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  1. #481
    Registered User KathyB's Avatar
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    I am glad retirement plans are going well for you. Yes one of the big things for retirement I think is flexibility of plans. For example, occasionally I take a day off to go to the zoo. But I have to put in for the leave ahead of time. So I have to base it on what the weather says it will be like in a few days. It would be nice to be able to just wake and say - it is good weather to go to the zoo today, let's go.

    It is interesting to note difference in cooking preferences. We use our crock pot quite a bit, but we have not had a toaster over for about 10 or 20 years. If I did not have access to a regular over, I would still choose a crock pot over a toaster oven.

    I have added another city to the cities I am thinking of retiring to list - Omaha, Nebraska. One thing that especially interest me is their zoo. They have a desert section and a jungle section that are completely enclosed. And also an aquarium section. That means that going to the zoo would be an attractive option even in winter weather. They also have place called a board game cafe that interest me as well. My husband and I like playing board games. We have lots of two player games we play at home, but it seems like this is a place you could meet up with people and play games that work better with more people.

    8 years and 1 month till my retirement. That somehow feels much less than 9. 6 years for my husband. Last time I tried to discuss retirement cities with my husband, he said it was to early. His thought was that cities can change in 10 years. I will wait till he is retired, that leaves two years to pick one. Enough time to visit some places I have not been to that look good on paper. Plus we will have a better idea of how much money we are dealing with. Pension and social security I could calculate fairly well if I wanted to. But investments it is harder to estimate.

    I am keeping in my the recommendation for the tread painting book. Right now I feel like I want to do more projects off the current book first. I tend to fall into this pattern of picking up a bunch of craft books and never getting around to doing things with them. I want to try to avoid that this time. I am thinking after my current project I want to do a bunch of tiny things, maybe 3 x 3 inches. I might sew some together afterwards.
    KathyB

  2. #482
    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    I use my Crockpots all the time at home, but much more in winter than summer. We eat lots of soup in winter, almost never in summer, therefore we don't eat soup in the camper. Ramen is an exception, but of course don't need a Crock for that. The other thing we make a lot is roasts with potatoes and veggies. We would probably not do that at camp either. Leftovers are a huge issue with a tiny gas absorption fridge that's overwhelmed easily by warm food put into it or coolers where warm food melts ice. And we also live and camp in bear country, and cooking something inside the camper that would smell for hours at a time seems like a bad idea. I like the Crockpot idea in theory, but I just can't make it work well in my mind. But we use our ovens a lot, all year. The toaster oven is really a little convection oven so it's bigger and more useful than a regular toaster oven. It would only be in use if we were at the camper, so we could use it outside if we wanted, to keep food smells out of the camper, and it would only be used for short periods of time. I think the little rice cooker would be more useful for us than the Crock, and that would take about the same space. Worth a try anyway. I don't plan to get rid of the Crock, so can always change my mind.

    Check out the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley, one of the Minneapolis southern suburbs. They have an entire huge building for their tropics trail. It was always a huge treat to go there in winter and walk through in warm, humid air when it was cold and snowy outside. Great way to shake off winter doldrums. I still miss that zoo. They also had a tram to tour the outside animals, although I'm not sure they still do. That was a great way to see animals and stay out of the weather. Downtown Minneapolis also has a pedestrian skyway system. That has nothing to do with the zoo, but just sayin' it's a nice way to get from place to place in winter and be safe and comfortable.

    One day, 3 hours left for Husby. Tomorrow they're having a big potluck for him. All his favorite foods he shouldn't be eating. LOL! I probably won't have to make supper tomorrow night. Then it's just 3 hours on Wednesday. I think that will be a harder day for him than he anticipates. That's a good team in his building and they're a close knit bunch. I would be surprised if it doesn't get emotional.

  3. #483
    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    From our own experience, I would hate to only have two years to decide on such a huge move. I don't think 10 years out is too soon to start thinking about it. It was only July, 2013, that we were convinced we wanted to live in Sheridan, Wyoming. If that wasn't the right town in Wyoming, we had a list of other towns we were sure we would love. We did that whirlwind tour of southern and then northern Wyoming to visit all the towns on our lust and realized we didn't like any of the cities that seemed perfect on paper, so we dropped the whole idea of Wyoming. It's a beautiful place but it just wasn't right for us.

    Then there was the whole South Dakota phase. That went on much longer, particularly Spearfish. We still like it out there, but it's not yhe right place for us either. The past 2 or 3 years, we've been stuck on Grand Rapids, but the last year we've also been talking about Bemidji, and now lately even considering Duluth. We would love either of those 2 but major medical problems end up in stupid Fargo, and Duluth has a shortage of good housing. Who knows where we'll end up? We have 3 years to think more about it, because we don't plan to move at least till then. I'm glad we're thinking about, discussing, and researching all these details now.

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  5. #484
    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Should have said major medical in Bemidji ends up in Fargo. Duluth is a regional hub and partners with Mayo in Rochester sometimes, too.

    I like the college in Bemidji though. I would like to get my Indian Studies degree someday, and they have the best program in the state. All thecredits from our college here would transfer, too.

    So many things to consider. But Fargo... NNNNNNNNOOOOOO!

  6. #485
    Registered User dcompton's Avatar
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    I’m feeling somewhat better, but I’m still not accomplishing much. At least it doesn’t feel like it but I guess I am. I’ve done a good bit on the basket, and I’m almost through sorting the dreaded tote where I toss all the year’s paperwork. There isn’t enough to warrant fussy filing through the year, so over the years I’ve come to prefer this way. It takes a two or three very boring hours to get through it, but that’s better than messing with it in dribblets all through the year.

    I have to go out tomorrow. I still had not heard from the pharmacy where I was on the waiting list for the second shingles shot and I’m only got about a month left in the sixth month window. I called them and they tracked down some for me across the river in Bossier. Grumble. At least I know where that one is and how to get to it. But what a nuisance!

    Tonight I will just keep working on the basket. I really want to get a few of these finished up. Anyway with the table full of papers I don’t have room to pull out goodies for the hexagons.

  7. #486
    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Hope you feel better soon, D.

    We haven't even been able to get the first of the 2-shot dose here. We did get the single shot version a while ago.

    It's not looking good for any travel Thursday, but I heard a rumor Husby has all next week off. 😀😀😀

    He said the new hire had a deer in the headlights look all day. She said she didn't realize how involved and complicated Husby's job is and how much is involved. I don't think the directors do either, which is why they dumped another entire full time job on him a year and a half ago and then expected him to make the same quotas the other workers do, while still doing his original fulltime job that they don't have to do. I'm glad for his sake he is soon out of the pressure cooker.

  8. #487
    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Forgot to say S called Husby at work and said his back is officially broken. It sounds like he's lucky it isn't worse. What a thing to have happen. He thinks he may be able to come back to work next week though. I hope it will all work out for him.

  9. #488
    Registered User bookwormpeg's Avatar
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    Doing the happy dance for your SD.....I sure hope your husby can get out of there.....I left my job after 20 years....pastor didn't come to work my last day and that was a good thing....asst. was there and I was crying as I left....even tho I needed to go for health reasons it was hard.....
    The 2nd shingle shot is almost impossible to get here......if you find it, you should run and get it.....
    dcompton hope you are feeling better....

  10. #489
    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Thanks, Peg. Overall it's been a good job. He started in 1992 when we were living check to check and he was calling bingo at the casino because there was nothing else. Good jobs are scarce here, and we do realuze how lucky we've been. Can't believe the years have flown by so fast.

  11. #490
    Registered User KathyB's Avatar
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    I have looked at Minneapolis (on line, not in person). They have lots of nice stuff, but they are a bit on the large side for me. I tend to look at the metropolitan are population, not the city population. The city population is only those people living within the city limits. Metropolitan area includes the built up areas around it. For comparison DC ranks 20th in the US for population, but 6th by metropolitan area. I technically live in a city outside the DC city limits, but it feels more like a neighborhood in a major city that its own city. There is no break between DC and the many smaller cities surrounding it. On my way home from work I pass through the city of New Carrollton to the city of Greenbelt where I live. I could not tell at what point I pass from one city to the next. They are all smooshed together.

    Minneapolis and Omaha are close in size if you go by official city limits. But if you go by metropolitan area, Minneapolis/St. Paul is almost 4 times larger than Omaha.

    SD, I do not think I will have the same type of issue with finding a place as you. I have right now four places on my list - two I have been to, two I have not. Of the two I have been to, I feel like I would enjoy living in either of them. There are some minor issues I have with each of them. No city is perfect, so I am not holding out for that. To get to the art museum in Chattanooga you have to cross a glass bottom bridge. I really do not feel comfortable on that bridge. The Grand Rapids zoo is closed in winter. It is built on land that slopes a bit, so it could be bad when it is icy. I probably would not visit the zoo in winter, but I still find it annoying that option is taken away from me. The Meijer gardens are not public transit friendly. The bus stops a few blocks away, across a busy street. But taking uber there once a month would not be too bad.

    The ideal would be that all the attraction I want to get to would be relatively easy to get to. I am not sure if that is a realistic hope or not.

    Of these two, I am leaning more toward Grand Rapids. Overall it has more attractions and more annual city festivals and special events. Chattanooga has an aquarium and an Imax theater. It is right next to tree covered mountain which is really pretty.

    At any rate it makes me suspect that "home feeling" I got from those cities is something I might get from other cities as well. I think it is a combination of the more laid back attitude of the people living in the South/Midwest and the reduced population density/traffic on the cities. But sometimes when I react to something emotionally, I am not 100% sure what it is that triggered that reaction.

    So if the other cities on my list - currently Madison, Wisconsin and Omaha, Nebraska - don't feel right to me, it will be okay.
    KathyB

  12. #491
    Registered User dcompton's Avatar
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    I figured out why I feel so lousy. It’s March. I’ve mentioned that years ago I had a doctor who said I was one of his March patients. Allergies. I looked at the pollen count on weather.com and tree pollen is very high. Bingo. Dang pine trees! We’re surrounded by them. Overnight I’ve developed a lot of chest congestion and I am out of anything to take for what ails me. Happily I’ll be in the pharmacy today. Probably. Before I drive that far I’ll call and verify they really have the vaccine and someone on hand to give the injection.

    If I react to the vaccine the way I did before, the crochet basket will be on hold. With three strands it’s rather strenuous crocheting and I expect my arm to be too sore to do it. Unfortunately it gives me no excuse to procrastinate on taxes. Lol.

  13. #492
    Registered User dcompton's Avatar
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    Do you hear the angel choirs? I just called Kroger and they have the vaccine and said I could get it there even if I got the first one at Walgreens. Some places won’t let you do that. It is much, much closer, does not involve the traffic the Bossier Walgreens would that I really don’t feel well enough to cope with, and I can pick up a few groceries while I’m there. The day just got way better.

  14. #493
    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    I'm sure you will find a place to retire, Kathy. But I still think it's not too soon to be thinking about it. For us, repeated trips are necessary to make sure we really feel at home in a place. I think that's why we're draen to Grand Rapids, MN. It's familiar and we have always liked it. We pass through there almost every trip out west so have been slowly getting familiar with it for many years.

    Minneapolis and St. Paul are on opposite sides of the Mississippi and are very different places. Minneapolis is more metropolitan while St. Paul has a more blue collar vibe, more laid back. Maybe it's changed since we lived in south Minneapolis, but I would be surprised. Each has always been proud of their individual identities. I don't know what the population density is in the metro area, but it spans 7 counties so it's fairly spread out.

    Madison is a university town with a reputation as a party town. Wisconsin also has a reputation for corrupt politics. Since Duluth is right across a very large bridge from WI, we get a lot of WI news from Duluth TV, which serves a large area in 3 states including us up here on the Iron Range. Also Grand Rapids, MN, which has also helped us learn about that area. We have thought about moving to Wisconsin, but COL is higher than here and there's that whole Packers thing, too. We do like it there though, especially the Chippewa Falls area. We need to get back there this year for the cannoli and squeaky cheese. 😀

    I don't recall much about Grand Rapids, MI. We were there only briefly to pick up a camper, and there was a storm moving in so we were in a hurry to get back out and beat the storm. We didn't and it was horrible. We've seen some winter storms, living in MN and SD, but that lake effect stuff is something else. We ended up staying overnight in Pawpaw because it was so bad. GR seemed like a nice enough town and the people we talked to were very nice too, and helpful. We're hoping to get back to MI again, especially to tour the UP and drive over the bridge at Traverse City.

    If you're interested in Omaha, I suggest visiting in winter. Omaha is on the prairie, where the wind can be very brutal. I grew up about 5 hours north of Omaha.

    Have you looked at Sioux Falls, SD? It's been a regional hub for decades and still growing. Medical care is supposed to be quite good. SD has no personal state income tax, but does tax food and clothing and real estate taxes are higher than ours, because we pay income tax but no tax on food and clothes. I don't know what they have for a zoo now, but I know they've added lots of amenities over the years.

    It's always a lot to think about. Did I ever mention City Pages to you? Lots of info there about everywhere.

  15. #494
    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Glad to hear you can make an easier trip, D. I hope your arm won't hurt too much, and you can get what you need to knock down your allergies.

    I actually made myself sew some baby pockets today, so that's something. I got 7 done and packed up. 12 to go yet, and then I'll have 30 which should be enough so I can start looking for another hospital, either Duluth or Grand Rapids. It didn't go too badly, even though the satin I'm using likes to stretch in weird ways. I hope the rest of them go as well.

    Our trip to Duluth is all but canceled. The entire Range plus Duluth is under a flood watch for tomorrow and Thursday. We're supposed to get 1-2 inches of rain and then 6-12 inches of snow. Why Mexico and California hate us so much they had to send us this crap, I don't know.

  16. #495
    Registered User KathyB's Avatar
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    I suppose the upside of living in high cost of living area is that almost everywhere in the US has a lower cost of living. Literally every city in the Midwest is cheaper than DC. And all of the South as well, even Atalanta. [New York City, Alaska, Hawaii and large parts of California have a higher COL. Everyplace else is cheaper.] Although right now I am leaning more toward the Midwest than the South. This is one of those emotional decisions that is kind of hard to explain.

    I think it is because the gaming community seems to be strongest in that part of the country. By gaming I mean non-computer role playing games and board games. In addition to needing to meet with others to play it is a good way to socialize and meet people.
    KathyB

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