Category Archives: Lessons Learned


Are Your Medicine Costs Making You Sick? We have a cure.

Here’s how you can save money on prescription medicines.

About ten years back, I was buying a newly-prescribed inhaler for asthma. It was quite expensive, and I thought there surely had been a problem with my pharmacy insurance claim. But, I checked with my insurance company and there wasn’t a mistake. It was simply an expensive medicine.

OK.

The next time I went to the drug store to have the prescription filled, I mentioned to the pharmacy clerk how expensive I thought the medicine was. I was shocked to hear that I could get a coupon from the manufacturer for a free inhaler. A free inhaler? I had never heard of coupons for medicine. I never did follow up on the offer. It somehow seemed strange to me.

Coupons for cookies? Yes. Coupons for detergents? Yes. Coupons for medicines? There had to be a catch…so I passed on the idea.

16 Tips For A Profitable and Safe Garage Sale / The Good Sale

Always keep items neatly displayed. Do not let tables look messy and cluttered — it will hurt your sales.

With the warm weather approaching, you may be thinking about having a garage sale. Garage sales are a great way to turn unwanted items into extra cash. And, an added bonus is you get to de-clutter your house at the same time.

A garage sale differs from a house or moving sale, in several ways. Basically the differences are:

  • They take place outside on your front lawn and/or in your garage;
  • People generally do not come looking for expensive items or have a lot of money they want to spend; and
  • Most people are searching for true bargains on low-priced items.

What To Sell

If you have high-quality furniture to sell, gold jewelry, or expensive china, you will probably not find your buyer at a garage sale.

Instructions Included. / The Good

“If everything else fails, read the instructions.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Sometimes instructions aren’t a good thing. For example, if you are purchasing a lovely piece of furniture, do you really want it to come with instructions? This means that when you get it home you will need to unpack the box, find the instructions, and hope against hope that you can follow them. Usually it all works out…and a mere three hours later you will have your lovely new bookcase.

Of course, by this time you have become so grumpy that your significant other has decided that she doesn’t really want to move in with you after all. Or, at least, delay it for a while. And, oh, perhaps she has learned that not all men are as handy around the house as her daddy is.

Yes, sometimes it’s a bad sign when things come with instructions.

What’s wrong with this picture? (If you’re a computer, don’t answer.)

Even Watson had his 15 minutes of fame.

It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.

 – Albert Einstein

 

Now customers can utilize the same brainpower to help do their taxes as doctors use to help diagnose cancer. Is this a great thing? Just wondering…

On the surface, it sounds quite intriguing. Underneath the surface it sounds a bit … scary.

Watson is an artificial intelligence computer that was developed by IBM. IBM is reportedly now looking to develop its artificial intelligence technology into a multi-billion dollar business. That’s fine. Even Staples and Macys are jumping onto the Watson bandwagon to help guide shoppers through stores.

However, does anyone else have a problem with the concept of needing artificial intelligence to help professionals navigate through their tax preparation, as offered by a major tax preparer? What about the millions of people who do their taxes on their own. Is our human intelligence no longer adequate enough to properly prepare our taxes? If so, is using artificial intelligence the answer?

Downsizing? 16 Tips For Hosting Your Own Moving Sale – The Good Moving Sale

 

If you are downsizing to a smaller home, you will undoubtedly have tons of stuff you are leaving behind. We sure did! One great way to earn extra money for your move is to host your own Moving/Estate Sale. Now, I’m not talking about a simple garage sale. I’m talking about a huge Moving/Estate sale – people in your home, going through your closets. Yeah…that kind of sale.

After all, what you can’t take with you, you may have to pay for to have hauled away. (Today many charities will not even enter a home to pick up furniture or goods.)

Hiring an estate sale company to organize and run your sale can be costly. At first, I thought this was going to be our only option. But after lots of research, and speaking to many estate sale company owners, I realized we could do it on our own. And so we did!

Verizon Phone Discount For Active Military and Retired Veterans / The Good Telephone Discount

A penny saved is a penny earned. – Benjamin Franklin

Here’s a way to save some money!

Yesterday I was on hold with Verizon, waiting to speak to a customer service representative. I had all but tuned out to the recorded blah, blah, blah phone message, when “military discount” caught my attention.

When the representative got on the line, I asked her what the discount was, and if it applied to retired veterans, as well. Happily, it did.

A 15% discount is now being offered on your monthly bill for all active military and retired veterans of the US Armed Forces. You simply need to bring your Military ID and a DD214 (Discharge Paper) to any Verizon corporate store to receive it. (The military discharge needs to be “Honorable.”) The discount may not apply to your entire phone bill. However, I say that any discount is a great discount!

An Inspirational Tale for Parents of Children Diagnosed With Bipolar Disorder / The Good Journey

A picture of Liane

self portrait – charcoal

There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.

         –  Edith Wharton

 

The day after my daughter was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I went into her bedroom to see if she was awake yet. I sat down on her bed and she sleepily said, “Is everything okay? You look like someone has died.”

My daughter didn’t understand the impact of her diagnosis. And evidently, neither did I.

It is difficult for me to imagine, the pure hell my daughter was going through living with un-diagnosed and untreated bipolar disorder. I will leave that part of the story for her to tell. I could never tell it correctly.

However, I can help by telling my experiences as the mother of a child diagnosed with having bipolar disorder. Parents of newly-diagnosed children need to hear encouraging words. I sure wish I had.

Downsizing: Let The Apartment Renter Beware – The Bad Rental Agent

picture of nuclear cooling towere steam above trees

Now you don’t see it…

When I was a young kid growing up in New York, my family and I went on an outing to tour a recently-opened nuclear power plant. I believe it was the Indian Point Energy Center, but I’m not sure. In short, I was not brought up to fear nuclear energy.

Flash forward to this past summer, 2016.

Bob and I were spending days at a time scouring the Philadelphia suburbs to find an apartment to move to. Our daughter, who is here in grad school, said it would be nice to have us nearby. We were downsizing, and thought it would be lovely to take her up on her invitation.

We made several extended visits to our daughter so we could find the best apartment for us and our two dogs. We found one enticing listing located about 45 minutes away – if taking the back roads. We thought it was probably further away than we wanted, but we put it on our list of “apartments to visit” anyway.

The Early Adventures of Mama Bear / The Bad Group Question

Mama bear and baby bear

The original mama bear.   – Mama Bear

A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.

   – Tenneva Jordan

Our daughter is now 27.  Only over recent years she has begun to refer to me as “Mama Bear.” I take this as quite the compliment. Unlike a “Helicopter Mom” who unnecessarily hovers over her child, a Mama Bear is a fierce protector. Liane calling me this now is more a mature recognition of how I was a strong advocate for her early on, when she first struggled with Bipolar Disorder, and even now, at times – but only when my help is requested.

I have always believed that a parent needs to be the strongest advocate for his or her child. After all, if you are not, who will be? Every child needs a fierce advocate, and it is particularly true if your child is struggling with a mental illness.

12 Tips on How To Pack for Your Downsizing Move … and Maintain Your Sanity. / The Good Way To Pack

Empty storage containers

Watch for a storage container sale!

“When in doubt, throw out!”

– My Mom

We had been living in our nine-room house for 16 years, when we were faced with downsizing to a two-bedroom apartment. Initially, we just had three questions about packing. They were:

  • 1. Where the heck do we begin?
  • 2. Will this ever get done?
  • 3. How are we ever going to sort through all this stuff?

Aside from that, everything seemed quite under control.

It is difficult to say exactly how long packing actually took us; until the last two weeks, packing was more sporadic and included lots of sorting. But here are some tips that we discovered along the way.

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