Friday, December 29, 2023

Where Have I Been?


If you check my blog regularly, you have noticed I haven't posted since Oct 2, 2023. I took a little unscheduled break. 

It wasn't planned.

It wasn't expected.

It just happened.

I just went one week without posting and then another and another and so on. I thought about stopping altogether, but decided I enjoyed doing this and will give it another go. I just need to come up with some interesting topics and away I will go. Stay tuned. My first 2024 post will be out soon!

Monday, October 2, 2023

Relationships: Neighbors

I've read numerous articles and blogs about the importance of relationships in life. Having great relationships helps us lead a more satisfying and happy life. When I think about relationships, I think about the many different kind of relationships we may have in life. We may have relationships with fellow students while in school with the common thread of school and school activities. Then move on to work relationships with coworkers and business associates. We have relationships with family, friends and other people we meet along the way. We have relationships that are church, club or other organization related. 

This post will focus on relationships with neighbors. I grew up with my two sisters and parents on 26 acres out on a little gravel country road in Texas. Our closest neighbors were about a quarter mile away on their own 50 acres. Prior to that we lived in a trailer park for a year or so and I remember being friends with two other kids in the park and playing with them some. I was probably about 5 or 6 at the time, so the memories are a little fuzzy. In the trailer park I remember a neighbor who had a pristine lawn with a sign that said something to the effect of "stay off". There was an elderly man in the neighborhood, Mr. Wilson, that would have us kids in for popcorn. Now that I'm older and wiser, I wonder about Mr. Wilson's motives were with his friendliness towards young kids. I hope he was just a grandfather type who loved kids in 1970. 

Our country neighbor, Tom, that was a quarter mile down the country road and was a great guy. He was married and his kids were grown. We saw him all the time running up and down that country road in an old Toyota pickup. He loved fishing and took me on many fishing trips. He would stop by the house often and drop off ready-to-eat catfish and was just an all around good man. He took the time to take me fishing and allowed me to fish in his pond on his property. He acted the part of a grandpa at the time. My dad would help him with anything he needed and Tom would help my dad any way he could. You couldn't ask for a better country neighbor. 

Over the years we have moved around and lived in many different neighborhoods. When our kids were young, we usually lived in neighborhoods with similar aged families and kids. In one neighborhood, every nice evening would find several families, on the street, outside in lawn chairs watching the kids play. All of us enjoyed the time outside and enjoyed seeing each other at school functions and neighborhood social events. The neighborhood had a pool and we would see neighbors frequently at the pool. Other neighborhoods, that we have lived, found us barely knowing our next door neighbors. It seemed everyone was too busy to socialize and stayed inside when they were home. 

Our current neighborhood is full of people our age or older. There are very few kids playing around unless someone has grandkids over. Most appear to be retired and take great care of their homes. We have met some great people on our street, behind us and in the neighborhood. Our neighbors across the street recently moved and have their house up for sale. Another neighbor a few houses down is about to sell and move into a retirement center. So, we will be seeing some transition on the street. 

We know our neighbors, but aren't super close to them. A couple of them have stepped into our house, but we haven't really had any over for a party or dinner or anything. When our kids were young, we had Halloween, Christmas and other parties and enjoyed them very much. I know we need to reach out and build a closer relationship with a few of our current neighbors as they will probably be our neighbors for years into the future. I always come up with excuses of having too much to do, or it is too hot to visit in the backyard, or some other lame excuse. I need to just invite a couple over, have a coke and visit.

Our neighbor behind us is a Vietnam Veteran and is widowed and would have some great stories to tell, I'm sure. Our next door neighbor is a widow and probably would like some company and someone to talk to. Again, my wife and I need to make that effort to reach out and build those relationships. We need to get to party planning!

How close are your relationships with your neighbors? Do you have frequent meetings, parties, etc. with them? Do you have any neighbors that are also great friends? Any advice to share in building relationships with neighbors? And for fun, any of you have any horrible neighbor stories?

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

The Great Stuff of Life!

During my 58 years on this earth I have amassed some great memories. Some are great memories, some are memories of not so great things. The totality of all those experiences is what makes living on this earth so awesome. The good memories and the fun memories are the great stuff of life! 

I was in Home Depot the other day and noticed something on the shelf that brought back a funny memory and one that gets brought up every now and then. Many years ago, my wife and I decided to build a small pond in the backyard of our new home. The back lawn was a pretty bare landscape with no plants or features other than grass laid by the homebuilder. We planted a few trees and shrubs and added a flower bed or two. Our grand plan was to put a nice pond in the middle of the yard with a nice rock waterfall on one end that would produce a relaxing, running water sound. 

We purchased a solid plastic pond form and dug a big hole in the hard clay soil. We piled the dirt from the hole up on one end so we could lay our rocks and make a waterfall. I researched the size of pump needed and purchased and set it in place. We had researched different ways to set the rocks for the waterfall and the best way to fill in the cracks in between the rocks so the water would flow correctly. A more involved process involved mortar and an easy process involved the spray foam Great Stuff. We chose the easier way and bought a can or two of Great Stuff. 

I filled in the cracks as best I could with the Great Stuff. It takes some practice to judge how much the foam expands so you don't get too little or too much. My plan was to let the foam dry and then trim any areas with a knife or razor blade. 

My wife decided she was going to smooth out the spray foam with her fingers while it was wet. Not a great idea!!  I was in the house cleaning up or doing something else when she walked in with sticky spray foam all over her hands. I laughed and made some comment about that not being a great idea. She laughed too and was determined to clean this stuff off her hands. The sticky foam does not come off easy. You need a solvent of some kind to get it off. It is as sticky as getting Super Glue all over your hands. Her next great idea was to grab some paper towels to wipe off the sticky spray foam. You can guess how that went. Now she had bits and pieces of paper towels stuck to the Great Stuff that was stuck to her hands. It was the biggest mess ever! We were both laughing so hard as the situation continued to get worse. I wish we had a video to send off to America's Funniest Videos or to put on the internet to go viral. 

My only solution was to grab some gasoline. It took a lot of scrubbing with gasoline to get the mess off her hands. To this day, we laugh about that experience and she has never touched Great Stuff again! Our pond turned out great but never looked very natural in the middle of our yard. We later had trouble with algae growing down the waterfall and into the pond. It never did look like a Better Homes & Garden backyard pond. But, we have one great memory from that pond building experience!

What great stuff memory do you have from your life experience? Any of you had similar experiences with the actual Great Stuff, Super Glue or something similar?

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

How Talented Are We! Pottery Throwing

I started to put a question mark at the end of "How Talented Are We"  but changed it to an exclamation to make it a statement of fact rather than a question. You can make the determination of which is the most appropriate.

I've posted in the past about trying new things and continue to look for opportunities to experience something that I haven't done before. Last month my wife and I took a two hour pottery throwing class. This was something we have never done and thought would be fun to try. It was a lot of fun!

We put on an apron and then sat at our own pottery wheel with four other students. After a brief demonstration by our instructor we were handed three chunks of clay to make our three masterpieces. I had joked for a month that I was going to make three ashtrays, even though no one in our family smokes. 

I slammed down the chunk of clay into the center of the wheel. Yes, you really have to slam it on to make it stick good. My first piece was fairly easy to do and I got pretty confident in my abilities at making pottery! I made a nice little bowl. I slammed my second piece of clay and started on my second masterpiece. I decided to make this one a little taller so it could be considered a vase. Boy, oh boy, the second try was a disaster. I collapsed my bowl vase ashtray thing several times. I would try to form it up as it was spinning and then it would get all out of balance and clay flew everywhere. I finally gave up on that piece and attribute the failure to bad clay! My third piece of clay went much better and then the instructor gave me another piece of clay to try again.

We completed three pieces each and had our aprons, arms and hands covered in slimy clay mud. After the pieces were glazed and fired we picked them up a couple of weeks later. We were impressed with how well they came out. The photos below show our pieces,  mine are blue and my wife's are green. I made three bowls and she made a spoon rest, jewelry bowl and bowl. We did a Facebook post and my youngest sister said one of mine looked a little "wonky". I agree it is a little imperfect but was a pretty cool piece made by my own hands. Besides that, my sister is a little "wonky" herself! I told her and will tell you all, pottery throwing is not as easy as it looks.

Has anyone tried a pottery wheel? Are any of you really into it as a hobby and make awesome pieces? Have any of you tried a new thing lately? If not, I encourage you to try something new to try. As I always say "You never know 'til you go"!

Friday, September 15, 2023

Rocket Launch

In keeping with the space theme from my last post, this one will also be space related. I have several bucket list items that I would like to get to in the next year or so. One of those items is to see a rocket launch in person. I imagine the sight of a launch is impressive when seen live. I have seen several web sites that list launch schedules around the world and around the U.S.   

I would like to see a large rocket such as a Falcon 9 or Starship being launched in the U.S. I plan on flying to Florida or other launch location to see the launch and plan on having a flexible schedule to account for any delays. 

Have any of you seen a rocket launch in person? If so, any advice on the best location to see a launch? Is a rocket launch as great as I envision it? I have seen that NASA has an area to view a launch where you have to purchase tickets. Is that the best way to see a launch? Any advice and tips would be appreciated as I plan to cross this one off the list!   

Sunday, September 10, 2023

How Small Am I?

I was floating in my pool a couple of weeks ago and noticed the moon way up in the bright blue sky. I began to ponder how far away the moon was and amazed at how humans made the trip up to the moon in 1969. I am amazed that we could do that with the technology that was available at that time. A little research shows that the moon is, on average, about 238,555 miles from Earth. That is quite the trip! My mind began to ask other questions and further internet research revealed that the Sun is about 93 millions miles from Earth. When I start looking above and thinking about the vastness of space, I realize just how small I am here on Earth in the big scheme of things. 

Once you get past the distance from Earth to the Sun, distances begin to get measured in light years, a year of traveling at the speed of light (189,282 mile per second!). Our solar system including our sun and orbiting planets is estimated at .5 to 1 light year in diameter. Go further out and our Milky Way Galaxy is a much as 100 thousand light years across. It is estimated that there are over 100 billion galaxies in the universe. That is simply unbelievable and hard to wrap your mind around. I have seen some of the Hubble telescope images of distance galaxies and the images are simply amazing and show different shaped galaxies dotting space. Our own Milky Way Galaxy can only be depicted as an artist rendition because we haven't sent a camera out far enough to get an outside view. Our furthest spacecraft, Voyage 1, has been heading out to space for 46 years and is just now getting to the edge of our solar system. It would take another 40,000 years for it to exit our galaxy!

I read a description of a scale comparison of our solar system to the Milky Way and it said if you placed a quarter on the ground in the U.S. the quarter would represent our solar system and the U.S. would represent the size of the Milky Way. That is incredible! And it said that earth would be a microscopic piece of dust on that quarter. Then, if you think smaller, how big would a person be on that speck of dust, on that quarter in the middle of the U.S. We are but a tiny thing in this universe. 

Yet, the majority of us think we are pretty big stuff! I tend to view the universe as rotating around me and my family. I picture my family sitting at a dining room table or at a gathering at my home and can visualize a giant rotating hurricane circling around us while we sit in the eye of the storm. My world is my small little circle while the rest of the universe rotates around us. Boy, do I have it all wrong! When I think of how vast the universe is, and how short a human life really is, I think of the Bible verse "Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away." James 4:14. Our time on earth is so small compared to the time that has passed and the time to come. 

I see nothing wrong with my visualization of my family being the center of my universe. But, I should expand it a little and include other friends and acquaintances that I regularly interact with. I should expand it a little more and include those I can impact in some way through my living or giving. 

Maybe, after reading this post, the next time you look up at the night sky, you will think about the vastness that surrounds us and realize we may not be as big a deal as we think we are!

Have you ever done some deep thinking about the vastness of space? Have you been impressed with some of the Hubble photos of space? Does the world rotate around you and your space? Have you expanded your space to include connections in your city, state or across the globe?

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Grandparent's Legacy

After taking off most of July and August from blogging, it is time to get back at it. I'll start back up with this post and will make it a fairly short one. As a fairly new grandparent (3 grand daughters age 4 and twin 20 month old), I want to leave some great memories with them and stories they can share with their kids and grandkids about Nana and Pawpaw. I cherish our current relationships with them that makes them light up and get excited when they see us. I cherish them running into our arms for hugs and to sitting in our laps. This makes me think about my own memories of my grandparents.

I never knew my mother's dad. He was killed by his own daughter, my aunt, before I knew him. I did know my mother's mother fairly well. For those who remember from a previous post, this is Little Grandma to me. I remember her as a petite and spunky grandma. She lived with one of my aunts and in an apartment the entire time I knew her. She had enough money to get by, but not a lot of money for extras. Yet, one of my memories of her is that she always sent a birthday card with a $5 bill inside. We lived about 3 hours from her and saw her a few times a year, but you could always count on getting a birthday card with that $5 bill in it. 

On my dad's side, I remember my grandma, Big Grandma, for her cooking and quilting. She made some of the most beautiful quilts, a couple of them I have today. I wrote about her quilts in one post on this blog a while back. She was always happy and generous and always pleased to see us come through the door. She also lived about 3 hours away, but moved next door in my teen years when my granddad had a heart attack. My granddad was a small, thinner man who seemed to be more grumpy and stern than anything else. He had a small piece of land and grew many different types of things including blackberries and potatoes. Some of my memories include helping pick a few berries and digging a few potatoes. I also remember working for him for a few days, for a few dollars, when he moved next door and got to feeling better after his heart issues. He paid me to help take nails out of old boards and then he built a picket fence out of them. I helped paint that fence and felt a little like Tom Sawyer at the time while painting this white picket fence. It was a time that I felt about as close as I ever was to him. He was not the type of granddad that you ran to and gave a hug, at least in my dealing with him.

I don't have a ton of memories from my grandparents and they have long passed away. If they were around now, I think I would inquire more into their history and the history of their parents and grandparents. My wife does family history research and it seems you can find a lot of info on births, deaths, marriages and info from and old census documents. But, you would be hard pressed to find actual details and facts about those same people. 

I hope my grand children remember me as a fun and happy Pawpaw and not as a grumpy and stern man as I remember my granddad. I hope they will have fond memories of visits to our house for celebrations and parties with the whole family. We can only strive to create such memories during our short time on earth. Our family has a cruise scheduled in October of this year and it will be our second "family" cruise. Hopefully, these family times will create some great memories for everyone and someday the grand kids will say "Remember how much fun we had on the family cruises?".

If you are a grandparent, do you have similar thoughts about leaving your family with great memories? What memories stick out in your mind of your own grandparents? Were your grandparents active in your life, or were they distant? Does your family have a regular get together such as Sunday dinners, yearly reunions or yearly trips that are a tradition in your family? If you are a grandparent, how are you different that your grandparents?

Families are so important to our well being, so make that extra effort to keep them connected as much as possible. 

Friday, July 7, 2023

Fly The Flag


On Fourth of July, I put out my flag as I do on most holidays and holiday weekends. I noticed about 6 out of 10 houses on our street were flying the U.S. Flag. It was a nice sight to see all the flags fluttering in the breeze. We live in a great country despite it's many flaws and issues. I would think that flying our great flag would be one of those things that not too many people would disagree with. It is something that all Americans can be proud of and display it with no fights over politics, religion or the latest social media posts. 

I recently read a book about Daniel Boone and early American history. I was astounded at the violence that was present in that day. You had to constantly be on alert of being attacked by the local tribes on whose land you were treading on. The early settlers were as brutal as their enemies and I was amazed to read some of the brutal fighting and tactics used by all of those involved. We now live in a much more civilized and safe country. This country has suffered through many major issues and wars over the years to be were it is today. I am optimistic that this country will continue to be a great place to live for the remainder of my years and for future generations. 

Fly the flag with pride!

Sunday, July 2, 2023


I have always been one of those people who have a horrible time remembering names of people I meet. I really have to concentrate on retaining a name to make it stick. Often, as soon as a new person shakes my hand and tells me their name, it goes right in my brain and right out. Unless I focus on remembering the name, it takes me several times of hearing the name to remember it correctly.

Shortly after retirement we moved to a new location about 30 minutes away to be closer to our grown kids and closer to the things we enjoyed doing on a daily basis. With this move came the opportunity to meet new neighbors. Knowing that my name recollection was not very good, I employed a strategy that I had read about one time. The strategy is to concentrate on the name the person gives and associate it somehow with that person. I began to use nicknames that would help me remember. Now, unlike nicknames you give to close friends or family, I don't call these people by their nicknames that I have assigned them in my head. I just use that nickname to remember their name. I have found that this trick is extremely useful and try to use it when I meet a new person.

In sticking with this strategy, this is how it went with a few of my new neighbors. When I met the neighbor across the street and he introduced himself as Steve, I noticed he had an Oklahoma State University ballcap on. OSU is in Stillwater, OK. So Steve became Stillwater Steve. I have never forgotten his name. I met the neighbor behind me. His name is Doyle. The day I met him, his tiny little dog was at the fence barking. I nicknamed Doyle as Big Dog Doyle. I have never forgotten his name. Recently, I met the neighbor on the other end of the block, Gus. The day I met Gus he had on a big white bucket hat. You know, like the one Gilligan wore in Gilligan's Island. Care to guess what his nickname is?.........Gilligan Gus! I have never forgotten his name. A neighbor one street over became Larry Law because Larry had told me he was a retired Deputy. I have never forgotten his name.

As I get older, I think this strategy will serve me well as my name recollection probably will get worse. We are visiting new churches in our area and I will need to employ this strategy every time my wife and I meet someone new. When using this strategy, just make sure you don't blurt out any unflattering nickname to your new friends. The nicknames above wouldn't be offensive to anyone but you may have a nickname in your head that may not be that nice to say out loud. You wouldn't want to voice a name like Dirty Doug to a new friend because he was dirty from working in the yard when you first met him. It might help you remember his name but he probably wouldn't like it if you called him Dirty Doug the next time you saw him at the grocery store. 

There are nicknames we give our spouses, family and friends. These are usually terms of endearment and are meant to be used all the time. My grand daughters have several to include Pumpkin, Cutie Pututie and Princess. I've been called a few names in the past such as StudMuffin, Champ, Mr. Universe, etc. I'll be honest and tell you those nicknames were ones I gave myself. I probably don't want to know what nicknames others have for me in their heads!

Have you employed the above strategy when meeting new people? Do you have trouble remembering names like I do, or do you lock down the new names with no problems? Do you have any interesting nicknames for your neighbors or people you see out and about? Do you have any other strategies for remembering names of people you meet?

Mighty Mitch signing out.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Summer Projects

Summer is a great time to tackle a few projects. Over the years, I have planted trees, completed landscape projects, painted the exterior of a house, roofed a house and many, many more projects. Most of those Summer projects were done after work hours and on weekends. In retirement, projects can be done any time and any day and I love it. Retirement also affords the opportunity to work on projects at a slower pace because I no longer have to complete the project in a certain time period so I can get back to my job.

This Summer I have completed a few small projects and just last night completed painting my garage doors. The paint on the doors had faded with the constant exposure to the sun. I caulked across the top where it needed new caulking. I washed the doors down with a good soapy mixture to prepare it for a new coat of paint. I have a three car garage with a single door and a double door. On Monday I painted the single door and last night finished the double door. I enjoy painting once I get started. Painting gives a lot of satisfaction to see the difference a coat of fresh paint can make.

My dad like painting. Sometimes he loved painting. If he found a half of a can of purple spray paint at a garage sale or in the back of his shop, you can be sure that something was getting painted purple by the end of the day. 

My next big project also involves painting. Our pool filters are located in a large fiberglass tank. The sun has done it's job on the tank and the tank is chalky looking and I get tiny fiberglass fibers on me when I open it up to clean the filters. My hands and arms get very itchy if I touch the tank at all. My plan is to lightly sand the tank and paint it with marine paint that is designed for fiberglass boats. That should solve my itchy problem and make the tank look much better. It will be an all day project by the time I unhook the tank from the pool pump system and then prep and paint it.

Do you use your Summer for projects? What have you tackled so far this year? What are you future projects that you have planned? 

Get out there and enjoy the Summer in whatever you do and stay cool out there!

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Homemade Ice Cream!

Last week, my wife and I had ice cream at a new shop around the corner from the house. It is a new location of an ice cream shop we visited recently on the north side of Oklahoma City. The place is called Boom Town Ice Cream and is a small batch creamery with a lot of excellent ice cream flavors. My favorite is their chocolate chip cookie dough on a waffle cone. It is a special treat to grab an afternoon ice cream snack at this place. There are several other small ice cream shops in the city that are awesome also. We have one local shop, Capital Ice Cream, where you choose a variety of cereals and ingredients to be folded into ice cream to create your own special flavor. Boom Town has a sign that says "Ice Cream Is Always The Answer.". I agree! Retirement is the perfect time to try new ice cream shops. You can have a tasty ice cream cone any afternoon with no need for it to be a special occasion. We will get ice cream on a Tuesday afternoon just because it it Tuesday afternoon!

On a recent thrift store outing with my wife, I noticed a couple of homemade ice cream makers for sale. This made me think that we are overdue to make some homemade ice cream. We have an ice cream maker and don't use it that often. There is no better ice cream than homemade ice cream! We normally make a plain vanilla but have added some chocolate chips in the past and may have tried another flavor or two. I remember, as a kid, making homemade ice cream in a wooden ice cream maker at my grandparents house. It was an old wood maker with a hand crank. My dad would crank it while my two sisters and I would take turn sitting on a towel on top of the maker to hold it down while dad cranked away. Once our bottoms began to get too cold we would hop off and the next one would hop on. It seemed to take forever for that ice cream to get frozen enough to eat! I imagine it was even longer for my poor dad as he cranked it by hand. But, oh how good that ice cream tasted after waiting patiently for it to be ready.

Mom and Dad eventually got an electric ice cream maker that we used many times. As I got a little older I was able to put the ice and salt in the sides of the maker to help out. I would sneak a piece or two of the rock salt and let them slowly melt in my mouth as I monitored the ice and salt in the machine. I will admit, even today, I will do the same thing with rock salt when I am in charge of making ice cream. Maybe I am salting my taste buds for that sweet taste of the ice cream. 

It does take some effort to make ice cream at home. You have to gather the ingredients and put the mixture together. You have to make sure you have enough ice and ice cream salt to freeze it in the ice cream maker. And, you have to have patience to listen to the grinding of the machine for some time to freeze the mixture into that awesome ice cream. We use an electric maker and it seems like it takes longer than it actually does. We wait patiently for the motor to finally quit and indicate that the ice cream is ready. The motor seems to slow to almost a stop and then gets a second wind and grinds away for another 10 minutes before we think it's going to stop again. sometimes the cycle continues several times. With each slowing, our anticipation grows for dipping into our finished ice cream!

Do you have any great ice cream shops in your area? Do you visit them regularly? What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Do you have any great memories of making homemade ice cream in the past? Any rock salt eaters out there?  When was the last time you made some ice cream at home?

It's Summer and prime ice cream time! Get out there and enjoy a great ice cream cone somewhere or make your own special treat at home. Happy Summer!

Monday, June 12, 2023

An Older Couple

A month or two ago my wife and I were staying at a hotel while visiting my wife's mother for a few days. We checked in at the front desk and were given our two keys and our room number. We hauled our luggage up to the room and quickly became frustrated when the keys did not work. I tried both keys and kept getting a red light on the electronic lock. My wife went downstairs to get new keys and returned with the desk clerk who was going go make sure our keys worked this time. The clerk scanned the keys and opened the door. We all were at the door looking at a young man sitting at a desk in the room looking at us. The clerk asked who he was and why he was in the room. Apparently, the previous desk clerk had checked him into the wrong room while showing him actually checked into another room. We followed the clerk back to the front desk to get reassigned a new room. We had a good laugh and I joked with her about making sure our new room was not occupied already. All went well and we finally got settled into a non-occupied room.

I am 57 and my wife is 54. The next morning, I was enjoying some coffee down in the lobby in the breakfast area. Other early risers included numerous workers who were in town for some type of construction project. While sitting there, I hear a young man telling his co-workers about sitting in his room when his door was opened by the desk clerk and an "older couple". He related that he was glad he hadn't just stepped out of the shower and the table of workers had a good chuckle. 

Older couple!! What the heck, I thought, as I digested the fact that my wife and I were referred to as an older couple. I'm not old, at least in my mind. An older couple should be in their 70's or 80's! I guess to a young man in his late 20's or early 30's, a couple in their 50's is an older couple. I laughed inside at this designation as an "older couple" and my wife got a good laugh at it when I told her the story.

I guess age is set by the observer. Much like the fact that there is always someone else who makes more money or has a bigger house, I think there is always someone else who is "older". I guess that will hold true until I hit my 90's or the big 100. 

What is your view of the age of an "older couple"? My wife's parents have always talked about the "old people" at church. They have referred to "old people" even when they were late 70's themselves. We always found it funny, when we left their house, after they talked about the "old people" at church. 

Do you have a similar "older couple" story to share? Surely we are not the only couple who has overheard someone refer to us as an "older couple". It was a funny experience to go through and gave me a good topic for a post, but if I ever see that punk kid again, I'm going to challenge him to a foot race!!


Sunday, June 4, 2023

Finding Sea Shells


My four year old granddaughter continues to amaze me and teach me lessons about life. She attends a private pre-school at a very small school. The school has a large yard that has a garden, a play area and a sand pit for the kids to play in. Several months ago, she came home carrying a broken sea shell that she had found while playing in the sand pit. She is so proud of that shell and it is one of her most prized possessions. She carries it around often and will show it off to any and everyone. She will gladly tell you that she found it at school in the sand pit and that no one else has found a shell. The simple joy she gets from this sea shell just warms my heart.

We have a small plastic turtle sandbox in our backyard full of sand and a few small shovels and cups to play with. I got the bright idea of purchasing a bag of sea shells at the Dollar Tree to seed the sandbox with a few shells. The first time she sifted through the sand and found a shell was priceless. The look of excitement on her face was the cutest thing ever. She ran into the house to show her Nana, Mom and Dad her recent find. After that, she couldn't wait to dig more shells! At one point she had found the five shells I had planted and continued to dig furiously. I told her that she may have found them all. She replied, "I know there are more!" as she kept digging. I went to the garage and grabbed a few more shells to put into the sand without her knowing. When she dug the next one up, she excitedly exclaimed "I told you Pawpaw! I knew there were more shells!". She was as excited for the 6th shell as she was for the 1st shell. 

I continue to hide 5-6 shells every time she leaves so there will be more fun ahead for her. This tiny little sandbox just keeps on giving up the shells! I love the her enthusiasm and excitement as she digs through the sand for that next treasured sea shell. She has the same wide eyed excitement with finding worms, doodle bugs and many other things. 

I recently read a great book In Awe by John O'Leary. In this book, O'Leary talks about how adults lose that childlike wonder of the things around us and normal everyday experiences. He talks about our need to look at the world through childlike eyes and not take things for granted. The book also discusses how nothing is impossible. He advises that most of modern day amenities were once impossible. Think about that for a moment, Traveling the world in cars and airplanes would have once seemed impossible. Travel to the moon or Mars, once impossible. Texting and emailing and sending photos and movies over the internet, once impossible. The book was very good and reminds us to look at the world around us with new eyes.

As I get older, I have learned a lot about enjoying the minor things in life and to be in awe of more things around me. I encourage you to read the book and see if you can take something from it. Hopefully, we can all get excited about finding a sea shell in the sand and enjoy the moment to the maximum!

Friday, May 19, 2023

May Is For Cruising!


May is for cruising! At least it is for us this year. My blogging will be pretty much on hold this month.

After a couple of tough years, my wife and I are trying to hit the travel a little harder this year. We took a Royal Caribbean cruise the first week of May to Roatan, Costa Maya and Cozumel. Next week we head out on a Carnival Cruise to Alaska to Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway and Victoria, BC. I hope to be back to regular blogging after that. See you soon!

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Today's Potential

Often, while my coffee is brewing, I thank God for the great things in my life and then pray about future things involving family, health and well being. After that, I begin to think "what am I going to do today?" As a retiree, my days are often a blank slate and ready to be filled. The potential for a great day is there every morning! Do I want a day of rest and relaxation? Such a day may include a little reading, blogging and other menial tasks. Do I want a day of household chores? This would include laundry, dishes, grocery shopping, etc. Or, do I want a day of fun? This would include a day that would involve a new destination, a new dining experience or new activity. 

I wake well before my wife. So, I have time to think about the potential of the day. I must think about time limits and costs while thinking about the opportunities that the day may have. A recent "day of fun" for me, was an hour trip to a new BBQ place and then some metal detecting. The BBQ place was outstanding and I found a few treasures while detecting. The day was awesome! The day was a great "retirement day". One of those days that I envisioned when I thought about retiring while sitting at my desk. 

In retirement, as the saying goes above, "everyday had the potential to be the greatest day in your life". How true is that! If we approach everyday with a wide eyed expectation of the potential that this day has, what a great day we can have. If you get up in the morning and expect a great day to be relaxing, reading and listening the the birds outside, so be it. You do just that and enjoy your great day. 

If you wake up and decide to be a "man of action" and mow the yard, paint the fence and clean the cars, so be it and have one awesome day!. If you wake up and decide to pick up litter along the road or feed the homeless at the local shelter, so be it. And, have a great day serving others! Each day has so much potential and we should all look to maximize that to our personal need. 

I am much more of a planner than my wife. I do like to have things organized and thought out for most trips and vacations. But, I am also getting better at just taking off and doing something without a lot of thought. Do you spend a lot of time planning your retirement days? Or do you get up, like I do most mornings, and begin to look at the potential of today? I keep a list of possibilities in my notes on my phone. I often watch a show called "Discover Oklahoma" and note any places to see or new dining places. Then, when I am out and about or planning a day trip in the state, I can access my list as a reminder of new things to do.

I've posted before about "bucket lists", but do you have a list of smaller items that you want to do or see that really don't qualify as a "bucket list" item. I think of "bucket list" items as things like a trip to Italy or a trip to the Grand Canyon and other grand ideas. While my smaller list includes a few museums, ice cream shops and BBQ joints. 

However you keep lists, or don't keep lists, just make sure you get out there and enjoy that retirement day!

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Mayonnaise Cake

One of my favorite recipes of my mother's is mayonnaise cake. As a youngster, I always cringed a little bit when she would mention making mayonnaise cake because it sounded a little gross. But, when all said and done, it was a pretty delicious cake. Her mayonnaise cake recipe is for a chocolate cake with warm chocolate icing poured on top. It is still one of my most favorite cakes. The coca cola cake at Cracker Barrel is similar to mom's mayonnaise cake. 

When my kids were growing up, mom had to tell them she made mayonnaise cake but without the mayonnaise so they would eat it. They always loved the cake with the belief that the nasty mayonnaise had been left out! To a kid, mayonnaise in a cake just doesn't seem right. It would be the same as saying you made a broccoli cake.

Another favorite cake of mine is carrot cake. Who knew that carrots in a cake would be delicious? I'm sure there are a lot of other delicious recipes that don't sound so great when you mention the ingredients. Do you have a favorite recipe like "mayonnaise cake" that sounds a little weird, but it delicious? Do you have a great recipe for broccoli cake or something similar? 

Have you dabbled in new recipes in retirement? Are you cooking more home cooked meals and desserts in retirement? If not, it is time for you to get busy and come up with the next great mayonnaise cake!

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Multiple Income Streams

Recently I have seen several serious articles about retirees needing multiple income streams for a good retirement. The last one I read mentioned that 7 income streams would be the best. That is a lot of different income streams!    

I began to add mine up and I think I may have the 7! I am a federal retiree and the federal system is a three tier system in which you draw a pension, 401K (Thrift Savings Plan TSP) and Social Security. The TSP portion can be small or large depending on your personal savings rate during your career. Some employees choose not to save much and thus their balance at retirement is pretty small. Some employees may max out their savings and have that part of their retirement be pretty substantial.

So, my retirement from the government gives me three income streams of #1 pension, #2 TSP withdrawals and #3 Social Security. I work part time doing a little contract work. Last year I made about $200 I think. The work was there for me but the will to get back into the working class was not too great last year. So, my part time job is income stream #4. I get a little interest off a savings account at my bank, so there is stream #5 interest income. This income stream is more like a trickle as the interest does not add up to much but was greater than stream #4 last year.  Now I really have to stretch to add additional income streams. Every year I throw any found coins into a wooden bowl on my bedroom dresser and then count it and cash it in at the end of the year. This is my income stream #6. I counted my bowl as of this date and for the first 3+ months of 2023, that income stream has a total of $6.93. Also in that bowl are numerous coins that I found in CoinStar reject bins at the grocery store that are from Mexico, Canada and Israel. I can't even spend part of the found money stream in this country!

I've talked about my hobby of metal detecting in past posts. Guess what? This is my income stream #7! Much like my found money, my detecting coins also are saved, cleaned and counted at the end of the year. My best year so far has been $85.03. I know, I know, not much of an income stream. I'm not sure if the authors of the "multiple income stream" articles would approve of many of my streams being income streams, but it works for this guy! My wife and I live on #1-3, the rest are just extra pocket money. 

Have you read about multiple income streams recently? I would think if you had one large stream, you could retire just fine. Do you have multiple income streams that make up your retirement? I can imagine there are a lot of retirees that collect income on dividends, part time jobs, rental properties and other traditional income producing investments. Do you have any income trickles, like several of mine listed above? I posted once on side hustle jobs. Maybe that is one or more of your income streams.

Oooh! I just remembered I have an upcoming cruise to Mexico, maybe I can spent that 50 pesos in my found money bowl!

Saturday, April 8, 2023

A Trip To The Library


I haven't visited our local public library in several months but made a trip there last week to meet my daughter and granddaughter. The library was very well lit and inviting. My daughter browsed for some children's books while my granddaughter took me back to a small play area. She played with some building blocks and wrote on an erasable sketch pad. Another mother sat in a nice chair in the area, reading, while her daughter played. It was very quiet and relaxing.

I found many books that I would like to read and picked out two. I figured that was about all I could get read in the three week time limit for checking them out. When leaving the library, we checked ourselves out quickly and without issue. The checkout table would scan your library card and then would scan and record the books as you placed them on a table. The whole process was easy and enjoyable.

I told myself that I need to put library visits on my weekly "to do list". They still have a decent amount of magazines to browse through and had a the local newspaper as well as the Wall St. Journal. I think I could easily spend an hour or two catching up on the current magazines and news. I noticed they had This Old House magazine that I could probably pick up a tip or inspiration from. 

As I browsed the library, I was reminded of what a gem that public libraries are. You can borrow and read a book for free. You can browse through magazines and newspapers. You can take an interesting class or have a club meeting. There are programs for children for crafting or participating in reading sessions.

I read a few books a month and get most of my books from thrift stores and garage sales. I get a few books as gifts for birthdays or Christmas. The problem with me buying books is that I buy more than I can read and have them stacked on bookshelves and in my closet. If I would just use the library, I could get books for free and the added benefit is that they store them for me on nice, organized shelves. I really need to consider this option more often!

Do you utilize your local library? If so, what programs have you participated in? Do you use the library just for checking out a book, or do you sit for awhile and read magazines and newspapers?

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Is This a Great Planet or What?

Two posts ago, I wrote a post on this being a great country. After thinking about it for a week or so, I've also decided that we live on a great planet. Despite all the bad things on this earth with wars, famine and disasters of all kind, we do have a pretty hospitable place to have our home. Our options are pretty much zero at this point and will be for some time. 

I watched William Shatner take his trip up to space and listened to his remarks upon his return. He was truly moved by his trip to space. Some of his remarks are noted below. He was in awe but also in grief for the future of our fragile earth.

"I saw more clearly than I have, with all the studying and reading I've done, the writhing, slow death of Earth and we on it," Shatner said.

"It's a little tiny rock with an onion skin air around it. That's how fragile it all is. It's so fragile. We hang by a thread ... we're just dangling."

Shatner was experiencing the "overview effect" that a lot of astronauts experience. The experience causes a cognitive and emotional shift in a person's awareness when they see earth from space. We often hear news of global warming and the effects on the climate and the livability of this planet. I think most of us have grown used to the news and don't think a whole lot about it on a daily basis. But, it does appear that us earthlings are not taking the problem as serious as we need to. As an individual, I believe our thought is "what can one person do" and our next thought is "the government and scientist will figure out a solution". I'm not sure how this whole thing is going to turn out and, if it turns out bad, we don't have a second planet to quickly move to. 

Enough about the bad news. This is a great planet to live on. We have nice breathable air, abundant water and a pretty great place to live. Our options on other planets don't look so great. Mars has an atmosphere 100 time thinner than ours and only has a trace of oxygen. Venus has a surface temperature of 900 degrees. All the other known planets have similar, unlivable atmospheres. When you look at our earth from above you see a very, very thin layer of atmosphere that allows us to live. The current thought is that space begins at about 62 miles above the earth. Think about that, 62 miles! That is an hour's drive, if you could go straight up. When I think of driving down the interstate to a town 62 miles away, it doesn't seem to far. When you factor in the portion of that 62 miles that we can actually breath air, it shrinks to about 20,000 feet above sea level. That is 3.78 miles! We could walk that distance!

So, this great planet of ours is a great place to live, but is very fragile. We can enjoy it's oceans, mountains, canyons, wildlife, and it's water and oxygen, but we must also be good stewards of this earth. Our descendants are depending on us to take care of this place so they too will have a great place to live.

This planet has a great variety of cultures, architecture, food and other great things to enjoy while we live and in retirement we should explore as much of that as possible. I have seen  some wonderful things on this earth including the Rocky Mountains,  Grand Tetons, Yellowstone Park and many other parks. I have stood at the edge of  Niagara Falls. I have seen some beautiful beaches. I have rafted down some whitewater canyons and have gazed upon the mighty Mississippi River. I've been lucky to see a very small portion of this earth and think this is the planet for me. 

Science fiction shows and movies often show humans landing on other planets similar to ours. I can't imagine that will happen any time soon. I would imagine it will be many generations down the road before something like that is even possible.  If you ever make it out of this world to visit one of the other planets, I'm sure you will be eager to get home to this great planet of ours! 

What amazing things have you seen on this earth of ours? Was there somewhere that really took your breath away? The Grand Canyon was one spot that was mind boggling to me. I was simply amazed at the size of the canyon and the beauty of the place.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

It's Time To Get Our Hands Dirty

It's time to get our hands dirty! When you saw the title, some of you were thinking is this about Ukraine? Is this about current U.S. politics? Is this about climate change? In the movies and tv shows, getting your hands dirty usually means you are about to commit an immoral or criminal act.

All I'm saying is, it's Spring and it's time to get our hands dirty in a good way. Yesterday, I got out and enjoyed a few hours of getting my hands dirty while enjoying my metal detecting hobby. It did me some good to get out for some fresh air and sunshine. Now that the weather's getting better, it is time for my wife and I to get out in the yard a little more and get our hands dirty. We need to pull weeds and prepare our planting areas in our flower gardens. We need to put down some new mulch in the flower beds and around shrubs. We need to prune some shrubs and trees and do a general clean up. We need to uncover the water fountain and put in the pumps that I had pulled out for the winter. 

Getting out in the yard will feel good after all the cold and dreary days of winter. Just the sense of accomplishment, by getting a few of these things done, will feel good. Studies have shown that getting outside is good for us. reports 8 benefits of getting outside. They include: 1. Better breathing 2. Improved sleep 3. Reduced depression symptoms 4. More motivation to exercise 5. Mental restoration 6. Boosted immune function 7. Protection from short-sightedness 8. Improved emotional well-being. And then you have all the benefits of a nicer looking yard with fresh mulch, new flowers and trimmed shrubs!

I always feel better after being outside. I enjoy a nice day outside while getting things done. For retirees, we also can take our time when outside and really enjoy it. During my career, my outside time was limited to evenings and weekends. During those years, I had to squeeze in all the outside chores into the limited time that was available. In retirement, I can be outside at 9am on a Tuesday and enjoy my outside time any day or time that suits my busy retirement schedule.

Spring is also a great time to get your hands dirty on the inside of your house. Most people feel like doing a little Spring cleaning at the beginning of the warmer season. It is time to dust off things around the house, move plants back outdoors, clean some dirty windows, etc. Even though you are indoors, you will still feel better once you sit back and see the improvements.

Are you ready for Spring and the opportunity to get your hands dirty in a good way? Do you have a list of outdoor projects you are ready to jump on? Have you found that getting outside in retirement seems to be more relaxing and laid back than it did during your working years? What things do you accomplish, inside or outside your home, this time of year to get your hands dirty?

Get dirty, get happy!

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Is This a Great Country or What?

I read quite often about how happy people are those who are grateful. The key is to be thankful for what you have rather than be upset about what you don't have. It is often hard to stay in a thankful attitude and I'm trying to get better at it everyday. I recently saw a suggestion of starting a photo album on your phone for thankfulness and adding one photo a day of something your are thankful for. Then, you are asked to scroll through those photos on a regular basis to remind yourself of the great things in your life. I started this three days ago and I have two days of photos of my grandkids and today I added a photo of my Evel Knievel coffee mug full of coffee. 

This morning I saw an article on my news feed on my phone about things U.S. citizens miss when they stay overseas for any amount of time. These were things we all take for granted here in this great country and have to be reminded of every once in awhile. One thing was the abundance of choices in our grocery stores. The article stated that often in other countries your choices are severely limited to what it available. Grocery stores in our country, most always, have every kind of fruit and vegetable available year round. Other countries may only have available fruits and vegetables in stock when they are in season in the area. One thing people missed was the comfort food that is available in the U.S. such as hamburgers and fries that might not be available in some countries. Fast food was another thing people missed. Fast food available in other countries is not always the same as in the U.S. even if it is the same franchise. One person missed refried beans and couldn't get them at a Taco Bell in a foreign country. 

A few weeks ago I saw a similar news article about what non U.S. citizens were amazed about in our country. They were amazed at the huge amount of choices in our grocery store. One person was shocked that there was a whole aisle of cereal choices. They were amazed at how much wide open spaces there are in the U.S., such as the open country in the western section of our country. They are amazed at the diversity of our landscape. They are amazed that this country has fabulous beaches, mountains, deserts and all types of terrain and climates. They were amazed at the variety of dining options in this country. They were amazed at the huge servings of food in the restaurants and loved our version of some foreign dishes. The American version of Chinese food was one hit with foreign travelers. Apparently, General Tso chicken is not a normal Chinese dish in China. Foreigners are also amazed at how patriotic Americans are and how friendly they can be to visitors. They are amazed at the size of our homes. And, they are amazed at the work ethic of Americans. 

After reading these two articles, I am reminded of what a great country we live in. I take all of the above for granted most days and should be more aware and more thankful for this environment I grew up in and currently live in. When I get the itch to travel, I think I would love to go on another cruise, a trip to Europe, see the pyramids, etc. When I think about this great country, I realize there is so much here that I have yet to explore. I've seen a lot of the U.S., but I still need to check out the sites in Philadelphia, Boston, and New York. I need to visit St. Augustine, FL, which I just recently learned may be the oldest city in the country. I need to visit the Florida Keys. I need to visit the northeastern states during the fall for leaf peeping. I need to explore Michigan and it's lakes. There is enough travel to keep me busy for a few years without ever leaving this great country.

Sure, this country has it's faults and opportunities for improvement. But overall, we live in the greatest country on the planet and need to be thankful for it. I'm thankful for those things listed above. I'm also thankful of the freedom we have in this country. I'm thankful we are not under attack by military forces and that we have a strong military to deter such aggression. I'm thankful that any one born here today can become President some day, or a teacher, a doctor or anything else they choose to become. 

Do you take our country or the country you live in for granted sometimes? What are you thankful for in this country? If you have lived overseas, what did you miss about the U.S. while you were gone? 

On the topic of being thankful, what do you do to remind yourself to be thankful? A Journal? A photo album? Morning reflection with your coffee?

Thursday, March 9, 2023


Eudaimonia is a Greek world literally translating to the state or condition of 'good spirit', and which is commonly translated as 'happiness' or 'welfare'. This sounds exactly what each of us seek in retirement. 

In my post on Podcasts I mentioned that I had downloaded a podcast called Philosophy Bites. Today, I listened to my first episode and was introduced to Aristotle's view on eudaimonia. It was very interesting and I learned a new word. It was pronounced like you-dime-onia. I have never heard of the word, so I definitely broadened my knowledge today! And I'm learning from a philosopher who was on this earth from 384-322 BC. 

Aristotle believed that eudaimonia was the rational activity of pursuing what is worthwhile in life. He believed happiness came from how well we live our life and not in the pursuit of material wealth, power and honor. He did add that reaching eudaimonia only occurs after your basic needs or met. He believed that if you didn't have the basic needs of sufficient food, water, shelter, etc., that you would not be able to focus on and seek eudaimonia. 

When researching eudaimonia, I found 5 Tips on How to Achieve Eudaimonia. They are: 1. Know your life goals 2. Focus your skills and activities to achieve those goals 3. Developing your best potential 4. Get engaged in these activities 5. Express yourself. Even though this advice is thousands of years old, it still makes sense. Eudaimonia implies a state of a positive and divine state of being. Aristotle goes on to say that eudaimonia requires the attainment of excellence in reason. He believed that eudaimonia required good character and rational activity. Both of which are very subjective things. 

Ancient philosophers often discussed eudaimonia and how to obtain it. It appears the search and the definition of happiness has been a topic for thousands of years. In my opinion, I believe the philosophers take on is to try to better yourself in mind, body and spirit and have a great attitude towards life. Each of us will have to self assess our own character and activity to see if it reaches the level we are happy with or if we need to improve ourselves a little bit more. Self improvement is a never ending journey, but can make us a better person along the way.

Another philosopher, Epicurus, equated the good life with a  life of pleasure and freedom from pain and distress. This sounds like a great goal in retirement. Enjoying life's pleasures while not having the stress of working life. Most of the philosophers also add in good virtue as a key to the good life and to attaining eudaimonia. Good virtue is a keystone in their overall philosophy in this area. They held that good moral values while seeking life's pleasures was a major key to happiness.

Have you ever heard of eudaimonia? Have you delved into the teachings of the ancient philosophers? It is fascinating to read some of their thoughts on happiness. I'm sure there are many other important teachings that I should look into. Maybe by broadening my knowledge on this one word, I have taken one step closer to ultimate eudaimonia!

“He is happy who lives in accordance with complete virtue and is sufficiently equipped with external goods, not for some chance period but throughout a complete life.” – Aristotle

Sunday, February 26, 2023

A Rainbow Day


The word rainbow comes from the Latin arcus  pluvius meaning rainy arch. In Greek and Roman times , it was believed that rainbows were a path created by the goddess of the rainbow, Iris, linking us to the immortals. The world's longest lasting rainbow was seen over Sheffield, England on March, 14 1994. It lasted from 9am to 3pm. Rainbows can exist in mist, fog, sea spray, waterfalls and anywhere light meets water in the sky.  

My 3 year old granddaughter is infatuated with rainbows and unicorns at the moment. She has rainbow clothes, rainbow shoes, rainbow rain boots, etc. Last Christmas, she asked Santa for a rainbow on her bedroom wall. Santa sent Elfina to paint a beautiful rainbow in the corner of her room and she loved it. I pick up my granddaughter daily from her Pre-K school and we always have great conversation on the way home. Recently, I asked her how her day was at school and she smiled the biggest smile ever and blurted out "I had a rainbow day!". To her a rainbow day was the best. Her little sayings just fill my heart when I'm around her. She sees rainbows in everything. M&Ms are rainbow M&Ms. Multi colored TicTacs are rainbow TicTacs when she describes them. Her glittery, colorful boots are rainbow boots. I just love her sunny rainbow disposition!

In retirement, we are all looking to have many rainbow days. My rainbow day would start with morning relaxation with coffee and a book. Then the day would include a couple of hours digging in the dirt with my metal detector looking for buried coins. A rainbow day would include me finding a silver coin. A silver dime would be nice but a truly great rainbow day would include finding a silver quarter or half dollar. Then, I would return home for a lunch and shower and then spend an hour or so cleaning and logging my treasure while uttering the phrase "I just love metal detecting!". A short afternoon siesta or swim in the pool and then a nice dinner with my wife with an evening of watching some of our shows on TV or a streaming service would complete the day. That is only one description of a rainbow day for me. Other rainbow days, for me, might include a day of thrifting or a day of trying something new or exploring a new place. I have rainbow days almost everyday that I'm on a cruise ship or a vacation trip.

A rainbow day would be different for everyone. I picture a rainbow day of a friend of mine to be watching the sunrise from a duck blind on a cold morning. His rainbow day would include hunting with a family member or good friend to share the experience. Then I imagine he would enjoy cleaning his game and hunting gear for the next trip out. His day would include meeting with old friends for lunch and swapping work stories from the past. A neighbor's rainbow day is spending an entire day in his yard or woodworking shed working on projects. Everyone has their version of a rainbow day.

What do you consider a rainbow day in your life? Aren't they wonderful when you experience the feeling of a day that seems to be perfect in everyway? Has your version of a rainbow day changed over the years? I envision a very active person with a rainbow day of being on the ski slopes all day but later in life the rainbow day changes to shorter ski times and more time in the hot tub or sitting around a fireplace in the mountains. Do you have a happy place where your rainbow days happen more often such as a lake house, beach house or mountain cabin? 

I wish you all more rainbow days!

Tuesday, February 21, 2023


Wikipedia states that podcasting began in the 1980's as audio blogs and then began to catch hold in 2004 as podcasting when portable digital devices became available such as the iPod. According to Wikipedia there are currently over 115,000, English language, podcasts available on the internet.

During the last two years, I began listening to a few podcasts and have found a few that I really enjoy. I have found that listening to a good podcast is similar to being drawn into a good book. A good podcast will have me visualizing the story and feeling as I'm right there in the middle of it. With the large inventory of podcast to choose from, you can find one that peaks your interest. Podcast are great for times when you are looking for a little entertainment. I have sampled some podcasts that are very well done and I have listened to some that were very poorly done. There are so many options to choose from, so you can treat them like a book and start and quit an episode anytime you want. I have started several that I have quit after a few minutes.

Podcasts can be used for simple mindless entertainment, they can be used for self improvement and they can be used for learning something new about a topic you are interested in. You want to learn how to manage your money, there are podcasts for that. You want to listen to standup comedians, there are podcasts for that. There are podcasts for about every topic you can think of. They also have a wide range of the size of the episodes. They can range from one minute up to several hours. Most of the podcasts that I have listened to are an hour or less. 

A podcast that I have really enjoyed is called Infamous America. A few days ago I finished a series about the North Hollywood robbery in LA in 1997. It was very well done and very interesting. Previous to that I had listened to several series about 1930's gangsters such as John Dillinger and Bonnie & Clyde. There are many lists on the internet about the best podcasts to listen to. If you are new to podcasting, I would start with one of those lists or simply search your areas of interest on you Podcast app on your phone.

I recently browsed through podcasts in my app and downloaded several of interest. I will listen to them when I have the time and see if any are worth listening to. I downloaded episodes from On Purpose with Jay Shetty, Philosophy Bites, The Retirement Years, Feel Better Live More, 7 Good Minutes and Beautiful/Anonymous. I'm sure I will begin with the shorter ones such as 7 Good Minutes as the title suggests, the episodes are only 7 minutes long.

When you search the subject of retirement, the majority of the podcasts seem to be focused on the financial aspect of retirement. As a current retiree, I would be more interested in the fun side of retirement and the daily living of retirement. So, for any prospective podcasters out there, I see an opportunity for you! 

Do you listen to podcasts? What are your favorites? Do you listen to a certain genre of podcasts such as true crime, comedy, history, etc.? I'm certainly interested in checking out any suggestions. If you listen to podcasts, do you find them entertaining and helpful? 

If you have never listened to a podcast I suggest you give it a try. You may find one that you really enjoy and add a new element to your retirement.