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Ripley

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Everything posted by Ripley

  1. LOVE - cabinets to the ceiling, no dust-collectors along the top double oven at standing height, in a built in (with a microwave) island workspace, shorter than standard countertop (b/c I'm short!) outlets on island workspace small veggie-rinsing sink on island workspace trash compacter* in the cabinet (we don't usually compact the trash, just use it as a trash can) * to do it again, I'd have added a small trash hole in the counter top (think fast-food or doctor office) flood lights (instead of fluorescent tube lights) dine-in (table and 8 chairs fit inside kitchen, not in a separate room) separate pantry with graduated shelves - appliances on lower shelves, food on taller (shallower) shelves undermount water filter/dispenser instead of separate spray nozzle faucet with pull-out spray nozzle ((instead of separate nozzle) HATE - The stove used to be on the island. Moving it freed up workspace for meal prep and baking, which is especially nice when cooking with the kids - and also when hosting a "bar" (baked potato bar, chocolate fountain, etc.) When the stove was on the island, the range hood hung atop the stove. It was always in the way for anyone over 5'4" (which isn't me!), they'd hit their head on the glass whenever walking around the stove/range. granite countertops - I hate the color and the material. I'll be replacing with formica on the perimeter and marble for the island. intercom - I disconnected it. It has a radio but I want to replace it with something capable of playing an iPad or iPod.
  2. I usually grab some at Bed, Bath & Beyond with a coupon. My mom always just makes her own. She finds it easier to find fabric she likes.
  3. I just checked - I have 15,450. 1,713 of those are marked unread. About 25 of those are ones I read, them marked un-read so I'd remember they were "important-ish." Things like places I'm supposed to take the kids this week, and what I'm supposed to bring to various events. It serves as my organized chaos :lol: .
  4. To piggyback on Amy's suggestion, you can look for a community group that will help you trap/neuter/return (TNR) the cat. Ours can be found by doing an internet search for TNR, feral, {city name} - maybe try that for your area? Or check here: http://www.alleycat.org/page.aspx?pid=444 The group I volunteer with will loan you a trap OR do the actual trapping ourselves (to return to its environment). We hold a check for one-half the cost of the trap until it's returned. The traps we use run about $75 each. Our local shelters use the same ones and will rent them to the public for about $50. We manage a large colony of feral cats on our property. We didn't have a problem with spraying, but with fighting. TNR'ing significantly helped with this.
  5. I get car sick - same experiences as mentioned above re: the importance of cold, open vents; very small, frequent servings of crackers/pretzels; and no reading or movies. It was explained to me that part of the reason some of us get motion sickness is because of the disconnect between what our eyes are focused on (e.g., book) and what our brain is absorbing (e.g., the movement of things in our peripheral vision).
  6. Congratulations on many fronts - for rising above so much, and making it look so good! (Any RHOA watchers? I have the awful "Tardy for the Party" song stuck in my head now.)
  7. I wouldn't be mad enough to say anything, but I'd find it annoying. Mostly from a "who DOES that?!" perspective because it would never occur to me to do that. I'd have chosen to use cones, or a broom stick, or duct tape or something - nothing permanent because, well, it's not my property. My ex-husband is sitting here and says, "I don't get it, what's the problem." :lol: But I'm way more easily annoyed than he is, so if nothing else - OP, you're in fabulous company!
  8. I'm a book hoarder, at a cross-roads. I'm the unofficial library of our neighborhood, family and friends, and I love that. I never thought I'd see the day I felt overwhelmed by my book collections. When I was where you are now, I had doors custom-made for all of my bookshelves. Solved that problem for a decade. When I ran out of walls for more shelves, I boxed up the lesser-used books that I still wasn't ready to let go. Very organized, still easily accessible and stored in an indoor closet. That worked for another five years, until I retired. Now it's just too much. So I'm purging. In bite-sized chunks, so as not to shock my system. Maybe that will work for you, too. I'm getting rid of anything that's easily found at a library, including classics and series (Little House, Ramona Quimby, Roald Dahl stuff, etc.) I'm allowing myself an exception from each age group, if there's a particularly sentimental book or set. E.g., the Narnia series that was mine growing up and my son's marked up Brave New World which is fun to re-read and get a giggle from. What has helped is to remember that there are homes that will love these books, even the tattered ones, as much as we have! I brought a big chunk of K-5 books to the curriculum sale held by my homeschool group and sold them for $.10 each, all conditions. I didn't make much, but it was enough to buy a round of Sonic drinks at the end of the sale! I offered a bunch to kids from school, church, etc. These kids still thank me, and honestly I'm just glad the books are being read again instead of sitting caged up in boxes or behind my bookshelf doors! Anything I had to pay full-price for, or would be challenging to replace, ... so far those have stayed. I'm still working on my irrational attachment to those.
  9. I don't have any music planned; or any aspect of my funeral/cremation planned, for that matter. I'm good with whatever :)
  10. Oh, I like that song! We don't sing it at my church, so I had forgotten about it. As soon as I read your post, a quick memory of Davy & Goliath popped into my head. We saw it on tv, and I was never a fan of the clay animation but I loved the credits when the song played!
  11. My kids have bigger feet than I do, even my 9 year old. But not as big as some of your grade-schoolers, wow! I buy my tennies and cleats from the kiddie section. Cheaper :coolgleamA: !
  12. :grouphug: Stressed mom =/= bad mom. Really and truly, I promise! It sounds like all kinds of crazy right now and yet you managed to advocate for your infant *AND* plan a last-minute party for your 5 year old. In a perfect world, neither would have been necessary. But our world isn't perfect, and neither are mothers. And the world keeps spinning. Be kind to yourself, Mom, you're doing okay!
  13. My son is still like this with me, and he's a teenager LOL We've had the same conversation since he was 8. It's finally started sticking. Son pitches a fit and is upset I know more than he, or that I turned out to be right about something. Mom says, "Well I'm older. So there's that." Son doesn't find this helpful and whines that he just wants to beat me ONE.TIME!! Mom says, "Babe. Hon. We totally have the same goal. I want you to be smarter than me, too." Son doesn't believe me or understand, usually some combination of both. Mom says, "Biology, kid. I'm past my prime. I'm trying to give you all of the knowledge I have. So ... say it with me now ... YOU CAN BE SMARTER THAN ME." Son gets it for about two days before the cycle starts again. It's true, though. I tell him that it's all about genetics - I'm trying to put the best ones out there so we can attract the best ones out there :lol: . He gets a kick out of that and there's some truth to it. Plus when my mind goes to crap, I'm gonna need him to be smart enough to manage my care and stuff! So we still have the pain of having the conversation regularly, but I'm hopeful that he's come around to seeing that we're at least on the same team here. That we both have the end goal of wanting him to be smarter than me, and that he can get there faster if he lets me teach him everything I know (rather than fighting me on everything he doesn't.)
  14. A driven, competitive nature can be a wonderful thing - especially in athletics. It inspires focus, motivation, and makes for a beautiful thing to see play out on the field (or mat, or court, etc.) But it can also do a number on one's mental game, one's ability to relate well to peers (even those like-minded), and ultimately to one's desire to go the distance or to experience burnout during adolescence. You have to figure out where that line is for your son. And the worst of it is that it will differ from kid to kid. And even from sport to sport with the same kid. And even more from one age to another with that one kid. So good luck with that! :lol: I'm raising five kids, all play soccer. Two play rec (only) - by their choice. Two play both for their high school and select teams. The fifth plays for a development academy team, which prohibits outside play (select or school). He's steps away from his dream of playing on the men's national team. I play soccer. They were all playing long before the age of 5, when they became eligible to sign up for organized play. Each has also played, or still plays (in addition to soccer) at least one other sport. In fact, I made it mandatory through 8th grade. The 7th and 8th grader hate me for it right now, but the 10th and 12th graders (who also hated it then) now see the wisdom in that decision. My thought process was (a) cross-training makes a more skilled athlete, (b) it's good for mental discipline, and © multiple sports gives the competitive athlete a year-round outlet without over-stressing any one muscle group, if done correctly. It's proven true for us so far; we've been injury free since 2002 - our first year of organized play - with the exception of one groin sprain from a baseball game (he played catcher; the pitcher and runner collided into him, each taking his body in different directions!) It's also been good for my super-competitive son, who is a natural at any sport he tries but finally discovered a sport he had to actually put effort into ... and a coach who didn't kiss his butt. Best thing to ever happen to him, made him a better teammate and less arrogant player (he didn't meant to be, he just was naturally athletic and couldn't understand/relate to kids who had to try harder or were less competitive. It was important to me to address that.) He was also the kid to refuse to take participation trophies. The league didn't keep track of scores, but he did LOL. I told him to take it graciously and toss it at home if he must, but being "competitive" is not a pass to be rude. It took years to hone this! I think the best advice I can give is to remember three things: 1. It's a marathon. Some people are on this imaginary race to a college scholarship, but his body is for life. 2. Not all coaches know what they're talking about. Or are doing. But some do, even if it's not what you want to hear. 3. Invest in your child, not in an organization/club/coach/camp. And don't forget that soccer is pay-to-play. Select play begins at age 11. Before that you can do 'academy' which is like pre-select. It sounds like the level your son would prefer to play, but they don't have it everywhere. When they didn't offer it in my area, I joined the board of directors for our league and worked to make it happen. I created the opportunity my kids wanted. Have you looked at the www.ussoccer.com website? Maybe do a google search for soccer online forum {your city} and see what pops up. Read autobios by athletes from all areas - the experiences and insights seem similar, surprisingly. Watch ESPN's 30 in 30 videos, with or without your son - again, the specific sport will vary but stories have more in common than not. Even branching out into other areas (music, etc.) might give you something to gnaw on; after all, it's the nature of competition you're trying to understand, it just happens to have the face of soccer. My competitive nature both helped and hindered me. As such, I made a conscious effort to put my son into situations where he needed to put people above winning, people above competition, and even to lose gracefully (e.g., not run through every error in the game as he's walking off the field and unintentionally but directly being hurtful to his teammates. Our rule is "Say Nothing until we're in the car and out of the lot!") So his peers come from a wide walk. Most are from soccer, but many are kids from church, the neighborhood, volunteering, and being out in the world. Some are equally competitive, but in other areas: hockey, cello, debate to name a few. They're a great support for each other. Most programs DO NOT align with my goals. So I have to hoe my own row, and I have to be comfortable doing so. It means hearing from lots of people that I'm making a mistake, being unpopular with my child at times, and just knowing that I've got the bigger picture in mind -- few coaches will, and my kid just isn't there developmentally to yet - and I have to stay strong to balance their goals with (a) reality, and (b) my gut, not their kid-desires. I did not allow them to play competitive as soon as they were able to age-wise. When I finally let my one son, I went with the lower-performing team that was going to give him more play time and freedom to stretch his soccer IQ. I gambled on big-fish, small-pond during his developmental years and now he's more appropriately a small-fish, big pond. Others we know chose the more prestigious, MLS-supported winningest team that carried a full roster. So playing time was fiercely guarded and kids were afraid to take chances on the field, lest they mess up. So some lost their acuity and even became more anxious. The club naturally was more concerned with maintaining its brand than it was developing its players; if you weren't a starter, it was a waste to play there. You paid to scholarship the starters. I can afford to, but do not pay for my kids to play competitively. They must earn it, either by working an outside job (they can ref starting at 13, and the pay ain't bad!) or they can work at their skill and get a scholarship. If any had struggled, obviously I'd step in - the point is to have them vested in it, not to bust their balls to pay for their passion. Soccer is pay-to-play so even at the competitive level you'll have kids there who don't want to be there, but whose parents do. They're like hemorrhoids, always there but sometimes life is smooth and you can forget about them for a bit. And some will be even more competitive than your son. He'll need to learn how to be on the other side of frustration.
  15. If I were getting the same type of response, I'd make my sign more specific - maybe something like: NO SOLICITING *no politics *no surveys *no fundraisers *no direct sales *no magazines *no candy *no offers to help me find Jesus or save my soul MY DOGS ARE HUNGRY *Girl Scouts are exempt and encouraged to knock If a solicitor rings just point to the sign, smile, wish them well and close the door firmly but respectfully.
  16. At the front of my journal I have a four page spread for future events. I draw two horizontal lines across each page, separating each page into three parts. This nets me three months per page. I just add events as they come up, no rhyme or reason (meaning not in chronological order) one entry per line. I like it because it lets me plan at a glance. So say my July future events spread reads: 3 - court date 17 & 18 - baseball tournament 11 - mom's retirement party At a quick glance I can see whether I'm available for the swim meet. I add the date of it on the line right under the last entry: 3 - court date 17 & 18 - baseball tournament 11 - mom's retirement party 6 - swim meet @ Westlake Natatorium When July rolls around, I re-copy it all in chronological order. I don't do a two-page monthly spread; I do two-page WEEKLY spreads so I have ample place to write. Again, two horizontal lines with M-T-W on the left and TH-F-Sat/Sun on the right.
  17. I haven't had to limit anything (yet). I hadn't thought to look up my state's laws, so I'm going to do that now. That said, mine found work relating to extra-curriculars. Much of that is seasonal and limits itself. If my child was generally short-sighted or spendy, I'd probably set up limits - ideally from the beginning, taking into account the kid's tendencies. My primary worry would be exactly what Shawn of the Border talks about - the lure of what SEEMS to be a lot of money (now) distracting a child from longer-term needs/goals. I could see myself paying an allowance - and either requiring an apprenticeship or volunteering or service work of some kind (an oxymoron, I'm aware, but I'm not bothered by semantics and I have a bigger plan in place LOL). That would give the child some spending money but also potentially remove the lure. Or "hire" my own kid to do something for me - whether that's babysitting, carpooling the younger kids, grocery shopping, etc. in a way that could be win-win. Maybe not the most awesome job in the world, but money spends the same however it's earned! And who could pass up the chance to work for the world's bestest boss? ;)
  18. I read the OP aloud to my kids. It was pin-drop quiet for about half a second before we all busted out howling. The OP could have been written about me. And maybe it was LOL. And "odd" is about the nicest anyone has called it! I really appreciated the post that said it's likely the person is processing aloud (that's exactly what I'm doing, even if I don't realize it until I've mid-process and the eyes across from me have glazed over or closed completely). I also appreciated the post referring to BBC Sherlock :) my kids got a laugh out of that, too, because they see a lot of me in that character as well. But I do know it's annoying, even frustrating and when I have a mind to it I try to be aware of the audience's growing disinterest. But when I'm in a stream of thought I get a bit lost sometimes, to the disadvantage of my partner in conversation. Fortunately I'm aware of the issue and can mostly have a laugh at it when someone has lost patience and snips at me about it. It stings, but I know how hard they try to keep quiet for the most part - and that we all reach our personal boiling point. I appreciate their effort rather than a constant stream of annoyed "Yeah, I know" dismissals during conversation. Though sometimes my kids are at fault! I'll be thinking aloud, minding my own business, having a conversation with myself and they'll interject themselves into my audible thought stream. So I reply, but my mindset is still in "process" mode rather than "conversation" mode. They're either slow or martyrs because smarter kids would have figured out the pattern by now. But my kids keep doin' and keep getting annoyed when my analogies hit double-digits LOL. This thread was a good read for me, a timely reminder to be more aware of talking WITH people rather than THROUGH them.
  19. I've never used a program. I'm more of a fly by the seat of my pants kind of person. This is sometimes a good trait. When it comes to family finances this is less of a good trait! I keep a dedicated financial journal. It functions a bit like the old checkbook logs used to, and is a record of all money in and out. I've never heard of "executive function" issues until I came to this forum, but whatever you call it that's how I operate! So I keep a few envelopes around - one in my car, one in my purse, one in my other purse, and one by the desktop. Wherever I am, I stuff my receipts into the nearest envelope. Occasionally I write notes on the envelope or a specific receipt, such as what a specific deposit or withdrawal was for, or any cash transactions for which there aren't a receipt. Once a week I sit down in front of absolute garbage on the television (hey, we all have a vice ;) Mine is watching shows that took The Learning Channel from that name to the shortened, less applicable TLC!) and I reconcile my receipts into the journal. It's good because I see how those $1.00 MickeyD's Cokes add up, and whether or not "my" gas station is higher than the ones my boys use, etc. It makes me more aware of where the money goes and where the better bargains are. A more organized person would just do it all digitally, or reconcile everything daily using digital helps (online access to accounts, etc.) but I'm old-school and undisciplined and I like bad tv, so ... I don't. My journal includes different lists. I have an "Upcoming Expenses" spread, with things to take into account for each pay period. I am a visual person, so after "MORTGAGE" I have each month listed (JAN - FEB - MAR) which I circle after that month's expense has been paid. At a quick glance I can see what's still outstanding for the month, as compared to what finances are left in the disposable account. If you're familiar with Bullet Journals, it's a bit like that. I also have a "Projects" spread with a quick blurb, an anticipated expense amount, and a running tally. So if I find myself with an extra at any given time, I have a list of projects to which I can apply that extra. On there are things I like to contribute to throughout the year rather than get hit with a sudden payment due, such as: Christmas Shopping Fund, the Vacation Fund, the I Hate My Kitchen Cabinets Fund, School Field Trip Fund, etc. I have a Savings account to which all of these feed into. The running tally in my journal lets me know how much I've allocated for each fund. It allows me flexibility to "borrow" or "take" from the other funds as necessary, such as when the My Lawn Sucks fund required more than had been planned/budgeted. Because it apparently sucked even more I realized. I take retirement and savings off the top before I even touch my income. So as each paycheck rolls in, an automatic x% is diverted into respective accounts. That's how I handle the "adult" business - get rid of it before I see it, because money burns a HOLE in my POCKET! A saver, I am not. Disciplined, I am not. :) My journal is about as good as it gets on those fronts. We've never gone hungry or without, bills unpaid, or retirement not contributed to. Dave's plan is probably a good idea. I know lots of people use and like it. Those things just make me feel boxed in, like open-and-go curriculum LOL.
  20. I think it's sweet that you're sensitive to your mom's feelings, even if it feels like she's not as in tune with yours (re: your taste!) I hold onto - and wear - all sorts of stuff I dislike. Because I like the people who gave it to me. My dear friend has zero issue donating something she won't wear or doesn't like. She teases me mercilessly about my "sentimentality" issues! Ironically, we subscribe to the same philosophy of "you only live once" - to her this means, there's no time to hold on to things she can't or won't lose. To me it means there's no harm holding on to something that comes from someone I can't or won't risk hurting. We complement each other well and like to do big de-clutter projects together for this reason. But I'd be lying if I didn't say those projects stressed us out and that we tend to need a month "off" from each other after each big one!
  21. Sleep is a hard one for me. I need more than I get. I've had insomnia for decades. My window of sleepiness comes between 8-9pm which is too early right now with all the stuff going on with the kids in the evenings. Once it passes, I'm up until the wee hours of the morning and getting by on 3-4 hours of sleep for the night. It's catching up with me now that I'm in my 30s. So I have a nightcap each evening and I sit on the sofa for an hour or two to unwind. Sometimes I read, mostly I draw or doodle. It's quiet, I can formulate and complete a single thought without interruption, and I give my body some needed rest (if not actual sleep.) No electronics, which keep my brain in active mode - mostly I give myself a bit of time each day to zone out, clear out the brain, and just exist. My sister accomplishes the same thing through running every day.
  22. Was there a specific major event that lead to this decision? As in: x happened or was said, so y I'm done with this person. If so, maybe "Friend. X was hurtful/confusing/upsetting. I'm no longer interested in/able to continue our relationship." Or was it more of, say, a slow build-up of multiple smaller things? Like, not one thing that doomed it but a number of on-going issues? If so, perhaps "Our friendship requires more (time/energy/effort) than I have to offer. If anything changes, I'll be in touch. Otherwise, please no longer consider me available/interested." The words chosen would reflect your desired level of tact, obviously. I'd send a plant or a bottle of wine with a note and call it good LOL. Emails and texts invite a quick emotional response. A face-to-face invites resulting back-and-forth conversation. Maybe a delivered note would reduce the likelihood? Hope so, for your sake!
  23. Does Sam realize he can use his martial arts skills to varying degrees? Is some of his hesitation rooted in thinking it's all or nothing? Maybe his instructor can review a few deflective moves with him. And explain that Sam should speak the kid's language, which is PHYSICALITY. Sam doesn't have to hit the kid back, take him down, or get overly physical. He just needs to respond in the same language this kid is speaking. And that means he needs to physically deflect a slap or punch. Maybe it's time to watch Karate Kid LOL. I know many martial arts schools teach that there's a time and place to use those skills. Sam, being rough-and-tumble, may not see this as one of those life-or-death situations requiring his skills. Maybe he needs (your? the martial arts instructor's?) permission to use defensive skills. They're aptly named, after all! I hope the boys figure it out and Sam's season ends up well. Most of all I hope this experience doesn't sour him on the awesomeness that is baseball. Good luck to you guys.
  24. I'm envious of those who are so good with strings of numbers. For the life of me can't remember the pin to my debit card. I set up the pin myself, and have had the account for close to 25 years - having never changed it. So I usually pay with a credit card and pay it all of at the end of the month. I tell people it's so I can accrue the rewards, but really I'm just that much of an idiot. :wacko: PS: (Am I the only one who keeps looking for iPhone emoticons here, and vice versa?)
  25. I only wear flip flops and the iPhone 6+ won't fit in my hands, but I'm with you on embracing middle age. What liberates me? Growing out my prematurely graying hair and sportin' more-sensible-than-sexy unmentionables. To middle age :cheers2: !
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