Five Things Friday Vol. 69

Five Things Friday: just five things I’m thinking about or things that made my week, or things that I otherwise feel like sharing.

I completely forgot to mention that I joined a virtual book club this month to re-read an American classic, “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” by Bettie Smith. 

Engie had the brilliant idea to get some blog friends together to read (or re-read) the book, as she had just given it to her niece for her birthday. I guess it’s considered YA literature, but it’s not well-known in Germany, so I never read it as a child/young adult. The first time I read it was in 2017 and I gave it 5 stars. I am excited to re-read it with friends.

If you’re not already part of the ATGIB book club but are interested, we just started last weekend. So it’s not too late to participate. We read a few chapters each week and every Sunday, Engie posts on her blog and we discuss thoughts and observations in the comments. It’s so great to have a read-along and be able to discuss books with people who are reading the book at the same time. I missed that. 

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Jon and I made this salad for the 4th of July (we just didn’t feel like getting out the grill just for the two of us this time as it was hot all day) and it was delicious. It’s one of our all-time favorites and the perfect crunchy summer dinner. 

Speaking of summer food, I made a big pot of milk rice last weekend. I love it cold out of the fridge with just a sprinkle of cinnamon. It’s also good with cherries or berries on top. It’s a wonderfully refreshing snack option, plus it reminds me of home (my Mom always made milk rice in the summer). 

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Jon got out VW Jetta washed (or should I say ‘detailed’?) this week. It’s a big deal because I am a little embarrassed to say that I think it’s been a year since we last got it washed. I usually drive it through the car wash every 4-6 months and wipe down the dashboard and vacuum the floors when needed, but we had somehow kept delaying it. I am not super-particular about our car, although I love our car and we do take care of it (with regular oil changes, inspections, etc.), but car washes are not at the top of the priority list. 

Not like the couple a few houses down who have a detailing service come by frequently to detail both their luxury cars every couple of weeks in front of their house. They put pop-up tents up and all. It’s a big production. You don’t want to know that they also have a service come out that pressure washes their garbage bins. Yes, you read that right. There is a service that comes out to clean garbage bins and people pay for such a thing.

But I digress. How often do you get your car washed? 

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This week, I finally had my follow-up appointment (only four months later) for my EGD and colonoscopy, which happened in March. To be fair, I did get the biopsy results and a message from my doctor a couple of days after the procedure, so I knew that they hadn’t discovered anything concerning. Still, I would hope that people generally get their follow-up appointment sooner. 4 months is a long time to be in limbo.

I still appreciated the opportunity to have a face-to-face meeting with my doctor and that he took time and didn’t rush me out the door. He reiterated that the medical findings were not concerning and that I should come back in 5 years for a routine check-up. He also inquired about my chest/stomach pressure symptoms for which I had the EGD done in the first place, and I was happy to tell him that things had significantly improved over the last 12 months. I still get the occasional flare, but not as severely or as frequently as before. 

He was happy to hear that and didn’t think any more testing was necessary at this point (not that he thought my symptoms were stomach-related in the first place, but at least they made sure that everything was good there.) So, yeah, I still don’t know the cause of my symptoms but at least I know that everything is good with my stomach…. unless it still is related to low stomach acid, which my doctor still silently dismisses. (One of these days, I’ll try to sit down and give you a full scoop on my journey.)

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Tile saga! Haha. Another update. You didn’t think we were done quite yet, or did you? 

The landlady texted last weekend and asked me to measure the kitchen and dining area again (even though the handyman had measured everything and surely gave them an estimate based on the measurements, I’d assume?).  But no problem. I measured the area again and sent her the numbers and our top picks for the floor color.

A day later, I received another text message, asking how the floor condition in the laundry room was and that it didn’t need to be replaced if it was still good. She pointed out that there would be quite a bit of stuff that needed to be moved (washer, dryer, utility sink). 

GAH! I give up!

They’re finally (FINALLY!) considering replacing the floor (yay!) but are now contemplating if they should omit 35 sq ft in the laundry room because the washer and dryer would have to be moved. ARE THEY KIDDING ME? 

Well, honestly, I think it’s just another “attempt” to save money, but I cannot imagine that omitting the laundry room would translate to HUGE savings in parts and labor. Besides, one of the tiles right by the door between the kitchen and laundry room already has a hairline crack, so I don’t see how it wouldn’t be a matter of time until things start moving there. And then what? Do another repair, possibly with yet another type of flooring? Why would you half-ass this and not get it all done now? Sigh.

I wasn’t in a feisty mood though and just responded that as of now, none of the tiles in the laundry room seemed to be loose, but that she should know that one of the tiles has a crack already. I said it would of course be entirely up to them, and they were welcome to come by and take another look before making a decision.

Well, she came by on Wednesday, took a picture of the crack, and then said that the tile could probably be replaced with one of the other ones that are being removed. She also made it sound like the handyman didn’t want to deal with the washer and dryer in the laundry room which a) I don’t think is true (he mentioned when he was here that it wouldn’t be a problem to move appliances) and b) shouldn’t matter, as this would be part of his job. I am not sure yet what she’s going to decide, but either way, we’re now expecting the work to be done in August. Fingers crossed.

What’s been going on in your world this week?

  1. Well, the tile saga sounds like at least it is nearing an end?!?! The choices your landlady is making completely baffle me, though!

    And your neighbors get their garbage cans professionally cleaned?!?! That is amazing. (I don’t think I have ever cleaned my garbage can! Is this something people do?! I did not grow up with a public trash service, so this is my first experience with it.)

    1. Haha, right? I didn’t know that garbage can cleaning was a thing either, let alone hiring someone to do it!

  2. please share your story that made you choose a colonoscopy. I’m eager to do one but not sure yet. I also suffered some stomach acid issues but never did any test, just managed with meds or dietary changes when it happened.

    1. I will share more about my stomach acid journey… did you have heartburn and did you use PPIs to manage?

  3. Thanks for linking to the ATGIB book club. I’m so excited about how well it’s going and can’t wait to read the rest of it!

    We take our car through the car wash once every few months. Maybe. I honestly don’t know if we have ever vacuumed it out and we’ve had it since 2019. Certainly it’s never been professionally cleaned detailed. *shrug* It’s not a priority for us, I guess.

    We’ve never cleaned our trash cans, either. I guess we’re slobs!

    1. Haha, we’re slobs to regarding trash cans – I mean, I can see that you clean them if they’re really dirty/stinky, but to hire someone? Wow!

  4. I’m outraged on your behave about the tile saga situation. Of course they need to put tile in the laundry room, too. And of course the workmen can move the appliances. They do that all the time, duh. On a cheerier note, I like the recipe for milk rice. My dad used to make something like that when I was a little girl. Had forgotten all about it.

    1. Thank you – it has become a little ridiculous.
      I am so glad to hear someone else knows milk rice – I hope you make it (and reminisce!).

  5. Oh goodness, the floor tile sounds like a nightmare. Have you told them that you would like the laundry room flooring done at the same time if possible? Perhaps they don’t know you have an opinion on the matter? Of course the handyman can move the appliances, but as he would be paid by the hour, it would cost them more. Sounds like they are trying to save money, but it will likely cost them more in the long run.

    My husband is very particular about the cars. We wash one of them every week, so they both get washed twice a month. At least. When we lived in Philadelphia, we only had one car, but it was a very nice, expensive car that he inherited from his father, and we would wash it every weekend, even in winter, because of the salt on the roads. When he was young, he would take his car to the wash it yourself place, and he would open the hood and wash the engine. I didn’t even know you COULD do that. I don’t think he’s done that in decades, though. He loves a clean car. There is a ‘wash it yourself’ place near his work, and he will sometimes take the car there. He calls it “$6 for 20 minutes of fun.” If it were up to me, I think I would wash it when it started to bother me. Which would likely be seldom.

    1. Oh, they asked and I did hint at the fact that I think it would be smart to do the whole damn thing but I still don’t know if they listened. Ha.

  6. I try to wash my car every other month or so… basically whenever it looks dirty. It needs a wash more often in the spring/summer with pollen.

    The tile saga continues! Gah. I can’t believe how long this has gone on and how much back-and-forth you have had to do with your landlords. I can’t imagine it’s a big deal for these contractors to move a few appliances! They do that all the time! What a mess.

    1. We do get pollen but it hasn’t been too bad this year so we kept delaying the washing… I think every other month is a reasonable rhythm :)

  7. OMG the tile saga. I would be so frustrated. It can’t be that big of a deal to move them and to tile that room as well.
    I am glad all your health stuff looked good! I am sorry you have an issue your dr ignores though. That is horrible :(
    I don’t wash my car as often as I should either. I did have it cleaned out (interior) last week though so that was a nice treat!

    1. Getting the interior cleaned is a nice treat – I usually do that myself, but it’s nice to have someone else do it every once in a while :)

  8. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a great book club pick! I loved it, and there is so much to talk about.
    Again, we are all riveted by your tile saga! I hope it’s almost over for you.

    1. Thank you Kristen. I cannot wait to not post about the tile saga again! Haha.

  9. I guess it’s good that the tile saga is moving forward, hopefully, it will be fixed soon. It is getting a bit ridiculous and if they have to do the laundry later it will be more expensive.

    1. You’re absolutely right. I hinted at the fact that they’d have to eventually do the laundry room and why not do it all in one swoop?

  10. I have no more words for the tile saga. It is amazing to me that you spend so much energy going back and forth. The time the landlord spend on that communication would have easily paid the entire project. People really have no idea that time does cost money, do they.

    I just learned today that Engie started the bookclub and it happens that I am currently reading the book already so of course I jumped right in. I am also right along where you all are. So much for good luck. I am looking forward discussing the book.

    1. Haha, you and me both, friend! This is so ridiculous.

      Oh, that’s so cool that you’re reading ATGIB – join the book club!!

  11. Wow – car detailing that comes to you? And pressure washing garbage cans? These people need to find a charity. Ha. Sheesh. We don’t wash our car very frequently but it also doesn’t get all that dirty – on the exterior. The interior is a different story with 2 young kids who eat a tremendous amount of cheerios in the car. Phil handles all of our car stuff so determined when to wash our cars. It’s low on my priority list!

  12. OK, LOL forever at a pro washing garbage cans. If they need it, get the hose. :) I also am not on top of washing my car – J’s spouse’s diligence blows me away! Maybe 2x a year? And with no access to a vacuum (save the $$ ones at the car wash), the inside is… bad. I should probably remedy that. :)
    The milk rice is intriguing! I don’t like rice pudding (blech) but this sounds much more my texture. I might have to try it. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Blech, rice pudding… I don’t like the texture either. This milk rice is very different, much firmer. You should give it a try!

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