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July 28, 2014
bitsofthepast

1 comment

Wonderful Car Troubles

I could not find any old pictures of our car that kicked the bucket, and I have not taken any pics of our new car yet, so this post is picture free!

We have had the same car since 2006.  It has been wonderful for us, and a great road trip machine.  We travel so much that it was important for our family to have a safe, reliable car.  For the first 7 years, our car gave us no trouble what so ever.  This past year however, we have experienced some problems.  Battery, air conditioner, fuel line etc.  However, when a problem arose, we would fix it quickly and try to keep this car a road trip machine.

The morning of the trip to Michigan, we were doing great!  About to leave the earliest we have ever left, we piled into the car, turned the ignition, and nothing.  It was dead.  We charged up the battery, and poof, the car started!  It was going to be a long day of driving, so the battery would have plenty of time to charge.  It takes us about an hour to get to Wyoming where we live,  and when we made it there, we were still sailing away.  We had an appointment to meet the grandparents in Rawlins, Wyoming at 1 p.m. to drop off Oldest Bit with them.  Grammy and Papa were taking the oldest two grandchildren with them to Michigan and showing them some fun sites along the way.  Rawlins is four hours from where we live, and about an hour out of Rawlins, our gas tank dropped in seconds from a half a tank to nothing.  If you have ever driven this stretch of Wyoming, you will know there is absolutely nothing, I mean nothing.  No towns, no gas stations.  We checked for leaks, and found no visible problems, so we kept pressing, praying all the way that we would make it to Rawlins.  During this hour, I called the Dodge dealership in Rawlins and told them we were coming in.  By grace, we made it to this dealership and staid about an hour while they did their trouble shooting.  They found nothing significantly wrong, gas still in the tank, but said it was a cluster problem.  And please do not ask me to explain what a cluster is.  I barely understood it myself.  The problem?  In the middle of Wyoming, there were no parts, and no other cars like ours.  Oh, I am sorry, there was one and it was owned by the bank.  It would take days to get a part shipped.  So what would any normal people do?  They would ask the mechanics what’s the worse that could happen?  The mechanics told us to do our own calculations on the gas and it is just the panel cluster.

We said goodbye to Oldest Bit, jumped back into the car and went on our way.  Car ran great for the rest of the afternoon and early evening, until about seven p.m. and we were about 30 miles away from Ogallala Nebraska, where we had already planned to spend the night.  Suddenly our car was dead, just coasting.  We had to coast to the side of the road, just 30 miles from our destination.  Now if you have ever been on this stretch, again you know there is nothing.  Ogallala is a small town, and leading up to it, there is literally nothing but grass lands.  I called roadside assistance told them our situation and they said they would get right on it.  Twenty minutes later we received a call saying that they could not find anyone to tow us to Ogallala, and that we should call 911.  I instead asked for the  county sheriffs number.  The sheriff was able to find a tow truck but it would be slow.  We had no idea.  Finally at 10p.m. the tow truck showed up and he was hooking our all wheel drive up in the dark.  If you have never experienced this, let’s just say it is a pain in the rear end.  Lots of pushing our car, and the poor man could barely see in the dark.

We got it hooked up, jumped in the truck and off we went.  About twenty miles down the road, the driver yells, “I lost my phone!”  I said that I would call it to see if the phone was in the truck.  Nothing.  We asked if he was sure he brought it.  He said he was talking to a friend on the way to pick us up.  The poor guy was so worried that he decided he would turn around to where he hooked up our car.  We exited on some farm road, where he decided to unhook our car because it is easier to turn around without the weight.  By this time, I thought my kids were going to cry!  But they were troopers.

We turned around, and searched for the spot our car broke down.  The ironic thing about  our breakdown was that we stopped in front of a sign that said, “In case of emergency, call…..”, so we knew to look for the sign.  Thankfully, we found it, and he drove through the median to get us on the correct side of the road.  When he did, he began to back up.  I yelled, “No don’t back up!  I will call it and look for the light or listen for the sound!  Just park!”  He replied, “I will back up until I see the oil from my truck.  My truck leaks oil, so I know exactly where we were parked.”  “Please, let me out!  I will call it!”  I tried leaving the car, but the I could not open the doors from the inside.  My husband joked later on that it was to keep the victims inside.  I am glad he told me this joke after the fact because my imagination would have gotten the better of me.

I was finally able to jump out, and began to call the phone when I heard a faint, “We will, we will rock you….” ring tone.  My husband looked under the truck and lo and behold, there was the phone.  Hubby scooped it up to discover that the driver had driven over his own phone!  If he had not backed up, the phone would not have gotten crushed!  We all got back into the car, when the driver asked if he could use my phone to call his daughter.  The rest of the hour back, he spent using my phone to call people.  Awkward to say the least.

We made it to the hotel about midnight, where the kids crashed, and were more saddened by the fact they could not swim, then the fact our car was broken.

Thankfully, our in laws were driving through the next day on their way to the reunion.  We waited for them in the hotel room, and then also found out that our car started back up again!  Okay, so now we had someone to drive with, that could help us if we got stranded again, but we decided at that point, we needed a more reliable car.  So we had friends in Iowa and our in laws looking online while we were driving for deals on cars in Nebraska.

We somehow made it to Omaha, where at that point our clocks went wonky and our gas gauge was going crazy again.  And it was in Omaha, that we bought a new to us car.  A more reliable road trip machine.  Seems our old girl had had enough road trips and just wanted to rest.  And now she is, in Omaha Nebraska.  Have a good restful time there old girl!

So to end this long story, we made it to Michigan, had a great family reunion, and made it back safely, in the car the kids call “Another Burrito”  which is another story, for another time.

Have a great day everyone!

Love,

Suzy

July 24, 2014
bitsofthepast

2 comments

Back to Reality

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Hello everyone!  I have missed being in this space and reading others blogs!  We have been on the road visiting family in Michigan.  It was quite the adventure, and there are so many stories to tell.  But laundry must be done, and all the business of being home after a trip must be sorted.  I will be back tomorrow to tell about our trip out to Michigan.  Let’s just say it was interesting, but definitely memorable!

Looking forward to catching up with all of you!

Love,

Suzy

July 7, 2014
bitsofthepast

3 comments

Pictures of our Small Homestead

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My son took the camera again the other day while I was gardening.  I think he may have a calling/passion that I want to help cultivate.  As you can see, our garden is growing well, and we are enjoying it immensely.  I am seriously looking forward to having fresh tomatoes on my fresh salad!  But I must wait.

Our bees are doing really well this year! This week, I will be checking them, and hopefully, the inside looks as healthy as seeing them fly around all day!

I will be harvesting my first batch of raspberries.  We have been eating them off our bush all week, and still have so many.  Love raspberries!

I think the only thing left out are the chickens.  They are doing well, and we are getting four to six eggs a day, so all the people at church are being supplied with fresh eggs as are we.

This summer has been great for our small homestead, if you can even call it that.  In the evenings, our family comes together and gardens, walks and plays.  I love summer!

I hope you all are having a great time this summer and your gardens are growing well!

Love,

Suzy

July 2, 2014
bitsofthepast

14 comments

Wednesday Weekly-Garden Overflow and A Cake

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Joining Heather from Beauty that Moves
This past week in my kitchen has been so busy!  Since Oldest Bit and Mr. Bit were getting prepared for Scout Camp, I had to do a great deal of cooking preparations for them.  Because Oldest Bit has such severe nut allergies, he cannot eat the food the camp provides, so the rest of the troop made the decision to make their own food preparations so he would not feel left out.  Very sweet of them, but that means they came up with a menu, and I agreed to prep most of it.  Small price for a great troop.  They love biscuits, so many were made!

My garden is overflowing with greens.  Kale, Swiss chard, spinach and lettuce.  Busy making kale chips and freezing the others, except for the lettuce.  Trying to eat as much as I can and have given some to friends as well.

Finally, Little Bit took a cake decorating class with a friend of hers the other day, and had an amazing time.  You can tell she enjoyed decorating the cake as well as eating it!

Hope you all have had a great time in the kitchen as well!  Can’t wait to see what you have been up to!

Love,

Suzy

July 1, 2014
bitsofthepast

2 comments

A Story About a Horse

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On Thursday of last week, our neighbors asked my son to babysit their animals for two days.  They have a cute dog, some baby chicks and a couple of horses.  The horses were placed in the back pasture, so we thought there was not going to be much work.  The pasture has plenty of tall grass, and plenty of water. So horses were the least of our concern, or so we thought.

That night, some storms moved through.  We were so excited to open our windows and listen to the much needed rain as well as feel the cool breeze.  At around 1030pm, the horses started neighing for loudly and nervously.  My husband and I walked to the back pasture to see if there was a wild animal that might be making them nervous. There was no animal, but they were pacing, so we thought the storm may have disturbed them.  We went back inside and fell asleep.

Next morning at around 600am, we looked outside to find the female horse no longer in the field, but in the pin. We wondered if the neighbor who owns the field put her in there because she was nervous.  At 600am, she was all by herself.  An hour later, another storm moved through, and I looked outside to find a new colt next to the female.  I will not go into detail, but it was obvious it just happened.

I walked over to the neighbors house who owns the field, and asked about how the horse got into the pin.  He said he found the mare eating his garden in the morning because she had somehow gotten out of the field.  I told them there was now a baby in the pin, and his jaw dropped!  He said, there was no baby when he walked into the pin!  Come to find out this little miracle was a month early, and My kids and I were the first to see her.  What an amazing experience this was for us.

But it also was a lesson in nature because there were many things my kids had never seen, and I had to explain.  I could see their faces turn green as I explained what was happening, and for a moment I thought they might lose their breakfast.  But they stayed strong, and checked on the mom and the baby every moment they could.

Nature never ceases to amaze me.  Truly a miracle.

Have a great day everyone!

 

June 30, 2014
bitsofthepast

2 comments

Off on an Adeventure

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My two men are off on an adventure for a week.  They left at 4 am this morning, but before they left I made them a huge breakfast and took pictures. I get so excited for their Boy Scout trips together. This is a time when they get to hang out with one another, get to know each other more and bond.  The camp is not in our home state this year, but instead in Wyoming near the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone.  Absolutely beautiful and the perfect place to experience just the two of them.  I cannot wait to hear their stories when they return.  Will they see a grizzly bear?  Will Oldest Bit learn more about bravery and courage from his dad?  Will they have stories that only they can know?  I hope for all these things, but I will miss them desperately.

Middle and Little Bits are staying with me this week, and we will have stories to tell all our own.  I am excited to have this opportunity too.  Excited to make our own camp out in our house.  To experience the outdoors on the local level. To have secret stories that we can look back on and laugh about.

I hope all of you are creating wonderful stories with your families this summer.  Enjoying every minute together.

Have a wonderful day everyone!

Love,

Suzy

 

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