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The pity party is over, time to clean up after the unwanted party guests...

Friday, September 16, 2011

those being fear, panic, self-pity and a host of other negative emotions.

Time to be thankful...I have a good job that allows me to support my family and maintain a nice home for us. I am current or ahead on all my bills. I have wonderful friends here and in real life. I am healthy and happy; my kids are healthy and happy (as much as teenage angst will allow in any case LOL). I have my 1st half marathon this weekend when six months ago I never thought I was capable of running that farÖI have been able to accomplish so much already so I can certainly handle a car repair.

Did I mention the wonderful friends here on SP?

Thank you all so much for your advice, support, good thoughts and prayers. I appreciate them all much more than I have words to describe.

So after a reasonable nightís sleep thanks to the wonders of modern medicine I came up with some options:

Not Going to Happen List
*abandon the car Ė not an option, it is not yet paid for
*report as stolen Ė not proud of this one but it did cross my mind. However insurance fraud is just not something I will do. In addition to being wrongÖ I will get caught and bad karma will return to me tenfold
*bankruptcy Ė over-reaction

Possibilities List
*potential for payment plan at repair shop
*talk to car loan credit union Ė either add cost of the repair to the current loan or take current loan and add to a different vehicle loan (advice from SP members)
*talk to my credit union Ė possible increase of current personal loan to cover cost of repair
*401k loan Ė checked & discovered my current loan which helped pay for my divorce is within $200 of being paid back. With some creative arrangements I can pay that back and take out a new loan
*Prosper Ė apply for a new loan with (community based lending, not through a bank), it has worked for me before when I was worse off than now

I left my car with a local repair shop last night. They have always been reasonable and honest in the past and at this time I have no reason to expect that has changed. On my note I told them I suspected I blew a rod & killed the motor. I called them at lunch today; they confirmed that is indeed what had happened. Score one to me for being right.

Because my car is not common here in MI (I have a Kia Rondo) it makes finding parts a little more difficult & expensive. To replace with a new motor I am looking at probably $6000 per the repair guy; he is waiting for a final quote from Kia to confirm. But he did find a used motor with 33k miles on it, about 800 miles away. The price he said for the used motor matched prices I found myself at So with shipping, parts & labor, for the used motor, he can bring the cost down slightly more than 50%, to just under $2900. A few phone calls later to a Kia dealer and several other repair shops and I have a range of quotes running from $2775 to $8000. I also have a list of car repair places that I shall never use or recommend because 1) they are way too expensive because 2) they believe woman = stupid + high profit margin. One guy even asked to ďspeak to my husband to find out what was really wrong with my carĒ. Would you be surprised to learn I had a few choice words for him?

The cost of the motor & shipping is in line with what I expected (I checked with our carrier at work for current ball park shipping rates). Labor time / rates are in line with the area. Theyíve done work for me in the past and I havenít had any problems with the work theyíve done. So I now have a few hundred more knocked off the repair price from the original shop. It will take about 2 weeks to get the repair done. Or possibly more, it really depends on how quickly the motor gets shipped & delivered.

Right now I do have a back-up vehicle (another thing to be thankful for!). It is a 1998 mini-van I bought during the divorce for $350 as my beater/run to the hardware store/just in case vehicle. It is loud and does 0-60 mph inÖ.well, I donít think it is actually capable of going 60 mph. It accelerates VERY slowly and VERY loudly. It looks beaten down (because it is). But at least I have something to drive for the moment, although I donít know how long it will actually tolerate driving my commute as it really doesnít run that great (daily roundtrip of 40 miles, plus local back & forths daily for extra-curricular activities). But every day it survives is one less dayís cost for a rental. And Ė bonus Ė I wonít have to worry about the possibility of speeding tickets LOL!

Iím pretty sure I can get my current loan increased from my credit union. They are very good to work with & have given me loans in the past when no one else would. 2 years ago when my furnace died my original loan was about what I owe now and they added more to it for the new furnace; this repair is not too much more than the furnace was and my circumstances are better than before so the loan officer doesnít expect a problem. I love my credit union. My monthly payment will go up slightly but not nearly as much as I was afraid of. I can rearrange some things in my budget where I was paying extra on some debts to accommodate the new payment.

So things do, in fact, look much better than they did last night. The repair cost is much less than I was afraid of, I can probably get the loan, and I have the most wonderful friends. Yes, it is a set-back but life happens while you are making other plans. I am still extremely fortunate. My better (true?) nature has re-asserted itself. Iím not Polyanna Sunshine by any means but I refuse to wallow for long periods in negativity.

I do need to clarify some things.

My ex does not pay child support Ė but this is by my choice not to enforce the order. I know what he makes and what he owes, I know how much it costs for him to live and Michigan has some pretty high & excessive expectations for child support amounts. My personal feelings for my ex aside I saw no reason to beggar him completely when I was capable of supporting our kids (perhaps not to the extent I would like but we have food, shelter & the essentials, and this year even extras thanks to a raise and generous bonus I earned, which also paid for the home & garden projects Iíve written about this year). It would help if he would cover more of their expenses than he does and as he could afford to do but I canít control his priorities; I chose not to enforce the order and so Iím not complaining. Personal feelings aside in all fairness I canít really label him a ďdeadbeat dad.Ē

When I talk about things Iíve bought or our upcoming vacation to London and then complain about not having any money I realize it sounds hypocritical. I clip a lot of coupons for more than just groceries, shop sales and second-hand shops & look for deals on everything to get the lowest price possible. I rarely buy anything new or at full-price; otherwise I would not be able to afford as much. Most of my clothing this year has come from the thrift stores. For London my son goes with his band so we have been fundraising for the last 18 months to offset his costs and his dad IS paying half of what we could not offset. I had a lot of frequent flyer miles from work travel over the years which I traded in for my ticket & Jacquelineís so I didnít have to pay for those. By the time we go at New Yearís I will have been saving for almost 2 years for the trip, most of which has already been paid for and is non-refundable and therefore not available to tap for the car repair which Ė obviously Ė takes priority. I set it up that way on purpose so we would get a real vacation for the first time.

I truly am fortunate and I truly do realize that I am. My hardships pale in comparison to many othersí and I feel kind of silly and selfish whining about my problems when things could be so much worseÖbut they are my problems and seem huge to me. Thank you for putting up with me as I work my way through my issues.

And a very deep, grateful thank you to everyone for all of your support, kind words and prayers. Things certainly look a lot better today than they did last night. At least for me Ė Iím sure the (insert foul word here) condescending sexist repair shop jerkís day took a turn for the worse after I was done with him and his boss.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JSPEED4 9/20/2011 10:06AM

    When basics like transportation and such get shaken, it can feel like an emergency. I'm planning on a natural-gas powered car soon--but I've been planning on that for over a decade!

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VYVIENN 9/20/2011 2:13AM

    Haha and pffffftrrrrbl to the repair shop guy! Thank goodness you have a shop that takes good care of you despite your obvious handicap of being a woman. emoticon Thank goodness also that you were able to come up with so many support options. I'm glad to hear that you're not left up the creek without a car to, uh, paddle... or something like that... hmmm... anyway, I am looking forward to all y'all's trip to London in December, because you're going to have a great time, and I get to see the pictures! (speaking of, did anyone take any of you during your HM?) emoticon That will be one well-earned vacation for you and Jacq (I dunno, technically your son's going to be "at work", since he's going with the band, right?)!

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DOGSTARDADDY 9/19/2011 6:29AM

    A lot on your plate. Keep the faith!

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    I am amazed and impressed at your wonderful outlook and ability to step back and look at this situation for what it really is: a setback. You, my dear friend, are going to make it, and I'm so glad you see that! Love, your friend, Lori emoticon emoticon

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WINE4GIRL 9/18/2011 7:31AM

    If your Kia threw a rod, it is generally from no oil... I did that once. The oil plug wasn't put in very tightly by the oil change place and it leaked out quickly. Would it help to have the shop you trust to do a tune up on your van and get it running a bit better until you can realistically come up with the funds to fix the Kia without beggaring yourself?

I read this and the prior day's blog and am impressed with your work ethic and how you have pulled yourself together. It was good of you not to enforce a court order "back then" but if he can afford even some of the payments, your ex should pay. They are his kids after all! Good luck on the car!

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DANA564 9/17/2011 9:31PM

    I'm sorry for the trials you are going through. I am confidant you will find a way to work it out. Keep pushing just like you do for your fitness and you will succeed. Best wishes!

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DOODIE59 9/17/2011 8:16PM

    I am really impressed with all the effort you put into EVERYTHING. With your brains and hard work nothing is impossible. I'm glad the car repair will be doable.

Just keep going:)

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TERIANA 9/17/2011 1:15PM

    Depending on how old your Kia is, you may want to write a letter to the company. Unless you were hauling a trailer up a steep hill going 70 mph, your cars should not blow an engine if it is not that old. I think Kia should consider picking up a portion of your repair bill. It is worth your time, the cost of a stamp and a few phone calls anyway. Has this problem occurred with other Kias of the same model? Have you checked online? Anyway, good luck to you.

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MIQUEY73 9/17/2011 11:40AM

    So glad a good nights sleep helped. I absolutely love how grounded you are. You're an amazingly strong women.

You've worked hard and deserve that vacation to London.

Hope the van holds out for the time your car is getting fixed!

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FUSCHIA6 9/17/2011 1:06AM

    I'm so glad things are looking better today.
We all have gifts & burdens, yours are as real as anyone else's. I love the way you work through them & get back on track. Hooray!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KAREN_NY 9/16/2011 8:48PM

    More blessings!!
-a mechanic you can trust (so lower stress for you!)
-credit unions (gotta love community-oriented businesses!)
-your strength to see things clearly & follow through!

Leave it in the dust for a couple of hours of running this weekend, lol, and then it's movin' on! :)
Good luck,

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RUSSELL_40 9/16/2011 8:35PM

    My Mom used to get quotes from car repair guys, then have my brothers or I call back..I was 12.. I always got a price $100 cheaper than she did. She would then ask me to leave the

When you stop and list the things in your life that are important, you seem to have an abundance of the necessary ( friends,health etc. ) and the minimum of the wants ( transportation, money ).. eventually you will get the Kia fixed, and everyhing goes back to normal. Sometimes things look a lot worse at first.

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    Good for you! You can do it!

And never, ever apologize for "whining" or venting in your blog. That's what it's for! It's to keep us from eating our feelings, and to work things out "on paper" so we rid ourselves of anxiety that might cause us to eat.

You can do it! Kick butt!

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MCJULIEO 9/16/2011 6:26PM

    One guy even asked to ďspeak to my husband to find out what was really wrong with my carĒ.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr! Red lights started flashing behind my eyes! What an imbecilic twit!

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ELYMWX 9/16/2011 6:19PM

    Glad things are so much clearer in the light of a new day.

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CBAILEYC 9/16/2011 5:55PM

    Now that's what I'm talkin' about! Good for you for finding the positives and figuring out ways to handle this situation. Smart capable lady who .. yea, that dolt of a repair shop guy should NOT have messed with LOL
emoticon emoticon

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LILLI56 9/16/2011 5:42PM

    Sounds like you have a lot of options and thought it all out. I am glad you have it worked out. Maybe the old van is old, but like you said it still will keep rental out for at least a while.

I LOVED London, it is such a wonderful place to vacation. Take tours. It was such a relaxing place.


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GETSTRONGRRR 9/16/2011 5:38PM

    Wow kiddo, looks like a whole new day, brighter and clearer.

Good on you for coming up with such a great plan and covering all the angles.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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A $5-6,000 repair bill, no idea what I'm going to do

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Read at your own risk, I am having a panic attack right now and this is my verbal vomiting to get it out of my system. I feel so sick at the moment I have to do something other than just break down & cry. I refuse to cry.

I have no idea what I'm going to do now. My car motor blew on the way home tonight. I had it towed to a repair shop, which was closed, so I don't have an official estimate yet. But I know enough to realize that the motor is not repairable and has to be replaced, which is an easy $5000 - $6000 bill. I still have 2.5 years left to pay on my car.

I've spent the last few years digging myself out from near bankruptcy due to my toxic abusive marriage and acrimonious divorce. I have no savings yet as a result; no credit card; way too many loans; my ex-husband provides virtually no support for our kids. Just in the last six months I've gotten a little ahead, not quite so hand to mouth, and started having a little extra so we can do more than just survive. And now this. I have no idea where I'm going to get the money. I can't ask my family, I am actually better off than them. I feel so emotionally sick right now.

If you've made it this far thank you for putting up with my whining. I now feel guilty for whining, I know I am still more fortunate than many. I am going to take a sleeping pill now and hope my subconscious comes up with some brilliant idea for how to come up with the money.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUSTPEACHY1 9/22/2011 7:46PM

    I'd say go ahead and have a good cry - it might even help to cleanse some of the stressful feeling out of you! And while you're crying, cry out to God with your needs! Nothing is impossible for Him. He owns it all. Praying for you. emoticon

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MOMMA_BEAR_69 9/21/2011 10:57PM

    Praying for you...

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    Never apologize for venting in your blog. That's what it's for!!!

Go through your car paperwork and see if, just by chance, you have any kind of warranty left on any part of the car. Then Google the make and model of your car with the word "recall" and see if your car had any recalls. There may be something in there that knocks a bunch off your repair bill. It's worth a look, anyway.

Call me silly, but it seems ridiculous to me that the car's motor blew up with that long to pay it off. That shouldn't happen.

Also...check to be sure you're at the best mechanic in your town. (It's easy to check on Yelp, etc...) If you have that huge of a bill, you'd better be with the best, not just anyone...and the best mechanic looks for ways to save you money, not run up the bill. (Far better to have another towing bill than pay $200 too much or have to go back later for a bad engine replacement.)

Next...get support money out of the ex-husband. That car is vital to their support, and you shouldn't have to bear the cost of raising them alone.

emoticon emoticon

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ITS_MY_TURN_NOW 9/16/2011 1:58PM

    Sorry I have no words of wisdom just hugs. Hang in there.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUECHRIS50 9/16/2011 1:46PM

    It's way better to get get your worries out there and vent,than eat them away and thats what we are here for!! emoticonTomorrow is another day!

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SLIMMERJESSE 9/16/2011 1:43PM

    Having had a life like this - several times - I understand your tidal wave. Ever notice that life often doesn't hand us one thing at a time? Well, I know this is a far-fetched idea, but you may be able to work out a trade with the mechanic -like office work, housecleaning,marketing help, etc. If not, make sure to shop around as prices vary so much. I know, when stressed, that even shopping around can be overwhelming. One thing I know for sure - everything passes, no matter how we dig ourselves out of it at the time. This will all be over and a new challenge will pop up. All I can offer is a shoulder, an ear (NEVER apologize for "whining" - it's really a stress relief valve for yourself), and a spark goodie.

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MISSM66 9/16/2011 1:37PM

    I am sorry about your Dilemma,but I will keep you in my prayers that god will bring you some help, because he is a good god, and he will not give you more than you can take emoticon emoticon emoticon

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YATMAMA 9/16/2011 1:29PM

    I know that feeling so very well and I can testify to you with absolute faith that you are NOT alone. God is NOT turning His face away from you. Go ahead and cry, but cry out to God, who is the only one actually able to change your circumstances. At the end of my first marriage and after my divorce, I felt such panic, anxiety, despair, hopelessness as my two young daughters and I faced certain ruin. Every single time, EVERY time, God sent help. Tell Him exactly how you are feeling and LISTEN to see what He says in response. Grab a bible and say His promises out loud, smack into the middle of your situation. Remind God that we won't trust in chariots and horses (our own transportation) but we WILL trust in the name of the Lord our God. He is the source of our provision. He will NOT fail you now. Begin thanking Him for the answers that are already in play, already on the way. Though I do not know you, I'm sending you hugs and smiles because I know, know, know God is making a way where there seems to be NO way, not only for the car and finances you need but for the peace your soul craves, as well.


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BELLALUCIA 9/16/2011 1:11PM

    Pray about it hon!

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DOODIE59 9/16/2011 12:53PM

    Awww. Rats! What a bummer! However, wait to hear what the garage has to say. Miracles do happen (not being facetious here). And, if they don't, you will find a way ... if anyone can, it's you:)

In the meantime, hugs. This just means your big break is still to come:) Yeah! That's it!

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TERIANA 9/16/2011 12:16PM

    I am praying for you right now. Trust that God is much more powerful than this. Ask his angels to surround you and protect you. Pray that your mechanic will be honest, kind, compassionate and helpful.

Make some phone calls--there are social service agencies, churches and nonprofits that might be able to help connect you with some resources. Some have emergency programs designed to help people in situations like this.

Imagine the money that you need is already on its way to you and believe it will happen. Most of all, do not expect the worst. Fear is a very powerful emotion, do not allow your fear to take control. If you feel fear, just tell yourself that faith is stronger than fear. There are many ways this can be solved, so open your mind up to other options. Sending prayers your way...

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CAALAN23 9/16/2011 11:56AM

    Hopefully things look a little better today. Praying for an angel for you and maybe a mechanical miracle in a salvaged motor.

In hind sight I have no idea how my mother managed to raise me and my three siblings with a crap job and a dead beat dad but she did. I have faith that you will too.

My prayers are for you.

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IAMWINNING 9/16/2011 11:33AM

    MOMMA_LITTLE (Lori) asked me to pray for you, so I came to your SparkPage and read about you, and a couple of your previous blogs. I'm thankful you have friends like Lori, who not only intercede with the Lord on your behalf, but also ask others to do so, too.

I read all the comments made thus far, and while I have nothing new to add, several things jumped out at me - for the sense they make, and as suggestions for you to look into.

Add to your knowledge that I am also praying for you. God most certainly is using all this to perfect you, and also remember that God's strength is made perfect in our weakness. II Corinthians 12:9, "But he (God) said to me, 'My grace is sufficient fo ryou, for my (God's) power is made perfect in weakness.'" The following verses area also good to read.

God bless you richly, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and financially.

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 9/16/2011 10:40AM

    Oh no! No wonder you're stressed. This happened to me a few years ago when I was saving up to go to college. The guy found a used motor some where and it cost me way less than the new one and it lasted for a while until I was ready to trade. I've got my fingers crossed that you will have the same luck. Keep us posted.

Hang in there!


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MAESTRACH 9/16/2011 10:39AM

    I'd say, number one don't panic. I totally understand bracing for the worst. Wait until the repair tech. Gives you an estimate. If you have a friend who's good with cars, take them with you to see the car while the estimate is being made. I don't know where you live if dishonesty is something you'd encounter...Being from LA...well, I just plan for it. Second, ask specific questions and DO NOT TELL THEM YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT'S UP. You can google what you your car did to try to get an idea of what happened before you go in. There are also quotes you can call around and get for what the repair bill would then be. Know that MOST mechanics with the economy where it's at are willing to haggle for the cost of the repairs.

Keep your eyes focused on the out come you want and will it to happen. You got well over 30 people pulling for you. That's a lot of good wishes for the universe to direct to your benefit.

If you need to cry, it's ok. Sometimes that's what you need to do to clear your head completely and then be able to think about it once its out of your system.

In leaving, I give you the Matthew West song that just played on KLOVE (which you can hear on line at That's where I go when I need a friend and some positive encouraging love sent my way. Lyrics are courtesy of


You must, You must think Iím strong
To give me what Iím going through
Well forgive me, forgive me if Iím wrong
But this looks like more than I can do
On my own

I know Iím not strong enough to be
Everything that Iím supposed to be
I give up, Iím not strong enough
Hands of mercy wonít You cover me?
Lord, right now Iím asking You to be
Strong enough, strong enough
For the both of us

Well maybe, maybe thatís the point
To reach the point of giving up
ĎCause when Iím finally, finally at rock bottom
Well thatís when I start looking up
And reaching out

I know Iím not strong enough to be
Everything that Iím supposed to be
I give up, Iím not strong enough
Courtesy of
Hands of mercy wonít You cover me?
Lord, right now Iím asking You to be
Strong enough, strong enough
For the both of us

ĎCause Iím broken
Down to nothing
But Iím still holding on to the one thing
You are God
And You are strong when I am weak
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength
And I donít have to be strong enough
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength
And I donít have to be
Strong enough, strong enough
Oh yeah

I know Iím not strong enough to be
Everything that Iím supposed to be
I give up, Iím not strong enough
Hands of mercy wonít You cover me?
Lord, right now Iím asking You to be
Strong enough, strong enough
For the both of us

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CBAILEYC 9/16/2011 10:07AM

    First, you're not whining. You're thinking outloud and that's much MUCH better than keeping it bottled up inside.
B, I'm so very sorry this happened! I've had it happen as well, and it just drives a stake into the pit of your stomach with worry. I know. I'm sorry.
Nextly, let's find out what the repair shop says. You may be able to find a cheaper rebuilt engine. It happens, so don't count out that possibility.
I hope you were able to sleep. I know the mind won't rest easy for a while. Remember how strong you are, how far you've come, and what determination you have. You WILL get through this.
Good repair shop juju coming your way, chicadee. Let us know how things shake out.

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SLIMPAM23 9/16/2011 9:25AM

    Good Morning! I am hoping that things are looking better today. I know the kind of panic you are talking about. I lost my job of 12 years 6 weeks ago, and my husband is losing his on Sept. 30th. Please please please keep the faith. Sometimes that's all we have left. But I feel certain that what God takes you to - God will take you through. There WILL be a solution to this situation....and in the meantime - look at how many people you have praying for your answers!!
You are certainly in my prayers!!

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INIT2LIVEIT 9/16/2011 9:24AM

    Good luck with everything.
You are an amazing and strong woman. Everything you've been through and how far you have come, you will find a way even if it isn't a straight line.

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SLENDERELLA61 9/16/2011 8:25AM

    So sorry for your ordeal. Take care of yourself during this difficult time. Wish I had a magic wand or a brilliant idea for you. Hang in there.

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PRUPLEBEAR 9/16/2011 7:18AM

    I am keeping you in my T$P!

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PARAEAST 9/16/2011 7:16AM

    I will pray perhaps your church can help you out? God knows I know this is only words but HE does love us all and does care. He always gives us only what we can handle and there is away of escape though you do not see it now.
I am praying for God to open some door or give you some wisdom too with this trial that he has given you.
God bless you.

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CINDYYB 9/16/2011 6:53AM

    Dear Kitty, I hope you had a good night's rest and your spirit feels eased. You know Jesus loves you even when you are on life's roller coaster. I heard a quote recently: God will never protect you from something he can perfect you through. Read it again slowly. Girl, you're getting perfected right now! LOL! Take a deep breath and focus on the facts. When an ugly situation arises (and this is a BIG one) our brains whirl around with all of the impossibilities. It is so hard to do but make yourself look only at the facts, not the panic. Don't let the panic (the things that aren't true) win.

You have been given some great suggestions in these comments from people who care for you. If it helps, write down the simple facts like this: 1. Car unusable 2. Need transportation 3. Need car repair money. Don't hyperventilate. Attack one at a time. Write a few suggestions next to each. You do need to get an estimate before you can make some decisions. Not sure why you think the engine is totally blown unless the tow guy told you. My hubby is a mechanic and a bad radiator can look like a real explosion coming from under the hood and if you catch it in time, it isn't a big deal. Engine repairs can go from a couple hundred to indeed $5-6K. Wait til you know the size of this disaster.

I'm sure you will find understanding people in unexpected places. The simple fact is, you aren't going to be able to pay for this repair today. You're still a great woman! You're an awesome friend to others! You haven't done anything to deserve this! You're a conqueror and Jesus loves you! Don't make the mountain bigger than it is, take a deep breath, hold His hand and walk on over.

Praying for you right now. emoticon

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CHLOE453 9/16/2011 3:52AM

    I am so sorry that you have had this happen to you. Although I have no answers know that you will be in my prayers that everything works out. emoticon emoticon

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JANETELIZABETH1 9/16/2011 2:57AM

    I'm adding my prayers to everyone else's...
I know our God is Able to bring you through...there are some very good ideas here so hope that will help you get this worked out.

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VYVIENN 9/16/2011 1:08AM

    I assume no chance there's still warranty on any of this... waaaaaaaah! What an awful thing to happen at a time like this! I wish I had some practical advice... emoticon emoticon

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FUSCHIA6 9/16/2011 1:02AM

    That is just gross! I am so sorry to hear you are going through all this. Make sure your child support (or lack thereof) is registered & work on getting what you are owed. I know someone who's ex did not pay & 20 years later, she heard he was selling his house. She placed a lien on the house and got all of her money at once. I know that doesn't help you now, but karma will catch up with him someday. Best of luck with your car. Know that I am rooting for you 100% & keep us posted. Take good care of yourself while all of this crap is happening. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BECCASINGSLEAD 9/16/2011 12:55AM

    I'm so sorry. I'll pray that a way opens for you.

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PONYFARMER 9/16/2011 12:45AM

    This exact thing happened to me a year ago. And yes it cost me $5600.00. Not much to do b/c I, like you still owed money on the car. My only saving grace was that b/c of Dave Ramsey I had a small emergancy savings. It was only a $1000.00 but it helped. I got an emergancy loan from my Credit Union, who knows that I owe to much and have very little income, but they did loan me the money with a few restrictions. LIke I had to pay it off in a year and something else. Using Dave's technique, I paid it off in 9 months.

Will be praying you have a way to deal with this, I was sick to my stomach like you are tonight, but you will get through this and God knows your pain and your situation. Lean on Him and do what you can.

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WALKOFFWIN 9/16/2011 12:40AM

    Really, really sorry you are going through this right now. I've been there before, and I know exactly how you feel - maybe not from your same perspective, but I know just what it feels like to be broke, and then hit with an unexpected misfortune that results in needing a pile of money the size of Mt. Everest, when you don't have it, and you have no idea how or where you'll be able to get it.

Please don't give in to despair, somehow, some way, you'll find a way to get through this... Allow yourself to feel bad, because you have every reason to, right now... But then pick yourself up as best you can, and do the best you can to move on and move forward.

I can't tell you how this will work out, but you WILL get through this.

Please take care,


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ROCHELLE62 9/16/2011 12:39AM

    If you didn't still owe on it then I'd say to walk away. When I walked away from my car, I gave it to my neighbor and he bought an engine. He used my engine, the engine he bought, and his brothers car with a blown engine and was able to get two functioning engines out of three. He was able to use the car much longer. I'm wondering if you have a technical college that teaches automobile repair? Worse come to worse, you may have a sit-down with your bank and explain that the car is worthless to you both now and see if they can lend the money to fix the car and tack it on the end of your loan--idea sucks but options appear lean.

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NANHBH 9/15/2011 11:34PM

    You are in my thoughts and prayers that God will help you find a solution. I was reading through your Spark page. You have come so far and accomplished so much, you are a true warrior! Hang in there.
emoticon emoticon
JENNY712 shared this poem with me today. Thought it might help you.

Casting My Care

Lord I continually set before you
My requests and all my needs
With thanksgiving I come unto you
My concerns unburdened to thee

I wait for your intervention Lord
In quietness of soul and mind
And worship at your footstool
Leaving my cares behind

And Lord I express my thanks for you
For all you are to me
I thank you Lord that I matter to you
Though at times I cannot see

Because of the circumstances in life
The things that I go through
I find my eyes are on the storm
When they should be looking to you

So help me Lord each precious day
No matter what life brings me
To carry on with hope and faith
And to rest in you with peace.

© By M.S.Lowndes posted by permission

Comment edited on: 9/15/2011 11:44:06 PM

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FITMYPANTSO9 9/15/2011 11:29PM

    Sorry to hear this! I will be praying for you. Things will work out!

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DONNAGRACE1164 9/15/2011 11:10PM

    I'll keep you in my prayers... You might try to see if anyone at your church can help you on this... It's so hard with the economy the way it is right now to dig ourselves out and sometimes it seems like the dirt we're trying to dig out is sliding righ back into the hole we're in... So sorry to hear things are going to badly for you... but coming out of it you'll be much stronger... take some time to exercise... It might release some of your stress... and it's a great opportunity for you to pray too... I find the exercise time very cathartic and feel much better when I'm done...even if your situation isn't much either helps you get your mind off of "stuff" for a little while... or it helps you to work thru some of the "stuff" and try to process some problem solving ideas during your exercise time... Good luck and Blessings to you! ;-)

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TXGRANDMA 9/15/2011 10:56PM

    I am so sorry to hear about this happening to you, just when you are getting back on your feet. Don't panic until you know all the facts. Then take one step at a time and contact your church or another organization that will help you.
There are laws regarding child support to make your ex pay support for the children, or you can have him thrown in jail. I agree with getting a second opinion on the car.

Just remember, we are all here praying for you and have faith that when God closes a door He opens a window.......

This, too, shall pass and make you a stronger person.

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CRAZYDOGLADYBO 9/15/2011 10:56PM

    I just had my vehicle die last Thursday and then had to plunk my house payment on a used vehicle as the old ones repair was too expensive. It is very hard when major repairs show up out of no where.

You are in my thoughts and prayers.

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KNITTABLES 9/15/2011 10:54PM

    I am so sorry I don't know what to suggest but I will pray for you that you will find the right solution and get help in fixing your car.

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MIQUEY73 9/15/2011 10:49PM

    I'm so sorry! I'm praying something comes along your way. emoticon

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MSLZZY 9/15/2011 10:48PM

    Contact the ministerial association, if there is one in your city. They have ways to assist you. Check with friends or co-workers to see if they know someone who repairs vehicles in their spare time. It just might work! HUGS!

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    Oh, man! I am so sorry! Oh, I don't even know WHAT to say! Can you possibly go to your church and ask for help? We have had to do that before. We also have a man from church who does repair work but an engine, that's big. Man, I wish I could think of a solution! Don't lose heart! This will work out just like other things end up doing. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WEEZYB7881 9/15/2011 10:16PM

    I am so sorry to hear of your troubles. sleeping on it will help, as will a written estimate.

take a deep breath and keep us posted

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GETSTRONGRRR 9/15/2011 9:38PM

    Ouch, so sorry to hear about the bum wheels

So it sounds like you need more and you need good info....knowledge is power.

Get an estimate (in writing), look up the symptoms on the web, find out what it can be (hell, phone in to Car Talk this weekend...go by a book on car repairs at Barnes & Noble), look up your car's specs on the web, look on Angie's List for a reputable mechanic, then negotiate, negotiate, negotiate

Good have conquered incredible challenges these past few months, you will conquer this and be the better for it!

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LILLI56 9/15/2011 9:30PM

    I am so sorry. I have had days like that. Not panicking is always so hard to do. But sleeping on it does help. emoticon

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AMSWEATMAN08 9/15/2011 9:12PM

    Sleeping on it always helps! My advice is get a second opinion, some places charge way more than others. Then see if you can go to a "u-pull it" place. You get someone you know to go with you and take the motor out of a "junk car" for far less money, and have someone put it in for you. Or, see if you can make payments to a repair shop. I know they don't do it as a rule, but give them what you can down, explain your situation, and tell them how much you can pay each week. There are good, kind understanding people out there. Good luck!

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Actual Conversation

Friday, September 09, 2011

Pseudo Friend: wow, you look amazing!

PF: What's your secret?
FFK: I just started paying attention to my portion sizes and how much I eat, stay within my calorie range, and I exercise every day. I run a lot now, and strength train.

PF: No, really, what's your secret? You've lost a lot and look great, how did you do it?
FFK: Really, I just stopped eating too much and started exercising. I belong to Spark People, an awesome site that keeps me on track and supported....

PF: (interrupting) I thought we were friends?!
FFK: We're not?

PF: If we were friends you'd let me in on your secret!
FFK: I told you my "secret". Twice.

PF: Fine, be that way. (flounces off)
FFK: emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    So irritating...

People are so wanting a magic pill and so unwilling to hear about reasonable plans that when chef Rocco DiSpirito wrote his weight loss book based on delicious food with all-natural ingredients and a reasonable weight loss pace of 1-2 pounds per week the publisher refused to publish it because they said it was too slow. So he had to go back and revise the recipes and plan for faster weight loss. He told this story on a TV show recently.

Sad, isn't it?

Comment edited on: 9/16/2011 8:36:23 PM

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LILLI56 9/15/2011 9:35PM

    My sister has asked me twice, and both times I tell her .she must misunderstand me cuz she keeps saying smartpeople? are you saying smart people. . .I spell it and then a month later . .How have you lost weight? And I will tell her again and it is the same the 2nd time around. I just shake my head. lol

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SPOOKYTHECAT 9/15/2011 1:02PM

    I tell Everyone who asks about my weight loss about SP, & they just glaze over & say how they can't exercise, track TIME.

I guess it's just too much work to be slim & healthy, so why not just eat some chips & watch tv?
> emoticon

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FUSCHIA6 9/12/2011 12:13AM

    Oh come on FFK, really now, what is it? You can tell me. Did you order a bowflex from TV? an over door gym with a Brooklyn accent? gastric-bypass? Herbal Tragic? Jenny Crate? South Beached Whale? the G.I. diet (gee, I shouldn't eat so much?) Dr. Burn(your wallet)stien?

But, really, why was I ready to listen this time? Those 26 being gone is a miracle to me. I really didn't believe I could do it before I found SP. I don't get why people aren't jumping on in droves.

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RUSSELL_40 9/10/2011 9:22PM

    I always laugh.. if it was a "secret".. people would sell it.

Usually when I tell them .. spend 5 hours a week in the gym.. they walk away ( I usually think.. thats a good start, now 4:59:30 more! )

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SURLYGIRL 9/10/2011 4:46PM

    This has happened to me too. People want there to be a magic pill - they don't want to work for something that is worth working for they are looking for the easy way out.

We here at Spark know better and are seeing the results. emoticon

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MISSY0356 9/10/2011 9:34AM

    People are unbelievable, my own brother in law asked me if I had lost weight "on purpose or was I sick"??? All you can do is laugh it off and accept the compliment in whatever form it comes. This is your journey and you are doing it for you.

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VYVIENN 9/10/2011 7:21AM

    Yup. I told you guys about the friend I met on a walk not too long ago whose first question was if I'd been sick... do I LOOK sickly? LOL I say let's not share. We've been doing the, uh.... pumpkin bread diet... bake a pumpkin bread every other day, and then give it to someone else to eat... and voila!


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NUMD97 9/9/2011 11:32PM

    Thanks for the much needed chuckle.

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    LOL...her loss...we all know that SP is the secret. emoticon

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    Oh, my GOSH! When will people figure this OUT?! emoticon

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    Oh, my GOSH! When will people figure this OUT?! emoticon

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MAMADWARF 9/9/2011 11:21PM

    Yea I have told dozens of people about spark. chirp, chirp.

Then they all tell me how they are doing this diet or working out 24 hours a day or any number of things and I always smile and wish them luck. Inside I am thinking.... What is WRONG with you? Why would you not do what I am doing when you see it works???????

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RUBY_TUESDAY21 9/9/2011 10:45PM

    This is great! I've had people ask me what I'm doing to lose weight, too, and as soon as I start launch into my informercial-worthy monologue about running/eating real food/counting calories, I can see their eyes glazing over as the interest and hope of discovering the next cabbage soup diet quickly transforms into "don't make me do stuff." Too funny...

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MIQUEY73 9/9/2011 10:19PM

    Wow! I can't believe your "friend" didn't listen to what you were saying. Obviously not ready to make any changes and wants a quick fix. Bummer. Quite apparent he/she wasn't really ready for the answer.

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GETSTRONGRRR 9/9/2011 10:16PM

    You're better than me. I'd have pulled Pseduofriend in close, and whispered in a low, conspiratorial voice, "It's the onion diet..Eat one raw every morning for 30 days followed by a glass of milk and the lbs will just drop off. Something about the enzymes interacting with the lactose....."

Then let them go off and try it on their own.

But that's just me

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LADYGWEN25 9/9/2011 10:00PM

    girl i hear you! i have friends who think i'm starving myself.. when they fail to recognize how often i post on FB in the I just ran, bike, swam....and they're the ones who hit the "like" on it every for some i realize you just can't win.

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ELYMWX 9/9/2011 9:58PM

    Wow. That's all I say.

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KIRCHNG 9/9/2011 9:54PM

    You were right- not really a friend! I have a "friend" who commented on the picture of me crossing the finish line of my first 5k "you really look like your struggling and you are so pigeon toed". I'm pretty sure she is jealous because she can't/won't do it. I think your "friend" is the same. Just plain jealous because she can't/won't do it. Congratulations on having the courage to work hard on yourself!!

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SURGENBERD 9/9/2011 9:37PM

  I get this a lot too! The other comment I get after I tell them "the secret" is, oh, I can't run, so that's not for me... Ha Ha! If only they were willing to take that step and get motivated.

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Just some random updates

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Now that I've reached my original weight banishment goal I have decided to see if I can banish a few more pounds (while staying at a healthy BMI, I have no intention of developing an eating disorder or becoming underweight). I weighed about 120 lbs. when I was 20; I will be 40 next month so I thought it would be cool if I could get back to where I was 20 years ago. It seems balanced that way. So I've reset my ticker to show the new goal.

For my goal achieved award I finally bought a new food processor. The one I had was small, maybe 2-3 cups...and when you are trying to process a garden's worth of veggies it takes forever because the bowl is so small. Now I have a 14-cup food processor...size DOES matter!

One of my other goals was to run 2 miles in 18 minutes or less. Way down deep inside I never actually believed I could do this, but last week I did. Credit has to be given to my alter ego, Crazy Becky. She is still nuts but I couldn't have done it without her. So she gets a reward too...a running skort. Just to make sure we both understand who is still in charge I insisted upon final approval - I have to make sure it meets my (complete lack of) fashion sense:

I will be stylin' in my half marathon next weekend!

Gandalf has adapted very well to being inside the house instead of the garage. He is a much happier cat now.

Work is crazy. We are into the middle of budget season, raw material markets have significantly increased again so all of my suppliers want higher prices while our customers, believing that they are exempt from the reality in which the rest of us live, want reduced prices, and our new department VP has ideas that are very different to what we have been accustomed. This is causing my immediate manager quite a lot of stress, which will be heading my way more & more as the year continues. Plus, since one parent company bought out the otherís interest in us last year, and their HQ will be moving into our building in a few months, I fully expect the pace of integration / change will speed upÖand there will be departmental consolidations. Nothing I havenít been through before, and I am good at what I doÖbut that is not always the driving factor when they decide who stays and who leaves. Several people have already left the company recently for other jobs and the pace of that will surely increase as wellÖso more work for those still here. *Sigh* More stress.

Tuesday I had to battle the petty tyrannical high school bureaucrats over my daughterís schedule. She very clearly indicated last year on her schedule request that she would take any elective EXCEPT gym. So what class do they give her? Yes, gym. I believe it was done deliberately. During schedule pick up last week they tried to bully her into the party line that gym is required (yes, but she does NOT have to take it as a freshman); that the class she is in is only offered to freshman (yes, but this is NOT the only gym class she can take); that there is NO other open class that hour (yeah right, you know that without even asking what hour she has gym on her schedule; if youíre that psychic you should be on the talk show circuit); that sports donít count towards gym credit (and yet my sonís 4 years of marching band does count? Right, and I have a bridge for sale); that only the high school gym class counts & she cannot take something at the community college instead (yet they have a program where students DO take community college classes for high school credit; I know, I did it myself FOR GYM! - and I know the program is still in place). So for now I got gym off her schedule and we have 4 years to get the issue resolved. The 1st day of school was not the ideal time to fight this battle. Petty bureaucrats annoy me to no end.

Our weather has also been crazy. We went from 90F on Saturday to a high of 60F on Monday. Plus rain. I really donít like cold, or rain, and certainly not in combination. *Sigh* I live in the wrong state. Iím really not looking forward to winter, I like snow even less. At least next week we are supposed to be in the 70s again so maybe I wonít freeze during the race.

I did get my knee looked at by the ortho doc. I have patellar tendonitis, also known as Jumperís Knee, which is basically an inflamed tendon. So I have an Rx for an anti-inflammatory and some cream to use. He suggested taking off several weeks and going to physical therapy. I went to PT for my ACL replacement and it was a waste of time. I have a list of exercises to do to help, I have actually been doing several of these during ST since March, so I have no intention of spending 2-3 hours a week going to a PT who canít do anything for me I canít do myself. Nor is taking several weeks off karate / running an option. My knee has actually been feeling better the last few weeks, not worse, so Iím just continuing with my schedule for now. Same with the gall stones; they have not been an issue lately so Iím not going to take more time off work right now to go to a specialist for more tests just to verify what we already know.

And that's it for now!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ATURTLESPACE 9/9/2011 7:51AM

    You amaze me!!! Way to go on your goal, on standing up for your daughter, on taking care of yourself! I'm proud of you! emoticon

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CANDOK1260 9/9/2011 7:04AM

    Okay since none else said this you are a great mom. Boy to fight the administration for your daughter YOU ARE ONE *** OF A PARENT. Keep UP THE GOD WORK. i AS TO TELL YOU WHEN i WAS YOUNG THE SCHOOL WANT PUT ME IN A SLOW LEANDEr CLASS BECAUSE i HAVE A SPEECH DEfect MOM fought AND i WAS MAINSTREAm. I now as a two year college degree. So I know what you been through . Good luck in the future.

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    Thank you for reminding me to reset my ticker! I forgot all about that! emoticon

Oh! And by the way! I think you are an INSPIRATION! emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/8/2011 5:07:39 PM

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WONDERBUG381 9/8/2011 4:42PM

    So glad you have met your goals and treated yourself.
And good for you for stepping in with the school. I have had to do that on a number of occasions. It seems to be a never ending battle.


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INIT2LIVEIT 9/8/2011 4:02PM

    Wow, I hope you get things worked out with your daughter.
You are amazing, I wish I had half your drive!

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CAALAN23 9/8/2011 2:58PM

    Great job on meeting your goals, crazy cool skort!

I hear you on the not-so-mighty-powers-that-be in the school systems. Had scheduling issues we had to resolve right off the bat. I avoided some of the drama by just dealing with the district official instead of the school. *evil grin*

I hate those "limbo" health concerns. Hope yours improve without too much cost/time off to you.


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HOLLIEWALLY 9/8/2011 2:51PM

    I hope your knee gets back to healthy soon. Congratulations again on reaching your goal weight. You are amazing. AND you are running a 9 minute mile!!!!!!!!!!! Way to go, girl!!

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VYVIENN 9/8/2011 2:51PM

    Ok, snazzy skorts! Where'd Becky find those? My two new ones are just plain pink and blue (Reebok), and I have a black one with pink trim. Gotta have DH take a pic in the super-duper Barbie running outfit sometime...

Bummer about work. I hope your job is at least of the kind where you won't be tempted to start bringing work home with you. Luckily, for me it was always as soon as the office door closed, that was it, especially after I started commuting back to Stuttgart.

Cool food processor! You really should move to Texas, everything is bigger there, they say. emoticon

I cannot believe those doofuses at school! At least you got them sorted out, perhaps they even learned something in the process. Here's hoping...

So, you're finally catching up with me agewise, grasshopper. emoticon Let's rock those Forties!! emoticon

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Trifecta - Doing the Happy Dance

Friday, September 02, 2011

Well August was an interesting month. For the first 3/4 of the month I was basically maintaining. I ate much more than my "norm" while keeping up with my exercise. I did not really have any scale progress, or improvement on my pushups. My 2 mile running time improved by a minute, but I still had almost 1:40 to go just to hit the max allowed time for my run.

And I was OK with all of this. I was maintaining my weight in a 3 lb range so even though I had my goal weight as 134 I had always intended to allow myself a +/- 5 lb range. And that's exactly where I was. So mentally I considered myself already at goal and was proving that I had made a true lifestyle change and could maintain it.

As part of The Proving Ground's DIY challenge my exercise focus shifted to distance running and building that up, with speed training once a week. I missed most karate classes in August and neglected my ST for the most part. As part of my final results I said my goal commitment was to reach the 50 pushups and 18 minute run time by the end of September. Silently I also intended to lose the last 2 pounds to make my goal weight loss official.

I must remind myself that words have power.

The next week I did 50 pushups in karate for the first time ever. A week later I ran 2 miles in 17:53. The next day I weighed in at 134.5.

3 major goals in 1 week!

The only thing left now is earning my black belt. And that is just a matter of time. I am recommitting to my training now that I have the run and pushups (while maintaining those). I am really starting to believe I will do this by the end of the year. For the longest time I did not really believe in myself, that I could do the run that fast. I talked the talk and I really worked at it, but deep inside I never truly thought it would happen. The weight loss and pushups were never an issue, I had done it before and knew I could do it again. The run...was scary.

Now I know better. If I really want something I can get it...if I want it bad enough.

Enough self-reflection. I am doing the Happy Dance of all Happy Dances.

My only real goal focus now is to earn my black belt. That will be mine, it's just a matter of time now.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MATTERJT 9/6/2011 12:40PM

    Yay! Congrats on reaching your goals! I am so proud of you! :-)
I love looking at all the progress you made in your pictures. They are so inspiring. My progress is moving slowly. I've been gaining some weight back too, so it's been a bit depressing. I took pictures of myself in my bathing suit last week and could not believe how disgusting they look. I actually did not feel as big as those pictures made me look. So I'm not even sure what I really look like. If I really look as bad as those pictures indicate, then I have a lot more work to do. But I will continue to look up to you for encouragement and motivation. I love your success and I know that you will earn that Black Belt. Once you get that, we can be Black Belt Buddies! :-)
emoticon emoticon

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DOODIE59 9/5/2011 7:01PM

    There is no doubt in my mind that you will achieve any goal you set for yourself. Just set 'em up and pick 'em off. You go, girl!

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VYVIENN 9/5/2011 2:15PM

    Oooooooooooh yeeaaaaaaaaah, baby! You go, girl!! I'm looking forward to that post and pic with you and that black belt!

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MCJULIEO 9/3/2011 6:55PM

    Fantastic! emoticon

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INIT2LIVEIT 9/3/2011 1:33PM

    Woohoo! Congratz on reaching your trifecta :)
As ever you are an incredible inspiration!!!

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CANDOK1260 9/3/2011 6:10AM

    Congrats on the great challenge you have met and you enjoy your happy dance emoticon

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    emoticon emoticon

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MANTISGIRL 9/3/2011 1:12AM

    Hooray! emoticon

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WONDERJUL 9/2/2011 10:33PM


Way to achieve!! Gotta love being able to do the happy dance!

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    This is terrific! Yes, I agree with Kim! You will have that black belt, and soon! Way to GO! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RESULTS361AP09 9/2/2011 10:04PM

    Wow-congratulations!! You are doing an awesome job of reaching your goals. I have no doubt that you will have your black belt very soon!


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FRENCHYFEVER 9/2/2011 8:31PM

    Congratulations on all that you have accomplished. With your determination, you will have no problem reaching your goals. Way to go!

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GETSTRONGRRR 9/2/2011 8:27PM

    Yes you will!! Congrats on the great achievements, you have much to be proud of, and a pretty cool goal set as well. Wooden boards will quake as you enter the room!

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