Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Healthier eating as we age - what to choose?

We have been looking again at our diet as we try to balance nutrition and food sensitivities, gout and different metabolisms. Just talking to others about what they are doing to be as healthy as possible makes the head spin a bit. One couple is doing Paleo and have lost weight and seen cholesterol levels drop dramatically. Another person is on a macrobiotic diet while going through chemo. Then there is the wine, beer, butter, meat and lots of good vegetables couple.

Our diet had evolved to limited dairy items (Greek yogurt and some cheese), soy milk, chicken/fish/pork, lots of fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Due to my husband's gout we have eliminated beer and have white wine only when out to eat. Still we can improve. Too much coffee and breads although they are whole grain. An increase in vegetable quantity wouldn't hurt. We are not going to go to extremes but I need to get back some excitement around planning and cooking meals. I do see why my Mom was plain sick of meal preparation late in life!

I'm back to trying to include more vegetarian dinners in the rotation. Tonight it is kale and roasted vegetable soup from the Simply Recipes blog with fruit salad and cornbread. Tomorrow we are back to meat with a turkey meatloaf with sweet potato and at least one other vegetable dish.

Are you doing anything specific with your diet to maximize your health as you age?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

California dreaming - lovely vacation & family visit plus scouting retirement location

We just returned home from an 11 day trip to California to visit family and take a short vacation on the coast. The weather, scenery and family were all perfect! Now as I sit here catching up on laundry, bills and planning a big grocery shop for later in the day I am contemplating what was so great about this trip beyond getting time with and hugs from my loved ones which was the main highlight to be sure.

The two day drive from Los Angeles up the coast to Santa Cruz was definitely a winner. My hubby used to be a surfer and we both love the ocean so the views and walks were perfect for us.

The realization as we took a coffee break in the Santa Barbara area that we would rather live there than in the hustle and bustle of Pasadena was a surprise. We don't know if it makes sense as the whole point of moving back is to be near our children and they are in Pasadena and Berkeley but finding a spot that felt right to both of us helps in thinking this through.

We really love the California lifestyle and diversity. We need to go back there for our next phase of life no matter how overwhelming the process and implementation seem at times.

So with those three points firmly in mind its on with our daily life here!

By the way, any of you who are aging in place in CA please tell me where and how it is working for you! So far we are considering South Pasadena, Santa Barbara and unknown parts of the East Bay in N. CA.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

What to do with documents you have to keep?

I am determined not to move a lot of heavy paper back across the country. However there are things one has to keep - back tax returns come to mind as an example.

What are you all doing with those kinds of things. Scanning and putting the file in Dropbox or a similar secure cloud storage device? Keeping them in hard copy?

I'm a late adopter of technology but have set up a Dropbox location so our sons could access information in case we needed them to step in.

Very interested in your answers!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Retirement Countdown: Big picture planning at 2 1/2 years out

We think my husband will retire from his current job at the end of April 2017. Then we will sell our house and move across country to the Pasadena, CA area and recreate our lives closer to family.

The end of 2014 found us tackling some of the big questions at the big picture level. What kind of lifestyle do we want in the first phase of retirement? Where will we live precisely and in what kind of housing? What will our income stream be and will it be sufficient? What do we need to do in 2015 to prepare?

Well, you already know part of the answer to the last question. Some reduction in the amount of stuff we own is to happen both through another round of decluttering focused initially on books, paper and office supplies as well as very carefully limiting what we buy. That will make keeping this house clean take less of my time too.

The other major pieces of what to do in 2015 are financial planning and action as well as perhaps some home repairs. We are very fortunate that we can keep on living on a similar budget to what we have been doing and that is part of the financial plan. We also did a review of our retirement accounts and decided to keep on with what we are doing at least for the first quarter. Possible home repairs still need discussion although at the moment we are trying once again to find out where water enters the basement during a heavy rain and then fix the source.

We have discovered that we have different visions of our future housing situation so lots more discussion and thinking on that to come.

What we have agreed upon is to build in a bit more travel just for fun this and next year. No decisions yet but Santa Fe, Taos, Denver is one possibility and New York another.

Slowly but surely we are moving forward!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happiest of Years for all!

I hope you all are looking forward to a happy 2015 no matter what it may bring. I've seen a quote that says "365 days, 365 new chances" and the idea of creating a happiness jar where you put in a note each day of something that made you happy - especially on the days that were the bleakest.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Just a few personal goals for 2015

In my quest for a happy retirement I have decided to really limit my goals for the coming year. So I only have 4 goals for 2015.

1. Work out at the gym twice a week (unless traveling, etc.).

2. Buy the clothing needed to have a wardrobe I love to wear that fits my life right now.

3. Go through all files, office supplies and my books and only keep what brings me happiness, is used regularly or will be used up over time.

4. Disentangle from all of my volunteer roles for the Friends of the Library in preparation for moving.

Beyond those it is simply to love and be loved, have fun and find joy in everyday life even when it involves chores LOL.

What are your priority goals for the coming year?

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas Eve and Reverse Advent Days 19 - 24

Well, I needed to find 8 items to donate to make up for falling short last time. Once again I can count on my closet and book shelves to produce excess so a knit top and 7 books are being gifted to charity.

Hope you all enjoy your Christmas Eve and Day whether or not you celebrate this or other holidays.