10 things no one ever told you about being over 50!

  1. You aren’t 25 anymore.  Partying every night just makes you super tired for days on end.

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  2. You really do get to mow the lawn any way you wish!  Straight lines, circles, figure 8’s… anything goes.  The world will not end.

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  3. Your doctor will want to see you at least once a year… just to make sure you are still alive!

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  4. Walking is now more fun than running.  Running causes pain…  walking is still a great form of exercise.

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  5. Visiting the beauty salon now takes more time, because of those pesky gray hairs you have to cover up to stay looking young!

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  6. Cold weather brings thoughts of tropical vacations.  Snow is no longer a fun thing!  Sure it’s pretty, but oh so cold!

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  7. The old pictures where you thought you looked fat, now suddenly show how amazing you looked in your younger days!

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  8. A fun weekend may consist of cleaning out your closets and simplifying your belongings.

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  9. Your close friends become closer, and more important in your life!

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  10. Life in general becomes more enjoyable!

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Ancestry fascination continues…

When I got my DNA results from Ancestry, it matched me up with cousins I never knew.  But one 4th cousin in particular contacted me with quite a story, that we’ve both researched the heck out of!

So, she was adopted at birth, and has never known anything about our family.  However, the DNA results have matched her with cousins, and even an Aunt.  So exciting!  We became Facebook friends, and message back and forth about our findings.  When I look at her pictures, I do see some family resemblance.  It’s kind of freaky, but really cool!

Her next step has been to consult with one of Ancestry’s experts, who has narrowed down to who her biological father may have been… But no DNA is really available, because he hasn’t taken a test.  She is SO CLOSE!!!  I’m finding myself really excited for her.

She was born in 1963, I do know that.  Her DNA results keep matching with people of the surname Kornoelje in the Grand Rapids/Wyoming, MI area, and her father may have that last name.  She has a beautiful family in the Long Island, NY area.  While I’m sure her adoptive parents provided her with a good upbringing and lots of love, I completely understand her wanting to know about her biological family.

It’s a very exciting story… and I got a new cousin out of the deal!

Happy Independence Day!

The 4th of July has always been a favorite of mine…  Wonderful fireworks all around Northern Michigan!  But there’s more reasons that its a favorite.

Happy Boat Dogs

img_6635My favorite wine and a sunset on the water!img_6637Boat time with friends and familyimg_6644Dinner served boatside

img_6656Beautiful sunsetimg_6659My happy place… the captains chair on my pontooon!img_6662Patriotic Boaters

Beautiful skylines and warm nights!

img_6673Beautiful clean clear watersimg_6674Splashing through THE Sandbar… yes…  It’s the world famous Torch Lake Sand Bar.  This is where I grew up… and where I celebrate the freedom of our country every year.   img_6676

Enjoy every minute, and appreciate whats around!  Never take these things for granted.  It’s all great!

Happy Birthday America!

Things to know before heading to the Torch Lake Sandbar

Summertime in Northern Michigan… yes, it’s that time of year, and there really is no better place to be than splashing through the beautiful waters of the Torch Lake Sand Bar on a hot summer day.  BUT, if you’ve never been there, there are a few tips you need to know before heading out.

  1. When anchoring on the sand bar, use at least two anchors to secure your boat.  Front and Back Anchors can keep your boat from swinging into other boats around you on a windy day.
  2. Lotion up before getting into the water.  This helps keep “Swimmers Itch” from affecting your skin.  Also dry off quickly when you get out.  This is another good preventative for the parasites carried by duck feces in the water.
  3. The sand bar is a public place.  You can get arrested for public drunkenness, drugs, indecency, etc…  Be respectful of families around you. There are Antrim and Kalkaska County Sheriff boats out there, along with Michigan State Police, Michigan DNR Boats, and even Coast Guard helicopters monitoring the crowds every day in the busy summer.  They are there to ensure safety at all times.
  4. Mark your anchors with floatables.  This will save a few toes from stubbage.  Walkabouts are a must when on the sand bar to socialize and meet new people.  An unmarked anchor can lead to  a painful toe if you happen to stub your foot, or step on an anchor that isn’t marked.
  5. Take care of your garbage.  If you brought it with you, take it back with you!  Torch Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in the world.  It needs to stay that way!
  6. The locals love to grill!  If you get offered some of their grillings, by all means, try it!  It’s great stuff!
  7. Bring money for the Burger Barge.  Dave does a great job with his burger flippers, and has the best souvenir’s on the water!  https://www.facebook.com/The-Burger-Barge-280618472591/
  8. If you park in an open spot, don’t be surprised if someone maneuvers up and anchors next to you.  It’s a big place, but the shallow spots are in demand.  Many times, regular’s will even jump in to help you get where you want to be and help you anchor.
  9. Locals hang out on the East Side.  It’s more protected from extra wakes caused by boats cruising past the sandbar on the West Side.  The younger crowd hangs out in the center, where all the action happens.  Take your pick of places, depending on your mood!
  10. Relax, enjoy, float, and socialize!  It’s one of Michigan’s premiere spots to cool off.   The clear clean (and sometimes cold, depending on the wind direction) is worth the trip!
  11. Fabiano’s delivers pizza to the sandbar!!!  Just give “Pizza Boy” a shout along with a description of your boat with MC #’s, and approximate location.  Check them out at www.fabianosontorch.com.   They also have a limited number of short term boat slips and pontoon boat rentals available.
  12. Torch River Marine is a seasonal boat slip marina.  Plan on putting yourself on the wait list for a slip here for the summer.  It’s a first class operation with both in water boat slips and on demand rack storage.  Boat rentals are available as well.  www.torchrivermarine.com
  13. This year’s fireworks are scheduled at Dusk on Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018.  Check them out… They are spectacular!

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This is where I grew up most every summer of my life…  It’s a place I don’t take for granted.  What can I say, it’s made me a “lake snob”!  See you out there soon!

Summer is here… and Torch Lake is back in full swing!

Yes…  It’s memorial weekend.  The weather is amazing here in Northern Michigan, at last!  The boats, yes…  the boats are ready to be in the water zipping around the lake and loafing on the sand bar at the south end.  It’s good to be a Michigander this weekend, especially if you own a boat!

7583841840_img_0308The water is a bit cold, but it sure doesn’t stop anyone from dipping their toes in to see if they can handle the ice cream headache that may result!  (Sparty on friends, Sparty on!)

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I personally just love days like these!  The water is so clear and clean… and did I mention COLD????  The air temperature was a solid 85 degrees. They tell me the water is 60 degrees, but my feet completely disagree!  Still… This place is the best place to be.

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A cruise up the river was a nice break from the crowd.  Happily, this natural piece of artwork on Torch River has survived yet another winter!  It’s a favorite of mine.

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Swanny even tried to pay us a visit to see if we had extra crackers on board.  Sorry buddy, no crackers for you!

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Days like today, it gets so hot cruising the river, you just have to stop off for a dip before you head on under the bridge.

… and we get an additional day of this!

Happy Memorial Weekend to all…  Take time to remember all the veterans who gave their lives so that we can enjoy weekends like this.

 

Retirement… thoughts that enter your mind in your 50’s.

Yes, we all know we think about it.  What do we need to retire someday?  Well… financial advisers tell us we need to have $1,000,000.00 in the bank to support ourselves through our retirement years.  Seriously???  This just isn’t going to happen here in the real world.  I’m no financial adviser, but I’m just a person who hopes to be able to take it easy someday…  So here are just a few thoughts I have on making it happen for myself someday!

SIMPLIFY!  Right now, I live in a 4 bedroom 2 bath home on a little less than one acre. With any luck, I will have enough equity in this home when I retire (lets just say in 15 years for all intensive purposes), that I can sell it, and buy a house outright with cash.  Let’s imagine a home equity as it stands today is right around $110,000.00 (which doesn’t buy much… but it will get you a roof over your head…)  So in 15 years, imagine the equity that will build towards a mortgage free home.  So, when you ask yourself, “should I include the equity of my home in my total net worth?”, my personal opinion is YES!  Not having a house payment in retirement years will be a big plus.  Just don’t forget that there will always be taxes and insurance, along with possible HOA (Home Owners Association) fees to pay!img_6067

LIVE IN A WALKABLE COMMUNITY!  Right now I have a car payment… I’ve had one all of my adult years, with the exception of the 1975 Ford Granada I bought for $1,000.00 when I was 20 years old.  Having a reliable newer vehicle is a must for me at this time in my life when I drive 15 miles to work each way.  Gas prices, auto insurance, and car payments really add up.  Luckily, my job affords me the be able to pay for this.  I have never really lived in a walkable community, but the whole idea sounds fantastic to me in my later years!  Of course, I will always have a car, but at some point, I hope that I don’t need a 4 wheel drive, snow busting SUV.  The older I get, the better it sounds to be able to live close to a community where I could walk or bike or (yes…) GOLF CART to places I need to go.  It’s a quiet dream I have to be “That lady” with the basket on her bicycle riding down the road to collect sea shells on the seashore.  Those “Over 55” Active Community’s don’t seem so bad after all!5-5 Lady alone in Heraklion

HEALTH INSURANCE COSTS…  Wow… these go up every year, along with health care costs.  This is huge when making the decision of what age to retire at.  At 62, Medicare isn’t at option.  So working full time may just be the best decision.  Eligibility for Medicare begins at age 65. Just don’t forget about supplemental insurance for major health care costs if something catastrophic hits, like cancer, heart disease, among a million other conditions that may create a medical financial disaster if you aren’t properly insured.

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SOCIAL SECURITY… Right now, it does still exist.  We’ve all been contributing to this fund every day of our working lives.  Our parents are drawing on what they’ve contributed in their retirement.  So what we do today is cross our fingers, and hope that it still exists to supplement our retirement savings in the future.  Right now at age 62 we can collect Social Security at a lower rate.  Full retirement actually is set at age 67.  Can we exist on Social Security alone in retirement?  Do you enjoy poverty?  The answer to both questions is a big NO! Unless you really do enjoy poverty…   So…

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RETIREMENT SAVINGS!  Yes, it’s soooooooo very important; SEP, 401K, IRA, Roth IRA, etc…  the list goes on and on.  Make a point to put away as much as you can each paycheck!  Each person is different.  So I don’t feel like it’s a good thing to define exactly what a person should have in the bank at the time of retirement.  But, it’s so very important to have that financial adviser who can help you set up just the right plan. Be upfront and forthright with the lifestyle you wish to live after you retire.

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KEEP WORKING…  If you don’t like slowing down, by all means, keep working!  No one says you have to stop, especially if you really love what you do.  If you retire, and decide you can’t stand it, you can always go back and find a new job (even if its just a part time gig!)

So that’s all I have for today’s blog!  Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas as well.

Happy Spring!

Ancestry Obsession… More fascinating stuff!

Yesterday, in my lunchtime boredom here in the office, I decided to take a further look into my family tree on Ancestry.  This time I worked down my maternal grandfather’s lineage.  Low and behold… 11 generations back, I learned that my 11th Great Grandfather came across on the Mayflower in 1620!  Fascinating…  my very distant relative may just include notable names like Ulysses Grant, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and even Taylor Swift!  I’m pretty sure I may have to do more research to verify all of this information…  but it’s pretty cool to think that one of my ancestors had such a huge part in history.

According to MayflowerHistory.com Richard Warren came across on the Mayflower alone, leaving his wife and daughters behind in England.  The rest of his family came cross in 1923 on “The Anne”.  Richard Warren is one of the most common “Mayflower” passengers to be descended from, as all of his children survived into adulthood, married, and had large families.

Great stuff… Can’t wait to research more!  That’s all for today.  Guess I’m going to have to add England to my bucket list of places to visit!

Onward and upward…

Enough with the negativity!  I never meant for my blog to become a political tool, or a rant fest, but occasionally I do catch myself venting about bad happenings in our society, sometimes when its not even political. But then I kick myself just to remind my brain that this isn’t what its all about.

I started this blog as a tool to practice my writing skills, and talk about positive lifestyles, favorite travel destinations, along with favorite local places, and continuing life over 50!  So…  I had a few days of negative after the Parkland Shooting, and the Benton, KY shooting.  I voiced my opinion.  I wish there was a time machine that could send someone back to change all that happened here. But that doesn’t exist yet (Elon Musk, can you do something about that, please?), so I need to reset my thinking.

I promise to do better on the next blog, not only for the readers, but for myself.  I need to lighten up life a little!  So stay tuned… Life has to get better!