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Found money in 2016.

I waited a little longer than usual to count my found money. For those unfamiliar with the concept: All year long I pick up coins from lots of places: stores, sidewalks, parks, the return bins of Coinstar machines.

Usually I add up my found money around Thanksgiving, then add some more and donate it to the Food Bank of Alaska. This year I decided that the holidays are when people most like to donate to food banks, so why not wait a while?

Here’s what I found this year:

 


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Those who follow my daughter’s blog already know what happened recently: Her husband broke one heel and sprained the other quite badly.

Tim is feeling extra-crummy about the way-preventable incident (see “The whole story” for details) and Abby’s feeling overwhelmed by needing to take on Tim’s share of household responsibilities in addition to her own, and to her full-time job.

For those who aren’t familiar with my daughter’s situation, both she and her husband have chronic health issues. Some days she has more spoons than others.

After she e-mailed me about what had happened I wrote an “oh noes!” sort of note in return. As a P.S., I said “let me know if you want me to use one of my buddy passes and come do a little heavy lifting.” She wrote back something along the lines of, “Were you serious about that? How soon can you get here?”

And that, Phoenix-area readers, is why I’m heading south once more.

 


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Yesterday I hand-wrote two thank-you notes. In doing so I was reminded that while decent penmanship is important, it’s also hard.

Very hard. Since I was 21 years old I’ve been making a living through typing; for about 20 of those years, as a newspaper reporter, I mixed keyboarding with furious note-taking.

The cumulative effect manifests as numbness, tingling and hands that tire/hurt quickly when holding a pen.

Then there’s the fact that I’m in my sixth decade of life. No machine runs for 59 years without some maintenance issues.

So why not just type those notes? Because they were being sent to people whose opinions matter to me, and I wanted to express my thanks the way Miss Manners would. Of course, she has a staff for that sort of thing.

 


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The subtitle to this book by personal finance journalist Tess Vigeland is a bold proposition indeed: “Leaving a job with no Plan B to find the career and life you really want.”

Let me say that I do not necessarily recommend leaving a job with no Plan B. However, I’ve done it myself and survived – and I sure wish I’d had “Leap” to help me along the way.

It would have made things a lot clearer and helped with the anxiety and doubt. Part autobiography and part self-help book, it helps readers deal with the fear and uncertainty but also gets them to think clearly about their working selves: “Who am I without my job?”

The answer may enlighten in terms of what new work to seek – or, indeed, whether to seek a new definition of labor.

 


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Old One-Eye is back.

The cataract surgery is done and my left eye has recently been freed from the tape that bound it closed. Although the vision is a bit blurry and slant-y (both conditions to be expected, according to the literature), I have every reason to be hopeful.

Experiencing a little bit of discomfort, so I took a Kirkland ibuprofen and we’ll see how it goes. Overall, the experience was much easier than I’d feared.

No doubt that’s due to the kindness of the staff and the skill of the doctor. However, I think that a nice glug of orally administered Versed might also have had something to do with that.

It left me not just relaxed but also somewhat loopy, to the point when the nice woman took a long, curved needle and started slowly injecting anesthetic into my eyeball my reaction was, “Sure, fine, whatever.”

 


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