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Beth S

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Everything posted by Beth S

  1. I don't know if this will work for your mom, but my db added an Echo Show to Dad's room. It allows us to "skype" with him any time. It's hands free, his Dad doesn't have to touch it at all to turn it on, or anything. It uses wifi. It also can display photos (or time, weather, etc) when not in use. It helps to touch base with them, if you can't come for a visit, or just to see how they're doing. The extended family can get access too. My dh calls Dad first, to make sure it's a good time to chat "on the screen".
  2. St. Louis Zoo has a nice penguin exhibit within Penguin Cove.
  3. Google Fi. $45 for 2 lines. We use Wifi instead of Data, but can pay about 1 cent per MB for data whenever needed. Our home internet provider (xfinity) also has hotspots we utilize. We bought their $50 phones when they were on a big sale. We're content.
  4. Well, apparently you don't have Covid?!?
  5. I'd love to see pictures (if you're comfortable sharing)!
  6. Absolutely Only One. 🙂 But always One . . . and Project #2 is in the wings.
  7. We live rurally too. After 11pm, my dh will walk over to a neighbor's house & ask them to turn down the music. 100% of the time, it's been that the parents are out of town, so the teens are having a party. They immediately respond to the in-person connection. He's never had push-back. Maybe bring over some banana bread tomorrow morning (at 6:05am, right after the rooster crows?!?), and ask for a music/rooster curfew. Adding that usually new Country House homeowners do think that no one can hear their noises?!? My dh just explains that we try to keep things quiet after dark. You do want to do all you can to be courteous and not be seen as an "old cranky neighbor". 😉
  8. My single response to "What should I wear" is Black Pants. You can wear them to anything and you will fit in.
  9. This has been my recent experience as well. Sadly, my parents are still clinging to all kinds of stuff, to the extent that their retirement apartment is filled to the brim with boxes. There are indeed many special sentimental items in these boxes, but also a lot of unneeded items. At some point, we become too aged to wisely sort our belongings. However, this thread has caused me to update my external hard drives, & now store them in our locked safe. I'm now thinking, "What sentimental items would I grab?" Surrounded by all the news of Ida devastation, this is very timely. Thanks.
  10. I use the free version of NewRetirement.com They are continually improving it. Another helpful part, tho, is the weekly email with 3-4 helpful articles in it. If you really are bored right now, explore CollectingWisdom.com which is an aggregate of personal finance blogs. When our nest emptied a year ago, I began learning more about retirement issues. It really has helped us understand the variables in our future. I highly recommend the pursuit!
  11. We are purely Vicarious RVers, but there are lots of full-time RVers who pass along helpful info on Youtube, and their blogs, etc. Keep Your Daydream Less Junk More Journey Drivin' and Vibin' Chris and Sara Long, Long Honeymoon All of these Youtube channels have a bit of instructional aspect to them, in addition to being a travelogue. Usual advice is to rent before you buy, because there are so many different types to choose from.
  12. PSA = If you line the bowl with a WM bag & a folded thick square of papertowel, the vomit bag can be taken directly to the outside trash bin. If you are alone, you can have several backup bag/paper towel combinations & replace them, even if you're sick. Hope your family members(s) feel better soon!
  13. As PP mentioned, Dawn at the Minimal Mom is a fantastic friend-like motivator. Here's an example: 9 tips for decluttering with low motivation. There are LOTS of these helpful videos on her Minimal Mom channel. I've also included her Decluttering questions I found here: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/185632815879140082/
  14. Instead of a safe deposit box (which can be inaccessible in an emergency), we have our critical documents in a fireproof lock box. It is grab-and-go. Inside is a 5 page document with all our passwords, and all pertinent financial info. I've told dh and the kids they can work step-by-step thru each item in this document (which I update annually), if I pass away. I'm going to follow a PP suggestion of including a flash drive in the lock box, which will be additional backup to my external hard-drives. My goal is having it all in one place. We also oversee our parents' finances, so their critical paperwork (and passwords, etc) are in a 2nd fireproof safe. Our safe is just a Sentry document lock box from Walmart. $40. https://www.walmart.com/ip/SentrySafe-1200-Fireproof-Box-with-Key-Lock-0-18-Cubic-Feet-Black/757666065
  15. My dh's folks bought our crafty daughter a Glitterator. Last week, he suggested our son buy one for his niece (daughter of crafty daughter). No glitter stays where it was applied. Glitterator was quickly donated to Goodwill. There's one for sale on Ebay right now. Here's a youtube commercial for it:
  16. I can't help but chime in. Very Strong Pros AND Cons. We just celebrated 100 years of our extended family's ownership of wooded property in a remote area in the northern US. 5 very rustic, 90 year old cabins, each roughly the size of a 2 car garage. 28 of us gathered. We had an absolutely amazing time together. However, we spent 1/2 a day coming up with the solution for the failed concrete block wall of one cabin's basement. It's about to collapse. Problems with Plumbing, Electrical, Septic, Roof, Downed Trees = we've had it all. Ownership Issues have splintered the family in various ways over the entire 100 years. We have drawn up legal documents, and to date, have a loving relationship with the current group involved. *** Long story short = It is amazing. It is overwhelming. Both. I think the MUCH easier alternative is to rent a big AirBnB to host the extended family. No Matter What . . . it is cheaper than ownership. Rent your fun = the common mantra of the personal finance community. 😉
  17. This is a fun rabbit hole. I googled. Lots of cute, creative Kids Habit Tracker Sheets. Erica Lucas (Minimalish Homeschool Mom = very inspiring & honest) has one for 100 walks. https://www.ericalucasloves.com/100walks ETA: Her youtube describes just making it "a walk" rather than a specific length, or every single day.
  18. Put them out at your curb, with a FREE sign. Post them as Free on local FB Marketplace (or even on your personal FB page). I'm on our local library board, and we didn't advertise that we were accepting donations, but we unlocked the donation bin. 😉 I'm astounded at the lack of interest in your local community! Veterans, Homeless Shelters, Thrift Stores, Back to Homeschool Mtgs this month. What a problem to have!
  19. As a new Empty Nester, I was reassessing hobbies this past year (plus the Quarantine Time). I ended up sorting and scanning our old photos. Scanned 4-at-a-time on our flatbed scanner. It was a delightful time to reminisce . . . plus I've enjoyed easily sharing them with extended family, or to make birthday cards, etc. Also, I've watched lots of decluttering Youtubes, and have slowly decluttered and cleaned our house. Maybe not a "fun" hobby . . . but it absolutely improved my attitude and our enjoyment of our house. Another avenue of thought is to put more time into celebrating your parents, friend's or chidren's birthdays in a more meaningful way. Things that I normally didn't have the time to do . . . but now we do. My new task is to digitize our DVDs. Best wishes on this new endeavor. Digging out of depression is a challenge, but seeing some light at the end of the tunnel is wonderful.
  20. Many apartment complexes have locked mailboxes in a single location (like a cabinet). These boxes also have slots to receive mail into a locked box. (We're rural, but our subdivision has one of these.) For incoming mail, there are mailbox signals, indicating if the mail has been delivered. https://www.amazon.com/MailSig-Mailbox-Signaling-Device-Standard/dp/B06ZZ2RLJP Also, USPS provides a daily email alert with scans of the mail/pkgs to be delivered later that day. You can sign up online at usps.com That system also allows you to ASK the mail carrier to schedule a pickup of a package at your house. Good luck helping your Dad enjoy his mail, rather than getting stressed out about it!
  21. Also consider more exercise to wear her out a bit. Running a lap around the house was what I used (for slightly older kids).
  22. Yes to the suggestion of walking to work in tennis shoes, then wearing the work shoes only at work. Sometimes we go shopping at shoe stores, then buy an equivalent used pair on Ebay.
  23. The plot of the movie "I Care A Lot" (2020) with Rosemund Pike is a fictional account of something like this. It's on Netflix. I expected it to be Dark Comedy . . . but it's just Dark.... Thankful that we have a family attorney, and loving children. Things can spin out of control very quickly.
  24. It's hard to quantify all the successful Hive Advice I've benefited from: Speed Queen. Cinnamon Rolls. Of course SWB's WTM and WEM books. Giving $20.21 as a gift check (fun, affordable amount). And Assisted Living advice today. 😉
  25. Both sets of our parents are in AL, private pay and high quality. One pays rent, the other owns the unit. Just a PSA as we all begin to plan for retirement . . . it's nice not to HAVE to live with your kids. AL still requires a lot of oversight from the children, but none of us could have housed either set of parents in our homes. Here's our experience on Private Pay, which is what we all would prefer . . . BUT.... One set of parents has LTC Insurance, intended to pay for their nursing care, but I have literally spent 100+ frustrating hours over 3 years trying to keep up with the baffling maze of paperwork. Of course the patient could never handle this on their own, so it falls to a family member. We estimate they paid at least $120K over the years ($6K x 20 yrs) for the coverage, and we've managed to get $100K in reimbursement. IMO, it would have been far better for the payments to be invested, and have them live off the proceeds. I know I'm side-tracking the discussion, but Medicaid nursing home beds are indeed VERY hard to find. And Private Pay nursing care is very expensive. Everyone wishes they could just stay in their home and "age in place" . . . but that's not always safe or wise. Our current plan is to set aside the proceeds of the sale of our house for this care in the future. This has been yet another VERY helpful Thread. Thanks!
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