Posts Tagged ‘Survivor’


My Favorite Things: A Tempur-pedic Mattress


love sleeping

I’m a chronic viewer of the CBS series, “Survivor.” When the kids were younger, it was often a family event to watch it together. If you watch that series for any length of time, undoubtedly, you will ponder the following question: Could I be a strong contender and live in the barren wilderness for 39 days without any creature comforts? I, long ago, decided that I would fail miserably playing Survivor simply because I want everyone to get along and if you deprive me of food, a migraine results and then I get just plain grouchy. When I get grouchy, any semblance of a “filter” for my mouth goes right out the window. (My family is saying, “You have a filter????”)

And even if I managed to be on the winning team a lot and we had great hunters and fisher folk on the team, I would be grouchy for another reason: I’m getting old and I like my stuff. I know it’s not “politically correct” for a Christian to say that–I’m supposed to need nothing but Heaven and a relationship with God, but the truth is, I sure do hope Heaven includes my favorite things. And thus, I am starting a new feature here at MIP on Fridays: My Favorite Things.

Hopefully, this feature will put a smile on your face and if you don’t have something I rave about, prompt you to think about putting it on your real or fantasy wish list. No, I’m not getting paid to review these items. I just know that I often add such items to my life because of what a friend or family member told me about their use of the same item. I promise to give you the good, the bad, the ugly and the silly about each item and then let you weigh in, too through your comments.

Most of my favorite things have entered my life one of two ways: My hubby bought it or it became a “marital issue.” When I say it became a “marital issue,” I mean that if we don’t do something about it soon, the hubby and I are going to need marriage counseling. And since I doubt this counselor will ever get the hubby to a counselor, that means buying something.

One marital issue involved sleeping arrangements with the hubby. We started out married life with a water bed. That was great for him and lousy for me. Why? Because he’s considerably larger than I am, so he felt like he slept in a comfy hammock while I felt like I was doing a back bend the whole night. Since I’m not a contortionist nor Olga Korbut, this was no fun. So, my brother- and sister-in-law gave us their old conventional double bed. Problem solved, right? Wrong.

That bed had seen better days and was my sister-in-law’s childhood bed, too. Thus, when the hubby and I went to bed at night, we both rolled to the center where she had apparently slept her whole childhood. Now, you would think this would be fine for both of us as newlyweds, but the hubby had a mean snore in those days, so listening to a sound that resembled a herd of elephants trumpeting their disdain for all mankind right next to my ear was not exactly sleep-inducing.

Next stop? A new queen-sized mattress and box spring. This worked well for us until the last 10 years. At that point two things changed for us: The hubby was on the road more and more for work and we both battled more arthritis. Now why would that mean a mattress change, you ask?

Since we sleep apart more than we sleep together these days, we have both developed a tendency to hog the middle of the aforementioned queen-sized bed, along with the corresponding covers. Since the hubby is still somewhat bigger than me, this means I usually wind up clinging to the side of the bed in the hopes that I won’t be thrashed by my hubby’s ever-moving arthritic parts. If he is wonderfully still, my own arthritic hips wake me from a sound sleep and I am up searching my purse for Aleve in the middle of the night. By the time the Aleve has fully taken effect, I am wide awake. No bueno, sports fans.

Then, the hubby invited me on one of his business trips and we stayed in a hotel with a Tempur-Pedic mattress. At first I wasn’t sure I was going to like this concept, since the bed felt a little on the firm side to me, but when I woke up 8 hours later in the same position, I realized I was so, so wrong! I felt absolutely wonderful the next day because I was so well rested! When I returned to the ol’ queen-sized bed at home, I was, again, miserable and consuming Aleve.

Anyone who has ever priced these comfy mattresses already knows “they ain’t cheap.” So, we priced the “clones.” Thankfully, a good friend told us they had purchased a clone and it was a miserable experience for them. They recommended swallowing hard and paying for the real deal. Other friends echoed the same sentiment. Thus, we saved our pennies (almost literally in those days!) and bought a king-sized mattress, the accompanying box spring and 2 pillows.

Our set was delivered in January. Big mistake! Why? Because memory foam mattresses “harden” in the cold and new Tempur-Pedic mattresses need time to “relax” when first unpacked and put in place. The first week I thought we had made one very expensive mistake! But as time went on, I loved it more and more and now, wouldn’t be without it.

The bigger size allows each of us to “sleep in the middle” without disrupting the other. Plus, the structure of memory foam prevents the need to move a lot in bed and even when moving, it doesn’t shake the rest of the mattress as conventional mattresses do.

What I didn’t anticipate is that I would no longer feel the need to get up and take Aleve. In fact in a few months of use, I never had to take it again for arthritis! It even seemed to help when I was sitting in one place for long periods of time, like driving across the state of Texas or during long airline flights. I attribute some of this to also exercising more regularly, but I did exercise regularly before the bed arrived and still had arthritis issues.

A few years later the youngest son proclaimed his older brother’s handed-down bed “shot” in the mattress department. We decided it made sense to replace that bed with a queen-sized Tempur-pedic when we compared the cost to pillow top mattresses and the clones. Why? By that time Tempur-Pedic made a cheaper alternative with a shorter warranty (five years less). Since we knew his bed would ultimately be the “guest room bed,” and wouldn’t be slept in all the time, we decided it was worth the gamble. The result?

I have to kick the youngest son out of it when he’s home from college despite new mattresses in his room! And last year my mother-in-law (who suffers from chronic back pain) so loved it that she went home and purchased the adjustable version for her own use! Her back felt much better after sleeping on one. Now, every member of the family has one, including my brother.

And that brings me to another point that is worth considering when purchasing: These mattresses and box springs are very heavy. For a petite person like myself, it can get interesting picking the corners of the mattress by myself to change sheet sets. But now, I’m used to it and probably have better arm muscles as a result.

Think you may want to save your pennies for one? Here’s the bottom line of things to consider:

1. Don’t purchase in cold weather. Wait until at least spring and don’t purchase after fall.

2. Try out all the different Tempur-Pedic models in the store. You may be surprised that you like a lower-cost version over a higher-priced version. We picked a “middle-priced” model.

3. If cost is a concern, wait for at least a 0% financing deal. I don’t believe in going into debt for one of these. Pay it off early if you can and pay on time!

4. If free pillows aren’t an option when you buy, they may offer a free sheet set. I found that deep pocket “regular” sheet sets work just fine and are cheaper.

5. If free pillows are an option, try them out and decide if you like them. Some people don’t!

6. Don’t purchase if you intend to put them on a four-poster bed frame or other kind of frame that will make it difficult for you to put on fitted sheets due to the heaviness of the mattress. I chose a footboard for ours with a lower profile so that the top of the mattress was clearly above the top of the footboard by several inches to make it easier to reach the bottom of the mattress. Even better would be to go without the footboard if you can.

7. If you have kids, expect “visitors” in your new bed. 🙂

Your thoughts?

Monday’s Post: Are you froward? (And no, that’s not a typo!)

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Lessons Learned from A Family Vacation…


Warning: War and Peace was shorter. 

I just finished a trek to the lovely state of Washington with my hubby, daughter, the DSL, my brother-in-law and my father-in-law. While I adore both my own family and the one I married into, there are always little surprises along the way, even though I’ve been to this destination before and have been on vacations with this same group of people.  Here’s what I learned this time:

1. I don’t pack well under pressure.

2. The final episode of Survivor is more important to watch than packing.

3. I proved # 1 true yet again.

4. When # 1 occurs, I always forget something. Even if I make a detailed packing list.

5. I forgot my PJs.

6. Workout clothes make a good substitute for PJs.

7. I worked out once while on vacation.

8. I wore street clothes to work out because I was too lazy to change into workout clothes.

9. Glad I packed 5 sets of workout clothes.

10. TSA pre-check status rocks.

11. The hubby who surprised me with a TSA pre-check status rocks even more.

12. When going through TSA pre-check, I have flashbacks to trips I took in the 1990s.

13. I have more circles under my eyes than I had in the 1990s.

14. I’m pretty sure TSA put those circles under my eyes after 9/11.

15. I don’t respond to TSA instructions well under pressure.

16. Did I mention I like TSA pre-check?

17. We would super-glue the DSL’s belt to his pants to help him through security, but TSA wasn’t laughing when we suggested this.

18. Someone needs to get TSA agents a sense of humor.

19. Belts to hold up pants are lethal weapons and that’s why no one wears them in Seattle. See # 17.

20. I didn’t know there was such a diversity of boxer shorts in Seattle. See # 19.

21. Anyone under the age of 30 in Seattle shops at Goodwill and purposely puts polka-dots, paisley and plaid together. Color coordination optional.

22. If I go through Pike Place Market 10,000 times, I will still feel like I’ve never seen it all.

23. Beecher’s Cheese Mariachi Mac ‘n Cheese is da bomb. Next time I’m getting the large, economy-sized helping even if 4 wheelbarrows are required to carry me out of the place afterwards. Even if I have to make use of 1 set of workout clothes for something other than PJs.

24. The beautiful bouquets of flowers at the Market are way under-priced. And yet I walked away empty-handed because I had no place to put them.

25. # 24 is cruel and unusual punishment.

26. The Underground Tour never disappoints even if the new tour guide is…well…new.

27. Did you know “Lincoln” was a superhero and had a cape and everything? See # 26.

28. In the 25 years plus since my last Underground Tour my allergies have made it nearly impossible for me to go on the Underground Tour. Grr.

29. Pioneer Square is still one of the prettiest parts of Seattle.

30. I can play in a wind-up toy store for a solid half an hour. Maturity went right out the window.

31. Chocolate pasta and sweet potato orzo are just too difficult to resist in bringing home in crumbs in my suitcase.

32. The flying fish never disappoint, even if no fish are flying.

33. I am in awe of tea sets that are in the shapes of peacocks, phoenix (What is the plural of phoenix??? Phoeni? Phoenixes???), hummingbirds and other assorted fowl.

34. I’m not in awe of the price of # 33….at least not enough to bring it home in pieces in my suitcase.

35. O’Asia is not an Irish Asian restaurant, but the food there will make you feel lucky to visit.

36. When forced to choose between an interactive music museum and a world-renown glass artist, MaryAnn picks the glass artist.

37. When the hubby is forced to choose between an interactive music museum and a world-renown glass artist, the hubby picks the interactive music museum.

38. Neither one of us felt cheated.

39. Dale Chihuly is a genius.

40. The Hamilton Middle School string orchestra and jazz choir will make you wish your kids were raised in the Seattle public school system.

41. I don’t do Kenyan curry well.

42. I do potato chips and yogurt much better.

43. The daughter is as giddy as a kid at Christmas when taking new forms of transportation. Let’s just say Ms. Master’s Graduate liked the ferry ride.

44. We adore the houses on the shore at Bainbridge Island. We doubt the owners of these houses adore the ferry still coming into the nearby dock at 2 am.

45. The drive from Bainbridge to Sequim is breathtaking.

46. MaryAnn needs to quit saying the phrase, “Pretty, pretty.”

47. When the hubby needs a GPS holder, he recruits his wife.

48. The GPS holder has a lot of arthritis that doesn’t do well holding a GPS for 2 hours straight.

49. Sequim is pronounced, “Skwim.” I’ll remember that the next time I order my skinny latte.

50. There’s no fish and chips like the fish and chips prepared by a Kiwi.

51. They do xeriscaping in Sequim. Ummm….why? Is there a shortage of lawn mowers or something?

52. I lost count of the number of lead changes in the Indy 500 at lap 50.

53. I lost count of the number of drivers leading laps at lap 100.

54. I shouldn’t go 7 days without an allergy shot.

55. I went 9 days without an allergy shot.

56. If I go 9 days without an allergy shot, I should bring my Vitamin E, Vitamin C and Beta Carotene with me.

57. I get terse when I forget Vitamin E, Vitamin C and Beta Carotene.

58. There is nothing quite like fried raspberry cheesecake when I forget Vitamin E, Vitamin C and Beta Carotene.

59. The worst cup of coffee I had in “Starbucks Central” was in Seattle.

60. They don’t even give you pretzels on a 4 hour flight anymore. What is my $ 50 for a checked bag going for???

61. The EPA has decided that having a non-oil smelling airplane is good for my health. I now know what the $ 50 is going for.

62. I think I will invite the EPA to fly with me the next time I go to Seattle.

63. I will not invite the EPA to go through TSA pre-check with me.

64. When you get 5 seasoned fisher persons together with 2 rookies. the rookies will score the big fish.

65. If you want to avoid starvation, go with the rookies.

66. Because of # 65, I’m now divorced.

67. Did I mention I like TSA pre-check?

68. There’s no place like home and still no better family.

Friday’s Post: The Real Memorial Day…

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