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  1. We rented a car in Dublin to drive to the Wicklow Mountains and the Glendalough Cathedral/Monastery. It was an easy process to rent the car. Driving was interesting because we are used to driving on the right and in Ireland they drive on the left. My dh drove and I navigated. It was difficult, but we thoroughly enjoyed the adventure. We were able to take our time and stop and explore the areas we were most interested in and not be on anyone's schedule. The manager of the hotel where we stayed in Dublin moved some things around in a small lot behind the hotel and made a little parking space for us. I have great memories of it. It was a fun challenge and I say if you are interested in it, then go for it! One thing I remember vividly was that the car was VERY small!
  2. My dh travels for work (more than a little, but less than a lot). It definitely wears on me, although I oddly enjoy the change in routine sometimes. If I were you I would ask my dh to make a big effort to keep you in the loop about his travel and maybe cut the optional travel to half or less than half if he feels like he can't cut it out altogether. My lot in life is that I am blessed to have a dh that always supported my homeschooling and has worked hard to provide for us---but I must be super flexible to his schedule. It's the way it is for me. We have done what we could to make it easier, but the simple fact is that his success depends on me being the one keeping the home fires burning. I may not love it all the time, but that's what it is. When I am feeling upset with him or annoyed by his travel it is usually a result of not having time to connect with him and spend some time talking and really focusing on us. I can be so annoyed and feeling like I want to scream, but just sitting down talking and catching up and giving each other a pep talk will bring me back to a good place. Edited to say that I scrolled up and read your update and YAY!!!
  3. Yes, great idea! Please send me an invite. I have a 21 year old and an almost 18 year old.
  4. The lease has an option for a pet but you have to either say you will or won't have a pet when you sign the lease. All 4 girls signed that they would not have a pet. There are extra fees and papers to sign if you want a pet. We learned after the fact that at any time a tenant can change that and pay the fee and have a pet within the guidelines (weight restrictions, etc). And as of now if all of the tenants of the apartment do not want the pet, then the person with the pet has to keep it in their room and not in the common areas. Violation of that eventually results in eviction. So they have already been notified and served with one additional warning. Not sure how many warnings they get. But an ESA doesn't fall into the pet category--it is basically viewed by the law as a medical device. Hopefully she can get evicted before she attains any paperwork. Dd called me and told me that another roommate told her that cat roommate was "broke" and couldn't afford to get the online and probably not legitimate ESA letter right now. I wonder if she had the cat vaccinated or dewormed or anything. I am going to call the manager tomorrow to ask about that. I'm just wondering if she was broke, why she chose to get a cat at this time in her life. Pets aren't cheap! Food, cat litter, routine vaccines, flea prevention, and heaven forbid it needs vet care.
  5. It is an off-campus complex that is not connected to the university but is rented only to students. It just isn't right that the roommate is admittedly going to try to get an ESA letter just to get her way, regardless of how my dd feels. Also note that over the summer this roommate said to the other roommates (not my daughter, she didn't know her yet) that "we need a cat!" and they were like "NO!" and she was upset because she wanted a cat. She moved in on Sunday (Aug 25th) and got a cat off of Craigslist the next day and didn't tell anyone. I have no idea if the cat has had vaccinations, been dewormed, etc. My prayer is that she gets evicted before she can get the letter. DD is allergic but it's not severe like asthma, it's just stuffy, itchy, misery that never warranted a medical diagnosis until now. I guess I'll be making an appointment with the allergist and get the testing for her so that we can put this to bed.
  6. My dd is in college, and is in an apartment with 3 other roommates. They each signed their own lease, and each have a bedroom and bathroom, with a common kitchen and living area. One of the roommates came home with a cat last week. Well, my dd is not only allergic to cats, but she despises cats in general. She would never want to live with one, and her roommate knew she was allergic but got it anyway (yes, her roommate is a gem). She told my daughter that my daughter would just have to keep her door closed all the time. I called the apartment manager, and he told me that if my daughter didn't want the cat then the only thing he could do was to tell her roommate that she has to keep it in her room only. He also said that if we got a doctor's note that says she is allergic then he can make her get rid of the cat. We've never had allergy testing for a cat allergy because we've never needed to, so this will be costly and will require a wait. So he sent a notice to the roommate, which angered her, and she told the other roommates that she doesn't care what my dd thinks or if she is allergic, that she is letting the cat wherever the cat wants. She also said that she will just "register the cat as an emotional support animal" and then my daughter can't do anything. So, dd called the manager again, and he was annoyed that the roommate wasn't following the notice instructions that he gave her. He said he would give her a second notice. However, another roommate told my dd that the manager told the cat roommate that I was the one that called and complained. I find that odd that he would disclose that information. So....I've read about ESA's and I get the general idea. I can't seem to find out what happens when a person gets a cat that is part of a rental situation like dd has. Like I'm thinking that the roommate would have to live alone if she had an ESA that other roommates didn't want or were allergic to. I understand that this falls under ADA, and I really do believe that these animals provide a legitimate service. But the fact that this girl is threatening to get the ESA is beyond offensive to those that truly need an ESA. Any thoughts? Was my privacy violated? I appreciate any advice.
  7. So cool! I live a short drive south of that area. I'm actually going to Trader Joe's tomorrow, it's just down the street from BB Cafe. Have you guys ever toured the Ryman? You might enjoy that too. I second the Frist and the Parthenon. Currently at the Frist there is a Dorothea Lang exhibit that is simple yet remarkable. I was very moved by the exhibit. I've been to museums all over the world, but sometimes a small and simple museum exhibit can be as powerful as an extensive collection of something. True Food Kitchen and Char are two restaurants that are close to BB Cafe that have wonderful food. If you like Restoration Hardware, there is a 70,000 square foot store in front of Green Hills mall. Enjoy!!!
  8. Dh's grandparents passed away in 1970 and 1975ish. They owned a farm and a house on the property. They had 7 children. The executor was the oldest sibling. They left the property to all the children, but in the will they specified that the disabled sibling was allowed to live in the property until his death, and then it could be sold. Dh's mother moved in with the disabled sibling when he needed care, because he couldn't drive and had trouble with many adult-type tasks. Everyone was happy with the situation. Dh's mom and uncle paid the property taxes each year. Dh's mom also kept up the property at her own expense, such as keeping the fields mowed and maintaining the long gravel driveway that needed new gravel every year or so, as well as maintaining the house. Disabled uncle passed away late 2016. At that time all the beneficiaries were fine with dh's mom staying on the property. We were NOT in favor of that. We wanted her to move to a place closer to us and a place that didn't need so much care. She was in bad health (COPD) and almost 80, wasn't really able to drive, could barely walk, so it was a pain. Dh's mother passed away December 2018. She had enough money saved for her funeral, and a little left over. But it wasn't a big estate. She had an older car that we gave to someone in the family that needed it. Now the executor of the grandparents' estate (the executor is now dh's cousin; dh's mom never owned it, she was a beneficiary) has come to us wanting us to pay the property taxes for last year. On one hand we feel like we should pay it because dh's mom would have paid it if she were alive. BUT she is not alive, and we personally think the taxes were handled improperly all along. Also, she was not technically responsible on her own to pay the taxes or do any upkeep, there was no agreement, she just did it. Also, in the last weeks before dh's mom passed away, a cousin that was destitute moved in with dh's mom, and is now living in the house. She will not be able to upkeep anything nor pay any future taxes. So dh and I want the place to be sold, (to be fair, we wanted it sold before mil died) but we are getting pushback on selling the property. Our problem is that the longer the property sits unmaintained, the lower in value it will go, and also we don't know who will pay the taxes in the years going forward. If we pay them for 2018, then technically the cousin that is refusing to leave will need to pay them next year, but she has no money whatsoever. I know we need to talk to an attorney but I thought I'd get your input because I can't quit thinking about it. Ugh.
  9. A few I find motivating: Matrimoney--husband and wife team that discuss self-improvement and saving money. They rarely put out new podcasts but the archives are worth listening to Happier with Gretchen Rubin Simple with Tsh Oxenreider
  10. You have great advice already, but I wanted to add a little about Glasgow as well. We stayed in Glasgow and took a day trip to Edinburgh, and I think we would have preferred the other way around. However, we thoroughly enjoyed Glasgow! It was easy to navigate. If you spend any time in Glasgow, I recommend the following: The Hunterian--- https://www.gla.ac.uk/hunterian/visit/ourvenues/hunterianmuseum/ The building is gorgeous, peaceful, and amazing, and has the most unique collection of science-related artifacts. We had a wonderful time there. I just remember it being so delightful. While we were there they had a little "class" and they asked if we wanted to attend...so we sat in on an adorable and well-informed lecture on the water vole and their habitat, and a project they were working on. They had some hands-on items as well, and everyone was having such a great time. Our teens were the only children there. And it's free. Kelvingrove--https://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/museums/venues/kelvingrove-art-gallery-and-museum If you go to Glasgow, don't miss this! The building is beautiful, and massive, and is both a museum and art gallery. Kelvingrove park is also a nice place to walk. Glasgow Necropolis https://www.glasgownecropolis.org/ This was a little out of the way for us, but we combined it with a visit to the Glasgow Cathedral http://www.glasgowcathedral.org.uk/ adjacent. The Necropolis is on a hill and has amazing views. Honorable Mention: Glasgow School of Art. The people in charge were cranky but we saw a great exhibit in the gallery and had the unique and militant experience of eating in their cafeteria. There were many RULES but it gave us a good laugh. Navigating the bus ride from Glasgow to Edinburgh was very easy and inexpensive. The shopping was good there. Modern Art museum was terrible. This is where we stayed. https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/2130443?guests=1&adults=1 Happy travels! I know you will have a wonderful time. I would love to go back to Scotland. There is so much I want to see!
  11. We have a Samsung and I HATE it. I hate it for small reasons and big reasons. We've had so much trouble with the ice maker that I BUY ICE. I resent buying ice for a $2200ish fridge that is only 4 years old. The french door spring doesn't work and it has been fixed a few times, but after a while it breaks again. So.... We have to shut the left door first or the seal will not fold in and it won't shut. So fun.
  12. I make these recipes together. Everyone loves it. And it's super easy. https://www.browneyedbaker.com/chipotle-chicken-recipe/ https://www.browneyedbaker.com/chipotle-cilantro-lime-rice/
  13. Just a quick note about cell phones---- My youngest dd now attends public hs. In almost all of her classes, the teacher requires that cell phones be on silent and placed in a certain part of the room during class. Some have cubbies, some have a large board with pockets for each phone. If they need them for kahoot or whatever, they are allowed to have them for that time.
  14. We had central heat/air in our bonus room that needed replacing and we went with a mini split. We love it! As an added bonus we were able to get rid of a huge furnace that was inside a closet and gained tons of closet space. We were hesitant to get one because we already had the ductwork and we didn't know if the mini split would be effective, but it is wonderful and I'm so happy we chose it.
  15. DD is a sophomore in college. She had a roommate last year in a dorm and got along ok with her. They weren't besties but they got along and cooperated for the most part. DD is living off campus in apartments that are for students. She has a room and bathroom that she can lock (much like a dorm) and her roommate has her own bed/bath, and they share a kitchen, den, and laundry. My dd did a roommate match with the apartment company and they matched her with a roommate that had already moved in. The roommate moved there knowing that she would have a roommate eventually but didn't have one for several months. On move-in day, the roommate (I will call her B) wasn't there the entire day and upon our arrival we discovered that B had not made space for dd in the kitchen or laundry room, and had decorated the shared spaces already. She had items on the balcony that had obviously been there for a long time. She has an abandoned eno that is tied diagonally across the balcony (against the rules) and a rusty dog crate (no pets allowed) and you can open the door but you can't walk out onto the balcony. We understood that she had lived there alone for a while, and that was just a temporary thing that was probably really nice for her to have. However, the apartment is for two tenants and has two separate leases. At 10pm B still had not come home to introduce herself and my dd texted her to see if she was coming home because B needed to make cabinet space for dd. B did not want to make space, she initially responded to texts but when dd asked her about cabinet space she quit responding. She came home around 11pm and told my dd that she already had all the cabinet space except for one shelf of one upper cabinet. (this is a full size kitchen). She refused to move her stuff until I stepped in and explained that the cabinets would be divided evenly (they are symmetrical so it was super easy to divide.) She reluctantly did it, and still has not found a place for things that would not fit into her cabinets. They are piled on her side of the counter. B is dirty, messy, and leaves her dirty dishes in the sink every.single.day., leaving them for days at a time. She cooks and leaves the pans on the stove with dried food, sometimes covering all four burners so if my dd wants to cook she has to find a place for B's pots and pans, which is not easy since her side of the counter is overflowing. She does laundry and leaves her clothes all over the laundry room for days. I could really go on and on but you get the idea. She avoids my dd and barely speaks to her, and dd has to initiate every conversation and it's as if the girl enjoys the "power" that she has over my dd. If my dd tries to initiate a conversation about any issue, B just tells her no and won't cooperate. The way that B has decorated is not even close to my dd's style. And dd understands that when B lived there before having a roommate, she didn't have to collab with anyone on the decor. But the decor is bold (red, black and tan with lots of wine bottle style decor) and she has all the space decorated, the entry, the laundry, the kitchen,and the den. DD approached B about making the common space a place that feels like home for both of them. (btw my dd is a graphic design student and so design and aesthetic are very important to her, although that is beside the point, but I still wanted to say that lol) DD offered to purchase a larger and more neutral rug for the den (the one in there is small and is red, black, and tan and has large black swirls and red circles and doesn't really match anything except itself). She told B that if B wanted to show her some neutral rugs that she liked, that they could pick out one together and dd would pay for it. Also, she asked B if B would make room on the wall for dd's decor and maybe they could try to figure out which things coordinated and use that. So in the end, it would be a larger neutral rug (like an 8x10 instead of a 4x5) and dd would pay for it. Also the curtains are red and dd offered to pay for something more neutral that would blend it with both of their decor choices. B refused, and the only "concession" she made was to let dd add some things to the wall but not take any of B's stuff down (which is going to be strange because she has stuff on every wall). B told my dd that B had already bought things and that she wasn't moving them. Yep. Yes, dd has tried to talk to her, she has also talked to the managers of the apartment twice about this roommate. So I spoke with them yesterday to get an idea of what dd's options are for this situation. They said that the roommate was in the wrong but they don't really get involved. They offered to mediate to help them find their own solution, but I am not sure that is a good idea. My dd gets very tongue-tied (she has mild dyslexia and it affects her speech when she is anxious or stressed, so I'm afraid she will walk away without having much in her favor). Maybe she should try it... This place is 100% full occupancy so right now moving to another apartment on the property isn't an option. They allow subleasing for a fee but there aren't any good options near campus right now. Dd was in a puddle of tears last night from frustration and disappointment. She is so sad that she is basically stuck living with this girl that is not going to be friendly or cooperative or considerate. I would appreciate your thoughts. My personal opinion is that dd is paying the same rent and has the same rights as her roommate. And that they should find a way to mix their decor and work together to make it a place where they both feel at home. It is also not my dd's fault that the girl lived there alone, because if they had moved in on the same day, dd would have insisted that they cooperate on the common areas. Also, it is not dd's problem that the roommate purchased something like a rug that would please a very limited audience. The real problem is that dd doesn't know how to carry out any plans to make the space agreeable to both of them when the roommate has everything like she wants and doesn't care about anyone else. Thanks for reading all of this!!!
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