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Melinda in VT

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Everything posted by Melinda in VT

  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. I would prefer energy go to creating gender-neutral options. I see no need to remove same-sex bathrooms, changing rooms, etc., when many people find them useful and they are often more efficient uses of space. I think same-sex spaces and gender-neutral options work well together to meet the needs of all people. ETA: Because of the direction this thread has gone, I want to clarify that I did not understand the narrow definition the OP was using for same-sex. It would not occur to me to ban a transgender woman from using the women's space, should she want to use it.
  3. For changing rooms, toilets, etc., I think same-sex spaces are desired by many people and are often cheaper, but as the parent of a transgender teen, I think neutral spaces should also be available. For my kid, there was a long time when he didn't feel like he fit anywhere and was still coming to terms with things, and I appreciated places that didn't turn every outing into an identity crisis if he had to use the bathroom. Others can also benefit from neutral spaces, like family members caring for those of another gender who need assistance due to age or disability.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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?
  12. 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.
  13. Have you ever stopped to consider why your posts elicit those type of responses?
  14. 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.
  15. Thanks for posting. We're going to Denmark this summer, and this gives me an interesting tidbit to share with the kids.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. How many words will the book be when it is finished? How many words do you have now? How many words do you usually write in a day or an hour? My husband, who is both a writer and a literary agent, recommends telling your agent and your editor that you are going to miss your deadline. Missing deadlines happens. It's worse if it's a surprise. I wouldn't be too hard on your husband unless he had a clear picture of the state of your book and how long it would take you to finish. If I remember correctly, he doesn't have much experience with you having a writing deadline, so he's still learning what kind of support you need.
  19. London is great and not scary at all. And there is a ton to do there. However, London is not the highlight of England, and I wouldn't hesitate to skip it for many trips. For your trip, though, I'd skip Bath and fly to Dublin from London. I'm saying this based on where Lakenheath is and the belief that you'll enjoy your trip more if you work with a smaller geographic area.
  20. I would get a credit card. There's more risk with a debit card. We only use our debit card for ATM withdrawals. Everything else goes on the credit card. As for the itinerary, my first thought is that you are spending a lot of time moving from one place to the next, and skipping over really cool stuff to do it. I'd pick one island or the other for the entire 10 days. There is plenty to do in either place. I also think it's a shame to go to Dingle and not stay the night so you can hear the music. The whole point of Dingle is the pub music! (We picked our Dingle rental house based on it being walking distance from the pubs. I might be a tad bit obsessed.) The good news is, you'll have a great trip! I just think you'll have a better one if you reduce the geographic area you are trying to cover.
  21. I can't disagree more. This advice is good for people with annual passes or those who go to Disney frequently, but for the rest of us, meandering leads to tired, cranky, exhausted kids and to spending all your time in line trying to see the stuff you want to see. The people I know who ended up hating Disney are those who weren't there at rope drop and tried to wing it.
  22. I have never stayed onsite, so I don't know much about the dining plan. Reservations are a good idea for any sit-down restaurant (as opposed to counter service). Accept that your Disney vacation will go much better with a plan and a rough schedule. Then go buy The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, read it, and follow their advice.
  23. I think to some extent this depends on whether both partners agreed that one of them would stay home.
  24. The week started out expensively because we were staying at a Westin for a conference. We did reduce our food expenses this year (and increase our health) by bringing some vegetables and fruits from home, and by ordering from the breakfast menu for two days instead of getting the breakfast buffet all three days. I got three pairs of pants for DS10 for $16 total at the thrift shop. Between growing and ripping holes in the knees, he was down to few enough pants that he seemed to always be out. I also spent $16 on bamboo knitting needles and yarn in my renewed pursuit to learn how to knit in a way that won't trigger numbness in my hands. This has inspired DS10 to pick up my old metal needles, so even if it doesn't work for me, I feel I've already gotten my money's worth in entertainment for him. I have an Amazon order that I'll probably click Buy on today: two books I'll be reading all year.
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