For reasons I won’t go into here, my husband and I recently found ourselves in possession and taking care of five automobiles. For a while, my nickname in the family was “Fleet Manager.” One of the vehicles was sent to the East Coast by transport to our son, but that still left us with two extra used cars. We decided it was time to sell my 2015 Honda Fit and my husband’s beloved ’69 Volkswagen Beetle. (He was the original owner!) Read more
During the shelter-in-place orders, so many of us are spending more time at home than ever before. This has brought on a home improvement and decorating boom, along with another rather mixed blessing: the opportunity to uncover hidden problems. In my case, it was a slow water leak from a skylight.
For months, I’ve been ignoring some cracks and small bubbles in my bathroom ceiling near the skylight. After one of the recent rainstorms, the problem became more noticeable. I decided to poke a broom handle around the area and it was spongy. As my husband and I tore out the ceiling, we discovered mold in an area that extended several feet in all directions. Read more
In past December newsletters, I’ve shared recipes from my family’s Christmas Eve dinner that features Swedish meatballs, the heated adult beverage Swedish glögg and Green Goddess salad dressing. Now it’s time to tell you about the bread I make every year called limpa bread.
This Scandinavian bread was originally made from fermented brewer’s wort, a byproduct of beer making. While some recipes include stout beer as a key ingredient, mine uses molasses, orange rind, fennel and cumin seeds. Limpa is traditionally served at Christmas Eve smörgåsbords. Read more
Let’s face it—this Thanksgiving is going to be really different for most of us. My family started talking about how we might safely get together for the holiday back in October. All options were discussed, ranging from everyone doing their own “thing” to having a socially distanced barbecue outside. We also thought people could stagger their visits and stay outdoors (there are only nine of us) with some overlap. We all agreed on the main thing: it’s a pandemic Thanksgiving, so everyone has to be flexible. The final plan isn’t finalized and it will most assuredly evolve until we get closer to the holiday. Read more
It’s easy to get complacent when we’re all so distracted by what’s going on in the world. Unfortunately, distracted people can be easy targets for all kinds of scams, especially online scams. Here’s a case in point.
About three weeks ago, I received an email from an acquaintance asking me if I had an Amazon account (red flag). Nancy said she was having trouble with her credit card and wanted to buy a $200 Sephora gift certificate on Amazon to surprise her niece for her birthday, which was the next day (red flag). Read more
I’m happy to be writing for the Diamond Certified Consumer Report again after a short hiatus. Since March, so much has happened to all of us (I was in a scary car accident, my husband had foot surgery and I broke my leg to boot!) that I don’t really know what getting back to “normal” means right now. But let me share a few observations.
Most of us are beginning to resume some activities, albeit with many adaptations. I’ve continued having groceries delivered, but now I make brief forays into stores that have best practices. Read more
At the end of a recent road trip, my husband and I turned in our rental car without taking a close look at the final bill. Yes, we were distracted because we were running late and didn’t want to miss our flight. The attendant handed me a printed receipt and I stuffed it into my handbag.
A couple of days later, I cleaned out my purse and read the receipt more carefully. I found an unexpected $50 charge on top of the expected $50 drop-off fee. I had extended my rental by a few days and remembered being quoted a different total. Fortunately, the rental car agency responded quickly, reviewed the records and agreed they had made a mistake. Read more