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GOOD MORNING: New phone and new cat

Our house has been catless for more than a year now. Though I am not really fond of litter boxes, I do like cats. Generally, I like to play with other people’s cats which means I get to pet them and drive them crazy with laser pointers, but I don’t have to clean out the cat box.

GOOD MORNING: Some gifts are just wrong

Every Christmas, creative folks and stores try to outdo each other by offering the most unique and desirable stuff. They’re betting that folks will swarm in like a bunch of locusts and spend millions of dollars on gadgets that probably won’t be used. In looking at some of the new must-have-under-the-tree thingamajigs, I’m hoping that swarm of locust will bypass a few of them, because, frankly, I’m a little disturbed.

GOOD MORNING: Avoiding Christmas music

Anyone can testify to the fact that I am the furthest thing from a Grinch. The holidays come around and usually I tense with anticipation and excitement. I visit stores just to look at the gorgeous decorations and start window shopping for my friends and family, and usually the sooner these glorious traditions of mine can start, the better.

GOOD MORNING: My Thanksgiving last year was special

When I think of my favorite holidays, Thanksgiving is not generally one of them. I am thankful everyday, but Thanksgiving is mainly about food. Thanksgiving is like the appetizer before Christmas. Christmas is when we have the best foods and when family time really comes back to town.

GOOD MORNING: Name that voice

I’m really good at identifying voices without seeing someone’s face. I think everyone has a useless talent they’re really good at and that might just be mine, or at least the useless talent at which I excel the most.

GOOD MORNING: Words to live by

There are all kinds of sayings that folks take to heart. Things like “A penny saved is a penny earned,” and “Don’t put the cart before the horse” are oldies but still used and relative to life in any generation. My favorite ones, though, are those that blend humor with practical wisdom or facts.They even have a special name for them: paraprosdokians — meaning figures of speech where the latter part of the sentence or phrase is unexpected and often funny.

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GOOD MORNING: Wish lists sought

Just about one week away from Thanksgiving means we are just a bit more than one week away from the beginning of the Herald Democrat’s Wish List project. As a part of the project, the Herald Democrat publishes a wish list from a different nonprofit from the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas, if we have enough of them.

GOOD MORNING: Survival skills

When it comes to creepy-crawlies I’m a coward. In college I was notorious for crying helplessly while a spider or a grasshopper paraded its way shamelessly across my apartment. Usually one of my roommates begrudgingly came to my rescue, and, in the meantime, it was all I could do to hold myself together.

GOOD MORNING: New covers are always welcome

There are lots of one-hit wonders in the history of popular music who earned their 15 minutes of fame by covering someone else’s song, but legendary artists like Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra didn’t earn many writing credits on their hit records, so becoming famous for a cover song can’t be looked at as a bad thing.