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Attagirl! Attaboy!

I just received a wonderful -- and quite complimentary -- e-mail from Judith Fox, author of the new book I Still Do: Loving and Living with Alzheimer's, about an article that we ran with her in Bottom Line/Health. Being human, I must admit that it felt quite good to get that e-mail, so after responding to Judith, I immediately forwarded it to the newsletter's editor, Rebecca Shannonhouse, with the message to print it out and put it in her "Attagirl!" folder. Until today, Rebecca didn't have such a folder. I'm so sorry I never suggested it to her earlier, because I think everyone should have one. (Or "Attaboy," of course, for men.) I learned about this from a former boss. It's simply a folder where you collect nice things about yourself.

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Everyone Needs a Good cry?

I have a friend who has just been diagnosed with breast cancer and who recently went through a very difficult divorce. Despite all this, she hasn't been able to cry.I have a friend who has just been diagnosed with breast cancer and who recently went through a very difficult divorce. Despite all this, she hasn't been able to cry.

An Extra Hour Just When You Need It

"Falling back" with the clocks, as we did this past weekend, always reminds me of a college friend who would not reset her watch until she came to a point later in the day when she really needed that extra hour. While the rest of us viewed it as simply an extra hour of sleep (and an excuse to stay up extra late), Susan saved that fall-back hour, protected it, relished it, and always put it to good and special use, be it to give herself a break from homework, an extra hour of cramming before a test, or the time to do final edits on a paper before handing it in.

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Bye Bye to the Wave (Radiation, That Is)

I don't usually make dramatic changes in my life, but after reading the cover article of the November 15, 2009 issue of Bottom Line/Personal, "Don't Stand in Front of the Microwave: Radiation Dangers from Phones, Plasma TVs and Computers, Too!" -- I've done just that. Our houses have become electromagnetic hubs and it's affecting our health. So, as radical as it sounds, I've replaced the cordless phones in my house with old-fashioned corded ones... turn off my cell phone at night -- and have been sending more texts rather than making calls on my cell phone during the day... shopped for a new cell phone based on it's SAR rating (a measure of the radiation it gives off) rather than its bells and whistles... stopped standing in front of the microwave and make sure my kids are far away from it when it's on…and unplug our wireless modem when we're not using it. Whew!

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A Senseless Tragedy

Today, I am still numb. Last week, I was touched by one of those tragedies that you read about in the news and see on TV, and always happens far away. But this time it happened near me. A disgruntled employee caught stealing from his employer set off on a shooting rampage that killed eight other employees, including my neighbor. I didn't know him well, but I knew him well enough. Well enough to know that he was a good man, loved by his family, respected in the community, accomplished in his career. My husband taught two of his children... my daughter went to school with one of them. It was difficult -- impossible -- to explain the events to our children that night. Today we and too many others are living in disbelief. I can't imagine what his widow and children are going through.

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A Good Way to Fill the Void

As I write this, I'm feeling very old and very young at the same time. My #2 stepdaughter just graduated from high school.

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Another Side to the Toyota Recall

I've been watching the news reports on the Toyota recalls very closely since I drive a Toyota myself. The other day I was at the dealership for a minor repair (my car is not one of the recalled models) and asked the service manager whether it was a relief to be dealing with a problem that had nothing to do with the recalls. His response, "Oh, I don't mind the recalls. It's great for our service business. We get paid by Toyota, so we're now very busy at an otherwise slow time of the year." In our down economy it's interesting to find a silver lining in a cloud such as the Toyota problem. I was also surprised to hear that, despite the media hype, their customers are not in a panic over the recall so it's been pretty easy to manage.

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