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bolt.

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bolt. last won the day on July 7 2013

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About bolt.

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  1. But how can you tell in a photo whether there's a sheet there or not? Are you seeing mattress labels or something? In any case, my charitable interpretation is that people maybe frequently take a photo on cleaning day -- when the space as a whole looks nice -- while the sheets are in the wash, and will be returned by bed time.
  2. I've got a different perspective. I'm actually perfectly happy with a living space having a "box wall". That means that the living space loses just one strip of floor space, and you perfectly label and stack about a 5x5 "wall" of identical boxes for her. Do a great job of labeling: no scribbling. Use a white paper with a complete and precise list taped squarely to the front of each box. Make sure you use *her* names for things, and note which things are valuable or sentimental, vs things that are practical and useful. Keep an eye out for things that wouldn't be worth donating (even though they are worth something to her) and maybe keep them together in one box. If you make a change to a box, make a new label -- keep it pretty! Also print "date packed" on the label. Leave a space for "date last accessed". I bet you can put every object that she is struggling to part with into the wall. 25 boxes is a lot of storage space. Once they stop tripping over things, the existence of the box wall will just fade into the background of everyone's mind. Just treat it like it's the actual wall of the room. Put the back of a couch against it, and it's halfway invisible. The thing is, having your own belongings on hand *does* make people comfortable. It's okay to give up floor space for that goal. Just get them tidy and out of the way. She can deal with the next steps when she is ready: if she is ever ready. In a few years, you will be there for Christmas again, and I'll bet you will both look at the untouched "box wall" and decide to get rid of half of those boxes without even opening them. Trust the labels. If she never gets rid of them: fine. She did without 5 square feet of floor space for 20 or 40 years, and it's all nicely packed for donation when she no longer has a need for earthly goods.
  3. I cleaned cat urine from unsealed concrete this way... Mix a crumbly paste of baking soda and dish soap. Fill a spray bottle with vinegar, and have another spray bottle with water. Get a carpet cleaning machine or wet vac ready to use. Use a super stiff brush to work the soap-soda paste deep into the grout. Brush it away if it starts to get dirty looking, and continue to work with fresh amounts of the paste. When the paste seems to be staying clean, spray it with the vinegar and scrub at it some more as it foams. Suck up the foam with the wet vac. Continue working until the vinegar spray is no longer causing foam. Then use the water spray and the wet vac to rinse the area (so you aren't left with vinegar).
  4. Public schools here (Calgary, Canada) have a no-closure policy. This is because they are committed to being open as somewhere safe, warm, and supervised each day. Many parents depend on that. It would be less safe for kids and teens to have nowhere to go on freezing days. They do cancel transportation when the roads are genuinely unreasonable to drive on except for emergencies. (Like 40cm of fresh snow, or a serious layer of re-frozen overnight ice.) When they cancel transportation, it makes school optional -- but the schools are still open. (Education may not happen, and not all of the teachers can make it, but warmth and supervision is available.) They also encourage parents to opt for safety if they think it's unsafe to travel to school any day as an individual decision.
  5. Only Justice for us! I've been very happy with their bras for my girls.
  6. I can see that you are deeply concerned about your friend, and that you are really stretching yourself to try to make things less difficult for her. I love that about you. But I think you are displacing your anxiety onto the absent family members. What you said is that she was hospitalised, and now she's not. That she has a social worker and home help. That she and her social worker are looking into rehab and possibly long term care. Your concerns are that she is "she is still hurting and having trouble getting around" and that she is lonely. That's not the kind of healthcare crisis that requires far off children to take leave from their jobs, fly across the country, and sort things out on her behalf. It would be nice if they could do more, but it's not critical. What's critical is that you take a step back and get comfortable with providing the kind of friendship and support that doesn't upset you so much. She will still be elderly and lonely. She might fall. (That could happen if you are watching her too. Supervision doesn't prevent falls.) She might go back to the hospital if she needs to. That's hard to watch, but it's even harder to be deeply involved and still unable to prevent difficult circumstances. There's really not much you can do. Her kids wouldn't be able to do much either -- even if they came and stayed months: which they can't. Once you aren't stretched so thin, you might not feel so strongly that other people should be helping you do things that you are volunteering to do. If they go undone, perhaps others will step up. Or perhaps it will become clear that while they are nice actions, they might not actually be needed.
  7. I respond with something like, "I'm so sorry to hear that. It's very sad," etc. I would never dream of asking why (either directly or by engaging in a gossipy chat with other family members). If the relative who was separating wanted to speak to me for some reason, I'd be happy to do whatever I could to help in whatever way they wanted. It's possible that they might like my advice, I suppose, but they'd have to ask for it. It's a hard enough season to get through without every great-auntie and second-cousin calling to ask for reasons and explanations! I would imagine that the nearer relatives are also minding their own business and/or being kind and supportive, depending how close they are to the situation. These things usually happen right before the holidays (or right after them) because the suffering couple is often intending to "hold out" for the holidays, hoping that the warmth and kindness of the season will help with their difficulties. Sometimes that works. Sometimes the stress and expectations of the holiday season has the opposite effect, and the couple is just too fractured to stand "faking it" at a family gathering. Alternatively, some couples have been separating gradually or secretly for months -- and the holidays are just the point at which they finally have to disclose the problem to they family bystanders.
  8. As a short person, would you say that blouse is tunic-length around your butt and upper legs? If so, you could go with some legging-style bottoms perhaps in a slightly flashy colour or texture, (just a bit of holiday sparkle so the plain-ness doesn't stand out) or just in black like the model is wearing. Do you have dressy flats with a bit of bling to them? And think about a necklace and earrings to take things in a cocktail-type direction. Or a scarf? Edited to add: I like the idea of velvet slim pants/leggings.
  9. Most people *do* find that their relationships with other people are a primary and major source of their personal happiness. Aside from religious people (many of whom would say that, in religion they 'relate to a person' just in a different sense) I've found that people very frequently identify their relationships as a source of happiness. It's also really normal to emotionally respond to the external factors of life as motivators. I'm thinking that the stress and drain you might be feeling could be coming from the way you frame what you are seeing. Are you worried about him? Do you think of his responsive and/or expressive emotional life as a risk of some kind? Or a negative for him in some other way? Do you relate it to your mom? I mean, of course it's fine to need space from teenage moods (don't we all!) but you do seem really bothered -- even though what you are describing is just that your son is a really normal person. Maybe I'm over-interpreting your posts. If things are fine, don't mind me. I'm just trying to reassure you that your son seems totally fine overall. Venting might be all that you need. ETA: Why do you think he's feeding you BS about why he missed curfew... Why isn't the reason he gave probably actually his reason?
  10. Well, of course you do. I guess he's a perceptive kid. Did you ask him why he thought that was a problem? Or how he thinks yours-and-his priorities could both be incorporated into a better compromise? I do see his perspective: that bringing up his military future is a pointless distraction from the things he was trying to get you to understand. He has a right to expect love, empathy, warmth, and altruism from his family. Expecting it from his family is normal. It doesn't mean he plans to head out and expect it from his employer. That would be stupid. He doesn't think that he's stupid. The two ideas just have no legitimate connection. What I mean is that the military, as an employer, is *supposed* to care far more for training soldiers for adequate roles in national defense than they do about the soldier's emotional well-being and personal happiness. The military doesn't love or nurture anyone. He doesn't expect them to, and he won't care when they don't. Family members are different. Families *do* love and nurture one another. Families *are* expected to care about one another's emotional well-being and personal happiness. I imagine that you have told and shown him thousands of times that these things are true in your family. Somewhere, really, when he's not breaking curfew, he's right, isn't he? I'm betting that among the things you care about for his sake, one of them is that you do care how his friendships are going. (He rightly recognized that it isn't good when someone's mother implies that she owes him nothing more than a barracks officer: especially when it's not true.) I'm thinking that he just wanted you to wonder if your heavy focus on curfew actually is at the right priority level *in a loving family context* where he believes (probably rightly) that you also care (somewhat) about his social and emotional life. That's question has nothing to do with how he will respond to military training. Of course, in most families the answer is: Yes, getting home on time is definitely more important than the last few minutes or hours of a social engagement. He wishes it wasn't -- but wisdom prevails because you're in charge of him for now. But that doesn't mean that his observation wasn't both true and appropriate. It also doesn't mean that your reaction to use an analogy casting your family life as 'just as cold as real life is going to be' wasn't just a little hurtful in the moment. Very few people don't talk to their parents for 10 years because they were strict. Usually that's because they were harsh. There's a difference. I don't think you are on the wrong side of that difference (or you would be seeing a lot more consequences already). He just got worked up. He wanted you to know that there are consequences in families that go down roads like that -- and that he hopes it won't happen to you. The fact that he bothered saying it means that it almost certainly won't. I think he could use you saying that you know that he will be successful in the military, that blowing curfew at home doesn't mean that you actually predicting his failure. If you say nothing else, at least say that. Anxiety about the adult future is huge at this age! If you want, you could also affirm that he's right to expect a home to be a softer place than a barracks, and that you do care about his personal well-being and relationships -- in balance. You can maybe even open a conversation on compromises around his curfew -- but affirm that, to you, getting himself home on time is definitely more important than a few more minutes to nurture his existing friendships... so he's going to need other arguments.
  11. Just wanted you to know that I'm keeping you in my prayers. You're an intelligent woman dealing with a lot of big stuff. Keep trying, OK?
  12. I remember a teen book in the '80s that went to the trouble of debunking a myth like this -- that girls could pause their periods by crossing their eyes or some-such. For me, if teen novels can debunk this, an OB believing it is inexcusably unprofessional.
  13. Well, that's a bright side at least -- it's been installed vertically. It isn't going to give you all leaning-tower vertigo as you walk by.
  14. Is it actually slightly off-vertical, or does the photo just look that way?
  15. I suggest waiting to see if she needs them before shopping. I'm Canadian, so my store recommendations would be worthless, but all the women I know manage to find flat or near-flat practical-but-nice boots for our snowy winters. They range from ankle boots to quite tall, and some women do manage a chunky heel fairly well if the sole has good traction. Usually a slim look and a semi-pointy toe are good features. (Some women just wear snow boots and keep 'indoor shoes' at their offices -- like schoolkids do.) I imagine if that's what people are wearing, then it will become fairly obvious how to buy them locally.
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