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Showing posts from July, 2012

Some Days!!!! or Your Shoes Don't Match!

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I was trying to get an article for Blog Critics whipped into shape so Jon Sobel, the guy in charge could publish it...my cat decided I needed to up really early...my daughter is out of town and her dog has to be put out in the morning and in at night...I really want  a new pair of running (walking) shoes.

The cat shows up at 7:15 am, sits by my bed and meows until I get up and turn the water on in the sink just a little so he can drink.  Remind me again why we have a cat!

I really wanted to have this article published on Blog Critics so when I turned on my ipad and saw an email from them I jumped on it in a hurry.  It took me all day to figure out that I need to close the window to the website before they can see anything...very frustration.

I needed to put my daughter's dog out and got dressed hurridly(can't spell) fast.  As I was heading out the door I looked down and this is what I saw!


Yes, they are the same brand but still.  You would think that I could multitask by now b…

#Agism: @FabOverFifty's Geri Brin's Vision of Aging made me feel ill!

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Is there a law against discriminating on the basis of age?  I can't remember. I am thinking this morning that there is no way to control what people think about aging but there needs to be some self-control when it come to writing about it. See I know that being old is not a handicap nor a disease that can be avoided by being clean or eating right. It is a reality that we will all face sooner or later...I for one am hoping to actually live to be old and wise.

So when I read When I'm 84!, a blog post on Fab Over Fifty, I wanted to say "Did the founder of FOF really write and post this?". 


FOF is a website created and is now edited by the 64+ year old Geri Brin. As part of her responsibility on the website, Brin writes Geri's Blog.  The blog is not unlike any of our blogs.  It is suppose to reveal what is going on inside the head of the writer.  She is a very successful business woman.  She says in her short bio....
....I also wrote for publications such as New York…

Leather Fringe in IN! My nine year old granddaughter is a trend setter!

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FRINGE IS IN!   Vintage leather jackets are even better.  
How do I know?  Well my 9 year old granddaughter told me so and I think she is probably right.  The minute I saw her denim leather fringed jacket I wanted one just like. I need to go shopping!


I buy my blue jeans at the farm store just down the road and I am sure they will have leather fringed jackets. I live in the Portland, Oregon metro area.  You can take a country girl to the city but you never get the country out of the girl...especially if "country" is in style.  And, like I said, fringe is in...but then hasn't is always been so?


I want some leather fringe...what more can I say!


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Boyfriend Trucker Jacket by top Ralph Lauren (Take a look at this ad...you will love her boots too.)

Retirement: Don't Count on Me (Your Parents)...I am NOT a retirement plan!

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Okay here is the deal...I am retired and have been for 15+ years. My husband and I are doing just fine. Our health is good (sorta), we are financially sound, have very good insurance and a successful loving family. Yup...we are doing juuuuuusssst fine!

But if my children are counting on what they inherit from us for their retirement, that will not work. The average amount most parents plan on leaving for their family is around $100,000.  That would work out to $33,000 per child in my family.  We are not dying anytime soon so who knows what will be left in the end. But even if we were average, you cannot retire with only $33,000 in your retirement plan. It will not work.  In an article in the Wall Street Journal the advise was don't count on money from the parents:
For years now, there's been a lot of talk about boomers getting tremendous windfalls as their parents pass on. Many boomers, in fact, have been lagging behind in their savings, betting on—hoping for—big bequests, espe…

Myths and Realities of a Reverse Mortgage

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The following article was sent to me by Reverse.Org and I am publishing it as information. I do not endorse reverse mortgages or any type of mortgage plan for that matter. I just think that being informed is the only way to go. I did not receive any financial consideration for publishing this.
I was actually surprised at the way it works.  b
Myths and Realities of a Reverse Mortgage As with many financial products, reverse mortgage loans can be complicated and there may be a number of misconceptions about how the product works.
A reverse mortgage is a loan available for homeowners aged 62 and over. It  allows you to access a portion of the equity you’ve built in your home.  The loan proceeds can be used for a variety of expenses including car repairs, medical expenses, travel, debt, home improvements etc. 
Reverse mortgage loans are insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), and are different from other types of mortgage loans because the borrower uses the loan proceeds to pay of…

Sapa Vietnam, Sony #Cameras, #NYT Traveling more Fluently Article

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Camera Travel Virus
Travel has been on my mind this morning.  The arrival of my new camera is making my feet itchy...it is a Camera travel virus....strange but true.

Now I wish I had owned my beautiful Sony NEX-5N camera when we went to Sapa,Vietnam...(read more) last winter. I think I would have come home with better pictures and more possibilities.  Here is a picture we took on the trail to Cat Cat Village last December.  They have been edited using iphoto and Snapseed.

Could I have done better before I downloaded the photo with the new camera?  Maybe.


Now I have added the Sony to my bag of tricks. I have discovered that professional photographers may be cheating just a little...it is amazing!

Link:  TripAdvisor reviews
Frommers Packing List (great!)

Free Language Programs
I saw an article in the NYT called Paths to a More Fluent Vacation recommending 10 language programs...five for those of us that like free and five for people with deep pockets.  I didn't see any that taught an…

Gossiping about: When will YOU retire? Infographic

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I am not a financial expert but I have worked with people that gossiped about their retirement options.  I cannot tell you how many times I was asked, "When will you retire?" Then they would want to know what I had heard about the company retirement plan...like I actually knew!  
Here is what I think; they should have asked someone that has the correct answers. I could not help them with their retirement plan.
I received the Infographic from Lemon.com the other day.  Kelsey sends these to me once in a while. This is what she said: From:  Kelsey Cox


Hey Barbara, 

Hope you had a great weekend. I wanted to send along another graphic I thought your Retire in Style readers would be interested in. The graphic, based on Gallup's Economy and Personal Finance poll, examines when today's workforce plans to retire, and some tips to ensure a comfortable retirement. 
Take a look and let me know what you think. Thanks Barbara!
Infographic: When Will You Retire? Click here for large…

Scholls, Oregon: It's berry season...the best day trip you can make!

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The parents looked a little askance at me when I said I was taking the boys to the blue berry patch. The trip involved moving the car seats from their car to mine and then it involved me actually buckling them into the car seats when we got ready to leave. I know it seemed unlikely that I could actually do that. Those car seats are so maddeningly impossible!

Then there was the question about whether the boys would be able to indure time in the sun, walking a long ways and avoiding the thorny black berries that grew in the the blue berry garden.  Were those little people durable enough to do that very thing?  Well, it turns out the answer is yes.  They can pick berries, walk a long ways, and come home with only a few spots of sunburn on the places we missed with the spray on lotion. It turned out they might be better at picking black berries than I am.  The bucket of "blue blues" were the best toy they had ever had.  They pretended to pick and counted the good ones, imagin…

Sony NEX-5N The Coolest Camera Around...and I have one on order!

I ordered a new camera! It is a Sony NEX-5N Black Digital SLR Camera With 18-55mm Lens - NEX-5NK/B in black!  How cool is that.  This is one of the most exciting purchases I can make...well  a new computer or a Kindle excites me too!  But still this is absolutely huge in my life. We have been shopping online for the camera for several months now and finally decided to visit the camera store so we could hold it in our hand.  It turned out that this camera had a bigger area to capture the picture than other similar cameras and was the one all the people in the store were wild about. We added the telephoto lens to the package because I want to take some architecture shots.  I will add other lenses later.  


I love that this relatively little camera allows me to change lenses and learn to do some very technical things.  We also purchased an extra battery.  I have used a Sony for many years so I know the quality and ease of use is just what I want. It is very hard to actually find one in the…

What you do after you visit matters! How to read a blog! @addthis :)

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If you are here for financial information, are wondering about living in a very small space, looking for information on the retirement lifestyle or just think I am a stupendous passable writer, thank you for coming by.  Your visit really does matter.  You see, there are people out there in cyber space that actually keep track of your visits and what you do after you come here.  It is not some nefarious plot to entrap you...it is simply about deciding who is the most popular! Wahoo!!! I would wear a bathing suit but since you cannot see me...well it is all for the best.

Note: More information on the subjects can be found in the "pages" at the top of the blog page.

For example, I received an email from the @AddThis team. You can find their icon at the bottom of the blog in a red box marked +Share  They were wondering if I was alive and well.  Why?  Well it turns out that they keep track of whether my readers are clicking on the icon.  I know!  Who knew?  And I am sure you wou…

Satisfying Retirement: What Makes a True Friend?

I think you will find this wonderful and satisfying.  :)

Satisfying Retirement: What Makes a True Friend?

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The Circles of Life...a different look at financial mangagment

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When James Barnett approached me with this infographic on investment, prosperity and financial management, I asked him for a supporting article to go with it.  Really, one picture is worth 1000 words. However, I found his words to be worth 1000 pictures.
b note:  Please be aware that this article is written by an employee of Pannone Law.I am not receiving any money to publish it.
The Circles of Life Family Life is often tied between the equilibrium of divided wealth and investment management, which correlates the success of ones ambitions, influencing manoeuvrability in a competitive capitalist society. The Circles of Life, managed through a professional and structured financial arrangement can provide incredible opportunity and the essential building blocks to provide future prosperity for your families aspirations.
Employmentfeatures at the heart of life’s circle as it is the most significantly influencing factor for wealth creation and self-determination. It will often provide the finan…

Aging: How I Found Friends in the City

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I had a hard time making friends here in the city.  I was raised in a very small town and lived in rural eastern Oregon all of my working life.  I found that I just did not fit somehow. Maybe I was just looking in the wrong places or I tried too hard or maybe I simply did not share a culture that those raised in the city know and share.  I really do not know why. I guess I am a country girl and I guess I always will be.


While friendship was alluding me, I was been looking for an old friend.  She has been hidden for many years...at least from me. A small class reunion prompted me to take just one more look and see if she could be found. It became very important to me somehow.  A part of me was missing. I needed  just one non-family friend.  I visited an old friend from my home town knew her brothers name and that was all I needed to locate him and then her. 


I called her and we decided to have coffee and just visit for an hour or so.  I was feeling very hopeful and excited but I was unsu…

A Survey: What do you think about "reverse mortgages"?

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I received an email from a business that wants to post a guest blog related to reverse mortgages.  I really don't know that much about the subject so I am going to ask them to write something up for me.  But I want to know...what do you think?

Leave a comments please...I need your input.

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Link: 
Money Magazine/CNN Twitter: barbblogtwits

I wish I had a Nickel for everytime.....!

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Now Blue Orchid of Texas (the 48 year old guy that passed on AARP) is gone...that made me feel sad.  The guy hid out in a blog bat cave and ranted about a world he could not change.  We often said we should sit down and drink margaritas together and commiserate but he is young and I am not, he live in Texas and I in Oregon and I am not sure our spouses would have had that much in common.  So there you have it...he just closed up shop and disappeared like the local deli turned dry cleaners.  Darn and I liked to read his words.  Darn again.  I wish I had a nickel for every time something like that happened...gone but not forgotten.

My classmate I had not seen for 53 years came by to see me yesterday.  I wish I had a nickel for all the times I have thought of her.  My children have heard stories about her and we cook a dish that her mother made for us when we were kids.  I just found her last week...she lives seven blocks from me.  Darn...all those years gone.  We will never get them bac…

What do you call a party with Ladybugs and Sidewalk Chalk?

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The perfect summer evening gathering for grandchildren and their parents always includes the word party!  You can serve a boiled egg and call it a chicken party.  You are golden.  So I say "Grandpa and I are having a party...come on over!"  The evening instantly become magical.

Now I need sidewalk chalk (we already have a pair of 3-d glasses so any old colored chalk will work), Ladybugs and a party name! Maybe you have some ideas because I am plum out of ideas today.
Oh, and do you know where I can find some Ladybugs?  They seem to be very illusive and I somehow don't think they will come and live in my pretty little house unless I invite them specifically.  Maybe I should give a ladybug party!  Hmmmmmm!

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Ageism: Will all the ignorami or ignoramuses stand up?

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Do young people make you feel like an ignoramus now that you are older? And if they do, don't you wonder if they would have done that if you were 20 years younger? I really don't have an answer for why. Let me know if you do. All I know is ageism just ticks me off...it makes me want to find a few compassionate human cells and a petri dish and grow myself some new people that think people of my age are really smart! I got the idea from Dilbert!

I love the comic section of the newspaper. I always wonder how those guys come up with the perfect combination of words and images to make use laugh. Sunday Dilbert was a classic. It seems that Dilbert's boss wanted to have a brainstorming session with the employees. The pointy headed guy is so clueless that he generally sabotages a good plan, replaces it with a bad one and then proceeds to sell the bad idea using an evil cat or whatever that office devil is that occupies the corner of the desk.

The pointy headed boss guy really step…

Planning for snowbird season: Where do I go?

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NOTE:  More information here.  If you mention my name (Earl/Barbara Torris) you will get $100 off on the first month's rent!  (A repost for your information)

You know that little cabin in the woods, at the lake or even near the beach that you dreamed about when you were young. It was the one you wanted to share with your growing children on the weekend or even just in the summer or the winter. You didn't spend much on it if you actually bought it and eventually you sold it or turned it over to someone else in the family. Now you have retired and you dream of spending the winter in a warmer climate but when you go online and begin to look at renting you know that the expense will be just too much for your budget. Where is that little cabin, the easy to own not permanent but just what you want for the next few years?  Believe it or not, in Tucson, AZ there is an equivalent that may be just what you are looking for.

Here in the desert where the temperature are very mild in winte…

When Bloggers Meet: Taking a Risk

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I had a wonderful experience this last week: a "leap of faith" turn into a friendship.  It just doesn't get much better than that. Meeting new people as we grow older can be hard.  We find that, when we begin to move outside our "work life" comfort zone, we don't have that instant commonality of experience.

Through some serendipitous unlikelihood I was invited to share six days of my life with two other fellow bloggers. These are people I had never been acquainted with before. I only knew them online. It was a risk to say the least.  When a fellow Portland blogger, Galen Pearl, suggested that we should invite fellow blogger Bob Lowry and his wife to come and visit our beautiful city, I didn't hesitate at all. I knew Bob from his blog and it is funny how reading another person's words almost daily will make you feel as though you know them.  I knew Galen from her blog and her personal description in the sidebar. It wasn't until my husband and I …

Aging: The Gardening Stage

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When we first retired, we wanted to be rid of our garden.  I think we saw it as the link to years of work and getting by financially.   The vegetables carried us through the summer, were sold to fruit stands for extra pocket change and any extra produce was canned for the coming cold winter.  It was a lot of work but a necessity at the time.

Retirement gave us the opportunity to fly away from the responsibility that had kept food on the table and clothes on our back.  Our jobs had provided our homes, educated our children and provided a nest egg for our retirement.  So when freedom came around, we simply did what we wanted to do when we wanted to do.  We did not need to worry about the garden anymore.

The years have gone by and it has been 15 years since we retired.  We have grown and matured as older people.  The process took us through downsizing and RV travel born of restlessness.  We are growing older.  Now we find that we have arrived at that part of our life when we want to gar…

Born on the Fourth of July!

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Our family has been together for so long now that we all finish each other's sentences.  My daughter-in-law teases me about keeping my grandchildren warm.  I would have them wrapped in a parka when the temperature falls below 80.  She know that I am only doing what I do out of love.  My children know what I think before I think it.  I like that a lot.

We gathered today to celebrate the July 4 with the family.  We ate well and visited over birthday cake for my youngest son.  I love July 4.  But it occurred to me that my children and grandchildren didn't realize why I alway made such a big deal out of the day. I needed to remind everyone why July 4 is such a special day in our family.  When I asked them why, I got a variety of answers...the youngest said because we put off fireworks.  My youngest son's birthday is tomorrow so that makes our celebration very special and the gathering of family always makes our holidays memorable.  One of his children thought that was why the…

Vacation OREGON or How to be a Summer SNOWBIRD!

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Image via Wikipedia Rogue River Oregon     Do you live in the desert and dream of cooler weather in the summer?  Maybe you need to think about being a DesertBird and fly north to Oregon to escape the hot.  I love my lifestyle that includes southern Arizona in the winters and Oregon in the summer.  I vacation year around.

Is it possible to do this affordably?
     If the snowbird lifestyle is so perfect, then surely there are retirees from Arizona or Palm Springs that claim one of those places as their residence and travel to spend the hottest part of the summer in the northwest.  The drill is very much the same as far as closing the house for several months.   The trick is finding a place in Oregon, for example, that is inexpensive.  While Arizona is a place that has catered to the inexpensive snowbird lifestyle for many years, I am finding that doing this inexpensively in Oregon is a little harder.
     There are a lot of extended stay hotels in the area.  Out here in Hillsboro where…