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
*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 Prosper.com (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 car-part.com. 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.
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.
Friday, September 09, 2011
Pseudo Friend: wow, you look amazing!
FANGFACEKITTY: thank you!
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)
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!
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