Odds & Ends

I am guilty of being a bit of an absentee landlord these days, both here and over at the BY HAND blog. But I have gotten organized over the course of the last few days and I promise to do better!

I am in Texas for a few weeks for some personal business, and while I’m away, I have totally Tom Sawyer-ed my dear friend Emily and her daughter Lydia into farm sitting for me, with the able assistance of my BFF Amy. Can I just say that it is humbling to have friends who are willing to do me such enormous favors? And I seem to have a lot of them.

Did I mention that Jack and I drove from Virginia to Texas? With the help of yet another friend? Straight through? I don’t recommend it. Here is what Jack did for 1200 miles:

Speaking of driving, I have to say that I am weirdly proud of the high milage on my car. It’s sort of a reverse-elitism thing, I think. When I was growing up, we lived next door to the richest family in town, and every year they bought two brand-new matching Lincoln Continentals. That seems like something that should have a listing in DSM IV, doesn’t it? I mean, we lived in a tiny town, so the milage must have been really, really low. And also, we lived in a really tiny town, so who exactly were they impressing?

I have no idea whether that little story informs my current pride in owning a car with lots of miles on it or not. Amy’s husband Paul (who dabbles in used car-salesmanship) says that, since the economic downturn, many people are holding on to their cars until they are completely unfixable.  So maybe I’m just on-trend? How many miles are on your car? Do you feel like you need a new one?

So, this happened.

When I was over at Amy’s the a couple weeks ago, her middle daughter (the one who is the most like her Aunt Susan in ways both positive and negative) came outside wearing this. It seems she had been trying since Halloween to convince her seasonally-sensitive family that it was time to start watching Christmas movies, and this was her final appeal.  Dear Lord, I love that child!



  1. I love my old cars. My last one had 238,000 miles. The car I had before that had 225,000 miles. My new (old) car, bought in July, has 117,000 miles and I plan to keep it a long time!

  2. 2000 Subaru Outback. I have no idea how many miles are on it because my speedometer/odometer broke about a year ago and I haven’t repaired it yet (it is scheduled for that and the wiper blade transmission to get repaired tomorrow). I guess I am a good driver because I have driven with no speedometer for a year and haven’t been pulled over even once. Ha! I think we put about 10,00 miles a year on it on average. Great car–I have no interest in replacing it (unless I can get a diesel Subaru, with better gas mileage, which I don’t think they make yet). This is the youngest car we own. The 89 Nisson truck needs a new clutch but I hope to get that and get another decade out of it as well. Having good mechanics is essential.

    I thought that you were supposed to pace yourself because the autoimmune disease–is a 12000 mile straight through road trip a good plan?

  3. My husband’s Acura TL has 235-thousand–plus miles on it! Can’t get the exact mileage because he is, of course, on the road right now! Love seeing those miles. He will drive it til it’s dead!

  4. Santa child is adorable!! I must confess to watching a few christmas movies on the hallmark channel while I’m doing paperwork…. I do try to catch the ones with gorgeous country/mountain/snow scenery :)

  5. I just got a new car last year (first actually NEW one ever & it gets 42 mpg–woowoo!). I’m going to be 53 next month & it’s only the 4th car I’ve ever had (got the first one, a ’77 toyota corolla, in 1981). My husband says that I keep my cars, purses & boyfriends until I drive them into the ground (he’s still above ground, fortunately). You take care of yourself, K?

  6. Say hi to Jack and give him a scritch for me! It’s good to see him, even if snoozing. Good boy (considering the situation).

  7. Inching towards 140K on my mini van (which was inherited from a family friend). Don’t need a new car, but a pickup would be spectacular. There are only so many sheep I can fit in the back of the van!

  8. Cars… I have a love/hate relationship and only wish to cycle if possible. But I do love my Subaru of 110,000 miles and counting. We only put about 10,000 miles a year so this is a keeper. Although, we did have a Honda (years ago) a funny 4 door sedan with 250,000 miles which suffered through some of the worst of winters.
    I must say, my Dad was known for the best clunkers that lasted forever…. back in the 60’s.

  9. Safe travels! I hope you are well, and Jack is a really good dog! I love Santa girl, I would start Christmas earlier as well–people just seem nicer!

    Car with the most mileage I have ever owned? 138,000 miles on a Toyota Camry that we bought from my husband’s parents as they were down grading to one car and we needed to get a second. The clutch finally died in that and then we decided we wanted something a little more fun, used Saab 9-3. Still standard transmission, and good gas mileage-28 in town, and Oh. My. Such fun. Then we had a teenaged male driver and manual transmission was not in the cards for him. Especially not a turbo-charged manual transmission car! :-) Back to a Camry we went. Hybrid this time, great gas mileage, it has survived two teenage drivers and next year will see its third–heaven help me. We will keep our cars until they are no longer driveable, I suspect. There are too many choices today and the cost is stupid. So much as I might lust after an Audi or a BMW hard top convertible, my Mid-western roots will be content with my very practical Honda and the ultra practical Toyota.

  10. 212,000 miles on a POS 2000 GMC Sierra Pickup. Just got back from a 1500 mile jaunt to Big Bend National Park and Terlingua for the Chili Cook-Off. Probably good for another 100,000 miles. Love it!

  11. Sharing just over 137,000 on my 2001 Tracker. It’s still going strong and looking forward to another Wisconsin winter. Need to give her some TLC before that really hits! I agree, I have lots of friends who are proud of their high mileage vehicles and don’t buy new ones until they have to. All the cool kids are doing it!

  12. My first car (I was 30 – joys of living in Sydney with public transportation) was a Saturn station wagon. When I finally gave in and admitted she had to be replaced, she had around 380,000 miles on her. That was over a 12 year period. I now have a 2009 Honda Fit with 158,000 miles (I’ll have had her for four years come Christmas) – that 100 mile round trip commute sure adds them up quickly!

  13. I have a 2003 Mini Cooper that has ridiculously low mileage on it, since I live in a small, walkable town and work from home. It still looks almost like new (even though it’s nearly 10 years old), and I love it so much that I plan to keep it forever. It’s paid off, it’s super-reliable, and cute as a button. Why on earth would I want anything else?

  14. Good for you! When I traveled cross country with my Border Collie (Meghann), she occupied her time the same way Jack did.

    Our old van has 142,000 (some odd) miles on it, and our new car has been driven just over 103,000 miles. We’re thinking about buying a leftover 2012 (or older) Subaru at the end of the year, so that we can use the van primarily for hauling stuff, but we haven’t yet decided. It’s nice not having a car payment!

  15. We’re approaching 100,000 on our “new” impala. Our PT cruiser had I think about 145,000 – my youngest son mostly uses that one and complains all the time. I tell him to buy his own new one or appreciate that we are letting him use mine. I love that car. It has issues (tranny and power steering) but will drive it till it dies. Then maybe find another used one since they stopped making it. :) We never new ones – usually at least 3 years old when we get them.

  16. I’m a jalopy kind of girl. My 1998 Volvo wagon, bought with about 75,000 miles now has a proud 207,000 miles – including chicken feed runs and photo shoots.

  17. I, too, drive my cars until they literally die. It has nothing to do with what I can afford; I just think it’s wasteful to pay so much for a vehicle and not get my monies worth. It bothers me that we are a wasteful society, and this is just my little part. I waste plenty of other stuff but try to do better with the big stuff! Really enjoy all the great pictures you post and the stories behind them. Thanks.

  18. My toyota corolla has appx. 25ok, it’s not the original odometer, and going strong. She’s a ’93 and I bought her from my mom when she stopped driving due to her eye sight. I picked her up and on my way home, she turned 26k and was 6.5 years old! I am always thinking of getting a new car as a safety factor but can’t bring myself to doing to my old lady car… Not to mention a.) I can’t make up my mind; b.) I love not having a car payment and c.) the new ones seem to be so cheaply made!! I hope to drive her till her wheels fall off or my mechanic retires, whatever comes first!!

  19. My 2002 PT Cruiser has 207,000 miles on it and as long as she keep running, I don’t need a new car. We treat her like a mini-van and the back seats haven’t been in for several years. She held our entire booth, tables, chairs, clothing racks, fiber, tubs of tie-dyed clothing and accessories, our luggage, everything, for the Kentucky Sheep & Fiber Show last year. She was full to the gills, but we got it all in. We’ve had as many as 100 sheep fleeces in it at one time. I love that car!!

  20. I’m lovin’ the DSM reference! I wonder what they’d call it – Repetitive Continental Transition Disorder? Lincoln’s Syndrome? Premature Auto-Rejection?

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