Showing posts from September, 2011

Fall-to-Winter Decorating...RetireInStyleBlog's Way

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I don't think that bringing the season into the house is all that difficult.  In the world of interior design it seems that each seasons needs it own style or new "stuff".  Really, for those of us that live in a world dictated by finances and space, the need to be creative takes the front seat.  It is only logical.

For example, the wreath on the front door.  I know, I have seen those beautiful dried hydrangea wreaths and I have also looked at the price tag and gasped.  Most of us have a wreath from days gone by hanging in the garage, attic or in the box of Christmas decorations.  All you really need it a can of spray paint.  I had an old rose vine wreath that had shed leaves everywhere.  But, I had paid a fortune for it originally (6 years ago) and I could not think about throwing it away.  I needed t…

Grumpy Retirees? NPR/RWJF/Harvard Poll Reveal Happiness wins 3 to 1!!

Look around the room when a group of your friends are gathered together.  Would you say that out of 10 friends at least 7.5 of them are happy with their retirement?  Do those 7.5 get up in the morning  full of ideas and make every day a good one?  And what about the rest; do they act like grumpy old people?  
A poll done done by NPR in collaboration with the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation and Harvard School of Public Health, revealed that 1 in 4 retirees find that retirement is not as good as they expected. 
This poll was conducted in order to capture first-hand the perspective of those
who will shape the nature of retirement moving forward: people over age 50, including not only people who have retired, but also people who plan to retire (“pre-retirees”) and those who do not plan to do so.  In an article published by the Harvard School of Public Health summarizing the poll they stated:
"Findings show that a large majority of retirees say life in retirement is the same (44%) or b…

Good on Venus is wonderful! 50 is the new 40!

Is 50 the new 40?
I have some good news!!! I just read a blog today with the title Fifty is the New Forty.  See what I mean.  This good right?  If 50 is the new 40 then 80 must be the new 65.  Statistics and numbers can mean anything so why not?  What do you think?

For a woman like me that can remember when being over 30 made you the enemy and old,  benchmarks like 50+ have taken on a new meaning.  Perhaps in my world 50 is the new 30.  We are, in fact remaining healthy vital active people for a very long, long time.  I will be 70 in November.  I just finished cataract surgery and can see better than I ever have.  I have resolved that, since it looks like I am going to live a long time, I am going to take Aubrey de Grey's advice and keep my body as strong as my mental age.

I believe that most of outcomes in our life are a result of self-prophecy.  For example, when you go to work and your pencil breaks, you can do two things.  You can sharpen the pencil.  Or you can say "Oh t…

Homophones driving me crazy!

Image via Wikipedia
Now I am not talking about obscenities here...I am talking about words that Chrome and Firefox spell check can't figure out...the ones that leave me looking very foolish.  See I don't have an editor and in the world of blogging, posts need to be put up frequently or you lose (or is that loose) interest.   I have a list of those words that are in fact misspelled when used in one context and perfectly alright in another.  When they are pronounced they sound the same.   In the English teacher's world those words are called homophones and there is actually a website you can look at to get a better picture of how many there are.  Evidently the computer does not know one homophone from the other.  Here are a few of my problem words:
plumbplumloseloosedessertdesertcloseclotheschoosechosechoiceacceptexceptfourforininntotooyahyeahyeayayyaall readyalreadybelligerencebelligerentstheretheir OK, you get the drift.  It seems that my finger do the walking but my brain …

Becoming your own interior designer!

Links:  Moontea Artwork, Artist from Grand Ronde, Oregon
Flickr by me:  Always at Home

I have been a collector for all of my married life.  In fact when I was in college, my bulletin board was covered with pictures of art torn from magazines.  I was becoming my own interior designer back all those years ago.  I always feel a personal connection with the things we have laying about in our home.  I think that for those of us that cannot afford a designer or are not willing to give up the control in our home, the things you surround yourself with should reflect where you have been and what you have seen.  If you are using a designer, it seems to me that he/she should be aware of your taste, lifestyle and most of all, memories.  After all, without memories, I don't think a home has a heart.  And our artwork and decor should tell a little story about our life.

So I guess I have a very defined philosophy about what I collect.  Everything we have on our walls or shelves is there because …

How to Retire...Live on LESS Than You Have

Did you know:
The good news about retirement cost: ....spending typically peaks when you're in your forties and fifties (the big exception: health care). After age 75, the dropoff is especially steep. (CNN Money) The bad new:  If you don't live beneath your means when you are young YOU MAY NEVER RETIRE!  (Retire in Style Blog)The cold truth:  You need to focus on what will actually help you keep cost down and not get caught up in a penurious way of living.  (Retire in Style Blog)Live debt-free. – Financial debt causes stress and heart ache.  Live a comfortable life, not a wasteful one.  Do not spend to impress others.  Do not live life trying to fool yourself into thinking wealth is measured in material objects.  Manage your money wisely so your money does not manage you.  Always live well below your means. Read The Millionaire Next Door (27 Healthy Habits of Happiness) Goodness sakes...I discovered that I am not the only one that thinks that retirement not only possibl…

The REALITY of Small Space Living...making comparisons!

Small space living really does appeal to a lot of people.  I was watching a show on HGTV yesterday about a couple that had moved from NYC to the suburbs.  They bought a lovely old house built in the 1930's with lots of room.  The home filled with all that space had them hiding in the bedroom and one small corner of the family room.  They simply did not feel comfortable with the space and didn't even have an idea of how to use it.  I know others that can relate to that feeling.

My daughter, for example, lived in a dorm room with no problem.  When she moved into an apartment, she lived in her bedroom.  Even now, she loves the nest she and her husband call the bedroom and is most at home in that small space.

In an article posted on Retire in Style earlier this week we talked about a woman featured on Apartment Therapy.  She lived in a small space but actually had a bath me, when you give up the space even a tub takes up in a 250 square foot co-op apartment, you are sa…

Recoverving from Cataract personal experience!

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It has been a little over a week since I had the cataract surgery.  The eye that I had the surgery on has almost perfect vision but the distance is a little bit of a problem.  I cannot wear my glasses because the new good eye cannot see out them.  However, I cannot see without the glasses either. It is all very weird.  

After my surgery I was told not to bend over or lift heavy things.  NO PAIN was the words I kept hearing and "be sure to let us know if your vision decreases markedly or if you see a black spot on the outside of the eye we repaired".  So you know of course I imagined I had a little pain and oh my gosh...was that a black spot I saw on the outside of my eye?  Talk about the power of suggestion.  I did get control of myself and realized I was just fine...really just fine!  I had to wear a metal shield over the eye when I slept and put antibiotic drops in the eye…

Hot Color/Design Trends for Fall 2011... clothing and decor!

Have you ever noticed how we will use the same colors for our furniture as we do for our favorite coat or sweater.  The Style at Home website always makes me think of all those colors that are in my closet and on my walls.  Those Canadian designers are usually spot on when it comes to shopping for interior design.  It could be that we should check with them before we even shop for our seasonal clothing.  They seem to know where the trends are heading when it comes to color or design. 

In an article I saw today they were talking about colors for a restful this case for a world traveler.  I love the colors in this room...neutral without even a hint of mauve.  The gray is gray and the brown is cowhide brown.  The tiny bits of gold and red are included only as accents.  I could do this in my living room tomorrow and never look back!  Be sure to take a look at the Style at Home's new neutrals article.  Times may be changing.
Recently I was shopping with a friend in …

When to make a change...Style in the Bathtub!

I was just visiting my Facebook account when I noticed a question on the Apartment Therapy page from a woman that hated her bathtub.
Q: I own a 250 sq. ft. co-op on the Upper West Side in Manhattan. I'm looking into doing a bathroom renovation. I want to get rid of the tub and just have a shower, but I'm concerned about loosing value by doing so. Any thoughts on it from the community would be helpful. (Good Question from Apartment Therapy)The the question made me think about all those things we have in our life that we don't like.  It seems we are frozen in our steps by our fear of change and the lost in value that we worry over.  Whether is it the bathtub or a cleaned out closet, we all need, we need to look at those choices weigh the benefits against the lost value.  Really those old clothes may have cost a lot many years ago and the tub may work just fine.  But doesn't a little personal pleasure count for something?

So how long do you wait before you rip that tub…

Favorite of the Week...Evan Picone Crop Pants

Favorite for this week: When I was in Montana a couple of weeks ago, I bought an outfit at Herbergers in Great Falls.  A designer I had bought when I was young was on one of their displays.  I had forgotten how much I loved Evan Picone's line.  I paid $69 for this pair of crop pant.  Today I found them online atBonTon website for $39.  These crop pants are topped with a green tank and a gorgeous peasant blouse by Spense. After finding these pants online I realized that I do need to check online prices before I take a giant leap and buy an outfit.
Happy Monday!

Dressing Your Age??? or How full is the ironing basket?

Notes on dressing like a clown:
I have been guilty of dressing like a clown.  Sorry to all those people that had to look at, so sorry.  See I don't like to iron, not even a little bit.  I will let the ironing stack up to three foot high before I can make myself touch it.  My husband does not let me have his clothes after they are washed because he knows he may never see them again.

As a result I find myself dressing like a clown. If I have a red t-shirt and a turquoise pair of pants clean I will put them on.  When I dress in the morning I am not in the mood to be stylish!  I went on a short trip back to my summer home one winter and forgot to take enough clothes. It seems that in my minds eye my closet was full of clothes so why bother packing.  When I arrived home I found a pair of crop pants, cowboy boots  and a sweat shirt. True the long winter coats were hanging in the closet but really, I knew I would need to take the coat off sooner or later.  My secret clown attire…

15% RV Resort Discount through Retire In Style Blog

I live in a beautiful RV resort in the winter.  The business that runs two RV resorts in Tucson is giving discounts to people  if they are referred by a "friend" living in the park.  Both of these parks are rated very high in Trailer Life.  A park on the west side of the city has the coveted 10/10*/10 rating.  The park on the east side that I live in is rated 9.5/10*/10.  My park is a little smaller and really has a sense of community.  The maintenance on both parks is about the best I have ever seen in my travels around the United States.

If you mention my name when you make your reservation you will receive $20 for a week stay or $100 if you stay a month.  The weekly rate is $230+ taxes and the monthly rate is $639+ taxes.  The discount for a monthly rate is a little over 15%...nothing to sneeze at.

So send me an email to and I will forward you the information so you can take advantage of this service.

Take a look at the resort informati…

Eyes, Cataracts and me! Why cataract surgery now?

Cataract Surgery and Medicare  
If you have been waiting for cataract surgery because of cost here is some information on what Medicare will pay.  Your 20% co-pay will depend on you supplemental Medicare Insurance:
Does Medicare pay for cataract surgery?  Yes, it does. Because cataract surgery is performed by a physician rather than an optometrist, Medicare Part B covers the surgery, including lens implants. And following that surgery, it can pay its share for one pair of eyeglasses. How much it pays for the glasses depends on whether you get new frames, and if so how much they cost. Medicare Part B will pay for both lenses and frames, but only basic frames. If you buy more expensive frames than the basic ones approved by Medicare, you'll have to pay out of pocket for the difference between the standard amount Medicare pays and the amount your frames actually cost.For both the surgery and the glasses, you have to pay a coinsurance amount, which is 20 percent of the amount…

10 Online Offer Websites (Groupon, GoogleOffers etc.) or How Maddie Became Famous

I don't know about you but I thought it would be hard to keep up with all the discount websites online.  Boy was I wrong.   Sites like LivingSocial or Groupon will keep you posted with emails and all you need to do is fill out the information online, pay with a card and print the certificate at home.  How easy is that. And, it turns out there is a whole business sector that revolves around gift certificates and gift cards.  I began doing some research this morning.  Here are some websites you might want to take a look at:
Google  TravelZoo (Portland)Restaurant.comGiveAnything.comGift Certificates.comGift Zip.comPlastic Jungle (buy sell exchange gift cards)Gift Yes, I am a senior citizen and yes I do use these websites. I like a good deal!  But better yet, I now have a personal connection to one of those sites.

I received an email from my daughter-in-law yesterday.  She was surprised when she discovered that my beautiful granddaughter …

How to carry the joy from your job into retirement?

I know...retirees all say they are so glad to be shut of that job.  When asked "What do you do all day?"  they answer, "What ever I want?"  It all sounds so free of obligation and stress.  
Then one day it occurs to them the no-stress is kind of stressful too.  Lack of purpose or long days stretching out before them with nothing they want to do can be boring.  This is when a retiree begins to ask themselves if retirement was such a good idea after all.  Many return to work at jobs they don't really like because they don't know what else to do. That is when they need to fall back on the things that actually had them choosing their career in the first place.  They need to ask themselves what it was that they liked about the job they left.
All I can tell you about is what I know.  I have been retired for 14 years now.  I was a teacher of kindergartners for the last five years of my career.  An opportunity fell into my lap when I was not looking.  A curriculum…

Best Road Trip in the North Western United States

My husband and I just returned from a road trip from Portland, Oregon via the Columbia Gorge to Great Falls, Montana and back again.  I think this may have been the best summer vacation we have ever taken.  We were only gone one week and 4 nights were spent in Great Falls golfing and visiting with "snow bird" friends.  How this translates into your plans is up to you.  I think those 4 nights could be used as longer stops along the way.  Here is the way it went.

Day 1
We left Portland early in the morning and traveled west along I-84.  We decided to exit at Boardman onto Hwy 730 (Columbia River Highway) so we could stop at a fruit stand and buy water melons and Walla Walla sweet unions to take to our hosts.  The seller at the fruit stand challenged my husband to guess the weight of the water melon we were buying to get a free melon.  Silly woman...we delivered the free melon when we arrived in Great Falls.

Note:  We then turned onto I-82/395.  This interstate turns into I-90 n…