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Monday, December 05, 2016
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  • Monday, December 05, 2016 4:00 AM
    A patient who’s mother is having hearing difficulties asked me to write about the best way to choose someone to fit hearing aids. I’d like to begin with some background on hearing.
    It goes without saying that hearing is one of our most important senses. It is critical for our quality of life as well as for safety and social interaction. There are an estimated 30 million Americans who have some degree of hearing loss, 65 percent of whom are younger than 65 years of age. It’s very concerning that one in 14 younger adults and one in 20 adolescents have measurable hearing loss. Since 1971, the number of Americans over age three with hearing disorders has doubled.
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  • Monday, December 05, 2016 4:00 AM
    The ideals of the holidays – sharing special faith traditions and spending time with family and friends – can easily be overshadowed by the barrage of advertisements, sales and the pressure to deliver the perfect gifts for our kids. 
    The National Retail Federation estimates Americans will spend an average of $935 this year for the holidays. But many experts say we should refocus our holiday efforts on giving to others in order to raise happy, empathetic and resilient kids. 
    Try asking the children in your life to name their favorite gifts from last year. Chances are they may only remember a couple. Overindulgence, even when well-intentioned, can have serious consequences for children. 
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  • Young job seekers should consider government work
    Monday, December 05, 2016 4:00 AM
    The greying of the federal-government workforce could soon create a hiring crisis as a large swath of older workers retires in the coming years and a new generation declines to fill the breach.
    Simply put, most young people who are in job-search mode tend to look elsewhere, finding no motivation to vie for federal government positions that may strike them as more dreary than dazzling.
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  • Friday, December 02, 2016 4:00 AM
    I don’t have a lot of friends. I know lots of people, but that’s not the same. The people I do call friends sometimes disappoint me. Bob won’t take me to the airport at night (something about cataracts. Oh, please.) Pat won’t feed our cat when we go away for the weekend (yes, Angel has bitten her, but no stitches were required . . . either time) and Cathy won’t water our plants. (Sure, philodendron makes her windpipe contract, but what are friends for?) 
    The need for dependable friends was made clear when I was down in the basement recently and found an old box filled with expired coupons, unused gift cards and a few compositions from the class I taught at IUPUI in 1986 and never got around to grading. At the very bottom of the pile, I found this:
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  • Friday, December 02, 2016 4:00 AM
    Did you know that 700 million pounds of turkey is purchased for the Thanksgiving holiday and 235 million pounds of that turkey will end up in the trash? Yearly this equates to 1.3 billion tons of food being thrown in our landfills, about a third of the food produced for consumption, costing about $1 trillion. To bring this down to a household level, a family of four throws away an average of $1600 of food annually. That is two months’ worth of grocery bills in my house. So what can we do about the food waste?
    Plan meals before shopping. If you know what and how much you are going to eat for the week, that prevents food from rotting in the fridge. Also take inventory of what you already have. Lots of times you don’t need to buy every ingredient for a dish because you already have it on hand or you can adjust the recipe to accommodate for ingredients you’ve already bought.
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  • Thursday, December 01, 2016 4:00 AM
    The League of Women Voters believes that government CAN work when citizens are INFORMED and INVOLVED. The League’s Mission is to encourage informed and active participation in government, to work to increase public understanding of major policy issues, and to influence public policy through education and advocacy.
    In addition to the League’s many Voter Service activities, League members study and advocate on local, state, and national issues. State issues on the League’s agenda are voted on at the State Convention held in odd numbered years so Leaguers throughout Indiana are considering now issues which will be discussed at the State Convention in April.
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  •  After a brief stint down on the farm, he eventually bought a business
    Thursday, December 01, 2016 4:00 AM
    Just met this week’s man, but my gal guest and I go way back! She not only worked at the A&W for us, she babysat our young’uns, as well. It was fun for us to interview an early employee when we owned only part of the business back then. When I asked her what she liked about working there, she smiled and noted, “Everything! I simply loved everything about working there.” Explaining further, “The food was amazing, customers awesome (even if they didn’t tip or tipped poorly, it didn’t matter because we loved ‘em so), the fun we had, friends I made.” Then my hubby beamed, “The bosses were so nice,” and she wrapped-up by announcing, “There is simply nothing like that nowadays!” Working at Aryway when they changed to Target, she also was employed by Giles Ford when she found herself pregnant with her first child. Afterwards, she stayed home with her own three and babysat some. 
    One day, an employee of his asked him to go to the city bowling tourney. This was at the old bowling alley out by the Holiday Inn and she was in the tourney. The friend introduced them. Two weeks later, they went out and it was love thereafter. They complement each other nicely.
    My guests have been married 15 years and I asked them what they liked best about their spouse. Her answer was that he had the ability to see what’s needed and makes it work; threw in that he loved her on a personal basis, as well, and that’s very important. He noted that he loved her sincerity and that with a blended family, she loves everyone equally. 
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  • Wednesday, November 30, 2016 4:00 AM
    So, I have my first job interview this week. Well, the first one in 20 years anyway. For the past two decades, I have been a stay-at-home mom. But now, the time has come to carve out a new path for myself, and that involves joining the 9 to 5 grind. 
    First, I had to tackle another new endeavor…creating a résumé. I vaguely remember typing up a mock résumé back in high school. In 1987. In an actual typing class with typewriters, not keyboards. The world has changed significantly in the past 30 years, and I’m doing my best to prepare myself. 
    Fortunately, my years of running a business with wasband (the man who was my husband), coupled with my modest writing career, makes fairly impressive credentials. So, I found a résumé template, put it all down on paper, and emailed it to a couple of places.
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  • Tuesday, November 29, 2016 4:00 AM
    Don’t know about you but work just seems, I don’t know, busier than it used to be. Granted, I never had a three-martini lunch. But I did used to play golf. On company time. And my boss knew. He encouraged it. That’s back from the era of secretaries and punching out at 5 p.m. on the dot.
    Those days are long gone.
    Maybe that’s why I love Saturday mornings in the office. The pace is slower and I can turn on some tunes and enjoy the genius that is Roger Miller. What? Scoff if you must, but have you ever considered the brilliance behind lyrics that told us we can’t roller skate in a buffalo herd? Just saying.
    At any rate, I was deep into the third or fourth verse of do-wacka-do (Google it) and was in rare voice when, you guessed it, John Hammer appeared in the doorway like a dark cloud blotting out the sun.
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  • Monday, November 28, 2016 4:00 AM
    Winter cold and flu season is rapidly approaching. This week, I’d like to talk about a different kid of flu, “stomach flu.” I have to start by dispelling a common misconception that all flu is the same. “Stomach flu” is not caused by the same viruses as “respiratory flu.” Flu shots, given to prevent respiratory influenza, will not protect you against viruses affecting the gastrointestinal tract that can cause an infectious malady known as viral gastroenteritis.
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  • Monday, November 28, 2016 4:00 AM
    I know, this space is for my perspective about being a millennial in Montgomery County, but after the things that have happened recently in the county I have to invest some time into that.
    It’s hard to even mention what happened in Darlington a week-and-a-half ago, again. The deaths of two young children. I’m still struggling with it, and I’m not even from the county. I just don’t understand why things like this happen as often as they do.
    That was the worst experience of my young career, but it also showed me the love and compassion people of a small town have for one another. 
    I was tasked with going out and asking people if the Darlington community about the tragic event, so I saw firsthand the raw emotion of the people I talked to. 
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  • Friday, November 25, 2016 5:15 PM
    Indiana is about to complete the celebration of her 200th birthday. Many stellar names are associated with our great state: Abraham Lincoln, Ernie Pyle, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Cole Porter, James Dean, Benjamin Harrison, John Mellencamp, and Red Skelton, to name a few . . . instead of naming a few hundred. There are several forgotten Hoosiers who didn’t make it into the history books, but who have now made it into my column. They deserve better, of course, but here are my two favorites:
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  • Wednesday, November 23, 2016 4:00 AM
    “I’m really excited about the Macy’s parade! It’s my favorite part of Thanksgiving!” 
    “Is that here in Thorntown,” my daughter asked. 
    I sat for a moment, trying to comprehend my obvious parenting fail. 
    “No, Thorntown’s entire population doesn’t equal half the number of people in the Macy’s parade. It takes place in New York City. Do you not remember watching it on TV every year?”
    “Remind me.”
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  • Tuesday, November 22, 2016 4:00 PM
    When I wrote about this incident many years ago, Mary Ellen said someday I would look back on the event and laugh. I’m still not laughing. Maybe you will. I’d like to take you back to the winter of 2006. Here’s the Naked Truth, 10th Anniversary Edition.
    I had just gotten home after giving a speech, pulled into the garage about 11 p.m. and entered the house through the door inside the garage. Mary Ellen was asleep upstairs. I quietly went into the bedroom and undressed, but before putting on my sleeping shorts, I decided to run downstairs and grab a small bottle of fruit juice from the garage fridge. I retrieved the drink and turned the knob to re-enter the house. The knob refused to budge. “No way,” I said to myself. And no clothes, either. I was locked out. Buck naked.
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  • Reflections on the season of giving thanks
    Tuesday, November 22, 2016 4:00 AM
    It doesn’t seem possible that Thursday is Thanksgiving. It sure didn’t seem remotely like it a week ago when temperatures were in the 70s. I guess the recent dip in the mercury with a few of the white flakes flitting about helped bring the reality around.
    Truth to tell, I could live without the reminders. But I digress.
    More truth to tell, I have much to be thankful for. I think many of us do, even if we don’t always realize it. So I thought I’d list a few of the things that I’m thankful for and would love it if you would share the same back. 
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