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If you’re looking to give to charity this holiday season but don’t want to dip into your bank account, donating unused credit card rewards, hotel points and airline miles can be a helpful alternative. In some cases the charity can use the rewards for travel needs, and in other cases, the iss…

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In telling a longtime friend about my writing of my newest book, “From Sea to High ‘C’”, I mentioned it was a story of my mother’s biography that she had written. All I did was rewrite it, polishing it a bit, making it chronological and translating German into English. What we quickly both agreed upon was the fact that when we both grew up, we did so much to try to entertain ourselves, thinking very little about others. Read more

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I received an email from a friend recently who informed me that we seniors now have a name that separates us from the rest of the members of our society. Our titles are “Seenagers”, another name for senior teenagers. That’s looking at things from a different perspective. The email went on to elaborate what just is meant by that name. “I have everything that I wanted as a teenager, only 50 to 60 years later.” Read more

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I’ve never heard of an “aunt-in-law,” but I know it’s a thing. The beauty of having a spouse’s aunt or uncle in your family is that you have every right to call them by his or her first name, unlike your in-laws, who get to dictate how you address them. Today’s linguistic inspiration comes from my wife’s Aunt Julie, all the way up in Bemidji, Minnesota. Thanks for the idea, Julie! Read more

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While at the Latrobe Farmers Market one Tuesday, I was sharing an expression with a fellow when he abruptly stopped me and stated, “Oh, I know that one. I learned that in elementary school while attending Catholic school.” What I was explaining to him was that “If you point your finger at someone, there will always be three fingers pointing back at you.” I had heard this saying only a few weeks prior, but he, many years before. Read more

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Great job, you voted! You exercised your right as a non-felonious adult American citizen to democratically elect the people who will represent us in our state and federal governments for the next few years. Even if we don’t know exactly who won yet in the elderly man popularity contest known as this year’s presidential election, you at least want to sound smart when you’re talking and/or writing about this year’s contest. Here are some tips on how to sound like a regular Doris Kearns Goodwin while chatting about politics. Read more

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Not much is known about dinosaurs except what we’ve read in history books or learned at museums. Such is the case after their extinction. To think 800,000 years after their disappearance, new life came into existence is hard to fathom, at least in my limited mind. Other mammals slowly populated the earth and multiplied to the growth we have today. Nothing ever stayed the same. Read more

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If I wrote an advice column, the world would be even worse than it already is. I’d tell people to “rub some dirt on it” or “stop yelling at people on the internet and get a hobby.” I’d be the Simon Cowell of advice columnists. Neither this newspaper nor any other newspaper in the United States would print it. Fortunately, I know a thing or two about the English language. Read more

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