Showing posts with label relationships. Show all posts
Showing posts with label relationships. Show all posts

Mobility Matters

So we're planning on going to Kinetix again this weekend. It's a fun outdoor show at Busch Gardens in the center of the park. It requires a bit of planning to get there on time since there may be lines in the parking lot, bag checks at the front entrance, ticket scanning issues at the gate, and then of course the half mile trek back to the area where the concert is. For the able bodied person it takes at least a half hour to complete all those steps to get seated in time for the event with the fantastic party starters and dancers.

But now some friends are considering going too, and one person is not functionally mobile. It is a complication that could be remedied but there is some denial that there is an issue by the immobile party. I'm not being unsympathetic to this person, but the mobility problem is just an effect of some bigger health issues. We've experienced the issues of managing a person's ability to move around when DH was injured in a motorcycle accident a few years ago. It required a lot of patience and extra planning, and especially extra time. It also involves extra effort from the caretaker making extra trips to get equipment needed or securing proper seating ahead of time. But I didn't mind because it meant we could share time together doing things besides sitting around with a leg propped up.

From my experiences, the problem with dealing with mobility issues is that the affected party usually feels like they are  not really disabled and immobile, so they refuse help from strangers and their friends. They insist they don't need the wheelchair, or the walker or the cane to move about. So they stumble along in pain, whimpering from the stabbing aches and breathing hard like they are going to die. Or they insist that they are well enough to go along with the event and refuse to discuss accommodating their immobility. They know they are an extra bother and its true. But guess what, the caretaker or friends want to attend the activity bad enough, so they are willing to make the sacrifice to make sure the immobile party can attend to. Because unfortunately in some relationships if the hobbled one stays home, everyone must stay home.

My mother is dealing with immobility issues as she ages and has had some serious injuries from falls. She definitely needs assistance with her mobility. But she doesn't want to admit it. She feels like it is an admission of being old, which she is. She doesn't want to give up her independence and be reliant on others for her mobility. She wants to go for nature walks and go to the gym for an aqua class but these activities are beyond her ability now. She does not want to accept this. So she tries to go for walks outside by herself without a walker or cane, and falls. It is sad.

Mobility does matter. To all of us. But when you are immobile you need to admit it. Accept offers of assistance from friends, family and strangers to help you get through that heavy door, or up that ramp, or by taking their seat on a bench. You are doing no one any favors by being the difficult one who refuses to get in a wheelchair. If putting you in a wheelchair will improve the activity for others, then sit your butt in the chair and shut up. They will gladly push you around and if its a public event you might even get front row seats for the handicapped seating area. You will allow your caretakers to leave you seated comfortably at all times instead of panting and breathing heavy after you've walked 100 ft and can't find a bench.

The point being is that it's not all about you. Just because you can't walk doesn't mean you can't live. The world we live in today is very accommodating to people with mobility issues and you can do almost everything an able bodied person can do. So quit complaining and get the proper equipment you need to be mobile. Then live your life. 

Ideas for Frugal Family Time

According to a recent CNN Money article, many people have embraced a frugal lifestyle over the past few years, tightening their money belts, as a result of the economic downturn that has affected us all. While frugality certainly entails sacrifice, one benefit of living within ones means is that, instead of spending so much time spending money, we return to the more important things in life—spending quality time with friends and family. If you are relatively new to the frugal life, you may be wondering what fun activities you can do with your children that doesn't involve going on expensive shopping trips or eating out. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
1.      Board game night
Although it may sound old-fashioned, most children love the thrill of playing games with parents and siblings. Board games are an incredibly inexpensive way to spend hours together. Even better, most games require building important life skills like strategic thinking, planning, and more. Some challenging classics that are appropriate for all ages include Monopoly, Risk, Scrabble, and Clue.
2.      Picnic in the park
With the rising popularity of tech gadgets among this generation's youth, many children are not exposed to the outdoors as frequently as in years before. Considering that playing outside costs nothing, planning outdoor activities with your family is a great, and inexpensive, way to spend quality time together. Organizing a picnic at a local park, feeding ducks, or playing simple games like Frisbee are some great options with minimal associated costs.
3.      Matinees and college performances
Kids love going to the movies and seeing shows, but think about the last time you went to the cinema. Add up the cost of tickets, food, and parking, and you soon realize that the price is simply not worth the fun. There is, however, an alternative—most local universities put on plays, concerts, most of which are free or very cheap. If your kids are in school, they'll likely get a student discount. Most movie theaters offer large discounts on morning or early afternoon shows, called matinees, that'll give your kids the fun of going to the movies without the cost. Having a filling meal before going to the movies will help you save on movie treats as well.
4.      Cooking and baking
Aside from being an essential life skill that will serve kids well later in life, especially when they first head out to college or are otherwise on their own, cooking and baking make for fun and in expensive family activities. Concerned that cooking will be too complicated for your kids? Check out these kid-friendly recipes, courtesy of FamilyFun.com.
These are just a few ideas for a fun time with the whole family. The most important thing to remember is that spending quality time with your loved ones is usually more meaningful if you take money out of the picture.
This guest post is contributed by Lauren Bailey. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: blauren99 @gmail.com. 
 

Relationships Lost by Being Frugal

Presently we are remodeling our bathrooms and plan to also do the kitchen. A couple weeks ago while removing the bathtub I broke a water line which required emergency repair from the plumbers. We called them and they came out pretty quick (within 3 hours) on a Saturday, and fixed the water break. We also discussed re-piping the house since all the 50 year old water lines were patched and possible breaks in the future. So the last ten days have been taken up dealing with estimates, preparation, shopping and decisions about the re-pipe job. Its finally over and done, but it was a negative experience.
 
I can't help but wonder if we brought it on by being frugal. We felt it would be a pretty easy job for the plumbers since a newer main water line was already to the house. We offered to dig a trench and lay new cpvc around the perimeter to save them time and to save us money. I didn't really like the idea of busting through terrazzo floor slab and stucco walls and having a water line in our closets. We have enough problems keeping them mold free. So we dug up a trench and laid the pipe to the back of  the house. We also bought our own bathtub valves and shower valves so they match, and to save us from the 3x markup on parts that plumbers typically do. So basically, all they provided was labor for 11 hours and lots of pvc and elbow joints, a few shut off valves for sinks and toilets.
 
To make a long story short, they finished most of the job in 2 days and tied in the new pipes. So to save money, we told them we would take care of installing the bathroom valves so they could consider the job wrapped up, please give us a bill. We figured at $85/hr we were in for just over $1000 for labor and the parts at worst couldn't be more than $500, so we calculated about half of the estimate. Boy were we out in left field. The plumbers expected labor of 15 hours to include the time for giving us an estimate, shopping for parts, and driving to our house. They wanted close to $1000 for parts.
 
Well, we were not pleased to be f**ked like this. We told them our expectation and asked them to explain theirs. It got ugly with raised voices, arguing and bullying from the plumber and hostility. They turned it into a totally unprofessional situation, where we just gave in rather than argue with this man. We decided on a number in the middle of the final quote and higher than our expectation, but a liveable price. We felt we were being more than fair, but this man wanted to screw us.
 
The unpleasantness of  this situation is that we've used these plumbers for almost ten years, as do our neighbors who recommended them to us. The plumber does business with our neighbor who is in the AC business. They are our best neighbors who watch our house, lend us their truck, invite us for holidays, watch our dog when we're away, make us great food and in general are great people. It hurts to know they may be offended if they find out how this deal all turned out. I'm not going to get into the drama with them, but the plumber might say something about how we're cheap a$$holes or something.
 
It's a tough situation to be in when you know you are being unfairly charged for a product or service and its not by mistake. What do you do? Risk the relationship to settle the difference, or just pay it to keep peace. I know we have sometimes forgiven crappy cold chicken wings at our favorite bar and grill, because we go there often and don't want to be known as the complainers. We also have paid more for a service when we have no other choices, or it would cost more to start over.
 
So in our short 3 week time span, this is the second vendor we have pissed off who probably won't deal with us anymore than we would deal with them, just because of price. First the trash haulers who wanted double what they agreed to, and now the plumber who finished the job in half the time quoted (due to our prep and assistance on the job) but wanted the full price. Hope it doesn't happen again. At least our handyman is a good guy who's honest, forthright and reasonable.