Thoughts… way too many thoughts! Let’s step away from the news for a moment!

OK… here it goes.  I’ve been a little quiet lately on this blog thing.  The news… no the world seems to have gone crazy lately!

First off, there are 7000 Guatemalan’s heading for our border through Mexico, to enter our country illegally (NOT LEGALLY).  The Mexican government is giving them no aid, HOWEVER, they are letting them march through the country on their way to the United States.  The goodhearted Mexican citizens are aiding them with food, water and shelter.  Why would anyone pack up their children with no plan to march over 1000+ miles to escape their homeland?  I do understand its a 3rd World impoverished country with a corrupt out of control government.  Imagine if the United States became what these 3rd World Country’s are.  Where would we pack up and march off too, and would we risk the health and lives of our families to do it?  The smart ones are now turning back.  On the good side, the whole thing brings to light the wrongs in their country, and now perhaps something can be done to their benefit if they choose to stay in their homeland, or maybe they can apply to enter the United States in a legal manner.  It just seems to me like this whole situation was set up as one big passive aggressive bully tactic.

Oh wait… but in the United States its quickly becoming pretty scary…  if we disagree with one party, bombs show up in our mailboxes; people get shot at while trying to participate in a bi-partisan baseball game.  Men (and women) use their power to get away with sexual assault and rape, in some cases.  Some loose their jobs, some don’t…  Lives get destroyed in the process running for public office; Female Journalists get fired for commenting on “blackface”, while other Male Journalists dress up as women for Halloween with no repercussions.   Why does this make me shake my head?  I have no desire to promote racism, or sexism in any way.  But it’s a slippery slope once you put these two situations side by side.

Mentally ill people are walking into school buildings and mass shooting children, and complaining that they were bullied in the process.  Some adults even reinforce their actions, blaming the children who were shot at for being bullies.  Our schools have become locked down safety houses during the day.  Unfortunately, we need the security, along with the mental health programs to deal with the PTSD that occurs along with these events.  When did our country become this?

Wanting to be the opposite sex has become surgically possible and accepted, and in many cases, even covered by insurance, when cancer survivors, and diabetics risk being denied coverage just for getting a disease they never wanted in the first place.  Sorry folks, just my opinion… if you want to be the opposite sex, and you can afford the surgery, more power to you.  I’ll be the first to give you a big ol’ happy hug in celebration.  If the majority of middle America lives paycheck to paycheck, how can we afford to make this our priority?

So, soon we get to vote.  Here’s my take on what how I am voting:  Humanity… yes, we need humanity more desperately than we ever have.  We also need common sense.  Parents need to be involved in raising their children, just like when we were kids. We need to watch out for our senior citizen’s that worked so hard all of their lives.   We need educational programs on all levels, including skilled trades, or we will become a nation of outsourcer’s, with no good jobs available.  We need those jobs to have good quality affordable health insurance, so we can depend on quality healthcare options.  We need representatives that can work together and listen to opposing opinions and perhaps even agree now and then to come up with great solutions.  We need reasonable humane and LEGAL solutions to immigration into our country in order to protect our National Security.

Lastly, we all need to pick ourselves up by the bootstraps and pull our own weight. Turn off the news for a day or so, so you don’t get pulled into the drama of Washington DC., and get out there and vote!  If you don’t vote… don’t complain!  Don’t bother sending me any bombs if you don’t agree with me either.  More than likely, my ticket will be split where I see fit.

Now that I have all that off of my chest…  I may be able to get some sleep tonight, without turning on the news!

This thing called cancer…

It’s been 18 years since I’ve gotten the “ALL CLEAR”, and I’m happy to say there’s no signs of my cancer recurring…  But everytime I turn a corner, there’s someone new out there heading into the cancer center for treatments.  That word has just become a part of life around here.  So, here’s a few thoughts I have running through my brain on the subject.

  • Chemo sucks… it’s rough.  It’s poison.  But it’s treatment.  In many cases, it works.  In some cases it doesn’t work.  If you have a friend going through it… BE THERE FOR THEM.  (Yes Mike, if you need me to come over and mow your lawn, I will…)
  • Radiation…  It’s just exhausting, even though it doesn’t hit you right away.  Again, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
  • Cancer isn’t always a death sentence.  They’ve come a long way with many types of cancers, but not long enough with others.
  • Every cancer has a different make up.  There is no one magic cure.  But I sure wish there was.  I wish Marijuana really did kill cancer cells.  But the fact is, every cancer is different.  Although I do feel like its a huge help with the side effects from chemo, radiation, etc…
  • Oncologists typically aren’t the most personable people.  But when you find a good one, you need them to be point blank about everything.  It’s not necessary to be their best friend.
  • Oncology nurses are amazing.  Enough said!
  • Everytime someone I know looses someone to a cancer battle, I get a huge empty ache in my heart.  (That goes to a few people I know lately…)
  • Once you survive cancer, you are a part of an elite group of truly blessed people.  You learn who your friends are, that is for sure!
  • Donation’s to organizations that fight cancer are a good thing.  My personal favorite organization is the Munson Healthcare Regional Foundation that supports the Cowell Family Treatment Center in Traverse City, Michigan.  It’s local for Northern Michigan.  The money stays in our community.  The staff is very supportive and professional.

Yes… Unfortunately, today I have that terrible heartache for the second time this week.  But at the same time, I know that people are fighting this disease with all they have.  Someday, “that word” needs to be history…  gone… forever.  I hope that happens.

So I remind myself, once again…  18 years… WOW!  I am blessed.  I have hope…. TONS of hope.  Now I’m going home to hug my doggie as hard as I can.

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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!

Another Small Town Saturday Night… Bellaire, MI Short’s Brewing Company’s 14th Anni Party!

Oh boy!  Northern Michigan is all about everything craft beer these days, and a big part of the reason why, is a Northern Michigan guy from Bellaire, Michigan, named Joe Short.  14 years ago, he took his favorite hobby and turned it into a business that he’s kept his passion for through out the years.  Yesterday, the town of Bellaire shut down the streets and turned into a festival of all things Short’s for it’s 14th Anni party.  People lined up from all parts of the state to get into the big party!

7518834608_img_0240Performances by several bands from throughout Michigan happened here on this day.  In this picture, Braxton Hicks (aka…  Joe Short and Seth Bernard) and the Contractions performed their comical musical genius from the top of a  semi trailer downtown Bellaire.

7518834608_img_0260The Detroit Marching band showcased it’s Louisana style jazz, wowing the crowd!  I’m a new big fan!  These guys really rocked it!  The evening ended with Michigan’s own “Steppin’ in it” on the main stage.

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My new favorite beer of the day (and of the summer for sure!) is Short’s Soft Parade Shandy; A lemonade infused fruit based beer.  7518834608_img_0247

Even though it was a brisk, sunny, 40 degree day, everyone kept warm until the sun went down!

Cheer to Short’s Brewing Company…  Happy 14th. Anniversary, and wishing you many more!

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!

Review: Canon EOS M100 Mirrorless Digital Camera

I love taking pictures…. good quality photos that document life at its best. Sometimes, that cell phone camera just isn’t good enough.

So instead of carrying my big clunky old Canon EOS DSLR around everywhere, I decided to tryout the compact version of Canon’s EOS Mirrorless Digital Camera. What a great purchase for me! It’s a lightweight, easy to use camera with changeable lenses with all the bells and whistles of my big camera. My favorite feature is the wi-fi sharing capability, that wasn’t available back when I got my original DSLR. Just take the shot, connect to WiFi, and transfer pictures back and forth to a phone, tablet, or laptop. This feature makes for convenient editing of pictures.

It’s all around just a great compact camera with the quality that Canon has delivered for years. I’d say it’s my new favorite toy! … and the picture quality, well… tell me what you think. Straight from the pint, or dish it into a bowl? Love those Saturday night decisions!

Nice blog on Traverse City! :) Looking forward to Suds and Snow this weekend! Weekend Round Up + Winter Weekend Getaway: Traverse City, Michigan — Savannah Said It

You guys! I TOTALLY forgot to get a Weekend Round Up posted for you yesterday! So you’re getting a mini weekend round up, and a mini weekend getaway idea for you! Let’s start with our roundup! We started our weekend Friday night with Margs and Mexican food with my best friend and her boyfriend! We […]

via Weekend Round Up + Winter Weekend Getaway: Traverse City, Michigan — Savannah Said It

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!