell, I got it stuck in wet grass. To really frost the cake, they are calling for up to ten inches by tomorrow afternoon, starting late tonight. Most of it dumping in hard storm surges that make driving up a narrow, winding, mountain road in a light, 4 cylinder, 2WD pickup near impossible. All I can do is put weight in the back and hope the studded snow tires do their very best after the roads are cleared. Ugh. The sad reality is I need to sell the Subaru and find a replacement 4WD something. If anyone has a lead on an F-150, let me know.

I can't even really think about it tonight. It's too much. I know it's certainly not the end of the world, but It is times like this when I really wish I had a partner. When you're a team you simply figure things out. When you're alone you have to stress through it, become a burden to your coworkers, and lose sleep tossing and turning over the solution. There's no one to decompress with, or talk through it, or tell you things are going to be okay. On a new farm: 99% of the daily effort is based on convincing yourself that is true.


Blogger Kitchen Mama said...

Good luck! We'll keep our fingers crossed for your truck to plunge effortlessly through the snow.

January 11, 2011 at 7:38 PM  
Blogger Victoria said...

I'm so sorry you're having a bad night. When I was 28, I was still struggling so hard to figure out what i wanted to do. I was single, and every time my car would break down, or the lawn mower wouldn't work, or you name it, I would get SOOO angry. At my situation. I always dreamed of being part of a team. It was another 6 years before I met the man who would be my husband. He complements me in all the best ways and together, we make an excellent team.
I hope this message doesn't rub you the wrong way. Your help mate is out there. You're so much further along than I was at 28. I was flailing along, waiting for everything to come to me instead of going out and making my life what I wanted it to be. But you, you're creating your life. Hopefully, you'll find him soon.
Keep up the excellent work. Your blog is always one of the highlights of my day!

January 11, 2011 at 7:40 PM  
Blogger Helenistic said...

I hope it all works out. If your mechanic is reliable, maybe you could get a used transmission installed. It could save you a bundle if done right.

Remember, we're all pulling for you.

January 11, 2011 at 7:44 PM  
Blogger KRA said...

Sorry to hear that, Jenna. These setbacks can really knock the wind out of you! Here's to a good car for you soon!

January 11, 2011 at 7:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jenna...I know you probably already check Craigslist, but, if not, give it a go. I just checked and there was an '87 GMC Sierra 4x4 advertised on Sun.,1/9 for $1800. You might find something there. That is where we advertised when we sold our last vehicle. Always take a friend tho..you know, be a safety girl. All the best to you. I've been where you are, and I can totally empathesize. It always gets better, but it is hard in the meantime..and, yes, tough to worry on your own. Kudos for your talk show in the a.m. Will look forward to hearing you..I'll bet you were dynamite! :)

January 11, 2011 at 7:46 PM  
Blogger Becca said...

I'm so sorry about the Subaru. I'd suggest a jeep as a replacement but with how far you have to drive I don't think it'd be practical. I think the only thing you can really do is scrap the Subaru and use the proceeds towards another vehicle. In the meantime, I suggest hay bales for the back of the ford. The farmers here seem to swear by them, but they have to deal with flat terrain and high winds. Best of luck, Jenna.

January 11, 2011 at 7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oops...I checked on the Glen Falls, NY area craigslist-ing. :)Don't know if it is close to you or not.

January 11, 2011 at 7:48 PM  
Blogger Debra said...

If the engine is still worth it, check into getting a used transmission. Our mechanic drove 200 miles round trip to pick up a transmission with 40k on it and installed it for $1800. Came with a 12 month warranty too.

January 11, 2011 at 7:55 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Roy said...

Jenna, I somehow know you are going to turn this cloud inside out and find the silver lining. Just look at the past year or so and see how many times you've done exactly that. Weigh down the back of the truck, get some chains for the tires to help with traction and take things one at a time. You can do it!

January 11, 2011 at 8:05 PM  
Blogger daisy said...

Aw, Jenna. I know you'll find just the right vehicle from a very unexpected source. Keep the faith, girl! You are one strong young broad (I mean that in the nicest way).

January 11, 2011 at 8:17 PM  
Blogger Building A Better Life said...

I used to drive a 2WD F150 - did it through a ME winter once, and my son was TWO at the time! LOTS of snow in the back. Also - take a shovel (or two), kitty litter or sand, ice melt could be good, maybe a couple of boards with you. My 4WD currently needs to be fixed so I carry all that stuff around with me. Not that anything is going to happen, but just in case. :)

And LOTS of space between your vehicle and the one in front of you - I hit somebody on icy roads in my truck. Luckily, I was only going about 15mph at the time.

Sorry to hear about your faithful friend. Maybe you can figure out how to make a chandelier out of her mirrors and lights or something like that... You know, upcycling is ALL the rage in home decor. ;)

Good luck out there! Be safe!

January 11, 2011 at 8:18 PM  
Blogger Debi said...

Jenna, I know it's no picnic driving a pick up in N.Y winters,(especially after owning a Subaru) but if you load it down good, you should be just fine until you can get a new vehicle. When I was in my early 20's I had a Ford Ranger and then a Chevy S10, neither were 4 wheel drive and I never even botered to put snows on the Chevy, even when I lived in the Adirondacks. I never got stuck, but I always carried snow gear and some snowshoes, just incase.

Whishing you luck in finding a new vehicle soon!


January 11, 2011 at 8:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


While I am excited to hear about the Splendid Table (I listen EVERY week), I'm sorry to hear about the Subaru. As a single mother of a 10 year old son and who's 79 year old mother lives with her also, I know what you mean about having a partner to share the good/bad with. Some day our princes will come;) Preferably a man who isn't intimidated by strong self sufficient women and wearing farmers overalls;) Take care sweetie and ps, I put a small amount in your account to add to your "kitty". Good luck.

January 11, 2011 at 8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, it's not the same, but you know we're all here for you - here for you to vent to, here to listen, here to help pull you through. You are an inspiration to many. We all love ya & want the best for you. Do what you do best & keep that chin up. Or go hug a dog with a stick... ;)

January 11, 2011 at 8:47 PM  
Blogger Andy said...


Good job on your radio interview.

I can understand where you are coming from living alone and a need of a partner. Take a deep breathe and just take a day at a time.

Until find a Subaru replacement in the meantime, just put snow back of the Ford for weight.

January 11, 2011 at 9:01 PM  
Blogger Trista Hill said...

CONGRATS on the Splendid Table interview! That is one show I NEVER miss and when I have to, it's such a downer. I will be so excited to hear your voice.

I really relate to what you're saying about dealing with these things alone. What we can definitely count on: It simply won't always be like this -- it's impossible to stay the same. Rooting for you.

January 11, 2011 at 9:15 PM  
Blogger Sarah Rachelle said...

I can really sympathize. Our Subaru bit the dust recently. I loved that car. The 4WD is definitely a plus. Good luck in finding one!

Something maybe to cheer you up from one antique nut to another - have you seen the TV show American Pickers? We've been watching it on Netflix and it rocks! Makes me long for digging through dusty stacks of junk. :-)

January 11, 2011 at 9:23 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

I agree, tire chains a must and they work! Easy to put on and off. And load that sucker up with firewood and you'll go anywhere! Keep the barnheart girl, it will work out!

January 11, 2011 at 9:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats about the Splendid Table - I love it too - but so sorry to hear about the subaru. My best advice is usually to sleep on it - sleep doesn't solve problems, but it can make them at least somewhat easier to puzzle through. As others have said, there are hopefully a few different options and, given how much you've managed already, I'm sure you'll find something that works for you.

January 11, 2011 at 9:36 PM  
Blogger Manzanita Farms said...

Alright Jenna,

I'm going to pray for the Good Lord to send you a good car and a great man.

Hang in there.

January 11, 2011 at 9:39 PM  
Blogger CJ said...

I wouldn't give up the Subaru yet. You might be able to find one that has a bad engine, or was totaled by an insurance company or maybe at a car auction (some dealers/sellers will go look for a vehicle for you). Buy the junk car, put the tranny in yours and then junk the rest of the car. Just make sure you get the title, you can't junk a car without a title.

I drove a 2wd for a couple years, just over the mountain from you. Weight over the rear tires does work great. I used two rubbermaid containers filled with sand. It gives the weight you need, you can use the sand to get out of a jamb, and being in containers you can easily remove it if you need the room in bed. Make sure you cover the containers so the sand doesn't freeze into a solid block. Also throw a tow rope or chain behind the seat so someone passing by could pull you out of a snow bank if needed.

Having driven the 2wd for a while you probably already know, but just in case - low rpm's means better traction. If you have a standard, sometimes it's better to start out in 2nd gear so your tires don't loose traction from the get-go.

January 11, 2011 at 9:39 PM  
Blogger Jasmine said...

My first vehicle was a little 2 wheel drive ford ranger that I drove in Maine and Connecticut winters... I used to put sandbags (and cement blocks) in the back for weight... I never feel like snow is heavy enough... I don't think I ever used them, but then you can bust one open and use it for traction too if you need... YOU CAN DO IT>

It is ALL going to be so much more than ok, just you wait and see!

Congrats on the radio...

January 11, 2011 at 9:41 PM  
Blogger jim said...

jenna- i lived in the pa woods in a log house for 10 years and never had 4 wheel drive-had a little mazda pickup and built a small frame that went on both sides of the bed wheel enclosure [so sand bags couldn't turn into missles if i had to stop quickly] then i bought 200 lbs if sand in bags and placed in area between wheels- never got stuck- did keep good tires on it though.
good advice on here about the subaru= get more then one quote on repair-used trans would work for you-check your local highschool auto shop or boces and see what the kids would fix it for you for- a backyard mech might also-check with your friends- they just might know someone- keep us updated.

January 11, 2011 at 9:55 PM  
Blogger Jasmine said...

How many miles is it to your work? Maybe now's the time for a fell pony you could tether outside your office everyday... or kicksled with the dogs to work!

I kidd. I know that's really not a viable option, but just think! How cool (and cold. and long. and full of exercise.) that would be!

A used transmission might be a really good idea... labor can be a killer tho. Depending on the engine, they sometimes have to take the whole thing apart to reach a suby's tranmission....

January 11, 2011 at 10:01 PM  
Blogger sheila said...

Weight in the back of a truck should be secured. My brother was carrying an anvil in the back of a pickup that ended up flying through the back window and into the cab of the truck during a collision that totaled the truck. Lucky for him it just missed his head and also lucky there were no passengers because they would have been dead if there had been.

January 11, 2011 at 10:04 PM  
Blogger Westfarm Goat Mom said...

If you can possibly get another subaru, you'd be better off than another pickup. You have the one for hauling - the F-150 have terrible gas mileage.
We live in the Colorado mountains and I use my Forester more than anything from hauling goats to just getting through the ice and snow. Our F-150 only leaves the driveway if the load is too big to haul with the Forester.

January 11, 2011 at 10:10 PM  
Blogger DebH said...

I agree...alone can be tough! But..boy oh boy...when you get things working again and while it's coming together...you get a surge of accomplishment that heals your soul! I know, I have faced some pretty hard decisions/dilemas and I am coming to realize that I am pretty sharp and have gotten protectively shrewd. Now I know how some of those pioneering women had to handle it...one day at a time...one day at a time! Good Luck and if you lived closer, I know just the place for a good truck!

January 11, 2011 at 10:12 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

I am so sorry Jenna. I can say I have been there with and without a partner. Car troubles are the worst. I will be praying for you and honestly after seeing how many people who read your blog, I get the feeling you aren't alone at all.

January 11, 2011 at 10:25 PM  
Blogger Tora Consolo said...

I know it will all work out for you Jenna - sending you positive Reiki energy for your trip tomorrow.

January 11, 2011 at 10:26 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

I'd sell the truck and use for profit to fix the Subaru, but that's just me. I love my own Subaru to death, and they last forever. Until your farm is making a profit, getting to your day job has to be the top priority, as it funds the farm and pays your mortgage. After the farm is self-sufficient and paying for itself, you will then have money to buy a work truck if you wish AND deduct the whole thing, incl. operating costs, on your taxes. Probably not what you want to hear -- I know you love that truck -- just my opnion.

January 11, 2011 at 10:41 PM  
Blogger kappachi said...

Put some chains on those tires! That will give you better grip!

January 11, 2011 at 10:47 PM  
Blogger Carol G said...

Ah Jenna. Sorry to hear about your car troubles. I hope it ends up being a blessing in disguise. I always thought you needed something bigger than a suburu for hauling those sheep around - perhaps it is time to upgrade to a suburban. If you are patient, you may find something like a suburban or slightly smaller with good tires and 4WD to meet your farmer needs. How can you feel lonely with all these online friends to give you so much advice?

January 11, 2011 at 11:08 PM  
Blogger Chicky said...

+1 to Westfarm Goat Mom
An F-150 is not going to solve problems...even with 4WD, pickups are still lighter in the back. My hubby has a 4WD pickup & often, my AWD Toyota Corolla has better traction b/c the weight is distributed more evenly. Sure, his 4WD gives him better "get up & go" & better stopping power on ice, but his is the first to spin out in the back or fishtail. Stick with your little 2WD pickup & try to find an AWD or 4WD vehicle for regular travel. With enough weight in the back, your 2WD should do fine. Maybe look into a used & cheap topper for the pickup - they're a great way to add weight to the back (& provide protection & cover to anything you put in the back).

Sending good thoughts your way! It WILL work out.

January 12, 2011 at 12:23 AM  
Blogger Paula said...

Funny you should want a Ford F150- that's exactly what my sister-in-law hankered for for years and years, but drove a van because she had kids. Well, one of them is off in Germany as an exchange student and the other is driving herself to high school classes, so Susie finally got the truck she always wanted.

I've always heard sand bags are the best thing for weight in the back. You might also want to do an internet search to see what to do when you get stuck (for some reason, I'm remembering parts of a That 70's Show episode) , just so you're well prepared. A few supplies in the truck might be advised as well. If you can stick it out in the truck this winter, it would sure buy you some time. Especially if you could replace both vehicles with one reliable one- less insurance cost that way as well.

Good luck honey- I sure don't envy you the boat you're, but hopefully something really good will come of all this.

January 12, 2011 at 12:45 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

I've seen lots of good advice here so I can’t really improve on any ideas. But I can commiserate. My husband is gone every month to work for two weeks. Every. Single. Month. And it seems like the vehicles always wait for him to be gone to break down. Now, I’m a pretty capable girl and I used to be a flight nurse so I don't think I get rattled very easily but let me tell you, car problems give me the vapors. I don’t envy you but I know there is a viable solution that shouldn’t be too pricey.
Take a deep breath and push forward. You are a strong capable gal....and we can do anything!
Good luck!!

January 12, 2011 at 12:53 AM  
Blogger Odie Langley said...

My first comment would be WOW Jenna you have a lot of friends with some mighty good ideas. Hopefully you will be able to use some of them to overcome your problem. Congratulation on the radio programs and sorry for the vehicle difficulty but I am sure you will bounce back smoothly. I feel blessed to be in the company of all your friends and wish you well.

January 12, 2011 at 5:37 AM  
Blogger Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

Here’s to a solution to this situation which suits well every one involved. That said, I cannot figure how to help from CA so I’m sending hugs and good energy. This interesting and well-written blog entertains me nearly every day; stay the course. And thanks.

January 12, 2011 at 6:40 AM  
Blogger ward said...

Congrats on the radio program. I will listen when it comes out. Looking forward to it.

Hang in there. You got this. There are a number of very good, simple ideas already listed here. I wish I could add something but alas, I have nothing.


January 12, 2011 at 7:17 AM  
Blogger doglady said...

Stop at Sonny's Motors in Walloomsac on Rt. 67. They are really good mechanics and have access to a variety of good used vehicles at auctions. My Dad always used Sonny to repair his Subaru and ultimately to sell it.
You can make the 2WD Ranger pretty storm worthy by putting weight over the back axle. Firewood works well for this purpose. A friend of mine had a 2WD Ranger and I had a 4WDRanger. He could go almost anywhere I could.

January 12, 2011 at 7:40 AM  
Blogger Kelpie and Collie said...

How old is the subaru? If you can get a used tranny, go for it. A used f150 was used by who knows? Could be worse off. I have been down this road with cars, and I have to say, the devil you know is way better than the devil you don't know.... Look into the used tranny.

January 12, 2011 at 8:12 AM  
Blogger Heritage Farm said...

From this single mama living in northern vermont...I definitely recommend NOT getting an F-150!
I say this because I have an F-250 circa 2000 and I gives me nothing but problems. It is 4wd and I have very good snow tires and usually drive slower than everyone else, but the nature of trucks is to fishtail.
I am looking to get my first Subie within the next month or so. There is a great guy up here - and I'm not that far from you if you can swing this- who buys old beaters like yours fixes em' up and resells them for a very reasonable price. He might even trade with you if the stars are properly aligned...
Otherwise, like many others here, I do recommend sandbags in the back (snow is definitely NOT heavy enough) and a shovel. The sand WILL freeze, so forget about using it to get unstuck (trust me I know this to be true) and don't just bring a flimsy plastic snow shovel unless you can keep it inside the cab - it'll freeze too and then crack and break. Your town would likely allow you to fill a bucket with the sand/grit/salt that they use on the roads. Cover that and carry some around for getting stuck. And most importantly DRIVE SLOW!
I hope I don't sound too bossy here, but I have lived up here for four winters now and I seem to have encountered every possible scenario. Trust me Jenna, snow you can do - it's the black ice you gotta watch out for! Also, trust those road crew guys. They know how to handle this stuff.
One more thing - in a previous post you were shoveling yourself out of your driveway...heck with that! find a local guy to do it for you in times like this, it should only set you back about $25 to $35 bucks depending on how long your drive is.
Get back to me about that Subie if you want more info amknost@aol.com

January 12, 2011 at 8:16 AM  
Blogger Cindi said...

Jenna, you may not have a man...but you have a ton of folks on here who tend to have some pretty sage advice.

X50 on the comment about keeping the weight in the truckbed secured!

I've always found kitty litter and evergreen boughs to be helpful when stuck in snow. As well, stick to doing the slow, patient, rocking the truck back and forth (2nd gear and reverse are best, I find...1st gear is too torque-y) rather than ANY amount of spinning of the tires - spinning creates friction, which creates heat, which melts the snow, the water from which turns into the ice due to the cold coming up from beneath it. Not a good go, and you'll soon find yourself stuck much deeper than you were, and on ice to boot. :-/

I think whoever mentioned looking for a wrecked Subaru in the junkyard was bang on - it would make a great parts car, and you'd have your tranny for much cheaper than you would have otherwise!

Empathy is something I can offer on being alone and trying to make a go of things... I remember having to dig up my septic tank and, from both sides, try to unblock a chunk of plastic that was blocking the line to the tank from the house. Not fun, but I felt pretty good when I managed to get it done, and get it done without having to pay someone else to do it! That said, things are much easier in some ways with two people, so I'll send some good vibes your way for your love life. ;)

Keep on truckin' girl!

ps. Quit stealing all our snow, eh?

January 12, 2011 at 9:07 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

Ooh, I'm so glad the interview went well! And soooooo sorry to hear about the Subaru. That really is hard. It's really easy here in my market to buy a solidly reliable truck (all sorts) for cash, but being Texas, there are always LOADS of them available. Not sure if that's the case where you are. We've actually bought two cash trucks - a tiny 1989 Toyota that simply refuses to die, and a HUGE 4WD Chevy with a 100 gallon diesel tank in the bed. I just about need climbing ropes to get in it - it's a beast. I hope you're able to find just the right thing!

January 12, 2011 at 9:30 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Jenna. maybe someone has posted this already, but sand bags in the bed helps a lot. We have 6 or 7 placed over the axle. Also good multi purpose tires help too, but you sacrifice the gas miliage. My F-150 gets stuck all the time. (but I loooove it) My partner has a toyota tacoma (2wd) and she never gets stuck! Also if you do get stuck, you have the sand right there. In Oklahoma we get more rain and mud than snow but the sand bags have really helped. A very inexpensive solution. Good luck this week, I'll be thinking about you. If you dont already keep a small shovel behind your seat. You are a farm girl now we need these things;)

January 12, 2011 at 9:31 AM  
Blogger C.J. said...

First, congratulations

January 12, 2011 at 10:43 AM  
Blogger Kris said...

Jenna, I'm so sorry about your car. You must have lots of good memories. I hope you find another good car soon.

I want a Subaru Outback really bad. Not just because that's the name of my farm, but it would get much better gas mileage than my big Trooper. And I think I could still get an animal or two in the back. Plus a few bales of hay. And I like the way they look.

Good luck to you.

January 12, 2011 at 11:04 AM  
Blogger C.J. said...

First, huge congrats on Splendid Table! How terrifically exciting. How completely cool.
But, dammit, what is wrong with the Antlers out there? The perfect partner is one who can stand on their own two feet and still support and be supported by another with kindness, wisdom, humor and determination. And, to look around, it seems like the perfect time to be you with all these young, hot, stubble faced, flannel wearing, progressive-minded, fiddle playing, soil planting Antlers out there. I am continually dumbfounded that, with all the living you're out there doing, and so publically, and so honestly, that Mr. Right Antler hasn't crossed through the forests to be with you.
I mean, if a herd of good guys aren't finding ways to enter your life, what hope is there for the rest of us that live under rocks and don't have a tenth of your courage? Yeah, yeah, all that "in time," "the right time," but dammit, ANTLERS STEP UP! THAT'S ONE GOOD WOMAN THERE!

January 12, 2011 at 11:14 AM  
Blogger C.J. said...

By the way, whenever I'm panicking about car trouble, I feel better after playing "1000 Dollar Car" by the Bottle Rockets 100 times. It allows me to get my trailer-park- redneck on for a spell and then I realize my troubles could be a WHOLE lot worse. Just a suggestion.

January 12, 2011 at 11:42 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

@CJ (and Jenna) - if there's one thing I've learned, it is this:


Especially the ones worth having. Especially when confronted by strong, awesome women. I think we're the ones that need to step up and act. Had I not asked my husband out on our first date, I'm 100% certain we would not have been together for the past 14 years. Sorry, I know this has nothing to do with radio interviews or car repair, but I couldn't help chiming in here. :)

**Yes, I know there are some exceptions to this, but in my experience, VERY few.

January 12, 2011 at 12:24 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

Why does everyone think that having a partner will end their problems? What if your partner can't balance the checkbook, burns food, forgets the animals and falls apart at the first sign of pressure? But he's caring, concerned and worships the ground you walk on.

I'd like to suggest the first line of defense of a happy, stress free like is a BIG bank account.

It's just an idea.

January 12, 2011 at 12:27 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

@Susan - I personally like to have both, but there are benefits to a partner that money can't buy. I work 70 miles from home. Most of my commute is in the country, where there's miles and miles of nothing. If I break down along the route, my bank account won't show up in the other car to pick me up, but my husband will.

January 12, 2011 at 1:30 PM  
Blogger Rae said...

Sorry to hear about the Subaru, and I agree that you should look at some of the repair suggestions I've seen on here. Also agree that it's often better to repair the vehicle you know and love if you can... You never really know the history of a used new-to-you car.

I loved my F150. It was a 98, and was a good little truck for me for years. I had gotten it because I was working for the park service, often in serious snow, and if I was going to clobber a deer on the road I didn't want to do it in a compact car. Got lucky, never did hit one. That truck was great in snow. I never weighted the back, as it threw off the feel of the truck, and I didn't like the way it handled. Works for some people, not for me. I sold it when my mom gave me her Odyssey. Another fabulous car. Been in snow situations a number of times, no chains, no studs, no problems. Best advice I can give for snow driving: drive something you're comfortable in and familiar with, everything's slower in snow (no quick acceleration, quick braking, or quick turns), and carry a kit appropriate to the season (in winter- a blanket, tarp, pack shovel, emergency kit, and things to help get you unstuck such as litter, sand, etc.) These things are of course in addition to what supplies you'd normally carry such as a first aid kit, water, flares and such. Get familiar with putting chains on your tires, practice at home. Use 'em if you need them.

I wish you the best of luck with the car, and hope she's back on the road soon!

January 12, 2011 at 1:31 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I don't think a partner will solve problems.

January 12, 2011 at 1:32 PM  
Blogger greendria said...

My sincerest wish for you is a partner. I think that every time I'm reading your posts and proud of you for all you do. There's got to be one out there for you. Whether it's car problems or moments like your Splendid Table interview, a partner makes a difference. It's not all roses, but it does a lot for me.

January 12, 2011 at 2:17 PM  
Blogger Cindi said...

@ Tara: Agreed!

@ Susan: I don't understand how some folks on here saying that things tend to be easier when there's two people to handle them, all of a sudden turns into "everyone" thinking that having a partner will end their problems?

In the farming lifestyle (or any lifestyle I may choose to participate in, for that matter), I would tend to think that if my partner wasn't able to pitch in with at least as much as I was able to do, then.....perhaps they're not much in the way of a partner...? I speak for myself personally when I say that I chose my partner because we want the same things out of life and because he will be an active participant in our life together, and he is definitely that. THAT most certainly does make my life easier, not to mention fuller.

I didn't notice much in the way of sweeping generalizations in others' comments, more that they were sharing their personal experiences and what they've found to be true for them.

Just my two cents...

January 12, 2011 at 3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Jenna, hope you've found some peace with the car thing. Subarus are great, it also seems like every guy i know in semi-rural Maine has an F150 (including my 78 yr old neighbor who goes out in EVERYTHING--but of course, only you know what your roads, hassle factor, overall needs, etc. are. After I stopped living way out, i got a Honda and that's what I've stuck with, but that's not for going down backcountry roads. I'd have 4 WD if I lived where you are. I also knew what my hassle factor was in terms of dealing w/ repairing things, etc.so reliability became my major decision point. That's all for you to decide. One of these days, you won't have to deal so much with the funding issues. you're doing great. As for the partner thing, it's wonderful to have support and many men are wonderful in terms of the physical world. But many aren't! But you know that.

January 12, 2011 at 7:03 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

What a day of highs and lows! I join the excited legions waiting to hear you on The Splendid Table. How cool is that!

Good luck on the vehicle front. I hate having to deal with that kind of purchase when time is of the essence. So much harder!

I sympathize on the lack-of-partner front too, having only met my husband when I was 31. (at last!) Speaking of which, I hope the weather doesn't cancel that mixer...

January 13, 2011 at 12:28 PM  

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