Voting and Giving Blood

I think “doing the right thing” just feels good….like voting and giving blood and holding the door open for someone who is struggling to get through it or letting someone out in traffic who is hopelessly stuck. It just makes you feel good.

That’s how it should be in hotels too. You don’t know the person in the next room. You may not see them during your visit and will certainly never see them again. So what do you care if you let your door slam shut at 5:30 in the morning. If you wake them up, who cares…life is tough….

After spending more days this year in a hotel than at my home in Florida, I know firsthand just how annoying the door slamming oversight can be. But when you DO hold on to that door for two more seconds to keep it from slamming, when you DON’T bang dishes or suitcases into the wall late at night, you just might let someone sleep a few more minutes. That person may be nursing a dying child in a hospice home like our across the hall neighbor is sadly having to do. Your wall mate  may work the midnight shift and just got to sleep after a grueling night on the assembly line, making YOUR next vehicle. It only takes a few seconds to be thoughtful and make someone else’s hotel stay a bit more pleasant. After all they are paying for a night’s rest just like you. So go ahead and do the right thing without a needle prick or waiting in line at your local voting booth.

Survival List for Extended Stays, Part two

My Survival Guide was getting rather lengthy so I divided it into two blog posts. This is  part two.

The fourth item on the survival list is a travel size spray bottle of disinfectant. Even if your room has been sanitized by housekeeping, having your own disinfectant for light switches, toilet handles, shower heads, TV remotes, desk phones and other areas that may be overlooked by housekeeping will give you peace of mind. This is especially important during cold and flu season.

The fifth item is for the car. If your windows aren’t tinted dark enough or you tend to be the driver or passenger that seems to draw the SUN side of the car straw on each and every trip, you will love this one. (this could also be used on a room window)  Go to the baby department of any big box store and look for the “White Hot Cling Shade” by Munchkin. It is cheap, can be cut into smaller pieces with simple scissors, needs no hardware of any kind. It doesn’t have Spiderman or Winnie the Pooh on it so don’t worry about that.  It is simply a “cling” that sticks to your window. It is worth its weight in gold. You can cut them in smaller pieces and even double them for extra sun protection. By cutting them into smaller sizes you can improve visibility for the driver by not covering a large portion of the window at any one time. I really wish I had discovered these years ago!

The next item is a small alarm clock about 3 1/2 inches long and 3 inches deep. It’s made by Sharp.  That may not seem like a great find to you but I don’t like to have a clock with big green or red letters shining in my face all night. I found a small battery operated digital clock that only lights up when you engage the button on the top! You can have this right by your face on the nightstand and it only works when you need it too. It is very portable so it easily goes with you wherever you go. The added benefit is that during daylight hours it provides an additional clock in your room since most hotels don’t have wall clocks.

The last but not least survival item is ear plugs. I have tried several types and the ones that work the best for me are “Hearos”. They are cheap and most big box stores sell them. They don’t help with the vibrating thuds of doors slamming but they are great for voice and music sounds. They can mean the difference between some sleep and no sleep at all.

“Survival” sounds like a pretty dismal word but when your world has been altered and life as you used to know it is gone for the time being, just having a few items in your “tool box” can make your stay more comfortable and that can be VERY beneficial.

Survival List for Extended Stays, Part one.

There are a few things that are invaluable when you are going to be out of your home for an extended period of time. This applies whether you are going on a long cruise, staying with relatives or enjoying a timeshare or hotel.

The first must have is a collapsible stool. These can be purchased various places like the  Bed, Bath and Beyond stores. They are small, take up little space but can be used for many many purposes (hanging darkening curtain, sitting on to put away items in low cabinets, as a small table for drinks, storing things in high cabinet or closet shelf, as a footstool for short legged folks).

The second must have, is a roll of black electrical tape that can be purchased for under $2 and is worth its weight in (black) gold. It can be used to blot out those annoying LEDs that can add to your sleepless nights. Place a small piece over the green, red or blinking lights that come from electronic devices, smoke detectors and even the microwave oven. It can also be placed around cracks in a exit door that lets in too much security lighting. It goes on easily and comes off just as well, leaving no sticky residue.

The third item that is very helpful is Command removable hooks. They truly do live up to their advertising. They go on with little trouble and pull off by slowly pulling the tab at the bottom. The hooks can be used in a variety of ways. They can be used to hang a blanket, curtain, or comforter over an entry door that lets in too much light or smoke. This can also be a barrier against noise in the hallway or adjacent rooms. They can be used too for extra storage to hang caps, scarves, towels etc.

Being away from your usual comfortable or even NOT so comfortable surroundings can take a toll on your psyche. Humans tend to be creatures of habit, well creatures tend to be creatures of habit too but that’s another blog entry. One of the things I miss the most about living in a hotel is the lack of television options. The list of cable channels available to a spoiled TV watcher are quite limited. The schedule of the television shows that are acceptable do not often coincide with a convenient time to watch them. Satellite TV is not available nor even an option at one’s personal expense as an add on feature (benefit) to hotel residency.

But VOILA! There is a way to have your personal DVR “channeled” to your hotel room. Now I wouldn’t exactly categorize this as a survival item but it definitely has value for the long term visit. Check this out……http://www.dvrplayground.com/article/15414/Have-Slingbox–Will-Travel/

I’m going to try this. It’s cheaper than a plane ticket to fly home and catch up on your favorite shows. Stay tuned for the second part of the Survival Guide for extended stays. Be sure to forward this blog to anyone you know who may need it! I sure wish I had had this information available when I was packing.

Those four little words he never wanted to say…..

“Her mother and I” …..I listened intently as my son’s father-in-law to be talked about how many years he thought about saying those words and how much he never wanted to say them.  In the end, however, we must let go of those precious gifts that we are given. We have been given stewardship of them only, not ownership as Mr. Dunn also knows. When you have three children but one daughter, it is likely even more difficult to give her over to another man to care for her and her future.

Having your children marry evokes so many emotions. You are hopefully happy, proud, melancholy, excited, anxious, grieving and usually stressed. You have out of town guests to see and enjoy and too many happy moments to take in when you would love to spread out all of that conversation and merry making over a longer stretch of time to fully embrace it all.

My son recently married a wonderful young woman whom I am proud to think of as another daughter. I’ve been praying for her since she was born even though I didn’t meet her until 19 years later. It was a great pay off though.

Now the bride’s father can say “My three sons” with a smile and that peace that comes with knowing that a wedding took place that was ordained by The Father of us all.