Random Questions

Unfortunately the poor skunk didn’t die overnight (rainy night too) and it managed to move 2 feet from where I saw it yesterday. It is gone now though. When I came home from grocery shopping five vultures were within 10 feet of it staring at it. I scared the vultures off and didn’t see any more breathing. H used a shovel to carry it away from our house into a field where the vultures can do their clean up job.

I don’t wish that kind of end on any living being. Hopefully it’s in skunk heaven now.

Also, as an update on FIL. His weight is back up to where it should be. It appears it was just a case of not eating enough calories. We left him stocked up and he’s told H he’s been going through it - “y’all left a lot here, but it’s good!” We’ll be continuing to do the same on our visits. When we cook larger dinners, putting away some frozen to take to him when we go isn’t difficult at all.


That’s great news about your FIL.

Terrible news about the skunk, though.


@Creekland — obviously FIL loves your cooking and TLC. I’m sure you guys will be having a great train trip!

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It’s a low bar. His idea of eating out is usually using whatever fast food coupon he has…

I’m definitely looking forward to the train trip. I love introducing people to new sights. This will be their first time out west, seeing the Grand Canyon, the Pacific Ocean, going over the Golden Gate Bridge, through the Rockies, across the Plains, etc, for both of them. If they like traveling by train, there are many other places we can go - though my aunt can’t do as much since she’s limited by her job for time. FIL is limited because he’ll be 94.

I feel fortunate that my parents brought me up traveling.

Not sure if this was mentioned before … pudding cups are quite a handy source of calories (for those without sugar restrictions). The were often added to my mother’s meals-on-meals bags, as well as fruit cups. And Ensure.

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Do you have a link to that excursion? Sounds like something we would love.

We created it ourselves on Amtrak’s site.

I booked the train trip in segments going from Richmond to Chicago or Syracuse to Chicago for my Aunt. Then we’re taking the Southwest Chief to Flagstaff, spending one night there, getting a car via Turo, driving to the GC the next day, spending a night on the rim (hotel), and driving back to Flagstaff to continue to LA on the Southwest Chief. The train leaves Flagstaff in the evening, so it gives us a leisurely trip back. I booked the hotels and the car. For the GC, use Xanterra. For almost anything else we use Hotels.com.

In LA we switch to the Coast Starlight to go to Emeryville, CA - then Amtrak has a bus taking us to SF (same price as getting off at Emeryville). The only “bad” thing is the bus drops us off in front of a bank at a bus stop around 11pm at night (later if the train is delayed). We’ll need a cab, Uber, or Lyft to get to our hotel.

I picked a hotel that is directly at a Big Red Bus stop in SF because mobility is limited for FIL. That bus takes us around to many of the popular destinations in SF, including over the Golden Gate bridge. We have two full days there, so will get a two day pass on the bus and let FIL + Aunt decide what they want to do besides the Grand Tour.

Then we get the Amtrak bus back to Emeryville and hop on the California Zephyr to come back to Chicago via the Rockies. The scenery is stunning, going through the canyons, tunnels, etc.

And then back home - Richmond/Syracuse. With our stops it’ll take us 13 days I believe. I’d have worked more in, but my aunt only has 2 weeks off from work, so two nights with the GC and three nights at SF is all I could muster. FIL picked the GC and Golden Gate from his options of places the train went near. He also picked the route from their route map because he’s never seen the southwest or west. The journey getting there is as much a part of the trip as the stops. They’re looking forward to it all. I expect we’ll be in the observation car a good bit of the time.

Amtrak has vacations they do themselves too, so if you want something “easier” to sign on to, you can check those out here:

I’m just used to personalizing all we do, so figuring out how to get exactly what we want isn’t difficult for me.


@Creekland, sounds like a great trip. Not sure if an extra $20+ makes a difference to you but you may want to look at what an uber/lyft (I often check both) will cost from the Emeryville Amtrak station to get all the way to your hotel. At a low peak time, like 11 pm, it may be as low as $30. Since you’ll need an uber once in SF to get to your hotel, it may be worth your time and energy to spend a bit more and uber directly from the station. I live in another part of the bay area so am just guessing at the low peak fare.


That sounds like it could be a terrific option with FIL and my Aunt as opposed to just H and me. Thanks for suggesting it!

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I did forget there will be 4 of you which, hopefully, won’t necessitate two ubers…that ‘minimal’ extra cost may not be as minimal as I thought.

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Can’t you have 4 passengers in an Uber or Lyft? I know I’ve ridden in one with at least that many people.

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You can get an XL vehicle (usually a minivan) from Uber. I’m not sure what’s it’s called with Lyft, but they have something similar. They are more expensive. How much just depends and sometimes it is cheaper to get 2 cars. older S is in charge of ordering them for us when we travel together.


Why would someone warn me that their husband is really mean right before meeting him? “No, I mean it. He can really be mean”. It was somewhat of a chance meeting, yet we would be spending a couple hours together. Better question yet, why would a sweet woman be married to a “mean” man?

Good question- but We can never know what goes on in others’ marriages. I have a very sweet friend wh is married to a mean guy. We were at their hose once for dessert and they pulled out a board game. I forget what it was but the moves required moving several things at once. I started to make a multi step move but ultimately realized it wouldn’t work, so tried my best to put the pieces back where they were. He yelled at me! We cut the evening short, and while we have done some dinners with them since, no more board games, ever.


Truth. Over the years as people divorce there is a lot of discussion as to why. I always say that you never really know what’s going on. It can look great on the outside and not so great otherwise.


Does anybody do committee voting by email, if an important timely topic comes up between meetings? Or some other online tool? We’ve done the email method, with a lot of reply/all and then saved PDF. But it’s a bit of a pain.

Can someone remind me what the website is that nudges you/reminds you/shames you into cleaning your house regularly? I remember it started with, Put your shoes on and Clean your kitchen sink. TIA.

I have some offspring who might benefit from the site.

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Was it the FlyLady?


Yes, I think so! Thank you!

And for those of you who care, it’s flylady.net – not .com, as I first assumed.