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 March 1 - 31, 2009

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Previous passing thoughts of a Pageminder

Life is still good
03.31.09 - 4:21 pm (CT)
Some might be hard up to find the good in my life after some of the things that have occurred in recent years, but those would only be those with NMA — Negative Mental Attitude. Not that I've ever been a negative person, but ever since asking my brother Phil what the "PMA" on his wall stood for way back — gee, he lived in Bloomingdale at the time — whenever that was, I decided that was what I wanted for myself… a Positive Mental Attitude. Sometimes it's harder than others to come up with something, anything, positive in a situation, but it's there, you just have to look really hard for it. So, I'm still looking at (and for) the bright side and, yes, life is still good.
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He's having a birthday!
03.29.09 - 9:46 pm (CT)
It's hard to believe that it's been so long, but today marks thirty-one…derful years of my oldest son Rob, so in celebration of this momentous occasion, I hereby issue A GREAT BIG MINDBLOG…

A GREAT BIG MINDBLOG… Happy Birthday to Rob!!!

You are my sunshine! HANDILY, Mom
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Journey: From gaslighting to reality
03.27.09 - 11:58 pm (CT)
I just finished reading Danielle Steele's "Journey" and as I read it, it was dejà vu all over again. It's "a book about abuse, in its subtlest forms", the kind of subtlest forms that I not only understand, but have lived. I could identify with the main character, so much so that it could have almost been about me, but then that is probably the case with anyone who has been subjected to emotional abuse… to gaslighting. If you don't know what gaslighting means or involves, then maybe you should watch the movie — Gaslight (MGM, 1940) to get a clearer view, or you could just read the Wikipedia page on the term "gaslighting".

I have not seen the movie in years, but I do remember it well enough to know that it's one of those movies that I don't need to see again — like "What About Bob?" or "City Slickers" — because once you've lived it, you don't find it entertaining to watch it on the big screen… once was more than enough, thank you. However, I do recommend that those in similar circumstances to mine read "Journey" so they can better see themselves and maybe get the help they need to escape… to be free. There are other books that also come to mind that could be helpful and maybe sometime I'll list them here, or if you're in need sooner, then drop me a line and I'll send you the list.

I once wrote, not here, but elsewhere, that "with verbal, mental, economic, and psychological abuse there aren't any bruises that others can see, so they discount it, which is what makes it more insidious than physical abuse — since they can't see it, they assume it's not there… that you're just some crazy b----. However, there are bruises to your psyche, self-esteem, and your personhood not only from the abuse itself, but also from the disbelief of those who don't see the physical evidence, so they don't believe it ever happened. Sometimes it makes you wonder if you are crazy, which is one of the points of the abuse in the first place!" (Jeane Wade, "The Long and the Short of It", 2/2/06)

Anyway, it was kind of fortuitous that this book would be the one I picked up to read today, because just like last year at this time, I got another call and another plea today… I wasn't a CHUMP a year ago and I'm not one today. Thank you to Kathleen and all those who cared enough, I love you all.
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Tax widgetry 26 days before the Tax Man cometh
03.20.09 - 5:40 pm (CT)
 
 
 
I am reminded today of the dreaded Tax Man only because — lucky for me — I have finished the task of filing my 2008 tax returns. I am happy to report that my CPA at Hawtree & Associates, crunched the numbers and I don't owe any additional of my hard earned dollars in taxes and am getting a small, but nonetheless welcome, refund.

BTW, while daring to creep close to getting political, but really just plain practical, and smart to boot, please keep in mind when rejoicing over getting your refund, that the keyword there is "your", because it's YOUR money, not theirs or anyone else's. Gee, just by virtue of the word "refund", it is indicated that you have expended more money than was required, so some of it is now being returned to you.

Just a passing thought, but if you are getting a sizable refund, you might want to readjust what you are claiming on your W-4 form, because you just gave the government an interest free loan of your money. Money that had you been allowed to keep, rather than the government holding onto it for you, you could have banked and made some interest on it. Or maybe you could have even paid cash for something rather than paying interest on your credit card to finance your purchase, or, here's a novel idea, just bought something you had a hankering for.

Anyway, it's been six years since I mentioned TaxMama, but I recently ran across her widget and thought you might like to put one on your site, hence this plug for someone — Eva Rosenberg, the TaxMama — who generously gave me very good professional, financial, and personal advice way back then.

Get TaxMama's TaxQuips: Daily Tax Podcasts widget for "Tax and small business news tidbits, tips and tax loopholes, covering investment, inheritance, real estate and more from www.taxquips.com - Subscribers are welcome to submit questions." While you're there getting that widget, you might want to peruse for one of the many other great free widgets at Widgetbox, or even make one of your own.

And, as long as I'm giving out blatant and shameless plugs, for all of your accounting needs, contact: Hawtree & Associates, Certified Public Accountants, 5500 West Wilson Avenue, Monee, Illinois 60449; (708) 534-1001 — "a full service C.P.A. firm that offers bookkeeping, payroll, and tax preparation services."
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Saving time with acronyms, and bugging my sister by using them
03.16.09 - 2:28 pm (CT)
I like using acronyms as a shorthand for frequently used phrases and when I use them here, I give the user a way to find out what they mean by adding a title tag or a bit of JavaScript to open an explanatory text box when it's moused over. You wouldn't think that it would bother a computer whiz kid (and former executive secretary who knows real shorthand) like my sister Deb (of HelpQuest.com, HelpQuest.net, and HelpQuestDomains.com), but it does. As soon as I use one, she is all over me about how irritating (and maybe inconsiderate) it is of me to do so when I could almost just as easily spit or type out the whole phrase.

Well, I now have the solution to what I consider to be her problem, it's Acronym Finder where they have "a searchable database of over 4 million acronyms, abbreviations and meanings" covering "common acronyms, computers, science, technology, government, telecommunications, and military acronyms". Heck, she can even add the gadget to her iGoogle page for better access in time of need to decipher exactly what I am referring to. Or, better yet, she can pick from a number of other quick(er) acronym access modes on the Tools page at Acronym Finder, one of which may be more to her liking… TYGTYHITYA.

HAND to the many, and HANDILY to the few.
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Brain sharing
03.12.09 - 10:36 am (CT)
Sometimes I know what I'm going to do, but don't necessarily know what I'm doing, I fumble and stumble along deciding this and that and then just hope for the best as I traipse through life. It helps to have some smarts and common sense, at least that way I can be somewhat assured of making a reasonably decent decision — it may not be the right one, but at least it's probably not a stupid one that makes no sense at all.

However, I know my limitations, so when in doubt, I double check my thinking process by running it by others who may know more than I do about a particular subject or whose opinions I value. I can't know everything and neither does anyone else, so on occasion I will do some group consulting, a kind of shared brain trust, if you will.

If all else fails, then I fall back to relying on the tried-and-true common sense and common decency to make decisions that have to be made… it's worked pretty well for me so far.
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1, 2, 3… 56
03.11.09 - 1:13 pm (CT)
A GREAT BIG MINDBLOG

A GREAT BIG MINDBLOG… Happy Birthday to ME!!!

It's a spectacular day for me to have my cake and eat it, too… yellow with white buttercream frosting, thank you very much.
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91
03.10.09 - 2:38 pm (CT)
A fedora, a stogey, and 91.
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Another fave author, Lynn Austin
03.03.09 - 3:29 pm (CT)
I'm adding another author to my list of fave authors and that would be Lynn Austin, who writes thought-provoking Christian Fiction, where Christian themes are woven through unusual historical and inspirational plotlines, with a little mystery and intrigue thrown in for good measure. So far I've read three of her novels, but it is this last one, "Wings of Refuge" (Lynn Austin, 2000, Bethany House Publishers) that convinced me that I should pass on this passing thought.

"Wings of Refuge" is a story set in Israel in the late 1st and 20th centuries, where what is happening now is interwoven with what happened then. It's about three women — then and now — whose stories intertwine in their need to find refuge under the wings of God's mercy and grace. They all have had bitter devastations in their lives and find salvation through forgiveness of those that have caused their bitterness. It shows that some things are timeless…

"May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge." Holy Bible, Ruth 2:12 (NIV)
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Looking at the bright side of March
03.01.09 - 3:26 pm (CT)
March is a transitional month, a month where, even though Winter is still hanging out, Spring is in the air, which means with no effort on my part, I get a change of scenery. I not only get to enjoy the last blast of Winter, but also the first rites of Spring, and I get to experience that change of seasonal extremes while celebrating another year in my life.

Yes, my life is definitely a glass-half-full of the wonders of life's changes — from the changes of the seasons to the changes in our lives — life is good.
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