Monday, July 21, 2008

Back, with a Hybrid, and sauce

Last week was the week before the kids' week at their cousin's for a fort-building camp, so I spent as much time as possible with them. I also managed to do hours of research online about cars (ours was totaled) and had major stress over this decision, but finally - it was made. Yesterday, Nicolas and I bought a Prius - a Toyota hybrid. It is unbelievably cool. A screen on the dash lets you know your mileage and at times it is even 90 mpg! Yet, the car has plenty of power and we could easily go 80 (or above) on the highway. With a screen showing me how much this lowers my mileage, I am more inclined to drive slowly - well, slower.

I know that there is a long term carbon footprint as a result of what goes into making a hybrid's battery. But when we weighed all of the needs of our family - we decided that it was still the right choice environmentally and lifestyle-wise, for us. We can now easily take long car trips to visit famiy and friends. The kids can do more classes or field trips or unschooling get-togethers in Atlanta. Last night, Nicolas and I went to a movie at our nearest theater - half an hour away- and calculated that it cost us $4 round trip.

The only thing that is nerve-wracking, besides still having a car payment, is having a car that looks new (it isn't). I already went outside once to clean the sap off of it from the overhanging trees. Our country homestead and dirt roads don't match our city car.

In this week's local food news, I only took one picture - of the sauce I made last week with lots of tomatoes, garlic and basil from the farm.
Here are a few of our booth at the very busy Saturday Morningside Farmer's Market:

My goal while the kids are gone this week is to de-clutter, put up food, walk the dog more, go to the farm, get my energy back, catch up on your blogs and finally reread those 60,000 words I wrote in June.


helenw said...

Oh how cool! Congrats on your new car!

GBK Gwyneth said...

Nice new-to-you new car! And the market looks great.

Good luck with all your projects!

Vicki said...

she's a cutie! :)

My Hummer has turned out to be quite fuel efficient after all...I refuse to drive anywhere! :(

Weber said...

Very nice car! Try to enjoy your week without the boys. :)

kelli said...

Yay! Congrats!

I'm sorry I never got back to you about our hybrid. Ours is the Highlander one, it works great for us so far, although when all 5 of us need to go somewhere far we have to use a gas guzzler.. :(

Kaat said...

Love the car! And if it's a second hand one, you didn't contribute to its manufacturing footprint, right?

The sauce looks yummy too. The first moment we are done renovating our condo bathroom (what a pain, old plumbing!) I want to put up our tomato crop... kidding: we only have one cherry tomato plant. But the tomatoes are appearing at the farmer's market and sauce is a great freezer and canning food...

Enjoy rereading your book! I wish we could have a sneak peek!

Katrien at MamaStories

Bhu said...

What?! I take it you changed your mind after you decided on the blue Sienna :) You guys are so cool! I can't wait to go for a ride.

Madeline said...

Thanks! We are loving it.

Vicki, you don't have a house payment so you are justified in moving your bus/home! It would be great if you could move it near here and visit.

Kelli, you can't all fit in the Highlander? Is it all the bags you need on a long trip? Three tall, lanky teenagers? It will be tight in our car on long trips. But my friend Helen ("helenw", above) has inspired me with what she did. She and her 6'4" husband and their three kids went to Michigan for two weeks with all of their bags and the decorations she made for her sister's wedding in a mid-size car. The trip was great. No misery. I wouldn't have dreamed that was possible. I'm sure I'll have to send stuff too, at times.

Kaat, I will post some here when it is revised, if I decide it's worth revising. Thanks.

Bhu, I know, I know! It was a big, wake up at the wee hours of the morning revelation! We still can't believe we did it.

mindy said...

Woo-Hoo! I was anxiously awaiting the big news on what you decided to get. I'm so glad you found something you love! And 90mpg...that is most defiantly worth a little less elbow room!

Angie said...

Love the new car - awesome.

The farmers market pics are my favorites - it's always good to see how other people do things at market!

Enjoy your time to yourself.

Tiffany M. said...

My husband and I have been researching hybrids too- he was worried that the Prius didn't have good pick-up, but I'm glad to hear that it drives fast (he'll be happy about that, anyway).
Your sauce looks great! Do you have a recipe for it?

Donck Family said...

nice wheels, time for a luggage rack for those family trips. and the market looks great, can you send me some fresh southern produce up north.

Madeline said...

Tiffany, the sauce is just peeled and seeded tomatoes (lots of different kinds), chopped basil and lots of garlic. I used to put in eggplant and peppers but the kids didn't like it as much. Onion would be good in it as well. I just didn't have it that day.

Damien (or Stacy?)- this car can't carry a luggage rack. We will get a piece below that easily clicks on to carry bikes. But no rack. I guess we'll learn to travel light, like Christine!

Carolyn said...

Just stopped by for a visit. I wanted to say Hi and Nice Blog.

I want a hybrid so bad!!


Rachel said...

Hey Madeline! I have been absent from the scene for the last month and am finally catching up with my favorite blogs.

I am loving your posts and photos, really loving the farmer's market stuff and hearing about your time away from boys, your precious time with them, a day of trying not to learn anything (we didn't even try it), the case of the missing sunglasses.

But I just *had* to respond to *this* post because I'm so excited for you guys! What a great car and so fantastic that you got it previously owned (I'm surprised to hear anyone has given up their Prius!), even more environmentally friendly of you! :0

And I also wanted to say that you shouldn't feel too badly about having a "city car" in the country--we have a station wagon in the city, and in the last two years, it has gotten so many scrapes and scratches and bumps and the like from other cars, and it has been keyed twice, the entire length of each side of the car (we are still not sure what we did to deserve it), and if that is not bad enough, it takes a huge of beating from potholes (even when I am trying to drive so carefully!). So having a city car in the city isn't a safe bet either! :)

I'm just hoping they'll come up with a hybrid station wagon, as I don't think *we* can travel as lightly as you are planning, what with a whole suitcase dedicated for costumes and the like. :)

Anyway, congratulations to you guys! I hope you have a great time with your zippy little car, you organic farming, hybrid driving, radically unschooling, amazingly cool family! :)