Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 Reading List

AFruitful Vine by Carrie Bender
A Winding Path by Carrie Bender
One with Christ by Hudson Taylor. 
In Siberia by Colin Thubron
The Greater Journey by David McCullough
A Joyous Heart by Carrie Bender
The Dogs of Bedlam Farm by Jon Katz
Lucy by Ellen Feldman. 
All through the Night by Grace Livingston Hill
Next to Love by Ellen Feldman
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett. 
The Greater Journey by David McCullough. 
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.  Audio CD.  Didn’t finish.
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Allan Bradley.
Haiti after the Earthquake by Paul Farmer.
Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchey.  Audio CD.
Lost in Shangri-La. by Mitchell Zuckoff
Beechwood Acres by Carrie Bender
One Amazing Thing
That Used to Be Us by Thomas Friedman.
One Fine Day by Mollie Panter-Downs.   
The Gift of Good Land by Wendell Berry. 
Henrietta's War by Joyce DennysHenrietta Sees It Through by Joyce Dennys. 
A Test of Wills by Charles Todd. 
Good Evening, Mrs. Craven by Mollie Panter-Downes. 
Second Nature by Michael Pollan.  
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. 
The End of Normal by Stephanie Madoff Mack.  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsen.  Boomerang by Michael Lewis. 

Second Nature by Michael Pollan

  Scattered through the verbage, the wordy points much belabored, the repetition, there are parts of this book that are humorous, thoughtful, and worth reading.  What should have been a 150 page book with clarity was actually a 320 page exercise in seeing how many times he can make the same point.

Waste of paper and ink.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Goals for 2012

The week between Christmas and New Years Day is a good time to set goals for the new year.  I've found that I accomplish more if I plan specific, reasonable goals for the year and hold myself to them.

Goals for 2012:

I.  Physical
          A. Maintain weight
                   a. Healthy eating
                   b. Gentle exercise
          B. Physical Exam
          C. Mammogram ; Gyn exam
          D. Dental Exams
II.  Spiritual
          A.  Church and ABF
          B.  Bible chapter each day
          C.  Spiritual book each month
III.  Professional
A.   Renew License—done
B.   Continuing Education hours
IV.  Financial
A.    Continue funding JMM 403b
B.    Savings
1.    Complete saving for Yard Scooter (Golf Cart)--done already thanks to a totally unexpected windfall.
2.    Begin saving for Sprinkler system
          D. Maintain debt free living
          E.  Increase charitable giving--We have decided to double our giving this year even though my retirement last year cut our income almost in half.
V.  Personal
          A.  Monthly haircut
          B.  Spring and fall clothes
          C.  Read good books
          D.  Go birding in Brownsville
          E.  Quilting
          F.  Expand Rose Garden
          G. Travel—NYC and/or Washington, D.C.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Winter Solstice

Long nights, quilts, hot tea and banana nut bread, soup, flannel pajamas and fuzzy house shoes, murder mysteries, remembering that I should have potted some paper whites or a bright red amaryllis weeks ago.

Now as the old adage goes, When the days begin to lengthen, the cold begins to strengthen.

The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper

So the shortest day came, and the year died,
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive,
And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us - Listen!!
All the long echoes sing the same delight,
This shortest day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, fest, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Boomerang by Michael Lewis

Boomerang by Michael Lewis.  There are many varieties of travelogues—some focus on the architecture of an area, others on the local cuisine, still others the flora or fauna of a natural area.  Michael Lewis in this book takes a tour of some of the countries where there has been a recent financial implosion—Iceland, Greece, Ireland, Germany, and yes, California.  It isn’t an in depth examination of the economies of these places;  it’s more a look at the culture of the people and the circumstances of a freewheeling banking system that  couldn’t bring itself to say “No” to even the most hair-brained financial scheme.  A good, light read on a really complicated subject.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Payroll Tax Holiday...or not

I do not particularly like paying taxes any more than anyone else but I have come to the conclusion that I hope Congress doesn’t get its act together enough to extend the current Payroll Tax holiday.  Why??  Because that is the money that funds Social Security.  Everyone runs around crying that the sky is falling because “Social Security won’t be there for me when I reach the age to need it.”  Well, duh, if you stop funding it, yes, when you need it, it probably won’t be there.  This is so typical of the American penchant for wanting the goodies without paying for them.  I happen to think that Social Security is a good thing as part of a retirement program and I want it to be there for me and for my descendants.  Therefore, it needs to be funded.  What a novel concept: If you want something, like say you want to start two wars on the other side of the world, you need to take out your wallet and pay for it. Same goes for Social Security.

It's over.

American troops are leaving Iraq.  What a terrible waste of lives and limbs and money.  I wonder what the Ministry of Perpetual War has in store for us next.  And unfortunately we will probably go marching patriotically right into it...again.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The End of Normal by Stephanie Madoff Mack

I've had a fascination with the Madoff saga from the first news reports. The people fascinated me. So wealthy by all appearances and leading charmed lives until one day it is all gone. And worse than that, you find that your loved family member is a cold-blooded criminal, a real sociopath. How on earth do you carry on with daily life? Stephanie Madoff Mack answers that sometimes you can't. She chronicles her life from the time she met and fell in love with Mark Madoff, eldest son of Bernie and Ruth Madoff, through their courtship, marriage, and birth of their daughter and son. She describes the stunned response as Bernie confesses to his two sons, Mark and Andy, that he has stolen the life savings of thousands of people, many of them relatives and close friends. For two years, Mark and Stephanie tried to pick up the pieces and build a new life and each time they thought that hey were going to get past the shame and rebuild they lives, something would happen to throw them back into the pit of shame and depression. In the end, Mark couldn't bear the pain and committed suicide. One question that was finally answered in my own mind was that Bernie's wife, sons, brother, and family really had no idea that he was anything but the loving husband, father, and grandfather and gifted businessman that they thought he was. It really was an epic tragedy.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsen

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsen.  It is likely that I would not have read this book if it had not been a selection for my book club.  I won’t write much of a review because I seem to be the last person on earth to have read it.  The book has two themes—a business/finance machinations story and a murder mystery story.  The murder mystery part was really good but IMHO the business/finance story dragged on.  The strong points of the book to me were the well-drawn characters, each unique and clearly portrayed. I give it about 3.5 stars.  I'm not planning to read the sequels.

Monday, December 5, 2011


Today is my birthday and I am 64 years old.  I'm not young and it doesn't bother me at all.  One of the wonderful things about getting old is that you can relax and just be.  I love the poem below and it sums up my aging philosophy.


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When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.

I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.

I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other peoples' gardens
And learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickles for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

BTW, I am spending my pension not on brandy and summer gloves but on roses and birding and quilting and books.  And I wore purple last Friday.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A First

This is the first year in 25 years that I have been off for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. And New Years.  I was pretty much the proverbial Grinch at holiday time.  The hospital was usually jammed, the surgery schedule packed, and we were typically short-staffed with employees out sick or on PTO.   I was usually not very merry.  Not this year!!  I get all the fun and none of the headaches!! And people ask me if I miss working!! HA!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I've missed the sound and smell of rain.

It is raining, pouring buckets, not just a shower but a steady soaking rain.  It's been a long time since I've heard that sound and smelled the scent of wet earth and plants.  I've often thought that the smell was the prayer of thanks that the plants were sending heavenward.  (Rationalists tell me it's ozone but I don't have to believe them.)  The sound of this kind of rain is so calming, soothing.  We had a house once with cala lillies near the windows and the sound of rain on those broad leaves put me to sleep every time.  I know that the east and northeast has had more than enough rain this year but here on the Texas Gulf Coast, it has been a long dry year.  Showers of blessings indeed!

Post Thanksgiving Clean Up

This morning I cleaned out the refrigerator.  I made up dinners from the leftover turkey, dressing, and corn and labeled them and put them in the freezer.  I still had dressing left over so I froze a good sized container of that.  With the very last of the turkey and gravy, I mixed up one last dinner for Daisy.  (Doggies have to have Thanksgiving leftovers too.)

Now it is time to get out the Christmas stuff.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I was listening to the Diane Rehm Show this morning on NPR and got so aggravated that I just shut it off.  Most days I really enjoy her program but today’s show just rubbed me the wrong way.  The entire hour was on the importance of Black Friday , Independent Saturday, Green Monday shopping.  The constant reference to “the consumer” was like pouring alcohol on a skinned knee.  I shouted at the radio “I AM NOT A CONSUMER!!”  I am a human, a woman, a citizen but NOT A CONSUMER!!  I am not some kind of advertising activated consumption machine!!   I like items that last and I like to mend and repair things that just need a patch and then are good to go.  In my opinion, one of the big drivers getting us in the current financial fiasco is people buying too much stuff, too much house, too many toys.  A lot of people wouldn’t be in such bad shape if they’d ignored all the advertising hype, stayed out of debt, and saved their money.  All the crap trashes the environment in its production, transportation, and finally in the landfill.  Frankly, it is disgusting and I am embarrassed by the feeding frenzy. And finally, I AM NOT A CONSUMER!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson.  Biographies are usually more interesting to me about the person’s early life and my interest tends to wane as they pass into adulthood.  However, this book was so well written and so interesting all the way through that I couldn’t put it down.  I am so conflicted about Steve Jobs—I want to say what an egomaniac he was and how mean he was and that just because you are a genius, you really aren’t the center of the universe.  But I have a hard time saying those critical things because…I am writing this on my i-pad.  Would anyone else have revolutionized communication the way he did?  I doubt it.  Could he have been other than what and how he was.  No way. He really was special.

The Washington Budget Fiasco

I suggest that we put Congress on a contract basis.  We hire them as independent contractors (no benefits) to make a budget and they get paid only when the budget is completed, passed, and signed.  If they aren't able to perform, they don't get paid and we outsource it to India.  OK, we just fire them and try again in 2012.

Friday, November 18, 2011

My Vacation Manifesto

My husband and I have been married for 43 years and I love him dearly. But (you knew there was a "but" coming) we have vastly different ideas on what a vacation is.  His idea of a vacation is to head off in a vague direction of what to see and what to do, a hotel is a place to spend minimum time--shower, sleep, dump stuff off--no need for reservations, any place will do.  He likes to walk and see where it leads him--sidewalks, swamps, seashores--you never know what you'll find. Grab a sausage biscuit at McD's, fine for breakfast, Diet Cokes and peanuts for snacks, no problem. (And he wonders why he comes home from trips bloated, constipated, and grouchy...)

This is a fine idea for some people but it is not my idea of a vacation.  For many years I tried to be a good sport and go along & get along.  It was possible when we were young and mobile but I am now 64 and can't walk.  So in preparation for our next vacation, I have issued My Vacation Manifesto.  So here it is:

My Vacation Manifesto
1.   I have a destination with a hotel reservation at the end.
2.   I don’t stay in crappy motels.  I stay at Marriott, Hyatt, or similar quality. The hotel room must be equipped with handicapped  accessible toilet and shower with bath seat.
3.   I get 2 hours alone time daily.
4.   I eat breakfast at the hotel each morning and evening meal at a nice restaurant. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Winter Clothes Part 2

I ordered everything on the shopping list except the shoes from LLBean and here are the results:

2 pair slacks--The brown ones came but the olive are on backorder until Jan 4; fit is good.
2 pullover sweaters--Love the cranberry mock turtleneck but the gold/brown is too big--will exchange for smaller size
1 pair pjs--These are the softest things I've ever had one; so comfortable I may just live in them!!

Still need to order shoes.  I want brown lace up shoes. Have to keep looking--online.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Good Evening, Mrs. Craven

Good Evening, Mrs. Craven by Mollie Panter-Downes.  This book is a collection of short stories written by MPD in England during WWII and published in the New Yorker magazine from 1939 to 1945.  While the setting for the stories is quite dated, the characters are not.  In fact, you probably knows some of them (or their counterparts) today.  There’s Mrs. Ramsay who meets an old beau for lunch and determines that she made the better choice with Mr. Ramsay.  But then there is Mrs. Craven who wonders how she will know if her lover is killed or wounded in battle since notifications are sent to wives and families...and she is neither.  There’s Frances who shares her home with Margaret and is envious of Margaret’s baby, George.  Opposite her is Mrs. Craig who is almost unable to contain her joy when her guests leave.  The characters are so clearly drawn that you are bound to recognize several.  The stories are such delights that I found myself saving one each day until after dinner to read for dessert.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Indulging our affections

Mary Muncil in her wonderful blog  used the phrase "indulging our affections" and it struck a chord with me.  Sometimes I feel guilty when spending time just playing with the cats or when I just can't stop my quilting.  Well, no more--I am indulging my affections.  DH is helping me indulge my rose affection/addiction;  he is making a new rose bed for me.  We have the new Edmunds Rose catalog and how easy it is to indulge my affections there!!  Another affection to indulge is bird watching; Thanksgiving week we are going birding down the Texas Gulf Coast to Corpus Christi and on down to Brownsville.  What a wonderful indulgence.  I think that is what I am enjoying so much about retirement--I have time to indulge my affections.

Weather like this

is what we here on the Texas Gulf Coast wait for all through July, August, and September.  As we sweat and swat mosquitoes, we remind ourselves that eventually it will be October and November.  We know that we will be able to open the doors and windows, go outside without sun block or insect repellant.  Beautiful days and nights cool enough for a quilt.  Gives me energy to clean out the garage...or at least think about cleaning out the garage.  DH and I are planning another birding trip Thanksgiving week--going down the coast toward Corpus Christi and on to Brownsville. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

November Soup--Potato Leek Soup

First soup report!!  It was so easy and so good!!

Potato-Leek Soup
(Crock Pot)

4 cups diced potatoes
3 cups thinly sliced leeks
2 cans chicken broth
8-10 slices bacon cut in ½ inch pieces, cooked and drained
1 cup evaporated milk
salt & pepper to taste
shredded cheese (Optional)

Combine first 4 ingredients in Crock Pot and cook on low for 8- 10 hours. Add evaporated milk and adjust seasonings during last 30 minutes cooking. Puree about 2/3 and add back into the remaining soup stir. Top with cheese if desired.

This one is a definite keeper.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Winter Clothes

To put it mildly, I hate clothes shopping.  The only thing I hate worse than clothes shopping is shoe shopping.  OK, that's not true.  I hate the entire Republican presidential field even more but that's another post.  So it is time to patch up the wardrobe with some needed winter clothes.  What do I need?

2 pair slacks
2 pullover sweaters
1 pair shoes
1 pair of pjs
I don't need a coat because our winters last approximately 30 minutes and my REI coat will probably never wear out.

I really like LLBean because the stuff is classic, fits well, they pay shipping, if I need to return anything there is zero hassle, and I can order it online and I don't have to set foot in a mall.  Malls just set my teeth on edge and the minute I set foot in one, I just want to escape.  I did go to the mall a couple of weeks ago to find DD's Christmas present and I have to admit that I did find a good parking place, and after I found the store, the staff was very helpful and had just what I was looking for.  But still, I just wanted to escape.

We'll see how this shopping trip goes.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Some Recent Reads

The Gift of Good Land by Wendell Berry.  While I can’t argue with anything that Berry says about the importance of husbanding good land, I think he forgets that not all of us are either capable of or inclined toward being farmers.  I loved the essays about the individual farmers and how they cared for the land and animals in their care.
Henrietta Sees It Through by Joyce Dennys.  Henrietta Brown is the doctor’s wife in a small English village during WW II.  She and her family and friends carry on with their lives and duties during that difficult time.  Dennys is a wonderful portrayer of human nature.  I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the delightful line drawing illustrations that are scattered throughout the book bringing the characters even more to life.  Along with her previous book Henrietta’s War, be prepared not to be able to put these wonderful books down.

One Fine Day by Mollie Panter-Downs.  I should have loved this book but I found it tedious and boring.  Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for a book written in such a hushed tone.  I think I will try it again sometime because I really should have liked it...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Who is Kim K. ?

Everytime I open Yahoo there is some new drama about Kim K. I haven't a clue as to who she is and why I should be so fully informed about her life.  Ack!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Soup of the Month

I want to learn to make some different soups so I have designated 2012 as the Year of Soup.  Each month I will make a different soup.  I’m sure we’ll like some better than others but we shall try them all: 

January Chickpea Soup a la Provencal 
February Bouillabaise
March St. Patrick's Irish Cheddar
April Italian White Bean & Spinach
May Chicken Soup with Rice
June Pasta e Fagioli
July Shrimp & Con Chowder
August Gazpacho
September Swiss Chard & Lentil Soup
October Veggie Soup
November Potato Leek Soup
December Yellow Pea Soup

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Waste of It All

Rod Dreher has a good post up about the end of the Iraq War.

"The waste of it all." sums it up for the Iraq war.
"The waste of it all." will sum it up when we end the war in Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Uganda, and the others that we don't even know about yet.

Birding Galveston Island

It was a perfect day for birding!! Cool temperatures, clear skies, and two wonderful companions—JMM and Daisy!!  We left at dawn and drove to Galveston.  As usual great birding along the frontage road leading to the causeway and along East Galveston Beach.  Here’s the list for the day:

Mourning dove
Red-Tailed Hawk
Turkey Vultures
Brown Pelicans (lots)
Belted Kingfisher
Great Egret
White Ibis
Tricolored Heron
Willets (always)
Great Blue Heron
Little Egret
Reddish Egrets
Laughing Gulls (many)
Royal Terns
Ring-billed Gulls
Snowy Plover
Forster’s Tern
Herring Gull
Lesser/Greater Yellowlegs
Black-necked Stilt
Rusty Blackbird
White-tailed Kite

Pretty good for a morning's birding!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011


All through this summer's horrid drought, we consoled each other by remembering two things.  The roses were outstanding this year because it was too dry for them to be blighted by the usual fungus infestations.  And secondly, this year we could rejoice being outside in the evenings because there were no mosquitoes to drive us mad.

Well, we had some rain last weekend and by Friday, we were unable to step outside without being covered with the little beasties!!  It seems that we are getting a whole year's worth of mosquitoes all in one week.  You can watch people as they are driving smashing their hands against the car window trying to rid themselves of the maddening creatures that they are confined with.  Last night I found myself with a blanket over my head while watching a Netflix DVD because there was this kamikaze mosquito determined to suck blood from my inner ear.

Mosquito by Deborah Frontiera

Familiar whine in my ear
You settle on my forearm
Prepare to pierce my skin with your proboscis
I raise my had to strike
What if I let you complete the cycle?
You might feed the songbird
Who cheers my day.
You larvae might feed the minnow
Who feeds the fingerling
Who feeds the pike
Who feeds me.
You might be a meal
For the brown bat
Whose guano fertilizes
Tomatoes for my salad.
But not today.

Friday, October 21, 2011

One War Down, At Least One to Go

President Obama has declared victory in Iraq and the troops not attached to the U.S. Embassy will be leaving Iraq by the end of the year.  (My immediate thought was "End of which year??" but it appears that it is by the end of this year.)  Thank goodness, it's finally coming to an end.  I am still suspicious that they will be moved from Iraq to Somalia, Yemen, Uganda, etc. but then I am a suspicious person.

My suggestion is that he declare victory in Afghanistan and save us all a lot of trouble (and lives and limbs).  Whether we declare victory today, next year, or five years from now, the future of Afghanistan is up to the Afghans. 

I will continue my weekly letter writing campaign to the President about this matter.  (Hey, it can't hurt...)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

SSDI or not??

I am disabled from a progressive neuromuscular disease;  I worked until I could not work any longer.  I have not applied for SSDI and don’t intend to.  Why not?  I suppose that I could spend the money but in all honesty, I don’t really need it.  I know people whose disability has caused them real hardship and they flat need the money but I don’t.  I do plan to draw my Social Security when I turn 66 because by then DH will be retired (maybe) and we will be drawing down our retirement savings.  My sister-in-law thinks I’m dumb not to take the SSDI and maybe I am…but then maybe I’m happy with enough.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Sleep(less) Study

I had a sleep study done last night and what an ordeal that was!!  I checked in at 7:30 and the technician started getting me ready.  It took about 30 minutes to get all the monitoring electrodes in place: on my scalp, on my face, on my neck, chest, back, and two on each lower leg; a belt loosely around my chest and one around my waist;  and last but not least, a face mask over my nose and mouth with a tube attached to a CPAP machine.  Good night, sleep well…How on earth can anybody sleep with all that??—and don’t forget the camera staring down at you.  I turned the lights off at 10pm and lay there sleepless until about 1 am, dozed/slept until 5am.  I can’t imagine how that is reflective of a normal night but I suppose it is the best that can be done to get the information.  I should get the results in about a week.  The cost to me so far has been $45 co-pay to the sleep doc, $42 for the mask and tubing, and $289 for the sleep study itself (insurance paid 80% and I paid 20%).

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The New Quilt

I finished this quilt last week.  I am calling it Jewels.  Reason number 97 that I am so glad that I retired--I can finish my quilts in less than a year!! LOL!!  I have the next quilt cut out--it is a Hearts applique made from leftover fabric from this quilt and another.  I'll post a picture when I have the top together.  And I also have fabric for a baby quilt--but I have until April to get that one done.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

We've gone mad.

That's it, the USA has gone stark raving bonkers.  What other explanation could there be for:

1. We are sending troops into Uganda to end the Lord's Liberation Army.  I suppose our stellar experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan have emboldened us to take on another area of the world.  (Can the Nobel Peace Prize be rescinded?)

2, The state of Texas is considering adding a confederate flag to the available vanity license plates.  There is certainly nothing else our legislature should be dealing with.

3. Oh wait, we do have one other issue here in Texas that is of some urgency--immigration.  We don't want to be outshone by Alabama now do we.  ( I wonder which group of immigrants should be deported--the Mexicans, or the Texans.)

I'm taking a News Fast for a week.  I just can't stand it.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

That Used to Be Us by Thomas Friedman

Thomas Friedman hits all the right points in listing our national problems—Energy, Education, Debt,  Jobs.  He accurately describes the problem, gives a history of the problems, gives concrete examples of the problem, tells why it is a problem. And then he discusses solutions for the problem—which is the problem with the book.  You see, Tom, if human nature were as good as it would take us to be to implement these solutions, we wouldn’t be in the frigging mess we’re in in the first place.  If you are an optimist, Wow, you’re going to be bowled over by the terrific solutions to all these national problems.  If you are a crabby pessimist like me, well, it just isn’t going to happen....which is a real shame.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Retirement 5 months in

One of my more annoying habits is to make a decision and then beat myself up because I didn't decide the other way.  It wouldn't matter when side I chose, I would look at all the benefits of the other side and berate myself for not chosing the other side.  Anyway, I can honestly say that I have not once, not for one minute, wished that I was still working.  That amazes me because I was very proud of my profession, I worked at a prestigious institution, and if I say so myself, was darn good at it.  I had often thought that I would be bored or lonely without my work.  Ha! I love being busy at my quilting, reading another chapter, cooking something new, watching the birds at the feeder.  I am busy without being pressured and I love it!  I'm not lonely because I've never been one that has to have others around all the time.  I see my family about as much as we all want to see each other, I'm in a really good book club, there's a quilt group that I can drop in on if I want, and I see my church friends almost every week.

One thing that I am wondering about is DH.  He is still working and I am wondering how we will rub each other once he retires??  I love him dearly but too much togetherness may grate.  I guess we will cross that bridge when we get to it.

Monday, October 3, 2011

3rd Quarter Financials

I finished the Quarterly Financial Statement this morning and while the market is down, we still have $815,000 in our retirement accounts.  Since we aren't planning to take any withdrawals until we have to at age 70 1/2, I try to focus on how we are buying while the market is down and hoping that the market will have recovered in 5 1/2 years.  Total Net Worth is down correspondingly to $1,352,678.

We need to set up a new Excel Spreadsheet and graph.  I have been tracking on the current StarOffice spreadsheet since 1996 and so much of our investments, properties, and savings has changed.  It is fun to look back and see how the graph has risen but I think it would be cleaner and easier to do on a nice fresh Excel Spreadsheet.