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Melinda in VT

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  1. Among Others didn't feel dark (despite the situation), but I might have read it when I was in a dark-proof mood.
  2. A Gentleman in Moscow? I Capture the Castle? ETA possibly Among Others by Jo Walton if urban fantasy can stretch to include a small town in Wales.
  3. I haven't made it to Arenal yet, but if you are looking for good food, I highly recommend the Carribean side. We spent time in Puerto Viejo, and there were several wildlife sanctuaries in the area, as well as scuba diving, etc. North of San Jose, La Paz waterfall and bird sanctuary makes a nice stop. We did it as a day trip, but I think you could do it en route to Arenal. One of the most magical travel experiences was at El Toucanette lodge, when we saw multiple quetzals up close. It's not convenient to either of those other locations, but I had to mention it.
  4. A good jigsaw puzzle? Ravensburger makes great ones. A scented candle? My husband gave me a Paddywax soy candle in Mandarin and Lavender, and I love it. I save it for when I'm working on finances, as a reward for doing unpleasant things. New music? With the free Spotify account, it's easy to try new things. A great fruit salad? You can splurge on the fruit that's already cut up.
  5. Do they live together at college? Not just spend the night, but officially live together? If yes, then I'd put them in the same room. If not, I'd give her a separate sleeping place but tell them both that I did not care where they actually slept. This has less to do with my preference for no sex before serious commitment than it does with a sense that as a hostess I want to allow young women the same level of control they are used to over whether they share a bed with someone on any given night. And this in no way is meant to disparage the OP's son.
  6. Once I was old enough to work, I bought my own clothes and shoes and paid for my activities. It seemed a natural progression from child to contributing member of the family.
  7. I agree that coming up with a plan seems simpler than planning for flexibility, as long as everyone is type A. But the flexible suggestions are things that the OP can control. Coming up with a plan requires the participation (or at least buy in) of her DH and the BIL and SIL. Not something she can control. One of my big lessons of the last few years has been that trying to control others or make them more like me does not lead to happiness. Now, if the OP's DH were on here asking what he could do to keep his wife from stressing, I'd be telling him to give her at least a general time for the visit, asks her what else was on the calendar for the day, offer to take responsibility for feeding everyone, etc. But he's not on here. She is.
  8. With regards to food, I do think it helps to have one or two meals in your rotation that can flex for both kids and company. For my picky eater, that means he has tacos with just meat and cheese, and we have taco salads. Or he has a bean and cheese chimichanga and we have chicken chimichangas. Or we make bacon macaroni and cheese, which he will eat, but feels grownup enough for guests if paired with salad, etc. The details will be different for your specific tastes, but you get the idea.
  9. I have found one of the key things for me is to learn not to feel pressured--because usually I am the only one putting the pressure on me. You might want to mention to your husband when you and the baby will be at the other event. And then let go of the pressure. If it's important to him, he'll make it work. Likewise with the house. Your husband can tidy too, right?
  10. Well, I tend to be more Type A, but to answer your specific questions, I'd plan to cook for two extra people, in case it works out that way, but also be prepared to go out to dinner if that's the way the day unfolds. I'd not get tickets for the mid-day event, but I'd be prepared for your husband's ticket to go unused if he decides to stay home to wait for his brother. You and the kids should plan on going (and if your BIL and SIL are there when you need to leave, maybe SIL can use your husband's ticket and the two brothers can hang out while the rest of you are gone.
  11. Have you ever stopped to consider why your posts elicit those type of responses?
  12. I've been the parent receiving the bombshell, and I've also been the (adult) child dropping the bomb. In both cases, time really does help. People's emotions get less raw, you face the embarrassment of spreading the news, and you figure out how to live in the new normal. It will not always feel as awful as it does right now. In the meantime, hugs.
  13. Thanks for posting. We're going to Denmark this summer, and this gives me an interesting tidbit to share with the kids.
  14. Yes, we have a cell micro-tower, and yes, it requires our internet service to run. We don't use the micro-tower for data; we use it to get and send phone calls and text messages.
  15. I know I probably sound like a downer, but I think your first day is way too aggressive. I would bet money you will both fight to stay awake on the boat. Do either the War Rooms/Westminster OR the Greenwich Observatory. Actually, I'd probably cut day 2 in half also--breakfast, British Museum, lunch, Tower of London, Tower Bridge.
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