Category Archives: Vehicles

Mismatched shoes, “love you man”, baking, babies, and books

  • Saturday.  Shopping at Trader Joe’s.  Baby Fiala with me.  I’m shifting in the check-out line, biding my time.  My feet feel weird.  I look down.  I am aghast to discover that I had on one BLACK shoe and one BROWN shoe.  I was sssssooooo embarrassed that I had to confess to the check-out lady.  😆  I can’t recall that I’ve ever done that — wear mismatched shoes out of the house, that is.  I think I’ve randomly confessed to checkout ladies at the grocery store before, though!!  Hahaha!  The shoes were vaguely similar in style, but one had a hard sole and the other soft;  I can’t figure out quite how I could let that happen.  I so wanted to take a pic, but the battery on my phone died.
  • We’re not doing a gingerbread house this year.  The deadline for judging was November 30, which would have meant we would have had to spend the week of Thanksgiving doing the house.  That wouldn’t work.  I thought the kids would be crushed, but they weren’t.  They just asked, “Are you still going to make a bunch of cookies?” and I assured them that I would, but I still haven’t.  😮
  • I still love farinata.  I still make it every day, sometimes twice.  I don’t let the batter sit for four hours first though;  I can’t figure out why most recipes instruct you to do that!  I just whip it up and pop it in the oven.  Some brands of garbanzo flour, I’ve found, are lumpier than others, and benefit from, oh, 15 minutes of sitting.  But not four hours.  My fresh rosemary plant is plucked to twigs;  I had to buy some fresh sprigs at the grocery store  last night!!
  • Thanks to my friend Allison, we’ve been enjoying the Horatio Hornblower series as a family.  Love it.  My hubby and I did see the first four when they first aired on A&E years ago, but we haven’t seen the newer four episodes.  Everyone in the fam has been watching it.  Then, come to find out that there are BOOKS upon which they were based (written in the 1950s & ’60s).  Duh.  Should have figured that out long ago.  An e-mail just popped in from the library to to tell me that the first two in the series, by C.S. Forester, are now available to pick up.  The boys will be thrilled!  I was told that the Hornblower novels were based on Horatio Nelson’s life, but at least according to Wikipedia, maybe they weren’t — at least not entirely.
  • My hubby and I swapped trucks on Friday, so he had the nicer one in which to pick up a guy from the airport.  I thought this was FABULOUS.  It tells you that a) his truck has a LOT of miles on it, and b) the guy who does work on our vehicles is a really good friend!!!
  • I still don’t have my Christmas decorations up.  😮  I want to have my house perfectly clean before decorating, and, um, it’s not.  I was just reflecting that, in general, this has been my worst year of housekeeping EVER.  Fiala is such a precious, happy little girl, but she has been very time-consuming, and as she still wakes about every 3 hours, 24/7, to nurse, I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in, oh, a year.  That saps the energy, lemme tell you.  I’ve been thinking about asking my hubby for once-a-month maid service for Christmas, just to do dusting/polishing.  I can get everything else done (usually), or assign it to one of the children as a chore, but I’m sickened (not literally) by the 1/4″ of dust that piles up on everything.  Then, it picks at the back of my mind and drives me batty.
  • Speaking of housework, I’m now off to mop the floors!!  I get odd satisfaction of having REALLY clean tile floors.  Nothing like a crawling baby to tell you whether or not a floor is clean.
  • OH!  Speaking of crawling babies, Fiala is now almost-walking.  She still prefers crawling when she needs to get somewhere in a hurry, but she regularly takes steps now.  Her record is 16 in a row.  We all get excited and exclaim and clap, whereby she promptly sits down.

Small (but important!) things

  • My friend Lisa has a blog!!!  How could I not know this???  Please go visit.  I’m sitting with coffee cup in hand, reading the last five months of posts.
  • Precious, beautiful sweetie with round cheeks

    Precious, beautiful sweetie with round cheeks

    My baby slept through the night last night!!!!!  Woo hoo!!  From 10:00 until 6:45.  Actually, I had a feeling that once her boogy nose cleared up and she could suck her binky without me assaulting her with saline drops and the bulb syringe, she’d sleep more soundly.  Sure enough…

  • Speaking of Fiala, as of Tuesday, she was 13 lbs 13 oz, at 11 weeks.  That puts her in the 97th percentile.  I know those percentiles aren’t the Gospel, but lemme tell ya, after my last two children have had serious digestive problems which, among other things, keeps them very small, to have a chubby baby in the 97th percentile makes me very happy.
  • FANTASTIC story on the front page of the Arizona Republic this morning about Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner and his faith in God.  Plus, it’s written by Paola Boivin, who has been writing on sports for the Republic for… five or seven years.  She’s fabulous.  Here’s an excerpt:  “During a visit to The Oprah Winfrey Show, Warner “basically had three sentences to say, so, in the middle one, I made sure I mentioned my faith, because how could they cut it out?” he said. “I went to watch the show on replay . . . and they cut it out!””  (That also says lots about Goddess/Queen of the World and “Spirituality” Oprah…)
  • YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK.  As a homeschooling family in our seventh year, we have hundreds of books.  We have read hundreds more, from our countless trips to the library.  There have been only a handful that have been 10-star books that absolutely take my breath away.  This is one.  Rachel Field’s Calico Bush.  It has everything:  page-turning adventure, history, rejection, redemption, tenderness, relationship, God, glorious nature, hardship, reward, surprises… all unfolding in the most beautiful poetic prose.  And, I absolutely adore when a book wraps up the loose ends only 90% or so.  I mean, enough of the blanks filled in so that you’re not totally left hanging, but with enough unanswered that it leaves room for wonder, conjecture, imagination, conversation, and a wish for just a wee bit more.
  • We have had our ’94 Suburban since 1999.  We own it outright, and it has served our growing family faithfully lo these many years.  After my hub’s commuter car died last year, instead of replacing it, he got a “new” vehicle for me, a 1999 Ford Expedition (with the 3rd seat, of course!), and started commuting in our 14 mpg Suburban.  The reason for this is that, since we own it outright, it was still cheaper to drive than a new vehicle for which we’d need to make payments.  But, the decrepit Suburban, which has OVER 200,000 miles on it, is surely and not-so-slowly dying, and we are loathe to sink more money into it.  So, we’ve been researching other vehicles.  Ones that get reasonable gas mileage, are in good repair, hold seven people, is a vehicle we can take camping/down a dirt road  (and hopefully have 4WD/AWD) and cost less than $10,000 are hard to find.
    2003 Volvo XC90

    2003 Volvo XC90

    We are leaning toward a Volvo XC90, probably a 2003 or ’04.  We have a friend who had an ’04 and he said it regularly got 24 mpg, even though that’s not what it’s officially rated.  We’ve found one that meets our requirements (and several additional ones around $12K), and now we just need to find the money.  Seriously, we have no idea where the $$ will come from.  But, I’m praying.  I’ve been praying for months, actually, for God to meet our transportation needs.  I don’t know, of course, if we will actually get the car we want, but I am absolutely certain that God is faithful to take care of us, and that we are not going to be stranded with no vehicle.  🙂

Cars, gas & mileage, from a non-environmentalist standpoint

My husband drives my old truck.  It’s a 1994 Suburban.  When we got my 1999 Explorer, last year, the intention was to sell the Suburban, and buy him a commuter car, as he drives — I think it is — 22 miles each way to and from work, and the Suburban gets 14 mpg.  (He was driving an older Infiniti, which still only got like 22 mpg, but when it needed too much work to make it cost-effective to own, we gave it to my brother, who, as he used to be a mechanic, can fix cars himself, saving the labor expense, which is often more expesive than the cost for parts!)

But… we’ve rather dragged our feet in selling our dear old Land Barge.  We’d likely get less than $2K for the Suburban, which means we’d have to shell out several thousand, even for an older used car.  We own the Suburban outright.  So, other than gas and maintenance, the truck is “free.”  And, though it seems to have its yearly needs, which sends us to the shop (a good mechanic, btw, is such a Godsend!!), and even though gas is now hovering around $4/gallon, our monthly expenses on the truck are still significantly less than it would cost us to buy a smaller, more gas-efficient vehicle.

So, not taking into account the impact on the environment, or anything like that, it’s still a good idea for him to use it…  and he probably will, until it breaks in some way that costs more than it’s worth to fix.

Next time you see a guy on the freeway, alone in an old, white Suburban, before you curse his excess, remember us.  😉   

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