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Showing posts from February, 2012

Rethinking Retirement

           One should never retire “from” a job; one should retire “to” something.   Sure you officially resigned or quit from a position, and everyone gave you a retirement party (hopefully), but what comes after?           And there is an after.   For most of us, it will span 20-30 years after we leave the daily grind.   That is a long time if you don’t plan for it. 1.       Are you financially able to retire?   Do you have a savings or retirement account? Are you planning a second career or a part-time job? Sorry, but without money, full retirement is not in your immediate future. 2.     Are you planning some sort of health routine?   You certainly want to spend the majority of your remaining life span in good health, so make sure you consider a consistent health routine and a healthy diet.   This includes visits to the doctor and the dentist. 3.     Have you discussed your retirement plans with your spouse, partner, and/or family?   Include them in your plans, so th

Feng Shui on my Farm

When I tell folks that I live on three acres out in the countryside in an old farm house surrounded by miles and miles of farmland, they get all starry-eyed and moon-faced.   They are picturing Tara or the Ponderosa and not listening closely to what I said.     One, the miles and miles of farmland belong to our neighbor; we own three acres that form an odd puzzle piece in the bottom right hand of that expanse. Two, when I say I live in an old farm house, it is exactly that, nothing more.   I. Live. In. An. Old. Farm.   House. Picture this: sturdy, rectangular box; partially rusted, metal roof; shingle-siding that was once blue and is now an indescribable color. I pictured my Del Webb days in a city condo or in a cute little bedroom community garden home. Not this.   There are five buildings on this Garden of Eden and none of them match.   Remember I am a city girl.   When we buy a home, we go to Home Depot and buy the matching backyard shed.   We coordinate our surroundings – the d


  We started calling it The Tazas Book Club simply because we meet at a local coffee shop with that name. We average four to six members, inducting new ones only when our group gets too small to make the discussion interesting. We choose a new book by acclamation, and then give ourselves 4-6 weeks to read it. We started off without much guidance; other than we were all writers and wanted to discuss the craft of writing through the works of published authors. If we’ve learned anything – it is that we are no different than any other book clubber, writer or not. We each respond viscerally to the assigned book.   We don’t always agree on our tastes, and we don’t all glean the same knowledge from the book. We are living examples of Louise Rosenblatt’s Reader-Response Theory: each getting a different meaning from what we read because we each bring different experiences and beliefs to the text.   In the past, I’ve barely escaped being lynched for daring to like The Friday Night Knittin