Oct 31, 2016

The Advantages of Thinking Less

by b+ Clematis in my Oregon yard.

I will be fine but I just had some time on my hands and I thought I would let you feel my suffering. :>)

Those of us that are retired can have a lot of time on our hands. Even though we fill calendars with dates for activities, it just doesn't seem to be enough to keep us from over thinking just about everything.

Because each and every event in our lives involves interaction with other people that share our life experience, even when we are busy, there is always time to commiserate with those around us. It is very true that misery love company.

Take our spouses for example. No matter how long you have been married, if you are not on your honeymoon, you have a litany to share with everyone around you. And those you share with have a litany of their own.

Then there is our aches and pains. Each day could bring stories of a stiff shoulder or weak ankle if we wanted. I had a friend that called this the "organ recital". He heard it every Saturday as he and his friends gathered for breakfast at the local Denny's restaurant.

Golf games can be hashed and rehashed until the mind is dizzy from telling the story about what happened on the 17th hole. A dear old man left our park last week to return home to live with his son. His last words to me were "Boy that 11th hole at Rolling Hills was hard." He will take that memory back with him.

So, it could be that there is some advantage in thinking less. Maybe we need more learning and doing because, if we let life get to us at this age, we are not happy and we certainly don't make those around us happy either.

I am sure that you can tell that I am struggling with the negative right now. I will be fine but I just had some time on my hands and I thought I would let you feel my suffering. :)

What do you think?


Oct 26, 2016

10 Best Gifts for a Retiree's Christmas chosen by a Retiree

Need to begin thinking about gifts for the retiree on your list? Here is the best that I could find. Let me know what you think.

It seems to me that grandparents are getting younger all the time! I find it true in our RV resort and here in our 55+ neighborhood in Oregon.  And since Christmas is on the way I think you need to keep in mind that what you want they want too. Crocheting has long since gone out of style and lifelong learning is in. Keep that in mind when you buy gift!
Fitbit from Amazon
  1. A pedometer would be fun. A Fitbit is a wonderful device. If your parents or grandparents or are walking, why not give them a Fitbit so they can keep track of the miles they go each month. Walking made fun is good.
  2. I cannot tell you how many women I talk to regret the fact that their spouse cannot waltz or tango. How about dance lesson as a couples gift.  Even a dance lesson video might be fun. I think my husband and I would be more willing to try this first.
  3. I would love a gift card from Amazon or a book store. Better yet give the gift that gives all year...Amazon prime is one of the best gifts around.
    Runner headlamp from Amazon
  4. I think one of those little headlamps that runners and bicycle riders use is just quirky enough for the man on your list. My husband received one for Christmas several years ago. We like to walk after dark when we are in the RV resort but in the fall and springs we watch for snakes. When my husband is trying to work in a dark place like under the sink it has saved us a lot of quarrels. (Can't you shine the light where I want it? he says.) You may have to convince the man to actually use it but once he does, he will love it. NOTE: Your grandchildren will love these too!
  5. Does your favorite senior love to eat but have special needs like a gluten free diet, diabetic safe restrictions or no fat. Find that special treat online for them. Order meal through one of the many services that provide food ordered online. I have a friend that uses them and loves it a lot.
  6. I think a mini iPad or something like it is a wonderful gift.  
    Mini from Amazon
  7. If you senior owns an Kindle or a similar device, give them a gift certificate for some apps or publication on the device.
  8. Rent a wheel chair so you can take your less mobile parents out for the day. If they have such a thing, make it a beautiful ride. Seniors like cool just as well as the next guy. Just because they are having a hard time getting around temporarily does not mean they should live in a cave.
  9. Provide a service. Window washing (you can pay someone else to do this), a room painted, general cleaning (hire a housekeeper for a day), some yard work, spreading of bark dust...you add your own idea.  Be sure you can fulfill your promises though. If you plan to provide the service yourself, set a date for the offer and don't forget.  Your parents/grandparents can be disappointed too. If you are hiring someone, include a gift card for the service.
  10. Wrapped presents...serious Grandparents/parents love gifts. If they say they don't, they are liars!  Even a small gift from a department store can be very special if the wrapping or container is beautiful. Your senior will actually find a way to recycle the box!  Make the container part of the gift.
So what would be your favorite? I personally liked the iPad mini. I can see me using it a lot.

Have a wonderful week end. Remember, shop early and avoid the stress. Who needs that?


Oct 25, 2016

The Plastic Bag Conudrum

Isn't it funny how little experiences can change your whole approach to life? That time you were almost slammed into on the street making a left hand turn has you never turning left again. See what I mean?

The first time my husband and I visited Mexico many years ago, we were in Puerto Penasco. Even though the gulf was blue and people were lovely, the 10,000 plastic bags and Styrofoam boxes that were hiding under the cactus and hanging from every bush and telephone line had us wondering about plastic in general. We came home fearful for how the landscape everywhere in the world was going to look if we continued to waste everything we lay our hands on.

Then the recycle/reuse became a way of life. Plastic bags were replaced by market bags and styrofoam was banned.

But, as hard as we tried to avoid bringing bags home, we would still end up with plastic bags that we couldn't in good conscience throw away. So we started in saving them, bags inside bags hung over more bags inside more bags. We vowed to take them back to the grocery so the grocery chain could throw them away. But we never did. We have so many bags I have designated a corner of the laundry room for their storage.

Then I received this poster in an email the other day:

From Starts at 60
Evidently little old ladies (like me) are crossing over the line between being sensible a citizens and hoarding plastic bags. I promise to be better in the future...in meantime does anyone else have a plastic bag full of other plastic bags somewhere in the house? I am just wondering!


Oct 20, 2016

The Rumor of my Death are greatly Overblown!

No, I am not gone forever...maybe you didn't even notice my absence. In that case ignore this post if you like.

Does it always surprise you when the seasons change? Do you say things like "Oh my goodness there is such  a nip in the air! It can't be fall already." I do that as though fall has never come and gone before since the beginning of time.

Now that we travel back and forth to Arizona from Oregon and the back from Arizona to Oregon every year, you would think that it would be smooth sailing and not a big deal. You would think. I am here to tell you nothing could be further from the truth. It is never totally smooth.

First of all I am surprised that it is time to go and cannot remember what to do or what to take or what I left behind. Surprise surprise surprise!

Rain in Oregon as we left!
This year I woke up the morning we were leaving sick as a dog. We had reservations for three night down the road and there I was...yuck. What did we do? you ask.

Well my husband never acknowledge that there was a problem. I took the required meds and told myself that if I did not die before night, I would be fine. We got in the car and left.

So...we are here in Tucson now. That is good. I am fine and loved the trip. If I had not been fine I hope someone would let you know but I am not feeling hopeful about that.

The Belagio in Las Vegas

Boulder City Breakfast Joint

As I opened my computer that has been just set up, I found these comments on the post about the birth of our new baby Great Granddaughter:

  • Great Grandmother. Wow! Babies are such sweet miracles! Congrats!
  • That might be the most beautiful newborn I have ever seen. Congratulations Great Grandma.
  • Congrats . . . and there's no question, you're cool!
  • What a beautiful little girl! congratulations GREAT Grandma!
  • Yayy! Congratulations! :-)
  • What a sweet baby! Congrats!
  • Wow. Is that wonderful. I didn't respond because, well, life just did not allow it but, in case anyone wondered, I do love to get comments.

    Thank you Tom for agreeing that I am very cool and for the compliments and well wishes you all sent. As DJan said, "Yay". You all made me very happy.

    The baby is fine. She is very durable and not fussy about what goes on around her. I am pretty positive she will outgrow being such an angel but who knows. In the meantime her parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles (11 of them that I can think of) are oohing and ahhing. The routine will be established soon.

    They are all in good hands.

    We are flying home in the spring I think. What cannot be taken on the plane will just have to stay behind. Wish us luck!


    Oct 13, 2016

    She Liked it inside that Womb

    My granddaughter did have her baby...after 25 hours in labor. I tell you what, this little person did not want to leave the warm comfort afforded to her for nine months (going on three years) inside her mama's womb.

    Labor began early Friday morning and lasted until the next day. There was a lot of serious drama and I asked the future grandmother to keep me in the loop. Sometime early Saturday morning night she sent me this text...be sure to notice the emoji at the end:

    She had just told me that the exhausted mom and dad were sleeping for a bit. She, on the other hand, was an anxious mess waiting on the other side of the room.

    The baby was not taken until several hours later. When they decided to do a cesarean, it was less than 15 minutes until she was born.  Everyone, including Grandma and Grandpa, are doing fine. The baby is beautiful.
    Embry Jayde, 7+ lbs at birth
    We are all smitten to say the least. You can now call me Great Grandmother Barbara and my husband is GGpa. How cool is that.

    Embry is now at home with mom and dad. 


    Oct 6, 2016

    How Long Can You Stay Pregnant?

    One of my grandchildren, the 8 year old, was talking about that time he was being built in his mommy's tummy. How long do you suppose it took to build that little boy? Was it only 9 months because it sure seemed like a lot longer than that to me.

    Early July...arrow pointing at the baby being built is her tummy!
    The eight year old is the little guy with the broken arm.
    My dear granddaughter is in the last weeks of her pregnancy which I feel like may have gone on for 3 years already. That poor dear child has suffered from morning sickness for all of that time and she is not consoled when someone tells her that morning sickness makes for a healthy baby. She is not buying it right now.

    As for me I am wondering how long it takes...come one baby, we want to meet you. Don't be shy. It will be okay.

    See here is the thing for those of us that came from a time when we did not know that we were pregnant officially until a rabbit died or a doctor could feel something growing in the womb, knowing for this long is very hard. We were usually "officially" pregnant for 6 months not 9 or more months.

    Now within a couple of days or a week or so, a woman can pee on a test stick and know that she is pregnant and so do those of us that are waiting with her. Hence the feeling that she has been pregnant for 3 years! Oh my gosh!

    So, when the granddaughter posted on facebook last week that her baby had been given an eviction notice, I cheered with her. Early babies are not good but when a baby has been being built for 3 years, I think that is quite enough.

    I am still wondering, "How long can you stay pregnant?"

    I am sure all of you moms out there can tell a story of your own!


    Oct 5, 2016

    That one day we decided we need to go to Arizona.

    Boy that title is a mouthful but it says it all. It is raining and there are only so many ways you can say "it is raining". My husband likes to talk about the weather although not as much as he used to. It turns out, even in retirement, weather talk can be boring!

    Oregon...beautiful, wet, cold, dark...take your pick!

    My husband is looking at vacations spots, searching our timeshares and considering airline tickets to places we will never go. It is getting a little dangerous to be trapped in our house...at least financially.

    Arizona...see what I mean?
    We were going to stay until our granddaughter had her baby (and I still want to do that) but we may not make it. The cold and dark is very hard on us both.

    AND we cannot afford to shop all the time. Wish us luck!


    Oct 3, 2016

    Just Keeping Portland Weird or Scary Clowns?

    It was just a normal Tuesday in Portland Oregon.  A #clown sighting didn't even cause the sighter to call 911 and he was trying to get into her car!

    Several years ago I flew home to Oregon without a suitcase. I was sure that I had enough clothes in my closet to stay decently covered for a couple of days. It turned out I didn't.

    That began the curious incident of the grandma clad like a clown running back and forth between her house and her daughters. No police were involved. Well, actually her daughter IS a policeman so I guess there is that.

    Now it seems that clowns have appeared across our country and they are scaring the holy c*#%p out of people. (Maybe the clown people don't have anything else to wear. I understand that.) As a result, blog posts are turning away from election rants to talk about clowns.

    We have had a couple of sightings here in Oregon. One was in Redmond (central Oregon) and that probably turned a few heads and did scare the people that were involved. But Redmond is not Portland in any way shape or form.

    Darth Vader, unicycle riding
    with fire-breathing badpipes.
    When one turned up in Portland, it was just business as usual. It takes a village to keep Portland Weird and everyone is doing their part.

    Even though the incident involved a silver clown trying to get into a woman's car when she was stopped at an intersection, she did not call 911. She called the non-emergency number. She didn't think it was an emergency.

    I have to remind myself that weird is not weird around here. In fact a police spokesman didn't even raise an eyebrow. The local Oregonian Newspaper had this to say:
    "We reached out to Portland Police to see if there's been an uptick in clown-related crimes. Sgt. Pete Simpson, spokesperson for the Portland Police Bureau, said via email that he hadn't heard of that specific incident. 
    "In Portland, where Darth Vader rides a unicycle and has a fire-breathing set of bagpipes," Simpson added, "clown sightings might just be an average Tuesday."
    So what can I say...it is Saturday here and I suppose it about as average as it gets.

    Oh, and I do bring a suitcase when I come home now.  I'm just saying!


    Rubber Shoes in Hell wrote a great post and brought the clown thing to my attention. Thank you Michelle.

    Oct 2, 2016

    Tax Returns...Whatever (yawn)

    I don't care about the 900,000,000+ loss on Trump 1995 tax return. I care about how Trump might make the world a better place.

    It turns out that so much of the stuff that is suppose to be shocking isn't...not anymore. After living through so many elections and political conjuring I am past even raising an eyebrow.

    I did not care about Bill Clinton's sex scandal...I didn't care and I certainly didn't want to know. History had shown me that the ego of a president leads him to do stupid things in their private life. It has always been so.

    I did not care about the moral majority nearly as much as I should have. I was insulted when they implied that I was going to hell but not that much. I don't believe in hell so what the heck.

    And I do not care that Donald Trump is such a bad business man that he lost $915,729,293 in 1995. He has big problems but it is the way that business is done in his bad banking circle of friends. (I will care if he is elected and does that to our country.)

    What I do care about is a seeing a glimmer of hope in one fact that shows he has some charitable thoughts. Has he ever done anything that did not make him look big and important? Has he ever made the world a better place even for one day?

    Don't talk to me about beauty pageants or golf courses please. Not that a few women didn't benefit from that but a picture is emerging that leads a common woman like me to see that there was no sacrifice and there was a lot of ogling. As for the golf courses, I like to play golf too but something tells me I will never play on one of his courses. That is fine but golf course building is not a charitable activity.

    So, as for the $915,729,293 loss on a 1995 tax return, I don't care! All that does is confirm what we thought we knew. What I care about is a president that will make this world better. 

    What do you think?


    You might also like:

    Mitt Romney's "47%" Chosen as Best Quote (2012) 
    "What's Behind Donald Trump's Obsession with Beauty Pageants?"
    Charity Navigator on Clinton Foundation
    Direct Relief on Trump Foundation (Trump Foundation is private)
    Eric Trump ‘Charity’ Spent $880K at Family-Owned Golf Resorts
    Fact Check: Where Does Clinton Foundation Money Go (Be sure to read to the end of the article.)

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