Sunday, September 26, 2010

Uh oh...

Two weeks and no posts? Don't give up on me faithful followers! I have not abandoned you! I've just failed my responsibilities for a short time, but I'm back. Let's forgive and forget, shall we? Moving on...

A few weeks ago I started having a little bit of car trouble. The engine light came on. I've had this happen before, and all it signaled was my gas cap not being tight enough. Been there, done that. I tighten up the gas cap and wait for my engine light to go off. And I wait. And I wait. Finally a few days later, it does!

Then a few days later, my engine starts making a funny sound. Uh oh is right. I drive it to Wal-mart and back to listen to it. The knocking only happens when I accelerate. Okay. I bring it home to my handy husband and say "husband, please go fix my car, it's making a funny noise." I'll give him credit - he did go out and putter with it for awhile, but couldn't figure it out.

Now it's time to take it to a shop and have someone (who really knows what they're doing) take a look at it. Mr. Mechanic had it for a week, and finally tells us on Friday "well I think you need a new engine. I don't want to mess with it since you have a warranty, so I'd suggest you have it towed to the dealership in Duluth." Of course we don't have a Kia dealership in Hibbing. Or anywhere on the Range for that matter. It's Ford, Dodge, and Chevy, all day long. Thank goodness for AAA (love you Dad!)

A few hours later, Mr. Tow-truck-driver picks up my car and heads off to Duluth with my car. Now we're starting to sweat a little, because I've kept up with the maintenance up until we moved here. With the nearest Kia dealership being 2 hours away, it's not exactly "convenient" for us to jog down there all the time. Travis has been doing my oil changes. So we had to round up all my records that Monday (which, for the record, were all in my glove box but the the mechanic swore he couldn't find them) from the two dealerships I'd taken my car to, and fax them to Duluth Kia. They receive them, and we wait. And wait, and wait.

Fast forward to Friday when we finally get an update.
Mr. Kia Mechanic: "yep, looks like you're going to need a new engine."
Me: "......."
Mr. Kia Mechanic: "do you want us to do that for you ma'am?"
Me:"uh. how much is that gonna run me?" *at this point I'm having chest pains*
Mr. Kia Mechanic: "Oh yea. Nothing! Kia is going to cover that for you."
Me: "REALLY?!?! Oh Mr. Kia Mechanic, I could kiss you right now! You just made my day!"
Mr. Kia Mechanic: "err, great. so should I get started on it?"

It finally took another week to get my car back, brand new engine tested and running good. My bill for the whole process? $16.80, only because I asked them to rotate the tires too. Hooray!

So here are the lessons I've learned: Always take your car in for regular maintenance. It's a pain in the butt, but will pay off in the end.

Be nice, you catch more flies with honey. I wanted to get upset with how long the process was taking, and how they better pay for my engine since I'd been doing regular oil changes. And how the heck does an engine go after only 4 years anyway? But I didn't. I was patient and nice. I'm pretty sure that rotating tires costs more than $16, but I didn't question it. (Ok, that's not entirely true. I did have a minor freakout when the cashier said "that'll be sixteen eighty" and I thought she meant $1,680. But that was a small oversight.)

Kia may not be Mercedes, Toyota, or Ford for that matter, but if the car keeps on running and the company is willing to fix it's mistakes and take care of it's customers then I'm sold. This may not be our last Kia.

And there you are.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Have to add this one

We found some hay bales! I will slowly be adding to my pumpkin collection :o)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Playhouse is Gone!

Hoooooray!! The playhouse has finally left our yard to reside somewhere else, we've been paid for it, and it is gone! This project was a lot more than I was anticipating, I'll tell you that. Once Travis posted it on Craigslist, we had tons of interest in it but there was always one problem - no one could figure out how to get it home. The playhouse is 8x12x8, so we needed a big trailer. No one seemed to have a trailer big enough to haul it away. Finally Travis talked to his dad, who had a snowmobile trailer big enough to handle it. Ah-ha! So Travis relisted the sucker with a "delivery" fee, and *poof*! Gone!

I am so in love with our back yard now. It feels like we have a lot more space.
The playhouse used to block the right side of the garage from this view. Even pre-clean up it looks so much better.
Here you can see the square shaped patch of dirt where it was. We plan on planting grass there next spring. But you can also now see all the way to the tiny tree wayyyyy in the corner of our yard. Nice!

Everything looks pretty green in those pictures, but I'll let you in on a secret: leaves are starting to change! There is only a few patches here and there, but it's true - hints of red and orange are starting to blaze all over the place. This only goes to show that I am right on time with my fall decorating! I'll spare you the brunt of it, but here are a few pictures.
I love this cute candy corn berry garland I found at Country House. The little "Give Thanks" hanging pillow was only $2 on sale at Joann's.
Some leaves adorning our bookshelves in the family room. The pumpkin has little mini pumpkins surrounding it. I should have taken a closer picture.

And yes, I'm sure you noticed the giant TV next to the bookshelves. We finally broke down and upgraded from our 23" box TV. Wal-mart had this 42" flatscreen beauty on sale for $540-ish, and they threw in a $100 gift card which essentially paid for our groceries for 2 weeks. Not a bad deal. And it's paid for thanks to the sale of our playhouse :o) I have to admit, as I sit here watching Sunday football, I don't know how on earth we watched TV on something so small before. I can actually see the players! I can read the score! It's like a football-season miracle!

This week I'll be on a mission to find bales of straw to decorate our front porch. Stay tuned!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day

Ah Labor Day. The weekend that closes Summer and ushers in Fall. You can tell Fall is coming by the crisp air, and the way the light starts to change. It's like someone has turned a switch, and all of a sudden the days are shorter, the evenings a bit cooler.

Many people mourn the end of summer. Certainly the kids do. Here on the Iron Range, kids don't go back to school until after Labor Day. I, on the other hand, love this weekend. I always say "Fall is my favorite". I love everything about it! I love the leaves changing, bringing out the sweaters, football, and pumpkins all over the place! My house is no exception. I love decorating for fall.

So I trudged downstairs to riffle through our decoration room to see what all I had. I came back upstairs with an arm-full of stuff. After putting out my fake leaves and hanging up few wreaths, I decided that we were seriously lacking in the fall decoration department. We live in a much bigger house than I've ever had to decorate! I needed more stuff. More Stuff.

Off to Joann's we went (why yes I said "we". I also needed extra hands to hold whatever bounty I found). Joann's just so happened to be having a big Labor Day sale, 40% off on all fall decor! Hooray! I did keep myself in check though, and managed to spend less than $50 thanks to the sale. The grocery store also started selling pumpkins in the produce section. So all I need now is a bale of hay for the front porch and we'll be set! Pictures to come eventually!