Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Good reading in March

I read a lot of books and most of them are fairly ho-hum but this month I read two that I really enjoyed and would recommend depending upon your interests.

First is Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin who also wrote The Happiness Project and other books. I have been struggling with my inability to stick with the habits I think I want to have in retirement although when I was working 50 to 60 hours a week with lots of deadlines I had little trouble! Finally an explanation for how my personality and habit formation work together. I'm trying to adopt some of the ideas I found in this book to my exercise habit formation and then move on from there.

Second is the latest installment in the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series. You have to be hooked on the idea of Sherlock Holmes and his much younger wife as a storyline but I am and enjoyed this book as much as all of the preceding ones. I am even thinking of going to a day of the local Sherlock Holmes convention in mid-April!

I hope someone else enjoys these too.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Living in the slow lane

I haven't been posting much because life here is kind of "rinse and repeat". I walk the dog, cook, clean, volunteer, run errands, do yard work, etc. Not complaining as part of that cycle includes Saturday lunches out with my husband and occasional outings with friends.

I did decide that completing amended tax returns incorporating the data required due to my inheritance from my Mother's estate was beyond my capabilities and turned it over to an accountant! Also took some things off of my to do list that were purely optional. It is a luxury to be able to do both of those.

What do you do to revitalize your routines? Ideas for enjoying the Spring between sneezes due to very high pollen counts?

Sunday, March 15, 2015

What will you accomplish this week?

Christine over at Spring Cleaning 365 suggests that today's daily task be to "Write down every single thing that you need to accomplish this week. Then schedule those things (but make sure they’re the RIGHT things) on your calendar. That way you’ll know WHEN you will accomplish those things on your to-do list." Well I do love a list and I haven't been getting much done so let's give it a shot.

Hmm .... Lose 5 pounds while eating cupcakes and ice cream? Book a trip to Paris? Magically know exactly where we will move in the summer of 2017? Guess that isn't what she meant!

I'm starting with my commitments:

Wednesday: Vet for monthly shot, Annual eye exam
Thursday: Volunteer book sorting at library, Monthly book club in evening including pick up food to take

Add in weekly chores:

Sunday: Wash linens
Monday: Clothes laundry, Clean house
Wednesday: Grocery shop at supermarket, Vet for monthly shot, Annual eye exam
Thursday: Volunteer book sorting at library, Monthly book club in evening including pick up food to take

And now exercise - keeping in mind predicted rain on Thursday and Friday and that I cancelled my gym membership as I just wasn't using it enough. I have rearranged our office to make space for at home workouts and the warmer weather will make long walks easier:

Sunday: Wash linens, Walk the Beltline with Hubby with lunch at midpoint
Monday: Laundry, Clean house, Stretch DVD, Walk dog
Tuesday: Long walk with dog
Wednesday: Stretch DVD, Walk dog, Grocery shop at supermarket, Vet for monthly shot, Annual eye exam
Thursday: Volunteer book sorting at library, Monthly book club in evening including pick up food to take
Friday: Stretch DVD, Walk dog if weather permits
Saturday: Long walk without dog

What else needs to get done? Rake leaves in driveway and courtyard and prune 2 bushes. Complete Federal and State amended tax returns due to late arriving data from inheritance. Confirm room available for annual meeting for Friends of the Library and transfer membership email list to a Gmail account. Alter a top and a pair of capris. Watch 4 Craftsy class sessions on altering clothing. Thrift shops for donation and warm weather clothing additions. Check out new to me stores for wardrobe additions. Find new groomer for dog. Wash car. Schedule bone density test and mammogram.

It was interesting to build my list this way and it includes time with friends, Hubby and pet, health, exercise, volunteering, workable wardrobe efforts, and homemaking.

The list got pretty long even though it doesn't include daily cooking and clean up! Doable? I'll let you know how it goes!

Sunday: Wash linens, Walk the Beltline with Hubby with lunch at midpoint, Rake leaves & prune, Start on amended tax returns.
Monday: Laundry, Clean house (half done), Stretch DVD, Walk dog, Alter top and capris, Confirm room availability for Friends annual meeting (left 2 messages - no response).
Tuesday: Long walk with dog,  Watch Craftsy class sessions 1 & 2, Thrift donations and shop, Visit potential new groomer
Wednesday: Stretch DVD, Walk dog. Grocery shop at supermarket, Vet for monthly shot, Annual eye exam (rescheduled due to Dr. running very late), Wash car.
Thursday: Volunteer book sorting at library (to Friday), Schedule bone density test and mammogram, Watch Craftsy class session 3 & 4 (NO, already know this unfortunately so this was a waste of money), Finish cleaning houseMonthly book club in evening including pick up food to take.
Friday: Stretch DVD, Walk dog if weather permits, Clothes shopping (postponed) & haircut
Saturday: Long walk without dog, Transfer membership email list to Gmail account, Finish amended tax returns (NO, taking to an accountant).

Friday, March 13, 2015

How much time do you spend managing your everyday finances?

I seem to spend a lot of time on things related to our everyday financial life. Today I spent a fair amount of time on these things.

- verified a credit was applied to our credit card for a returned item
- cancelled an automatic payment for a service we won't be using any longer
- called our health insurance to see why I am being charged a copay for an annual physical (the clinic charged for 2 office visits because we discussed my test results - guess they can do this???)
- filled out a form to get reimbursed for health care used by our pre-tax health savings account
- updated our checkbook for auto deposits and payments made through online bill pay
- contemplated what I am going to have to do to submit amended tax returns to the IRS and state due to a late input of information regarding taxable portion of my inheritance.

I also got to wait patiently while a clerk refused to read the instructions on how to use an online gift card I presented for a purchase. Instead she voided the entire sale. Finally her manager came over and quickly did it correctly.

I can see why some people just shove it all in a drawer or into the recesses of their mind. If I was still working full time I would be squeezing this all in between dinner and bedtime so I am grateful that I have the time to devote to it on a rainy and chilly day.

Now to figure out what documents I will need to present to prove my existence and current name so I can renew my driver's license! I am not renewing it until summer but I am starting now. Sigh.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Getting a wardrobe that works for retirement - February shopping

I have mentioned that I have been participating in 7 Steps to Style virtual program offered by Imogen Lamport of Inside Outside Style and as part of that program have gotten clear what I really need to add to my wardrobe first rather than shopping and picking up things I liked without a plan. I haven't advanced to the 12 month shopping plan that Mette over at The Yogastic Shopping Planner has perfected but I first need to get the right items in my small wardrobe and then I can plan when to replace them.

So my February wardrobe spending was on necessary, if not necessarily exciting, items.

- Navy socks to wear with my navy loafers and denim jeans. I am fairly short so an uninterrupted line helps lengthen my appearance and as much as I would like to wear orange shoes for example they don't really help my appearance. So matching socks it was at Kohls on sale.

- Two belts (navy and black) to match my jeans and slacks as well as upgrade from the old black belt I was using. LLBean was the source this time.

- This wasn't for Spring but I have been cold going to the gym just wearing yoga pants and found a pair of warmer gray knit narrow leg pants to wear for workouts and days lounging at home. On sale at Sears and spotted while shopping for something else. It so pays to have a list or needed items.

- My warmer weather clothes have started to wear out and I found two short sleeve tops online at Eddie Bauer in my "colors". I haven't worn them yet as it has been too cold but they fit and look great. They look even better on this model LOL.


That's it for February. Small steps towards having a small wardrobe that works for the life I live now.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Do you OLLI?

That stands for Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and there is one near me that is associated with Emory University. I have to admit that in the past I have not been that impressed with the courses I have tried but I took a look at their offerings for Spring and it seems they are under new management.

I had thought I would take a jewelry making class at the art center near us but realized I wanted to learn something but not make anything! So signed up for two hour long classes on two different days at OLLI. I'll start "Art in Havana" and "Timely Medical Topics" early in April.