Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Putting the Love Back In

Long-term relationships sometimes can stall out, for lack of emotional warmth. It's not that the partners DIS-like each other, they just feel lukewarm towards their mate. Or, so says Dr. Finkel, author of the "All or Nothing Marriage".
Many people are looking to their partners to replace the companionship and emotional support once provided by extended families and local institutions like churches, bowling leagues, bridge groups, fraternal lodges and garden clubs. Meanwhile, though, many couples are so busy with their jobs and parenting that they’re actually spending less time together by themselves.
The post at the link above has some suggestions about how to turn up the fires - the ideas are called "Love Hacks". They seem to be based on some degree of evidence (although recent investigation of many social science research suggests that throwing darts at a target would produce similar results). They couldn't hurt, however, and might be useful.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

White Space - NO, It's NOT About Race

It's about using a portion of the broadband that is not currently in use, for the purposes of accessing faster speeds for Internet. It's probably most useful in rural communities, but, inner-city communities might find it useful, as well.

Why should seniors care? Many of us are located in relatively isolated parts of the country - rural areas, temporary housing, senior housing, etc. Having low-cost access to fast Internet could go a long way towards keeping us mentally active, connected to family/friends, and allowing us to receive information that could extend or enhance our lives.

Read about it, here.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Frugal Mindset

I've been putting off needed purchases for days, even weeks, since I retired. In some ways, that might be a good thing - many purchases are unnecessary, and delaying a purchase might result in deciding not to buy.

But, that's not what's happening here - these are purchases I've already thought about, decided were worth the cost, and had put on an order.

Only to hang there, in that online cart, for weeks. I'm finding infinite reasons to NOT make a decision to buy.

This type of behavior is new to me, since I've been retired. When I could count on an income twice a month coming from work, I didn't do this. I didn't hesitate to make immediate purchases. There was always a surplus in the account, and I felt free to dip into it.

What are other seniors doing? Put your best tips for managing money in the comments.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

3 Months into Retirement - How is it Going?


That's not me, but it expresses how I feel.

I've spent a lot of the past 3 months clearing up old tasks, unloading accumulated junk from my house, and enjoying NOT having to put off needed medical appointments because the time off wasn't convenient to my employer.

I've developed some good habits, like:

  • Making my bed every day. Of course, it helped that my husband leaves so early, but, he has also jumped on board with this during his summer break.
  • Keeping the kitchen spiffed up (Is that a phrase? My mother used it). I've been deep-cleaning and organizing (which, of course, makes it easier to keep it clean).
  • Walking - not every day, but most. Outside, if possible, otherwise, in the house. My FitBit is registering meeting goals every week.
  • Laundry - no longer with piles in front of the washer.
  • Writing - every day, something. The novel is not progressing as fast as I would like, but I am making progress. I'm starting to reach out to various markets with queries, and hope to get an assignment soon.
I'm not perfect - I find it easy to slide into endless meandering around on the web. It's hard to discipline myself to clean the bathroom, pick up Den's detritus, and perform all the other tasks that need to be done.

However - baby steps. Forward progress. Building habits.

I wanted to take a moment to write about something dear to my heart - our right to our own perceptions, and to express them, without penalty. Too many people want to limit our thoughts - to hem them in, lest we offend others.


We have the right to own our beliefs, thoughts, perceptions, and associations. One of the ways that people try to trick us into disowning our very selves is to use rhetorical tricks, like the KafkaTrap.

Keeping intact our essential self is needed, as - in some cases - there are people around us (family members, medical personnel, government, social workers) who would use their influence to persuade us to act in ways that are not in our own self-interest. That might involve:

  • Moving, if we are capable of managing our own living arrangements.
  • Giving up our control of health decisions, legal decisions, finances, or ability to live our lives as WE choose.
  • Relationships that others disapprove of.
  • Voting rights - if you are capable of using your right to the franchise, DON'T let others mark your ballot! Send in absentee ballots yourself - don't entrust them to others.
I'm assuming that you have not reached the point of senility that makes it necessary to give up some personal control. But, absent a diagnosis, too many people surrounding the elderly work to nudge them into decisions that are more for others than self.

Sunday, September 3, 2017


Due to the holiday weekend, I'm not posting my usual Sunday stuff. Instead, I'm co-posting a Sunday reflection I had written for Right As Usual.

Link here. It won't be available until 9 am, so I'll likewise schedule this post for then.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Shoring Up the House

Recently, we've been working on getting our house in shape. And, no, that is NOT a metaphor.

We called in RamJet to drive pilings into the ground, so the foundation could be shored up. Cost: $4200. Not cheap, but necessary. We may bring them back again to do the other sides of the house (which are not in bad shape). We'll see.

We are also going to be bringing in people to repair/improve some windows. After the tornado ripped through Rock Hill, we had several windows broken. There is a deal going on now, and we want to take advantage of it - Buy 1, get 1 free. Plus 36 months to pay, same as cash.

If we had planned better, we would have done this before I retired. But, we put off the decision, and have to manage it now.

If you are in the pre-retirement phase, walk around your house (inside and out), and make notes on things you'd like to change/update. Consider:

  • Gutters/roof
  • Taking down aging trees (unbelievably expensive!)
  • Foundations
  • Driveways/sidewalks
  • Insulation
  • Windows
  • Major appliances - are they reaching the end of their life cycle?
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
Better to spend the money BEFORE you retire. It's also easier to get those short-term credit deals while employed.

Most major jobs will have a X number of months same as cash option. Figure out what you can afford each month, and set up automatic payments. The savings can be considerable.

It really doesn't matter whether you plan to age in place, or sell and move elsewhere - these repairs/improvements need to be done. Decide which that will be - stay or go - because you'll want to consider which improvements would pay off in increased sale price, if you do chose to sell.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Clearing Out the Junk

I've been REALLY busy this morning (Thursday 8/24/17). The RamJet people are here to shore up our foundation. I've been working to get the bedroom cleaned up and cleared out.

I started by tackling Den's stuff - he does have the tendency to drop what's in his pockets anywhere. Over time, the junk has built up - pens, receipts (mostly not necessary to keep), cough drops, change, etc.

He also tends to use meds/lotions/razors/etc. in the bedroom, but not removing them again. Together, with the habit we have acquired of eating while watching TV, that has made a huge mess.

I started at one end of the room and methodically moved through it. I put some of the 'probably important' stuff in a lidded container, for him to sort out later. I dusted, wiped, and swept as I went.

A funny thing happened when I got near my chair. Suddenly, the junk started to be MINE. I was amazed at the sloppy habits I'd gotten into, as I had to confront them for the first time in weeks - OK, months.

I stopped near completion. My back was starting to ache. I stopped before I did actual damage - I can go back to it later today. I have errands to run, and needed to stop, anyway.

Putting the Love Back In

Long-term relationships sometimes can stall out, for lack of emotional warmth. It's not that the partners DIS-like each other, they just...