It has been a hectic, social few days for me, unusual. I mostly prefer my solitude these days, but do on occasion have to be social. We had a nice, fun time at my sister's house Saturday night; got the taxes done, caught up with all the news and then took them out for dinner (our form of payment for the taxes being prepared by my brother-in-law). My nephew was going out on his first date, so he got a lot of hassling by all of us! :-) He's 17 now, and will soon be graduating, then off to college.
Fortunately we had good news on the taxes: we will get almost a $3,000.00 return. Partly that is due to my husband not claiming either of us on his income, and also our investing in two separate IRA's each year. At any rate, we were happy with the results.
Now we are in a delimma about buying another car. I had been thinking of getting another car, since the air compressor broke in my Escort. If not, we'll have to have it repaired before warm weather returns here; a car without an air conditioner is unthinkable in the South!
Sunday afternoon and yesterday (DH was off for President's Day) we looked at car lots in our town, then drove north about 30 miles to a city and looked at the cars there. I got very excited when I drove a Chevy SUV Tracker, which is only a 4-cylinder and gets great gas mileage. I'd never even been inside a small SUV, and it was truly an amazing, fun experience! I LOVED driving it! But it was a bit more than we plan to spend. Back in town, we stopped and looked at a Kia Sportage, which is very similar to the Tracker. It was too expensive also, but I had FUN driving it. And in fact, I was actually thinking we might buy one of those...until I read some online reviews about how both are easy to tip over in curves. A serious flaw! Plus, the Kia Sportage had a tire rack you have to swing out in order to get inside the rear storage area, where I'd be putting groceries, etc. The reviews convinced me I wouldn't pay for such a newer model, but I might still consider an older, used one if it was priced right. Primarily I would use it in town; and the reviews stated it is fine for city driving, just not to think it is like the bigger, better? SUVs. We looked at several other small cars too, but are still undecided. Of course, we have another vehicle that DH drives, and it is rather new; so whatever I get will be for my errands in town, very little driving out on the highways/roads.
There were many anti-war protests all over the world this weekend, and I was glad to see that people are not afraid to voice their opinions against war. I also feel the same way, and was astounded today when Bush pronounced that he really isn't concerned with anti-war protests. Huh? I guess he is so arrogant that he thinks people's opinions just don't matter; and after all, why would he care, since obviously he wasn't elected by the American people, simply appointed by the Supreme Court. I just hope that attitude will get him out of office in 2004.
Here's a link and excerpt to an excellent article:
Reckless Administration May Reap Disastrous Consequences
--by US Senator Robert Byrd
Senate Floor Speech - Wednesday, February 12, 2003
This nation is about to embark upon the first test of a revolutionary doctrine applied in an extraordinary way at an unfortunate time. The doctrine of preemption -- the idea that the United States or any other nation can legitimately attack a nation that is not imminently threatening but may be threatening in the future -- is a radical new twist on the traditional idea of self defense. It appears to be in contravention of international law and the UN Charter. And it is being tested at a time of world-wide terrorism, making many countries around the globe wonder if they will soon be on our -- or some other nation's -- hit list. High level Administration figures recently refused to take nuclear weapons off of the table when discussing a possible attack against Iraq. What could be more destabilizing and unwise than this type of uncertainty, particularly in a world where globalism has tied the vital economic and security interests of many nations so closely together? There are huge cracks emerging in our time-honored alliances, and U.S. intentions are suddenly subject to damaging worldwide speculation. Anti-Americanism based on mistrust, misinformation, suspicion, and alarming rhetoric from U.S. leaders is fracturing the once solid alliance against global terrorism which existed after September 11.
Here at home, people are warned of imminent terrorist attacks with little guidance as to when or where such attacks might occur. Family members are being called to active military duty, with no idea of the duration of their stay or what horrors they may face. Communities are being left with less than adequate police and fire protection. Other essential services are also short-staffed. The mood of the nation is grim. The economy is stumbling. Fuel prices are rising and may soon spike higher.
This Administration, now in power for a little over two years, must be judged on its record. I believe that that record is dismal.
I couldn't agree more. Read the whole speech, if you have time.
I went on my bike ride about 1:00 today, but didn't go either Sunday or Monday. I did go Saturday morning before the rain set in; there were a few thunderstorms that night, but luckily the worst of it seemed to have missed us. Even after eating out Saturday night (although I only had grilled chicken), I still weighed 90 lbs Sunday and Monday. This morning I was at 91, but I vary between 90-92, and hope to stay at this weight, even when I eat more than usual.
Till tomorrow...I'll close with this quote:
"Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal. Difficult standards for people to live up to." --Alfred A. Montapert