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Everything posted by Twolittleboys

  1. You are of course right but like I said she has no computer/internet etc. I do plan to call her occasionally but like I said I don't really know her that well so don't want to be pushy. She was one of my mother's best friend and has always been nice to me but we aren't really that close.
  2. Thanks again for all the great ideas! The biggest problem is that I do not know her that well/haven't seen where she lives so I am trying to stay clear of edibles (not sure about restrictions or even what she likes). Unfortunately, I do not know if she has a CD player or space for a bird feeder etc. Talking to her on the phone it didn't seem like there are any real mental issues (though of course it was only a fairly short call). But she really struggles with not being able to do things as well as she used to. For example it sounds like she could probably still play the piano, just not as well as she used to. Right now I am tending to get her a nice book - maybe this one: Amazon.com: Golden Atlas (9781471166822): Edward Brooke-Hitching: Books And maybe a jigsaw puzzle? Not sure she enjoys those ( I do so I always assume most people do).
  3. Hm, not sure I have any (I only met her in person a handful of times). I did think I might go through my boxes of old pictures and see if I find some of her with my mother (Hopefully it will say on the back as I am not sure I would recognize her as a child/teenager). But we are on lock-down so I can't really get the photos copied at the moment... This is a great idea though!
  4. Those are neat! I forgot to mention though that we live overseas (sorry about leaving that out) so not sure they sell those here. I guess it needs to be something more generic/sold by Amazon. I did consider an archaeology journal or similar - I will check on that. Not sure we are close enough for a book club though and I have no clue if she has any dietary restrictions or what colors etc. she likes. It would be a lot easier if I knew her better! See, I think these are fun but I think it would be kind of like the piano - she'd probably be sad that she can't paint as well as she used to. Great suggestions though - keep them coming!
  5. Okay, I just got off the phone with my godmother and I really feel bad for her. She sounded very lonely and discouraged, partly due to COVID, partly just because of getting older etc. I was thinking of maybe sending her a little surprise package to cheer her up but not sure what she would enjoy. I don't really know her that well - she always lived a bit far from us and only visited a handful of times. However, she always sent presents for birthdays/Christmas when I was growing up and had me visit for a week once as a teenager. Anyway, here is what I do know about her: She enjoys reading (I think she just got Michelle Obama's book but not sure what else she enjoys). She is artistic and was a very talented piano player/singer. However, she struggles with the limitations of getting older - she sold her piano a couple of years ago because she felt that she wasn't good enough anymore but really misses playing (but definitely doesn't want to anymore). She has no internet/computer access etc. She is interested in nature, history (e.g. archeology) and is generally quite educated. I don't want to spend too much as I don't think she would feel comfortable if I did. I also don't want to be condescending (e.g. I think adult coloring books are really cool and would enjoy getting one myself but think she might feel it a bit "childish"). So it needs to be something that seems kind of intellectual, but at the same time doesn't make her conscious of her limitations (I know she has a hard time walking. She sounded fairly well-informed etc. on the phone but probably has a harder time processing information than she used to). If anyone has any ideas that would be really great. I'd love to send her something to cheer her up a bit as she sounded quite depressed but definitely don't want to make it worse!
  6. Regentrude, I am sorry you are feeling so sad. It has been a difficult year and it is hard to see when it will improve. I actually do think late summer/fall could be a realistic time frame for visiting your family in Germany (but I tend to be a bit overly optimistic)... As far as the life change is concerned it is of course harder to know what might work. What are you looking for? Do you want to make a difference/impact, do you long for adventure, intellectual stimulation, purpose?
  7. I say go ahead. And if you feel guilty about the money, donate an adequate amount to a charity/cause of your choice.
  8. I wanted to get started on my gift shopping today and was wondering if anyone had some input on these: a) Trivial pursuit: We have an old original game and the family edition (too easy now that the kids are bigger). I thought more/different questions would be nice. I would be open to buy an entire game but would prefer just getting cards. Does anyone have experience with this and recommendations? b) DS15 has been playing some chess lately. I was wondering about getting him a book or something similar. He does know the general rules and how to play but has been showing interest in opening gambits etc (thank you Netflix). Should still be interesting/readable though. c) Tabletop simulator. I have been wondering about getting this for myself. It seems fun and I enjoy playing games. However, I don't really have any friends that would be likely to play as well. Any experience with either solo play or finding people to play with online? d) DS18 is away from home at college for the first time. Any recommendations for great, handy things to have? e) Any other recommendations welcome...
  9. Huh, I didn't notice that it was an old thread so I kept reading all the advice to go and thought, doesn't a single person think it might be because of COVID-19/that it might be a good idea to cancel? Took me a while to figure it out!
  10. I am actually not sure how long it takes to get a degree in medicine here in Germany (though I am fairly sure more than four years, at a minium there must be residency requirements etc.) but part of the reason is probably that it is not split into an undergraduate degree and then med school. If you want to study medicine you start right after graduating high school and just concentrate on that. So it should be shorter than in the US as you don't take any of the general undergraduate courses.
  11. Okay, we are always just three and this is what we have: a (tiny) turkey/turkey breast or chicken, sweet-n-sour bean casserole, cranberry sauce, gravy, stuffing, and one or more of the following: mashed potatoes, corn, rolls.
  12. Not sure what your rules are exactly but here churches did require masks only for walking in and out, not while sitting down, for a while (numbers were fairly low at that point). The idea is that when seated you will not be closer than six feet so masks are not necessary. I realize it doesn't make much sense due to singing/air transmission etc. but at that point our numbers were so low that I felt okay with it. Numbers have since risen a lot and I am currently staying home from church so not sure what the procedure is currently.
  13. I don't think it will really be necessary to pay anyone to get the vaccine (at least initially). First of all, there likely will be far less vaccine available at first than needed so only a fraction can get it anyway. Then I do believe there will be a lot of pressure on getting it from various sides: You want to travel and enter country X? Prove that you had the shot. You want to go on a cruise? Prove you had the shot. You want to attend a large conference? Prove you had the shot etc. By the time sufficient vaccine is available and all the people eager to get it (or forced to in order to live their lives) have received it, the vaccine won't be new anymore so more people will be willing to get it. At that point I think enough people will have been treated to get close to herd immunity, between shots and having had the virus.
  14. Have you considered that it may mostly be frustration? I am far from perfect when it comes to conservation/sustainable living but would have a hard time with someone I cared about not believing that "climate change is super important". Because it is. It's just a fact. I can understand not acting on it - obviously that's not great but there are lots of things we know we should do and don't. But someone just not believing facts (or believing things that are clearly untrue) would deeply frustrate me.
  15. Probably a mix. Obviously, I wouldn't know if I don't remember. I generally wake up I think (or don't remember). Quite often I can tell while I am dreaming that it is a nightmare and kind of think to myself, "This dream sucks. I better wake up." And I do.
  16. Probably not. I never have as it is only recommended for certain groups where I live. I have considered it this year due to COVID (potentially overloaded doctors/hospitals, less chance of getting both etc.) but don't think I will as they are low on flu shots and they are still supposed to be used mainly for at risk populations.
  17. For me, the same thing backfires. I/we don't really eat leftovers but I can't throw things out either. So I just stick stuff in the fridge and leave it there until it definitely isn't edible anymore. I generally try to cook amounts that we will eat so there aren't usually large amounts of cooked food - it is more half-used cans of ingredients etc.
  18. In my opinion there is a (strong) correlation between hard work and success. But everyone starts at a different place and yes, that is far from fair. If you are born into a rich, educated etc. family and maybe are fairly good-looking and smart you will likely be successful even with little work. If you are born in a disadvantaged position it will be much harder. But with a given start, hard work will usually lead to more success. And success isn't the same for everyone. One person may be successful if they get a high-powered job, win prices etc. while for another success may be a decent job and a small apartment. It remains unfair but on the other hand success doesn't necessarily mean happiness.
  19. Honestly, I would just let it go. As far as disobedience goes, it is rather minor - noone got hurt, nothing was damaged, noone was in danger. I am sure whoever it was got a pretty big scare and given that you said that the kids are in general well-behaved I would just let it be.
  20. I have. Wasn't really worried about it. I might feel different about a resort though (i.e. using restaurant, activities, pool etc.).
  21. Huh, I got an 87.something.... Not sure I answered the questions right though - I would be willing to consider all the scenarios but actually haven't done any of them (other than eating outside at restaurants). But the main reason I don't travel right now for example isn't because I am worried about getting sick but because little is even possible/offered and I would feel guilty for possibly spreading the virus. And I would consider going to the movies but haven't been in like 4 years so don't think I am going to start right now. But I did take several 3-hour train journeys in the last couple of weeks that were kind of necessary (but maybe could have been avoided if I had to) and wasn't really worried. But as I am getting older I have realized that I don't mind risk as much as many other people (which is surprising as I would never have considered myself like that) and neither I nor anyone I have much contact with is at increased risk for COVID-19.
  22. Well, yes, my feelings are what they are. I AM getting tired of this. That doesn't necessarily mean I will act differently. I am a big rule follower (and I live in Europe and rules are fairly strict here). I am wearing a mask whenever I am out and near people. I work from home. The only time I am out of the house is usually to go to the grocery store. But if I said that I am not getting tired of this, that I am not longing to travel again I would be lying. Not sure what is so horrible about that? And if I was sure that it was a full 5 years until this pandemic is over my opinions would change (it is of course hypothetical as is this entire thread). I was all for isolating nursing homes in the spring to save lives. But there are costs associated with that and they are not to be discounted either. But five years? Five years of not seeing family? I guess for my personally the only real difference would be vacations. For now, I am not going on any but I think I might by next spring/summer. I will of course consider local infection risks and I can probably quarantine when I get back. But for me personally by next year a slightly increased risk is probably worth it by then.
  23. Well, I am kind of losing patience with this pandemic. I know that's horrible, but it is what it is. My immediate family is not high risk (I know of course that there are no guarantees) and kids are at an age where it is really problematic (oldest just started college, younger son in 10th grade) and I can't quite see us putting our lives on hold for five more years. An entire college education with mostly distance learning and little socializing? Another kid with no prom etc.? I really miss travelling/vacations... I think I am okay with another 6 months to a year but much longer than that and I am not sure how reasonable I will /would be. That being said I am okay with wearing a mask, washing hands, taking reasonable precautions. But in the middle to long term I would probably go out to restaurants and travel again as long as it is allowed. I do work from home and don't see many people in my daily live so the risk of me infecting others after e.g. travelling would be fairly low.
  24. Hm, I am really surprised to hear this. I live in Germany and travel (or have travelled in the past) a fair amount on trains but have never encountered an x-ray machine (or a security control). Was it when crossing the border or did she want to deposit it somewhere? I just can't think when they would notice a corkscrew (or anything else). Was it maybe increased security due to the pandemic or a specific incident? Or maybe a particular city? Either way, my answer would be that at least as far as Germany is concerned this must have been some exception. Generally noone cares what you care in your suitcase/backpack - you could have a whole suitcase full of knives. She must have just been unlucky.
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