Better late than never: Thanking a Grilled Grandma

When I was first laid off from my newspaper job in December of 2008, this week's Grilled Grandma, Anne, helped me out immensely. She helped me see that there were indeed writing jobs I could do from home, and even helped me secure a couple that added to my coffers.

Anne doesn't know she helped me. In fact, she didn't know me, and I didn't know her. I knew only her website,, and the market and job listings she posted daily. I visited daily, took her advice daily, searched for work daily. Despite the help she gave, I never met her. And I never thanked her.

Which is why I was so pleased Anne recently wrote me nominating herself to be a Grilled Grandma. I was thrilled. Of course I jumped at the chance to feature this woman who selflessly helps writers all across the country, heck, maybe even all across the globe.

So today I offer up Grilled Grandma: Anne. Please read her grilling and visit her blogs. She's a smart lady with lots to offer — not only to her grandchildren, but to her readers, too.

And for that, I offer my official thanks: Thank you, Anne! Unbeknownst to you until this very moment, you made a difference in my life. Thank you!

Today's question:

Who in your life deserves a big "Thank you!" today?

Trash talk

I've found that since being laid off, there's far less garbage in my life.

I'm not talking about office politics, primadonna designers, "other duties as assigned" or all the other garbage associated with the working world. I mean that literally, there's less garbage in my life.

It used to be that the garbage service we pay for allowed for three big garbage cans. And we often filled those three big garbage cans ... to the brim ... and then some. (The service also allowed for two additional garbage bags along with the cans, so that's where the "then some" went; we didn't leave it scattered around the cans for the friendly garbage man to pick up.)

But then December 2008 came. And I was outsourced from my position. And I now only work a part-time position (which really is okay with me).

And about five months ago, I saw the need to change our garbage pickup to be for just one measly can.

I admit that I changed the service to include one can and one recycle bin (I am trying to do that green thing that's so popular of late). But what ends up in the recycle bin isn't enough to fill a garbage can. Which means we're generating about half the trash we did while I was fully employed.

Even the day after Christmas -- a day that in the past meant that three full cans were surrounded by three additional lawn-and-leaf-size bags plus a pile of the boxes from the gifts and goodies -- saw only one full can ... and one full recycle bin.

The diminished garbage pile can't be just because my kids have grown older and the gifts come in smaller packages. We were in the same boat last year and still had piles of Christmas garbage.

And the smaller daily accumulation of garbage certainly isn't because any of us are on diets around here.

No, I honestly believe there's less garbage because I make less money. Because I make less money, I buy less stuff. And because I buy less stuff, there's less garbage. (Which clearly speaks volumes on the trap of consumerism I'd fallen into!)

I bet garbage collectors all across the country are emptying lighter cans -- fewer cans -- into their trucks each day. They probably get through their rounds faster and get home earlier.

So forget all the predictions and prognostications of the economists and financial gurus, it's the garbage men who can give us the real scoop. They'll be the ones to tell us when the economy is looking up, when we can all breathe a sigh of relief that the worst truly is over. They'll be the ones to see the bigger piles on the horizon. And bigger piles will mean bigger smiles ... for all of us.

There you have it: The truth is in the garbage!

Today's question from "If...(Questions for the Game of Life)":

If you could change one thing to make life easier for your own gender, what would you change?

I would get rid of that whole menstruation thing and all that goes along with it!