Jan 30, 2010

Don't make me come out there, Children!!! ...how to make your olders parents feel young!

 MAXINEMaxine at her best!!!

LESSON FOR THE DAY...hang out with people that make you look good.  :})

I bought a birthday card for a friend the other day.  He will be 76 years old.  Much, much older than me...well maybe not that much!!  Anyway the card has a picture of Maxine on the front and she is saying: 
The only way for me to look younger is to stand next to someone that looks worse than me.
(inside the card)
So get the hell away from me!
Happy Birthday!
Maxine always tells the truth, even if it hurts.  Truly, living young IS all about who you hang out with.  I am finding that I feel much younger when I snowbird the winters away in Arizona.  We live in a 55+ community and our park model is situated across the street from pickle ball courts and the tennis court.  We can see horse shoe throwing pits and bocci ball courts from our windows. 

If young people only realized how annoying their condescending attitude was, they would stop talking to us like we are two!  Thank heavens my children have to be reminded that we cannot climb mountains anymore.  They expect that my husband and I will be able to do anything.  That is the way we like it.  The trick is to ask us if we want to climb...then we can turn them down and say we are busy.  Where is the harm in that?  We are all happy!

My favorite saying is a quote by Phoebe Buffay of the TV show, Friends..."I would really like to do that but I don't want to."  It doesn't make a lot of sense (nothing Phoebe said made sense) but it has let me say NO hundreds of times and gotten a laugh to boot.

Just a Saturday rant.  Have a wonderful day.

b
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Jan 26, 2010

Fashionable Beauty Salon in Tucson, AZ? Check the location before you make an appointment!

This is why we talk to someone or get information before we head out to get our hair cut or waxing done or any of that girly stuff. Today I was schmoozing around on the internet looking at anything of interest in Tucson, AZ. I happened to notice a segment of the information on fashion in Tucson. The link led to beauty salons that offer eyebrow threading.  If you have never heard of this ancient technic of removing extra eyebrow hair, I found a You Tube video to explain what this is all about.  NOTE: I have never had this done but thought I might try it out for you.




SOOOOO...I went out on the internet to look at Blondies Hair Salon because it seemed to be easy to get to on the internet and offered threading as one of it's services.  Here was the picture that came up.  Is this scary or what????  Seriously, you need to go to the link.  All I can hope for is that it is a huge mistake.  At any rate, I will not be going to Blondie's anytime soon.  How about you?

b

Maybe just buying a tool to do yourself is a good idea!







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Jan 25, 2010

Online Games FREE!!! Exercise for the Mind!

Image representing Lumosity as depicted in Cru...Image via CrunchBase
Keeping the old brain in training can actually be fun!!!  Really.  I just found a website called Lumosity that features games and brain teasers.  Braingle, Brainbashers, Smart-Kit and Brain Fun are just a few of your choices.  This is just one of the brain teasers from Brain Fun:

What Month Is It?

If you add together the date of the last Monday of last month and the first Thursday of next month, the result is 38. Both dates are in the same year.
What is the current month?
Get the answer to What Month Is It?.
 Take a look at them.  They are lots of fun.  We all know we need to use it or lose it!

b

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Jan 24, 2010

BEST Valentine Gift Book for Girls....EVER!!!! Fancy Nancy

 

Okay grandma and grandpa...listen up.  I just found the cutest books for little girls I have ever seen.  Fancy Nancy is a line of books written by Jane O'Connor.  She has managed to capture playing dress-up at its very best.  The books are  not only fun to read but they are an absolute feast for the eyes.  Nancy is a fancy girl...she loves bling and wants everyone else to gave as much fun as she does.  There are activity books,  Fancy Nancy's Tea Parties, sticker books and the list goes on. Nancy even loves fancy words and Fancy Nancy's Favorite Fancy Words: From Accessories to Zany is a real winner!  Check it out because this is the best Valentine's gift ever for your granddaughters!

Amazon even has the dolls.   A group of girls around the age of 10 walked by just as I was entering the toy aisle in a local big box store.  One girl commented "Cute Doll".  When I looked it was a Fancy Nancy doll.  I thought they were as cute as American Girl and at around $36.00,  a lot more affordable! 

These books and dolls would be good for little girls from aged 2 until they outgrow playing dress up.  That depends on your grandchild.

Now you know what my granddaughters will get for Valentine's Day.  SHHHHHH...please don't tell.

b
p.s.  I paid full price for these books at a big box store.  I always regret it when I check with the Amazon book seller. Grandparents need to be careful with their dimes! Sigh!
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Jan 21, 2010

The Perfect Dripless Candle (Trader Joe's) ++ more!


March 2013 update:  I am told that these candle are available during certain time of the year when candles are more popular. I think Christmas may be one of those time of year.  Ask about them at your local Trader Joes.

Retirement Thoughts

It's Thursday...finding things to do on Thursday can be really hard!  Like a child on summer vacation when the weather is cold and windy, Mom and Dad are at work and you are at loss ends, Thursday can be hard.  That is what retirement is like.  Thankfully we are old enough to read and make soup!  Sigh!  The photo above was taken yesterday after a cleansing 1/2 inch of rain.  Today the mountains are black and the wind is howling. 

Perfect Candles
 
I have a wonderful product for center pieces when you are entertaining.  It is candle season in the northern hemisphere and candle season everywhere in the world.  Candles can warm a dark room, provide light when the power goes out and even get rid of the smell of cabbage cooking!  I have probably bought enough candles in my lifetime to fill a semi-truck.  Finally, I have found the perfect affordable solution to the dripping messy taper dilemma.   Trader Joe's carries a wonderful product called Eight Candles.   I doubted their claim to be a dripless and self-extinguishing candle.  You know what...they really are.  I used them for a party of 60 last week and placed them on rented table clothes.  They burned for the whole evening without a sign of a drip.  (Trader Joe's says they will last 6-7 hours.) The wick is treated with a non-flammable solution that makes self-extinguishing possible.  I bought several packages and paid a little over $3.00 per package of eight including taxes.  I love them.

b+ 


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Jan 19, 2010

Retire in Style...COOL!!! Hearing Aids and Skinny Necks!!!!

Cool Hearing Aids 
These are called Vibe and are being sold by Seimens.  Take a look at these!


Who knew???

I am always amazed at what I find when I begin searching around on the web.  I live part of each year in a 55+ RV park.  Hearing aids are just a part of survival around here.  We all sport plastic gadgets behind our ears with another ugly gadget inside our ear.  UGH!!!  These devices just scream I am oldoldoldoldold!!!  Because of the wonderful boomer generation coming down the pike, we are seeing wonderful style choices that we have never seen before.  Hearing aids are only the tip of the iceberg.


Neckline Slimmer! 
Below pictures of Carole before and after.



Have you seen the Neck Slimmer ad?   (Compare this link with the Amazon ad above.  I was amazed at the difference in price.)  The first time I saw it introduced on TV several month ago I was so tempted to buy one.  But I passed it up in favor of trying to do some exercises myself.  Today I was talking to a friend.  She was on the way to the gym and I commented on how slim her face looked...had she lost weight?  Not at all...she claims to be heavier than she has ever been.  How did her face look so slim?  Well, she bought the Neckline Slimmer device last summer and has used it faithfully ever since.  WOW!!!

How do I look?

No matter how old or young we are we worry about our personal appearance...in fact I really do believe that our health is in some way related to our self image and if we feel good about ourselves we are healthier.

Just a thought!

b
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Jan 16, 2010

"Wild" Cats Spotted on Arizona National Golf Course in Tucson Arizona

I can honestly say that when I do "sporting" things, I am generally all about the beauty.  Ambiance is what I generally look for.  I would rather fish in a beautiful mountain lake on a sunny afternoon than at a brown reservoir in the hills of eastern Oregon.  I am funny that way.  Life style for me is not about money...it is about beauty.

When we are visiting the desert southwest in the winter months of the year, we golf quite a bit.  While I love those "goat track" courses here because of their history or native appeal, Arizona National  and course like it are my first choice.  The settings is so stunning it takes my breath away.


Last week we played Arizona National using our Wild Cat Card (take a look at this website) for a free round of golf.  When you buy the card you get several rounds at a reduced price and one round free plus a free round on the card owner's birthday.  The cards are good until the end of January and then again in late spring and next fall.  We can play either here in Tucson at Arizona National and Forty-niner  or in Green Valley at Canoa Hills and San Ignacio.  The beauty of the Arizona National course, the setting on the side of the Catalina Mountains and a generous helping of wild beauty all mixed together to make a spectacular day.

Speaking of "wild cats" we really did see two on the golf course.  A pair of bobcats were playing on the fairway as we walked came up one of the holes on the front side.  They are so tame that one is tempted to treat them as pets.  But when you get up close and personal with them, you realize how large even the kittens are.  The pictures I took were from about 10 yards away.  The cat had it's head turned so I whistled at it to make it turn it's head.  The perfect shot of a bobcat sitting on a rock with it's paws on the ground playing the part of a "cool cat" was mine!  I noticed quail, road runners, rabbits all under one little piece of rough.





How we even focus on our golf game is beyond me.  I scored 49 on the back side so I must have been paying a little attention.

Have a wonderful weekend!

b
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Jan 6, 2010

In Salt Lake City...AGAIN!!! TRAVEL FROM PDX TO TUCSON!



Waiting in the airport....one of those love hate relationship you know!  True they have wireless in Salt Lake City but the passageways from one terminal to another care is colder than a landlord's heart!  When I am flying from Tucson to Portland, I freeze to death.  Going the other way it is not so bad because I am still dressed like Nanook of the North.  I have a good book...that is perfect but they also have a book store in this terminal E and I am so tempted to add one more to my bag.  I saw Stones into Schools setting out to suck me in.
Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan was released on December 1, 2009. Over the past sixteen years, Greg Mortenson, through his nonprofit Central Asia Institute (CAI), has worked to promote peace through education by establishing more than 130 schools, most of them for girls, in remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
My family has a vested interest in education and my son works as an administrator in Shanghai American Schools.  He has also worked in Saudi Arabia.  He can attest to the fact that stone throwing is a middle eastern cultural way of expression.  You remember the stories of stoneings in the Bible resulting in people being killed.  Well it turns out they are not just stories.  The people in that region evidently are very skillful with stones.  I will be reading Stones into Schools soon.

Oh I suppose I should confess that we were late leaving PDX by 45 minutes.  That turns out to be plenty of time to browse and buy at the Powell's there.  I bought The Know It All for my husband (and myself of course).  This guy decided to read the encyclopedia and then write his own brief version of entries he found ...his website said "Part memoir, part Cliff's Notes to every topic under the sun, The Know-It-All is about the year I spent reading the Encyclopaedia Britannica from A to Z (or, more precisely, from a-ak to zywiec). All forty-four million words of it. The book is many things...."  As you can well imagine he might not be really popular with his co-workers.  If you remember Cliff Clavin in the Cheers TV series...will no one wants to be him!  In fact the magazine MORE listed this trait as a sign of being old.  We tend to come off as KNOW IT ALLS.  Sigh!

Late planes are a problem these days but our check in at PDX was just so simple.  We carry everything on and still scooted through.   We always have our driver's license ready along with our ticket.  We check in on the computer the night before we leave.  The as we approach the belt we take shoes off, remove the computer from the bag and put it all in plastic tubs along with our coat, cell phone and even big belts.  You just assume that they want to be able to get as close to your body as they can without you going naked!  It works just fine for us.

Living the senior life style is so much fun.  We arrived home here in Tucson, the sun was shining and we  had drinks outside with friends.  After a lovely visit and great food we slept in our Tucson bed.  Friends have arrived while we were gone over the holidays so there is lots of catching up to do.  Life is good!

Have a wonderful day!

b
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Jan 3, 2010

Keep that Sense of Humor...living with old age!


This post on Joanies Ramblings made me laugh....hopefully you will like it.
This is just one choice...and definitely not the best.
It will tickle your sense of humor!
Check it out.

b

NEW iConvert® Slide and Negative Scanner...just right for our needs!

I couldn't decide...do we look forward to a wonderful new year OR do we look back at what the old year had to offer?  Then my husband got the best Christmas gift ever.

The little box sat in his lap weighed almost nothing.  It was about the size of a package of large crackers.  When he opened it we were both delighted to see that he had received the iconvert device sold by the Brookstone Company.  The iconvert is a wonderful little machine that will convert all those old slides we have been storing... not only our own but those of my parents...for a gajillion years.  Truly many of these slides are over 40 years old.  The company describes the device in the following way:
Discover the fast, easy way to convert old slides and negatives to high-resolution digital files before they fade and crack. Just connect iConvert® to your computer, insert a negative strip or photo slide, press the negative scan button or slide scan button—and get instant digital pictures! It’s a simple, welcome alternative to paying a professional.
Powered by, and connects to, your computer.
Connect iConvert® to your PC or Mac® with the included USB cable and download your slides and negatives. iConvert® captures the images as high-resolution (600, 1200, 1800 or 3600 dpi) digital files you can save, edit and share. Compatible with Windows® 98/XP/Vista®, Mac® OS X 10.4 and later (with Intel® processor).
We had wanted to get the slides into our computers for years.  Not only are they great memories of family members that are gone now, they also give us the window into the past that we wanted.  Many of the slides are ones taken by my father of places around the United States that we are just now getting around to visiting.  It is fun to compare what was and is.  

I do recommend this little machine to you.  It really does work.  While storing slide boxes may be your favorite use of space, it isn't ours.  We will sort through and keep the best and dispose of the rest.  And it allows you to look back while moving into the future.  Wow, the best of both worlds.

b

Available on Amazon for $99.95

Jan 2, 2010

RV Travel...Tucson, Arizona...the short stay!

City of Tucson
I found a journal yesterday. It was one I wrote back in the days before my computer was a permanent part of my travel baggage. Reading a few of the pages brought back a time when I was figuring it all out. I had forgotten how basic things simply stymied a me upon arriving in a new city or even a small town. Wouldn't it be nice to just know everything right from the time you check into the motel or park the RV? I think it would!

After traveling up and down the Interstate I-5/I-10 corridors for 10+ years I have learned a thing of two. So let me share a few ideas with you...over the next few days.

TUCSON

RV PARKS IN TUCSON

There are two large RV Resorts in Tucson owned by Rincon Country . The westside resort is very large and has everything you could possibly want in that type of facility. It is located off Mission Road, close to A Mountain and the sunsets are sensational because the park is close to the Tucson Mountians. It is not close to downtown though. Their other park, Rincon Country East, is located on the east edge of the city and getting down town is a pain. But Rincon Country Resorts are not the only show in town. There are a number of smaller RV parks in Tucson. Just be warned that key words used to describe the park like "easy access from I-10" means you can see the freeway from your motor home and the noise on this very busy interstate highway will make a difference in how much you enjoy the view of the sunsets. Prince of Tucson RV Park is just one of the parks with a location like this.

Located on the north side of Tucson, Prince of Tucson does have some real advantages. Some of the best restaurants are close by, the University of Arizona and Desert Museum are all on the west side of town and that easy off the freeway also means it is easy on too. We avoided this type of location because we were in Tucson for long periods of time and we wanted a quieter atmosphere associated with a resort life style. But if we had been just passing through this would have been great. A quick, easy visit to a big city that has a small town feel can be a wonderful experience. So lets talk about what is available on that side of town.

RESTAURANTS

Tucson has some wonderful old standbys that should not be missed. El Charro's in the downtown location just happens to be one of them. From Prince you will get on the freeway, travel south to the Broadway exit, travel east to Granada, turn left and travel one block north to W. Alameda, turn right and continue east to N. Court Ave. Turn left on to N. Court. You will find a large parking lot across the street from the restaurant. Located in the barrio part of Tucson it features Sonoran style food. This kind of Mexican food is unique and for the adventurous eater, the perfect evening meal. PLUS a stroll around the neighbor hood is wonderful. There are several classic adobe type buildings in the area. This is the core area of the historic old Tucson barrio.

Remember, not only is Tucson a place where you can get a taste of Mexico it is also the home to a very large university. U of A is located just north of downtown Tucson and the stadium is visible from a considerable distance. If you are staying at Prince, you can get on the freeway and go south to Speedway, exit and go east and follow it east to 4th Avenue. The University will be to your right (south) off Speedway.
Caruso's

Here is where the fun begins. This huge campus is home to some really good places to eat. Caruso's, a wonderful old Italian restaurant is located on 4th Avenue and the neighborhood is a the place to visit late in the afternoon. Quirky shops line the street and a college atmosphere prevails.

University Blvd. is the main street that will enter the core of the campus. Park as close as you can get and pick a lunch/happy hour place. Anything will do I guess but I always go for out door seating if the weather is good. It is just fun to hang out late in the afternoon with college students. Friday night is especially busy...something I love a lot.

Arizona Inn

If you are up for a real dining experience find Arizona Inn located off Campell Avenue north off Speedway. Follow Campell north to Elm. This is a very old neighborhood and Elm is definitely not a main street so watch carefully. Turn east (right) and just drive slowly down the street, take in the old charming villas that line the street and find a parking place as close to the Inn as you can (on the right hand side of the street). Reservations are a good idea and you can eat in the charming old dining room or on a beautiful patio that has a view of the gardens. Or, if you just want to look, wander around, take pictures. Better yet book a room and stay in the great location. Arizona Inn is not a huge hotel so the atmosphere may be just what you want.

There is one last place I want to mention...The Hotel Congress in downtown Tucson. The Congress is an old hotel located near the Amtrak station on Congress Street. Since the center of the city has fallen on to hard times most of what happens in that part of Tucson has to do with business and government. The Congress is a quirky yet wonderful place for lunch. Exit freeway at Broadway going east you will need to go to 5th Ave, turn north, cross Congress and go to 10th Street, turn right and park in back of the hotel.

ARIZONA-SONORAN DESERT MUSEUM

The Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum is located on the west side of Tucson and believe me it is worth your time. Not only is the drive to the museum a treat, the museum in and of itself can take the whole day. Just when you think that desert is dry and empty you, you discover the wonderful wildlife and plants that live in this glorious place. You can get up close and personal with Javelinas, snakes and Hummingbirds. I absolute recommend that you take the time to visit this park. The Saguaro National Park is on the east side of Tucson and if you follow the freeway headed toward El Paso there will be signs to direct you there.

HOTEL/MOTELS
I am not going to go into the motels in the Tucson area other than to say that I would recommend that you find something near the University, near one of the big malls or in Marana north of town. There is a Four Points Sheratin and a Marriot less than a mile from campus. The motels located near downtown and the freeway are noisy and more likely to have problems with the clientele. Cheap is not really a good thing in this city. Remember, Tucson has one of the highest crime rates in the nation and you can just avoid that part of the scene totally by getting away from seedy motels.

These are just ideas if you should choose to stay in north Tucson. If you are in a motor home and just want to spend a few days this might be perfect for you.


Related Links:
Tucson Pubs

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Jan 1, 2010

Skype...grandparenting from AFAR!!!!

Image representing Skype as depicted in CrunchBaseImage via CrunchBase

Are you one of those grandparents that lives a long ways away from your grandchildren?  Or do you have older grandchildren across town that you just want to check on?  Or better yet are you taking care of grandchildren and need to leave them with a sitter?  Let me tell you that if you are not using the Skype video chat internet phone service, you are losing out.

Skype is a free phone service online that allows you to carry on a video phone conversation with anyone anywhere in the world the internet exists...anywhere!!!  We personally chat for 45 minutes at a time with out children in China using the service.  And that is only the tip of the iceberg.  We talk with children in Oregon while we are living in Arizona in the winter.  We chat with our oldest grandson that only lives across the city.  I talk with friends in the park model less than a block away.  Awesome should be the phone service name!

The photo you see above was taken with our computer while we were chatting with our children in Shanghai this fall.  It is near perfect.  We can text chat and send files.  Best of all, if you are the parent/grandparent that is not at home but just want to keep tabs, you can leave Skype on and just check on the account occasionally.  You will see and hear what is going on in your living room.  If you let the care giver know you miss your children during the day and want to see them, you are in the clear with using Skype in this way.

So being a grandparent from afar is not what it used to be.  Our young grandchildren recognize us when they see us.  The youngest thinks "papa" lives inside the computer when he is not with him.   We love it.  Give it a try!

b

NOTE:  We are Apple users and our friends are PC users.  It works well on both. 
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