by Grace aka costofcollege

Among the 8 Tips for Dealing with Difficult Relatives During the Holidays is this one.

8. Find reasons to be grateful. Be thankful that you get to cook, or that you don’t have to cook. Be thankful that you get to travel, or that you don’t have to travel. Be thankful for your family or your friends. Be grateful for electricity and running water. Find something. Studies show that gratitude is a major happiness booster. Also, feeling grateful toward someone crowds out emotions like resentment and annoyance.

What are you grateful for?  Do you expect to encounter difficult relatives tomorrow?  Do you have relatives who put the “fun” in dysfunctional?  I think tip #6 that recommends we not expect perfection is a good one.  What else is on your mind this Thanksgiving eve?

What time do you usually eat Thanksgiving dinner?  We’re eating earlier than usual this year, 1:pm,  because some guests have to get on the road by early evening and some will be working early on Black Friday.

There will not be a post on Thanksgiving Day or on Friday, but let’s chat about anything you’d like.  How’d your dinner turn out?  Are you shopping on Black Friday?  Is the global travel alert stressing you out or making you yawn?

Happy Thanksgiving!


232 thoughts on “Gratitude

  1. This is the first time that I am seeing this SNL skit and it is hilarious.
    I don’t have to deal with any of the drama this year because we are going to DH family. There is drama, but this is a cousin that hosts a really big family Thanksgiving. We usually only have drama with his immediate family.

    The real spot for controversy is my family. It has been going on all week.
    They are still arguing about what to do with my grandmother because they feel really guilty about leaving her at home, but it is truly very difficult to bring her to the dinner. For many reasons that I won’t get into here.

    The best was my aunt complaint for years about the stuffing that my mother made every year. My aunt would say nasty things about the stuffing all of the time. I kept telling her to just make an alternate and serve both since it is a lot of people. I think she just liked to complain about my mother. My mother is injured this year, so she can’t bend down to get into her oven to make a large tray of stuffing. She wants to bring a dessert. Of course, my aunt complained about missing the stuffing so I sent her back one nasty email from a prior year about the stuffing. She finally stopped complaining. I am so THANKFUL that I won’t be there tomorrow to hear them arguing all day about dumb stuff like the temperature of the food.

  2. Thanksgiving was the very worst holiday in my family. My mom always cooked and cried and shouted out to the Lord to smite her relatives, but they showed up anyway. One year, when Dad’s alcoholism was really bad, he sat silently at the table while Grandma (his mother) said inane but mildly critical stuff, my mom smiled like a zombie and my sister and I sat petrified with frozen smiles. Eventually Dad literally turned green and went to the bathroom (small house, thin walls) to throw up repeatedly. When this happened my grandmother said, “And doesn’t Tom look well?” over and over, because you can make reality go away by simply contradicting it in WASP-land. Sis and I silently chewed on the leathery turkey (Mom was a terrible cook) and Mom went more and more into her fugue state.

    This year, like last year, we’re taking the homeless guys to Country Buffet and everyone says (in essence) “Oh, you’re so noble!” Yeah, no. Not in the least. It’s so much massively better than any family Thanksgiving I ever had, and the guys will tell us which sci fi movies are worth seeing this month.

  3. Do you expect to encounter difficult relatives tomorrow?

    Umm, yes. My relatives arrive tonight. Only one is expected to be difficult, my mom. She’s already on my sister’s last nerve, so I can’t even depend on my sis to deflect, shield, distract. Note to self – pick up wine on the way home from work.

    I am thankful I already started the stuffing this morning and bought pre-made pie crusts.

  4. We are heading off to the second Thanksgiving for DH’s side of the family. Everyone was on their best behavior for the first one. I’m keeping my fingers crossed and bringing some games to play and deal with awkward conversational pauses. The kids haven’t met one of the sisters who will be there today.

    My immediate family is having Thanksgiving tomorrow, and my mom is driving me crazy. She won’t commit to whether she is coming. It looks I will be responsible for her for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Kind of related to yesterday’s post. My older sibling handles the day to day with her and he is off to have Thanksgiving near the college kids. His family is also going away for Christmas. It is reasonable and fair that he get some time off. I am trying to maintain a sense of gratitude for the heavy lifting he is doing all year, and not think about how much more fun it would be to hang out with his family.

  5. The good news is I only have to cook for 4 people. The bad news is that the guests are staying for several days (so lots of meals to plan) and one of them is completely gluten free, and the other is on something called the FODMAPS diet with an enormous amount of restrictions. Both are for health reasons, but it’s a lot to keep track of, especially for someone like me who doesn’t have that much experience hosting. Fortunately our guests are delightful people and so it will be well worth the trouble.

  6. When I started grad school, we gave up going anywhere for T-day. And I’m SOOO BLOODY THANKFUL for that. This year, my friend from grad school is coming, and my dad will be here from Friday-Sunday. So I have 5 adults, 2 dogs, and a baby for the weekend. Sleeping arrangements are interesting, but it should be good. My friend is awesome and chill. My dad will have to deal with our plans (he asked to come last week, so he didn’t get a say in any planning).

    We’ll watch the parade, visit Baby Rhode’s NICU nurse, eat somewhere in the afternoon, and then collapse to watch movies after the baby goes to bed. Friday I’ll go to the library to get some work done, and then family fun time. Saturday we’ll shop locally (small business Saturday), and Sunday we’ll sleep. Maybe I’ll make brunch.

    I think we’ll start cooking tonight. I’ll be up late anyway because I need to pick up my friend from the airport for midnight.

    Is anyone having a non-traditional meal?

  7. Rocky, how do you select your homeless guys?

    Murphy, so if she doesn’t join you will your mother be alone at TG?

    I have house guests who are on a somewhat restricted diet, but they also are picky about their food (they grow much of their own produce and keep chickens for their eggs). They are always gracious, but I would not dare serve them regular grocery store eggs after hearing them praise how wonderful their freshly laid eggs are.

  8. We’re going out, which is non-traditional to me. My wife’s aunt invited us and as much as I want to have the big home cooked meal, I’ve finally given up on having the big gathering and accepted it’s never going to happen. We invite them to come to our house every year and they always decline, they say it’s more relaxing for them to go out. We don’t have any other family in town, and we can’t seem to connect with any other “orphan” families, so I finally surrendered this year.

  9. This year, my sister’s family will not be coming, so it’s my parents, in-laws, DH and kids. There are only 3 meat eaters, so we are roasting a chicken instead of a turkey. This is sad, but ok because DS1 is preparing the chicken and will be very proud of his contribution to the meal. DS2 will help me make the pecan pie, and I will make some vegetarian side dishes.

    Today, I need to clean my house because my parents are coming. It’s clean and orderly, but I need to do the extra credit (for me) stuff such as wiping down the inside of the fridge, sweeping behind the TV, clearing piles of paper from the guest room, changing the sheets on the guest bed, etc.

  10. We are doing the same as every year. No difficult relatives, just insanely boring ones. Maybe they are boring because they aren’t difficult? I suppose I should be grateful for the lack of drama. But after 30 years, I can predict every single line of conversation. And we will be finished and back out the door in less time than it takes to drive there, thanks to uber-efficient, holiday-hating oldest SIL. The kid cousins never come any more, so my kids don’t even get to see them. So I regard it as a bit of a wasted day.

    Your Thanksgiving Grinch.

  11. Cofc, yes her options are us or being home alone. Does wonders for my self esteem that this is a hard choice for her.

  12. Murphy,

    Is it due to health issues that she’s reluctant to come? From your tone it seems more like she’s just being difficult.

  13. I’m hosting 12 family members. I don’t expect much drama but DH and my mother have little skirmishes on the best way to prepare,cook, serve, etc. I stay out of it. It’s usually a fun day, and I’m doing as much as possible today so that I can relax tomorrow. I want to eat early enough so that we can all go for a walk after dinner and before dessert – it’s supposed to be around 60 tomorrow.

    Rio, we don’t have any special diets to consider but when I’m visiting friends and family for a weekend, I almost always offer to prepare dinner for a night. Most hosts gladly take me up on it.

  14. Rhett, it is both. She actually still works, but likes to have my brother fuss over her. She has been needy enough over the years to cause problems in my brother’s marriage. He was always her favorite when we were kids and my other sibs have mostly just quit care taking. She refuses to take care of herself, which leads to health crises.

    Another sibling contacted me last week to work with her on some of her issues. She doesn’t listen to me and none of my suggestions have merit. Why expect me to do anything about it?

    Well, I’ve failed the gratitude post. Maybe I’ll get some more wine.

  15. Oh, man, I am SO setting myself up for disappointment this year, because I’m just so excited — we’re going to my Aunt’s and Uncle’s in TN to celebrate my Granny’s 90th, and it’s going to be a family reunion with basically my dad’s whole side of the family, including my cousins their kids, some of whom I haven’t seen in probably 20 years. So I’m really, really excited (to the extent that my “the other shoe’s going to drop” voice in my head is trying to convince me that the plane will crash). So I am trying to keep my expectations in check and remind myself that my brother will be driving me crazy within the first 6 hrs, I’m going to run out of things to chat about and feel awkward, the food will get cold and they will run out of pie, DH is going to get pissy (because of reasons 1 and 3, not necessarily in that order), etc. etc. etc.

    It is hard not to have it here, because it’s just my favorite holiday — I usually extend invites to the whole family in the area, so we have had anywhere from just us to about a dozen people, and I just love the welcoming-ness of it all. In the world I grew up in, nothing says love like a table full of home-cooked food, so it makes me happy to be able to be on the giving end of that now instead of the receiving end. And, you know, my pie is awesome. So it’s weird not to be doing that, but for the greater good — I will just have to make pie for DH (yeah, for him, that’s it — just thinking about him . . .) when we get back.

  16. Wow, some.of you seem to have terrible thanksgiving with families. I cannot believe families behave the way you guys have described, especially while meeting occasionally. But it must not be so bad since everyone still gets together year after year, no?

    We don’t have family nearby and it seems like no one is willing to visit each other either from either coasts. But when we do visit, we never have as much drama as described here, Except for SIL who creates unnecessary drama. Fortunately it’s enough if I ignore her. My MIL with whom I have a mutual dislike relationship also behaves if the visit is short.

    I am thankful for my family because no matter what, it beats not having a family. I worry about my kid who is an only and won’t have any close family to speak of nearby after we are gone.

  17. Dell said
    “I am thankful for my family because no matter what, it beats not having a family.”

    I am totally with you on this. I only have one sib left (and she is difficult), so I am glad DH has lots of family even if they have held the same Thanksgiving conversation for 30 years straight now.

  18. Dell, I totally agree with you, and Mooshi about being thankful for family. I worry about DD as an only too. I hope she is able to be with her extended family of cousins, or the family she creates if she marries.

    I do think you’re lucky if you think the SNL skit is a parody vs. reality. I love my family, but there is a lot of arguing that happens about dumb stuff.

  19. “I am thankful for my family because no matter what, it beats not having a family.”

    I generally agree, but it depends on the family members. In DH’s family, some people treat each other poorly because they can…because they are family. I don’t like this.

    However, I do love my sister and her family. I enjoy my parents in limited quantities. I adore my nieces, and enjoy seeing them follow my kids around (the older cousins) every chance they get. My in-laws, I could take or leave, but that’s another story. : )

  20. I’m feeling lots of gratitude this year. The kids are old enough that a 5-6 day stretch of no school is relief for everyone instead of just more work (we’ll see how I feel about that on Sunday…). We aren’t traveling for the holiday. The weather is gorgeous. We are hosting the family meal but will only have overnight guests for one night. The shopping is done and the big house chores are done, although I still need to do things like wipe down bathrooms (with these boys, might as well wait until the last minute for that). There’s great football on TV this weekend. DH is working today but is off Thursday/Friday. Life is good.

  21. Grateful for health, healthy family, general happiness, our country, and good, steady employment, even if it’s boring and ordinary at times.

    We’ve arrived at my in laws, and brother and SIL are flying in soon. I think that everyone is pleasantly normal, but I wonder if that’s because I ignore certain quirks that others would not.

  22. We’re empty nesters for Thanksgiving, since our kids are doing that kids-only, cross-border grandparent-visiting road trip I talked about before. They left yesterday afternoon and will be back Friday for dinner.

    I’m getting away w/ such minimal cooking this holiday! DS requested for Friday dinner a dish that DH makes, so I’ll be the sous chef on Friday. I’ll make breakfast on Saturday before we all head to The Game and again on Sunday before DS heads back to the airport.

    Tonight, it’s dinner w/ dear friends and our home-from-college godson, who are terrific cooks and requested we bring nothing at all (wise of them, easy for us). Tomorrow, DH and I will make a very low-key TGiving dinner together. WF deli for veggies, gravy and cranberry sauce. I’ll make potatoes and will stuff the turkey and DH will cook it. Likely will end up with yummy leftover pie from dinner tonight.

    I hope you all have a wonderful holiday. Anyone w/ difficult relatives can hopefully bite their tongue and think, “Well, at least this will make for a funny story to report on the Totebag tomorrow.” :)

  23. My alcoholic aunt who is in the mid-stages of Alzheimer’s is coming for dinner, so that does make things more trying.

  24. We’ll be at my parents’ house over the weekend, which is right on the beach, so it should be a nice relaxing weekend other than having to drive back into town a couple of times for ^&*( rehearsals. Oh well, we can feed the pets and hit the sales that way. Possibly some other family will be joining us for the dinner.

  25. Our Thanksgiving celebrations are fairly drama-free. Even moreso this year as a certain family member who causes 90% of the drama will not be there. I am thankful that the core of our families are within an hour or two so that we can visit for the afternoon on holidays and not be in close quarters for days at a time because I think that is exactly what keeps the holidays drama-free! I am also thankful that my contribution to Thanksgiving dinner is mashed potatoes from Costco that go in the microwave!

    DH will be standing in line for the big Bourbon County specialty beer release on Friday morning (likely in the rain), while I will be home sleeping. And then we will put up the tree. Looking forward to a relaxing long weekend.

    I am truly grateful for a lot of things as I have been very lucky to this point in my life, and I know that won’t always be the case.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all!

  26. So my friend whose fiancé died two weeks ago is finding that the insurance company is either going to take months to pay out (policy was about $100K) or will never pay out, because he used medical mj and prescription painkillers and might have been impaired while riding his motorcycle. She has mortgage payments, car loan payments, etc. She could sell her house for about a $100K profit, but then she has no place to live. Rents in California are crazy. She’s not stupid and she doesn’t need the very basic financial information that gets handed out to widows.

    What would you do? If you gave her money, how much would you give?

  27. RMS,

    Maybe a couple of mortgage payments 5k-15k? It would depend on how much money you have and how close a friend.

  28. ” I think tip #6 that recommends we not expect perfection is a good one. ”

    I’ve said it here before, that one key to happiness is low expectations.

  29. Rhett, no idea about disclosure. I’m pretty sure it must’ve been through his employer. Also, can I just say how I want to yell and scream about my dear friends who put their moral values above earning money? On the one hand I love them for it, and on the other hand, when it goes wrong, it goes so horribly wrong.

  30. RMS,

    Then maybe she’s misinformed? Did the insurance company say they won’t pay or maybe will pay in months? Or did “someone” tell her they won’t pay due to the nature of the accident and now she’s needlessly panicked.

  31. I am so looking forward to the Txgiving meal this year. My son’s family, the two of us, and his full home theater for many hours of football viewing. DIL and I are doing the cooking jointly. A little background.

    A month ago SIL called DIL and said, Bobie (greatgrandmother) wants to make the Txgiving plans. DIL, feeling great six mos after her last radiation treatment and wanting to host in the suburban palace, says, I’ll have it here. (Of course, she doesn’t have 45 years of experience with my ex’s outlier family.) SIL (same one who is controlling niece’s college search), says yes. DIL and I agree to handle all the prep. Then the but’s start coming over the next two weeks. Bobie calls me to say, what can I bring? I was planning to make your pecan pie. I comment nicely, “since that is my specialty, I think I’ll make it. Relax, at 90 you and overburdened SIL don’t have to bring anything. DIL is looking forward to being the host.” Then SIL calls DIL and says, ” I have already baked two (gluten lactose free) apple pies and frozen them. We don’t really like turkey (if you have ever eaten their turkey you would know why), so I’ll grill up a lamb roast and bring that. And remember, no butter in anything.” My son rose to the occasion texted me and asked, do you mind if it is just you two and us? I am going to call SIL and try to cancel this arrangement. I texted back, from your lips to God’s ears.

  32. My family does not have a strong Thanksgiving tradition. When I was young, we always had to be home to start up the Christmas tree lot, plus my dad & brother would usually spend a day cutting, bailing, loading, and transporting trees. Once I was older, H and I planned our travel or hosting around when & where the college football game was. Since my dad retired from the tree business, we have taken family trips a few times over the Thanksgiving week. That’s my favorite!

    This year, DD is with her dad, and my parents were worried about me being alone. But neither of us wanted to drive the 4 hours to the other’s house, so we’re meeting at my aunt’s (2h for me, 3h for them). There will be 10 – 5 of us family and the other 5 friends. It’s pot luck and I was assigned veggies & dips. I picked those up on my way home from work at noon today and will do the minimal prep tonight. Then I can sleep in tomorrow, have a light breakfast, and leave around 11:30. Home by 9 pm to meet up with some girlfriends. Shop locally a day early on Friday so that I can watch the game on Saturday. This might be the best Thanksgiving ever.

    BTW, after a few texts and no answer at the next-door neighbor’s door, I found a friend with a ladder who will be home in an hour, so my lightbulb will be changed soon!

  33. “my dear friends who put their moral values above earning money”

    I’m not sure what that means, but maybe you’ve elaborated on that before. I don’t think I know friends who fit that description.

    Giving money is often a touchy subject, but I would agree with Rhett’s suggestion.

  34. RMS,

    The advantages of group life insurance
    Group life has two things going for it:
    It’s easy to qualify for coverage. Unlike an individual life insurance policy, where you might be rejected, group life coverage is guaranteed and there are no medical questions. The insurer bases the premium on the risk of the group as a whole and considers such factors as the ratio of women to men, members’ ages and the kind of work they do.

    So, that’s a typical policy you get through work. There are no medical questions and they would certainly pay for a vehicle accident even if you’re at fault.

    I’d double check who she heard it from that they won’t pay.

  35. “I enjoy my parents in limited quantities.”

    I have relatives like that, and I suspect the feeling’s mutual. I don’t live near any relatives on my side of the family except for one young cousin who is a sweetheart. I often wonder what it would be like to get together with them more frequently than once or twice a year.

  36. RMS, it does sound like she should talk with a lawyer to at least get some advice about the scope of the policy.

  37. “More like…putting groovy-ness above money.”

    Oh yeah, I know people like that. Often it’s a groovy lifestyle that seems to preclude serious saving and boring stuff like insurance.

  38. I’d say the lawyer is a good idea. You know how insurers are about not liking to pay claims. And it’s only 100K, for pete’s sake (pocket change by insurer standards). If she’s going based on oral representations from the insurer at this point, get someone to write up a stiff letter expressing confidence that these representations were inaccurate, as the insurer wouldn’t want to defend the bereaved widow’s suit for wrongful denial/bad faith, but immediate payment of policy limits will make everything ok.

  39. RMS – I am not really certain how a 100K policy payout makes a lot of difference to one’s long view financial position in California. If the funds are needed to pay off medical or funeral expenses or pre-existing bills, you could just ask her for those bills and pay them or give her cash to cover those costs. If the money was going to tide her over while she got a job with meaningful pay, I would offer specifically funds to make 3-6 months car and mortgage payments so that she doesn’t worry about losing vital assets. However, If her cash reserves and income are so low that she qualifies for direct govt assistance or a complete health insurance subsidy, gifts that leave a trail – hitting her bank account before autopay – might disqualify her.

  40. I am grateful that, unlike the past two years, I will be able to eat and enjoy Thanksgiving dinner. My dad and all of the kids are coming, including DS with wife and baby. No family dramas. DH does ALL of the cooking and the kids will do the cleanup so I don’t have to do anything.

    I am grateful that everyone else is in good health at the moment, and my MIL who was recently diagnosed with dementia is doing OK so far. I know that it’s only a matter of time before DH and his sibs have to face some difficult decisions, but we aren’t there yet. I am also grateful that the two older kids are both Gainfully Employed and that our college DS is doing well.

  41. We are not traveling this year, hallelujah! We typically alternate holidays, Thanksgiving with my family and then Christmas with my husband’s, then trade off each year. Until this year both families lived out of state, but my parents moved here this summer so we will only have to travel for one holiday in the future. And this year we are getting a pass on traveling since we have a new(ish) baby and saw my husband’s family this summer.

  42. Scarlett –

    Congratulations on becoming a grandmother. This is one club worth joining. I didn’t catch that if you mentioned it on your return.

  43. Regarding the insurance and accident question, I am wondering what kind of insurance policy it is and if she is named as the beneficiary on the policy (assuming it is a life policy). If it is not a life policy, and if the policy is an accident policy then the money goes to his estate. Neither scenario gives money to her without another piece of paper, ie, a will or beneficiary designation. This is why the insurance company may not want to pay her.

  44. Scarlett, wow, I didn’t realize that you became a grandmother. Mazel tov! I hope you have a wonderful thanksgiving with your family

  45. Mémé, the house probably only has about $200K in loans on it, and the car probably cost less than $20K. Fiancé only made $30K (he told me directly last time I saw him, and no, I didn’t ask.) Of course he had the health insurance for the two of them thru work so now she’s got to get insurance too. I should definitely push her to look into government benefits. She might well be eligible for food stamps. Wow. I know she makes too much for MediCal because she said so.

  46. Rocky: Can she refinance the house to lower her payments and preserve cash flow? Is it possible for her to take on additional work, or search for a job with benefits?

  47. Houston, they have a HELOC on the house. They got a screamin’ deal during the crash four years ago and it’s about tripled in price. She probably could get a job with bennies. Of course part of it is just the horrible adjustment to her new circumstances and just trying to get through each day.

  48. Have her send a copy of the death certificate and a letter demanding payment of the policy amount within 10 business day. Also, have her reference the date of the prior communication regarding the death of the insured. This will make the paper trail for a claim of bad faith in handling the claim. I would expect them to just send the money.

  49. RMS,

    Has her claim been formally denied? In most states life insurers have 30 days from receipt of the death certificate to pay the claim, deny it or ask for additional information.

  50. We are doing a dual Thanksgiving thing – tomorrow early (11 am) lunch with my mom at her community. It will be a buffet with a variety of “traditional” foods. Friday, my partner (DP) and DD#2 have lined up a meal of stuff they want for Thanksgiving.

    We will spend a few hours there, in part cleaning out her kitchen where she has finally realized she has way too much that she doesn’t need and will never use. Also, taking a new large bag of cat litter and hauling aways a donation pile. I’m hoping to get a few minutes to go through the mail as well.

  51. Rhett, they’ve asked for the traffic report and the toxicology report.

    Wow, I had no idea that was even possible for group insurance.

    Is that true for term insurance as well? If I have a glass of wine and a Percocet after my gum surgery and get hit by a car crossing Comm Ave, are they going to deny my claim?

  52. With my dad’s life insurance it was troublesome even for me to get the claim documents requested because I was not the beneficiary. His death was very simple, but the forms even asked questions that I had to get clarification on before we could submit. My understanding from our recent experience is if they request information that is legitimately needed to make a determination about the amount of benefits that are to be paid under the policy, they are are not required to pay out until you and/or the proper authority provide the information.

    RMS – my advice to your friend would be to gain an understanding of the organization that she needs information from – police department for traffic report or ME’s office for toxicology report – and find out what she can do to expedite the process or how she can monitor the progress. Sometimes just verifying that the request was made using the right form and was sent to the right person can help. Also, if there is an attorney involved in dealing with the deceased’s estate, bring them into the process. Unfortunately, sometimes having a person a bit removed from the situation can help.

  53. Scarlett – congratulations on the new addition! Also, welcome back. I hope you continue to get well and enjoy all that life has to offer! My apologies – I missed you coming back and I had difficulty figuring you out. An anon on yesterday’s post helped me out.

  54. It looks like T-day will just be us this year. My BIL and his kids had joined us every year recently, but he’s now an empty nester and I think he’ll spend it with his current SO and her family. I think we’ll have a late lunch so we can go to sleep early. I’ll be waking up early on Friday so I can do some Black Friday shopping at Home Depot before I spend the rest of the day judging at a debate tournament, and DW will probably also wake up early to do her BF shopping.

    Small world dept: DW and I met BIL’s SO’s mom about 20 years ago; she owns the realty company that we used when we bought our house.

  55. @ Scarlett – a lot has happened in two years ! Happy to learn that things are going well for all your DS’s.
    @Rhett – the SNL skit was great.
    Here we are having a very ethnic meal but hey it is still Thanksgiving. MIL is doing the cooking and at this point I let it go. I used to do a traditional Thanksgiving and the meal used to turn out well. BIL and family decided to come just last week. The kids are very excited to see their cousins. The issue with DH’s family has been that his parents have never liked their DILs.
    I wish I had the close relationship and cooking together that Meme described. It is what it is.

  56. Reminising…

    In the years right after college, I was far from home and family, so I’d get together with a bunch of friends and acquaintances from my alma mater (some of whom became very good friends), we’d rent some condos at Lake Tahoe, and go skiing for the weekend. It seemed that every year there was at least one big dump during the long weekend, and there was always someone in the group who was seeing snow for the first time, and we’d have some great snowball fights.

    One year the group got so big that we couldn’t all cram into one condo for T-day dinner, so we rented out a gym and had dinner catered by Safeway.

  57. Speaking of gratitude: I am sitting in BWI, and everywhere I look are midshipmen in uniform. Airport is a zoo, everything rush-grumble-rush — and to a man, they are beaming and laughing, happy to be off-campus and heading home for the long weekend. (Speaking of things I take for granted). It’s making me smile just to sit here in the middle of them.

  58. Here we are having a very ethnic meal but hey it is still Thanksgiving.

    Do you server what would be served during Diwali?

  59. It’s like some exotic hyprid of carrot cake and pumpkin pie filling. I think I might just try and make it.

  60. We are having a mix of ethnic and traditional Thanksgiving food. DH’s parents do not like American cooking, so they are bringing 2 dishes. My parents will eat a mix of both. DH, the kids, and me will have the traditional Thanksgiving dishes, because they are a treat–we don’t cook them very often.

  61. Rhett: If you do make the carrot dish, you can use cardamom powder, instead of actual cardamom pods. It might be easier to pick up at your local store.

  62. RMS, I second A Parent’s advice.

    Also, have her get a copy of the insurance policy wording from the benefits coordinator at her boyfriend’s business ASAP. Sometimes the insurers drag their heels about providing it, but HR should have it on file.

    The best gift might be a few hours with a financial planner to go through the assets and liabilities and help her plan next steps.

    We did that for our neighbor when her husband died suddenly, because it would have been awkward for us to get too involved in her finances.

    From a tax and government benefit perspective, she is better off if you pay bills directly rather than allow any money to go through her account. Grocery and gas cards are also a safe bet.

  63. LfB – I used to drive a car packed with those people to the airport on this day. If I remember right, breakfast was an hour early, the first class started an hour early, there was no sit-down lunch but you just went straight through all six class periods, depending on your schedule, of course. There were boxed lunches to grab on your way out, and the dining hall would try to include things that were good for those who might be driving for many hours.

    Sophomore year, I had dropped Nate off at Dulles and was on my way with two others heading east on 32 to BWI when I was snared in one of those traffic stops where you’re busted before you even see them, you just get flagged over into the median by a state trooper standing in the left lane. There was no mercy at that point, but the judge dropped the points a few months later.

  64. How embarrassing….. That should’ve been, “Reminiscing….”

    *cough* We weren’t going to mention it.

    Thanks to everyone for your advice and thoughts.

  65. Thanks for the warm welcome to the grandma club. I thought I was way too young to join it (and truth be told, still do — when my son refers to Grandma I look around for my mother) but when I realize how much strength it takes to handle a baby, I am glad that I am not older. I have met more than a few couples in their 70s who are still eagerly waiting to be made grandparents, and they are distressed that they might not be able to babysit or take the kids on little trips when they finally join the club.

  66. Meme,
    That scenario you describe sounds like something from Portlandia. Except that I have the feeling that every word of it is true.

  67. Well, in the interest of edginess, I had promised to call out grammar and spelling errors, so I had to call out that one.

  68. “couples in their 70s who are still eagerly waiting to be made grandparents”

    That will probably include me. Our family history suggests kids will start arriving when mom is in her early 30s. Given that dads are often older than moms, grandkids in the 70s is about right.

    On the bright side, I plan to be well into retirement by then, and have a lot of time to spend with the grandkids.

  69. I’ll be working tomorrow since it’s a regular old workday here. We’ll be having a traditional turkey dinner on Saturday with a fellow expat colleague and his wife. Since this is our 2nd Thanksgiving in London, it’s not so difficult finding the right ingredients. Last year, I waited so late to shop that I couldn’t find the fried onions for the green bean casserole and it took hours in the supermarket to figure out which section had the needed ingredients. Right now, all we are missing is acorn squash and DH is going to try Whole Foods tomorrow.

  70. Baysidegirl, the year I was in Ireland the only thing I could find for my pumpkin pie was a giant jack-o-lantern type pumpkin that a greengrocer had had sitting out as an exotic fall item. It was a messy job breaking it down and cooking it, and I sliced a finger open at some point so there was blood and pumpkin everywhere and it looked like there had been some horrible but seasonal massacre. I also recall some language difficulties regarding the American versus Irish/British understanding of mincemeat. (Mince pie filling was the term I needed.)

  71. I’ll work all day tomorrow and have a “Friendsgiving” in the evening. We will potluck at work and (hopefully) have a light flow of patients. I think Thanksgiving evening shopping will really help deter people from visiting us (there is usually a big bolus after people eat). When I get home we will go to dine with big group (20 inc kids) and we only know the hosts. I am really looking forward to it – all young professionals, we will have enough in common to have a lot to talk about, but no family-like emotional scabs to pick at. It’s potluck and I think most people are pretty foodie-ish – there will be turkey baked, fried and sous-vide. We will have a second meal on Sunday evening with another family that we are close with, with matching aged children. We probably will just cook a few sides, and do a turkey breast in the crock pot (did that last year – maybe on advice received here?, first time ever we had hot, moist turkey for dinner) – I don’t feel any obligation to have the “complete” meal.

    We have done every variation of hosting, traveling, skipping the holiday (I usually work every other one). Celebrating with friends/peers is probably my favorite. Perhaps because my family, while not acrimonious, has always eaten in front of football. We don’t have time to fight or even have a conversation.

  72. My usual pecan pie recipe has a bit of maple syrup in it. Of course, since pancakes and syrup are no longer on DH’s menu, I apparently used up the last of the syrup stash sometime last summer. So I had to substitute bourbon ;)

  73. I started a GoFundMe for my friend and my sister kicked in $1K! She is at least partially redeemed in my eyes. She doesn’t even know my friend so she did this for me. So it really was a Merry Christmas^h^h^h Happy Thanksgiving after all!

  74. Have been cooking all day. I never get to do this and it was AWESOME. I made 2 apple pies (I bought too many apples and DH cut them all up – woohoo!), pecan pie (Meme, I use Frangelico), and pumpkin cheesecake. Also date&nut bread. DH’s parents are here (the ones we never see) but they will only stay for 2.5 days; as long as they keep kids away from me so I can cook I will be happy. I may send them to the Peanuts movie tomorrow before dinner. :)

    Scarlett, congrats on your grandchild!

  75. I feel I need to step in and back up the insurance company here. The life policy typically will not have exclusions. It may have a limited suicide exclusion and death while committing a felony. The AD&D policy will have exclusions. The toxicology and police reports are standard requirements. If the toxicology comes back and there is enough evidence to suggest that drugs played a role in causation of the accident, then the AD&D part of the claim will be denied. Upon receipt of the claim the insurance company will review and pay out the life portion. The AD&D payment will be paid after further review and payment/decision could take months. It is a very emotionally time, so my guess would be there is a misunderstanding in the verbal communication, and she should wait to get written notices.

  76. Thankful to be spending the holiday with my family. Unfortunately my dad ended up in the hospital (he’ll be fine, but will not be able to enjoy the meal with us), but I’m happy I’m in town to see him, and help my mom out for a few days.

  77. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

    I remain thankful for this group of people (I know some of you are not bots!) who can talk about any subject respectfully…in contrast to what some of our T-day real-life experiences will be. But then again, you can pick your friends!

  78. Thanks for that info, Lemon. I agree we need to get someone clear-headed to look at the policies and see what the real deal is.

  79. Scarlett – wow! A lot has happened with your boys since we last saw you. Two finished college and one married and with a baby! That’s terrific. Congratulations! Do your eldest two live nearby? I am guessing your youngest is at the college where your DH works?

  80. I am grateful for my family, my elderly but relatively healthy parents, and my reasonably easy going in laws, who have the decency to live in San Diego. We are with said in laws this TG. Hope all of you are able to find peace and beauty in one form or another this holiday, and safe travels.

  81. I’m thankful for all of you. I really do love this blog and everything I’ve learned from this group. I hope you are all enjoying today.

    We are having an easy day at home. Drama-free. The best part (so far) was visiting Baby Rhode’s NICU nurse. She was so happy to see her and we her.

  82. How did your thanksgiving go?

    I made a candied sweet potato casserole with marshmallows and pecans, which seemed popular but I made way too much. I’m going to try this pancakes recipe for my leftovers. Anyone have any other ideas?

    The most unpopular dish was an organic pumpkin pie that tasted like sh*t. The New Age guest who brought it also brought curried tofu that was not popular, and somehow it was foisted on us to take home.

    Good news I learned yesterday is that one of my young relatives dumped her loser boyfriend. We all silently cheered at the news. This guy has been supported by his wealthy parents ever since he graduated college, and my relative finally tired of his shallowness and lack of ambition.

    At the dinner table we had a good conversation about religion, and I learned that my kids don’t feel scarred (at least not yet) because we did not raise them in any denomination while living in an area where most people are church members. I didn’t like one guest’s comments denigrating religious people as needing a crutch, but I kept quiet.

    It would seem that President Obama would not want to equate today’s refugees to America’s Pilgrims since that historic episode didn’t turn out very well for Native Americans . . .

  83. It is now Friday morning, and I’m happy to say that our thanksgiving was a big success. DH’s brother and his family came from a neighboring state, and with our kids and Dd’s bf we were 10 for dinner. We made the potatoes and green bean casserole on Wednesday, so that was nice, and everything turned out well except for the stuffing.

    All of the adults and “kids” chatted and ate and drank and played darts and ping pong and foosball.

    Today my BIL is going to swim in the bay and all of the girls are going shopping downtown (including me) after we take a cable car ride.

    I hope everyone’s Thanksgiving was as lovely as possible!

  84. Ours was great. 12 of us including my in-laws, DW’s sister’s family (& at her house), our family. Youngest 3 are 16 and everyone got along great.

    WAY too much food of course, but that just meant leftover meals in to-go containers for the two local college kids and for my in-laws. All tasted great. Two turkeys: one roasted and one deep fried which I had never had…both were moist and good. The fried one would be good with wing sauce also (it was good with gravy)

  85. Our Thanksgiving was pretty much what I expected. All of including kids ran a race in the morning. Then we did the family celebration. It was pretty much undifferentiated brown sludge, but I had brought lots of yummy cheese and someone else brought kielbasa to snack on beforehand, so we didn’t go hungry. The one other relative who likes to cook brought a lovely green bean and fresh herbs dish. I noticed he ate half the cheese plate before the meal! The SILs who hate to cook but insist on cooking everything kept complaining that they havd so many leftovers and no one was taking them home. MIL talked about all the game shows she watched last week. Everyone talked about cars for a while. One of the BILs did his usual tirade about contractors who rip you off. He also just acquired a dog, which he insisted on bringing even though my DS1 is really allergic, so DS1 spent most of the afternoon hidden upstairs in the bedroom. I joined him up there and we had a lovely time sorting new Magic cards and avoiding the dog. The conversation downstairs though, was the same one they have had for 30 years straight. Amazing.

  86. I’ll hijack. For various reasons, DH and I did not get a vacation planned for Christmas time. Within the past few days, we realized that we could actually get away for a week around Christmas. I want somewhere warm, with a beach, preferably snorkeling. Hawaii is apparently all booked up. Any suggestions?

  87. We had dinner at a house with a perfectly behaved 3 year old and a 5-figure breakable piece of art (being prepared to be shipped off to auction) on the floor in the living room. While the meal and company was lovely, I feared interaction between the art and my children.

  88. I did learn a sneaky professor trick for screening for plagarism – they check the amount of editing and time spent on the paper (I guess this is embedded in a regular Word file?). A five page paper that took 10 minutes to write and was only opened once gets a lot of scrutiny.

    Another conversation opener: if learning a dead language, Latin or Greek? It was the only thing that approached a heated argument.

  89. Our T-day went very well… too much food for 4.5 people, but we’ll just eat it for lunch today. DS loved everything on the table. It was nice to have a leisurely day.

    Today DH went to work for a couple of hours earlier, I’m at the library now, and my dad is coming in a couple of hours. So my mom and our house guest are just lounging around doing leftover dishes, playing with the baby, and watching TV. A good holiday weekend.

  90. Ada – I’d love to learn how that information is embedded in a word file… I could pass it along to the teacher friends…

  91. I find plagiarism on papers to be really easy to find. Most of the time, papers are plagiarized by simply copying from the Internet. The writing style gives it away – very choppy, with lots of professional sounding passages surrounded by semi literate sentences. I simply extract some phrases and do a Google search, and usually turn up the source right away

  92. Greek is a dead language? Then what to people in Greece speak these days?

    I’m working today but I found out this morning we only have to work a half day so I’m finishing up now.

  93. On the plagiarism issue, one teacher required us to submit all our assignments through SafeAssign and you had to get a score below 15%. If you didn’t, you had to resubmit it. It was a total waste because you spent more time changing your working to get it through than you did actually doing the assignments. And SafeAssign is very inconsistent – a sentence that passes one time will get flagged the next time. It was such a freaking waste of time.

  94. We had a low key friends giving. My appetizer contribution turned out to be just ok. But we had a lot of food. I tried couple bites of pie, but I would rather eat chocolate cake.

    Instant pot Is less than $80 today on Amazon. Got mine!

  95. It’s exactly the same price at – though Amazon says it usually costs $234, walmart thinks it usually costs $135. I want one based on all the good reviews here, but we have a pressure cooker and crock pot already (though no rice cooker?!)

  96. Thanksgiving went fine. My siblings and I texted and sent each other pictures of our Thanksgivings, which made it easier not to be together. The darn kids grew up on us and most of them were in school and work situations where they couldn’t come home. So their parents took Thanksgiving to them. I expect we will do the same next year.

    My mom came, but her hearing has decreased dramatically in the past month. She literally couldn’t hear anything, was reading people’s lips and guessing about their words. If she get pulled over when she is driving, she will lose her license, because, if you didn’t know she couldn’t hear, she would seem demented. She says the hearing aids don’t work. Siblings and I don’t have an idea on how to fix this.

  97. I’m not sure how to check the document from within Word, but if you just go to your file manager and find the document, then right-click and open “Properties”, the total edit time is under the “Details” tab.

  98. Risley,
    Yes, the two older ones live a few hours away and youngest is at DH’s college. It has been great to have them all together again. Especially because they do the dishes and take out the trash.

    On the dead languages, our kids studied both Greek and Latin for varying periods. Latin is easier but Greek was cooler because very few high school students learn Greek. Latin is probably more useful in later study of romance languages. And also handy for impressing friends when you can translate the inscriptions on old buildings or toss Latin phrases around. Last night at dinner when the conversation lagged my Dad quoted the beginning of the Aeneid in Latin and one of the boys came right back at him with the next lines.

    They can also do the Dead Parrot sketch (the boys, not my dad). And nearly every scene from Spinal Tap and countless other movies. These are skills that they haven’t yet been able to monetize.

  99. We could list all the skills we have that we haven’t been able to monetize. I can sing the entire album of Stan Freberg’s History of the United States of America, Part 1.

  100. I had a great day, starting with sleeping until 10:30.
    We went to the outlet mall for a few hours, and I found parking the without having to circle the entire lot. Got a pair of shoes I needed for exercise, and we got several gifts from Kate Spade, where purses were 68% off. Got home in time to stick the turkey in the oven for dinner and catch the last game.

    Woke up at 5:30 this morning for my Black Friday trip to Home Depot, then home to pick up DS for his debate tourney.

  101. I am thankful that there is WiFi in the judges’ lounge so I can read the new posts on my tablet while waiting. Much easier than on my phone.

  102. I just pulled the trigger on an Echo. So much for hoarding every penny

    An Echo?

    That still counts as hording:

  103. We had a good Thanksgiving EXCEPT for the fact that DH’s mom and stepdad never once lifted a finger, or even OFFERED to lift a finger, to do the dishes. Sigh. So I did all the cooking and all the cleaning up. But I did get to make everything I wanted!

    Today we cleaned up the house some more, updated the holiday card list, and I just put the decorations up. Tomorrow I think we will go to get the tree; Sunday we’re taking all 3 kids to see the Nutcracker.

  104. Thanksgiving – yesterday and today – have gone quite well. Have to say how proud I am of DD#2. Yesterday at my mom’s she helped me clean out the pantry and the overflow into the bathroom closet. Got rid of expired food and brought home things she will never use again, and in all honesty never should have made it to the retirement community. Anyway, she sat with my mom going through things like spices, expired, keep or send with us while I organized putting rarely used stuff up higher and frequently used down lower.

    Today DD#2 with very little help from her dad made our Thanksgiving – turkey breast, mashed potatoes, cornbread stuffing, baked yams, gravy, corn, garlic green beans, rolls, pumpkin pie and chocolate pudding. DD#1 cleaned the dishes and kitchen afterward without grumbling.


  105. I’m thinking about the Echo as a family gift because the price dropped. DD really wants one, but I am sticking to my rule about no other gifts from us because of the swag way. I want her to learn what it means to choose one expensive present instead of getting a few smaller items.

    Today is the first time that DH was with us in Bath and Body Works. It was the longest line we saw all day, so he was immediately researching the financial owner of the company. I can’t wait until DD ages out of this store. I had to help her buy two secret santa gifts, and she said her friends want stuff from here. It is brilliant marketing to create a zillion different types of hand sanitizers and to keep changing the available scents and shape of the bottles. I did save a lot of money so I am happy to cross those two gifts off of my holiday shopping list. I was a little nostalgic in Target when I realized that I could skip the toy section except for a gift I had to buy for a nephew.

    It is always fascinating to us as finance geeks to see where a large amount of money is being spent (that we never knew about) as DD ages through different phases. It started with Buy Buy Baby, and it has continued through every phase of her life. We are constantly amazed to see how much money people will spend on babies. birthday parties, camp, certain toys, sports, disney vacations etc.

  106. I have a skill that I am proud of that can not be monetized. I consider myself an expert pedestrian at getting from one place to another in midtown NY as quickly as possible. This includes little to no wait times at any traffic lights, and my brisk speed.

  107. RMS,
    I was going to mention the ability to sing the “Conjunction Junction” song, but then realized I could not get past

    Conjunction junction
    What’s your function?
    Hooking up words and phrases and clauses

    Most of you are too young even to recognize this.

  108. The last two days of topics kind of blur together for me. I’m grateful for my healthy kids and sane husband and MIL. I wish BIL weren”t getting divorced from his third.wife, for his son’s sake of nothing else

    I went Black Friday shopping and found a clock with Arabic numerals for the upstairs bathroom. I learned that most sleepers are now polyester, not cotton.

    I’m thankful we can spend 5 days with Mr WCE’s family but dread the catch-up when I get home. I did nothing for Thanksgiving dinner but have done other cooking. Baby WCE is starting to scoot and she loves to reach me.

  109. Wow, so happy for you, Austin Mom!

    The fragrance in a Bath and Body Works store is overwhelming, but my D loves that stuff and is constantly tempted to buy more.

    I’ve just spent about an hour cruising fantastic deals online, but decided against buying anything because I can’t convince myself that I really need or want anything. Just because it’s a great deal doesn’t mean I have to buy it. The family is doing a Yankee swap this year so I only have to buy one gift. Yay!!!

  110. We traveled to Connecticut to have Thanksgiving with my husband’s brother and his family. My MIL (who’s 85) came down in the car with us. We nearly had a disaster when MIL informed us, in the midst of a horrible traffic jam around Hartford, CT, that she desperately needed to go to the bathroom. (Note to self: When traveling with elderly people, schedule regular bathroom breaks just as you would when traveling with little kids.) But happily, we were able to find an exit and make it to a gas station just in time. Crisis averted!

    Thanksgiving day itself was great. My BIL’s family is lovely, and our two kids loved playing with their cousins. Conversation at dinner was mostly uneventful, except when my MIL was reminiscing about the births of her children, and proceeded to share that the day my husband was born, there was no doctor available to circumcise him, so she had to bring him back to the hospital a couple of days later to get circumcised, because, well, a boy HAS to be circumcised. Now, DH is no prude, but I don’t think he appreciated his mother discussing his penis at the dinner table on Thanksgiving. He ended up drinking a lot of wine with his meal.

    We’re now home, and looking forward to a couple of quiet days.

    Scarlett, I’m delighted to hear about your grandchild. When you returned to the group a few weeks ago, I was going to ask you if your son ever did get married, but I held back for fear that maybe he and his girlfriend had broken up. I’m happy to hear that it all worked out for them!

  111. Everything went fine here. I broke down and bought a standalone CD ripper NAS drive as a gift to DH for his early Jan bday. He has several hundred classical cds. I will use it to convert all of them to a lossless format and they will all be accessible via the Sonos system. (Shameless plug. Anything to increase the valuation.)

  112. The great thing about BBW gifts is that everyone can use another bottle of the stuff they sell.

  113. Lauren, just wait until kids get serious about an activity.

    When DS was ready for a full size violin, we took the plunge, or so we thought, and spent almost 10x what we’d spent on his previous instrument, thinking that would be his last. But a couple weeks ago, his teacher suggested he was now ready for an upgrade, and to illustrate that, let him use a bow worth $3800 to see how much difference it made.

  114. Finn, that is some serious cash. We have the opposite problem. I fear that I have one of those children that is interested in many sports, and activities…but she doesn’t want to take a deep dive on anything. I think she is more interested in spending time with friends and her phone! We took a risk and purchased her band instrument at the end of 4th grade instead of renting every year. I know we break even after this year, but I am sure she will drop it by HS.

  115. Thanksgiving was great. Lots of food and my fridge is full of leftovers.

    My parents and family are playing a board game in the den. I bought my parents and DH their gifts today, as well as gift bags/wrapping paper. Now I just have my kids, who are teens and terrible to shop for.

    As someone who *hates* shopping, I love Amazon!!

  116. We had a good Thanksgiving so far. I tried to keep a balance of activity/entertainment, food and rest. We have to entertain energetic kids and yet make sure the adults relax as well. My own kids are quite tired and yesterday for the first time in a long time DS said that he wanted to go to bed.
    I bought two Amazon Echos that were discounted for the kids and a kindle for the in laws. That is it.

    Speaking of crowded stores American Girl doll is always crowded, no matter the time of the year.

  117. My main Black Friday purchase was the instapot on sale at Amazon. Going to the craft store today, mainly at DD#1’s request, but need to get a couple of things myself. BBW has my favorite aromatherapy scent. It goes on sale about twice a year for 75% off if ordered online. I buy 6 bottles to get the free shipping and that lasts 6 month or will add in body wash for DDs, who have about 3 favorite smells.

    I went flooring shopping with a friend yesterday. No throngs of folks in those stores, a normal “Saturday” crowd. She is looking at doing something in the next month or so. We will likely replace downstairs flooring next summer. Have to build the savings back up after last summer’s bathroom remodel.

    Today is housecleaning and rearranging day to make room for Christmas decorating.

  118. So, how ’bout that mass shooting in Colorado Springs at the Planned Parenthood? I guess we should all just say “ho hum”. Another day, another mass shooting.

    Since it’s an hour south of me I’m feeling it a bit more. Eventually I’ll get to the point where if it didn’t happen right at the library, I’ll just keep reading the comics and checking the Broncos scores.

  119. Austin – that’s terrific!

    DH and I had a lovely TGiving. I surprised us both by improvising with what we had on hand to make a new stuffing recipe (you know, like a QuickFire challenge!), and it turned out 100x better than we imagined it would. (No one around here, including me, ever expects my dishes to turn out well). We purposefully made way more food than we needed so the kids would have leftovers when they got home from Canada. They arrived yesterday afternoon and were thrilled to have TGiving leftovers.

    They were also glowing about their trip. I’m so glad they did it, and I think it’s something they’ll remember for the rest of their lives. We had a nice 3 hours or so w/ DS yesterday evening before he was off again, this time to hang out on campus w/ some buddies and to spend the night in the dorms. Not sure when we’ll see him again but he’s been very cute about checking in and making sure I’m cool with his next plan. He’ll be impossible to spot in the student section today, so I shan’t even try.

    The only BF shopping done here was by DH, at Tractor Supply Company. Half-price off horse stall mats, which double perfectly as exercise room flooring.

    In terribly exciting news, I just found fleece-lined, footless leggings at Walgreen’s, so am hoping that with those under my jeans, I’ll actually be warm enough at the game! Forecast is 43F and cloudy–not ideal game weather for cranky joints.

  120. We had a really wonderful Thanksgiving and day after. Great food, weather is gorgeous, boys have been playing a bunch outside, which keeps the noise and mess to a minimum inside. We got our tree yesterday and the boys, especially our oldest, are at the age where they can really help with bringing it in the house, setting it up, get boxes out of the attic, etc. (they have always “helped” but this year it was really helpful – this is another milestone the baby books don’t tell you about!!).

    No Black Friday shopping for us – I can’t stand crowds.

    Today we have nothing on the agenda other than watching football, decorating the tree, and maybe a bike ride if we are feeling really ambitious.

    Austin – I am so glad!

  121. Today, I’ve got one store to go to and some work to catch up on. Luckily, my parents, who are staying the weekend, are out with my in-laws this morning, so I have a few hours to myself. I love guests, but I feel that I have to actively entertain them and so it’s not really relaxing for me.

    We will probably put up the tree tomorrow. We put out our first Christmas decoration today (wreath).

  122. I braved Ala Moana (the big mall) yesterday to get a purse. It was very crowded. I wonder if I’ll be able to avoid it for the remainder of the season?

  123. RMS, I just went and looked for it in the news because I hadn’t seen the story. It doesn’t seem to be getting anything like top billing, which is a sad statement on how routine these things have become. It baffles me how our country can be so inured to these homegrown shootings, yet terrified of refugees.

  124. RMS, I am upset. really upset. All of these shootings bother me. The movie theaters, schools, colleges, government offices, terrorists. It’s horrible. This is a front page story here in NY, and I was driving around all day and it is one of the top stories on the news radio. I’ve been listening all day for weather and traffic as I navigate some stuff.

  125. We are on our drive home from TG at my parents. Both siblings and families came, for a total of 13 people. It was a great time, I got to take some long walks and chat with my sibs, who I do not see often enough, and my mom was so happy to have everyone that she got a little emotional. She and her twin Facetimed with their iPads, so I got to “see” some of my cousins as well. Everyone got along well, and there were a lot of laughs. I feel very lucky that I enjoy my family, spouses included, so much. We had planned to stop by my inlaws today, but there area was hit by ice storms so we are just heading home, just in time to catch the big game for my college team. Back to work Monday brings a lot of stress with close and trying to cram a month’s worth of work into two weeks before we leave for our cruise then Christmas vacation.

  126. We took a risk and purchased her band instrument at the end of 4th grade instead of renting every year. I know we break even after this year, but I am sure she will drop it by HS.

    Keep in mind the resale value of instruments. Plus if you buy them used to begin with, you can usually sell them for close to wait you paid. So the break even point on buying vs renting can be pretty short.

  127. My DH and I had a great time at the other football game in the state. Hours of tailgating followed by a great win in 30 degree temps. Risley – you need to dress like you are going skiing. Snow pants were the key.
    We are suppose to head home this evening, but may leave earlier depending on the snowstorm that is forecasted. I’m looking forward to getting home and decorating for Christmas.

  128. “my mom was so happy to have everyone that she got a little emotional. She and her twin Facetimed with their iPads…”,
    I love this idea of your mom and her twin embracing technology. I got to listen to my mom complain about how she can’t get in touch with her far flung brother. She steadfastly calls his house phone, which he has told her he does not answer and does not check the messages. We kids have reminded her of this as well, but she will not call his cell phone. Her friends who have embraced cell phones, text messages, and ipads are so much more content in the assisted living community than she is, keeping up with their grandkids and sending Jib Jabs to each other!

  129. We are back from my in laws and getting our tree and putting up Christmas lights today. Love decorating the tree. I try to buy an ornament for each kid every year, either as a vacation souvenir or something that reflects their current interests, so that by the time they are grown they’ll have a set of ornaments that remind them of trips we took and things we did when they were kids. Also writing letters to Santa today. Sometimes I wish they’d stay little forever.

  130. Guests have departed. Just powering down and getting ready for a normal Monday. It will be very busy till a week before Christmas. There are kid events to be attended and work related prep for the New Year. I am finishing up the rest of my Christmas cards. The weather here was wonderful this weekend.

  131. I decided to buy the Echo for my kid after once again trying to get back my speaker she keeps borrowing. The Echo apparently works with iTunes, so that’s good. Now the problem is I don’t want to wait until Christmas to give it to her.

    I also am looking at a blender for smoothies, and it looks like it will be either a Ninja or Magic Bullet, based on Amazon ratings.

  132. Like anon @ 9:04, my inlaws bought special ornaments for each child from birth, so we started married life with some meaningful ones to complement the red and green standard balls we bought for our first tree. We followed that same tradition with our own kids (DH had to resort to a spreadsheet to keep track of them all) and oldest DH now has a starter set of ornaments. It’s a nice tradition, although it was hard to imagine the boys actually leaving and taking their ornaments with them after they had graced our tree for so many years.

  133. I am not ready to dive into Christmas yet. Our guest left Saturday and Sunday, and I feel like I am now just getting the house back in order. It may have something to do with the calendar page still being on November, and me realizing I have several events going on this week that I imagined were still a couple of weeks away! Tuesday is December 1st – yikes!!

  134. Scarlet, great to hear from you!
    Thanksgiving was fun. The post-college kids kept it rocking with a dance party clean-up. We also FaceTimed with a few relatives. My mother is still learning the iPad and she loves that she can FaceTime with her far-flung grandkids. I bought a few things online and I ordered Christmas cards using a photo taken on Thanksgiving. I wish I had more time to spend with DD before she left for school this afternoon.

  135. Help, need electronics advice.
    1. Is there a not too expensive way to stream to our speakers? Right now, we use CDs, or music on DH’s iPod. How can we directly stream the iTunes collection?

    2. If it is smarter to just upgrade the sound system on the TV, how does one do that? But we still couldn’t stream the iTunes music collection that way, right? We use a Roku to do the streaming on the TV and it works great

    3. Chromebook vs Nexus 9 tablet? Pros and cons?

    4. What on earth is an Echo good for? The description on Amazon makes it sound like a weird version of Siri, something else I don’t get

  136. It isn’t Christmas yet. It is the first night of Advent. Christmas starts on Dec. 25. Please, give each season its due.

  137. After spending 13 hours on Friday grading, I cleared enough time to play Dominion with my 9 year old yesterday, and Magic The Gathering with the boys tonight. I really like these games. I am not much into chess or Scrabble, but I like these fantasy deck building games

  138. I am guessing Apple TV would stream the music through your TV? I really just listen to YouTube.

  139. “you need to dress like you are going skiing. Snow pants were the key.”

    Yeah, if I were going to watch a game in 30 degree temps, I’d wear the same thermal underwear I use for skiing.

    I’d also bring a seat cushion, and I’ve found that the backs of my thighs get cold when I sit in the cold, and typical stadium seats provide no insulation. Newspapers also work well for this.

    I used to go to games at Candlestick park, known for its frigidity. A friend who also went to a lot of games would take a sleeping bag to night games to keep her legs warm.

  140. “she will not call his cell phone.”

    It’s just as easy to call a cell phone as a land line, so that sounds like something other than not embracing technology.

  141. “it looks like it will be either a Ninja or Magic Bullet”

    We have an old Oster and a Magic Bullet, and I never use the Magic Bullet, because the Oster is so much better. I think you can get something roughly equivalent to my Oster for $40 or less.

    I’ve also found it’s very easy to get replacement parts for Osters. E.g., if you were to drop the jar, or want a second one, it would be pretty easy to find one.

  142. “If it is smarter to just upgrade the sound system on the TV, how does one do that?”

    One way, which we did a while back, is with a separate receiver and speakers.

    We connected the DVD player audio outputs to the receiver, so that provides our sound when watching DVDs or listening to CDs.

    We also connected the output of our combo cable box/DVR to the receiver so we can listen through the sound system, although we usually just use the TV speakers.

  143. “Chromebook vs Nexus 9 tablet? Pros and cons?”

    I don’t understand why one would get a Chromebook. My impression is that they are of limited utility when not connected to the internet.

    I am very open to correction if my understanding is incorrect, but based on my current understanding, my inclination would be to get a Windows laptop over a chromebook.

  144. No WIndows. I am allergic to WIndows after version 7.
    Tablets are also useless unless connected to the Internet. It was that realization that made me syart thinking about Chromebooks. I already have a Windows 7 laptop and a Linux machine, so I really just want something that lets me surf my mail and watch movies.

    My kid wants a Chromebook for homework, but that makes total sense because he doesn’t do anything outside the Google ecosystem

  145. “Tablets are also useless unless connected to the Internet.”

    I use my Kindle a lot offline, mostly reading, watching, and listening to stuff I’d previously downloaded. I also sometimes use a word processor app and play games while offline as well.

    I think there are Kindle apps for android and iPad tablets as well.

    Can you load apps to a Chromebook for stuff like word processing and spreadsheets?

  146. As for the older lady who calls the landline, my 91 year old MIL does that to me. I of course get my messages forwarded to my cell so I gave up trying to change her. But the reason is simple. Many years ago someone programmed that number into her phone.

  147. BTW, I’ve noticed that Chromebooks (and Windows laptops) are getting down into the sub-$200 range, less than iPads.

    If Chromebook apps are similar to tablet apps, I can see the appeal of the form factor of Chromebooks if you like a real keyboard.

  148. Finn, you can use Office Online on a Chromebook, which means you can work with Word docs, spreadsheets, etc. And obviously you can also use the Google Drive versions of office applications as well.

  149. We also connected the output of our combo cable box/DVR to the receiver so we can listen through the sound system, although we usually just use the TV speakers.

    I’m not an audiophile at all, but even I can tell tv speakers are crap. I have both tvs connected to surround sound systems and have universal remotes so everything turns on and off with one button so you don’t have to deal with 5 remotes.

  150. “you can use Office Online on a Chromebook”

    Can you work on your docs, spreadsheets, etc., when you’re offline?

  151. I still like my Asus tablet w/snap-on keyboard, which I do rely on for offline use. I use the Kindle app for reading, and I like that I can work on Word docs offline.

    MM — If you can stream music from an iPod to your speakers, isn’t that the way you would stream iTunes? I’m not understanding your question, I guess. We can stream our iTunes and other music through our speakers by manually connecting our iPhones to the receiver with a cable. I don’t think we can do it wirelessly. Our speakers are connected to our main TV.

    I am enjoying some of Amazon Music’s Christmas collections, which are a nice supplement to my own playlists.

    All in all, I still experience the FOMO on technology, thinking I’m not taking advantage of the latest tools and techniques to make my like easier. The latest thing I’ve wondered about is if there is a way to slightly speed up YouTube videos or TV shows that I’ve recorded or paused. That would allow me to watch things faster and more efficiently. I’ve done this on some podcasts, but I don’t know where else this is possible. I suspect there’s a way to do this.

  152. We manually connect the iPod to a slot on the receiver, but that is not the same as streaming. The music all lives on the iPod, which isn’t a streaming device.

    We’ve largely converted to Google Docs for word processing. We are already a multi-OS family, and find that Word doesn’t work well in that environment – it doesn’t run at all on Linux, and there are always weird little problems when you move documents between MacOS and Windows. The kids use Google for school work, and my husband does no word processing at all. In any case, a Chromebook would not be replacing a real computer, but rather a tablet. I never do work on a tablet – can’t stand the lack of a keyboard, or the interface in general. Its main use is for reading email and Facebook while sitting in meetings, and streaming video on occassion. I don’t read books on it because of the shiny screen – I use a real Kindle book reader for that.

  153. Finn – yeah, all our ski stuff is up north, so I was scrambling. I had a vague idea the kids had some thermal stuff here from AK trips but couldn’t locate it, so went the Walgreens route. Those tights were fantastic under fleece-lined pants, and I had ear cover thingies and the amazingly warm coat + boots I bought last year for 4:30am drives to CrossFit. I was perfectly warm. Our game was earlier than Lemon’s and that made a difference – temp dropped quite a bit after we left. We had a terrific time w/ the girls and it was nice to know DS was only across the field, in the student section w/ his pals who stayed here for school. DH said it was the “most fun [he’s] ever had at a drubbing.”

    ssk – watched the bay area game on Sat night. Nice! That QB sure is an amazing kid.

  154. Risely,

    I missed the description of the tights. Our season is over but I will need better insulation for next year. IME, you need more layers for sitting in cold stadiums than you do for outdoor active sports. My perfect insulated pants that I got on sale for next to nothing five years ago no longer fit, and I don’t want to spend $150 on pants I might wear twice a year.

    My guys use an AirPlay device to stream from their iPods to the house speakers. That is all I know about it.

  155. So no one has commented on the Echo. Does anyone have one? Is it good for anytihng or is it just a weird variant of Siri?

  156. HM’s kids seem much like mine from her descriptions. If they like the Echo, there is a high likelihood that mine will too. I like the hover board and the Go Pro Cam but I think the Echo will get more use than both those items. Our relatives sent a couple of gifts last year that were very nice but my kids haven’t used them. They are Memorex karaoke, telescope, microscope with slide kits. What has gotten used is iPods, iPads and all kinds of craft kits.

  157. I forgot to add that razor scooters and bikes have gotten a ton of use in our house. So have soccer balls, footballs and badminton sets.

  158. I went to a neighbor’s house this weekend and they have the Echo. They use it to listen to music. They have it set it program the Nest, and the kids did take it to other rooms to listen to music. It seemed to be a lot of fun for the tweens and teens in the house because they shouted at it to do certain activities. I know my daughter wants it, but we are not getting it because I don’t have the skills to use it. I am definitely a loser when it comes to gadgets. I love them, but I can’t figure them out. This includes the new radiant heat in my bathroom, and even the remote starter for DH car. I know my DD would figure it out, but I just can’t justify it after that stupid hoverboard purchase.

    As for the chrome book, I think it is is worth it if your kids have a lot of homework in google docs. The chrome books are cheap, and they get the job done for daily homework. DD uses her phone or an old iPad for watching TV or using snapchat. She uses the chromebook for homework. It was great this weekend because she took it to complete science homework with a friend. The teacher puts all of the homework in google docs. I LOVE these teachers that decide that they have to assign homework in 6th grade over thanksgiving weekend. It is sneaky too because the school has a policy of no homework or tests over any weekend that it longer than three days. The teachers just make it due on the 2nd day of school to get around the rule.

    I just realized that I probably know how to use 90% of the stuff I know on google docs, my phone, laptop etc etc from DD. That is probably why I can’t figure out the heated floor because it is not something she uses!

  159. Lauren – I can’t get the remote starter on my own car figured out! And last time it was at the dealer, they set the seat setting for a 3-foot-tall person and I haven’t sorted out yet how to get it back to my original position. I need to turn a teenager loose on that thing.

  160. And last time it was at the dealer, they set the seat setting for a 3-foot-tall person and I haven’t sorted out yet how to get it back to my original position

    Did you ask the Google?

  161. I never realized how different the PC world is from MAC. I’ve been able to seamlessly transition between the two for years. My dad got an iPad so he could Facetime with us. I told him he could get any tablet or a laptop with a camera to use Skype, but he insisted on the iPad because we have 2 iPhones and an iPad.

    I spent most of Friday night setting it up and teaching him how to use it. It wasn’t a big deal for me. But I never realized how set-in-his-ways my dad has become. ~25 years ago, this man built us our first IBM-compatible computer. Now, an iPad confuses him. To his credit, he picked it up quick – he went from taking 35 pics in bursts (held down the button too long) to 3 in a burst. It’s funny to me that my mom, a technological Luddite, can operate the iPad with more ease than him. Maybe all those years in retail with touch-screen POS came in handy…

    DH and I are taking bets on how often she ignores his Factime requests in a week. I’m leaning towards 80% ignoring.

    Ris – I have my remote start figured out – make DH go outside and start my car for me!

  162. This weekend, DS was sitting on the sofa with the little cousins showing them games on his iPod. In due course, the iPod was lost and the whole house was searched. DS tried FaceTiming from my phone but still no iPod. DS was close to tears (couldn’t meltdown in front of the cousins). Then, everyone got up from the sofa, the seat cushions were lifted and after looking deep in the upholstery the iPod was found. It was a Thanksgiving miracle.

  163. thanksgiving was sad- MIL’s younger brother died that evening of a heart attack, he was just in town from Hawaii for his dad’s funeral. it was a shock…only about 61 years old…

  164. Rhode – The issue is how often are you learning new technology and how physically fit are you – eyesight, fine motor skills, short term memory, and some times hearing. All of those things come into view. My DP, now retired was programmer and had built machines,etc. But, using apps or navigating some things, other than games – he’s always been a big gammer, it so slow and is like pulling teeth. He doesn’t text or have a smart phone, but is taking to his ipad. My mom has poor eyesight, poor hearing and poor fine motor skills – all which have made learning her ipad almost impossible. There is really a lot of memorizing of things that are not initially intuitive.

    Back to the car example. At the dealership, they showed me how to use my phone as the gps, but it only works sporatically – the speaking thru the blue tooth connection. Just recently found out that is due the setting in the app when I got a new phone.

    Wine — so sorry to hear that. Another friend had a relative died this past weekend on his way to visit family.

  165. Technical recommendation question: DW wants a new GPS/running watch, probably a Garmin. Her current one is five years old. Heart rate monitoring would be good, but maybe not if it requires the strap across the chest–do they do heart rate monitoring just from the wrist?

    I just don’t feel like doing any research. I’m so tired of our society’s set up of online researching every damn decision. Every time you book a hotel, or go to a new restaurant, or read a book, you’re supposed to be analyzing the opinions of a thousand half-wits.

    Will someone just tell me what I should buy?

  166. DH cannot get our new remote starter to work either. I haven’t tried, and I will probably have to look it up.

    Yes, there does seem to be a problem in older people (like me!) learning all the new technology that is supposed to help them in their daily lives. Maybe there will be a growth in personal tech coach types of jobs to help out.

    Wine, sorry for your family’s loss. What a shock.

  167. Other random consumer question: our dishwasher makes a terrible noise and doesn’t get the dishes clean. It is probably 10-15 years old (based on the fact that it is low-end and has a stainless front), came with the house, is missing the kick plate. It’s frigidaire. We plan on selling the house in 6 months, so there is no reason to replace it with something nice. I want to have a functional dishwasher and the cheapest solution. Is there any reason to try to have someone repair it?

  168. @ Milo – I have the Garmin Forerunner 15, and I love it. I wear it every day for running, and because it tracks steps as well (separate function from the GPS running function), most days I wear it all day. Highly recommend.

  169. @ Ada – when we were beach house shopping, a crappy dishwasher was often something that really stuck out – they smell bad (you may not even notice anymore) and just brought the whole kitchen down. You should just spend $500 for a new one and do it now so you can enjoy it yourself through the holidays.

  170. The remote starter is for DH car. He wants it because he leaves before 6 in the morning and the car is cold since we have a one car garage. I can’t do it from my own driveway, but he has actually mastered starting the car from a moving metro north train across the platform for trip home.

  171. Ada, I agree with Lark. See if there are any cyber monday discounts – Sears online has some Kenmore ones for $279 right now. That would be around $100 more than a repair person, if the person could get it fixed at all!, and will bring up the resale value. :)

  172. Mooshi – I am a little confused by your music tech questions. Do you already have wireless speakers? Most systems assume that the music is available from a cloud library such as ITunes, or is stored on a local device with wireless capability, or i on a drive or other device that is wired into the router, and if not, the device such as an older Ipod needs a docking station or a special piece of hardware physically connected to one of speakers, plus they can stream pandora, radio stations and many other available sources, controlled by an app on a smartphone or linked home computer. Upgrading to an Ipod Touch if you already have a wireless speaker would be sufficient for that music. I will report back on my massive CD ripping project for DH’s birthday and whether that was worth it. It can be done with a special purpose drive, or on an ordinary PC or Mac (more time consuming). For the TV we have a bar (attached via a thin audio wire) and we went for the full surround system with bass and two additional speakers. But we can also use the set up in the media room (the bar is “off” if you select an input other than TV) to listen the full range of options not playing through the TV. Plus we have cords in every room and two more speakers than can be moved any where we want.

  173. Milo, DH just bought my son a Garmin Vivoactive. It was recommended by my niece who does a lot of triathalons. The watch was about $150, and it will be DS’s main Christmas gift. There is also a version with a heart monitor that currently sells for $199 on Amazon. I don’t think you need a chest strap.

  174. Ada, were I in your shoes, I would, in addition to L’s suggestion, check out the local Sears outlet. The last time I had to replace a dishwasher, I got a very good deal there on a model that was discontinued.

    Since you plan to sell the home soon, I suggest you put a priority, perhaps higher than normal, on picking one that looks good and will visually fit into your kitchen.

  175. Thanks. $300 seems manageable – and the dishwasher kind of stood out in the kitchen as old, so cheap and new it is. We had t-day dinner at a house with a dishwasher from the 60s that worked adequately (in the same house as the crazy expensive vase). Nothing lasts these days! Get off my lawn!

  176. Meme, no our speakers do not have wifi capability. I was hoping there wsa something, similar to the Roku, that could be hooked into the receiver but I would be open to buying a new sound system. We don’t own an iTouch – we are mostly an Android family except for that one ancient iPod with the big disk, and some nanos that the kids use (and I really detest – hate the interface). Because of the old iPods, our music library lives in iTunes. It used to not be a big deal because the libraries were duplicated on our old iPods – these were the really high capacity ones. Mine died last year, and it turns out that Apple doesn’t make those any more. So our entire ability to play music resides in my DH’s rapidly aging iPod. It would be nice to stream from the computer in the kitchen or from the cloud. I am trying to figure out how to do that without buying massive new equipment.

  177. @Milo — if you find out about the chest strap, let me know, eh? I’d love one of those without the strap.

    Our TDay went exactly as anticipated. DH got cranky; the food was generic beige catered in metal tins; we had a 3-generation family basketball game that was completely us (my dad humored the little kids, until one of them started stealing the ball from the even littler kids, at which point he fully deployed his 6’3″; my uncle refused to move past half court but nevertheless sunk 3 buckets from there; my SIL and I took bets on who would be the first to (i) get injured or (ii) throw up, but failed to think about “get pissed off” until it was too late; everyone played until close to fights or tears, but then it got dark before things could go over the edge); my Granny stuffed us full of breakfast every day and reminded me where my bad-for-you food preferences come from; we had a great party with appropriately humiliating slide shows and old pictures; I got to see family I hadn’t seen in at least a decade (my Granny’s entire family was there, including cousins/nieces/nephews I’d never met and vice-versa), and DD made great friends with my closest cousin’s kid, who is sort of ridiculously sweet; DS got a marshmallow gun for Christmas and spent the whole trip home looking forward to the grocery store run; and, best of all, we spent Black Friday shooting pumpkins (and other assorted things) at the gun range (best was the shotgun and the 5-lb bag of flour). Then yesterday, DH was supposed to go to work, but we all just crashed — he and DS spent 9-5 finishing Diablo on the PS4, while I finished a book and got groceries and watched football and made him a real pumpkin pie, since the storebought ones sucked. Which paired nicely with the 40-yr port that just showed up.

    It was freaking awesome. Only downside is no leftovers — I’m not used to having to cook the week after Thanksgiving. Well, that and leaving my Granny, which is always hard. And having to work today. . . .

  178. Mooshi, why don’t you export all the music out of itunes onto a PC and put it on a hard drive or usb stick?

  179. Denver Dad – then how do we get that music to our sound system? That is the part I am trying to figure out. I actually would like to get away from iTunes – it has gotten pretty horrible. My husband, who is pretty tech savvy, jokes that every time he tries to purchase content for the kids nanos, he ends up having to call Apple customer support.

  180. Mooshi – I think the best thing is to copy your Itunes library onto a connected drive or device on your network before the old IPod dies. Storage gets cheaper every day. Then I would explore the various streaming options. Airplay and airplay enable speakers – but that keeps you in the Appleverse. Sonos – just the speakers are needed and you can start with one before getting smaller ones for various locations in the house – it can draw from your storage options as well as many free services and can be controlled from android devices and most home computers. And I am sure there are cheaper options. When I asked the Sonos engineer about the CD ripping device, he said that is was fine, but already legacy – it is all about online streaming and cloud libraries these days. The classical available now is limited in that market, so storage on a home device is best for us.

  181. I keep hearing about Sonos. But it seems pretty expensive. Is that really the only option? Streaming to TVs is so cheap in comparison!!

  182. MM, too bad your music is in the Apple cloud instead of the Amazon cloud — one of the things the Echo does is play whatever you ask it to from your cloud music collection, without the need for a computer or phone or tablet feeding it. I actually started out with mine in iTunes on a desktop hard drive, but eventually moved it all into the Amazon cloud a couple of years ago for ease of access, and also because I wanted all the free-with-Prime stuff I’d added to my cloud library to be in the mix when I shuffled my music.

    If what you really want is to have your music collection computer on and stream from there to your current speaker, an AirPort plugged into the speaker might be your best bet.

  183. The music does sit on the iMac hard drive, in iTunes. So it is backed up. The problem is getting that music to the sound system, and then the related question of whether we want to keep the music locked up in iTunes

  184. How hard is it to move iTunes content to Amazon? Does Amazon work with those infernal nanos? That might be our best bet. We use Amazon for everything else, including a lot of our TV streaming.

  185. MM, Amazon music storage is $25/year. You’d open your Amazon music library — you may have one already — and select the upload option towards the bottom on the left. In my case, it probably took about 24 hours to upload it all since my collection is on the huge side, but I just set the desktop not to sleep and left it running so the actual attention it required from me was relatively minor.

    The one catch with moving iTunes content — if your collection is mostly in Apple’s proprietary audio format, you’ll have to convert it or re-rip it. It wasn’t a big deal for me because I’d moved to ripping in MP3 format early on because the proprietary format didn’t play nicely with my iPod Shuffle, so it was only maybe 30 albums that I had to re-rip. But if your whole collection is m4p or whatever the proprietary one is, that would make moving to Amazon a much bigger project.

  186. Mooshi, you can import the mp3s into Amazon. Of course there’s a setting in itunes where it could have stored all your music in a different format, in which case you’ll need to export them to mp3. itunes is the biggest piece of crap software, so don’t ask me how to do that, but I know it can be done.

  187. My parents have Sonos and it is awesome. It’s not cheap but seems really easy to use (my dad is very tech savvy, my mom not so much) and has several streaming options. Great sound in my opinion, though I’m not an audiophile.

    I mostly use the Amazon cloud player at this point, so I need to look into transferring my iTunes music there.

  188. DD and HM have covered it all. Sonos works with Amazon music in your library, but AFAIK doesn’t yet work with Amazon Prime free streaming music, so Echo might be better and a lot cheaper. You can always let the nanos die a natural death and stop buying new content from Apple.

  189. You can always let the nanos die a natural death and stop buying new content from Apple.

    You should have done this a long time ago :)

Comments are closed.