Six Word Saturday– or Kathy & Ed’s Excellent Retirement Adventures…

Enjoying week two of Ed’s retirement!

It’s kind of hard to believe, but Ed and I have made it through his second week of retirement, already.  Time is passing quickly.  Ed has also discovered that time is irrelevant when you’re retired.  Most days are pretty much the same, and only the growling of our stomachs keep us in touch with what time it is.  No more clock watching for Ed!

Although we attempted to plow through some of our forms and paperwork, this week, we didn’t get very far.  We need a final date of Ed’s benefits from the hospital, and, apparently, these days, nobody there seems to know what’s going on or when that day will be!  When ten percent of a hospital staff is suddenly terminated, it leaves things in a bit of disarray, to put it mildly.  (This thought really makes me hope I don’t get sick!) Did I mention we’re also waiting for Ed’s paycheck to arrive in the mail?  I do hope someone there has mind enough to mail the paychecks of those who were terminated!  In the meantime, we’re living off of our ’emergency fund’.

Ed was able to sign up for his Social Security payments on-line, this week, but, for some reason, they needed a copy of our marriage license.  We decided to take this document to our nearby Social Security office instead of mailing it. The Social Security Administration office is where our latest ‘excellent retirement adventure’ began.

Since neither of us had ever been to this Social Security office, we had no idea where it was located.  The nearest SS office is located in a town 30 miles away from us.  Thanks to ‘Google’, we were able to get directions and drove to the office with little difficulty.  Did I mention that the office happened to be located near one of my favorite stores, known as ‘Hobby Lobby’?  (Yay for making side trips on our ‘excellent adventures!)

Upon walking in the entryway of the SS building, we proceeded to try to open the double glass doors, but were quickly stopped by a female security officer!  She quickly pointed out that we needed to ‘register’ the reason for our visit, on a huge computer screen, located in the left of the entryway.  So Ed registered (with the security officer trying to help, for some reason),  Ed took the slip of paper, containing the number the machine spit out at him, and, only then, were we allowed to come inside and take a seat!  The registration process took almost as long as our wait to be served, so we were in and out of the SS office quickly.  I’m still trying to figure out why they have a security officer at the SS office!  Perhaps the old folks get rowdy, at times?!

After a quick stop by Hobby Lobby, our adventure continued when we visited the new ‘Wal-mart Neighborhood Market’ for the first time.  Apparently,  Wal-mart is starting to build these huge grocery store/pharmacy combinations, for those who want to take advantage of Wal-mart’s low prices, but want to skip the hustle-bustle of a regular Wal-mart.  Believe me, Ed and I are all for skipping the hustle-bustle of Wal-mart, anytime we can!

Ed and I happened to be traveling in his mama’s 1997 Lincoln Towncar because Ed enjoys driving it.  So we pulled up to the Wal-mart Neighborhood Market, in what I commonly refer to as our ‘old folks’ car.  As we were getting out of the car, I noticed two young men gathering up shopping carts in the parking lot.  One of them was about to ride a parked shopping scooter back into the store, when he quickly turned to us and asked, “Do y’all need this?” ( Oh, my!)  I quickly replied, “No, not yet!”  I remember thinking, it must have been the ‘old folks car’…or, perhaps, Ed’s snow-white hair that made him ask such a thing!  Surely, it isn’t me!  Although, come to think of it, I’ve been off of my arthritis meds for over a week, and I am moving kind of slow and stiff…and I’m letting my hair color grow out, which now means random spots of gray for me, as well!  

And while I’m on this subject of being treated like ‘old folks’, let me mention  how we’re now being called ‘sweetie’ and ‘honey’ at certain places–like the restaurant where we go for ‘senior citizen’s’ buffet on Monday nights!  This is a totally new experience for me, and I can’t decide if I like it or not!

Anyway, Ed and I managed to pick up the items we needed, without the use of a shopping scooter, I might add!  We also managed to make it home with a few dollars left in our pockets, something that will continue to be a challenge, no doubt!

For the rest of the weekend, we’re planning to stay home, relax, and attend our daughter’s Super Bowl festivities. Who knows what adventures we’ll find to do on Monday?!  We might even make another trip to the ‘senior citizen’s buffet’…  I might even decide I like being called ‘sweetie’!

*** It’s been quite a while since I’ve done this meme, but today I’ve joined Kate and many others @ Show My Face for Six Word Saturday.  To find out more about this fun meme, click Kate’s button at the top of this post.

 

 

 

 

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Published in: on January 31, 2015 at 11:01 am  Comments (10)  
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The Wednesday Hodgepodge…

It’s another cold, rainy day here, and the Hodgepodge is a welcomed ‘bright spot’ to my day!  Our hostess, Joyce, has a brand new set of questions, this week, which I’ve answered below.  If you’d like to join in the fun, just click on the button at the top of this post!  I hope you’ll leave a comment!

1. What is something you’ll never forget about the age you are right now?

About this age…

Ed and I are almost at a crossroads in our lives.  Retirement is in his future–somewhere around the corner.

We’ve raised our three children, watched them all marry and make families of their own, and that feels good!

We’ve, also, spent a portion of the past twenty years taking care of, and ultimately burying, each one of our parents.

Now it’s just the two of us, again, but we’re, also, painfully aware that several of our friends have already lost their spouses.

In looking down the road, at the not-so-distant future– it looks a bit scary down there…

2. What’s a household chore you’ve never done? How have you managed that???

I can’t think of a chore inside of the house that I haven’t done, but I’ve only tried mowing the grass once or twice.  I didn’t have a good experience–the steering wheel of the lawn mower came off, which promptly ended my grass mowing efforts!

3. Does nature shape our personalities more than nurture? Explain?

Yes, nature shapes our personalities, to a great extent. I believe the majority of our personality is determined by our heredity, but a portion of it is influenced by our surroundings and our upbringing.  At least, this is what I’ve found to be true in our family.

4. Friday (February 28th) is ‘Something on a Stick Day’…funny because Zoanna over at A Penchant for Pens recently sent me an idea for a question relating to this topic. What’s your favorite food eaten on a stick?

My favorite ‘food on a stick’ is ice cream!  Of course, cotton candy ranks high on my list, too.

5. Which of your five senses do you treasure most, and why?

That’s a tough question, but I’m going to say I treasure my hearing most.  The reason for my choice comes from watching the change in little Alex’s (the deaf child my daughter used to keep) life, once he got his cochlear implants, and was able to hear.  Before the surgery, Alex was unemotional and withdrawn.  Afterward, when he was able to hear sounds and voices,  Alex became a happy, active little boy.

I, also, watched my MIL suddenly lose her ability to hear, due to a stroke, we think.  She was so frustrated and confused–and unable to carry on a conversation with anyone, until she got hearing aids.  It was awful.

Of course, it would be tough being blind, too…

6. What’s the best music, theater, or sporting venue you’ve been to? What made it great?

I’m going to say an Alan Jackson concert, at the Savannah Civic Center, because we had second row seats!  It’s the closest I’ve ever been to a stage.

7. It’s the last week of the month…in five words or less bid adieu to your February.

Good riddance, winter.  Hello, spring!

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last year’s spring garden

Random:

Yesterday our temperatures reached near eighty degrees.  Today, the predicted high is in the mid-fifties.  Is that crazy or what?  My laundry will contain long-sleeves and shorts–all in one load!

Meanwhile, I’m dragging 75 various seedlings (tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, cabbage) in and out of the house, until it gets warm enough to plant them in our garden.  Spring, please hurry!

Published in: on February 26, 2014 at 8:17 am  Comments (13)  
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There’s No Place Like The Hodgepodge…

It’s hard to believe this is the 125th edition of The Hodgepodge, but it is!  I don’t know how she does it, but our hostess, Joyce, continues to have an endless supply of thought-provoking and informative questions at her disposal.  Did you know that May is National Blood Pressure Month?  Me either!

Joyce’s questions are printed below, along with my answers.  Don’t forget to hop around a visit a few friends after you read my answers.  You can do this by clicking on Joyce’s button at the top of this post.

1. May is National Blood Pressure Month…what sends yours soaring, either literally or figuratively? What calms you down? When did you last have your bp checked?

Thinking about the rapid decline of our nation (the out-of-control government spending, declining morals of people, loss of personal freedoms– not to mention all of the lying and deception from our top-ranking government officials) is a sure-fire way to make my blood pressure rise!  Other contributing factors would be unexpected doctor/dentist visits or any kind of discord within my family.

When I feel like I just can’t take anymore, I’ll distance myself from the news.  Other relaxation techniques include relaxing in a candlelight bubble bath while my favorite music plays in the background, or my all-time favorite–spending a relaxing day at the beach!  Troubles just seem to melt away whenever I’m beside the ocean.

I purchased a blood pressure monitor around Christmas, so I can check my own pressure on  regular basis. Thanks to a loss of 25 pounds, my blood pressure is now lower.

2. You just found $1-what do you spend it on? How about 10$ 100?

It’s funny that Joyce should ask this question.  I actually found a dollar in the trash can outside of a store just the other day! I put it in my purse, and have no idea what I spent it on.  Last weekend, Ed found ten dollars on the floor of a store, and gave it to me, although I tried to get him to keep it.  I bought a new garden sprayer with it yesterday.  I don’t know what I’d buy if I found $100.

3. Mandatory labeling of genetically engineered (GE) food has been proposed, but not enacted in the US. How much attention do you give food labels before you buy? Are you in favor of labeling if it means an increase in food prices? Is this an issue you’ve been following and feel strongly about, or is this the first you’ve heard of the controversy?

I am aware of the genetically engineered foods, due to my on-going battle with candida albicans.  I never was a label reader before I became ill with this condition, but I am an avid label reader now!  As I’ve become more educated about candida albicans, I’ve become much more aware of what NOT to put inside of my body.  GE foods are not a good thing to put inside of our bodies–and neither is sugar!  Since what I eat directly affects my health, I’m in in favor of labeling, so I’ll know what to avoid.

4. May 15th marks the birthdate of Frank Baum, author of The Wizard of Oz. At this point in time, are you more in need of brains, courage, heart, or a trip back home? Explain.

At this point in time, I am in need of more brains.  The brain I have seems to be malfunctioning more and more often!  Sometimes I can’t remember names or details, and if I don’t perform a task on a regular basis, sometimes I may forget how to do it!  For instance, I stopped drinking sweet iced tea six months ago.  Ed makes the tea now because he’s the only one who drinks it.  Last night, I was going to make the tea because Ed was outside.  I quickly discovered that I’d forgotten how many tea bags and how much sugar to use!

5. “There’s no place like home” is an oft repeated line from Baum’s book. When was the last time you felt the truth of that statement?

I’ve never felt the truth of that statement more than I do at this point in my life!  The older I get, the more I prefer to be at home, especially at bedtime!  I remember Ed’s parents becoming like that, as they grew older, and I couldn’t understand why they didn’t like to spend the night away from home anymore.  Now I understand.  No other bed sleeps as good as my own, and I like the familiarity of my own home versus a strange place.

6. Steak…yes please or no thank you? What cut do you prefer and how do you like yours cooked? Sauce or no sauce? Besides your own kitchen, where’s a place you like to go to get a great steak?

Yes, please!  Steak is one of my favorite foods.  I prefer a Delmonico or a New York Strip, but will eat anything, as long as it’s well-done.  Of course, I have to have my steak covered in steak sauce or ketchup, too!  My favorite steak place is Longhorn’s Steak House, but we rarely go there.

7. When was the last time you were in a genuine hurry?

The last time I remember being in a genuine hurry was when our oldest grandson was about to be born, four years ago.  Our daughter-in-law went for her routine check-up, and ended up getting sent to the hospital for a c-section.  I was in the middle of hosting a Christmas dinner for Ed’s employees, but I had to make a hasty exit and head for the hospital!

Random:  

Here are a few of the photographs included in the wonderful book I received for Mother’s Day:

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My grown children

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The grandchildren (including #4 who’s not born yet)

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A family portrait of all

There’s no doubt, I’m one blessed mother and grandmother!

Published in: on May 15, 2013 at 7:22 am  Comments (10)  
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Thursday’s Thoughts ~ Ten Years…

This week’s breaking news story about the three young women (and a child) who were rescued after being kidnapped and held captive for over ten years was a shocker!  I can’t begin to imagine the years of torture and anguish these women must have endured!  As far as I’m concerned, the individual responsible for stealing ten years of these women’s lives doesn’t deserve to live.  Life in prison is too easy of a price to pay, but I’m getting a bit off subject here…

Today I want to talk about ten years, and what a difference ten years can make in one’s life.

6-15-2011 8;37;30 AM Kathy and Ed2

Our family in 1991

Thinking about the plight of these women started me thinking about the years of my life, and how much I’d have missed if ten years were suddenly snatched away.  A lot can, and usually does, happen in ten years.  For instance, let’s look at the last ten years.

Ten years ago I was 48 years old.  48 sounds so much younger than 58–and it is!  I had much more energy and stamina back then.  I was still working at my job as a paraprofessional, and loving it.  I was volunteering at the local animal shelter after work and on weekends, too!  I was busy, busy, busy.  These days, it’s all I can do to keep my house cleaned and tend to our garden.  What a difference ten years makes!

Ten years ago, Ed was working at a hospital 55 miles from home and holding down a second job, too!  He was also building a game house on the weekends!  Talk about energy and stamina, Ed had it going on back then!  Oh, and that game house Ed was building?  Neither of us ever dreamed that ten years later, we’d be living in it!

9-3-2010 5;40;45 PM family

Our family cir. 2001

Ten years ago our  youngest was just about to graduate from high school, and our oldest was basically still a newlywed, having been married less than two years.  Our middle child had been trying to find his way in this world, and giving his parents lots of gray hairs in the process.  Thankfully, he would soon meet his wife-to-be and begin the process of growing up and settling down.

Ten years ago there were no grandchildren!  Holidays and family gatherings were a lot more quiet, but a lot less exciting.  I never dreamed, back then, that we’d have three grandchildren here, and another on the way, within ten years!

As I switch gears and begin to look forward, it’s a sobering thought what the next ten years will bring.  Ed and I are now entering the phase of life that we still vividly remember watching our parents go through.  We’re acutely aware that our time here on earth is even more precious and limited.

I know Ed and I will have aged ten more years, and our energy and stamina will have declined even more.  Health problems will most likely be more of an issue.

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Our family in 2013

Here’s what I hope will be happening in ten years:  I hope Ed and I will still be alive and in reasonably good health!  I hope Ed will have been retired for several years!  I hope to be drawing a small retirement check from my job at the school.  I hope Ed and I will be able to draw some of the Social Security we spent over forty years paying into!  I hope our gardening endeavors will be on a much smaller basis by then–perhaps a little container gardening in the yard.

We’ll probably be exiting the “raising chickens phase” of life because our chicken coop will need to be replaced by then.  I love cats, so I’ll probably still have one–but only one, instead of a dozen!  Pet food is too expensive.

Our grandchildren will be ages 16, 14, almost 12, and their parents will be struggling to survive those “teen years”!  The grandchild we’re expecting now will be almost 10.  Will there be other “grands”?  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Wow!  Looking at the pictures in this post really hits close to home.  Ten years sure does make a lot of difference, doesn’t it?!

Published in: on May 9, 2013 at 8:32 am  Comments (5)  
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Views On Getting Older… We Seem To Be Turning Into His Parents!

Kathy and Ed on Valentine's Day 2010

It’s official folks…my husband and I are quickly turning into his parents…sort of!  We have vivid memories of them aging through the years, and these days we often find ourselves repeating some of their habits.

The first and most bothersome thing I’ve noticed is the fact that my  husband has difficult time hearing.  This is not a new problem, it’s just getting worse.  In order for him to hear the television, he has the volume so loud I nearly jump out of my skin!  I even bought him one of those little gadgets to help him hear–he refuses to use it!  Ed’s daddy did the same thing.  I remember Ed’s mama trying to get her husband to go and get his hearing checked, but he always refused.  Once she even made him an appointment–and he made her cancel it!  My husband is the same way.  Despite my repeated efforts–he refuses.  So….he rarely knows what is being said on television…or anywhere else for that matter!

I’ve also tried (unsuccessfully) to get him to go to the dentist AND the optometrist.  I might as well be talking to the wall!  He needs glasses, but refuses to go get his eyes checked because he knows that he has cataracts–and is afraid they will tell him it’s time for the surgery!  I’ve assured him that he can “just say no”!  

 Oh my, just the thought of going to the dentist makes his blood pressure rise–a lot!  He has a deep fear of the dentist… from his childhood.  I think he’s been to the dentist twice in the past 40 years, need I say more?  He is a “stickler” for taking care of his teeth, however.  He brushes and flosses twice as long as I do–and I visit the dentist regularly.

The latest habit that I’ve noticed my husband picking up is eating two cookies( chocolate covered grahams) after his meals.  I prefer Oreos!  As they grew older, Ed’s parents always kept a package of cookies(Big Sixties) on the table, and his daddy always ate a couple of cookies for dessert.  Ed’s daddy also jumped up and began clearing away the dinner dishes as soon as he was finished eating–whether anyone else was finished or not!  Ed is guilty of that habit, too!  You’d better hold onto your plate…

The other night Ed saw a co-worker that he hadn’t seen in a while.  He couldn’t get over how much she had aged.  He rarely comments on anyone’s appearance, so it must’ve been bad.  She was telling him about all of these vitamins and stuff that she is taking… and he was thinking , it’s not working for you…

After that we started talking about getting old.  He said “I’m pushing seventy!” (not true…he just turned 60)  I said to him “Well, your daddy lived to be 80, and your mama is about to be 89, so you come from “good stock”.  He says to me very seriously…”Well, men don’t live as long as women–the women “hell-hack” the men to death, then spend the rest of their lives complaining because the men died!”  Oh my goodness…I thought I’d die on the spot!  After all of these years, I finally know Ed’s view on “old age”–and women!  All I can say to that comment is…Ed’s lucky that I have mellowed in my old age…and have a good sense of humor these days…

Published in: on February 25, 2010 at 10:20 am  Leave a Comment  
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