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Showing posts from November, 2010

Magnifier for the vision impaired? How about a kindle?

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Image via WikipediaI am not much for talking to other people on airplanes...no one likes a chatty seat mate.  Well I don't anyway.  My husband is the one that sits in the middle, will talk to the person next to him and really doesn't seem to mind.  So when the man next to him leaned across and asked me what I thought of my kindle, I didn't even register he was talking to me.  Then when I did realize he was talking to me, I found I didn't have a good answer.

You see, I have a love/hate relationship with my kindle.  I have always loved the feel and even the smell of a new book.  My idea of the perfect day is lunch and a trip to a book store.  I collected them on my shelf and lovingly touched them when I passed...old friends with familiar stories to tell.  Then one day my husband and I realized that we needed to send all those books out into the world so others could enjoy them.  The library benefited from all those years of collecting.  I reminded myself that I could vis…

Mexico's Best Tequila...Puerto Vallarta Activities!

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Wanna buy some really, really good tequila in Mexico but don't want to pay resort prices...go to the grocery store near your resort!!!  Really, some of the most interesting purchases are those things that local people really use.  And some of the most reasonable prices can be found at the corner market!  It is true in Thailand, China, Spain, and Mexico. The same is true for regional liquors .

We visited a tequila distillery operation that was set in the Sierra Madre Mountains south of Puerto Vallarta.  The small operation is called El Easton (we are not sure about the spelling) Del Rey Anejo. A long drive down the coastline ended in the semi-tropical rain forest where a family is making and bottling the tequila liquor. This remote location is at the end of a dirt road. Here the tequila is made the old fashioned way. 

The process for making teequila the old fashioned way is pretty simpe and straight forward.  The blue agave is harvested when the stalk that would later bloom with wh…

6 Ways to Afford + 10 Travel Tips .... Mexico's Grand Mayan Resort Vacation

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Here are some tips on vacations in Mexico.

COST OF THE RESORT
Now, I should tell you expense of staying here in Puerta Vallarta Grand Mayan very high! WOW!  Would I stay home because the food on the resort will cost me an arm and a leg or taxis are expensive?  Not a chance. 

We have spent a lot because this is our 50th wedding anniversary.  But another time we will use our wits and make the trip a little more affordable.  We will:
..get a taxi and go to Walmart or another grocery close by and buy breakfast and lunch food, drinks, snacks and even sunscreen if we forget it at home.  I was told that the taxi ride will cost around $6.00usd.  Trust me you will not regret it. ..walk to the local restaurants (near the marina here in Puerto Vallarta) for most of the meals we eat out.  There are several, some a little less expensive and others beautiful and expensive...go out for lunch...it gets dark and we cannot see the wildlife in the dark so it will not matter.  Lunch is always less expensi…

How I discovered the real Puerto Vallarta!

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THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
On the corner of the street in central Vallarta where the small Catholic Church stands you can watch the people in passing buses either tip their hat or cross themselves.  Every Catholic does the same thing no matter how many times a day they pass that intersection.  In a country where over 80% of the population is Catholic it should not surprise us that the church is such an important part of the community's heart.  

The story goes that the church was begun about 150 years ago but because of money concerns went for many years with only a foundation.  Then it occurred to the people that they each owned a few bricks or some large stones.  They began building the church with what they had in their hands and the sweat of their brow.  By the choice of the people, the exterior has never been changed.  Even though the exterior is very humble it belies the opulence that lies within.  I am always awe struck by the beauty of churches like this.
THE MARKET
But it wasn'…

Puerto Vallarta Airport and Me...a warning!

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Just a short not of caution...  We are world travelers but it seems that we will be sucked into a sales pitch at the airport every time!!!  We have never taken the bait but it is such a bother and a waste of our time.  When you pass through the airport anywhere in the world and especially in a developing nation,   it is probably not a good idea to talk to anyone unless he is a customs agent checking you into the country or a taxi driver/resort transportation agent.  Go directly to  the taxi line or the company office for resort transportation.  For the Grand Mayan it is the Miller Company.    Here in Vallarta you will pass through several glass doors before you arrive at the taxi line.  Do not stop inside the doors! 

Resort operators are telling horror stories that are just plain scary! 

I must go...a tour bus awaits me!

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Puerto Vallarta Luxury and Me

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A POSTCARD FROM PARIDISE

Dear friends,

We are well.  Wish you were here in Puerto Vallarta with us.  We are in the state of Jalisco in Mexico south of Manzanillo and north of Ixtapa.  The weather is fine and the fishing is good…I think.  Having not gone fish we are not sure but all postcards say the same thing so we thought we had better include the fishing.

We are staying in the Grand Mayan Resort where life is slow and heavenly.  We have heard those around the pool talking about resorts in Matzalan, calling them dumps compared to this.  I can see how they might say that.

Yesterday we celebrated our fiftieth wedding anniversary with a day that included a time in the sun near the Bay of Banderas.  Vendors came by selling jewelry, beautiful dresses (I wish I had one right now) and statues and bowls  carved from wood.  We love to bargain and soon I will head to the beach and see what we can find. 

In the evening we caught a taxi to central Vallarta where we had a glorious dinner at a r…

Acorn Squash Soup Recipe

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Image courtesy of Jacci Howard Bear http://desktoppub.about.com/


I feel like the "The Speedy Cook" today. When it cametime for lunch all I could think about was a vegetable soup that contained every fall vegetable in my refrigerator. After a trip to New Seasons to gather some of the ingredients I began putting it together. Here is what I came up with.


Barbara's Squash Soup

1 box free range chicken broth
one large union chopped
1/2 acorn squash peeled and cut into small cubes
2 large carrots peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery chopped
one can chicken meat drained or left over chicken
7 garlic cloves peeled
1/4 cup quinoa
one small tomato or 6 cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoon cider vinegar for brightness (I think fresh lemon juice could be used instead)
1/2 teaspoon garam marsala a (add to taste)
fresh sprigs of thyme and sage
pepper and salt to taste.
Combine and simmer until done. Serve topped with 1 tablespoon of yogurt and a few drops of olive oil.It was delicious and tasted like…

Snowbird Regulations....Very Good and Funny Idea :-D

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I am a granny that loves to laugh. That is why Not Your Typical Granny Blog caught my eye.

Maddie, Amelia and I
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Every time I wander around (metamorphic travel) on the Internet I find something that makes me laugh. Today I was on the Blogged website and put aging in the blog search. That was where I found "Not Your Typical Granny". It seems Granny is 48, still a working girl, lives in Florida and faces the onslaught of snow birds each winter. It can be very annoying. She has suggested that there should be "Snow Bird Laws/Rules" and every snow bird should have to sign an oath or something when they return to the state. She says there are only a few months to get this done because they will be back before they know it. Granny had a long list but here are two of her rules:
"In order to drive, Snowbirds must be able to see over the steering wheel of their car. If you cannot see over the steering wheel and must see through it, I highly recommend you get …

Managing Retirement Savings...after retirement!

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Image by Always at Home via Flickr
WHAT THE EXPERT SAYS
I was reading an article published in U.S.News.com called "6 Easy Ways to Increase Retirement Saving".  We all know that saving, saving, saving is the best way to go.  The author of the article, Kimberly Palmer, had some good suggestions for saving even if you are a freelance or a student.  She also had suggestions on how to choose a low fee program that would save you thousands of dollars when it came time to cash the savings in.  I think you should take a look at her article.
OUR CHOICES FOR MANAGING RETIREMENT SAVINGS
My husband has reached the age when he must take part of that pre-taxed money we saved all those many years ago.  As we both know, we will pay the consequences/taxes now.  The question is:  Is the cup half empty or half full?  Even though we must pay more in taxes this year we are going to go with the half full plan.  For this first year at least we will spend some of the money on a 50th wedding anniversa…

The Advanced Generation...55+

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I have been fumbling around with what to call us.  I really really hate the words that are used when people begin talking about my generation.  I have heard old, aging, nursing home, aging parents, dementia, health issues...enough already.  This is the deal....we are the "ADVANCED GENERATION".  Wise, strong, smart, experienced and best of all willing individuals.  Because we have lived through a lot and have seen todays news before, we have a depth of knowledge you need.  We live in your neighborhood, apartment building or in an assisted living facility near your.  We work and play at your side.  Most of all we influence your life when we vote...in huge numbers.
     I am pushing the idea that if my generation would let themselves, they could be one of the most influential generations ever!   Maybe, if we embrace our wisdom and strength by calling ourselves the "Advanced Generation", it will become a self fulfilling prophecy.
    In the meantime, send this to…

Arizona National Golf + Yuki Shushi of Tucson...great Groupon Coupon/Wildcat Card

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Image by Always at Home via Flickr
We had a coupon for Arizona National Golf today...my husband used a free round from his Wildcat Card.  He has been a member for a long time so he gets three rounds at various courses.  I am a new member so I only get one free this year.  I am just blown away that we can even do that sort of thing!  Arizona National is a premier golf course and home to the University of Arizona Wildcat golf team.  Very cool. 


After a round of golf we used a Groupon Coupon to eat at Yuki Sushi on Cambell Avenue here in Tucson.  Let me tell you, this is my idea of a perfect day.

If you had told me even 5 or 6 years ago that we would be playing golf at the places we play now, I would have said you are nuts.  Here in Tucson the Arizona Wildcat Card, Golf Now and Ezlinks has opened a world of golf courses to those that are smart enough to use them.  I love it!


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If you are planning on visiting Arizona I recommend Fodors.  I think it is the easiest travel guide to use!

Snowbirds Behaving Badly...again!

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Near my home in TucsonCOMMENTS 

I received a comment the other day on an old blog called How to be a Snowbird.  The comment said:
The number one thing that snowbirds need to do is to polish up their good manners. As a former resident of Yuma, AZ -- and yes, one of the 5 top reasons we left was because of winter visitors -- we were appalled by the "Ugly American" mentality and behavior of way too many snowbirds. Remember -- when you pull into some town, you are pulling into somebodies hometown -- their home. Be courteous. I could only imagine what these people had experienced.  It seems to me that any group of old people or snow birds or even young people will have a few bad apples.  As I have said before if a human is rude, unethical or even criminal when they are young, they will be just the same when they are old.  Truly, there is no such thing as a cute little old man/woman when they behave themselves in a way that makes those around them uncomfortable. The …

Advanced Style Mention and the Advanced Generation!

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ADVANCE STYLE MENTION
Retire In Style Blog has been mentioned on the popular blog for beautiful older people.  Advance Style thank you very much.

The Story
A week ago my blog reader count went up to levels I had never seen before.  I had no idea what I had done to deserve the attention.   I began doing the back scene information search...if you are a blogger you will understand.  There are Stat Counters and Google Analytics, etc.   I could not find a pattern that would explain all the interest.  I did notice that a lot of people were coming from Advanced Style but there did not seem to be a reason.  Then I found it...a post about people that write for "advanced humans", you know, those of us that have lived past a certain age.  The article was called Over 50 Blogging.  It is amazing what just a mention will do.  They did their part...now I need to do mine.

Thank you so much for stopping by.  I would appreciate it if you would become a follower and tell you friends about the b…

Wine of the Week...Zinfandels

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Note:  I had the bright idea to share this on Sunday Scribblings...I hope they don't mind.

Let me explain...I do not drink really expensive wines because it is not practical nor is it possible.  I am an experiences wine taster but I am not obsessed by all those things that a wine snob would be.  In other words if it is good it is good!  If I don't like it...well enough said.  Actually, I am more interested in the story behind the wine.  All I can hope is that you will like my recommendations enough to share them with company at your next informal dinner party.

ZINFANDEL in the Northwest...
The first Zin I ever tasted was in a small restaurant in Eastern Oregon.  The little community had one restaurant and on a big Saturday night the place only had only two tables with customers.  I doubt it is still in business.  BUT they did have a local Zinfandel on the wine list.  Because this little place is very close to the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon, they have access to some very hig…

Makeup Tip of the Week...Tinted Moisturizer My Way!

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Do you wear makeup every day?  I was just a little surprised at the question.  Really, I didn't think of my morning routine as "putting on make-up".  I have used a trick for years to arrive at the final destination in the face reconstruction part of my day.  I did not even realize that it made my face look a little made up...in a good way!
     I discovered early on that makeup was very expensive.  Cheap cosmetics did not give good results and actually made my skin feel creepy and dirty.  So I began buying very expensive "foundation" as they so logically call that stuff with the color in it.  I have used Este Lauder with good results for several years.  The bottle of makeup you see at the right is such a good deal compared to what I pay at the local department store...wow! 
     I know, you can now buy tinted moisturizer from vendors.  But I prefer to do it my way.  Now here is the trick...buy the moisturizer you would normally buy.  In the morning put a very s…

Road Test - Touchback Marker...Gray Hair Solutions

Remember that gray hair I was talking about the other day....well here is a quick solution for touching up be coloring you hair. Road Test - Touchback Marker

Park Model Life...Maintaining our home!

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There are things that need to be done when we return from our summer home.  This little doll house (park model) needs some love and attention.  Part we do because we want to and part we do because the park requires it.  When we wash and wax the outside it is not because we want to...but we love it when it is nice and clean.
     No park wants the resort to turn into a mini-slum.  Making the residents wash, pull weeds and clean up is part of their plan to keep up appearances.  And, you know what, it really does work.  Even the oldest of the park model trailers look appealing when they are clean and shiny.
     So this is what we did today.  We own a long handle chenille washing tool that will fit inside a bucket.  We also have a large bottle of car wash/wax.  We made a solution of this with hot water.  We washed, rinsed dried what we could reach, squeegeed the windows and our park model looked like a brand new 1982 model with a few hail dents...but still looked like brand new!!!  We ar…

Day of the Dead...Tucson's Way

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I think we have known about All Souls Day/Day of the Dead celebrations in communities in Mexico for many years.  The travel channel and National Geographic have images and stories about travelers going to remote places to eat and enjoy the company of people in a different country.  But little did we realize that we could experience these very things only a few miles from where we live here in Tucson.

Tucson is home to a very large Hispanic community and is just a little over an hours drive from the Mexican border.  The people bring a very different flavor to our city...different in that it is authentic and environmental.  This is not a "Mexican Restaurant on the corner" kind of place...a place that people have come to find a new life.  This is a place where the indigenous and Hispanic people lived long before the migration of northern Europeans and snow birds to the warm climate.  It is in many ways similar to visiting a more prosperous Mexico without ever going a…