Jul 30, 2012

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

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 but obviously I am not getting it right.  

But never let it be said that I am too busy to shop for shoes...no siree!  
Have a wonderful day!


Jul 29, 2012

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

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 Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Town & Country, Parents Magazine,the New York Daily News Magazine and daily paper, and co-authored two books, Kid's Stuff and Figure It Out! I became an entrepreneur in 1998 and published magazines for Liz Claiborne and Charming Shoppes, and launched Bene, a magazine about Italian Life and Style that garnered a silver Folio Award. 
My blog is about what I'm doing and thinking, and gets pretty personal at times. It's about FOFs I meet all over the place. It's about my take on current events and people as well as on things that happened "back in the day." I never plot and plan what I'm going to write. I'm a pretty off-the-cuff FOF. 
Those of us that live in the real world are impressed by this sort of resume and admire such an accomplished women.  I have commented several times on her blog and followed her sporadically over the last couple of years.  I even bought a FOF membership once so I could try out new beauty products.  After applying for a "guru" status I was accepted but never really did anything with it.

These were the images she included in the blog post!
Then Geri wrote the blog post that stopped me in my tracks.  When I'm 84! painted the view she had of old people and how they behave. I cringed because I wondered if that is what people would think of me. I am 71+  She created a list of things she did not want to do when she was 84.  It included things like:
  • Have three hairs on my head and no desire to do anything about it,
  • Have a crotchety disposition,
  • Wear makeup that looks like a two-year old applied it,
  • Have a tummy that makes me look like I’m the oldest living pregnant woman in the history of the world,
  • Stand at a supermarket, drug store, or any other checkout counter and keep the whole line waiting while I figure out where my money is.
I am trying to understand how she came to a place where she did not understand that saying these things out loud could offend people. Being old is something that we cannot change. 

I think that those of us that might be lucky enough to live to the grand old age of 84, still shop all be it slowly, have any hair left and make the effort to apply makeup can safely say that Geri needs to get out more.  She needs to spend some time with active old people and understand that a lot of what happens to us is not a choice. 

No amount of Pilate's or vegetarian diet can change the fact that 84 or 90 is a different stage in our lives and not so much about our protruding tummies as it is about what goes on inside our heads. Some old people value their appearance and some do not!  

Now this is where the isolation of the elderly is leaving society with a skewed vision of what aging is all about. The boomer generation is under the misconception that they will somehow not get old.  I guess I am begging people like Geri or all of my Studio30 Plus friends to stop and think about what they are saying.  If you are person of influence, think for a minute and realize that what you write about can be very hurtful. That is called being respectful. Ridicule does not work.

Please add this to Twitter, Linkedin or any other social media you subscribe to.  The discussion need to be carried forward. And, if you have any suggestions for what Geri or anyone like her could do in the situations she listed that might help others,  please leave a comment.


Jul 28, 2012

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

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!


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

Jul 27, 2012

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

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, especially since many of them suffered big losses in 2008. WSJ, June 11, 2012
As it turns out, we parents suffered a hit too in 2008.  We are living longer so our children won't be getting the inheritance in time to make hay from what they may receive. It is not looking good for you if your are thinking that we (the parents) are going to leave you set for retirement. So I am here to say you cannot count on us. 

Just a thought!


Link:  When Your Retirement Plan Depends on Your Parents Dying,  Graceful Retirement

Jul 26, 2012

Myths and Realities of a Reverse Mortgage

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 off any existing mortgage and does not make monthly mortgage payments.  

So what are the other myths vs. the realities?

  • Myth No. 1: The lender owns the home.You will retain the title and ownership during the life of the loan, and you can sell your home at any time. The loan will not become due as long as you continue to meet loan obligations such as living in the home, maintaining the home according to the Federal Housing Administration requirements, and paying property taxes and homeowners insurance.
  • Myth No. 2: The home must be free and clear of any existing mortgages. Actually, many borrowers use the reverse mortgage loan to pay off an existing mortgage and eliminate monthly mortgage payments.
  • Myth No. 3: Once loan proceeds are received, you pay taxes on them.Reverse mortgage loan proceeds are tax-free as it is not considered income. However, it is recommended that you consult your financial advisor and appropriate government agencies for any effect on taxes or government benefits
  • Myth No. 4: The borrower is restricted on how to use the loan proceeds. The cash proceeds from the reverse mortgage loan can be used for any reason. Many borrowers use it to supplement their retirement income, delay receiving social security benefits, pay off debt, pay for medical expenses, remodel their home, or help their adult children. You’ve worked hard for this asset and prudence along with budgeting should be the proper approach to enjoying proceeds received from your reverse mortgage.
  • Myth No. 5: Only poor people need reverse mortgages.  The perception of the reverse mortgage as an assist for the “poor” borrower is changing - many affluent senior borrowers with multi-million dollar homes and healthy retirement assets are using reverse mortgage loans as part of their financial and estate planning, and are working closely in conjunction with financial professionals and estate attorneys to enhance the overall quality and enjoyment of life.
For more information on reverse mortgages feel free to visit the site reverse.org.

© 2012 Genworth Financial Home Equity Access, Inc. 10951 White Rock Road, Suite 200, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670. NMLS # 3313, (800) 218-1415 or (916) 636-0183. AK #AK3313, AZ #BK-0908847.  
For a complete list of licensing information visit: genworth.com/reverse/licenses

Jul 25, 2012

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

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.

Bottom of the trail to Cat Cat Village. Taken with my husbands Nikon, unedited.
I wonder how this would have looked using the black/white with only
the red showing.  Or how about more vibrant colors?  I set the camera to do that before I shoot.
This version was edited on my iphoto program using my
This one was edited using am application called Snapseed.  This
has been changed using a grunge setting, edge blur and frames.
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 any of the languages spoken in Vietnam.  I could have used that when we were in the country last December. But if you are going to Europe or Japan there are some that might be very helpful.

I wanted to learn a little of the H'mong language but the truth is the people could speak such good English in Sapa.  The first woman that began talking to me in perfect English surprised me.  I am sure I looked puzzled.

It turns out that in that part of Vietnam that is at the eastern end of the Himalayas there are still schools teaching English to the hill tribes.  I don't know if that is a left over from the Vietnam war. I am told that the American used the H'mong people as spies.

Have a wonderful day.  Let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment.


I would like it if you would beam me up to twitter.com or to your Facebook account.  Thanks.
Become a follower if you are not one already.  I like that a lot!

Jul 24, 2012

Gossiping about: When will YOU retire? Infographic

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?

 I liked the final four items on Inforgraphic.  This is such good common sense stuff.
From Lemon.com: http://lemon.com/blog/infographic-2/when-will-you-retire/
  1. Know your numbers. Retirement planning calculators can tell you what you should be saving.
  2. Max out your IRA/401(k) contributions.
  3. Automate your savings.
  4. Learn about your employer's pension plan.
  5. Don't overestimate Social Security. This plan will give you, at best, 40% of your pre-retirement income.
But I want you to focus on #4Learn about your employer's pension plan. Do you gossip around the water cooler or in the coffee room about retirement? When was the last time you hear people talking about their savings or IRA/401k contributions and thought "I really should be doing more"? 

Listen to me now...talk to your human resources person and get some more information about your company plan. They may even guide you to another person that can give you some advice about the rest of the plan. Really, the people in the coffee room are not experts even if you are working for a company that deals in that sort of thing. Your local gossip is not a good person to go to when looking for your retirement plan!

Click on the link and look at the whole page.  

Have a wonderful day!

    If this information is helpful beam me up to twitter.com.

Jul 21, 2012

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

Teen granddaughter and 4 little grandchildren
My life is SOOOOO good!
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, imagined there were bugs in the bottom. All that good guy stuff.   All in all I would not hesitate to take those little guys anywhere.

Now we get to the part where I got them buckled in...this country girl was not raised to be dumb.  My daughter came along with the two little girl grandchildren. She could buckle an alligator in...she makes me so proud.

It was fun so I just thought I would let you know...it is Blue Berry season in Oregon!


The berry patch we went to is just east of Scholls.  There is off road parking and the business will sell you buckets if you don't bring your own.  A flat of Rasberries is $25.00.  The flat is full to over

There is a little restaurant in an old hotel at the right in Scholls...remember this little place is just a wide place in the road.   There is a nursery just across the road that had beautiful plants and baskets.  You should go because it is a beautiful drive.

View Larger Map

Jul 20, 2012

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 Portland Metro area with the type of package we were able to put together. One store had a plastic model on the shelf! Take a look by visiting the link above.


Jul 19, 2012

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

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 would have done that but I didn't tell you to.  It is really my fault.  How were you suppose to know?

I also have a follow button in the sidebar on the left hand side.  There is a fancy G beside a blue box that says Join this Site.  That button is above pictures of a bunch of  Avatars (picture...fancy online talk.  Sorry!).  When you become a new follower, this blog benefits from your actions. Google keeps track of that kind of stuff...I am pretty uninvolved but I do care.  It is like a cycle...you follow so my ranking goes up so more people will see the blog and they will follow.  It just keeps going.

If you are shopping on Amazon and you can come to this blog and search the Amazon button for what you are shopping for, as an associate I benefit from that. It is at the top of the left hand side-panel.  If you do that, thank you so much.  My penny bank is almost empty!

This blog is a little space that I have carved out for myself.  I can write anything I want here and you get to decide whether to come on down and read or not.  If you like what you see, you can beam this starship up to someone...twitter, facebook or +share.  If you don't, well I will still like you anyway.

So that is why you are so important to this blog.  What you do when you come by is up to you.  But if you want to give the blog a little support, it would not hurt my feelings.  Leave a comment and come on back soon y'all.  You-are-very-important!

Be well.


Satisfying Retirement: What Makes a True Friend?

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

Satisfying Retirement: What Makes a True Friend?


Jul 18, 2012

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

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.

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.

Employment features 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 financial means and investment opportunities in addition to becoming the source of generation for new relationships and lasting connections. Each career step, whilst layering responsibility within employment provides an external provision to invest in home assets and your family’s future.

The company employing you is likely to offer various perks through insurance, pension and financial planning, or in some cases be an offset of your personal management should you be able to negotiate a better deal with private lenders and market players.  The crucial elements to succeed within this financial cauldron lay within an understanding of the legal boundaries and market movements that controls the financial relationships within contemporary wealth management.

Trust funds can be used through different accounts to provide higher interest, conveyance knowledge can provide you a successful property sale, and tax levels can be reduced whilst retaining a fair contribution to compulsory earnings through a successful knowledge of the legal requirements to manage your income. Financial management often comes to a peak at the time of retirement, which should remain a highly rewarding and dramatic release from years of hard work and planning across life’s evolving circles. Upon reaching this stage, maximising your investment return will allow you to kick back for a much needed break.

Author Bio – James Barnett offer financial financial management and planing advise on behalf of Pannone Law and researches innovative ways to connect with families through new social channels.  Google +James Barnett

Jul 15, 2012

Aging: How I Found Friends in the City

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 unsure how it would go.  I know she felt the same way. Would we have changed so much that we could not relate?  It wasn't until I could look in her eyes once again, I realized that what made us friends over 50 years ago had not changed. It was like coming home.  We share a childhood and a common culture of upbringing.  That will never go away.  

She came to our little community of 800 people when she was 13 after living 7 years in Indonesia.  Her parents were missionaries.  She was the most exotic person I had ever know and still is.  I felt a little frightened of her worldly knowledge and tried to fit into her life when she came to live near me. But it turned out she felt the same.  She was unsure of her English language skills after all those years living overseas.  She worried about being out of place and finding friends.  Another best friend and I were the "go to" girls when a new kid came to town.  We took them under our wing and tried to include them.  But Sharon was special.  She turned into a true friend.  She added so much to our lives.  I feel bad that she did not know how we valued her until just a few days ago.  But she hid her true feelings just like we did. I will not let her go again. Friends are what complete our lives no matter our age.  

Oh by the way, she lived just up the street from my home here in Hillsboro...in plain sight yet hidden.

How does this relate to finding friends?  I am beginning to realize that friendship may be just under my nose and I don't see it.  While I was joining golf groups and book clubs and inviting company in for dinner, I should have been looking people in the eye and seeing what was going on in their lives. I should been more thoughtful and country real. I am discovering that visiting over the back fence with neighbors almost every day is very satisfyingly simple.  Taking soup into someone that is ill or just giving someone a hug is what I have been searching for and it was there all the time...the country girl culture is still alive everywhere I look.  I just could not see it.  

Have a wonderful day.  Thanks for stopping by.  Become a follower if you have not already and beam me up to Twitter or Facebook or the planet Jupiter!  I would like that a lot...especially the planet Jupiter thing!

Links:  My Friend RosieKeith's Ramblings 

Jul 14, 2012

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

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.

Twitter: barbblogtwits

Jul 13, 2012

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

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 back.  Oh, by the way she is still beautiful and a friend.  At least I have that!

I showed up for my hair appointment exactly one day late.  Now, I would like to tell you that this was a new thing but it isn't.  I paid my hairdresser for a hair cut I did not get and resolved to cut my hair myself until I am in my dotage and someone else is responsible for remembering my appointments.  I wish I had a nickel for every time I forgot to show up someplace...once the time has passed it is gone and must be forgotten.

So, hows your day going?   


Jul 12, 2012

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

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.

Ladybug House...purchases at Saturday Market
How to Build a Ladybug Habitat on Squido
After the Ladybugs have been released into the home that
has been soaked in water.
Granddaughter playing with the Ladybugs.
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.
Colored chalk and charcoal make the perfect
Ladybug Art!
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!


Jul 11, 2012

Ageism: Will all the ignorami or ignoramuses stand up?

Always Postpone Meetings With
Time Wasting Morons: A Dilbert Book

Examples of IGNORAMUS

  1. I can't believe they let an ignoramus like that run the company.
  2. Only an ignoramus would be foiled by the building's security system
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 stepped in it this time. Does the creator of that comic hang out in your office? Or if you are retired, the place you used to work. If you were a boss, you know that bosses love brainstorming...it makes everyone feel useful, even the ignoramuses. Brainstorming is a wonderful concept in that it allows the free flow of ideas both bad (for the ignoramuses) and good. But the rule is, as the boss pointed out, there can be no niggling or giggling. They could not make those people they viewed as ignoramuses feel unworthy. Dilbert volunteered to go first suggesting a gene project or something of the kind to create a boss that was not an "ignoramus". It was the perfect combination of a word that makes you want to laugh, a diatribe that could get a person fired and the image of the pointy headed boss sitting stunned caught in his own web of rules. If someone had said "Will all the ignoramuses stand up?" would the boss be the only one in the room standing or would Dilbert have gotten up too?  After all he almost gave the boss permission to fire him!

I know when I worked, I did not like to feel like an ignoramus. Now that I am retired, I really object it. I am the boss of me and I will not give others permission to treat me badly. I liked the idea of being in charge in the classroom when I worked and maybe people did think I was not too bright. But now...nope, not going to let that happen anymore.

Just a thought!


Suggested links:  'Elderly' No More, NYT

Jul 10, 2012

Planning for snowbird season: Where do I go?

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 winter, a group of seniors gather in "doll houses" perfect for two, three, or even up to six month of the year. We play golf, swim in the pool, dance several times a month, play cards, create in workshops that meet our needs and live inexpensively.  For many of us this is our little cabin in the woods!

We have chosen to settle down in a Tucson, AZ. RV resort for the winters. Rincon Country East RV Resort is located on the the eastern edge of Tuscon along the Pantano Wash. We are very near to Davis Monthan Air Force Base and the Saguaro National Park East. Views of mountains to the East and North remain largely unobstructed.  But the view to the west is the most important.  Anyone who has lived or visited Tucson will tell you the sunsets are the most spectacular you will ever see.
Tucson is so beautiful. Even though it has a population nearing 1 million in the metro area, "The Old Pueblos" has managed to retain a very small town feel. Outdoor activities are abundant. People in this resort hike and bicycle into the Saguaro National Park. Golfing is so close by that one is tempted to walk to the course and shopping either at the base of the Catalina Mountain or in the art community located in Tubac, AZ provide some great opportunities to find just that perfect piece for your collection.  Fresh vegetables from nearby Mexico and California are abundant and relatively inexpensive. In fact, we find the cost of living to be very affordable.
Sunrise, Tucson, AZ, Rincon
Country East RV Resort
There are two types of living arrangements in this resort.  You can come with your RV and rent a space or you can buy/rent a Park Model.  These very small houses are a little over 350 square feet.  That does not include an Arizona room that can be a simple glassed in porch or an additional living space.  A large percentage of the spaces here are filled with these "park models" and many are for sale or rent.
Birthday Celebration in the Arizona Room

Park model kitchen lit for the evening

If you are looking for the perfect location to spend your winters, the ones you have been dreaming about, come on down and join us. You will find the retirement lifestyle you have been dreaming about. 

Rincon Country East:
8989 E. Escalante Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85730

Toll Free 888·401·8989
Phone 520·886·8431 

Come on down.  We'll keep the cactus lit for you!


Link: Related articles by Zemanta

Jul 8, 2012

When Bloggers Meet: Taking a Risk

Welcome to our beautiful valley!
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 were dropping Bob and his wife to pick up a car rental at the end of their visit that I realized what a chance we had all taken. Bob traveled from Phoenix on a plane and left his life in our hands.  Galen and I visited over tea and came up with an itinerary  and the rest is history. I am still amazed.

So the meeting new friends risk has been on my mind for the last few days. What was it about the three of us that made this work? Galen is a world traveler, a college professor in a past life. She is smart, articulate and well loved by her circle of commenting friends. Bob is a retired radio consultant in private business for many years. He has built his blog in just a few years and is very well known and successful at this venture. His wife is an educated graphic artist. My husband is a retired school administrator and I am a blog writer that spent the last few years of her working career teaching kindergartners.  We are very different yet I think the fact that we took the gamble on friendship and the risk paid off for us tells something about us. Taking a risk is just part of our personalities. Maybe that is why we found so much to talk about. We are three very lucky people.


Jul 5, 2012

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 garden again.  We want to enjoy the beauty of the flowers, watch them grow and mature.  We want to share its bounty with our family and friends.  The change in us is not as much about how we look or even our health anymore.  It is about our spiritual center.  Contentment and peace is ours.  Our garden is doing just fine.

Have a wonderful day.


*If you click on the google link or beam the blog up on twitter it helps!  If you are not a follower, please feel free to become one.  I love that you are here.  Thank you.

Jul 4, 2012

Born on the Fourth of July!

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 day was so special.

But then I told them how the "family", the ancestors that loved the grandchildren and children, made this day important too.  For the grandchildren I told the story about their great-great-great-grandmother that came from Sweden in the late 19th century.  She married a Swedish man here in the United States and had four children, one of which was my grandmother. The great-great-great-grandmother to my grandchildren was born on July 4.

Each year the family would gather at Great-Great-Great-Grandma Seaburg's house to celebrate her birthday.  In was on that day that my mother and father had their first date.

So July 4 takes on new meaning for us.  We celebrate a beautiful country, a loving family, a little romance and birthdays both very old and very new!

Be well.


Jul 1, 2012

Vacation OREGON or How to be a Summer SNOWBIRD!

Rafters negotiate Mule Creek Canyon on the Rog...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 we live the always on the move technology sector comes and goes frequently. BizStay had quite a list for "business" rentals that might work for a person that wanted to spend the summer in the area.  Under a heading for furnished I found the Towne Place Suites located across the street from where we live.  By searching for extended stay motels on google you will find everything from a Howard Johnsons at the airport for around $50 a night to very expensive residence hotels.  You can take your pick.
     I found an RV Park on the east side of Portland that welcomes Park Models.  Portland Fairview RV Park is one of the few in the Portland Metro area that welcomes these small homes. If you were to own one of the small park model doll houses you could park it here and winterize it when you went back to your house in the Southwest. Rent at this park is about $450 a month.  This is a very affordable way to own two homes.
     If you like to fish or hunt, the Ontario Oregon area will make you happy.  Independent motel owners are anxious to serve their seasonal clients. There is even a Pheasant Valley Hunting Ranch outside Vale just west of Ontario.  Vale is home to the Bates Motel.  This old motel was owned by friends of our many years ago.  They got a lot of ribbing because the name connection to the horror movie.  I see it is still in operation after all these years.  I am sure weekly rent is very inexpensive.
     Along the southern Oregon coast you will find a small community named Gold Beach. The seaside village is located on the Rogue River of Zane Grey fame.  Here you will find that small town feel plus great fishing in the river and on the ocean. The Rogue also has a mail boat that travels up and down the wilderness river in the summer.  If you so desire you can stay in a resort up the river for a night or two. Fly fishing is heavenly I hear! The Pacific Ocean waters  lurks in the 40 degree range and the air always has a chill to it.  That can be a welcome relief from the heat of summer.
The Patio at McKenzie River Bridge
     There is a little RV park on the McKenzie River  east of Eugene called The Patio. It has a Blue River address. The location is just mystical.  The park is very old and was build during the depression I think.  Old patios and small storage areas give the place a feel all it's own.  When we stayed there the spaces were small but they may have upgraded it lately.  It is worth checking into.

On the upscale side!
     There are several very desirable resort locations here in Oregon.  Along the Columbia River, Hood River is home to the wind surfing community and has that trendy resort feel. Rentals are plentiful but finding the affordable one may be a trick. I would suggest that you look in a neighboring community for a rental and then explore the area from there.
     In southern Oregon, Ashland is home to a Shakespearean Festival each summer.  Rentals provide locals with a steady source of income. Ashland is just east of the Oregon Coast highway where Gold Beach is located. Ashland can be hot in the summer and the coast is not.
     In the very center of the state the Bend area is the crown jewel of them all. Surrounding communities include Redmond, Prineville, Sisters and Madris. This region is the outdoor vacationer's dream.  Golfing, hiking, lake fishing, skiing, white water rafting and even mountain climbing draws people from around the world.  Again, rentals are easy to find. Look in RV parks for park model rentals.  You may find something more affordable there. Golfing, renting or eating in Bend is expensive by my standards.  But for a short stay it is wonderful.  Resorts like Black Butte Ranch, Sunriver, Eagle Crest and Seventh Mountain Inn are only a few of the choices.  Check Central Oregon resorts on google or write to the Bend Chamber of Commerce for more information.
     There is an RV Resort east of Portland in Welches called Mt. Hood RV Resort that has vacation cottages available.  Mt. Hood is so spectacular up close and personal and looms over this location.  If you love the outdoors this may be a place you would want to spend part of your summer.  If you are a fisherman this is a wonderful place to be.  Just be aware that many of the streams are catch and release because of migrating salmon.
     The last place I want to talk about is the McKenzie River area east of Eugene.  We have stayed over night in the cabins at the McKenzie River Bridge before they were renovated.  If the new cabins capture any of the charm of the old river's edge cabins, you are in for a treat.  When we stayed there we did not have TV, radio or wi-fi.  We were left alone with our thoughts and a deck of cards.  Now I am sure they have all the good stuff and the sound of that beautiful river too.  The Tokatee Golf Course is very close by.  Not only is it a beautiful course but it offers breath taking views of the backside of the Three Sisters Mountains.  The covered bridges, fishing, hiking and whitewater rafting are just bonuses.
     There are lots of rentals in the area but be careful to check the comments on them.  Some are nothing but dumps.

My Neighborhood! 
     Right here in my neighborhood of Orenco Station in Hillsboro the homes are built with a rental in the rear.  They are called "mother-in-law" apartments and include a kitchen, living area, bedroom and bath.  If you check with a rental agency here in Hillsboro like Rental Homes Plus they can help you get a lead on a place you can call your own.  We are selling our condo in this neighborhood because we are aging and need to live on one level.  I love this location because is it close to restaurants, neighborhood gourmet grocery and a short walk to mass transit.  I am thinking that if I were going to vacation every summer here in the Portland Metro area, I would look at buying instead of renting.  I think it might be more cost effective.  Prices are at rock bottom right now.  (sigh!)

      We don't hear much about Desert SnowBirds traveling north in the summer.  I know a few that bring a motor home but making one place summer destination every year is uncommon.  It is just a thought and I wanted you to think about the possibilities.

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