Growing up in the lean years of the Great Depression, my parents learned frugality. How they chose to spend money, however, was as different as natural cheese and processed cheese food. Literally.
For my mother, frugality meant buying items at the lowest price or getting them for free. She didn’t buy clothes, if she could get hand-me-downs. She stretched milk with water, always bought oleo and served sandwiches made with slices of the bright orange grease that attempted to masquerade as cheese. She loved saving Green Stamps to purchase free items from their catalog. She justified her frequent impulse purchases by pointing out how much she saved. “Yes, I have enough baskets, but this one was 60 percent off.”
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Earlier this year, I wrote a congratulatory post for a friend, who hadn’t had a cigarette in three months. When we talked last week, Ed sheepishly admitted that he had fallen off the wagon. He seemed to be waiting for me to scold him. If so, he’s still waiting. Beating smoking is tough and I don’t think that adding guilt to the mix helps. Whether we are struggling to lose weight, exercise more, or worry less, we all have experienced the difficulty of changing deeply engrained habits. For baby boomers, who were brought up with cigarette ads in all the media and a childhood introduction to smoking through candy cigarettes and adult role models smoking everything from filterless cigarettes to perdomo cigars.
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“Will is so depressed that he has turned to drink, Pa.”
“No, he’s depressed that the bottle is empty”, Pa responded omnisciently. (130);
In those days, there was just one cure for a migraine, but Dr. Pick was happy to make a house call. (100)
“Will it hurt, doctor?”
“Just for a second. No patient has ever complained.” (77)
How low can you go?
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Photo for Monday, August 27th
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Yesterday, I had my eyes checked. The doctor didn’t like what she saw, so today, I am headed back for a visit with the retinal specialist. My vision hasn’t been good for several years now. It deteriorated quite suddenly, when I became ill, but finally seemed to level off. I can read large print books with the assistance of glasses and I manage just fine online, where the zoom button is my best friend. Hopefully, the doctor’s assessment doesn’t include worsening vision. I can live with large print, but I don’t want to start perusing lists of the top 10 audiobooks.
See you later. I hope!