Tuesday, February 17, 2009

out with the old...

I never kept a car for 100,00 miles and really wanted this to be the one. But not all dreams can come true. Somewhere around 91,000 miles the car started to give the fatal signs that it was about to become, unlike many wives, not cheaper to keep her. The steering column began leaking fluid, a vale needed replacing...So against my will I was off car shopping. I was determined to buy a hybrid and went by the Toyota, Ford,and Saturn dealers. First let me say that judging from my limited exposure to two Ford dealers under no circumstances should these people be receiving any bail out money. Given the state of the economy we expected to be swamped with kindness in every dealer. In both the Ford dealerships we went into we were met with indifference and neglect. Maybe everyone working there is independently wealthy and just has the job to kill time?
The sales guy at the Toyota dealer was amazing; the perfect blend of competence, and friendliness you want in a salesperson. In addition they were giving some great deals on the 2009s and were overly generous on a trade in price on my car. We loved two of their cars; one being the Toyota highlander hybrid SUV. A really nice car, everything you could want. But I had to be honest with myself- I really no longer need 7 seats. After so many, many years of car pools to school, sports, dance and bar mitzvahs it was hard to admit that I no longer needed to be chauffeuring large groups of kids around night after day. Weird and sad.
So I stepped away from the SUV and am now the proud owner of a Toyota Prius! Pretty exciting. I just picked it up last night and am finding it quite fun.
So in well fell swoop I saved the planet and stimulated the economy. What did you do today?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

back to reality

Ok, Florida was fun but coming home- not so great. My son had been sick for a bit while I was away which really stunk. Nothing worse than a phone call from your kid telling you he has a fever and feels awful when you are a plane rde away. Massive Mom guilt. Thankfully I have great friends and one scooped him up,took him to the Dr. for me and even dropped off his script at the pharmacy. I arrived home on a Tuesday evening planning to use the next day to settle back in before work on Thursday. At 2:30 that night, my son, woke up with 101 , so school was ,again, out of the question. Wednesday morning on the way to drop the very dirty dog off at the groomer my car starts to buck and shake requiring an immediate detour to a mechanic. He informs me that under no circumstances should I drive it home. Great. Once again, I was rescued by a friend who dropped me at home where I spent the rest of the day running up and down the stairs to bring soup and water to my kid. One nice thing, the weather is nicer at home than in Florida!

back from florida-Real Version!

Back from my annual girls trip to Florida! I can not believe we have been doing this for almost 15 years through 2 pregnancies, a house change or two, a friend change or two, 2 snow storms, but all in all pretty intact. Movie night continues unchanged; a grat chick flick with popcorn for dinner and ice cream for dessert, chopped salads for lunch and the essential trip to Loehmanns. This year for the first time ever we had terrible weather; 7 straight days of cool, cloudy and gray. Some days were so cold you couldn't even be outside. Now anyone can get along when the days are sunny and the biggest decision you have to make together is pool or beach. But it takes true friends to be able to hang out together in crappy weather and still have a great time.
What to do in Florida when the weather is bad and you are burned out from shopping? What else but look at houses! The bad economy has hit Florida real estate pretty hard and the agents are able to show you house after house of foreclosed properties. All the houses are empty and while they are in good shape the bank doesn't bother to keep them up the way a homeowner would; the landscaping is let go and the refrigerator and washer dryer have been stripped. I have this vision of walking into a bank in Florida and seeing hundreds of refrigerators piled up in the lobby. Maybe they give you one if you open an account instead of a toaster or an electric blanket. One house was unbelievably depressing. It seemed liked the owners must have left in the middle of the night. There were open boxes of cereal in the kitchen, a basket of dirty towels in the (former) laundry room, and a half painted wall in one bedroom. What was as depressing as the fact that these people abandoned the property so quickly was the fact that there is so much available that no real estate agent even bothers to clean it up.
The girls left on a Sunday and I got to spend two great days with my folks. Still lousy weather but we had lots of fun. Off to another Loehmanns with Mom, a house stocked with amazing food; lox, madelines...and great dinners out. It was terrific being together.