Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sock Hop

Last night we took a stroll down memory lane when our Red Hatters hosted a Sock Hop. It was a blast! It brought back such fond memories of going to teen town every Sunday night during high school.

I loved my retro outfit -- right down to the sequined cat-eye glasses, red & white pom-poms and poodle skirt.

That term "Sock Hop" was first coined in the '50s. The dances were held for teens in high school gyms, so the dancers had to kick off their shoes and dance in their socks so they wouldn't mark up the gym floors.

Besides, dancing in socks made it easier to slide across the floor in dances like the Twist, the Mashed Potatoes and Stroll. The name stuck and most teen dances were referred to as 'Sock Hops'.

Everyone loved the old American Bandstand clips that were played, highlighting upcoming artists like Michael Jackson and Rod Stewart. We even had a King and Queen of the Hop who were picked by the DJ based on a twist contest.

The fun-filled event was kicked off with an antique car show! Here I am with my favorite old car -a T-Bird! If you'd like to host a Sock Hop in your community, but don't know where to start, go to:

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Last year when doing my state income taxes, I came up with a wild idea for the Colorado Make a Wish (MAW) Foundation -- why not get MAW put on the back of the Colorado tax return where a taxpayer can designate part of their refund for a charity?

I called the Director of Development about it and she thought it was a great idea because it was a new way to get contributions for the Make a Wish kids.

I got the ball rolling by contacting my State Representative last spring. She generously offered to help and after many meetings and hearings, it's actually happening! I'm so happy to report that the Bill will be signed next week by Governor Ritter. It's just so exciting for me because it proves the power that just one idea can have. It also demonstrates an alternate way that a person can contribute to their favorite charity because not all retirees have disposable income to give.

Right now, check the back of your state tax return!
Is there a section for charitable contributions? If so, and your favorite charity isn't there, then why not make that one call?
If you'd like to volunteer for the Make a Wish chapter in your area, go to:

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Angels & Demons

I read Dan Brown's book, "The Da Vinci Code" when it first came out and just never really got into it, so I didn't bother to see that movie. But over the weekend, I went to see the movie "Angels & Demons" also based on a Dan Brown book because my sister Linda highly recommended it.

I liked it! It was fast moving, very intense and I thought Hanks fits the role of Professor Langdon quite well. I was impressed because I've not enjoyed his past few efforts even though I loved the movies he made early in his career.

I was raised Catholic, attended a Catholic grade school, church every Sunday and even had to go to religion classes when I attended a public high school. All that schooling paid off because I really got the nuances of the movie which a non-Catholic might miss. Some of the scenes were very gruesome but necessary for the plot line. I'd recommend it!

For a very different perspective on the movie:

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

American Idol

Hey, you Rock'n'Roll Retirees, have you heard of Adam Lambert?

When I was really young I went to see Elvis Presley......long before he was ELVIS, the KING of Rock'n'Roll. Then, he was just another entertainer with the Louisiana Hay Ride Show but the minute he hit the stage even I, an 8-year-old little girl, felt the magic! The music, the excitement, the screaming....what an experience! It turned me into a concert junkie. I've seen so many....from Tina Turner to Alan Jackson to Bruce!

So, what's that got to do with Adam? While I thought Bon Jovi came close, Adam's even better. He's just the most exciting entertainer to hit the stage since Elvis! He was so fantastic on America Idol tonight.....such a talented and passionate performer.

Ever since the first show my sister Ginny swore he was Elvis reincarnated. At first I thought she was a little out there; but the resemblance is uncanny! It's pretty wild....the look, the singing style, the quivering lip! What do you think?
To find out if Adam's the next IDOL, check out the results show on Wednesday night on your local FOX channel.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Retirement News

I recently came across a website that has tons of info on retirement issues ranging from housing to part-time employment to finances!

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Today I volunteered for the annual Frank's Ride for Children. It was rather ironic that my job was to serve pork to the famished riders because I don't eat meat! Over 1500 bikers paid $20 to enter the Poker Run with all the proceeds going to the Colorado Make a Wish Foundation.

The best part of the event was the arrival by motorcycle sidecar of 6 Wish Kids. They looked so cute in their autographed, custom-made helmets. They were so excited! Their joy was contagious and just so heartwarming. For more on the event:
This week I also completed Wish Grantor training for I'll get to meet with Wish Kids and their families to find out what their Wish is. I'm really looking forward to helping making their dreams come true.

In Retirement, most of us have more time than money, so why not donate some time? It's simple......especially if you want to work a special event. Just look up your favorite charity on the Internet, see what's happening this summer and call them!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Medical Questions

Have you ever been sick for a long time, did
everything the doctors ordered and still didn't get well?

Well, that's what I've been through for the past 11 months! I'm so frustrated... I've been to several specialists, spent thousands of dollars of my own money, had numerous tests and still don't have a definitive answer as to what's wrong with me. I've found that most of the doctors hated it when I asked questions regarding prescriptions or tests.

It seems like some of them still have that God-like attitude and wanted me to do whatever they told me. When I refused to stay on antibiotics for the rest of my life, I got labeled a 'difficult patient' just like they did to Elaine on a Seinfeld episode. I had to then explain to next doctor why I wasn't a difficult patient, but just an extremely frustrated one.
So, if you're experiencing similar problems, begin by asking your doctors the following questions:
1. What is this test for?
2. How many times have you done this?
3. Any side effects from this test?
4. When will I get the results?

1. Why do I need this surgery?
2. Are there any alternatives to surgery?
3. How many times have you performed this operation?
4. Are you familiar with the latest techniques?
5. What are the possible complications?
6. Which hospital is best for my surgery?

1. What is the drug supposed to do?
2. What are the possible side effects?
3. Are there any side effects?
4. How will this medicine interact with other meds I'm currently taking?

Don't be intimated by your Doctor or any other health's your health at risk so it's up to you to be a very persistent advocate to ensure that you are getting proper care!
For an interesting article on questioning your doctor:

The Soloist

Fabulous movie!

If you haven't heard about the movie, it's the true story of LA Times' reporter Steve Lopez's chance meeting with a homeless man, Nathaniel Ayers, a talented cellist who suffers from schizophrenia. Lopez befriends Ayers and fanatically works to help him build a better life.

I loved Robert Downey Jr! For many years the critics panned him as an actor due to his personal, it's great to see him getting long-overdue recognition for his acting ability.

I'd be shocked if Jamie Foxx doesn't receive an Academy Award nomination for his role. He so immersed himself in this role that you totally forget it's Foxx.....very reminiscent of his role in "Ray". In 2004, the film "Ray"premiered at the Denver Film was so exciting as I got to meet Jamie Foxx. He was very friendly, speaking to all fans who approached him.

For another review:,,20272252,00.html

For an NPR interview with Steve Lopez:

Mother's Day

As we celebrate this day, I'm grateful that my mom's still alive. This picture was taken in Oct at her 83rd birthday party.
My mom was one of 8.......then she had 9 kids in less than 12 years (no twins). All you moms know how much work that was!

She often went non-stop from 5 am in the morning to midnight cooking, cleaning and running our household with such efficiency that she could have easily run her own business.......... and all without the benefit of modern day conveniences. I don't know how she survived on so little sleep and still was there for us, whether it was teaching us how to drive or dance.

How Mother's Day became a national holiday is an interesting story. It was started in 1907 by Anna Jarvis when 2 years after her mother's death she held a memorial to her mother. She began a campaign to make "Mother's Day" a recognized holiday. She finally succeeded in making this a nationally recognized holiday in 1914. The International Mother's Day Shrine was established to commemorate her accomplishment.

But in the 1920s, Anna Jarvis had become soured on the commercialization of the holiday. She actually incorporated herself as the Mother's Day International Association, trademarked the phrases "second Sunday in May" and "Mother's Day", and was once arrested for disturbing the peace. She spent her family inheritance campaigning against the holiday because to her it had become too commercialized.

So give your mom a call and let her know just how much she means to you! And remember, it's still the little things that mean the most to moms.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

If not now, then WHEN?

Are you eligible for retirement now but just can't decide if you should do it?

Are you waiting for a buyout?

Let's face it -- deciding when to retire is right up there with other major life choices like which college to attend, who to marry and where to live. I've been retired almost 5 years and while I still miss the social side of work, I certainly don't miss working in an office setting, nor the petty politics. But "when to retire" is on my mind today because a good friend of mine is facing that decision now.

If she stays one more year, she'll get about $200 a month more plus a larger lump sum, so she's leaning toward that additional financial gain. I did the same thing.....I worked a year longer just to get an extra $125 a month. Big mistake! During that year, I developed some major health issues due to my stressful job. I wish I had a 'redo' on that decision.

More importantly though, the primary question my friend has to ask herself is:

So, I challenge you working readers to think about your answer to that question and use it as the basis to plan how you'll spend your time in retirement.

For another perspective on when to retire:

For more info on when to retire, read "ARE YOU READY" at:

Walking Away the Pounds

I'm on a big kick right now to get healthy which means eating better and losing at least 10 pounds.

Some of my friends had been raving about the Leslie Sansone Walking Program,
but frankly, I was skeptical. It sounded like a gimmick -- but Beth insisted that it was really a great work-out and another friend said she had lost 7 pounds in 6 weeks on the program and hadn't even changed her eating habits.

Well, I finally did the 2-mile walking DVD and was just shocked! The next day, I felt like I had a really good workout --even more so than if I had just walked 2 miles outside.
Here's why walking is such a great exercise:
  • No special training already know how to walk.
  • Walking uses every major muscle group to help you burn calories and lose fat.
  • You don't a treadmill or any other exercise equipment
  • Walking just 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week greating reduces serious health risks.

Get more info about the program at:

Even better than buying the DVDs, if you have COMCAST TV service, you can view the programs on the EXERCISE Channel!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Baby Showers

Are you looking for a new opportunity to volunteer your time and talent?

Then how about hosting a baby shower for needy babies born at your local general hospital?

Several of us here at Heritage Todd Creek participated today in a baby shower hosted by Colorado's First Lady Jeanne Ritter for babies born at the Denver Health Hospital. Our group made a beautiful assortment of baby blankets and hats. Since we started "knitting for newborns" we have made more than 90 blankets.

What was so exciting about today's event is that volunteers there ranged from Girl Scouts to retirees! Several large corporations even participated -- donating everything from diapers to car seats. We were so moved by today's event that our Red Hat Chapter is going to host a baby shower. Especially in today's economy this is a wonderful way to help those in need!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

A Stroll down Memory Lane

with Mom & Aunt Betty
I recently spent a few weeks in St. Louis visiting family and friends. It's always fun to see everyone but it also saddens me because I know it just might be the last time I see my mom or aunts and uncles who are in their 80s and 90s. It's a dismal feeling, because when I was younger I never thought about that at all whenever I made a trip home.

When visiting with my mom, I just love to go through boxes of old pictures with her. It's just so much fun to look over all the significant events in both of our lives and to have a good laugh over some of the 60's and 70's fashion trends. It's also been proven that what psychologists call 'picture therapy' is quite beneficial in helping to keep a senior citizen's memory sharp. It helps them to recall specific events in their lives and discuss those happy times.

Now Uncle Barney, who's almost 91 is really sharp.....he continually impresses me with his computer skills and knowledge of the stock we're always discussing good buys in this depressed market.

I've always found it sad that some people will say they just don't have the time or money to visit older loved ones....but somehow they manage to do it for the funeral.....know what I mean!

So with Mother's Day coming up, I'd just like to encourage you to give older loved ones the best gift you can....the gift of your time!

Dinner Theaters

Aren't we retirees always looking for a bargain, especially when a larger percentage of our net income is now spent on everyday necessities?

One of the best bargains for fun and socializing are dinner theaters. They offer good entertainment and food for a reasonable price and you can get even greater savings usually if you go on a Wednesday or Thursday night or on weekend afternoons.

The Boulder Dinner Theater offered a super 2 for 1 special recently for their play "NUNSENSE". Dinner and Theater for 2 for just $40 which included salad and the main course....drinks and dessert are extra. It was like getting the show for free!

is a funny play with a lot of inside jokes based on Catholicism. It was a trip down memory lane for me as I attended 9 years of Catholic schools and know how tough those nuns could be. Let's just say a nun was never wrong and all our parents definitely agreed with whatever punishment they doled out!

To find a dinner theater in your area, go to the Internet and just type in: Dinner Theater + your city