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"In order to really enjoy a dog, one
doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of
it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a
Edward Hoagland, American Essayist (1932 - )
"Hang On, Sloopy"
From the Inside Out...
Cash, Retire (2)
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Many of us realize that everything in life is our teacher
... and there's none so wise as our furry little companions.
From the Inside Out
He "dogs" my every footstep. With
each step I take, he's right there with me, guarding me and ready
to die to defend me. I have seen him take on the most aggressive
vacuum cleaner salesmen.
help the one who sticks his foot in the door, without invitation,
for my little powerhouse of faithfulness and aggression will give
that foot a fight for it's life shoes, socks, and laces!
no mistake, a Dachshund may be small, but they are quick and relentless,
in an attack. They are not called "badger dogs" for no
reason. In their natural habitat, they have been known to track
a badger, one of the fiercest animals known, relentlessly hurrying
down into its tunnel, and locking onto its snout, never letting
go, even in death.
I leave the house without him, whether it's just a walk around the
yard or a day trip to the next town, Happy will keep watch at the
top of the stairs. With every sound, he will launch himself onto
the back of the couch, to get a good look out of the window, to
see if I'm almost home.
can hear him, immediately, announcing my arrival before I even get
out of the car.
home!" he cries. "She's home! She's home! All is well!"
I open the door, he immediately gives me a tongue lashing, yelping
with joy! I try to always have a "present" for him, and
I delight at his enthusiasm, as he roots through the bag until he
has a perfect bandit face a black mask surrounded by rich,
golden tan. His ice-cube nose is ever questing for a treat or just
a warm place to cuddle. He has shoe button eyes that never miss
an opportunity. And when he locks those intelligent eyes onto mine,
I lose all power to resist.
like all Dachshunds, loves to tease and play. Every clever thing
he does is simple evidence that even a woman my age can be taught
"new tricks." He brings me the ball. I throw it. He steals
my slippers. I chase him.
worst thing you can do, in the face of improper behavior, is laugh!
I, joyfully, failed that test long ago. I am Happy's willing slave.
No matter how dark my mood, Happy can always make me laugh.
doesn't know that there are not "badgers" laying in wait.
He's always prepared, just in case, and I have learned much from
this little dog. I have learned that a faithful life is one of constant
vigilance. I have learned that some things are worth fighting for,
and if necessary, dying for.
the greatest lesson that Happy has taught me, is to live my life
in the moment, just as he does, ever joyful for each blessing, ever
vigilant for those "badgers" that are certain to cross
when life takes a nasty turn, I have learned from Happy, to grab
a hold and just hang on!
By Jaye Lewis for
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STRETCH CASH, RETIRE
If youre trying to figure out how to retire, there are some
ways you might be able to make the numbers work so retirement can
Take a part-time job. The most common and increasingly popular
way that people are making retirement work is by getting a part-time
job. Technically, that means youre not retired, although many
retirees would argue it depends on what your definition of retirement
some two-thirds of workers say that they plan to work after they
retire. Among those, while some will work simply for the enjoyment
of it, almost half say they will work to maintain health-insurance
coverage and one-third say they need extra cash to make ends meet.
Indeed, younger people may find they have to worker longer than
they'd like so that they can get full Social Security benefits.
If you were born after 1960, the retirement age is 67.
you can find a way to keep working without stress and more flexibility,
it can make a lot of sense, Paul Nastasi, a financial planner
in Baltimore, Md. says. Were seeing a lot of people
move to vacation communities where there is a good lifestyle and
a lot of service jobs. One spouse will often take a job to support
example, Bob Sertner, 75, of Bondville, Vt., an avid golfer, figured
out a way to support his expensive habit after retiring from his
interior decoration business. He got a winter job selling ski tickets
at Stratton Mountain. The company that owns Stratton, Intrawest
Corp., is a giant resort company with golf resorts at desirable
spots such as Lake Tahoe, Calif. and Copper Mountain, Colo. Sertner
and his wife, Joan, 72, have frequently traveled to these resorts
to take advantage of deeply discounted room rates and free rounds
of golf for Intrawest employees.
Draw down a home-equity loan. If you want to retire in your
50s, or even earlier, cash flow is likely to be a major concern
even if you have a fat retirement account. But
theres a creative solution: You can take out a home
equity line of credit to tide you over, says Lisa Osofsky,
a financial planner and CPA at M.R. Weiser in New York City. One
of my clients got laid off at 55 and avoided having to go back to
work by taking out a line of credit, she says.
to get this kind of security you would need to have substantial
equity in your home. But the closer to retirement you get, the more
likely you are to have this kind of cushion built up, according
to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration
on Aging. The agency says some 76% of Americans age 65 or older
own their homes outright.
if you dont think you will use it, theres no harm in
establishing a line of credit as security, says Keith Gumbinger,
a vice president at HSH Associates, a mortgage data publisher in
Butler, N.J. Its an excellent idea, assuming you get
a competitive rate and you dont have to pay inactivity fees.
rates these days run around 5%. Some lenders require that you pay
a $50 to $100 annual fee if you dont use the line of credit.
Be sure to apply for the line of credit while you are still employed
to increase your chances of qualifying for a sizable line of credit
at a competitive rate, Osofsky says.
Replace your mortgage with an interest-only loan. One way to
free up extra cash is to refinance your mortgage and take out an
interest-only loan. This wont save you a bundle possibly
a couple hundred of dollars a month, depending on the size of your
that might buy you some extra comfort, either for spending money
or so you can continue to sock money into your retirement account,
mortgage-interest loans, you only pay interest on the loan for a
fixed period of usually up to 10 to 15 years. This reduces your
monthly payments, and your full payment would be tax deductible.
example, on a $200,000 loan with a 30-year fixed rate of 6%, your
monthly payment would be about $1,200. According to HSH, an interest-only
loan with the same terms would cost you $1,000 a month. The drawback
is that interest-only payments wont help build equity in your
home. Plus, says Keith Gumbinger of HSH, Youre forestalling
the inevitable at some point that home loan has to be paid
Move to a less-costly area. Only about 10% of people move after
they retire, usually for financial reasons or to seek a milder climate,
according to Charles Longino, a gerontologist and demographer at
Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. But
uprooting can pay off in a big way as part of a retirement plan.
Real estate is the most significant asset that most couples
have, Ballou says.
if you live in a hot housing market, you can raise a substantial
amount of cash by selling your home and choosing a new and desirable
but less expensive locale.
and Jim Nordant, of Naples, Fla., are proof that this strategy isnt
just a quick fix to a cash-flow problem, but a long-term planning
solution. Ten years ago, when they lived in Alomo, Calif., their
financial planner said they needed another $200,000 saved to retire
and maintain their lifestyle, Bette says.
raised the cash practically overnight by selling their home and
buying an equivalent home for $200,000 less in Boca Raton, Fla.
Soon they sold the house in Boca Raton and moved across the state
to Naples. These steps have enabled them to live their ideal retirement,
spending half the year in Florida and the other half in the Sierras
in California. We didnt have to downsize to do this.
We found a home of equal quality, Bette says.
you consider one or more of these strategies to make a comfortable
retirement feasible, be sure to start planning early, Ballou says.
The more thorough your planning, the more likely it is that you
can arrange the kind of retirement you want.
Karen Hube, Money
Maldivian Island Lagoon
string of pearls scattered in the deep blue ocean about 400 miles
south of India 1,190 islands spread over 26 atolls (ring-like
coral formations that enclose a lagoon) give the Republic
of the Maldives a feeling of paradise. The word "atoll"
is the only word in the English language that Oxford extracted from
the Maldivian language. This gives a hint about how perfect these
formations are. The Maldives were formed about 100,000 years ago
when once-sunken masses of land were lifted just above sea level
through tremendous geological movement. The capital Malé,
the seat of government and the centre of trade, is located in the
middle of the atoll chain, a small island buzzing with the sounds
and activities of about 75.000 people which is about one third of
the population. The Maldives are not only a dream destination for
scuba diving, snorkeling and windsurfing, but a retreat for those
seeking a totally relaxed and unsophisticated way of life.
"Household Products Database"
It might be a good idea to run the contents
of your cabinets through this database of
Health and Safety Information on Household
Products to check out health effects and
safe storage and handling procedures.
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contrast to the theory that an adult's personality is set in stone
by age 30, a new study suggests personality does change throughout
life and often for the better. Researchers who surveyed more
than 130,000 adults ages 21 to 60 found that men and women tend
to become more agreeable and more conscientious with age.
fact, agreeableness a person's warmth, generosity and helpfulness
-- showed the biggest improvement after age 30, according to findings
published in the May issue of the Journal of Personality and
scientists believe that personality is simply an inherited trait
that remains the same regardless of environmental effects, the study's
lead author, Sanjay Srivastava of Stanford University in California,
said in an interview with Reuters Health. But "we find gradual
but meaningful changes, on average," Srivastava said. "And
the average trends tended to be improvements. People are getting
better at things as they age. They're not becoming grumpy old men."
survey was conducted on the Internet, Srivastava noted, and participants
were volunteers. "People could come to the Web site and fill
it out," he explained. "In exchange they got feedback
in the form of a score and a description of what it meant."
When the researchers looked at the participants' scores for agreeableness,
they found that people became increasingly warm and nurturing in
their 20s, 30s and beyond. The greatest improvement in conscientiousness
scores was seen among people in their twenties.
young adults, women tended to be more neurotic and more outgoing
than men, but the difference diminished with age. Neurotic individuals
are more prone to worrying and anxiety. Although the slight differences
between the sexes appear to fall in line with sexual stereotypes,
Srivastava said he doesn't think people should read too much into
variation in personality among women is much bigger than the variation
between men and women," he said. Another
trait measured openness appeared to decline slightly
with age for both men and women.
the study was based on a survey done at one point in time and the
researchers did not follow the same group of people over several
decades, they can't be sure that the results do not reflect differences
among the generations, Srivastava acknowledged. Still, he said,
"our findings are consistent with other studies that ruled
out generational differences."
Journal of Personality and Social Psychiatry 2003;84:1041-1053.
did Gatorade originate?
Laughing It Off
21ST CENTURY DRUGS
Stimulant to be taken prior to shopping. Increases potency and duration
of spending spree.
Married and otherwise attached men reported a sudden urge to buy
their sweeties expensive jewellery and gifts after taking this drug
for only two days. Still to be seen: whether the drug can be continued
for a period longer than your favourite store's return limit.
Plant extract that treats mom's depression by rendering preschoolers
unconscious for up to six hours.
Highly effective supplement that eliminates melancholy by enhancing
the memory of how awful they were as teenagers and how you couldn't
wait till they moved out.
In clinical trials, 82 percent of middle-aged men administered this
drug noticed that their wives had a new hairstyle. Currently being
tested to see if its effects extend to noticing new clothing.
Increases life expectancy of commuters by controlling road rage
and the urge to make hand gestures at other drivers.
A dose of this drug given to men before leaving on car trips caused
72 percent of them to stop and ask directions when they got lost,
compared to a control group of 0.2 percent.
A spray carried in a purse or wallet to be used on anyone too eager
to share their life stories with total strangers.
Men given this experimental new drug were far more likely to actually
finish a household repair project before starting a new one..
Take two and the rest of the world can 'take a hike' for 8 hours!
by Ellie in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Use this site to find the best bank rates out
there for mortgages, autos, credit cards,
bank accounts, IRAs and more.
between Live Updates...
you can get the latest virus downloads at Symantec's Daily
Look at THAT!
THE COLOR OF FUN
Jean Pieri /St.Paul Pioneer Press
Children walk through a "luminarium"...
at the Landmark Plaza, a park in St. Paul, Minnesota, that creates
a new public space connection from downtown to the Mississippi River.
Inside the air-filled Luminarium Arcazaar visitors find a kaleidoscope
of colors complete with soothing music. Landmark Plaza, is
a special park because it is a vibrant statement of what can be
accomplished when different corporations, organizations and individuals,
including Saint Pauls young people, work together to invest
in our city and its future, said Saint Paul Mayor Randy Kelly.
~St. Paul Pioneer Press
Joyful Lifestyles: Weekly Insights
LIFTING OUR OWN DEPRESSION (Part
you're feeling down, what do you usually do? Personally, there
was a time in my life when I simply 'overrode' it and persevered,
pretending that my sadness, anger or depression did not even exist.
Believe me, this is not a healthy route to take.
I learned to "embrace" moments of depression, as a natural
part of being human. Today, I take time to ask myself "What
am I feeling and why am I feeling this way?" Then, I'm in
a more empowered place to address the issues and acknowledge my
feelings. Sometimes, of course, I may just be upset that I 'didn't
get my way' ... which always give me a good laugh. In other
situations, I'm able to develop a plan of action to handle the
problem that's disturbing me. It is at this point the point
of realization and acknowledgment that I'm clear to proceed
with remedy tools.
say that getting out of the house and walking, running, or jogging
is a great way to fight depression. Going out for that walk is
not only good for our overall well-being, but there seems to be
a benefit in lifting our spirits, too. Perhaps, it is the feeling
of accomplishment or the chance to commune with nature that helps.
If we have something to shift our focus in a positive direction,
we can generally find relief.
of the contributing factors in many cases of depression is an
overwhelming sense of stress, which gets internalized, resulting
in a pervasive sense of emptiness or futility. Too much stress
can also result in very real physical symptoms, as well as exhausting
us mentally. The physical practice of yoga (or even twenty-minute
stretching sessions) can alleviate depression by helping to eliminate
the physiological manifestations of stress and by raising the
levels of certain chemicals in our bodies that serve an important
role in uplifting our mood. Next week we'll take a closer look
at the healing aspects of stretching to create joyful lifestyles.
Chelle Thompson ~
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we can change ourselves from the inside out and improve our relationships,
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