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thInterest in these things never wanes. I expect that’s because it’s just galling to pay more for a teeny-tiny toothpaste than you would for a 6-ouncer on sale with a coupon.

But if you’re planning a trip back to family of origin or to someplace warm and sunny and exotic for the holidays, you’ll need the items contained therein.

Among them:

Hair stuff: Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy volumizing shampoo and conditioner. The aroma in question is “orange ginger,” and it does smell lovely.

Mouth stuff: Crest Pro-Health shampoo and multi-protection rinse (once known as “mouthwash”). Also a wee little container of Glide floss — if you meet the guy/gal of your dreams on that Caribbean cruise, having spinach in your teeth won’t make a good first impression.

Skin stuff: Bath & Body Works lotion (also orange-ginger), Banana Boat sunscreen (SPF 30), Blistex Nurture & Nourish lip balm.


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SnowyChristmas_EN-AU2022031457It was zero degrees when I left the house at 4:30 p.m. yesterday, but I was determined to get my nephews to the city tree-lighting ceremony downtown. Make sure they wear snowpants and wool socks and hats and that they have both mittens in their pockets, I pleaded with their mom.

That’s because at a long-ago tree-lighting I neglected to put on a hat or, apparently, to pull my coat hood up far enough. Or maybe it was just so cold that year (below zero, can’t remember how far) and my coat was so insufficient that my body had to make an executive decision: The torso is essential; the ears we can live without.

The burning throb of frostbitten earlobes kept me tossing and turning all night. Since then I’ve been more careful (usually) about dressing when I know I’ll be standing around in the cold. I also bought a better coat, essentially a small building made of goose down, for really cold trips like the Talkeetna Bachelors Auction and Wilderness Woman Competition.

I needn’t have worried about the boys, though. The first thing they did at Town Square Park was head straight for a snow pile.


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card129The Swagbucks rewards program plans extra earning opportunities, starting at 5 a.m. PST on Black Friday. On that day you’ll see seven codes for a total of 50 Swagbucks.

I’ll be posting any that I can catch on the Surviving and Thriving Facebook page. (Hint: I won’t be up at 4 a.m. Alaska Time.)

Since I can’t promise to get them all, I suggest you also check the Swagbucks Facebook page from time to time during the day.

The second code party takes place on Cyber Monday. The start time hasn’t yet been announced, but the reward has: codes worth 60 SBs.

Note to those using the Shop & Earn portion of the Swagbucks site: Watch for double and even triple SBs for some retailers. Specifically, triple points happen from 5 to 9 a.m. PST on Black Friday and from 6 to 9 a.m. PST on Cyber Monday.

And if you’re not yet a member? Join in the next few weeks and you might win a bonus of 500 SBs. Here’s how:


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thAnother Thanksgiving and I’ve fulfilled my stated intention: to eat until I can’t walk. Four guests for dinner (including my niece and her boys) and I still had all I wanted of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, coleslaw, peas, rolls – all of it homemade and all of it irresistible.

Dessert was a tough choice between the pumpkin pie that I made and the pumpkin cheesecake my niece made. Since my doctor told me to reduce stress, I decided to have some of each. After all, they both have beta carotene.

The meal started at 1 p.m. My friend Linda B. left for work at 4:15 p.m., and my niece and the kids were gone an hour later. Now I’m sitting in front of a wonderful fire and unlikely to move far from it, especially since the temperature is dropping: It’s 11 and breezy now, predicted to drop to 2 degrees overnight; tomorrow’s high is predicted to be 8 degrees and the low will be minus 8. At least it isn’t Fairbanks.


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thI’ve had three articles appear at Money Talks News since my last roundup, two of them seasonal and one that might as well be seasonal since it involves your pocketbook:

Tips to score a year’s worth of gifts at rock-bottom prices” suggests that you use loss leaders and doorbusters to build an evergreen gift closet. A little poking around and you’ll have presents for just about every occasion: birthdays, Valentine’s Day, baby showers, Mother’s and Father’s days, weddings, you name it. It’s particularly useful when your kids blindside you on Friday evening: “I’m invited to Tyler’s birthday party tomorrow.”

Worried about the size of your…discount? Relax: It’s just deal envy” also bounces off Gray Thursday/Black Friday/Cyber Monday. Some people feel depressed when they find out they missed a chance to save money – and I don’t blame them, which is why the article contains ideas on how to keep costs down.

The 3 golden rules of loaning to friends and family” is just what it sounds like: tips on whether/when to say “yes” and some ideas on how to say “no” if you must.

In other news:


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