It's not how much you make, it's how much money you keep in your pocket.

Bob's Money Mojo

Get a Grip!

“Five foot two, eyes are blue, dootee dootee dootee do, has anybody seen my gal?” This is an old, old song that was a staple in my house because my mom was five foot two and her eyes were blue. At age 9, I made a version of this for my dad that started, “Five foot eight, teeth are straight.” Thankfully my parents thought this was just delightful because I’m sure it was not good poetry. The point is that my dad was shorter than your average man.

He reached things off high shelves with an array of quirky tools including the gripper/grabber. When he was much older, he didn’t want to get out of his chair for any reason. He used the gripper to hand us things like the TV remote and magazines.

The Gripper/Grabber Tool

I recall one night when dad was instructing mom on how to use the gripper The back and forth bickering might have been painful for others to hear. Fortunately, I thought the whole idea was funny from the beginning. Dad wanted something and didn’t want to get out of his chair. Dad enlisted Mom to help him and she had no good excuse to refuse. I was the only able-bodied (and taller) person in the room, but they were both so independent it didn’t occur to them to ask me for help. So, I was witness to their dynamics literally from an arm chair.

Another tool of Dad’s was a back scratcher. He had several. One was by his recliner, one by the bed, and one lost somewhere which is why the bought others. In his later years, he bought one with an extension. He couldn’t reach his arm up as high anymore so he needed to make the back scratcher longer.

Dad’s behavior showed me that there was no shame in using tools. Using a tool is a form of asking for help. Unfortunately, I inherited the independent gene from both of my parents so I didn’t learn how to ask for help or use tools until I was much older. Inventors create tools to make our lives easier. They take pride in seeing people’s lives improved.

You might be like me and have to talk yourself into asking for help. It might feel like you’re cheating. I remind myself that inventors are happy when you use their tools. That’s why they made them! So, I reframe my thinking that instead of beating myself up for needing a tool, instead I’m really helping the tool’s inventors. We all have some weird places our brains travel to. As long as you’re aware of those paths, you can use them to lead you to where you want to go. is a free resource to organize your life, increase your productivity, and help you remember stuff. Saving time can also save you money! I use it to jot down blog post ideas, store recipes, keep a journal, list links to music and videos, store my Christmas card list, and plan my garden. I’m sure I haven’t even tapped a fraction of their potential. I have plans to use their table feature and other functions for my budgets. I’ll keep you posted on that. They already have a couple templates for budgeting.

A few of my other favorite free apps are:

  • Gaia GPS to find and track hiking and kayaking spots.
  • Insight Timer for yoga, short meditations, and soothing music
  • The Pattern which uses personalized astrology to work through fears, insecurities, and build on your hidden strengths.

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