So I brought my Odyssey to the dealer to tell me why the "check engine" light was on. He hooked it up to the computer and said, "You're probably OK unless it's the transmission." Then he said, "Uh oh. It's the transmission." I think his exact words were "That's a bullet to the heart." He said it would be at least $3500 and he couldn't recommend I put that much money into an 11-year-old car. Farewell, Loyal Odyssey!
I picked up brochures (translation for young people: printouts of website information) for the new Odyssey as well as the Pilot, and I have an appointment to test-drive each this week. I'm leaning toward the Pilot, which is only a teensy bit worse in mileage than the Odyssey but has 4WD and does not have motorized sliding doors, which I know from experience are very expensive to replace once the motors go. The dealer is eager to get rid of the 2012 models in order to make room for the 2013s, so I hope I can get a decent trade-in for my old one and make a deal on a new one. Meanwhile I'm driving around with illuminated alert lights on my dash and a REJECTED inspection sticker. Classy.
Today Lauren hosted a party to celebrate Mom's upcoming 80th birthday! There was plenty to eat, plus poems and songs to celebrate her 80-ness. Here's Mom with my kids:
80?! No way.
1 lb. cheese-filled tortellini (I used half egg, half spinach for color.)
½ lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces
½ lb. frozen peas, thawed
½ lb. red bell pepper, cut into bite-size pieces (about 1 large or 2 small)
½ lb. cherry or grape tomatoes, halved and lightly salted
Creamy Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until just tender, adding the asparagus for the last 1 minute of cooking. Drain in a colander, then spread the pasta and asparagus out in a shallow baking pan, and let cool to room temperature. (Don't try to rush things by running cold water over it or your pasta salad will be waterlogged and yucky.)
Transfer pasta, asparagus, peas, bell pepper, and tomatoes to a large bowl. (At this point, you can cover and refrigerate it for up to 2 hours.) When ready to serve, add dressing, toss to coat, and let stand for 15 minutes before serving.
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 large garlic clove, minced
⅔ cup olive oil
Put vinegar, mayonnaise, and garlic in in a 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup. Add a big pinch of salt and a couple grinds of pepper. With a small whisk, slowly whisk in oil in a slow, steady stream to make an emulsified vinaigrette. (Vinaigrette can be made and refrigerated 1 day in advance.)
You could obviously make all kinds of veggie substitutions to great effect.