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Showing posts from July, 2013

The Need to Nurture in Retirement

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Bob Lowry posted a piece on Satisfying Retirement the other day about owning pets and all the benefits that an animal can have for a retiree. It was very interesting and in fact important. I found that surprising! In my world animals are just there. I have a dozen grandchildren and a family that value me in so many ways. I am a natural nurturer and I thought that need was satisfied by my family. The wonderful pets we have owned have always been relegated to the outdoors when small children or the family came to visit.

But after I read Bob's article, I began to reflect on all the things our pets have done for us over the years. They have provided comfort and entertainment. Our children learned to nurture from our Momma Kitty and stand their ground from our fierce toms. The love our Dachshunds had for our cats taught them that being different is not a bad thing. They witnessed life and death up close and personal. They suffered the angst of loss at an early age. It was all a good lea…

#Aging: On Staying Young, Grandchildren and Travel Safety

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There is the matter of little children...the ones that still cry when they fall and grab toys from each other...do they keep you young or make you very oldelderly mature? I have always wondered.  As a young mother I would often want to curl up in a ball and cry myself to sleep. Now I just stay alive and keep going...I love this time in my life.

I have been spending a lot of time with my 5 youngest grandchildren aged 1-9 since my son and his family came to their house here in Hillsboro from China for a visit. He has two children and my youngest son lives nearby and has three. Sometimes they came in small clumps...3 or 2 at a time. On three occasions within the last 6 week they have all spent time together at my house...at the same time.  It was a bit like a bee hive on those days. Their rule for grandma is there will be NO sitting...it is forbidden in their world. Boy do I get a workout.

I may need to buy some new play things in the near future. They have managed to look at what I have f…

British Expats Find Retiring Abroad the Right Choice

My sponsored guest today is Michael Jones. He is a freelance writer and blogger who writes on such topics as international affairs, world finance, retirement and investment. His areas of expertise include European, Asian and Latin/South American economic policy and QROPS. When not at work, he enjoys anything and everything outdoors. 


With the recent falling standards of living in Britain, many retirees are taking the plunge and heading overseas to enjoy their golden years in more fiscally serene environs. For those that no longer have to work every day, dreams of warm weather and lower costs of living are motivating retirees in droves to such countries as Spain and Australia.


It is estimated that more than 1 million Brit’s have moved overseas to retire. The most popular place to retire in Europe is Spain, long one of the most popular vacation destinations for British citizenry. Approximately 104,000 pensioners live there. The most popular country for British pensioners is Australia, w…

5 Travel Items No One Ever Mentions

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I love to travel. But I also want to somehow take all the comforts of home with me. I know that is not possible but there are a few things I will pack next time we travel.

Last year my husband and I spent two weeks vacationing in Cancun.  We stayed in a condo with a kitchen. As I look back on that vacation, I know there are things I should have taken...things I have never seen anyone mention in a "what you need to take when you travel" article. You may be surprised by my suggestions.

Remember the five senses!

Sense of Smell:

When I first arrive in a resort and check into a condo room the first thing I notice is the way the space smells. While I do love the smell of a very clean room, I don't want to have it surround me the whole time I am staying. That is why I wished I had taken a scented candle like the one Airwick had delivered to my door for review. 

I received one that is called Color Ambiance.  It not only smells wonderful but also changes colors as it burns. The other …

7 Reasons Why I Like The Snugg iPad Cover

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Contest Canceled: I am keeping the prize!

When I accepted the offer of a free iPad cover from The Snugg website, I thought I would like what they were sending me. It took me 15 email exchanges though...I'm just saying. I am not an easy person to deal with when it comes to free stuff. I actually don't believe in the reality of free so I usually make it hard for myself so I don't feel like it is free...if that makes any sense. When I said yes to the offer, my thinking was that if I didn't like it, I could give it away either to an unsuspecting reader or a member of my family. I'm not proud of that part at all. I am glad to report that my fears were unfounded though. I love it!

I have discovered that the iPad cover can make the difference between easy to use and an absolute pain. For example, I paid a considerable amount of money for a cover that featured a bluetooth keyboard. I hated it! The keys were so small that a baby’s fingers would over lap the gap between the…

5 Ways Engineering is Like Writing

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Ever wondered how your skills from the work place could transfer to a new vocation or avocation after you retire? Here is a look what published author, Pam Houghton, brought to her writing career from her other work experiences.

By Pam Houghton

Before I became a so-called professional writer, I worked in the corporate world for over 20 years. I started out as a technical editor, which sounds more technical than it really was.

When that gig ended, I transferred to a manufacturing facility and worked in Inventory Control - the ultimate in completely unnecessary paperwork. And micro-management. And total boring-ness.

After that, I moved to Configuration Management. There, we made sure software bills-of-material were properly configured in the database (hopefully, you haven’t dozed off by now) so that orders could be received, manufactured and shipped properly to global customers before we knew the world was flat – or at least before that book was published.

That position went throu…

Captivating Capitola: a tiny beach town that defines relaxation

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By Carol A. Cassara
Capitola. It’s a charming little beach town just a few miles south of Santa Cruz, California, on the northeast shore of beautiful Monterey Bay. That’s on the central coast of California, and if you’ve missed a visit to Capitola, well, you’re really missing something special: a place to relax, eat good food, imbibe a bit and even catch a few rays.
The area’s several picturesque beaches are marked by dramatic cliffs and rocky shores, but in a smaller, manageable scale than, say, Big Sur, some 60 miles further south.
Downtown Capitola has its own tiny beach that’s usually fogged over until about noon. But that’s ok—visitors while away the waiting time by visiting some of the few dozen adorable boutiques and speciality shops just steps away on the Esplanade.Lunch, dinner and cocktails are purveyed at excellent restaurants right along the water.
Vacation rental units and cute little motels are scattered around downtown, most with easy beach access if not beachside entrance…

3 Great Ways to Record a Celebration

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Let's get straight the point. I know a few cool things that you may not know. For example, there are some wonderful ways to record celebrations with your cell phone that do not take a lot of expertise. No big camera is needed.  Here are three ways that I use to capture all the fun.
There is a new app on you iPhone called Takes. I allows you to use your iPhone camera to record a series of photos/video to create a montage of your day. You open the app and your camera automatically is recording what it sees but does not keep anything until you snap the photo. You camera saved the photo but Takes saves a video a little before the photo and a little afterwards. It has to be the coolest thing I have ever seen. It is like magic.  Here is the one I took on a day spent with my grandchildren. I also have an app on my iphone called Camera SX. It takes a picture for you and you can record all the back ground noise that goes with the photo.  Lets say you are at your grandchilds school jus…

Transformative Travel: The World Is Flat (Thomas L. Fiedman) and Me

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This post was written for a Blog Hop on Generation Fabulous. Click the link at the bottom of the page to share yours. Powered byLinky Tools

In a book called The World Is Flat written by Thomas L. Friedman the question is asked:
Which is more important? "The attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11 and the Iraq war? Or the convergence of technology and events that allowed India, China, and so many other countries to become part of the global supply chain for services and manufacturing, creating an explosion of wealth in the middle classes of the world's two biggest nations, giving them a huge new stake in the success of globalization?" The World Is Flat 3.0: A Brief History of the Twenty-first CenturyI know that Friedman's book is more about global competition in the world market than it is about the arrival of McDonalds in Toledo Spain (which horrified me). But I can somehow see the relationship between the two. When every country has good education and access to…

Re-decorating: Kitty Bartholomew where have you gone?

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I loved Kitty Bartholomew on HGTV! I know that dates me but I cannot help it. In fact, I woke up the other day thinking how much I missed those HGTV shows that inspired me to create and recreate. She made me feel at home in my home because the message was that little changes made a big difference. I could do it myself.


I still watch HGTV but after a while every show is the same. If you have wasted enough time watching Property Brothers or Love It or List It, you know what is coming next because, in the end, every decor is the same. Nothing reflects the fact that anyone lived there. If you do it their way, a trip to the local big box store is  all you need to decorate any apartment or home. What each place is missing is the layers of life we bring to our dwellings. A home is so much more than furniture placed correctly or even the pictures on the walls. It is those personal items that make the difference.

Moving is a real test of your ability to make a home. Downsizing is a challenge i…

What would living alone be like?

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Back in early 2012 there was an article in the New York Times called One is the Quirkiest Number written by Steven Kurutz.It caught my interest because I am approaching the age when one of us will be left to fend for ourselves. I think that every senior couple has this "number" on their mind.  I know the idea that my husband or I will have to face a life alone sooner or later does not make us happy.  I suppose that is why I read the article at the time (and several blog posts related to it) from beginning to end.  I wondered, "How would that be?" One of the singles featured in the article was Ronnie Bennett (age 70) over at Time Goes By.  This is what she had to say our chances of being alone:
...in old age, we are more likely than young and mid-age people to be forced into single living after the kids are grown and/or a spouse dies. Eccentric Behavior:
The New York Times article talked about the eccentricities singles living alone develop. While the solo life style…

6 Wonderful Train Journeys for Visitors to Britain

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By Derin Clark
As the birthplace of modern rail travel it is no wonder that Britain has some of the best train journeys in the world, making it an ideal relaxing holiday destination for retirees. The UK’s rail network covers some of the wildest and most remote parts of the island, along with picturesque landscapes that the nation is famous for.
This, together with the fact that train travel in Britain is relatively cheap, makes it the perfect form of transport for international tourists – even if you’re on a budget. To give you an idea of what you would be missing if you passed up the opportunity to explore Britain by rail, here are half a dozen fantastic British train journeys:
Far North Line The Far North Line is the most northern train line on mainland Britain. The track connects Inverness to Wick in Scotland and the route passes through some of Scotland’s wildest and most remote areas. Most of the line follows the coast and there are times when the train is almost next to the shore…

County Homes, Books and me (of course)!

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Country Homes:
I was looking at magazines today and thinking about what we will come next for us. My husband and I are always dreaming of little changes.  After a wonderful 4th of July spent with my family in our little home, I came away feeling that this place is important to our family because it tells the story of their life. They see little pieces of their history each time they cross the threshold.

I suppose that is why I am thinking about decorating with things I have stored away. I have always wondered what it would be like to live in a home put together by a decorator. In the end though, I know that what I have is all about the way I live. The Roseville pottery was owned by my grandmother and mother. The Little Red Riding Hood cookie jar was a gift from an aunt when I was a child. Pictures painted on glass graced the wall of an ancestor. Even the toys in the toy box were played with by children that are now nearing 50.

Don't bet me wrong, I am not a hoarder. I give things …