Archive for Retirement

Paddle Cactus Rescue

Paddle Cactus Rescue

Perhaps the post title should include “In Progress,” since the cactus isn’t yet in it’s ultimate destination. The image above shows the original location and now in the pot to which it has been transplanted. Click on the image to enlarge.

We recently discovered a small (1½ inch) prickly pear cactus trying to grow alongside the concrete RV Drive just west of the house. That particular location is unsuitable for a new cactus start-up for a couple of reasons, First, it is too close to the RV Drive to be able to develop into a larger plant and, second, that location offers little or no protection from cactus-eating wildlife. As a small single paddle, it would be bite-sized for a Javelina.

We took the start-up cactus out of the ground and placed it in a five-inch clay pot for the time being. When it gets a bit bigger, we will move it o a larger pot until it gets developed enough to stick it back in the ground on the west side of the house where it will have a better chance of survival in the wild as a larger cactus.

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Yard Cleanup - Feeding the Chipper

Feeding the Chipper

Over the past months (maybe over a year) we have trimmed mesquite tree branches away from the driveway and in the back and front yard areas. We also recently removed a few branches from the plum tree in the courtyard to encourage it to grow upward. When we don’t have time to break the limbs down and stuff them into the refuse bin, we sometimes drag them across the road to our lot over there to be dealt with at a future time.

Well, the future is here. Yesterday, Verna and I took the chipper that we bought last spring over there to dispose of the branches and create some mulch for Verna’s gardening. I took the 3KW Honda Generator in the back of the pickup so we could have power to run the chipper.

We got most of the work done in that single session and created a box full of wood chip mulch that Verna can spread on her trees and other items she grows. There remains some thicker branches that we will chop into firewood for our neighbors that have fireplaces.

When operating the chipper, the manufacturer recommends protection for eyes and ears (pieces fly and it’s loud). I borrowed the goggles and earmuffs from the range bag for the job. Click on the image to enlarge.

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St. Patrick’s Day 2020

Wearin’ of the Green

Verna and I posed for this today as we were getting ready for a couple of errands. Wishing all a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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Belated Gifts for Verna

Sleeping Beauty Turquoise and Coral Set  Kingman Turquoise Set

Since Verna’s Birthday and Christmas are very close together, we celebrate each separately, including gift-giving. No “combination” gifting allowed. No Sir. That is the case for this winter season when we went shopping for a birthday and a Christmas present for her. Also, since I have no calibration on what she considers a “perfect” gift to be, she goes with me to pick and choose.

We were both not particularly in the mood to do any shopping prior to last month’s holiday, so we mutually decided to forgo any shopping until after the crowds dissipate post-holiday. Today is our weekly shopping day for groceries, etc. and since we get out of our jammies on shopping day, we went to the Old Livery Mercantile in town (technically, a touristy souvenir and gift shop) to see what might be suitable as a birthday and then a Christmas gift.

Verna has long wanted a nice Native American Squash Blossom Necklace, so we started looking in the display case where many beautiful examples of N.A. crafted items are located. After several trips around the jewelry cases, she was split between the two pictured above. I suggested that she could have one for birthday and the other for Christmas. So she got ‘em both.

The one on the left is Sleeping Beauty Turquoise with Coral and the one on the right is Kingman Turquoise. Both are hand-crafted by Native American Artists in the Southwest, not sure if Hopi, Navajo or ? but they are both beautiful. Click on either image to enlarge.

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Breaking In a New Laptop

New Laptop

Both of our computers are getting older and, as a consequence, not able to keep up with the latest things we see online or from our accessories (cameras, etc.) which interface with the computers. We’re used to our current Windoze7© operating system and it will be a little challenge to transition to the W10 version, but we’re proceeding with it. Which brings us to the new laptops; hers is this one shown in the image above and is one we bought a couple of years ago and postponed transitioning to it. But now it’s full steam ahead.

The one shown on the test bed (literally a bed) is a HP 15.6″ Touchscreen 15-g059wm Laptop (AMD Quad-core A8-6410 Processor, 4GB RAM, 750GB HDD, Windows 10 64-bit) and is still available from Amazon Marketplace, although we bought this one at Walmart (whom we no longer patronize after their gutless cave-in on guns and ammo after the El Paso shooting episode). Her computer will be ready to go after I set up some of the fundamental things she needs, i.e. browsing, email, printing recipes, Fecesbook™, etc.

The laptop I ordered will not be here until Saturday, so I will not need to begin transitioning to it until next week, perhaps. The new one is also an HP: 2019 HP 15.6″ FHD IPS Touchscreen Laptop Computer, 8th Gen Intel Quad-Core i5-8250U up to 3.4GHz (Beat i7-7500U), 16GB DDR4, 1TB HDD + 512GB SSD, 802.11ac WiFi, USB 3.1, Bluetooth, HDMI, Windows 10. I ordered it from Amazon. My transition will be a little more involved since I have a large number of applications and several peripherals that Verna’s does not. I will get through all of it in time, I’m sure.

UPDATE 10/22/2019: As of yesterday, Verna’s new laptop system has been fully integrated into her desktop setup with a 22 inch external monitor as a second desktop. The transition was smooth and with few changes to the way she has to do things. The new operating system and the computer should make for faster loading on most applications and websites.

Integrated system

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Milestone - One Decade of Retirement!

block-10.pngToday marks the tenth year milestone since I began my retirement from the Aerospace Mill for which I worked many years. I must say that those daily routines of getting up out of bed, commuting to the office, participating in whatever the plan of the day might have been, finishing up for the day, commuting back home and attending to home matters were comfortable for me right up until the last day. Now, however, at a decade down the road, I must also state that I don’t miss the old ways a bit.

During the last decade before retirement (starting 20 years ago), Verna and I spent a lot of time planning for the retirement we were to have. It turned out that by the grace of God and our own foresight, we managed to get our basic plan together. Thankfully, my employer had good a retirement plan and an incentivized 401(k) savings plan, both of which we participated in. Upon retirement, we exercised our choice to roll the 401(k) into a managed payout mutual fund designed just for retirees. We opted for the retirement pension payout as well. Bottom line: we’re doing OK.

Sure, there were still some unknowns and other events post-retirement that would shape our destiny, but the foundation for our sustenance was set by the time we were out of there. We weren’t prepared to lose our California house to flooding, for example, but our insurance payout and a fortunate find of a “flipper” to take that property off of our hands made it a sweet departure from home ownership in California. Otherwise, we would have had to do the fixing up and “flipping” ourselves for which we weren’t exactly prepared. Between that example and a couple of other post-retirement glitches, we have managed to stay afloat.

Pardon all the metaphors, but it seems that we’re set for smooth sailing for the next decade of our retirement, God willing.

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Southwestern Rose

Southwestern Rose

Our current location is in Albuquerque, NM. We’re in a nice campground west of the main part of town where we have a nice view of the Sandia Mountain Ridge to the east. In camp, there are several rose bushes. I took the above photo of one of the nicer roses open today.

We will be going west from here tomorrow setting up camp at Holbrook, back in our Home State of Arizona. On the next day, we will be back home in Wickenburg.

Click on the image to enlarge.

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