Monday, September 19, 2016

The Friendship Tree

What once was so small
before something grew,
the seed became so tall
everything was still so new.
A little water and then to wait,
to see what you would bloom.
For a time, not knowing its fate
Hoping the sun would outlast the gloom.
What once was a tiny seed,
with nourishment did grow.
Whatever it did need
you began to learn and know
Once it started to take root
and turned into a tree
You waited for the fruit
that would be so delicious unto thee.
You still don't know the season,
Or how long the fruit will last.
You want to keep it growing
but it scares you so
Something about not knowing
makes you want to go.
The tree has grown so beautiful
It's spread its leaves so wide
You wonder if you can keep it full
and nourished from inside.
You realize the tree is teaching you
how to stand your ground
So the winds won't topple you,
and you want to stick around.
You want to keep it growing,
keep watering that tree
You start to feel you're also growing
the tree was also watering thee.
Now you've grown together,
and formed a special bond.
You can storm any weather,
and keep trudging on.
The tree will hold a special place,
deep within your heart.
It's put a smile on your face,
you hope will never part. 

Thursday, September 8, 2016


Well I knew that I had updated my blog about my car, but until tonight when I signed in again, I didn't realize that last blog was in May! Man how the time flies by! Since that time a lot has happened. We did some electrical tests and were getting inconsitent results, and numbers that were way out of the normal, but not only that, they didn't seem right at all. So it led to more questions and research. In the meantime becuase we had changed out the switches and we checked both of the screens, the next option was to check the actual oil pressure and see if it wasn't a switch issue but internal engine damage. ... so I bought an oil pressure test kit. When I hooked it up I wasn't getting any response. So the next day I went to Disneyland to overcome my sorrows!  Later that week Scott came over to help me test it again since the guage didn't even nudge, so we ran some tests to make sure it wasn't a faulty guage etc. and try again to test the oil pressure. Well my brand new guage was working acurately. :-/ So it was official. I had done all I could to try and fix her myself and learned that I was going to need to replace the engine. Scott left and because my mom had taken her car that I was borrowing to the store, I couldn't go home. I was sad and didn't know what was going happen from there. I knew I didn't really have the money for a new car, or even a used car, and I had already borrowed money to get parts to try and fix mine. How was I going to be able to afford to get a new engine & have it installed in my car?

I was still at my moms house and about an hour after Scott left, I got a text message from someone I know at church. Her text said "Hey girl, I know that you've been having car troubles, do you need a car to drive temporarily? We have an extra" I started crying! *side note, I was also "heart attacked" that day/night, but they left heartsm streamers and Mickey mouse shapes! So I did more crying when I got home again, knowing that I am loved!** What a blessing because I knew that in about 2 weeks my mom was leaving for vacation and was going to take her car that I was currently driving! So I was loaned a 2005 Acura TL. I was driving that car for awhile. During that time we thought we found a used engine for $1400 and were working on picking it up as well as planning to install it. Scott was going to help me, and was going to also enlist the help of his  buddy Ryan that he used to work with. The day before we were supposed to go pick up that engine we discovered that it was from an '07 CR-V and not an '06 like we were initially told. My car is an '04, so the engines from '02-'06 would fit, the '07 was changed. :( ugh.  So I was back to square 1, it had already been a few weeks before we had found that engine, so no telling how long it would take to find another. In the meantime I was searching online and trying to find reputable sources and seeing about finding any used, rebult, remanufactured engines. Each time I thought maybe I had found a place, I would also find negative reviews on the Better Business Bureau or other websites. In the meantime I had the Acura for a little over a month (about 5 or 6 weeks) so I ended up returning that and went back to driving my mom's Yukon since they were now home again from vacation.

Then about 2 weeks ago (give or take) my mom starts sending me info about used cars. She texts me and is telling me that maybe we should just find me a used car, that she would loan me some additional money to pay for it (she had given me some money to borrow for the engine). I was telling her that I didn't want a used car. I was home and crying as I was texting her. SHe was saying since there was no way of knowing how long it would be to find another engine, that I needed to have something of my own to drive. I was telling her that I didn't want to buy a used car and end up having it break down on me. That I was worried that if I did get a new car I wouldn't be able to work on it, like I can my car because I wouldn't be familiar with it. I was also upset mostly because there is a connection to my Dad with my car. I bought it new and have done a lot of my own repairs. My dad taught me a lot over the years as I have had to maintain my car. I learned a lot and am very familiar with it. I didn't want a new/used car. But to please her I started looking a little. I talked to Scott and he said that if I was looking at used cars that he would be willing to assist me and check them out with me etc, to help make sure I hopefully wouldn't get a lemon.

I was finding a few things I could maybe be interested in. there were some that as I reviewed them thru the Kelly Blue Book I would find they had low crash test ratings, or their price wasn't within reason or other things about them. I would ask Scott what he thought and if he didn't thing it was a good option he would tell me and I would listen. I was also being a little bit picky. Having been driving my CRV, the Yukon and the Acura, I knew that I wanted a small SUV again, or maybe a truck. I didn't want a sedan or anything  that sits lower to the ground, but I also didn't want a full size SUV vehicle either. One night I found a Chevy Equinox. It looked decent, was within a reasonable price range and decent mileage. I checked the KBB and it looked good, I checked with Scott and he said it seemed decent as well. The ad said to call/text so I sent a text that day. No response. So the next monring I texted again, with no response. I waited until that evening and tried to call after work, no answer and no option to leave a voicemail. I was beginning to wonder if maybe they had sold it, but hadn't deleted the post, and were too rude to at least let me know so I wouldn't continue attempting some contact for it. Later that evening I decided to do some more searching online. I found a NEW post for that same Chevy Equinox, and it was listed at $100 less than before. I went back to my email where I had sent myself the link, and the link was deactivated. I checked the number I had been contacting against the new post and everything was exactly the same! This made me extra frustrated because I had finally come to terms with maybe getting a used car, and found one that I actually kind of liked. I was somewhat excited and now I was mad. This led me to thinking "well maybe I can find a CRV that is being sold for parts out of a collision or something, that I can use take the engine to be rebuilt and install it into my CRV" **I know from previous work, that in addition to the lack of oil pressure, I have some damage in my engine block and it wouldn't be suitable for a rebuild, so that is why I was looking for a replacement engine. So then in trying to find an engine, I came across a company about 60 miles from here that imports used Japanese Engines. They sell them, but also install them. I found their FB page which had positive comments on it, I found their EBAY page, which was 100% positive in comments and I talked to Scott the next day. i called and was told on the phone that they did have an engine that would fit my car in stock and that the engine would be $750, and if I wanted it installed that would be $600. It comes with the basic tune up (new plugs, filters coolant, oil etc. since all that has to be drained.changed when removing the engine anyway) and that if anything else was determined to need replacing they would contact me during install, not have any hidden charges. The work comes with a 3 month warranty and once the car is on site they go by first come first serve basis, then it's about a 2 day turn around for the replacement. Due to my work schedule and having to tow my car there, I had to work on a few things before being to take it in. I was able to schedule a time the following Thurs (last week) and Scott was going to assist me in towing the car to the shop. I remembered that I needed 3 wheel studs replaced on my car and knew that it wouldn't be safe to drive it home without that done, so the Sat before we very slowly (if you went above 2500 rpm, it would go into limp mode) drove my car to the Firestone and had those changed out. I picked it up again on Sunday and slowly drove it home. Thurs we dropped off my car and then I went out of town for a wedding from Friday- Tues.
I got the call today that she is done and ready for pickup!!!!   So because of my work schedule I couldn't go today, and I don't think tomorrow will work either, I would have to leave work early and t would mean sitting in traffic to go both there and back again. But as it turns out Sat I was planning a Disneyland trip with some friends. So I am going to see if they wouldn't mind driving there, and dropping me off. I will be able to pick up my car, we can go to the park and then caravan home. It is pretty much on the way to the park anyway (only a few miles out of the normal route to the park). I will make sure we caravan from there, to the park and then home, so that if anything happens I am not stranded alone. The shop said that they didn't have any complications with the engine shop.  I asked them to put the new switches I had bought and installed prior to discovering the engine pressure problems onto the engine they were installing, so they were supposed to do that. They said my engine light is off, the oil light is off and there were no problems during the test drive. I am super hopefull! It's been a long road to get here, and I have had to borrow and spend a little more than I obviously had hoped to spend, but I am excited to finally be getting my car back. Of course she's due for a smog inspection and registration this month too, so I have that to look forward to now as well. But I am thankful she's fixed! I was so blessed during the time since she broke down (end of Feb) until now, in that I had cars to borrow, and was able to get to/from work and other places. I am thankful for Scott and all his assistance. He was kind of my go-to guy when i was making repair attempts and was stuck (both literally and mentally) and he was super helpful, patient and kind with me. It has been a long journey and i don't know why I couldn't find this company before wheni was searching for engines, but I am thankful i found them now! It's a  blessing that it's all worked out, and I hope this means she will run now for awhile longer, as I said in my last post, I am just not quite ready to give her up yet.

I have a coworker who has a lot of money, her family has money, and she always has designer clothing, "bling" jewelry, and only drives expensive fancy cars, on a lease so she can always have the latest and greatest. I am more low maintenance, I was raised to do my own auto repairs, I drove used cars for years before buying my CRV new (another reason I wasn't ready to say goodbye, I worked hard to get her) I have no problem buying things at the Goodwill or other thrift stores, i will bring pb&j to DIsneyland to save money. I have no problem living a simple life. One day when I was talking about putting a new engine in my car, she asked how much that would cost me, I told her about $1400. She asked what year my car is, I told her a 2004. She did the calculation and mumbled something about it being 12 years old, and then she asked me what a new car of the same model would cost me, i informed her around $28,000. I know it's a cultural thing, but i don't understand the mentality of some people to basically judge me for my decision to repair not replace. I am so extremely happy to be getting my car back. I have never had names for my cars, even though I have family and friends who name theirs. I have always referred to my car in the feminine she/her/my girl etc. but that was about it. The night I was texting my mom about used cars, that was something  I told her. It's not like I like having to borrow the Yukon, or the Acura or any other car for that matter. That I don't like the size of the Yukon (even though I spent 6 years driving an ambulance, and miss it everyday) and I didn't like feeling so small and low to the ground in the Acura. I like my car because she was like Goldilocks - everything fits "just right". So after Saturday I will be an extremely happy girl again! Me and Goldilocks will be hitting the streets! I cannot wait!