Jul 27, 2016

Writing Colonel Sanders a Check

My granddaughter can be a
little obstinate! She was about
two in this photo.
In the summer I spend a great deal of my time with grandchildren. In the winter I spend a great deal of time with my husband and friends. They are very different worlds and they both make me happy.

This summer has been a whirlwind of grandchildren from morning until night. July is always the busiest but this year I began tutoring a grandson two days a week so there will not be a change until fall. I like the routine and have fallen into it easily.

I like returning to a small part of my work life before retirement. When I was in the classroom, I could keep as a dozen all in the air. Multi-tasking was not a problem in that place. Every child in that classroom knew that if they asked me for something, even though they may have to wait, I would remember them and give them the help they needed. My grandson is learning that he can trust me. It is good.

HOWEVER, when I was a young mother I did not work because it would have been either-or! I only worked part of time as a substitute teacher. If it had been full time, one job would have gone undone and I am thinking it would have been the mothering job that was left to do itself. My husband worked 24/7 so he was not up for doing 1/2 of that job.

I remember one especially challenging week when it seemed as though the walls would cave in on us. Teens here and there, school function for my husband, I was substitute teaching for the school district. Then there was food. Who was going to cook? I was at the end of my rope.

Someone mentioned Kentucky Fried Chicken. I could not make it to the car fast enough and we all piled in and set out to get an order of extra crispy. Mashed potatoes and coleslaw were ordered as sides and I took out my checkbook to pay. That was when I wrote the check out to Colonel Sanders.

See, multi-tasking can be a challenge for me. And believe it or not, the cashier took my check. It is probably hanging in someone's office right now because I won the award for the doofiest woman ever to cross their threshold. Sigh!

The day in the life of a retiree can be fun. Let's hope that I can keep all the balls in the air for about 6 more weeks. I am betting on me but who knows.

How's your summer going?


Jul 24, 2016

In My Humble Opinion...Trump, Black Lives, World Tumult, Gun Control, Abortion

...but today is not the day!
I suppose I need to talk about the news sooner or later and now is as good a time as any. In a lot of ways, every post I write is about the world we live in but, because this is my blog, I get to ignore a whole lot of what occurs on a very bad day. Today is my day of reckoning. A few words are in order just so you will know where I stand.

Black Live Matter...well of course they matter. Unless you can find some personal experience that allows you to understand how a black person feels when they are stopped by the police, you cannot even begin to appreciate what is going on.

If you have ever felt fear as you are trapped by someone with ALL the power in the world and is holding a gun, then you can understand how bad things can happen. Just the wrong word or motion can lead to a death. My heart goes out to people that live with that fear everyday. I am a white woman whose life also matters but I am white so I have no idea how a person of color feels.

On the other side of the coin are all those police officers that are also afraid. They have my sympathy too. I don't want to walk in their shoes either.

The World is a Very Bad place...I will agree but don't ever tell  me that it is worse than it has ever been. Even the horrible shootings in Munich don't begin to compare to the past. Keeping perspective is hard but we really must not let ourselves sink into a pot of self-pity because today or yesterday was not perfect. WE can make a difference.

Donald Trump is an idiot/savior of the world! See, the thing is we get to vote. Both Democrats and Republicans. If you or someone feels like we are danger from this man they need to vote for the person that is the less of the two evils. If we don't, it is as though they have voted for him anyway. Think about it! (Note: Michael Bloomberg, Dem. turned Rep. turned Independent turned Dem., is endorsing Clinton because he is very alarmed.)

Hillary Clinton is a criminal and should be put in prison...this one puzzles me because those people that made the decisions on the law say she did not commit a crime. I suppose that the talk show hosts are stirring this pot but who knows. I'm going with the law because I am all about our country being based on our willingness to obey the law even when we don't agree. And I think that slander is slander.

Building a Wall to Keep Them Out...I am very a torn about illegal aliens. I am worry about children but I also wonder what part of illegal those people didn't get. It is a hard hearted way to see things. I do know that those people that come here legally wait a very long time to gain admission to the United States. I admire those people for their honesty and tenacity. Oh, and I don't think the fences we have built so far have worked at all. There might be a better way.

Abortion...this is such a complicated issue that I don't think we'll ever figure it out. Babies are so precious and should not die at our hands. In my world, no woman would ever be pregnant unless she wants to be. I think rape victims or those that live in compromised circumstances (homeless, drug users) need to take a day after pill. The pills should be readily available. The Catholic Church and any other group that is so visible in opposition to abortion should be spending their time getting information and supplies to woman so unwanted pregnancies do not happen. In that scenario, an unwanted pregnancy might be a burden that could be endured and all babies would be welcome...in my perfect world!

Gun Control...I don't like guns but I prefer for a person that is carrying a gun to do it in plain site. I can cross the street if I feel threatened. I don't think guns are good for anything unless one needs to kill an animal to eat. Otherwise they need to be locked away. AND I am not a fan of the NRA.
But then that is just me.

Mass Murder, Homelessness and Mental Illness...It seems to me that we don't want to deal with the culprits here. Mental illness is truly rampant and needs our attention all of the time. We ignore so many people because they are different when we should be asking ourselves if as a society we are paying the taxes needed to provide for solving the problem. I believe that mental illness and our gun laws are are working hand in hand to create chaos. I have no idea how to stop the violence and loss of human dignity but someone somewhere does. We need to hear their voice.

I'm glad we had this little talk. As a disclaimer here, you should know that I might change my mind. That happens you know.

So, what do you think? Is there a hot button issue that you have been avoiding?

Jul 20, 2016

Pokémon GO Is Here....Really!

I wondered what in the name of heaven was going on. Young people, people in cars and more young people kept wandering into our neighborhood. And as the days passed, more and more came.

We live in a 55+ neighborhood on a private street. It puzzled me as to what they were doing and why all of a sudden old people were on their watch list.

Then all H""LL broke loose...and trust me, there is not much excitement around here so when there is and it becomes a 55+ neighborhood's version of a firestorm, I sit up and notice.

Our private street, gazebo and catch basin were by occupied Pokémon GO players. Now I am not against video games or having strangers take a walk in my neighborhood. But when it became a constant stream of traffic on foot and in cars, we all got a little edgy! It was different and we do not like that. :)
When Pokemon Go players see the sign, they
turn around and leave...very odd!

They occupied our little park at night. That is where a gazebo sits in our neighbor's backyards. They sat in the catch basin near the entrance until the wee hours of the morning giggling and talking.

Signs were placed around the neighborhood banning Pokemon players and we gathered in the garage entrances to watch for intruders. Honestly, it was hilarious!

Our local library welcomes players AND
they can charge their phones too!
And there was cussing and stuff...I'm sorry but I am laughing because normally everything is so quiet around here. I am always up for something...anything that makes people's blood rise! It is fun...in fact I am not above stirring in the pot just for the heck of it.

So, the beat goes on. Our streets are getting tar sealed today so couples are gathered on the sidewalk watching construction...see what I mean? I love my life and I absolutely adore my neighbors. Smile!

Oh, and did I mention? The stream of Pokemon Players continue to come!

Have a wonderful day!


All my grandchildren want to come and visit us and sit in OUR backyard...they love Pokemon Go!

Jul 18, 2016

The Offer I Refused!

We traveled from Hanoi north to Sapa situated very near the base of the Himalayas.
I received an offer to apply for an audition the other day. The sender wanted me to tell about how I had gotten to be so lucky and maybe brag about some mountain I had climbed. It was all about being wild, reckless and daring in retirement. Even though the pay was substantial, I turned it down. But not for the reason you might imagine.

Actually my husband and I have done some pretty awesome things in the last 10 years that give me the right to brag. So it wasn't the mountain climbing that stopped me in my tracks. It was the part about explaining how we had came to be so fortunate at this time in our life.

Yes, we walked this trail...no railings, each step different!
2 miles later straight down at the floor of the gorge!
They wanted me to tell what decisions we made when we were young that gave us the money to do what we want right now. There really is no way to guide others to do what we did. The simple fact is we stayed the course. We didn't dabble with our money or take it out here and put it there. The retirement plan we were offered survived and in that we were lucky!

Our adult children, spouses and my daughter-in-law's mother in the center.
But I have to say that what we did sacrifice for was the education of our children. That was the really big investment we made. It was not easy. No debt followed them into life. Now we are sitting back and enjoying the fruits of our labors. That investment has changed the quality of our retirement in ways I cannot even describe. It is wonderful.

The fact that they share in our life is beyond amazing. We are very very lucky people.

Note: Oh by the way, it was my oldest son that invited us to travel with his family and friends to Vietnam. He was the first of our children to graduate from college. He now has his masters and is working on his doctorate. The seeds we planted continue to grow!

Have a wonderful day!

Have you been offered the chance to audition for an online commercial on retirement?


Jul 17, 2016

Oh my gosh, I'm going to have to tell Carole!

My friend and I always miss each other a great deal when we come back home. We love the winter in Arizona, eat together once in awhile and talktalktalk. Our parting words every spring are "Don't you go and die on me!" I know it is strange but Carole and I is like that.

She has lost many friends in the past few years because she has so many friends to lose. It makes her sad. I don't like for Carole to be sad. So this story is all about keeping Carole happy.

Carole in Red!
I have had a kinda a rough spring/summer season. It all started with a place on my nose, a burn on my hand and an allergy season that beat anything. All in all, I was the walking wounded. But, if you knew me, you would know that I don't pay much attention to my health. Every day I wake up grateful, and make a concerted effort to avoid thinking about my aches and pains.

A long time can pass before I actually begin to realize that I am sick.

But I am a good little camper and I do have my blood tested on time and get the usual checks. I don't want to die of being lazy.

That is why I had my blood tested a couple of weeks ago. A few days later my doctor's nurse called and wanted me to come back in for a follow up visit to discuss the results. That had never happened before. I was suffering with breathing problems that always are a worry but had gotten a new med that was working wonders. So what was the problem? I was a little worried.

I thought I could figure out what the doctor was going to say before I went in if I look at the test result again. After all how hard could it be. By simply clicking the small information icon I was lead to pages and pages of information for what each result could mean. I actually read what each and every number on the "test result" information indicated. Oh-my-gosh...I am going to die.

Yes, I am dizzy (if I tilt my head just right).
Yes, my vision is a little blurred (when I look out of corner of my eye).
Yes, when I raise my arms up really high, I have a shooting pain (once in awhile).
And my glucose was getting high...not good.
Yes, yes, yes.
I think I have cancer or anemia or maybe I am developing Alzheimer! This is NOT good.

Then I began to think how sad my grandchildren were going to be. I was sure that my husband would not know what to do.

As I was stewing I remembered Carole...OH MY GOSH! I WAS GOING TO HAVE TO TELL CAROLE I WAS DYING! Darn, Darn, Darn! That was the one thing of all the things that occurred to me that I really did not want to do! She would be sad and pity me and I couldn't figure out how to hide the fact that I was dead! Again, darn darn darn!

I am sure you have figured out that my imagination was running wild for no reason. It is all good. I am not dying and I am not diabetic and won't be until the cows come home. My doctor reprimanded me for not walking more, sent me to a class on a better diet and is making me more aware of how health issues will play out. No more head in the sand for me. Like that old ironing basket I talked about yesterday, there will be no hiding from myself.

As for Carole, she never reads my blog so she will never be any the wiser. Isn't that wonderful. Life is good.

And, I will never, never read all those warnings and information on my health care website. That stuff just plain scares me.


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