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Showing posts from October, 2009

A truly growing family!

Just wanted to provide those who pay attention with a quick update....we welcomed another family member overnight on Tuesday, as our daughter delivered a handsome baby boy! Mother and son are doing very well and were already home as of yesterday afternoon.
That, coupled with our now-two-week-and-one-day-old granddaughter, has made these last two weeks very special and VERY memorable! Gram heads out for field support in our daughter's locale and I'll follow about a week later (couldn't get out of a mandatory work meeting). Planning to continue spoiling all of them ABSOLUTELY ROTTEN!
Twizzlers and Mountain Dew can't be far behind..........just kidding. But I love what I've heard from other dedicated grandparents...the best part is giving the kids anything they want, then handing them back over to the actual parents. Very liberating, I think. We're already well into "spoil" mode with our granddaughter, who is so excited to see my wife (and eventually…

Smitty's bargain barn--now open!

In my adult years I've been fortunate to have some pretty good success with garage sales. I'm not a buyer; I'm a seller, and not a bad one, either! I'm so good, in fact, that a pal of mine always refers to my sales as "Smitty's Bargain Barn."
My wife has always marveled at how well we usually do with these sales, wherein one gathers up unused or unnecessary items, making them available for sale. We've had probably a half dozen over the years, and exception we sell most everything that we intend to sell. The trick we've found is to determine what you're willing to get rid of, attempt to sell it, then take what's left to a charitable organization (like Goodwill, the Salvation Army or the like). That way, once you've made the conscious determination to part with an item, it goes away, so you're more ready to sell!
Here's a great example: last time out, I went though our books and DVDs, culling those titles that either didn'…

Gram and Poppy ride again

Our second grandchild arrived yesterday afternoon via Caesarean section. The little doll's gorgeous. She's also enormous, clocking in at ten pounds, one ounce, and the baby girl next crib down in the nursery weighed in at a slightly less impressive nine pounds, fifteen ounces. No boys born yesterday that I saw....they would probably have been afraid of these new, capable women.
But she's absolutely precious. I had the opportunity to hold her earlier today, and, just as with our first granddaugther, the feeling is indescribable. As a card-carrying stepfather I didn't have that opportunity with my kids, but you had better believe I don't miss an opportunity with my grandchildren.
I'm "Poppy," by the way, and my wife has the nom de grandparent of "Gram." She wasn't going anywhere near any name that involved the word "grand," so that's what our daughter came up with when she had her first a bit more than four years ago.
A…

It pays (someone) to be healthy!

My wife and I both work in jobs that are in or related to the healthcare industry. As such, we're a a little better-informed than the average Joe but not experts by any means.
For several years she's carried our medical benefits, largely because we agreed that the carrier whose coverage is offered by her employer is better than mine, or at least it was eight years ago. So we've continued with her coverage for that long, and for the most part, it's been fine. We pay only modest co-payments for office visits and prescriptions, but as with so many of us, the co-payments have increased somewhat in the past couple or three years. We also formerly paid very little in the way of "out-of-pocket" expenses, and were never in a position to have to pay any percentage a hospital stay. And we've been lucky enough to only need a couple of ER visits for a kidney stone for me (what you've heard is true, the worst pain I have ever experienced), so the hospital stay…

Say "cheese," or not.....

Sorry, but I couldn't help the pun with this entry's title....
I don't like cheese. Never have, never will. With the notable exception of pizza (which I believe is an exception because of the way it's packaged, cheese + tomato sauce + toppings + crust), I detest cheese in all forms. So you can imagine that in some cases it's a little challenging to eat out, when restaurateurs are geared to offer so many dishes, particularly sandwiches, that are loaded with cheese.
Recently my wife and I visited a national sandwich chain and I ordered two sandwiches, one for each of us, and asked that they both be prepared without cheese. There was something of a mixup at the counter and the sandwich maker handed responsibility off to the cashier, who verified that we didn't want cheese.....and added it anyway. I still don't know what she was thinking, but after discovering this and removing the offensive material from my sandwich (thank God it was a cold sandwich), I e…