May the long time sun shine upon you, all love surround you and the pure light within you, guide your way on "~Incredible String Band

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

When it Rains, It POURS......

I have some bad news to report..VERY bad news. In fact the worst news possible, baring death or illness.

It seems some a**hole thought it would be funny to pour an unknown substance (not sure exactly what yet, something gritty. Looks like maybe sugar.) into our fuel tank. We of course, did not realize it at the time and were driving merrily down the 101 freeway the other day when the engine started making this horrific banging noise followed by lots of smoke. We pulled off the freeway and came to stop on a residential street in front of a school. Moss jumped out and threw up the hood. After the smoke cleared we saw what appeared to be a hole in the engine block with a rod poking through.

We inspected the oil (at this point pouring through the hole in the engine) and noticed right away it did not look right, it was sticky, gritty and unusually frothy. Immediately we were suspicious and recalled how several weeks ago we returned to the bus to find the gas cap unscrewed and hanging down. This was the same area where previously we had been vandalized ( ironically an upscale neighborhood outside L.A ) with glue in our locks , stolen license plates, nasty obscene notes and repeated egging.

We called our friend and diesel engine mentor Greg who confirmed that indeed sugar in the tank would cause the symptoms we described, but wouldn't show up until after a few hundred miles of driving. That corresponded to exactly around the time we found the gas cap open.

The engine, which was a BRAND NEW, four year old complete factory rebuild is.... DESTROYED ! The timing could not be worse..just a horrible way to start our new life as a family..sigh

When it first happened we were in such a state of shock we did not know what to do. Then we had moment or two of deep despair where we considered throwing in the towel, gutting the bus and selling it for parts. Thankfully that stage did not last long . We soon came to our senses and realized that we must fix it, no matter what it takes, The Enchanted Gypsy must live ! We put way to much work into it and it is our home.

We then set about figuring how, in the next two months we were going to come up with the nearly ten thousand dollars for the cost of the midwife and to replace the engine . Things began looking up a bit after we spoke with our friend Greg however, whom we bought the bus from originally and who still sells bus's.

He said he has a bus with the same engine , (though almost 200,000 miles on it compared to our new one with well under 100,000 on it ) that he would sell us for 800, plus drive it out here for the cost of gas AND help us put it in. He says he has taken out and put in big diesel engines like this nearly twenty times. He will work with Moss and show him exactly how to do everything and thinks it will take about a week or so to finish.

The upside is that Moss will then really know the mechanical aspects to the bus, including how to take out and put in an engine..a very good thing to know when your home is on wheels. The downside is now we have to pay thousands of dollars, plus time and work to put in an engine that is not nearly as good as what we had. If we could only upgrade the engine, or at least put in a new one it wouldn't be so annoying. ARGHHH......

The other lucky thing is that the petitioning season has just started up again and promises to be a good one. For now we have borrowed a car and spent our last two hundred dollars getting towed to a good friends house in the valley. We will be going back and forth between there and Santa Barbara for the next few months working. Greg thinks he can be here within two weeks to help with the engine and it looks like we will be able to work on it at our friend Jackie and Franks house.

Meanwhile.. I have entered my third trimester this week and am feeling quite large and bloated. I am trying not to stress despite all the...well, stress in my life right now. We have two months to make all this money and fix the bus before our baby is due.

I am however optimistic that things will work out, it has too, there just simply are no other options.....


leeanne said...

wow. i just found your blog about a month ago and have read everything from start to finish so i feel like i know you and i just want to say im glad your not giving up on the bus and it seems like crappy things like that always happen to good excited about your baby and hope to send some things ive made your way once he or she is here!!

Moss and Pixie said...

Hey thanks Lee anne for the kind thoughts and words. We will definitely NOT give up on the bus. Instead we will just use this terrible event as an oportunity to grow. I mean wow, Moss will learn how to take out and put in a diesel engine !!

darch said...

Found your blog through

Your bus is truly beautiful. Sorry to read about the vandalism you have encountered. Glad you are going to continue with your bus. It looks like such a labour of love and a terrific lifestyle that this will eventually look like a hiccup on the journey.

Your wool creatures are great. Never seen anything like them before.

Best of luck on your future travels. Do you ever make it to Canada?

Candice said...

I've been reading your blog with envy for a little while now. I almost starting crying when I just read about what happened to your bus. I am so glad you're not giving up. You guys have a special thing going, and you can't let some cruel people get in the way of that.


Beth said...

I too found your blog while looking around at needle felting websites and I just love reading about your adventures! Also, I'm an aspiring midwife and I'm SO excited that you are going to have a midwife attended birth experience! :)
I'm SO sorry to hear about your bus! I'm continually shocked by how heartless people are. But I'm sending good vibes your way and I know you and your husband will just some out stronger in the end.

Love and light,

Anonymous said...

I found you through your creatures as I learned to needle felt (dry) dolls these past few months. My family's best friend is creating his home on wheels and I showed him your busblog. Now I'm hooked. I'm sorry about the vandalism, especially in a time when you should be nesting down waiting for your belly to blossom forth. May all this be a blessing that makes itself clear to you. With love from Australia, Kris