Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Wonderful Afternoon at the Track!

Woody and I spent a wonderful afternoon at Kentucky Downs in Franklin, KY watching and betting (a little) on the races! We sat on the 2nd floor porch of the clubhouse with lots of other "old" people, had a light lunch (hot dogs, chips and M&M's) and bet on the ponies! It was tons of fun and not really that expensive since you could bet as little as $2 per race or not at all! We, of course, that would really be me, bet a little more than that and even won a little! So your tip for the day is think outside the box, keep up with activities at local venues and head out for a fun day or evening rather than sitting home!

Tonight we head out to Cheekwood for an event hosted by Belle Meade Vacations. Tons of travel and cruise vendors are in one place so we can pick our next "excellent adventure". The very best travel agent in the world is Cindy Farringer who is one of the owners of Belle Meade Vacations and my dearest friend! She has arranged some fabulous trips for us so give her a call when you need a great trip!
Cindy Farringer at  or 615-386-9876
Cindy Farringer, Travel Specialist

This is Cindy in Costa Rica I think! She personally checks out so many of the trips or cruises that she recommends so she knows what is great or least that's the excuse she gives for lots of good travel!

On Saturday, Woody heads out to a free car show in Lebanon, TN and I'm heading to shop and do lunch. Too many retired folks sit around and don't make the effort to get out. We have a friend who knows entirely too much about daytime TV! He needs to get out more. When you are still healthy enough to try new things, don't waste your life....sitting at home may come soon enough as we age. Socializing through groups or with friends is important. Most senior citizen centers sponsor bus trips to local events or even longer trips. Golden Circle Travel specializes in trips for older adults. You don't have to hibernate for the rest of your life after you retire! Sit down with a map and see what is a reasonable day trip drive from your home...back roads are great because you can go slow and leave your blinker on and no one cares!!

Have fun...get out and about...don't vegetate!

Friday, September 14, 2012

A New Endeavor

You know me by now...always trying to reinvent myself! I've started another blog...Making Health Care Work available at . When you go to the hospital, you need to know what is going to happen to you and also how to make health care work better for you. Starting with your own personal health behaviors...watching your weight (I'm working on that too!), not smoking, getting some type of regular exercise such as walking or swimming, and eating a healthy may be able to head off many illnesses by being healthy and taking care of yourself. Staying out of the hospital is the best way to avoid hospital acquired infections and to protect yourself from accidental errors in care. Hospitals don't intend to do harm, but they are only as good as their weakest employee. With the increasing complexity of care needed and the increasing workloads placed on doctors, nurses and staff, it's no wonder that problems happen. Having worked in and with hospitals for over 40 years, I know that they are doing the best they can with shrinking reimbursements, fewer dollars, and increasing numbers of patients. So your tips for today...practice healthy habits, wash your hands lots, ask your healthcare providers if they have washed their hands, don't hesitate to ask questions of your doctor and staff, and, most importantly, do what your doctors tell you!! Take your prescribed medicines correctly and consider supplements and vitamins after discussing them with your doctor.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Road Trip with Savannah and Random Stuff!

Road trip! This past weekend we headed to Chattanooga to take Miss Savannah to the Aquarium as a birthday present for her mommy! Libby and Led could party on and so could we! Libby gave us Marriott points for a room, so we spent the night. The Aquarium was incredible with two separate for the Ocean and one for the River. Savannah had been there before but it was all new to is fabulous. Savannah loved the penguins but wanted granddad to hold her when the sharks swam by! I think it's watching Nemo too much. She knows the sharks are not always your friend. We didn't realize that there were two separate buildings on the same ticket, so after finishing the ocean side, we came out and went to lunch at Friday's. Striking up a conversation with a family in the next booth, they asked us which we liked better. Pulling out our tickets, we realized after a leisurely lunch and a bit of a rest, we could go back and do the other side! After a nap back at the hotel, we went for a swim and then had dinner via the Marriott Bistro in our room! Savannah can float on her we have to get the floaties off!

On Sunday, we took her to the Children's Discovery Museum. It is wonderful and we only did the first floor. The climbing area is better than our Children's Museum in Nashville as it was geared to a smaller size kiddo. Granddad had to carry her out kicking and screaming to head to other areas...she calmed down quickly when she realized we weren't leaving, just moving to a different fun thing. Chattanooga is the perfect distance for a trip as it's only about 100 miles from Murfreesboro where we picked up the kiddo.

Our tips for road trips with grandkids is go somewhere close, take lots of snacks for the car and room including breakfast foods so you don't have to rush out to eat, take a portable DVD player, pick fun things to do and don't rush! Kids really enjoy some experiences and may run through others as boring. The more interactive the better. Let them set the pace. In our case, the butterfly exhibit was not exciting but she loved touching the rays and sturgeon. Take plenty of hand sanitizer!

Last weekend, Woody and I headed to Louisville for the Change of Command Ceremony for our neighbor Tom. He is moving from the Naval Reserve Center Command to become Flag Secretary for the VAdmiral of the Navy Reserve! It was tons of fun and quite impressive. And you know I always find a casino, so after the ceremony we headed to Elizabeth, IN to Horseshoe Casino...a Harrah's property which meant a free room for two nights, the Paula Deen Buffet and SLOTS! I actually won for the second time this summer.  I've said it before, but if you like to gamble, stay with one company and you can earn free rooms and other comps...just be sure you set a limit ahead of time!

This summer has been different in that we have taken lots of trips We did a week in Florida with Savannah and her parental units, a week in NC with Riley and Will along with a stop in Cherokee, NC, a trip to Paducah for the quilt museum and Metropolis for the casino, a trip to Louisville and Elizabeth, IN, and a trip to Chattanooga with more trip over Labor Day to Woody's family reunion and then home for a while. Whew! So one more tip...yes, two for one today...plan short trips around your home base! We have had a ball, haven't spent that much money, and still had a great time. We now are getting the RV squared away to head to Florida for two different months! That way we won't be gone too long from Savannah and still have our fun time in Florida.

Safe travels!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Grandkiddos! Horses! Gambling and more!!

Traveled to see the grandkiddos in NC in July! We had a blast.
We spent lots of time at the barn watching Riley ride, and Will and my favorite daughter in law learn to ride. Jennifer is doing great and Will is staying on the horse. He had more fun flirting with all the girls! Also loved playing with my granddogs Bella and Charlie. On the way over we stopped at Harrah's Cherokee which is about halfway. After Woody's motorcycle wreck in June, driving and even riding was a bit tough. I drove and just gave him drugs. Didn't do too poorly in the gambling but could have done better. Coming home we took the back way and headed to Rogersville to see Uncle Lori and Aunt Marie and Uncle Paul and Aunt Mary. Aunt Marie and Uncle Paul are having a bit of a rough go...prayers for all of them. We'll see everyone again at the reunion over Labor Day!

Our time, as always, is too short when we go to NC to visit...wish they all lived closer.

July was a busy month...we got bored and decided to head to Metropolis...another favorite casino! This one was a fabulous gambling experience! We also headed to the National Quilt Museum in Paducah. This is such a definite see in your lifetime! The artistry and talent exhibited in the quilts was unbelievable. Woody wants to make a quilt but I know how that goes...he will start one and every 5 minutes will be calling for me to help! I may send him to Estelle's....she does great quilts!!

The one thing I'm most proud of is that I am routinely doing water aerobics! When we were at Camping on the Gulf we used a CD of Billie Jo's Wet and Wonderful which I found on Amazon! I am exercising at least an hour 5 or so times a week. I'm not losing weight but I am putting on muscle and my clothes continue to get looser! Just have to get back on the diet but since the reunion is over the real pressure is off! LOL

We head out this weekend to see our neighbor Tom give up command at the Naval Base in Louisville and head to the Pentagon...we love Cindy and the kids and they will continue to stay here. Tom commuted from Louisville but he won't get home quite as often from DC but you don't say no to a promotion and a Pentagon assignment! Oh and of course there is a casino 21 miles from the base...guess where we will be for the rest of the weekend? By the way...we get comps on the rooms so if I win or breakeven we come out ahead!

So my retirement tip is get a rewards card from one casino and stay with it...I like Harrah's because they have casinos everywhere and they are very generous with their comps...especially if you can go during the week!

Back to the Olympics...I love watching just about everything! Have a great time in retirement! See you at the slots!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

My 45th High School Reunion!

If you've been following my posts, you know that last weekend was my 45th Jackson High School reunion...or as Woody says, our first H.S. dance! I had not been to a reunion since my 10th so I hadn't seen these wonderful "old" friends in 35 years...except for Rombye.  Rombye has a great leather works offering called The Cordwainer is their site. We see her twice a year at our Artisan Fair in Nashville. was great to reconnect with tons of people who were an important part of my life back in high school! We almost didn't get to go because Woody wrecked his motorcycle on his trip with Mike. One separated shoulder and tons of bumps and bruises and sore muscles later, he still troopered on and escorted me! Today you get a few tips, not just one....don't let an almost 70 year old man ride a motorcycle and don't even think about missing your high school reunion!

I was really surprised that all of us so easily integrated was like we were never apart. I think all of us had a few trepidations over a few extra pounds, some gray hair, and baggage carried over from high school. I know I'd been on a diet for months which unfortunately still didn't make me tall, thin and blond. What we found is that regardless of circumstances or size, we still loved each other and saw us as we used to be! Well, except...we had to sit up straight, girls up, and no side shot photos! Lots of hugs, a few adult beverages, some tears (that would be Patsy), dancing (YMCA and the electric slide), singing (that would be Donna and me and Carol and Pat G. and a few others), a great brunch at the Baker's Rack in the old Holland's building (one of my favorite shopping places in Jackson along with Kisber's and Rosenbloom's), and lots of talking (really gossiping but we don't say that, bless your heart)! I missed several good friends who either had scheduling conflicts or were chicken and didn't show! I know who you are and will make sure you show at our 50th! I won't miss another one as long as I'm still around! It was a blast! Thanks to Mary Helen, Donna and the rest of the reunion committee who made this a weekend to remember!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Facebook and the Prayer Chain!

Recently I've been trying hard to diet as my 45th high school reunion is the end of June...unfortunately I've not been too successful! I certainly don't look like I did when I graduated from high school, or even nursing school! But I guess at 63, I can't expect to be tall, thin and blond....but then I've never been over 5'2", always been a bit stocky as I was, and still to a degree am, a jock. As for blond, I look too washed out so I'm a bit of auburn to cover the gray! With the advent of facebook, at least I know what some of my cohorts from dear old Jackson High School look like...we're older but still gorgeous! Of course, Betha still looks great! So since I haven't been as successful as I wanted on the diet, I'll just hang on to my good lookin' hubby and have a blast!

I had a reminder a few days ago that I am exceedingly blessed...whenever I have a twinge of jealousy (think of Betha and her gorgeous self), I immediately try to stop and think of all the good things in my life! Is life ever perfect? I don't think so, but God doesn't always do what we ask for...He does what's good for us!! There are always a few things I'd like to renegotiate, but God is too busy laughing at my plans to carry on a meaningful dialogue! But like my diet, I persist in telling God all the things I'd like him to help me with in the future...that comes right after praying for all my family and friends and tons of petitions from my facebook friends. So far He's done a great job of taking care of all my family and friends, so I guess He's listening to me, just not letting me sell my house or motor home!! One thing that I am amazed at with prayer, is that facebook has replaced all the old time prayer chain calls! I remember when mother would get a phone call to activate her prayer partners for someone at First Baptist Church in Jackson, TN. Now, my friends just post on facebook that they need special prayers...even God has gotten into the social media network!

This post is sort of a buckshot topic...I'm just jumping around from topic to topic, but I do so love to share all my thoughts...this is better than a diary or a journal, and certainly cheaper than a psychiatrist. Yesterday and today, we opened our pool finally...this is the first time we've done it ourselves...other than the fact that we should have opened it sooner, I think we're getting there. We left it covered until we got back from Florida, so that was 9 months and tons of least we've got the chlorine level where it needs to be, the pH is better but not great yet, and we've vacuumed tons of dead algae...hopefully in a few days it will be crystal clear and I can get back to water aerobics!

Woody leaves Monday for a week in Chattanooga with his brother...they are riding motorcycles on several road courses around the city. So I'm going to be asking for prayers for their safety on facebook! Let's activate the fb prayer chain! Especially for Woody! Remember, he's supposed to be my arm candy at the reunion.

I'm not sure what else I should share with you today...oh...go see Rock of's a feel good movie with great music. You'll come out feeling great. So nite all...have a great weekend!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Memorial Day Weekend! What a wonderful, HOT time in H'ville! Record high temperatures predicted and records being broken daily...needless to say, we've planned a lazy weekend. Went to see the Avengers on Friday afternoon. Had to wait until our free ticket from lots of trips to the movies was valid! Still have to squeeze in MIB III tomorrow. We are just addicted to movies. Savannah spent the night Friday. We usually take her to the local car show which she loves because of the kids activities, but it was just too hot. We took her to the Adventure Science Center, our children's museum, on Saturday. She had a ball but grandad was pooped. He had to to chase her up and down the climbing area in the center!

Today was the Indy 500 and the Coca Cola 600! I have always loved open wheel racing and over the past years have learned to love NASCAR. Last year we got to go to the Indy 500 and so glad we weren't planning this year since they had record temps too! We've been to Indy 500, Daytona 500, and Bristol...we've been to Monaco but haven't seen the Grand Prix of Monaco...missed it by just a few days. Our bucket list is getting really short, so we need to think up some more fun things to do!

Just a few more days til we head to Florida with the Ledwell's. This is now our annual trip...would be great if we could ever convince Chris and Jenn to join us but we'll see them in July. I just love going to the beach, even if we mostly stay on the balcony or the pool deck and look at the beach. Can't wait to get to Dusty's and eat lots of oysters and Dewey's in Destin for fried shrimp. We found a condo in Destin we want, but no movement on the RV so I guess we'll wait...we really don't need both!

I know I've promised retirement tips in every blog entry, but I really don't have a tip this time other than to thank all our active and retired military for their service to our country. Because of them, we can sit in the comfort of our air conditioned home and watch racing...or cook out with friends...or go to the movies...and mostly just celebrate the freedom that we have to live large and safe! Have a great rest of the weekend!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Commerce is alive and well!

I just made a sale on Craigslist! Savannah had outgrown her slide and "climbing" wall and her toddler bed so we had been trying to sell them by sticking them in our front yard. No luck and I'm just sure our neighbors loved seeing them on our driveway every day! For those of you following my trip through retirement, you know I've sold lots of stuff on eBay and probably made a profit...although I'm really not sure! So to move on to Craigslist is so much easier because it's free...and free is good! You do have to worry about someone mugging you when they come pick up the stuff, but with Woody around I feel safe. He's not exactly small and you don't necessarily have to open the door if the buyers look a little suspect! Our friend Wild Bill sells things all the time and he says you should meet the buyer at McDonald's or somewhere public...that might be tough with the couch and chairs I've also listed. So tip for the day...Craigslist is a great way to sell things, but take precautions and either meet away from your house or have a really big person to be there when the buyers come!

My consulting work is really slow right now so I actually have some time to catch up around the house. One of the things that I've found in my semi-retirement is that goofing off can expand to available time and then nothing gets accomplished! Savannah does help me by cleaning up the porch when she visits...she hates dirt! Guess I should let her use the sweeper rather than by hand! LOL! I am pleased that my screened porch garden is doing well. We have little tommy toe tomatoes on the plants...or at least on the higher branches since Andy the Yorkie has stripped the lower ones bare...he loves tomatoes but he needs to let them get ripe! Our gardenia tree has tons of blooms and we have sweet basil, rosemary and mint growing like crazy. I finally got my petunias out in the front bed but I have to admit that's all!! I desperately need to weed around the mailbox and in my Iris in the back, but I just have no interest! Preen works wonders but you have to weed first! The big beds are fine, but the little ones are suffering as I really don't like yard work! I hate bermuda just runs everywhere!! If you love gardening and just want to weed, come on over!

Hope you have a great week...things are good in H'ville!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Are discount clubs cheaper?

Now that I'm retired, I take a lot longer to shop! I have a Sam's Club membership, frequent WalMart and love Publix Grocery. One of the things I've found is that prices on any given item or on any given day can be lower at any one of the three! Last week we priced Atkins Nutrition Bars and saved well over a dollar by buying 3 boxes at WalMart rather than one triple size box at Sam's. Since there are only two of us, sizes of consumables at Sam's means waste, but sometimes it's less expensive to buy large and give some away if you can't use it all especially fruit. Several of our friends shop together and split large packages but I've never found anyone that likes everything I like! I'm always partial to Publix meat because Sam's and WalMart have not proved to be that good in quality. Both Woody and I are not afraid to buy clothes at Sam's since they often have Ralph Lauren Polo, Nautica, Levi's, Calvin Klein and other brand names. Clothes shopping does require trying clothes over clothes (which looks a little funny I know), knowing how designers' fit or being prepared to return things that don't fit when you get them home. We've also found that brand name grandchildren clothes can also be found at Sam's but are often cheaper at WalMart! As fast as kids grown and as rough as day care is, Garanimals at WalMart are cheaper than Carter's or OshKosh. You can still buy a really special outfit occasionally...but just go to WalMart or work in the yard, you don't need designer might be overdressed.

Woody and I also entertain ourselves with shopping if we can't think of anything else to do on a rainy day. We love to browse Sam's and sample food! So enjoy shopping but bottom pricing and try not to impulse buy!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Too busy for words!

I don't even know where to begin! I have been working for The Oncology Group in Amarillo, TX and Las Cruces, NM for the past few months and have really enjoyed it...however, it has left little time for "retirement"! We always talk about working part time or occasionally in retirement for extra spending money but sometimes it does get out of hand. All that being said, the job is finished so I'm back to having a few moments for myself again.

To catch you up, we went to see Mary Poppins in February which was fabulous, popped up to Metropolis to the casino and hit Lobster day in the buffet, and went to see Mirror Mirror which we loved. We took Savannah to Jackson for the weekend to swim and visit family a few weeks ago, went to see the Easter bunny and rode the train and carousel and had a wonderful Easter Sunday cookout with the family. Savannah turned 2 on April 12th and had her party on Saturday the 14th, we did our groupie thing and went to see the Boomerangs that Saturday night and also back in February too, and then drove to Jackson to see my sweet sistuh Dana star in Lend Me A Tenor for the Jackson Theater Guild on Sunday! In between, I broke the garbage disposal and bruised my rib or pulled some cartilage! Don't ask...but if you must know...if you put a penny in a tulip vase to get them to stand up, don't pour the water out in the garbage disposal and then turn it on! One stuck penny and one useless blade. I have little tomatoes on my plants on the screened porch, basil coming up, mint and rosemary running amuck and a gardenia tree that is suffering...not sure what I'm doing wrong. The iris and roses are thriving but I still need to plant a few annuals to brighten up the yard. My flipper is improving slowly after three weeks of Occupational Therapy with Jessica who was wonderful...that's my broken wrist and damaged tendons....but Woody likens me to Nemo with a busted flipper! So all in are now sort of caught up on our fun things!

Miss S and Grandad watching cartoons on Saturday morning in Jackson!!

Here is Miss S using water floatie things for the first time in the wonderful Doubletree Pool in Jackson, TN

and Mimi and Savannah riding the carousel...and the Easter Bunny!

I promise to post more pictures later, but I have to move them from the camera to here!!  Like I said...I have been way too busy! So your tip for the day is don't get so busy working that you forget to have fun!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I'm addicted to Words with Friends!

If you've known me for a very long time you know I love the game of Scrabble. Unfortunately, my hubby Woody is dyslexic and has trouble spelling anything! Recently I've discovered Words with Friends on facebook. It's an interactive Scrabble game! I've been playing with my sister-in-law...she of the same who made me join a bowling league in 1978! Yes, Juanita...I remember to this day getting a trophy for my high game of 155!! Needless to say the only time I've bowled since 1978 was once for a fundraiser and once very late in Las Vegas...or maybe I should say very early in Las Vegas. But I digress! Our family has always loved games and often played when the kiddos were younger...I'm hoping that soon we can play Candyland with Savannah...we love playing Uno with Riley! So my tip for today is...Playing games can stimulate your brain and put off mental decline, maybe dementia...and it's also lots of fun. Games can be online or around the table. Games are really fun with children and grandchildren and leads to lots of great memories that will outlast any "purchase" you might make for them! So go play! You are never too old to play.

A quick update on the wrist...the wrist doesn't hurt but I am afraid I've done some tendon or ligament damage...lots of numbness and sharp shooting pains...oh well back to the doctor next week so we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Had a great time at Lib and Led's for the Super Bowl...we made a decision a few years ago to quit having a party or even leaving the house for the Super Bowl because we love football and were missing lots of the game. We had a ball...we all love football and had great food and Savannah...what more can you ask! Now I'm ready for some Sounds baseball! Poor Savannah doesn't have a chance...she will love sports or be bored out of her mind!

Hope you're all having a great winter...our jonquils are already up and blooming! Gotta go play!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Interesting doings with a broken wrist!

I am learning lots about how much my hubby really loves me! He has been incredible to help with all those activities of daily living that now have to be attempted with one hand. I won't bore you (or gross you out) with details but suffice it to say he has been walk on water wonderful. Last weekend we kept Savannah and she was so precious kissing my booboo. She just didn't quite get the fact that she couldn't jump off the ottoman into my arms so I quickly learned how to catch her with my left hand. Diaper changes were all Woody all the time! He's a good granddad...or gradad or grd or whatever she chooses to call him!

The worst part of the wrist is dressing...I had to go buy a pair of grandmother jeans. Elastic waist! The epitome of adaptive clothing for the one-handed that allows me to go le toilette unassisted. Chico's is the best clothing line...stylish with elastic. I have to travel for business on Sunday and Monday so this will be the acid test of self-sufficiency and how much my boss Marsha really likes me! Flat iron, elastic pants, bare minerals makeup...check...let's hope I survive!

I had another interesting experience this past week...Woody and I went to Sam's Club and actually walked out with nothing, nada, zilch...not even a hotdog! So my tip for the week...You can go shopping without buying something you probably don't need. 

As many of you know, we have our house for sale by's not moving very fast but then we don't have to sell. As I wander around thinking about downsizing further and dealing with children who told us to quit bringing them our junk, the last thing I need to do is buy more! So we went to Haverty's to look at furniture! I need a smaller dining room set, a smaller breakfast room set, and two smaller chairs for the living room! Yes, we've picked our house and nothing I have will fit in this cute little cottage at Del Webb.  We're hoping that we can sell some of the furniture with the house and consign some more.  I'd rather do this now than when I'm old and batty and don't want to give up my stuff!  Now I'm not sure about Mr. Packrat...Woody would keep everything! So this is a two tip blog! Remember that your children will be tasked to get rid of your stuff when you die...hopefully well into their later years when they have a full house of don't keep something simply because you want to pass it down. Have that hard talk..ask them what they really might be surprised and you might want to give it to them now.  But they still can't have my big TV!

Have a wonderful week! and declutter and give something away!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Bringing in the New Year with a Crack!

Short post...broke my right wrist which makes typing tough! Tip for the day...when cleaning up after a Notre Dame football bowl party, watch out for your husband's big feet! or start paying attention to what you're doing! You tend to break things as you get older!

So...Happy New Year! Stay safe and watch where you walk!