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Showing posts from January, 2017

I'm Getting Afraid to Answer the Phone

Have you ever experienced a time when seemingly everyone around you is:

SickUnemployed or short of moneyExperiencing personal traumasOne foot in the graveDepressed (often for good reasons - situational, not endemic)And otherwise not in a good place? That's my situation right now. In my own family, both my brother and sister are not well (my brother is in the hospital), and my husband is slowly recovering from an antibiotic-resistant infection and pneumonia. In my husband's family, most have a variety of long-term illnesses, including the brother nearest in age with congestive heart failure.
My eldest is also experiencing a large number of sick or troubled people in her life, and my youngest grandchild is sick with a virus.
I'm getting afraid to answer the phone, for fear that it will be more bad news.

My New Schedule for Posts

I've been doing some scheduling for future posts. Rather than just churn out stuff whenever it occurs to me, I've been making a conscious effort to space out my posts on an approximately 2-3 times a week schedule.

I would appreciate your spreading the word about this blog on social media. It's my hope that others might benefit from reading my story of retirement prep, and my experiences once I finally do retire.

I've been discussing this with my husband, and I'm leaning toward plugging the plug at the end of May. I may see if I can set up a part-time gig with a college for extra money. This should leave me relatively free for some travel and kicking back - as well as writing and pursuing my hobbies.

All That We "Knew" About Aging and Health May be WRONG

Coffee - Bad?

Apparently, NOT.

This process has been going on for many years:

Some medical study is made about health.Popularizers exaggerate the effects shown in the study, and inflate the core results into a program to improve/extend healthy lives.Eventually, the government gets on board, and mandates changes to diet, exercise, medication regimens, or medical procedures.After years of pushing the system on the general public, an honest re-evaluation of the effects is made, and - guess what? The advice is found to be completely wrong.RepeatRepeatRepeat Diet advice has gone from: Calorie reductionExerciseLow-fatHigh-carbLow-carb At the present, the low-carb forces appear to be on top. Never fear, they'll find out eventually that positive effects have been exaggerated, and the negatives minimized.
Same with exercise. I'm not against regular movement and activity. What I'm against is mandating the same thing for everyone. The down sides include: Strain on joints - The Aerobic wo…

Medicare: Proposed Changes - Part Two

Hoo-Boy! This issue has been called the Third Rail of American Politics, and it surely has that potential to kill political careers.

A large part of the problem is the scare tactics being used by activists. They are playing on the natural desire not to lose a benefit, or to treat any change in a benefit as a personal attack on the individuals who are receiving it.

In the article linked above, the seniors are furious at the idea that the program won't be available, just exactly as it has been in the past. They consider the benefits theirs, by right, and any change as taking away something that is THEIRS.

They don't seem to have heard that old country saying, "Don't count your chickens until they're hatched."

The US Representative holding the meeting, Rosa DeLauro, fed into their fears.
DeLauro, who has a 97-year-old mother, said she's sensitive to cuts that affect seniors. Though she knows that the country needs to cut programs and bring down the deficit, sh…

My Last Year Teaching

As I am winding down on the plan to retire in another year, I find that I am particularly excited about fully enjoying that time, and working to make it the Best Year Ever!

In that vein, I find myself writing down more of my process, including mapping out the units, with labs, and reflecting on how well (or not) it worked.

I have been working ruthlessly, both at home and at school, to weed out outdated curriculum, better organize the materials and equipment I have, and to prepare to leave with all things done.

Small Tech Assist For Memory

I've been using the Chrome extension OneTab for several days now, and it's been worth the installation.

What OneTab does is reside on the menubar, and - with a click of the button - move all of your tabs to a single location. That tab holds them, waiting for you to click on the tab you want. When you do, that tab - and ONLY that tab - starts loading. This speeds up the process that can get bogged down with multiple tabs sending the message to load.

This is a great feature, as often I find myself clicking on many links at a time. By using OneTab, I can do so, then, with a single step, hold those tabs in Limbo until I'm ready to look at them, one at a time.

Get OneTab here.

Medicare: Proposed Changes to the Plan - Part One

Now, I know that some seniors are adamant:

NO CHANGES TO MEDICARE, EVER!

While it might be nice to stand, line in the dirt, opposed to ANY changes in Medicare, I'm afraid that is NOT a realistic scenario.

Medical care - particularly for seniors - is expensive. Insisting that doctors and other medical providers just suck it up, and take less money for services, has led to difficulty getting doctors to agree to see you. NO medical care is worse than pricey medical care.

It's the remedy of choice for politicians - there are fewer doctors than seniors, and seniors are the most reliable voting segment. Better to starve a doctor, than to tell a senior that he has to accept more expensive visits.

I've been investigating this for a few weeks. Like it or not, almost every senior will be affected by this issue.  I've read some of the available proposals, and have summarized a few below. I'll be posting more on this in the coming weeks; it's likely to be tackled early in …

Why Men Drive Their Wives Crazy in Retirement

It's not what you'd think.

It is NOT a calculated effort to bring them to eye-rolling, babbling insanity.

It is because they previously had something to do all day. And, now, they don't.

That's a lot of energy with no place to go. Except to try to find helpful things to do at home.

In many families, the husband ceded control of the household to his wife. She had sole right to:

Plan mealsBuy foodDecorateOrganize the houseDo chores on HER schedulePay bills Now, she finds another adult with time to kill, and a deep-seated desire to be useful. So, that adult wants to take on some of her job.
Now, some women can look at this as an opportunity to 'retire'. To let go of part of her previous job. To free up some time for hobbies, socialization, FUN!
Others, not.
For that second group, this is THEIR stuff. And, if someone tries to assist them with THEIR stuff, they BETTER do it the way she says.
Or else.
It's a control issue. Some people are better at re-drawing boun…

Neat Ideas for Seniors - Or Anyone, Really

I liked many of these Life Hacks. The one about using a spring on tech cords is genius.

One project that most of my senior friends talk about it getting rid of clutter. Over the years, most of us have accumulated WAY too much, and it's making us feel overwhelmed.

I'll admit that I'm bad, and my husband is, as well. We have more things than we can reasonably use in one lifetime - which, by the way, is getting shorter (well, it is, even for younger people).

So, over the next couple of months, I'm going to post about my progress here, with pictures.

Feel free to use the comments to add any ideas of your own, or to brag about your own progress in Taming The Clutter Monster!

Current plans:

I'll be out most of the day, shopping for various things. Den and I decided to make a day of it, perhaps going to Gastonia or elsewhere to shop, eat, and generally relax.

One of the things we did this morning is something we should be doing more often - PLANNING our trip, to maximize …

Handling Chronic Pain

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This is likely to be a sleeper issue - one that will simmer for a long time, without hitting the headlines.

The issue of opiate abuse is, of course, a perennial favorite for the media, legislatures, and various advocates (for the addicted, for law & order, for morality police, etc.). That abuse usually centers on those individuals whose addiction makes them incapable of employment, care of minor children, or full participation in American Life.

Elder addiction?

Eh, not so important.

But, in fact, many of the elderly do become addicted to various painkillers, not just for diseases such as cancer, but also for back pain, joint pain, and other ills that disproportionately affect older Americans.

I generally try to avoid medicated pain relief. I do so not just because of the possibility of addiction, but also because of the high risk of liver damage - even for such meds as Ibuprofen, Aspirin, and Tylenol.

One med that I've been using on a daily basis is Mobic, or Melexicam. It'…

Retirement Prep

We've been talking a lot lately, and we are beginning to plan our purchases more prudently - with an eye to what might be useful in retirement, but, also, what would fit into a reduced budget.
An example of this is a wish Dennis had before Christmas - he's long wanted a good camera, and he found one at a good price - $400, one that had been more originally.
My first impulse was to say, fine, that can be your Christmas gift. Den was actually the one to hesitate in buying. He decided to think about it for awhile.
Now, we will have some room in our budget for indulgences like that - not everyday, but certainly, annually. The change we will have to make is to plan for these financial outlays.

[POST-CHRISTMAS]

We're back at work today - Den had kids yesterday, mine come for the first time today. I have 3 preps - it may be difficult, at first, but I'm looking forward to the change.

I signed my letter of intent for next year - the last time I should be doing that. I'm hop…