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Being Prepared

The other day, just as the temperature here in Phoenix was inching toward the 90-degree-mark for the first time this year, the air conditioning went out. Of course! No surprise here. You can always tell that the “warm” weather is fast approaching when the winter visitors start streaming out of the area, back to Iowa or Illinois or Canada or wherever, and the air conditioning repair people start streaming in. For me, the only thing worse than my air conditioning not working? My elderly mom’s air conditioning not working. And that’s exactly what happened. Through the strategic opening and closing of windows, shutters, and drapes – and the help of the ceiling fan – my mom and her stalwart helpe

I Don't Want to Be a Statistic!

Are you one of those people who hates statistics? Do you mentally shut down when forced to read your latest 401K update? Slump deeper in your seat when your professor starts asking questions about the sample mean, median, and standard deviation? Develop a sudden urge to take out the trash when someone on cable news starts droning on about the GNP, the GDP, the S&P, the …? That’s me! I hate statistics. But despite my hatred for anything with a percent sign, bar graph, or arrow attached to it, I recognize the value of statistics. For the most part, statistics don’t lie. Statistics cut through the assumptions, the hunches, the feelings, the “maybes” to give you the cold hard facts on a topic un

2 Out of 3 Ain't Bad

Every day I pick up my mail, and every day I end up recycling anywhere from 80-100 percent of it, officially labeling it “junk mail.” But once a quarter, mixed in this blizzard of mail, comes not one but 2 magazines: the alumni magazines of the 2 universities I attended (Wayne State University and Arizona State University). Now I have nothing against alumni magazines. These 2 are very well produced and well written. But let’s face it, alumni magazines are all pretty much the same. Faculty research studies, shout outs to published faculty members, sports updates, class updates, and alumni death notices. Typically I flip through, stopping briefly to see if anyone I know is listed in the class

Is She Alive? Is She Safe?

We all worry. But do you ever get that feeling when your brain is running on 2 different tracks? One track – the one on the surface - is the daily thinking/functioning part of your brain that lets you basically live your life. But the other track is a little deeper, a little vague, sort of like an elusive undercurrent that barely shows up on radar but still manages to send messages – for me, about my challenging elderly loved one (my mom!). Maybe there’s research on the brain that relates to this, I don’t know. But it is amazing that I can go about my daily routine, distracted and even enjoying myself, with this undercurrent thought process going on. It is even more amazing to me when this o

Living the 80/20 Life

I was just elected president of my homeowners association! Congratulations to me? A blessing or a curse? Time will tell. I have been on my homeowners’ board for many years. There is a commitment involved. That’s OK. But now I am ratcheting it up another notch as board president, with more responsibility, more challenges, and more complaints/requests and demands on my time. Why did I agree? I am ONLY trying to launch a successful business, maintain a long-distance relationship, AND…caregive an elderly loved one with a challenging personality!!! Do I really need to be dealing with more decision making, administrative tasks, problem solving, complaining people, thankless responsibility? No! But

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