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How to Retire on a Buget

Posted by Val Enders on April 26, 2012 at 11:00 AM

How to Retire on a Budget For Those Golden Years…

 After reviewing our retirement options, we decided to make a few changes in our plan for the future. Like most other people, we don’t have a company pension plan, so instead of that multimillion dollar dream home on a warm tropical island, we will be forced to settle for our modest bungalow in the frozen North. So far, this is the game plan that we hope will get us through those golden years, and we’ll try some cost cutting ideas we’ve recently cooked up.

 1. We plan to shower and do laundry only once a month. That should lower the water bill, but sadly in order to avoid the smell, it may drive up the usage of deodorant. A large tube of A5-35 may be required (or more garlic), as I frequently notice that these are popular items for masking natural B.O. We’ll also have only two changes of clothes, a clean one, and the dirty one. No more trying to be stylish. What a time saver and cash cow here.

 2. We’ll attend every civic and public event for the free eats, no matter what time of day. Sundays. we’ll “drop” in on the relatives around 6:00 p.m.

3. Letting our hair grow will save on haircuts, or maybe I’ll be bald by then due to lack of estrogen. Either way, it’s money in the bank here.

4. According to the rumor mill, there’s money to be made in the bottle picking business, but pickers are very territorial. We’ll have to watch our back so we don’t end up with a wooden shampoo. (Baseball bat on the head).

5. Instead of “meatless” Monday’s, it will be “meatless” Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and soup bone Sunday.

6. Hubby said he would give up shaving to save money on blades, so in all fairness, I said I wouldn’t shave my beard either. (Mine was one of the perks of menopause.)

7. Since we won’t be purchasing from the liquor store, and will have more time, we plan to get on our bicycles (saving gas) and with our ice cream pails tied onto our belts, head out into the wild blue yonder to pick berries. We have our own wine making stuff already, so brewing our own booze should be a cake walk. Last time we did that, our chokecherry wine exploded (we stored it next to the stove), but after years of research, we now know better.

 8. TV will be a thing of the past, and so will the bill, since there is nothing but crap on there anyway. Besides, we have taped every episode of the “Rifleman” and “Gunsmoke” and will be able to watch those for the rest of our natural lives, (at least it will seem like the rest of our natural lives) on DVD. We’ll play cards every evening with a card deck that we plan on making ourselves out of old cereal boxes. By then I’ll need them that big because the peepers are getting worse, and it’ll give me a chance to do creative artwork. We’ll be getting up with the sun, and going to bed with the chickens to save power. (Now I know why we older people are up at 5:00 a.m., and are in bed at 8:00 p.m. Smart bunch.)

We used to worry about how we were going to make it come retirement time, but you know, since we made this plan, we’re eagerly awaiting the time when we can be ourselves. Just think, no more dressing up to go to parties, no more pantyhose, no more buying things we won’t need, and our new Mantra will be “WE CAN’T AFFORD IT”.

Sleeping in when we feel like it, and curling up with a good book on rainy days sounds like heaven. Staying indoors in the winter when the snow is blowing and piling up outside is one of our dream vacations. That’ll be us waving out the window as everyone else fights the icy roads to work. We just can’t wait. We’re headed for a great retirement….. Now, let’s just hope that nothing goes wrong!

"Let's Do Lunch" ......Not!

Posted by Val Enders on March 15, 2012 at 10:55 AM


                                         Let’s Do Lunch ...

Not! Last weekend hubby and I went for lunch, so off we toodled to a restaurant we had previously been to that we knew had good food and fast service. Upon arriving we requested a booth, but the Hostess ushered us to a small table along the main aisle.

I’m not sure what it is about the way we appear, maybe we look like we are right off the farm, or like we have low expectations but usually we get seated next to a kitchen door, the washrooms, or across from the family with screaming and crying toddlers. This time we were eye level with rear ends waiting in line for a table and had a great view of butt cracks and panty lines.

Our hostess gave us our menus, asked what we would like to drink, and then our waitress came to take our order. “Would you like a few more minutes to decide?” she asked. “Yes, thank you” I replied, and off she went.

What are you doing? Hubby said. You know we’ll never see her again now. You should have ordered something.”

 Sure enough, the minutes ticked by and no waitress. Five, ten, fifteen... “Where the heck is she?” I asked.

 “Probably hiding or gone for lunch.” Hubby answered. Finally a waitress returned to take our order and we settled in. The minutes passed and we waited ...... and waited. I checked my watch; another twenty minutes had gone by and I noticed that the people who had come in after us were being served. Our server must have gone to Brazil to get our coffee from Juan Valdez. Where could she be? I spied her at the other end of the restaurant chatting and laughing with someone she obviously knew, and I stared at her back sending the “we’re over here” thought waves out with a vengeance. The minute I blinked she headed to the kitchen. Apparently we had once again become the invisible customers. Now I knew what ghosts felt like, not being able to catch the attention of the living, trying to communicate, but invisible and silent to the real world. Bummer.

I politely asked the hostess to check on our order. In a few minutes our server appeared to let us know that “our food was the next order up and did we know that it was a busy time?” I could see that, and “did she know that it was busy because it was lunch? That was why we were there.” Usually I am a very patient person, but by now my empty stomach was touching my spine. I couldn’t leave since I had too much time invested in this, and it had become a matter of principle by now.

 “I think I see our order coming”, Hubby finally announced. “You’re kidding.” Are you sure?” I countered. Our grub was placed in front of us looking as good as the menu picture, and we dug in like a couple of castaways who haven’t had a decent meal in months.

 “Are your eggs hot?” I mentioned to hubby. “Mine are barely warm.

” “Eat them anyway” he said, “We can’t afford to send them back and run the risk of waiting again. Anyway you know that they’ll just nuke them, spit on them and send them right back out.” “Oh geez, can you be more graphic?”... “They don’t do that, it’s just an urban myth”. I reply. Nevertheless after hearing that, I decided not to risk it and spent the next few minutes trying to get the visual out of my head.

The meal was half eaten when we were approached by a young man carrying a tray of food. “How was your meal”? He inquired.

“Very good”. Hubby answered. “Well that’s terrific”, replied the waiter... “Because that wasn’t your order”. “This is what you ordered!” He set down our lunch and quickly left.

Hubby and I looked at each other.

Somewhere in this restaurant, there was another couple waiting for the dinner we had just eaten. I felt their pain.

 Maybe next time we’ll just eat at home.

If You Could Read My Mind...

Posted by Val Enders on March 7, 2012 at 3:30 PM


I’ve often thought that it’s a good thing that we can’t read each others minds. If we could I’m sure I’d be labeled “certifiable”, “crazy” or “a danger to myself and society. “I was attending a meeting the other night and all my mind was interested in was yakking to itself. Sometimes I feel that I am just a third party observer between these nitwits who are supposed to be in charge my body.

Left Brain: “I wish we’d stayed home.” I hate election meetings.”

Right Brain: “Oh for pity sake, just pay attention to what’s going on and don’t get us into any trouble.

 Stomach: (making loud gurgling noises): “That chili you wolfed down at supper isn’t exactly sitting right down here. I’m getting warning signals from you know who, so you better be ready to do the quick step outta here!”

 Right Brain: “Just don’t panic and tell the colon to hang in there for the next hour or so.”

Stomach: “All right, but you’re gambling again. I’ll tell it to keep the trouser coughs down but I can’t promise anything. Can’t guarantee that they won’t stink either.

Left Brain: “Did we remember to turn off the curling iron?”

 Right Brain: (panic) “Let me think ....yes we did, no we didn’t ... I can’t remember!”

Left Brain: “Too late now, the fire department has probably already got the fire out so we may as well relax.”

The meeting gets going but the rampant nonsensical conversation goes on in the grey matter. Me, I just sit there like I’m in my right mind when clearly I have no control over what’s going on up there.

Left Brain: “Remember... don’t volunteer for any more positions or committees. We can’t take on any more.”

Right Brain: “For once I agree. If we stick together on this we’ll be ok.”

Thoughts are whirling around my head like a front load washing machine..... Snippets from songs, my to do lists, agendas, all the way down to what‘s in the fridge. Nothing productive is living in the noggin’ tonight. I’m starting to feel like Sybil from the movies.

Right Brain: “Hold it! What’s going on?” Something’s happening!”

Left Brain: “I thought we were together on this... whose controlling the hand?”

 I snap out of the mental chaos that is going on and finally come to my senses. My hand is waving in the air like one of those car lot helium balloons. Oh geez, what have I done! All eyes are on me and a smattering of applause starts up.

 “Looks like we have a volunteer!” Says the President.

(Groan.) You know, I just can’t leave me alone for a minute these days.


Posted by Val Enders on February 29, 2012 at 11:40 PM

Happy Birthday to Me!

This Friday is my sixty-second birthday. I’m not at the point that I am ready to brag about my age either. Hubby wanted to know if I’d like to have a party, and we all know how much trouble that is. It’s not the fact that I don’t want to listen to others’ pensions schemes and ailments, or how wonderful their last vacation was, it’s just that at my age I am content to spend a quiet evening with my better half.

;)When we were kids we had lots of games that we used to play at parties. They were always lots of fun and we always ended those parties with a little goody bag of candies and cheap toys.

Well now that I am getting older, the games have definitely changed. Instead of playing “Simon Says”, the hubby and I enjoy our own version called “Wifey Speak Up”. This game is a particular favorite. It consists of my repeating myself relentlessly until I forget what it was that I wanted to ask him, or until I just give up waiting for an answer.                        

Our rendition of “Spin the Bottle” aptly renamed “Spin the Hot Water Bottle” or “Turn on the Heating Pad” is another game that we enjoy so much that it is played on a daily basis in the winter. My feet freeze over the end of September and that is usually when this game begins and it doesn’t stop until the following June.

We still play Musical Chairs, but now it’s Musical Recliners and the winner is the person who can stay in the chair the longest without getting up to pee. Once you leave the chair, it is immediately forfeited just like the original game, and the only difference is that it is played not to music, but through TV commercials and shows.

We used to love “Eye Spy”, but now we play a lot of “Where the %@l% did I Put That!” We go around looking for things that we have put down two seconds previously and now can’t seem to find. Especially things like my glasses. That is what makes this game a toughie. Without your glasses on, it’s darn hard to find your glasses! This game is usually played in conjunction with the “Memory Game”, also known as “I Forget”.

Another game we like to play alot is “Button, Button Loosen the Button!” This one is played just after dinner and we never miss a day without at least a few hours of this one. Sometimes, if I am particularly grumpy we play a round or two of “Hag Your It”, but I don’t really cotton to this game at all. Hubby on the other hand seems to get a real kick out of it.

 Although our choice of games has pretty much stayed the same, the game play has definitely changed to meet our aging needs. That’s what makes these games classics. And for my birthday I am going to play my very favorite game of all time. “Hide and Go Soak.”         Happy Birthday to me!!!

Grocery Shopping .. Game Show Or Gong Show

Posted by Val Enders on February 8, 2012 at 9:30 AM



What Could Possibly Go Wrong? by Val Enders | Grocery Shopping – Gong Show Or Game Show? Posted on February 7, 2012 I hate grocery shopping! Driving into the parking lot, I see other shoppers circling their wagons looking for a spot as the “parking lot rodeo” goes full force. My accelerator’s going up and down like a bride’s nightie as I look for a space, and finally, spying an opening, I burn a u-ee, stomping on that gas pedal like I’m killing ants. Darn! It’s one of those Handicap slots! Just once I’d like to see a spot for people who didn’t have small children, people who could walk just fine and weren’t preggers. I eventually score a spot, pull my clunker in, and then notice that I’m so far from the building that I may as well have parked at home! I suck it up and head for the store, already feeling like a loser in the game show of life. I can almost hear the words…. ”Come on Down” in my head.

Inside the store I get my shopping cart from “Wheel of Misfortune!” It’s the buggy with the rogue wheel, and that wheel was spinning around like the Tilt-a-Whirl at a County Fair. This cart’s a loose cannon. It veered to the right, was difficult to control and suddenly ran into something that brought that wagon to a screeching halt. I look down… Good Gravy. It’s just a piece of lint! Wow, that piece of lint’s more powerful than a spike belt! I check my list. What the? My writing’s so bad that I can’t even read it, so I ditch it and head through the aisles. Passing the bakery (aka “Temptation Island”on through the meat department (aka “The Price Is Wrong” and over toward the deli, (aka “Hell’s Kitchen”, I advance to the qualifying round of my imaginary game show.

My cart’s packed, I’m going to cash out, and I’m wondering if I can win the checkout lottery and end up the “Survivor”. Cashier number one looks as handy as a crack in a glass eye, so I’m torn between cashier contestants from the “Apprentice” and “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader? Instead I decide to go with number four, “Twenty Questions”, hoping that she’s run out of them so I can get out in time for lunch. Things are looking good, but wait! Two victims from the front… disaster! Someone’s asking for a price check! Noooooooooooooo! I should have picked door number three. The next thing I know, it’s my turn in the elimination round, and my bill’s racking up like food’s going to be declared illegal tomorrow. Would I like to marry a millionaire? Hell yes! Sign me up, since this is going to cost a bundle. I nervously watch the total, and when it appears, I feel like I’ve been tasered in the naughty bits.

 “Excuse me, would you like some bags?” Did I just hear that? I look at the counter full of groceries. Bags? Of course I want bags! If I didn’t need bags, I’d put all this under my coat, walk out, and hope that someone’s home when I make that ‘one’ phone call. I don’t need groceries, I need a nap! I pay up, and then I’m out of there faster than a Somalian chicken. I’m finally ready to head home, so what could possibly go wrong? Now… where did I park that car???

My Ultrasound

Posted by Val Enders on February 4, 2012 at 1:50 PM

What Could Possibly Go Wrong? by Val Enders | Rethinking My Stand On Adult Diapers And “Giggle Pads” Posted on January 24, 2012

Recently, I had to go for a gall bladder/pelvic ultrasound. As usual, I just had to share my experience with the girls. So here it is…

Hi Girls Today was my appointment for the gall bladder/pelvic ultrasound my Dr. ordered. There are some pre-test instructions that are given the night before, and God forbid you should get a good night’s rest before one of these torture sessions. My instructions were as follows: Drink as much water as you can, don’t eat anything after 8 p.m., don’t pee after 12 p.m., and come to your test with a full bladder. Sound familiar?


I arrived for my appointment, announced who was, and was handed a form to fill out. Since I don’t believe anyone reads them anyway, I had some fun with the questions: 1. Reason for appointment: The coffee shop was closed. 2. Sex: Hardly ever. 3. Family Doctor: No, we are all ditch diggers. 4. Are you pregnant? No we found out what was causing that and stopped immediately (Note: see question #2 above.)


 I felt my bladder starting to complain, but finally they call me and I am led to the little curtained cubicle, ordered to strip it all off, slip on the gown, and have a seat. That booth was so small I had an urge to make a phone call. Soon I am ushered into the Ultrasound room. “Mrs. Enders?” “Yes”? “Please lie down.” He, (yes, I said he, where are the women?) explained the procedure. Every second that passed by brought me closer to rethinking my stand on adult diapers and “giggle pads”. He slathered that cold, gooey, sticky ointment on my abdomen and the minute he got started we were plunged into total darkness. The power went out!

There I was, spread eagled, legs splayed like the Thanksgiving turkey, with nowhere to hide. My bladder reiterated the message that soon it was going to be all over, literally! “Just go sit in the waiting room until we find out the problem”, I was told. Were they kidding! I was wearing a paper gown with blue paper slippers, and the draft coming from behind was like a solar wind, except not so warm.

I got dressed again and went out to the waiting room doing the slow shuffle so nothing leaked out. The receptionist informed me there was, and I quote, “Nothing to worry about, the power should be on in about an hour.” Whattttttttt! Was she out of her ever-lovin’ mind?? I’d never last! I decided to take a risk and hold on, hoping all the while that I wouldn’t gamble and lose. Half hour later the power was back on but my bladder was threating to detonate, and the exam was in limbo as the computer had shut down and we’d have to reboot. Speaking of “booting”, I contemplated where I would like to put mine except I didn’t dare lift my leg.

Repairs done, we resumed again and shortly phase one of the test was complete and I was allowed to hit the can and make my deposit. Relief at last! Ahhhhhhhhhhh. In a more relaxed state of mind, I returned to the exam room and climbed back up on the table. “Are you allergic to latex?” I was asked. “Not to my knowledge”, I replied. “Why?” From behind his back, the tech brought out a jumbo, king sized instrument that looked like a four foot telephone pole with a condom on the end! Ladies, without getting graphic here, we all know where that was going. I thought to myself, Val, these people know what they’re doing, and besides what could possibly go wrong? ‘Nuff said.

 Love, Val

January Zumba

Posted by Val Enders on February 4, 2012 at 1:45 PM

What Could Possibly Go Wrong? by Val Enders | Zippity Da Zumba Day Posted on January 17, 2012 by The Northern Star

Recently, my daughter Cindy registered me for a class in “Zumba” (an exercise done to latin music) as a Christmas gift. Apparently, I don’t get enough excercise to suit her. My girlfriends all wanted me to email them after my class to let them know how it went, so here it is.


 Hi Girls, I know you’re all waiting to hear how my 9:00 am “Zumba” class went this morning. It was certainly an eye opener. I got to the gym, and when you first go in, you have to get to the fitness room through the gym, where all the dedicated early morning workout people have been at it for at least (by the looks of it) one or two hours. Some pretty “buff” people in there. I already felt intimidated.


I hurried to the fitness room, checked to see if there were any other old ladies in there, and was relieved to see some white hair in the front row. One lady looked like she’s done this before, with her matching black workout gear. And, although she looked a lot older than me, that broad was as thin as a rake, but really healthy looking! I scanned the room to see who else was there… great… no one I knew. My public humiliation will be limited to these twenty people.

 I started out by doing the first ten minutes of exercise to really nice music, while thinking, “This is really ok, I’m kind of enjoying this.” My heart rate was beginning to get up there, and I hoped I could hang in until the end. Then I found out it was only the warm up!!!!! Yikes! I’d started to sweat already. Good thing I used extra deodorant today. My daughter Cindy joins me just before the real action gets going. By this time I’m parched, and my throat aches from gasping for air. What’s this? She’s going right into the “Zumba” part, with no move instructions? Unheard of! Insane! All we get is, “Just follow along ladies. I’ll use hand signals for move directions” (she shows us her hand signals while turning up the music)… back, forward, side … you get the idea.


It ramped up and I started to really fling this bag of bones around. Fourteen songs ….everything from marengue, salsa, latin, belly dance, jive and other stuff that was obviously ‘south of the border’ music. It went on and on and on … NO BREAKS!!!!!! Continuous marching, arm waving, shuffling, turning, jumping, hand clapping and shouting…. No wait! The shouting was me yelling OW! Meanwhile, I’m thinking “Someone pull the plug on that boom box… and I sure hope someone knows how to use the defib machine!” (Don’t think I didn’t ask first, cause I did! No lie)

My brain’s constantly talking to the old bod… Here’s some of it’s great helpful ideas: “Hang in there! You can do this….” “That lady up front in the first row must be on acid!!!” “Don’t do those jumps and hand claps, or your gonna pee a little!” “Just make up a move dummy, no one will know you’re not doing it right!” “You’re the only one here going the wrong direction, stupid!” “Ok…. now just “pretend” you’re moving…”

 I fake a “thirst” trip and go for the water bottle. Rest a second, (I can’t let those older ladies put me to shame) and get right back on the horse, as they say. My legs are turning to rubber. Incoming message from brain to legs…. Alert Alert!!!…. get those things moving, or we’re going down like a wounded water buffalo! Pull up, pull up! Emergency! Mind over matter. Finally, the tempo slows down a tad, and I manage to stay up. Even though I’m wobbling, I consider it a victory. By now, I’m promising God anything and everything, if he’ll just put an end to this inhumanity. I look at my watch, tap it a little … good grief… it’s either broken, or we’re only a half hour into this!!! … Oh dear God… it’s not broken!


I look at the others in front of me. It’s like a room full of bumper cars. No one’s going in the right direction, and no one’s on beat. The girl in front of me turns around and gives me the “eye roll”, as if to say “save me”. I shake my head and hope my legs won’t give out. Meanwhile , Allison the instructor, is grinding her hips and telling us to move it … move it! I’m thinking I’ll need a hip replacement just like Elaine. Believe me, a sixty two year old lady grinding her hips, and suggestively moving them around, looks a lot different than a twenty six year old does. I oughta know, because I’ve seen myself in the mirror, and looking at that twenty six year old, there’s something that’s just wrong about these kinds of moves for us older gals. She looks sexy, and I look like I’m holding in a major crap!! Wahhhhhhhhh. Sixty two on the outside, eighteen on the inside. Life is so unfair.


 On we go. My muscles are cramping, and I feel a major Charlie horse ready to make my morning worth every penny I paid for this torture. Wait a minute… did I hear her say we are winding down? Suddenly we’re into an Egyptian dance, legs bent, arms and hands at 90 degrees, head doing the chicken move…you know what one I mean. My thighs are burning, my brain is screaming, “Save yourself! Run away now!”

The music slows, and we moved into what I thought were cool down yoga moves. I hang my head, reach for the toes and relax. I look up and see nothing but bums. Soooooooooo funny! I hope I don’t crack up laughing, but most of all, I’m hoping the woman in front of me doesn’t let one go! We straighten up, Allison gives a big “Woo Hoo!”, and the class was over.

I made it. I’m still alive!!! Everyone beats it out of there like someone yelled fire. Cindy and I were the last ones out… only because I couldn’t get the rest of me to move any faster. I was out of steam. Let me just say this ladies, it’s a major workout and I’m going back next week. But I’m telling you, if I don’t feel fantastic after six weeks, there’s a problem Houston! Linda, you’d probably “Ace” this workout. The rest of you probably could too, although I’d watch the hip moves, Elaine. Me, I have to work on it. I’m out of shape. Next time I’ll go for Yoga…. Val

So Now Everyone must have a blog!!

Posted by Val Enders on November 3, 2011 at 3:10 PM

Hmmmm.... Never done a blog before and frankly I don`t know who would be interested in what I do, but maybe when I am older and greyer it will serve to remind me what I did, am doing or whatever... You never know when you will need a memory boost.

That is evident at cards on Tuesday. Every Tuesday I play cards with a group of lady friends and to be honest  with you , this is the best entertainment  I know of. What a hoot!

There is nothing like gettiing together with women to catch up on world events ( as seen from their perspective) and all the latest health and fashion news... Mind you this kind of info is not given out in a dry and boring way!  NO NO NO

The laughs are fast and furious( a nosh of food and wine as well) and the talk goes on. And on.. and on... and on..

For this blog I guess I`ll keep you informed on some on the happenings . It could be fun. Keeping a blog is probably worse than doing a journal and I am no good at that either. Geez I feel like ``Julia & Julia`` only without the other Julia! 



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