Monday, May 30, 2016

Adjusting to Not Saving

For the last thirty years we have been great savers.
Paid off cars and houses and kid educations
Saved like crazy for retirement.
Invested in the market.
Lived in cash.
Never got a debit card.

At 65 &58 we have to get out of the mode
that every extra penny should be saved
for us.

Neither of us want to travel much
except to see the kids,
and maybe Israel,
and Scotland.
We have the funds to do those,
if we choose.
We saw most of the world that interested us
in our younger years.
Great memories!


We have always used the
"you need about
$250,000 for end of life medical stuff".
We saved that years ago.
That is the base
although both of us agree on DNR
for tough calls.


Both of us want to be cremated.
Something small and peaceful for the family gathering
That eliminates the need for big bucks for funerals.
Whew.
A bit of savings done there.

We don't, really, have a charity that we are wild about
No need to scrimp for them
The salaries are out of control
anyway.

We don't want for much.
Actually, I cannot think of anything we are in need of.
Our pension/ SS stash pays all of our bills.
With some left over.

That leaves grandchildren education
and maybe helping with children's houses.
Hummmmmm

Memorial Day

It is good to put your life into perspective.


Three of our fiends are buried at Arlington.

 This was the father of one of my husband's closest friends.  He was an amazing influence on his entire family---and the men who rescued him and brought him to the US.
 Stephen was just fun. We spent many hours with him at "Advanced Course" with the Army playing RISK until all hours of the morning. The last time I saw him was on a metro platform while taking my class to Washington DC May before Sept 11. He was in the Pentagon when the planes hit.
Aaron was just a kid. He played soldier with my son on the compounds of Saudi Arabia that we lived on. He was attending the Citadel as a reservist when his company was called out.  He had the option to not go- since he was in his senior year- but chose to go anyway.  He was killed in a fire fight.

No  grave marker for my Great Uncle Evans.  His ship was shot out from under him in the Pacific. He had been directing gunfire from the deck and was one of the last to leave even though he was seriously injured in the firefight early on.

My father in law served on the Enola Gay.
Before the bird flew they were taken to meet the troops who
were about to invade Japan.
He said the estimates of casualties were well into the millions.
He never spoke of his service, until he knew it unclassified fifty years after the fact.
We found a few pictures of him.


No picture of my brother  in law's grave. Ron was in Vietnam as a door gunner for a medical helicopter. If you watch the movies, the door gunner had to decide when to leave a hot zone and who to leave behind. He never spoke of his experiences, but lived with them until he died ten years ago. We are pretty sure the weird cancer he passed away from was caused by Agent Orange.

On this Memorial Day we remember those who gave their lives in our service. Most of the men in my life, who were the most important to my shaping, served. One day of remembrance is simply not enough.


Saturday, May 07, 2016

Mother's Day


We are so blessed to have two wonderful young women
who are having and raising our grandchildren.
They should be celebrated until the cows come home.

My daughter just had her third child.
My hat is now, officially, off for those of you who have raised three (or more) children.
What a balancing act.
With the two of ours- there was always enough hands.
Add that third and you get
Woooo

Even with me there three days a week
life is sooooo fast paced.
She seems so calm and collected.
She just makes me smile.
Our oldest grandson fell off his bike
After the adults all laughed (in the other room) at how funny the slow motion crash looked
She went in and calmly consoled the hurts.
When I handed her the baby at 12:45 am and proclaimed my night was over because it was 2:45 am in my mind. She nodded (in her sleep) and took the squirming baby.
Last, but not least is her ability to work with Mr Non Stop!

My daughter in law is terrific with an entirely different way of handling things.
She has slowly given into the whims of my husband encouragements of Katie Perry and Frozen.
What a saint.
Our oldest granddaughter tumbles and critics better then any two year old on the earth.
OTOH our grandson is learning how to crawl.
Really, he just wants to race the dog to the couch.
Everyone is in stitches.

Life without these two women would be boring.
They bring joy to all
and they are some of the most thoughtful and loving mothers I have ever known.
Of course---they are ours.
Happy Mothers' Day ladies!


Sunday, May 01, 2016

Downsizing and sets of twelve

We downsized a great deal when we move.
At $1 a piece we made well over a thousand dollars
and wrote off many more thousands.
After twelve moves, it was time to say good bye to chipped glasses
stuffed animals,
clothing



You get the idea.
Lots and lots of stuff.
We moved. Our children each had two children.
And now they are uneven with three and two.
And the "two family" has plans for more.

Last night I woke in a cold sweat.
Our dining table can seat 12- but we only purchased 10 chairs.
Hey, it was thirty years ago.
Never in my mind did I think we would need twelve.
Mom told me to ask for a set of twelve of my china when we got married.
Ten was plenty I scoffed.
(That is OK since I don't really like my china anymore.)

The hunt for sets of twelve are on.
Maybe I had better make it fourteen, just in case!

So much for downsizing.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Gardening

The front yard is a mess
but that is not my interest
nor my choice for a money hole.

Instead the garden grows on the side of the house.
My husband built a raised garden for me.
My knees are not great these days.
We added twenty bags of dirt and the compost.
He built a cage around it.
It was planted last week. 
Tomatoes, peas, peppers, carrots, spinach.
Just before the rain came.
The peas got fried before the rain appeared.
We may have to reseed in a few weeks.
The pots took on the plants
that love to take space.

Last year the rabbits ate my raspberries and blueberries to the ground.
We caged them in February.
They seem to be making a come back.
Planted garlic in October.
Have no idea when to pick them.
That tall middle tree fell during one of our big winds last month
Now it is curing for next year.

Yes, Spring is finally here!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Earth Day

Making my existence a bit more earth friendly is important.

What happened this year?

We used half the amount of propane for heat this year then last.
Opening and closing blinds at certain times of the day was a major help.

A number of solar lights made it into our lives.

Most of the "regular lamps" are now led.
A solar oven has arrived.
Learning how to use it will be a delight of the summer.
Our garden is up (literally) and running.
The plants that were not sprouted in our kitchen were sprouted by Mrs Yoder in the next community.

The new composter has produced the first batch of soil for the box.
This will be the second time for the local CSA. Yum.
We also have started to purchase all of our eggs, chicken and beef locally.

The stream at the back of our property had bogged in a few places. Some work in the late winter cleared the bogs and the stream is once again flowing properly.
The two of us worked several trail projects for the town. Litter still seems to be a problem in Delaware.

A good start for our new home.
Happy Earth Day!

Saturday, April 09, 2016

New baby and old traditions.

Our newest grand arrived last week.
She is precious.
She also has joined a household of two rough and ready boys!
Her two year old brother will teach her to jump from anywhere.
Her eight year old brother will teach her to read and do Minecraft.
My life has been put on hold
while I make dinners and rock children to sleep.
It is a good life.

Our religious traditions continue in two weeks.
The eight year old receives Holy Communion.
Four weeks later his sister will be Baptized.
These ceremonies are important to the child
but they are also a long standing part of my family.
The part that brings a tear to my eye
is that we are celebrating these passages
in the same community my father's family celebrated
for several hundred years.
Considering my family has never thought of themselves with long roots,
it is important for me to see they are re established here.

My days are long
but there is nothing like them.
What to do in retirement?
Travel?
Adventures?
Family?
The last is the best for me.