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Today's commute was interesting. My front brakes are worn out on the bike (they're 80% of my stopping power), so I have been relying on the back brakes more. It's something I plan to fix soon, but a new problem developed a few days ago and has gotten worse. I was noticing a louder, clanging sound from the front wheel when I'm in motion. Today, that loud clanging turned into clanging, squealing and a severe wobble with the occasional jolt. I'm not certain, but I think my wheel axle is worn out, or at the very least, the bearings need to be replaced. The bike has almost 80,000 miles on her odometer. The bearings usually need to be replaced every 40,000 miles, so it's definitely time. I just haven't figured out how I'm going to afford it. Crashing, especially due to repairs that I knew needed to be dealt with, is something I'd like to avoid. I have made it a whole 10 years without a spill, and I'm trying to keep the record going.

On a brighter spot, I have pulled mini lumber out of my boxed up supplies. My DD is pestering me to repair her MacKenzie House, and I'm trying to simultaneously work on the Tudor. They have both sat neglected for far too long. Starting this evening, I am getting back into miniature mode.

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Good grief, Jeremy. Get that bike fixed before your next accident is your last accident. Not being able to afford the repairs is not an excuse. Your family cannot afford to be without you. This is why credit cards were invented. <insert wagging finger here>

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I can't get a credit card with a score permanently stuck in the high 400's, so anything less than $400 - $500 in hard cash for the repairs just won't do for the repair shops. It will be at least two weeks before I have enough to get the repairs made, so my options are extremely limited.

We recently looked into WIC and other aid. My wife's $26K annual wage was "in excess" of the Fed's idea of what qualifies as "poverty" for a family of 5. My new found employment would have eliminated eligibility had my wife earned less. This past year I have had to cut back on a lot of things, including maintenance on my bike. It's seriously inconvenient for such costly repairs to become an issue right when I'm starting a new job, but suspiciously familiar from previous times when I was just getting back to work.

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Maybe they were just managing to hold off til you actually had a job, rather than when you didn't have that. So glad to hear you've finally managed to get a job, even if it isn't the perfect one :)

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Yesterday's rain and tornado was followed by the cold. It was in the high 20's this morning and only in the high 50's or low 60's this morning.

The bike is at the shop. I rode it to my usual mechanic, but they're closing. They did take a look at it and confirmed what I was afraid of- the bearings in the front wheel hub are blown out and the wheel is wobbling on it. They said it will eventually bind up while I'm riding and send the bike end-over-end. So, I made a call, had my dad follow me to another shop near by, and I dropped it off. It should be ready by Friday. The hub and brakes will only cost about $300, but that's all if not more than my first paycheck. We tried to get a rental car, but the first place we went to didn't have anything available. We drove to the airport, but they required a printed bill or some other 2nd proof of address (something neither of us had), so we ended up heading back home so my DW could get to work. I'll be at least 2 hours late for work tomorrow, and I still haven't figured out how my DW will get to her class or anywhere else if I take the car.

I guess it could be worse. One of my new co-workers was on her way into work yesterday when she rear-ended a logging truck at 50 mph. It was stopped in the middle of a state road, at 5:30 a.m., with no lights on. Her car was totaled, but aside from a swollen hand, she was unscathed and actually came to work as soon as she was able to get another ride. Today, while she was at lunch, she pulled over to help the victims of another accident, only to have a driver on his cell phone rear end her borrowed car! She wasn't in the car, so she isn't hurt, but she sure is shook up from it.

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Glad you're getting your bike fixed, Jeremy. I know how it feels to have these unexpected expenses, but some of them, like vehicle repairs, save money in the long run. Take care of yourself :) Sounds like your co-worker has a couple angels in her corner!

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She is definitely shook up, but she was at work today.

I got to work on time today. I had chatted with my former boss a couple of days ago, and he had offered to give me a ride to work if I needed one, so I asked him for one last night. He not only drove out of his way at 6 a.m. this morning, he picked up coffee too! I was able to get a rental car after work today, so I'm set until I get the bill for the bike on Friday. What was really odd today, is that I was assigned to audit aircraft parts at the warehouse, which is the back half of the building my ex-mechanic occupies. I only wish it was heated. It was 25 degrees this morning.

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CJ, our household remedy for a sore throat is what Lloyd's Creole grandmother administered to the whole family -- a mixture of lemon juice, honey and olive oil sipped a teaspoonful at a time at intervals. :doctor:

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I am working on a scrapbook page or two before another year goes by and my vacation pictures never make it into the album!

I feel badly for my family and friends enduring all the snow in upstate NY. I am trapped in with mud!!! The roads are dry and clear but I live at the far end of a dirt road and the snow has melted leaving two feet deep ruts in the mud. I haven't been out in a week! Whine whine! Such is living in the desert in the middle of nowhere. I am waiting for packages to be delivered. I shop online for Christmas gifts early because of the conditions. I am hoping that my new Arthur kit arrives soon.

On Korean food, my daughter was adopted from South Korea. Every year we would go to a Korean restaurant with several other families with Korean children.

Not one of the kids liked the food. They would rather have pizza! ha ha

Have a good day! :)

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With the weather so godawful cold I have resumed one of my oldest and lonest-neglected hobbies and have been working on the "Lettie Lane" paper doll family. My hands and arms didn't used to get so sore and tired!

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Holly, I bought some printies of vintage toys and paper dolls, and am putting them in my cut-away boxes. One printie is a book of dolls, with their clothes - so if one had excellent eyesight and a steady hand they could be cut out. But since the whole book is not quite 2" high, I don't think I'll doing any cutting! But working with these, and putting the books together, reminds me of the hours I used to spend with my paper dolls. We moved and traveled a lot when I was growing up and paper dolls were one thing I could always take with me. I had a lot of fun with them :)

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I think that we have wandered down the Paper Doll road before but when I was a little girl I loved paper dolls. My mother never could afford to buy me regular dolls but I had many 10 cent books from Woolworth's. I use to trace the dolls and make my own clothes for them. What fun! :) Holly you must have some collection! :)

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I had the Dionne Quintuplets paper doll set. It was my most special but I had boxes of homemade and shares from friends (traced each others to have more)

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Roxy, along with my dollhouse my mother "disappeared" all my favorite paper dolls, so what I have now is what I have been collecting since the 1980s. The "Lettie Lane" and "Betty Bonnet" sets from Dover are all 1:12 scale! by the way.

What decided to me to take scissors in hand and start playing with them again was running across a later version of a boxed set of Williamsburg paper dolls that my grandparents gave me when I was eight.

DH, being the enabler h is, hauled me off to the office supply store to buy sheet protectors to sort them in, and turned me loose in his supply of loose leaf binders.

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