Oct 31, 2011

Ghosts at Multnomah Falls? Oregon

Window was left unlatched so
the young workers could co-mingle.
Happy Halloween!  

I have a little secret for you.  Please tell everyone you know. 1)  I am a tongue-in-cheek ghost believer.  2) I thought I should tell you that Multnomah Falls Lodge here in Oregon may have ghosts.  Really, I think there may be something going on there.  I am not an expert but that place just begs for a ghost or two.

Oct 30, 2011

SAVE lots by being a snow birding?

Being a snow bird is not something most of us rush into lightly.  We count our pennies first and then fly south.  It occurred to me this morning that in a lot of ways leaving our home in winter is saving us a lot of money.  How?  Well here is a list:

Oct 27, 2011

#1 in Scrapbooking: My Memories Software Give-Away!

If your hobby is scrapbooking (like me) and you love your computer, this is the type of thing you will find very interested.  I have a software package waiting with YOUR name on it...maybe.  All you need to do is leave a comment here on the blog.  Tell me about someone you know that has a strange hobby.  I personally read one time that "dumpster diving" was a hobby.  I quit looking for strange hobbies after I heard about that.  I will draw a name from there.

The contest begins today and will end on November 14th.  Please notice the code and ad in the sidebar for $10 off material at the My Memories website.  Click on the ad and it will take you directly to the website.  Use the code to get your $10 off.  Simple as that!  My motto is never shop without a code or a coupon...never!

Have a wonder scrapbooking day!


Oct 25, 2011

Sometimes Life Hands you a good Laugh!

See...even cracks in the wall
grows beautiful things!
Men and women should marry, but maintain separate houses
A woman needs her space and room to breath, and, more importantly, men need to learn how to take care of themselves. (from Sex By The Numbers)

The tombs are easy of course - perfect models who stay perfectly still for you... (from: Shelley Scrap, Musings of a Roving Illustrator)

Report says the more coffee you drink, the lower your risk of skin cancer.  Starbucks is celebrating! (@retirementlover)

Just a reminder that if you’re tempted to drop a turkey from an airplane, the FAA will be watching you. (from: Good Mom/Bad Mom)

I don't know why but sometimes I find lots of things funny...all on the same day.  It it me or are people just funnier on Tuesday? (from: me somewhere in my other blog) 

Have a wonderful day!

Oct 24, 2011

Fall Colors in Oregon Wine Country - Red Ridge Farms

We have been trying to find a day to visit the Red Ridge Farms since last summer.  An article in the Oregonian spoke in glowing terms about the location, scenery and olive oil.  Olive oil in Oregon is indeed an oddity and worth looking into.  We knew we needed to find this place and see for ourselves.

We are located in Hillsboro so the trip to the farms and surrounding wineries can be reached in a number of ways.  We decided to take the Bald Peak Road via S. Hillsboro Highway into Newberg and then head west on 99W toward Dayton and McMinnville.  We had the Garman working full time as we turned right onto NE McDougal and right again onto NE Breyman Orchard Rd.  We were following the signs and GPS carefully.  It was not easy to find at all.

Note:  You can scan a mobile app for you smart phone called Mobile Wine Tour that will give you turn by turn directions to the wineries.  If you are in a rental car this would be great.

In the back of my mind I was thinking, how many people actually do this?  Surely we will be the only people here.  When we drove in at around noon, the parking lot was full.  Who knew? Standing in the parking lot we were awestruck by the vista spread out before us.  How could you find anywhere more colorful/verdant/spectacular?  It was the perfect fall day.

The location includes a green house with olive trees, lavender and old fashions annuals like scabiosa.  This is the end of the season so the stock was very low but we will be going back in the spring when Lavender Festival is in full swing.

Then we went into the tasting room/gift shop.  My daughter and I stopped dead in our tracks. Really you just wanted one of everything.  A beautiful selection of different salts, pottery and the olive oil created on the farm were all displayed beautifully. An outdoor patio with heaters was the perfect place for a bottle of the Durant Vineyards wine created from the grapes grown on the estate and a luncheon platter.  The people at the table next to us were being given a wine flight tasting.  I think this is available by appointment.  Let me tell you...it does not get much better than this.

We left very quickly that morning and I did not realize I didn't have my camera or my iphone!  I will add pictures taken by my family later this week.  Please check back.  Or better yet, go next weekend.  Harvest has begun in earnest.  It is around 6 weeks late this year.  The vineyard workers are yelling at the rain to stay away and automatic cannons are blasting to keep the birds from eating the precious harvest.   When it is not your vineyard it is a lot of fun to see!


Note:  We also visited Lange Estates Winery and Torii Nor Winery.

Oct 23, 2011

Really GOOD Free TV and Movies

An evil plot to destroy the world. Enjoy! (Log...
Image via Wikipedia

We share one TV right now.  It is that time of year when my husband really NEEDS to watch football/golf/baseball all at the same time.  Our one TV is busy-busy-busy.  I am beginning to sympathize with Bob Lowery over at Satisfying Retirement.  He and his wife decided to cut the cord and eliminate cable TV.  I too am basically without cable tv right now.  But, after I began tuning into Hula on my computer, my hunger for more choices was taken care of.  I actually think we could do the same thing as Bob.

This is the way it works.  You go to Hulu.com and start clicking.  If you are willing to add a little money ($7.95 per month, one month free) and increase your choices you can sign up for HuluPlus.  I do have a free account but you can also sign in with Facebook or not sign it at all. It is easy and did I mention FREE!

I watch cooking shows on my kitchen computer when I am working there.  It is just comforting for some reason.  When my husband is watching games on the big screen, I just find a show on Hulu and watch it on our laptop.  I will be catching up on Fringe and Bones. It is a whole new tv show/movie world out there.  And FREE is good so we will stick with that!


Oct 22, 2011

10 Rules for a Retirement Marriages...will it be Heaven or Hell!

Sail away with me...the best is yet to come!
Gibraltar at sunrise by b
Listen up boomers.  Retirement and marriage can be a very bad mix. You thought working was hard.  You haven't seen anything yet.  So get prepared.   Men moving into a different world, women moving from one role to another. Both expecting more than the other is willing to give. It can be very hard!

I know I've told you about the time my husband moved all the silverware from one side of the kitchen to the other because it "would be better over there".  I spent a long time getting used to the new placement of something so simple as a fork.  Well, retirement marriage is like that.  The life you are so accustomed to has been misplaced or replaced and it takes some getting used to.

Hopefully, you are a couple that has always lived in peace.  You can work together and love spending time together.  But if you are not in that kind of relationship, you need to follow some basic rules of civility until you get it all worked out.   Now I know, you have dreamed of a life without rules, i.e. retirement, all of your working life.  Now I am here to tell you that your relationship with your spouse will fill some of the hours you spent working.  You can live a long time with a partner if you seldom see each other.  But when you look up day after day, weekends AND weekdays to find your spouse in the room, it is a different life.  This is not a time to begin a life of anarchy or war.  There needs to be some law and order.  Here are 10 rules of a retirement marriage:

  1. If you were the boss on your job, remember you are not the boss anymore.
  2. Arguments are bound to happen.  Play fair.
  3. It is not so much what you say as how you say it. Mind the tone of your voice.
  4. Cooperate and collaborate.  Remember the space you share belongs to everyone.  Problem solve together.
  5. Compromise.
  6. Leave for a period of time every day.  Your routine needs to include some away time.  A short walk, trip to the library or coffee with friends will work.  This gives you some new conversation topics.
  7. Help.  No man or woman want to cook/clean while the spouse sits and watches.  Cleaning is not fun for most people and neither is cooking.
  8. Go on a date.  All married people need a little romance in their life.
  9. Bite your tongue.  Remember, the person that has been doing a job all their life does not want to be told how to do it when they retire.  Your way may or may not be better.
  10. Talk about your dreams for retirement.  If your spouse expects to ride off into the sunset hand in hand and you plan to ride off into the sunset in your golf cart or with the girls in book club, be sure your spouse is on the same page.  The biggest problem I hear about is lack of communication.  It is much better to unveil the dream than to spring a surprise.  That can be a deal breaker.
So there you have it.  I am sure there are a hundred rules.  If you are like my grandson and don't want to hear about the rules because "when someone mentions the rules" you are in trouble, I apologize.  But occasionally we need a reminder or two.

Oh by the way, my husband and I have been married for 51 years (almost) and have been retired for 15 of those.  I speak from experience, both good and bad! We have endured because we always remember the most important rule of all: 
  • 11.  Have fun and laugh.  

Why Baby Boomer will Have a Great Retirement   US News and World Report
10 Ways Boomers Will Reinvent Retirement  US News and World Report

Oct 19, 2011

Grandchildren will tattle on you! Be careful!

Brothers on the outs!
Over the years my skills as a grandmother babysitter have been questionable and there is a long list of things I have done wrong.  The worst mistake I made was quoting my mother and saying that the neighbor's dog was "so worthless he should be taking out in the back yard and shot".  I guess I had never visualized what that would really look like.  Then my grandson quoted me and tattled about where he heard it.  I was in big big trouble!

So there are a few things I need to warn my daughter-in-law about:
Even though my children have never brought the grandchildren extremely early in the morning they should know that really early is probably not a good idea.  Oh, yes, I do love the babies beyond reason but I am afraid I might hurt them.  I did almost cut my finger off making a sandwich for my husband very early one summer morning.  He doesn't let me use the knife before noon.  It just doesn't seem like a good idea to let me handle babies either.  I just thought you should know.

And your telling me they eat ANYTHING???  That just can't be the truth.  See I tried giving them squash soup last week and the both looked at me like I had two heads.  The older one wanted to know what it was and younger one rubbed it in his hair.  Good thing his hair is orange already.  You didn't even notice did you?  Anyway, if you want me to feed them anything but Mac 'n Cheese let me know.

My next question is about the pull ups and the big boys underwear in the bottom of the diaper bag.  Why are there 3 pull ups, two of the big boy underwear and one pair of blue jeans.  This just does not add up.  If he uses up all the pull ups, I am on to the big boy underwear.  If he gets one pair of those wet what will he wear to cover his legs over the last pair?  I cannot not even think about the answer to the final pair of underwear.  I'm just doing the math.  I will not let him drink very much until you explain to me.

So, I think that is all the information I have for today.  FIY:  call me anytime day or night!  I am up for the job.  I am just warning you about my level of skills and competence.  They are questionable at best!

Mom, Grandma, b

Oct 18, 2011

6 Links to Bargain Discounts Online--Wine, Kindle, ebooks, Rv Spaces, more!

I have learned to sign up for email offers and email lists at my favorite stores.  I even do it online with some of my favorite websites. They send email coupons that you can print or a flyer in the mail.  I opened my email to find some of these offer today.  See if there is anything that tickles your fancy.


    Case of Barclay's Wines

  • 20% off Barclay's Wine --My husband was given a Groupon gift certificate for $75 toward a case of wine from Barclay's Wine. He didn't believe it was such a good thing until he went to the Barclays website and actually ordered a case.  The case came in at a little over $100...$25 out of his pocket.  We received a case of a variety of different wines.  The wines were above average $10-$12 a bottle wines. We now order a case as we need it.  As prefered customers we received an offer we would like to pass along.  We submit your email address to them and they will send you an offer of 20% off a case of wine.  This actually works out to be about 2 bottles free.  Honestly, I want this discount too but it was not offered to us.  Add a link to your website/blog in the comment section below.   The website must have contact information so I can forward it to Barclays.  You get 20% off and we get a $5 voucher if you decide to buy.  We both win!

  • MAC Power Curls from Quirky for all those computer cords.  Quirky is a place where you can submit your design ideas and people like you and me vote on their viability.  I loved the little Power Curls (above) from the beginning.  Check out the website and vote for a good idea.  They do have a sales department.
  • Free Downloadable Books from 30 day free from Audible.com.  I have not tried this yet but I will before we leave on our trip to Tucson.  I purchased a book for last year and it cost me a fortune. If you sign up with the program you will get your first book for $7.49.  This included books like The Help ($28+ regularly). You can also join and get the first three month for $7.49 per month and that includes the NYT or Wall Street Journal.  You can cancel at any time.  Does this sound good to you?  It might be. 
  • Apartment Therapy always has a calendar of sales events from all over the country.  You can take a look and see if anything appeals to you!
  • 15% off RV rental space in Tucson AZ luxury park.  We are still offering an opportunity for you to take advantage of 15% discount on a months RV space rental.  Leave a link to your website/blog in the comments here.  Be sure that your site has contact information.
  • Frugal Girls--an online blog crammed full of the best coupons and deal out there.
Have a great week.

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Oct 17, 2011

Living with Ghosts or Where are you Mrs. French?

Our new house was owned by a woman named Mrs. French.  Her name was on the front door engraved in bronze.  She died at a very old age but not in the house.  I am sorry for that.  I really need her to be around and explain what things are.  This is an invitation to her.  Please come and pay us a visit.  We would love to have you.

It is amazing what you can learn about a person you have never known just by living in their house.  If Mrs. French were to fill out a form telling about herself, I thing she would include some of the following things.
  • She loved scotch tape and used it for almost everything.  The back door had scotch tape over the lock so she would not lock herself out of the house.  There was scotch tape on the dryer knob, on the bathtub knob and every door in the house had several pieces stuck to them.  Most of the scotch tape was invisible to my eye and it was several weeks before I began to notice it.  
  • She believed that acrylic bathtub chalking was the cure for almost anything.  I think it was on sale at the grocery store.  It was in holes in the wall, on kitchen cabinets, the front window and in the garage.
  • She loved flowers but didn't have much of an idea what to do with them.  
  • No plant given as a gift was ever discarded.  Each one was carefully planted around the yard, under bushes and near the sidewalk.
  • She had a parrot.  It flew about the house free as if it were in the forest.  I figured out that it was a bit of a problem for her. It bit holes in the rubber seal on the old refrigerator. She kept the cage in the den.
  • Her dog was tiny and not much bother.  However, it was never house broken.
  • She had never disposed of a picture or a frame and hung each and every one on the wall.
  • Her husband was a minister that loved guns.
  • She did not bake or cook much.
I miss her even though she was not a friend.  I would like to feel her moving about and taking notice of what we have done.  I think the paint on the walls would be okay by her and I think she would feel at home with us.  The garden blooms in strange spots but we have not moved them.  I think she would like that. When the small pink bloom emerged by the front sidewalk I could only wonder what the occasion had been when she planted it.  She would remember I am sure.

So we will be at peace, Mrs. French and I.  Unless the enamel on the stove starts popping off or unplugs itself during a party or a smell appears in a remote corner of the house or water starts dripping mysteriously,  I will believe that she is happy she came back.  I have been told she was a lovely woman.

Happy Halloween Month.  Oh, by the way, the stove problems, the water thing and the smell thing have actually happened to me.  


Oct 16, 2011

Aesthetics for Seniors or PLEASE PAINT MY WORLD YELLOW!

I read an article written by a young woman about her grandmother's last years.  Grandma was living in a nursing home or some other institutionalized environment.  The question the young woman was exploring touched a nerve for me.  She could not understand why it was so hard to go and visit her grandmother and talk to her.  I think she wrote the piece so she could come to grips with her grief and guilt.  One could see that she felt it should not be so hard to spend some time with a person you love.

What caught my interest specifically was the paragraph about the appearance of the place her grandmother lived.  Wall were painted that institutional color that sucks all the light of halls and room.  Uncombed hair and a room devoid of personal effects left the young woman feeling alone and slightly afraid in the presence of this loved one. I wondered how others related to this same situation.

Bring life into our life!
Then I paid a short visit to a website calle "Aging in Place" where Patrick Roden writes.  The article Dr. Roden wrote about sex in the nursing home just jumped from the page.  He spoke about ridicule from the staff, loss of privacy, single beds...not a place that encourages what older people need more than anything else.  Human touch.  But the institutions didn't take the beauty of their patients and their situation into account.  Even an old person is more beautiful when they are clean and perfumed.  A hug is easier to give in such a case.

I was taken back to a concept I discovered several month ago that dealt with the importance of aesthetics in the life of the older person.  The name of this blog betrays my belief in the importance I place on the beauty of the things that surround me.

In all of this time I had never once thought about my family or friends and how the appearance of the place where we live might influence their willingness to visit and stay a while.  Young people are not aware of why they don't want to come but could it possibly be that even the color of the paint on the walls is important? Dr. Roden thinks that the "aging in place" concept supports the humanity of the elderly.  It is not only the size of the beds and the privacy a home allows.  It is a sanctuary for the whole family.   It is a good argument for in home care and all that "home" means to the family that makes such arrangements.

As a young senior in good health, I with my husband have moved into a house that is on one level, wheel chair friendly with access to the outdoors and lots of light.  We even have enough room for a live in helper.  We are making this home as beautiful a possible so we can enjoy the years to come surrounded by an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere.  Hopefully, it will serve us well for many many years to come.

And yes, we are painting some of the rooms yellow.  I just thought you would want to know.

Be well!


Oct 15, 2011

Tell Me About Yourself Award...for me!!! :)

Thank you Linda Rogers for this award!
The rules of this award is that:
1. You need to tell 7 things about yourself
2. You'll have to pass this award to 15 bloggers.

I have been selected by Linda Rogers for a giant pyramid of "Your Blog is Great" Awards.  I want to play.  So here are 7 things about me:

  1. I like football but think it has one too many quarters.
  2. My husband reads the newspaper to me.  I really can read it myself but he like to read out loud and I don't mind listening.  I have actually learned a great many things from him.
  3. My cat used to have the name "trailer trash" but I renamed him RV.  I began to think the first name was not nice.  He adopted us in Corpus Cristi TX in a really bad trailer park.
  4. We just moved.
  5. I love to listen to myself talk and write.  I guess they go hand in hand.
  6. I always sleep on the right side of the bed...it turns out I can't sleep on the other side.
  7. I am a mother, grandmother, wife and teacher.  They are all pretty much the same so I decided to introduce them in a clump.  
I have nominated the following blogs:

Retire in Tucson or How We Live in Style Affordably!

Agua Caliente Park, Tucson AZ

Living the Snow Bird Life
The area around Tucson AZ attracts a great many snow birds.  They come flocking in during the fall to fill RV resort, apartments, and condo rentals. Golf course fill up and the driving habits of all those seniors cause younger people to pull their hair. Grocery stores are full of shoppers and the nurseries order extra plants so these visitors can fill a pot of small garden with winter flowers.  The snow birds in Tucson and Green Valley just south of Tucson increase the population considerable. We find the cost of living to be very affordable in this area so we have chosen to make it our winter home.  We live in Oregon in the summer.

Snow Birds Yearnings
The robins are back here in Oregon. Their flight path south and north takes them through town for a short period of time. In the spring they come to visit and chirp their happy song every time the sun appears.  If it is a partly cloudy day they wake up again and again every time the sun emerges. In the fall they do much the same but because it rains a lot here we have not heard them before today. We like Robins!

If we are not beginning to think about traveling south for the winter by the time they come in the fall something is very wrong.  I opened my eyes this morning as the sun appeared through the golden trees and the song of the Robin greeted me in the morning air.  It must be time!

We are three weeks away from leaving Oregon and I have begun the count down to the day we close the house for the winter.  I am a woman so all travels begin with my clothes and the things that make a shelter a home no matter where we travel in the world. I carry quite a few kitchen tools with me to Arizona and take some plants back and forth.  When we travel I carry some pictures.  I know it seems foolish but those are the things that give me comfort.

My husband is in charge of computer packing, tools, and the other mundane items needed to maintain both places.  Our park model is waiting for us in Tucson.  We have chosen to live in the small space because it is affordable and we have a built in group of friends when we return each year.  We like that.  It is a bit like moving back into the college dorm after summer vacation.

Creative Lifestyle for Snowbirds
A game of cards on the deck.  Tucson AZ
Many of my friends are quilters.  In the RV resort we live in, people have spaces for quilting, beadwork, silver and lapidary and wood working.  We play pickle ball, bocci ball, cards, pool and bingo.  Most seniors have that creative need and love to indulge in their whims while they are away from their family.  Those new to the lifestyle do miss their families and some even feel the need to fly home mid year. These hobbies help them adapt.  Soon they begin to realize that the winter break is good for their family as well as for themselves.

Almost everyone that comes to our park and buys a park model will immediately begin making the small space their own.  The aesthetics of their surroundings continue to be very important to us all.

Animals in the RV Resort
We will be taking our cat south this year.  He had been boarding at my daughter's family for several years but he is getting a bit old and not a reliable as he once was.  He is ours so we will take responsibility for his care, feeding and general spoiling.  He is a very good old cat.  In our RV resort you can have a cat if you keep it in the house.  If you have a dog you need to live on a street called doggy row.  I guess barking dogs are not appreciated everywhere!

Have a wonderful day and come on down and visit us!

Note:  I have added the list of blogs on the left so you can see a few of the blogs I follow.  I added The Casablanca Transformation today.  The author has some beautiful creative and inexpensive ways to make her home beautiful.  Check it out!

Related articles

Oct 13, 2011

Before and After: the kitchen re-decoration with paint1

Oh my gosh...when I began to post these two pictures of my before and after kitchen I noticed something very strange.  On the day that I took the picture of the kitchen last August, my display space above the cabinets had been packed with every piece of bric-a-brac that I owned.  When we were moving into this house, my son and daughter began unloading the boxes and before we knew it the whole top was filled with everything from Buddhas to a Red Riding Hood cookie jar. There sitting next to the kerosine lantern is our black cat.  I really have no idea how he got up there but pictures don't lie.  The cat can climb the walls.  Really.

In the after picture you can seen the green paint under the cabinets and a tan above.  The green shows a lot greener than it really is or if I am to believe the first picture, it is a lot greener than I thought.  Pictures don't lie!

Note:  My husband made the spice can holder out of a piece of welders metal.  We bought the cans at our local Krogers store (Fred Meyer).  He also made the gadget hangers over the counters.  He painted molding and spray painted cup hooks after straightening the hooks slightly so the gadgets would slide on easier.


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Oct 12, 2011


Trip of Santiago Guillén and Antonio Veciana a...Image via Wikipedia
I was reading an aritcle on a website called BOOTSNALL, ONE STOP INDIE TRAVEL GUIDE.  The "11 Reasons to Stop Dreaming and Start Planning Your Round the World Trip!" title caught my interest.  I don't really even want to go around the world but still it might be fun to plan a trip and see if it is doable.  How many things do you want to do but are "waiting" for more money, time or until you get old or even young again?

This article has a list of reason NOT to wait and even related articles to support their argument.  I think you should read it today.

Just word here.  If you are waiting for retirement to make your dreams come true, you need to rethink that plan.  Do what you can do now to make a little part of your dream come true.  After all if you wait and it may be too late!  

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Oct 10, 2011

Did You Like It Better Back Then? 2011 Post

I wrote this article back in 2011. As we look back to that time, I realize that I am so much better off than I was then. For those of you that were caught in the storm of 2009 I wonder, have you adjusted or did things change enough that it didn't turn out as bad as you imagined it would?

I woke up thinking about the theory of evolution this morning. You know, that idea that things change for reasons we don't or won't understand. We all know that "retirement" is not what it was for a short period of time in the 20th century. Back then we believed the notion that "early retirement" was an attainable goal for everyone. 

Dreams of houses at the beach helped people in cold climates to get through the frigid winter and our nation was so prosperous we believed anyone could have one. We may not like it but those day are gone, maybe forever. So, do you like new ideas and concepts? It could be we had better get used to some new things. There is no escaping today and it's reality. Here is what I think.
Choices at the Crossroads

Life in retirement/old age might be morphing into something new and even wonderful. As with the bird that was born with two white feathers on the back of his head that looked like eyes was able to survive longer than those that did not get those feathers, those that are able to grow new ideas will survive and become even be stronger. Those that are not flexible or smart enough to make some changes in expectations and lifestyle, will not experience the full joy of their old age.

In the world of nature, the strong endure and the weak whine and die. Mankind and animals evolved because forces of nature require change in order for them to survive. It is a hard truth. Could it be that, given the forces in play now, the average American's expectations for old age will evolve? Will factors like economic climate and the expanded life expectancy force our citizens to change? Will it be like that time when man was old at 30 and something happened in nature or knowledge that allowed man to live to 40. The reality was humans had to work to live. There was no stopping at 30 even though that was the way their ancestors had done it. As we grow older we have to work longer.

Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you view this time on this earth, we are living longer. We are finding ways to remain active and healthy much later in life. My grandparents were old at 70. They wore false teeth and lived a very small life. My grandfather worked until he was 72. Then he sat down and waited to die. They did not want much more when they quit working. As the aging process slows, we are finding that our desire to grow and reap rewards is not stopping at age 62 when we can begin to collect Social Security. It is said that age 50 is now the new 40. Maybe age 62 is now the new 52. And the new 72 will become the new 62 (when we begin collecting Social Security).

Now people are not done living when they retire. They want an enjoyable retirement full of adventure. They are faced with the possibility that the financial benefits are not going to be what they need to fulfill their dreams. If they continue to want a better or even equal lifestyle, they are going to have to continue working. The economic realities and extended life span have changed all the rules.

I had thought, "Just get over it!" It has been my feeling that people are too attached to their possessions and money. "Why" I kept thinking, "can't they just live on what they are making?"

 Am I wrong? Could it be that Americans have come to a crossroads? Are they willing to face the changes that are necessary as a result of living longer? 

There are many choices. Will they adjust to their longer life span in today's economy and see that being productive for an extended period of time is necessary if they are to have their dream retirement? Will they see the advantage of living life as they go along not waiting for a retirement that won't happen nearly as soon as they thought it would? Oh better yet, will they see that a simpler life can be happier than one filled with dissatisfaction? 

Just a thought.

Oct 9, 2011

71 YEAR OLD WOMAN Succeeds at Social Media...surprised?

Sunday Finds

Screen Shot of Journywoman website.  Retro and Wonderful!
It is interesting the things I stumble onto on Sunday mornings.  This morning as I went through  my email, I found a notice from my linkedin travel group.  One of the members had recommended an article about an a successful travel expert.  The title of the story attached to the audio interview above jumped off the page at me:  "This 71 year old knows more about social media than you and I do,"  the title read.  All I could think was; really?  You actually said that?  You see, I know 71 is not old; most people of that age know more about everything. That is no surprise to me.  I am coming up on 70 in a few days.

The Author

The story was written by Ron Tite on his blog and included his youtube audio interview above. Ron Tite is a very successful man and has been named one of Canada's most creative men by Marketing Magazine. He is working currently as Vice President [of] Innovation Practice at Euro RSCG. He managed to score an interview with Evelyn Hannon, a travel expert and mentor for women that travel alone. She truly is an amazing woman and evidently always has been. But what caught Tite's attention was the fact that she is a 71 year old that understands social media and makes it work for her. I would assume that he had never had much contact with people older than himself and works in a world that does not include more experienced humans.

The Story
Evelyn Hannon began her journey as a single woman in the 80's after a divorce.  She had traveled a great deal with her x-husband and found she was a little apprehensive about venturing out on her own. She over came her fear and began traveling and journaling about her experiences and knowledge.  As the years passed she shared what she knew with other woman and in the late 90's built a website called Journeywoman, A Premier Travel Resource for Women.  The website remains unchanged and is now getting awards for the retro look and forward looking advice.  She simply does what she does because she cares about the people she connects with.  

The fact that she is a woman does not count nor does that fact that she is 71.  What counts is that she is doing what she loves and doing it better than anyone else.  You have to love that!


Be sure to read Girl with a Grandmother's Face

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Oct 8, 2011

Fall, Summer, Winter, Tropical...all in one suitcase?

How in the name of all that is reasonable am I going to begin packing for this season away from Oregon.  My husband and I will leave Oregon where it is already cold.  Early in November, we will travel over the mountain (probably in the snow) south to Arizona where it will be warm and sunny.  We will be there for one month.  On December 7 we will travel to China where it will be cold, wet and smoggy.  After about a week we will travel to Viet Nam with our son and his family where it will be rainy (I am told).  We will take an over night train to the northern part of the country where my son, his family and friends.  The men will hike and I will learn about the culture. It will be cool there.   After a few days we will fly to the tropical part of Viet Nam and stay in a resort on an island.  Then we will return to China.  If we are still living we will get back to Arizona in late December.

I am thinking I need zip off bottoms on every item of clothing.  I might need some wool and some light cotton.  Hiking boots, sandals and sparkly shoes along with a pair of two of shopping shoes.  I will need a big purse, a little purse, a backpack and a shopping bag. I will need underwear that will dry very fast and coats that breath but are water proof. AND I will need 2 really big big suit cases.

Oh, and did I mention that it will be Christmas so I will need to take gifts for everyone.  I think I need the big book of lists.  I know there has to be such a thing.

Wish me luck.


Oct 6, 2011

Gift Registry? Weddings, Birthday, or Christmas Ideas

Making the Gift Registry Work for You
I have a suggestion.  Crate and Barrel has a registry online.  (Don't most stores have a registry?)  What if you were to add all those things you love to one of those registries.  If people ask for suggestions for a Xmas gift, you just send them to the registry you have used.  

Better yet ask you friends and family to fill out a registry somewhere and then you can use the items for ideas for gifts.  I loved the online idea...we all like to shop from home.  Then a person can simple order something and have the item waiting for you at your local store or at home.   I have seen Crate and Barrel's gift boxes and they are beautiful.  You may have to call a local store but our cell phones have no long distance so who cares.  What a way to possibly save postage and still get the loved one just what they want.  See how it might work...it may be just what you need to do.  I am going to talk to the women on my list and see if we can work something out.

Some Summer to Winter Decor
Below are some before and after pictures using products from local retailers like Crate and Barrel, Bed Bath and Beyond & Pottery Barn.
The wall over the sofa...I could not get it right!
Then we painted, added drapes (Bed Bath and Beyond) and changed out the throw pillows
for crewel embroidered ones bought at Pottery Barn.
I made myself hang wall decor in a straight line. I think it looks
more up to date.  Don't you?

The late summer table had me stumped.  Nothing would work!

Then I found these beautiful ginkgo branches in silk at Crate and Barrel.

They are being sold online for around $10 each.
I had the clerk dig three out from the back store room.
I think they are stunning.
Have a wonderful day.


RIP Steve Jobs...from my umpteenth Apple Computer!

 I think you need to know that I am working on an Apple computer.  My husband and I owned the very first of the devices and my children grew up and later went on to graduate from college all using the Apple.  One of my sons and his wife are Apple Distinguished Educators and work for the company in Singapore China as consultants.  This son was one of the early Mac User Group attendees here in Portland, Oregon and taught seminars along with a friend at summer workshops for educators.  Steve Jobs is a hero of sorts.  He made it possible for those of us that are not mathematician or business owner to understand how technology could become an integral part of our creative lives.  We all grieve his passing.  It is as though a piece of our life is gone. Creativity will endure but it has lost a champion.  Rest in peace Steve Jobs.


Oct 4, 2011

Is your lack of Make-up Making you look Incompetent?

" Today, a new study from P&G Beauty & Grooming and lead investigator Nancy Etcoff, PhD., Assistant Clinical Professor at Harvard University and Associate Researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry, confirms for the first time that using color cosmetics does, in fact, significantly alter how women are perceived by others, at first glance and over time.  (First-Ever Study Reveals Cosmetics Alter Instinctual Perception)"
Perception of Beauty (altered photograph)
This study done by Professor Nancy Etcoff and Proctor and Gamble reveals a lot more than instinctual perceptions of competence.  When women are perceived to be more competent if they are wearing colored make-up it implied that appearance always counts.   Even though the study was done on women 20-50, it plays into the fact that an aging face left without make-up can make us look less than smart.   In the study women, were photographed with varying amounts of make up.  It turns out the "natural look" is not as good as we once thought it was.  In truth, up to a point, the more make-up the more competent the woman was perceived to be.  It was only when too much make-up made the woman look like a lady of the evening that the participants backed away from the concept.

For those of us that are getting older in appearance, the implications are very plain.  In fact, I think you will find that most woman have had personal experiences that left them wondering what they had done that made people think they were incompetent or in their dotage.  A quick trip to the grocery without make-up in a baseball cap, followed by a drop in at a sale in the boutique next door can be a disaster.  In fact, going out with no make-up and stringy hair cover by a cap can be very hard on a woman's self-image.  Without realizing it, they have opened the door for clerks and other customers to brush them aside.  It is only worse in the lawyers office or at the car lot.   One can only imagine how bad it would play out on the job.

Women in the work place should be paying attention.  Twenty-five years ago we bought $500 suits for our daughters to apply for a job.  We believed that it helped them get a good job and in fact, we even thought that the clothing, hair cut and make-up would affect their rise to the top. The study confirmed the fact that the rules have not changed much. I think this study shows that, even in this day and age, women of all ages are being held to a "beauty" standard.

I for one am careful to dress as upscale as I can afford.  I like to be in control of my life and the world around me.  Current styles, accessories and even the shoes on my feet reflect how I feel about myself and others around me simply treat me with more respect.

It is just a thought.  I know it is shallow and that beauty does not tell how smart or powerful a person is.  The fact that the made-up women were perceived as being less trust worthy while being judged more competent was a puzzle.   Proctor and Gamble had a lot to gain with the release of this information and the study will be questioned by women that want to be free of the double standard. It could be that women have gone over the edge in their desire to free and this is a message for them. I know that retired women tend to let down their guard.  But the fact is that, in this case, the argument that women should not be required to make themselves attractive takes a real blow...instinctual perception wins again!


Oct 2, 2011

Tiny House on HGTV (Photos) Screen Shots

One very tiny house. 

The HGTV Design Star show chose the tiny houses for three finalist in Episode #9.  Each house was a shell when the contestants entered.  Finally, a look at how these tiny spaces can be turned into something very special. 

Three designers, Meg, Carl and Mark were give the challenge of designing the tiny space in a short period of time.  I wondered if they could create a very tiny house with ALL the amenities you would need to live for a week/month/year. I don't know what you think but I was inspired by their designs. When you turn three very talented up and coming designers loose on a challenge to do a whole house, all be it small, you have something worth looking at. Each designer was given a carpenter to help build the interiors and then a short period of time to bring in the design elements.  

Mark's Space
Mark's house was a beautiful design but the lines all over everything seemed to confuse the issue.  I think he even managed to include a dishwasher. The bump out in the middle of the room is a bathroom.  The ladder leads to a loft area with storage.  The judges were not as impressed as they could have been even though they did acknowledge his artistic talent.
Puff Pillow/table in lounge area.
I loved Carl's tiny house personally.  It was a bit more sophisticated and finished.   His colors, puff pillow/table idea and storage above was just wonderful.  I loved the hook for towels and a vase of flowers on the small table.  It actually was very spacious looking given how small it was.
Carl's Tiny House

Meg's Cottage Design. 

Meg's design was very interesting.  She put the bath just inside the door.  The space remained totally open when she did this.  The design was very "camp cottage" looking and really didn't appeal to me personally.  When I think about these tiny spaces I am taken by the notion that I could maybe spend a whole season in one without feeling deprived.  After living in an RV for month at a time I am well aware that a person needs to have a space where they are comfortable.  That bench in the back looks really hard!  This camp look and style is just too primitive for me.

Things I noticed that would make long term stays more difficult is the lack of a shower.  Honestly, I would not want to do without one.  I do know people that always use the public shower in camp grounds and RV resorts.  It is just a personal preference for me!

Take a look at the episode.  It will satisfy your curiosity about very tiny space living.


Oct 1, 2011

4 Dining Rooms for Today...Home/Garden Show Portland

The outdoors come in design. 
Pearl District Design...urban chic meets the garage door tagger!

Classic Restaurant seating at Home

Imaginative Colors for Dining Room Fantasy.

I voted on my favorite at the Home and Garden Show yesterday.  Which one would you have picked?


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