Growing up after graduation

A friend once directed me to a TED talk given by Wes Moore called “How to talk to veterans about war.”  I highly recommend you take a listen.  It made me think maybe there are some of you interested in hearing a little more about how I went from sorority girl to soldier.  If you know someone who was in the military, it is always an interesting and unique story that starts with the question “why did you join?”  It’s also a nice way to show a veteran that you are interested and thankful for their service. At the risk of aging myself, I will tell you my story.  I graduated college August 11, 2001.  8/11 may be less famous than 9/11, but I remember it well. My cap said “thanks mom” and both my brothers, mom and nieces and nephews made the out of state trek to see me get my diploma. What I could have told you that day about Iraq was what I learned when I was in middle school while my oldest brother was serving in the Navy during the (first) Gulf War.  What I knew about Afghanistan was even less.  I hope (but doubt) I could have found either of these countries on a map.   At the time of my college graduation, I had been stuffing envelopes with folders of resumes and cover letters inside to all the big magazines in New York City.  Yes there was Internet back at […]

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Dealing with Diagnosis

My mom raised me alone from the time I was a little girl. She used to say it was you and me against the world (like the Helen Reddy song). Last year my mom was diagnosed with dementia. Long before the diagnosis she has battled her own demons alone. I have to remind myself that this is her choice, even though her three children […]

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The Continuing Saga of Our Next Door Neighbors…

In case you were wondering where we are at, following the last blog regarding calling animal control… A few days later, when I arrived home from work, Mrs. Neighbor came out of her house and followed me from my car to the mailbox (because who doesn’t want to be bombarded by someone the moment you arrive home?). She furiously apologized for her poorly behaved dog and told me he had been her mother’s. Then, she proceeded to bawl. Not tear up, BAWL. Mrs. Neighbor told me all about her mother, who of course I never met and how she had “recently” died. Now while I am extremely sorry for her loss, why in the world has this been affecting myself and Mr. Cabbage for months now? She told me they had bought the worst of the four dogs a collar to shock him, but it was hurting him and she thought burning fur off of his neck. So they removed it, and the barking which had mostly subsided for a bit was back in full swing. Still crying she told me they were very sorry and would try to solve the problem soon.

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Financial Fear

What are your biggest financial fears? The things that could derail all of your progress toward financial freedom, wipe out your emergency savings or put you into debt all in one fell swoop? For me, there are really only a few nagging issues that cause periodic bouts of worry.. unforeseen medical costs, family and extended unemployment. Medical Concerns: Does anyone ever have a sound understanding of how good their medical coverage is until they need it? In the past few years I have started using a health savings account (HSA) in conjunction with a high deductible insurance. Because I don’t frequently need to use my insurance, and because my company puts a lump sum contribution into my HSA… so far… knock on wood…it has served me well.  Familial Responsibility: Family starts with an F for a reason, right?  As of late, my mom, is my biggest money anxiety.  Last Spring she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  She has very little family living nearby, is afraid of losing independence, and is unwilling to accept help.  Last Summer she told me she wanted to die alone in her house.  A byproduct of her disease has been her inabiltiy to manage paying her bills on time (or at all) and her dependence on her financial planner.  The guilt and pressure of how much money I would need to pay when shit hits the fans has kept me up at night since she has no  money saved for a care facility, home care or future medical care […]

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