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Should You Be Freaking Out About Your Investments?

Short answer - probably not.

By retirement age, your investment portfolio should be more conservative, less speculative. Yes, the market is down. NO, it's not that serious a slide. Here is a picture of my Duke investments for the last year. It went up most of the year. It's down, but no more than it was at the beginning of the Trump administration.

In that time, jobs have also grown, manufacturers have brought money home to the USA, and we've gotten an decrease in the tax rate. I would NOT expect a implosion in the investment market.
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How is the Writing Going?

In general, well - I've managed to get a few pieces published at Medium:

Dream: I'll Retire and Write Books All Day. Reality:Things I've Learned in 10 Years of Blogging Medium is changing their format to a paid membership arrangement - I'm not sure that I'll be adding to my work in the future.

In terms of my book, I've not made much progress since just before Thanksgiving - too busy with holiday plans, a funeral, and illness (first my husband, now me). My cold is better, although I'm still way down in energy, and I'm finally able to function without taking a nap 1/2 way through the day. I even made it to the gym twice in a week.

Most importantly, the brain fog has lifted. For over a month, I've been unable to concentrate on anything substantial. Over the last week, I've started writing in my journal, planned the outline of a short story, and done some background thinking about my next book.

Tomorrow (Tuesday), I'm planning on getting out my n…

Missed a Post

Alas, I was sidelined with a particularly nasty virus. I was horizontal since New Years Eve. This is my first day up for more than an hour at a time. I'm deep into unpacking, cleaning, and catching up on mail, messages, bills, etc. I'll be back tomorrow with an update on how you might be affected by the flu/pneumonia this year.

Back From Vacay

And, it was lovely.

We traveled through Erie, PA, before the snow started coming, which was a good thing, as they are around 70 inches accumulation on the street right now.

70 inches!

Christmas was all that I wanted:

Family and friends aroundGood food, but not too muchFun - we went to see the new Star WarsTime on the trip for DH and I to talkRest I'm ready to take up my regular schedule, starting next Tuesday. Until then, I'll be spending time at home, getting back into regular workouts at the gym, and clearing out temptation from the kitchen.
Next week, I'll begin regular posts again.

Some Ideas for Christmas Gifts for Seniors

No one needs handkerchiefs anymore. Many people would love to come up with better gifts, but have trouble thinking of something both appropriate and indulgent. Why indulgent? Because many seniors can afford what they NEED, but hesitate to spend money on something unnecessary.

Here's some ideas:

Gift certificate for a plane trip, or transfer your Frequent Flyer miles to their account.Gift cards at nearby restaurants.Gift card for an Uber or Lyft ride. There are times you just can't drive - after visits to the eye doctor (particularly if they have to have drops put into their eyes), when recovering from injury or illness, when roads are unsafe, after dark.1 year's free fitness club membership.Time and help - make a date to come over to help them wrap Christmas gifts, address cards, bake cookies. Let them set a date for a get-together with friends, and be the caterer and clean-up person.Lawn service. Find a younger person to help them with weeding and gardening.Window cleaning…

Making, and Keeping, a Household Schedule

I'm not an organized or particularly neat person. As a kid, I cleaned up my room immediately after my mother pitched a massive fit about its disgusting condition.

Well, she was right - I only cleaned up when absolutely necessary. I did the same after marriage.

In my slovenly ways, I was encouraged by my husband, whose unspoken motto is:
If there is a flat surface, that's where I will put my stuff It wasn't too bad when we were first married. There is only so much clutter that 2 humans can make in a 3-room apartment. A quick pick-up a couple times a week, deep cleaning once a week - we were good to go.

Even after we had kids, the mess was SOMEWHAT controlled by the fact that we moved - a lot. Some of the clutter never got unloaded from move to move, staying in boxes stashed in corners.

It got bad - REALLY bad once we stayed in the same place for more than 10 years. Fortunately, that house had both an attic and a basement, where a lot of the junk ended up.

When I moved to SC…