Showing posts from January, 2013

Life in 2010 (a blast from the past)

I wrote this blog post 3 years ago. I love going back to these old posts. It is like visiting a close friend that I have forgotten about for a while.  I hope you like this one. If you are a follower, maybe you can tell me how I am doing. This was my New Years Resolution post. Actually nothing has changed all that much in the last 3 years!Note: I would really appreciate it if you would click on the Follow button on the top lefthand side of this page and become a follower.  In my world of blogging this is important.  You can think of it as a New Years gift for Retire in Style. If you are a fellow blogger you can click on the Blogloving icon in the sidebar and join.  I will do the same for you.

Facts of Life and the Christmas Letter
A freelance writer by the name of Chuck Palahiuk said, "...No matter how careful you are, there's going to be the sense you missed something."  I think we all have that feeling this time of year.  As we age, time travels at an ever quickening pace…

Pews Survey: Our Middle-aged Children are Stressed. Just shoot me now!

Pew Research came out with a survey that even got some time on the news this morning. The big story was that a whole new generation is stressed. They have to take care of each other and it is very hard. The people stuck between their adult children and aging parents are feeling like they are being sandwiched both financially and emotionally. It sounds very familiar to me and I am 71. In other words this is not new news for me. But I do get it. Really I do. 

According to the Pew Research "...about one-in-seven middle-aged adults (15%) is providing financial support to both an aging parent and a child."I think that this is the reality and if we listen to the news it is all so sad and awful. But is that right? If it is, let me say it again...just shoot me now! I am "the aging parent" part of the equation. Even though my husband and I are financially independent, the fact remains that we are parents of 3 children that are sighing (maybe) and wondering when they are goi…

Life in the Winter Desert....Tucson, Arizona

Local Tucsonians claim they can tell where people are from by the clothes you wear. If they are a frozen north visitor, they will wear sandals and short pants...period.  In fact, being the optimistic sun seeker that they are, they probably will not even bring a pair of warm slacks or a sweater/coat. After all, this is Arizona right?

Well, here's the deal. It is winter in Arizona too. I know. I could not get it through my head for the longest time. I just didn't want the pecan trees to lose their leaves and the flowers to frost or freeze. It was just un-American and wrong. I left the state of Oregon to come to a place that is warm and when it wasn't I was disappointed. Then a light came on. Oh, it is winter here too. We can be outside and do just about anything we want on most days. But, it is winter so we need to dress like we are semi-smart. When we do we are very comfortable. Actually, it is just perfect!

As the years have gone by, I find myself acting like a local. I g…

When the Good Samaritan Leaves!

The Good Samaritan by Aimé Morot (1880) shows the Good Samaritan taking the injured man to the inn. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) My friend just arrived home from Hawaii. She is suffering the late arrival of her soul right now but she will be fine in a few days.

In case you are not familiar with the feeling that you left part of yourself behind when you are traveling, I can't explain it. I suffer from it every time we take a vacation. If I went to Hawaii, I would definitely leave something behind and I am not sure that it would ever come back to live in my body.

But that is not what I want to talk about today. I need to talk about going that extra mile when you help someone in need.

My friend fell while she was on vacation and two good Samaritans found her in the middle of a road near a golf course.  They picked her up and walked her to the golf course club house where she passed out in the restroom.  An ambulance came and she spent 4+ days in the hospital, part of that in intensive …

Some Assembly Required

Label:  Humor

There were 15 extra pieces.  They are not mentioned in the instruction and not pictured anywhere in the list of replacement pieces. Yet, there they were, waiting to be put somewhere. My father always loved the process of assembling a new shelf or tool.  His philosophy was if all else fails, read the directions. He always had extra pieces but then everything worked so it didn't matter.

However, in this case, my husband did read the directions and still there they were. He was even reduced to calling me to confirm that he had not made a mistake. It took an hour to put the shelf together and almost that long to decide he had not made a mistake. Some worker in China has put a lot of the extra pieces in various boxes. I hope they didn't get in trouble.

Goodness, that is a lot of wasted parts.  I suppose that somewhere there are people opening boxes and wondering where the 15 missing pieces are.  Just imagine!



I am a Pollyanna...I have said it before and I will say it again. It surprises me when things go wrong and many times I don't realize that things have gone wrong until a day or two later. When I heard this Alex Haley quote today during President Obamas inauguration, I could only applaud. "Find the good and praise it" is a thought worth saving not only in a plaque on the wall but in our hearts. I can only wish that when Republican Senator Lamar Alexander said this, he was giving us a glimmer of a new attitude that will carry us forward in the next 4 years.

I am celebrating tonight by watching the balls and watching our beautiful first lady in all her beauty.  We are a very lucky country.


Tucson AZ: Revisiting My "Penny Pincher" Days

Spending the winter in an RV or in a small apt./park model for 3-6 months is a test of your survival skills. It is a bit like going on a very long camping trip. If you can imagine that, you can get the picture. If you have never been camping or anything close to it, you will have some adjusting to do.

Our space here is around 400 square feet. When we began doing this, we took the bare essentials with us but over the years we have managed to accumulate all the good stuff.  However, our bed is not comfortable and the furnace is on the fritz. Don't let it be said that we are not tough and creative. We know how to overcome most problems that we come face to face with.

Even if I were camping I would be rearranging the tent and making the table beautiful. That is just my nature. A beautiful table cloth can make the worst table look wonderful.

Doing Without or Making Do
Several years ago we bought a little fake fireplace that runs on a light bulb. We have it installed in a corner cabinet…

Happiness Won 3 to 1 in 2011! What about today?

I published this article in 2011. I found it today while looking for another link.  It was a flash from the past and I could only think that things have changed in the last few years in such a drastic way. Those people that were turning 50 when the economic crisis hit 4 years ago are probably not feeling quite as depressed.  Maybe they have adjusted or maybe things were not a gloomy as the news and economist had them thinking. The truth was we did not know what would happen and the unknown is always disturbing. I just thought you might be interested in this.  Sometimes it is good to take a look back.

Grumpy Retirees: Harvard Reports Happiness Wins 3 to 1  (Retire In Style Blog 9/29/11)

Look around the room when a group of your friends are gathered together.  Would you say that out of 10 friends at least 7.5 of them are happy with their retirement?  Do those 7.5 get up in the morning  full of ideas and make every day a good one?  And what about the rest; do they act like grumpy old peopl…

A Time to Be Alone...learning about myself!

I remember reading post Bob Lowry over at Satisfying Retirement wrote about how he defined himself after being retired for a number of years. Honestly, getting rid of the titles or even the beliefs we carried in our younger life does leave a void of sorts. When we realize that we are left almost naked in the sunlight as the cloak of our vocation slips away, we must learn to love a new suit of clothes.

So how do you define yourself? If you were to make a list of 5 things that define you what would they be? I would have to tell you that "wife" would be the first thing on my list. I don't know if that is good but that is the way it is.

My husband and I have been living this third stage of our life for so long now that I don't even remember what it was like before. We have spent so much time together we think the same and even tell the same stories. I will think of an incident and I my husband will talk about it before my words form. If I am stuck, he is there to help me…

Holy Mackerel Asthma in China and the Cat Has the Flu Too

We are in Arizona for three months. Being gone from home can be very hard. I miss my family a lot. But on the other hand, at least back in the old days, the "out of sight, out of mind" made it easier. We knew less about what was going on with the family and friends back then. I was a new grandmother when we first started traveling so I hadn't learned to trust my children with my grandchildren yet. Even though I know more now, I also trust my children to know 10x as much as I do. It has all balanced out somehow.

So when my daughter-in-law in Oregon wrote on her Facebook page that our granddaughter had the stomach flu and so did the cat I could only shake my head. The cat???? Really? But that was not all. One of her friends had the same experience a couple of weeks ago. I sent text short message to my son this morning and he replied with a picture of the baby granddaughter merrily bouncing up and down in a springy thing. That was good! I didn't ask about the cat.


Please send me bail! The cactus police about to arrested me!

I fear that the cacti police will be showing up at anytime.  It seems that I (meaning my husband and I...I am not taking all the blame) have managed to kill more cactus that is allowable. We could be in trouble...there are laws I am told.

 When we moved into our park model we had a Saguaro that was very old.  It sat directly in front of our window. Summer before last the monsoons came and tipped the beauty over onto the street.  It would have crushed our little doll house if it had fallen the other way. In the end it didn't matter...the Saguaro Cactus is a protected plant. I worried that someone would blame us. Did we water it too much?

We felt really bad so a neighbor gave us a night blooming cactus that he had nurtured for many years. He wanted the pot for another plant so all we had to do was dislodge it and plant it in the ground. The very next season it turned so cold it froze to its core and we had to throw it away.

One of the two remaining specimen that we actually treasur…

Travel Experts and Me: Put the Travel Book Away

Tortoise Tower in the middle of Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi, Viet Nam. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)You know I have gotten into it with the Frugal Traveler from the New York Times. He called me an amateur and burned me so bad. The reaction of most people was that there is no such thing as bad publicity. Maybe so but it still stung! 

However, I do still read the Frugal Traveler in the NYTs. After all he is the expert on cheap travel. He gets paid to travel so he knows stuff that you may want to know. The other day he was talking about a travel website called TripAdvisor. People I know that also travel for a living use TripAdvisor. It is just a down and dirty, get real kind of web location. They have had 75 million reviews and opinions over the years so they are a well established authority. The beauty of the website is all of those comments from people that have actually visited the places they talk about. It really is very helpful.

When we went to Vietmam a year ago, TripAdvisor was the website…