1/16/17

Fighting

I've not been posting because, frankly, I just couldn't. It was too much.

Recipe for depression:
Get sick for almost three weeks, missing the Christmas Dinner and Concert that I had been looking forward to for months. Add in the standard holiday chaos, mix in the ongoing car problems (we're down to one not-so-reliable car, so I'm stuck. At home. All. The. Time. Couldn't even go to church for Christmas.), stir in allergies deciding to flare up (no dairy, eggs, wheat, or corn until my guts settle down and decide to play nice.), beat in a hefty dollop of the divisiveness of the election...and to all that, fold in Danny trying to meet a deadline to get the first draft of his book submitted, so he's been unavailable at best and...hmmm, "grumpy", let's go with "grumpy"...at worst. Garnish with cold, dreary, rainy, grey days...and mud. Lots of mud. Guaranteed to sap the joy right out of living. Usually results in constant exhaustion and the inability to concentrate on anything.

I keep telling myself that I have no reason to be depressed. Lots of people have it much worse than the minor inconveniences I've mentioned above. Heck, I'VE had much worse than that, many times before. Usually when I start feeling down, I'll do the whole "Smile REAL BIG and Fake it 'til you make it" thing and wait for the darkness to pass.

Isn't working this time.

I know things are not that bad, that it is just my perception that is the problem. I know that these problems will be resolved and eventually the sun has to come out. But even knowing that, depression keeps whispering, "You're wrong. Things will never get better." After a while, arguing against the whispers gets to be too much to bear.

I keep telling myself depression lies...I'm just having trouble believing myself.

12/8/16

Flu

Sicker 'n a dog. Back soon.

12/7/16

75 Years

A Date which will Live in Infamy
More photos at link.


12/5/16

My Day at the Mechanic's

I've been at mechanics all day. All. Day. I left at 8:30 this morning and have been dealing with mechanics until give or take 4 pm.

I think we're getting closer to winning the war of the cars.

First: The Jaguar, also known as The Grinch who Spent All the Christmas Money on Itself.

It's not the fuel pump. (YAY!!!)
It's not the vacuum lines. They're pristine.
But the check engine light keeps coming on and as soon as I go over 2500-3000 RPM, the car tries to dump me into limp mode.
I hate having a bright red sports car I have to drive like I'm 90 years old. Try going up a hill without going over 2500 RPM. Semis pass me on uphills.

My mechanic cleared the codes and the history. Car ran like a dream. He decided to see if he could get the codes to come on for him (they only seem to come on when I'm driving.)

There's your first clue.

THIS TIME, I rode shotgun while he put the car through its paces. Every other time he's tested the car, I haven't been along. Beautiful car. Ran like a champ. 5000 RPM with no problems. THIS is the car I bought.

I dropped him off to pick up the Durango from Danny's work and I drove the Jaguar back to the shop. Within 2 miles, the light was back on and it was throwing fits.

Hmmmm.

He ran the codes again. Flight Data Recorder only. Called Jaguar in Louisville. Flight data?!? WHA?!? It's a car, not a plane. Jaguar/Louisville says: Something is wrong, car is trying to black box the problem. Car is not telling us WHAT is wrong. Not helpful. Arrange to bring it back on Thursday and leave it so my mechanic can fine-tooth-comb it for 4 or 5 hours and try to discover what the **** is going on with that **** Jaguar! (He said he wouldn't charge me to find the problem. I love my mechanic.)

Cleared the codes.  I head home. To say I'm bummed is the understatement of the century. 8 hours at mechanic's and I'm where I started.

Bah. Humbug.

Now, when my mechanic clears the codes and the history, my heater/ac resets and shuts off. When I turn it back on after he has reset the codes, it always reads 24C. I change it to F, set it at 70, hit the direction and recirc buttons and off I go. It is usually the first thing I do after I buckle in and start the car.

This time, I didn't do that. I never turned it on. There's your second clue.

I was half-way home before I realized I hadn't reset my heater...and the check engine light hadn't come on, either. (I noticed when I managed to pass a gravel truck on an uphill without any problem.) Called my mechanic. No, he never resets the heater when he is test driving the Jaguar. He tells me to pull over, shut the car off, and restart it with the heater going.

First time I hit 3000 RPM with the heater going, the check engine light lit up like a Christmas tree and the car started trying to go into limp mode. (I also noticed when I turn on my defrosters, my radio fuzzes out.)

Somehow, running the heater makes my car stop working. YAY!!!!

(((Okay, that sounded psychotic, but at least now we have a place to start looking for the problem!!!)))

Things are looking up.

On to The Durango.

Sigh. I spent the morning having the airbag recall fixed at the dealer (No, I DON'T want to buy a new truck!! Have you seen the prices on those things?!), then handed it over to our mechanic. The mechanic thinks the repeated codes may be caused by a evap controller switch getting the wrong voltage (I'm calling it the wrong name but that's what it is.) He suggested letting him run more tests before we go dumping more money into it.

I'm good with that.

So that is where we are:
Durango's check engine light is on. It will go back to the shop after the New Year.
Jaguar's check engine light is on. It goes into the shop Thursday for a week.

I can deal with that. Life is good.

12/2/16

My Car is the Grinch


I spoke too soon about the check engine lights.

Last night, on the way home from daughter's Kung Fu class, the check engine light in my car came on. Again. I pulled into AutoZone, had them run the codes, and proceeded to buy an $80 mass airflow sensor. Early this morning, I drove said car and sensor to the mechanic's. They fixed it, cleared the codes and sent me on my way.

I made it about a mile before the check engine light came back on.

This time, the codes were reading bank 1&2 o2 sensors lean. I happen to know for a fact those sensors are good...which means the lean reading is probably from a faulty fuel pump.

(((This is me beating my head against the wall in time to Adam Sandler's "Ode to My Car".)))

The fuel pump costs $400. It is Christmas time. We be broke. The fuel pump is just gonna have to wait until January. For the foreseeable future, I am car-less.

To take my mind off of our car/money/holiday predicament, I decided to go home and cook. So for today's post, here is my recipe for Turkey (or Chicken) Noodle Soup.

TURKEY (or Chicken) NOODLE SOUP

1 Turkey (or chicken) carcass 
1 onion, quartered
3-4 carrots, peeled, cut in 2" pieces
1/4 celery seed or 2 stalks of celery, cut in 2" pieces
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 TBSP salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 gallon water

Combine all ingredients in large soup pot. Simmer for 1-2 hours until any meat falls off the bones. Cool.

Strain the broth. Separate meat from the bones. Discard bones and veggies. Add meat to broth and bring  back to a simmer. Add:

1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced

Cook until veggies are soft. Add:

1 bag egg noodles.

Cook until noodles are soft. 
Eat with crackers in front of a cheery fire and forget your (car) problems.