The kids and I went out yesterday to pick more sand plums. It's rare that I can get them to agree to go - they don't like to do it, but yesterday, they were willing so I jumped at the chance! They actually did seem to enjoy it, although there was some whining and complaining by the end of it. But in their defense, it was hot, and we did a lot of walking and exploring.
One patch that we found was a little bit trickier to access - and this is just one of the reasons why long sleeves and long pants are mandatory attire for sand plum picking!!!
I think we spent about 2 hours out there, and we ended up with just shy of 18 pounds of fruit this time. There is still a ton out there to be picked, but I think we're going to wait another 1-2 weeks before we go out again to give more of it a chance to ripen.
I'm planning on doing an entire blog with the step-by-step directions on how to make the jelly - I tried to take pictures the other night when I was making the juice but I'm having issues since my real camera died. My phone takes great pictures outside, but in inside light it just plain sucks. The Dude and I priced cameras today, but I just can't justify spending the money on one right now so I'm going to hold off on that purchase for a bit.
Which leads me to this....
I've debated saying something. Then I talked myself out of it. But at the same time, I feel like I need to just say it and get it out of my system.
I'm just having a hard time right now. The stress of trying to get my van fixed is really getting to me, and I'm really frustrated. After getting a second opinion on it, it was determined that it is indeed the transmission, and about the only way to fix it is to replace it.
Yes, we could get a junkyard transmission, but that might only last a month and then I could be back in the same boat again. There are no guarantees with those, but I agree that the prices can't be beat. So we are pricing new ones so that there is at least a fighting chance that it'll last a few years, plus it'll have a warranty in case something goes south again.
We're looking at $3000-3500 to get it replaced. I still owe on the van, so I pretty much *have* to fix it.
I tried to get the warranty people to work with me, since it's only 609 miles out of warranty - they refused.
I looked into refinancing it to get the money for the repair, and was shot down.
I talked to the dealership about working out financing or payment plans there - no luck.
I applied for a loan at my bank - denied.
I bought a lottery ticket - just one - and yeah, well, we all know how that worked out.
I'm in a weird place with my credit. It is way better than it was a couple of years ago, but it's not good enough to qualify for much of anything. A cosigner won't help either - I already looked into that option.
So needless to say, I'm frustrated. I'm angry.
I'm depressed. There. I said it.
I just want to get someone to watch the kids for a day or two so I can go and curl up in the fetal position on my bed and cry and get it out of my system and get over it. But of course, that's not an option. Life must go on, van or not.
Instead, I will work my ass off to get things done around the house, and I will get all of these sand plums turned into jelly, and I will get all of the laundry and cleaning done and I will take care of my kids.
I'm not posting about this to get pity. I'm not looking for a handout or for atta-girls. I just need to get it out somewhere before I lose what little bit is left of my mind. I know that it's all going to work out at some point, and I know that there's some sort of big life lesson to be learned here. I just haven't figured out what it is yet. I'm trying to be patient and I'm trying to remain optimistic, but sometimes it's really hard to do.
So for now, I think I'm going to go figure out something for supper for the kids, and then I'm going to attempt to relax.
We'll see how that goes.