I discovered a new technology this week that I feel really makes me life so much easier. I believe it’s been around for a few years, but it was the first time that I paid and printed my own packing labels at home without the need for the post office. After spending so many quality hours with my local postal worker last fall during the wedding-prep phase, I am happy to no longer need their time or service. I am self-sufficient!
I logged onto www.usps.com and immediately there is a place to create your own shipping labels. I entered the weight and within a few clicks, I was checked out and taping my label to my box. Fortunately, I have a fantastic kitchen scale at home too that helps me figure out an accurate weight.
I love when these old rituals, such as visiting the post office, enter the 21st century. There is a way to make our lives easier and technology does that. During my 15+ year tenure in the software industry, I was always proud to be able to bring products to people that helped streamlined their lives and their businesses. I am now so glad to be a customer of this advancement and am very supportive of the USPS in making these strides.
Last week, we gave our nephew a set of wireless bluetooth headphones for his birthday. He’s 32 and recently back into biking, as well as running with his new wife. He also lives in San Francisco so he’s often into the latest gadgets and technologies.
After they arrived, he sent us note to say that he LOVES them and it’s exactly what he was thinking about buying himself recently. I was so excited. I really enjoy his company and to find something that he wanted made me so happy.
My husband loves to buy gifts for people and it’s often been a point of contention since I grew up in a household where we received lots of things, but it was rarely a surprise gift. We got new shoes for Christmas to replace ones that were getting old in our closet, we got a new car for our senior year of college, and we got our educations paid for (both undergraduate and graduate). My dad always said to save up for these big things.
When our nephew called with such glee, I could see how my husband enjoys being the giver of such pleasure. It’s fantastic. I’m not saying that one is better than the other, but it was fun to see his excitement. He loves his new gadget and I’m so glad we could give it to him.
I feel like I have now become middle-aged and not because my 40th birthday is on Monday. I realize it now because I see that I have so much stuff that I tote around with me all the time. I now have enough responsibilities and personal preferences that I like to have “my” stuff with me all the time.
Thus, I no longer skip to yoga class with just my yoga mat, flip flops, and car keys in hand. I now have given into putting the mat into a bag so that I can carry other stuff and/or use the pockets of the bag to carry things.
At the same time, if I look at the bigger picture, I realize it’s nice to have explored and discovered things that I value in these last four decades. One of the main things I now bring with me to my yoga class is Maggie’s water bowl so that she can have a cool drink while she waits for me outside of the studio. If I didn’t have Maggie, life would be less happy. She brings so much joy that carrying her bowl around is easily justifiable.
I realize now also why mothers and middle-aged women carry around large purses and complain of backaches. Those backaches are so worth the people and things that they have picked up along this path called life. As I move towards celebrating my 40th next week, I am grateful too for the things that I’ve picked up. It’s not only Maggie, but a wonderful husband and family and the pictures, sunscreen, etc of/for them all in my purse.
Thank goodness I have yoga to work out the back aches.
My husband has very rough feet and elbows. He also sometimes works with materials that dry out his hands. In addition, he’s very choosy about what he puts on his skin. He doesn’t like fragrances and he often forgets to put anything on. I made him some homemade lotion called “Elbow Grease” as a pun for the expression. It consisted of simple cocoa butter and some vitamin E. He still forgets to use it.
Last week, we received a large bottle of macadamia oil based therapeutic repair lotion and I think he likes it. It has no fragrance and he’s into using it because it has an easy pump top.
My dad comes to visit for three weeks at the beginning of next month and I am so looking forward. He brightens up my days always because we have so much in common and we do everything together when he is here.
My dad too has dry feet and I’m also hoping this lotion will help him. My dad and my new husband are just getting to know one another and this is something that they have in common. They are very different men, but have mutual respect for one another. Last month, my husband recommended a foot gel that he enjoys using and we had a bottle sent to my dad.
New family members often take some getting to know. One day you are strangers and the next day you are expected to be very close. I too have needed some time to get to know his family. We need to find things in common no matter how small like dry feet and build from there.
Recently, I’ve been looking for things to brighten up our kitchen. Perhaps it’s the springtime with the bursts of flowers everywhere, but instead of buying the same colors all the time – grey, black, or beige – I’ve been choosing bright ones. Pink, orange, and turquoise! For example, I was able to choose between grey and orange this week on some new fabulous grilling gloves and I went for the neon. Go big or go home!
It must be in the air because my mom sent me an article from her favorite website, Houzz.com. She loves to decorate and this time the space she chose to share was also filled with patterns, bright colors, and bold photos on the walls. She too normally loves neutral colors, but she too much be looking to jazz things up.
I think bright colors are a good thing to have around. It seems to brighten up my life too. I love reaching into my kitchen drawer now for those gloves or the other things I’ve gotten recently in this rush. I lost an auction today for a pair of black pants on eBay, but perhaps it’s for the best. I’m looking to keep things bright for a while!
My husband and I both love coffee. It’s not the typical caffeine fix that we adore, but the taste, the process, and the art of quality beans. We spend time reviewing different roasters, grinders, and also different types of milk to complement the bean. One could say we like looking at coffee like some people review wine.
Thus, we have three or four ways to make coffee in our house from a drip pot, to an Italian espresso stove top gadget, to a French press, and finally, his much loved Pasquini espresso machine. He got it a few years ago as a gift from a client and we use it everyday. It’s the type typically used in Italian cafes and we love it.
My niece asked a few months ago if I operated the Pasquini since my husband and I both adore the coffee it makes. I realized that I leave the operating of heavy machinery to him and I just help prepare the cups. I probably could do it, but it takes some muscle to get the metal cup to sit very tight in order to let it drip properly.
I realized that there are some things in the house that I like to leave up to him. He takes out the garbage, he makes a large majority of the income, and he grills. The rest of other things are left up to me.
As I move through the stages of a new marriage after 39 years of being single, I find it so interesting how women and men take on different roles. They are created by nature and nurture. Each couple has to find a route that works for them. I am grateful that I love my husband and I also love his coffee.
Today I was speaking to another new wife about the differences between pre- and post- wedding. Many people ask me if it’s different and I feel that there is some small differentiation despite having known each other for 1.5 years beforehand and lived together for 99% of that.
First, there’s both a comfort and a fear with knowing that this is permanent and I’m not going anywhere. I spent 20 years dating men for 6-8 months and when it wasn’t working, I ended the relationship. It’s great to know that we are both in this for the long haul and we’re interested in making it work. Unfortunately, when it’s not so easy to resolve a disagreement, it’s frustrating to not just get up and leave. Fortunately, it’s worth it and I’m confident that I’d like to find a solution with him.
Second, there’s a fun component of being able to plan holidays and other arrangements far in advance! I also moved 19 times in those 20 years so I never knew if I would be in the same city at a certain time in the future. My husband has a local business so I know that we’ll be in LA almost for sure and all the time. I can make plans and stick to them.
Lastly, I love getting gadgets and things that say “we’re married”. For example, I just got him a double phone charger for his car and every time I look at it, I giggle. I know that the second USB outlet is for me and no one else. I also joke when I get in the car because his passenger seat is always full of papers. I tell him it’s a giveaway that he’s not having an affair and cleaning that seat on a regular basis :).
Last week, a package was lost in the mail from Amazon. It contained six items. Customer service said that the “carrier could not find the package”. I then needed to get credits on all the items and repurchase them. I was glad to see quickly that the Amazon staff was very helpful and was able to either credit my credit card or send me Amazon gift cards within a few hours. Besides that, I was able to connect with Amazon via email, chat, or the phone. I found this very convenient and tried all three to see what was best. All three routes were very efficient.
When I discussed this with my local post attendant, he agreed that Amazon has amazing customer service. We can only guess that it’s better for them to quickly credit you the goods and keep your business than wait for the goods to be found and risk frustrating the customer. It works.
It made me think about customer service in general and how important it is to make the customer feel special. Many high-end stores like Tiffany’s and William Sonoma would agree with this. The buying experience is what keeps you coming back.
Today, I got the last of the products that was lost in the mail, my Yumms! BBQ Mat for Grilling veggies. My husband doesn’t like to eat vegetables, but he does like to grill so I’m glad the mat has arrived. I’m hoping to convince him.
Growing up, my parents were very divided about the importance of greeting cards. My mom always insisted on writing them and receiving them. My dad, on the other hand, thought that they were a waste of money.
Thus, as I grew up, I was always torn about which route to go. Should I get one? Who is it for? Is it worth the $3.95?
When e-cards came out, I loved it. It was an inexpensive route to obtain the goal of writing a heartfelt message. Fantastic. Until that grew old and felt impersonal…
This week I got a software to create hard copy cards from my computer, Greeting Card Builder. It combines both worlds. I can be creative, cheap, and heartfelt! I can add pictures and make my words look professional.
The first time I heard my husband snore, I thought about the future of the relationship. How could I live for the next 30-40 years with someone making loud noises next to me all night long? I wondered if it was too late to find someone else.
I decided to get married any way, but now I still need to put up with his nightly rants. He doesn’t seem to mind the snoring because he sleeps right through it.
The good thing is that there are remedies on the market these days that can help me. Often, I use a variety of solutions in one night.
First, I always have ear plugs within easy reach. These are not your standard ear plugs, but special ones that swimmers use to keep water out. They stay put all night and block out the noise in a super duper way.
Next, I had him get a “binky” as we call it. It’s a silicone piece that goes in his mouth and grabs his tongue so that it stays slightly outside of his lips all night. This keeps the passage way open in his throat and stops the noise…most times.
After this, I force him to sleep on his left side. For some reason, he snores less when he’s in the fetal position facing the left. I don’t know the reasoning, but I’m not going to argue with the peace.
Lastly, I got him this head gear that straps below his chin and velcros on top of his scalp. It’s super. It looks strange, but it keeps everything in place all night. They even made it flesh colored so you can’t see it very well. I don’t care if I see it, I just don’t want to hear him.