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Senior Health Care Solution – according to Maxine

So you’re a sick senior citizen and the government says there is no nursing home available to you – what do you do?

Our plan gives anyone 65 years or older a gun and 4 bullets. You are allowed to shoot 4 politicians – not necessarily dead!

Of course, this means you will be sent to prison where you will get 3 meals a day, a roof over your head, central heating, and all the health care you need! New teeth – no problem. Need glasses, great. New hip, knees, kidney, lungs, heart? All covered. (And your kids can come and visit as often as they do now).

And who will be paying for all of this? The same government that just told you that they cannot afford for you to go into a home.

Plus, because you are a prisoner, you don’t have to pay any income taxes anymore.



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Save electricity without spending a dime, right now!

Fall is upon us and the weather is beautiful! Are you stilling running your air conditioner? Why? For the past 2 weeks or more, we have kept our windows open most nights and through most of the day. Some afternoons get too warm and the air has to be run briefly. At night, the bedroom windows may be closed so the children don’t catch a chill but the rest of the windows are left open to enjoy the sound of nature, feel the breeze, and on those wet days listen to the pitter patter of rain drops.

We forget the sounds blocked by the windows. The melodious birds are relaxing. The crickets and cicadas are disturbing to some and calming white noise to others. The sound of the rain is a special treat. The open windows air out the house with fresh smells. Best of all, open windows mean less electricity which is good for the environment and pleasing to the pocketbook. Try keeping your air conditioner off for 3 weeks and see if your next utility bill is not surprisingly pleasing.

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Just want to play with the children today

I want to be building forts, playing games, and laughing with the children today. My brain isn’t working at full capacity today. But I remain focused on my work because before I can play with my children, I must provide for them.

Parents are obliged to provide food, shelter, clothing, medical care, education, and spiritual development for their children. Theoretically, each of those should have equal importance. In reality, they have to be prioritized based on the situation at the time. Single parents amaze me. I do not know I would manage a family without Cathy! That is not entirely true. If I were a single parent, I would build a support system around myself of friends, family and services. As a matter of fact, we have such a support system already. I imagine that as a single parent I would have to use that support system a little heavier.

It is difficult to meet any of those obligations without money. Unfortunately, the amount of money you make/have is rather proportional to the quality of care you can provide your children. That is not to imply that a poor person is a bad parent or cannot give their child a quality education; however, a greater amount of money makes it easier to provide quality services. For instance, food choices are often governed by making ends meet. The quality of services you receive at the doctor’s office can be determined by your insurance carrier. I have observed people on TennCare having longer waits than people on private insurance. Those on TennCare may get interns while those with private insurance get the nurses and doctors. Money definitely impacts the quality of shelter which can be provided. Quality clothing can be had from consignment stores, hand me downs, and sales; however, money may determine how often clothing is purchased. Even spiritual development can be impaired by money problems since time to give spiritual guidance has to be allocated to earning money.

Whoops. This post was supposed to be about how much I love my children. Didn’t mean to slip into "I want to see poverty abolished" (even if I do).

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I sleep for my clients

In college, I spent a lot of time trying to live on only 3 hours of sleep a night. It was that "sleep is a waste of time thing." After a couple of years, I crashed and slept through a summer break. For the record, you cannot catch up on sleep. If you think you can shave a few hours one night and make them up another night, you are fooling yourself. However, you can make yourself sick.

Last night I wanted to pull an all nighter for work. I chose to sleep. I might have produced some sloppy work last night in twice the time it will take me to wrap it up this morning. I may deliver a little later than I had hoped today. But my work will be higher quality and I feel healthier. Because I slept. Still wish I could take a pill instead of losing those hours.

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No, white lies are not ok

I disagree with the nationally known psychotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig who says it’s OK to tell a white lie. Dr. Ludwig claims it is ok when

  1. the whole truth tears someone down
  2. when it protects a child’s innocence or creative imagination
  3. Offering passing pleasantries
  4. Complimenting someone

I believe Dr. Ludwig offers a terrible recipe for leading a superficial, untrue life. Temporarily, these things may be healthy for the other person but for the person uttering the half-truths, the white lies, they plant a seed of corruption that will eat at their very soul. I say temporarily for the other person because the truth always comes out. In this world you get what you give so how can you take the word of someone else that is complimenting you when you know that you would in turn give the same as lip service? We can make the choice to live one true life and be the person we really are OR we can create fables and then worry ourselves to death as we try to keep our half-truths accurate in social settings and recurrent visits with the person we once gave the lie. Why create inner turmoil and stress for ourselves? "Oh there’s Julia! Crud, what was that lie I told her. Oh no. She’s talking to Fred. Didn’t I tell him a different lie?"

Dr. Ludwig writes "Brutal honesty can be used as a toxic weapon. " and I would agree which is why we learn tact and employ tact. Tact, a keen sense of what to say or do to avoid giving offense, is different than outright lying.

A lie: "I like your new, extremely short haircut."
Brutal honesty: "Your extremely short haircut makes you look like a man and your ears stick out like Dumbo."
Tact: "That haircut is certainly a different look for you. Personally, I do not prefer buzz cuts on women."

Dr. Ludwig challenges "How can you argue with that one?" in regard to protecting a child’s innocence. I ask, are we really protecting their innocence or setting them up for a gut wrenching betrayal at a later time because of a white lie. Would I propose that we kill Santa Claus? No! I believe in Santa Claus. This one is tricky because the story of Santa Claus and his compatriots is a thrilling, mystical part of childhood and I would never deny someone that pleasure. I do believe in Santa Claus! (wikipedia) I also believe that this situation is also about presentation. I might give a little and almost, but not quite, agree with Dr. Ludwig that a white lie could be appropriate in this case. The white lie cannot be direct! In this case, it is a lie of omission. We present the spirit of Santa Claus. We present the story. We present the illusion. We allow the child’s imagination to perpetuate the lie. And annually, a riff in my soul widens as I question the deception and the tears it will bring at a later time in life; the lost innocent; the lost trust in mom and dad…because of a lie…of omission.

Dr. Ludwig suggests that a white lie is okay for "passing pleasantries." Particularly in the South we are raised to believe the same as Dr. Ludwig. I challenge you to quit! Why waste our breath with words we don’t mean? This is hard. We spend the bulk of our lives training ourselves, and brainwashing ourselves, to give these pleasantries. We become robotic in our responses. I have made a great effort to not give pleasantries and I still find myself doing it almost daily. But when I resist, and am truthful with the other person, I feel better about myself!

Lie:"Oh…it’s no trouble at all"
Truth:"Yes, this is inconvenient, but I really enjoy helping you."
Lie:"I’m fine, thanks for asking"
Truth:"To be honest, life’s got me a little down but I’m coping with it. You?"

Something I have done to help avoid being in a situation of pleasantries is to change my greeting. When two people meet, they tend to autonomously spout off "how are you?" It is a greeting akin to "hello" but unlike "hello," "how are you" requires a response which is almost always a superficial "fine thanks." My new greeting is "good to see you!" and I mean it. My greeting is a statement that requires no response. My greeting does not put you on the spot. My greeting is truthful. If I truly want to know how you are feeling I am going ask and hope that you give an honest answer.

Dr. Ludwig’s final white lie is to offer compliments to a person stating "Mild false truths make it easier for people to get along and are primarily harmless in most cases." I disagree. You are harming the relationship and you are harming yourself. As in her first case, if you give such lip service, how can you learn to trust other people. And if you cannot trust each other, how can you possible get along and build a relationship. Won’t you simply assume they are not being entirely truthful with you. You harm yourself because inside you know you are perpetuating a lie. There should be a hollowness inside your chest. You should be ashamed of yourself. You should feel superficial! And that’s not healthy.

In conclusion, Dr. Ludwig says, "The major difference between a white lie and a hard lie is that a hard lie is said to protect oneself, whereas a little white lie is said to protect someone else." A lie is a lie and a lie protects nobody. Lies serve only to undermine relationships be it romantic, business, or friendship. A person cannot improve themselves if they ask for your feedback "How are my cookies?" and you lie to them. Dr. Ludwig, you are wrong; white lies are never okay. I challenge you to wear the truth, always.

Update: Be sure to read Blurp’s I Chose to Lie for another perspective!

Related: Being too nice to your waitress may cost you money