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Showing posts from June, 2014

Retirement advice when your children retire?

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Now this is a hard one. My children are not only grown up but they are retiring.  Remember when all the talk was about how people were going to have to work FOREVER...well it turns out that was not a true rumor. It cannot be forever yet can it? Where did time go?

I know they don't feel like it is "already" but I do. This would be another nail in my coffin if it were not for the fact that I am so excited about them joining my husband and I in this part of life's journey. Now the hard part is how to NOT give them the benefit of my wisdom. Honestly, when you are as full of information as I am, it is hard not to share.

Our son-in-law retired today with a ceremony at the Washington County Sheriffs office so he is #1 in the line-up of retirees in our family. He is in law enforcement so he retires earlier than most people. But still...he is retired and his wife has his final check to prove it. I was there so I know it has officially happened.

I will put this in my emotional…

Aging: Seriously, a pet is a good thing!

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When I wrote the article the other day about needing a dog, I did so with tongue in cheek. However, there is a serious issue here. See, I really do believe that those of us that are older still need to nurture and care for something. Nurturing is probably a basic human need.

It wasn't until I came to realize that those people I had fussed over in the past didn't want me to do that anymore that I began to understand why the little old lady down the street not only loved her darling dog but truly needed it.

Cat kiev (Photo credit: Wikipedia) My children are not mean spirited and love me a great deal. For that reason, they do not want me to worry. They are trying to shield me from what is bad in their lives. I understand that feeling well. After all I am a daughter of a mother. The truth of the matter is I don't want to worry either. It sort of makes me feel sick.

But in a world without worry and control, there is a void of sorts. People of my age and older like to look and se…

Affordable Housing for Retirees...Tucson AZ

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I have begun to think that the real estate market a better choice than RV resort living.  Why?  Well, here is the deal.  When I began looking at condos in Tucson, I found that there are some really wonderful condos available in the foothills of the Catalina Mountains.  I was amazed to find a condo with 761 sq. ft. LISTED at around $100,000...that is about 131 a square ft.  Who knows, the owner may sell for less.  The condo is in a gated community with a club house and pool.  It could be a possible perfect snowbird location.

Here is my thinking...we paid less than $20000 for our Park Model BUT we pay over $400 a month for rent on the space.  The positives of this situation is that we have an end unit that overlooks pickle ball and tennis courts plus a view of the mountains.  We get a lot of light and have plenty of room...it is all relative folks.  Now we have to ask ourselves "How much will $400 a month pay for on a real mortgage?"  A 30 fixed rate on a second home with 10%…

Aging: Why do I need a dog?

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Oh my gosh I need a dog! My life is not perfect.

My son had his 50th birthday yesterday and that is reason enough to need something warm to snuggle.  Besides that my daughter had a little surgery last week and she just "wanted to be left alone!" Then to top it off my youngest son was in the hospital with a severe infection and his beautiful wife took care of him.

The perfect dog! (Photo credit: Alex Balan) I am not allowed to boss my children or
grandchildren around and I am not allowed to give advice and stuff like that. The grandchildren don't like it when I smooch them in public. Children remind me that "Grandmother is not in control."

We own a cat but it doesn't like me much. So I may be buying a dog. I need something to boss around, take care of and control. A dog won't correct me when I use the wrong word or make fun of me because I am...well me. And I don't think a dog would mind if I smooched it in public. Yes, it appears only a dog will fi…

Retirement and Aging: Who do you have on speed dial?

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One of the good things and bad things about retirement is all the spare time a person has. If you are an active person, that means more golf/walking/time at the gym. If you are not, it means more time to listen and watch and stew!

We live in a 55+ neighborhood so we see a little of both. The neighborhood is always in transition...people move on or...well you know. Then someone younger moves in to take their place. The neighborhood has been here almost twenty years so we are definitely in a transitional time. Our aging neighbors spend a lot of time at the windows and doors of their homes.

When we moved here three years ago we learned very quickly who was watching everything and who wasn't paying any attention. We also learned that those that watched knew everything about everyone. People that walked around the circle we call our block could visit with everyone and gossip can spread fast. Every illness is promptly reported.

That is just a fact of life. But it is those people that l…

Aging: The Wonders of Curiosity

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Curiosity (TV series) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) We all know that our mind is a "terrible thing to waste" and that "education is wasted on the young"...or at least that is what we have been told. I am finding that my curiosity is increasing as I get older so I am not wasting my mind or my age. That is the good thing.

The bad thing is that I am  no longer afraid to ask if I wonder. The fact is many people do not like me coming up to them on the street and asking them questions. And I don't want to become the creepy neighbor lady that peeks through the blinds at the neighbors. Sometimes I just have to wonder and wait. There you have it.





I had a set of encyclopedias when I was a 10 and my mother would settle arguments with my grandfather using what those books had to offer. I loved the feel of them in my hands and honestly rushed home from school for weeks after they were delivered to explore a new volume.

Oh, and now we settle arguments by doing a search on the co…

Fun In Retirement: Writing a pretend book!

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Linda MyersJune 14, 2014 at 1:54 PM Laughed at the biography!
So, when is your book coming out, Barbara?ReplyDeleteReplies
Barbara TorrisJune 14, 2014 at 8:09 PM Not anytime soon...I have too many things I like to do and sitting at my computer FOREVER is not something that is calling my name! Besides that, I have not written my biography, don't have a title and the beginning, middle and end are as yet unplanned. Yes it will be a while.    b+
A blogging friend wrote this comments for the last post, When you write your first book, what will your bio say? Linda Myers is a blogger (Bag Lady in Waiting) that lives in the Pacific Northwest and has actually co-authored a book with her husband about his Vietnam experience. She knows what goes into writing a book. I, on the other hand, can only guess.
Back when I started writing this blog, I did it as a piece of pretend publishing. The idea of being able to write something and see it in a place that others could look at it too was so appealing …

When You Write a Book, What Will Your Biography Say?

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I have heard that there are people that write their own obituaries just so they know that it is done right. My thinking has always been that it really won't matter to me anymore so I don't care if it is right. Say I was  a stripper or a pole dancer...it will be fine. 
But if I ever write a book, that will be another matter. I want my biography to say something about me that makes my readers laugh AND want to read my book. Why would I write a book if no one read it?

On my left sidebar the Amazon ad contains some of the books that Amazon recommends as being outstanding. One of those books is calledMiss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children) (available on Amazon here.)

I loved the title so I had to take a look at the review and then I went on to read some of the reader's comments. It appears I need to buy this book for sure.

At the bottom of the Amazon book page was Ransom Rigg's biography. It made me laugh...notice that he ha…

NYT's: A Retired Educator's Thoughts on California Judge's Tenure Ruling

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Teachers union (Photo credit: kevin dooley)The New York Times carried an article today talking about the California judges ruling that "teacher tenure laws deprive students of their right to an education under the state Constitution." I have some thoughts on the subject.

I have lived on both sides of the fence. I was a classroom teacher that belonged to our union and my husband was a teacher turned a high school principal and a district personnel director. The question of tenure came up over and over during our careers. Ny husband found that walking the line between finding and keeping very good teachers while working to get rid of those that failed would drive most men/woman to drink. It was very frustrating. But it is also true that before tenure was initiated in Oregon, school boards and administrators abused their power to fire at will so they could hire better coaches or rid themselves of people that cost them too much of their budget. Abuse of power versus inability to …

Google Scares me a Lot: I could not access my Google App administrative console!

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English: Google Logo officially released on May 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I had such a big hiccup in my blog world this last week I almost had a 2 year old meltdown. The payment for my Gift Boomer blog domain was due and the payment was denied. Google scared me a lot because they told me that I could be cut off! And, when things go wrong, you don't get to talk to anyone at Google ever! AND I hear through the online grape vine that if their get rid of you, getting back in their good graces is very nearly impossible because, as I was saying before, you cannot explain yourself to anyone.

I swear there is a big computer room somewhere just cranking out rules and making stuff up. The only time a real person gets to have a say in that company is when they need to change a light bulb in that room.

The problem was my credit card had been compromised during the last year and I did not make connection between my new number and my domain re-registration. Google sent the link for me to s…

Do You See Retirement in Black and White?

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I don't know if you have heard of Lisa Heffernan or not but she is the mother that admitted that she wished she had never given up her job to stay at home with her 3 children. Life passed her by (she thinks) and now she is finding that she cannot pick up where she left off 15 years ago. 

She saw it as a black and white issue...either you work or you don't. She appeared on the Today show and wrote articles for major newspapers on the subject. I could see how some of her experiences were relevant to the new retiree. After all there are always some retirees that regret retiring. They don't see the shades of gray between working and not working.

Like Heffernan, I chose to be a stay at home mom when my children were very small. I never regretted doing what I did back all those years ago.  In fact, there was a lesson I took away from that experience that has been a great help for me in this third stage of my life.

Back when I was young, I learned that life was never all or nothi…

The Computerized Child and Cursive Writing

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I wrote a note on one of my grandchildren's birthday card recently. The money inside was important but the note needed to be read before the money went into the pocket. I was very puzzled when this child frowned and bent over the card trying to decypher what I had written.  I could only wonder if my handwriting had gotten so bad it could not be read.

My daughter explained that this generation of children have a problem reading cursive writing. A couple of days later a friend told me about her 22 year old grandson confessing that he could not read a letter she had written in cursive. Have you ever heard of this? I would never have guessed but it does seem very reasonable doesn't it?

The friends husband said that the trouble was that kids today are not educated! I don't think that is true but I do think that cursive writing may be going the way of inkwells and fountain pens. Things do change. I could only wonder...what else is changing, perhaps with children's minds, as…

Empty Nest Syndrome....again!

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I am surprised everytime I realize how old I have become. Not that 72 is very old but still. I had no vision of myself getting to be this old when I was younger. If I had realized, I probably would have done a few things differently. But that ship has sailed.

The one thing that surprised me more that any other is that I am seeing a second generation grow up to fly away like my children did. Four grandchildren have ventured out on their own.

A granddaughter will marry this summer. This will be the first of many wonderful ceremonies in our family. A ceremony seems to move us forward with joy and satisfaction.

The future is on the minds of my children these days. A son-in-law will retire this summer. How could that be when they are so young...at least in my mind. I cannot bear it when they talk about being older...if they are, where does that leave my husband and I?

The next stage will be the one where they become snowbirds and learn to travel and spend long periods of time away from ho…