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Almost Out of the Woods (Appeal Update)

This is an update to the September/October appeal for reader support. Head here and here for more information.

Thank you so much to everyone who helped us in September and October. With your help, we’ve not only been able to pay our October property tax bill, but get repairs done on my car that it needed.

We’re not quite out of the woods yet, but thanks to you, we’ve been able to do so much more with my vehicle than we expected.

To recap, in September I started looking for a part-time job to pay a $260 property tax bill on my home that was due in the first half of October. I did this so I could become more financially independent and stop putting pressure on our readers to help us through these emergencies.

I also made what I hoped to be our last emergency appeal on Openhearted Rebellion. I was happy to share with you in the original September/October appeal that I had found a part-time cleaning job at a gym.

My intention was and still is to balance working the part-time job a few hours a day with writing and sharing content here on the blog. That way, I can focus on making content without the added burden of continuous financial problems.

As I’ve said before, the survival of small blogs depends on support from their readers. Some blogs offer incentives to support them on a weekly or monthly basis, while others are kept afloat with reader support because their work is too important to let them fall.

Despite that the need for reader support is unavoidable, it didn’t feel right to keep coming to you with our emergencies. Instead, I wanted to figure out how to handle them while continuing to write and maintain the blog. If it meant rejoining the workforce part-time, then to me, it was worth the sacrifice.

It turns out that I couldn’t have found a better place to work. I enjoy my job at the gym, and there are a lot of things about it that make me feel like it was meant to be. For reasons I’d like to get into here but will instead save for another update, the universe led me to that place.

For now, I should let you know what’s happening with the car.

Your support, along with my first paycheck, ensured we could pay the October bill and should be able to pay the December bill on our own. After that, the focus shifted from the property tax to my car, which I needed to fix so I could get to work Monday through Friday.

I hadn’t planned to fix my car when I first got the job; my plan was to pay both property tax bills and then slowly save up for its repairs while getting rides to work from my mother and father-in-law. My mother would drop me off and pick me up on the days she was off work, and the other days, my father-in-law would let me use his car.

This arrangement lasted for maybe two weeks before my mother’s job switched her from her erratic four-days on, four-days off shift to a Monday-Friday shift with regular hours. She had requested to be switched because the long hours were too much of a strain on her.  

It was good news that her request was approved, but it wasn’t great for my ride situation. She had told me before I got the job that she made this request and it would be approved. She was just waiting to find out when the change would take place. I knew it would happen eventually, but it still caught me off guard.

This left only my father-in-law, who’s let me use his car to get to work every single day I’ve needed it since. For the past month, he’s let me use it every Monday-Friday. Obviously, this arrangement won’t last forever.

We realized we couldn’t avoid having our car fixed if I wanted to keep the part-time job, which I do. We then put our car in the shop and let you all know what was happening in an update, only to find out shortly thereafter that the car’s transmission needed to be replaced. This was after paying $250 for a tune-up.

Thankfully, your response to this particular problem was incredibly surprising. Having a transmission replaced is expensive, but with your help again, we were able to get it done. I thanked each donator individually but held off from doing an update until we knew we were out of the woods with the car.

Although the car drives a lot better, the “check engine” light is still on, indicating more problems we’re now dealing with. Before we can get the car registered and legal, state law says it must pass emissions. It automatically fails if the light is on; we’ve had it tested twice and it’s failed both times.

The code for the “check engine” light indicates that the car has a cylinder 6 misfire (code PO306). At the recommendation of a local auto store, we paid my mechanic another $100 to have the ignition coil replaced – along with paying $120 for a new battery the car needed. The ignition coil repair didn’t do the trick, as the light is still on.

We were then advised to drive the car until the gas that sat in the tank while it was undrivable is gone. Then, we put in fuel injector cleaner and fresh gas before driving it around to see if the problem would correct itself.

My mechanic wanted to avoid replacing a fuel injector in the car if we could get away with it, as in this case, it’s the only way to fix the misfire and have the “check engine” light go off so we can pass emissions. He advised we put in the fuel injector cleaner and drive the car around.

Sadly, this didn’t work. It seems that the only way for us to get the car to pass emissions is to have the fuel injector replaced. According to my mechanic, this will cost us another $500 – after we’ve put over $1,000 into it already.

I’m currently figuring out how to save, borrow, and use money from upcoming checks to afford this repair. If we’re lucky and we play our cards right, we may be able to do it even if it leaves us broke.

Although it’s been an emotional rollercoaster ride, it feels great to finally be fixing this car that was left sitting in our driveway for so long. Beyond the fact that I now need it to get to work, we’ve been in need of a reliable vehicle for a long time. I never thought we’d be fixing it so soon, but I’m happy we are.

It all seems meant to be – the job, the need to fix the car, and the circumstances that led me to make this change in my life. I couldn’t have gotten this far without you, and I intend to make up for it with content I hope will uplift and inspire you.

Your responses in our time of need have been incredible, and we can’t thank you enough for the support you’ve shown us through these difficult few years. Although I’ve been preoccupied lately with everything going on, I look forward to writing and publishing new articles very soon on Openhearted Rebellion.


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Thank you all, and much love!

Wes Annac & Family =)

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