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Sunday, December 21, 2014

For some time now my legs have been achy and painful. I saw my family doctor twice; then did physical therapy; then continued with massage. My legs and ankles swell so much by the end of the day that I had to change my socks: first I got rid of all the gold toe socks (tighter thinner socks); then the looser socks; then even the diabetic socks were too tight. Finally I saw a vascular doctor last week who confirmed that the aches, pains, and swelling were all related to varicose veins that have turned into vascular insufficiency. The ultrasound made noises like a science fiction movie! But the diagnosis was instantaneous.

Risk factors include obesity (yes thatís me), family history (yes to that also!), pregnancy (nope!), may come on suddenly after an injury (yes I noticed this became much worse after the bad fall on ice last March) and age (Iím in that demographic). I am wearing compression socks for the next 3 months, and then I will have vein surgery.

The compression socks are a huge help! The doctorís office sold me one pair (expensive but comfortable) and I have purchased two much cheaper pairs. All of a sudden I have ankles again!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLAIREINPARIS 12/22/2014 2:59PM

    I am so glad you are taking this seriously and went to see a vascular doctor! And it is good that he could offer some relief before the surgery. I don't have this kind of problem but I have heard the compression socks are very effective indeed.

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OPHELIE 12/22/2014 2:44AM

    Glad to hear that you know what the source of your pain is. It is always a relief to have a diagnostic, so you can tackle the issue. Hope the compression socks work for you!
Also, warm thank you for your kind words on my blog. Love and tolerance are paramount, particularly to little ones. emoticon

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MARITIMER3 12/21/2014 8:15PM

    Ah yes... the joys of aging! I have varicose veins too, mostly spider veins actually, but so far they aren't bothering me much. I hate the look of them though. I used to be proud of my hands, shoulders and legs but now, between the brown spots, droopy boobs and veins, there isn't much left to be proud of (excuse the preposition, but "of which to be proud" sounds SO awkward).

Oh well, it could be a lot worse!

Are you going away for Christmas or staying home this year? Whichever you choose, I hope you have a wonderful holiday and that your retirement plans are settled to your satisfaction.

Gail emoticon

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ROXYZMOM 12/21/2014 5:53PM

    I am glad you found out what it is and are addressing it. Also that you are feeling better. That sounded really painful.

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DR1939 12/21/2014 2:06PM

    Glad you found some relief.

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  I think I have that problem as well. I'm glad that you went to the doctor.

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MOMMY445 12/21/2014 1:49PM

    i'm also glad to hear that you are taking care of your health! happy holidays!

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BECKY13455 12/21/2014 1:45PM

  Well I am glad you are taking care of your heath. Good luck on your surgery. Happy holidays.

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Job Situation/Retirement

Saturday, December 20, 2014

I plan to retire on April 1 2015 (I will be 64 then); my employer requested lots of advance notice even though I am required to give only one month notice. But my supervisor was aware that a co-worker who is out on maternity leave wants to move to my area (I am the sole employee in my city) and if she is awarded my position, she will not return to her pre-maternity leave assignment. They want to fill her position immediately; her husband has already been hired for a job near my city. Supervisor also asked if I would stay on half time after April 1 to help with the transition; and in September I verbally told him ďyes, I will work half time for a period of timeĒ.

So today I gave my written formal notice of retirement (plus willingness to work half time) when I was at the main headquarters for a staff meeting (also Christmas party). Less than one hour later, the maternity leave employee who is moving to my city arrived for the Christmas party (with very cute new baby) and mentioned to me that she now thinks she needs to return to work at least 75% time in order to maintain employer paid insurance. What timing! Ė I had given my formal notice exactly one hour before she expressed her new plans.

I have definitely decided I will not stay if they offer me 25% employment status. It is not enough money to live on, and I would be tied down. Better to be fully retired and start living my retirement life, and have complete freedom. At 25% pay I would not be able to travel for extended periods or count on taking community college classes; I would be required to maintain a home office and files, and respond to constant phone calls and e-mails.

It will be interesting to see the outcome! Maybe they will let her return at 75% with insurance AND keep me at 50% (with no insurance contribution); or keep us both at half time for a while (and pay us both some amount toward insurance) Ö or she can come back 100% and I will leave (she really doesn't want that!). At any rate I was specific enough in my very nice notice of retirement letter: I intend to retire, and Iím also willing to work half time for a period of time if we can agree on the terms. 25%??? No way!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DR1939 12/20/2014 10:52AM

    Smart choices.

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GYPSYHEART 12/20/2014 10:15AM

    It is actually good that you gave your notice first and set your parameters of how much you are willing to work part time. The ball is in your court, not the one of the gal who just had a baby. You are doing your company a favor by being willing to continue on past your retirement date.

Who says you cannot begin taking retirement pay while still working 25%? You can still work part time and get your full social security up to a certain part time wage each month. I am taking early retirement in January (turning 64) and plan to work part time afterwards. I can make approx $1,200/mo without loosing any of my social security income.

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MARITIMER3 12/20/2014 9:01AM

    Exciting times ahead, Alison. Retirement is wonderful. I haven't regretted retiring at 62 for one minute... the freedom is worth the reduced income.

I completely agree with your decision not to accept less than 50% if you choose to work part-time for a while. I took a part-time job almost immediately after retirement, but after 4 months decided I wanted to stop work completely and did so.

I love not being tied down and being able to come and go as I please. I do a lot of volunteering, mainly with my church but a few other small things as well, and am free to travel pretty much at the drop of a hat. As I said to Peter yesterday when talking about a trip to Utah, New Mexico,Arizona and Colorado, just point the car in the right direction and I'll be there.

Hugs, Gail

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SWEETNEEY 12/20/2014 8:32AM

    Love your attitude.

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GHOSTFLAMES 12/20/2014 4:47AM


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OPHELIE 12/20/2014 4:06AM

    Hope it works out for you. Love how positive you are in the process. Way to go!

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YMWONG22 12/20/2014 3:26AM


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CLAIREINPARIS 12/20/2014 2:51AM

    What a complicated situation! I hope you will be really happy with the outcome, no matter what it is... I understand that you don't want to work for 25%!!!

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  I hope it works out well for you. I admire your attitude!

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NSV: Project Clean-up!

Friday, December 12, 2014

I am wildly, madly, excited that my office clean-up project resulted in MAJOR improvement! Maybe that wouldnít be a big victory for some of you. But for me, it was HUGE!

Mostly my home is pretty tidy, clean, and organized. Even if I am not naturally an immaculately tidy person Ė I feel more peaceful and calm in a less cluttered environment.

Kitchen, Dining room, bedroom in their normal (mostly) tidy state

Then there was my office. Uh oh what a mess.

I work from home (for an employer in another city). Due to some major upheavals and long hours, and filing being the lowest of my priorities, my home office space got totally out of control.

During the summer, I decided to organize and tidy. I began the project in July, but I didnít finish. But now it is improved to the point that I now have a calm peaceful working environment!!

I'm not totally finished with the clean up. I have 3 boxes of outdated materials to sort through (file or shred). But I am totally relieved and pleased to have a nice work environment again!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Love your house!

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MARITIMER3 12/13/2014 10:16PM

    What a difference! Now it looks like a place where you can be productive. As I'm writing this, DH is sorting through his magazines, maps, clippings, etc. if he gets it done, our family room will be tidy again.
Gail emoticon

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LSDALOIA 12/13/2014 10:41AM

    Don't you feel organized and focused now? I love it! I just cleaned my closet and it really helped my mindset.

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CLAIREINPARIS 12/13/2014 4:41AM

    Woohoo!!! What a great achievement! Now your whole house looks peaceful and tidy! emoticon

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DR1939 12/12/2014 9:37PM

    Lovely. I have some filing that has spun out of control.

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  Very very nice!

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NEELIXNKES 12/12/2014 5:42PM

    That's awesome! Thanks for the inspiration. My office is a disaster and I have been putting cleaning it on the back burner for way too long. Especially since I have worked outside of the house full time for a year now.

Enjoy your peaceful space!

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UMBILICAL 12/12/2014 4:58PM

  Great work

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BERGBA7 12/12/2014 4:35PM

This will make work much more enjoyable!
Good for you!

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Fun active weekend

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Very nice weekend! I enjoyed Zumba on Saturday, and the Jingle Bell 5K walk/run afterward. Many of the Jingle Bell participants were in holiday costumes.
I particularly liked the baby Santa, with brother as Rudolph, stroller converted into a sleigh, and dad as an elf.

And in the late afternoon, I joined a music jam with about 20 other people. It was a lot of fun! Some musicians were excellent, but they welcomed beginners as well.

Today Linda R & I took a LONG walk from her home, through the Old Mill District (which has been converted to a nice shopping area with restaurants). We stopped in at a favorite art gallery, where my friend found a perfect small framed picture for her new grandsonís nursery, and I purchased Christmas cards made by a local printmaker.

Views from Old Mill district

And on to a hike along the river trail.

We hiked more than 8 miles. I'm tired but happy! (now on to clean the house and do laundry ... much less fun!)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OPALMOON 12/10/2014 7:54AM

    Great photos, Alison! Glad you had a fun time!



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OPHELIE 12/9/2014 3:15PM

    What a fun week end! Thank you for stopping by my page and leaving kind words :)

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ANNEMARGAR 12/9/2014 5:01AM

    It looks like you enjoyed a wonderful weekend! I too am inpressed with your ability to turn your weekend around! Way to go!

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1SURFWALKER 12/9/2014 1:23AM

    That's great Alison! Happy for you!! Beautiful area, can even see the mountain in the background!! You are looking great!! Keep up the good work!!

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MARITIMER3 12/8/2014 1:15PM

    Sounds like a wonderful week-end.

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COMPCHIC52 12/8/2014 6:07AM

    It was a wonderful weekend!! emoticon

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CLAIREINPARIS 12/8/2014 2:40AM

    I am so happy you made the best of your weekend and had a great time! This Old Mill walk looked wonderful, as did the hike along the river! Good for you!

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DR1939 12/8/2014 1:17AM

    Wonderful substitute for the planned trip. You made some lemonade out of the lemons you were given. 😋

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KEEPITUP62 12/7/2014 11:55PM

    What a wonderful journey you have had. What a great way to get your fitness in.

Susan emoticon

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  I'm so impressed at all your hikes! Way to go!

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The Best Laid Plans ...

Saturday, December 06, 2014

I planned a nice weekend away to Portland, but it didnít happen quite as planned. I expected to be in Portland for a business meeting Friday afternoon, so I expected my mileage would be paid by my employer. My friend is house sitting in Portland at her sonís new home, and invited several of us to visit for a girlís weekend while her husband & son were traveling, so free accommodations -- provided we all camped out in sleeping bags (house is filled with boxes because son just moved).

So even when my business meeting was cancelled at the last minute, I was looking forward to going. However I now had to work at the office instead of traveling, so I left after dark (other 3 friends were able to take time off from work; they traveled during daylight hours). Unfortunately freezing fog moved in, making night driving slow and hazardous. The final straw was when (after I had already driven 60 miles in the fog) there was a flashing sign notifying everyone that the highway was closed 30 miles ahead. I checked the much longer alternate route to the north; the weather forecast was freezing rain.

So I called my friends, and told them I couldnít make it. Iíll freeze some of the food I brought for my contributions to our meals (luckily my friends said they all brought too much food already). Iím a little sorry I couldnít go on the big city adventure spree with my friends! But I have made fun alternate plans. Saturday, I will go to Zumba in the a.m., and then participate in the Jinglebell Walk/Run fundraiser for Arthritis (Iíll do the 5K walk). In the evening, I will finally join the old time music group and play my guitar. And on Sunday, we will do an easy Nordic ski. (Iím doing all these events with another friend). So as long as I can stay flexible and make alternate plans Ė Iíll keep enjoying the weekend!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BROOKLYN_BORN 12/7/2014 1:51PM

    I remember well the uncertainty of winter travel in the north. Here in VA usually it will all melt if we wait a few hours.

Your alternate plan was a good one.

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SWEETNEEY 12/7/2014 9:36AM

    Plan B sounds pretty good. You should not miss a beat (no pun intended)

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MARITIMER3 12/6/2014 9:22PM

    Sorry your plans were changed, but glad you got home safely, and found lots of alternative activities.

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MADAMES 12/6/2014 4:59PM

    Good for you for staying so positive and finding alternate activities that are fun!

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DR1939 12/6/2014 10:43AM

    Wow! You recovered from that disappointment very quickly. Enjoy your weekend. We're going to Minneapolis to see the Nutcracker with our daughter, s-i-l, grandson, and granddaughter-in-law.

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ANNEMARGAR 12/6/2014 7:30AM

    I am so impressed that you were able to make so many alternate plans so quickly! Sorry to hear that your schedule changed and you could not be away for the weekend, but it does sound like you have a great weekend ahead of you!!

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CLAIREINPARIS 12/6/2014 1:42AM

    Oh la la, it got scary!!! I was getting worried you would be stuck on the road, I am so glad you were able to go back on time. Enjoy your wonderful new plans for the weekend! emoticon

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  I'm sorry that your weekend plans got derailed. But I'm so proud of you in making alternate plans! In fact your alternate plans sound just as busy and fun. (I would have ended up staying home and doing the laundry. . . )

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ZRIE014 12/6/2014 12:16AM

  have a nice day

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