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Old 01-18-2014, 06:26 PM   #13201
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Gary drove from Gulf Shores, AL to Lake City, FL (with me as passenger). Back to Pine Island tomorrow.
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Old 01-18-2014, 06:41 PM   #13202
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Gym with DW. Why is it so easy some days and others my body is saying "Keep this up buddy and you're doing to drop dead any second"? No discernible pattern to diet or anything else that I can tell.
I don't know why either, but I think everybody has "good days" and "bad days" at the gym. What seems to work for me, is to put in the same level of perceived exertion each time. Sometimes I can lift twice as much weight as other times, and at first I tried to lift the same each time but just couldn't. Over the years I have found that (for me), as long as the perceived level of exertion is the same, it all works out and it doesn't really matter if I lifted less than the day before. This method is a little tough on the ego, but it works. Paying more attention to exertion level than pounds of each lift, I really do get stronger as time passes and can lift more on average than before.
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Old 01-18-2014, 08:27 PM   #13203
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Lately my mind has been caught in endless arguments about whether it makes financial sense for us to become owners once again as opposed to renters. Today, I am putting it all on paper. Hopefully it will help me make a decision.
We have lived in an apartment for the last 4.5 years after selling our OH house and moving to FL. One of my apartment neighbors moved to the complex after selling her local home. After about 2 years, she decided she wanted to own again and bought a condo about 2 miles away.

She lasted about a year and decided no homeowner costs or responsibilities was where she wanted to be again. Her condo is up for sale and judging from the early activity, it will be sold soon. She's even moving back to our building and we're delighted!

I would never consider anything other than a 55+ community.
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Old 01-19-2014, 04:53 PM   #13204
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Read a good bit of The Little Book of Common Sense Investing. I have a few more to read after that.

Spent a couple of hours (not all at once) looking over Vanguard's offerings. An interesting one for much, much later is a managed payout fund. It seems that with all of my relatives they started to lose their financial marbles, as well as some others, at about 80. Might be a good place to put things when/if I get there.

I will probably move my 457 to Vanguard as their fees are significantly lower than Fidelity's where it is now. Not that Fidelity's are outlandish but I've come to better realize the long-term difference that makes.
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Old 01-19-2014, 07:06 PM   #13205
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I drove home today following an overnight stay up north, getting home just ahead of some lake effect snow.
I watched the SU basketball game last night with new friends at the local Elks Club. I've applied for membership to the Elks and am just awaiting the processing. I'm looking forward to participating in yet some more volunteer w*rk with them, and vice versa. So many members and so few who lend a hand. I just don't get that.

Tax season is rapidly approaching, so Mr B will be fully occupied with that. I'll need to have definite things to do to cure my ongoing cabin fever while he had his nose pressed up against the computer screen.

I have 4 more rooms to clean top to bottom, so tomorrow will probably be the upstairs bathroom's turn. I no longer have a housecleaner, so it's all up to me to get that done. Mr B helps out some, but his attention to detail leaves a lot to be desired. I
f you want something done right....

I banged my kneecap into a bed footboard last week and have been unable to do my mini-stepper for the past 4 days. It's almost all better. I am itching like crazy to get back in the exercise mode...so the housecleaning will be my substitute activity for now.

It's great exercise for me and the results speak for themselves.
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Old 01-19-2014, 07:09 PM   #13206
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Today I did three loads of laundry and baked oatmeal-cranberry-chocolate chip cookies. Going to a movie with friends tonight.
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Old 01-19-2014, 07:48 PM   #13207
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Completed journey from Gulf Shores AL to Pine Island FL (my future home). My parents lived in Gulf Shores from 1971 to 2003, a semi-nostalgic trip.
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Old 01-20-2014, 08:45 AM   #13208
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Hiked to Sandstone Peak in Malibu, CA, where we're RV'ing over the MLK weekend. Beautiful views from the top of both ocean and mountains. A game of cards in the afternoon, then walked down the hill to Malibu Seafood for dinner.
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Old 01-20-2014, 12:08 PM   #13209
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This wasn't today, but one day last week.

My Dad's cousin died. He was 87, a wonderful man who had a loving family and a great life. When I was growing up our families were close as his children were close in age to me and my siblings.

I wanted to go to the funeral to hear about his life and see the family. It was lovely and I'm glad we took the time to go.

This was an opportunity to spend some time in the old neighborhood. I lived there from 1961 until I left for college in 1973. Still hung out there frequently until we got married in 1976 and my parents stayed there until they sold the house in 1995 and moved to a condo in another neighborhood.

In 2012 I had been browsing around on Zillow and noticed that our old house was for sale. This was not the owner that bought it from my parents, but one owner after that. It was fun to look at the pics and see how some things were the same, some things had changed. Periodically I'd check up on it and in the fall of 2013 it was still for sale with the price reduced a few times.

Knowing we'd be in the area for the funeral I checked on it again and was sad to see that it had been foreclosed in Dec 2013. Now it's owned by Federal National Mortgage Assoc. Strange to feel a twinge of sadness as it hadn't been my house for 19 years.

After the funeral DH and I took a tour of the old neighborhood, his old family home, our schools, parks, shopping areas, etc. The area had some ups and downs but was looking pretty good!

We went to see my old home. It is a brick 3 BR, 1.5 bath colonial from 1933. I always thought it was one of the nicer ones because it was all brick and had a lovely full height bay window in the living room. The neighborhood looked good but there were a lot of For Sale signs. My old house was empty so I pulled into the driveway. There was a foreclosure notice in the front window. There were no window coverings so I could look inside. When I lived there we had carpet but now the original wood floors looked good. The entrance doors had stickers announcing that "This structure has been found to be vacant or abandoned....etc".

I peeked in the side door, which was our everyday entrance, we'd go up a couple steps and make a left into the kitchen. Wow, looked smaller than I remember. I went to the back corner and looked in the window to the breakfast room. We always ate there unless it was a major holiday when we'd use the dining room. Gee, how many birthdays did I have right there? The kitchen cabinets had been updated and looked nice, but what a small space!

I walked around to the back and looked into the family room. My parents had added that on in 1967 when my Dad started making more money. There's the spot where he put our first color tv, and there is where he had his desk.

I checked out the very small back yard with the huge oak tree. That's where we had our first gas grill. My Mom didn't like to use it so I became the grill cook on weekdays. Good training as I am still the grill cook.

Sometime after I left for college my parents upgraded to whole house air conditioning. The concrete pad for the outside unit was there but the unit was gone and the connectors were laying on the ground. Was the AC unit stolen for it's copper? Or is someone putting a new one in to get it ready for sale? That's optimistic.

One last look in the small window by the staircase. There's the railing that I held onto every time I turned to go up those stairs.

It was a great house to grow up in. My parents bought it in 1961 for $22,500 and sold it in 1995 for $104,000. Then it sold in 2006 for $185,000 and that's the owner who just lost it to foreclosure. Zillow says it's worth $110,000 now.

I'm hoping a young family gets a great deal on this house and makes it a family home again.
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Old 01-20-2014, 12:25 PM   #13210
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What a wonderful post, Sue! Going back must have stirred up so many memories and emotions. It must be difficult to see your former home empty and devalued. I was half expecting that you were going to make an offer on it.
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Old 01-20-2014, 05:21 PM   #13211
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We took the dogs for a walk at the park we frequent, and upon our arrival were dismayed to find in the parking lot of the sports complex a big mess a bunch of wild pigs must have left: empty beer cases (funny how they took the cans and bottles with them, except for the ones they broke), empty pizza boxes, empty Marlboro boxes, empty Jack in the Box, McDonalds, and Starbucks papers and cups.

It was so bad it nearly brought me to tears, of anger and disgust.

We spent some time picking up the mess these wild pigs left in our usually pretty clean community park.

DH suspects the pigs may have been sporting red and gold sports attire.
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Old 01-20-2014, 05:37 PM   #13212
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In preparation for tomorrow's snow forecast we went out and got the fixin's to fill the 8-quart crock pot with beef stew. That will cook overnight and will make a great breakfast on an otherwise cold, snowy, miserable day.

Well, miserable for anyone who has to go out in it. We're going to stay home and watch the carnage on TV.
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:07 PM   #13213
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This wasn't today, but one day last week.

My Dad's cousin died. He was 87, a wonderful man who had a loving family and a great life. When I was growing up our families were close as his children were close in age to me and my siblings.

I wanted to go to the funeral to hear about his life and see the family. It was lovely and I'm glad we took the time to go.

This was an opportunity to spend some time in the old neighborhood. I lived there from 1961 until I left for college in 1973. Still hung out there frequently until we got married in 1976 and my parents stayed there until they sold the house in 1995 and moved to a condo in another neighborhood.

In 2012 I had been browsing around on Zillow and noticed that our old house was for sale. This was not the owner that bought it from my parents, but one owner after that. It was fun to look at the pics and see how some things were the same, some things had changed. Periodically I'd check up on it and in the fall of 2013 it was still for sale with the price reduced a few times.

Knowing we'd be in the area for the funeral I checked on it again and was sad to see that it had been foreclosed in Dec 2013. Now it's owned by Federal National Mortgage Assoc. Strange to feel a twinge of sadness as it hadn't been my house for 19 years.

After the funeral DH and I took a tour of the old neighborhood, his old family home, our schools, parks, shopping areas, etc. The area had some ups and downs but was looking pretty good!

We went to see my old home. It is a brick 3 BR, 1.5 bath colonial from 1933. I always thought it was one of the nicer ones because it was all brick and had a lovely full height bay window in the living room. The neighborhood looked good but there were a lot of For Sale signs. My old house was empty so I pulled into the driveway. There was a foreclosure notice in the front window. There were no window coverings so I could look inside. When I lived there we had carpet but now the original wood floors looked good. The entrance doors had stickers announcing that "This structure has been found to be vacant or abandoned....etc".

I peeked in the side door, which was our everyday entrance, we'd go up a couple steps and make a left into the kitchen. Wow, looked smaller than I remember. I went to the back corner and looked in the window to the breakfast room. We always ate there unless it was a major holiday when we'd use the dining room. Gee, how many birthdays did I have right there? The kitchen cabinets had been updated and looked nice, but what a small space!

I walked around to the back and looked into the family room. My parents had added that on in 1967 when my Dad started making more money. There's the spot where he put our first color tv, and there is where he had his desk.

I checked out the very small back yard with the huge oak tree. That's where we had our first gas grill. My Mom didn't like to use it so I became the grill cook on weekdays. Good training as I am still the grill cook.

Sometime after I left for college my parents upgraded to whole house air conditioning. The concrete pad for the outside unit was there but the unit was gone and the connectors were laying on the ground. Was the AC unit stolen for it's copper? Or is someone putting a new one in to get it ready for sale? That's optimistic.

One last look in the small window by the staircase. There's the railing that I held onto every time I turned to go up those stairs.

It was a great house to grow up in. My parents bought it in 1961 for $22,500 and sold it in 1995 for $104,000. Then it sold in 2006 for $185,000 and that's the owner who just lost it to foreclosure. Zillow says it's worth $110,000 now.

I'm hoping a young family gets a great deal on this house and makes it a family home again.
I totally relate, Sue. As Thomas Wolfe said "You can't go home again". This quote strikes me to the core whenever I return solo to the shell of a former steel mill town where I grew up. I drove back to the area today to see a handicapped cousin who resides in a personal care home...some things so different (not in a good way) and others still the same. It makes me very wistful and drives home to me the fleeting, ever changing nature of life as we know it.
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Old 01-20-2014, 07:08 PM   #13214
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Recovered after trip to semi-nostalgic trip to Alabama Gulf Coast. Much laundry done.
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Old 01-20-2014, 08:29 PM   #13215
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Worked around the house for a while, then went for a walk with DW. Some friends called and told us that a pod of pilot whales were beaching themselves up near Lovers Key State Park, so we drove up there to check it out. It was sad to see them in distress, but also pretty cool to be so close to a bunch of whales. We talked to a ranger who said they were waiting for high tide to try to herd them back out into deeper water. Hope they made it OK.

Back to the house, had the friends over for burgers on the grill. What a nice day in paradise, compared to the 4-8" of snow and below zero wind chill they're expecting back at the Maryland house. This snow bird thing has potential.
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Old 01-21-2014, 02:10 PM   #13216
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What a day!

Just got back from Weight Watchers and the gym, only to find that the ironwork fence to my back yard was open. Hmm! How could this be? It is never open! As I walked back, I noticed that a window to my kitchen was also open (and broken), the door from the backyard to the den was open, and the door from the backyard to my bedroom was open.

At that point, I yelled out, "Is anybody here?". No answer. I got cold feet and was afraid to go inside; I went to get a neighbor.

The neighbor called law enforcement. They were very nice. The first one to get there checked out the house and determined that nobody was inside. We walked through the house, and I noticed that most of my drawers were open, and my change jar had apparently been dropped by the front door.

Nothing else seems to have been touched. The old bottle of hydrocodone was still in my medicine cabinet, so I guess they weren't looking for drugs. My laptop, iPad, and video game consoles were not touched. I haven't noticed anything missing at all, yet.

He called the Crime Scene Unit or whatever it is called, and they came out and took fingerprints. They told me that either someone scared them off, or else maybe they were just checking the place out for now and planned to come back later to take stuff.

My dear companion F is with me now, and plans to stay here with me for a few days just to play it safe.

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Old 01-21-2014, 02:25 PM   #13217
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Wow...hate to hear that WTR. I know it was frightening.

Kudos to you for not going in your house. It could have been very dangerous.

More than likely they heard a person/noise and were scared off...especially with the change jar being dropped.

Hopefully they will figure there is a neighborhood watch and will not return.
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Old 01-21-2014, 03:09 PM   #13218
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Very scarey WTR ! Maybe you should consider an alarm system ?
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Old 01-21-2014, 03:14 PM   #13219
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What a day!

Just got back from Weight Watchers and the gym, only to find that the ironwork fence to my back yard was open. Hmm! How could this be? It is never open! As I walked back, I noticed that a window to my kitchen was also open (and broken), the door from the backyard to the den was open, and the door from the backyard to my bedroom was open.

At that point, I yelled out, "Is anybody here?". No answer. I got cold feet and was afraid to go inside; I went to get a neighbor.

The neighbor called law enforcement. They were very nice. The first one to get there checked out the house and determined that nobody was inside. We walked through the house, and I noticed that most of my drawers were open, and my change jar had apparently been dropped by the front door.

Nothing else seems to have been touched. The old bottle of hydrocodone was still in my medicine cabinet, so I guess they weren't looking for drugs. My laptop, iPad, and video game consoles were not touched. I haven't noticed anything missing at all, yet.

He called the Crime Scene Unit or whatever it is called, and they came out and took fingerprints. They told me that either someone scared them off, or else maybe they were just checking the place out for now and planned to come back later to take stuff.

My dear companion F is with me now, and plans to stay here with me for a few days just to play it safe.

You were very lucky and I hope you stay safe.
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Old 01-21-2014, 03:17 PM   #13220
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I think the burglar was surprised by you coming home, and fled via the back door, then jumped the backyard fence. Else, the easy things like the laptop and the iPod would have been carried away.

This can happen to anybody, and indeed happened to my neighbor across the street a while back. It does make the victim feeling angry and violated. It will go away after a while.
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