Friday, July 31, 2020

What I'm Reading This Week #31

Happy Friday everyone!  Sorry for the light week but literally NOTHING has been going on and I didn't have it in me to make crap up.  I did have an irritated throat for like 24 hours (after a workout that got me hacking because my lung capacity sucks) and it's sad how an irritated throat now sends you down the rabbit hole and you're all like...


Other than that, I'm going stir crazy.  


Now let's consume...

How to Relieve Sore Muscles in 5 Easy Steps   (We've been sore AF the past few weeks.)

Should You Exercise When You Are Sore?  (See above)

I tried a 74-year-old fitness influencer's daily workout for a week and it kicked my butt!  (Get it girl!)

25 Ways You're Borrowing Self from Others  (Interesting)

7 Ways That Childhood Adversity Can Affect the Brain  (Oh but "kids are resilient!"  *rolling eyes*  Something adults like to say to gloss over their contribution to a potential lifetime of issues.)

Things you should never clean with disinfecting wipes   (Good to know)

What Is Noise Pollution? Here's Exactly How It Affects Your Health, and What to Do About It  (I can attest.  There's a dude that for the first 3 months of lock down drove up and down the street 6-10x a day with his loud muffler and I was ready to raaaaaage.)

Baked Parmesan Zucchini Fries (Yum!)

15 Items You Should Be Buying Vintage, But Aren’t  (Sometimes you can find some good stuff out there!)

The most influential music videos of all time  (Man, so many memories!)

How Each State Got Its Shape   (For your next virtual trivia night)

I do want to wish a very happy birthday to my bestie!  The world is a better place with her in it.

If you need something to watch this weekend, Lollapalooza is on YouTube for free.  I plan on watching The Cure tonight. 

It looks like the blast furnace that is the weather will be turned down about 10 degrees for a few days in exchange for rain.  I'm good with that.  No clue what the weekend will look like for us but I'm hoping mind numbing boredom isn't on tap.  I need a change of scenery...SOON.

Anything going on this weekend for you?

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Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Hump Day Poll: Soothing the Savage Beast

When I was kid, when my grandma (dad's mom) would babysit me, if we were in her car, it was always tuned to the classical station.  We wouldn't really talk, we'd just sit there listening to the soothing music.  I never complained because I loved it.  Funnily enough, one of my teachers in broadcasting was one of the DJ's from that station and it was so funny to hear him put on his "classical" voice and I was like "you put me to sleep every night!" and he was like "thanks!?"  😂

In high school, I took music appreciation class and loved learning all of the different symphonies and watching Amadeus.  My favorite are the classics like Bach (Air on G was in our wedding as we had a symphonic trio for the ceremony), Mozart, Haydn, Handel, Brahms, Vivaldi and such.  All of the calming symphonies automatically soothe this savage beast and I'm thankful my grandma exposed me to that kind of music at such a young age.

Do you like classical music?

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Monday, July 27, 2020

Meh Weekend Recap

Happy Monday everyone!  Last one of July and in the midst of the dog days of summer.  Woof.

Friday was actually pretty nice.  An old friend of ours was doing a live stream concert with his jazz band that's been together for decades and I wasn't going to miss that.  We've always said we should go but aren't bar people so this was the perfect solution.  I sent the Mr an Evite for a wine and jazz date and surprised him with the concert.

It was a nice evening and they really did a great job.  We were kind of cringing at the sax player blowing out into the audience but just made us even happier we weren't there in person.  The wine was only half flat but still made me hot to prepare me for when peri-menopause decides to sneak up on me one day.

Saturday was pretty meh.  We couldn't decide what we wanted for lunch so we drove around for awhile but never really got into the "country" so it just felt like a frustrating aimless drive around town.  We stopped at some horrible fast food place outside the city because it was the only option to which I put two mints in my mouth a few minutes later to wipe the regret off of my taste buds.  I considered yaking out the window and then thought of the logistics of that at 50 mph and it's something the people behind us nor the passenger side of the Mr's car would appreciate so I refrained.

(This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.  If you buy through them, I may receive a few cents commission toward keeping the blog up and running.)

I was antsy again and I suggested we drive by the nearest Hobby Lobby to see if it was crowded.  We couldn't really tell so we masked up with our Air Tamers and were ready to bolt if there was a crowd.  I knew exactly what I needed so I grabbed them and I was going to get the heck out of there but the Mr wanted to look at models and I was happy to oblige since I figured he'd want to get out too.  We never encountered another person there except for a woman who almost came up our aisle and waited for us to pass.  I'd say we were in there less than 15 minutes. It was nice to see a familiar store but still don't feel comfortable being out there even though if we go somewhere it's the last hour they're open.  So I've got my pumpkins for the window box outside for the fall and a few pumpkin picks for the pot out front.  We came home, stripped and threw the clothes in the wash and watched some old school Saturday morning toons in the form of Looney Tunes, Tom & Jerry, Scooby Doo and some School House Rock we had on DVD.  I can't tell you how nice it was to relax and laugh to that stuff!

I know y'all are sick of seeing pics of my morning glories but here's another one.  We had six total which is the most we've ever had at once and there are two you can't see on top.

It was also the first time we had two different colors at once.  Color us easily amused these days. 

Sunday was a snooze fest.  Watered the plants, thinned the morning glories out front which refuse to bloom and the leaves are so big, it's filled in the trellis and we've named it Gossamer.  It was hotter than hell out there so no desire to be out in it.  I made grilled cheese and soup as one does when it's 90+ and then we stared at each other.  We decided to get our workout done and we did the booty day on Barre from Beachbody on Demand.  I'm sure I'll be hobbling today.  We stared at  our screens for a few hours, I made dinner and we zoned out in front of the tube.  Renovation Island is our only form of must see TV these days and I know it's going to be coming to an end soon. 

Such thrills.

I reeeeeally need to focus on water.  It's been badder than bad lately.  Don't know why I told you that, I suppose more of a reminder to me.

How was your weekend?

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Friday, July 24, 2020

What I'm Reading This Week #30

Skoo-da-leedooo, it's Friday!!!  I thought if I went into it more enthusiastically, it'd trick me into thinking something awesome is on tap for the weekend.  I'll report back how that goes.   It's been a long week and I'd say I'm ready for the weekend but, you know.   2020.


Now let me invite you to see...

4 Arm Exercises That’ll Help You Feel Stronger While Kayaking  (One day it'll be cool enough to kayak again without fear of heat stroke.)

Monkey study reveals weightlifting strengthens 1 vital organ before muscles  (Good for you all around...start lifting!)

6 Tips For Squashing Negative Self-Talk and Feeling More Confident in Your Own Skin   (I wish it came naturally to me, it doesn't.)

24 Clever Uses for Plastic Bags You Have Lying Around the House  (Anyone else have a big plastic bag full of small plastic bags???)

The 12 Dysfunctional Rules of the Narcissistic Family  (Um, yep.)

20 positive changes to make in your marriage, according to experts   (Important stuff!)

Patient pup waits his turn at the ice cream truck  (Aww, sweetness!)

Dog groomer tricked into working on her new puppy  (So sweet!  Lots of squealing in case you're on a Zoom call.)

Bugs Bunny Stamps Coming Soon!  (Break out the pen and paper or cards and send someone a smile!)

Tiny Hedgehog Goes Camping And His Adorable Photos Will Make Your Day   (OMG, cute OVERLOAD!!!!)

Last night we ran over to a local shop that had a pick up order ready for me but we grabbed a few other things before heading out.   The owner and I chatted for a few minutes after she grabbed my pre-paid order and that's the most people we'll probably see for a few weeks.  The weekend might be spent getting some digital clean up going but that's about all I can think of especially since it's still going to be a sweaty sauna outside.  No thanks.

You got any mischief on tap?

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Thursday, July 23, 2020

A Fool and His Money Are Soon Parted? (Long)

This is long.  Brew up some coffee, come back at lunch or save it for a glass of wine after work.

I've been doing a lot of soul searching about whether or not to share this 1) because the situation is evolving (or devolving as it were)  2) because our situation is not likely one that (I hope) most will encounter and  3) it feels like airing dirty laundry and that's not my intent.  The Mr has read this and said he doesn't feel that way because it all needs to be said for context.  While the Mr and I saw this coming long before Grandma even passed due to having our eyes opened to him long ago, the rest of my family seems taken aback.  I don't want that for anyone else out there.  There are a lot of not fun emotions associated with this so it's gonna get gritty but I feel like if it can happen to us, it can happen to anyone.

Dementia and Alzheimer's steal a lot more than just the person you love.  The job of care giving whether you're the spouse, child or even someone hired to do the job is one that breaks you down over time.  I think about the first time my Grandma didn't know me...June 2014, four years before she passed.   It was the first time when she was asked that she said she didn't have kids or grand-kids.  That one stung.  You know it's the disease but it doesn't make it any easier to know a disease wipes you from someone's mind but not their hearts.  I can only imagine when that day comes for the spouse and the daily reminders of who you are to them and wondering which piece of them will be lost that week.  So I can empathize with the loneliness someone must feel.  They don't lose their spouse the day they die, they lose them years earlier.  That can be hard because the person you would've gone to for comfort is the inadvertent cause of you feeling that way.   I get it.

The man my Grandma married was, we'll kindly say, the last person any of us ever expected.  He was completely different from my Grandpa in both good ways and bad.  He had no manners in public and it was embarrassing to the whole family.  He would belch and keep on talking while other people around us would give us all dirty looks.  My grandma would get so upset probably the first 10 years because it was mortifying to her because people were judging her too and not appreciated by the rest of us.  She was a very private, modest woman who didn't like attention brought to her/her family.  If a 3-year-old can somewhat control themselves under a good parent, I think some dude in his 50's, at the time, can too.  We would always talk after and say how we couldn't believe she put up with that but more so after she and multiple family members told him to save it for at home and he flat out didn't care about what any of us thought.  He thought it was funny we would all get so embarrassed and after a while, angry.  That should've been our first clue.

I guess her kids all thought she settled which I later thought as well but they didn't share that with me then because they didn't want me to think less of him because when I was little, he and I were close.  He always came off as a crazy old man willing to do anything for a laugh and he did which to a kid is gold.  Then you get older (teen years) and start seeing things, particularly when money became involved.  I saw sides of him I didn't care for but what can you say?   People would dismiss my concerns if I brought it up and I didn't want to risk Grandma getting mad at me, so I never did.  Ever since CNN got a stock ticker, that is all that man watched.  Every day of his life was consumed with watching his money grow and all I heard from age 10 was how they were going to leave it to the family.  Whatever.   Wait...I feel like I'm skimming that part.  Literally...almost every. single. time. we all saw him, he talked about his money and how "rich" he was.  It was obsessive and I suppose some of that could come from being the first generation after the (first) Great Depression.  (But no one else from that same era that we knew did that.)  Grandma seemed proud that she could help ease her kids' burden in retirement and that was her intent.  They had strict guidelines set out and they wouldn't receive a penny of it before their retirement even if they were both gone well before any of them reached retirement age.  She didn't talk about it like he did or hardly at all, really but this money was drilled into all of our heads by him for 40 years because he would NOT shut up about it.  It was irritating to say the least.

He liked to brag about his money to total strangers.  Even the waitress at my 30th birthday dinner knew about their bank balance and it was embarrassing.  To set the record straight, we're not talking millions.  I mean that after taxes each of her kids would get $200K to spread out over their retirement which would certainly help ease the burden but not like they would be rich.  To be clear, grand kids are not in the will.  I have no stake in this.   He liked to think he was some kind of high falootin' hot shot and he bragged a little too much in front of his mild-mannered brother in law over the years and the brother in law snapped.  There was a huge fight in which my grandma lost a relationship with her closest sister.  Grandma's husband refused to apologize and said HE was owed the apology and unfortunately, Grandma never stood up to him on the subject.  I assume she thought it would eventually blow over.  The brother in law refused to just go back to how it was because he was not going to continue to feel belittled by her husband and I don't blame him.  My great aunt stood by her man as well and it wasn't until a few years before her diagnosis that my Grandma and her sister spoke again.  It was a big loss because I really loved that aunt and uncle and had so many wonderful memories with them as a kid.  I didn't understand it at the time but as I got to know this man my Grandma married, a man I thought I knew for who he really was, the more I disliked him and what he deemed important.  Manipulative and narcissist don't begin to describe him.

I remember one conversation maybe a year before Grandma was diagnosed where he was bragging about his money again when it was just the four of us.  The Mr and I told him for the 1000th time we didn't give a shit about his money and they should be using it to travel or it's good to have it available if there are health issues as they age.  He said, "no, no...we're fine."

My Grandma chimed in and said, "well no, if there are health issues, that's the whole reason we've been building that money."

"No, no, no.  We don't need to use that" he said, waving her off.

She got very angry and snapped at him and said: "If we get sick, that's what it's supposed to be there for!  Period."

This was the first time I ever heard her stand up to him and he continued to dismiss her feelings to the point she just shut down.  This concerned me a great deal because how often did this happen behind closed doors?  How many times were her feelings dismissed and she kept quiet because he made her feel like she didn't have a say?  Well, the money didn't get used for that up front when she got sick, despite my telling people about that conversation.  If you've been here through everything, you know the Mr and I didn't agree with the handling of her care.  He made sure everyone knew that he drained her personal bonds for her care supplies.  It makes me especially mad given none of her kids were truly physically in the position to be able to care for her the way a home health worker (which he could've easily afforded more than the one he got) could.  One had neuropathy from cancer treatments which don't impede her too much but still.  One had spine and back issues and the other had bone on bone knees and is unable to lift much.  Often times from both what I saw and heard, he would just sit back and fold his arms and watch them work or struggle to lift Grandma when he was supposed to be getting out of the house which was the whole point of them coming over.  One of the kids complained that he liked to direct them and tell them what to do.  His true colors more than surfaced as her disease progressed if others hadn't seen them.

I told you that to tell you this.

He's getting swindled by a woman my age for his money.  (For clarification, that's 43 years younger.)  He went to a gaming spot where people like her troll for men like him and she hit the jackpot.  He got in a huge knockdown, drag-out with the only one of Grandma's kids that still comes around.  They're the ones who took care of his meds so he didn't die, paid his bills and went over his statements so his checkbook is balanced, and is the executor of their Will because they are the most responsible.  This sleazy woman has fleeced him and he kept trying to get them to meet so the family can see how 'great' she is.  None of her kids want to meet her and when it has been set up three different times, the lady always finds a way to cancel.  Of course, she does!  She knows her intentions will be seen for what they are!  There is no recourse for us even though half of that money was Grandma's and her intentions were made clear 40 years ago up until the final days she had her cognitive abilities.  So the retirement she wanted for her kids will be gone.

None of my family were in it for the money, okay, one of them was but that's not the point.  I'd be lying if I said I didn't think they all put up with a lot more than they would have knowing what Grandma wanted for their retirements didn't factor in.  It's easy to say "I don't want your money" but when it's written into a Will, it's been held over them for over 40 years, and now you're all getting close to retirement and he's like "sike!  I'm gonna give it to this lady because she says the right things to me."  It feels like a big kick in the gut especially when you think of all of the times they held their tongues to his verbal abuse.   None of them have planned their retirements around that money (except one, I assume) but that isn't the point.  The point is, Grandma's wishes are being ignored again so he can get some punani.  Actually, he's not getting that either.  (Sorry, grosses me out to write it as much as it grosses you out to read it.)  She promises she'll marry him or sleep with him and doesn't deliver because he's easy to string along.  She has financial problems, is a drug addict and recently the executor went over his bank account and was appalled to find over the past four months, he's been drained over $50,000.  He gave this con lady items of Grandma's, a debit card to his account and now a large male from her family is picking him up and taking him to the ATM a few times a week to take out maximum withdraws.  She ghosts him for weeks and then when she needs more, she calls or sends a card.

The executor filed a police report as they thought he may have been kidnapped recently after seeing some security camera footage at an ATM but is definitely experiencing a form of elder abuse and the police agreed.  The cops were waiting on him when he got home and talked for well over an hour that the pattern described is that of a drug addict and/or dealer and this isn't going to end well.  Toward the end, he began yelling at the cop!  Bottom line is, he's of sound mind (in the eyes of the law) and we have no say.  It's his life and he's perfectly within his rights to give her whatever he wants.  The family member executor wants to save him from himself but he is wildly out of control and has a habit of dropping all family when he moves on to the next life.  (People from his previous marriage  including a daughter are specifically listed as excluded from the Will, at least the one he and grandma signed over a decade ago.)  When the family member tries to address him, he gets full of rage and screams at her, hangs up on her and doesn't want her coming over because he can "take care of himself."

You know what?

**FYI- the rest of this is going to sound pretty harsh.  You need to understand this is from the years of what equates to verbal abuse that people have attempted to cover up and label it as"stubbornness." His actions have ripped what's left of my family apart.**

I have had zero loyalty to this man since the day he did this in describing Grandma's dementia.

(He literally did this in front of her saying "she's not right.  She doesn't know what she's talking about.")

This is not because he's from a different generation which is how that action has been described.  There is nothing anyone could say to me to excuse him doing that.  He did it in front of her and she yelled at him because she fully understood what he was saying/doing.  He did it three times in front of us and the last time I told him if he did it again, he and I were going to have a problem.  I know he did it in front of others and when I expressed my disgust and being done with him, they all said: "oh that's just him."  No, it's not.  It's an unfeeling son of a bitch who has no problem making fun of and demeaning his wife to her face and making her angry and cry.  What if that was her last cognitive memory of him?  Can you even fathom the cruelty?  Imagine how that would feel.  You're sick and scared and your person, the one who you're supposed to be able to count on for anything in this life and make you feel safe does that in your face.  I seriously want you to picture your spouse doing that to you and try not to cry.

Do I have sympathy for all of the money he's getting drained of?  Heck no I don't given the way he treated my Grandma in front of us and people who have done nothing but help him for 10 years.  We're not legal family to him so there's nothing we can do to protect him even if we wanted to and none of us have money to get lawyers involved to even attempt to do anything like guardianship.  The only injustice in my eyes is that once again, Grandma's wishes get screwed...for him.  In my mind, I consider this his karma for all of the ways he treated her in front of us, for the things we didn't see and for his lifetime of greed being more important to him than family.  Money was the only thing he cared about his whole life and in the end, he's going to hand it over to some hooch who has no problem doing what she has to to a 90-year-old fool.  He sacrificed relationships and it's looking like he's going to cut out all family so we know what's important to him.  The only person who might be able to talk any sense into him is his beloved financial advisor because he knows the hard work and heart the executor has put into keeping him healthy and cared for the past decade.

I share this with you to caution those who have gone through a loss with dementia that these are conversations that need to be had before someone gets sick.  I'm sure 98% of you won't be in this particular situation but the topic of guardianship and/or power of attorney, if the people are older, needs to be discussed.  POA was discussed years ago and he continued to put it off because he didn't understand what that meant completely.  You need to talk about and acknowledge the loneliness the caregiver is going through.  I went so far as to fill out an application to the senior center a few miles from his house, print their schedule, and highlight things I knew he'd like including a trip to his hometown once a year!  I included grief pamphlets a friend of mine in the funeral industry sent me.  He was isolating himself and not getting out of the house.  We understood his loneliness and encouraged him to go to support groups and senior centers but if it didn't fit his agenda to spotlight himself as the victim, he wanted nothing to do with it.  Whenever we had answers, he shooed us all away because the answers didn't entail us kissing his butt for money.  At least with caring for Grandma, he had something to hold over them...access to her.  They were all afraid of confronting him because they all believed he had it in him to cut off access to her when she was sick.

The constant stream of people coming in and out of the house was gone once Grandma was gone meant there was no one there to placate his ego anymore.  He did nothing but complain to every single person that came over how hard it all was on him.  At holidays, as each person came in, he'd re-tell the same tale of woe as everyone who'd now heard it 8x rolled their eyes.  I know this sounds harsh but you have to understand, he made her illness all about HIM.  He told everyone how HE lost her even though we've all been there longer than he was and refused to acknowledge our loss.  I reminded him of that the 4th time he said he lost her..."we ALL lost her."  It's always been all about him and his wishes their whole marriage but it never became more apparent than when she got sick.  He refused to go to the senior center because "it was for old people."  You are almost 90.  Yes, it's much better to go out and get a 40-some year old whose intentions are questionable at best.  He's thinking with something I hoped was long shriveled and out of commission and he'll pay for it.  I know I sound heartless but the way he's spoken to people who have done nothing but help him for decades is too appalling to even repeat here.

Don't let this happen to your family and make it clear guardianship or even power of attorney doesn't have to be forever.  It can be for that delicate time period the first few years after the person is gone and then reassess.  It doesn't even have to be a family member if you prefer someone who has no stake in it, there are professional services that can act on their behalf.  It's much easier if it's an actual parent for you to get guardianship but it's a discussion that you have to approach delicately.  It's one you should ultimately have before any issues come up because if you don't, did you know a total stranger can?  Read all of the links to other articles in that one and tell me you wouldn't be running out to make sure your loved one is covered!?

Appointing a power of attorney takes care of that issue.  When people are in the throes of such an emotional situation between going through the disease and adjusting to their new normal without the person they love having mourned them both while they were alive and now gone, it's easy for them to be overwhelmed with irrational thoughts.  They get paranoid.  They think everyone's after their money, trying to put them in a home, you want their things, etc.  (Coincidentally, the same symptoms a dementia patient has in the beginning!)  They think power of attorney means you're going to do what you want with them and they have no say.  Do as much research as possible that pertains to your state and try to come up with a plan that is legally binding that you both are comfortable with.  It doesn't mean you can go and spend their money.  It means you need to keep track of their expenses and what you're using their money to spend it on.  There is an accountability to it that makes it hard to be sneaky with money that isn't yours.  It feels like the loss of independence for them and you have to be sensitive to that but I think about if this were my actual Grandpa exhibiting this behavior and I would want to protect him.

I hope none of you ever have to go through this but it can, unfortunately, be part of the journey of dementia/Alzheimers and you should consider having talks or at a minimum be aware.  Spouses think it will never happen to them but it is just one more side effect of dementia.  I think of how my grandma was as a person and I know she would be so devastated to see him treating the one person who gave so selflessly of themselves like a piece of trash.  So many more people are affected and people don't realize that until it's too late.  Being prepared for all of the possibilities is the best way to protect yourself and your family.  You can refer back to that talk and remember why you made that decision.

Death does horrible things to families and unfortunately, so does money.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Hump Day Poll Better Than a Parent

Those who are grandparents say it's better than being a parent because you can spoil them, hop 'em up on sugar in your ruleless kingdom and send them back to their parents as payment for all of the ways they drove you nuts raising them.

Grandparents run the gambit from sweet as pie or funny as hell to the other end of the spectrum of founding member of the burr-up-their-ass curmudgeon club.  Because my parents were an after school special of the consequences of not using condoms in high school, I was lucky enough to know some of my great grandparents.

My paternal great grandparents (Dad's dad's parents) lived on a farm and when he got sick and died, we moved in with them when I was in kindergarten.  What I can remember of living there, I loved.  Grandma was a tough old broad and had no problem putting the smack down which she passed on to her son, my grandpa (founding member of the burr-up-their-ass curmudgeon club).  She was strong but also stubborn.  She made an excellent apple strudel from what I'm told but I didn't eat such things at that age.  My favorite memory with her was she would sew doll clothes for me on her old Singer machine and I would pump the pedal on the floor so she wouldn't have to.  I still have a few of those outfits.  She lived to be 100.

My dad's mom's father died four years before I was born so I never got to meet him and only know of him based on a picture that hung at grandma's house.  My great grandma was the picture of being a grandma.  Sweet as pie, a button up cardigan with pearl buttons, big ol' clunky shoes with those heels from the 60's and the sweetest smile you ever saw.  She smelled of rose perfume and there was nothing better than the smile on her face when I came to visit.  She had a little cabinet where she kept a rotary phone, calculator with receipt roll, pad and pencil for me to play "office" when I came over.  Her biggest joy was having the whole family over around Christmas and she placed envelopes with everyone's name on one with $5-10 inside on the tree.  When she gave the okay, everyone rushed around to find theirs and she couldn't stop smiling.  She passed when I was eight.

My dad's mom was a nurse and she and I would watch this completely inappropriate for my age show back before TLC (The Learning Channel) became trash TV, called Operation.  It showed actual procedures and we were both fascinated.  She was sure I'd become a nurse like all of my aunts.  Nope.  I used to help her pick green beans and concord grapes in the garden and she'd show me how to can.  I used to rub my fingers over her smooth, perfectly polished fingernails to soothe myself since I'm a tactile person.  One year we watched the Wizard of Oz on TV in her bedroom and when the witch came on, we held each other and screamed.  Unfortunately, when dad left, our relationship changed drastically for the worse.  She's still alive and it's complicated but a visit a few years ago has put my mind at ease should the worst happen.

My maternal great great grandma, I didn't know.  There's a five generations pic of me with her but I think she died two or three years later and my only actual (and possibly first) memory of her was at her funeral.  She didn't look like a particular jovial gal in that pic though.  LOL

My great grandma and grandpa (grandpa's parents) I was lucky enough to have in my life for 29 years.  They lived in Florida my whole life except their last year they moved in with their son, my grandpa's brother.  My great grandpa was the best.  Short, mischievous with this laugh of "hee heeeeeee" when something tickled him.  He was so sweet and had such a laid back demeanor.  I don't think he was always that way in the early days, more that he had high expectations and he let his boys know it.  He loved golf and you could find him watching it constantly...sometimes through his eyelids with his arms crossed on his chest.  I miss him so much.  His wife was a firecracker and sometimes could say some really hurtful things and not because of her age but just because she had no filter.  She made no mistake she didn't care for fat people and passed that on to her boys.  She'd been preparing me for her death since I was five.  "Well, this is the last time you'll probably see me."  Nope.  I loved her for who she was but was careful not to say anything that could set her off.  We always half joked that when she got senile the last few years and would repeat "what a beautiful couple" the Mr and I made about 10x in the same gathering that it was her penance for the times she made me feel like shit about my weight as a kid.  I miss her too and they died within a week of each other after being married 70 years.

My maternal great grandma (my grandma's mom) I never got to meet.  My maternal great grandpa (grandma's dad) was a very typical Leave It To Beaver looking guy.  Somewhat stern because he was the sole provider for a family of 10 so he had that riding on him.  He was so cute though.  Always a pipe in his mouth, black eyeglasses (kind of like what are popular now) and his navy button up cardigan with slicked white hair.  He dated a woman who I just loved because she was so gregarious but it's understandable my grandma didn't care for her because it wasn't her mom.  I never let that affect my love for her though.  He always seemed sweet and old fashioned and I loved that strength he portrayed.  Cancer took him and left a man who probably weighed close to 200 lbs his whole life a mere 94 lbs.  Unfortunately, his death destroyed the family as one of the family members caring for him got him to change the Will and leave everything to them.  The only thing my grandma got from her beloved "Daddy" as she still called him was a salt and pepper shaker.  As you will soon see, death and money tell you a lot about people.

My maternal grandparents were by far my favorite.  They divorced when I was five so I don't have many memories of them together.  My grandpa inherited his dad's mischievous side and loved a good joke.  (The dirtier it was, the more red his face got as he told it which was hilarious to watch.)  He loved riding roller coasters and began taking me when I was a kid to amusement parks and letting me bring a friend as I got older.  He would be the first one racing back in line when we were done.  He was a fireman and loved restoring old cars, many of which he traveled with for car shows.  Pancreatic cancer took him far too young in his early 60's.  I did the eulogy for his funeral which was a letter I wrote to him on his final birthday (the beginning of the month he died).  The fact he thought my memories of the life we shared together was a good representation of his life to share with the 250+ standing room only gatherers remains one of my greatest honors.

Then there's my mom's mom, my grandma I lost a few years ago to dementia.  I was her first grand baby and only one for 8 years.  She was a young grandma (39!) so she watched me while my mom and dad attended their Senior year of high school.  She had a pool and I loved being in the water.  It's where I learned to swim (but never to dive) and play tether ball and badminton so it felt like a mini amusement park as a kid.  She was kind of a serious person but she was an empath like me so she didn't like loud noises or chaos but she would bust out a funny or a goofy dance every now and then.  She always supported me no matter what I did and never tried to push her expectations on me.  She knew I had a good head on my shoulders and never had a problem telling me so.  I loved making Christmas cookies with her and her kids when I was younger.  There was nothing like her touching the sides of my face saying I was her first grand baby and giving me a hug.  She always listened without judgment even with people who gave people quite a few reasons to do so.  She never played favorites and I wish some people could've appreciated that in her more when she was here.  She was definitely the glue of our family as I've watched our family and the traditions she took so much pride in crumble since her passing.  My most treasured traditions come from her and even if I'm the only person who still appreciates them, I do them in her memory because they meant so much to her too.

What's your favorite thing about one (or all) of your grandparents?

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Monday, July 20, 2020

Fiery and Tipsy Weekend Recap

Happy Monday to ya's.  I hope you were able to not melt and such over the weekend.  It was hot as balls out there and our objective was to stay in the A/C.  The weekend started off with a conversation with my mom about some crap going down that I "should be in the loop on."  (I shouldn't have.)  I'm kind of debating whether to talk about it in a separate post that I've scheduled and reverted to draft several times because it airs some stuff but I also feel like it could be a cautionary tale.   I'm still mulling it but you might get to see another side effect of dementia on a family that people don't talk about openly.  Not quite how I wanted to kick the weekend off but...anyhoo.

My body was ready for a rest day.  We really broke ourselves last week with the workouts.  I wish we had the motivation we used to have.  It feels more like punching in and out for work.

Saturday morning, I saw another purple morning glory which is what they typically look like.

So all of the colors in the mix have bloomed at least once with pink being the dominant color.  At this point, I'm just thankful for every bloom because the sun is trying to kill every plant in full sun so the umbrella may need to go up in the afternoon to protect them a little more.

We got take out from a Nashville chicken place not too far from us and brought it home. 

I'm glad it was good this time because when we ordered it for dinner a few weeks ago, it was awful.  Since we don't know how small restaurants will fare, we figure get in the places that aren't chains because they'll be the first to go.  I love Nashville chicken and when that place is good, it doesn't love me so we'll say we stayed home for a few hours and leave it at that.  Later we went to the nursery when it was pretty empty to get some plants for a pot whose annuals have fried in the sun and then did our drive in the country.  It's always interesting how you can find back roads and surprise!...a new way to get to a place you might've passed through once in your life.

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The Mr has kindly taken on the task of copying over some home movies from DVD.  We've been talking about doing this for years and never did it.  Finally, when having watched anything of interest on every platform out there, I was getting ragey.  Let's add more frustration to everything else going on.  It's not that I don't have things I could do *looks around house* but yeah.  He bought this external drive, so we could hook it up to our TV with them on there when we're bored and want to get nostalgic.  I'll take what I can get.

Due to aforementioned ragey-ness, we also added more to our 80's DVD library.  (We still like DVD's, I need something physical in my mitts.)  We had a lot of old shows from back in the day like All in the Family, Dukes of Hazzard, Three's Company, etc but there are more we wanted to add so we could have a few nights where we just go back in time for a few hours.  We added Night Court, Buck Rogers, Happy Days, Facts of Life and a few others since Hollywood isn't going to have our normal programming back in time for Fall.  So it'll be like new old TV nights for us.

Saturday night, I was on edge, big time.  I was fidgety, bored and everything was just getting to me.  I decided to bust open that apple wine we bought at Christmas from Aldi.

I wasn't a huge fan off the bat because it tasted like apple cider vinegar to me, which is why the Mr liked it.  But after a few sips, I didn't taste that any more and damn when you're not a drinker, one glass is all it takes to send that edgy monster to chill on your mental couch and walking diagonally across the bedroom.   I think I might now understand all of that wine apparel they try to peddle on social media.

Sunday I was up at 5:30 am which seems to be my protocol the past two weeks and only getting in 5-10 minutes of lucid sleep every 2 hours until I get up.  Yay.  I made brunch while the Mr had the laundry going and we got to labeling some of the home movies on the drive because what else were we going to do that sounded remotely "fun?"  (Especially since it was tipping triple digits.  I am in hell and they forbid being outside naked which is the only appropriate "outfit" for the occasion so...)  We got in our workout and tried to stay sane the rest of the night and topped it off with another glass of wine because now I'm on the countdown for it not to go flat.  What a shame.  At least we were treated to some lovely colors post sunset:

How was your weekend?

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Friday, July 17, 2020

What I'm Reading This Week #29

Happy Friday.  I feel no need to put an exclamation point after it because you know, Friday isn't what it used to be.  😑  I got in a few movies this week.  The F**k It List on Netflix because you know, look around.  It was decent.  Typical teen movie where parents are stupid, suck and don't understand their kids.  What else?  The Long Dumb Road indie film was okay.  Better than most we've seen.  (That might've been the week before though but whose counting?)   Always Be My Maybe which I've been meaning to watch and it was good especially if there's any Keanu Reeves is my boyfriend kind of peeps out there and make sure to watch the credits, and not click on what Netflix tries to spoon feed you next.  We watched Blow Out with John Travolta from 1981 on Amazon Prime and OMG, it was so, so bad.  The Mr still can't get over the ending but I saw it coming to a degree.  Two days later, he's like "I STILL can't believe he did that!!!"  Memorable, I guess!

We had a few less gross days early in the week but man it didn't take long to be right back to full baste.  66 days until Fall.  (Remember when I posted 92 days until Fall?)

Now let's fall into...

This Dentist's Face Mask Hack Is a Must For Anyone Who Can't Get a Tight Fit   (I'm sure you've seen this already but in case you didn't)

You Might Be Guilty of Quarantine Phubbing if You’re Reading This on Your Phone Right Now   (We're both guilty.)

What To Do When You Discover You Fundamentally Disagree With People in Your Life   (Some good tips.  Pretty sure I'm going to be needing this soon.)

The 7 Hardest No-Equipment Exercises, Ranked   (That piston squat would leave me hospitalized.)

4 Ways To Soothe Sore Muscles & Stiff Joints After All That Sitting  (Lord knows we all probably need it.)

Can Stress Cause Diarrhea? And How To Manage The Symptoms  (In this house, we call them "stress trots."  Ahh, the good ol' days of our early travel where we would load up on Pepto so we weren't faced with wrecking a plane toilet and the conundrum of the aftermath because airplane toilets.  I've said too much.)

7 Strategies for Resuming a Good Habit After a Slip  (For the banana peels of life)

Plant-Based Crab Cakes and Fish Burgers Are Coming Soon to a Freezer Section Near You   (*gives side eye*  But I'll still try them if for no other reason than to bash them with authori-tah)

What Are the Symptoms of Having a Weak Pelvic Floor? We Asked 4 Experts to Explain   (I need to get on the ball with the pelvic floor PT class I bought.  Just an FYI- peeing when you sneeze isn't a fact of life getting older.  My gynie and I had a loooong talk about that before she took a teaching job and she said that's the #1 thing she wished women knew they didn't have to suffer with.)

Why Apathy May Be A Better Indicator Of Dementia Risk Than Depression  (Good article because every bit of info helps.)

17 Styling Tricks That Will Make Your Living Room Feel Way Bigger Than It Is   (Definitely doing a few of those now but some would never work in here like "floating" our furniture.)

Enchanting fairy tale homes that’ll put you under a spell  (OMG, I want to move.  NOW.)

Just take the 2:46 seconds to not think about a friggin' thing to do with the pandemic,politics and all of the other crap to relax

We're approaching public health meltdown levels so I'm going to say if there are any specialty restaurants we might want take out from, we should get it this weekend.  Maybe for the last time, who knows anymore.  I should probably get that rack of ribs out of the freezer at some point from the first great meat shortage that never happened.  We need the room.

Any plans for your weekend?

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Thursday, July 16, 2020

Our Week in Pics

Welp, we decided to pull the plug...

on our Aerogarden.  For whatever reason, with each harvest of the romaine lettuce, it either started dying off or would come back bitter.  The last bit was paltry at best.

I slapped some on a veggie burger and we called it quits until seeding time next year.  (Or maybe if I try to force some paper whites around Christmas.)

We got a nice note from the FedEx guy.

We make sure all of our delivery peeps are taken care of and the Amazon dude loaded up the other day.   I'm sure that might be the only lunch they have time to eat some days so I hope the Pringles, Nutter Butters and Cheez Its held him over.  😄

We got our first white flower on the vine.

It held up all day so it didn't get the morning memo but that was fine with me.

I decided it was time to try TJ's fresh scallops that we picked up on our run last weekend.

I have to say, I wasn't super impressed.  No matter how much I dried them off, I still couldn't get the water out so I didn't get a good sear.  I put them over some of my jalapeno "cornbread" cheesy grits.

I thought I'd refrain from taking a picture of us dropping off our recycling for fear of putting you over the edge with jealousy.

The thrills keep on comin'.

How's your week?

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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Hump Day Poll: Young Literary Faves

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When I was wee little, my favorite books were Home for a Bunny, The Ghost of Windy Hill and this collection of Disney books of the Aristocats, Pinocchio, and The Three Little Pigs.   (Or Pee-ags as I would say at 2 years old.)   When my friend had her baby last year, we made sure she had Home for a Bunny and the Mr's favorite book and she loved that they were our childhood faves to pass on to her son.

What were your favorite books as a tot that were read to you?

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Monday, July 13, 2020

The People in Your Neighborhood Weekend Recap

Yawn...hello Monday, you saucy wench. 

Friday started out with our teas arriving and I was more excited than I probably should've been. 

Harney and Sons makes me feel fancy pants.  I got the Mr the Paris blend, I got the New England Breakfast tea which is English breakfast with maple (so yum!) and they sent two samples.   If you sign up for their email, they'll give you $5 off.  Not sponsored, I just love them and their silky sachets.  In these times, treat yo'self.

I am happy to report that the Mr passed his certification test.  The night before, I put some overnight oats in the fridge and set out a banana and some herbal tea so the caffeine wouldn't make him jittery so he could enjoy a relaxed breakfast before his test.  The past two tests he's taken in person have had parking issues or something like that where he was rushed and frantic going in so we thought given this was a remote test he was scot free.  Of course, then he goes to check in for his remote proxy and there's all kinds of issues so out the window goes the relaxation.   I hope that's the end of it for him and nothing but continuing education credits from here on out because it's a disruption to normal life with the constant studying.   That's been most of our life together for 20 years but like Murtaugh...

When he was done, we grabbed some takeout from a favorite burger joint and ate lunch in the car.  Then we went on a drive in the country on the opposite side of town and find we really require them.  It's just nice to get away from traffic and stuff because as the memes say, it's too peopley out there.

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When we got home, we did a Bill Paxton early career double feature of Mortuary and Brain Dead.  Both were awful but at least Mortuary was comical and we couldn't stop laughing at him because he was so Bill.  Brain Dead will leave you feeling that way so be forewarned...not that you would watch it anyway but still. 

Sunday, I thought "oh, it's 72 degrees, we should walk the hood."  We got dressed and out by like 10:30 am and my God the humidity was a wall.  It was my mistake.  I read 72 with the mind of it being like Spring or Fall 72, not Summer 72 which is a guaranteed stagnant air sweat fest.  We were on the third mile when we stopped to talk to the Bassett hound's mom while she was doing her lawn.  (10' away)  Apparently, she has a major problem with this other neighbor who we've seen walking her dog but seems a bit like an indifferent person that keeps to herself.  Getting a hi out of her is like pulling teeth so sometimes we say hi, and sometimes we know she ain't having it.  Well, this woman is talking about how nasty she is and how the lady told her to "stop mowing and watering her f**king lawn."   Now they hiss at each other and throw insults when she walks by 3x a day.  Then she began talking in circles and repeating herself as I'm sweating like I'm in a sauna.  I kept trying to redirect and say that she's just miserable, that's about her and let her pass by and then enjoy.  She said it was her mission to let as many people know about her as possible.  All I could think was "this is telling me more about you than her" and we were just hoping the lady she was talking about didn't round the corner so she couldn't say "I told them about you and how miserable you are" and then she would look at us like a-holes.  Don't we have more to worry about right now? 

We come back and the Mr is all like "we should dig out the neighbors patch of grass and put down the mulch since it's cooler."  Perhaps you could've mentioned that before walking 3 miles?  So we sweat outside for an hour doing that after getting her permission and I'm ready to collapse.  We grabbed our grocery pickup of which 2/3 of it was not filled then ate lunch and I started my SECOND order from another location to hopefully get what the first one didn't have.  We went to pick that up later and did our 5-6 week Trader Joe run the last hour they're open and felt like we'd been run ragged. 

Not a thrilling weekend but a weekend nonetheless and feels like we need one more day.

How was yours?

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Friday, July 10, 2020

What I'm Reading This Week #28

Hot diggity dog, it's Friday!  It's also the last day the Mr had better EVER have to study for a certification for work again.  It's been hot as a mutha over here and we've been spending time in the A/C because the option is melting.  Thankfully, we did pick up some bomb pops to cool us down here and there and make us feel like kids again sans the drippy mess running down our arms.  

Now let's run down...

Finding the Balance between Rosy and Ominous Predictions  (Nice way to look at things.)

2020 Is Making Us Old Before Our Time  (Hell yes it is.)

This Is the Least Amount of Exercise You Need to Live Longer  (Good news!)

Overindulging in quarantine? Hit the reset button with these 5 tips  (Does that lemon water really work for anyone?  I've tried it before and saw zero difference.)

10 Ways Mentally Strong People Handle a Pandemic  (I don't see blow up in public, end up on YouTube and lose everything on here.)

It’s Never Too Late to Start Living a Healthier Life, Research Suggests   (Something to think about.)

How to clear out Google Drive and free up space for new files  (Had to deal with this when switching to a better camera (aka phone.))

This Is What Happens to Your Brain When You Declutter Your Home  (This sounds quite lovely...maybe I'll do it someday.)

Jellyfish Succulents are the Whimsical Addition Your Garden Needs  (How adorable!)

Dixie on Maine Cabin Masters podcast  (Love me some Dixie!)

15 details that fans might have missed in the 1993 movie 'Jurassic Park'   (Dang people have a lot of time on their...oh wait.)

What do we say?  (That's right, Watson.)

These Perfectly Timed Nature Photos Will Make You Laugh Out Loud   (Love 'em!)

The Mr is taking his test tomorrow via remote proctor, so if you could send out a good vibe or two, that would be awesome.  We're both looking forward to be out from under the cloud of this constant study, practice test and real test that has been our life the past year.  (Obviously, him more than me since he's the one actually taking it.)  As long as all goes well, he should only have to do continuing credits and I'm going to be ticked if they want him to work on any other certs within the next year. 

Other than that, zero plans for the weekend since we're spiking like a volleyball over here.

Anything on your plate this weekend?

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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Hump Day Poll: Start or End?

♫ Sunriiiiise....sunset. ♫

I love both but I'm usually up for sunset and like to just spend that time chilling and thinking about nothing.  The only time I'm up for sunrise, I'm on Maui or Kauai or somewhere on the water.

Which do you prefer?  Sunrise or Sunset?

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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

How to Enjoy a Safer In-State Vacation

Disclaimer:  Traveling is a risk that you may or may not be willing to take at this time.  I shouldn't have to say this but unfortunately this virus seems to bring out the worst in people.  This is meant as an informative post for people looking to potentially engage in safer in-state travel during these times.  It is not a political post or an opportunity for people to jump on others (me included) about either being an overreacter or about the dangers of traveling during a pandemic depending on which side you may fall.  Travel or don't travel, your choice but I hope this helps someone out there considering it for a change of scenery for a few days.


Some of us have had to cancel or seriously modify our vacation plans this year due to Covid-19.  For those who have been continuing to basically lock down with those in your household this whole time, the cabin fever is real.  Perhaps you're hoping to get a change of scenery within your own state but wondering if it's safe to do so.  Many travel experts say it's safer to rent a private home to ensure the ability to social distance which you can't control in a hotel.  I understand many do not feel comfortable staying anywhere and you shouldn't do that until you can fully enjoy yourself.  For those who are choosing to vacation responsibly, here's a checklist to follow that may help you relax into your getaway without worrying about what the previous renters may have left behind.  First, if you're using a rental service, check the availability calendar to see if there is a gap between the previous renters and your stay.  During the first peak of Covid, companies were giving a 3 day gap between rentals for any particles to die.  I'm not consistently seeing that with this spike so use your judgment on what you're comfortable with.

We have been renting private homes for 20 years and I can tell you that I don't put immense trust the cleaning companies under normal circumstances.  (I can count on one hand how many places have been sparkling clean.)  We will only rent places with 5 stars and we have found some pretty gross things over the years.  A few places we refused to stay in until I cleaned it top to bottom and that was before the great crap fest of 2020.  Rental companies say they have implemented extra cleaning measures to make you feel better about renting.  But the fact is, it's still on the honor system that the cleaners are doing more than they were before and that's not enough for us.  I know that surface contact is not the main way the virus is transmitted but any risk is still a risk nonetheless.

Here is what we would do if we were renting a place right now.

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Many cleaning supplies in rental homes are locked up in a closet that only the paid cleaners can access.  This means the most you might have access to is a stray bottle of dish soap and maybe some Windex.  The likelihood of you getting your hands on anything of the disinfecting variety is slim to none, especially during this time.  Here are the things I would make sure to bring with me and yes, they can be hard to find so have people on the lookout if they're in stores too.

1) Disinfecting spray like Lysol or anything that kills 99.9% of germs for surfaces like remotes, door knobs, hot tub controls, playground equipment, etc.

2) Disinfecting wipes.  I mean actual disinfecting wipes that again list that they kill 99.9% of germs like Lysol, Clorox or store brand equivalents.  Baby wipes or toilet wipes do not disinfect or kill germs.   Use these for things like fridge, stove and microwave handles, chairs, hard surfaces, counter tops, etc

3)  Fabric disinfecting spray.  Yes, such a beast exists!  I found some Febreze professional (8-30 rating) that lists it kills 99.9% of germs and you must spray until the item is damp for at least 5 minutes.  The rating MUST SAY 8-30 for it to be the disinfectant.  I would use it on couches, chairs, cushions on patios or dining room chairs, and definitely throw pillows because you know those have never been washed, ever!  There are other sprays out there like it too, so do your research.  (Obviously, do a small patch test to make sure it doesn't hurt any fabric in your rental.)  It's not a must have but good to get if you can find it, even for your own house.  Spray down your soft surfaces or your coats after going out when the weather cools down.

Masks/gloves and paper towels.  Some rentals only give one roll (or even the half roll left from the previous people) with no access to more.  You're gonna need them or your own microfiber towels that you toss in the washer later.

Now that you've arrived with your supplies in hand, let's get that place spic and span so you can enjoy your downtime during crazy times.

When you arrive, before moving anything into the house, put on your mask and gloves.  There's still a lot to touch before you can get to cleaning like opening the front door, and unloading the cooler if you have one.  This will allow you to get to business and first thing's first...

Most of the time, I can tell if sheets have been washed or not but you throw those disgusting comforters or bedspreads that don't get washed regularly on top and what's the point?  Take the sheets off of all beds you'll be using and put them in with like colored towels.  I can't tell you how many towels we go to use after a shower and they have a funky or mildew smell that you don't want touching your clean body.  I follow that up with checking the bedspreads to make sure they're not dry clean only and put them in on cold or warm after the sheets are done and dry them on nothing higher than medium heat.  (You totally take on the risk should you decide to do this.)

Finally, I wash the community blankets that are draped on couches and/or chairs.  I can't cuddle up on cool evenings with other people's cooties on a good day and I haven't met a blanket on a couch yet that doesn't smell "stale" to me.  **If you don't feel comfortable washing the bedspreads/blankets, you can use a sanitizing spray like I got, just make sure it's damp for at least 5 minutes for antibacterial strength.**

Okay, now that you've got your sheets/towels in the washer, don't skip this important step before getting your clean on...

With your gloves still on, open all of the windows in every room and turn on ceiling and/or standing fans.  This circulates the stale, potentially contaminated air out of the house and anything you kick up while you begin your cleaning.

Every shared surface as well as run all of the dishes and flatware you're going to use through the dishwasher.  Wash up any pots and pans too because people are gross under normal circumstances and many cleaning companies assume because the plates are put away they're been washed and not just rinsed to save time.  Just flip on some music and it'll go by fast.  Get all light switches, knobs, remotes, tabletops, counter tops, chairs, appliances, and don't forget shared outdoor spaces like outdoor furniture, playground equipment, hot tub controls, weenie roasters/lighters (if provided), chairs by the fire pit and whatever else could've been used by a previous renter.  This includes things like activities for you to do like corn hole bags and boards need to be sprayed down and any other games, puzzles, etc they may provide.

**Optional but we would do it**

Some would say this is nuts, I say we're living in a pandemic and if I'm taking the risk of traveling, we're doing what makes us feel the safest.  Regardless of traveling in the heat or cold, you're going to be running the HVAC the recirculated air has the potential for issues.  Find the furnace and check the size of the filter.  Run to the nearest hardware store and grab the best furnace filter they have.   No, you can't clean out the ducts so there is still that potential but we personally feel better taking that extra step.  Doesn't matter if their filter appears newer, if the place was rented before you, whatever they did, sneezed and coughed has the potential to be recirculated.

Could the cleaning crew have done a good bit of this?  Yes.  Could you be wasting your time/money?  Maybe.   Would you be kicking yourself if you or someone you loved got sick or worse because you blindly put your faith in other people to clean the way you would clean yourself?  Absolutely.

An hour or so of being extra cautious (or "paranoid" as some might see it) is worth the hours of memories and peace of mind you can enjoy when you're done.

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