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  1. I grew up in a town that bordered Kiryas Joel, @questionfear and I concur with everything you said. It was incredibly frustrating when politicians would court that voting bloc while the rest of the community bore the brunt of it.
  2. We were supposed to put our house on the market on April 1. That's been postponed, obviously, but there was a lot of work that had to be done to get it ready for photographing, video, open houses etc. Mr. Toast was working from home a lot more because of the new position so that isn't new. But this isolation has meant that we can really work on the house a lot. Everything that I can do as far as sorting and rearranging I have basically done so it's mostly waiting until Mr Toast goes through his stuff. So my routine would have already been disrupted and all this talk of spring cleaning and I'm like, "Yep been doing that because I have to." Downside is we needed a few extra "finishings" (a hand towel holder and new shower curtain) that aren't essentials so I'm not going out to look at them but we still need them. It's likely the initial assessment of the house will be lowered when we are permitted to put it on the market. And it sucks because that was our downpayment--even lower will be enough but it's still disappointing. If we had put it on when he got his job, in October, it would have sold for more. But he was given the time so the kids could finish school, especially since my son is a senior in high school. And now my daughter is missing out on time with her friends who she will be leaving when we move. In the grand scheme of things, it means so little. But I'm selfishly angry and disappointed about it.
  3. I heard that paying taxes has been extended but I'd have to research that. I don't know if that includes filing the taxes or just paying them, though usually one pays when filing. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/17/treasury-and-irs-to-delay-tax-deadline-by-90-days.html I know Mr. Toast is waiting until the last minute because we actually owe this year (yeah, that tax cut did absolutely nothing for us and actually made it worse, just as it was designed to do).
  4. Gov Baker just closed school for 3 weeks. And delivery only for restaurants. No groups over 25. And an hour later 14 year old daughter asks to see her friend this week. It's called social isolation. The typical teenage sigh, Mooooom, and then stomp up the stairs.
  5. My daughter was supposed to travel to DC at the end of May and the teacher who is the leader sent an email that it might get canceled but it's too far out to know. But, given that this is a package that was paid for in advance, parents could cancel by the end of the week and receive 75% back but not the nonrefundable deposit. And they would receive less if they canceled in April. If the tour company cancels the families would get vouchers for trips next year. Now, for me, this seems reasonable. When I traveled to Orlando last September I bought travel insurance knowing that hurricanes were very possible. On the flip side, we didn't buy insurance for this trip knowing the risk we were taking. To hear these parents moan about the situation is sickening. Get over it and look at the bigger picture. It's so gross. And perhaps next time, read the disclosure. It's all right there, not even in fine print.
  6. Poor kitty! Sending good news vibes and health.
  7. I got so tired of wrestling the big thick heavy coats while driving and then being super warm in the store that I got a lightweight jacket instead. I still have the super warm heavyweight jacket for walking the dogs but running errands in the car I'm just wearing that light jacket and some gloves. I've had it about three years and it's starting to look a bit gross--I got it in a bright orange because I walk the dogs in that too and I'd like to be seen--but you can really see all the wear. May have to get a new one next year and I might just make it one of those barn coats.
  8. There was a character in Star Trek Enterprise whose nickname was Trip. He was Charles Tucker III and thus Trip. And that is the only one that I know. I did get an interesting family tree from my aunt recently. Weirdly, around the same time, another friend had linked to something about an ancestor from the Mayflower on Facebook and my husband flippantly commented how I also had ancestors from the Mayflower and you can order it from Sears. And some lady we didn't know kind of went off on him. When I checked the family tree, there are several ancestors from the Mayflower. I did comment, however, that a distant family member had done a whole ton of research and sent out all sorts of family history stuff pre-Internet and that yes, I have ancestors from the Mayflower.
  9. I love Randy Rainbow. I got to see him a few years ago with friends in Boston. Not as much as a fun story and getting to meet him, though. What fun!
  10. Mr. Toast has celiac as well. (And he has gout and kidney stones so has to avoid meat and beans and spinach and mushrooms and a few other foods). Even so, he is glad it's something he can handle by changing diet rather than needing medication. Saying that I realize he means the celiac, not the gout because he takes meds for that. And because of his diet, we usually host the big get-togethers so that we can make sure he can eat everything. No one complains because good food is good food. After cooking gluten free for over 15 years, it's like writing a sonnet. I have parameters I have to follow but it allows me to make some really great dishes. Also, thanks everyone for your support. I still feel for this kid but he's got work he's got to do that we are not equipped to help him with.
  11. Allow me a small vent of sorts. Skip once your eyes start crossing. My son is 17 and will be graduating (we hope) at the end of May. He has a friend who we don't know well. He has regaled A-boy with some pretty horrendous stories about abuse and such from his family, but he didn't go to the same school as our son. If he had, we would have alerted the school as mandated reporters. (He graduated last year from a program aimed at at risk students while son attends the public high school.) The friend graduated from that program last May and so is not eligible for any assistance from there as it is. The friend has always raised some red flags and hackles for me. He is always a victim, everyone is out to get him, he has proof all of these wrongs. Undoubtedly, he has many issues. Apparently, he was kicked out and ended up at a hospital (though he wouldn't tell A-boy where.) He begged A-boy to convince us to let him stay with us. And we said no because we don't know what's going on about a court date because his mom is pressing charges (and even that was like pulling teeth to get that basic info). He called A-boy tonight and spoke with us all on speakerphone saying he was being kicked out of where he was because he's gay (we knew that recently) and where he is some Christian place that won't let him stay. And he can't not have an address because he'll be arrested. Which...again, red flags. A-boy was very quiet (as usual) and when he spoke it was to try to calm his friend down and point him in a better direction. We tried to find some safe home housing information quickly, but he wouldn't take it. (Again, red flag). He didn't have a phone (which, you're using a phone) and it's his dad's phone and his dad was going to take him to the homeless shelter and he's going to jail and he'll die in jail. And we stayed firm, he wasn't coming to our house. We've been having work done in the house as we are preparing to move (sob!!!) in the summer. In fact, we are leaving the kids alone over the weekend while Mr. Toast and I do some house hunting/learn about new builds. I really don't want him in my house when we are not home and I know that it will not be just one day. My daughter has anxiety issues that we've gotten her help for and I really didn't want her be around that. A-boy understands and feels bad but is not angry at us about it. Even so, I feel bad. I'd like to be a safe place for someone in need, but there are so many issues with this and I have a strong feeling a lot is being withheld. But still, he's a young person who has had a difficult time and feels hopeless and a door was closed in his face. It's been a lot. Yeah. Just needed to vent a little. Thanks for the space.
  12. We traditionally make a prime rib for Christmas, too. About two years ago hubby passed a kidney stone and it's not the calcium kind it's the uric acid kind. What that has meant is he has to really cut down on the meat and take a drug. If he's off meat (and purines which means no mushrooms, asparagus and some other veggies) for a while he really, really feels it when he eats meat again. He looooves making the prime rib but this year he is seriously questioning whether he wants to or not. On top of that, friends of ours who we spend a lot of time with, the wife is vegan. The husband has started eating a lot less meat and he's noticing that he feels better just as Mr. Toast had. It's really looking like we might have a meat free Christmas. Which, frankly, not being a fan of ham or prime rib, I'm fine with. The best part for me is the Christmas breakfast and all the yummy sides, snacks, and desserts. And the kids don't mind much either. On the other hand, making the prime rib was one of the holiday traditions that Mr. Toast loved the best. Also, setting up his model trains which we can't do this year. He's still getting his chocolate truffles and rainbow cookies, so not everything is going away. I had a very quiet Thanksgiving of just me. We had a big friends and family Friendsgiving earlier in the month and Mr. Toast and the kids went to see his family and I stayed home and cuddled with the dogs. It was awesome.
  13. As someone who slogged through the Inhumans show (it had potential but it was such a chore with next to no likable characters), what you describe is the basis and the conflict of the show. Like I said, it had promise, but it was handled badly and they had these weird side stories that were just dumb. But that premise was interesting.
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