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Posts posted by EmilyGF

  1. 3 hours ago, mommyoffive said:

    This came up in a discussion dh and I were having.  We were saying some people thoughts were they could buy huge Lego sets (they were talking about the new Lego Colosseum) and save it for their kids.  Kids that don't even exist yet.  I thought that was kind of nuts because you don't know if your kids would be into Legos and they would be old by the time they would be able to do that set.  I get saving some of your own toys.  Then the conversation spun to what if your kids are not even into Lego, not everyone is.  I wasn't into Lego as a kid.  I am pretty sure I had some, but I have no memories of playing with them.  As I watch my kids the building of things is not something I was or am interested in.  I was into Cabbage patch dolls, baby dolls, Barbie, and doll houses.  

    It also got me thinking of what my kids have not gotten into at all, that other kids are into.  Also because I was trying to think of what to get the youngest when we have all the things from the older siblings.  We have never had any Playmobil, so she is getting that.  

    What were(are) your kids into?  What did they never get into that was popular? 


    Things my kids haven't gotten into

    video games- we never have had any and the kids never ask for it


    Calico Critters


    Things my kids have been into

    Legos- This is the number one thing in our house.  Has been for years.  

    Matchbox cars

    Thomas the trains - These were huge for years

    Barbie (we have a bunch of Barbies and a house, but it was all given to us.  Youngest plays with it sometimes, the next 2 played with it for a few months and done)

    American Girl - Again we have lots of them and a huge  house for them.  Oldest was into them for a short time, the next 2 were into them for less than a year.  Youngest doesn't play with them anymore. 



    LOL, my kids are the opposite of yours in this respect!

    Calico Critters have been a favorite since day 1. DD12 has had Calico Critters since 4 and still plays with them occasionally. She's got whole worlds made up about them with a friend and sometimes they talk about them like friends. They make things for them out of Fimo and Sculpy, as well as out of cardboard and cloth.

    Lego went over like a lead balloon here. The kids find them tedious to build with and get annoyed with them. They come out for about a week every six months, people play with them, and then they get put back into a plastic container in the back of someone's closet.

    Top hits:

    Duplo (they build worlds out of these and then play with them with other toys)

    Calico Critters (I've bought these, but, because the kids like them so much, multiple friends have given us their collections when they grew out of them)

    American Girl (all bought used, lots of hand-me-down clothes, including my doll's clothing from my childhood, though not my doll) 

    Brio wooden trains (ds15 just did a math fair project that used these!) have been a hit for over a decade. Still tripping over new tracks...


    Lego and all fiddly building toys, like K'nex - the kids like bigger things to build with

    I never bought Playmobil; somehow the play seemed too scripted to me. Not sure why CC was different.


    • Like 1
  2. 36 minutes ago, Rosemary said:

    Do you snore? Do you have any type of airway constriction (nasal congestion, deviated septum, etc.)? There is often a  link between these and clenching/grinding. The theory is that when your airway is constricted during sleep, you move your jaw (often forward) in an effort to open up the airway. This creates the clenching/grinding motions that result in tooth wear, jaw pain, etc.

    This can often worsen during allergy season due to the nasal congestion that accompanies it.

    That being said, there are people who just snore or just grind. Very often, though, there is a link.

    If you are interested in getting to the root of the problem, go see an airway friendly dentist or ENT. They can help you figure out why you’re clenching.


    Nope, no snoring or known allergies.

  3. Sorry about your shed.

    We dealt with this stuff from the other side last summer. We have a large tree that a few neighbors enjoy the shade from and we ended up talking with our insurance agent about it because one of the neighbors had a nervous breakdown and started calling trees "weeds" that needed to be destroyed. The idea with the insurance is that multiple people benefit from trees and therefore share the risk. (Imagine if all of a sudden everyone in a city or town had to cut down their trees due to liability concerns.)

    However, if you had reached out to your neighbor and told them the tree was not cared for properly in the past, or expressed concern about a dead limb, for example, falling on your shed, and they didn't act, they then become liable.

    We ended up having an arborist come out, assess our tree, and make a longer-term plan for tree health.


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  4. Hi all,

    You guys are such an amazing source of info!

    I'm a teeth clencher. I've worn various styles of night guards for a few years, but I'm wondering if there are any more natural treatments to at least decrease clenching. 

    Are there stretches? Exercises? Sleeping positions? 

    Being 100% stress-free probably isn't a possibility, LOL.


  5. My sister had appendicitis in Africa at a great hospital. She got laproscopic (sp?) surgery at the hospital and full treatment for $1500.

    The issue was that she had to pay before they admitted her! She said the care was wonderful, though. DH had appendicitis the same month and the "sticker" price was $10K. The insurance paid something like $3K. Our co-pay was $150.


  6. DS15 loves loves loves Wingspan. It is an engine-building game. The illustrations are beautiful and accurate. Sometimes the younger kids (8, 12) don't want to play the whole game, though we have gotten faster as we've played it more, and then we let them each play a round and rotate through.

    If anyone in your house is slightly interested in birds, I highly recommend it!

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  7. 26 minutes ago, Bootsie said:

    What happens when you take into account the differences in liability insurance costs?  I think it takes longer to become a doctor in the US than in Germany, which is not only that US doctors are paying tuition (much higher) tuition for a longer period of time, there are more years of foregone income that a US doctor experiences.  Also, US doctors are probably more likely to be in their own practice, with the costs, hassles, and risks of running a small business that German doctors tend not to have.   I think the entire risk/reward tradeoff, not only to get through medical school, but once one is a practicing physician, that it is hard to compare just salaries.

    Still, according to the agency my friend contacted, the agency had never heard of a doctor transferring from the USA to Germany. I think if what you wrote were correct, there would be some who made that decision. 


    • Like 1
  8. 2 hours ago, Cnew02 said:

    Doctors in Germany may not make as much, but they aren’t graduating from medical school with the same debt load as American doctors either.  I’d imagine that mostly balances out in the end.  

    If you look at the numbers I quoted above, it looks like it'd take about 4 years for an American doctor to get ahead of doctors in Germany, even when college and graduate school debt is taken into account.

    I'm not saying that the system is *good*. Just people like to demonize insurers and health conglomerates for making oodles of money; doctors are benefitting, too, and you can't criticize the insurer for overcharging the patient without also criticizing the doctors. This gets left out of a lot of discussions of the pros and cons of other health care systems.

    ETA: I'm not criticizing doctors. I think this is a systemic problem. If a child of mine were a doctor, I would encourage them to find a high paying job. The same goes for professors. My hubby is a prof and gets paid well. If he were at a UK university, he would take a huge pay cut. He can't personally change anything about higher education costs in the US by taking a lower salary, nor do I expect individual doctors or even insurance companies to make individual changes. This is definitely a systemic problem that requires coordinated changes at a higher level.


    • Like 2
  9. Hi all,

    Maybe you can help me with this.

    A few weeks ago, I was looking for a subscription box for my son that was craft-focused, but that built real things. I kept coming across 1) junk or 2) girl-focused crafts.

    Finally, I found a website that focused on high quality handwork by teenage boys and up. I think it was run by a homeschooling family. They had things like glass-etching and wood burning. 

    Now I can't find it again. Do you know of this company? I'd like to buy something. 😉


  10. 9 hours ago, mum said:



    A discussion of health care is never complete without mentioning taxes. In Denmark, mentioned in the thread, the tax rate is 45%. Plus 7% more if you make over a certain amount. That doesn't excite me so much.  The article talks about why the Danes are happy to pay it, and maybe they are right. I just wanted to link to the article to show where I got that tax rate.

    I agree that the system in the US is ridiculous. Truly and utterly stupid. Health insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies are making enormous profit. It is wrong on so many levels. 

    Just don't forget, in most western countries, healthcare is either paid for up-front  or paid for at the point of service. No one is receiving free health care in Canada or Denmark or England, or any of those sort of places. Well, I guess if you live there and pay 0 income tax, you are receiving free health care. But the majority ARE paying.

    This was a favorite discussion between my dad (American) and my mother-in-law (English, and a nurse). She would say "we don't pay for health care here". He would ask, "Do you work for free?" Her, "Oh no, I get paid." Him, " Who pays you?" Her, "The government." Him, "Where do they get that money." Her, "I don't know."  The answer---TAXES.

    Not really sure which is better/worse. I guess the answer is they each have their pro's and con's. I have experienced both systems. I have experienced good in both, and appalling in both. Neither is perfect.

    Doctors are also earning a lot. To have medical care like in Canada and Europe, we'd have to significantly decrease doctors' wages, too. 

    22 High Paying Countries for Doctors in the World to Immigrate - WiseStep

    From this website, the average specialist in Canada makes $70K less per year than in the USA. In Denmark a specialist would make $140K less and an GP $50K less. In Germany it would be a pay cut of $150K/years for a specialist.

    From personal experience, my German friend was calling an agency in Germany to find out what her husband would have to do to work in Germany as a doctor. The agency told her they had never heard of a doctor leaving the USA to work in Germany due to the incredibly steep pay cut.

  11. 3 hours ago, Laura Corin said:

    Travel insurance that you buy in the UK has two standard costs, to include or exclude the US, Canada and the Caribbean.

    Screenshot_20201215-220142_Samsung Internet.jpg

    It isn't just US health insurance that is expensive, it is anything with liability for Americans.

    Our kids went to camp in Israel for 3 weeks and the cost for American citizens was $100 extra for extra liability insurance.

    • Like 1
  12. 36 minutes ago, Ausmumof3 said:

    There was a good explained on Coronacast a couple of weeks back.  In short some vaccines do prevent disease without preventing spread.  If that’s the case with this one the likely mechanism could be that the vaccine works well against Covid in the lower respiratory/lung area but not well against upper respiratory.  Meaning the disease is not happening in the lungs etc but shedding from the nose etc still can happen.

    I do think that if this was likely to be the case some people would maybe have shown up in the trial in the vaccine arm with upper respiratory symptoms so I’m hopeful that it’s a non issue but we don’t know.

    one of the trials (I believe Astra Zeneca but I’m going from memory) did work like this in primate studies where they didn’t become ill but did spread it, so I think that’s the reason for concern.

    And yes if the vaccine makers did weekly PCR testing they should have been able to work this out.  I don’t know why they didn’t, seems like a cost saving measure or maybe it’s too hard to get volunteers to sign up for that.  

    I know one manufacturer does every 3-6 week nasal swabs, so that should give some info eventually, though it will take more time because they have to get enough data to analyze well. I think they didn't do this because they were going for *fast* and everything extra you do slows things down. Also, the goal was preventing severe disease and, at the beginning, people didn't even know that this would be possible. Even the TWIVers said yesterday that we're extremely lucky this vaccine is working out so well and that it is easy to think you were smart when really it was luck. Obviously a ton of research has gone into this, but some diseases defy vaccines (see HIV).


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  13. Thanks to everyone who responded; it gives me hope and encouragement during a time that has been rough. Also, it feels good to know I'm not quite as strange as I thought I was. 😉

    I think I was really hopeful this fall because it looked like I was going to be spending a fair amount of time with someone I think I could click with and then BAM, rates are way up and life shut down again. 

    I appreciate your stories and they give me a lot of encouragement and hope, to not give up, to look in strange places, and to keep going.

    Deleting top post now...



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  14. My aunt was in a bad accident that required multiple surgeries and a twice-weekly cleaner/helper.

    They needed to get an attorney and it was a multi-year thing as their state has some weird laws about when settlements take place.

    They need an attorney. 

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  15. I made nutella / tahini challah this morning from the cookbook, Cook in Israel.

    I promised to make stollen so I made candied citrus peel last week. I stuck them in the freezer last night because I don't expect I'll have energy to make it very soon.

    I bought persimmons for Christmas persimmon pudding this week. It is a favorite in this household!

    I think I will outsource all cookie baking to the kids this year.


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  16. Our friends emailed us about taking care of their dog before they even got one. We said we would, as needed, which freed them up to get one.

    (Then they got one and turned out to be allergic and had to rehome the dog after a few weeks. Oh well.)


    • Like 1
  17. 3 hours ago, ieta_cassiopeia said:

    The plan in the UK is for practices to get the vaccine from their hub hospital (which already has the necessary type of freezer) regularly enough that they can use their standard fridge system on site.

    The key issue in the UK is that the 15-minute rule means a vaccine is a triple appointment (standard appointments are 10 minutes, and it is unlikely a doctor would feel safe about accounting for the time taken to queue safely, explain the protocol and do the actual injection in under 5 minutes). That means it would only be possible to do 2 vaccinations per room, per hour, and that room cannot be used for other tasks the general practices are expected to provide.

    Even on the proposed contract of 12-hour days (itself a problem because practices are being told to have as many staff as possible work from home due to the pandemic - telemedicine has really taken off this year), assuming staffing can be found for breaks (not a given due to this alredy being 2 hours more of opening than the standard practice contract), that's still only 24 vaccinations per room, per day. When the alternative is to see 48 people for other matters (standard contract, assuming people get 1 hour of break and have 1 hour worth of no-shows in a day), and there's a minimum-staffing rule in place, it's easy to ask the hospitals to make other arrangements (even before this, stadiums and large conference halls were being organised to allow mass socially-distanced vaccination to go ahead).

    In NYC they are talking about drive-through vaccination (Dr. Daniel Griffin - TWIV updated #40).


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  18. DD14 has very thick, straight, waist-length hair. 

    I'd like to give her some sort of gift for helping her put her hair up. She isn't into looks very much and doesn't spend much time on her hair, but would probably like something that is sturdy, sort of cute, easy to use, and different than just a ponytail or braids.

    It has to be strong. Her hair weighs a lot!

    Thanks, Emily

    • Like 1
  19. Use it!

    We visited my in-laws a few years back to help them unpack after a move that was taking months longer that it should have. I was unpacking the kitchen and there were four sets of formal china. Huh?

    I asked MIL about it. Apparently, she kept on inheriting china. She tried to resell it and learned it was basically worthless. So she had one set she used daily in winter, another for spring, another for summer, and another for fall. It was so lovely and made her so happy to use the beautiful dishes that had happy memories on a daily basis.

    ETA: My grandparents and MIL always put china in the dishwasher. They thought ruining china (long term) was a badge of honor showing you'd had many happy meals.


    • Like 5
  20. So, I'm not sure if this is what you mean, but I had known a woman who was a counselor. She lives in another state. She did two counseling sessions with me when I was facing catastrophic loss. Despite being online, it was very good and incredibly useful. I would highly recommend her to others and also say that IMO we didn't lose anything by being remote.

    I voted "didn't pay" because she refused to bill me. I would have been happy to have paid the $200, though, because it was worth it.

    DH got online counseling this year after his mother's sudden death. He saw two people, one focused on CBT and one more talk-it-out. The sessions were far enough apart that he processed things between them. When he stopped feeling down all the time, he just stopped making new appointments. I'm not sure how much the counseling helped vs passing time and lots of sunny sky. He had a minimal co-pay. I think he was glad to do it because it felt like doing something. He'd say he isn't depressed now, like he was in the spring, but he's still not quite himself. But I think that is to be expected.


    • Thanks 1
  21. ((((hugs))))

    I was borderline on a mental breakdown last fall. It got pretty bad.

    For me, what helped me start turning the corner, was getting rid of my smart phone. I'm not against smart phones, but the feeling that I was always connected was the stressor that was pushing me over the top. I was lucky in that my smart phone died and I put off getting a new one (indecision and inability to act go with depression!) and then realized I felt like a coat of stress had fallen off of me. Of course, for some, the smart phone may be the key to remaining connected to loved ones. For me, it was pushing me over the edge.


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