I am a most careful shopper, and I must be if I want to live a material life that would otherwise be out of my financial reach.  While we hide it well, Becky and I have Williams-Sonoma tastes, but a Walmart budget.

Becky and I like to travel to beautiful and fascinating places where we can, for a time, live a pampered life surrounded by people who care for our every need. For one week there are no meals to cook, beds to make or lawns to mow. For seven days we become people of leisure.

I absolutely loves working with the newest, cutting-edge technologies, and even though I’m married to someone who will walk up to the TV to turn it on, I’ve been a very early adopter of such technologies as satellite TV, Tivo and smartphones. Lately we’ve been venturing into smart-home technologies with lights that respond to our voice commands.

These pursuits are very expensive, but thanks to the Depression era DNA I inherited from my father, I have developed into an extraordinarily good bargain hunter, albeit a very cautious one.

Read More

I am a person who likes a good challenge. Sometimes the challenges are serious and difficult like finishing college later in life, but other times they are more trivial like trying to find something at Walmart.

Admitting to myself that I can’t figure diabetes out is tough, but to avoid asking for help with something so serious is arrogant and just plain foolhardy.

In waking up to the changes I needed to make, the first thing I needed to do was to level with my doctor. There’s no point in relying on an expert for advice, and then hobbling that person with incomplete or misleading information.

For someone who always likes to put his best foot forward the prospect of coming right out and admitting that you’ve been living like a fool is daunting, but I knew that if I was serious about making a clean break from the mistakes of the past, I’d need to be completely transparent with my doctor.

I’ve been seeing Dr. G for about 3 years and she is, without a doubt, the best doctor I have ever had. I immediately liked her on at first appointment, and after many visits she has become more than my doctor, she is a trusted friend.

By contrast, my previous doctor, though obviously competent and mildly pleasant, was largely aloof, and I never really felt a connection with him. I cannot imagine having a conversation with him like I knew I was going to have with Dr. G.

Despite a lingering reticence, I knew I needed to come clean. Anything less than totally honesty with myself, my family, and my doctor would only prove that I wasn’t truly serious about making a break from my wayward past.

So, without a word of preamble I launched right into my confession, and I must say that admitting I’d been a fool proved to be surprisingly easy.

Read More