The bitties are gone away, and vehicle updates

Well, the transfer is done! The bitty kitties were picked up late this morning… but not before they had a good nap.

On me.

After filling their bellies, and cover themselves in kitty formula!

The grey and white tabby is male. He is a show off, so that was pretty easy to determine. It took more effort to check the black and white, but I’m pretty sure it was female.

The cat lady, meanwhile, came baring gifts! A big bag of dry kibble, a cat bed, some small cat blankets, a baggie of cat treats and…

… a toy for the outside cats!

We talked a bit about all the cats running around, with several of them coming right up to her. She noted quite a lot of them look old enough to be fixed, so after she gets the three we have in mind right now done (they will stay with her for a week after surgery, then come back, unless she finds adoptees for them), she will start looking into booking visits for more outdoor cats, and hopefully adopt some of them out, too.

We didn’t stay long after she left with the bitties, heading out to pick up my mother soon after. It was supposed to be a warm day today, but there was a chill wind, and my mother wasn’t too happy about that. We picked up some fried chicken and wedges for a picnic lunch, though, and she was very happy about that! After we ate, the girls took the short hiking path around the marsh, while my mother and I made our way into the interpretive centre. She wanted to visit the gift shop. I ended up buying a cookbook of recipes submitted by volunteers. We left soon after the girls caught up with us again. My mother is noticeably having a harder time walking. It’s a shame we couldn’t load her little power chair into the van for her. The ramps we have are fine for loading snow blowers and riding mowers. Not so great for something more delicate! Mind you, just getting in and out of our van was really pushing it for her, too. My mother was more than happy to go home and get some rest.

The girls and I took advantage of the outing and went to a different town. They wanted to hit the grocery store. Our mechanic’s garage is across the street, so while they did that, I went in to talk to him.

After booking an appointment for my mother’s car, to get the leaking tire looked at (I expect it will only need to be patched), I talked to him about our van. He sells vehicles, too, now, and I was suggesting maybe using it as a trade in – he’s done enough work on it to know it very well – and talked about what we might get. It would have to be another older vehicle, because we can’t afford much, but once the quarter beef and the branch chipping are paid off, we can use that money towards a slightly newer vehicle.

He actually recommended we try selling our van privately. At best, he’d be able to give us $300 for the van, and it would be sent for scrap. On a private sale, we might be able to get about $500. (Or, he suggested, we can just keep it as a back up vehicle.) For someone who has the tools and knowledge to do most of their own repairs, it could still do well by them. The problem is all those little things that go wrong on an older vehicle – it’s a 2005 – that is the issue. There are just too many little things that should be fixed, before they become big things, but taking it in to get them all fixed at a garage is still more than we can afford.

We talked about what sort of vehicle we are looking for; the Grand Caravan we had before did well by us, and this Uplander is doing remarkably well, considering how abused it turned out to have been before we bought it. The Uplander hasn’t been made and sold in Canada since 2010, though. He still finds some decent Caravans, though. The other possibilities we are looking at are an older F150 or Ram1500 – both vehicles that are highly rated for winter driving, and that my husband would be able to get in and out of all right. He happened to have an F150 in one of his bays that was for sale that he could use as an example. It was a 2010 and well out of our budget, but my goodness, it was in fine shape!

Because he’d mentioned scrap dealers, I brought up that – now that our vandal can no longer try to claim the junk here on the farm – we can actually have it sold as scrap. He said to wait. This past spring, the prices where the highest he’s seen, but right now, the prices are down again. They go up again in the spring.

So we will wait.

I think we’ll be waiting with replacing the van until spring, too. Whatever we get, I’d want to be able to have it paid off within a year, and that might not be easy.

Ah, well. We do what we can!

The funny thing is, after the girls and I were back at the van and were about to leave, someone came knocking at my daughter’s window, wondering if he could ask us about how we liked our Uplander. I recognized him as an employee from one of the local hardware stores, so I just got out and went to talk to him. It turns out he needs to replace his wife’s car, and was thinking of getting an Uplander, but had been hearing conflicting reports on how good they are. So we had plenty that we could share with him! I think he found it helpful.

We did get a laugh about his asking about the van, just as we were talking to someone about trading it in for something else!

We shall see how things work out. I’m glad I finally had the chance to talk to our mechanic about it.

Oh, and guess what?

He also hauls scrap. Which makes sense. With all the cars he works with, he’d have plenty to send to the scrap dealer. One of these days, I’ll have him come out to our place and look at what we’ve got and see what he says about it.

All in all, it’s been a very productive day, even though we were away from home for most of it!

The Re-Farmer

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