Friday, June 23, 2017

Ladies Day Out-Beads and Quesadillas

You all remember those 98 degree afternoons I had Monday, Tuesday, and yes, even yesterday?  Today? Fifty Degrees. While I am normally not a napper, days like this can persuade me. Tomorrow, 78 degrees. Monday, back to the nineties. Welcome to Colorado!!

One of the best parts of my two book club memberships is that they are not only about the books. That's especially true of the first book group, an off-shoot of my knitting/crafting group that meets weekly at our local independent bookstore. We have Christmas parties, we do field trips, and when appropriate we go see the movie version of books we have read.  Last year we saw The Light Between Oceans after reading the book (for those wondering, we were not impressed with the film).  My book choice for July is American Gods (incentive for me to read this book) and then we'll watch the television series now showing.

June was the two year anniversary of my more recent book group, and it was time for a non-reading celebration.  No books to movies held interest, and when we were chatting about what to "do" for our celebration, one of the suggestions was-beading.  Something which obviously, on the face of it, had nothing to do with reading.  But this book group was born out of a weekly knitting/sewing group that does a bunch of side things, and it sounded like fun. So today, off we went for beading and lunch.

I was really looking forward to today, because no matter how many crafty hobbies I have, and I have a few, jewelry of any kind has not been one of them.  Which I suppose is surprising, because I wear alot of jewelry. Not "good" jewelry mind you. I have been known to take off a wedding or cocktail ring while sewing, put it aside, and never find it again. Good jewelry, even heirloom jewelry is mainly wasted on me.

On the other had I wear earrings all the time. Large dangly earrings, small earrings, and everything in between. In fact, one of my kids tends to joke that while I may have on raggedy jeans, a ten year old sweater and holey socks on a cold winters day when I may never leave the house, I still have on bright earrings and expensive perfume. Hey, it's who I am.

So I was really looking forward to making a piece of jewelry, not having to buy the tools required and having someone willing to help me. Enter the Crazy Merchant, a bright turquoise building housing a huge beading and jewelry store.  We arrived at eleven, and were given our own table which included beading boards, tools and personal lamps for everyone.  The lovely ladies then helped us decide what to make (half of us made beaded bracelets, half leather necklaces). We played with beads and arrangements and ended up with multiple projects.
Much more subtle than my usual jewelry choices. Im more of a lime, turquoise and peach gal.

Not the best selfie, but a quick snap!

I personally went wayyyy  out of my comfort zone. Instead of working with lime or turquoise or rust or the other colors I wear, I went with leather, soft neutrals and wood-to go with a few of the off white/denimy summer outfits I have. Because I went with more casual materials, my necklace was thirteen dollars when done. A friend had gone last week and made a necklace that ran closer to $70, so it depends on the materials.  I really love places like this, because it gives you a chance to make something nice, get help doing it, and not have to have all the various tools and inventory you would otherwise need. And in fact, I can see looking at a really expensive photo in a magazine and going to the Crazy Merchant to try and replicate said necklace.

Locally  we have a bead place, a make your own little terrarium/fairy garden place, and even a place where you can make cupcakes, cakes and gingerbread/Easter/Halloween cake houses. And those are just a few of the "make it mine" things to do.
Not the well known Southern Chain, but an idependent restaurant
 Because ladies day out would not be complete without lunch and a (non-alcoholic) beverage,  our next step was a walk down the road to the local Mexican restaurant. Where we had Quesadillas, Chile Rellenos, Tacos and Fajitas, along with drinks for all.

No wonder I need a nap.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A Bucket List Here, A Summer Goal There!

So here we are, a day ahead of summer, and the temperature outside is 95 in my neck of the woods.  Let's just say on this day that not much is getting done and leave it at that. I cooked extra steaks yesterday just so I would not have to cook today. Tomorrow?  Hello, slow cooker!!

My newest toy!
Lazy hazy days of summer or no, I do have some things I want to get done this summer, and so I am joining other bloggers, including Andrea and Tamara on their summer fun journey. Most of my bucket list has to do with things around the house and home, since I stay close to Denver during the summer and don't have a big event or travel until the fall.  So what is on my plate for the summer? Although the general consensus seems to be 20 activities, I've gone one over.  And while it's not on the list, I got an Echo Dot yesterday by mail (a thank you gift for my puppy time), that I also need to learn to play with:
  1. Complete three handmade gifts by mid September (A knitted shawl and quilted throw for my brother and  yoga bag and mat for my daughter).  
    Since my  son doesn't stop by, I feel comfortable saying this is one of his gifts, except there will be real album covers in the center.
  2. Hire someone to stabilize and fix our poor pergola and then get estimates on winterizing the thing.We had a monster of a dead tree removed and they did their best, but the pergola was damaged and that swing is my home!   
  3. Spend at least an hour outside just enjoying the patio,yard and dogs every day. One of the reasons I rarely travel in the summer is the perfect weather here and the fact that my yard is simply glowing and blooming in July and August to the point that I don't want to leave. Admittedly that's because I share a home with the plant whisperer.
  4. Learn how to use our gas grill. Yea, please don't laugh.  If my son moves out, right now I might never have a steak again.
  5. Turn all the remnants and unused stash in my studio into saleable items. I tend to always buy more fabric/yarn/paper than I need for a project. Time to work that stuff.
  6. Go to exercise class two days a week (2 hours each of Silver Sneakers and Yoga),
  7. Read at least two books each month that are out of my comfort zone a bit. American Gods is first on the list, I'm determined to read and then watch. 
    Perhaps this would be the second choice? Although it's not that far out of my comfort range!
  8. Take two full day or overnight driving trips in July, August and September and aim for one in June.
  9. Plan two summer short trips, one to the sand dunes of Colorado and the other to Montana.  
  10. Complete the introduction and two chapters at a minimum of my DIY Craft book (and perhaps ask any readers if they would like to be testers).
  11. Completely dig out and streamline my bedroom and studio. A project left from spring goals and undone. Not so much a declutter as find a way to make things work better for me.
  12. Get seven hours of sleep every night. A goal met mainly successfully in the spring, but that I want to continue tracking
  13. Have a "use it up" July.  And as much a  no spend one as possible. This goal was an epic fail in May/June and I have GOT to get my freezer thawed and my cabinets empty enough to properly clean
  14. Hire a housekeeper and a Handy person (or a housekeeper who can caulk and such). The time has come, the walrus said. The things I can reach in this house are spotless. Everything else-not so much.
  15. Start and Finish the Genealogy Course through the Great Courses.  I just finished the drawing course and  need inspiration as I am hung up in my search right now. No Olli courses till fall, so I need to go online!
  16. Take an introductory weaving or felting class. Which one I begin with will depend on the date
  17. Do something small for each of my kids by mail each month.  I'm getting my daughter a succulent gift box in July as well as sending her some restored photos.
  18. Hit the beach in August when I travel to Texas again to see daughter and grand puppies. This got pushed aside in May due to puppy sitting needs and it's one of the two places I am looking at to get a second place and semi snowbird.
  19. Entertain outside at least once each month. I've drastically cut back on the entertaining in my life (at least done at home) but summer outside is low effort and the perfect time.
  20. Look at finding a way to have more of a capsule wardrobe, but one that does NOT involve project 333. I need something for two seasons twice a year. I mean in one week a few weeks ago it was below freezing one day and 90 the next. This one is a work in progress.
  21. Find out about local politics and become involved with the folks in my local party and chapter who are actively becoming involved in the midterms and raise my hand. Sorry folks, this makes 21, AND it's political, at least sort of.  I am an activist at heart, and most politics are local.
What's missing?  Self care.  I probably have less self care goals than others because I already allow myself regular pedicures and pampering due to my injuries and health. Major travel, which happens in the fall and spring. Anything about volunteering (because I volunteer two to three days per week the rest of the year), and anything business related. Those will be on my fall list.

Happy summer (or almost summer) everyone. Do you have any plans and goals for the coming months?

Monday, June 19, 2017

Getting Rid Of All That Stuff (And Call Your Senators!!)

Folks, before I ramble on with you about my decluttering journey, I need to encourage you to call your Senators, and do it now!  A small working group in the Senate has been working pivately and in secret (away even from other Republicans) on a pan that they refuse to share with anyone. No matter HOW you feel about health care, or needed changes to Obama care, secrecy is, put simply, unamerican. And one cannot but help to believe that anything requiring such secrecy must be dangerous and unpopular (like putting 23 million people on the street with no health care).  Please call your democratic senators as well-if only to give them encouragement and know that they are being heard.

And second, for those of you living in Republican districts, if you are unhappy about your respresentation, this summer is the time to get active for next year. In Colorado, we have one congressman that will almost surely lose his seat next year and a Senator that's on the downhill, but doesn't even know it yet, I expect!  Back to decluttering and frugality and...

On Wednesday, I'll be joining some other bloggers and sharing my summer "bucket list", and I'm so looking forward to joining with others on this summer journey. Meanwhile, I am doing my best to check up on those spring goals. Some done, some not done, unsurprisingly.

One of my less than done goals (great phraseology there!), is the streamlining of my bedroom and studio. As I mentioned on another post, I have arrived at what I call the "storm before the calm" in my downsizing process.  In other words, I've pulled stuff out of the closets, but much of it remains unsorted. I would not dare to share a picture with you at this point! !!!  Added to that disorganization is the fact that my bedroom is almost always the "staging area" for any kind of work in the house and you can understand why I am ready for this room to be done (my room is much larger than any other room in the house-it even has room for a sitting area if I ever break down and actually decorate my sleeping space).

You'd think this would be easy. I mean really!!  I'm mainly not a "keeper" and I was raised by non-keeper types. My parents traveled the world with us. But the only souvenirs were one of a kind art or sculpture or pretty things that were "to be used" (think monkey pod salad bowls, delft china hot pads). I mean they certainly had their wedding china, and other traditional "stuff". But four children divided up and disposed of a retirement condo in four days and I can count on my hands the things I have from  that house (marble eggs, china...). My daughter came over before I moved to Colorado and announced that the Lladro statue, and three or four other family things were hers and she was taking them. I was perfectly fine with that.

So what's my problem?  What to DO with all that stuff you don't want or need. Oh sure, some of it's easy. Take some pictures of my various Vera Bradley bags and earn enough to buy a large purse that can also act as a brief case (meaning it's a nice purse, but big enough to hold file folders).  And some of my stuff like partially used craft remnants, can be donated to my homeless women for crafting.

Unfortunately, everything is not that simple. And while I may end up with no alternative, I am trying to avoid the Goodwill/trash/family options.  It's my sustainability gene kicking in I guess. Goodwill does good work, don't get me wrong. But they also flood overseas countries with their excess goods.  Obviously I would like to avoid the trash as much as possible. And with a few exceptions, my kids do not necessarily want my stuff.

This of course is unsurprising, and I expect I am not alone in this.  In fact, there's a new book out, entitled Downsizing the Family Home, What to Save, What to Let Go.  Now, let me say here that I am not offended by my kids not keeping things that may have emotional meaning to me.  I want them to have things that have emotional meaning to THEM. I also (and this is an issue that I know many boomers struggle with), have no issue if they use something in a different way than I would. My general feeling about life, wether it is someting I have made or give on an inheritance passed on is that once given, it is no longer yours.

 Up to now, my solution  to disposition of family stuff has been simple.  I ask them.  What do you want. Do you think you want this?  And occasionally when it comes to things I am using, the question is different. Do you THINK either of you will want my polish pottery place settings? For me at least, asking this questions clarifies the downsizing process. It also encourages commnication among my offspring-although to date the only disagreemet of any kind has been with regards to memorabilia items and easily resolved.

As for the rest, even if I don't want it, I would rather not see it in Africa, or in a land fill. And with a few exceptions, I'm more interested in having this gone, than receiving any kind of money. A garage sale is probably not in my future. Good crafting stuff has temporarily gone into the "Can I use it to make an item and then sell it pile", and the purses have been sold. Other than that?  I've listed outgrown clothing in lots on my local Facebook swap page.  The craft stuff that could be used by not by me goes to a shelter for crafting. My old day planners (the leather ones), also on the swap page. A few old clothes cut into rags and some sweaters cut to upcycle with.  And so it goes.

And now, time to work instead of write. And maybe I can find my way to bed in the dark once again. 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Five Frugal Things-Spending to Save Edition

As the Frugal Retiree, most of the time I embrace a fairly frugal philosophy. Mottos like "smart women do not pay full price" are part of my day to day. Waiting for end of season sales, taking advantage of free coupons, and using places like Groupon when they offer discounted gift cards-those are all a part of my lifestyle. As are the occasional forays into yard sales and thrift stores. Truth be told, I do it as much for the thrill as to free up money.

Sometimes though, ya just gotta bite the bullet. Heck, sometimes it makes sense to bite the bullet in the short term, in order to get value in the proverbial long term. Which is why this week's five frugal things are about spending money. Spending to save, mind you, but still spending money. This weeks spends are mainly to save money ahead of time, but a couple of these spends are piece of mind or quality expenses of a one time nature:
  1. Once again, I spent more than $100 on shoes. As someone with debilitating leg injuries, and some foot neuropathy, I require really, really supportive shoes. But shoes that don't necessarily look very supportive. I allow myself an expensive pair from SAS per season,  but am trying to limit it to two a year. I hesitate to encourage others to spend such a large amount (for years I spent in the Clark's/Sketchers range of shoes), but those clunky brown sandals I shared on this blog three years ago are still going strong-and I have been known to even wear them with socks in the snow. It's also an endless source of amusement to my children that after SAS and Clark's, one of the most comfy shoe brands on the market is Walmart's Earth's Best line-unfortunately they only have like six styles a year. What can I say. I spend more on shoes in one year than I probably do clothing in at least two years. My priorities are on my feet!!
  2. I  got a brand new office chair.  You may remember that my high quality long term office and sewing chair finally died. To my credit, I did spend weeks looking through Craigslist. But I spend hours every week in my chair, much of that time rolling back and forth between the desk, sewing table and ironing space. Add to that my voluptuous figure and I decided the hundred dollar high backed chair was worth the price.   
  3. I spent $100 on delivered, pre-cooked and ready to serve food.  During the summer, we are often an "everyone fend for themselves" kind of group around here. One person likes to eat early, one person works in the yard until dusk is gone and one often works during meal time. I tend to accommodate this by slow cooker meals like country ribs and chicken, using the deli, and having salads and deli meat on hand. Sometimes though, it's been one of those days, when everyone comes home and we just look at each other. On those days, having a chicken bake that can just be thrown in the oven or zapped is invaluable-and cheaper than heading out to 3 Margaritas.  
  4. I bought some new clothes, albeit at Walmart. Even as I am working towards a modified version of project 333 (60 pieces twice a year) and downsizing my closet.  Why? I am ashamed to say that due to weight loss and attrition I had absolutely no simple cotton t-shirts.  Working out in a silky stretch top the other day reminded me that this needed to be rectified.  A small price to keep myself Silver Sneakering on Mondays and Fridays.  On the other hand, since I know many bottoms will not fit me in the fall, I've set aside an afternoon to cut some knit pants and sweats into shorts and crops and hem them.
  5. I bought fabric. And Yarn. One of my summer goals is to turn the fabric and yarn I have on hand into stuff-stuff that can be sold. After running a small poll on my local Facebook Word of Mouth type group, I've decided that some of that stuff to sell will be American Girl Doll bedding, and that I need some really soft, pretty fabrics to go on the back of the cotton fabric I am using up. Spending up front to make money later-it works for me.  
    Fabrics for doll quilts
    A pillow for using up all those small pieces of fabric
  6. I helped my son buy a new car. This is his frugal win, not mine (hence the five in the title). He bought a car because he decided the huge white truck known as BOB was too much for him now that he no longer had a landscaping business. In reality, I felt like I was just along for the ride. But since he paid cash for his truck, he wanted to finance this car. Fortunately his trade on on the truck was a fairly large amount (13 grand) and so he financed very little. And yea for Carmax. I did not have to be THAT person and grapple with folks trying to sell him extras for an hour. One of my talents in life is to be able to tell those folks who try and sell you things like unneeded car warranties or Barnes and Noble memberships to go to hell and have them thank me afterward. It's a gift.  
For me, spending money makes sense when it makes a large difference in life quality (that wow factor you know?), has to do with things high on my priority list, or helps me save or make money in the long run. For everything else, I'm a use it up, make do, extreme coupon, find the cheapies and freebies kind of girl.

And just to assure everyone that I haven't lost my frugal chops, we are eating in every day. I'm altering clothes rather than buying (see above). I'm still exercising every day except for two in my home.  I'm reading best sellers downloaded from the library. In other words, everything else is normal at Chez Barb.

Have you had any frugal wins, losses, or spends lately?

Thursday, June 15, 2017

What Do You Know About Elder Abuse?

Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. This was not something I knew until this morning.  I am the first to admit that when it comes to family and personal experience I am a little smug in this area and have little personal, family experience.  My parents died in their sixties, but one of their four children were always nearby, and we have no doubt that during their illnesses they were treated well by their providers.  Certainly their were strides to make then (as now) in terms of communication between doctors and seniors.  But abuse? No. 

The same is true of the other side of our family. I've talked about my in-laws on more than one occasion. The only bruises or harm that ever came to my father in law were in the month before my sister in law realized that she could not lift him herself. There were a couple times there where they were both (dad and daughter) black and blue from the thighs down as they both tried to manipulate him into and out of the wheel chair multiple times. Fortunately, reality set in on both ends, and now Dad lives in assisted living a mile from his daughter and son in law-the best of both worlds for both parties considering. So what I know about elder abuse comes from some limited reading and working with my homeless women.

Even so, I know that elder abuse is often one of those things that not only exists in larger numbers than we know, it also still sits in the shadows.Partly, I suspect because there are elders that no longer can communicate properly. Partly because as we get older we become less graceful or balanced and it's easy to write bruises off as a simple fall or bad skin.  And partly, I am sure because of basic security. If daughter, son or even doctor are committing abuse, reporting them may mean a loss of home or care. Scary at any age, but certainly for seniors, who often rely on family for a great deal.  

I'm certainly the first to admit how very little I know in terms of real facts and statistics when it comes to this topic. A quck visit to the National Council on Aging and an article on Next Avenue were eye opening. Misconceptions about elder abuse apparently abound, while at the same time there are not alot of readily available facts, or publicity about how rampant abuse is among the elderly.  Did you know that seniors who are abused have a 300 percent greater risk of dying in the next year?

After I threw together this blog post this morning, I went home and watched the news this month.  And found out that just now are the Denver Police and District attourny launching an elder abuse unit. Apparantly they never had one before. And Denver is, well, generally enlightened on these kinds of issues.

In spite of the bad "rep" nursing homes get, a full 60% of abuse is committed at home, by family members and other loved ones.   Just as with spouse and child abuse, the huge majority of elder abuse is committed by the people we are supposed to trust.

There are all kinds of elder abuse, beyond the visible bruises. Certainly seniors are physically abused. But as difficult as it is to talk about, there is also sexual abuse, emotional abuse (yelling and screaming and insulting), confinement (confining seniors to a room or tying them to a chair), and financial abuse or misconduct.  These kinds of situations can happen through passive neglect-simply failing to visit or provide food or necessities. However, there is also willful neglect-deliberately putting a senior or his or her finances or home or well being at risk, for whatever reason.

Elder abuse is very often not obvious. Because we change as we age, it's easy to miss symptoms.  Doctors write off weight loss as part of normal "aging" when it could be denial of food.  As I mentioned above, bruises and skin tears get short shrift. The elder or family member may say the parent has "bad skin" or has fallen here and there.

Elder abuse is just as prevalent as child abuse-one in ten adults experience some kind of abuse at some time-and yet there are almost no resources. Rarely are abusers arrested and prosecuted on the level of child abuse, or even spouse abuse. And frankly, we are not trained to observe or even report elder abuse in the same way.  We're reminded regularly that we can anonymously report spouse or child abuse, and that in those cases there will be an investigation even if the abused refuses to testify or file charges. Nothing similar is true when it comes to seniors, at least that I know of.

While things are improving, there is often a lack of communication between providers and caregivers and those they are serving.  Sometimes, this is  simple ageism and sometimes it is something more.  When my daughter recently graduated, one of the nurses receiving her masters did her capstone and thesis on loss of hearing and how it affects communication between patient and doctors.  Aside from the issue of abuse, doctors too easily write off symptoms that could be dangerous as "getting old".  

And finally, we often make excuses for caregivers. It's easy to say "stress made her do it". Being a caregiver is stressful. We need to support those who care for the elderly. And, just as with  us parents I expect, there are those rare occasions when we overreact and want to kick ourselves afterward. That's one thing. But from where I stand, writing off abuse as stress is an easy out and frankly, seems to put the responsibility back on the senior rather on the abuser-no matter what the reason.

So, how to recognize abuse?  I suspect it's not that different from other kinds of abuse. Unusual depression or withdrawal from activities are always a red flag. If your senior friend suddenly stops coming to lunch and bridge, take note. Obvious bruises, tears or abrasions are also a warning sign. Thinking of myself, I'm one of those gals who bruises easily. I just looked at a little mark on my wrist, and I have no idea where it came from. But if my children saw me with twenty of those bruises they would be on high alert.

This post is mainly about physical and mental abuse because senior scams are such a fraught topic and so common even among educated seniors that I figure they deserve their own column. Having said that, when a senior friend or family member has a major change in financial circumstances, that should also be a warning of things to come!!!!  Poor hygiene and sores are also warning signs, especially in health care facilities. And of course always pay attention to language and body language between the family/caregiver and the senior.

So, what can you do to help prevent senior abuse-of yourself or someone else?  According to the National Council on Aging, there are things you can do. Do everything you can to stay physically and mentally healthy and seek professional advice as needed. Plan for your physical and financial situations now, and talk about them with your family if you are comfortable. Even if you are an introvert, involve yourself in some kind of semi-regular community activity (for me it's church) that keeps you involved and socially active (abuse is more likely with isolated seniors). If I miss church once, it's normal. Were I to miss regularly, someone from my church would come and see me. And finally, know your rights.  For more ideas on preventing senior abuse, check out the graphic below!  

And how else can you help when it comes to elder abuse? I would say, befriend seniors you know may be isolated and observe and report.  Such a difficult topic, and easier to say than to do perhaps.  What about you. Are you fearful of abuse as you age?  Do you know folks who have been abused or you suspect may have been abused?  If so, how did you deal with that?

Monday, June 12, 2017

I Survived Silver Sneakers (please keep the laughing to a dull roar)!

Hello everyone. I may need your help. I'm experimenting with some layouts, so you may see a different blog a day for a few days. Please feel more than free to comment on the readability of what you see and know that things will be settled soon! I really love this multiple post layout, but it does mean that the blog roll and labels and such are all no drop down instead of the side bar. Since my goal is what works with the readers, feel free to share!

So. It's no secret to anyone who has read my blog for any period of time. My traditional exercise method has been the half an hour walk, along with the normal stretching of house cleaning and such.

Only.  I can't walk anymore, at least for exercise. My doctor feels that it's too unstable, especially since when I do walk I choose to do so alone. So, time to find some other kind of exercise. Because, as a friend (who is in a master's program in retirement) would say: When I pray daily, exercise daily and work on some meaningful project every day, I feel emotionally, mentally, and physically better. So, new exercises must be found.

Today, after talking about it for a year or so, I went to my first two (yes, two) Silver Sneakers classes. You may not always be able to tell it by reading this blog, but my kids would tell you that I am the master of both excuses and procrastination. Why on earth do something today that could just as well be done tomorrow, you know?

In this case, my excuses had a basis in real issues, for what it's worth. I had attended both Silvers Sneakers and Silver Sneakers Aqua in Dallas, and found both to be less aerobic activity than I needed (admittedly, that was then and this is now). As if that weren't excuse enough, all the exercise programs at my local recreation center started at ten am or earlier-a tough time for the gal who reads until two am.

All that changed when I drove by another recreation center (belonging to the same town) a little further afield, walked in and found out that they had both a Silver Sneakers class that started at 11:30, AND that they had a silver sneakers yoga stretch class to follow. What's more the first class guaranteed at least twenty minutes of aerobic activity either standing or from the chair. I was ready.

People!! Let me tell you. I was, without doubt one of the weakest out of shape people there.  Judging Silver Sneakers by my previous location?  What a mistake! I marched and moved and stepped from side to side for twenty minutes, only needing about eight in a chair. I exercised using stretchy bands, a ball, and (wait for it...) one pound weights (because I have a frozen shoulder).  All the while watching the little eighty year old lady in front of me run and hop instead of marching and work out with ten pound weights.  I obviously have a long way to go.

I know that many of my readers do Silver Sneakers, and that for some folks I am preaching to the choir here. But when you have chronic health and physical problems, trying to stay in shape, stay healthy and stay pain free-all at the same time-is a difficult  task.  So often I feel that I'm a) not getting enough aerobic exercise b) not getting enough strength work to support my injuries c) frustrated because everything hurts and people don't seem to care or d) it's like exercise is more worth than it's worth.

So I am thrilled that there were two instructors, one doing the sitting and standing moves. I am thrilled that no one looked askance when I stretched and moved with just one arm above my head. And finally, I am thrilled that I managed to work my way through what was basically two hours of organized exercise, keeping up and not falling.

Even though Silver Sneakers is not free for me (the first complaint I've had in years when it comes to federal retiree insurance).

And as for how hard I workd?  I'll let you know how I feel tomorrow, tomorrow!!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Five (or More) Frugal Things This Week

This week, I have been in what I call the storm before the calm. You know, that time AFTER you pull everything out from the center of the closet and before you have it all put away and organized? Thankfully,  I do know there as an end to the organizing. And on other fronts I did have a few frugal successes this week!  
The new backpack I hope to purchase with the money from my sold bags.

  1. We've been eating down the freezer and pantry.  One of my Spring/Summer goals was to completely eat down the freezer. Whether we will empty it out well enough that I can defrost it, who knows. Meanwhile, I have been buying less groceries since I returned from Texas-although as we continue I expect some interesting mish-mash of leftover meals.
  2. I went out to eat twice, and didn't pay a cent either time.   Fear not, the frugal retiree has not turned into a cheapskate.  My sister had a quilt to gift for a wedding this week and no time to finish it, so I have been hand sewing. In exchange, she bought my waffle supreme. And to make the even more frugal, it was free pie night! And today I went to a wool market with a friend and we stopped for Mexican. She offered to pay since I drove and filled my gas tank. A win win for all involved in each case.
  3. I took photos of my many purses and sold a bunch.  I had way way way to many purses, first of all. And second, the money I made selling some of my purse stash will cover the Vera Bradley back pack I've been pining for (since I feel that I should be hands free when I walk now as much as possible.
  4. We've managed to make it until yesterday without turning on the air   I'm keeping it close to eighty, thankfully.  I have some serious house cooling without air conditioning skills after living in the DC area. Open the house at morning and night, close it during the day. Cook as little as possible and use the slow cooker.  Fans, fans fans, and more.  Al of that is no help when the heat hits 92.
  5. I helped my son sell his tools. Since he's no longer landscaping and doing yard clean up, it was time to sell those tools sitting in the garage. I'm not sure how much money they'll bring, but having tools you don't need is not frugal either way. And Bob the truck?  Is now Bob the Subaru Forrester.
  6. I purchased a non stick copper saute pan for $5.00 from Yea, this required spending money, but we need some new pans and this sells for 20 bucks in the store. I really love that there are now dollar store and thrift store equivalents online.
  7. I've exercised free, in the house, all week.  A 30 minute Utube walking program, a chair yoga DVD and an online silver sneakers class all allowed me to stay at home and still work on my health.
And there you have it. Any frugal successes or fails this week on your end?

Ladies Day Out-Beads and Quesadillas

You all remember those 98 degree afternoons I had Monday, Tuesday, and yes, even yesterday?  Today? Fifty Degrees. While I am normally no...