Turkey Soup

These are basic instructions for how I make my turkey soup when we need a 'comfort food'. Really hits the spot on a cold day - especially when you're not in the mood for something 'spicy'. I usually have the carcase from a 20 lb bird. These instructions and ingredients are based on that size. I use an 8 qt. pot with lid.

Simmer turkey carcase slowly over several hours with onion, beef boullion (I use about 6 cubes), salt, pepper, and enough water to cover. You may have to break the carcase up to get it all to fit in your big pot and still be covered with water. (I use an 8 qt. pot because I usually have a carcase from a 20 lb bird.)

Strain broth.

1 chopped onion
3 or 4 sliced carrots
1 to 2 cups of brown rice
Salt & pepper.

Simmer for a couple more hours.

Add meat picked off turkey carcase (add extra turkey if there's not much meat on the carcass).

Add enough half & half to make the soup look creamy.

Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Simmer a few more minutes and serve.

RV Show in Kansas City

Mike and I went to the RV show on Thursday in Kansas City. It wasn't as big as we had hoped and not all brands of 5th wheels were there. But several of the major brands were there and we were able to climb in and out of 25 to 30 5th wheels.

It was very helpful for us to go and do this even though we're planning on buying used. We got a feel for quality - and just as importantly - what ones Mike wouldn't be comfortable in. Very helpful when we're looking at ads for used ones. We won't be wasting our time going to see ones that he can't live in. Some of them looked huge on the outside but were actually low on the inside - a few of them he could not even walk into the bedroom without putting his head down flat on his shoulder. We moved on.

We both fell in love with the Montana 3400RL (RL stands for Rear Living room). Not only was the main part set up very invitingly and the kitchen had plenty of cupboards/counter space but when you went up the steps to the bedroom area, Mike could still stand straight up without his hair brushing the ceiling. That was amazing!

The trick is going to be finding an older - but in good shape - Montana in our price range. I've seen a few listed around the country that were bank repos in our price range. Most of them needed minor work - like new carpeting or something. We could handle that. Of course, they've already sold but it gives me hope that we'll find something eventually. Just have to get our big ticket items sold and have patience that the right deal will come along.

We joined Good Sam (an RV club) at a discount while we were there. It's a great organization and membership gives you lots of perks and discounts - like 25% to 50% off at participating campgrounds. Huge help!

Because Verizon was there and offering special deals, we got our cell phone with an unlimited usage plan. Also, we solved our Internet problem while we were at the Verizon booth. They have what they call a Hot Spot Mifi unit. It's basically just a little black box that, once you've programmed it, can sit anywhere in the RV or truck and our Wifi laptops can access the Internet. It can be used by up to 9 wireless units. Hoping to get it set up tomorrow to see if we really like it. If not, we can return it during the first 14 days. Got a deal on it too - much, much, much cheaper than buying a satellite dish and service for the RV which is what we were afraid we'd have to do.

The Hot Spot will also come in handy in Florida while we're there in March. Wasn't sure how we were going to handle that because we wanted to be able to get online consistently without having to run to Mickey D's or a coffee shop for access and leave Mike's parents alone while we were 'working'. Nor did we want to pay for installation on regular cable Internet for only 1 month. This should solve our problem.

After 5-1/2 hours of walking around on concrete floors and climbing in and out of all those 5th wheels, both our backs had had it. Rather than spending the night at friends as we had planned, we got in the car and headed home to our own comfy bed. We stopped just south of Kansas City for a late dinner. Mike and I were talking as we pulled into the parking lot and I really wasn't paying attention to my surroundings until I got out of the car. There, right in front of me, was a pile of plowed snow about 4' high that the wind had blown enough that it looked like a snow drift. We've had maybe 3" or snow all Winter (and not all at once) so I just stood there mesmerized! You see, I LOVE snow! I love cold Winter days with the snow coming down and the wind blowing. Love sitting by a wood stove sipping tea or coffee and watching all that going on outside. And I love being out in the snow. If I hadn't been in so much pain from the concrete floor, I'd have dropped and rolled in that snow without a second thought. I wouldn't have even cared what onlookers thought. Can you tell I'm not a 'southern' gal? LOL

The weather here in SW MO has been really warm the last 2 days. Upper 60s and low 70s both days. Because it was so warm, we've had the windows and doors open in the house and heat turned off. We also, finally, got the stenciled business lettering off of our truck while enjoying the sunshine. What a difference!

But....There's hope in the air. The weather report says we've got a 90% chance of sleet and snow Monday night through Tuesday. I'll believe it when I see it but it's nice to have hope. :) Tuesday should be a good day to make my 'comfort food' turkey soup. Yum! Think I'll post the recipe.

Had an inquiry about the piano but the deal fell through. Disappointing but will keep trying. Took it out of the local Craigslist and put it in the next closest city Craigslist (that's where I finally got an inquiry). If I haven't gotten any more inquiries be the middle of next week, I think I'll pull it again and put it up in Kansas City's Craigslist. It's less than 2-1/2 hours from here and has a much larger reader base. I've also got it listed on Musicians Buy Line and have had 1 response from there. Eventually.

Til next time,

Gloria - The Internet GADabout

Searching for a Good, Used 5th Wheel on a Frugal Budget

While I was waiting on my embroidery/sewing machine to be serviced Monday in Springfield, I ran over to an RV dealer that has been calling us incessantly for the last 3 weeks. They have a good reputation nationwide. It was a valuable learning experience because it confirmed that we're going to get more bang for our buck buying privately.

The ones I was shown yesterday were either too small or had major problems developing - which the salesman was surprised I spotted. The very first one he showed me had a major de-lamination problem. Nope, sorry, not for us.

It pays to research. Learn about what to look for when shopping for used RV's BEFORE you go shopping.

I've added a few sites with information on what to look for here. Do a search in Google or Bing and you'll find many more sites.

RV - Buying used
Checklist for buying the perfect used travel trailer
Buying a Used RV

We're hoping to find a gem that's 32' to 34' long with a minimum of 2 slide-outs (one in the bedroom allowing for a bigger bed and more storage). Also, need something that's more of a high profile (taller height) because Mike is 6' 8" and the shorter height RV's just aren't going to cut it. We also want a kitchen that has decent amount of cupboards and counter space. So many RV's have such small counters that if you set 4 coffee cups on the counter, it's all used up.

In our price range we know we'll have to make compromises. But....we have seen some bank repos that were newer in our price range so I think it's just going to be a matter of being in the right place at the right time to get that great deal!

Another problem we think we've solved.....With Mike being so tall, we've been concerned about the length of the bed in 5th wheels even with a slide-out in the bedroom. Unless we luck out and find one with a king-size bed (which isn't likely), we'll end up wit probably end up with the more common RV Queen bed - 60" wide x 72" or 74" long. A residential Queen-size bed measures 60" wide x 80" long. The shorter length would not be good cause I would end up not having much of the mattress to sleep on with him having to spread his length to my side. But after kicking around some ideas we came up with this idea......

Get some upholstery foam the same height as the mattress and how ever many inches wide you need it - looks like we'd need 6" to 8". (You can glue 2 layers of foam together if needed to get the correct height.) Cover it with some fabric (I can handle that). Slide the head of the mattress down and slip in the covered foam before adding the mattress pad and bedding. Because it's under the pillow area, it shouldn't cause any problems and he will have the extra length he needs.

When it's time to bring in the slide-out that the bed is in, just pop up that foam piece and push the mattress back up against the wall and head of the bed platform so it won't damage anything because it's too long. Next time you bring out the slide-out, just pop the foam back in place. Good, frugal solution, don't you think?

Tomorrow we plan to drive up to Kansas City to the Mid-America RV show. No, we we're not going to buy a new RV but it will give us a feel for the various brands. Plus, there's lots of other related vendors at these things. Should be a great learning experience! (And it will give us a much needed break from this mess.)

Til next time,

Gloria - The Internet GADabout

Getting Simplified

It's been a wild, crazy week.  Big pieces of furniture are leaving the house as we sell them; slowly our house is emptying out.  Lots of big tool items have left but the Shopsmith hasn't even been listed yet.  That happens today, hopefully.  Have listed my digital piano on a few different sites and got my first inquiry yesterday.

There are a couple of things that we have no idea how to price.

We have an antique, graceful, wooden-arm chair with upholstered seat that belonged to Mike's great grandparents.  His grandmother gave it to us many, many years ago after we found it out in the barn on the farm in New England.  We had it refinished and the seat reupholstered.  We used it in our bedroom for years.  Now the joints have all loosened up - although nothing is broken on it.  I can't find anything like it on the net so guess I'll have to take pictures and visit some local dealers here to get some ideas of value.

Our dining room set is over 60 years old.  Early American; solid maple.  The table is a refectory table (the leaves slide out from the ends of the table, lift up, and lock in place).  When the leaves are in place, the table sits 10.  The set includes a buffet, an open hutch, and 8 chairs (one is an arm chair).  Catch is it needs to be refinished.  Again we're at a loss as to what to ask for it.  Guess I'll be taking pictures of it with me to the dealers for suggestions.

Doing lots of sorting - some stuff will be sold, some given away, and some sold.  I'm just getting started on downsizing my massive sewing supply stash. I've been dreading that. But...  I have decided to sell my Babylock Ellageo 3 sewing/embroidery machine and all it's accessories and supplies.  It all just takes up too much room.  I've read others' blogs and seen where women have taken all this stuff with them as full-time RVers but to me it's just not that 'simple'.

I took the machine to the dealer yesterday in Springfield, MO for its annual maintainence (over an hour's drive).  While I was at the shop, I looked at non-embroidery machines that had quilting capabilities and some decorative stitches.  Found a couple I really liked.  The feeling that came over me was amazing! I feel like a great burden has been lifted from my shoulders after making the decision to get rid of that big machine and get back to basics!  I'm actually excited about it!  I still want to do some quilting and make some of my/our clothing but I just don't feel a need anymore to make wedding gowns and do embroidery. It's liberating!

I have a small, basic machine that's nearly 25 years old and has developed a few quirks. However, it still sews a good stitch so it and my serger will be kept and used. After we're in the 5th wheel and the dust has settled; I'll decide whether or not to get a new machine and get rid of the old quirky one. My treadle machine is going into storage. It was my mother's and I learned to sew on it. If we ever settle down into a stick house again, I want that available to me.

Mike's hardest thing to give up is his Shopsmith. He loves that machine! But we need the money it will bring in and there's no way to carry it around with us. He's going to keep some smaller tools and wants to get a mini-lathe so he can still keep his hand in woodturning. As I said in the previous post, there's lots of up and down emotions going on.

One downside to selling our stuff - people have been coming in here when they're sick and germy to pick things up they've bought. The wife of the couple that picked up our 2 couches was really sick when she was here on Friday. I came down with the same thing Sunday morning and Mike came down with it yesterday. It hits you like a Mack truck and makes every fiber in your body hurt - then makes you nauseous! Fortunately, it doesn't last more than 24 hours - I was fine yesterday to go to Springfield, MO with my machine. Hoping Mike will be ok today when he gets up. He's sleeping in; sorely needed.

Til next time,

Gloria - The Internet GADabout

Emotions of Preparing for a Simpler Life

Life changes can be so hard.  We have moved a lot in our 41 years of marriage.  Roughly 18 times.  We never thought we'd be retiring at 62 and we never thought we'd be selling everything we own, moving into a 5th wheel RV, and traveling around the continent.

Like other couples/families, we've spent a lifetime collecting things that are full of memories.  Without the right mind set, it can be excruciating to get rid of them.

For instance.....

When my mother died 23 years ago, I took some of my inheritance money and bought a beautiful grandfather clock because both she and I had always admired them.  It was kind of my personal memorial to my mother.  We were very careful that, whenever we moved, it made the trip lying down in the back of my mini van with its weights and pendulum removed to avoid damage.  It is our first big furniture item to have sold and will be leaving my life tomorrow night.  I will miss its bonging during the night, allowing me to know what time it is by counting the bongs rather than opening my eyes and trying to see a clock in our room without my glasses.

There will be other items that will make me sad but I don't think any as much as that clock.

Mike is dealing with his own set of emotions, too.  Some of his big tools are very dear to him (like his Shopsmith) but there's no way to take something like that with us.  Plus, he keeps trying to figure out how to get my digital piano (in a cabinet) into a 5th wheel without giving up space needed for seating.  I think it's bothering him more than it's bothering me.

We have to keep ourselves focused on the fact that it's all just 'stuff'.  We have far too much of it in our lives and there's no need of it.  Simple and frugal is the coming wave, like it or not. It's time we just stay focused on what's important in life - our religious beliefs, our family, and our friends.  Nothing can be more important than these.

On the flip side of this process, we worry that things won't sell.  That's not a good scenario either.  Funds are tight and we need the money from selling non-essentials.  We have 6 weeks before we have to be out of this house and on our way to Florida to 'babysit' Mike's parents for a month.  We have planned on getting a small storage unit but don't want to have to get a large one and deal with all this when we get back.

On the up side, we are thankful that we're doing this in the Winter here in SW Missouri.  If I had to cope with heat and humidity while doing all this, I'd probably collapse.  But we are excited at the prospect of the end result of our labors.  Of being able to travel - or not - as the whim hits us.  To live a simple, easy-going life without all the stress and pressure.  It's a relief to know that when all is said in done - after lots and lots of moves under our belts - that our little 'house' will just go with us when we move.

We just have to get through the next 6 weeks and have faith that all will work out.

Til next time,

Gloria - The Internet GADabout

Frugal Truck Hunting....

We spent the better part of last week driving around looking at older, second-hand trucks trying to find one in good mechanical condition that could pull a fifth wheel.  It was quite a week with trucks either not being what we wanted or being sold before we got there to look at them.  One had everything we wanted except - it had such high lifts that the running board was higher than my knees and the muffler had been changed to something 'special' so that you could hear that truck coming 2 miles away.  Nope, not for us.

Finally found one about 600 miles from home.  It's a Ford F350, dually, 4x4, crew cab, long bed, leather interior, added heavy duty steel bumpers.  The motor (diesel, 7.3L Powerstroke) is good and strong and clean with new batteries and other 'things' (can you tell I'm not the engine-wise one of this family?).  The transmission only has 25,000 miles on it.  The tires are brand new.

All we really need to do to it is get a back fender repaired (should be just a patch job), get the driver's seat reupholstered or replaced, get the steel, heavy-duty bumpers repainted (showing a bit of rust), and remove all the business decals the previous owner had on it.  Got it for less than KBB wholesale pricing.  Mike fell in love with it.  Hope we got a good deal.

Oh, we need to get a jack.  We were about 1/3 of the way home when a front tire went flat.  There was no jack in the truck!  Called the guy we'd bought it from and he didn't think there had ever been one.  Excuse me?  That was the one thing we didn't think to check.

We did have a bit of a problem with the seller.  We'd been watching this truck on Craigslist for a couple of weeks and had even spoken to the seller a couple of times.  On Wednesday when we went to look at the ad again, he'd put up a new ad lowering the price by $500.  We took off for Austin, TX to see this truck first hand!

When we agreed to purchase it, he tried to charge us the original price - not the lowered price.  Needless to say, we were not happy and nearly walked away from the truck.  In all my years of dealing with people on Craigslist, I've never had someone try that trick.  He finally agreed to the lowered price and took it for an hour or so to get some things out of it that we didn't want to pay extra for - like a huge auxillary fuel tank that would have been in the way of the fifth wheel hitch as well as a very large tool box.  We assume the jack was removed with that stuff accidentally.

Fortunately, I was following Mike in our mini-van so he used the jack from that car to jack up the truck - a bit scary since that jack wasn't designed to hold as much weight.  I was Nervous Nellie the whole time he was under the truck jacking it up.  But everything went off without a hitch and we had no further problems the last 400 miles home.  The truck ran beautifully.  It's now sitting in our driveway waiting on us to recuperate from all the driving  (1500 miles in 4 days without enough sleep) and find some spare minutes to get out there and fix the little things it needs.

So we have a truck on our frugal budget!  Now to start searching for the 5th wheel.

Til next time,

Gloria - The Internet GADabout

Living Frugally in Retirement

We were doing some research on the web yesterday concerning living as cheaply as possible.  Came across a free article from Countryside Magazine that we'd read back in 2005.

How We Went From $42,000 to $6,500 and Lived To Tell About It

Sounds impossible, doesn't it?  It isn't but it does require that we get out of debt (we're mostly there) and change our priorities.  It also involves becoming more self-sufficient.  Self-sufficiency isn't a big problem for Mike and I - but writing down where every single penny has gone is.  It's a habit that we're working to develop (notice I didn't say 'trying' but 'working').  It's going to take determination and I think we're each going to have to 'police' the other.   Keeping track of our funds down to the penny is going to be really important in living frugally.

We've always been on the side of self-sufficiency.  I usually make everything from scratch when cooking because a) it's cheaper & b) I know what's in it (can't say that about pre-packaged food from the store).  Until recently I made most of my clothes.  Depending on what I need, I can usually save 2/3 by making it myself.  (Admittedly, some items just aren't worth the time and trouble.)  I also spin wool and knit.  We've gardened over the years and Mike does some woodworking and is good at fixing things.

I think as time goes on and more economic problems come into play, people everywhere are going to have to get back to the basics.  Sadly, a lot of them don't know how to do things - they're used to just going to the store and buying it.  Now is the time to start honing skills.  It's surprising how satisfying it can be to smell your own bread baking or put on that dress or sweater you've just made.

I've found several sites with tips on living frugally in retirement - some deal specifically with being a full-time RVer and living on the cheap.  One article dealt specifically with canning food while living in an RV and how to store the finished product in the RV.  Very helpful.

We're still searching for our truck and rig.  We've only got X$ to spend and refuse to go in debt for these things.  Out there somewhere is the deal we need.  We did go to a Ford dealership a couple of days ago so Mike could actually sit in some Ford F-350's.  We're looking for an older one that's been well maintained with dually back wheels, 4x4, diesel, long bed (and crew cab, if possible).  Mike is 6' 8" and at one time couldn't get into anything Ford made.  The roofs were so low he had to tip his head sideways and the steering columns were placed in such a way that he couldn't get his long legs in.  We knew this was the truck we needed to search for but decided we better make sure he'd fit.  Yay!!  He fits!

So the search is on in earnest.  We need to get the truck first so that we can sell my car and still have something to drive around in.

Today is the day the sorting of our belongings begins in earnest.  Honestly, I've been dreading this but will be glad - oh, so glad - when it's over.

Gloria - The Internet GADabout

Sidetracks & Support

The last 2 days have been a mesh of things I hadn't planned on doing right now.  For instance, I have a *much* older brother in an assisted living facility about 6 hours from here who isn't mentally capable of handling his affairs (dementia and delusional).  He has no other family except our older sister and myself (I was the surprise after-thought) so I have his Power of Attorney for everything and have to deal with keeping tabs on how he's being treated - both by the staff at the home and medically.  Plus I have to take care of all his financial issues.  It isn't a full-time job but when things come up it can take a lot of phone calls and faxes for a day or 2 to get them settled.

For the moment, things have settled down again but I will have to take some time in the next week or so to update his status with the state he's in so he can keep getting aid.  Fortunately, I can do most of that online.  I try to visit him, physically, once a quarter - which will probably remain the case once we're on the road in an RV.  In between visits I've tried to talk to him a few times each month but that's becoming harder and harder because of his dementia.

In between all of that, we had to do the normal mundane things like grocery shopping, errands, etc.

We are searching the Internet far and wide for a suitable 5th wheel and truck to buy.  You know that old question "Which came first - the chicken or the egg"?  That's where we've been on what to buy first - a used 5th wheel or used truck.

We'd like to have the 5th wheel parked in our driveway so we can just move stuff into it as we're packing and be more precise on what we're not keeping.


We need to sell our car in order to buy a used truck.  If we sell the car (going to try and sell it privately) BEFORE we find a truck, we're literally up a creek without a paddle.  So, unless something truly remarkable comes along in the form of a 5th wheel, I believe we're going to focus on finding the truck first.

We're looking for an older Ford F350, diesel, 4x4, crew cab.  Our son in the mountains of British Columbia is hoping we'll come up there for visits in the Winter as well as Summer and says we must have a 1-ton, 4x4, if we're going to be coming up there in the snowy months towing a 5th wheel.  The search is on.  Located one northwest of St. Louis that fits the bill as far as mileage, mechanical condition and price but it needs some body work because it collided with a deer.  Will have to think on that one

We're also continuing to research the best ways to live frugally and freely on the road.  Will share some of our findings when we've confirmed that something is viable.  For instance, we just stumbled on a very inexpensive way to produce electricity WITHOUT solar or wind power.  If this truly works, it would be fantastic - not just for RVers but for everyone!  Will keep you posted.  Don't want to recommend things we haven't tried ourselves.

One of the things we've learned about becoming full-time RVers is that the process of getting ready to do it can be full of up and down emotions.  Just like every other big decision in life.  We're trying to dwell on the ups and keep a positive attitude but, occasionally, the downs get to us - especially when deciding which things with sentimental value to get rid of or put in storage.  And, like other people who have made the decision to become full-time RVers, we're dealing with some family and friends who think we're nuts.  (We've always sort of been the rebels in the family - trying new things that they wouldn't even consider.)

Yesterday, good friends from Louisiana called.  We hadn't talked to them for a while so told them our problems and what our plans were.  They got so excited for us!  It was so refreshing to have such enthusiastic support!  As strange as this is going to sound, it really helps the attitude about being ruthless when getting rid of 'stuff' when others are excited and supportive.

Til next time,

Gloria - The Internet GADabout

Baby Boomer Retirement at 62?

I am going to give a brief bio on us and our situation that will, hopefully, explain who we are and where we want to be.

Our names are Mike & Gloria.  We've been married 41 years and have 3 adult children.  Mike turns 62 this month; I will turn 62 in April.  Mike had his own business in New England for many years (I did his bookkeeping from home) but the economic downturn that hit hard in 2008 hit New England earlier and just kept building and getting worse.  (He repaired and put chemical-resistant coatings on concrete floors for industry.  Many of his customers either moved South, left the country, or closed their doors permanently.)

Mike had to close his business at the end of 2008.  We'd already sold our house 3 years earlier (just before the housing market soured).  We were left with no nest egg when the dust settled.  He was offered a job here in the Mid-West so we said good-bye to our kids and grandkids and headed West the end of 2008.  The position he was given was eliminated this past July with no warning.

For the first time in his life, Mike is on unemployment.  He has been unable to find another job that will keep us afloat.  While he's been job hunting the past 6 months, we've been doing a lot of researching and talking about how we're going to handle this situation long term.

I found an article from the July 10, 2010 Chicago Tribune that said:

"Following the job and investing horrors of the last three years, many Americans fear they will end up in retirement like Old Mother Hubbard.

But while their cupboards are likely to contain more than a bone, a sobering study released Tuesday shows the fantasy isn't far off the mark. About 47 percent of early baby boomers, now 56 to 62 years old, are not expected to have enough money to cover basic living expenses like food, utilities and health care through retirement."

47 percent! That's huge!  And we're part of those statistics.  Very sobering - and yet in a strange way kind of comforting that we're not the only ones in this 'boat'.

In August we spent some time in British Columbia visiting with one of our sons as well as friends from various parts of the world.  We discovered that many people in our age bracket from other countries are going through the same problems that we are.  So, it's everywhere, folks.

Economists have been talking for a while that there is a larger economic crisis looming on the near horizon that will be far worse than what happened in 2008.  From the research we've done, we think they're right.

So we're trying to figure out how to cope...... We're on unemployment, renting a house but barely making ends meet.   We have good friends here but our children and grandchildren are on either side of the continent.  It really hurts to not be able to spend time with them on a regular basis.  At the same time we don't want to be a burden to them.  What to do, what to do.

This is what we've come up with that we're hoping will solve our problem and still allow us to do what we want....

Starting tomorrow we're going to start pricing and listing for sale just about everything we own to raise money to buy a used 5th wheel and used truck to pull it.  We've been crunching #'s and we think we can manage to live very cheaply while being full-time RVers....IF we can find the right rig and truck at the right prices.  We will have to do something to earn extra income (Mike has filed for Social Security) while we're on the road.

By becoming full-time RVers, we can spend time with the family in New England, time with the family in British Columbia, and time with friends around the country.  While we're traveling around, assuming we can earn some extra income on the road, we will keep our eyes open for an inexpensive piece of property that we can 'settle down' on if need be.

'Til next time

Gloria - The Internet GADabout

A Fresh New Year!

Well, world, here I am!  It's January 1, 2011!  (Where did the past year go?)  After a false start back in October, I'm finally, seriously starting my blog about possible retirement, the different things my husband and I enjoy, and the things we want to do.

I've been using computers since the first Texas Instruments 4k ones came out. I've been on the Internet, oh, since the dawn of time - emailing, researching, downloading, uploading, running email lists, etc.

This is the first time though that I've put up a website of my own - or blogged - so it's a totally new experience.  I'm hopeful that having this blog will help us with answers - and keep us organized - and, perhaps, help others out there who are sailing in the same boat.

Most importantly it's about finding answers about how we're going to afford what we want in our 'golden' years (ummmm.....more like rust than gold).  We have made some decisions and have a 'plan' such as it is.  More on that in the next post.

Hope you'll come along for the ride as I report on research I'll do, what we implement, and the results.  I'll be interested in your helpful comments and ideas. Thanks to those of you who left comments on my test post back in October.  (BTW, I encourage comments but will not tolerate those that are offensive - no attacking others and no foul or x-rated language.  Hoping that we can all help each other in a friendly way.)

Our interests lie in a LOT of different areas so expect posts/threads on a lot of different topics.  And, yes, Mike will be posting on here occasionally.  :)

Planning tomorrow to get in to more of the specifics of our situation.  Hope you'll come along for the ride.

Gloria, The Internet GADabout