Posted at 11:13 pm by marshawver, on July 25, 2019
This is Margaret.
We’re in the middle of an upstairs remodel, which I can’t talk about right now, or I will use cuss words. Instead, I will do a book review and try to maintain any level of sanity I have left. Thank you God for audiobooks, and also, thank you authors for creating books containing characters more flawed than myself.
“You” by Caroline Kepnes:
This is one of those books that haunts you for days after finishing it. I listened to it on audiobook via my library app, and the voice that delivered the story did an outstanding job, adding another creepy layer onto an already disturbing story. I don’t always recommend the audio version of a book, but in this case, I would. The story is told from the viewpoint of a guy named Joe Goldberg as he selects and proceeds to aggressively stalk a beautiful girl named Beck. He turns her life into his own personal game of chess with moves and countermoves. As he narrates his own twisted line of thinking, you can’t help but be fascinated by the level of honesty with regards to the horrifying parts of human nature. Is this generation obsessed with the need for recognition and validation? Are our lives truly transparent, thanks to the internet and social media? It’s not scary in a traditional sense, it’s terrifying on a much deeper level.
Netflix has turned this book into a 10 episode series. After finishing the book, I of course, binge watched it. While I’m being thankful instead of negative, thank God for Netflix. Normally I’m disappointed with the film version of books because they fail to stay true to the writing, but in this case, the added material and material left out was ok with me. It was a slightly different story, but left you with essentially the same feeling. How well do you ever really know someone?
P.S. Please don’t judge me for recommending this book.
Everyone knows that traveling out of the country costs
money. Airfare, rental cars, hotels or AirBnBs, restaurants, excursions, etc. One
cost people may not consider (like me) is getting passports for the family. We
have a family of five, which means even a trip to IHOP costs a lot…I should
have known getting passports for 5 people would cost more than pancakes – I just
didn’t know it would cost a hundred times more than pancakes…
I made an appointment
for all of us to get passports online and it gave me an estimated cost of $275.
Ok, that sounds reasonable, I thought. I made my kids shower and pick out
clothes the night before. I showered, blow dried my hair, used a straight iron,
and then curled it (easy breezy beach waves are not easy, no matter what anyone
says.) I want to look glamorous while traveling, if only in my passport
picture. The morning comes, we dress, touch up hair, apply lip gloss, come
paperwork in hand, ready to be world travelers. We knock. It felt like OZ in
the abandoned and usually busy post office. Nobody answered. We knocked three
more times and a lady in sensible shoes and a crisply ironed baby blue shirt
with a name tag that said “Laurie” opened the door while simultaneously glaring
at us. My oldest daughter had to pee. (Side note: One of us ALWAYS has to pee,
and it is usually an emergency.) I asked where the bathroom was and she glared
again. I get it. We’re a pain in the ass. But it’s for my DAUGHTER, I say, and
she looks at my cute daughter and agrees to take her. We thank her incessantly.
I’m not above groveling to make things go better.
Laurie is all business, but extremely good at her job. She
reads over the applications, tells me when she needs a birth certificate or an
ID, what I missed on the application, where to sign, what amounts I need to
make each check out for. No wonder she doesn’t have time to do bathroom runs. I’m
sorry for our bladder problems, Laurie. Passports for a family of five took one
hour and 30 minutes. It also cost $710. The $275 was just for photo and
My advice to you guys is figure out when you need the passports by. Take one or two kids at a time. Or do the adults first. Just know that each application takes a long-time and cost $160/adult and $130/child under 16. Also, they don’t take credit cards. Bring a checkbook (it’s not obvious online when you set up an appointment). You have to write a check for each passport, and then one for the photo and processing fees. I can’t imagine what a pain it would be to go through all of that and not have enough checks. Also, better to do it earlier, rather than later. I was told that passports are taking longer than normal. They keep everyone’s original birth certificates or previous passports until they process the passports. If your kid has to do something like Driver’s Ed (like mine) make sure and get a copy of his/her birth certificate and evidence that the original is being held for passport purposes. I’m no world traveler, but I’m learning as I go, and I’m ALL for sharing the important information! Travel on friends!
This is Margaret. I fear that summer is over before it began, and 99% of summer was the anticipation. I look forward to stuff and then once it comes, I’m sad because it seems over. Apparently I suffer from anticipation depression, but maybe that is just one of my neuroses.
Part I: Trip
We had a destination wedding and spent a week in Colorado. I personally love Colorado. If you ever want to visit somewhere really cool, please look up the Great Sand Dunes https://www.nps.gov/grsa/index.htm. It’s mountains and desert and being there makes you feel like you know something someone else doesn’t. We eventually made our way down to Pagosa Springs. I watched my little brother in law, the ring bearer from my wedding, get married. That made me feel really old and I had a huge case of leaky eye. Weddings make me CRY y’all, especially ones where I’m kind of a mama bear. After the ceremony I danced a lot and drank lots of champagne. Weddings are my favorite.
Part II Meow Wolf
On the way from Pagosa Springs to Albuquerque, we stopped in Santa Fe. Meow Wolf is an immersive art gallery, and it may be one of the coolest placest I’ve ever been. Besides the Great Sand Dunes. And other places. Still, it was COOL! I could spend an entire page telling you about it, but maybe I just leave you with, try to go sometime. They are also opening one in Denver and Las Vegas this year. Everyone in Santa Fe can’t be wrong.
Before we left, we started demolition on the upstairs. We ripped out the carpet and this was the second time I’ve ripped out carpet. The first time was with Casey when she decided to be a slumlord and flip a drug dealer’s house. I was grateful that I didn’t find blood underneath our carpet. One just never knows after that. Aside from no blood under carpet, this experience still isn’t fun. I don’t like breaking up tile. I don’t like pulling out nails of walls. I don’t like crowbars, hammers, drills, but gosh darn it, I’m good at it. This place is going to look amazing. Just not today.
Sorry I have been absent for a while, it was super flaky of me. I promise it won’t happen again. Casey is the most dedicated bloggess you will ever meet. I’m so glad she has been regaling you with tales of her eyelash growth and witty banter. I’m going to nickname her the bloggess goddess. You are lucky to have her because she is such a fun friend. My PSA for the day is to hold on to your friends, the ones you really like. The friends who make you belly laugh and you are allowed to say completely inappropriate things to and know to the depths of your heart that they would be offended if you didn’t tell them the inappropriate things that were on your mind. There are so many unlaughable things in this world, and without your tribe, going through it is way less palatable. When you find the golden nuggets who are authentically themselves, hold on to them for dear life and don’t let go.
But enough about Casey.
We don’t want her to get a big head.
You haven’t missed much. We went to Portland and the Oregon Coast for Spring Break. It was incredibly fun, but I will plan better next time. Eating out every meal and staying in hotels is not ideal. On vacation my kids’ idea of a fruit is strawberry syrup on pancakes at breakfast and French fries as a vegetable for lunch and dinner. Mealtime arguing became really old, really fast. They came back to the real world with a little more fluff on their midsections and a jacked up schedule, no thanks to their parents. We ate Taco Bell in our hotel room at 11:00 pm one night after a travel day because it was the only place that was open. Traveling, eating and sleeping in a healthy manner is not going to happen without some really solid planning. Lesson learned and I see AirBnB’s in our future where meals can be prepared in. My highlights for the fly by the seat of our pants trip are:
The Japanese Garden
Grand Central Bowl
Cannon Beach/Razor Clamming
Beach bonfire at Fort Stevens State Park
Run/walk/bike/stroll Riverwalk (you have to see the seals!)
My husband recently had a conference at a ski resort. I tagged along with 2 out of our 3 kids. I have tried skiing on many occasions, and as
athletically inclined as I’d like to think I am, I absolutely, without a doubt,
Can. Not. Ski. It’s not like I haven’t
tried. I have tried short lessons and
day lessons. Each results in frustration
for all involved. I resemble a large
clumsy animal on ice and I spend more of my time in the snow than skiing on top
of it. It’s very deflating. Three instructors have failed me, or rather I
have failed them. I have never left the
bunny hill. So, like any mother who
despises being cold and can’t ski, I booked ski lessons for my two sons, had lunch
at the top of the mountain with husband and his co-workers (it was delish, in
case you were wondering) and then had a massage at the spa. It was wonderful. Until it wasn’t. My massage therapist thought it was her
personal mission to work out EVERY knot on my back. This was not possible without giving me some
serious problems…apparently I carry a lot of tension. I woke up with severe neck pain at 3:00 am. I could turn my head left, but not
right. The right side of my body was
absolutely wrong. This is a problem,
unless you are ambidextrous. Then the
left side of your body can take over, but I’m not. Ambidextrous that is. I can’t even ski.
Part II – Cold and
I got home with two crazy boys and a neck that I could only
turn left. Upon entering, I realize that
the inside of my home seemed COLDER than the outside of my home, which is no
small feat in the dead of a North Idaho winter.
I call husband who I think can walk me through fixing the problem. No answer.
I call my mom and tell her how cold I am. She gives me sympathy, but what else can she
do 1400 miles away?? Eventually husband calls back and tells me he will call
someone he knows to “check it out.” I
spend the next two hours in the down jacket I never took off, gloves and added
another layer of clothing until someone from a local heating company rang my
doorbell. I open the door and invite him
in. He doesn’t take off his dirty wet
work boots before walking across the carpet to inspect the thermostat. Shouldn’t they carry booties to wear over
their boots – especially in winter?? I’m
too cold and in too much pain to speak up about it right now so I just pretend
I don’t see it. If I make him mad, he
may not fix the problem as quickly as he could otherwise. Or overcharge me for being a pain in the ass. At this point he can wear wet dirty wet work
boots or a pink tutu if he can make my house warm. The problem was a dirty flame detector. Problem solved for $65. Small victories.
Part III – The Rash
Back to the neck pain.
I really want to be a natural remedy kind of girl. I want to put lavender on mosquito bites,
drink peppermint water for stomach issues and put frankincense on my wrinkles
for eternally youthful skin. Turns out I
am extremely allergic to essential oils.
I’ve known this for a long time, but have insisted I can overcome these
allergies in the name of being natural.
Well that and I spent a small fortune purchasing all the must have
essential oils which supposedly can treat every ailment from A to Z without any
help from the evil pharmaceutical companies.
When husband got home he offered to give me a neck rub with some Deep
Blue, which is an essential oil blend designed to help with muscle aches and
pains. The next day I woke up with a
horrible rash. Maybe worse than all the
other rashes I’ve ever gotten from essential oils. Combined. So I now have neck pain AND an excruciating
itchy red bumpy rash in the same area.
Fantastic. I spent the next two
weeks begging my family to scratch my neck/back because you can only reach so
much area with a hairbrush and taking scalding hot showers that should have
given me certifiable burns (believe it or not burning your skin feels better
than itching) and swearing off oils for good this time. My mom came to visit for my daughter’s birthday
and I had her pack every single oil I had to take with her. Hasta la vista essential oils.
Lessons From A
Lesson #1: It’s ok to go to a ski resort and not ski,
especially if there are free lunches and dinners involved. Ski resorts are charming and this one in
particular, had cute shops, cafes and breweries. It’s ok to go and just relax. However, I
would advise doing this with a book in front of the fire with a glass of
wine. I don’t think one can get hurt
Lesson #2: I’m all for using your voice. If you have a no shoes policy in your home,
you should be able to ask people to take their shoes off without guilt. BUT, it’s ok if you choose not to when said
people have come to fix a problem you have (like turning the heat back on in
your house) for fear of retaliation.
Being cold is terrible. Being
overcharged is also terrible.
Lesson #3: If you want to be natural, but it causes unnatural results for you, it’s ok to use pharmaceuticals, like the rest of America. My PSA for today is work with what you are given people.
*Sidenote: I forgot to pack swimming trucks for the boys and had to buy some in the gift shop. Casey would die if she knew how much I paid for those trunks. I could have made the boys swim naked and provided her grocery budget for the month.
Posted at 10:30 pm by marshawver, on February 28, 2019
This is Margaret…
Everybody knows that North Idaho gets real winters, but this February is one for the books. Literally. This area has not gotten this much snow in February since 1949. We’re getting way more than in 1949. I didn’t think school cancellations existed here except for in the case of a zombie apocalypse. Maybe not even then. So far we’ve had 2 snow days this month. The school district even changed it’s policy to permit two hour delays. We haven’t had one yet, but still. Policies are being changed because of how much it is snowing.
I wish I could say that I am loving it, but I’m really
not. Just typing this is giving me
seasonal depression. It’s not just the
snow. It has rarely been above 30
degrees all month and very little sunshine.
North Idaho is just hanging out in the 20’s, no hurry to get to
spring. Today is February 28th. March will be here tomorrow. I always thought March was supposed to be
springy and spring has definitely not sprung here. It’s buried under feet of snow. I’ve started to worry about the weather
forecasters. People hate them because
they’re always wrong, but I bet their losing friends in droves this February.
Yesterday was trash day.
We shoveled the driveway and a little path for the trash bin and
recycling bin, which live on the side of the house. The snow berm has since iced over since being
shoveled because the other night it was 8 degrees. I’ll repeat that. It was 8 degrees. I can’t believe it either and I live
here. So I went to drag my trash bin
down the driveway in the blizzard du jour and I couldn’t drag it around the
corner of the house because of the frozen solid snow berm. I yank and yank. Nothing.
I tried lifting the trash bin, but it’s heavy and slippery from snow and
ice. After minutes of this I become
increasingly angry. Angry at the snow
berm, angry at the icy trash bin and angry at the weather. I am now cussing. At my trash bin. I temporarily stop wrestling with the trash
bin because it was exhausting. I look
over and my neighbor is watching me in fascination. I scream “I HATE WINTER!!!!!!” I think I scared him. Spring needs to come soon, because I’m
We are attempting to link products that we LOVE onto Champagnechatter.com in the hopes that we might earn a few bucks in commissions. At this point we are hoping that we are linking items correctly. You have been warned.