Saturday, March 28, 2015

Just a Quick Update

I got my cast off on Thursday. I have a cumbersome boot, but at least I don't have to sleep in it.

I went straight to bridge---so much fun after being housebound. When Butch picked me up after, I got such a surprise. Sandy and Elizabeth were in the car!!! Of course, I cried! They came to town to help me. They've been waiting on me hand and foot! I'm sure Butch is glad for the break.

She brought this:


It took 15 1/2 man hours to do it. That's counting all of us working on it. 1000 pieces in 5 1/2 hours. I NEVER do puzzles---mainly because I don't have the patience. When vacationing with my friends, they usually get one going. I sit down with them for about 10 minutes---or until I find one piece. Then I say, "okay, that's it for me!"

This was so fun because it gave us something to do while we were just sitting around talking. I'm still supposed to be sitting around anyway.

I might just start another one! Thanks Sandy! But mostly, thanks for the surprise of your visit. I'd say that was the BEST medicine!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

What I Buy Wednesdays

This week I found these on Amazon.
This is one of those old-fashioned popsicle molds. It is $11.99 on Amazon. Throughout the year, I like to send packages to the college kids. Somewhere I saw something called a "box of sunshine" where everything inside was yellow. That's what I plan to do for my final package of the school year. You know, Lays potato chips, Juicy fruit gum, lemon Kool aid (for the popsicles), lemon heads and any other yellow things I can find! It will be a fun box to put together. I might even make some lemon cookies.

I can't exactly be specific here, but there will be some yard games given at Christmas from Joss and Main. I did by a couple other things from this place---really great prices.
I seem to have thing for throws these days. This one is $32.95. They have many to choose from---all are great color combinations. Also from Joss and Main.

Although I did not buy this---it would be perfect for me!
And it's PINK!! Looks like it would be a perfect scrapbook chair. I think this is a little pricey at $61.95. But the portability of it looks intriguing.

I'm a sucker for a good deal. I'm thinking I'll keep these for myself.
 Murano glass beads with Swarovski crystals.
12 bucks!! Yep, just $12.00 each. I've never bought from this website: Mobster
There were other color selections, but these were my favorites.

I've also bought a few books. I'm currently reading The Headmaster's Wife. I just started it yesterday and am 65% finished already. So far it's REALLY good. We'll see how ends. I also purchased my two book club books: The Snow Child and Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania. 

So there you have my purchases for this week. What have you bought lately? Any good bargains?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Great Social Security Debate

Do I take it now or wait until I'm older?

This debate has been ongoing. Everyone seems to say that if you don't need the money, you should wait because your benefit will be more. On the other hand, I know of 3 fairly intelligent (okay, one I'm not so sure about) people that are opting to take it right away at age 62. In fact, one told me, "Barb, do the math!" So, I did just that.

In the mean time, I thought I would share with you my basic math. Granted, I'm not eligible for much---although I'm told that in reality, I can draw half of my husband's benefit without it adversely affecting his. That sounds too good to be true, so Butch is going to find out about that.

Now remember, I've been a SAHM for most of my married life, so I joke about how paltry my benefit  is. Last time I got a statement, I think it showed I would get about 29 bucks a month. So for ease of calculation, I just figured it on $50 a month at age 66 when you are eligible to get 100% of your benefit.

If you take your social security benefits at age 62, there is a 25% penalty. If you wait until age 70, you get 132% of your benefit. The penalty for taking it early---from 62 to 66 is the same. So if you plan to take it early, you might as well start right away at 62.

Let's do the math to age 74.
$50 with a 25% penalty = $37.50 x 12 months = $450 x 12 years to age 74 = $5,400
$50 with 132% benefit = $116.00 x 12 months = $1392 x 4 years to age 74 = $5,568

Thereafter, you get $1392 a month compared to $450---that's triple the benefit by waiting just 8 years longer!

Once you reach age 74, you are ahead of the game if you wait. So there's the gamble. If you think you'll live past 74, then you should definitely wait to start drawing until the age of 70. As Connie always says, "if only we had a crystal ball!" Also, if you plan to continue working, you might as well wait as you are only allowed to earn so much before it affects your benefits.

Aren't you glad I cleared that up? You're welcome!


Monday, March 23, 2015

Overdoing It

The thing about overdoing it is that you don't know you've overdone it until you do!

There were a couple days this week that I definitely overdid it. The funny thing is that I didn't do that much at all---certainly not enough to make me think I had. It's not until later that it hits you---throbbing and swelling. Nothing a little ibuprofen can't handle. At least I'm able to stay off of the hard drugs.

The biggest problem, is that I can't sleep very well. I just can't seem to get comfortable with this heavy cast. When you get something in your head, it's hard to ignore. I felt like the cast was rubbing my ankle annoyingly. That's all I could think of. I twisted and turned to no avail. Plus, this cast is killing my knees.

I've been watching a series called Reign on Netflix. I had never heard of it before---just came across it as Netflix offered suggestions based on the type of things I like. It's about Mary Queen of Scots. I'm loving it. It gets me through the sleepless nights.

I had Nancy and Susan over to scrapbook yesterday. That was my first try at doing something other than hanging in the family room. It was fun. I had my leg up on a chair. It was fine for awhile until my back started hurting. I suffered a little pain and swelling later, but it was totally worth it. I miss hanging with my friends!

I'm supposed to get the cast off in just another 4 days. This 3 weeks has gone by fast. Originally I was supposed to have the cast for 4 weeks then a boot for 4 weeks and a loose shoe for 4 weeks. Everything seems to be moving pretty quickly, so I hope that means that I'm ahead of schedule and won't be laid up as long as I first was told.  I'll be really upset if I have to keep the cast for another week.

I'm planning on hobbling to book club tonight.

Not bored yet.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Dresses and Dress Codes

It never fails to amaze me as to the things that make the news. Today, a news report came through that several parents from a Catholic high school in Pennsylvania have put together a petition regarding the dress policy for the school prom (Cheri what's the scoop?). The parents are opposed to a new policy the school has instituted which requires photos of the prom dress the student plans to wear be submitted for approval prior to the purchase of tickets to the dance. The parents are complaining that the new policy has come out AFTER non-returnable dresses have been purchased. The school maintains that the dress policy has not changed.

So, why is this news? This bothers me on so many different levels.

There is a reason that the school felt compelled to institute this new policy. Apparently, the girls are wearing dresses that are inappropriate and violate the previous dress policy. Parents know the policy---what? Are they afraid to say "no" to their daughters? To me, this is a just another way for parents to send the message that their darlings should be able to do and wear whatever they want. No wonder there is a blatant disrespect for authority. Too bad if you purchased a non-returnable dress. You had to know the risk.

When Mindy was at St. Cecilia, the nuns would make the girls put on sweaters at the dance or pin the dresses shut as they felt necessary. Of course this caused a lot of drama and tears at the dance. Parents were upset too. I never did get it. Everybody knew the rules. I would never have allowed my girls to "let it all hang out"---even if only one had anything to "hang out!" And that one---fought with me during the dress buying process. How did I solve that problem? I had her dad take her dress shopping. If it passed muster with him, I KNEW it would pass muster with the nuns! Simple solution. I never fought with her over a dress again! The added bonus issue this solved was the cost of dresses! She knew that her dad would never let her do anything too crazy in the price department.

One of the reasons we sent our daughters (and grandchildren) to Catholic schools besides religious principles is because of their conservative views. The world moves way too fast. If we can slow that down just a little, that's okay by us. If you don't want that conservative environment---it's pretty simple: DON'T SEND YOUR KIDS THERE!

Modesty has always been important in Catholic schools. Heck, my high school had PRIVATE dressing rooms and showers in the gym locker room. I had no idea there was any other way. Skirt lengths were closely monitored, but that didn't keep us from rolling them up. We even had to button the top button on our blouses.

When push came to shove, we conformed. It was just easier than getting detention or grounded at home. Back then, if you got in trouble at school, you got in worse trouble at home. That's not how it works these days. I feel sorry for teachers and administration in today's schools. They have to be so careful about everything they do or say.

Catholic schools have always had "rules" that may not have been popular with the mainstream. They are trying to uphold centuries of discipline and beliefs.  Get along or get out.

The dresses of today were not even produced for young girls of yesteryear. Call me old-fashioned---I can live with it.

Some may think these kinds of policies are unfairly targeting girls. Well, I have plenty of friends with boys that have been concerned about how the girls now-a-days "flaunt" it. It's a problem with society in general. Don't even get me started with bikinis!!

Really, is it that big of a deal to dress modestly at school or school functions? Just because I had to button that top button at school didn't mean it ruined my life. For crying out loud---I had much bigger things to worry about as a teenager. Plus, it took the pressure off of "little" girls like me---if you know what I mean.

Off the soapbox now.

Friday, March 20, 2015

It's Finally Happened

Nashville has hit the big time. They say that happened when we got a pro football team, but I disagree. I've always loved the small town feel of Nashville. You can be downtown in 20 minutes, yet live out in the country. Sure, downtown is full of tourists---so glad to have them----so good for our city. But locals don't go downtown. Wait, I need to re-phrase that: "OLD" locals don't go downtown (well except for the theater). It's a happenin' place for the young. In fact, Mindy lives down there and loves it. She's looking to buy a bigger place right in her same building! She can walk (or run) everywhere.

I digress. I'm not at all happy about it. I wanted us to stay that small, home towny feelin' place. But, it's finally happened. We now have to dial the area code when we make phone calls---adding 3 extra digits to the dialing process. Considering I'm not a huge phone person anyway, this just about puts me over the edge. Add to that the recording I keep getting to add those digits makes the re-dialing that much more arduous. The funny part is that we don't even have more than one area code, so what's the point? I guess that's the next thing that's coming---we'll be assigned some new numbers. Sheesh! Just more to remember. I don't need it!

What? Does Nashville think it's St. Louis or something?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Where Does the Time Go?

Everybody keeps asking me if I'm getting bored. Frankly, I don't have the time to be bored. I thought I was going to relish all this free time---but I haven't really had any yet!! That's not exactly true. I do have a lot of free time, but I've been doing so much stuff that all of a sudden it's 2 p.m. and if feels like I still have so much I want to do. Time is running out. I need to calm down. I still have several weeks of recuperation---if I choose to recuperate. I think I'm going to allow myself more of this sitting around. I am still very busy even sitting around. It goes sort of like this:

First thing in the a.m.---clean up, get dressed, make tea, check emails, check blogs, check Facebook, turn on news, eat breakfast, read, pay bills/take care of business, write thank you notes, watch a taped show while stitching or crocheting, lunch, read, nap, listen to Ted Talks and read blogs from my reading list, catch up on phone games with family and friends (Dice with Buddies and Trivia Crack), take or make a phone call (one a day is about my limit), Luminosity brain training, go through the mail, news, dinner, tv while stitching or crocheting, write a blog entry, check emails one last time, read before bed.

And then I get to do this all over again the next day. Totally fun---not at all boring. In fact, now that I'm up and about, I'm feeling the need to do some household chores. That I could do without!! But there were a few things I was compelled to do---you know my OCD tendencies. Towels were out of order, spaghetti sauce had to be wiped off the candle and the dishwasher needed unloading. I'm limiting my chores to just the kitchen. I can't really be up for too long without my back hurting from the cast and my foot throbbing for having it down too long. For once in my life, I am listening to my body. It just makes me feel so lazy!

Thus is the life of a slacker. I'll take it. I haven't even had time for all the magazines I have piled up. I wonder if I would ever get bored?