I forgot to mention that I bought a new car!! HaHa---yes I went from being unemployed to buying a new car in a pretty short period of time. I work at a Nissan dealer and it just suddenly occurred to me that with 0% interest and my employee discount a new fuel efficient car would probably pay for itself. It does. It is a 6 speed standard which is very rare for these cars. In fact the Sentra SV model that I have is not even available with the six speed in the U.S.--Canada only. Go figure. Since my commute is almost all highway miles it is averaging about 50 mpg (Imperial gallons)!! Awesome!!. Driving the Ranger or my Dodge van was costing me usually 400-500 dollars a month for fuel. I am now paying less than half that and the car payment is only 228.00 a month! Plus I'm not racking up the mileage on my Ranger.
I sold the old van but still have the Ranger of course. Since I bought a snowblower at the end of last year's crazy winter I have been able to keep the driveway clear. There was no way a car could have got in my driveway last year but this year is no problem. I did buy top-of-the-line Nokian studded winter tires for the car though. They help make commuting a lot safer for sure.