Thursday, January 13, 2011

i know they could be worse.

The Subaru was kinda running yesterday, but today I can't even back it out of the driveway. It just stopped working. It is blocking the pickup and the three feet of snow around it leaves no other options except removing the Subaru to back it out (which I can't). I am scared to drive the light truck, which I have to dig out and re plow the driveway by hand just to attempt driving it to work, which I am very late for. I have missed two days of work this week, and I might miss half of another one. I am sure I'm not a big hit with my boss right now. I'm on the phone with my roadside emergency service but the tow trucks under my plan are all busy with the storm...no one can get me out of here until this afternoon, and they don't want to drive up the mountain and risk getting their own tow trucks stucj. I can't just get a ride to work because, I have to be here to sign the invoice of the roadside assistance won't cover it, and I NEED them to cover it because paying for any extra expenses is totally out of the picture right now. I'm out of morale, and energy, and dog food, my cell phone is out of juice, and I have an embarrassingly low checking account till next paycheck two weeks from now due to heating oil and a mortgage payment. I'm worried and scared that I won't be able to get a new car with my iffy credit. I hate this storm, it is making everything a hundred times more stressful. The barn roof is buckling, the animals are stuck in small spaces, and hauling water is a feat that humbles you.

What do you do with a broken car you can't fix? Do you sell it to a dump? Do you hide it in your driveway till another day? Where is the how-to manual on everyday life?

I just want this week to be over with. I know things could be worse. I know I am lucky to even have these problems in the first place. But that doesn't solve such big problems. I'll be okay. I just need a miracle, or a dealership willing to finance a new truck for a humble trade in.

104 Comments:

Blogger Peacemom said...

Jenna, one problem at a time...gotta get the car out of the way. Then deal with it all one step at a time. I know it's very stressful right now, but as my friend says, you gotta eat that elephant one bite at a time. I would say if you can get someone to get the car out of there, trade it towards something else. There are always places that will finance autos...you might not like the interest rate or your choices of autos, but there's always a way to make it happen. I wish you luck! We've got a driveway that three plow guys have backed out on, tooooo steep and tight, so I hear ya on being ready for this storm to go away! ~Vonnie, NH

January 13, 2011 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger Becca said...

First, take a deep breath. These are all things that are out of your control. They can't be helped. I know it's easy to say from an outside point of view, but it's the truth. Second, do what you can while you wait for roadside assistance. Get the snow off the barn roof, shovel what you can to make life easier on the tow truck driver, do something to keep your mind off of the woes. It helps. And know that you have tons of people pulling for you.

January 13, 2011 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger Debra said...

Oh Jenna... I hate times like those. My only advice? As calmly as possible, approach each problem one at a time. Try to think how to solve either your biggest problem or smallest, while calming your heart as you seek a solution. Breathe. Pray. Then move on to the next problem and seek a solution or help from others.

But the main thing is to not let everything overwhelm you. Allowing that overwhelmed feeling only paralyzes us, slows us down and make things worse.

You are a smart, capable woman and *in time*, all things will be well again. And I'm praying now that you will be given courage at this difficult time when everything seems to be going wrong. This, too, shall pass... Debra

January 13, 2011 at 9:03 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

The tow truck is coming to take the subaru away. the first problem is being dealt with. then next problem is getting the truck from buried in snow to on the road to work.

January 13, 2011 at 9:05 AM  
Blogger alindner said...

Jenna, I know you haven't asked us to, but I just dropped a small amount of money in your "donate" account. I've never bought a book or done anything else to thank you for all the hours of joy you've provided, so thanks! And things will look up soon.

January 13, 2011 at 9:10 AM  
Blogger seagoddess said...

Keep the faith! As peacemom said, one thing at a time and it looks like one major hurdle is being dealt with, the car. I understand the measly checking account, and "what if this happens" but the Universe will provide what you need when you need it. I know it sounds corny, and you may want to say, at least today, "OH PLEASE SHUT UP with that granola-hippie nonsense" but big breaths. Years of living on the edge taught me that you can only do what you can do...and you're doing great despite Mother Nature's set backs.

January 13, 2011 at 9:15 AM  
Blogger Dayle said...

Jenna, you've probably already done this, but just in case.....pile a bunch of weight in the back of that pickup truck to keep the "business end" stuck to the road. That's the problem with pickups.....to light in the back where the power is. Good luck and drive safe....cuz I KNOW you're gonna get out and on the road. That's just the way you are!

January 13, 2011 at 9:18 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

I've been there for sure- feeling buried when the balance of things gets knocked out of whack. Do what you can while you wait for the tow truck guys like shoveling off the barn roof, then go inside, warm up a bit, and breathe. Try the Child's Pose from yoga if it helps.

My husband always says "it will
feel better when it stops hurting". It's ridiculous BECAUSE it's true, but it's always kept me laughing and moving forward, even when we faced being homeless.

Have faith- lots of people are rooting for you, and you'll get to the better truck soon. Your boss will just have to get over it- last I checked, none of us could control the weather. Can you telecommute, even partially?

January 13, 2011 at 9:18 AM  
Blogger Affi'enia said...

Oh hun. I can't offer any practical advice I'm afraid. But as has already been said; One thing at a time.

Storms happen, your boss has to understand this. It's not like this is going to happen everyday.

They're not coming to dig you out til the afternoon but they are coming. You're not stuck forever!

The money you have will be enough. It's amazing how often it is.

Lastly you will get a miracle. I've been reading your blog for a while now and you always pull through the struggles. Spend some time with the sheep today, breath in that wonderful sheepy smell and count to 100. It will be alright!

xXx

January 13, 2011 at 9:22 AM  
Blogger LMC said...

I hate that feeling of problems piling up, with seemingly nowhere to put them. Following alindner's example, I've also made a small donation. I'm in MN, so I can't help you shovel, but I can do this. Good luck.

January 13, 2011 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger Casie said...

Can you have the tow truck pull out the truck from the snow for you too?

Have them haul the Subaru to the closest junk yard or salvage place. You should get something for it. Scrap metal prices are pretty good right now.

Know any locals with a plow on their truck? Ask about bartering with them if they will keep your drive cleared. Some of Pig when she is butchered might go a long way.

Take a deep breath and think outside the box.

January 13, 2011 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger ladybughomer said...

Jenna - perhaps you could ask your boss if you can make up hours over the next few weekends. I don't know if the office is open and available to do this but maybe it would help. From L.A. your storm looks pretty epic.

January 13, 2011 at 9:28 AM  
OpenID laruse said...

Jenna, I wish I had some concrete assistance to offer you. All I can do is tell you that you are in my prayers and that things have a way of working out. You can only do what you can do, the rest you have to leave up to God.

When you have time, you could investigate donating the Subaru to one of the various charities out there that accept car donations for tax exemptions (we did this and it was a nice little tax write off and took a piece of junk off our hands). They will do all the work of picking it up, whether it runs or not, and you get a tax break.

I am going to go order a copy of Chick Days (I know one copy isn't going to make you a millionaire, but I hope it helps a little) and send thoughts and prayers your way and also some wishes for fast melting snow.

January 13, 2011 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger Left-Handed Housewife said...

Like others, I've made a small donation in hopes it will help. I have absolutely no practical advice to offer, but I have faith you'll get through this. Hang in there, buddy!

frances, durham, nc

January 13, 2011 at 9:31 AM  
Blogger treehuggers kitchen said...

Not much as far as the big problems go, but I know that when I am running really low on dog and cat food, and really need to stretch it, I supplement their food with rice, meat scraps, scrambled eggs and/or broth. In the end, it's probably more expensive than dog or cat food, but it helps out in the moment. Sending good thoughts your way.

January 13, 2011 at 9:33 AM  
Blogger MIB said...

*hugs* I know that doesn't solve anything. But I also know how hard it is to try to start a farm while working full-time, and I remember those times when I wanted to lay down and cry and just have someone take it all away, knowing full well that in the end I was just going to have to deal with it. There are a lot of us out here sending you good thoughts to make it through the next couple days. *more hugs*

January 13, 2011 at 9:36 AM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

There are places that will buy your car for the scrap value--prolly $300-500. You'll need to have the title in hand. Many of them will even come get the vehicle at their expense.

Hang in there. We're all rooting for you.

January 13, 2011 at 9:48 AM  
Blogger Lorri said...

Here's what I'd be doing, after the Subaru is out of the way and I'd made it work:

Subaru - call around. Around here, I'd say you could get $100-$150 cash for the car and they'd tow it away. (saw your comment, so not sure you still have it or already did this)

Truck - take the one you have, clean it up all shiny and pretty. Then go to a dealership and see what you can do to get a used 4WD truck at reasonable payments. If they won't take the 2WD as a trade in, see what you can do to get it sold on Craigslist or somesuch.

Then make the auto payment a priority to get paid off. I know it's tight, but I also know how many years as a single mom that a car payment would have sunk me. The other debt payments never hurt as much as a car payment would have!

For my sanity, the best things have been no car payment and a $500 "Oh Crap!" fund.

-Lorri in SE VA

January 13, 2011 at 9:53 AM  
Blogger mdoe37 said...

Jenna -- its a only a transmission. I know you said they are $3000+. But you are not going to get much of a vehicle for that. It will have all those problems and more. Just Murphy's Law. If money is tight, how could you manage a vehicle payment?

I live about 20 miles from Lake Michigan. Epic snows -- I've driven a Ford Ranger in them. Get to the feed store -- get some sand bags. Drive slow, leave early -- you'll make it.

Get a roof rake while you are there. Pieces of metal tubing that click together with a metal sheet on the end.

And make that offer to makeup work on the weekend.

January 13, 2011 at 9:54 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

Everyone else has already said any piece of advise I would say. I just wanted to stop in and say it's going to be ok in the end. It always always is.

January 13, 2011 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger fromthepines said...

Jenna,
I have had cars taken away for up to 380 bucks! and they come and get it. Like previous comments- scrap is high right now.
A good idea is to see if the tow truck can pull out your truck - especially if you have some snow free from in front.
Are you able to make up any hours doing work from home that you can take home?
Good idea on cleaning up the truck and see about trading it in too... then one vehicle so less insurance, tags, etc.
Like many have said before - one step at a time - first things first and then the next.
Keep us updated.
Cheryl

January 13, 2011 at 9:59 AM  
Blogger Willew said...

I feel for you. I had to deal with the same situation with vehicles. The engine in my car burned up the same week a family member was losing their fight with cancer and I had to get out of town. I put my car on craig's list with full disclosure that it wasn't running. I sold it for $1500. I was shocked. I then found a car that needed a bit of work, but that was running at a dealers (I asked if they had trade in's that they were just planning on auctioning off) for the same amount. I worked my way through the repairs as the money came available. Now I am saving up for a better car and it looks like when I resell I will get all my money out of the car. Good luck!

January 13, 2011 at 10:07 AM  
Blogger mdoe37 said...

(And Google was so nice to finally recognize me.) as I was saying.

Have Mr. tow truck yank out the your pickup. ALways back your truck in from now on so you don't have to back out through the snow drifts, but can drive easy into it.

Up until the last two vehicles, everything I have ever driven was 2wd. WOrk would be a minimum of 40 mile round trip. Just takes longer, but you get used to it. Last ride was a Jeep Wrangler -- that one scared me to death. Like a rollerskate on ice.

January 13, 2011 at 10:07 AM  
Blogger Maria said...

Jenna,

Everyone else has left wonderful words of wisdom....I just want to send a few prayers your way! You always come through these things and you will again!

January 13, 2011 at 10:08 AM  
Blogger Ericabee said...

Hi Jenna,
I know you aren't asking for unsolicited advice but if I were in your situation I would sell the truck and get your subaru fixed. It appears that that car has been good and loyal and has just fallen on some hard times-just like you. I'd hate see you give up and throw her away after all you've been through together. She just needs some tlc. It seems like the car is better suited for your winters anyway. In while, you could get the money saved up to get another truck, and until then just make do with the car. You've done it before and you can do it again!

January 13, 2011 at 10:08 AM  
Blogger Cindi said...

My advice, Jenna, would be to use your truck for the timebeing, keep the car on the property, and save up for a transmission out of a wrecked Subaru from the junkyard. You'd be far and away better off, unless you know there are many other parts on your current car that are needing replacement also.

Another used car is just that: someone else's used car, aka someone else's problems. You never know what you're going to get, even from a dealership.

You'd end up owing more after a trade-in than you would if you saved up for a new transmission and used what you had for transportation at the moment.

I fell into the trade-in trap years ago, when I still owed money on a vehicle that was falling apart. I think your situation with the Subaru is different, but just be careful - just because something comes from a dealership does not ensure any sort of useful lifespan. :(

I wish I could help you out with some $$ in your kitty, but we are beyond extended here right now. :( Good vibes and good wishes from us though...I think you'll be just fine. Often what we have is enough to get by on, as dire as it looks. I've caught myself saying we don't have "enough" money, but...we aren't starving, we and our animals are well fed, and we aren't homeless. Guess there's enough after all. :)

January 13, 2011 at 10:09 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

Hi, Jenna,
I lived in the mountains of Eastern Rensselaer County, not far from you, and had a Ford Ranger 2WD for years. Go get anything heavy you can find and put it in the back of that truck. Sell the Subaru for scrap and use the cash to put a cap on the truck - it will add weight. I never had a real problem getting home in some pretty heavy snow. You'll save money on insurance, too.

January 13, 2011 at 10:22 AM  
Blogger Jill said...

When my husband murdered my beloved Civic by ignoring the "check oil" light we put it on craigslist and within two hours we had someone driving out to get it with a tow truck and paid us $900 for it for parts. The engine had seized of course, but the catalytic converter & whole exhaust system was only 6 weeks old. What they paid us covered the bill for that repair. It was a wash, but no rusting Civic in the driveway. Good luck Jenna.

January 13, 2011 at 10:31 AM  
Blogger Tricia said...

Jenna-
I have absolutely no experience dealing with snow, but I do have experience being poor. I feel your pain. :) You're going to get this taken care of one step at a time and get back on top of everything. I am a firm beleiver that everything happens for a reason- even the crappy things. If nothing else, you have another experience under your belt, and you're better for it. You're an inspiration, even in the bad times.

Sending good thoughts,
Tricia

January 13, 2011 at 10:39 AM  
Blogger katiegirl said...

The only help I can offer is that it's not a "must" to have a 4 wheel drive vehicle. Many people don't and they get by. Just take it slow and you should be ok. Don't totally give up on the subaru until you exhaust all options. Is there a junkyard tranny you can have put in it? Even though it costs money, it will be cheaper than buying a new vehicle. And if you're set on buying a new truck, why not trade in both your ranger and you subaru? No sense really in having 2 pick ups, and having to pay insurance on multiple vehicles.

Also, do you have any neighbors with tractors? They could come and clear your driveway in exchange for something like eggs, pies, etc. And when snow is expected, park your truck at the base of your driveway so all you have to dig out is the very end. Yeah, you have to walk, but its' better than having to shovel the entire driveway. We had a LONG driveway growing up, and we'd have to park the little truck at the end and walk all the way down since we didn't have 4wd or a plow.

January 13, 2011 at 10:51 AM  
Blogger tonio19 said...

Jenna,
For gods sake do not listen to these meally mouthed pussies who would tell you to finance a new rig, or worse, give your car away for scrap value.
A transmission is simply a part. Find a used transmission from someone who is parting out a wrecked car like yours and buy the tranmission.
Also call a dealer or 2 and find out all the makes and models, and years that "Share" the same transmission model, so you will know what cars would be suitable as a "Donor Car" for the new tranny.
Next, put the word out that you would be willing to pay, trade, or barter for someone to do the work.

All the hugs and kisses, and "We feel for you crap" is just that. Crap. Well meaning, but not really helpful...ie, crap.
What you need is solid common sense advice, not some feel good internet balony.
Do not listen to the repair "Predators" who make their living on screwing women and un-mecanically inclined men (sometimes called metro-sexuals, or girly-men). A used Transmission swap is a rather small job for anyone even remotely "Handy". The priks will tell you otherwise, they want you to feel trapped, and then open your wallet until you bleed.
The feel good pussies, the soccer moms and the like will only give you the advice that they know, which is...Pay the dealer, or buy a new car...BULL-CRAP. Do Not Listen to this non-sense.
Would you hire Monsanto to prep your garden? Well don't buy into this either: You have No option, but to but a new rig crap. And do not sell it for scrap either.

#1 Put the word out that you are looking for someone who can do a transmission swap.
And gee wiz, maybe you will meet a decent guy along the way....
#2 Start looking in the paper, and online (locally) for people parting out a similar make and model car, and find a transmission.

Put #1, and #2 together, and soon you will be back in happy Subarooski land.

This is NOT ROCKET SCIENCE, and do not let the dealers tell you otherwise. A tranny swap is a pretty straight forward affair.

Tony in Oregon.
P.S. If you have any other questions, just ask me.
I won't offer you an internet hug, but I'll give you sound advice.

January 13, 2011 at 10:56 AM  
Blogger Melanie J. said...

Sympathy...empathy...those won't help. What can I send, except energy out into the universe? I live in the only state apparently that isn't touched by the white stuff, so the extra energy I have from not having to shovel, I give to you right now so you can wrap your mind around all the stuff that's crowding for attention. Hugs, sweet lady!

January 13, 2011 at 10:56 AM  
Blogger Kitchen Mama said...

Jenna, everyone has said everything and more that I could ever begin to think of saying. It's all good advice. The best is, one thing at a time. When you get overwhelmed it feels like drowning. Focus on one thing at a time--truck and barn roof, maybe?--and then start ticking each thing off your list of worries. Dogs ate people food way before dog food. It'll lessen your own food supply but at least they won't start gnawing on the furniture. You are blessed with "stick-to-it-iveness" and pluck. I know you don't feel that way now but if nothing else, think of your life as a movie, as my dear husband reminds me when I am bogged down. How would the heroine go about the next step? You certainly have a very supportive audience here sending you lots of love and encouragement. And above all, breathe. One breath at a time, deeply, and listen to the snow on the trees and under the sheep hooves. I wish you clarity, calm, and confidence. You have it all, you just need to tap back into it.

January 13, 2011 at 11:02 AM  
Blogger Joleen said...

Jenna, you can donate your car to the National Kidney Foundation and take it as a tax deduction. They will come and pick it up or you may want to think about getting a new transmission, because it would be cheaper than a new car. Just my two cents worth. Will your boss let you work from home?

January 13, 2011 at 11:08 AM  
Blogger tonio19 said...

I just read that you have a tow truck coming for the car...WTF For...? Is it stuck someplace, or are you intending to have it towed someplace where they will extort great amounts of money from you? If the car is stranded someplace, your best bet is to have it hauled back home, NOT TO A SHOP!!! and then read my first post.
If your car is currently at your property, you should cancel the tow truck right now, and again... read my first post.
Do not give your car away for a simple used transmission swap, that would be a bad and rather costly mistake.
Or, you could listen to the last 20 or so well meaning idiots, and plan on working a whole bunch of overtime to pay for the mistakes that most of them are suggesting.
You decide.

January 13, 2011 at 11:11 AM  
Blogger DarcC said...

Sometimes the only way out is through.

Take a long piece of lumber 4x4, 2x6 or what have you, and wedge it under the roof sag to keep it from sagging further. Dig the bottom into the ground a bit to keep it from slipping out.

Throw some weight (snow if you have nothing else) into the pickup bed, patio paver blocks, sand bags, hay, whatever, into the truck bed and drive slow and steady, leaving lots of room between you and the car in front of you, you're most likely to spin out while braking or accelerating. If the truck is a standard, drive in a higher gear than normal, as less torque at the wheels = less likely to slip.

If you have an icy hill to climb, wait until there is no-one in front of you, get a run on it, and keep a nice light steady pressure on the gas pedal. If you stop going uphill you won't get going again.

Ashes, you have a woodstove and therefore ashes, put the ashcan in the back of the truck, if you do spin out sprinkle them under the wheels and they can help you get traction.

If you know a good mechanic, a junkyard trannie is a great idea.

January 13, 2011 at 11:14 AM  
Blogger E said...

Hope it works out.

But you're not considering a new "new" truck are you?
One of the last things you need is another expensive monthly payment.

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

You'll be OKAY. You're one tough cookie. I know others seem to be staunchly against it, but don't think you can't get a solid, reliable vehicle used and cheap. We've now bought three used vehicles (older ones) for under $3k each, and all of them run like champs and have had ZERO problems. Just enlist the aid of the most car-knowledgable person you know when you're shopping. I know sometimes there's just no way to avoid it, but I'd try my best not to take on a car payment. If you absolutely must do so, check out the pre-owned lot, too. Also, Harsh though it may be, Tonio19's response is spot-on correct. If someone tells you $3k to fix the subaru, find someone else. You could even buy the part on Craigslist or from a junkyard and offer to pay someone to put it in for you.

And remember - dogs (and livestock too) can eat all sorts of things in a pinch! The dogs and chickens could eat cooked rice, pasta, squash and pumpkin, beans, milk etc. The dogs can also eat chicken (including raw bones) and eggs if you've got 'em. In your situation, I think I'd feed them just about anything I had on hand that was reasonably safe to feed them.

January 13, 2011 at 11:19 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

@Tonio -the subaru is inoperable, and blocking in her truck, which she needs to get to work today. I believe that was the reason for the tow truck.

January 13, 2011 at 11:21 AM  
Blogger Odie Langley said...

Hi Jenna,
I am sooooooooooooo sorry that everything seems to be hitting you all at once. I also just left you a small donation and hope it helps. I admire what you are doing and love being able to do at least a little to help the farm keep moving along.
Odie

January 13, 2011 at 11:38 AM  
Blogger Colin said...

Don't be so quick to dismiss that Ranger! I drive a '98 Ranger, 2WD, and there's currently over 3 feet on the ground here. 200 pounds of salt bags in the bed are a must ($15 at the hardware store).

The trick is to anticipate stops, accelerate slowly, and go at least 10 under the posted limit. Turn your emergency blinkers on if idiots are honking at you. Let them risk their own lives.

If you're still having trouble getting stuck, lower your tires by about 5 psi, but no more than that. Your pitiful gas mileage will fall even further, but at least you'll have a bigger footprint with which to get traction.

If you still don't feel safe even after following these tips, then consider another vehicle. But for now, give it a shot!

January 13, 2011 at 11:46 AM  
Blogger Carol G said...

Hugs, Jenna. I'm sure after 40 comments you've had plenty of good advice. Just want to let you know I'm saying a prayer for you to have peace today and that things would start falling together for you.

Carol

January 13, 2011 at 11:49 AM  
Blogger jen said...

Hi Jenna -
Sorry to hear everything's coming down on you at once. We all know you'll pull through, though!

Listen to Tonio from Oregon. While I may not be attracted to his writing "style", he is absolutely right. Search Craigslist, and call all your area junkyards and find a tranny. Ask around and find a backyard mechanic. Barter. DO NOT DONATE! Maybe if it was a $500 car with a cracked head, but no - not your Subaru. Find a neighbor with a plow attachment. Barter. Load down the back of your pickup, and get some chains if that'll make you more confident. You'll get through this!

January 13, 2011 at 11:56 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

The Subaru is gone. It was towed away so I could get the truck to work. It needs an entire new transmission, catalytic converter, and engine work. The brakes are slipping. It hsa blown electrical fuses, no wingshield wiping fluid (pump broke that squirts it), and almost 200k miles on it. I can't spend 900 on a new transmission, and I can't wait either. if i can't get to work every day i am in big trouble.


the subaru was sold. it's gone. I hope to get through the winter with the pickup and look to trade it in for a used car.

January 13, 2011 at 12:00 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Thank you for all your kind words and advice. I will figure this out.

for everyone who thought I should have kept the subaru, i'm sorry. i wish i could too.

January 13, 2011 at 12:05 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

The other thing to remember is that this storm hit everybody up there- you can't be the only one in your office having a bad time getting in.

January 13, 2011 at 12:08 PM  
Blogger Jo said...

Jenna, B-R-E-A-T-H-E

That said there are so many people in the same situation as you. I'm one of them. We own a small auto repair shop and I've found the most difficult decision for anyone to make is when to stop pouring money into a car. Many, many people simply cannot afford a new/new used car right now (and the options for "used" seemed to be limited. If you have a mechanic that you trust ask his honest opinion - if he's honest he'll tell you or give you an idea of what you have ahead of you cost wise. We are very sensitive to the financial situations of our customers and are always willing to work with them if they are in a bind. Be honest with them.

Snow happens - you're not the only one that was affected and your boss should know that. This storm was huge - I say this as we continue to dig ourselves out. I think sometimes this kind of thing brings the important stuff into focus. You know what you need to do you just have to prioritize and do it. That's what you appear to be doing now.

I think it's also a reality check. Some people look at me a little weird but I always have a few weeks worth of dog food stashed as well as anything I need to survive for a couple of weeks. Gives you peace of mind. You never know when something is going to happen.

January 13, 2011 at 12:12 PM  
Blogger Meredith A said...

excellent advice about leaving your vehicle at the bottom of the driveway facing out...all you have to shovel is the wall of snow from the plows to access the road.

i'm not sure why you are pressed on a 4x4 right now, once you get on the road you'll see plenty of little sedans putting along slow and steady and doing fine. not ideal, but many of us worker bees make it to and fro in the snow w/o a four wheel drive vehicle.

also, are you able to work a couple 10 or 12+ hour days within the same pay period to make up for time off or to build comp time in the future?

jenna, you'll be fine. curious, do you have a financial advisor? i of course only know what i read on the blog but less spending and more saving should be a top priority.

perhaps you would find comfort rereading your blog post from 1/2/11?
tonio19...i like your advice and style, can i put you in my speed dial? rational and concise...nice.

January 13, 2011 at 12:18 PM  
Blogger CJ said...

Ok, well one problem out of the way. I really think the Ranger will be just fine - as long as you employ some of the suggestions given - don't go with the bed cap - they just cost money and limit what you can put in the bed.

One other suggestion that I failed to mention yesterday, if you haven't already, I would put a cheap set of snow tires on the front of the Ranger.

You're living the dream now. I spent most of yesterday dealing with waste-of-time crap like this. January is half over, I'll be tapping trees in about 40 days and that makes life alright.

Good luck.

January 13, 2011 at 12:19 PM  
Blogger Mimi said...

Jenna, there are some good bits of advice here. However much I think Tonio19 lacks in tact, he makes up for in smarts. I'm inclined to agree with his ideas. Getting rid of the Subaru or junking it should be your last resort. I have put cinder blocks or at other times, firewood in the back of my 2wd and done fine and that's on some tricky backroads with turns and climbs. I recommend you don't make big financial decisions at a time when you're so stressed out. And, to Tonio19, just because most of us aren't thinking exactly as you do, does not make us worthless, stupid or p_______. The advice and support we're sending to Jenna are just as valid as yours, even if you don't agree. Lighten up. Mimi

January 13, 2011 at 12:27 PM  
Blogger Andi and Kurt said...

Lots of practical advice and it seems like you've already made one decision - don't sit and second guess yourself. You can't change what's done.

I've been tied to agriculture the last 15 years and my husband has taught me a lot about relaxing and letting go - now often that's coupled with planning, problem solving and hard work but you can only do what you can do.

Those that recommended a few deap breaths, excellent. Then, find out the information you need and move forward.

Blessings!

January 13, 2011 at 12:32 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Might be a blessing in disguise for you again. One less thing to insure and repair. (And shovel out.)

My family's lived their entire time in the Berkshire hills, not far from you, and we've never had 4wd. You learn, you adapt, you survive.
Weight, chains, and a good set of all-weather radials are what keep my dad's little 2wd Tacoma moving.

This too shall pass. Much like a kidney stone, but it will pass.

January 13, 2011 at 12:49 PM  
Blogger PansWife said...

I hope your boss is understanding, it's not like you're goofing off. Since your day job supports your dreams the priority is finding a safe, reliable vehicle that gets you to work on time. That makes the front wheel drive truck a luxury. Sell it/trade it/cancel the insurance and get the balance back. The 2nd priority is an emergency fund so you will not have to go through this again. So I'm sure you figured this out, but stop biting off more than you afford and focus on getting a vehicle that guarantees a paycheck and a financial safety net for you and your critters. These bumps will only make you stronger and wiser in the long run.

January 13, 2011 at 1:03 PM  
Blogger Moose Nugget said...

Oh Gosh, oh Gosh.
Do not, for any reason at all, enslave yourself to a car payment.
From someone who live in rural, mountainous Alaska and drive a 2 wheel drive minivan, I can tell you "needing" AWD/4WD is a MYTH.
Save your money and your sanity. The last thing you want is your new 4WD repo'd because another emergency means you can't make a payment. And 4WD vehicles don't always get you to work. Around here, it generally encourages a false sense of security and leads to stupid driving.

Add weight. Drive slow. Really slow, if you have to. Know how to handle a skid (they happen in AWD too!).
From now on, back in your driveway. Park in a way you can get out.
Ask your boss about making up hours or being able to work from home. Seems to me that epic storms should encourage some understanding. (You can't be the only one missing work this week, right?)

THEN... As you make the current situation work for now, save money. Keep a good stash of emergency rations and supplies. And add emergency tools to your wish list. Buy them as you get a few extra bucks. Ask for them for gifts.
Save money with a more practical vehicle in mind for when you have cash built up.

And have faith! 90% of driving in snow with 2WD is confidence, slowing down, and not getting panicked.
The other 10% is fate and luck- out of your control, and no different than when you are out there the rest of the year.

January 13, 2011 at 1:05 PM  
Blogger WardH said...

You need a set of chains for your truck. I drive a '97 S10 2WD. If there is more than four inches of snow the chains go on. In my opinion chains are better than four wheel drive, and they help with braking too. My set unhooks at the bottom so you don't have to drive on to them. They cost around $50 and I replace them when they break. Good Luck

January 13, 2011 at 1:12 PM  
Blogger Odd Ducks Farm said...

Breathe and relax for a few moments. It's tough when live piles it on, both literally and figuratively.

As for the iffy trade in, don't despair. I once traded in a Honda with a broken transmission, one that would cost me more than the value of the car to replace, and I still found a dealer willing to give me a good trade in on it. And they had to drive two hours to pick it up from where it broke down too!

January 13, 2011 at 1:31 PM  
Blogger ~ Janis said...

First, get some 4 X 6 wood under your barn roof so you don't loose it. Barns and fencing have started to collapse from the weight of this deep snow.

Most of the banks have repos for sale at rock bottom prices and most car dealers are desperate to sell.
I have had 14 calls in 5 days from dealers who have dropped their prices to be more affordable AND have increased my trade in allowance for my 1997 F150.

Look on craigslist for car deals.
Ask around in town and find out who has died and might have a vehicle for sale. Sounds morbid, but many have sucessfully done this.
Is there a Voc school near you where students learn to repair vehicles?

Start a piggy bank fund for a used tractor with a bucket on it. No farm should be without one.

Photos of our herd in the blizzard:

www.tailgait.blogspot.com

January 13, 2011 at 1:32 PM  
Blogger Sparkless said...

If it's cheaper to fix the Subaru than buy a new car I'd do that.

Drive slow in the truck and you should be fine if you have good winter tires.

When the spring comes look at getting a new truck with 4 wheel drive.

January 13, 2011 at 1:41 PM  
Blogger Leiflet said...

You can do what i do-- ride your bike to work! I have a 7 mile commute, and it's been oddly pleasant. Of course, we don't have the 37' of snow that you do.

January 13, 2011 at 2:18 PM  
Blogger Reason's Whore said...

Hope you have been able to unload or shore up the barn roof. That should be your 2nd priority. If that caves, you are screwed royally.

Glad the Subaru drama is over. I agree with people who advised weighing down the truck and driving slowly. I've never had 4wd and had to drive a long mountainous road to work at one time. As long as the roads are plowed, it's scary but doable.

Hang in there. EGBOK.

January 13, 2011 at 2:21 PM  
Blogger jen said...

@ Leiflet...are you from Washington? You sure look like my old neighbor!

January 13, 2011 at 2:29 PM  
Blogger Ivanhoe said...

Tonio --

"Do not listen to the repair "Predators" who make their living on screwing women and un-mecanically inclined men (sometimes called metro-sexuals, or girly-men)."

Really now? I don't particularly care about the lack of tact in the rest of your posts -- but misogyny is totally uncalled for.

January 13, 2011 at 2:32 PM  
OpenID urbanadaptation said...

I'm sorry you had to see it go, but glad the subaru is taken care of - one less thing to worry about.

Lots of other people have weighed in already, with lots of ideas. I'll just add that I hope you're able to take care of yourself through this and get it all taken care of it without too much bother and stress. It sounds like a lot, but things get dealt with one at a time, and you seem to be handling things.

January 13, 2011 at 3:01 PM  
OpenID sheepdreams-dianne said...

Looks to me like you've had more than enough advice. A small donation from anyone who can would serve you better at this point. I did it. How about the rest of you?

January 13, 2011 at 3:16 PM  
Blogger Kelpie and Collie said...

As my wise mom says "This too, shall pass". In a few days, the roads will be dry, and your truck will have no problems. Get some fire wood, or sand bags in the bed, and over the wheel wells (make it so they don't slip). When you get really frustrated, shovel. That helps use up some of that extra negative energy. Then, go inside, have a nice cup of tea, some goose bread, listen to some John Cougar on the radio, and chill. The NEBCA meeting is on Saturday, so think of something good to bring, and remember my first sentence. See you at the meeting.

January 13, 2011 at 3:17 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

OK, so the Roo is gone so now you are left with the Ranger. Buy 200 lbs of tube sand and load the back of the Ranger. When you have time, go to an abandoned parking lot with packed snow and put your truck into a skid and drive it. Once you've driven through some good skids you'll have more confidence. Once you've driven through a lot of skids it becomes second nature and you don't have to think about it. Winter driving isn't all that hard but it does take some practice. The Roo spoiled you with its low profile and 4WD. Now you get to really drive in the bad weather.
Take care of the barn. Perhaps some of your farmer neighbors would help you shore it up.

January 13, 2011 at 3:17 PM  
Blogger Nanette said...

Too much advice, your head must be spinning.
I just want to say well done, you made a hard decision selling the Subaru, but you made it, because although it was hard, at some level you know what's best for you in your situation.

Keep putting your frustration out here where you can be heard, and supported but remember...you *know* what to do, trust yourself.

January 13, 2011 at 4:08 PM  
Blogger Ohiofarmgirl said...

you're gonna be ok, baby. go have a good cry if you need do. then go pull on your barn boots, get your chores done, and get some sleep. about that truck, i've wished death on my husbands stupid ranger for 10 screamin' years. its not dead yet and has driven thru everything and every kind of weather. have them boys at the feed store load it up with a couple hundred pounds of weight and it will be ok.

January 13, 2011 at 4:12 PM  
Blogger Kathy P. said...

Hey Jenna, I seem to remember back when you bought the house, you said that two or three of your coworkers lived somewhere on your road. Any chance of getting a ride to work for a couple of days until the roads improve?

As for the truck - you said it's 2WD, but I assume that's in front? Until the car I bought in July (ironically, a Subaru Forester), all I've ever driven is front wheel drive vehicles and I've plowed through some pretty heavy stuff with them. Never an accident and only got stuck once - in my own driveway. The trick is to drive by "feel" - don't stop or you won't get going, don't go to fast or you could lose control. Wish I could explain it better over the internet, but front wheel drive isn't all that bad. Put some weight in the back, leave early, and bring your boss a pie!

This too shall pass, kiddo.

January 13, 2011 at 5:37 PM  
Blogger Fresh Eggs Farm said...

Jenna - is there any way you can do your job remotely 1/2 time? I work from home some days and am on the road visiting stores the other days. I watch the weather and plan my days accordingly.
Also, some others have mentioned but I'm going to say it as well...you can't focus of everything at once. I know it is all happening right now...but you need to focus on which fire needs put out first.
Make a list look at the next couple of paychecks - I put mine on a spreadsheet and figure out who needs to be paid/when etc. Tuck back money when you can.
OH! Any chance you can get an income tax advance through H&R Block or anything??? Some car dealerships will make deals based on expected income taxes as well.
Good luck sweetie...keep your head up and breathe.

January 13, 2011 at 5:43 PM  
Blogger Kathy P. said...

Follow-up - I have never owned a truck...even if yours is rear wheel drive (I didn't think they made *anything* RWD anymore), remember that not so long ago RWD was all anybody drove year round. Weight in the back, and if you start to fishtail, take your foot off the gas, and stay off the brake or the wheels will lock up and you won't be able to steer. In many ways, the art of winter driving is the art of not using your brakes. If you keep you speed right, you'll hardly need your brakes. If you do need them, pump gently, the wheels only have traction when they're turning. Also, low gear down the hills. I drove 20 miles out of the Adks last summer with barely any brake pressure (line had ruptured) simply by using the gear shift. Go slow, put it in low down any steep hills, let the transmission hold you back. Okay, I'm done now. Good luck and keep us posted.

January 13, 2011 at 5:49 PM  
Blogger Kathy P. said...

Well, I thought I was done...unless you cut your withholding back to almost nothing, I thought I'd remind you that you may be looking at a huge tax refund this year, because you qualified for that $8000 1st time home buyers' tax credit. You will also get to deduct points and closing costs, plus your home mortgage interest. This 2010 tax return is going to look very different that the ones you did while renting.

January 13, 2011 at 5:55 PM  
Blogger katiegirl said...

sheepdreams-dianne- Really? Seriously? If people want to donate to Jenna that's great for her, but do you really expect a bunch of strangers on the net to support her financially? Buying a product is one thing, but just throwing money at her because she's in a bad spot is crazy. You can't really say unless people give her money they don't support her or want her to be out of the tight spot. C'mon, get real. All I'm saying is life isn't always fair. I'm sure everyone would love donations when life gets tight, but how would we ever learn to make do with what we have?

Jenna, no offense to you, because if people want to donate that's great. It's not like you specifically asked for donations, but simply give the option for people to donate if they like.

January 13, 2011 at 6:00 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I did not ask anyone for donations. I came online this morning to vent because I was scared, and because it was part of my life, and because this blog has become an outlet for everthing good and bad that happens.

I always worry about writing about the financial worries because people think that means I am asking for something. Truth is, money and expenses are one of the biggest issues in starting any business or farm.

However, I appreciate anything people do to help the farm. So much more than they realize. Help is how I got this farm. It is how it runs. It keeps me writing and working and feeling like folks are there to pick me up when I feel so bad. I am not talking about financial donations either. I mean commments, emails, kind words, farm visits, workshops, mailed books, cards, letters.... I don't always have the chance to catch up with replies but I appreciate them all so much. So much.

And for the record: I only got 2,200 of the 8,000 homebuyer's credit. Which promptly went into the farm. The start up costs ...oy.

January 13, 2011 at 6:11 PM  
Blogger E said...

Whay MooseNugget said and please, please don't tell us you don't have an emergency fund... not with animals who are so dependent on you.

No wait - don't tell us. I just hope you do.

January 13, 2011 at 6:41 PM  
Blogger Odie Langley said...

Hi Jenna,
Just for the record my friend I know you did not ask for donations. I did send you an amount simply because I wanted to help. If I lived near you I would try to help with the physical work but being in NC what i did made me feel better for being possibly part of the solution.
Odie

January 13, 2011 at 7:02 PM  
Blogger Sylvan said...

Jenna, sometimes it seems to me that life is full of conundrums; choices that are neither right or wrong but varying shades of grey. I think this transportation dilemma you are facing is one of such conundrums.

I am amazed at how often times a car is valued at what it's blue book is worth instead of what it would cost to replace it.

It can become very tiring to slog through, but that's what you have to do. Put on some good music and invite a friend over to share a meal. Sol y sombra - sunshine and shadow.

January 13, 2011 at 7:11 PM  
Blogger finsandfeathers said...

Am I the only person that hears Garrison Keillor's voice reading the replies to Jenna's post as a feature on PHC? : )


Bet the hard cider tastes better tonight!

January 13, 2011 at 8:21 PM  
Blogger finsandfeathers said...

An Early Start in Midwinter
by Robyn Sarah

The freeze is on. At six a scattering
of sickly lights shine pale in kitchen windows.
Thermostats are adjusted. Furnaces
blast on with a whoosh. And day
rumbles up out of cellars to the tune
of bacon spitting in a greasy pan.

Scrape your nail along the window-pane,
shave off a curl of frost. Or press your thumb
against the film of white to melt an eye
onto the fire escape. All night
pipes ticked and grumbled like sore bones.
The tap runs rust over your chapped hands.

Sweep last night's toast-crumbs off the tablecloth.
Puncture your egg-yolk with a prong of fork
so gold runs over the white. And sip
your coffee scalding hot. The radio
says you are out ahead, with time to spare.
Your clothes are waiting folded on the chair.

This is your hour to dream. The radio
says that the freeze is on, and may go on
weeks without end. You barely hear the warning.
Dreaming of orange and red, the hot-tongued flowers
that winter sunrise mimics, you go out
in the dark. And zero floats you into morning.

"An Early Start in Midwinter" by Robyn Sarah, from The Touchstone. © House of Anansi Press, 1992. Reprinted with permission

January 13, 2011 at 8:23 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I have a small emergancy fund, and I buy my feed months at a time so if things get tight there is plenty of grain and hay left.

I don't mind anwsering financial questions, but it is weird explaining it all here.

Finn. You made my night.

January 13, 2011 at 8:40 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

I subscribe to newspapers. I buy magazines and books. And now I donate some money to support a blog that I read every single day posted by someone who puts a huge amount of effort and talent into it. It's not charity- it's recognition of a job well done.

January 13, 2011 at 8:57 PM  
Blogger Flartus said...

Wow Jenna, what a day at home and on your blog. Gotta say, I kept checking back to see how you were doing (leaving no advice; looks like you got more than enough.)

In spite of all the critics and controversy, thanks for sharing your world, your way. Hope the weekend brings some lightness and rest from your worries.

January 13, 2011 at 9:23 PM  
Blogger Jasmine said...

Dogs like oatmeal. and eggs make their coats shinier and healthier.

January 13, 2011 at 9:31 PM  
Blogger Helena said...

Just sending some good thoughts your way...I live in FL, and my one northern winter scared me back to my native southland, so I've got nothing to add to the snow-driving advice. :) I would hope your boss is understanding about missing work due to the weather--it sounds like it's been nasty all over. Is there any way you can make an arrangement that in the future if a storm like this hits, you can work from home for the duration?

Keep your chin up. We're pulling for you. :)

January 13, 2011 at 9:45 PM  
OpenID thatsthelife said...

I have a suggestion: Talk with your coworkers and friends to find out who is confident driving a 2 WD light truck in the snow and ask them to teach you.

Kat & I are going through exactly the same thing - starting up a business, money is tight, and our car died. Well ours needs a new head gasket and yet another water pump.

We were amazingly lucky enough to have friends who own two vehicles, and could not insure both. So they have lent us their 88 tercel hatchback. It's 2 WD (though it's front wheel drive) but it's a standard.

I had to learn how to drive all over again, and I'm so glad I did.

I got a friend who is a *very* confident driver to show me how he drives the car, then coach me as I drove the car. We took it on the back roads and put her through her paces. After seeing what my friend did, I felt more confident doing it myself because I could see it wasn't going to roll the car or anything.

You're fortunate to have a second vehicle, and it will save you money in the long run to just have one vehicle. Less insurance.

Learn to drive the truck, get chains, practice putting the chains on, carry some road salt in case of ice, carry a couple of boards in case you put one tire in a ditch.

If you got the truck stuck in wet grass I must gently say that's not the truck's fault.

And for the next vehicle, consider a standard. I'm a total convert.

January 13, 2011 at 9:58 PM  
Blogger Pam! said...

Keep your chin up, girl! You're made of strong stuff and will make it through this too.

January 13, 2011 at 10:06 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

The only advice I have to add to the rest is to hug your dogs. Life always looks better when hugging a puppy dog. And with three, that is one heck of a group hug! Seriously.

January 13, 2011 at 10:21 PM  
Blogger Becca said...

Glad to know you're on your way towards something and not feeling nearly as scared and frustrated as you were this morning. You'll find a good replacement for the Subaru.

January 13, 2011 at 10:45 PM  
Blogger Sprite said...

I hope you're all right. You're a tough cookie, and I'll bet you've gotten through worse than this. I'm pulling for you.
Thanks for sharing this difficult time with all of us. Maybe you can feel all the good vibes coming at you and things will turn around.
Best of luck!

January 13, 2011 at 11:23 PM  
Blogger miss lady*cakes said...

I just want to Thank You, Thank You so much for sharing this, this side of your reality.
It makes me feel a thousand times more HUMAN that the yeast never rose on my first loaf of bread ever and that my sage plant kicked the bucket as soon as I put my hands on it. How petty of me!

Buddha always taught about impermanence. It helps to reflect on that at times like these.

January 14, 2011 at 1:01 AM  
Blogger Andy said...

There is a lot of great advice for you on this post. It is up to you. Gook luck.

January 14, 2011 at 7:53 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Not much to add, besides the commiseration of another snow-bound, 2WD Ford Ranger owner. I hope everything got worked out!

January 14, 2011 at 8:23 AM  
Blogger chesapeake said...

My fiance's timing belt on his old Volvo shattered into pieces one day after he got it back from the shop where he had just written a $3,300 check to get a new transmission put in. After the belt shattered, his car engine was deader than a doornail.

Three *thousand* dollars to drive his car for one day. Perfect transmission. No engine.

Anyway. He ended up selling the Volvo to the shop owner for $900 (mostly for parts, I guess). My fiance had repaired that thing so many times, it was worth it just to get it out of his life and get another used car. He is so much happier now. I say sell the Subaru for whatever you can get for it, just to get it out of your life.

And from someone who suffers from chronic anxiety, I want to let you know that I guarantee your boss isn't *nearly* as concerned over your absence as you are. Take a deep breath. You aren't disappointing anyone. You are doing the best you can. Hug yourself for that.

January 14, 2011 at 9:39 AM  
Blogger chesapeake said...

Just read through all of the comments now...I say you were spot on correct to sell that thing! Good for you, Jenna!

January 14, 2011 at 9:46 AM  
Blogger Meredith A said...

if you are financially over extended have you considered selling a few of the new sheep?

i'm not sure if that's possible as you might already have CSA orders dependent on them...but it would be a quick and easy way to help get you through this patch.

January 14, 2011 at 11:01 AM  
Blogger J.D. said...

Yesterday's post reminded me of the hard life of the 21st Century small farmer.

It's bad enough worrying about the health & welfare of the farm, but then a crisis raises its ugly head to test your dream.

My advice: the days are getting longer, the winter shorter. Familiarize yourself with the pickup, and make some decisions in the spring.

It's always darkest before the dawn. With a little luck (and a lot of prayer) an early spring might be on the horizon.

Hang in there.

January 14, 2011 at 11:43 AM  
Blogger Kathy P. said...

Hey, the sun is out here about 100 miles west of you. Hope things are brighter there in Jackson too. Don't forget you have this coming up:

The Greenhorns, a national, grassroots, non-profit organization working to recruit, support, and promote America’s young farmers, is hosting a free “Beginning Farmers Mixer” at the annual Winter Conference of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY) in Saratoga Springs on Thursday, January 20th, 2011.

January 14, 2011 at 12:09 PM  
Blogger Whiffletree Farm said...

Call a salvage yard to come and take the subaru away. They usually pay $125 - 200 per vehicle. Fill the back of the truck with sand from your town sand pit, with permission. Buy some chains and use them when you need them. Then look around for a used vehicle that you can afford.

January 14, 2011 at 12:14 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

There isn't any advice that hasn't been offered already but just know that this too shall pass, the snow will melt eventually and you are a strong capable woman! Chin up- you're doing great!

January 14, 2011 at 1:07 PM  
Blogger Fin said...

Whiskey. Just whiskey.

January 14, 2011 at 2:15 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Jenna,
I am old enough to be your mama...and with that I want to say...I am proud of you!!
You have done a great job getting your dream farm and the love of your animals shines through in you.

I plan to donate a little money to you soon and am glad to do so.

Have you thought about using more advertising on your blog? I think you could really make good money doing this.

Stay warm and safe. Blessings to you,
Cathy

January 14, 2011 at 2:41 PM  
Blogger Kathy P. said...

What Cathy said...about monetizing your blog a little more.

January 14, 2011 at 4:41 PM  
Blogger Charlene said...

Jenna, dear,
I am sorry you had such a crappy day. hope today was better. it is no fun having a bad day. but they happen from time to time. in the moment it seems impossible, but in many more moments you will look back on a problem you lived through; hopefully with a smile and wisdom gained. prayed a prayer for you. xoxo

January 14, 2011 at 5:02 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

Jenna: I learned many years ago to never never never do a trade in at a dealers or anywhere else. You will get screwed in the ear. Sell as a straight private sale. That gives you the opportunity to shop wherever you can find something you like and can afford, and gives you the bargaining chip of walking away. But are you wise to buy a second hand 4WD at all? In my experience they have always been preety sucked out before they are sold and usually only a hairsbreadth from needing a new transmission, so I've in the end avoided them. So lay up the Subaru and put a load in the back of your pickup, drive slow and pray, cross your fingers or whatever you do to handle the "slide toward the ditch gods". I feel for you - been there, done that and sometimes with my daughter and her baby in the old truck too - mountains are evil in the winter!!!
Trust me, Jenna, It WILL get better and you will be strong and wise from all the crud.
Janet on a mountain in Nova Scotia

January 14, 2011 at 6:56 PM  

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