Friday, November 30, 2012

It's Been A Week.................

..........................and quite a week it's been.  In retirement, or any time at all, in fact. Sorry folks, this post is without pictures and more will come later.

The Christmas decorations are up, early as that is. The weekend after Thanksgiving, everything was puled down, gotten out and the boxes put away. I'll say here that without cheap and slave labor, I would surely be reverting to a table top tree. All that's left is the village (it's out but unlit-I have to put all the bulbs in and arrange it on the table.  I keep saying that I will get a few more decorations, but then I realize that downsizing is in the future and revert to painting a birdhouse or two and making some quilt cloths for my "coffee tables)

I had a two and a half day diversion during which I was poked, prodded and abused. All for a good cause I am sure. Let me say here first that I am the most laid back person you would know most of the time. Choosing between lying on the couch and loading the dishwasher?  No choice.  On Tuesday, I experienced some spasms and discomfort in my sternum area-no radiation, no other pain. After some hesitation I moved forward to the hospital. What I hoped would be a quick check turned into a three day affair (probably a good idea, but thank you, health insurance). Even though I had no pain after about half an hour in the ER, I was given medicine under my tongue. Then my Dr. came in and spoke with me (mine, not the ER physician). He said that it sounded like a chest wall issue, but in order to be sure, I would stay overnight and they would do blood enzymes for a day to make sure there was no muscle damage. I also had electrodes all over my body. Low and behold-nothing, nada. However, I was already in the hospital, I am overweight (although I "move" as they say). After some discussion, I agreed to do a stress test. Let me tell ya folks, this was not the hop on the treadmill kind of thing. No siree. They inject a drug and your heart is stimulated like you are running a marathon or climbing a mountain. For three full minutes. You are on a EKG monitor during this time, and  they take pictures of your heart afterwards to look at blockage. So, I have not heard what the report on the pictures are, however I am home. And determined to de-stress as much as possible!

Which leads me to my visit with the realtor and financial counselor. It's always better to talk to a stranger (well, not really, she belongs to my church). A stranger usually gives you a different perspective than a family member-no matter how savvy that individual is. Basically my good friend said:  Decide where you want to live and get settled while you can still make new friends. Get out of the house-get the equity if you can, but get out of the house-soon.  Take care of yourself and let your kids do the same. There were other gems but you get my drift.  My friend also advised not buying immediately again, even if I recoup all the down payment. This was helpful to me, as SO MANY people, be they blog readers, family, and friends are of the "You need to keep the house to live in, it's your retirement" philosophy.  Only, for me, it's not. For now it probably makes much more sense to rent an apartment or dog friendly condo, figure out my finances and then decide how to move forward-after I've moved to where I hope to live and checked out the scenery, if you will.

On the realtor front, people apparently actually do buy houses in Texas in the Christmas season. Still, putting in carpet around Christmas decorations could be a challenge, so I may wait until January. We'll see how much I've finished with the decluttering and organizing. I really do NOT want to get a storage unit, but it may be a sensible idea in terms of staging.

This weekend I'm reverting as much as possible to my laid back self. Tomorrow I'm providing lunches to the Habitat group (not me, I'm just the organizer). Other than that, Sunday night is when we celebrate lessons and carols and have good drinks and cookies (I'm episcopalian, we can have wine and cookies at church), and experiment with my temporary tv-less life style (and computer-less to some extent-I've left one provider without choosing another immediately, as I'm still looking). I'll also sew and paint.

Which leads me to another life shattering discovery-sort of. I quilt and paint because I LIKE it.  It's nice that I make money at it occasionally-but it is not a business per se. It's a chance to chat with others, do the things I love and make a little bit of money here and there for extras. This is what it is, and this is what I want it to be. In other words, If people like the things I make, wonderful. I don't think I'm into making things I don't love because they sell. I'm not sure what that makes me, but there it is. Just as with my online money fun (surveys, mystery shops, discount dives), this money is for extras and fun things-not as an income.

And those are my "thoughts for the day" as someone once said. I'm off to relax, bake a bit, sew a bit, read a bit, and help my poor son a bit.......

Oh, did I mention my son? He was playing pickup basketball( he does so every week) with regular sneakers (as in not high tops). He went down, to say the least. The ankle is not broken it would seem, but it is a bright purple and quite swollen. A boot cast and crutches are part of his life for awhile. And I guess he wants basketball shoes for Christmas!


  1. Sounds like a plan to me.
    We often moved over Christmas so our kids could start the new semester in their new school. Looking forward to hearing where you are considering moving.
    Sorry about your son- hope he heals quickly!

  2. So glad things worked out with your heart, You were right to have it checked out!!! Good luck with your upcoming move, I know we would have to rent a storage building for all the extra's around our place. The sewing room alone would need a space to stash everything

  3. Barb,

    Thank you for an intimate look into your week, I respect tremendously your willingness to share and be so forthright with your struggles.

    Concerned about this medical mishap, so I do hope you'll kept us informed on how it all turns out. In the meantime, I'll keep you in my thoughts. Please do take care as much as possible.

  4. Thanks Tamara. This looks to be chest wall spasms, non threatening the origin of which we have absolutely no idea. I have no lung issues, so the muscles are just misbehaving on their own. I am back to my own routine-albeit with a bit of sniffles.

  5. Debbie, yes, I was cranky at staying in the hostpital at the time. But I now have a good baseline picture of my heart and ekg if nothing else. If I could jus tnot show the garage, I could probably avoid a storage unit....

  6. Thanks Janette. I honestly doubt the house will sell before January-and putting carpet in under Christmas stuff could be interesting. But its at least worth leting people in to see the house.

  7. Glad you are ok; much better to get it checked out. I echo the thank-you for sharing your life.

    Sorry about your son, also; ankles are a hassle to heal sometimes. HiTops would be a good idea.

    Good luck on your move...I'm working on organizing & decluttering where I am, but I'll keep you in my thoughts as you sort.

    Also being an Episcopalian, we are preparing for our Lessons & Carols...that's a great service!

    Since I grew up in Denver, it will be interesting to see where you land.

  8. I love your quote: "It's always better to talk to a stranger . . . A stranger usually gives you a different perspective than a family member-no matter how savvy that individual is."

    Can I use it as a quote on my blog site? Thanks!

  9. Pamela, yes, he will be askeing for high tops for christmas. He also got some instruction from the orthopod as to building up strenght in his ankle. Texas has the advantage of everything except, family, lol

  10. I'm reading about your house downsizing with some interest. We think along the same lines, but you're further along.

  11. Barb,
    We have had one couple look at the house and the Realtor is having an "Open House" today to attract potential buyers.

    Christmastime in our area is typically a good time to sell. Just like Janette said - families want to get the kids into a new school mid-year.

    Seems that you have had more than your share of set-backs this year, so hopefully this will be a turning point. Best wishes.

  12. I will be one of your blog readers that says get rid of your house (if it makes sense financially). I've seen way too many older people more or less force themself to stay in the family home because it's tradition, it's financial security, etc. Often this can be far from the truth because people don't consider all of the upkeep and maintenance and money that goes into keeping a house--many people would be better off getting a cheaper, smaller place and enjoying their retirement doing things they enjoy instead of worrying about maintaining a big house. Good luck on whatever you decide!

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