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Q&A | Extended warranties, French toast, and continued masking

On today’s menu: two non-controversial topics, and one controversial one.

(Will I regret including the last one? We shall see!)

I have learned (or think I have learned) that those home warranty and many appliance warranties are a total scam and waste of money for a homeowner. I’m not looking for anecdotes on either side, but a Kristen point of view!


Long ago, I read an article in Consumer Reports about extended warranties, and yeah, their conclusion was that most of the time, these are a waste of money.

A house in the woods.

Of course, there are times when an extended warranty really pays off, but their research showed that those situations are the exception and not the rule.

So, I pretty much never buy extended warranties.

I would much rather take that money and put it into a savings account, basically self-insuring my purchase. Then if it breaks, I have some money set aside for repair/replacement, and if it doesn’t break, then hey, I still have all my money!

Incidentally, sometimes when I shop on Amazon, they offer me extended warranties on the most hilarious things. Like, I could be buying a pack of pencils, and a pop-up will offer me an extended protection service. 😉

Now, if someone else is paying for the extended warranty, then of course I’d say yes to that. We got one thrown in with a house purchase, and it did actually come in handy because the air conditioner broke almost as soon as we moved in!

That said, my experience with home warranty companies has been a little annoying; they don’t usually make it super easy to use their services. It reminds me a little of how rebate companies typically make the process rather clunky.

But you know me…I will persevere and I will politely make the company pay. 😉

Anyway, in sum: I give extended warranties a thumbs down, unless someone else pays for the warranty.

Do you do something for the French toast special that you featured? It looks divine.


My best tip for French toast is to cook it in a respectable amount of fat. 😉

The French toast in the photo you mentioned is a batch I cooked immediately after cooking bacon. So, those pieces got nice and browned in the bacon drippings.

French toast.

If I haven’t cooked bacon first, I usually melt butter in the pan and then cook the French toast.

I have a nonstick griddle, so it’s not like I NEED to use butter or bacon grease to keep the French toast from sticking. The butter/bacon grease is purely for flavor and for the crispy texture it provides.

I know that you were a proponent of masks and that you got COVID in January. You’ve mentioned that you no longer wear a mask, and I’m wondering what made you decide to drop it? Are you concerned that you might get COVID again, or do you consider it to no longer be much of a risk? I’d appreciate your insight. Thanks!

-Marie B.

Kristen wearing a gray fabric face mask

From the days when cloth masks were recommended

First off: I know this is a controversial topic. I’m not telling anyone else what to do; I’m just going to explain my thought process. And you do not have to agree with me; regardless of where you fall in this debate, you are welcome here.

Yes, I was on board with the masks earlier on in the pandemic, particularly when:

  • less was known about the virus
  • we had no vaccines
  • there weren’t really treatments for Covid
  • basic cloth masks were a little more effective

I was always respectful of and compliant with mask requirements, and I am still rolling with what the CDC and private institutions are recommending and requiring, so I mostly do not wear one now.

My current thoughts:

I always wear masks when it’s required

Kristen wearing a homemade gray fabric mask

There are still places that require masks, like some medical offices, and I always comply.

And if my college switches back to requiring masks, I will wear one. It’s not the end of the world. 🙂

I have no idea what the masking situation will be when I enter the nursing workforce, but I will be happy to comply with whatever the rules are then too.

I’ve had four shots, plus a case of Covid

(I got Covid in January, during the huge Omicron wave, and so did my girls.)

I think I have done what is reasonable to reduce my risks; I know I could contract Covid again, but at this point, it’s probably about as risky for me as getting the flu.

Obviously, I don’t want to get it any more than I want to get any other kind of sickness. But I’m not particularly worried about it now.

Kristen wearing a Snoopy shirt, looking sick.

Blogging with Covid in January 😉 I was actually not that happy of a camper, despite what my shirt said. Ha.

I know there is a school of thought that says we should all wear masks into perpetuity, to protect the vulnerable among us.

I do care about the greater good, of course, and I consider that my series of shots has been a contribution to the greater good.

Also, I consider things like staying home when you’re sick in any way, (or at least wearing a mask when you’re sick) to be contributions to the greater good. The same goes for using at-home Covid tests.

But at this point, I don’t think I buy into the idea that:

  • permanent public masking is a good solution for things that are endemic
  • permanent masking is free of downsides
  • there is any chance there would be sufficient public compliance to make this effective anyway

(Feel free to offer an opposing view in the comments!)

I am respectful of people who choose to continue wearing masks

I think people who, for whatever reason, would like to keep wearing masks should be free to do so, and I don’t think anyone should give them grief about it.

We don’t know anyone else’s story, and besides, someone else wearing a mask is their business. It’s not hurting anyone else.

I’m open to changing my mind if things change again

If the pandemic scene changes greatly, then who knows, perhaps I will voluntarily wear a mask again. I remain open and flexible!

If I lived with/frequently saw people who were more vulnerable, I’d be more careful

Like me, my girls have all had four shots + Covid. And we don’t have regular family/friend contacts who are vulnerable.

But if I had a family member in a nursing home or a family member who had cancer, for example, I’d modify my behavior more than I do now.



  • I’m not worried for myself when it comes to Covid
  • I’m always going to be respectful of rules about masks
  • My heart’s desire is to be respectful, kind, and considerate to others, and those principles are going to guide my Covid-related behavior


I don’t foresee any issues with us discussing home warranties and French toast, but please, please, please, before you comment on the masking issue, consider that you are speaking to a wide variety of people who are guaranteed to represent pretty much every perspective on masking. It’s fine to share your viewpoint, but if you make statements that are derogatory, rude, or dismissive, I’m going to unapprove your comment.

It was a WHOLE MESS here and on my social media in 2020 when we last discussed masks, and I am not trying to repeat that. 😉

So….I’m now cautiously hitting “publish”.

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Friday 4th of November 2022

Masking is a controversial subject, and you handled it carefully and well, Kristen.

I teach piano, and because my students come from many different schools, I went back to masking while teaching as soon as school started in September. I am conscious of not wanting to be a vector between schools. However, I don't require my students to wear masks now that the mandates have been lifted. I've been lucky since school started and have not gotten any colds, flus or other viruses, even though sickness (of various kinds) is rampant atm in schools here and among my students. I don't mask in many other places, although will of course put one on without argument anywhere that requires it. I also still ask people what their preference is if I see they are wearing one in my presence. I like how William phrased it and am happy to match the most cautious person present.

Tina Lopez

Friday 28th of October 2022

We always have masks with us, just in case. We assess the need for them based on where we are (indoors/outdoors), how many people are around us, etc. Common sense is the rule! Our case numbers, right now, are low where we live, so we are grateful for that! Vaccinated and boosted!


Thursday 27th of October 2022

I like to make my french toast with raisin bread and use butter in the pan. It so delicious I will never make it with plain bread anymore. :)


Thursday 27th of October 2022

Could you possibly put a link to the pan you used for the French toast? I have been looking for a new griddle, and I like that it has sides and isn't just flat. Do you have any pros/cons about this particular one? Thanks for any information!


Friday 28th of October 2022

Sure, it's this one! (affiliate link) I'm typing up a review of it right now so that I can answer your pros/cons questions, so look for that next week.


Thursday 27th of October 2022

same boat as you on masks. all 4 of us had mild COVID in January and have had 4 vaccines. we take at-home tests at the slightest of symptoms. we are fine with wearing masks if we have to, if someone wants us to, or if the situation changes!

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