Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Retractable Claws

Things are finally starting to settle back down around here. So I'll give a brief (as I can be, ha!) update and then next time around I'll get back to Mad's story.

After spending almost $200 to get the truck limping along, we rented a trailer and towed it up the hill on the back of my dad's truck. Monday of last week we went out and bought a new car. We'd narrowed it down to the Altima and Camry. Online and based on my dad's and Nancy's collective info, I liked the Altima better, but we still ended up with a Camry. And I'm glad. I bonked my head on the ceiling while in the back seat of the Altima, for one thing. For another, we ended up with a hybrid. Now we're a two hybrid family.

The deal we made on the car wasn't anything like the one the sales guy stated we could get, but it was still too good to pass up. The amount they didn't come down in price was nearly eradicated by the extremely low financing rate. They offered 3.9 percent, but because the finance guy had said "if you'll be flexible, we can be flexible" and then tried to give us sticker price and the "cash for clunkers" money that we were getting anyway, I got a little pissy (no, really?!? I'm shocked, too). So we got an even lower interest rate and $500 off.

I do love the car, but I also loved not having a payment on the truck. Oh sure, I didn't have to drive the smoking beast or listen to it's random, yet incessant binging (you know the sound from leaving the keys in the ignition? the truck is probably already a heap of scrap and I'll bet that thing is still binging).

I've driven the Camry a couple of times and it's a very lovely car to drive, if you like cars. I used to until I was nearly squashed off a bridge in my old Saturn. It was almost eight years ago, but I still felt a little tense being in a vehicle that is hard to see for those "small penis trucks" (you know the ones... sometimes Corey and I will look at a massive, insanely jacked up truck and bust out laughing because "that guy has NO penis!") . One thing about this car, though, is that it has too many gadgets. I was using the cruise control and needed to speed up or slow down a couple of times. Instead I managed to turn the windshield wipers on twice, turned the radio volume all the way down and changed the radio station once.

The day after we bought the car, our stimulus check arrived from buying the house. Here's an odd little fact: prior to receiving the check, Tom and I each received notices that it would be coming soon. The notice also said that adding the stimulus check to our tax forms actually increased our tax bill by two dollars. That seemed stupid, but hardly worth fighting for, and it doesn't matter anyway. I'm not sure why, but we were paid interest in the amount of $52.48. We submitted the form at the end of June, and it could have taken until the end of next month, but whatever.

The first thing we did was to pay off the Target credit card. I can't stand that company. We'd been working on paying off our debt prior to the Madaladelyn, but that went on hold for a while. Target wasn't supposed to be next, but the way they keep reducing our limit every time we do make headway is too annoying. So they're done. I anticipate that they'll close the account, as I've heard has happened with some others who've paid off cards recently. I don't even care.

We also made a sizeable payment on another card. Initially we'd hoped to pay off both cards, but it's just not going to happen.

We've splurged on a few things. One of them is the rest of our dishes. We have Fiesta dinnerware in five different colors, a service for 10. Now I just have to finish painting the cabinets so I can move onto staining the table and chairs and we'll actually be able to use them.

We also bought a bundle of Photoshop Elements 7 and Premiere Elements 7. When we had the computer operating system reinstalled a few months back, our photo editing software didn't make it back on and we couldn't find the disk. Sending pictures to the grandparents has become unwieldy. Sending more than four as attachments to my MIL's email would cause the email to bounce back. I could drag and drop photos, but then she had a hard time printing them on photo paper. Whatever we had before was pretty basic, but I was quite good at it. Photoshop is something I've always wanted, but it will take me some time to figure it out.

Naturally, just before installing Photoshop, our computer took a huge crap. Our computer guys determined that the memory cards were corrupted (would this be another "Thank You!" to Corey and his interest in... ahem... female anatomy?!?). We upgraded the memory and also replaced the monitor. Oh sure, it was a flat screen, but was still nearly two feet front to back. This one's energy efficient and should keep the room from getting as hot. Another benefit is that photos look better on it. Our screen had been getting progressively darker over the past year or so. I had thought it was a problem with the camera.

Last month I spent three weeks thinking I was pregnant. I am not. I'm not sure if it was wishful thinking or over-analyzing or just simply trying to be pregnant before the end of summer as we'd originally planned. I have told Tom... I was going to say I've made it clear, but who knows... that I am not up for trying for another 8 months. Neither one of us has broached when the outer limit would be. At this point I'm rather resigned to not getting pregnant. I understand all of his reasoning for wanting another one (or however many happened to come along without IVF and the like)... I even agree. But I couldn't be more okay with stopping here.

1 comment:

The Rambler said...

I suck at the gadgets on/in my car. I use the gas pedal, the brake pedal, the steering wheel...nothing too fancy that has a button to any of the other stuff. I get too confused :)

Good for you trying out the cruise control! Maybe one day.

My husband just shakes his head at me. :)

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