Sunday, March 29, 2009

Vee-Dub Love

From the archives ...

My Great Aunt Margaret is holding me in this picture. That's my big brother giggling in the foreground. To the right is the front bumper of my parents' 1966 Volkswagen Beetle. It was the first car I ever rode in.

My brother and I in front of my parents' 1965 VW. My Dad tells me this was a 1500 Varient. I have no clear recollection of these vehicles, but I believe this must be the genesis of my love for German engineering.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Best. Birthday. EVER!!

For the past several months, we've been contemplating the replacement of Wolfgang, our 2004 Jetta Wagon. Wolfgang has served us well over the years, but his warranty was close to expiration, and his transmission, like many of his ilk, has been cranky and ill-tempered of late.

But what to get? The choices around here have been plentiful, to be sure. There has been a plethora of gently used, late model, higher-end cars and SUV's on the local lots. None of the choices have really wowed us, though. There are also some great new cars on the local lots .. but all of them, it seemed, were grey, silver, or white. White is an inappropriate choice for an area which receives snow for at least five months out of the year - unless one likes to be camoflaged in the winter, of course! And grey and silver are just too boring for our tastes. Yes, I am a pampered princess. Why do you ask?

Last week, the Mister and I were discussing dream vacations. The idea of driving through central and western Canada on the Trans-Canada Highway, and then south to California, was floated and received with much enthusiasm. The conversation then turned towards what type of vehicle would be most suitable for such a journey. We immediately agreed that the new diesel Jetta Sportwagen TDI would be perfect. As it happened, our local VW dealership had a couple of them on the lot, but they were the most hideous, boring shade of gray imaginable. Blech and ptooey and all that childish, pampered princess stuff!

And then .. and then .. my blog heroine and the object of my serious girl crush, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, aka The Yarn Harlot, bought a red Jetta TDI sedan. Well, that did it for me. I needed a red TDI Sportwagen, period, end of discussion.

The Mister, who was undoubtedly thrilled that I finally made a definitive decision for once in my life, went out and test-drove one of the soul-crushingly grey TDIs on Monday. He was impressed by many of the improvements that Volkswagen has made to the Jetta Wagon, but he didn't care for the highly-touted automatic transmission. Well, said the friendly VW salesman, we do have a TDI Sportwagen with a manual transmission coming to our lot tomorrow. It's red, by the way.

By staggering coincidence, the red TDI Sportwagen arrived on the lot on my 40th birthday. Can you guess what I got for my birthday??

His name is Amadeus. Isn't he lovely?

Monday, March 23, 2009

There is a riot of purple ..

.. erupting in my south-facing flower bed.

Nice, eh?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Hitting all the right notes

Throughout the embarassing epoch that was and is The Great War on Terror I have often lamented the great disparity between the sacrifices borne solely by the military and its families, and the blissful oblivion of the rest of the country who were distracted by American Idol and the shopping sprees encouraged by the (thankfully) former Commander-in-Chief.

While not directly related to her stated mandate to support military families, the First Lady's endeavour to plant a vegetable garden on the White House's South Lawn strikes exactly the right tone for our troubled times. This will be the first time since World War II, when Eleanor Roosevelt oversaw the White House Victory Garden, that veggies have been grown at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

It's still a little early in the season to be turning the soil in our raised beds. There was a sheen of frost on them this morning, after all. But soon enough, we'll be growing our own lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, beans, and whatever else strikes my fancy this year. Maybe I'll try to get some raspberry canes growing in one of the beds, as the First Family will be doing.

How fortunate are we, in this country, to have such an awesome and tuned-in First Lady? I can't wait to see what she does next. But in the meantime, I'm off to do a little workout with some free weights. I need to emulate the First Lady if I want to earn my right to bare arms this summer!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Enough said.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Loving this new lens!

I hope that my faithful readers - all five of you - will forgive the recent silence on the blog. I picked up a whole bunch of night shifts over the past few weeks, which is good for the pocketbook, but bad for the brain, the body, and the blog.

The brain and the body benefitted greatly from a nine hours of deliciously decadent, uninterrupted sleep last night. Aaah, the wonders of 3 mg of Melatonin. Don't leave home without it.

The blog will now benefit from a new stash of photos, taken with the monster lens that I bought myself as a reward for picking up all of those extra shifts. Here are a few of the three hundred shots that I took at the Rosamund Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, NY, today. Enjoy!

While the coffee brewed

Who is that crazy lady?

Oh, that's just Rose. It's perfectly normal for her to go outside, at dawn, in her bathrobe.

Check it out! Rose bought a new lens for her camera!

Well, let's help her get her money's worth! Excelsior!