in honor of all Presidents, both dead and living…

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life79 Comments

I present the before:

_DSC4224

…and the after:

_DSC4229

Awwwwww. Her so cute!

I don't know about you, but this knitting stuff is mildly…addictive? To put it…mildly.

So it's President's Day, and I'm actually going to take most of the day off. Right on! Just a few little work things to do, then I'm going to join millions of other Americans in reflecting upon and honoring our presidents, both dead and living.

For example, we'll bake cookies this morning in the shape of Millard Fillmore. We'll read stories and sing songs about Taft, and Truman and Kennedy. Oh…the fun we'll have!

Then we'll head out and exercise our rights as Americans to consume goods and services. Specifically, a new car stereo for my not-yet-ready-to-give-up-the-ghost 1990 Honda Civic. A little back story is needed…

I bought my Honda Civic used, in 1997. A steal at $6,500, it only had 20,000 miles on it, and I bought it from one of my print vendors. I was so happy. It was paid off in three years. I owned my own car. Yay me!

Over the years, the car has done pretty well. A few major services required here and there, but by and large, it's done exactly what I purchased it for: continue to run.

Now, in the past two weeks, it's been very cold here and it hasn't done what it was supposed to do (run) and as I pulled out the jumper cables each time I had to go somewhere, and gazed upon the rusted out wheel wells, and the chipping paint, and the front and rear bumpers which are both just one good pothole away from falling off…i thought to myself: I could afford to buy a new car.

I mean, I have a job. I have very, very few monthly bills, other than home owner type of bills. I have no credit card debt whatsoever. I have some money in savings that could go toward a downpayment. I could actually buy a vehicle with both airbags and working seat belts!

So I started a little web surfing…and looked at a few cars that have piqued my curiosity: a Mitsubishi Outlander, a Honda CRV and the Fit, and the enviro friendly (but kind of ugly) Prius. And I enter in the payment plans on each website and realize I could really get a new car for around $300-$350 if I played my cards right. WOW! I could actually manage this! And this includes such features as wheels and doors, standard!

So I share all of this information with Dan, who listens intently, nods quietly, and we move on with our day. That was on Thursday or Friday of last week.

We are now up to this morning, after the fourth car jumping of the past two weeks, and I say to  him: you know, I really do think it's time to consider a new car, maybe sooner than later. This car (my Honda) just isn't safe anymore. And, we can afford a new car.

To which he replies:

You know, just because you can afford something, doesn't mean you need to buy it.

Isn't that the sexiest reply you've ever heard?

Exactly.

Here's to putting a new car stereo in, because apparently, I will be driving this car until Coleman graduates from high school.

Cathy Zielskein honor of all Presidents, both dead and living…

79 Comments on “in honor of all Presidents, both dead and living…”

  1. #1
    Melissa

    Cathy, I think it is just the sweetest thing EVER that you are so in love with this man that you thought his comment was sexy, instead of wanting to wrap the jumper cables around his neck! What a lovely illustration of true love! sigh

  2. #2
    Sherry

    I agree with Melissa- about the jumper cables. I do HAVE to ask- were you joking about WILLARD? I hope you know it is MILLARD! LOL! Sherry

  3. #3
    Kelli

    Firstly, I love your little bag! What will you use it for?
    Secondly, make sure to remember your hubby’s ‘sexy’ little tidbit of info when he wants to buy something for himself and when you are calling him late at night to come and help you with the car because it won’t start anymore!

  4. #5
    Patti Whitworth

    I’m thinking that jumping off your car consistantly qualifies as a “need”. Does “sexy” want to drive your car for a while and you can drive his? Maybe that’s just me.
    Thanks for the blog. I live half-way around the world and it is nice to read what is going on in the states with the normal folk before I go to bed (12 hour time difference).

  5. #6
    Michelle

    This week, today, I just have to disagree:)

    Now if he had said, “Let’s go baby, I’ve driven by the Porsche lot and your metallic gray 911 Turbo is just sitting there waiting for you.” WELL NOW THAT WOULD BE SEXY!!

    Because, you know, after a while, thrifty just isn’t sexy… I don’t care what kind of spin you put on it:)

    Enjoy President’s Day…think of Bill…who despite his Achilles heel…is still my favorite.

    Michelle

  6. #7
    scott cotner-young

    Ok, your whole post is about “I”, I have a job, I have no bills, I have some savings! So why do you need Dan’s approval? You are woman, hear you roar…just go for it!

  7. #9
    Leslie

    Stop it with the cute bags. I told you, I don’t need a new hobby!!! (Sooooo cute though.)

    And all that talk of Millard Fillmore cookies has given me the munchies. So much for the diet. (Geez, this blog is dangerous.)

    Finally, your DH and mine must have read the same husband manual — because I swear mine has said the same thing to me on more than one occasion. What a buzz kill, ey?

  8. #12
    suetreiber

    hillarious, as usual.
    I say get a new car! Just do it. Doors and starting the first time are actually great perks!
    What yarn did you use for that bag?? I must know!

  9. #13
    tammy B

    dear ole hubby is a keeper! but WHY do you do this to me? i have absolutely no idea how to knit – nor frankly any inclination – yet you TEASE with the cutest stinkin little bags! don’t care if i NEED one, just WANT one!

  10. #15
    Jen Donnelly

    Well, fiscal conservatism is kind of sexy. But so is s DH who spoils the pants off of you. Go for the new one! New Hondas have XM radio built in which you would LOVE- channel 44, Fred, plays lots of Neil!

    I’m heartened by the glimpse of SB supplies under your bag. You do need to give the specifics every time you post a knitting project- gotta tell us what yarn & needles you used. It’s a knitter’s law.

  11. #16
    elisa

    I need a new stereo too, apparently mine doesn’t like the cold. Although my car is ten years newer than yours I have the itch. My itch comes from the fact that mine is a minivan (yes, I was one of those who swore I would never drive one) and even my Red Hot Chili Peppers bumper sticker in the window doesn’t make it cool. I so want a car that is more about me than my kids. But then I look at the puppy pee and hi-c that was recently spilled in there and I think, maybe 5 more years.

  12. #17
    Amy W

    ummm, can you please start an etsy shop – I think I need a designer CZ bag. They are just, as you say, so cute!

  13. #18
    Helle

    I just have to make a little comment; I´m delighted to finally discover your blog, I´ve been searching for it for the longest time. So today is a happy day for me! Here´s to my hero in the scrapping world!

  14. #20
    Jennifer

    Would you consider parting with one of your oh so cute little bags? I’m falling in love with them more and more, but I’m just lazy enough to not knit one of them myself.

    Seriously. I would so buy a few of these bags. Think about it. 🙂

  15. #23
    Lyn Meeker

    Isn’t that the sexiest reply you’ve ever heard?

    Cathy, I think you added a letter … didn’t you mean sexist? LOL! …

  16. #24
    tina

    Stop it already with the cute bags! If I take up ANOTHER hobby my hubby will have my arms cut off at the wrist. (Not really, but you get the idea of how it would not go over too well.)

    We have a ’98 Civic which we’ll have until our baby enters college, or possibly later than that. And yes, that WAS pretty darn sexy. Just remember that reply when he’s 50-ish and wants a bright red Mini.

  17. #25
    Kimberly L.C.

    You know… you could sell the bags and put your profits toward your new car payment!?!

    Anyway, I think it’s time for a new vehicle. I had an ’82 Honda Civic for sometime, but traded it in for a ’99 Mazda that I’m still driving. It’s amazing how long you can make a car last, but still… IT’S TIME. Get yourself a new car to slap some RHCP and Finn stickers onto, please!

  18. #26
    nicola

    hmmm, fiscal responsibility is sexy… but I’m thinking “unsafe” constitutes “need”

    have you considered throwing in words like “diminishing surrender value”, “manufacturers intended life span”, and “ballooning repair costs”

  19. #29
    Sheryl

    Ok, I say switch vehicles with Dan and you’ll have a new car in no time at all. And can I just say how cute I think my Prius is? Even cuter when I did my taxes last week and took off over $6K in state and federal alternative fuel vehicle tax credits. *Credits*, not deductions, so that’s right off the price of the car – WOOHOO!

  20. #30
    Tina J.

    Oh my gosh–In the same time it’s taken me to do 1/2 of a bag, you’ve done 3?!? Shi*, girl, you knit fast! Aren’t they fun?!

    Tina J.

  21. #31
    Chantal

    I hope you realize that I actually started knitting because of you – and now am the laughing stock of my family, friends and co-workers. Apparently, knitting isn’t cool or sexy!? WTF??!! Anyhow, I just finished my first scarf (I am totally proud of myself) and am working on another for my sexy DH. Next comes that bag of yours! Please to be telling of your yarn and kneedles! Gotta make me an “Oh for Cute” CZ bag!!

  22. #32
    Carrie

    Your Honda story sounds so familar in my house, but remove Honda and insert Mazda. I drive the new car, but DH drives our Mazda 626 that we bought in 1998, a month after we were married. Our first NEW car as a couple. Fastforward 9 years later…every 4-5 months it requires $1500-2000 in repairs and I keep harping on him to trade it in for something new. We can afford it. Just last week the car started to overheat, smoke pouring out of the hood. This on a day where it reached a high of 5 degrees. Turned out to be a minor repair. His statement – “it’s good to go now. Why would I trade it in?” My reply – “I’d rather put my money towards a down payment than repairs.” I think I’m slowly wearing him down. 😉

  23. #37
    BonnieRose

    I love your little bags.. u cud sell those.. I wud so buy one.. are u taking orders? I am so serious!!!!!!
    and about the whole car thing.. get a new one, ur worth it. enough said.

  24. #38
    Laura Reaux

    Oh geez, Dan sounds like my husband. Don’t you wish you could just go and buy a car by yourself and not come home to an argument?

    Oh, and that bag… adorable!

  25. #39
    Nicole

    Oh no he didn’t!!!! I like your hubby, he seems like a good guy, but…this argument makes no sense. I would totally understand if your credit cards were maxed, you were looking to buy a Ferrari or a 2nd home in the Hamptons, but come on!

    Okay, Cathy, my dear…I assume you make some sort of financial contribution to the family while working for Simple. Correct? Now, while it may not be what you’d like (none of us gets paid what we think we should be), it is still something.

    So why the heck are you pouring money into a dead horse??? Not only is it down right financially silly (you’ll get nothing out of it when it goes to car heaven), it is unsafe. Doesn’t he want his wife and kids to be safe?

    Seriously, you don’t need to get a luxury sled. But an upgrade that is safe, runs, and can get you here and there is not too much to ask.

    My choice would be the new CRV – it’s excellent. My sensible Dad just bought one and he loves it. I drive a Saturn and it’s great. Perhaps a ‘certified’ car might be okay?

    Anyhow, good luck, kid. I know he’s probably being Mr. Sensible, but a car is a much needed investment.

    P.S. Love the bag. LOVE it!

  26. #40
    Chelsea

    I’m “cheating”………….well, at knitting at least. I got the knifty knitter kit from provo–I’m left handed and no matter how I try, I can’t get past a couple rows the traditional way, but with the KK, I’m just this scarf making machine! I also made a baby hat, but truth be told–I don’t know any babies that small–seriously, it’s so tiny, I think it’s for a baby that’s still in the womb! if you know a small baby–tell me though, I will send a hat its way….because it’s too small for even my 1984 cabbage patch kid (stop laughing, yes I still have one–her name is Nellie, her birthday is Setember 1st, her behind is signed by Xavier Roberts, and I’m never giving her up)……..anyway, back to knitting–it’s my new airplane obsession–to think, I used to actually WORK on the plane, what was I thinking! yeah for knitting—-my husband suggested I knit a case for my PDA–ooooh, now there’s an idea!

  27. #41
    Jennyrehder

    Where’s the picture????? LOL! Love the bags! Do they fit more than lipsticks or a jump drive? So glad you are blogging again!

  28. #42
    Sara

    You may have already mentioned this…but which brand/type of yarn works best for those adorable purses? I must admit, I’m dyng to try my hand at creating my own.

  29. #43
    Marilyn

    Cathy,

    My husband drove his Civic for over a year with a cracked engine block, 40 miles one way to work. It had over 300,000 miles when it finally gave up the ghost. Hopefully yours will be the same way. Maybe a new battery along with the new radio would be a good idea…..

    Anyway, good luck. And I love all the cute little bags! Sure wish I could knit….

    Marilyn

  30. #44
    stephanie

    hi cathy,

    are you doing this bag on a 16 inch or a 24 inch circular. i am helping my friend out with this during a crop this weekend and i want to know exactly what size you are using. seems like a 16 inch will work, but i want to be sure, so she doesn’t have to get both. thanks!

    stephanie

  31. #45
    Anastasia

    Ok, I have to ask…is Dan your father or your husband because that sounds just like something my Daddy would have said to me. I think some of the ladies have a valid point…my sister poured tons and tons of money into an 89 volvo before finally buying a new avalon a years back. Go for the new (or newer, or newish) car, for peace of mind if nothing else.

    ps-your bags are way too stinkin’ cute. I wish I had the coordination to knit…maybe someday…with practice…

  32. #46
    Lisa Cohen

    CRV!!!! I loved my CRV – it was so cute. It rocked! And it had a fold-out table in the back for those impromtu picnics that you might have, oh on the side of the road??!! Who knows?

    But hey, is that Silk Garden?? I know it’s Noro I can just tell… I absolutely love that colorway. The bag rocks!!

  33. #48
    Staci Taylor

    Quit teasing us with your cute bags already and please post the directions!! I’ve been knitting for 2 years and can only make blankets and scarves, would love to make myself one of those bags!!

  34. #50
    Julie Hickey

    Ok, now you really need to go out and look and test drive some cars. LOL! Really. You have a 1990 Civic? Wow. And I thought it was bad that I was driving a 1997 Sunfire with 360000 km on it! I went and test drove the Pontiac G5 and the Pontiac Wave today (similar to the Chevy Aveo). LOVE the Wave. You should check it out. And I believe that my payments will only be about $250 per month. That’s Canadian $. For you, that would be el-cheap-o! Go for it, Cathy!

  35. #53
    AnnB

    Two things… I’m all for a new car, but just so you know – nothing will ever replace the feeling you have when you buy your first car. I still miss my 1989 Honda Prelude that I bought new in 1988 and replaced after 14 years. It didn’t have power locks, no cup holder and the dog ripped the trim off the right side on a particularly trying “Mom is out late and I’m home alone freaking out at this strange new house.” AND I replaced it with a new Jaguar X-Type. Still miss it.
    Second (and more important)– I’m a collector of cute stuff, so I’m only making a suggestion that I’m not sure I could do myself… but if you wanted to part with one of those uber-CUTE little bags, you could put it on eBay and pledge the profits to Ali’s 6 degrees site. We of the crazy-for-anything-CZ-especially-really-cute-bags would sky-rocket the price on that in just a few hours!!
    Love-ya.

  36. #54
    CeneeHerrmann

    I don’t usually comment but couldn’t resist since I just traded my 1989 white Honda Civic for my 2007 white Honda Odyssey. Honda Rocks!! I also bought mine new, payed it off in 4 years, & it just wouldn’t quit running…great gas mileage too esp this past year with such high prices!! I had such a hard time giving in to the whole car payment thing being that it had been so long, but it finally became clear that it was time…I think we might have been an embarrassment to our neighborhood! So I went from being a single working girl type in “my very own” little white Honda…fast forward 18 years to being a married homeschooling SAHM of two with “our very own” big white Honda. They gave me $300 on the trade…I was a little miffed that I didn’t get every last dime out of it! And can I say that I’m happy to see that you at least photograph these “oh so very cute” bags atop your scrapbooking paraphanalia! I agree that you could definitely auction those very cute bags!!

  37. #55
    callie

    I love my Honda CRV. It’s my most favorite car I have ever ever had. It’s so versitile. It can be very nice and I can also go to the beach and get sand in it and not have to freak out. Just get the vacumn out when I get home. My Parents saw how much I loved mine. Which is a 1997 one and they went and bought a 2006 CRV they love there. We are a family that owns. CRV’s. Even my 22 year old daughter loves my car she is always running off in it. Someday, someday dream on dream on. Remember how dependable Honda is. My brother is a honda service manager in California and he says the CRV is the best car they have made. They are hardly ever in the shop. So good luck. Hope someday you get one. A happy honda customer. Callie

  38. #56
    Karen

    Oh, you kinda sound like me. I have been pretty pragmatic about cars. Drove my Honda Civic I got in high school for 7 years, then my Toyota Corolla for 14 years – due to a combination of loyalty and stubborn tenacity. I drove them ’til they limped and… seriously? Each time I waited too long. There is such a feeling of calm when you know your car is gonna start and the chances of getting stranded/stuck in the middle of nowhere is almost nil… go test drive some cars… I can really see you in a cute Mini Cooper! The whole Mini culture is so darn cute, too. Heck, you could probably knit a felted bag to fit the Mini in…!

  39. #57
    Stacie

    Loved your hubby’s comment about buying a new car. My husband’s standard remark when we need to make a major purchase is……”wait a bit, the prices are sure to come down.” He’s still not sold on digital cameras, he wants to wait until “all the bugs are worked out”….LOVE him! By the way, how’s Chip the dog doing?

  40. #58
    Jeani

    good decision with your car!
    🙂 my last Honda Accord was 16 years old and perfect for me. Now I drive the old Honda Accord of my mother. The car was build in 1994. It´s perfect for me too! (my sister drives my old Honda Civic. The car is currently 17 years old.) Honda manufactors very good cars 😉

  41. #59
    Diane

    Well – I am off the opinion — if you can afford it, why not buy it!! And, when will you be selling those bags?? Love them! Love the colorful one on your blog above! A woman of many talents you are! Go for the Prius – love the earth!! Diane from Cape Cod

  42. #60
    Karen Greenfield

    It does sound as if you could now sell enough cute little bags to pay for the new car outright!!!

  43. #61
    Chris Taylor

    Hi, I have a brand new Honda Civic and would not trade it for anything! Simply the best! Could you please tell me your favorite knitting stitch to use? I have not ventured past the garter stitch but yes you are right-highly addictive and I am loving every minute of it. Thanks for sharing your beautiful purse!

  44. #62
    Tracy

    It is so wrong that I know not only the brand of the yarn that you used (Noro) but also the colorway number (95). It’s another sickness, like the thing I have for paper.

    I just finished my second cute little bag 🙂

  45. #64
    Linda Thompson

    I WANT ONE OF YOUR CUTE PURSES!!!
    Is that wrong? To want what you have???
    Cuz here’s the deal… either pony up or stop posting those purse pics! (say that three times!)

  46. #65
    jan

    my dh would say the same thing. and there is a certain pleasure in knowing you have outrun the competition. you get to be the ‘old car martyr’. isn’t it cool? welcome to the club, baby.

  47. #66
    Tracey

    Wow Cathy… ILOVE your purses… keep going your inspiring… have you scrapped a page about them yet?
    I had the same civic and I wish I would have kept mine… I agree there is something to be said about having your car paid off..as long as your safe.. civic live on!!! you need the car payment money for yarn girl… knit on!!!!

  48. #67
    Lessie

    “You know, just because you can afford something, doesn’t mean you need to buy it.”

    Is he a Dave Ramsey devotee? Dan’s reaction is so inspiring. Sigh. If only I were so good. (I wouldn’t be DROWNING in debt.)

  49. #68
    Leslie

    1. Those bags are SO FREAKIN ADORABLE. This latest one…the stripes! And the GREEN! I want one. Or five.

    2. Your blog is absolutely hysterical. I’m so glad you’ve come back to us, and to me, in order to liven up my days. Thanks for that.

  50. #69
    lauren

    Cathy…I love you. HAHA thanks for making me feel better about my old car.

    I am driving a 93 corolla that has been in a wreck. The front bumper is zip tied on and I have no AC (in FLORIDA). The drivers side door lock no longer opens with a key (i use the passenger door to open the car) And i only have A speaker. (not a system.)

    But the car is paid off. And it still runs (though not too reliably) One day ill get a new one…but for now i appreciate everyday i dont have a montly payment. Thankfully i have help with maintenance or it wouldnt be economical to keep…

    I have my eye on a spiffy little rav4 though…

    Maybe if i bought less scrapping stuff!!!!

  51. #71
    maria

    That bag is seriously so freakishly fabulous…I LOVE IT and you are making me consider taking up a new hobby, which I really do not need since reading, scrapbooking, photography and gardening take up an already awful lot of my wake up hours, energy, creativity and green bills from my wallet (insert dorky smile)
    And I gotta say I wish I had your take on your hubby’s comment…we would have avoided a lot of un-wanted arguments in our household. Note to self, next time my own hubby talks about not spending money, do not get mad, just note his reaction as a sexy attribute. Mmmm, who knows, I might just like him a whole lot now!

  52. #72
    Margie Kukuc

    Hi Cathy,

    I was just reading about your old car. Kudos to you!!!! Save that $300 a month. If you would take your downpayment ($1000) invest that in a mutual fund that has averaged about 12% year over the last 50 years and put in $300/month. You’d save almost $14,500. If you never put anything else into it and allow it to grow for the next 20 years, you will have over $157.000. The interest you’d have to pay to the dealer is interest that you will earn. If you save a couple hundred bucks a month for another couple of years, you can buy another wonderful used car and pay cash for it! You are a great inspiration! KUDOS!!

  53. #73
    RitasCottage

    gosh are your bags cute! i carry felted bags in my shop and yours are devine…. you go girl! oh~ and, yep, go car shopping this weekend. you deserve it 🙂

  54. #74
    Heather Ales

    I SO love reading your blog. Always. Every time. It’s ALWAYS fabulous. Even though, I’m sure you’re thinking it’s ho-hum every day stuffola for you. I love it.

    Okay… cars. Same situation, different spouse – only I’m driving the new(er) car, and he wont’ get rid of his old truck. We live in Texas. A state where 105 is not unusual in May. Yes, May. He’s driving a truck with no AC. Yes, NO AC. He offers to drive, but I’d rather pass. You see, If I’m going to die in a car, I’d rather it be from something extravagent like airbags instead of heat exhaustion or a stroke.

    We have a CR-V and LOVE it. My family is a Honda family. My parents have the Odyssey and Civic sports coupe (that’s my Dad’s treat to himself – he deserved it). I had a black Civic through college, and even passed it down to my sister in law – who still drives it. Both of my brothers (and brother in law) drive Accords. My sister drives a Pilot. We’re just Honda people.

    Go for it. You’re awesome. You deserve it!

  55. #75
    Heather Ales

    I SO love reading your blog. Always. Every time. It’s ALWAYS fabulous. Even though, I’m sure you’re thinking it’s ho-hum every day stuffola for you. I love it.

    Okay… cars. Same situation, different spouse – only I’m driving the new(er) car, and he wont’ get rid of his old truck. We live in Texas. A state where 105 is not unusual in May. Yes, May. He’s driving a truck with no AC. Yes, NO AC. He offers to drive, but I’d rather pass. You see, If I’m going to die in a car, I’d rather it be from something extravagent like airbags instead of heat exhaustion or a stroke.

    We have a CR-V and LOVE it. My family is a Honda family. My parents have the Odyssey and Civic sports coupe (that’s my Dad’s treat to himself – he deserved it). I had a black Civic through college, and even passed it down to my sister in law – who still drives it. Both of my brothers (and brother in law) drive Accords. My sister drives a Pilot. We’re just Honda people.

    Go for it. You’re awesome. You deserve it!

  56. #76
    erin yamabe

    crackin me up with your CAR story…your dh’s response sounds eerily similar to what mine would retort with, when i propose what i think is entirely logical…a new blank sooner than later. LOL.
    have an awesome weekend!

  57. #77
    Jen

    Hey Cathy!

    I’m local to you, and was wondering if you had ever gone to the Yarn Garage in Rosemount? It’s right on highway 3. It’s FABULOUS, a must see store. The owner designs for celebrities like Jennifer Aniston. Just an amazing place, full of inspiration, yarn, and many many felted bags. Email me for directions if you are interested… jlschultz@qwest.net

  58. #78
    Jen

    Hey Cathy!

    I’m local to you, and was wondering if you had ever gone to the Yarn Garage in Rosemount? It’s right on highway 3. It’s FABULOUS, a must see store. The owner designs for celebrities like Jennifer Aniston. Just an amazing place, full of inspiration, yarn, and many many felted bags. Email me for directions if you are interested… jlschultz@qwest.net

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