There have been interesting, unexpected things going on here. But I was so caught up in (not) dealing with grief, heat indolence and in churning out the epic tale of our trip that I haven’t had time to blog about it.
Love the loveseat
Our old couch looks good but is terrible for Tim’s back. It’s low to the ground, and the cushions let you just sink in. Very comfortable, very bad for the spine.
So on Memorial Day we went scouting for a new piece. We found it at the first store.
First of all, it’s a normal height, so there’s no strain on your hips or back when you stand up. Second, the cushions are nice and firm. And finally, it’s blue. (As you may or may not know, Tim has a thing about blue — a quasi-compulsive thing about blue.)
Anyway, the only real argument we had was whether to get the couch or the loveseat. I wanted the couch because it’d provide plenty of room for Pandora to sit with us, which she tends to insist on doing. Also, the couch was only $20 more. That’s almost two extra feet of couch for $20. A bargain! Or so screamed my frugal sensibilities.
But Tim gently and patiently used logic to make me understand the loveseat was the better option.
We want to move the couch so that it directly faces the TV. Currently, it’s by the front window, meaning you have to turn slightly to look at the screen. Not good for the back.
But the back wall is also where the front door opens. When we had the couch against the wall in the past, a completely open front door would brush against the sofa arm.
We could just move the couch forward, thereby allowing a walkway. But then there wouldn’t be room for the recliners. Which are super comfortable and, more importantly, the only ways to plug if you’re working in the living room. And I pretty much always am.
So yeah, a loveseat made better sense. But… $20! Gah!
Here kitty kitty
We’re both still grieving for Patches. It hurt to look at the unused litter boxes and her scratching post. But I couldn’t bring myself to put them away.
The long-term plan has always been to get a second dog when the time came, but even through the heartache, I wasn’t ready to be done with cats. Also, we’re struggling to keep up with one dog, so I don’t think we could handle another one. I know they keep each other company, but… No.
Still, I did want a second animal again. Not just for my and Tim’s well-being, but also for the dog. She was quiet and kind of sluggish those first few days. Maybe she was picking up on our mood. Maybe she missed the hissing cat that she, against all logic, considered her friend.
The point is, I wanted another cat. Preferably one that was friendly. Patches got sweet in the past two or three years, but even that left her kind of aloof.
The search was further narrowed down by the fact that Tim loves calicos. So it was pretty easy to find this girl:
The name on her chip was Leela, but clearly her previous owners were wrong.*
We preferred the moniker Josefina, so we tested it out. The results were decisive: She fails to react to both names equally. So we may as well go with the one ours.
Thus she was dubbed Josefina because, like Joseph, she has a coat of many colors. We also use Josie for short. Yep, Josie the pussycat. You have Tim to thank for both those.
She’s definitely sweet, but still a bit skittish. It’s hard to tell how much is “Run! A monster!” and how much is “Hey, I’m still kitten-like! Chase me!”
We’re inclined to think it’s more the latter. She randomly does high-speed laps around the living/dining room and takes running jumps onto the scratching post.
She’s not always hyper, though. She lies around on the chair and loveseat a lot, and she’ll come up to you if you sit or lie down. In the evening, she likes to lie on my stomach when we’re in the bedroom watching TV. She soaks in the love for 15 or 20 minutes, leaves for a while, then comes back.
Oh, and she trills a lot. It’s freakin’ adorable.
The great cell phone debate (is over)
This issue has been a huge bone of contention for years. It’s caused some epic arguments.
The fact is that we don’t need a cell phone. We’re at home most of the time, and when we do go out, it’s usually together. We’re apart maybe — maybe — 5% of the time. So there’s really no need for a cell phone at all, let alone a smartphone.
Tim disagrees. Vehemently.
He wants a data plan to take advantage of the map function, finding nearby restaurants while out and about, or just being able to look something up no matter where we are.
I’m content to just use our iPod and iPad at Wi-Fi hotspots.
But after years of arguments, I finally started offering some compromises. They got bigger as we went because I was increasingly sick of the topic and because, admittedly, a smartphone did seem appealing.
The first idea: He could use his fun money to buy a phone. We’d put the phone on a Republic Wireless plan. At $20/month, I figured the household could spare it.
But Republic only supports Android phones, and he wanted an iPhone. I blame eight years of iOS. It ruined him for other systems.
I told him we weren’t getting a regular carrier’s data plan just so he could use an iPhone, so the matter was closed.
A few months later, I found out Ting Wireless works with iPhones. Its average customer’s bill is only $23, so I figured I could work with that. But I stipulated that he’d still have to pay for the phone himself. The only concession: $150 would come out of household funds, since we would no longer have to replace his aging iPod.
Eventually, I realized it wasn’t completely fair of me not to chip in. I’d end up using the phone if I ran errands alone, in case Tim needed to get a hold of me. And I’m sure I’d want to look something up at some point while we were out of the house. So I offered up some of my own fun money.
He still didn’t like that fun money was involved at all. We had a fundamental disagreement about whether a smartphone is a necessity — or at least whether it should be considered a basic utility.
The arguments got worse and more frequent. We actually started bickering in front of his therapist, and she ended up mediating. The solution: 1/3 from his fun money, 1/3 from mine and 1/3 from household funds.
Approval was begrudging. Neither of us felt it was completely fair. But that’s usually the sign of a good compromise.
In the end, what matters is that the argument is finally over — and that we’re the proud owners of an iPhone 7.
Yes, we could have saved money by getting the previous generation; but we decided to get the one that would last the longest — both because it’s water resistant and because its hardware will survive the most updates. This sucker has to last!
Given how much we’re at home, I imagine we’ll meet or beat the average Ting customer’s bill. To go over it, we’d have to use a gigabyte or more of data. We’re home most of the time (and have now figured out how to turn off the cell assist function), so it’s highly unlikely.
And the first month is more than covered thanks to a $25 sign-up credit. If you sign up through an existing customer’s referral link (cough cough here’s my link cough cough) you get a device or bill credit.
So… yeah. That’s about it. Or at least all I have the wherewithal to write out at present.
Have you had anything else crop up unexpectedly recently? Anyone else fighting to blog?
*I mean, they didn’t get her fixed and then, when she got knocked up, left her in front of the Humane Society. And didn’t return the multiple messages the shelter left, even to say, “Yep, that’s right. We can’t afford a pregnant cat, so please keep her.”