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VN Featured Comment
Light therapy lamps: My advice
Home & Garden
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Today’s Featured Comment

From Tornado

I live in Vancouver, BC  where it is grey/raining for months on end and  suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).  I have been using Light Therapy Lamps for 15 years and swear by them.  My depression gets so bad, that I can’t even get out of bed to go to work.  My doctor has tried me on several antidepressants over the years, but the lights were the only thing that worked.  I also up my vitamin D from 1000 units in the summer, to 3000 units in the winter, but that alone won’t cure it.

Back when I was first diagnosed, these lamps were very expensive and had to be special ordered.  Nowadays, they are easy to find.  My work schedule changed this year and I wasn’t able to spend my hour a day under the lights as in the past and back came the depression.  I bought myself one of the small portable cheap lights for work and now leave it on all day.  The change in my mood has been dramatic.  I can’t say enough good things about them!

FYI  If you are going to try a lamp, do your research first.  It was nice to read the positive comments about the goLITE BLU light in this thread. I wondered about that particular one (still fairly new on the market), but couldn’t find enough positive research to take a chance on it.

[This recommendation was originally posted in this conversation. ~ Eds.]

Players and Cougar tagging.
Love & Sex
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I am amazed at the number of men in there 30’s whom are in bromances. Whom go out on weekends as wingman, or while working the trade jobs out of town while there wives and children sit home. It is disgusting to hear them boast about while away i put another punch on my cougar tag, old gals cant get enough of my buff body my boat truck etc. All while their wives and children stay at hm and go without while these little boys go be players and seducers with a mission. When caught they just get divorced and cheat on there next woman. They expect to live in player style and cheap out on their responsabilitys to afford as they say – they deserve nice things and a nice place and neighborhood to live in. They usually make good money and even pretend to be single and live a fake life until caught. This disgusts me. I am so fed up with seeing and hearing this crap go down. The women may not care that they are married either once it is out and continue cheating due to the limited choices with money in the dating pools these days let alone clean good looking in shape with all their teeth a great bunch of toys and a gift for bsi g women. Just done with cheating pigs and desperate women who dont know when to stop.


The high cost of going it alone.
Family & Relationships
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We get alot of Anons on this site where they ask how they are going to divorce, they look for advice and alot of advice has been given. Mostly dealing with the emotional aspects of a divorce.


I divorced twice the same man. Good I finally said it. I was want to say so much that I married him twice. Someone said to me….the point is not that you married him twice, but that you divorced him twice.


That being said the topic of the post is the not emotional side of divorce but the financial side. Of which, I have seen little in the way of down and dirty admitting to what women are living on once they take the plunge and divorce.


Especially at the 50 and on age.


So I am going to fess up and let all see just what a frugal life I now have in numbers.


1. Housing: $850 (rent)

Please do not think that this will be cheaper if you keep the house. You will still pay taxes, maintenance, etc, and where you may have been able to do some of it yourself when you were younger, going forward, shoveling snow, cleaning the gutters, raking the leaves, etc will not be as easy and you will be paying someone else to do.


2. Electric, Water, Sewer: Average $75 and $35

That is the average for the last tenant. I got the average heating bill down to $65 because I use a space heater and turn down the heat at night to 65. I clean one load of wash a week and hang the clothes so I do not have to use the dryer as often.


3. No cable, no flat screen TV, no major music system. I use a small BOSE mini system that sits on my buffet


4. Stream netflix on my computer for $8 a month.


Cell phone (no land line) $45 with a prepaid deal


Internet: $37


5. Food: I cook from scratch and cannot remember the last time I went out to eat. All work lunches packed, no StarBucks.



6. Gas, $150-200 a month

Maintenance on car: I have been lucky so far this past year but I would budget at least $50 a month, probably more


7. Insurance:

Car: $634 a year

Renters: $152 a year

Health: $85 a month (I, because it is not means tested get a subsidy from the government) that is why it is so cheap. But I do have a high deductible $1000 and OOP is $2000 with a %10 co pay for surgeries or hospital stays


Clothing and Misc: $100 mth


Dental and Eyecare: $30 mth


Fun: I volunteer at our Center for the Performing Arts so I get to see the productions for free.

I also volunteer at our Art Center so I get a reduction in price for art classes etc. sometimes some free studio space

Other than that no lunches with the girls and I have to take from something else to do retail therapy and the like


Personal care: $5 mth

I do not get my nails done. I get my hair cut every six months, I trim it myself and I color my own hair


Emergencies: Medical, Car $100 mth I had two crowns done and my breast exam came back showing something and I had to have more tests done $2000


Pet Care: I have three animals that I refuse to send them to the pound. The dog got an infection in her eye (alll better now) but the cost ran $1000 (the ex paid an additional $1000) so it ended up being $2000


I found a place that will give the dog her shots for less than a $100 a year so that is a great deal

So the GRAND TOTAL amounts to about $2000 net a month not counting the medical expense for the dog or for me…that came from the emergency fund that I set up for just this type of purpose. I have also set up a $50,000 emergency fund for my medical emergencies if I have one. I have no problems yet but I am turning 60 this year and my breasts and uterus always has some sort of something going on….


Well, there you have it. I live in a midwest city, not to bad for the cost of living.


Would you, could you live on this little?


I have $390,000 from the settlement but no social security from my ex and my own is minimal $850 a month if I take at 62. But that settlement has to last me till I die.


So what do you think…are you living this life or what is your story?


I would really like to know, so if you have any trick to getting these expenses down I would greatly appreciate your imput and I hope that those that are considering divorce…well, this is the mean reality of a “gray divorce.”


Talk to you soon!


From the divorced road,



Fast Fashion is Cheap Fashion
Fashion & Beauty
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Most production of clothing manufacturing is off shore. China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and Cambodia are all producing Fast Fashion cheaply. The wages paid to garment workers in foreign countries is very low. Actually China is raising their wage structure and many customers are moving to cheaper countries for their manufacturing.


So much of Fast Fashion is really almost disposable fashion. Made to last one seasonal trend or just a few wearings. The fabric is thin, the craftsmanship is shoddy, and the fit is hit or miss. Many factories off shore have to produce so many pieces so quickly that quality control is almost nonexistent. By the time you want to get rid of the garment it is not even worthy for the Charity shop.


Stores like Forever21, H&M, and Zara copy fashion designers looks and cheaply make copies. Designers are making styles for Kohl’s, and Target. So what’s the big deal? In the US, our consumerism to have the latest trend at a cheap price has just about bankrupt the US fashion industry, almost made a skill and trade obsolete and has even negatively impacted Thrift and Charity stores.


So what does this all mean to you? When you are shopping ask yourself a few questions:

What is the fabric? Can I see through it?

If I pull at the seams will they come apart?

Where is the garment made?

Is this a style that fits well?

Is this a one-season wonder?

Could more money be spent for a better-made item that will last longer?

Could a similar garment made in the USA be bought?


In my company,, I knew when we started we would have our production done in the USA. I heard too many horror stories about off shore manufacturers loosing inventory to sizing mistakes, or switching to inferior fabric. Even big designers like Karen Kane have moved much of their production back to the States because of quality control issues.


Then of course there is the issue of sweatshops and low-low wages. I could not run a company where my product was produced under those conditions. The manufacturing company I use pays their employees a living wage with benefits. They call me if there is a question on a design style or if they notice a flaw in the fabric. My production costs are easily 10 times more than they would be off shore but we are a company with values. I want my customers to feel good about their purchase and to use their buying power to promote clothing made in the USA!


Are you having a difficult time finding quality made clothes, or clothes made in the USA?











Charmaine Coimbra
California’s Rich Field Moment–More Tales of Drought
Home & Garden, News
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A saintly twelve inches of snow-covered portions of Sequoia National Park on All Saints Day, Nov. 1. How could I complain, even if I had planned an early November three-day hiking adventure among the majestic sequoia months ago? Any show of rain or snow in the drought-dry California mountains and valleys couldn’t eek out the vaguest of grumbling by the most curmudgeon of curmudgeons.

The trails I mapped out were ice-packed and completely inadvisable for any person not that long out of knee surgery. So much for meandering among the giants.

Back at the riverside rented cabin, the moistened soil — autumn-sun warmed — seduced dormant seeds awake. A resurrection of green slipped through the layer of fallen leaves and dried grasses. By morning a thunderous roar filled the canyon. The Kaweah River no longer struggled to trickle through plump gray boulders. Overnight it swelled into a cacophonous roar of melting snow and runoff rain that gave the river’s sentinel sycamores and their air-dancing red and golden leaves the ride of their ending lives.

It was the California I knew from my youth. A plentiful, generous land:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABy late September we filled local ski shops for early buy bargains. Mammoth Mountain, Squaw Valley, even the southern San Gabriel mountains would soon freeze. Snow, measured in multiple yards,could smoother the Sierra-Nevada slopes overnight. By May’s end, reservoirs filled near capacity. With ski boats ready, we made camp on man-made lake shores, flipped for turns at the tow rope’s end and debated who made the biggest rooster with that fat water ski out on mid-lake.

The rivers ended at the Pacific Ocean where we gathered during August. Under a beached full moon we sat crossed legged on cheap Mexican blankets in the sand and talked about who would leave next for one of California’s many state colleges.

Life was a rich field in California. The Sixties offered sun, spirit, dreams and opportunity.

This All Saint’s Day snow sent locals into spinning cartwheels. Snow boots, gloves and sleds sold at local sporting goods stores. The drought from hell was over!

Not really. Meteorologists told reporters that it was, “the last expected rainfall in the foreseeable future.”

The nearby reservoir is woefully empty.

It’s warm today. Very warm, actually. The river’s melodious chorus delights me. But like any anticipated event, it will end. I pray it’s temporary.


Take a rest for 4 minutes and view Sequoia National Park in November.  The music, “The Clearing,” by David Crosby, strikes my mood when reviewing these photos my camera captured –somewhere between true love of the beauty that my eyes see and the melancholy of natures’s loss.