Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Don't You Love the Stock Market?

I just love the fact that I've retired and the market decides to correct! Thank heavens for diversification! Now if the Fed will leave the rates alone! When you come up on retirement, you are told by everyone to develop a plan to pay plan consists of an annuity, interest on money in money market or money manager accounts, stocks and bonds in a conservative mix! I have no plans to touch the principal of my money or my 401(k) for a while unless the Fed cuts the rate banks pay and my interest income goes down! Probably the biggest issue after figuring out what to do with all my time is to determine how to pay for life without a paycheck!

When you don't anticipate payday, you are a little more cautious about what you buy...or at least that's what I've found...that and the fact that I need absolutely nothing. Shopping for retirement clothes...t-shirts, jeans and not at all fun. Our life is so casual that Sam's Club is almost becoming more fun to shop for clothes than Chico's! and you all know how much I love Chico's! Even when I'm doing a little consulting for gas money for the RV (ha ha), leftovers from the corporate job are going to last forever! A black suit, a few blouses and some sweater coats (think Chicos!) will never be wrong and never wear out if you rarely need them!

Well I'm going to go back and watch the market! Certainly don't want to go back to real work!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Help Donate a Free Mammogram

A favor to ask, it only takes a minute....

Please tell ten friends to tell ten today! The Breast Cancer site is having trouble getting enough people to click on their site daily to meet their quota of donating at least one free mammogram a day to an underprivileged woman. It takes less than a minute to go to their site and click on "donating a mammogram" for free (pink window in the middle).
This doesn't cost you a thing. Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate mammogram in exchange for advertising.
Here's the web site! Pass it along to people you know.

Monday, February 26, 2007

A New Political Animal?

I grew up in a household where my Dad was a Yellow Dog Democrat! For those of you not familiar with this term, it means that he was such a good Democrat, he'd vote for a yellow dog if he was running on the Democrat ticket. I've never been very political, in part because I worked all the time, had a family and just really didn't have the time to continue to work on campaigns, go door to door and all the things my Dad had us doing as children and teens! I've always voted so don't get the wrong idea and have prided myself on voting the individual not the party! So, in my retirement, I've decided to get back into the swing of things and begin to take a stand on things I believe in, like voting for Hillary Clinton and maybe doing a bit of campaigning on her behalf.

When the Clinton's tried to "fix" healthcare, I was so excited. I've worked in the international market a bit over the past two decades, and while no national health service is perfect, at least everyone has access to some level of care. We have over 50 million people in the U.S. who are uninsured, and many more who are underinsured...and in a way, I'm one of them. Woody's entire Social Security Check is going to pay for our health insurance! Now, if I had not retired early and had worked seven more years to Medicare, then it wouldn't be a problem...but my old body couldn't take seven more years of being a road warrior and traveling constantly. I would love to have basic health coverage free of charge, and the option to buy a supplemental policy to offset out of pocket costs or upgrade access to some services or facilities. While the government health programs aren't perfect either, it's still better than the Emergency Room as a primary care provider!

Whether you love her or hate her, at least Hillary tried! Healthcare is still the fastest growing cost in our GDP and eventually will bankrupt both the nation and the family if something isn't done. She's already surfaced the issue since everyone knows she will bring it to the forefront if elected! All of a sudden, politicians are racing to present a health plan to provide care for all! You go girl...we need someone who will put aside politics and focus on our country's needs. I know the U.S. will always be a player on the world stage, but in case anyone hasn't noticed...we've gotten sidetracked with being the world's policeman while other countries are focused on educating their children, growing their economy and working internally on their population's needs. Our country is losing ground as a world leader in a positive sense...we need to refocus! Hillary can do it! oh...Barak Obama would be a good VP! and a little nepotism won't hurt...think about the Kennedy's! and yes, I am that old!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Tales of a Nomad!

Got a fabulous response from Rita! Thought I'd share it with you....

"Pat, Hi

I'm glad you enjoyed traveling with me. Thanks so much for the terrific "review" on your blog and for the link to my site. The book is surviving on word-of-mouth at this point.I've been in Patzcuaro, Mexico, since November working on that collaborative story/cookbook. We've pretty much chosen the stories and it's going to be a fantastic book.Our main criterion was a good read and lots of real emotion. We've got it all; the stories are.exciting, unique, romantic, horrendous, funny, passionate, absurd, sad, touching, revealing. We also set out to find stories that would inspire readers to shake up their lives a bit. Most of the stories are written by people who have been willing to step outside of their comfort zones and try something new..or interact with strangers..or put themselves into " the unknown." Most of the writers were willing to expose a part of themselves to tell their stories. There's a real sense of the writer behind the story, which means there's a lot of opportunity for readers to identify with the writer..and hopefully be inspired to step outside of their own comfort zones. The next step is to cook all the recipes. We've had two cooking/tasting parties and we've tested about twenty recipes. We're only using the ones everyone loved. It's been hard work but fun.I will be in Seattle for about nine months beginning next week. I hoping to get this project finished and then take care of all the things in my life that are on teeth and PR for the Nomad book to keep it alive, and setting up a foundation so the profits from the story/cookbook go to the kids in India. I'm actually looking forward to almost sitting still.Happy journey to you, wherever it may take you. Sounds like you are about to have a lot of fun. Smile a lot and talk to strangers.

Best, Rita"

Saturday, February 17, 2007

A Snowy Saturday

Snow least an inch! and in Tennessee that shuts down the city. Hubby and I decided to chill, literally, and stay out of the madness of people who can't drive when it rains, much less snows! Spent the morning surfing the web...the new hobby for seniors! Who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks. We've explored and read all the entertainment news, went to and then to the infamous swimsuit model issue of Sports Illustrated! (Hubby can't even turn on a computer without directions, so I have to help!) I have such an exciting life since retirement...I love it! Most days!

Just finished a great book...Tales of a Female Nomad, Living at Large in the World by Rita Golden Gelman. My neighbor gave it to me...while I fantasize about really running away from home, four years in Bali might be a bit much. For anyone thinking about escape, this is a definite read! A bit scary...she did do this in the 80's and 90's it appears, but she still took some significant safety risks. I might be just a little conservative, and, perhaps even a little risk averse. is her web site and she's currently in Mexico! I'm fascinated with her book. She's a children's author and I think I'll go see if I can find some of her books for my rowdy grandchildren when the snow clears! This is the kind of book I might be able to tackle...very little dialogue and almost a narrative which I may be able to do. Random House's Three River Press published it if you're looking. She's still looking for other Nomads....go to her site and send her a note!

I'm still processing my life four months into much I want to do that it's hard to prioritize. So far, photography, writing, some crafty kinds of things, consulting, travel...all viable candidates but where is the passion. I think photography and writing, but I'm still struggling with the productivity and "give back" part of me. Some days I love being relaxed, others I think I need to do something productive for the world...hubby says I've given all my life and now it can be about me...just struggling to determine if I deserve "me" time.

I did submit a post today to Hillary Clinton's potential blog...addressed universal health care! When I retired, we went on Cobra and eventually will transition to the retiree health benefit plan of my old will take all hubby's social security to pay for coverage. I'm definitely a proponent of universal health care...and of Hillary's candidacy...full disclosure of course! My dad would be proud...he was a yellow dog Democrat. For those of you who don't know, a yellow dog Democrat would vote for a yellow dog if he, or SHE, ran for office. I can remember working on campaigns in junior high and high school with my Dad and then becoming almost apolitical...I voted, but as an Independent...which means I vote for the person not the party. Truth be known, that's the way it should be...the person who can deliver on promises that are compatible with your beliefs should be the guiding mantra! While I benefited from the tax breaks of the Republicans, I just am too concerned about the majority of Americans who don't have the same benefits of the more affluent. I guess I can't get away from working for the YMCA in high school in the projects of Jackson, TN and seeing what poverty does to children. Having been in health care, specifically cancer care, for years, I always felt I was serving a population with needs...that's why it's hard for me to focus on what I want to do in retirement. I still want to give back...

So, I'm a bit verbose's the snow! Now if I can just figure out what I want to be when I grow up!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Let's Bring You Up to Date

For those of you who didn't get a chance to read about my road to retirement, let's bring you up to date. Two years ago I decided that I wanted to consider retirement! I knew that I needed help in order to maintain what little sanity I had left! I really didn't know where to begin planning for retirement so I started my first blog. For almost two years I posted some of my progress toward retirement and I'll share a few here. My husband said I needed a hobby...I considered travel, boating, soap making, photography, writing, gardening...well you get the picture. Finally, it's photography (look at and writing ( and a little consulting ( and sold a few things on eBay. I also queried my friends about how will I know when it is time. One wise woman told me I'd just know...boy was she right! We've had a few life changing experiences the past two years. We sold our boat and bought two RV's in six months! Once we decided to retire for sure, the first RV wasn't big enough for extended trips so we traded up to a Winnebago Itasca Sunrise! ( A most fabulous RV. In fact our first extended trip was to Florida for six weeks and it was heaven.

The one thing that concerns me is that I seem to have less time in retirement than I had working! There is so much to do and so little time...I'm still not sure if I'll look back on my early retirement at some point and say I should have stayed in the workplace longer. I'm still not sure if I can keep myself entertained. Have I done the right thing? We'll just have to see!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

My new blog!

In a fit of I'm not sure what...I deleted my old blog that chronicled my journey to, before the great address got we go again with my journey through retirement! I retired on October 31, 2006 and immediately bought a new and bigger RV and hit the road. I presented a seminar at Emory Healthcare on Transformational Leadership, went to Tunica and lost a few bucks at the Grand Resort Tunica, headed to my sister-in-law's plantation, and then to Destin, Florida for six weeks. During this time I also did a business proposal for the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank, a system wide strategic plan for a major health system in Houston, and tried to gear down from a Type A personality. I don't think I'm succeeding very well...but if you read my old blog...that's the issue with me. So, here we go again. Will write more later!