Tag Archives: cars

Beater to Sweeter (in two acts)

Act One

Well, it’s just weird enough. You know Mister Big, the Sex and the City character? We now own his Mom’s car. Evidently, they have a summer house up here (in a village I shall not reveal), and had an “up North” car that didn’t get used much. And we bought it. Shades of Seinfeld.

We are now the proud owners of a white 2002 Mercury Sable (of all things), with a super lean 70k miles behind it. Little old lady from (Passadena). The thing looks as if no one had ever stepped foot in it. Interior, spotless. Exterior, spotless. No rust. No corrosion. The engine, spotless. When we test drove the thing, we were all lah-dee-dah-look-at-us-in-the-fancy-car. Felt like a stay at the Ritz.

Act Two

A new car means lots of things. Good things. Real good things. No more constant (monthly) repairs. No more getting stuck all over the place because the car broke again. We’ll have windows that open. Air-conditioning. A sound system. That nifty hatchback-or-backseat option. Better gas milage. And oddly enough for us, it’s as nice as the cars we had rented for vacations.

Well, whatta ya know. A car from a dealer with a warranty. Does this mean we’re adults? If you are ever in the market, we recommend Evergreen Auto in Saranac Lake, recommended by our mechanic, another mechanic, and many friends.


The Jeep? Poor thing. She’s headed to the bone yard. With almost-monthly visits to the shop, sensor problems, wiring issues, a leaky transmission, brake problems, leaks in the windows, an impending inspection, and a habit of refusing to start when it’s below 50 degrees … well, she’s gotta go. In her defense, she provided a helluva basic ride for a while. RIP, Ethel.




Filed under adirondacks

Am I That Predictable?

Did you totally know I would have a terrific first day back home and follow up with a totally positive post?


It goes well, folks. Very well. Yesterday was a awesome day. To merely say that I was happy to be home among the farms and hills of my beloved Franklin County is a gross understatement. So let’s not dwell on the weekend. Whatta ya say? I’ll leave it at this – We have a hole to dig out of, but it’s not as financially disastrous as we thought. We have two cars to fix, and we charged a ton of hotels, food, and gas, but it’s not a total  disaster. More to the point of today’s post, let me play-by-play my Glorious Monday for you.

  • 7am In the morning light – the house is almost gone! Seriously!
  • 9am We discover we do still have a considerable amount of ready cash.
  • 11am A very good friend we haven’t seen in a year stops by – very sweet.
  • 12pm Two different folks over at the store tell me how nice it’s looking.
  • 2pm I learn that an acquaintance does exhaust work (Jeep) real cheap.
  • 3pm Got a plan together to lose the huge lumber piles I was worrying over.
  • 4pm The electrician comes by – our service is going in late this week!
  • 5pm Beers with the neighbors – kindness and commiseration.
  • 6pm We look at the credit card statement – it’s really not that bad.
  • 7pm Ordered a dumpster to get rid of the final piles of house trash!

And that, my friends, is the kind of day you want to have when you’ve just stepped out of a weekend’s worth of bad luck and misery. Now, I have to get to filling that last dumpster. You have a great day too!


It’s a mess, but the beast is gone. There used to be a house there!
Starting to look like our property actually has some promise!


Filed under adirondacks


Wild Bill is my hero.We just bought a maroon 1989 Jeep Cherokee Limited!

All is in great shape – perfect leather interior, power options all good, new injectors and fuel pump, brand new 31 snow/mud tires. It has a little wear on the clear coat of the paint and it has a cut-off issue sometimes, but we got it for a great price, so we have plenty of money left over to fix that. Wild Bill is on the case already. BlueBook/NADA values it at $4k to $11k, so we did pretty well. We paid much less than that. Exactly what we wanted – nice tough ride, good for our terrain/ice/snow, and great for hauling. And it has a rack for that canoe (that I don’t own yet). I’ll have some more pics coming soon, but for the time being, here the official glamour shot –


First car in over 15 years. Weird? Nah, not in the city. We’re certainly not in the minority – most people in New York City don’t own cars. Generally, we all do pretty well. However, being carless does sometimes have its downside. With the advent of a new-to-us car and some of the other neat things that will be happening in the next few months, I thought it would be fun to post Some of the Things We Will Not Miss.

I will not miss the Albany Bus Station on the Adirondack Trailways line.
I will not miss needing an act of congress and a rental car to travel anywhere.
I will not miss trekking to CT to save on the NYC rental car rates.
I will not miss having to carry home giant items from Lowe’s on the subway.
Most of all, I will not miss rolling my groceries home in my granny cart.

So, from the list of big dramatic steps to our Adirondack move – two down, three to go.

Buy a Sizable RV
Buy a 4×4, Preferably a Jeep

Tear Down the Old Horror House
Get-Rid-of and Pack Up

Of course, our beautiful 4-wheeling baby is still down south. Gotta go pick ‘er up. Ah, well. Seems as if one more rental car trip is in our future. That’s okay – I’d been wanting to visit the goats anyway.


Filed under Uncategorized

Taking Requests

Plans are underway, as you know. Wild Bill has an appointment this afternoon to check out the Jeep (in the post below) … and I am super excited about that! I think I’m starting to feel the first pangs of “this is going to be a long three months before we move.” Hmm. Maybe getting the Jeep early will help assuage those feelings?

A few folks over the last month asked via email and comments to see some specific pics, so I thought it would be fun to do a photo day. Looks like another sunny day here. Pretty awesome. You have an awesome March 24 too!


Donnelly’s Ice Cream

(The view from the benches is in the Gallery.)

My Ideal Garden

(This is what I’m going for in the side yard.)


(The Official Photo)

Our Block in New York City

A few folks have asked what our city neighborhood is like, so I thought it would be nice to post a photo. I think most people think of the city as big bad apartment buildings and towers, dumpsters, and loud traffic-filled streets. Some of it is certainly like that, but we actually live on a very quiet, tree-lined block where all the neighbors know each other well and we all have backyards with pools and BBQs. Our house is just to the left. We really will miss it here.


Filed under Uncategorized

Sweet Ride 03.23.09

Don’t quite know what it is this week, but the used jeeps and SUV possibilities are falling like rain. Our friend Wild Bill down South (where there’s far more people, far more cars for sale, far less road salt and snow damage) is still on the case, looking for a cool used ride for us. He’s a crack mechanic and a good friend, and besides that, Wild Bill has a farm. Spent the morning chasing after fifteen angry roosters. (I’m not kidding.) They were being sold. I guess I’d be angry too.

Today’s Sweet Ride is a 1989 Jeep Cherokee 4×4 with brand new mud tires.


We’ll see how it goes.

Only Wild Bill knows.


Filed under Uncategorized

Sweet Ride 03.21.09

The previous Sweet Ride didn’t work out, but our friend Wild Bill down South (where there’s far more people, far more cars for sale, far less road salt and snow damage) is still on the case, looking for a cool used ride for us. Besides being a crack mechanic and a good friend, Wild Bill has a farm. Had to catch him on his cell today – nobody home at the farm except the chickens, and they flunked out of mechanic school.

Today’s Sweet Ride is a 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo in terrific shape. Can you see me in it? I can.




We’ll see how it goes.

Only Wild Bill knows.


Filed under Uncategorized

Sweet Ride 03.19.09

If you’re coming late to the auto story, here’s the scoop – A friend down South (far more people, far more cars for sale, far less road salt and snow damage) is looking for a used 4-wheel drive ride for us. Our good friend Wild Bill is a crack mechanic. Has a little farm too. With goats. I was going to ask the goats to check out cars for us, but their horns get stuck under the hood. So we went with Wild Bill. He’s been scanning the listings looking for possibilities. So you see, what we end up with very much depends on what shows up for sale.

Today’s Sweet Ride is a 1986 Chevy Tahoe in terrific shape, and it floats my boat quite nicely, thank you – room to haul and not quite a full-sizer. I think it’s kind of neato.



We’ll see how it goes.

Only Wild Bill knows.


Filed under Uncategorized