Monday, June 27, 2011

My 2005 Pontiac Montana

I drive the Tighty-Whitey.  A white minivan with a gray band around the bottom.  Its like driving a giant pair of men's underpants upside down everywhere I go.  (As if having a minivan wasn't cool enough!)

But I can not complain too much about her.  Mechanically, she has been a SUPER sound car!
She's 6 years old, but aside from general maintenance (oil changes, battery, tires, breaks) we've had nothing major go wrong with her.
There was a small problem with the passenger front window switch not working.   I could roll it up with the one on the drivers side, but the passenger couldn't roll their own window down.  Matt kept saying he was going to stop at the dealer and pick up a new switch, but magically it "repaired" itself and hasn't been a problem since.
There is also an occasional glitch with the transmission shifting hard.  Matt read somewhere that its some pressure switch (FYI, this is where I may translate man-talk into blond) that he'd have to pull the whole transmission out to change out - but it stopped doing that on its own too.

The first real problem arose recently.  When  I go 60 or over, I have a pretty wicked shimmy.  (It stops at above 75, so I just drive faster..  ;) That fixes everything, right!?)  I apparently need a new front drivers side hub.  With only 3 payments away from being paid off.  GO FIGURE.

Oh well, it doesn't hurt to be married to a mechanic eh?? 

Once I've made that last payment, we're going to setup automatic deposits into our savings account for at least the amount we've been making in car payments..  That way my budget is still used to that money being pulled out, and if we can keep her going with out any major repairs (this hub thing isn't super expensive, it will be $120 for both sides), we'll have a nice chunk set aside for a deposit and TTnL..

But what to get?  I don't like driving a mini-van and having the "mommy mobile" label..  But I often have those 3 rows of seats full of kids, plus I need something big enough to haul not only my kids around, but our 100+ pound vehicularly ill-mannered lab as well.  (I can't think of the last time I took him to the vet and didn't have the kids with me).  Plus I HATE grocery shopping, so I try to just do one giant trip a month, so I need to be able to fold that 3rd row down and make lots of room for groceries...
But I don't want the added fuel cost and insurance cost with an SUV.

GM got rid of the Pontiac line (and kept Buick?  Not one of their better decisions, in my opinion.).  I looked at the Chevy Traverse, but after having 2 Pontiac's - the interior seemed really cheap and dull to me.  (I had this same dilemma when I bought the Tighty Whitey, it was a toss up between it and a Chevy Venture - and even though the Chevy had a lot more options going for it, I chose the Pontiac because it just had a much nicer interior option..I mean, I don't stand outside checking the color of my car out as often as I am inside looking at the interior.)
I didn't have time to go look at the GMC Acadia (the GMC version of the Traverse), but all I can do is hope that they have a nicer interior package like the Pontiac's had.  I've never been drawn to the Buick line (don't you have to have to be a certain age to be able to buy one of those anyway!?  ;)  )

So for now I guess the Acadia is on the top of my list..  Hopefully I'll get to check them out before too long so I know if I need to start looking at other options...

Though I worry, can I teach the kids to be mindful of opening the car door and NOT opening it into the car next to me??

Aside from the obvious driving you to and from places, mommy mobiles are:

A place to eat ice cream in on the ride home from the mountains:

A place to nap on long car trips home:

A seat at the drive in:
A place to do lotion art:
For bringing friends to meet their new baby brothers:

For using as a rain gague when its flooding out...

You know, looking at all the places that van has taken us, moves, trips, birthday parties, shopping adventures, etc..  It kind of makes me sad to think about getting rid of it.  BUT ONLY FOR A SECOND OR TWO.

Friday, June 24, 2011

I've lived through my worst nightmare..

If you know me at all, you know that I have a totally irrational fear of snakes.  There I said it, its irrational.  But that doesn't mean I can convince myself to react any differently.

I once ran out of my office (and my shoes), down the stairs, outside, and to the next building before I was caught by a coworker, because someone had played a trick on me and put a dead baby snake on my desk.  That coworker walked around carrying the snake in his shirt pocket, with its head poking out all day in triumph.
(I then came into work the next morning with my desk covered in fake snakes.. 12 years later and some of those snakes are still lingering around the office somewhere..)

I refuse to go into herpeteriums at the zoo.

A snake jumped (yes, they can jump) in front of the lawn mower I was riding on last year and I stopped mowing.  Matt asked why I couldn't just mow over it and kill it, I did have 3 giant spinning blades that would probably take care of it, but I just drove the mower to the front door, got off the mower, and told Matt where I left off.  I was done.

I'm ready to move back to Alaska, I'd rather come face to face with a moose or bear than be near a snake.

(Just talking about this, I've pulled my feet up under me as I type.  I'm getting the heebeegeebees and don't want my feet on the floor.)

So Saturday morning we were getting ready for a long day of kiddo activities.  Andra came in my bathroom where I was getting ready and says quite bluntly "You NEED to come with me." 
(Andra is a little bit of a drama queen, and likes to drag me around for dramatic effect when tattling on her brother, but this time her attitude was very different.  This wasn't "I'm ratting Lane out for something.."  her tone said "DANGER!" and her skin color said "I MAY PUKE!" )
So instead of telling her to use her words and just TELL me what she was tattling on so I could keep getting dressed, I followed her. 
Down the hall into the kitchen, she stopped about 1/2 way into the kitchen and pointed towards the laundry room, refusing to go any further.
I (being the giant fradey-cat chicken I am) slowed and tip toed over towards the laundry room thinking there was a giant spider or tarantula in there...

I wish.

I ran back to Andra, grabbed her squarely by the shoulders and said "Let Oliver in the back door, take him and your brother to your room and lock the door." 
And I booked it back to our bathroom where Matt was in the shower. 
I barged in and said "The faster you finish this shower, the better.  There is man work to be done.  There is a snake in the laundry room!"

Then I grabbed my camera and came back to stalk it.  I didn't want it to come into the kitchen or hide under the washer or something.  I NEEDED to know where it was.

And because of him:

Monday, June 20, 2011

Well that was embarrassing...

Well that was embarrassing...
I've been going on bike rides as often as I can to help with this weight loss adventure I am on..  I was enjoying myself and decided to not be my usual chicken self and went further than I have before.

I turned around at what I thought was a good spot and realized the second I started back that I was going to get to peddle home against the wind, a lot of it uphill..  NOT SMART.
I got passed by a jeep full of teenagers, who laughed at me.  I whispered dirty things under my breath about them and how they'll be old and fat one day too..

In the midst of my huffing and puffing I missed my turn.  I was concentrating hard and not
I looked around at one point and thought "Hmm, this doesn't look familiar.  I must not have been paying attention during this stretch..." and kept huffing and puffing along.

Then I passed some cows...  "Uh, I don't remember passing cows.."
Then I came to a bridge.. "Uh, I really don't remember crossing this bridge!"

I debated turning around, but I was afraid I'd get even more lost, so I just kept going straight, thinking I'd get to an intersection and know just where I was.  I did.  I looked up and saw the "Welcome to Harrah" sign and went "HOLY CRAP!"  I ended up out on a main road, not where I had intended to be AT ALL..

Now I got to publicly humiliate myself huffing and puffing uphill against the wind on a four lane black top.  EXCELLENT!

I get to the next mile section and the storm rolling in gets a little close.  Lightning and thunder start rolling in and it starts sprinkling on me.  And its getting dark to boot.  I kept huffing and puffing and trying to get home as fast as possible, but I knew I still had 2 miles til I got home.

The lightning got a little close for comfort, so I grabbed my phone out of my little bike pouch and called Matt.  Who was already headed in my direction, coming to find me.

I kept riding til I heard our truck rattling up and got to do the walk of shame to pass it off to Matt and get a ride the rest of the way home (I was 1 1/2 miles from home.)   I rode about 7 1/2 miles.

I will pay for this tomorrow.