So I think I'll celebrate my first year of Freedom with $850 in car repairs...

It’s been a good year since I asked my ex to leave. The divorce isn’t final yet, but it’s coming along, and I’m able to look back at the year and see some significant changes that have happened:

The house is…well, at least a bit more organized and clean. Believe me, this is a process that could take some time, so I’m pretty impressed with what the kids and I have managed to do so far.

Family life is much nicer. Our home is still in chaos a good percentage of the time, but it’s a happy chaos–the kids are playing, music is being made, and I can do things in one room without having to keep an ear cocked for impending disaster in another. No one is walking on eggshells anymore; the kids and I are visibly more at ease in our home. AND I’m spending much less time on the computer, which is a good thing.

Love life is fine and dandy. Todd33rpm, man o’ my dreams, has somehow magically adapted to life amongst the savages, and pretty much takes all the wackiness in stride. A family like this one–four kids, lots of pets, wacky woman–is a lot to take on, imo…He’s a bigger man than I am, that’s for sure.
Heh. Well, you know what I mean.

Finances…well, finances were going pretty well, until I took my van in today to get a new tie rod. I just got new tires and new brakes a couple of months ago, but the tie rod required waiting until I had a bit of cash on hand. A couple hundred should cover it, I reckoned.
And it would have, except that I also need new bushings. And you can’t just hop over to WalMart and buy new bushings, you have to order them from the Dealer, and you have to buy the whole assembly, not just the little part you need.
Oh, and I needed a new tire to replace the OTHER new tire that was ruined by the bad tie rod and resulting misalignment.
So: $55 for the tire. $313 for the new tie rod. That I can manage, just barely.
But get this: **$490 **for the new bushings.
Ouch. Ouchouch OUCH. I can so NOT afford this right now. $490 is more than the poetfamily’s grocery budget for a month!

But still, I am a year away from the unhappiest time in my life, and lack of…well, half a thousand bucks…is not going to get me down. I have a bunch of stuff that needs to go to auction, so I’ll get that sent out, and another bunch of stuff that needs to be ebayed, so I’ll get on that, and…hmmmm. Cut the grocery budget to about a third or less of what I’d normally spend…cut allowances completely…try to put off what utilities I can…cut the gas bill as much as possible.

Hmmm. I might be able to pull it off. And besides, I’m free! and happy! and healthy again, for the first time in years.

I guess I’ll quit my bitchin’ and go look at my budget. :slight_smile:

I’ve missed you so much!
Sorry to hear about your van trouble, I’m going through a bit of that myself. New master cylinder for my brakes. So, for now I’m driving around without much stopping power.
About a month ago or so I paged you to get out your cheerleader outfit. Got it handy?
I left for a few days and came back because I had no place to go, so I’ve been spending some time re-grouping and figuring out what to do from here.
If you don’t mind I’ll e-mail a bit of the more personal stuff.

And listen here Mr Todd, if that is your real name. Keep up the good work at making someone I condider a good friend happy. Although I would like to see her online a touch more cause I miss her I am so glad you two found each other.

Keep your chin up love and I miss chatting with you.

Thank you, hon, and drop me an email pronto, 'kay? I’ve got my cheer uniform right here, ready to go.

I went to pick up the van, and lo! it was 50 bucks less than the estimate. Very good news–there may be groceries in my future after all.

Now, to wrestle the budget into line…

bodypoet, if I can help in anyway, you have my email addy.

I’m looking at a new timing belt for my Saturn in the new future (est. $400 - $700!!). :eek:

I’m glad to hear that things are going well with you and {b]todd33rpm**. If you have any … erm … important announcemetns to make in the near future, I’d better know!! :smiley:

OH, damned coding whilst intoxicated!!!

(I don’t recommend trying it!! :smiley: )

Yay! for you!

I wondered where you and Todd had slipped off to. Just think, if it hadn’t been for that Comfort Party …

Yay for a Bodypoet Life Update!

Glad to see things are getting to where you want them to be.

Sorry about the van.

I just have to say that I love my van and I hope she never ever ever craps out on me as we have every penny otherwised engaged . Shhhhhh. Appliances and mechancal things have ears and feelings, dontchaknow?

How goes the soap selling? Whatjaname it?

What do you mean you are not online as much and that is a good thing? What do you have a patch or something to keep you from jonesing for your Straight Dope?

When’s the divorce final?

If I win big in the lottery, I’ll buy you a new bushing and tie rod. :smiley:

Very pleased to see you happy and around.

Glad to hear about some sunshine coming your way, bodypoet. It must be a breath of fresh air to have a good man around the house. I hope the van ceases to be so unruly. Let me know if you have any collections of small and very hard decorative soaps for sale. I need to fill a small green glass bowl near my cast iron claw foot bath tub.

Good luck to you there bodypoet! I’ll trade you the van for my 2 cars in the shop. It appears that I ran up on a curb and caused $215 damage to one car, the other one has major issues as well. It’s always something! You let us know how we can help, OK? I don’t have a cast iron claw foot tub (dammit!)

Okay, I feel better now, having taken a good look at the budget, reached the depths of despair, then abruptly realized that December is not far off and I’ll have big tips coming in for Christmas. So if nothing else, I’ll be able to pay for it then, provided the doohickey lasts that long, of course.

More details, per your posts:
I haven’t made ANY soaps or candles in quite some time, as I promised myself I wouldn’t until I get the house into some semblance of order. That, frankly, could take a while…but it’s all okay, because I still don’t have a new business name picked out. I’m looking for something that means “new life” or “rebirth” or “screw you, you abusive prick” but I haven’t hit on juuust the right choice yet.

Not being online as much is a good thing for me, because I find that I’m spending more family time as a result. The whole little (well, “big”, in our case) family unit thing is working nicely for us. Today the babies and I are cleaning and making cookies. It’s bliss.

Zenster’s put it nicely–it IS a breath of fresh air. The older kids have noticed that “it sure is nice to go out and have FUN” as a family, without (ex) getting mad or pouting all the time. And I don’t have to spend all my time worrying that someone is going to be verbally attacked if I step out of the room.

Avarie, we’re gonna househunt in the spring. Does that count as “big” news? :smiley:

Thanks and hugs to you all…some of my best friends are here at the SD.

Well, bodypoet Congratulations to you and todd!! I do believe we Hoosier Dopers need to get together soon, anyway. Although I think we’re too late to catch vunderbob and his family …

Hmmm … I’ll start an IndyDope thread when we get back this afternoon.

Glad to see you back bodypoet, and glad to see todd is still part of your life.

According to Ivylad, who used to be a mechanic before his injury, bushings are part of the tie rod assembly. You should not have to pay extra for them. He says it should not ost more than $200 to have the whole thing replaced.

You don’t think the Mean Dealership is trying to take advantage of Sweet Young Innocent Bodypoet, do you? Ivylad highly recommends taking your van to another mechanic for a second opinion.

And if I can suggest a new name for your shop that means New Life, how about Phoenix?

Thanks for the input, ivylass. This is what the guy told me–run it by ivylad and see if it makes any difference.

It’s a Nissan Quest. They replaced one inner tie rod and one outer tie rod (on opposite sides). They said they also need to replace the bushings, which appear to be pipe-like thingies that connect the axle to the wheel. The bushings are available only from the Nissan dealer, who says that the bushing by itself is not available–you have to buy the entire control arm assembly. And THAT costs $390 (for the pair), plus a hundred to install and realign.

Now mind you, I have no idea what all that means–I’m just parroting what they told me. I called my old hometown mechanic, who basically allowed as to how Nissan parts are expensive as hell and mentioned yet again how expensive car repair is in the “big city” as opposed to the boondocks.

If all that makes any sense, does it make any difference in ivylad’s opinion? I certainly have plenty of time to seek a second opinion, as I don’t have money to pay for any actual work yet…

I will check with Ivylad tomorrow, bodypoet (he’s sleeping) and I’ll let you know.

Ivylad says the control arm assembly is a separate assembly from the tie rod. He says what they are charging seems expensive, you may want to shop around.

The control arm assembly connects the tie rod assembly to the steering mechanism. Ivylad asks if you were in an accident or if your van has over 100,000 miles on it. He also wants to know if you are having difficulty steering or if you are getting uneven wear on the tires. If the bushings are bad, you will need to get the control arm replaced.

I really need to get him registered. I have no fricking idea what I just typed.

Thank you, ivylass, and thank ivylad too, okay?

My van has nearly 200,000 miles on it. I deliver papers, so while I haven’t had any accidents lately, I do hit a heck of a lot of chuckholes and speedbumps and the occasional curb. No difficulty steering (well, it did pull to the right quite a lot), but I was getting terribly uneven wear on the tires. I had relatively new tires on the front, and the driver’s side was worn right down to the wires on the outer part only. They replaced that tire when they fixed the tie rod.

It seems to be driving more straight now–the steering wheel isn’t cockeyed, at least.

Thank goodness it’s paid for…

Well, he’s gone to lay down, so I will pass along what you wrote and see if he has any more thoughts on your van.

Please keep in mind, unless he can actually see your van, this is all just fairly educated guessing.

Okay…now, coming up with a new name for your shop…

Well, he’s gone to lay down, so I will pass along what you wrote and see if he has any more thoughts on your van.

Please keep in mind, unless he can actually see your van, this is all just fairly educated guessing.

Okay…now, coming up with a new name for your shop…