Saturday, June 22, 2013

Staff Meeting Saturday

Today is the staff meeting at the campgrounds. I don't know when Leslie will be able to get away since she is helping John move cattle today. I was hoping to eat at Olive Garden before the meeting but that may not be possible. It's not a prerequisite, of course. Bob is going with us and he also is hoping to eat at Olive Garden. He is not going to camp. He is going to take care of Missy and water my outdoor plants while I am at camp. When Missy is gone, I hope to get him to go back to camp. I know he would enjoy it. His family used to go.

I hope one of these Sunday afternoons John will be able to hang my hair dryer on the bathroom wall. The kids are very busy. John works a full time job and does some farming besides. I would try to do it myself if this was my own property but don't want to mess up the wall in case I don't get it right. John does everything very professionally. I try not to bother the kids with something all the time.

I didn't sleep well last night. I think I woke up every hour on the hour after midnight. My arms hurt again. They had not been too bad lately and I had hopes they were on the mend. Evidently not. I see Dr. Hsu Monday afternoon at 4:30. Hopefully he will have some answers. I really doubt it through. With his preliminary diagnosis of osteoporosis he was wrong. According to Dr. Gillis, who saw my bone density test, I had no sign of osteoporosis.

Missy, my cat, has been troubled with hairballs lately. I went to Wal Mart yesterday morning and bought her some Iams with hairball control. She chokes quite a lot. I am hoping that will help. She had her last shot of antibiotic yesterday afternoon. I hope the abscess doesn't come back now. Her hair is growing back in where Dr. Cooper shaved it to treat the abscess.

More later...

Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday At Last

I spent must of yesterday working on the church reunion material. I hope I have all my bases covered. Tomorrow afternoon I will take my notebook with all my notes in it to the meeting. At least three staff members will not be there. I tried to make the time accommodating to as many as possible. Even then, some people will not be able to come. I want to make a map of the locations and numbers of the cabins tomorrow afternoon before the meeting.

I have my regular Friday hair appointment this morning at 7:00 so I will have to leave shortly.

Keith called me yesterday afternoon and we had a nice visit. He is very faithful to stay in touch at least once a week. Scott usually is too if he isn't tied up with his work. They are keeping him busy..which is good. Leslie is so busy I don't hear much from her anymore. I see her at church and often over dinner after church but she is usually very busy with the grandchildren and her power point work at church. I find if I want to contact her, I have to send her an e-mail. She gets those on her smart phone and prefers not to have telephone calls or even messages on her phone. She doesn't have time to deal with calls and messages. She has a very demanding job.

For lunch we had our left over meatloaf, potatoes, veggies and salad and for dessert I fixed a pudding. Everything was good. You really can't beat leftover meatloaf.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thursday Again

It's Thursday again and I have nothing on the calendar. That feels good. Tomorrow I have a hair appointment again and in the evening, there is an ice cream social out at Walter Johnson Park. If the weather permits, Bob and I may attend. If he doesn't want to go, I will go by myself because I usually see a lot of people I know there.

I would like to go to Bartlesville today but I promised Bob I would fix meatloaf for lunch so it would need to be in the afternoon. He has been there twice in the last week so he won't want to go with me. That's alright because I can go by myself.

I took our leftover tater tot casserole to Bobby and Karan yesterday and they gave me ham and beans. It's kind of neat trading leftovers that way. :) Bob and I had theirs for lunch.

I have two more doses of antibiotic left for Missy. I don't see any sign of her abscess returning but then I am still injecting her with antibiotics.

More later...

I've worked all morning on the church camp stuff. I hope I have covered all my bases. The staff is to meet on Saturday at 3:00 over at the campgrounds. I guess I will find out then if all are prepared. I still don't have the primary teacher. Junior Camp will be over today and perhaps Terry will get back with me with her prospect.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Retirement Gamble

I had another good night's sleep last night. Again, I took a couple of extra strength Tylenol before bed. Part of my ability to sleep is the fact that the only thing I have left is to finish up the planning for the family camp we call reunion. If I can find a teacher for the primaries, I will be finished. Melissa says she will take over once we get to the camp. We will see.

Bob came over last evening and we watched American Experience on TV. It was about Rockefeller and was very interesting. After he left I watched Frontline. It was an expose' of the handling of mutual funds by the investment companies. It seems there are many different "fees" charged to the 401ks that add up to 63% of the value by retirement time. Owners of the 401k invest 100% of the money, take 100% of the risk and end up with 36% of the money. The other 64% ends up being the "fees" over the years. The investigator learned that if he saved $200 a month for 50 years and accumulated $100,000, at retirement, he would only get $38,000 and the rest would have been paid in fees because of the compounding of the fees over the years.

He recommended that instead of mutual funds, the investor instead invest in a diversified portfolio of index funds and just hold them until retirement. Index funds do better then mutual funds. This story can be found at and the story is called "The Retirement Gamble". I was glad I got out of mutual funds just before the crash of 2008.

More later...

A really market smart friend of mine shared this information:

Index funds are a form of mutual fund. They just don't pretend to "beat the market," rather they only buy and sell stocks and bonds to match the larger market they are emulating. Because of this, they can do it for much smaller fees. Vanguard and Fidelity are the leaders in this market.

You can still "pick your mix" here depending on how well you want to sleep at night. For instance, you can get an index fund that just invests in corporate bonds in the same proportions as the larger market. Here the earnings are smaller, but the swings in the value of your investment are less. Or you can invest in an "S&P 500" index fund that invests in corporate stocks in the same proportion as the relative value of the 500 biggest firms in the US. Here you get the rise (and fall) in the stock market plus any dividends. Most people are best off with some mix of the two approaches.

You can get more specific, for instance funds that invest in proportion in every sizable international company, or just US government bonds.

Historically, people who have had a reasonable mix of these index funds, always putting money in, have done pretty well over the long term, even considering the Bush recession, and the fees are about as low as you can get.

The problem is (1) getting money to put aside and (2) time - you have to start before you are 40.

More from my friend...

The problem is the "time value of money." For instance, if you can earn 7% on your investments (high, but possible), your money will double in 10 years, and double again (i.e., 4 times the original) in another 10 years, and double yet again in another ten years (8 times the original).

So an initial $10,000 becomes $20,000 in ten years, $40,000 in 20 years, and $80,000 in 30 years (plus additional money you put in over that period of time). So if you are 40 years old when you start saving, you have an extra "doubling" period than if you are 50.

Lower earnings rates take more time to double, but the concept is the same. Take the annual earnings rate you expect to earn and divide it into 72 to estimate the number of years it takes to double.

Although the market goes up and down, over a thirty year run, the ups have almost always exceeded the downs.

That said, if you are over 50, there are some ways to speed this up. People over 50 can put an extra amount of money tax-free into IRAs and 401K funds tax-free. Health savings accounts also allow you to put away money tax-free that you can accumulate and use after retirement to cover medical costs not covered by Medicare.

One way I have used in the past to pay off debt and build savings is the "$10 extra plan." Many of us, if pushed, can come up with an "extra" 10 bucks out of our budget if we REALLY need to.

So you start one month with $10 in the savings pot. The next month you up it to $20, the next month to $30, etc. Of course, at some point you can't find an "extra" $10, but the question is how far you can go before you hit that point. $100 per month? $200 per month?

The money can be used to go into savings or pay down credit cards and other debt. For debt reduction, a good strategy is to pay the minimum on most bills, but throw the "extra pot" against either the highest-interest debt or smallest-balance debt. When that one is paid off, you throw that monthly payment plus the "extra pot' at the next debt on your list, and so on until everything is paid off.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Another Good Night's Sleep

Last night was another good night's sleep. My arms barely hurt. Missy must be feeling better too. She is eating better. I only have four syringes left for her shots so she will soon be through her ordeal. I hope her abscess doesn't come back again. The hair is growing back over the wound where Dr. Cooper shaved it to treat the abscess.

This morning before my hair appointment, I will deliver the cakes. Then I will come home and fix lunch if Bob is still at his home across the street. He may be taking Terry and Denise back to Bartlesville to pick up their car. I have a new recipe from Judy's site for tater tot casserole I want to try.

This evening American Experience is on PBS and the show is about John D. Rockefeller. I don't think I have seen it before. They are doing summer reruns now. But I may have missed this one. Then Frontline is on after that. I don't know what the subject of that show is yet but I usually find it quite it interesting.

The special library meeting is Wednesday evening but I don't choose to be a part of the search committee for the new librarian. They only need three members to serve on it and I am concerned right now with the church camp staffing. It is first priority.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Good Night's Sleep

I had a very good night's sleep last night. I went to bed late because a group of us went to Bobby and Karan's to see Gretchen before she heads back to Alabama today. I had a good time but I talked too much about my aching arms.

I'm going to stop even mentioning them to my friends. Many of them are in a lot worse shape....especially Marilyn and Jack. I am so glad they have Pappy with them right now. He is young and is able to help Jack get around. Pappy is a man from the Congo that they have helped to get an education in America. He has his master's degree now and would like to get his doctorate but he must meet with immigration in Houston the last of July to try to get his VISA extended. He cannot go back to Congo yet where he would like to be, because of war there. Planes don't even land there any more. He is quite a young man. He will take a bus to Houston to meet with immigration.

Today after exercise class, I must clean house. I haven't vacuumed in two weeks and haven't felt up to it. Now I absolutely must! Other then that...and fixing lunch...I have nothing on my agenda today.

More later....

I didn't have to fix lunch after all. Bob and I went out to El Pueblo for lunch. Afterward we went out to Wal Mart to get a few groceries and mixes for our cakes. Cyndi gave me $20. to buy cake mixes and frostings with because she works in Tulsa and can't participate.

I got the vacuuming done and will dust and wipe up the kitchen and bathroom floors tomorrow afternoon. I have my two cakes in the oven now and after they're baked and cooled, I will ice them this evening and load them into my trunk in the morning.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Class of 1953 Reunion Photo

One of my classmates sent us the only photo we had taken of the entire class that got to attend the reunion over Memorial Day weekend. I have tried to print it off but I must be low on ink cartridges because it didn't print off well and I tried three times. I will wait to print it next after I run completely out of ink and have to buy new cartridges again. In the meanwhile, here is the photo.

I am the woman on the far left , second row, standing behind the grey haired woman in the white jacket.

Busy Sunday

I have been busy this morning. I did get a good night's sleep last night. I took two extra strength Tylenol before I went to bed. I have made baked beans this morning for our cookout dinner after church. I also made a coffee cake. I thought that might be something different for dessert with coffee.

I got my paper this morning and the Independence Reporter had a very nice article about the Juneteenth Celebration in it. It was complete with large photo. They interviewed Paul and he gave a good interview. I am glad it went well.It didn't look too good before noon yesterday. Evidently all the traffic came in after lunch.

We have a guest minister this evangelist from Pittsburg, Kansas. After church we will have that cookout.

My next week looks fairly tame. I will have to take cakes to Independence on Tuesday but I have a hair appointment then anyhow. That shouldn't be a problem. Friday is the CRMC (hospital) ice cream social. It is being held at Walter Johnson Park this year....why, I don't know. It's a ways out there. Maybe for the shade. Then on Saturday we have the church reunion staff meeting over at the campgrounds at 3:00. Leslie and I will go over together. Next Sunday evening, on the 23rd, Keith and Joyce have the Living the Questions group. I speak at church that Sunday too. I will need to polish up my sermon this week.

More later....

We had a very nice dinner at noon. I had thought that some people might want coffee cake with their coffee after dinner but when I set it down in the kitchen before church school class, people began to cut it to use during the class for their coffee. That was fine. We had plenty of food. I had almost none of it left to have to eat up. The services were good too and we had a nice sized congregation.

Tonight since Gretchen is in town, we will go over to Karan and Bobby's house to visit with her.We will have snacks. I will take some nuts. Gretchen is leaving for her home in Alabama tomorrow. I am happy to get to see her again before she leaves.

There is another change in the church camp teaching staff. The woman who was to teach the nursery class (babies up to and including 2 year olds) wants to teach only the 2 and 3 year olds. I'm not sure we have a classroom free to do that. I am checking with Jody, last year's director. That will take the 3 year olds away from Jody's class and the 2 year olds away from the nursery class to have a separate class for them.

First I lost the Junior teachers due to a change of jobs of one of them. They were a couple. Then I lost the teacher for the primaries for the same reason. I found a new teacher for the primaries but then lost her because she got accepted into the college she wanted and needs to work and save money and cannot take a week off. Jody took the 3,4, and 5 year olds. I finally got a couple to take the Juniors and now I am still needing a teacher for the primaries.

Terry thinks she has a lead on that but she's at Junior Camp this week so I won't know until Saturday. I still need to know if there is a classroom available for another class. I have two women for the nursery class so that should be sufficient.

Camp starts July 6th.

Changes, changes changes....