Couch Delivery

The new couches came on Wednesday. I like them fine, but I really have no recollection of what we ordered, it seems so long ago.

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Capri Patt said she thought they were going to be more caramel-ly, I thought they would not look quite so dark brown either. They do seem lighter and have more variation in better light, this is bought light, from a bulb. What I really don’t recall is the seam running through the back of the cushion. As I look at the picture Capri Patt and I carried around for weeks, it does NOT have a seam on the back cushion. But then Honey picked a couch he liked better and it had a higher back, and we took the leather from another couch and now I have no idea what we did. I will say that the back does not look as poofy in real life as it does in the pictures, because I know I did not want the look our old couch had, we wanted something a little more tailored.

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The complaining from the other family members has begun. They are too hard, so much shorter, not as wide, why did we have to get new ones? To which I answer, they will break in and be comfy, remember when we got our new van and the seats seemed SO hard? Yes, they are a little shorter, but only one bum cheek shorter, you can’t live with one bum cheek shorter?! Why yes, they are not as deep and wide Honey, but may I remind you that YOU chose this couch because you said it sat better, precisely because it was NOT so deep and wide! And why did we have to get new ones? Why, you ask?

Exhibit A We had worn great amounts of the green slap off. Three cats had also managed to leave their marks. They no longer have front claws, so we have a little hope. They are old fat ladies now anyway.

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Exhibit B The WONDERFUL cushion covers that Capri Deb made about 10-11 years ago surely extended the life of the couches!!! If you think the backs were scratched up, you should have seen the cushions! But alas, the cushion covers were slap wore out.

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Exhibit C Just another shot of all the ugly.

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Yes, the old beast was comfy, but 16 years of a family of five constantly flopping on you, multiple times daily will do that to you. HEY, maybe that’s why I am so broken down!!!! They deserve an honored place, slap out of the limelight! One will go in my hair room, the other will wait until some child needs an old couch to grace their own humble abode. Or The Salvation Army, whichever.

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Thank you couch, you have served us well.

We are gearing up for Winter Storm Maximus up here in The Mitten. Four to eight inches of snow this weekend with potential for rain, or ice as we like to call it. I don’t like Honey out in all that mess, but he is not one to miss work over a little weather related distress. If he would have lived down south where they had all the winter trouble earlier this week, I guarantee, he would have made it to work!

The Ab-Cat and I are scheduled to go down and tutor in Detroit for ABC’s in the D on Saturday morning, in the thick of all the flurrage. I know it seems wimpy, but if it’s questionable, we will not go. It’s one thing to have a problem where I have to get out of my car and walk for assistance, it’s quite another to try and manage wheelchair navigation with her. She thinks I am ridiculous, but it has caused me endless pondering about the situation. In conclusion: I don’t want to do it!

Since the storm is named Maximus, I am just waiting for all the storm comparisons referring to the Russell Crowe movie Gladiator. However, that could just be me.

I am heading out to the store today to stock up on some essentials, you know, cream, butter, tortilla chips for the delicious Super Bowl dip we are having. There will be dessert, we have just not quite nailed it down yet. The storm needs to await my return, then to quote our favorite gladiator;

Maximus: At my signal, unleash hell.

Avoid all the hell Dear Friends.

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Wednesday Hodgepodge

Hello everyone from The Arctic Mitten! It is only –10 today, up from –23 yesterday! Everything is called off for a second day in a row. Thanks to Joyce for giving us a fun winter activity to while away our hours, I’m sure the Ingalls Family would have welcomed the diversion during their long, cold winter!!!

1. It’s  been said that one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day. Do you think that’s true? Do you find that an easy exercise most mornings? What’s something positive you told yourself today? If you missed that boat, what’s something positive you could tell yourself tomorrow?

I don’t know that it can change your whole day, but it can certainly help you go forward and do life, one day at a time. Sometimes, morning after morning, your circumstances don’t change, and that can be very disheartening. Focusing on your disappointments and trials is not really helpful in the long run. They are there and you have to deal with them, but wallowing is not productive.

This is where I think the positive thought comes in, and it can change the way you operate. Make the decision to see things in a different light, sometimes that head tilt is all you need. Think of one good thing that happened the day before, some slight sign of progress or one thing you are grateful for, instead of directing all of your laser like attention on the things that didn’t go the way you planned. Be thankful for the things that did go right, no matter how small. No one is 100% joofered, 100% of the time, and if you are that glass almost empty kind of person, you should be directing your energy to solving that problem.

I speak from experience here, I have spent time in the dumps. You will never get to the point in life where everything goes perfectly smooth, that is what heaven is for. Perspective is very valuable. If I can honestly say I did the best I could (and you have to be truthful about that), then I am willing to acknowledge today is a new day and go from there.

All the self talk in the world cannot really solve the actual problem, that is God’s work. But looking for the positive? Finding it can be like kisses on the cheek from God.  Lately my positive thoughts have been a bit repetitive, but helpful nonetheless.

Nothing is too hard for God and I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Pretty positive stuff there.

2. There will be karaoke at the next party you attend…are you in? Or will you be faking a sore throat?

I have done karaoke with others, but not myself. That would make me throw up in terror!
3. January 29th is National Puzzle Day…what’s something you’ve found puzzling recently?

I find that listening to the media talk about Obamacare is puzzling. Many of them are just sure that the majority of the country’s resistance is ignorance or selfishness, preventing us from understanding how great this is for everyone. That the millions complaining about being suddenly uninsured or being handed higher costs with doubled or tripled co-pays for the same or less coverage are just bellyaching and out of touch with the needs of “the People”. As Honey would say, we are being presented with an attractively displayed, sewage filled twinkie, and told it’s the best thing for everyone! Puzzling
4.  Jigsaw, crossword, acrostic, logic, sudoku, word search…what’s your favorite kind of puzzle, and when did you last work one?

I like many kinds of puzzles! Jigsaw, crossword, anything involving words and letters. NOT NUMBERS! Does Words With Friends count as a puzzle? Because I do that on a daily basis!
5. Recently a writer by the name of Amy Glass ruffled feathers with a post she wrote saying she looks down on young women with husbands and kids and she’s not sorry. Among other things, she says women will be equal with men when we stop saying house work and real work are equally important. You can read the whole piece by clicking here.
What say you? Do you think men and women are equal in the 21st century? Why or why not?

Oh.My.Goodness. She really stepped in it there. Some of the responses to her were very good too. What a sad, misguided person Amy Glass is. Any intelligent person would agree that someone has to raise children! They don’t raise themselves to be productive members of society! I guess my question to her would be why does it have to be an either or deal?

I don’t consider myself a feminist, but I am not in the militant, stay at home mom camp either. Contrary to what my children might say, I have worked at home their entire lives. Taking care of the household, raising them and keeping the hair of others cut, permed, straightened, colored and styled. I think they would acknowledge the first two, but for some reason they do not think being my a hairdresser constitutes a job!

I can respect a woman’s decision to work and not have children, to work outside the home, as my mother did, AND have children, or stay home, with ALL that entails, and raise children. Why can’t she see the value of the choices of others?  And I’m sorry, but backpacking across Asia? That is what some people do on vacation, it hardly equals raising PEOPLE!

Most work is valuable and necessary. Not everyone can do the same things and not everyone wants to. Why can’t we just be grateful for those who do the jobs we don’t do? I think that men and women will never be equal because of this attitude. Heck, the writer of that article was a woman and she didn’t even think women were equal to each other!

As long as we look down on certain jobs considered beneath us, people will not feel equal. All work has value, just like all the many parts of the body make up the church. Yes, doctors make difficult decisions, but nurses and tech’s get things done, usually kindly and efficiently. The business person owns the restaurant, but the employees make it run well. Have you ever eaten at a nice place that had a dirty rest room? I’m not going back there!!!!!  We can’t all be heads or eyes, gainfully employed is good. For men and for women. ALL people should be proud of a job well done.
6. What’s a product you’ve noticed in the grocery store that you’d like to try, but haven’t yet?

I bought this yesterday, but I haven’t tried them yet. I was mostly curious about the dark chocolate with chili, which sounds like something I might have heard about on Top Chef. The package also includes intense orange, 70% cocoa, and touch of sea salt. I can probably work with them all 😉

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7. The author, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) was born this week in 1832 (January 27th).  Which character from his celebrated novel, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, would you most like to meet, and why? Here’s a link to a character list if you need help on this one.

I am not strong in this category. This was one of the lesser Disney movies for our kids, and I have never read the book. I think I will pass.
8. Insert your own random thought here.

Just a couple more pictures of the new addition to our family!

Welcome Seymour, our new Grandcat!

Abby is missing him horribly since he left for Chicago. Theirs was a true love.

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Mousey too.

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i find myself looking at his pictures, missing his sweet little self!

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Thanks for stopping by, don’t get caught out in The Polar Vortex!

Seymour the Cat and Jip the Farm Dog and Daniel Tiger

We had a GREAT weekend! And all completely due to this little furball!

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Last weekend, Elyk and Maggie were over playing Taboo. He showed us some pictures that his former roommate sent him, pictures of four precious, furry pieces of free love! I asked Elyk if he was taking one and he said unfortunately, no. I said he should send those pictures to The Boy because he was in the market for a free cat. I would have taken the black one sleeping on the head of it’s sibling, but that’s just me.

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The next thing we knew, The Boy was adopting one of those kittens! He explored his options of transport, and they were mighty slim. Renting a car for hours was going to ensure he paid a lot for his free kitten. The Mega Bus said no animals, even if he bought a seat for the cat carrier. The train said the same. The Boy and The Dane suspiciously invited The Girls to drive down for a visit on the weekend. They saw right through that one!

He finally decided that he was getting into the smuggling business. He was going to hide that kitten in his coat and take him home on the Mega bus. I get this. Honey and I smuggled two illegal kittens into Canada when we were first married. In the glove box! But they only had to be quiet for the small amount of time it took to go through customs, not an entire 5 hour bus ride!

While relaying the story to the gals at BSF on Wednesday, Jip the Farm Dog asked how far is Chicago from Joliet? She just happened to be going to the Chicago area for a track meet for one son, and an invitation for her other son, Daniel Tiger, to strut his stuff for the Texas Rangers, in Joliet. She said she was going to look at their itinerary, and see if this could work. I didn’t mention it to The Boy, for obvious excitement related reasons, until I heard from her the next day saying it could work! The Boy would borrow a friend’s car and meet them at the track meet!

From there, things happened quickly. The Boy called to say that Elyk’s old roommate would bring the kitten by on Friday morning around 10 and I would take him over to Jip’s by 7 a.m. the next morning.

That is how we became a sort of halfway house for a purry kitty witty for the day!

Welcome Seymour!

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Oh my goodness, the cuteness factor was off the charts! Bright eyed and busy! We set him up in The Ab-Cat’s bathroom with a litter box made out of an old hospital basin and his bowls of food and water. We also laid a fleece throw on the floor, not that he was on the floor to sleep very much!

At some point in the weekend we decided to keep him, and send crabby Lucy to Chicago!

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He preferred The Ab-Cat’s lap.

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Or her bed.

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He is a big old baker! He makes biscuits (kneads) laying on something soft when he is thinking about sleeping, or in the air, as he is doing here! Look at those splayed, biscuit making toes!

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He is very chatty, and gets right in your face, like he has something important to tell you. He talks to you, and to himself, which is adorable!

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He had no fear of any of us and we like to think he bonded with us forever.

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Too much cuteness in one place.

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This was his view the entire weekend. He was photographed within an inch of his life! Camera, Facebook and Instagram, it’s like he was a super model!

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The last photo before Mousey placed him in Jip’s capable arms. Because of our horrible cold weather, her son’s track meet was cancelled, so she did not need to leave so early in the morning. Because of the time change in leaving, it joophered up the day a little as far as The Boy and his borrowed car, work schedule, and ability to pick Seymour up. Jip GRACIOUSLY offered to deliver the package to their door! 041

Evidently, we had the best part of the weekend with him, because Jip said he cried (for us maybe?) for way too long! Or maybe he just didn’t like car rides. Either way, Seymour was in serious jeopardy of not making it to Chicago! She said her son made weak threats, with his finger on the button, to set him free outside the car window!!! He eventually fell asleep in her lap and worked his magic, because he is nothing if not an adorable sleeper!!! She sent this picture. And now I owe her for the rest of my life, for the delivery AND the crying!

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All was forgiven. I think.

Around 5:30 I got texts from both parties saying The Package had been delivered! The Boy would be at work until 8:30 that night, which was killing him, so Seymour was The Dane’s ALL afternoon. She said she was in love!

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She sent these when The Boy finally got home.

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A man and his son.

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I think it’s safe to say they are completely smitten with The Kitten.

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Three cheers for Jip the Farm Dog and her son, Daniel Tiger!!!!!!!! For going the extra mile, literally AND figuratively!

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Stay warm out there.

Six Years of Blog

I asked Honey last night if he knew what yesterday was. He said he did not, and was very surprised when I told him that the blob was SIX!!!!

I can hardly believe it myself. A kindergartner!

Six years ago Mrs. Schmenkman and I decided to dip our toes into the blogosphere, and here we are, still blogging along!

For me, the journey has changed as our children have aged. They are still good blob fodder, just not as frequently. To tell you the truth, I don’t know how I manage to fill posts, day after day, with the sort of things I ponder. According to WordPress, I posted 276 times last year, and that is a lot of lists, observances and useless information to share!

What I do know is it is the fabric of our lives, just like cotton. And I love the fabric, the touch AND the feel of it, and that is in good part due to Y’All!

 

I still love this space, still love the journal it provides for me and my ever forgetful brain, still love keeping in touch with loved ones and making new friends. It’s been a win/win for me, and I am looking forward to the sixth year of all the nonsense you have come to expect over here.

This is what I do every year on the blobs birthday, troll for comments. Comments from the regulars, the regular readers who seldom comment (and you know who you are, ALL of you!)  comments from the newbies, and comments from the lurkers, because there are a whole slew of you!!! It’s all The Blob wants for a birthday present, so it’s a pretty cheap date. Come on now, you can do it!!!!

Thanks for joining me and making this such a fun hobby!

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Welcome to The Hodgepodge! Click the button below to head over to Joyce’s and join up with the other Hodgepodgers, it’s a fun way to spend a Wednesday!

1. It was decided on Sunday the Denver Broncos will meet the Seattle Seahawks in this year’s  Superbowl. So when was the last time you bowled? Not where you thought this question was going is it?  Do you like to bowl? Are you any good?
Hmmmm, I am not sure. I know it has been in the last 6 years because I wrote about it on the blob. We used to always bowl every year or so with our Caregroup and include the kids. I would not say that it is something I would ever seek out, but I didn’t mind it every couple of years. I would also not say I was a good bowler, but I did alright and sometimes I even beat Honey!!

2.   Should sports stars be role models?
I think they certainly can be good role models if they live their lives with some sort of decency and integrity. Sadly, that is not always the case. Just because they know their way around a field or arena or can handle some sort of equipment does not a role model make.

3. January is National Oatmeal month…are you a fan? How do you like your oats?
I do like oatmeal, with Splenda and butter. And cooked. I never knew people ate uncooked oats until The Dane’s father came to visit!!

4. What is one book on your reading list for 2014?

Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle, aka Big Mama, finally came in the mail, so there is that!!!!! I also would like to read The Lost Art of Mixing by Erica Bauermeister. I will be looking closely at this question on the other blogs I visit. I have gotten some good reading ideas out in the blogosphere!

5. What would you like your future self to say to your present self?
I would like her to tell me that everything is going to turn out fine, God comes through with immeasurably more than I could ever ask for!!!!!

6. When scrolling through the TV guide, what is one movie title that makes you want to stop, grab the popcorn, and watch for a while?

Well, there are SO many! Just the other night I came in almost at the beginning of The Bourne Identity, which I have seen at least 976 times. National Treasure, Armageddon, I think it’s called The Day After Tomorrow, but we always call Snow Day, and our family’s personal joke, Shooter. Oh, and You’ve Got Mail, always.
7. What are two style trends you hope never come back into fashion?

Flood pants and high waist, acid washed, mom jeans. Shudder! Even if they do, I will not be participating.
8.  Insert your own random thought here.

These two songs have been duke-ing it out to be my favorite for a couple of months now.

Chris Tomlin is my go to worship guy and I LOVE every word of this song.

I first heard this song when we went on a college visit last spring with Mousey to Union in Tennessee.

It speaks my love language, I would marry it if I could.

I guess these two songs are not random, they are inspired by a living God who cares for us. That is good to know.

Have an inspired week.

ABC’s in the D

The Ab-Cat and I went to Detroit for tutoring with ABC’s in the D last Saturday. We had heat, always a good day!!!

Last year was very bumpy for me. At the beginning of the year I had a basketball loving boy who was not interested in anything I had to say about learning or life, but that kid was there rain, shine or snowstorm. Then I got another boy who was so fun and so sweet and so willing to learn new things, but that boy’s attendance was as spotty as a leopard and he did not return to tutoring this year.

I didn’t know what to expect this year. They asked our preference, and I did request a younger child because the thought of teaching upper elementary math skills causes me to break out in hives. When the tutor assignments came out this year, I was given a boy in first or second grade. On the first day of tutoring, he was not there. The guy in charge paired me with a darling little kindergarten girl. When I passed him in the hall later that morning I looked him dead in the eyes and said very emphatically, I WANT HER!!!! He said he thought I might!

This precious little girl comes EVERY week and she is just darling! She is a little smarty pants for a kindergartener, very good at counting by multiples and recognizing letters. She loves to play games and is not above trying something she has never heard of before. She is very careful and is not above going back to erase and fix something that is not quite right. When I asked her if she would like to read a book she said, I can’t read. I told her she might be surprised. When we looked at the beginner reader and I pointed out words I thought she might know, she hesitantly read them. Pretty soon she read a whole sentence! I said who is a reader? She shyly pointed to herself and said I am. That is our little thing now, whether it’s who’s a reader, or who’s a writer, or who is learning to tell time, she confidently points to herself and says I AM!!!!!

She loves all colors, girly things, and when we did a Martin Luther King Jr. worksheet that asked them to draw a picture of what their dream is, she promptly drew a picture of herself, shopping at a Christmas store. Her favorite free time activity is an app on the iPad where she creates the most over decorated cookie you have ever seen! She wants to hold my hand and sit in my lap and last Saturday we jump roped together, which I have to tell you, I paid for later.

In our last moments of tutoring, before we headed up to the gym, she asked if I had a piece of paper. As I cleaned up our area, she was busy working on something. She folded it shyly and passed it to me.

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Oh my goodness, be still my heart. I could tell she would have liked more time to decorate and color it all up. I told her I was going to put it on my refrigerator when I got home. She said Ok, you put a flower on it then.

I love her.

*****Thank you God for…

…giving me Leah to tutor.

…giving her the confidence to see she is a reader and a writer!

…knowing just what my heart needed at ABC’s in the D.

Monday, Matresses and MLK

First some mattress talk, then a little list.

Thank you to all who weighed in on their mattresses, it was helpful!  

The mattress “expert” the store sent out has come and gone. He said there was a dip on my side, but it may not be enough to cause it to be labeled defective. We shall see, the expert says they will call in a few days. Even if it is not defective, Gardner White will let us exchange it one time for something else.

We, of course, have to choose one of the mattresses they carry, and we know that sleep number is not one of them. Their comparable choice would be Tempur-Pedic, which we did try and it has the added feature of being able to adjust to different firmness preferences on each side.

I am pretty sure they do not have Sterns and Foster because I remember that they did have this brand at the first store we looked at. They had one that we liked a lot.

As you can imagine, I have been reading mattress reviews, brushing up on my non existent mattress knowledge. I have come to the conclusion that one mans trash is another mans treasure. Love and hate are usually represented with equal vigor.

 I predict an extended trip to Gardner White is in our future, to lay on and write down the brands that they do carry so I can do more learning at home.

On to the list portion of the post.

We watched The Butler last night. That is a hard movie to watch in many parts. It’s hard to believe people could be that awful, but I am sure they were. Once again, I found myself goggling the movie and the characters. They took a lot of creative liberties making that movie as far as his family was concerned. I discovered that the real butler, Eugene Allen and his wife Helene, were even better than the movie portrayed. They sound like a lovely couple.

How ironic that we watched that movie last night and today we celebrate Martin Luther King Junior’s birthday.

Honey was off work last night! He spent the goodish part of his day watching football. He was happy with the outcomes of both games he watched.

Bring on the Super Bowl!

Or as I like to say, bring on the commercials!

Or, bring on the food!!!

He also brought home the best doughnuts for us yesterday. He said he finally succumbed to his craving, so that means doughnuts for everyone! 

Did I talk about American Idol? I can’t remember if I did or not. I am very much looking forward to the judging panel of Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr., and YES, I DO know who Harry is!!! There was a whole funny segment about all the people who have no idea who he is. I think he is going to fit in just fine! It will be a welcome relief from the…….whatever that debacle was last year. Made me uncomfortable.

There are already some very good singers! It seemed like a lot of contestants were wearing guitars. Looks like Phillip Phillips has had some influence!

*****Thank you God…… 

…that I was horrified at many scenes from The Butler. It shows that our world has changed a lot since those dark days.

…for Martin Luther King Junior and his message.

…for Eugene Allen, who showed that serving others with excellence, integrity and humility is what You require from us all.

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Help Me Please!

Hi Guys! It’s Friday and I have a mattress update.

Good news on the mattress front! We discovered that the return ship has NOT sailed! WOO HOO to the nth degree!!!!!!!

We stopped by the store where we bought the uncomfortable trough mattress and talked with the salesman and he said we have options! Very first thing, they have to send someone out to determine if the mattress is defective, which never occurred to me. I just assumed it was my defective back.

Before anyone gets excited about this new development, I did some looking online and read some reviews of the ISeries by Serta (which I agree I should have done BEFORE purchasing) and several folks stated that this had happened to them too. They check the level of the bed when no one is on it, and I have to say it looks fine. It’s only after lying in it for about 10 minutes that the trough develops. We will see how they handle it when I explain that. They will probably say it has to look sunk in before they say it is defective.

I discovered many reviews that complained of the exact things I am complaining of using the EXACT same words! Words like trough, and giant hill in the middle of the bed, and low back pain, and I HATE THIS MATTRESS! I was glad to see that I am not alone. However, there were several people who said they loved it and it was the best night sleep they had ever had. They must have been small woodland animals, accustomed to sleeping in holes.

So there is jumping through that hoop next week. But then, even if they find no defect, we still have the option of exchanging the mattress for a new one that is sold in their store. This is a one time only option, which makes me nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs. I thought we did pick a good one. Obviously we did not choose wisely and I am pretty sure they are not going to let me spend the night there for a month or so to see if we experience trough-age again!

As I talk about this subject with others, I am very surprised at the number of people who do not like their mattresses! They are on their 3rd or 4th mattress and still have no great love in their hearts for the ones they have. Honey and I must have really hit the mattress jackpot 24 years ago! Our almost 25, non pillow top, non foam of any kind mattress with a 4 year old, Sam’s Club purchased, memory foam pad is WAY better than that uncomfortable, brand spanking new thing we have now! The memory foam topper on our old bed was not trough-y, do they make mattresses that won’t do that? Because who would want that? Whose goal is to have to get up out of a hole to roll over??

While at the store the other night, Honey and I began the arduous process of lying on mattresses, again. Not too soft for him, not too hard for me. I am leery of the pillow top. I am leery of the foam. I fear the trough. We did try a Tempur-pedic that had controls on each side to help unequally yoked sleeping partners like ourselves. But it has foam and it costs twice as much, and I am not keen on paying twice as much for the privilege of sleeping in a trough on top of an air mattress.

This is where I ask you all to do us a solid, even you quiet ones. What kind of mattress do you have? How long have you had it? Pros/cons?  Pillow top, memory foam, air, or old fashioned coil and springs? Would you buy it again? I need DETAILS! Apparently there are a lot of us in the I HATE MY MATTRESS boat. Consider this a public service announcement, let’s hear some chatter!!!!!!!

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