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About Kalmia

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    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

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  1. I am sorry for your loss. I am a huge proponent of the Oxford comma, but if the headstone was already installed I'd consider these things before changing it: cost of the change, whether I would ever be able to visit the grave without thinking about the missing comma, what my brothers and sisters thought about it, and most importantly if my mother cared about the Oxford comma or not. p.s. This reminds me of the episode in Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life when Emily sends back her husband's headstone several times because they can't get the quotation marks right around the Longfellow (I think) quote and at least once while fixing it they introduced a new error.
  2. A boxful of notes from my friends and boyfriends in high school. We passed notes endlessly and they were full of emotion and creativity. I know I'd love to go through them again as I have reconnected with many of these nice people through FB and reunions.. I would even show them to my daughter if I had them to demonstrate that everyone (even her dull old mother & friends) goes through the high school drama and angst and explain that it does get better as you grow up (dullness is your friend!). A round, oak dining room table and chairs that was not my grandmother's (my aunt has that one) but looked exactly like my grandmother's and which I received for free from someone else ruthlessly decluttering. I have, for the first time, an eat-in-kitchen as well as a dining room and it would have looked perfect there (much better than the empty space that has been "decorating" it for a year).
  3. My two favorite guilty-pleasure Hallmark-style Netflix Christmas Specials are The Holiday Calendar and The Christmas Inheritance. The acting is much better in these than most of their ilk. My recent binge has been the ten seasons of Heartland, a Canadian television production about a family who owns a horse ranch in Alberta. Great characters, super horses, realistic.
  4. We were very lower middle class growing up, but lived in a safe, rural town. My mom was a stay-at-home mom until I entered middle school in 5th grade. My younger sister and I were then latchkey children in (for her, part of elementary school), middle school, and high school. It was great! We would take walks, ride bikes, draw, crochet, write stories, watch TV, prep dinner, walk the dog, help the neighbor with barn chores, do our homework, nap, hang out with friends, and recover from the stress that was school. By high school we were even tending the wood stove for heat in winter. Being on our own made us competent and confident. If we'd had to do stay in school for hours until our parents got off work, it would have been torture. I am sure it would have been in the loud cafeteria or gym and we would have been forced to play team type things and do what adults told us every minute. My sister and I needed our downtime. We thrived with responsibility for the management of our own time. Freshman year of high school when I went to a horrible public school, being made to stay extra hours with the bullies that tormented me daily might have made me suicidal. How could that have been better for me than learning to manage a home and practicing the arts and exercising on my own? I am not against after school activities being available. I know everyone's home circumstances are different. However, I am vehamently against them being mandatory.
  5. We moved 500 miles from the northeast to the pretty-much midwest (probably not technically included in a map of the midwest, but the culture and attitudes are the same). We have not fit in at all. I grew up visiting my grandparents in Michigan (relatively similar to here) and somehow never realized the fundamentally different ways people interact in the midwest vs the northeast. I'll not say one is better than another, they are just completely different cultures, and we are not going to assimilate. It is also depressingly flat (we are mountain people) and cloudy pretty much all year here (seriously depressing) and there is no ocean. We also moved from a rural area to a small city and I hate the traffic and can detect the air pollution and can no longer see the stars. It is also a 6-10 hour drive to see any of our friends or family so that isn't happening half as much as I thought it would. The job was also not as great as it was made out to be. So we are waiting the two years (6 months left!) until we can sell the house without any taxes on the profits so we can go home. I have already told my husband that I will stay married to him forever, I am happy to take vacations anywhere, but I am never living anywhere but New England again so that should end his frequent job hopping.
  6. I'd like an invite. Nineteen-going-on-twenty kid with ASD and dysgraphia, so smart, but failing spectacularly at keeping up with assignments at college and managing his own self-care.
  7. Was the seed catalog Fedco? That's the only one I've ever seen with quotations. I got to hear Will Bonsall lecture on seed saving when his radical self-reliant gardening book came out. Most of my recommended books I first learned about here on WTM My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell Uncle Tungsten by Oliver Sacks I second this lovely one someone mentioned in a previous post: The Summer Book by Tove Jansson
  8. We have Peakeep alarm clocks which we don't use as alarm clocks, but they have lasted longer than some of the other brands we have tried. This one has seven alarm sounds.
  9. I worked for the New York Zoological Society (Prospect Park Zoo) as an instructor. Big zoos, like the Bronx Zoo, San Diego Zoo, etc. that are accredited by the AZA take animal care extremely seriously. They are staffed by educated professionals including world-class veterinarians and nutritionists and behavioral specialists. The enclosures are kept spotless. Their health is monitored on a daily basis. All needed medical care is taken care of. The diets are arrived at using the best available scientific data. The animals have space to exhibit their natural behaviors and are given behavioral enrichment to keep their minds and bodies active. Being on the inside with friends who were keepers and vet techs and hearing all their talk, I had zero qualms about the care of the animals in the NYZS facilities. A world class zoo will also be doing conservation work. NYZS works in many countries to protect habitat and species. They also participate in breeding endangered species for release, the species survival plan. The zoo I was working for was breeding the endangered Wyoming toad. The only thing that saved the black footed ferret from extinction was the coordinated efforts of several zoos to breed and reintroduce them. Now, many "zoos" are really roadside attractions or underfunded city facilities or for-profit enterprises and I have my doubts about those and avoid them. And there are some species of animals that I believe should not be housed in zoos or aquariums. So I am not always, rah-rah zoo. But if you have qualms or moral reasons not to support them, don't go. It is perfectly okay to learn about the wildlife in your backyard/town/region instead. And if you go despite qualms, only go to an AZA accredited facility. At least you know that whether or not you believe the animals should be there, they are being cared for according to the most modern standards.
  10. I took the photos for my last house sale because my realtor's were known not to be great. Because I took my own, I could take the photo of each individual room at a different time of day to capture the sunlight streaming in, so the east facing rooms in the morning and the western facing rooms in the afternoon.
  11. I've applied it overnight on acne and have had great success especially healing the open pimples. So yes, for external application, it can be useful.
  12. If I had really understood that I was going to have to teach my kids to drive, I probably wouldn't have had any! And my son has had 30 hours of professional driving instruction! He's a pretty good driver, but when I am with him all I can see is potential accident here potential accident there. He gets irritated when I correct. I am having the argument in my head that since I am the parent of another child, it is not okay that I am risking my life to teach someone to drive. Basically it is horrible and I am ill suited for it. I make every excuse not to take him out driving and it has been at least 4 weeks since he has been behind the wheel. Honestly, if I had complete control over the money in the house, I would raid our retirement fund or the college funds to pay for all the private lessons he needed until he was ready to pass the test; and I am usually a do-it-yourselfer and not a spendthrift. But there is that much fear in my gut.
  13. I will be the counter-example. We moved from acreage in a wilderness region of western Maine to a house with an acre in an inner suburb of a small city. I hate it. I hate the traffic. I hate having neighbors. I hate that there are so few moths (I study moths for fun). I hate that I can only see a handful of stars (where before I could clearly see the Milky Way). I find the suburban people to be uptight and rigid compared to country people. Everything is more expensive, especially home repairs. I thought we'd do more things as we are near the museums, entertainment etc. but we did all of them once and were done. But having neighbors is the worst part for an introvert used to having none. Our house does back up to a nature preserve, but it is very weedy with low biodiversity. The suburban house is also more work as the entirety of the property is visible to neighbors who have very strong opinions as to how long grass can get and how flower gardens are maintained. In rural Maine, no one cared about anyone else's lawn. We are moving back as soon as it is possible. The losses in terms of privacy, beauty, wildlife, clean air, friendly people in the nearby town, zero traffic, and the night sky are not worth being close to the grocery store and shops. All of us are in agreement that for our family, this was a huge mistake. That being said, a more extroverted family would probably have an easier transition.
  14. I have a second cousin who got pregnant at 19 or 20 after mucking about following Phish and other hippie bands for a few years after high school. Did not marry. Had the baby. Got a job in Cracker Barrel. Relied heavily on her mother and grandmother for babysitting, but also made use of her trusted friends for babysitting, especially trading babysitting. She decided Cracker Barrel wasn't going to cut it to make a life for her and her daughter. Went back and got her B.S. Applied and got into medical school. And just graduated and is starting her residency. During medical school she did find a partner, but help from friends was a vital part of her success. There will be lots of women at your daughter's PS who have babies and can be mentors and maybe babysitters. Nothing is impossible when you are a determined mom.
  15. I've seen people cover the wallpaper with sheets of faux bead board and paint the bead board. It looks nice. Somewhat expensive for large areas though.
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