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I recently took my car in for a tune-up.  Easy-peasy, right?  Well, maybe not so much.  This vehicle of mine has 218, 732 miles on it, with a “new” rebuilt motor about 70,000 miles ago.  What that means is the timing belt is long over-due for being replaced – an expensive proposition all by itself but even more spendy if it’s not done and the belt breaks.   The work list continued to expand – the motor had also sprouted some oil leaks and was refusing to idle.  My funds for this project were limited so the list was more like conducting a triage – prioritize what will fit inside the dollar amount I had to spend to keep the thing running.

I didn’t expect the car to be gone for as long as it was (you know how it is when you start to pull something apart and it doesn’t happen just like you thought it would?) but during it’s absence, I tried to make fairly good use of the unexpected down-time while also keeping the twinges of “island fever” down to a minimum.  I think if I’d known ahead of time that I was going to be without a car for so long, I might have planned differently, but since I didn’t know, when problems arose during the repairs that kept extending the time-frame, I just shrugged and said “get it done.”  Kind of.  Maybe I didn’t shrug.  Maybe I just said “whatever needs to be done, do it.”

I’m staying on the property of some friends who live about five miles south of town, out in the country, with not much nearby other than some grass seed farms and a few farm animals, so I enjoyed a lot of peace and quiet, and filled my days with things like reading, cooking, sewing, and afternoon play dates with Dinah Dog and Maverick, the puppy of my friends who live here. Oh, and I listened to my little Frogville – those tiny croakers sure do like to sing a lot!  The fall weather for my unexpected “stay-at-home vacation” has been absolutely gorgeous – dry, sunny, warm during the day, windy – if there is a more perfect weather, I don’t know what it is!

Here’s a few photos of some things I filled my time with this week:

I found this fun cloth at a yard sale a few weeks back and attached it to the ceiling of Li’l Homey.  Looks cool, don’t you think?

Whole wheat spaghetti with fresh home-grown tomatoes, garlic and onions – very tasty!

Maverick loves Dinah!  He so wants her to play with him…

Thick Cut Oats and Ground Flax Seed from Bob’s Red Mill with almond milk, agave syrup and walnuts – good tummy-filler on a chilly morning!

The dahlias are still blooming…

The sheep and chickens are heading over, looking for hand-outs – of course, I scrounged up something to give them!

Cups of miso soup and vanilla hot tea

I made insulated lunch bags for Cole & Ella – they chose their own fabrics!  Good choices, don’t you think?

Vegetable pasta with fresh tomatoes, garlic, basil, baby portobella mushrooms and artichoke hearts – yummy!

It ended up taking about eight days for all the work to be done and we didn’t even get to the tune-up, which, as it turns out, wasn’t really needed since the engine itself is running pretty good.  All in all, the week was a good one, filled with good food, fun projects, and some extra time spent with Mark and Nick.

Now, all I need is some place to go…


Stranded? Or not…. What to Do Without a Car for a Week
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3 thoughts on “Stranded? Or not…. What to Do Without a Car for a Week

  • October 9, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    There is some fond memories of time spent with my father up to my armpits in engine oil and my upper body devoured by the engine compartment whilst my ‘small hands’ reached in to undo a pertinacious nut. Or sitting beside him drinking strong builders tea with doorstop thick crusty white bread bacon sandwiches using the brown paper bag to protect the white bread from the oily residue embedded under my fingernails…. oh happy days.

    I hope the rest of your motoring goes without further delay and the open road smiles to greet you

    • October 12, 2012 at 10:21 am

      Ah, Marina, your memories sound wonderful! I’ve always loved machines and the care of them… my father was a machinist and not very good at vehicle mechanics but I learned how to use tools from him. I, too, have fond memories of time spent under the hood of some vehicle or other, although not with my father… and I no longer attempt to repair or even maintain these vehicles with all the electronics 🙂

      There are a few things left to do before I get myself back on the road but I hope to be heading south in another month or so. Learning to sit in one place, and being patient about it, have apparently been my most recent “lessons” to learn.

      I wish you a wonderful day, my friend!

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