Saturday, November 29, 2008
That afternoon we rode by horse-drawn carriage to the Temple of Luxor (below) which largely dominates the town and was built parallel with the Nile. It has been used almost continuously (and still is) as a house of worship since it was built by King Amenhotep III, completed by Tutankhamun and added to by Ramses II.
On the 3rd day of our cruise, we visited the West Bank and Valley of the Kings. It seemed like every day I was overwhelmed by the fact that I was really there in Egypt, actually walking over such historical grounds and in temples built thousands of years ago.
The sacredness of the Valley of the Kings created a spiritual cloud that enveloped me as I walked through the area, which was the most moving ruin sight for me. I have no personal pictures of the area as we were not allowed to take pictures there. We did go down into King Tut's tomb. Our tour guide, Sammy, warned us that it was a rip off -- not worth the $20 additional fee to go in it; but hey, how could I have gone to Egypt and not seen King Tut's tomb. (and it wasn't worth the money as it's quite small and all the artifacts are in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo)
As of 2008, there are 62 tombs and chambers in the Valley of the Kings, ranging in size from a simple pit to a complex tomb with over 120 chambers. The tombs are decorated with scenes from Egyptian mythology and give clues to the beliefs and funerary rituals of the period. While all of the tombs have been opened and appear to have been robbed, it is still fascinating to actually go down into the tombs and just imagine what life was like for the Pharaohs and kings. We went into 4 tombs and my favorite was King Seti II with its numerous rooms, hieroglyphics and colors still so vivid on the walls in the tomb. (see stock photo below)
I would have loved to have spent more time exploring the tombs, but that's one of the drawbacks of being on a guided tour because our time in the Valley of the Kings was limited to 2 hours. But it's still the safest way to travel in Egypt and to maximize the number of Temples and sights you can visit in a few weeks.
We also visited the breathtaking Deir el-Bahri, Queen Hatshepsut's impressive temple. I found the story of Queen Hatshepsut really interesting because she was one of the original feminists. She had run-ins with the Kings and other high rulers, so she decided to dress like a man as she wanted to be taken more seriously. That's Sue and I in front of her temple. Unfortunately, her Temple was also the site of a massive attack in November 1997 which left 71 people dead, which further why you need the securityof traveling with a group when in Egypt.
Everywhere you go in Egypt, the locals will try to sell you something. It gets very tiresome and you have to be firm with your "NOs" for them to stop bothering you. But, by far, the wildest approach in shown in the pictures below. While waiting in the Esna lock on the way to Edfu the tourists are a captive audience so the locals come by ship to try and sell their wares. It is just a riot, as they literally throw bags with everything from dress to shoes to carpets up on the top deck of the ship. Then the tourists yell down to them what they are willing to pay. Once the negotiated price is agreed upon, the tourist puts the money in another bag and throws it down to the ship.
I'd highly recommend an Egyptian Tour that includes cruising because it's just such a relaxing way to go. We'd usually sightsee in the morning; have lunch and then cruise to the next town. Every afternoon at 4 pm, they would serve high tea on the top deck.
Again, if you plan a trip to Egypt, go in late winter/early spring to avoid the high temperatures. Egypt was everything I expected and more -- so for me it truly was a dream come true!!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
- improves your mood
- combats chronic disease
- helps you manage your weight
- strengthens your heart and lungs
- promotes better sleep
- puts the spark back in your sex life
- can be fun
No matter what your preferred exercise is -- JUST DO IT! Don't use the holiday season as an excuse to let yourself go!
Need more encouragement? Pick up a copy of the book "Growing Old is not for Sissies" by Etta Clark. The book is an excellent pictorial display of older athletes and proves you can stay in shape no matter what chronological age you've hit.
In the midst of rushing to prepare your Thanksgiving dinner, please take a few minutes to think of all you personally are grateful for -- family, friends, health, a job, your home. Personally, I feel very blessed to be part of a large extended family with 8 brothers and sisters, many other relatives and wonderful friends scattered across the nation and abroad, good health, medical insurance and a pension. One of my traditions for Thanksgiving Dinner is that I love to start the meal by going around the dinner table and having each person say what they are grateful for. Try it --- some of the answers may surprise you.
Since we live in such a highly mobile society, with family scattered throughout the country, many of you might be alone for the Holiday -- some for the first time. If that's the case, then there's several options to keep you busy. Plan a Thanksgiving dinner party and invite all your single friends; check out programs at nearby churches or senior centers as they always have room for one more or volunteer. Live near Denver, then volunteer to serve dinner to the homeless at the Denver Rescue Mission.Whatever your plans are, I wish you a joyous and safe start to the Holiday Season!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Today, while confirming some facts about Boomers I found an interesting website advertising the first ever Baby Boomer's Festival, March 27-29 in Reno NV. Activities over the 3-day weekend will include great speakers, dancing, wine tasting, athletic competitions and live entertainment. There will also be exhibits designed to appeal us boomers. For more info go to:
Did you know?
- In 1946, when the baby boom started, the U.S. population was 141.5 million. Today it's more than doubled, with boomers representing over 28% of our total population.
- In 1957, 4.3 million babies were born, the most in any year.
- There are more than 77.4 million boomers with another person becoming a boomer every 18 seconds. That's approximately 10,000 new boomers daily!
- Since everyone is living longer, boomers will spend more time taking care of their parents than any other generation.
Friday, November 21, 2008
I always love the planning stage of any trip because of the excitement I feel in anticipating the adventure. Since this would be my only trip to Egypt, I decided to take a 5-star tour through Trafalgar Tours which turned out to be a great choice. They not only booked us in exceptional hotels and provided a luxurious cruise ship but I felt very secure on the trip as there were armed guards accompanying our group. I didn't realize it until I actually started travelling through Egypt, but there are still unsafe areas, but at no time did I feel threatened. In planning a trip abroad, for travel advisories always check the State Department's website at http://www.state.gov/
The inaction of top corporate executives to tighten their belts and begin to make prudent business decisions has caused this financial fiasco, so, why shouldn't they have to accept the consequences and be fired without a golden parachute? Instead, if the Government grants them a bailout, it is directly rewarding them for mismanaging their company. Since Uncle Sam seems to have so much spare cash to dole out to these failing corporations, I'd like to know where the line starts because I want some too. I know that many of us could use a Government handout right about now as we watch our retirement nest eggs fall daily. Some of my retired friends have lost as much as 70 to 80% of their entire stock portfolio.
Let's see -- corporate officers mismanage their money -- then the Government bails them out. But,you, a struggling retiree loses in the stock market (a direct result of these ongoing and ever-increasing corporate problems) and do you get bailed out---nope, you just have to tighten your belt, eat beans and maybe forgo a needed medical treatment.
Fair -- no way!
So, if you're tired of it like me -- please take the time to call or email your Congressman and let them know your fed up! http://clerk.house.gov/member_info/index.html
Monday, November 17, 2008
And if volunteering there sounds like something you'd enjoy, then check out their website next summer.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Skiing has brought so much adventure and joy to my life. In 1988, I accepted a job in Heidelberg but my heartfelt reason for that major life change at age 40 was so that I could ski Europe. I was scared as I had never lived anywhere but St. Louis. I joined the ski club which was a great way to meet new friends. I'll never forget my first trip to Club Med in St. Moritz Switzerland (pictured above). What a thrill -- skiing in one of the most exclusive resorts in the world! Every weekend was a new adventure - skiing in Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Austria and France! Skiing also brought out my altruistic side as starting in 1986 I became very involved with the National Sports Center for the Disabled in Winter Park Colorado. It brought true joy to my heart to be able to help out the kids both physically and financially. So what's skiing got to do with retirement --- plenty!! It's a challenging sport that will keep you in great physical shape, it's a fun way to meet new people and staying physically fit helps you mentally. Skiing is so popular with Boomers that we even have our own club -- the Over the Hill Gang! http://www.skibumnews.com/OTHG.htm
Oh, I've been married, divorced, several other long term relationships, but no passion has lasted as long as my love affair with skiing! Try it --- you might fall in love too.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
So what about you ---think you’re ready to retire? Before mouthing a quick “YES” just because you’re old enough, the $64,000 question to ask yourself is: WHAT AM I RETIRING TO? Take a few minutes, grab a cup of coffee and start thinking about these questions:
Do I look forward to going to work on Monday morning?
Do I fill my weekends now with enjoyable activities?
Can I get up in the morning without going to a workplace and still be happy?
Do I have any hobbies that I want to spend more time at?
Can my spouse retire at the same time? If not, how do they feel about my retiring?
How will my social and family life change when I retire?
Do I want to work part-time during retirement?
How will I handle a medical emergency or serious illness?
Where will I get Health Insurance coverage?
Will I have enough money coming in to cover my expenses -- from my pension, Social Security and savings? Donations from my kids (sure)?
Where do I want to live after I retire?
With some many areas of your life radically changing when you retire, before giving yourself the "Green Light" to retire, use a little caution. Just like the Stop Light above, spend a little time in the "Yellow caution" zone. Taking the take the time to answer the above questions will give you a head start in planning how you’ll spend those extra 60 to 70 hours a week you’ll gain when you retire. Creating a Time Management Plan based on your personal answers will reassure you that you'll know exactly "What am I retiring to?" and will give you the confidence to move out of the "Yellow caution zone". Any special areas of concern --- send your questions to Retired.Rosie@gmail.com
P.S. -- Take another look at the Stop Light picture above. Did you notice the Nest Egg? I loved it -- because in retirement your financial Nest Egg is the solid foundation to fund all the fun things you want to do!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Now I expect him to keep his word and deliver on his campaign promises that will help us retired Boomers. We retirees have worked hard all of our life and need to be able to joyfully look forward to retirement without daily concern over our health and financial needs. Issues important to all of us are:
Health Care: He promised affordable, easily accessible, and high-quality health care for everyone. This is a critical issue for many retirees because most companies do not allow an employee to carry their Medical Insurance into retirement. Retirees need some form of universal health care so that they no longer have to fear financial ruin from unexpected medical expenses.
Social Security: He’s against efforts to privatize Social Security and supports building a reserve for Social Security.
Taxes: He plans to eliminate income taxes for all senior citizens making less than $50,000. That proposal alone will positively impact more than 7 million seniors a year. Under his tax proposal, over 27 million senior citizens will no longer have to file an income tax return.
Now that the Election is over, I sincerely hope that the leaders of both Parties can put aside their differences and work together to kick-start our economy, to unify our nation and to provide everyone with not just hope for a better future, but to create a pro-active plan that will make it happen.
Monday, November 3, 2008
No matter what size or shape your currently in, everyone can get out and take a walk. It's especially good for us retirees because it not only increases your physical activity and improves your health, but gets you out of the house. A brisk walk increases your heart rate, strengthens your heart and increases blood circulation through your body and reduces body fat. Remember to consult your doctor and have a checkup before beginning any type of exercise program especially if you've been inactive for awhile. If you've been lax in exercising, then be sure to start out slowly, perhaps walking just a mile to start, gradually increase your pace, and always cool down at the end. It helps to have an exercise buddy because then you're committed to doing it and more fun to have someone with you along the trail, so invite a friend or neighbor to join you.
It pays to have the best equipment -- so invest in good walking shoes and buy a pedometer to keep track of your steps. Try to walk at least 10,000 total steps a day (about 5 miles). Wear the pedometer all day and set realistic goals for yourself --- like taking 1,000 more steps a day until you gradually increase to walking at least 10,000 steps daily on a routine basis. It's your heart - so protect it with a daily exercise program.....and walking is the best way to start. For additional info on heart health from the American Heart Association, visit their website --
(NOTE: The above is meant to motivate you, not meant to be medical advice.)
Sunday, November 2, 2008
ELECTION 2008 -- PLEASE VOTE!
I've never been more active in the political process than this campaign as it's the first time that I've made a financial contribution as well as donated my time to a candidate.
Yet, as we enter the last few days and the final deluge of political commercials, daily emails requesting additional financial contributions and phone calls from both political parties, I just wonder -- are you as tired as I am? Tired of the name calling and the candidates digging up dirt on each other rather than spending more time on clearly presenting their position on critical national issues. If I want dirt on either candidate, I can easily find it myself on the Internet. I would have preferred that each candidate have spent more time explaining how they plan to solve our economic crisis, health care problems and protect my retirement as well as end the war.
I know some people in Colorado are just as tired as I volunteered today to call voters. At least 10 people screamed at me, 4 or 5 hung up on me and 3 said they would not vote because they didn't like either candidate. I'm frustrated too because after volunteering today and talking with some of the other volunteers, I sincerely believe that we need a major reform in our election process. I'm sure that millions of hours have been spent by volunteers in each party calling people and knocking on doors ---- actually getting out there and talking to real people. Yet, it's the Electoral College who will decide our next President. I don't like it! I think it's about time our President be elected by the popular vote rather than the Electoral College.
I just hope that whoever is elected on Tuesday will be the strong, proactive leader that our Country needs --- the one who is capable of leading us out of the gloomy despair that has permeated our nation and souls for way too long and who can lift us up to a new level of financial prosperity and security.
We deserve a more secure future!
"GIRLS ONLY" --- The Secret Comedy of Women. It was so fantastic I laughed til I cried!
"GIRLS ONLY" is an original comedy that celebrates the enjoyment and ups & downs of being female. It has a 2 woman cast that starts with them in their childhood bedroom reading their teenage diaries and ends with them as 2 little old ladies making crafts of a well-known female hygiene product. They rant and sing about everything from slumber parties to breast feeding in public. It's a fast-paced, multi-media production which include videos, old commercials, improv, audience participation and humorous songs reworded to some well-recognized tunes. One of the funniest numbers was about the men in our life ---- 'guy'ncologists and "men"opause. So for an entertaining night out here in Denver, grab your best girlfriends and rush to see "Girls Only". It runs through February at the Garner Galleria Theater in the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.