Archive for April, 2014

Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, Go Fish!
April 29, 2014

I recently spent a week with my sister, and my niece and her family. I am the great aunt to my nieces’ daughter; I am Tantie my sister is Bubbe. We spent 24 hours with the 2½-year-old without her parents. It was heaven!

ImageI brought tiaras for all of us and Bubbe furnished the jewels and tutu for the little one. My niece and her family live in the UK. This means the little one has an English accent. I have to say it is precious. (more…)


Exercising My Brain
April 22, 2014

I was in pharmaceutical sales for over 20 years. I loved it. One of the things I missed most when I left was talking about studies and clinical trials. I loved going into a doctors office and have the doctor say to me, “Did you see that *** study in New England?” All my geekiness would surface and we would have a talk about it because of course I had read the study too.

Let me tell you outside of the pharmaceutical/medical world, conversations like these just don’t happen. A clinical study data released was for me like knowing a big sale was going to start on your favorite shoes!

I love the work I do now with my company. We are successful and have been in business for 8 years but last year I was having the 7-year itch. To scratch it I enrolled in an online course to become a medical coder. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever done! My brain cells were not just exercised they were put into Olympian training. For 5 months I spent 6 hours a day everyday studying.

ImageI mentioned the course was on line which I had to adapt to. I could email questions and get encouragements but I found this type of study lonely. There was reading, practice exams, workbook exams and final exams for every chapter. The exams were timed too. 2 hours was given for every chapter exam and it took me every bit of the 2 hours to complete the exams.

The intensity aside, the course was really interesting to me. A medical coder takes the diagnosis and the treatments from the doctor and translates it into codes that then can be billed to insurance and or collected for data.


There are codes for diseases, injuries, conditions, syndromes, and for wellness. The trick and it is almost like a mystery finding the clues, is to code correctly. The correct code means anyone, a hospital doctor, you personal doctor, or your insurance can look at the codes and know exactly why you visited the ER or doctor.

I wanted to exercise my brain and challenge myself, and I achieved it. It was a very difficult course of study. The final exam to become certified was 6 hours long! I passed and I am certified. At age 60 I have learned a new skill set.

Have you ever taken a course just for the brain exercise, or for the intellectual challenge?






Vacationing at Friends’ or Family Homes
April 12, 2014

Summer means vacations. If you live or have a home in a desirable vacation area it is THAT TIME OF YEAR!

Do you know what I am talking about? Friends and relates may be looking to mooch or crash with you this summer.

Here are my guidelines:

  1. No more than 4 days and 3 nights total.
  2. No pets.
  3. No unknown traveling buddy that comes with.
  4. No use of a car, rentals are available.
  5. If you are taking a red eye home you will be dropped off at 9 PM. Likewise if you are taking a really early flight, there are cabs or public transportation.

Do these guidelines seem strident? I am opening up my house and extending hospitality. I want family and friends to visit but I work. I run a business. Come Thursday and leave Tuesday and we can all have lots of fun. Really we can!

Of course there are exceptions. In my case, my sister has a very small footprint so she can stay longer. Some other guests, 3-4 days is the limit. A weekend is truly enough for some other guests who have large footprints.

Then there are guests who try to force their way, into your home and they are turned back. This becomes awkward but in my experience it is well worth a few minutes of awkwardness and firmness than staying 3 days holed up in your bedroom. Just saying…

So what makes a good houseguest, and what am I talking about large and small footprints? Here is how a guest can have small footprints:

1.They blend in well with your routine.

2. They give you options on what they want to do.

3. They contain their belongings to their room.

4. They help out.

5. They are appreciative of the time spent together.


Here are traits of big footprint guests:

1.They have a routine that you must adjust to. A good example, they run 5 miles every morning and an early start can’t occur until they get their run in.

2. They have no plans but don’t want to do any of your choices.

3. Their shoes, coats and clothes are all over the house.

4. They mistake your home for a B&B.

5. They just want to crash at your house because they can’t afford a ‘real’ vacation.

Have you turned away guests? How have your experiences been?