Just a reminder: You have until 9 p.m. PDT to claim your chance to win this week’s Godiva giveaway.

To enter, leave a comment at this link. For additional entries you can subscribe via e-mail or RSS, or sign up to follow me on Twitter or Facebook. (Leave separate comments for any of those last four avenues.)

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Two years ago I wanted a laptop. I thought my life would easier if I could write during my 50-minute bus rides to the University of Washington.

But then I examined the potential purchase the way I examined all others:

  • Can I really justify the expense vs. the payoff?
  • If I got it, would my life be significantly improved?
  • If I didn’t, would my life by substantially diminished?

No, no and no. Buying the laptop would have meant dipping into my nascent emergency fund. It also would have meant one more thing to carry – and a backpack jammed with textbooks and my daily brown-bag lunch already had me feeling that I was toting my house on my back.

In other words, it would have amounted to a very expensive shoulder ache.

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Getting ready to head out of town plus the promise of a Memorial Day weekend kept my blog-hopping to a minimum this week. But here’s a few things to keep you off the streets and out of the bars:

Depression: Why the stigma?” at I Pick Up Pennies

Ask the Internet: How to handle food cravings” at Cheap Healthy Good (I love the  phrase “cookie meditation” in the comments section)

The early bird gets way more than the worm” at Less Is Fabulous (and remember, the second mouse gets the cheese)

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You can get rid of anything on Freecycle, and I can prove it: A woman came to my house the other day to pick up five empty 42-ounce oatmeal boxes.

Bonus: The lady is a Yup’ik Eskimo so while we chatted on the phone I had a chance to use one of the approximately three Yup’ik words I know: “Akleng,” or “I’m sorry,” when her toddler daughter woke up crying from a nap.

I wasn’t sorry to be giving her the boxes, though, because it gave them one more use before they hit the recycle bin.

I also wasn’t sorry about having five empty oatmeal boxes. I kept them because I figured someone would want them. And someone did.

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Greetings from Alaska, where men are men and so are the women.

(I’m allowed to say that because I lived here for 17 years and still consider myself an Alaska wo-man.)

For the next 10 weeks I’ll be arranging the Friday giveaways from the Last Frontier. Although there is actually a locally produced confection called Alaska Wildberry Products, it will have to wait until later because I’ve got Godiva to spare.

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