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About Momster

  1. Lots of misinformation

    I didn’t have a sense of this as a pity party or of whining, though there were things about the story I wasn’t pleased with. If you came away with this impression from the audiobook, the quality of the reader’s voice and inflection didn’t help at all. This sort of circumstance can happen to anyone. As I said in another thread, we often let things (like a close eye on the finances) go when we know our partner has a skill we don’t—or are just not as good at. I’m an old second-wave feminist, but her story of trusting her DH to keep track of the finances and do the taxes, directly paralleled my later-life relationship with my husband. Damn! I’m the English major! It’s my understanding there will be no math! And, I don’t know how much was spent on private school, but I’m not one to judge that, either. We have several very good and very reasonably-priced private schools in our town—two of which my son went to. (What are you supposed to do with a kid who reads at 7th grade level, does 5th grade math, and is socially awkward when he’s graduating kindergarten? Public school? I think not.). We also have a few priced more along the lines of what I suspect you all are thinking. Perhaps it was a stretch, but not an unreasonable one for them to afford it. on the other hand, I feel very judgmental about the booze. Hard liquor, hard cider, beer, wine, are all—for me—indulgences. Yes, cool to say your mojito has mint from your garden in it, but beyond that, not an impressive use of limited resources. Water is amazing. And generally either free or very low cost. There are other spending issues I feel judgmental about, especially having—twice in my life—had to forage in the woods for greens to supplement the bag of popping corn or the five or six cans of beans I had to last me the next two weeks. Oh to have had the kind of money it takes for a single bottle of beer. And organic yogurt for the chickens, and olive and coconut oil for soap? Sheesh. I agree, even after “the fall” they never really seemed to understand honest belt-tightening. Sigh.
  2. Bluegrass music

    I favor the oldie originals: Gid Tanner and the Skillet Lickers (really!) The Carter Family Buck Owens Bill Monroe Foggy Mountain Boys Lester Flatt Earl Scruggs Dixon Brothers Nearly anything you can find on the Smithsonian Folkways label. Or, Google “classic bluegrass” and listen to anything that comes up in which the video or photography is in black and white. Them old time pickers were amazing!
  3. just started book

    Just skip that part. I fell asleep while the audiobook was playing and woke up at the end of that chapter. I didn’t go back to see what I missed. There is really only the one mention.
  4. Love and Marriage

    I didn’t think that she complained about everything, and I feel like she had a hell of a lot to complain about! I think she had some huge burdens to deal with, and she dealt with them the best she could. I marvel that her marriage held together with the kind of betrayal she experienced. It is easy to judge her for not staying on top of their finances, and yet, we all bring different abilities to a relationship, and we hope that letting go of that which the other seems to have as a strength is a way to deepen the relationship through trust. I have a friend who had the same thing happen financially. She is a tenured professor, and her husband lost almost all the retirement savings she had put away for both of them. She divorced him. I don’t blame her. I don’t blame the author for taking off across the country to find some peace. And I have a certain level of admiration of her for finding a way to make her marriage work. Leaving takes one kind of courage, staying takes another. I agree with OP that the question of how they managed to stay together was not addressed well enough. Especially since they seemed to find a new balance with one another.
  5. Adjunct College Faculty

    Totally support your opinion on this! Our local CC is wildly diverse and forward-thinking, and yet, the vast majority of instructors are adjunct. They earn far less, are employed shorter hours so are not entitled to any benefits, and, unlike the author, who actually had an office—a corner office!—they share barracks-like conditions, often with only a single slit window for everyone. I live in a very desirable university town, and there are people who have been adjunct faculty at the CC for decades because it’s such a wonderful place they don’t want to leave. Adjunct faculty rocks the world!
  6. Cabin in the woods

    Yes and no. I’ve lived a version of this twice in my life, and still hope to do it again. Both places I lived, I had no electricity and non-potable water. Both places were heated with wood, and both were shared with a variety of critters from mice to wood rats to civet cats. I had gardens at both and I had three hens at one. Both had “squatty-potty” outhouses. The thing you don’t realize until you have lived this life, is how much time you have. That seems completely contrary, but when you don’t waste hour after hour with a screen in front of you, you have masses of time to wander and explore, take in the beauty and appreciate the calm. I did have a radio at both places so I had music and NPR. Every Saturday I chopped and brought in the week’s wood. One evening a week, after work in town, I hit the laundromat and shopped for the week. If I hadn’t had an outhouse, I wouldn’t have gone outside at night and gotten an eyeful of the Hale-Bopp comet. In winter, it was a joy to heat a canner full of water on the wood stove and bathe in a Rubbermaid container out on the porch under the brilliant night sky, and in the summer to shower under the sun with water heated in the hose. I desperately miss that simplicity. I wouldn’t miss the internet, cable, phone service, or email. Yes, I currently have them, and yes, I could drop them without having an existential crisis. The “cabin” Ms McGaha and her husband live in is pretty much “uptown Saturday night” to me. I confess I’d never live where she does—I’ve done that, too. Briefly. It was long enough to cure me and send me packing back to the PNW. Heat and humidity, ticks, chiggers, copperheads, brown recluse spiders—egad! I’m glad there are people who love those places. Homesteading, though.... no. It’s hard work. When you have a partner, that helps. And when you have children to share the burdens, that helps more.