May 31, 2012

Reinvention for Women Age 50+

I am pleased to have Susan Tolles as my guest blogger today. Susan is an Expert in Midlife Reinventions who inspires and equips women around the world to flourish inside and out. As a website creator, published author, speaker and life coach, Susan helps women celebrate and enrich their true inner and outer beauty as they age with grace and vitality. Her website, viewed by thousands of women globally each month, provides the resources and tools to make the second half of their lives their best.

Susan is a published author, contributing to the collaborative booksInspired Women Succeed and The Unstoppable Woman's Guide to Emotional Well-Being. Both are available on her websites or on Amazon.

Susan lives in Austin, Texas, has been married for over 33 years and has three incredible children. She has worn many hats in her life and has personally experienced her own amazing midlife transformation, proving that it is never too late to discover your purpose and follow your dreams.

Visit Susan’s websites: and 

Reinvention for Women Over 50

Women over 50 are changing themselves along with the world. Retirement is not even on their radar, and they are not going to stay home, go to book club, play bridge and watch the world go by as their mothers did at this age. That will come much later. Now, they are reinventing themselves for something better and taking on life with a new spirit and tenacity that is making them more visible, giving them new confidence and bringing excitement into what was once a dull life-stage for women their age.

But how do they do it? How do women over 50 reclaim their “identity” after the empty nest? What does it take for a midlife woman to take a big leap of faith to leave a career she has had for years in order to do something she really loves to do?

As I experienced my own do-over, a woman’s reinvention brought on by her own “midlife crisis” can be summed up in three phases:
  • I’m done. A woman in her 50′s realizes that she has been focusing on others for so long, saying yes to everything out of obligation, while carrying unfulfilled dreams deep in her soul. She must say “I’m done!” then give herself permission to focus on herself for a change. Forgiveness and overcoming guilt are also important parts of this step. 
  • Now what? Once she is truly “done” with looking at the past, it is time for her to reconnect with her passions, to discover her new life purpose, and to set some goals for herself that will make her stretch. It is time for her to empower herself with a plan for an extraordinary future as she looks forward to the next few decades. For this woman over 50, the possibilities are endless, and she embraces change with enthusiasm. 
  • Kick butt! With her newfound “Joie de vivre” the woman over 50 is taking on the world with a fierce determination that she will not be considered old, that she will look and feel her very best, and that the best years are yet to come. She has a renewed energy as she “kick’s butt” wearing stilettos instead of house slippers, choosing networking luncheons over afternoon bridge club. She is creating a life for herself doing the things she loves to do, allowing herself to be creative about her future. This fearless midlife woman takes care of her own needs, instead of being on the bottom of her to-do list, knowing that she will be a much better person in every area if she is continuing to explore the possibilities and grow. 

Yes, even a woman can experience a midlife crisis stage, often brought on by a deep realization that her life is half over and now it is time to focus on what is truly important. Her needs are not satisfied by purchasing material things, but instead are rooted in a deep desire to do something meaningful with her life, to leave a legacy that reaches beyond her children, and to reach the end of her life not saying “I just wish I had…”
If you are over 50 and longing to live with more passion and purpose, here are a few steps to get you started on your own reinvention.
  • Make a list of the things you are passionate about, the things that “light your fire.” 
  • Make a list of your gifts and skills. Ask others to help you if you get stuck. 
  • Make another list of the things you DON’T want to do any more. 
  • Picture yourself at 90 years old, telling your great-grandchildren about your life. What are you most proud of in the last 40 years? What do you want to be remembered for? 
  • Write a life purpose statement for yourself, including what you want to do (see the first two points above) and who you want to impact 
  • Make a list of goals that will stretch you and make you grow 
  • Surround yourself with cheerleaders who will support you along the way 
  • Celebrate your newfound enthusiasm! 
If you need a little extra encouragement or help with strategizing, please contact me at

May 29, 2012

Oregon Backroads...all roads lead to Vernonia

There is a standing joke here in the northwest corner of Oregon that all roads lead to Vernonia. I don't why that is so because let me tell you Vernonia is not the cultural center of the western world.  The small community lays claim to the only hardware store I know of that sells liquor and has a big sign in front to prove it.  Hardware and Liquor Store it says proudly.  I don't know about you but in my world power tools and liquor should not be combined even in a sentence.  But there it is...right at the end of main street in Vernonia.

When you are traveling west toward the Pacific Ocean you can start in the center of Portland and make the decision which way you want to go...north along the Columbia River or a little further south on the Sunset Highway.  Either way you are going to see signs sending you to Vernonia.  It is just weird.  The little community has a main street about three blocks long, the beautiful Nahalem River runs just at the edge of town and every lawn is cut to the perfect length.  Driving over this back road north and south through the coast range is one of the most delightful drives you can make. Even though the logging industry has scalped many of the ridges bare there are miles of lush fern laden rain forest to satisfy anyone's need for green.  I suppose a person should go that way before there is nothing left but stumps on every hillside because a great deal of the land is owned by the logging industry.

So where is Vernonia? Well I think it is in the middle of everywhere.  From Portland it is halfway to the coast.  From the coast it is halfway to Portland.  From the Columbia River it is halfway to the Sunset Highway. From the Sunset it is halfway to four places along the Columbia.  A road from Vernonia north can take you to Claskinie, another to St. Helens,  yet another to Ranier, or  yet another to Scappose.  Yes there are four different roads because it is true.  Here in northwest Oregon all roads lead to and from Vernonia.

So there you have it.  Another backroad drive with a hardware/liquor store thrown in for good measure.


More backroad stories:

Backroads in Oregon...let's go to the drive-in!
Fall Colors in Oregon Wine Country...Red Ridge Farms
Backroads near Portland, Oregon

May 28, 2012

Travel Blogs, Mark Twain and me #1b140_2

Just when I begin to think I have a grip on who and what I am, someone like Mark Twain comes along and bursts my bubble.  It really makes it very hard to be me.

Me at the Alacazaba, Spain, 2001
another innocent abroad!
I have been reading Twain's Innocents Abroad this last week.  I was prompted to do so after deciding to follow 1 Book in 140 Characters (#1book140) on twitter.  It is a book club for people from around the world.  Their last read was Mark Twain's book.
Click image 
The Innocents Abroad, or The New Pilgrims' Progress is a travel book by American author Mark Twain published in 1869 which humorously chronicles what Twain called his "Great Pleasure Excursion" on board the chartered vessel Quaker City (formerlyUSS Quaker City) through Europe and the Holy Land with a group of American travelers in 1867. It was the best selling of Twain's works during his lifetime and one of the best selling travel books of all time. (wikipedia).
If you have ever taken a trip that you thought of as "a great adventure" you could relate to every word Train has written.  Everything from his description of the over zealous journal writers to the euphoria a traveler experiences when visiting a exotic foreign country for the first is all there.  Nothing, really, nothing has changed since 1867.

It was the section on the "Old Traveler" that brought me to tears.  I didn't know if I was laughing because I thought it was funny or laughing because I might have recognized myself in his words.  He said:
But we love the Old Travelers....they open their throttle valves, and how they do brag and swell.... But still I love the Old Travelers, I love them for their witless platitudes, for their supernatural ability to bore, [and for] their delightful asinine vanity.... 
When Twain used words like asinine and vanity and their central aim is to subjugate you I realized that it could be that I love talking about my travels a lot more than you enjoy listening.  If that is true, it is not a good thing!

Still I need you to know I probably won't stop because talking about travel is part of my blogging journey. I may feel sorry for you just a little but it won't make any difference.  Just shoot me now!  Smile.

Please read this book if you have not already.  I is just a wonderful today as it was in 1867! You can download it free from Amazon or read it online.


By the way I went over 100,000 page views yesterday.  Now if just 30% of those people stop and read a few lines I will be happy.

May 26, 2012

The "housekeeper fairy" is dead! Sigh!

I am sorry but I have been married for 51 years and all of these years I truly  believed that the
"housekeeping fairy" was going to come and clean up the mess.  Hence the mess!  Now I am 70 and fully aware that there is no such thing as a "housekeeping fairy".  My husband just told me night before last.  Imagine my disappointment.  I mean it was hard for him too...breaking the bad new and all but still, I am the one that really was shocked.

After a little thought I had the courage to say, "Well, I guess we are going to have to share the chores around here. If the housekeeping fairy is not coming, someone is going to need to scrub toilets and clean up dishes."  It turns out, he does the yard/garage and I have been give a very special job.  I will be doing the fairy jobs from now on....darn!



May 25, 2012

I'm Retired...How come I have all these jobs? New Stuff I'm Doing!

Here is the thing...we are doing three jobs at once.  That sort of thing was hard 30 years ago but now we are in our 70's and it turns out nothing has changed!  It is still hard work. We are like butterflies flitting from bush to bush.  Maybe that explains why I am happy!  We are:

  • Painting son's condo ceiling...big leak stained open floor plan lower level.  There is at least 700 square feet of surface.  Ceiling white did not cover with one coat.  It is a pain in the neck...a real pain in the neck. 
  • Working on a flag stone patio.  It is half finished and stones are stacked waiting for us to finish the job. 
  • Our new cork floor has arrived and the boxes are stored under our bed so they can warm up. My husband is measuring and planning.  
Cinderella's Ballerina Slipper?

On top of all that, I have added two components to my blogging routine. A new blog was opened last week featuring nothing but gifts...Gift Boomer was an idea I hatched in the night. This way I can shop for you.  A new gift idea appears everyday. My market is heard me. Everything I pick is something a grown up would want.  If you are a grandparents that has visiting grandchildren, I have ideas for you too. I hope you take a look. If you see something you like click the link and see if it might be just what you want.

A newspaper has been added to my expanding online world.  Retire In Style Daily News features small snippets of articles my twitter followers have posted.  It is generated automatically by but I edit what I want and don't want my readers to see.  If you are interested in the possibility of being featured, follow me at barbblogtwits and send me your articles on twitter to @barbblogtwits. 

I bought Snapseed for my desktop computer today.  I use this app on my ipad and love, love it.  If you like to fiddle around with your pictures, I think the $19.95 is worth your money.  It is a lot of fun!

I read that if bloggers want there readers to help them they should tell the reader what to do.  Here goes:
  • Click the followers button in the left sidebar.
  • Click the Google+ button at the bottom of the blog.
  • Leave a comment if you want to add to the conversation.
  • Please, oh please, come on back soon.  I love to have company.
The doggone ants have moved into my house and are driving me nuts.  Yes I am clean and no I don't leave food crumbs around.  I may have to call an exterminator if things don't get better.  Oh by the way ants don't like the rain either.  They move inside in the droves on a misty day!  Yuck!

Have a great day.


May 24, 2012

Is AARP lossing It's Grip on Seniors? What is next?

What does the logo symbolize?
When I published the guest post from the 48-year-old guy that had received his first invitation to AARP, I wondered if AARP had lost its appeal.  While the organization has a huge political clout, the fact that they still look the same after all these years has me AARP  moving too slow while the boomer generation drives by thumbing their collective noses at them?  Is the generation that rules the world declining their invitation to grow old?

It is not so much what AARP does as how it looks and what it symbolizes.  Like the 48-year-old guy, anyone that gets the dreaded envelop holding the invitation to join, the appearance of the AARP logo has them thinking "I can't be old yet! I am only_____ years old."  Nature will not tolerate a vacuum and the one left by people turning away from a the "symbol" of AARP is going to be filled by a group that appeals to those people beginning the second part of their adulthood...they want a new symbol for the next stage in their lives.  That big generation coming down the track is not going to settle for anything less than a symbol that screams Active and Meaningful and Full of Life.

Now I see that PBS has a new website called called *Next Avenue.  The website description says simply When Grown-ups Keep Growing.  The focus for the group is not growing old.  It instead talks about learning, working and staying involved.  I received an email from Encore Careers, another wonderful organization, talking about Next Avenue.  It said:
Dear Friend, 
Just because you’re grown up, doesn’t mean you’re done growing. That’s the idea behind the new PBS website Next Avenue:  
  • Aimed at the 50-plus set, Next Avenue focuses on topics people may experience differently in this stage in life, including health, finances, work, leisure and caregiving.  
We’re most excited about the Work & Purpose section. is contributing stories about pursuing an encore career for the greater good – how to assess your skills, questions to ask when looking for a nonprofit job, building your professional network and more. Check out our contributions here:
  •   There is also a rich video section that draws from PBS’s immense library – and ours. You’ll see: “Money Tips to Make it Through a Layoff,” “Job Searching at 59” and “Launching a Consulting Business.” Sprinkled throughout are video profiles of Purpose Prize winners, a great source of inspiration. 
Spend some time on Next Avenue and tell us what you think at
Where will your next avenue lead?
Michele Melendez
Don't you love that? "Just because you've grown up doesn't mean you're done growing"?  Really, just because we have passed any benchmark in our life doesn't mean we are done...retirement or turning 70 or graduating college is not the end of anything, they are a new beginning. We are not done growing until we are done. Are you paying attention? Maybe we will be seeing more of these younger feeling organizations for this generation.

I think that if AARP is losing it's appeal, is it because people have the idea that AARP equals just growing old. The image of someone filling our needs does not make any generation feel useful and needed.  I didn't get the feeling that the 48-year-old guy was interested in making it better or easier to grow old.  Not even one bit.  He is probably more interested in growing and learning and being better and doing it for a very long time. That is what I feel Next Avenue and Encore is avenue to the next beginning on the way to becoming a better human being.


 I invite you to watch this video from Encore Careers...advertisers could learn a thing or too from this beautiful, simple, creative short video about big opportunities for our second adulthood:

May 22, 2012

Thoughts on @BlogHer Article: Taking away Mom's Keys

Did I tell you that I needed to practice driving when I returned to Portland? It seems that my husband had driven all winter in Arizona and even when I do drive down there. it is very easy. Driving in the Portland Metro area is not. I told my children about this because I wanted them to know. It is a worry for me. I guess that is why this article on BlogHer hit a nerve. It was called Taking Away Mom's Keys. 

The story went like this:
Sandra Tyler is a writer and owns a blog called A Writer Weaves a Tale. Tyler wrote this morning about her mother. Her mother, age 93, was summoned to the Motor Vehicle Department because they felt the need to see if her driving skills were up to par. After being tested for her skills while driving, the elderly woman lost her license because her driving scared the tester so badly it made her ill. The old woman pleaded for her freedom to drive. "I don't go far. But I need to go up this block, turn right, then a left here to get my mail and groceries." she told the official at the DMV Window 22. The daughter saw her mother humiliated in public and still faced the problem of taking away her car keys. The question left hanging in the air was at what age do seniors need to give up driving? I could only think about the day I myself face the dreaded official tending Window #22 at the DMV.

Earlier this winter I wrote a post about starting the conversation with my children about my diminishing skills as I age. I was thinking that there were things my children and I needed to discuss now and not later. It was called 5 Conversation Starters with My Children. The third item on that list was:
  1. 3. How will you handle "traveling problems" if they should occur? This may include a discussion about whether we should even drive. (I also had in mind traveling with a suitcase overseas.)
If I were asked by a younger person how to handle the awkward situations they are going to face in the future with their parents, the two pieces of advice I would give them would be....
  • Treat your parents like respected elders at all times 
  • Start the discussions early. For example, don't wait until the day arrives when Mom or Dad cannot drive anymore. Talk about that dreaded day now. You will not regret it. 
You see, aging parents know when their driving skills are going south and it scares them too. They are afraid they will hurt someone and they are afraid of a world where they are isolated because they cannot drive. Parents also know when they should not live alone without assistance and when they need help with their finances. The real problem is that they have never talked about it with their children so no one knows how the others feel. I am sure it must be a horrible feeling for everyone. The ship is sinking and the children cannot talk the parent into getting in the lifeboat. They should have had a safety plan before they were set adrift at sea.

Start the conversations now, talk often and sincerely about worries and above all, keep a good sense of humor. It will get you through many a very rough spot. So there you have it...from the lips of a real expert.

Note: I invite you to become a follower. Click Follow in the sidebar.

May 21, 2012

@1book140 Twitter/The Atlantic book club, #books and @GoodReads

Me (in the blue t-shirt standing)
 in Spain 2001...another innocent abroad!
Well, just in case you were wondering, I did add @1book140 to my Twitter likes and downloaded the latest selection, Mark Twains The Innocents Abroad (published 1869), onto my cost me $0.  Now I am reading this hilarious story about a person going on a trans-Atlantic voyage to the Holy Land in what I visualize as a tin bucket ocean liner. Only an innocent sucker would have bought the speel given by the travel agent promoting the tour in the first place and it only gets better.  Mark Twain where ever you are, was that you?

While we're talking about books...
I have two other books on the Kindle that I am reading too.  Ann Tyler is one of my favorite authors so it is no surprise that I am reading The Beginner's Goodbye. The book was chosen as one of Amazon's best for 2012. Ann Tyler's books are always a bit like reading a very grown up version of the children's book  James and the Giant Peach. If you remember Jame's parents were killed by an escaped animal from the zoo while in their car in the very first chapter. Then a giant peach began growing in the backyard of his pointy Aunt's backyard. And so it goes.  Tyler's books begin with a very real and totally possible tragedy (no zoo animals yet).  The author then carries the reader along as she follows the character step by step listening and watching as they put their life back together.  Not surprisingly, humor, dark but funny, fill the pages. Very much like Roald Dalh's children's book. The Amazon review for The Beginner's Goodbye said:
"The strangest thing about my wife's return from the dead was how other people reacted." So begins Anne Tyler's new novel, which documents the days of Aaron Woolcott after the unexpected loss of his wife, Dorothy. And as arresting as the first sentence is, it's also a bit worrying. So many clich├ęs could follow. Will Aaron resolve his grief through poetic moonlit walks with the apparition of his lost wife? Thankfully, this is Anne Tyler. And the ghost of Dorothy, like all Tyler's characters, has a kind of rich, eccentric depth that sits opposite to the expected. Aaron's recovery after his wife's death conveys all the subtle hallmarks of Tyler's style, where a flawed man must learn how to do a very difficult thing--say a final goodbye. --Benjamin Moebius
I have also bought and downloaded A Visit from the Goon Squad and don't really know why.  I don't particularly like the characters or the way the books is written.  In fact, I probably will not wrap my mind around what I've read even after I am done.  But, I keep going with the hope that it will all finally click or there will be a character I can care about.  See, this is one of the bad things about an ebook...I miss the fly leaf and the information on the back cover.  They are like CliffNotes for the confused reader and it seems I need a lot of help. 

The @1book140 Book Club
The Twitter/The Atlantic book club (previous post here) is very interesting.  I followed the Twitter account @1book140 and found a link to The Atlantic to get directions for belonging.  It is all about the slash mark (#). For example, #1book140 takes the member tweeter to the discussion page for the club in general. #1b140_1 takes them to discussions on the first chapter in the book.  It appears they are on Chapter 2.  There is a  one rule...#1 - If a member gives the ending away or talks about Chapter 3 before the club says they can, they get themselves kicked out of the club. Pretty simple.

So there you have it...Monday in retirementland.  Rainy and cold here.


May 20, 2012

Free Postage, Taxes made invisible, and Oddity Central

We have a granddaughter graduating next month.  Thankfully we are near to her so we can celebrate this big occasion with our family.  We are very proud of her.  She has scored a big scholarship at Oregon State University so her financial load has been reduced significantly.  Now comes the big decisions about what gift to give.  That part is always hard.

Free Postage
Here is a little money saving tip for postage!  If your graduation/Father's Day gift needs to travel across the miles, you know that the postage can be almost as much as the gift itself AND the post office can make getting it there very difficult.  (See earlier post..The Post Office and Me)  Thankfully, all those bad post office days are behind me.  I am now a converted online shopper.  I even signed up to be an Amazon associate.  It seems that they provide free shipping on a lot of their items and even have a way to pay for a year's worth of shipping with one fee on Amazon Prime.  I can tell you now that no matter who I order from online now, the shipping needs to be free.  I plan ahead so I am not in a rush and pretend I am standing at the giftee's front door on the day it arrives.  I have a  slide show I posted over at my Gift Boomer blog and in the sidebar of this blog.  A lot of the items shown there have free shipping or the user can get the Amazon Prime membership with a free trial offer...just in time for graduation or Father's Day.   


Taxes Made Invisible

I know tax season is over but now it is time to begin thinking about next year if you haven't already.  I have always hated that I needed to begin planning for next year right in the middle of preparing last years forms.  There is no getting around it though.  

We have always donated to charity and within the last few years have donated thousands of dollars worth of personal belongings to local thrift stores.  We have downsized a couple of times.  We were about half way through before we discovered that there are websites that help you determine the worth of what you have donated.  The only thing is you need to itemize everything you give away and keep the list updated.   Just follow the rules and begin keeping track...really folks you need to keep the list because you will be surprised how much money this can save you.  We can vouch for this.

Oddity Central 

Ever wondered where all those emails come from with a cat riding a bicycle or the baby playing Mozart?  Well this may be the place.  Oddity Central not only tells about the oddity but they provide photographic proof that what they say if true. I know photo editing is a possibility but even at that it is a fun place to visit.

This morning I noticed an article about camel jumping.  And we though flying cars through the air was a novel idea.  It turns out nothing under the sun is new or all began with camels.

The Ancient Sport of Camel Jumping in the Deserts of Yemen

The men of the Zaraniq tribe, on the west coast of Yemen, have a truly unique tradition – they jump over a row of camels just like modern daredevils jump over cars. 


Conclusion (Just in case you did know I was through I thought I would include this heading.)

Have a wonderful Sunday and be sure to check out that book club I talked about yesterday...I am going to.


May 19, 2012

New York Times: Largest Book Club in the World: 64,483+ me

I saw something in my Retire In Style Daily News  that made me hyper ventilate.  It was story that was on twitter tday and had been put up by one the people I follow.   It seems a book club run by Jeff Howe, an assistant professor of journalism at Northeastern University using twitter has over 64,000 members, never adjourns and has members all over the world.  He decided to begin the club by setting up a twitter account and inviting the world to choose a book to read and then share their thoughts chapter by chapter by tweeting to the world.  He formed a partnership with Atlantic magazine, chose a genre and let tweeters to nominate books.  The partnership then narrows the list down to 6 and the membership votes for their favorite.  

The whole thing just fascinated me.  The idea that people from around the world would all read the same book and discuss their thoughts all using 140 characters is wonderful.  By talking about the book we are all brought together!  In fact the idea was actually born in Seattle out of an idea that the city would all have something in common if they read the same book.  
One City One Book programs take the idea of a localized book discussion club and expand it to cover a whole city.[2] The first such program was "If All of Seattle Read the Same Book" in 1998, started by Nancy Pearl at Seattle Public Library's Washington Center for the Book.[3] The book chosen for the program was 'The Sweet Hereafter' by Russell Banks, written in 1991.[4] Other cities copied the idea, and the Library of Congress listed 404 programs occurring in 2007.[1] (Wikipedia)

The twitter name is 1book140, the NYT Article is called Books With 140 Characters.  I know what, let's all do it. I love it when a neighborhood, city, or the world all have one thing in common that we can talk about.  And if it is a good book, isn't that even better?   Doesn't it just sound like a lot of fun?


Note:  I have used the same hairdresser for 15 years.  Why?  Because we both love to read books and can talk about them while I sit in the chair.  Isn't that wonderful?

May 17, 2012

Date Night Costs a Lot...even at our age!


I don't know when you were out on a date with your spouse last but I bet you gave some thought to how you looked.  Just the word "date" conjures up images of a new dress or shoes.  It might even be the occasion that has you looking for a new hairdo or a day at the spa. This is what Turbotax had to say:
Dating can be expensive. Whether you plan to go out on a simple date to see the latest movie like Battleship staring Rihanna or to a Lady Gaga concert, the price you pay to impress your date can set you back quite a bit.  Hopefully you held on to some of your tax refund if you plan to wine and dine that special someone, since a simple night out can cost you over $200.00 in some cities.  Check out our infographic to see how much a “(not so) cheap date” cost in cities around the world. 
I loved this infographic.  Maybe we should rethink what we spend on clothes. Make that date pay for the good stuff instead. Smile!


May 16, 2012

Huffington Post Thoughts: When Does the Parent's Checkbook Voucher Expire?

Huffington Post Article:  Help!  My Partner is Giving Our Life Savings Away...
So at what age do your children outgrow the need for financial help? It may be older than you think. Recent research indicates that a whopping 93 percent of Americans who are a part of the baby boomer generation have provided some sort of financial help to their grown Gen X or Gen Y children.
This is just to make you think.  When does the Parent's Check Book Voucher expire?  Are parents forever the go to people when things get tough?  Would things even get tough if there was no parental open children get in a financial bind because they know the parents will help them out?  You tell me.


May 15, 2012

What to do when Dollar Stretchers and Junk Car Buyers come to call!

Junk Cars
Thank you for stopping by.  If you like what you read, beam me up on twitter, google+ etc.  It helps a lot!

I write a blog online and I make a little money when people place ads in my sidebar for financial services or pay for a link to a business in a guest post.  In order to do what I do I belong to social websites like Linkedin, twitter and Facebook.  They are necessary.  As a result I get contacted by a wide variety of people that earn a living online. It is as though I own a store and they want to place their product on my shelves.  That is not what I expected to happen with this blog but that is how it has evolved.

This morning I was contacted by two websites that were related in a small way.  They were both related to money...not big money, or insurance.  These websites are focused on people that love to have a little extra cash in their pockets.  One person owns a website called Dollar Stretcher.  This business is in my Linkedin contacts.  You will find information on everything from economical travel to buying and selling a house.  One stop idea of a very good idea!

The second was from a website called Junk Car Buyers.  I know!  This one made me smile.  But here is the may be just the service you are needing.  If you have a car you have inherited but just won't start or a car you never use, what do you do?  Well, I guess you call Junk Car Buyers and they will give you some cash AND take the thing away.  I love it when a charity or a buyer not only wants my stuff but actually shows up and carts it away.  I don't know anyone personally that has a junk car parked in their drive or the vacant lot out back but maybe you do.

So there you have it...a day in the life of a typical retired kindergarten teacher turned into an ecommerce whatchamaycallit!  I hope your day has been full of smiles.


May 13, 2012

Taking a Risk...thoughts on Aging in Place by Patrick Roden, PhD

No matter how steep the climb, it is not impossible!
Sometimes an aging person needs to be reassured that taking a risk is worth the cost.  I have always worried about the cost to my children if I were to make a bad choice.  Would the risk be worth the resulting problem?  That is what a post written by Patrick Roden over at Aging in Place did for me.    The story was called The Up-side Risk of Aging in Place.  Dr. Roden reminded me that life is a risk.  Young or old, we know that being alive and leaving our bed is risky. It always will be.

Why is this on my mind today?  Well, my daughter's mother-in-law, Darlene, was moved into her home on Friday to live out the remaining days of her life.  She is suffering from cancer and in hospice care. She is 84 years old .

But that is not the story. The story is about this beautiful woman that is blind, widowed for 35 years and independent.  Her son, now 50, is sharing his home with her because he was raised with an example of courage and risk taking on the up-side.

In Darlene's case she lived alone in the house her husband had just completed when he suffered a heart attack.  Her son lived 40 miles away and her daughter lives in the midwest.  When her blindness and a heart condition began to be a real problem and she could not shop anymore, she moved to a 55+ retirement community that provided meals.  She had her own apartment, continued to wash her own clothes and took care of her own daily needs.  He grandson sorted her pills each week.  She attended church, played bingo and sat at a dinner table with people she enjoyed. Her days were full because she ventured out as much as she could and took some risks.

When this final illness came to call, her children did not rush in and take control.  They talked with her in the company of her pastor and the hospitalist.  She was treated like an adult and given choices that they could all live with.  Even at this stage, in her son and daughter-in-laws home, she is taking a risk.  The children and grandchildren will all be better for having come together at this very difficult time.

My point here is that we set an example in every stage of our life.  The choices we make are reflected back on us in so many ways. Aging in place has it's risks and there are those that feel we should not ever put ourselves at risk by aging in place because we might fall or become ill in our own home.  The commonly held thought is that parents and children switch roles and the parent becomes the child.  I am here to say NO!  Please don't do that.  Adult old people may make some bad decisions or fall or even get a little lost in the city. But who among us does not do those things?  They are not children even though they may need your help.   They are adults doing what they have always done...taking risks and living.


May 10, 2012

Free Stuff for your NON-Profit from Tech Soup

Tech Soup Partners
AARP recommends that we volunteer whenever possible.  I know that many retirees give time to their churches, schools and communities across the country.  If you are one of those people, here is something you may not have heard about.  There is an organization called Tech Soup that finds partners willing to donate technology nonprofits and libraries.
At TechSoup, nonprofits and libraries can request and receive technology products donated by TechSoup partners, and they can find tech-focused content and community tuned to their needs. We're a nonprofit with a clear focus: to make it as easy as possible for other nonprofits and libraries to obtain and use the technologies they need to achieve their goals. As part of that mission, we provide access to over 400 products donated by more than 40 companies — including donor partners like Microsoft, Adobe, Cisco, Intuit, and Symantec.  

I have been a follower of this group for quite a while.  I am always very interested in the service they give to organization.  You really should take the time to look their webpage over and see if there is anything they can do for you.  At the very least, pass the word along.  This is a very good thing.

Technorati Tag:  technology, non-profit, AARP

May 9, 2012

Who is your Mother/Grandmother? ...the gift you give should fit that person!

Knowing what to get for Mother's Day can always be a problem. You cannot get the perfect gift until you ask yourself what your mother or grandmother is really like.  You are going to want a different gift for the active woman than you are for the aging grandmother.  One size does not fit all.

My husband shared a picture a friend had sent him.  It was a family photo taken 60 years ago.  Front and center stood the grandmother in her dark suit, corsage at the shoulder, and sensible shoes.  The bun we could not see but knew was there was covered by a black hat and a veil. The stern look on her face told us that she was not to be trifled with and her face was sunken telling a tale of false teeth and yearning for corn on the cob. She was the quintessential grandmother of her era.  There are very few like her left in this day and age.

My Mother and Father 51 years ago.  Times have changed!
But what does a mother/grandmother look like she working, retired, beautiful and stylish, fit and mentally active? You tell me.  Mother's Day is next Sunday and grandmothers/mothers are on our mind.  If you are going to find the gift or attention that fits that person in your life, you need to know who she really is.  You tell me...what is your mother/grandmother like?  Give it some thought so the gift you give fits the person you are giving to.

Link to every post I have ever written about gift giving for all age groups:

The Perfect Gifts


May 7, 2012

What to Look for in a Skilled Nursing Facility

If you have a medical condition that requires frequent care, moving into a skilled nursing facility might be the best option for you. This type of setting can provide you with the medical supervision you need on a regular basis. You won’t have to worry about forgetting to take medications or falling if you have trouble getting around by yourself. You’ll always have someone there to make sure that you get the best care possible. When you visit facilities that you’re interested in, it’s important to look for certain things before making your final decision.

Look at how the skilled nursing facility is set up. Many have a central nursing station and dining area, as well as shared bedrooms and bathrooms. If you prefer a more personal setting with a cozier environment, look for facilities that offer private rooms and bathrooms. Some facilities are also designed for smaller groups instead of one large group. These typically have smaller communal areas and private kitchens or dining areas.

Make sure the facilities you visit are kept clean. Rooms, communal areas and dining areas should not have strong odors, such as urine. Keep in mind that overpowering smells from air fresheners and other deodorizing products could be masking these scents. Furniture and surface areas should not be covered in dirt, dust or other debris. Bedroom and bathroom linens should be cleaned regularly.

Find out as much as possible about the staff at the skilled nursing facilities you visit. Ask about the turnover rate since a lower rate generally indicates more satisfied employees who do their jobs well. You’ll want to look for employees that make you feel welcome and comfortable. Find out how many employees are around on weekends, evenings and weekdays. If you have a condition that requires special care, such as stroke rehabilitation, make sure the facility offers what you need.

Ask about the meals that are served. If you are on a special diet, check if the facility can accommodate your dietary needs. All meals should be nutritious and well-balanced. They should also be cooked under safe conditions in a sanitary environment.

Observe or talk to the residents at the skilled nursing facilities. They should seem alert and happy. Ask them if they enjoy the activities that the facility offers. You can also ask visiting family members for their opinions on the care that their loved ones receive.

About the Author:

Mr. Farrell, who holds a Master’s degree in social work, with a concentration in gerontology and administration from Boston College, is a licensed Nursing Home Administrator. He is widely published and nationally recognized as an educator in the skilled nursing facility industry.

May 6, 2012

Why won't these Antz take the hint and just leave?

Z: I've got to believe there's something out there better than this. Otherwise I'll just curl up into a larval position and weep. Quote from Antz

My husband shares his house with me, a cat named RV and a million tiny black sugar ants.  He will let the cat and I stay but the ants...I think not. I just want them to go away and not cost us a lot of money.  Am I asking too much?

As ants go, these are not the worst I have every lived with.  We had big black wood ants in our last house...the kind that eat walls and trees.  At least these are small, black and can hide fast.  We hardly even notice they are there unless they are crawling on our skin.  Which brings me to the important question of the do you get rid of these little creepy crawly little critters?  We have cleaned counters, under the counter and places that have never been cleaned.  We have spread anti-ant crystals around the outside of the house and I vacuum more than is really necessary.  We set ant traps on important surfaces.

But they just continue to invade our space.  I am really not very excited about spraying most surfaces in the house but maybe that is what we are going to have to do. My last choice will be an exterminator. It is kind of sad because  I am even talking about the ants like they are friendly aliens and only visiting for a while.  If they would just go away we would not have to murder them.  Darn!


May 4, 2012

Did the AARP Invitation Get Lost in the Mail?

I laughed when Blue Orchid wrote the guest blog about receiving his AARP invitation when he was 48 years old.  His decision to pass on the kind offer seemed right considering his age, how long we will live, and the cheesy gift AARP was offering.  But I laughed even harder when my husband got his invitation in the newspaper this last Sunday....he is 74!  Did the invitation get lost in the mail?  You know, a person could get their feelings hurt.

The dreaded symbol of getting old!
The benefits are the same as those offered Blue insulated travel bag in red (AARP color) that is suppose to tip the scales toward the option to send $14 for membership.  Even though that included the $4.03 subscription to AARP The Magazine and a free insulated bag we have made our decision that we are not ready to join yet...maybe when we get old but just not yet.

Blue Orchid of Texas, I think we will just hang out with you and your Studio30 friends for a while longer if that is alright.  

Be well.


May 1, 2012

When does it start feeling like work? Work vs Play!

As for accomplishments,
I just did what I had to do
as things came along.

Eleanor Roosevelt
Read more 
There are two sides to every coin. There is not a right side nor is there any wrong side.  Just two sides...opposite and equal.  The coin I tossed in the air this week was the one with work (for financial gain) on one side and play on the other.  Here is how it went...

I have always know that I do things because I can see a reward of some kind.  I clean because I like the satisfaction of a task completed.  I plant flowers because I love flowers in bloom.  I take care of my grandchildren and children because I love them.  And I write this blog because it is a way that I can express myself creatively.  All of these things are much like eating my dinner...I need them to feed myself in some way.  But I ask myself occasionally about how much is fun and when does it become like a job I don't want to do.

The yard can become a chore, too much child care can wear me down and sometimes I just don't care if my house is clean or not.  Most of these things I do by choice because they give me joy.  Even this blog, my hobby and creative need, can begin to look like a job.  Is that good?  I don't know.

It seems that it is all in how we describe a job.  Is a job something that needs to be done or is it something that pays money so we can live.  In my world it is the latter.  And this blog is working for me financially.  Within the last year I have started to earn some money for writing and for the use of my little "blog store" to sell other peoples ideas and products.  It is all good and it still is fun.  That is good!

But now people are starting to take me seriously...imagine!  I like that but I am being very careful.  I don't let just anybody use this space. I only display ideas that I find useful and the question I always ask myself is "would you do this for free if no one paid anything for this type of thing?"  If the answer is yes then I discuss the idea with the person that has approached me.  But I decline if it doesn't light my fire or if it feels like I would be spinning my wheels.

See I am 70 and I have been retired for 15 years.  I like to work hard and be tired at the end of the day but if a job would make me anxious or worried I am going to say no thank you.  This is a hobby. I am trying to keep the joy and passion for this room in my life.  I don't want it to start feeling like a work place. There you have it!


Could I ask a favor?  If you would click google+ button it would help.  Don't forget to become a follower...I like that!

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