Tuesday, January 3, 2017


Over the holiday break, I took my trusty little Yaris in for it's annual inspection.  I adore my Yaris.  It's the perfect size for me and can hold four bales of hay if I flip the back seat down and use the passenger seat.  It can also fit six teens, two adults, and one gassy dog when offering rides across a horse trial facility.  I call my Yaris AJ, the mighty jelly bean. 
 I've had this car for 10 years and 105K miles with no major repairs and only occasional maintenance needs.  Last year I got a new belt and battery.  That was a big year spending year for AJ.  Something was up with my exhaust (I'm not car savvy) last year, but it was patched and we went on our way.  This time, I knew I needed new tires.  No big deal, I knew that was coming, so we slapped on a new set of tires.  My husband pointed out that my right rear wobbled.  Guess what?  That wheel bearing had gone.  Needed to be replaced right away because that's not something you mess with.

I took the hubby with me to kill time.  We got pizza, shopped for furniture, and wandered the mall catching Pokemon.  I was trying out recliners when my cell rang.  You know it's bad when the mechanic asks if you're sitting down.  I used the power recline function, put my feet up, and braced for impact.

My exhaust manifold had failed.  It needed to be replaced.  OUCH.  AJ, you traitor!!!!  My total bill for tires, realignment, wheel bearing, and manifold hit $2K!!!  That's the size of a vet bill for lameness!!

So I thought about my balance, my savings, and my travel schedule.  I had the wheel bearing done (and the oil change, though I really don't think AJ deserved a spa day after that betrayal).  The manifold needed to be ordered, so I took my little jelly bean home to wait.  I leave for Vegas on Tuesday (omg, I should start planning for that), so my car will just sit until I get back.  That gives me another pay day to help absorb the costs.  So much for my head start on my show fund.

This also means that I can't legally drive my car this week.  It failed a state inspection for safety reasons.  Did you know that a failed exhaust manifold results in exhaust going into the passenger compartment?  Neither did I!  Might explain some of my road rage.  So how do I get to the barn?

Behold, the behemoth.

This is the truck my hubby bought over the summer to be our tow vehicle.  He uses it to haul equipment and a big, flat trailer.  He loves it.  His trailer is loaded up with all sorts of heavy equipment and he can still zip along on the highway like it's nothing.  It's set up to tow a gooseneck, so I'm starting to shop for my very own trailer.  At least I was before AJ turned on me.  Right now, this is my commuting vehicle.  The hubby let me use his Scion for a long drive yesterday, but he kind of needs his car so my only option to get to the barn is the behemoth.  It's a 3/4 ton crew cab monster.  I feel like I'm climbing Mount Everest to get into the thing.  The hood goes on forever and I feel like I have to stretch to see over the dash.

I'm going from a two door sub compact to a 3/4 ton truck.  I might as well be driving a tank.  I'm not very good at parking to begin with.  But on the flip side, I'll get in some practice with the truck before I start learning how to haul a trailer.  I've been practicing with the tractor and trailer I use to haul food and water out to the poultry at home.  I'm trying to learn how to back up with something approaching accuracy.

Hubby has video from our security cameras of me getting stuck on a hill and then jack knifing with my little tractor and trailer.  No, I will not be sharing.

Cross your fingers, blogosphere.  This afternoon, I take the behemoth on my maiden voyage to the barn for my lesson.  Do they make phone books anymore?  I may need some help seeing over the dash.  Oh, and it's raining.  FML.


  1. My tow vehicle is a very friendly Ram 1500, but it still takes me some adjustment going between that and my little Saturn. I bet that thing is a beast to drive!

  2. I like big trucks and I cannot lie...

  3. That is quite the change in driving apparatus!