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The Week in Retrospect

November 7th, 2008 at 07:30 pm

What a week it's been, especially on the historical front. The election is finally over, and the promise of change for a better America lingers. My wish for President Obama is that he will have the wisdom and the support necessary to lead our nation with distinction in the coming years. Obama's been called a transformational leader, and as such he has the power to make fundamental changes for the better. No one can argue he has inherited a clean up job of unprecedented proportion.

The stock market is back on its erratic track and most of us do not even want to check our accounts... it's too ugly. But life goes on, and the economy will recover, although not likely any time soon. To better monitor my 403b, IRA, and 457 retirement accounts, this week I set up a new spreadsheet that I'm very happy with. It projects growth based on guaranteed values until age 70 1/2, when I have to begin RMD. My 457 Plan administrator came to my house yesterday and we discussed the terms of the account. It's keyed to the S&P and guarantees a whopping 1.95% on 90% of the balance. This is better than the 0% I thought I was getting. We will make some changes in January after the annual interest is posted.

The week has been mostly very quiet and relaxing... I feel as if I'm on vacation. On Monday afternoon, I taught my seminar which I conduct every other Monday. It focuses on topics relevant to the student teachers I supervise and who are required to attend. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday (and possibly today) were NSDs and NDDs that I thoroughly enjoyed. One of the delights of being retired is having the freedom to enjoy leisurely days without a set agenda.

The weather has been getting colder and the leaves on most of the deciduous trees in the neighborhood have turned beautiful shades of gold and orange. I've been able to go on daily walks that have been good for my health and just plain fun. So far, DH and I have not turned on the heat but it's cold enough that we need to bundle up with sweaters in the morning. It has gotten as cold as 49 degrees at night, but our home is well-insulated and cozy. Our goal is to hold off turning on the heat until Thanksgiving.

I've had a chance to catch up on some projects I put on the back burner this summer. I pulled out my sewing machine and finished several "dish towel" aprons that I will use as hostess gifts over the holidays. These are easy to make and very inexpensive: Pre-wash two new dishtowels and iron. One is placed horizontally, the other vertically with a fold about 12 inches from the top that serves as a pocket. Stitch together and finish with twill tape. These can be made in about 30 minutes. The cost for one apron:
Dishtowels $2.49
Twill Tape $1.19
D-rings $ .39
Total $4.07 + tax

I also made several other aprons as "just because" gifts for my DDs, DS, and some DFs. These require a pattern and 1 5/8 yard of fabric, but are still easy to make and inexpensive at around $7-$12, depending on the fabric. Needless to say, I buy fabric only when it's on sale. Fabrics are chosen based on the interests of the recipients. For example, DD1 is an equestrian, so she gets a pattern with horses. DD2 is a wildlife biologist who works with fish populations, so she will get a fish pattern. The best part is that these projects are fun to make and are always appreciated by those who receive them.

And finally, a few weeks ago I signed up as a volunteer translator for

Text is Kiva and Link is
Kiva (Spanish to English). Yesterday they sent me their "translating test" which I completed in about 40 minutes (they said it should take about an hour). It was an easy piece and is supposed to be representative of future assignments. This will be a terrific way to volunteer without leaving the house. I also sent Kiva another $25 to invest in a Peruvian retail coop.

1 Responses to “The Week in Retrospect”

  1. Koppur Says:

    I love the aprons!

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