House Sitting in The Country ~

I am currently enjoying the best house sitting assignment ever – on a vineyard overlooking a beautiful valley right in the heart of Oregon wine (and farm) country.  On a clear day, you truly can see forever.

For ten days of chicken wrangling, bird feeding, garden watering and loving-up a grey-haired-handsome-boy-kitty named Winston, I am living la pura vida in the hills of Dundee.  I am also learning the ins and outs of rural living.  And, in case you were wondering, life is pretty good out here in the country.  And just a little bit different than this city gal is used to. Not a Starbucks in sight, but the wine is top notch!

The only downside so far?  The Green Acres theme song keeps playing in my head.

And now you are humming it too.  You’re welcome!

I don’t know if the country life is the life for me, but I am savoring every moment of my country adventure.  Here are a few snaps I took the other day.

You know you are in the country when…

Fashion takes on a whole new meaning.

Fashion takes on a whole new meaning.

Maybe they make shoes to go with the outfit?

Maybe they make shoes to go with the outfit?

Making hay while the sun shines.  You've gotta be quick in Oregon

Making hay while the sun shines. You’ve gotta be quick in Oregon

 

So, a gnome wanders into a vineyard...

So, a gnome wanders into a vineyard…

Never seen this in the city.

Never seen this in the city.

farmcountry5

Call now before the sign is covered in weeds.

Yes indeed!

Yes indeed!

And my personal favorite ~

Farmer humor

Farmer humor

Stay tuned for more adventures.

Cheers!

Enter To Win ~ Another cheap retirement travel idea

Just so you know.  I’ve never been a person who wins things.  I’m usually the person standing next to the person holding the winning ticket.  I always buy a ticket (or 5) if it’s for a good cause.  But then the story always goes something like this … a moment or two of hopeful anticipation when the drum rolls and the hand goes deep into the pile of ticket stubs.  Pick mine!  Pick mine!  Nope.  Not this time.

Yet somehow I’ve managed to remain hopeful.  I figure that by now, the odds must be in my favor.  Someday soon my ship, or plane or train will come in.

Travel Channel Contest looks great!

Travel Channel Contest – A Trip to Prague.

I just discovered  that there are literally hundreds of online travel contests offering a chance to win everything from deluxe hotel stays, to Eurorail passes, to airline tickets, and luxury spa weekends.  I felt like I had found a gold mine of possibility.  Cheap travel?  Sure, but why not try my hand at winning some free travel!  What the Hell?  I’m way beyond over-due for a big win.  This could be the ticket to even more adventure.  What have I got to lose?  Well, maybe a little internet privacy, but since I already spend so much time crawling the web, joining groups on Facebook and twittering sparkling bons mots and tiny brilliant thoughts in the Twittersphere, I figure I’ll pick up my skirt and wade a little deeper into the pond.

Entering all of these contests could become a full time job so I decided to test the water and start with a few from well-known sources like Travel & Leisure,  Travel Sweepstakes Blogger, and Travel Onion, where they review and aggregate lots of very interesting contests on one reliable web site.   You click through to the contest site and sign-up.  These contests are sponsored by hotels, airlines, and various cities and countries promoting their business, but what I found interesting was the number of contests sponsored by companies like Burts Bees, Victoria’s Secret and Pottery Barn.  They get my email address and I (along with about a bazillion of my closest friends) get the chance to be WINNERS.  So, I set up a new travel contest only email account and I’m entering one or two a day that look interesting and don’t require purchase or multiple entries.

Heck, somebody has to win.  It might just be me.

Here are a few European Travel Contests currently listed on Travel Onion ~

Burtsbees – Spot Lotto Sweepstakes & IWG – Enter by May 27th, 2014
Location: Stockholm, Sweden ( 18 or older ) – Win one of two prizes of a 5-night trip for two to Stockholm, Sweden and more, valued at $6,750. There are also Instant Win prizes of one of fifteen $250 spa gift certificates, or one of twenty-five bouquets of daisies, or one of 100 Burt’s Bees Brightening dark spot corrector, or one of 25,000 samples.

Pottery Barn – Passport to Paris – Enter by June 8th, 2014
Location: Paris, France – Win a 4-night trip for two to Paris, France and a $1,000 gift card, valued at $10,000.

Win A Trip To The Tour de France – Enter by June 20th, 2014
Location: France – Win a trip for two to the Tour de France! This prize includes round trip airfare for two to Paris, three nights in the city of Paris, two nights in the French countryside, and more! Other lucky winners will receive a Bianchi Intenso 105 Compact Road Bike, Team Belkin branded apparel, a Bell “Gage” helmet, and more.

Wine-Soak Up the Essence of Italy Sweepstakes – Enter by June 30th, 2014
Location: Venice, Italy – (21 or older – No AK or HI) – Win a trip for two to Venice, Italy, including a Cooking with Chef Anna cooking vacation, valued at $8,000, or one of nine $100 Dean & Deluca gift cards.

Win A Trip For Two To Ireland – Enter by December 31st, 2014
Location: Ireland – Win a trip for two to Ireland. This vacation includes round trip airfare to Dublin, a five night stay in a hotel, and $500 spending money. Other prizes include copies of Once on Blu-ray disc and a CD copy of Once The Musical.

See you on the road.

Cheers!

Nancy

 

Creating Your Roving Retirement ~ Part 3: Use this money-saving tips

A Few More Money Saving Tips

-Make sure your credit card has mileage benefits.  Use it wisely, but use it.  Those points add up and will save you thousands on airfare.

-Airline prices fluctuate daily, but in general the best deals go to those who are patient and diligent.   Travel pros suggest that statistically those who book early in the morning or late at night, especially on Saturdays and Wednesdays, find the best deals.

-Lower price guarantee.  Most US airlines (but not all) have a guaranteed airfare clause buried in the fine print that says if you purchase a ticket and the price drops, they will refund the difference.  Sites like Yapta.com can track airline fares and notify you if a price drops.

-Travel off-season.  You will save on both airfare and hotel.   When the tourists leave and properties or air seats are empty, prices drop.  It’s the law of supply and demand.  This applies to home rentals as well.  Many off-season prices are negotiable.  They would rather rent their apartment to you for 30% off than leave it vacant.  Never hesitate to ask.

-Take the road less traveled.  Going just a little bit off the beaten path can save you a lot of money.  I’ve found that if you stay in that lovely small town just outside of the big city, the prices for both food and lodging will usually drop dramatically.

Creating Your Roving Retirement ~ Part 4: 5 Action Steps

ACTION STEPS

1.  DARE TO DREAM

Start with your travel dream board and wish list.  These two exercises will set the stage for a constant flow of ideas and inspiration that will continue to propel you forward.

2.  FIND YOUR PURPOSE

Everyone travels for a reason.  It can be a simple as finally having the chance to sip an umbrella drink in a beach chair or finally having the opportunity to use your skills as a volunteer.  Once you’ve identified the where on your travel wish list, spend some time with the why, which in turn will often lead you to the how.   For example, you might volunteer with an organization such as (        ) teaching English or building schools, and then plan a few months of additional travel.

3.  DO YOUR RESEARCH

You will want to learn everything you can about your travel destinations and explore all of the options for traveling on a budget.  The internet is a great place to start.  A few simple google searches will provide hours of online reading.   Become a regular at your library.   Find travel blogs that you relate to and sign up to receive their posts.  Ask questions.  Make connections.  Share your dream.  When you start telling people about your dream of retirement travel, you will be surprised how many like-minded people you will meet and the information and opportunities that will be provided.  Set the wheels of adventure in motion now.

4.  TEST THE WATERS WITH MINI-TRIPS

You may not be ready to sell the house and everything in it and head out to see the world quite yet, but you can start flexing your adventure muscle with mini trips.  If walking the Camino de Santiago is on your bucket list, start by exploring your city on foot.   Sign up for a 3 hour walking tour or create your own.  Life, and your city, look very different when you slow down to 3mph.   Do you dream of traveling across Europe with your Eurail pass and your backpack?   Start with Amtrak, your backpack and a quick weekend getaway a couple of hours from home.

5.   HONE YOUR LANGUAGE SKILLS

Many Americans assume that everyone speaks English.  This is often the case in the big cities, but you will have a very different experience if you have at least a basic understanding of the language.  The ability to say good morning and engage in a simple conversation truly enhances your “live like a local” experience.  Check out continuing education classes at your community college for classes in Spanish, French, German, or Japanese.  Join a local inter-cambio group through Meet Up or your library.  Generally these groups meet weekly and half of the conversation is in English and half is in the language you are learning.  You will meet native speakers and learn about customs and culture while you are improving your speaking skills.

If you missed that GAP year of travel in your 20‘s, here is your second chance to pack up your backpack and head out to explore the world.  With retirement travel you have the luxury of time all over again. Take as long as you like and enjoy every minute.  You’ve earned it.

See you on the road!

Retiring to the Tropical Good Life in Belize

Way back in 1996, I spent two glorious weeks in Belize.  The second week a group of us, mostly scuba divers (and me) lived it up in a rundown motel right at the end of the pier where the ferries docked.   It was also directly across from the local liquor store.  If you owned stock in Belikin Beer that week, your stock rose significantly.

Each morning we wandered down the beach to a tiny outdoor cafe where we sat for a very long time sipping our tea and watching the world meander by.  Every now and then, someone would ask, “I wonder how long it would take until we got tired of this?”  No one could even guess at the answer as we all had to be back in the corporate grind before the next week began.   We were staying on Ambergris Caye which at the time was the only developed (and I’m using that term loosely here) island of the bunch. There were no cars allowed, only a small number of golf carts for transportation, the streets were sand and sometimes the sand went right into the shops and restaurants.  This was before cell phones and the one public pay phone was out of order.  That trip still ranks up there as one of the best vacations of my life (so far).

While I’m not sure full time tropical living is what hubs and I are looking for, it was great fun to read the informative article below by Ann Kuffner that was published in a recent copy of International Living Magazine.   If sunny skies, beautiful blue water, and tropical breezes are calling you, either for a vacation or a retirement option, English speaking Belize might be worth a look.  Reading the article makes me want to visit again even though it sounds like the gringos have moved in and changed things a bit.

Belize’s 3 Best Beach Towns by Ann Kuffner

Most expats who consider moving to Belize dream of living near the Caribbean Sea on a beach. Fortunately for them, Belize offers several beach lifestyle options. Right now, the three most popular beach areas expats settle are Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, and the Placencia Peninsula.

Here’s a quick peek at each of these popular beach retreats…

Ambergris Caye: The World’s #1 Island on the Caribbean Sea

Ambergris Caye is the island that I’ve called home for the past six years—and I’m not the only one who has discovered its charms. For two years running Trip Advisor members have voted Ambergris Caye their favorite vacation island. But what’s it like to live full time in this hip, happening, tourist haven?

Few expats tire of the aquamarine Caribbean seascape, the vibrant marine life, and the protective barrier reef that’s a half-mile offshore.

But San Pedro Town can be frenetic. This colorful, active little town is definitely evolving and there are pros and cons related to Ambergris Caye’s growth. But you need only live two miles out of town to find a peaceful environment.

Ambergris Caye is a good-size island. It’s 25 miles long and has almost 20,000 residents. That translates to more options. Expats who settle here can expect a comfortable lifestyle with a surprising number of amenities. You’ll find quality fresh fish, chicken, meat, diverse produce, fine wines, fresh coffee beans, and specialty items not available in most of Belize.

There are plenty of options for activities. In addition to outdoor water sports, there are multiple yoga studios, gyms, massage spas, sailing clubs, live music scenes, karaoke competitions, and festivals…and many options for volunteer organizations and churches.

The majority of expats live in an established condo community. That allows them to lock up and take off.

Beach houses tend to be pricey (though they’re still much more affordable than on other Caribbean vacation hotspots). Prices for certain goods are steep here when compared to prices on the mainland, due to the transport cost. But a couple can get by on $1,650 per month (including rent), if they’re careful. And, on the positive side, a golf cart is much less expensive than a car—to buy and maintain.

Caye Caulker: The Ultimate Laid-Back Island Lifestyle

Caye Caulker is blessed with the same gorgeous Caribbean seascape as Ambergris Caye. The two cayes are close. The water taxi between them takes only 20 minutes or so and both cayes are only a half-mile from the barrier reef. But there is a world of difference between these sibling islands, in terms of lifestyle…

Caye Caulker is small. It’s only five miles long and has 1,300 residents. Its colorful, charming village has a relaxed, artistic vibe. It reminds me of California’s 1970s hippie communities.

The streets are still sand: no cobblestone or concrete streets here. The residents get around on foot, or a bike. Golf carts are an option, but not a necessity…

The entire island has an aura of peace and tranquility. Whether Caye Caulker is the place for you depends on your interests in life. If you need the stimulation and excitement of a busier place, you’ll be bored after a few days. But if you favor a quiet and tranquil vibe, this will feel like heaven on earth, particularly if you’re the artistic type. So if you’ve been putting off writing that novel, this might be the perfect spot to settle in…

Expats eat out often here, especially since the restaurant fare is decent and reasonably priced. But be advised: there aren’t many options in terms of grocery or specialty food stores.

Thecost of living on Caye Caulker is lower than on Ambergris Caye. A number of expats I’ve spoken to tell me that they spend less than $1,000 a month, exclusive of rent. Rents as low as $400 a month can still be found here.

Placencia: An Irresistible Beach Community

Placencia is a haven for beach connoisseurs. Kick off your flip flops and you can walk for miles along the wide sand beach.

The peninsula is 16 miles long, with the Caribbean Sea to the east, and the Placencia lagoon to the west. The Maya mountains provide a gorgeous backdrop for the tranquil lagoon. But the peninsula is also close to all the diverse activities that the mainland offers. You’ll easily be able to reach them with a car.

Placencia is 20 miles from the reef, so it takes an hour or so to reach the reef via boat. But it also has much deeper waters than that of the cayes, which means that you’ll find deeper marinas and diverse boating options on the peninsula. It’s a great place for those committed to boating.

The three primary villages include Maya Beach, Seine Bight, and Placencia Village, and you’ll find a good mix of expats in those places. We’ve met several Europeans who’ve opened restaurants and businesses, as well as Americans and Canadians.

The peninsula has experienced fast-paced growth, especially since the road was paved in 2010. Still, there are currently only about 3,500 residents within the three main towns, so the peninsula has plenty of room to expand. More businesses are opening as expats flock to this area, which means Placencia is amenity-rich. You’ll find yoga studios, beauty spas, massage studios, and even a bowling alley!

On the Placencia peninsula you’ll also have your choice of hip restaurants, trendy bars, and cafes.

A couple can live comfortably on $1,550 a month here, if they find a reasonably priced rental and are not too extravagant. Spend $500 a month more and you could live very well.

Thanks International Living and Ann Kuffner, for your great reporting!

Time for a piña colada!

Cheers,

Nancy

Create Your Roving Retirement – Part 2: Cheap Sleeps

Retirement travel doesn’t have to mean package tours, luxury cruises or high dollar hotels.  In fact, it’s my experience that if you live more like a local and less like a tourist, you can save a lot of money and have a much richer experience.  Here are a few great ways to stretch your travel dollar that I’ve mentioned before and are worth exploring.

Live Like a Local – Sleep Here

Somewhere in Spain...Nancy Slept Here

Somewhere in Spain…Nancy Slept Here

Housing will probably be your biggest travel expense.  These unique options will not only save a lot of money, but allow you to really connect with a location:

WWOOFING –   World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms.  Volunteers trade farm duties for room and board. Accommodations are simple and the work can be hard at times, but if the chance to harvest grapes in Italy, learn how to make goat cheese in France, or get your hands dirty on an organic herb garden in New Zealand appeals to you, then WWOOFING is the way to go.   A surprising number of people in their 50’s, 60‘s, and beyond are signing up.  www.wwoofusa.org

Chicken wrangling...how hard can it be?

Chicken wrangling…how hard can it be?

 

Hosteling –  If you were that backpacking twenty-something, you probably remember hostels as cheap, dorm-style rooms with bunk beds and rented sheets, a bath down the hall and a party-hardy crowd.  Not a gray hair in sight.  They weren’t called youth hostels for nothing.   Much has changed.  Today more than 15% of hostelers are over 50 and the number is growing.  Now offering private rooms with baths, online booking, fresh and free linens and more, today’s hostels are catering to the mature traveler on a budget. Two things about hosteling have not changed – they are still inexpensive and a wonderful way to meet other travelers.   www.hihostels.com

Workamping –  For some folks, hitting the road in a motorhome is at the top of their retirement wish list.  But, it’s not as cheap as you might think.  When you budget for gas and campground fees, you could pay more to park you RV than you would for a moderately priced hotel room.   One unique and fun way to make your RV travel more affordable is by becoming a workamper.  Through online sites like Workamper (www.workamper.com) and Camp Host (www.camphost.org), travelers can find and apply for thousands of seasonal and year round jobs.  Many RVers work during the summer season as camp hosts, collecting  fees from campers, directing them to available sites, answering questions and watching for problems.  In return they receive a free campsite and often a small stipend.

House Sitting – Short and long time house sitting opportunities are available worldwide through online sites like House Carers (www.housecarers.com) and Trusted House Sitters (www.trustedhousesitters.com).  Most house sitting jobs involve some form of pet care and modest home maintenance like watering the plants and bringing in the mail.  Homeowners feel secure that their home is occupied and taken care of in their absence.  You get a great place to stay for free and the chance to live like a local.  Win-Win.

Remember, your first gig doesn’t have to be half way around the world.  Dip your toes into the shallow water before you make the plunge by starting closer to home.   If “Green Acres is the place for you”, why not spend a weekend getting dirt under your fingernails and sore muscles on a local farm?  If you think professional house sitting might be the way to travel, then offer your services to friends and family in the U.S.   You’ll gain valuable references and get a chance to see how comfortable you really are sleeping in a strange bed and picking up Fido’s poop.

What’s your favorite way to travel on the cheap?  We’d love to share your ideas and experiences right here on the blog. Leave us a comment.

See you on the road!

Nancy

 

Create Your Roving Retirement … Five Fun Ways to Kickstart Your Dream

“Listen to the Musn’t’s child, Listen to the Don’t’s. Listen to the Shouldn’t’s, the Impossibles, the Won’t’s. Listen to the Never Haves, then Listen close to me. ANYthing can happen, child, ANYthing can Be.”
Shel Silverstein (1930-1999);Poet, Songwriter, Musician

Maybe you were one of those 20 year old free spirits who stuffed everything they could into an over-sized backpack and set out to see the world before you settled down.  Or maybe, like most of us, you only dreamed about that kind of travel and then stepped straight onto the well-worn path already laid out for you – work, marriage, kids.   Your travel dream was put on the shelf and after a few years, the backpack went to the Goodwill.  A big trip became a week at Disney World.   It’s funny how that happens.

But those dreams never fully go away do they?  Like long lost friends, they lurk quietly in the back of our minds only to pop up as fanciful daydreams while we’re slogging through a mind-numbing day in the office or waiting in the carpool line.

What I know for sure is that for many of us, somewhere around 50 is when those old dreams start to re-surface in earnest.  Gone for a while, but not forgotten.  That travel gypsy is still alive and well.  A little older, a lot wiser, and eager to explore the world.

Don’t worry, there’s still time.

A growing number of people are becoming vagabond retirees.  People in their 50’s, 60’s, 70’s are packing up their new, high-tech backpacks and heading out to become citizens of the world.

Want to join them?  It’s easy.  And it doesn’t have to blow your hard-earned retirement nest egg either.

Traveling on a retiree budget does require thinking outside the box, lots of research, some advance planning, a sense of adventure and a willingness to be flexible.

Don’t wait until you are officially retired to set your travel dreams in motion.  Include them in your planning now.  Here are a few simple ideas to get you started:

1.  Create a Travel Dream Board.  It might sound hokey, but it’s fun, it’s easy and it works!  Buy a large piece of posterboard, gather up lots of magazines, travel brochures, old photos, scissors and a glue stick.  It’s as simple as cutting out pictures and pasting them onto the board.  Don’t over-think this.  Cut out everything that catches your eye – beach sunsets, different cultures, village life, bustling cities, historical settings or mountain views.  Can you see yourself in the picture?  Then it belongs on your board.  I call this visual goal setting.

2.  Make a Wish List.   Use the images on your Dream Board to create a Wish List.  Here’s where you get more specific.  What are your must haves for a travel or retirement living destination?  Sleepy village or bustling city?  Beach or mountains?  Easy access or remote?  The options are endless, but honing this list to your top 5 or 6 must haves will give you a great jumping off point for your initial research.

3.  Do Your Research.  Whether you need resources for small hotels or hostels while backpacking through Central America, house swaps in France, or which visas are required for a trek across Tibet, it’s all available on the internet.  Find out where the best airports are, what ground transportation is cheap and easy, who speaks English, what the local currency is.

4.  Become an Arm Chair Traveler.  Read and use the country and city travel guides from Rick Steves and Lonely Planet.  Check out books from your local library.  Reading about the adventures of buying and fixing up a run down farm in Portugal, living the gypsy life on a boat in the Caribbean, or women walking all 500 miles of the Camino de Santiago, is very inspiring and educational.

5.  Get Connected.   Find and connect with the folks who are blazing the trail ahead of you.  Ask questions and get the scoop from people who have been there, done that.  It’s helpful to know the good, the bad, and the “never again” about a place before you go.  Start reading travel blogs.  Many are filled with first hand information, great personal stories and links to more resources.

I hope these ideas give you a good starting point.  I have LOTS more information and some great ideas and resources that I’ve learned from all my research that I’ll be sharing in future posts so stay tuned.  There is so much inspiration and adventure to be found in the planning process.  Let’s get going! bridge

See you on the road,

Nancy

Not Your Mother’s Retirement ~

Image

Last Fall I was invited to be a contributor in yet another book on retirement.  Goodness knows I’ve done enough research to call myself an expert on ways to retire and live La Vida Cheapo, but when the good folks at Seller’s Publishing came calling on this new book, Not Your Mother’s Retirement, they seemed to think maybe I was one too. They asked me to contribute an article called Just a Backpack and Rollie Retirement.  I loved their title, so of course I said yes.

Not Your Mother’s Retirement is a user-friendly collection of 20 essays by distinguished retirement experts, aimed at women in their 40s and 50s, to help them prepare for a successful retirement while they still have enough time to do so. It’s packed with valuable information on financial planning, housing, work, travel, health, volunteering, lifelong learning, caregiving, spirituality, being single, and staying active in retirement.

The impressive list of contributors includes Sally Abrahms, Marci Alboher, M. Cindy Hounsell, Julie Jason, Suzanne Braun Levine, Kali Lightfoot, Dorian Mintzer, and Shirley Sagawa, and ME.  Someday, I’ll be listed on the cover too.  Right now, I’m thrilled to have 1200 words on the inside.  I hope they inspire lots of women to go for the gusto now and in retirement.

This is the perfect book for anyone who wants to begin planning now to make the most of her later years! Check it out, it should be in a bookstore near you around March 1st.  My retirement would look a whole lot different if I had any kind of guidance or information like this twenty years ago.  That, I know for sure.

All contributors generously provided their essays on a pro-bono basis as all the royalties from the sale of the book will benefit cancer research and prevention.  The book was edited by Mark Chimsky.   I’m proud to be in such good company.

Cheers!

Nancy

 

 

Two For the Road ~ 5 traits that make a great travel partner

I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you ~

I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you ~

 Let the Adventure Begin.

The photo above accompanied by the caption “Let the Adventure Begin” was how hubs and I chose to announce our marriage in 2003.  I thought the couple in this photo looked like a perfect team – happy partners in crime and in life.

Whether you are a duo on the Road to Zanzibar or the Road of Life, traveling with a partner can be tricky business.  One of the things I love about my hubby is that we travel well together.  As we get closer to heading out on our own Two For the Road adventures I’ve been thinking quite a bit about what makes a really good team.  For me it comes down to a few very important traits.

Here are the top five on my list ~

Every great team needs…

1.  A Yes Man, a partner who says Hell Yes or Why Not to whatever crazy idea you come up with.  Someone who is all in for a good time or an adventure and doesn’t sweat the details.  When you say “Just shut up and get in the car.”  That’s exactly what they do.  They might even roll down the window and hang their head out to feel the breeze.  Oh, wait.  That’s the dog.

2.  A partner who is calm during your storm.  Like the time a few years ago when Amtrak cancelled our train with no warning – just taped up a hand printed paper sign “No Train Today”.  No train?  Really?  I’m on a five day vacation!  I need the train TODAY!   That’s when you need a partner who stands back calmly while you throw an earth-shattering-all out-but-still-lady-like-bitch fit after the Amtrak service person says, “Ok. So, do you want to cancel now or do you want to come back tomorrow?”  and, then said partner calmly steps up, takes your arm, and says “Let’s go find a Happy Hour and come back in the morning”.  Happy Hour?  Ok.  I love Happy Hour.

3.  The guy in the rose colored glasses.  On those days when one of you is less than your shining best – let’s just call it major-ass cranky-pants and your partner looks over and says  “Have I told you today how crazy I am about you?”  Whoa!  Hello Dolly! Just the right words at the right time.  Well, rightbackattcha Big Boy.

4.  A comedian and a straight man.  You know, like George and Gracie, Lucy and Ricky, Will and Grace.  Every great comedy duo has an instigator, the comedian with the cockeyed point of view and the straight man who makes it all seem funny.  They are a finely oiled machine.  They play off each other.  They give as good as they get.  They make each other laugh.

5.  And, finally, you’ve each gotta be a switch hitter.  A great partnership works when you can switch roles easily and as often as required.  When you’re at the end of your rope – he’s just getting his strength.  When he’s too pooped to participate, you slow your frantic pace and stop to smell the roses.  It’s a balancing act and it works best when each person is tuned in to the other, to the moment, to the goal at hand, and to the bigger picture.

And so, ten years later, I say – Let The Adventure Continue.  We’re two for the road and I cannot wait to see where the road will lead us.

“If ever there is a tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something we must always remember.  We are braver than we believe, stronger than we seem and smarter than we think.  But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… we’ll always be together.”  Christopher Robin

I originally published a version of this post back in 2012.  It seemed like a perfect post for Valentine’s Day so I dusted it off, prettied it up a bit and thought I’d share it again.

Cheers!

Nancy

60 Things Every Woman Should Know By 60 ~

Well, in case you were wondering.  It was NOT my 64th birthday yesterday.  It seems the gremlins at WordPress spontaneously sent out an old post (August 2012).  I have no idea how or why this happened.  I apologize for any confusion, but I was thrilled to receive all the birthday wishes and the online card.  Thank you!  It made my day.

With age comes wisdom and experience.  Or so they say.

Wind-Up Granny

Wind-Up Granny

There’s a book titled 30 Things Every Woman Should Know How to Do by Age 30.   Well, that ship sailed a long time ago, but it got me thinking about all of the valuable knowledge and bits of useless information I’ve acquired over the past 60+ years.  So… I thought it would be fun to start a list of at least 60 Things We Should Know, Have or Have Done by the time we’ve reached the Magical Age of 60.

Let’s play together, shall we?  I’ll list the first 50 Things  and you add the rest in COMMENTS below.  Here goes… in random order because that’s how my brain works these days ~

1.  Own a passport

2.  Say No.  Mean it.  Not feel guilty

3.  Order your credit report and be able to understand it.

4.  Get over it and move on

5.  Change a flat tire

6.  Do your own taxes (even if you choose not to)

7.  Plunge a toilet or unclog a drain

8.  Find the breaker box and flip the switch

9.  Light a grill and cook something

10.  Take yourself out to dinner or a movie – alone

11.  Get around in a foreign country

12.  Program and operate the TV (I’ll probably die still trying to learn this)

13.  Mix a classic cocktail or even a modern one

14.  Laugh at yourself

14.  Take a compliment with ease and grace

15.  Look good in a photo

16.  Open a bottle of champagne

17.  Read a map.  Fold a map.

18.  Hail a cab

19.  Jump a car battery

20.  Paint a room

21.  Ask for a raise

22.  Tell at least one really good joke well.

23.  Beautifully wrap a present

24.  Make small talk with just about anyone.

25.  Know CPR

26.  Ask for what you want

27.  How to keep your information secure online

28.  Where to find the best deals

30.  Buy the right sized bra

31.  Think for yourself

32.  The art of self-defense

33.  Do a breast self-exam

34.  How to talk to your doctor

35.  Have a retirement strategy

36.   Book your own travel

37.  When to throw in the towel

38.  Put together at least one piece of “some assembly required” furniture

39.  Make peace with your mother and/or your daughter

40.  Who ya gonna call

41.  Have an emergency fund (grandma had one in the cookie jar)

42.  Say I Love You

43.  Be able to converse in more than one language – even if it’s just basic greetings

44.  Own a pair of kick-butt boots or slinky heels

45.  Make a fire

46.  Count your blessings

47.   Know your numbers – blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, pulse etc.

48.   Whip up a signature dish that’s not meatloaf or turkey

49.   Own your own hammer, screwdriver, pliers and tape measure and know how to use them.

50.  Say yes to opportunity when it comes knocking.

51.

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60.

Okay – Now it’s YOUR turn.  Whatcha got?   Add one thing not on the list above that every woman should know, have or know how to do by the time she’s 60?  

How many can you check off this list?

Nancy