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About skimomma

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  1. Thanks everyone! I ordered a wreath for their door and a digital indoor/outdoor thermometer. Not sure about the thermometer but I don't recall seeing one when I visited last so fingers crossed. I got too nervous about food because one of them is very picky and the other has a lot of sensitivities. With my luck, I'd order something they couldn't use.....
  2. Well, I can't see their door without driving ten hours, but I doubt they have one. So, that is an idea. They send us gifts every year....including about half of the Harry and David catalog, including pears. Would it be tacky for me to send them the same thing I know they are going to send us?
  3. That is what is tripping me up. I am not really "crafty" but I made corn bags for them years (decades, maybe) ago and they used them so much they wore out....which made for a very handy gift idea last year. But I am out of homemade ideas that would not just be more clutter. They seriously don't need, or even want, anything from a store but I also know they really love having gifts to open on Christmas.
  4. They are special. I live 10 hours away from them so won't be able to see them during the holidays but I always make sure to set aside time to spend with them whenever we are in town.
  5. I forgot an important detail. They are wealthy. Very wealthy. So, they buy ME restaurant gift cards. They have someone do all of their shopping and comes to their house to prepare and serve meals. They rarely leave the house as all. My mom gets them a wall calendar every year so that is taken and they do not enjoy reading. I seriously cannot think of a single idea. I made them homemade corn sacks (the kind you can heat in the microwave) last year and that was a huge hit.
  6. There is a couple in my life that I need gift ideas for. I have been trying to think of something for weeks and am coming up blank. The parameters: 1. I can spend up to $100 total, so either up to $50 each or $100 for a joint gift. 2. They are in their 80s, still living in their own house, and they are hoarders (so knickknacks are a no go). 3. They no longer cook for themselves and have multiple food restrictions, the nature of which, I am not privy to. 4. These are family friends who have done me some HUGE favors over the years but I am not close with them personally so personal items like photos aren't a good fit. 5. They do not like flowers and/or plants. 6. They wear orthotics, indoors and out, with special socks so any sort of footwear is off the table. I have no idea what their clothing size and/or preference is. 7. One is very hard of hearing and both are limited in mobility so "experience gifts" like tickets to something are not a good fit. 8. They are not readers nor are they into puzzles, games, etc.... They also do not listen to music. They spend most of their time watching TV with the CC on. They do not have a DVD player or computer. 9. My mom, who also gives them gifts, has the market cornered on all things found in Sear's gift bins (like flashlights, multitools, car safety kits, etc.....). 10. They do not like candles or bath stuff. I cannot think a ANYTHING that does not violate one of the approve criteria. Any ideas? I'm desperate!!!!
  7. Yes! The worst sin ever is to try to make the dish in question in the host's kitchen! Before I switched to the renegotiating tactic, I would just show up in the morning to make the requested dish. That did not go well. At all. When dinner was over 2 hours late (it always always always is), the "reason" was that "someone" was taking up the oven "the whole morning." I even tried to get crafty with a crockpot one year and just the very presence on the counter came within inches of ruining Thanksgiving forever. I really find it amusing more than anything. The people involved are not generally terrible people. Something about a large meal just brings out the worst in some people. I like to cook and would love to be able to bring something homemade and special, but it just isn't possible. I am more than happy to spend twice as much as everyone else to bring something that fits with our travel plans like wine, beer, paper products, pie, or all of the above.
  8. How do you all handle food assignments to people who don't live in town? I always get assigned dishes just like everyone else but we live 600+ miles from our nearest relatives. We usually stay in a hotel the night(s) before the meal in question as most people we visit do not have room for us. We are often in the region days before the meal so I cannot prepare at home and try to keep in a cooler or something. The hotel has no kitchen. Stores are typically closed on the day of the meal so grabbing prepared food is rarely an option. I end up calling the organizer (this is the same person every time) to re-negotiate our contribution to something that I can buy prepared ahead of time like pies or beverages. And this usually works after some drama about how difficult it is to shuffle around the assignments. But every single time I originally get green bean casserole or dressing or something else that has me scratching my head wondering if this person has thought through how gross cooler casserole would be by the time we got to the meal.
  9. Yeah, those are "off-road" roller skis. They are harder to use, especially if you try to use them on smooth surfaces. I would stick with the regular ones as those will be enough of a learning curve. On snow, skating tends to be harder for people to learn but I agree that for roller skiing, skate will be easier. Classic roller skiing can be really difficult.
  10. I am hoping someone may be familiar enough with both programs to be able to help. Dd will be in 12th grade next year and needs physics. She will have a very heavy load so I want to be careful with our selections. We need to outsource this. After reviewing our options, we have narrowed it down to DO and Clover Creek. Reading the DO Physics thread has me a bit nervous. Dd took the DO Physical Science class years ago but it does not sound at all comparable to the physics class. Dd is a very good and organized student but she is slow....especially when it comes to science. We bit off more than she could chew with her chemistry class last year so she is a bit intimidated by science in general. I am hoping her physics experience can be one of "healing." Can anyone tell me if either class is going to be a better fit? Specifically, is one over the other significantly more time-consuming? We are already taking format differences into consideration.
  11. I think it is fine to go either way as long a you are consistent from class to class. My policy from the beginning is to award the letter grade that the provider gave as I feel they are better equipped to determine what was A, B, or C work and their grading scale was set to reflect that. And I want my dd to be used to varied grading scales that she may encounter in college.
  12. Luckily there are not a lot of different brands/types and any are going to be fine for most people. Some things to know: 1. There are two types, classic and skate. These operate very differently, require different boots, and different pole lengths. That is the first decision. 2. There are (generally) two types of modern bindings/boot systems (NNN and SNS). I find NNN to have the most boot options. It doesn't matter whether you start with the boots or the bindings on the skis, but whichever you have first, be sure to match the other. 3. Then you need poles, which again the length will be dictated by which type of skiing.....Typically chin height (when wearing your boots) for classic and nose height for skate. 4. The boots and poles are the same you would buy for snow skiing. There are special roller skiing types but those are very expensive and for very serious skiers. Regular is pricey enough and is fine for the vast majority of skiers. The poles will need special roller skiing tips with no baskets. The shop should be able to install these for you. Buy extras as they do occasionally fall off/wear out. 5. Also, these suckers are very hard to stop/slow down, even for an advanced skier, so a beginner should be on a trail or road with grass on the side to fall into if necessary. Stay away from hills....pretty much forever. 6. ALWAYS wear a helmet. Bike gloves can keep blisters and road rash to a minimum. Wrist guards typically will not work with most pole straps. Leggings can help keep the blood loss down. But do expect to bleed. As a mom of a serious skier, the question after every practice is not, "did you fall?," but rather, "how much blood?" Feel free to PM me if you have more questions. I am a fairly serious nordic skier but am TERRIFIED of roller skis. I can't even watch, let alone try it myself. I fall enough on snow.
  13. I think this can be true for sure. And we did go the extra mile to try to make special little traditions even within the chaos. Like negotiating with hotel staff so that "santa" still visited. And playing special music in the car and having our own little family Christmas after midnight services in our hotel room. If these types of things were weaved into warm (even if chaotic) visits with extended family and times when adults paid any attention to the one kid (dd) in the mix. And no one got drunk and started drama. And we did not go into the ditch (again). And everyone got adequate sleep and food. And no one counted up the minutes we were at one house versus another then picked a fight about it being "unfair." And my dd did not start crying midway through gift opening every year between the ages of 3 and 7 because she was too tired but we HAD to get to the next house by exactly noon or suffer an entire day of the silent treatment..... Lots of disfunction. Some normal in any varied family dynamic and some just wrong. Probably pretty typical and maybe even "fun and exciting" for people blessed with certain personality types. Dd is 16 now. Our last trip was when she was 12. She reports that there are some good memories but she felt general dread and exhaustion both during and leading up to those trips. The kids has slept until noon every Christmas morning since we started staying home. What kid does that?!?! I am thinking maybe a kid that is making up for something.
  14. One of the reasons we stopped traveling for Christmas, specifically, was that we realized our own kid would never have memories of our own traditions or being in our home. Instead she would remember many hours in the car, stressed out parents trying to navigate tight timelines on icy highways, waking up in hotel rooms, being forced to rush through gift opening to make it to the next place, cranky relatives that were mad about other missing relatives, etc.... With those memories, she would never feel compelled to come home for Christmas herself!
  15. As to the larger question in the OP, I have pondered it myself. I am in my mid-40s as are most of my friends. We all have kids at home still. We almost ALL have some sort of impossible situation with at least one parent. And difficult situations with most of our parents. Statistically, this has to mean something happens as you age. The theory we have come to is that as you age, you lose your ability and/or desire to keep your flaws from leaking out. With that in mind, I hope whatever my leaky flaws end up being, they are not ones that threaten a healthy relationship with my family.
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