It’s now off of the SLOW BOAT FROM Japan

This week, I’ve been joking that my new vehicle is on a slow boat from China. It was actually on a slow boat from Japan, but we got the call yesterday that my CR-V has arrived in California! It should be in Austin just after Thanksgiving.

After year and years of *talking* about getting a new vehicle for me, we did it. I wanted to keep my Malibu at least as long as John had kept his Civic — nine, going on ten, years, and I did! I passed the nine year mark with my Malibu in September.

As we started looking, we were in no rush. Once we fell in love with the CR-V, though, the rush was on! We considered the Chevy Equinox, the Subaru Forester, the Pontiac Torrent, and the Honda CR-V. I like the look of and Consumer Report ratings of the Forester, but to add the options we wanted increased the price beyond the level we were willing to pay. We didn’t even drive one. The appeal of the Torrent and the Equinox was the GM employee discount, since my dad is retired from GMAC. We drove the Torrent, but I didn’t like it. I did like the Equinox, though.

It came down to this pro/con list:
employee discount
color (I loved the Granite Gray metallic)
American made

safety ratings
gas mileage (30 mpg on the hwy!)
resale and reputation

It looks like it comes out all nice and even, but the Honda’s pros were much stronger. The “American made” ideal turned out not to be such a big deal as the Chevy engine was made in China and the vehicle was assembled in Canada. *Some* Hondas (not mine, obviously since it’s been on a boat from Japan) are assembled in the US anyway.

The 2007 CR-V is popular! I orignally thought I liked the green tea color, based on the website photos. I wanted to see one, though, before I ordered it. There were no Honda CR-Vs in the 2WD EX-L trims available. (Our friend and John’s boss, CTP, seemed to have bought the last one in Austin!) We drove out to South Austin to look at a different trim model in the green tea color on the lot. Turns out, I didn’t like it in the sun — too bright green. We headed back to Classic Honda in Round Rock with my color choices prioritized and peeked at their pre-order inventory list. They had two 2WD EX-Ls on the way — black and blue. I chose the blue.

I’m excited!

Weekly W: What makes your life easier?

Early in my career, one of my bosses hired an office assistant for me because he said I could sell, sell, sell, but I just wasn’t organized. I disagree, or maybe because I am not organized naturally, I work at it really hard. I like to think I run a well-organized home now that my home is my worksite.

Something that makes running my home easier, more organized, is the yahoo group I created for our family. As a mom, I have become enamoured with yahoo groups — every playgroup and organization I am in seems to have a yahoo group. These web-based groups provide a medium to share information — files, calendars, messages, web links, etc.

Caroline and I have a pretty tight routine for our days and weeks. I use our family’s yahoo group to keep track of our activities as well as John’s activities and my individual activities. I also use the calendar to keep track of my housekeeping tasks. I spend just a few minutes every day cleaning one area of the house. Some tasks are done weekly, others bi-weekly, and some just occasionally. The yahoo calendar allows me to enter an event once and determine how often to repeat that event — every week, every other week, the first Monday of each month, etc. I planned out my household tasks and put those on the calendar. The calendar emails me reminders of which task I am to accomplish that day. It keeps me organized. It keeps me sane.

Hair Twisting

Those of you who have known me for a while (oh, who am I kidding…those of you who have ever known me with longish hair) will be disgusted to learn that I twisted my first knot in my baby girl’s hair this week. She wasn’t feeling well and wasn’t sleeping well, so I laid down with her for her nap. As we lay there, I was absentmindedly twisting her locks. I didn’t realize what I’d done until she had a little rat’s nest in her hair. I got it out without any tears from her. It didn’t seem to bother her a bit. Maybe I can keep my hair short and just let hers grow and keep up my twisted little habit (hee hee! great pun, huh!?)

Weekly W: Show us your Soles!

This week, Ms. W asks us to show our shoes. It *is* November, I realize, but it is in the 80s this week, so I’m still wearing open-toed shoes. I like these jazzy, sparkly shoes because they are the only jazz in my daily wardrobe, really. I’m usually wearing a solid-colored knit shirt (read: t-shirt) and jeans/capris/shorts. The colors in these shoes match pretty much all of my wardrobe. They’re easy on and easy off, comfy, and pretty! I got these at DSW. I love DSW for shoes — I can almost always find something (honestly, usually more like three or so things) I love on their sale racks. I only venture in there two or three times a year, though, so it’s OK to find a couple of pairs of shoes at a time. I guess it will soon be time for a fall trip to DSW.

Got a Toddler? Get this!

I’d heard of this product and even tried it once when I was teaching, thinking it would clean my dry-erase board. (It didn’t work.) Now that Caroline is exploring her world (often with a pen or crayon in hand) I have rediscovered this product and IT WORKS! Caroline scribbled a bit off of her paper onto the Corian on the island, so John recommended I try this. Just a couple of swipes and the ink is off. I’m quite pleased. And I think the four-pack that I bought will last a lifetime!

FYI, an urband legan that this product contains formaldehyde has been circulating. It is false.

Weekly W: What are you eating?

Tonight I made our traditional Halloween dinner — chili and cornbread. It’s the perfect easy meal to ring in the fall season.

My recipe
1 lb. ground beef, browned
1 can kidney beans, drained
2 cans of tomato sauce (8 oz each)
1 pack of McCormicks chili seasoning
a dash of chili powder
a dash of red pepper

For the cornbread, I use the Gladiola mix — simply the best mix, don’t bother with any others.