March 2017

March 2017

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Applying For Social Security

Since hubby is still fully employed we kept putting off applying for our Social Security benefits, choosing instead to let them grow. But, after much thought and discussion, today I applied for my benefit. I'll be 66 in October and I'll receive my first payment in November. Hubby still plans to wait until he retires at 70. Although we're hoping he'll be able to retire much sooner. He turned 66 last May.

I met with the Social Security agent this morning and all day I've felt "off." It was such a surreal experience. How can I be old enough for Social Security? I realize I was eligible four years ago, but actually applying is making me feel so old.

I'm sure I'll feel better after I see that first direct deposit payment. In the meantime, I'm working on giving myself credit for having worked enough to receive a payment, and one that's larger than my dad's and more than twice what my mom received. After being retired for nearly six years, I often forget how hard I once worked. That part of my younger self I don't miss at all!



Thursday, July 13, 2017

Intermittent Fasting – Update #3

I've been Intermittent Fasting now for three weeks. For the most part I'm fasting for 15 hours. But I did have a couple days this week where I fasted for only 14 hours mainly because I woke earlier than normal.

During my nine-hour eating window, I'm mainly sticking to ~1600 healthy calories. Yesterday was an exception. My youngest grandson had a "Grandma Day" and we went to Dairy Queen for lunch, which included ice cream. I ate, enjoyed the company, and felt no guilt.

I continue to sleep deeper than I did before IF, despite several challenges our family is currently facing. I've already mentioned my son is moving his family back to the east coast at the end of the month. He'll be going to law school at Fordham University at night completely funded by financial aid. Hubby and I are extremely concerned. He has no idea how difficult it'll be working full time and going to law school, all the while giving proper attention to his wife, young daughter, and his own health and wellbeing. Plus hubby and I strongly feel his expectation of the career he'll find when he passes the bar (never going to get that far in my opinion) is a fantasy. But, hey, he's 42 years old and we have other things to worry about.

Earlier this week hubby was diagnosed with prostate cancer. We have a consultation with the urologist this morning. It's early stage and, frankly, we weren't that surprised. One in seven senior men will develop prostate cancer and odds are doubled if someone in your family has or had it. Hubby's brother was diagnosed several years ago. His diagnosis was much more severe and now he's cancer free. I expect we're facing some type of treatment, but we're very hopeful for a complete cure. We'll know more after today's meeting.

OK, that's a lot of stuff! Now back to my IF results.

My clothes are fitting a little loser and I appear less puffy in the mid-section. I read that positive changes in the mid-section are common with IF. But it might also be due to me having drastically cut sugar from my diet. Yesterday's indulgence at Dairy Queen is the first time in three weeks I've consume that much sugar in one day. I've given up sugar before and it did improve my overall look.

Sure, it's only been three weeks. But I like how I'm looking and feeling so I plan to "stay the course!"


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Florida Weather

The Real Feel temperatures this week in Missouri are the same as those in Florida, well over 100 degrees. So why would we go to Sanibel, Florida with my daughter's family every year during the last week of July? The two main reasons are affordable rentals and easy access to the gulf and pools.

Years ago we gained access to a beautiful three-bedroom two-bath townhouse with a fully-equipped big modern kitchen right on a canal and just a five-minute walk to the beach. The July rent is a third what it is in the winter. In all honesty, I'd be content to never leave the townhouse and just enjoy the views of the canal and palm and avocado trees from the comfort of our air-conditioned home-away-from-home.

But the complex does include two small pools and its own beach area on the gulf. So everyday typically includes a dip in the gulf, a hunt for unique and perfect seashells, and a splash in one of the pools. We don't have any of those luxuries at home where high temperatures mostly keep us indoors.

Another perk of a beach vacation is the opportunity to eat fresh seafood. We always look forward to several amazing meals in our favorite restaurants. I'm not a big fan of seafood, but I do enjoy eating it when we're near the source. Fresh is 100-percent better than frozen.

Our family has been vacationing in Sanibel for the last eight years. But last year hubby and I didn't join my daughter's family. Instead we decided to stay home in case my son and daughter-in-law needed help with their newborn.

But we're not missing this year. And this year it's especially important for all of us to have this bonding time as we face the sadness of my son's family moving to New Jersey the end of the month. I'll save the full story of that disappointment for another post. For now I just want to focus on the countdown to our ninth stay on beautiful Sanibel Island.