Sunday, March 09, 2014

I Hate Losing an Hour of My Weekend.

Daylight Saving Time can bite me. This may be a record for random subject changes. I blame DST.

I bought new glasses yesterday; I won't actually have them until the 22nd or thereabouts. I spent more than I'd expected, but my prescription had changed significantly and it had to be done. I also learned that the lenses in my current glasses are pricey but excellent, and the gal fitting me said that once I'd had them, I'd probably be dissatisfied with anything less. A true statement - I do recall putting these glasses on two years ago and thinking, "Wow!" They truly impressed me, and I've been blind as a bat since early childhood and have decades of corrective lenses behind me. I don't know why these lenses are so spectacular, but the optician fitting me said that it's the brand doctors wear. They cost like it too - my vision insurance will reimburse me for a chunk of it, and for the frames I picked, but it was still an expensive afternoon. Paying off credit cards just moved another six months into the future.

I'm even more blind as a bat now. Giving up wearing the rigid gas permeable contacts caused my corneas to relax into their natural shape (RGP lenses act almost like braces on teeth - take them off and the eye shifts a bit), and my astigmatism is worse. I gave up wearing contacts not from fit or discomfort issues, but because my close-up vision has gone to hell and I needed to wear readers over the contacts about 75% of the time, even for tasks like cooking. So I'm a full-time four eyes again, for the first time since I begged my parents for contacts when I was 16. I'd gotten used to the superior vision correction (at least at a distance) from the contacts, and the fancy-pants eyeglass lenses come pretty close to matching the clarity.

I went with some fancy frames too - my current glasses are very conservative and while flattering enough in their "I'm trying to be invisible" way, lack personality. The new ones are definitely trendy (and no, I didn't pay that price for them). I've decided my hair color is too washed out and am going just one shade darker. And I'm on a mission to lose 15 pounds. 20 would be better, but 15 seems more do-able. I need to live up to these glasses somehow. They have the style I aspire to, but seldom bother to meet.

My daughter finishes her master's degree next month, HOORAY!!! The ceremony and "walk" isn't until June, in Fort Lauderdale. She wants to walk, and I am so glad - she wants to have pictures to show Delaney how her mommy managed to pull off a full time job, a kid, a house, pets, and a master's degree. We are planning a family weekend down there - rent a house, condo or timeshare instead of hotel rooms, pack our own meals to save some money, etc. I've discovered that there are very cute vacation homes to rent for less than we'd pay for hotel rooms, and it's certainly the way to go when traveling with a two year old - a quiet, homey room for a nap, and washer and dryer, kitchen, etc. I found a nice small place that is a real bargain, but we'll see if her in-laws want to come along too. If they do, we'll have to get a 3 br. 3 ba., because we all need our space and no stress getting ready, etc. Still, it's cheaper than hotels and eating out at every meal, and a fun family weekend.

I used to work for a big timeshare company (the job I fled before escaping to Asheville for a year) and I have decidedly mixed feelings about timeshare as an industry, but I do know this: 'Tis far better to rent than buy, unless you have the lifestyle that can arrange a real vacation every year. I've never had that life, so I'm a bit jaundiced about the value, but if you do buy in, you can always rent it to me.

If you are planning a family vacation, especially with small kids who would drive you batshit crazy if you all had to share a hotel room for a week and you'll go broke if you have to eat out for every meal, and OMG we can't afford a vacation, look into timeshare rentals. They are everywhere in Florida and in many other desirable vacation locations, and many are very reasonably priced, nearly all have pools and other amenities and professional management staff, and trust me, there are countless regretful timeshare owners just waiting for somebody to take their insane impulse purchase off their hands for a week to help defray the cost of owning it.

I think I'll stop now, and not do another random topic change to the tomato plants on my balcony. I am launching into container gardening. Because I am nuts.


Anonymous said...

I have fond memories of family vacations in big rented houses or condos. Have fun, and congratulations to your daughter.


Catherine said...

These will be "barely big enough" rented houses or condos, but yes, it seems far more sensible than hotel rooms and eating out every meal.

k said...

Congratulations to your daughter!

Brenda said...

Your new glasses are perfect---they are stylish without being trendy. I love container gardening. I have two planters on my deck that are about 18" square, and I sow a package of mixed lettuce seed and some spinach every year, and it's amazing how many salads I can get out of that tiny space. Also, my mom and I were talking about snow birds just a few hours ago, and the great part of renting through the winter is that you have no responsibility for the property when you aren't there---if there is a big storm or the water heater springs a leak, it's not your problem to solve.

Catherine said...

Brenda, many (many) years ago, my great-aunt and uncle rented a place every year in not-so-trendy towns like Boynton Beach every winter to escape the frigid Jersey cold. They weren't fancy, but they were clean and comfortable. My mother and I visited them one winter and I remember how charming and Olde Florida it felt. Snowbirding is the way to go!