Women!

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I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am finally willing to admit that, while not often, but definitely in certain instances, men and women act differently. Let’s face it guys, when was the last time you were out in mixed company and said to your neighbor – “Hey Fred, care to go to the bathroom with me?” Such a comment would not be made unless the individual asking the question was three sheets to the wind and has no problem getting a fat lip for his ignorance.

Of course, far be it for me to admit that I know the opposite sex. My wife and I are married fifty-four plus years and at times she still baffles me. What is it with women and yard sales? Don’t they know that the stuff other people are willing to part with for fifty cents is the same stuff we have sitting around our house, except in our house we call them souvenirs – (although I have been known to call some of it “junk” much to the dismay of my wife).  I am definitely not one that believes another man’s trash is going to become my treasure!

But, to each their own – for instance – I have a son and daughter-in-law that live for garage sales, and when visiting we make it a point to go with them on Saturdays making a day of it (Look out Dunkin Donuts – here we come!) And I must admit that on occasion while in their company foraging through other people’s stuff, I actually have found some items of value to me (usually in the form of a book or journal of some sort).

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Another reason why I would be the first one to admit that I do not know women – has to do with timeliness. Is it my imagination or is every woman always late getting ready to go someplace? Take me for instance, I love to go for a morning walk basically six days a week (I mean let’s face it – even God rested on Sundays), so I prepare and lay everything out the night before and as a result am ready to hit the door running (or I should say walking – I no longer run anyplace at my age) at about 5:45 AM. Why? Because I know that my morning walk will take me approximately 45 minutes, allowing me just enough time to have breakfast, grab a fast shower upon my return, still allowing me time to dress and be ready to walk out the door at 7:35 AM Monday through Friday.

Why such an early hour say those of you that prefer to sleep late most days now that you are retired? It just so happens that we teach a line dance class from 7:45 AM until 8:30 AM five days a week. More times than not, she runs at least five to ten minutes behind making our trip to the clubhouse which is just five minutes away – a marathon we are trying to win. But, truth be told – we usually get there as the others are arriving and so we aren’t truly late to the party. But, on the other hand, let the occasion be our going to the theater to hear someone sing or perform or perhaps make a trip to visit our daughter and she will be the first one out the door saying to me, “ Hurry up we don’t want to be late!” Priorities – we guys have our priorities!

Here is another example. We have this weekly event that we go to every Saturday morning – coffee and donuts at the clubhouse. The guys sit together at a couple of tables and the women sit together at a separate group of tables. That way they can gossip about female things while we guys talk about the important things happening in the world today – you know sports, vehicles, past job escapades and the like.

But the one question that tends to rise almost every Saturday morning is: What are you going to do when you leave here this morning?” Before I answer that allow me to explain a bit about where we live. Living where we do, we are about a thirty minute car ride to a casino. Did you ever give thought to how many senior citizens love to gamble? Living in the community we do, we have several couples that definitely look forward to going to the casino after coffee on a Saturday morning. While one particular couple actually goes to “yard or garage sales” most Saturday mornings, I would venture to say many of them prefer to go to the Casino after Saturday morning coffee.

In some instances, once there, they spend the balance of their Saturday feeding the “one-arm bandits” as we affectionately called them back in the day.  One thing I have learned from listening to the stories shared over coffee on these Saturday mornings is just this – in many instances, it is the women that win on the days they go to the casino. Now why is that?

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See, I told you I don’t know much about women!

Posted in Humor, Rants, Senior Moments, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Now then!

irony-in-the-rain

Did you ever want to do something silly with words? Well, not knowing what to write about on my blog today – and being late doesn’t help either – I decided to put together a crazy post using oxymorons.

It is no open secret that if you act naturally people will think that you are as sane as they are. But are we?

As I sit here, clearly confused, trying my best to compose this post, I sit in deafening silence.

It would appear the constant variable in this whole blogging situation is that one attempts to share his or her unbiased opinion of life in general.

Take myself for instance, I am a genuine imitation of a wannabe writer.  I do my best to be seriously funny while at the same time provide readers with almost exactly what I think they might want to read.

It is the only choice I have in this tragic comedy called life and I will give you even odds there is a definite maybe this piece will be an exact estimate of what I wanted it to be.

I can tell that it is about time for me to come to a rolling stop because not only have I met my goal of writing a post, I have also accomplished my goal of writing 200 words a day.

Minor crisis avoided! The virtual reality of the situation though is I must now give thought to next week’s topic. No working holiday for me.

Until next time!

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Living the good life

Check out my guest post at: http://retirementandgoodliving.com/retirement-life

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

What to Say – What to Say?

writing

Have you ever sat down to write an article to share with your readers and come up with: “zero, zip, zilch, nada”, or in other words, a blank space and nothing to insert in it?

Well, that is the dilemma I faced when I sat down at my desk this afternoon. However, as you will soon see, my attempt to not to let that stop me, found me looking back at previous writings and I came up with something that will hopefully make you laugh, smile, or even say – uh, oh: “Irwin has finally lost it!”

But, what can I say – I am determined to write even if it is jibberish – so be it! Chances are you will get a kick out of it and if so – well, my job for today is done and I can get back to wondering what I will write tomorrow. So here goes:

I love to play with words and see what I can do with them to make others laugh, smile, or at least get a chuckle out of my nonsense. So here are a few words along with a “different” definition than what you would expect.  I can only hope that after reading them you will get a laugh or two out of my zaniness. Enjoy!

Rectum – nearly killed ‘em

Remind – a brain transplant

Sonogram – a telegram from your son

Stagnation – a country of single men

Sweet 16 – just down the hall from suite 14

Oxymoron – as dumb as an ox

Polite – a lamp on a pole

Now that you are all as smart as I am, I guess I will go on to writing more jibberish as I need to come up with yet another post for a different website I post to. And then there is the quest of meeting my daily quota of writing 200 words as day with the intent on publishing another Kindle eBook sometime in the near future.  Wish me luck!

Have a fantastic day. Until next time!

 

Posted in Humor, Rants, Uncategorized, Writing | 19 Comments

Weekends

It is time for my weekly contribution to Word Press and I decided to share with you an article I wrote for our community newsletter. Hope you enjoy it!

What is it About Weekends?

Why is it that about seven o’clock every Friday night our world – as we know it – falls apart.

Think about that statement for a moment. Usually around seven or eight p.m. there is one tooth in our mouth that decides to send a message by causing thumping pains in your jaw saying: “I told you to see your dentist about me – but noooo – you thought it would be OK and now here it is eight p.m. and the dentist’s office is closed. Guess what? I am going to bother you all weekend now!” Oh, and come Monday morning the pain goes away and your mouth feels perfectly healthy once again.

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Later in the evening (still Friday) you sit down to watch your favorite television show and yup – you seen this one coming – didn’t you – the TV cable goes out. Now you must spend more of your valuable weekend time on the telephone and chances are you will either listen to a recording or you will be unable to understand the person at the other end of the phone because they are in some foreign country and not even your seven-year old could understand what it is they are trying to tell you.  Or ………there is one last option – you know – the other great response they provide you with – the response telling you to call back Monday during their weekday office hours.

Another Friday night scene is that someone in the house will come down with some mysterious malady – remember the movie “Saturday Night Fever” – well seeing that it is the beginning of the weekend – let’s nickname it “Friday Night Fever.” You know what I am talking about. It is when your temperature is not high enough for the emergency room but not normal enough for you to ignore. The number is just enough to make you think if you don’t act, you will suffer this way for the balance of your life which you are thinking could be a matter of hours.

We all know that while it is true, there are quite a few weekend services available to people – services that may cost you an arm and a leg – or if we were much younger – your first-born child, it is amazing how some things sense when you can be brought to your knees – times that we are most vulnerable.

Take bill paying for instance – some people like to pay with cash while others use checks to pay their bills. Being a check-writing person, when would I run out of checks – Friday night! Here is another thought – when we didn’t travel as we do today, we used to own a dog. Speaking from experience though, while our dog didn’t get lost often, when it did get lost – you got it – it was between Friday evening and Sunday – you know – the time when the word “Help” falls on deaf ears. If the refrigerator/freezer breaks down – when will it be – you got it, Friday evening just before you are ready to go to bed. And I might add it will probably be immediately after you filled it up with food for that upcoming party you were planning.

Oh, and here is another biggie that can occur at any age – it is Friday evening around ten p.m. and you go to take your prescription drug – you know the one I mean – the pill that keeps your blood pressure under control. Yup, you got it – you are out of that prescription medicine and upon reading the bottle, you seen that the last time you filled the prescription was the last time it could be done without your doctor’s OK.  Isn’t that always the way? You never needed a doctor’s OK on any other day except Saturday and Sunday. Is that your blood pressure I see rising?

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Let us talk for a moment about those wonderful inventions – the automobile. You know, those marvelous machines built back in the late 1800’s. Some might consider them lifeless hunks of metal that have no brains and are incapable of thinking. Not true… they know that during the week, they get used very little and given the chance – now that it is the weekend – you are going to drive the devil out of them. So, what do they do? They refuse to start just when you are ready to go flea-marketing Saturday morning. 

Another weekend nightmare is the house. Why does our house decide it needs to call it quits on the weekend? You know what I am talking about – first thing is that the toilet overflows – then the dishwasher decides to stop working in the middle of the cycle – you go to get the laundry out of the washer and notice that the water never drained completely out of the machine so you must wring it all out by hand and when you place it in the dryer – yup – you got it – the dryer doesn’t start. But, you are not done being surprised. If all that wasn’t enough, it is late and you say to yourself – a nice relaxing bath might just soothe your aching body and calm your mind. You go to the bathroom – turn on the spigot – what do you get? Just a trickle! No water pressure, nothing, fini, fertig! By now you are saying “Why me?”

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Remember the good old days when we used to chant “Thank God It’s Friday” well those of us now retired live in fear of those TGIF days every day of the week because when retired, any day can be a Saturday or a Sunday when all the things we depend on decide to break down, quit, or say ‘adios amigo’.

Knowing how much we love to travel and be away from our humble abode, I can truthfully only think of one saying that is befitting of all that I have just described. I refer you to the catchphrase from the 1991 film Terminator 2: Judgment Day, where the Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) says to John Connor (Edward Furlong): “Hasta la vista, baby.”

Time to saddle up the horses and mosey on down the road. Tomorrow is another day – baby steps – one day at a time.

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Until next time!

Posted in Humor, Rants, Senior Moments, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged , | 3 Comments

A Day Late and A Dollar Short!

Day Late

 

 

 

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Here I am again late with my weekly post. Made me think of the idiom shown as the caption of this piece: A Day Late and A Dollar Short – or in other words:

Action that was taken too late and is too feeble to be of any use! Well, so much for that definition – I am not so sure that my post is too feeble to be of any use. The fact that I am posting something within eight days of my last posting has got to be worth something (I am going to get on a weekly schedule sooner or later – perseverance is the key and I will overcome my tardiness).

Last month we decided to become the reverse of snow birds. Snow birds, if you will recall, are individuals with homes up north who come to the south for the winter. We are going to be North birds – our home is in the south, but we will be coming north for the summer.

It was a good weekend because I got to spend it with my kid brothers, sisters, nephews and a cousin we hadn’t seen in a while. Now that I am getting older, I always feel so much better when I get the chance to spend some time with relatives. One thing I must say – catching up with their latest happenings, humbles you as it makes one realize how good we have it. Some of the things they have been through within the last year is a reminder that things aren’t always greener on the other side of the fence, and the fact we aren’t getting any younger doesn’t help either.

Another nice part about this adventure we recently embarked upon – is that we will now be able to see everyone more often cause instead of being 1100 miles away we are less than 150 miles away even if it is only for four or five months out of the year.  The change of scenery and social activity may be good for our souls as well.

Well, that sums up this post – let’s see if I can prepare for my next post in less than one week.

Until next time!

Posted in Contentment, Live for Today, The Future, Travel, Uncategorized | 8 Comments

How to Plan for a Good Retirement

retirement

Having been retired now for 20 plus years, reading articles about how to prepare for retirement (other than the usual financial aspect of retirement) often amuse me.

Most of us go through life concentrating on our jobs, family, day-to-day projects that come up whether good or bad, planned or unplanned. By the end of the day, the only thing on our mind tends to be – an hour or two of relaxation before retiring for the evening knowing we will be doing it all over again tomorrow.

While I do not dispute what is being said in these retirement articles, I must admit, due in part to the way my retirement came about – none of the things that I supposedly should have considered ahead of time came to mind, leastways not in a “pre-planned retirement sort of way.”

For instance, one thing we all should think about prior to retiring is deciding where we want to retire to. In our situation, first thought – due to being unemployed/retired was where to move because the house as well as the size of the mortgage payment was okay if we wanted to stay there and be “house poor” (meaning we would not be able to travel or do much else as all our funds would be spent maintaining our house). As a result, we decided to take the same approach as my company did – down-size. We purchased something smaller and less expensive so that we could do more than just live in our house. By down-sizing ourselves we have been able to enjoy our retirement as well as do some of the things we wanted to do in retirement.

Another thing people refer to when discussing retirement is that they should put together a “Bucket List” – you know – a list of those things you want to do before leaving this earth. This one has me stumped – mainly because I guess I am too simple a type of guy. For the life of me, I cannot think of one thing I must do before I die and so I do not have a “Bucket List” of sorts.

Another biggie on most pre-retirement lists is: Continue being sociable. This is one activity I would not have included when preparing for retirement but I must admit we are more sociable now that we are retired than we ever were in all our married lives even when my wife was President of the PTA and I was President of the Dad’s Club back in Jacksonville, Florida.

I would be remiss not to mention exercise as s pre-retirement thought. Why, because one cannot be active during his or her working life and then just sit around eating donuts and drinking coffee once we are no longer working. In our case, while we remained active once retired, eight years into retirement, line dancing entered our lifestyle and to this day our exercise is done in the form of line dancing both teaching and doing. By the way, there is a completely different story that could be told regarding how line dancing came into our lives – but that is for another day.

Both of us are quite wary of how one’s health changes as we age and so we eat appropriately, paying attention to what is good and what is not good for both of us. But that is not to say that we will not have the occasional donut (Saturday mornings you will usually find us socializing with friends within our community eating donuts and drinking coffee. Besides we would not want to avoid our social responsibilities – now would we?

Another item on the pre-retiree list of things to do once retired is learning new things. Learn a foreign language, begin painting or some other hobby that used to excite you but took a back seat to your family and career, become involved with puzzles or some other activity to engage your brain. We need to keep both the body and brain active if we are going to live in retirement as many years as we were employed.

Other lists I’ve read talk about volunteering and getting a part-time job. While I cannot speak to the volunteering activity – I can discuss part-time jobs. Shortly after we retired we needed additional income to cover that span of time between our retirement date and the date Social Security payments kicked in. We went to a job fair held by Busch Gardens and through some great negotiating, landed a job for both of us with scheduling to match – meaning we worked the same hours and the same days – the only catch was that we could not work in the same shop. It was a great three years and we learned new skills – how to operate a cash register.

There you have it – bottom line – whether you plan for retirement or do some fancy finagling should it sneak up on you when you least expect it – putting your heads together and taking into considering some of the topics just mentioned – you will be in for a great adventure. Hope you enjoy it as much as we have.

Until next time!

Posted in Contentment, Live for Today, Senior Moments, The Future, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged | 9 Comments

“See the Glass as Already Broken (and Everything Else Too)”

broken-glass

What does this Buddhist teaching tell us – that all of life is in a constant state of change – something I have been writing about for quite some time now. We all know – just as in our daily days which have a beginning and an ending – everything has a beginning and everything has an end, Think about it!  Where do trees come from – they start with a seed and eventually become a tree subsequently dying and transforming back into earth.

Let’s venture out west to a place like the Grand Canyon – just as in the above example about trees – every rock formed in the Grand Canyon will eventually vanish – what will take its place is anyone’s guess but the fact is – there will be change. Does our air conditioner last forever? What about our cars? No, eventually everything will wear out and fade away. As is the case with the human body, we are born and subsequently we die.

What does this teaching tell us – well, one thing that could be learned and I guess the most important lesson is that expecting something to break (even if we wish it wouldn’t and could go on forever) enables us to deal with the loss when and if it does happen. Hopefully we will look at the change as something that was expected but also that we thoroughly enjoyed the item while we had it. Remember, enjoy what you have now in the moment and do not think about what you could have had.

Such an experience was had recently. We had to remove items from the top of our cabinets so that the vibration from having a new roof put on our house would not cause them to fall accidentally. While removing the items, we decided to wash them as they had been atop of the cabinets for a rather long time. Upon placing them back in their original positions atop of the cabinets after they were clean and the roof was done, a favorite “baby” dish was broken. While we saved the pieces with the hope of gluing it back together, I am trying to maintain that while it served its purpose, it lasted fifty-two years and as everything on this earth does, its time had run its course. Nothing lasts forever.

Did I want the dish to break – no. But, the reality of the situation is that one learns to make peace with the way things are. Instead of getting angry and saying or doing things one may regret – another way of handling the situation is to say: And there it goes! One might even add a touch of levity to the situation by saying “And another one bites the dust!” The whole purpose behind this philosophy though is to keep one’s cool allowing us to appreciate life as never before.

One day at a time – one day at a time!   

 

Posted in Live for Today, The Future, Writing | 5 Comments

Eating!

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What is it about reaching a certain age and the need to worry about what it is we are going to eat? My personal opinion is we stay away from or only eat in moderation those foods we know can mess with our metabolism and make it a point to eat at regularly scheduled times. The schedule that seems to work well for us is to eat at 7, 11:30 or 12:00 and then around 5 or 5:30 with possibly a snack in between to carry us through.

Now when I say snack though I am talking about a healthy snack – such as a half of a banana and in some instances some peanut butter to go with as our morning snack. The afternoon snack – well that changes from time to time and can range from some trail mix to a piece of dark chocolate. And then there is the evening snack which is usually six ounces of yogurt.

My educated guess, knowing pretty much what we eat and when we eat it, is not the food we eat but is more with the fact that we do not exercise enough to burn off the unwanted calories that come with eating what we eat. Some might say – I cannot exercise – I don’t have the room. Poppycock! If you can walk – you can exercise. Take a walk around the block for ten or fifteen minutes every day. At least you are not being sedentary which is one of the things we should avoid.

Our biggest problem is when we are away on vacation and spending time with relatives especially if they are providing quarters for you to sleep, bathe, and so forth. But, then again – this is where good old Yankee Ingenuity comes into play. Here’s the thing, I constantly write that we are the masters of our own destiny. Just because a relative is putting you up doesn’t mean you give up daily exercising.

Take my stretching routine for instance. I only need a small space at the end of the bed I am sleeping in and I can do my fifteen minutes of stretching every morning when I wake. Now taking my fifteen or so minute walk every day – well – that is another story because one must also consider the environment around us. At present, we are in, as I like to put it, “the boonies” and we must be careful walking on the road in front of the house as it is a well-traveled road and some of the drivers do travel faster than the required speed limit.

But, I take into consideration the fact that I am not as active when visiting relatives as I am at home or on a two-week vacation staying at a time-share where we can be as active or inactive as we want to be. I compensate by watching what I eat and trying my best not to constantly sit around doing nothing. True, it isn’t the best way to stay in shape, but under the circumstances, it will have to do.     

Until next time!

Posted in Live for Today, Routine, Travel, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

“It Ain’t Over Til the Fat Lady Sings!”

flea-market

Do we ever truly know what it is that will make us happy. It seems as though the older I get, the less I know what I want to do when I grow up. Interesting dilemma, isn’t it? But then, looking at it another way, that is what makes each day I wake – interesting!

What fun is it in life to wake up doing the same thing day in and day out. We used to be told when we were kids, that variety is the spice of life. I guess that is why we have tried our best not to get into a “rut”, if you will, as to how each day will go.

True, there is our line dance practice and we know that is something we do on a regular basis, four days a week. But that is also our way of exercising to stay in good physical shape and so we do not consider that to be part of a rut. Staying physically fit allows us to continue doing things that just pop into our head on the spur of the moment.

I know that many people, when they reach our age, settle in and follow the same routine day in and day out and that is fine if that is what serves their purpose. But we wake up each morning saying to ourselves “What can we do that is interesting today.” It is that attitude that has carried us through seven plus decades and reminds me of an old adage I eluded to in a different post recently which stated:

It ain’t over till (or until) the fat lady sings.”

If one will recall, this saying, according to Wikipedia, is a colloquialism which means that one should not presume to know the outcome of an event which is still in progress. More specifically, the phrase is used when a situation is (or appears to be) nearing its conclusion. It cautions against assuming that the current state of an event is irreversible and clearly determines how or when the event will end.

Having said that, today we will seek out new adventures. There is a gigantic “yard” sale going on in the neighborhood we are presently visiting and as such, we are going to see if another old adage is true. The one that says: “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!” Wish us luck.

Until next time!

 

 

Posted in Humor, Live for Today, Passions, Routine, Senior Moments, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments