Thursday, February 22, 2018

Enbracing The Inter-generational In Retirement

The street I live on dead ends into an elementary school. While I am often not alert and responsive enough to be sitting in my window chair when kids are going to school in the morning, I do see children going and coming at noon from kindergarten. And depending on my schedule, I see the large afternoon exodus of children walking with their parents home as well as teenagers from near by elementary schools. Often said kids are chatting excitedly with parents, and sometimes even bickering amongst themselves as they walk down the street.

My street also feeds into a high school. Kids with licenses drive home from school on my street. Sometimes, honestly, they drive faster than they should over the "speed humps", and I hope to myself that the parents of said kids have made them responsible for their own repairs and insurance costs. The high school is on the hill, and especially during football season, we hear the sounds of marching bands, occasional fireworks that scare the dogs during pep rallies and from afar, the sometimes cheers depending on the wind and the weather. Once a year our streets are closed down for the entire day because said high school hosts a cross country track meet where folks come from states all around, and I need to plan to be home, or amuse myself elsewhere until the barricades are removed.

Across the street from me, is a house rented by a group of twenty somethings. For the most part these kids are quiet, as our their pets. Once or twice in the time we've lived here we've had to remind these young folk that the rest of us need our sleep a bit more than they seem to, and once, a year ago, we observed on of the kids having the be helped into the house after an obvious night of over partying.

Here's the thing. 90 percent of the time, we love this neighborhood. We love the differing ages, even those of the teens and tweens. We enjoy experiencing the ups (and the downs) of a neighborhood and lifestyle that includes folks of all ages. In fact, my only objection with this neighborhood is that while it is diverse in terms of age (and to some extent in income), it's the least diverse place ethnically that I have ever lived. And while I may grumble under my breath when the high school fireworks require the temporary drugging of my smaller dog, I would not give up the multi-generaltional aspect for anything-certainly not for moving to a nice, quiet, senior/adult/no child community-or any of the above.

Recently, I got my new Olli (senor college) book in the mail. It has some interesting courses. And for the cost, you cannot beat it, especially as compared to "regular college classes". I have loved many of the classes I've taken through Olli, don't get me wrong. Especially the Great Decisions and memoir writing classes. But truthfully, even though they were more expensive, I was MUCH more energized during those "regular" college classes that I took at the community college on art, philosophy, physical anthropology and even that required Texas history course. Not because they were better, or more advanced. But because there were people in each class ranging from sixteen (early college admission) to 63 (my age at the time), and in at least once class there were folks older than I.  And I have to tell you all, in some of those classes the insights from the younger students had more than a few of us "experienced types" sitting back and taking note.

To be clear, I'm not opposed to hanging around with folks of own age, as such. When I can get myself in gear (not as often as I would like), I hit the morning silver sneakers program where everyone in the class is my age or older-or close to it. My Wednesday knitting group is, while not made up all of people my age as such, generally a group of folks above fifty or so.

On the other hand, while my new second church has a "Young At Heart Group", that does bus outings and the like, I have deliberately not joined said group-and not just because I am on the younger side of the attendees. I have, however, jumped into the "Congregational Development" group, after research showed lowest numbers in the church are the twenty to thirty five group-because I know that the church, and all of us, will be energized by the presence of children and young people (and because my twenty something son would kill to find a church that actually had get together events for folks his age).

I am firmly in the camp that says that says remaining young and engaged is more about the mental than it is about the physical (this doesn't mean I don't believe in being healthy and active). And the best way to stay young and engaged is to hang out with folks of all ages. Including the young. Even when said young are noisy, argumentative, or occasionally self-centered. When I was young, I was ALL of those things-and if truth be told, still show those behaviors on more than one occasion.

As most readers know, I live with my son (in his late twenties) who returned to school to get a second bachelors degree. Next year, he'll be moving out. Looking to work in another state while going to grad school. I will miss him, and not just because he is "my kid". He is also an intelligent guy who has a different take on many things-things we sometimes disagree on, admittedly. Nevertheless, we are able to share different perspectives on a variety of issues and he presents alternatives that I (and my sister) might not recognize so easily if he were not here. 

Also, while he knows better than anyone else my level of chronic pain and difficulty doing the basic "bend and reach" among other things, he has a sense of humor and regularly makes fun of my handicaps. The last time we were shopping together, I got out of my car with the driver's side fully open for support (as I am wont to do and the main reason behind my handicapped sticker need). When it took me more than thirty seconds after said rise from the car, his first comment was "Really, do you need me to get you a scooter?" While I respect that many people including readers and friends need scooters and that it improves their lives, I am still at the "over my dead body" phase on that, which got me walking immediately, as he knew it would. Heck I've even changed my perspective on a couple "political" or neighborhood issues after hearing his perspective on how things affect him and young people his age.

The bottom line, if you will, is that life is meant to be lived. And I find that I live my life much better surrounded by and involved with people of all ages.  I  don't just mean family. A lovely young woman in my Next Door group has founded a dinner and craft group in her home with the crafters ranging from 20 to 70 and I plan to take advantage of said group whenever I am in town. The school down the road has fund raisers such as pancake breakfasts and such and on more than one occasion all the neighbors including the "old fogies" have gone down and joined in the fun. I participate in most of the "family events" at my first church like "Spookghetti" and the Spring Carnival not out of obligation but because I appreciate the joy of seeing young people, teenagers, children and everything in between having a roaring good time (sometimes at each other's expense!).

 My new next door neighbors are in their early thirties, renovating their first home and we have lovely conversations on walks and over the fence. Often when I travel alone, I deliberately choose hostels or other sleeping options where I know I will see folks of all ages and have a chance to interact. And when I attend this wedding, the one with the pink dress, I may even get my injured body up and dance. To all the music, be it pop, rock, or rap. 

Because after all, why not! This, to me is what life is all about.


Monday, February 19, 2018

Let the Search Begin...............

...................For a dress, that is. A pink, dressy, semi formal, wear to an evening wedding type dress! One that does not cost a fortune, because I may never again wear it.


You see, my niece is getting married in April. She's chosen the fabric below as the basis for the colors in her wedding. I'm assuming this is a bow die that the men will wear, but the fabric will appear elsewhere as well. The wedding party will be in blue, and she has asked the female family members to wear pink (or maybe, depending on your color skills and perception, the deeper color is coral?).




I don't object to pink, I actually love pink. In fact, as I think maybe I shared before, I kind of embraced pink and grey and white with some teal and cranberry for this winter. It's just that I don't own a pink dress, and especially not a dressy/formal pink or coral dress. I'm generally a brighter clothing type of gal. And so far, while I know it's early, I haven't found something I love. And I of course, I tend to be one of those people who only buys stuff when she really, really loves it. So far, everything is too short (I have scarred knees) or maxi, or to much of a pale blush. On the other hand, it's early, spring clothes are coming out daily and I have faith that I will find a dressy pink dress for an evening wedding-and one that can be worn with flats at that. Because I don't do heels. Even for family. 

Unsurprisingly, a quick google search brings up nothing I love, I want the brighter colors but the longer length. Ah well.

And since I don't do stockings either, it may just be time to pull out the self tanning stuff for the legs. Because I don't do pantyhose. Even for family. Let's not get started on the topic of a suit or a tux for a guy who is six six and has perfectly good pants and sports coats but no suits, shall we?  I hear the word rental in my future. 

Non -traditional?


Traditional?

Meanwhile, as I sit watching the beautiful 70 degree weather outside (which will change to snowy, freezing 30 degrees tomorrow), I've decided I want a flamingo (see how I'm still working that pink thing?) For my yard. Or perhaps a couple. The question of course, is whether they go in the front yard for all to see, or in the back, tiered yard that is managed by she who whispers to plants. We actually have a bevy of small cement trolls in the front yard, none of whom have ever been ripped off. But a flamingo?  That may be too much temptation. I'll think on it for awhile.

Thought for the day: Folks in the frugal community as well as others, use the phrase "low hanging fruit" a great deal. In this context, the implication of something that is easy, simple, and obvious and that generally yields immediate results. And is often something obvious that we simply may have overlooked. In my view, banning assault weapons falls under the "low hanging fruit definition". It still allows everyone to defend themselves, or to hunt, or to target shoot. But it (along with greater enforcement of laws already on the books) is, again in my view, a no brainer when it comes to the safety of our children, in school and public places. Just a thought!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

This 'n That 2/16-the Local Edition

Hello everyone. I realize my post of a few hours ago may have been a little rabid, even for those who know and love me. I apologize to regular readers if this was a little over the top, but I have come to see this as an issue with really, no hope. Unlike many other issues on which many of us disagree this one seems to have no middle ground whatsoever. Which is why I figured it was time to express my perspective as a former parent of teens who deliberately took my kid out of that toxic environment (admittedly with the help of the Federal Government, my husband's employer). The United States is the most dangerous country in the first world for a child to be born into. By a frightenly high margin. Some of that is due to child mortality, as we are on the level of a third world country in that area. But a huge portion of said violence is guns. And while it's easy to say, talk about mental illness, movies, video gams and the like, all those countires have those issues as well. The single difference between us is guns. Access to guns.

And now on to some normal retirement posts, shall we?




Meanwhile, for the past week or so I have slowly been making a master list of local and not quite so local things to do-events, special events, and explorations if you will. I am blessed to live in a town of about forty five thousand, a suburb of a city of around under a million. Certainly not the size of many major cities, but big enough to come up with tons of things to do to enable my goal of embracing the local.   While said list is long, short term stuff includes the Degas exhibit at the Denver Art Museum (the only place it will be shown this time in the US), a local theater production of Something's Afoot (a musical take-off on Agatha Christie mysteries) and an upcoming sewing and quilting festival.  

Degas exhibit photo fro 303 Magazine

Also embracing the local (although not quite as closely), I've decided this summer's northern road trip will be up to Jackson Hole and Yellowstone and perhaps back to Missoula (I'm almost afraid to see what the fire damage has done up north). We've learned to really appreciate these July trips, to the north,  and they are often hotter than we might expect. Our two trips to the Dakotas were both steaming (as well as being enjoyable and educational). 

Glamping at Jackson hole? Who knows!

Unfortunately, yesterday I ended up ripping out rows of knitting on a sweater after belatedly realizing  that what was first a small mistake could not easily be repaired. Back, as they say, to the drawing board. I am normally a "bright girl" but this year I have embraced pink and grey. After an experiment with Rocksbox jewelry rental left me with some gold pieces with gray stones, I figured a short sleeve gray sweater was in the works. Sometimes creativity is painful. On the other hand, the quilt that had to be fixed last week is finished! So two steps forward and all that.

My son celebrated his birthday this past week. Since I know I will be taking the kids to dinner during our brief funeral trip to Texas (at least once), we settled for homemade barbecued chicken and cornbread and angel food cake for dessert (which we'll be lucky to eat before it's stale at this rate). That and lunch at the Outback or some other steak house this weekend will suffice until we are all together. Generally I do dinner for my kids, give them cash for the amount of their age and another small gift.

Today is my reading/knitting/craft group's first lunch bunch with the theme being Chinese, and hopefully once they are done, I can get a picture of said Honk Kong egg tarts on Instagram or something. I am cheating and using puff pastry for the shells. Life is an adventure after all. I'm going to try and get back to my earlier activity on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in the next week or so, after a long empty time there.

On Tuesday, I took a bunch of (prebaked from Kroger) undecorated sugar cookies, frostings and candies, and let that be my "craft event" for the women in my transitional homeless shelter this month. Some other folks brought along homemade bean soup, bread and salad and a good time was had by all. I have a metal tabletop "tree" and I think next month I'll let the gals make Easter egg ornaments and hang them on said tree.

I seem to finally have found my "exercise routine" niche. Three days a week I am either doing a two mile Utube walk along, or four thousand steps. Immediately followed by about a fifteen or so at home strength routine with bands and weights. The alternative days I am doing a 45 minute seated mindful yoga program and as many steps as I can get in, without really worrying about it. This seems to be the perfect level for me, and one that I'll remain at for awhile.

As part of my be a creator not a user/be a producer not a consumer goal in retirement, I have stepped back from most of my passive type earning opportunities like swagbucks except for cash back and the very occasional mystery shop. While these earnings are mainly passive, they do require some watching. And since I am trying to do more creative doing-albeit at home-I'm leaving this part of my life behind for awhile. Besides, I really truly do believe that money saved is generally more valuable than money earned, all things considered. At least at this point in my life.

Which leads to the fact that I have stepped back into writing. I don't know if that will lead to Living Richly in Retirement, the book, or not. I do know that I'm jumping back into my book about creative giving for the non creative, as well as journaling. And since I've been asked to write some articles about how living frugally leads to future gains, as well as one on expensive hobbies on a budget, I have some writing on the horizon. All at my own speed of course.

Meanwhile, I'll let you know how that lunch, and the experimental dessert, end up. The good and/or the bad!

THIS Is Why I Once Chose To Live Overseas-And Raise My Kids Elsewhere

The title should be sufficient. But just in case anyone doesn't get it:

Today Marco Rubio said that "A shooter will find a way to get a gun".

Only, it's generally only in THIS country that a shooter will find a way to get a gun. And will do so with ease. In THIS country, any mentally ill, emotionally unstable asshole, from Mark David Chapman to today's shooter to an abusive husband, can get a gun. Unconditionally.

Which to my mind means one of two (or maybe three things):

1.  We are so determined to let every  Tom, Dick and Harriet have as many guns as they want for whatever they want that we have simply said that victims are less important than rights, or

2. We're a national of maniac murderers and every other country in the Western World is on Prozac. or

3. Both

Either way, we've had more than one discussion on this blog-and in general-about the advantages of living overseas, with comments crossing the spectrum. And when folks ask me why I made that choice to take a teenager to a foreign country, well....This is why. This is not the only reason why I went, but this was certainly one of the reasons I stayed as long as I did, with a young man in junior high and high school. As patriotic as I am, (and yes, as a veteran I am very patriotic) my children deserved to be raised in a place where every day I did not have to wonder if there would be a school shooting, and where "duck and cover' drills were not a part of their education. Wherever that might have been at the time.

Note: Just to be clear to those with reading issues, the title of this blog says "chose" not "choose" . These days I talk about, and fight about and advocate for issues here at home, as regular readers know. But my regrets about raising my teenagers in a place without school gun violence before returning to this country are about nil. And honestly, when it comes to issues of racism, refugees and many others, I have real hope for change. But statistic show that most Americans want limits on gun ownership-and yet the NRA infuses so much money into our elected officials that I believe in this area we  have hit a brick wall that may never be broken down.

Here endeth my hopeless rant. Back in a few hours with normal frugal retirement type stuff!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Advocating, Caregiving, Reality Checks and "What About Me". My Story Continues.

I always knew what it meant. I had a little medical training years ago. But the minute my husband's doctor said that his liver cancer has passed into the blood vessels around his liver, I knew what it meant, and everything he did not say. In order for said cancer to affect the blood vessels, the entire liver was already affected. Anything we did now was just to make him comfortable, or to buy our family some time. There was not going to be a "remission" now or later. And while I do believe in miracles, the odds in this case was not high.

My first thought, my immediate thought, the one that came after he walked into the room to share my husband's results?  My absolute first thought was , "What on earth will I do?". It didn't last for long, I shut it down pretty quick and immediately moved into advocacy mode. But the thought had been there, and it would rise again. My second thought, before I moved into becoming an advocate and caregiver was "What about Marc?". I know now that I wasn't the first person to think that, or even the second. Hope is a beacon, and denial has it's own virtues. But in this case I knew what would happen to my husband-and so, my mind went immediately to the rest. At least for a moment.

Shortly thereafter, I moved to the mode I would mainly be in for the next few months-that of care giving, advocacy and organization-the latter not being my strong suit. Because along with advocating and caring for my husband, I had a high school teenager to drive to school, home work to occasionally supervise, dogs and a house to care for and more. As well as helping and sometimes comforting a spouse who was (unsurprisingly) in denial and hopeful, and a son in shock.

Often when spouses become ill, the care giving and advocacy parts of the "job" come on slowly. There are times to find spousal groups. The disease begins with tests, which may take months. There is chemo, there is radiation, there is often some kind of remission or at least relaxed times during treatment. If the disease is dementia, or MS or Parkinson's, there is a general slow progression and partners and patients adjust, plan as to what will come ahead and how to deal with it.

My husband was beyond all of that. His cancer was fully involved if you well. His treatment and needs needs went from him being a pretty active normal guy to needing help with everything and being in pain in a very short period of time, with little if any warning (because of the Hep C my husband had his liver levels checked on a regular basis, and there had been literally no warning in previous tests). My life went from being an at home spouse and mom with a pretty independent high school student (albeit one unable to drive) and husband to going  pretty much all the time. I still thank the Lord for my twice a week house keeper who went from just doing the basics to walking the dogs, doing laundry and anything else she could do.

For a few weeks I drove my son to school, and then stopped by the hospital with things for my husband, and spent time with him before his treatments. Then I went home for a few hours, picked my son up after school, took him to see his father for an hour or so, ran out and got my husband milk shakes and reading materials and the like and then came home so that my son and the dogs could have a few hours of a normal day. Sometimes I went back to see my husband, sometimes we talked on the phone, some times he was too exhausted. Sometimes other people came from work to see him. I spent my time worrying, doing research and on the rare occasions when I would allow myself, looking to the future.

There were some things though, that I never worried about. Even once. I never , ever worried about money in terms of medical care of home care. From the time my husband was diagnosed until he died. I never, ever, worried about delay in care, cutting costs based on insurance, insurance denial of procedures or any of the other related things. When it came time for my husband to be at home, I never worried even once about approval of care giving. And while this particular missive is about the early weeks of my husbands care, I never worried about getting the pain medications to make him comfortable at any time. While this series of articles are about my journey and my husband's illness, it's impossible to write about, or discuss, without talking about the difference in health care systems. Which, from that first day in the hospital was excellent, superior, helpful, kind, and affordable.

Which is my way of saying that I write this series of posts to share my experience with others, perhaps help others and admittedly other reasons. I hope many people will read it. but as I write more and more about this illness and this journey there will be more and more health system comparisons. And if you are one of those folks who opposes universal medicine and believes that the US has the best health care, this series will disappoint you on many levels, so I need to say that.

My husband was being as positive as he knew how. His boss still called him for help on certain issues, and they were still having discussions about possible time tables for return to work at this point. My son's conversations revolved around things like "When dad comes home we need to do (fill in the blank)". We were all on the surface at least treating this like a temporary bump in the road that would get better after initial treatment-which included targeted radiation, oral chemo and other in hospital alternatives.

Eventually of course, the day came-the day when the doctor told my husband and I that they had done all they could and were sending him home. He should see his own doctor and go from there. At this point mind you, he was still walking on his own, although he needed to lie down often for the pain and he could not drive. He was weak but functioning, and perhaps because of this, I was ready to become that obnoxious wife who bugs the doctors and nurses and asks for every accommodation.

It was time for me to bring out the big, obnoxious advocacy guns. Something that was MUCH easier to do in a country that did not have miles of red tape before any treatment, and with a doctor who was on the same page-and whose husband was the chief of oncology at the university hospital of Frankfurt. On the one had, we were all ready to have dad at home, and he was ready to be at home, among his own things, and with his own people and canines. On the other, we knew that our journey had changed on some level. And that it might be time to tell family and the rest of the world, where things stood. Because at this point, no one else did. Including my adult daughter in the Cayman Islands, and my husband's parents in Texas.

Coming next: Experimental procedures, reality checks, and dealing with illness when you are far from others.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

This n' That Thurs 2/8

My railing is finished, and I'm thrilled with the way it came out. Obviously, the steps will now have to be painted and so on-probably in a more reddish color after seeing the stain on the railing. Handyman also repaired and painted the basement walls post-egress window installation, and re-attached my fireplace cover to the brick wall.  After two and a half days of work, count me a happy camper.  



In a happy coincidence (or maybe not), some local socialization events have come to my attention. Folks on my Next Door group are looking at forming a bunco group or two, a daytime book group, and I found out about a local crafting dinner group that's meeting once a month. Not necessarily up to all of these once a month groups, but happy to know that there are things local. Oh, and as I was writing this, I received an invitation to the "Young at Heart" group at my neighborhood church! These folks may be mainly older than I, who knows. But it sounds like fun!

Along the same line, my "knitting group" (which has already spawned a book group and  quarterly ladies day out) is now going to try a ladies lunch bunch. Our first event is on the 16th of this month, and since that happens to be Chinese New Year, we are each making an oriental pot luck item. Time to look at Chinese dessert recipes. I think next month we are going to play with a 60s style meal-meatballs with grape jelly, anyone?? I know this sounds like I am expanding beyond "slow", but each of these fun things is once a month and my goal is to add no more than one event a week to my current life-at least for now. 

As the queen of custard, I was thrilled to find out there is actually something called a chinese egg tart!!  yeah!!

Today I'm living proof that no matter how long you've had a skill or a hobby or other expertise, errors can be made. It wasn't until I pulled this now wrinkled vintage quilt from my machine to iron it that I realized I sewed my border on entirely backward-with the seam facing up.  Time to do some cutting and ripping!!  




I subscribed to an email list from Pillsbury.com, and one from Betty Crocker. Both on slow cooker meals, so that I can return to my "frugal slow cooker" posts. The most recent were an "Asian beef" recipe made from pot roast and a chicken Alfredo recipe. I'm all in, except the cilantro will need to be eliminated. We have one of those folks for whom cilantro=soap taste. They require some ready made ingredients but still...........cost effective, tasty and low effort.

Asian beef from the Betty Crocker Website


Tuscan Chicken From the Pillsbury Daily Slow Cooker Fix Email!


This week, I'm embracing two non fiction books. I'm reading Soulful Simplicity by Courtney over at the More with Less blog, along with Gretchen Rubin's Happier at Home. I'll share with you what I think when I'm finished. 



It looks like, after saying never, never, never again, I may be selling quilts and such-again. As my son enters the last year of his IT undergrad before grad school, he has to design a business web page. So I gave him some good quilt photos and put him to work. Perhaps my first return to the fold should be some Philadelphia merchandise, considering the Broncos performance over the past year.

And now, I'm off into the rabbit hole! I've promised to do some Valentine crafting with the homeless shelter next week, and being me of course, I have to look at all my options -and then some-before I choose that one single project!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Things I'm Looking Forward to in 2018

Well, it's over. My sister-in-law called me around one in the morning on Saturday to let me know that my father-in-law had passed away in his sleep. So painful for all, but at 90 one of the best results we could expect. His wishes were no funeral but a memorial service after his cremation (which takes a couple weeks or so), so there will be no family get together until then. I'm feeling a bit for my niece, whose bridal shower is the 17th of this month. Perhaps we will have the service after that to avoid a pall over her pre-wedding events.

Meanwhile, in other events........The Eagles, people!! Thy won the Superbowl, making me one of the happiest girls around. Sorry New England fans. In truth, it was difficult for me-I mean, I'm sure you may have seen the maps showing the only folks cheering for New England were those in Dallas, DC and perhaps New York. But even though they may have the worst fans in football, even though as a Redskins fan you have to hate the birds, I could not root for the Patriots. Not as they say, a snowball's chance. And since both of the assistant coaches are going elsewhere this year, maybe we won't have to deal with the Pats so much next year.

Oh, and I loved, loved, loved, the coke gay/lesbian/trans ad. Absolutely loved it. On the other hand, who on earth thought it was a good idea for MLK to shill for a truck company. Even just with his voice. Tone deaf, folks, tone deaf.

I'm not on the This is Us wagon, as any of you are.  Instead, a  friend has recommended the show Altered Carbon on Netflix and I'm jumping into that. Because anything that has the guy from The Killing and James Purefoy cannot be bad, ya know?  And I'm finding the show Rita hilarious, subtitles and all. Both are perfect for the knitting hour!

Meanwhile, here we are in February. I've tried, really tried to come up with some goals for the year or a word for the year, or something.  So far, no luck. I think I've realized that's not my style, especially after many failed attempts at joining up with others for seasonal and monthly goals. I know, I know, many of you are the type that are convinced that life doesn't progress without a serious written plan and goal schedule. Not true for me. My personal experience, for me is that a life plan is simply a guideline and if you know in your head and heart where you want to be, that's where you will go.

Which of course leads me to "What I'm Looking Forward To In 2018". Neither a plan nor a road map as such, just a short list as to how I plan to spend and enjoy life in the coming year-my way:

1.  I'm looking forward to creating more and using less-or as a blogger friend would say, becoming more of a producer and less of a consumer.  Not because I'm super crunchy or a huge DIY person, but rather because I'd like to rethink how and why I use, and buy stuff. And how little I can buy and be happy.

2. I want to embrace the local-in terms of life in general, socialization, travel and even spending in some cases. I have a running list of everything going on in the greater Denver and Colorado area, as well as events in Wyoming and other states that are close. I'll still take my major trips, but spend less time doing them and more time looking close to home. Starting with restaurant week at the end of this  month. And local love includes embracing my home-as it is-and family even more than I do.

3. I am looking forward to celebrating the Sabbath. Not necessarily from a religious sense, but as a full day to be as technology free as possible (with kids who live elsewhere and also have Sunday off), quiet, and with family (and sports on occasion!).

4. I'm planning to fully enjoy the slow. Be it slow travel by train or car, my slow lifestyle at home, or life in general. For sure, slow doesn't mean stagnant, at least in my world view, just a step back or so in the speed of life.

5.  I'm wanting to act and advocate instead of talk-especially when it comes to refugees and immigrants (both documented and not) and senior poverty. I had thought I was being called in the direction of the 2018 election, but now realize this is where I am headed. Much of this advocacy is local and close to my home and/or my church, fitting with the other things I'm looking forward to.

6. I'm going to embrace the me in full in 2018. As I wrote previously, I am who I am what I am. Do I want to keep being aware and learning and being more fit? You bet. But at this point in my life I am where I am. and yes, I'm still thinking about going gray and streaking my hair,  and I truly believe nice yoga pants are acceptable wear for most anything during the day.

7. Added after my original post:  I am going to embrace and accept the enough: Enough money, enough stuff, just plain enough. As opposed to more.

8.  And last, I'm going to remind myself, regularly and often, that I come from a place of privilege. And that we all do, and many of us forget or deny. I'm privileged because I CAN practice frugality, make choices about how I want to spend my life and so much more. In fact, this is the one thing I have written at the top of my calender-each and every month.

And there you have it. Mere thoughts about how I hope to spend my time and embrace the next year. Goals they are not, guidelines for sure!

Enbracing The Inter-generational In Retirement

The street I live on dead ends into an elementary school. While I am often not alert and responsive enough to be sitting in my window chair ...