Thursday, December 20, 2007


When you are learning to do new things on the internet; there are so many new worlds that open up to you. This was something I was able to create using my picture and pictures of my grandkids to create a fun Christmas card to send to people. I thought that you might like to see this as well. JibJab is a also a fun place to get jokes and other ecards. Check them out:

James and I are wishing everyone a very Happy and Healthy Holiday season. Get those New Year's resolutions ready to write down. We will share some of our thoughts on that subject after 2008 is officially here. Right now we are enjoying the season.

Don't send a lame Holiday eCard. Try JibJab Sendables!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

LIVING GREEN--Use Less Stuff

Another of the things that I can do for my children and my children's children!
My husband and I live in an area which is predominately older; therefore many things are simpler and less in quantity.....until we get to the holidays.

With out of town guests over Thanksgiving week; I found myself carrying out almost twice as much trash and recycling pieces than we usually have. As I looked around on our block; I realized that we were not alone in our increased consumption. Everyone had more "trash" than normal.

In an effort to do what I can for the Earth and the environment; I am always looking for the ways that we can make even little strides in conservation that will add up to large savings if done by many.

I found a site called ULS (Use less stuff)
Check out this site for a checklist of simple things you can do to reduce waste while you eat, drink, and make merry this holiday season.

The following "Did You Knows" will make you think.

**Did you least 28 billion pounds of edible food are wasted each year - or over 100 pounds per person. Putting one less cookie on Santa's plate will reduce his snacking by about 2 million pounds.
**Did you know...if each family reduced holiday gasoline consumption by one gallon (about twenty miles), we'd reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one million tons?
**Did you 1981 the average household received 59 mail order catalogues, and by 1991 the number had increased 140%, to 142?
**Did you know...if each household canceled 10 mail-order catalogues it would reduce trash by 3.5 pounds per year? (If everybody did this, the stack of canceled catalogues would be 2,000 miles high!)
**Did you know...the 2.65 billion Christmas cards sold each year n the U.S. could fill a football field 10 stories high? If we each sent one card less, we'd save 50,000 cubic yards of paper
**Did you know...if every family reused just two feet of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet?

Friday, October 26, 2007



"Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression." Dr. Haim Ginott (1922-1973) teacher, child psychologist and psychotherapist, who worked with children and parents.

Serving Children in Crisis: Save the Children Helps Children Impacted by California Wildfires and Seeks Public Support for Response
Save the Children staffer Nino Acuna plays with 5-year-old Angelina at a shelter in Santee, Calif. Save the Children provided games and other safe play materials to the shelter where Angelina and her family are sheltered. This is the second evacuation for them during this fire. Their house was destroyed in the fires of 2003. And they do not know the status of their current home.

Save the Children is calling on the public to support the agency's efforts to assist children and families affected by the devastating wildfires in Southern California. Today, Toys"R"Us, Inc. announced that the Toys"R"Us Children's Fund is supporting the response effort by donating $250,000 to Save the Children's California relief work.
Read more
Ten Tips to Help Children Cope with the California Wildfires
Following 9/11 and again after Hurricane Katrina, Save the Children prepared the following 10 tips to help adults support children through times of crisis.
Read more

Live from the Scene
Save the Children's staff on the ground in San Diego share their impressions of responding to the southern California wildfires.
Read more
Vice President, U.S. Programs Mark Shriver on Fox & Friends
Vice President, U.S. Programs
Mark Shriver on Fox & Friends
Assembling Safe Space Kits
Donate to support Save the Children's emergency management work in the United States, including our efforts in California and throughout the U.S.


If you or the group of which you are a member wish to make a contribution to the general fund to help the victims of the San Diego Wildfires, please read the following. We can't just shake our heads and feel sorry for these people; we need to step up and lend a helping hand.

Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by the fires raging through Southern California, and I know many of you want to help those in need with your time and money. So we would like to share some links with you from the Los Angeles Times about ways that you can get involved.

American Red Cross: Cash donations can be made through donate/donate.html">
or through a local Red Cross chapter. Volunteers also are needed. Information on shelter locations can be found on Red Cross websites for Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange and San Diego counties and the Inland Empire. Donations of clothing can be made at Goodwill locations. Information: (800) REDCROSS or (800) 257-7575 for Spanish speakers.

Salvation Army: Cash contributions can be made through its website or by calling (800) SALARMY.

Governor's Office of Emergency Services: Businesses wishing to donate large quantities of goods for distribution to fire victims can call (800) 750-2858 between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. Pacific time. Individuals wanting to donate items or volunteer to help with local disaster response efforts should contact the Red Cross or go to the governor's CaliforniaVolunteers website at

United Health Group: Southern Californians coping with the emotional consequences of the fires can call a counseling hotline at (866) 342-6892. The free service provided by the insurance company will be available around the clock for as long as needed.


The Los Angeles Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Cash donations are needed to support efforts to provide emergency shelter for animals displaced by the fires. Contributions can be made through or by calling (888) SPCALA1. Food supplies also are needed.

New Leash on Life: The animal rescue group needs help caring for evacuated pets at its Newhall facility. The group can be contacted at (661) 255-0097.

Regardless of which group of people tugs on your heart strings and plays your song; there are any number of titles you can listen to: children, people who have lost their home, the pets affected.
Please step out of your comfort zone and help the children, people, and animals in the most need right now.


"The universal brotherhood of man is our most precious possession."
Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Here is a follow-up of the post I made last night. Pictures speak so much louder than words. Our prayers and thoughts are with everyone who has lost their homes.

Now the evacuations total over 350,000---that is homes, not people. Now the estimated number of homes destroyed total over 1,000 and the numbers will surely increase with the Santa Anna winds continuing to rage through the area.

Monday, October 22, 2007


When we retired and moved from Nebraska to California; everyone told that we were moving to the state and area where there were earthquakes and the state was going to fall into the ocean. We laughed to ourselves and sometimes to the people who said that to us. We always tried to point out the number of earthquakes in California in a year compared to the number of tornadoes in Nebraska in a year. I actually drove through one driving home from Nebraska Wesleyan in Lincoln to my home in Omaha; being really homesick.

We have felt two earthquakes since we moved to California in 2001. Both times we had to ask each other, "Wow, was that an earthquake?". What we had not been warned about or prepared for were wildfires. Sure, since we moved here; we have seen wildfires burning on our TV from areas mostly far from us.

In 2003, there was a wildfire (now referred to the Cedars Fire) that was close to the area where we lived but not threatening to us. Today, in our community, we have lived in a state of emergency. We woke this morning at 4:30 because of the Santa Anna winds shaking the house. When we turned on the TV; we learned that the wildfire that had started in the area had been fueled by the Santa Anna winds into smaller wildfires around the San Diego area; including one in our new hometown.

Watching the local TV, we saw up close and personal the fires move from away from our "space" to encroaching upon it.

View Larger Map

We took the precautions and loaded up the trunk of our car with "things" that we had to take. How do you go through your home and think -- "What do I take that is invaluable to me?". I grabbed the many boxes of family and friend's pictures -- knowing that they couldn't be replaced. Grabbed important papers and packed clothes and toiletry/ medical needs. (I admit, I was ready to grab my pillow.) Took pictures on my digital camera of the rest of the belongings in our house in case we needed to file an insurance claim. What a trip that exercise will put you through.

We waited for the "reverse 911 call" that would tell us that we needed to evacuate our house. Once afternoon came and we could watch the sky from our driveway go from the ugly, gray, orange haze from the smoke to patches of blue sky with whiter clouds; we knocked on wood--hugged each other and thanked Mother Nature for sparing our immediate area.

Unfortunately, tonight we are still watching with apprehension as the winds and low humidity and dry conditions are posing new dangers for the night. Our trunk is still packed and we are staying vigilant. But our hearts go out to the people who did not escape the vicious fires. Over 250,000 people have been evacuated from their homes because of the danger; close to 500 homes have been damaged or destroyed with more on the way; 16 firefighters have been sent to the hospital, some in critical condition. I can't imagine the devastation we will see when this is over.

BUT, as a former Directore of a Volunteer Services Program in Nebraska, I am so impressed and moved by the outpouring of support from both businesses and individuals for the displaced homeowners and everyone affected by the wildfires. So heartwarming.

I am sure that most of you have seen the national news talking about these wildfires. If there is a way that you could support these people with a contribution; you can do so through the Red Cross.

"Since national is coming to help, we're asking people to donate to the national disaster relief fund and designate to the San Diego County Wildfires," said Jeff Wiemann, chief financial officer for the San Diego/Imperial Counties Red Cross.

Donors who want their contributions to the national fund to be earmarked for San Diego should use the account code No. 616.

However, San Diego Red Cross CEO Veronica "Ronne" Froman said last night, "If people want to send their donations to our chapter, that's their call."

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Where Do You Want to Go on Your Travels?

Travel is such an important part of our retirement adventure and finding information and links for "budget" travel is of great importance to us. This site is great.
What TheTravelzine Is All About
TheTravelzine is a strictly non-commercial
source of information for those who love
to travel. That's the dry definition. We
think TheTravelzine is for independent
travelers who know that anticipation is
half the fun, and that the joy of travel
is that much greater for the people you
meet, and the experiences you share.
Who Don
and Linda Are

Freedman, a retired marketing executive,
and his wife Linda have lived and raised
a family in multi-cultural Toronto,
Canada. Now that the kids are grown, they
can pursue their interest in other
cultures, their people, and their food by
traveling frequently. Like many
experienced travelers, they have
discovered the key to traveling on a
budget is also the key to a memorable
trip - picking up on the local way of
life as much as possible.
blog it

Thursday, October 18, 2007

BLOGGER, OLIVE RILEY, IS 108 on October 20,2007

Every once in awhile I will read or see something that makes me stop and really think. Why did that story or that video have that effect on me. Often it is because the message is one that brings up happiness or sadness, warm fuzzy feelings or cold, scratchy ones and sometimes it brings up one of those things that creates something to ponder. The story of Olive Riley, the 108 year old blogger is one such story. Her story rather brings up it all: happiness over seeing someone still so active and alive and sadness knowing how many people still fear and are disgusted with aging--their own and others. Warm fuzzy feelings when I see young people and elders interacting with each other and cold, scratchy ones when I read the ageist posts on some of the social networking sites. Ah, but the pondering!

Having just turned 68, I must confess that I have days when I bemoan what aging has done to my skin, my joints and my health. But most days when I look into the mirror and see that woman in there, I tell her--"You've come a long way, baby and I like you. Perhaps if you do a better job with your nutrition, your fitness and your brain; you can live to be as old as Olive".
Wow, that gives me 40 more years! If I haven't done by then the rest of the things that I want to do before I die; then I didn't try. So-- I will eat more fruits and vegetables, drink more red wine, stay with the yoga class, do my crossword puzzles in ink and wish Olive Riley the most wonderful birthday greeting ever.

Olive's 108th birthday is coming up on 20 October. Imagine! Telephones weren't even common when Olive was a kid and now she has a blog. What a great story. Visit her blog,
www.The Life of

and see the video of the kids who came to sing to Olive in honor of her birthday. The interesting part of that video is that there is 100 years difference between the ages of Olive and the age of the children. I love seeing Olive singing the words along with the kids who sang some of her favorite songs.

Ronni Bennett from www.As Time Goes has this request of other bloggers: "Let's give Olive a big blogosphere birthday bash from all over the world. Bloggers don't turn 108 every day, you know. Here's how it goes:

1. Create a birthday greeting for Olive. It can be as simple as "Happy Birthday, Olive" in great big letters or as complex as you want to make it - photographs, drawings, cartoons, pictures of balloons or a cake, audio, video, whatever.
2. Post it on your blog. In this case, we should do it the day before her birthday, on 19 October, because although it taxes my brain to keep it straight, Australian time is almost a day ahead of the U.S. and Europe time, and Mike tells me they will be getting together on the 20th for a celebration. Olive will be able to see the posts then or the next day.
3. After you've posted the greeting, go to Olive's blog www.The Life of and leave a comment on her latest post with a link to your greeting.

It's that easy. Let's make this the biggest elderblogger birthday bash there has ever been for one of our own. If you would like to tell your own blog readers about this project, feel free to copy any part of this post."


Sunday, October 14, 2007


Today is Blog Action Day, 2007

I believe that we all have an obligation to be more mindful of what we might be doing that is harmful to our environment; if not for ourselves--then for our children, our grandchildren and all children of the future. It is the hope that people who have blogs will use this day, October 15, 2007 to talk about environmental issues. Since I am always wondering what I, as just one person, can do to protect the environment; I decided that I would find a list of things that "just one person" can do not just today--but everyday. I have found a list of 50 things that I have printed out and will put up on our little bulletin board and see how many of them we can do. If I question why I am doing this; I just smile and think about the four reasons: Caitlin, Keagan, Ethan and Samantha; my grandchildren.

Top 50 Things To Do To Stop Global Warming

Global warming is a dramatically urgent and serious problem. We don't need to wait for governments to solve this problem: each one of us can bring an important help adopting a more responsible lifestyle: starting from little, everyday things. It's the only reasonable way to save our planet, before it is too late.

Here is a list of 50 simple things that everyone can do in order to fight against and reduce the Global Warming phenomenon: some of them are at no cost, some other require a little investment but can help you save a lot of money, in the middle-long term!

  1. Replace a regular incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb (cfl)
    CFLs use 60% less energy than a regular bulb. This simple switch will save about 300 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.

  2. Install a programmable thermostat
    Programmable thermostats will automatically lower the heat or air conditioning at night and raise them again in the morning. They can save you $100 a year on your energy bill.

  3. Move your thermostat down 2° in winter and up 2° in summer
    Almost half of the energy we use in our homes goes to heating and cooling. You could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year with this simple adjustment. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy has more tips for saving energy on heating and cooling.

  4. Clean or replace filters on your furnace and air conditioner
    Cleaning a dirty air filter can save 350 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.

  5. Choose energy efficient appliances when making new purchases
    Look for the Energy Star label on new appliances to choose the most efficient models available.

  6. Do not leave appliances on standby
    Use the "on/off" function on the machine itself. A TV set that's switched on for 3 hours a day (the average time Europeans spend watching TV) and in standby mode during the remaining 21 hours uses about 40% of its energy in standby mode.

  7. Wrap your water heater in an insulation blanket
    You’ll save 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year with this simple action. You can save another 550 pounds per year by setting the thermostat no higher than 50°C.

  8. Move your fridge and freezer
    Placing them next to the cooker or boiler consumes much more energy than if they were standing on their own. For example, if you put them in a hot cellar room where the room temperature is 30-35ºC, energy use is almost double and causes an extra 160kg of CO2 emissions for fridges per year and 320kg for freezers.

  9. Defrost old fridges and freezers regularly
    Even better is to replace them with newer models, which all have automatic defrost cycles and are generally up to two times more energy-efficient than their predecessors.

  10. Don't let heat escape from your house over a long period
    When airing your house, open the windows for only a few minutes. If you leave a small opening all day long, the energy needed to keep it warm inside during six cold months (10ºC or less outside temperature) would result in almost 1 ton of CO2 emissions.

  11. Replace your old single-glazed windows with double-glazing
    This requires a bit of upfront investment, but will halve the energy lost through windows and pay off in the long term. If you go for the best the market has to offer (wooden-framed double-glazed units with low-emission glass and filled with argon gas), you can even save more than 70% of the energy lost.

  12. Get a home energy audit
    Many utilities offer free home energy audits to find where your home is poorly insulated or energy inefficient. You can save up to 30% off your energy bill and 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Energy Star can help you find an energy specialist.

  13. Cover your pots while cooking
    Doing so can save a lot of the energy needed for preparing the dish. Even better are pressure cookers and steamers: they can save around 70%!

  14. Use the washing machine or dishwasher only when they are full
    If you need to use it when it is half full, then use the half-load or economy setting. There is also no need to set the temperatures high. Nowadays detergents are so efficient that they get your clothes and dishes clean at low temperatures.

  15. Take a shower instead of a bath
    A shower takes up to four times less energy than a bath. To maximise the energy saving, avoid power showers and use low-flow showerheads, which are cheap and provide the same comfort.

  16. Use less hot water
    It takes a lot of energy to heat water. You can use less hot water by installing a low flow showerhead (350 pounds of carbon dioxide saved per year) and washing your clothes in cold or warm water (500 pounds saved per year) instead of hot.

  17. Use a clothesline instead of a dryer whenever possible
    You can save 700 pounds of carbon dioxide when you air dry your clothes for 6 months out of the year.

  18. Insulate and weatherize your home
    Properly insulating your walls and ceilings can save 25% of your home heating bill and 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Caulking and weather-stripping can save another 1,700 pounds per year. Energy Efficient has more information on how to better insulate your home.

  19. Be sure you’re recycling at home
    You can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide a year by recycling half of the waste your household generates. Earth 911 can help you find recycling resources in your area.

  20. Recycle your organic waste
    Around 3% of the greenhouse gas emissions through the methane is released by decomposing bio-degradable waste. By recycling organic waste or composting it if you have a garden, you can help eliminate this problem! Just make sure that you compost it properly, so it decomposes with sufficient oxygen, otherwise your compost will cause methane emissions and smell foul.

  21. Buy intelligently
    One bottle of 1.5l requires less energy and produces less waste than three bottles of 0.5l. As well, buy recycled paper products: it takes less 70 to 90% less energy to make recycled paper and it prevents the loss of forests worldwide.

  22. Choose products that come with little packaging and buy refills when you can
    You will also cut down on waste production and energy use!

  23. Reuse your shopping bag
    When shopping, it saves energy and waste to use a reusable bag instead of accepting a disposable one in each shop. Waste not only discharges CO2 and methane into the atmosphere, it can also pollute the air, groundwater and soil.

  24. Reduce waste
    Most products we buy cause greenhouse gas emissions in one or another way, e.g. during production and distribution. By taking your lunch in a reusable lunch box instead of a disposable one, you save the energy needed to produce new lunch boxes.

  25. Plant a tree
    A single tree will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. Shade provided by trees can also reduce your air conditioning bill by 10 to 15%. The Arbor Day Foundation has information on planting and provides trees you can plant with membership.

  26. Switch to green power
    In many areas, you can switch to energy generated by clean, renewable sources such as wind and solar. The Green Power Network is a good place to start to figure out what’s available in your area.

  27. Buy locally grown and produced foods
    The average meal in the United States travels 1,200 miles from the farm to your plate. Buying locally will save fuel and keep money in your community.

  28. Buy fresh foods instead of frozen
    Frozen food uses 10 times more energy to produce.

  29. Seek out and support local farmers markets
    They reduce the amount of energy required to grow and transport the food to you by one fifth. You can find a farmer’s market in your area at the USDA website.

  30. Buy organic foods as much as possible
    Organic soils capture and store carbon dioxide at much higher levels than soils from conventional farms. If we grew all of our corn and soybeans organically, we’d remove 580 billion pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere!

  31. Eat less meat
    Methane is the second most significant greenhouse gas and cows are one of the greatest methane emitters. Their grassy diet and multiple stomachs cause them to produce methane, which they exhale with every breath.

  32. Reduce the number of miles you drive by walking, biking, carpooling or taking mass transit wherever possible
    Avoiding just 10 miles of driving every week would eliminate about 500 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year! Look for transit options in your area.

  33. Start a carpool with your coworkers or classmates
    Sharing a ride with someone just 2 days a week will reduce your carbon dioxide emissions by 1,590 pounds a year. runs a free national service connecting commuters and travelers.

  34. Don't leave an empty roof rack on your car
    This can increase fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 10% due to wind resistance and the extra weight - removing it is a better idea.

  35. Keep your car tuned up
    Regular maintenance helps improve fuel efficiency and reduces emissions. When just 1% of car owners properly maintain their cars, nearly a billion pounds of carbon dioxide are kept out of the atmosphere.

  36. Drive carefully and do not waste fuel
    You can reduce CO2 emissions by readjusting your driving style. Choose proper gears, do not abuse the gas pedal, use the engine brake instead of the pedal brake when possible and turn off your engine when your vehicle is motionless for more than one minute. By readjusting your driving style you can save money on both fuel and car mantainance.

  37. Check your tires weekly to make sure they’re properly inflated
    Proper inflation can improve gas mileage by more than 3%. Since every gallon of gasoline saved keeps 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, every increase in fuel efficiency makes a difference!

  38. When it is time for a new car, choose a more fuel efficient vehicle
    You can save 3,000 pounds of carbon dioxide every year if your new car gets only 3 miles per gallon more than your current one. You can get up to 60 miles per gallon with a hybrid! You can find information on fuel efficiency on FuelEconomy and on GreenCars websites.

  39. Try car sharing
    Need a car but don’t want to buy one? Community car sharing organizations provide access to a car and your membership fee covers gas, maintenance and insurance. Many companies – such as Flexcar - offer low emission or hybrid cars too! Also, see ZipCar.

  40. Try telecommuting from home
    Telecommuting can help you drastically reduce the number of miles you drive every week. For more information, check out the Telework Coalition.

  41. Fly less
    Air travel produces large amounts of emissions so reducing how much you fly by even one or two trips a year can reduce your emissions significantly. You can also offset your air travel by investing in renewable energy projects.

  42. Encourage your school or business to reduce emissions
    You can extend your positive influence on global warming well beyond your home by actively encouraging other to take action.

  43. Join the virtual march
    The Stop Global Warming Virtual March is a non-political effort to bring people concerned about global warming together in one place. Add your voice to the hundreds of thousands of other people urging action on this issue.

  44. Encourage the switch to renewable energy
    Successfully combating global warming requires a national transition to renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and biomass. These technologies are ready to be deployed more widely but there are regulatory barriers impeding them. Take action to break down those barriers with Vote Solar.

  45. Protect and conserve forest worldwide
    Forests play a critial role in global warming: they store carbon. When forests are burned or cut down, their stored carbon is release into the atmosphere - deforestation now accounts for about 20% of carbon dioxide emissions each year. Conservation International has more information on forests and global warming.

  46. Consider the impact of your investments
    If you invest your money, you should consider the impact that your investments and savings will have on global warming. Check out SocialInvest and Ceres to can learn more about how to ensure your money is being invested in companies, products and projects that address issues related to climate change.

  47. Make your city cool
    Cities and states around the country have taken action to stop global warming by passing innovative transportation and energy saving legislation. 194 cities nationwide representing over 40 million people have made this pledge as part of the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. Find out how to make your city a cool city.

  48. Tell Congress to act
    The McCain Lieberman Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act would set a firm limit on carbon dioxide emissions and then use free market incentives to lower costs, promote efficiency and spur innovation. Tell your representative to support it.

  49. Make sure your voice is heard!
    Americans must have a stronger commitment from their government in order to stop global warming and implement solutions and such a commitment won’t come without a dramatic increase in citizen lobbying for new laws with teeth. Get the facts about U.S. politicians and candidates at Project Vote Smart and The League of Conservation Voters. Make sure your voice is heard by voting!

  50. Share this list!
    Send this page via e-mail to your buddies, digg it, add it to your favourite bookmark site (like; and if you're a blogger, blog it: the more people you will manage to enlighten, the greater YOUR help to save the planet will be (but please take action on first person too)!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Get in on the Used Bookstore Crawl

I promised the folks on our site at that I would post the press release annoucement for the next Used Bookstore Crawl in San Diego on this blog for our newslettter. You can read my post about the first Crawl at that site.

This is just a ton of fun and you should do if you can.


----Press Release--------

Book Tales, in Encinitas, is announcing it’s Second
Used Bookstore Crawl, on Wednesday, October 17, 2007.
In an Air-conditioned coach, 26 people will be driven to Downtown
San Diego visiting intriguing and eccentric Used Book stores along the way! The coach eliminates parking problems, as well as needless stress, thus enhancing the pleasure of the journey.
Excited by the success of the first Used Bookstore Tour in September, the participants agreed that it was the best fun ever; “Can’t we stay a little longer?”, they begged.
These stores are the last remaining icons of days gone by, when there were used book stores in almost every nook and cranny. Most of the missing had their rents pushed up so high, that remaining in a brick and mortar situation became untenable. Many opted to sell solely on the internet. Some bookstore owners were elderly, and so gave up, moving and/or storing their inventories; indeed, the thoughts of packing up and moving our stock are so frightening to those of us remaining, that we work harder to stay in the business that we love!
An original idea, bookstore tours are gaining in popularity across the US, thanks to determined book lovers and a man named
Larry Portzline, author of the book, “Bookstore Tourism”
This Second crawl, hosted by Book Tales in Encinitas, will begin by meeting the Coach at the Encinitas park-and-ride, I-5 and Birmingham.
We will be visiting Book shops in Downtown; Wahrenbrock’s, 5th Ave. Books, Bluestocking Books, and Adams Ave Books, Book Tree, and William Burgett Books.
The fare is $36.50 per person and includes lunch.
Reservations are in advance. M/C and VISA are accepted.
For more information, and to reserve seating, please call
Book Tales is a member of D.E.M.A., and, a sales partner with
Our web-site is
Business hours are 10:30 am to 5:30 pm 7 days a week. Book buying is done 10:30 to 3: pm Tuesday & Wednesday, Friday & Saturday, only.
Paperback exchanges are welcome anytime.

Friday, September 21, 2007


More on the Used Bookstore Crawl that James had already talked about; with my perspective.

One of the things that I looked forward to in retirement was having the time to catch up on my reading. As a child I loved to read. I can remember during the summers during the time I was in elementary school, especially in the 7th and 8th grade, the local libraries would always sponsor a Summer Reading Program. You were allowed to check out 10 books each time. I can remember riding my bike to the library and coming home with my allotment of 10 books in the bike basket.

Once home, I stacked my books on a TV tray next to my Father's easy chair and plunked myself down. It was there that I stayed until my Mother couldn't stand it any longer and have some "job" I was supposed to do. My Mother was someone who magazines such as Women's World and First were made. She couldn't stay focused long enough to read a lengthy book but loved reading article snippets and recipes.

But I on the other hand couldn't wait to start a book and reach that stage where the writing, the characters and the plot had kidnapped me away from my world to theirs. If I had not been kidnapped by the end of the first chapter; that book went on the pile to be returned to the library. Because I knew that there were far more books in that library than I could possibly read in a summer; so I had set my kidnapping standard for which ones I would read.

Unfortunately, one grows out of that "summer off" phase of childhood and grows into the phase of responsibility to college, marriage, family, jobs and just life itself. So you can see that I had this image in my mind of retirement being a time when I could go back to that world of being kidnapped by a book as often as I chose.

But retirement is not always as free of responsibilities as one imagines. I swear sometimes I feel like I have more things to do in retirement than before. Perhaps it is because in your life before retirement all of your responsibilities are confined in given areas. They dictate what you will do--your family, your job, your community; they all set the perimeters. BUT: when you retire; you have more say in what those perimeters are. And, if you are like me; we tend to stretch them far and wide. (My mind wandered....and never came back.)

I may not have all the time I would like to curl up in that old familiar position in a comfy chair and read whenever I want to; but I still find the time to go to bookstores and see it as an expanded version of the library from my childhood. One big difference being that instead of being able to walk out of there with 10 books to bring back when read; I have to pay for these.
Now I know that I can still go to the library and I still do; but there is something about a book store that sucks me in. Perhaps it is the comfy chairs in which to sit and read or it might be the Starbucks

My husband and I have found that the new joy comes in the shape of a Used Book Store. And so many of them allow you to bring your read books back in for credit for ones you have not read.

Therefore, you can imagine our delight when we read in the paper that one of our favorite used book stores, Book Tales in Encinitas, CA was organizing a used book store "crawl" visiting different stores from Carlsbad to downtown San Diego and back. Fourteen of us signed up and boarded a bus in Carlsbad and took our book bags into each store and found treasures in every store.

You can see a review and PICTURES from our tour/crawl on my Squidoo lens:

For anyone who lives in San Diego County, there will be a second one coming up on November 15th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. If you would be interested in joining us, you can contact Patricia McFarland at

Monday, September 17, 2007


And just like all adventures we take; it can have its good sidetrips and its bad ones. The financial aspect of the retirement adventure can be one of the serious road bumps; we struggle with it everyday. But no matter how bumpy the road the most important thing that we can have in our travel kit is our attitude.

I am not saying that attitude is an easy thing to pack. I am not saying, "Don't worry, be happy". I have always been a person with rose colored glasses and I will admit that those glasses lose their color every now and then. And as we age we all know that our eyes can fail us and we do what we can to improve failing eyes. We also know that our attitudes can fail us so I am proposing that we do what we can to improve failing attitudes. For me it is doing yoga and practicing breathing techniques. It is being grateful every day for the things that I DO have not focusing on the things that I DO NOT. It is remembering to stay connected to people, places and things---those people, places and things that keep the rose in my glasses and the positive in my attitude.

One of the things that I enjoy during retirement is having time to explore the roadways on the Internet and meet people in blogs, websites and forums to see what kinds of maps they have for their adventure. Just as I pass on videos that I find and like; I pass on some of the websites and blogs that I like. The following is one of those sites. Enjoy and check out your own glasses and attitude.

Boomers: The Choice is Yours -- Growth or Retirement

There are now more than 34 million retired Americans, and with the oldest of today's 76 million boomers beginning to retire, that figure that will swell to 69.4 million in 2030.

In his book, Age Power, Ken Dychtwald, Ph.D., says, "Retirement is a relatively new and experimental life state that was initially envisioned to last three to five years, not 20 or 30." He cautions that the current retirement model is not realistic for the future.

The future is now and Dr. Dychtwald is right: the current retirement model is not realistic. A joint study by Washington and Cornell Universities conclude that 64 percent of retirees depend on Social Security for half or more of their income; 29 percent rely on it for 90 percent of their income; 18 percent rely on it for all their income. Researchers also say that by age 75, nearly a quarter of those elders will have experienced poverty, and the percentage rises as one ages.

Are ideas about retirement changing? Yes and no. For many, full-time retirement as a life goal is slowly losing its appeal. Nevertheless, tradition, custom, business, and political interests continue to shape attitudes about lifestyles after age sixty-five.

As early as age 50 an accelerating number of media messages imply the end is near. Solicitations to join AARP, dire warnings about inescapable health problems and pitfalls of aging are relentless reminders that life is winding down and it's time to let go of the daily grind. And why not: you earned it, you deserve it, and you are entitled to retirement, even if it compromises quality of life.

Retirement may be an entitlement but it is more traumatic than most people realize. It is closure on a lifetime of effort into which you poured your heart and soul.

The last day on the job, you are a "somebody" -- a manager, a doctor, lawyer, secretary, or accountant. The next day, your life of contribution is over. You are a retired "has been," a person now referred to as "didn't s/he used to be . . ." All of a sudden, what you've been most of your life has lost its meaning, not to you or your family, but in the eyes of the world. This loss of self worth is an invitation for depression.

There are many causes of depression, and perhaps a significant cause among retirees is a feeling of diminished value and identity. It can be devastating to go from being an individual with status in the business world, to just another anonymous good old boy playing golf several times a week with other used-to-be movers and shakers whose conversations are rife with "remember when" stories. Then add what is most important of all: loss of control - knowing you are slowing down, knowing you are "losing it" and unable to do anything to stop the downward spiral. By any standard, that is not happiness.

What to do instead
Everybody has the right to a personal lifestyle choice. But many people retire simply because it's the expected thing to do. They don't think about an alternative or realize they will probably live longer than expected. In 1940 life expectancy was 61.4 for men and 65.7 for women. By 2000 it was 74.2 for men and 79.5 for women. By 2050, life expectancy will be 79.2 for men and 83.4 for women.

Clearly, there must be an alternative to retirement. In the past century, the American lifespan has increased by 27 years. This is a gift to be treated with great care and used with appreciation. Instead of retirement, how about using that gift of time to create a rewarding second life filled with abundance, challenge, and productivity?

The prevailing understanding of aging is that you will get old and decrepit in spite of what you do to try to prevent it. That may have been true at one time, but not anymore. We know too much about how to hold back the mental and physical decline traditionally attributed to the aging process.

We need to recall that time in history when the most respected scientific minds in the universe decreed the earth was flat, which everyone believed until someone with determination, and vision sailed off into the horizon and did not fall into a bottomless abyss.

You have the power to mitigate and control your aging process, and if you exercise your authority over how you age, you will experience the unprecedented benefits of an incredible second life. It's your choice: Let life happen on its terms or be in charge of how your life unfolds.

The benefits of choosing to live each day of your life in a state of youthful growth instead of stultifying retirement are just too outstanding to pass up. Be in that growing number of happy, healthy, productive older people who are reveling in their fulfilling second life.

Barbara Morris is a pharmacist and author of Put Old on Hold. Visit her web site, and sign up for her free content-rich newsletter and receive a complimentary copy of special report, "Thirteen Diva Tested Tips for Fabulous Skin."

Saturday, September 15, 2007


All of us who blog on a regular basis are always
looking for ways that we can increase the number
of people who visit and read our blogs. Always being
on the lookout for new and inventive way to accomplish
that; I discovered something just a few moments ago.
So I interrupt your weekend with a quick heads-up
about a new widget you can add to your blog that
could provide a nice boost to your traffic, and
it's absolutely free.

It's called BlogRush and it's from Internet
marketing mega-star, John Reese.

BlogRush is like a traffic exchange. You put the
widget on your blog and get a credit each time
it's displayed. For each credit you generate,
your blog articles are syndicated across other
blogs that use the widget.

Simple enough right?

Since this widget was just released this weekend,
it's the perfect time to join and start referring
other people and generating credits that will turn
into traffic for your blog.

You can sign up here -

I have added it to the Retired and Ready blog so you can see what it looks like on your
site. See if it works for you

Thursday, September 06, 2007


It must be the rising age of the babyboomers but have you noticed the rising interest in nostalgia? I spend a lot of my time on the Internet looking for information, tips, websites and blogs that might be of interest to our readers. There are lots of nostalgia articles, blogs and polls right now. Just check out our friend, The Google and ask him about nostalgia; you will see what I mean.

As always when different topics come up, it gets my husband, the Ponder That guy, to start asking questions. His pondering took us to a discussion about people's favorite cars and our own. Mine has always been the 1955 Thunderbird and his has always been the 1957 Chevy. We saw one of each on the street the other day. Must be because we had been talking about them.

So, we would like to know about your thoughts on your favorite car. We have included a poll to see how many different favorite cars there are out there. Have fun with those memories.

Monday, August 20, 2007


The Boomer website 55-Alive is sponsoring a Battle of the Boomer Bands. Are you ready to Rock?
If you are a musician born before 1964 and want to feature your current band or perhaps call together your old buddies from your garage band, you have until October 15th to enter. Wouldn't it be great to see some BoomerBabes Bands!

Check out this website to see some of the bands who have already entered. This is also where you will find the application process.

Friday, August 17, 2007


What happens to our brains when we age? What can we do to keep our brains in good health when we are preserving our physical and mental health? Do we have to lose our brain power?

We humans are learning machines, and the brain is the engine that drives that machine. Crammed into the three pounds of convoluted tissue inside our skulls is a dynamic mass of a hundred billion or more nerve cells, each one capable of making thousands of connections with others. These nerve cells are what makes our learning machine run.

From the day we are born—and even before—the brain is primed for learning, ready to capture the experiences of our lives and encode them into its web of nerve connections. Learning organizes and shapes and strengthens the brain’s connections. It fine-tunes the brain, preparing us for all that life has to offer, whether mundane or extraordinary. And according to the latest brain research, actively engaging our brain in learning throughout life can have a significant impact on how well we age.

While searching on the internet for more information on the power of the brain and how we can keep it running smoothly with just some minor adjustments and repairs as we age; I found some very interesting information about a book from which you can read excerpts or read the entire book online. The book is called The Learning Revolution . The book describes what it calls

History's newest revolution: the power to change your life”

This book is based on eight main beliefs:
1. The world is hurtling through a fundamental turning point in history.
2. We are living through a revolution that is changing the way we live, communicate, think and prosper.
3. This revolution will determine how, and if, we and our children work, earn a living and enjoy life to the fullest.
4. For the first time in history, almost anything is now possible 5. Probably not more than one person in five knows how to benefit fully from the hurricane of change - even in developed countries.
6. Unless we find answers, an elite 20 percent could end up with 60 percent of each nation's income, the poorest fifth with only 2 percent.1 That is a formula for guaranteed poverty, school failure, crime, drugs, despair, violence and social eruption.
7. We need a parallel revolution in lifelong learning to match the information revolution, and for all to share the fruits of an age of potential plenty.
8. Fortunately, that revolution - a revolution that can help each of us learn anything much faster and better - is also gathering speed.
This book tells its story. It also acts as a practical guide to help you take control of your own future.
The main elements of the revolution are twofold. They link the modern marvels of brain research with the power of instantly available information and knowledge.

You can read excerpts or the entire book online at The Learning Revolution This the chapter that I found fascinating:

Meet your amazing brain (Read Chapter) 113

You're the owner of the world's most powerful computer

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Statler Brothers - Do You Remember These

Here is the video version.

Retirement and Memories

After seeing our blog yesterday, my brother sent me one that he had found. I hope you don't mind two videos in a row; but I couldn't help myself.

With a big high school reunion this summer, for which I regret I was unable to get back to Nebraska: I think that I have been spending a lot of time in recalling memories. I've pulled out the old yearbooks and have been poring over the faces, trying to remember names and things about them. Then of course you spend time in the "I wonder whatever happened to ___________"?

If you watched the video of The Remember Song by Tom Rush at a concert at Humpreys by the Sea, (right here in San Diego) and thought to yourself--"I resemble that remark", watch the following video by The Statler Brothers. I am sure you will remember these.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Remember Song

I found this video which I found as a wonderful opportunity to have my laugh of the moment, even if it is a senior moment.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Retirement Savings Scare

Consumer advocate David Horowitz tossed out some stats from his radio show "Fight Back!" a while ago that both startled and frankly concerned me. Trust me, I do not listen to much talk radio as most of those bozos leave me with the same feeling I get from finger nails on a chalkboard. I actually found his website link in our Costco magazine recently and found more details there.

Mr. Horowitz was sharing an observation that a healthy individual retiring today at age sixty-five could expect to live to 90 years of age. His point being that many people are simply not planning their retirement strategy in a way which will save or generate enough income to reach that age. This certainly rang true for my wife and I. We did her calculations on 82 and mine on 78. We are finding that from a savings standpoint, we are not even close for those ages, let alone 90. Obviously, this is why we are working on becoming Internet entrepreneurs! We are not alone as he points out that the Society of Actuaries has said that 68% of retired men and 60% of retired women have underestimated their life expectancy in retirement calculations.

If you are growing concerned as you read the above, I recommend you visit our newsletter site at for more information about retirement strategies. When you subscribe to our fre*e newsletter, you can also to get a fre*e "retirement calculator tool" from the link in the newsletter. Hopefully your new calculations will put your mind at ease.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


The following post is one that Carol Ann posted in her Squidoo lens:

If you are new to Squidoo or have never heard of it; you need to check it out. It is great way for older than teen-agers to do our social networking. Besides it is fun to do.

After my husband and I retired and moved from Nebraska to California in 2001; we knew two things for sure: We never wanted to work for someone else again and we needed to find a new way to generate an income to increase our cash flow. We explored many of the work from home options and even spent money on various "programs" in the areas of real estate investing, note buying, trading options and soon realized that we hadn't found the right niche for us.

Then we found Dr. Mike Woo-Ming and Internet Marketing. We had found our niche. But the learning curve, oh my! We were two people who had worked in the public sector in state and local government in the fields of aging services. How did we take that to the area of internet marketing and learn the technology? We learned that we needed to have a mentor (or three or four). Thus began our involvement with some of the Internet Marketing gurus such as Keith Baxter, Derek Gehl, Ed Dale and our most recent hero, Jack Humphrey.

Dr. Mike Woo-Ming become partners with Howie Schwartz and the members of the Momentum Coaching Club became the beneficiaries. Dr. Mike and Howie have spent a lot of time working with Web 2.0 and the many social networking avenues; we were encouraged to set up a Squidoo lens.

When I first came to do my lens, I looked at the site and left, vowing to come back later. So I went in search of guides for setting up a lens. I found an ebook by Tiffany Dow and a guide by Bob, the Teacher which propelled me to just do it!

So this is my testimonial for people who have yet to build a Squidoo lens and might think that it is more difficult to do than it is. I realize that my lens is a work in progress; but then so am I. So I will continue to figure out all of the inner workings of Squidoo and other Web 2.0 in this exciting world on the Internet.

Howie Swartz interviewed Seth Godin, the creator of Squidoo, on Squidoo and Google Slaps. He has now started a seven part series on building your Squidoo lens and driving traffic to it. He has put the case studies with YouTube videos on his website,

I Squidoo, Do You?

Retired and Ready to: ????________________(You fill in the blank when you share your comments about this post)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

New Blog at Ponder That!

Rather than clog up space on this site, JimBob is taking his "ponderings" to a new and specific location. This is a brand new site so it is a bit bare now but we're pretty sure that the jumble in JimBob's head will be throwing off volumes in short order.

So, join him at where you can read and share the ponders that he will bring forth in the future. Pretty scary, say what?

Friday, July 20, 2007

Are You a Threat to Your Home's Security?

I have posted here and written in our newsletter Retired and Ready about various issues surrounding safety and security for retired folks. When one starts blogging and sharing information, one of the great things is the feedback and sharing we get from others. Just this morning I got a collection of tid-bits from a retired friend and reader of our newsletter.

One of the pieces she referenced asked a question, "what is a robbers favorite tool?" The answer was "Yours!" The article covered some people's tendency to leave or store various tools in their yards. The point here was that an ax, hammer or crowbar is like an invitation for someone to break in to your home. So, what was the favorite tool thieves love finding in your yard? A Ladder! The access it provides to a roof with skylights or upper story windows that may be unlocked, is a source of temptation for a dishonest person.

I have big ceiling hooks in my garage so I can hang my ladder up high and out of the way. So, when I read her note, where was my ladder? Folded up and leaning against the stone wall for our raised landscaping on the side of the house. I had used it to trim the top of our Dr. Seuss tree and left it there, sixteen days ago! Yikes, did I feel stupid. It's now on the hooks in the garage.

Thanks for this mornings note Betty!!!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Retirement:Get Started/Take Action

Earlier this month I was communicating with my virtual colleague, Charles Earl Foster. Chucky Earl as I call him, is the co-author of the great retirement planning guide, "Plan Now Retire Early" which we recommend both here and in our fre*e newsletter, Chuck was sharing what he is afraid is a disturbing trend among what I will refer to as the "50 something" Baby Boomer group. Problem is, I am seeing and hearing the same thing.

As we interact with these folks, more and more of them are telling us that they have saved very little money for their retirement. What nearly all of them have in common is that they are or have been self-employed, often small business owners or have been contract agreement workers most of their working lives. The reasons are as diverse as the people themselves. Put two kids through college. Kids moved back home! Living paycheck to paycheck as it is. House payment poor. Had to put the money back in the business. However, the excuses that are killing the two of us are, "we just never got started" and "we just did not know what to do."

The truth is, one cannot get started any sooner than right now unless one's actual goal is to work until the day he or she dies. That may be great for the likely small percentage of people who love their work/job, but none of these people fit in that profile. The "didn't know what to do" group also includes the "we didn't know what to ask" and the "we didn't want to look stupid" subgroups. How stupid is not asking or learning what to do about your retirement? There are great people and resources out there that cover this subject from start to finish.

After our interaction, I told Charles that I knew he had initially written his great downloadable eBook for a younger post Baby Boomer population. However, if both of us are interacting with so many of these individuals and couples, we needed to find a way to get this resource into the hands of these folks. "Plan Now Retire Early" is a step-by-step resource for the person who is the most important player in your retirement savings plan. YOU! The central theme is that you have to own your plan and make it your own.

To this end, we have set up a specific site for Baby Boomers to get this resource so they can learn, get started and take action. If you are one of these people, know someone who is, or just want a clear and powerful tool for your retirement planning strategy, visit to get more information on ordering the guide. Remember, the first step is the most important one in any journey.

Information on this book and other resources covering identity theft, safety and security, health and travel tips, as well as information on how to use the Internet to make money from home, can be found when you visit our fre*e retirement newsletter at

Monday, June 18, 2007

Retired: It's about movies on Sat. night!

When we retire we think things like "I can do whatever I want!" If you are a guy you are wrong. Simply a fact of life. Unless you live alone, and who can or wants to do that? Fortunately, you live with the girl, woman, female of your dreams. Second fact of life, there are no television shows worth watching on Sat night. This is where the movies come in. There are movies that can score you points on the home front guys, even when you are retired. They are called Chick Flix. I am going to provide you with the top five and the secret that makes this such a great guy thing. The secret first: you get mega, mega points for watching these movies more than once. It's true! Side issue: you may love some of these movies.

I say that because I am a sucker for two of the five right up front. "Notting Hill". I have seen this so many times I know all the words to the brownie scene! The other is "Milk Money" with Ed Harris and Melanie Griffith. Can't help myself re the soft hearted environmentalist and his kid and no one has ever called me a tree hugger. Then there's Ms. Griffith!

You might think I would have trouble picking the other three. Not so! Three is "Terms of Endearment" partly because I lived in Lincoln, NE when it was filmed and Robert Kerrey and Debra Winger were seriously cute together, plus he should have been President but that's another story.

Then we have the "chick flick" of nearly, and maybe, all time. "Pretty Woman" is a gal's take no prisoners chick flick that needs no explanation. This brings us to "When Harry Met Sally" where they managed to get the near perfect mix of chick flick and guy flick coupled with a killer diner scene! it is time for all of you who think I overlooked a Ghost, a Working Girl, going without sleep in Seattle, a Tootsie roll and a ship sinking. Let's hear what you think are the best of chick flix that could be Pretty in Pink, do Dirty Dancing, work Nine to Five, and Say Anything. Tell me, what are your favorite Chick Flix of all time?

Ponder and Post.

Friday, June 15, 2007

High School Reunion and Graduation--Oh My

The year I turned 50, my father died and my first granddaughter was born. This year I just attended that granddaughter's high school graduation and in August I shall be attending my 50 year high school reunion. Oh My! I have spent some time pondering about which of these events make me feel old.

I have decided that it is not the events that happen to me that make me feel old.

What does make me feel old is the amount of time it takes my joints to warm up and move about in the morning.

What does make me feel old is the amount of time that it takes my extra gained weight to come off now when I lost weight fairly easily with Weight Watchers just 20 years ago.

What does make me feel old is the amount of time that it takes me to retrieve information from the files in my brain when I know that it is "right on the tip of my tongue".

What does make me feel old is when I am filling out some form and they ask me to check the box for my age category and I find the last box they have listed is 50+. (Do they just automatically lump everyone from 50 to 90 in the same category?)

Oh My!

Retired and ready to___________________(you fill in your own blank).

Friday, May 11, 2007

Vacation Car Rental Benefits

Being retired in the "not doing a job for someone else" sense provides us with a lot of flexibility when the need to travel comes up. We have two "must do" trips coming up this spring and summer. Carol Ann has a major class reunion and our granddaughter graduates from high school. Both of these events are going to require us to fly halfway across the country and necessitate renting a car to have the mobility, independence and time control we need.

Since few of those we will visit are retired they have obligations that do not always allow time to transport us or loan us a vehicle, we feel it simplifies life for all if we have our own transportation. The thing is, it can be a very expensive proposition if one is going to rent for several days or weeks. There's not just the cost of the rental but I like to have some insurance coverage and don't get me started on the cost of gasoline right now.

I made a discovery recently that was a pleasant surprise regarding car rental insurance. Two of my credit cards have insurance coverage options available that greatly reduce the out of pocket expense. One, a platinum Visa, has collision damage coverage built in if I use that card for the car rental. The other, a platinum American Express, has a flat $29.95 fee for total coverage if I rent the car with their card. That sure beats the sox off of the $12.95 a day cost the young woman quoted me for a two week car rental with Budget recently. While I do not generally have much nice to say about credit card companies, these certainly are value added services.

Retirement savings and income being what they are, I look for all the shortcuts to savings on a car rental that I can find. I am not very loyal to any brand as I think all of the major companies are about the same. We rent most often from Enterprise but Budget, Thrifty and Alamo have all given us comparable service. I am not sure who can afford Hertz unless your company is paying for the rental. I have found that using a travel search site called will find me the best deals to compare and choose from to get the cheapest price for the most comfortable car.

Give a site like a try and check with your credit card company to see if there may be a "hidden" benefit like the ones I discovered.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

"Retired and Ready" the Newletter has Arrived!

It's here! Our blog has given birth to a newsletter! Given our desire to meet, greet and share with more retired folks, we have published the first edition of our ongoing newsletter. We would encourage you to check it out at as it has articles and information we can't really cover well in this blog. Subscribe now and it is free. We are sure you will be glad that you did.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Retirement: I'm not seeing things!

I've said before that one of the great things about retirement is that it brings with it the time necessary to ponder over some of the things we see. Today I picked up the Sunday Books section of the newspaper because I had not gotten to it on Sunday before the Padres game came on television. When I hit the final page, the bottom half was an ad from Sony but about what I could not tell. Beyond the word Sony, the only words I could make out were, "Fit 80 books in you carry-on." My immediate reaction was, "why?" I need to point out here that I was wearing a pair of my cheater glasses but I could not not read another word in the entire advertisement. But by now I was curious.

I got off the couch and went out on the patio to get help from the Sun god. With his help I was able to learn that this piece of advertising was for a device called the Sony Reader. The point of the ad was that this device can hold roughly 80 downloads of your favorite books and if you purchase a Reader before the end of April, $50 worth of downloads are yours for the taking at Borders. When I finished, I began to ponder what the devil Sony was thinking.

I think I know about four people over the age of fifty who do not require some type of assistance to read the printed word. I know one of them has had Lasiks surgery. So I know hundreds of senior citizens and retirees who if not curious like I was, would have passed right over the content of this ad. Was Sony thinking, we do not want to advertise to retirees and people with vision weaknesses? Was their intent to create the kind of curiuosity that requires all of these persons to seek bright light or magnifying glasses to find out what was being advertised here? The more I pondered, the more irritated I became because I concluded that they were not thinking. This is an ad for a "reading" device and the print is so darn small no one but a teenager could read the ad. I don't know about you, but I don't know many kids today who read much more than text messages unless it is assigned as homework.

The senior citizens and retired people I know do a great deal of reading. How many would be interested in this type of device, I have no idea. I am guessing that Sony doesn't know either!

Ponder that!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

ID Theft is Scary to the Retired

I realize that as we age, changes in the mind and body can result in the reduction of courage and the enhancement of some fears. But I have to tell you that after a recent conversation with a fellow retired person, the two of us had nearly scare ourselves silly!

He had gotten an email from his brother about how messed up his son's (Paul's nephew) life had become since his identity had been stolen. Apparently someone had gotten enough of the nephew's personal information to successfully complete a pre-approved credit card application retrieved from the dumpster at his complex. The nephew currently believes it was someone working in tandem with a person who gained access to his personnel file at a former employer.

We got to speculating about various ways we had run across recently that illustrated how people leave themselves open to identity theft. At our Credit Union ATM there are routinely withdrawal receipts on the floor. At gas pumps, people leave their receipt in or around the pump. It would seem that the annoying reminder beep would help but many older and retired persons do not hear sounds in that range. In our retirement community they still deliver to the mailbox on your house and a number of homes have an unlocked decorative mailbox 20 ft from the curb. A retired acquaintance left her sunroof open in a hospital parking lot and someone just reached in and took the garage door opener and car registration that were clipped to the visor. With the address on the registration and the opener, her house was robbed of not only identity rich materials but valuable jewelry before she got home from the hospital. When crows tore open a neighbors garbage bags, some of what ended up in the street included checks for balance transfer and cash advances from one of her credit cards. Until a couple of years ago, I used to sort my mail at the garbage can and throw those kinds of offers in the can unopened!

By the time we finished our walk we felt like there was a bogey man behind every tree and we had both taken a pledge to religiously use our shredder! Do you have an identity theft experience or a good tip on how to protect us from identity theft? Leave us a comment to share.

Take care of yourself and your identity.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


For those of you who have not discovered that Amazon has much more to offer for sale than just books, I would like to direct you to our new Amazon Store where we have listed some items that might be just what you need or what you want. Please check it out and give us some feedback on what items you might like to see offered there.
The site is

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


I know, I know------no one wants to be reminded that tax time is fast approaching; but there are some issues with retirement funding that we need to remember. Below are 5 tax mistakes we should remember to avoid.

For many investors, and even some tax professionals, sorting through the complex IRS rules on investment taxes can be a nightmare. Pitfalls abound, and the penalties for even simple mistakes can be severe. As April 15 rolls around, keep the following five common tax mistakes in mind – and help keep a little more money in your own pocket.

1. Failing To Offset Gains: Normally when you sell an investment for a profit, you owe a tax on the gain. One way to lower that tax burden is to also sell some of your losing investments. You can then use those losses to offset your gains. Say you own two stocks. You have a gain of $1,000 on the first stock, and a loss of $1,000 on the second. If you sell your winning stock, you will owe tax on the $1,000 gain. But if you sell both stocks, your $1,000 gain will be offset by your $1,000 loss. That's good news from a tax standpoint, since it means you don't have to pay any taxes on either position. Sounds like a good plan, right? Well, it is, but be aware it can get a bit complicated. Under what is commonly called the "wash sale rule," if you repurchase the losing stock within 30 days of selling it, you can't deduct your loss. In fact, not only are you precluded from repurchasing the same stock, you are precluded from purchasing stock that is "substantially identical" to it – a vague phrase that is a constant source of confusion to investors and tax professionals alike. Finally, the IRS mandates that you must match long-term and short-term gains and losses against each other first.

2. Miscalculating The Basis Of Mutual Funds: Calculating gains or losses from the sale of an individual stock is fairly straightforward. Your basis is simply the price you paid for the shares (including commissions), and the gain or loss is the difference between your basis and the net proceeds from the sale. However, it gets much more complicated when dealing with mutual funds. When calculating your basis after selling a mutual fund, it's easy to forget to factor in the dividends and capital gains distributions you reinvested in the fund. The IRS considers these distributions as taxable earnings in the year they are made. As a result, you have already paid taxes on them. By failing to add these distributions to your basis, you will end up reporting a larger gain than you received from the sale, and ultimately paying more in taxes than necessary. There is no easy solution to this problem, other than keeping good records and being diligent in organizing your dividend and distribution information. The extra paperwork may be a headache, but it could mean extra cash in your wallet at tax time.

3. Failing To Use Tax-managed Funds: Most investors hold their mutual funds for the long term. That's why they're often surprised when they get hit with a tax bill for short term gains realized by their funds. These gains result from sales of stock held by a fund for less than a year, and are passed on to shareholders to report on their own returns -- even if they never sold their mutual fund shares. Recently more mutual funds have been focusing on effective tax-management. These funds try to not only buy shares in good companies, but also minimize the tax burden on shareholders by holding those shares for extended periods of time. By investing in funds geared towards "tax-managed" returns, you can increase your net gains and save yourself some tax-related headaches. To be worthwhile, though, a tax-efficient fund must have both ingredients: good investment performance and low taxable distributions to shareholders.

4. Missing Deadlines: Keogh plans, traditional IRAs, and Roth IRAs are great ways to stretch your investing dollars and provide for your future retirement. Sadly, millions of investors let these gems slip through their fingers by failing to make contributions before the applicable IRS deadlines. For Keogh plans, the deadline is December 31. For traditional and Roth IRAs you have until April 15 to make contributions. Mark these dates in your calendar and make those deposits on time.

5. Putting Investments In The Wrong Accounts: Most investors have two types of investment accounts: tax-advantaged, such as an IRA or 401(k), and traditional. What many people don't realize is that holding the right type of assets in each account can save thousands of dollars each year in unnecessary taxes. In general, investments that produce lots of taxable income or short-term capital gains should be held in tax advantaged accounts, while investments that pay dividends or produce long-term capital gains should be held in traditional accounts.


Monday, February 19, 2007

The Power of Your Retirement Dreams!

Wow, how can time go by so quickly. I do remember laughing at older people who always said that I needed to stop wishing my life away. And that when I was older I would realize that time does go by quicker than when young. I laughed then and am not laughing now. Since we are through January and resolutions (made or not made----kept or broken) and already past the infamous day for "lovers"; I felt that it would be wiser to remind each of you to remember your dreams. Whether they are the ones you had many years ago or the ones you have set now that you are in the retirement age. To do so, I would like to send you an article about just that---The Power of Dreams. Enjoy it and perhaps submit your own ways to use the power of your dreams.


Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Here it is January 3, 2007 already and I have still not written any new year's resolutions. I had pronounced earlier that this year I wasn't going to do any resolutions because every year I seem to make them and then break them. So -- if I didn't make any, then I wouldn't have to get after myself next year at the close of 2007. But old habits are hard to break so I have to have at least a couple of resolutions to try to keep. I found the following article the other day as I was searching the Internet and thought that this was a good start. One of them I have done, one I will try to do and (if I am honest with myself), one I will probably never do. But, like I said , it is a start. This is to be a work in progress. Share any resolutions that you think are appropriate for the retired and ready to:....s out there. Leave a comment.

"3 Resolutions That You Should Consider Any Time of the Year".

From Jenny McKinney & Patrick McKinney,
Your Guide to Retirement Planning.
FREE Newsletter. Sign Up Now!

1. Review Your Retirement Plan:

A comprehensive review of your retirement plan every year is almost as important as having a retirement plan. What you save for retirement is one of the most important financial challenges you might face in your lifetime so make sure you review and monitor it often.
Reviewing your retirement plan isn't a complicated process but it's extremely important if you are going to achieve your retirement goals.

2. Think About Your Estate Plan and Will:

If you have assets, no matter what your age, marital status, or financial wealth, you should plan your estate in the event of your death or incapacitation. There are many reasons to have a sound estate plan but there are eight reasons that I feel are most important. When creating an estate plan or will, there are several things you need to know. Quicken Willmaker Plus can help you understand the process and answer many questions prior to talking with your legal counsel.

3. Organize Your Vital Records:

Do you know where your vital papers are? Are they up to date? If you keep good records, you won’t miss important information for your taxes and could save money in the long run. Organizing your vital records is an excellent weekend project.
To make this project a little easier, there is a very good book available. Get it Together by Melanie Cullen can make the task of organizing your vital records much easier."