Saturday, January 06, 2018

Get Rich Slowly returns!

My writing of this diary blog began in 2006.
My husband had retired from the military
we had lived seven years in my family home state
and had moved to Kansas.
I started writing to keep track of the pace of life.

Kansas was sort of a do over.
We were struggling in many, many ways.
One was financially.
The first years I continued in a job that had me on the road,
with no complaints from me,
for about 200 nights a year.
That told us, both, our marriage was a mess.

Our children had moved away.
Both of us suffered, severely, with PTSD.
My sister's husband  and my husband's brother
were both suffering from the brutality that is cancer.
My dad was declining fast of Parkinson's
and
we were just holding on.
I do remember just trying to think of reasons to stay alive.

We were living paycheck to paycheck,
and making the most money
ever,
in our lives.

Blogs had just become a "thing".
Get rich slowly had just started up.
JD seemed like a nice enough guy.
Although I owed no money,
we had about $20,000 in savings for retirement
at the ages of 50 and 57.

And so JD's journey began, as did ours.
Although my husband never joined in the reading
he was willing to do what was needed to get on stable ground.

I quit the travel
and took a teaching job in town.
The three men passed, and then a sister in law.
Our daughter got married.

We followed three things: Mater Your Money by Ron Blue
Jane Bryant Quinn's Complete Money Book
and Get Rich Slowly.

We were well on our way when JD sold his blog in 2012
smooth sailing, never looking back
(OK- just a glance)
We stayed the course that JD set out
in our own way.
After twelve years of blogging I can say that we are solid in our plans
and our future
and our finances.
We are not rich,
as far as "rolling in the dough"
but I learned a lot from JD about how to think about money.

JD just bought back his blog in October!
His articles are solid.
He is one of the bet writers out there IMHO.
If you have any desire to rebuild or build further
you might consider getting on his feed.

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Car trip with a dog

Being a military family
we have transported dogs across country and around the world.
Our bravest dog was Annie
She traveled from Australia to Hawaii to become our family member.

We transported her to Saudi Arabia.
She kept the workers out of our house and redid the kitchen when we left her too long.
Last, she moved with us to Flagstaff
As a shepherd, we thought she was much happier at 30 degrees then 120 degrees.

Most of the time we actually traveled, though,
our dogs have been kenneled.
(Well, there was that one 2400 mile Western tour
we did with Suzie the mastiff in the back seat.)

I digress.

Our last two moves we have transported the dogs in the front seat
with a platform of some sort
to help them see out the window.
Not ideal, but it worked for four days at a stretch.

Now our 20 lb, full of vim and vigor, Jack Russel

(who hates to travel)
will be in the truck with us.
The logistical nightmare will take some planning.
How about a platform made of storage areas for the back seat? 
If I take two of these boxes and cover the top with batting and flannel.
They might fit on either side of the bump in the well 
(Where everything disappears anyway).
What should I put on the bump?
Why hasn't anyone come up with a solution to this problem?
Heck, I am retired
what better time to figure it out.
I have a few months, after all.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Road Trip Experience?

My family is having a reunion
In Phoenix
We live
in Delaware

Did you know an average trip for two
to Phoenix
by plane
with a car
and a hotel
is about
$2000?
Forget that!
We hate to fly and get sick almost every time.

We are going on a road trip!

As long as we are in the truck,
my husband wants to see Wyoming,
(Maybe we will live there one day,
so we need to see it. Of course that we are
in our 60's and have sworn that we will not
move for another 10 years means nothing.)
and his brother in Idaho,
and his sister in Lost Wages.

We have traveled most of the roads before
At different points of our lives.
We have basic expectations
no real schedule
and we have a reliable vehicle
which will be, for the most part, empty of heavy things
because we are staying in hotels.
Yes

is our friend
Indian owned
they will let us bring the dog!
We will also be looking at military base lodging along the way.


Our trip 6,000 mile trip will look a bit like this:
OK- stop laughing.
You have to keep in mind that I road tripped to Phoenix from Kansas
at least once a year before we moved.
My husband made five trips in a month to move us from
Kansas to Delaware.
Yes, the road is his friend.

The planning begins
I am finding my skills at packing for a month are sorely lacking
Without moving every 18 months, "Rusty" is my new middle name.
Pintrest is my new best friend.
Hubby is pretty good with trouble shooting the mechanics
We are good about sharing the driving.

What would you pack?
Time for the lists to begin!


Sunday, December 31, 2017

Some things will change. Some will stay the same.

2017
The year of staying put
But plenty of change

Our sons were the maker of change in 2017
Our son moved his family from the West Coast to the East 
He will be the shared source of change next year again
adding another child to his family.
What ever happened to family names?
Still, one last whiff of newborn 
I love this little one already!

Our son in law moved on to a better job
Thank the Lord
The end of the year ended badly though
His 53 year old father passed away.

As sad as that is, it is worse because there is no will
and probate court is not a farmer's friend.
We feel helpless as we listen to a 30 year old 
trying to figure out the law from a different state
and how to keep cattle alive in the bitter cold.

We have decided, for sure, that we will not move again 
for ten years
(famous last words at our table).
So, the bathroom will get done this year.

And the travel from the local Air Force base will also happen
maybe in the fall of 2018
Maybe Europe
Maybe Hawaii
Maybe we will leave for elections
since our vote does not really count 
because the one big city in our state decides all.

We will not get another dog 
for at least a year.
We miss our Shepherd 
our Jack Russel misses her more
but the Jack is easier to find someone to stay with
alone.

We may get an Alexa
Enough said?

We did get a rowing machine
And now our records are all out of their hiding places
so we can row to OUR music of old
When did WE get old?
It has been 30 years since I listened to the White Album
and we have a new turn table
who knew????

We will continue to save
when we are not on the road
and when we want to
otherwise,
our spending will equal our income
(including that $300 yearly tax break).

I need to find a good volunteer gig
Now that the grands are starting in school
there has to be someplace real to spend my time.
Maybe the newborns at the hospital
Maybe driving Amish families to the hospital
Maybe working more hours at the food pantry.

Even my friends who just moved to Southern Delaware 
have found more community then I have.
UGG! It IS me, not the area.

We are going to visit Phoenix
at least twice next year
and hear my mother say
we never come to see her anymore.

Otherwise, things will stay the same
I will still snore
We will stay married
We will watch movies about three times a week
I will, attempt to, catch up with my husband's two book a week reading habit
I'll probably put another 15000 miles on my car 
seeing my grands several times a month
(that may, again, put a cramp on the reading)

How about the train?
I hear Grand Central can be my friend.
Since we got kicked off our flight from Disney
and took a 17 hour train ride back to Baltimore
trains have lost some of their mystery. 
But that was then and this is now.

I love the New Year.
I really do.
So much to look forward to.
Hope you are ready,
I sure am!
Happy New Year
2018

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Stockings are hung

Enjoy the HolyDays!
Christmas
Chanukah 
Solstice 
And if it isn't your holy day time, 
Enjoy the beautiful weather :)

Monday, November 13, 2017

A wedding and two funerals.

The phone began to ring a few months ago with news that my nephew (47) is marrying, for the first time, in Pennsylvania on my sister's anniversary. Can they come to "stage" at our house? Sure. It isn't an issue. Love my husband's family to pieces and would be delighted to do anything for/with them.  We prepared early. Beds were readied, blankets were fluffed and life was humming.

Then my son called. My daughter in law's best friend (31) had passed away from brain cancer. They would have a memorial service near the end of the month on the other side of the country. Could I come to his house and watch the kids while he taught and she traveled?  Sure. It isn't an issue. Great kids. Love my daughter in law to pieces and would do anything for the family.

Then my daughter called. Her father in law (53) passed away while herding cattle. Could we watch the older (4&10) boys while they traveled to my son in law's home to take care of things- from burying his father to beginning the estate? His parents have been divorced for many years. There was no will and son in law (30) is the oldest. Sure. As long as it does not overlap, it would be fine. Great kids. Love my son in law to pieces and would do anything for the family.

Novemeber has always been a crazy month.
My sister and brother in law were married 39 years ago. My nephew was to be married on the same date.
My father passed away 11 years ago. My daughter in law's friend will be remembered on the same date as his funeral.
My son in law's father passed away the same day as their wedding was announced, 11 years ago.

Reminders to me.
Remember to say, "I love you" every time you part from a loved one. My sister in law announced years ago that we are to say it at the end of every call. It is habit now. I am so glad we started.
Do a will!!!! Urge your children, brothers and sisters to do a will. Do a simple will if nothing else. Say good bye to your family in small ways. Make sure there is enough money to bury you somewhere that the family can get to.
Always have more blankets and extra coats. You never know when a 20degree day will show up in the middle of a beautiful fall.
Always be open. Life is fleeting.
I am SO thankful to be retired.
Even if I am tired again :)

Friday, October 27, 2017

What do you carry on a plane

It is the season for travel.
My back pack tends to have about fifteen things that simply stay put,
no matter where I am going.
They are things that seemed to come in handy when we were traveling overseas a great deal and in the 50 states as a company person.

First, I carry a 4 lbs back pack that can be carried like a suitcase.
Since I refuse to check bags, this has become my "go to" for a week of clothing.
A bit heavier for my purposes, but the convenience is huge.
One of the things I love are the pockets and packing system. 
Packing cubes are my friends as well.
This bag has a fold out water carrier- which can be repacked. 

What stays in my bag always?
Altoids tin: $20, bic lighter, several needles already threaded, 2 quarters, tiny flashlight, Swiss army knife, a couple of wipes, small copy of my driver's license in the top.
A pen and tiny notebook (I have carried post its as well)
Travel size bottles with: sunscreen, good lotion, shampoo, Vodka
Mylar blanket
Large, light silk scarf
Change of undies and socks
A few Granola bars
Woolite laundry soap (comes in packets)
Credit card multitool 
These do not stay in my pack, but they are often packed:
seven changes of undies,
Slip on shoes and warm socks,
more wash soap,
my fully charged Kindle- loaded with books and turned on to Airplane mode,
cords for media (packed in that small top pocket),
silk thermals (underarm can melt into your skin if caught on fire)

The heaviest things are my shoes.
I just don't know how to get around that, 
but my newest hiking boots are WAY lighter then any ones of the past. 
They weigh about two pounds. 

These days trips are all family related, 
but an airport is an airport. 

Happy travels!