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A1. VICTORY GARDEN BY ANOTHER NAME!
Millions of Americans are doing it. At first it sounds somewhat subversive, but then once you start thinking about it you realize it is how America was born and raised!
Were talking about the backyard farming movement that is sweeping parts of the nation. Some call it slow food. Others call it food not lawns. Our grandparents called it Victory Gardens.
Americans are planting their backyards, side yards, and front gardens with vegetables. Vegetables and fruit trees are providing nutritious food in amounts larger than the grower can eat themselves--and so sharing and cooperatives have sprung up between neighbors.
Seed swaps and educational seminars online and in person at community gardens and parks help new growers with tips and learning. Experienced gardeners learn new methods and the latest information on plant varieties. Everyone eats better. The exercise is great, fun, and sociable.
These gardens can be as simple as a few strawberry pots with squash and herbs growing in them on a balcony. They can be as complex as a mini farm. Its all up to you and the resources, land, and available sunlight that you have at hand. If you have no place to grow, many urban areas have municipal lots for community gardens. Check your areas public recreation or parks department for information on these.
Some people involved in backyard gardening (as we called it in the 70s when our back yard was the grocery store) identify other reasons and additional benefits to our society through this activity: educating children, meditative and stress reducing qualities of gardening activities, learning about and mitigating concerns about water use and industrial farming effects on the environment. Regardless of your reason, gardening and growing fresh fruits and vegetables is a rewarding, and tasty way to re-make your yard, stay active, know your neighbors, and remain healthier.
Here are some links to get you started in your search for your own back
Get your copy of Square Foot Gardening here: http://www.seniorresource.com/SRBaz.htm#books
A2. ACTING LIKE FAMILY by Barbara Krueger
How many stories have we heard about parents selling their home of many years to move to smaller quarters just so the kids can't move back in? And tales of sons-in-law complaining about the live-in meddling mother-in-law?
In the face of the economic woes which have touched us all, we need to revisit where we stand on these issues. Retirees depending upon investments to supplement social security and/or pensions have been decimated.
Seniors without investments, living on fixed incomes have been hit by rising inflation and lack of availability of part time work. Those only a few years away from retirement have lost jobs and have no prospects for landing another, and are fearful of uninsured medical costs. Adult children are hard hit with job losses, uninsured medical costs, rising inflation, and foreclosures.
Sounds like time for families to act like families, care about each other, and pool resources. Good communication between generations can make all the difference between devastation and survival. How much help do adult children need to meet their financial obligations? Can a grandparent pitching in as babysitter help ease the burden? Can moving grandma in help by pooling two generations' assets and talents? Can grandparents make room in their home for children and grandchildren who have lost theirs?
None of this can happen without open communication. It only works if theres a clear understanding of the boundaries of the moving-in situation or the limits of financial assistance and the terms of mutual responsibility. A serious pow-wow is needed to start the process of identifying what help is needed on either side, how best it can be provided and what the arrangement does and does NOT include.
If your family has had good communication, the process of how best to
help each other through difficult times will be smoother. If divorce,
yours, mine and grudges has characterized your relationship, be prepared
for the process to mutual help to be rocky. But it can still succeed if
both sides see it as a mutual benefit, and as a chance to act like family.
Find topic related books at: http://www.seniorresource.com/SRBaz.htm#books
B. DID YOU KNOW...?
1. Procrastination - One of the Leading Retirement Mistakes
Most young adults are more worried about student loans and daily expenses. They fail to provide for retirement. Such failure during these early years is a huge mistake.
Investing in a 401(k) allows earnings to grow tax-deferred. With the power of compounding, contributions made earlier have a longer time to grow and multiply. Assuming a 7% annual rate of return, a 25-year-old who contributes $5,000 to a 401(k) each year will end up with around $1 million by age 65. But if he starts putting that same amount in a 401(k) at age 45, he'll only have some-$200,000. So take a solid look at your employer's 401(k) or an IRA of your own and start to make the investments needed for a comfortable retirement.
Additional retirement financial information may be found at: http://www.seniorresource.com/finance.htm
2. Saving Money on Repairs
Additional home improvement information may be found at: http://www.seniorresource.com/ageinpl.htm
C. THOUGHTS FOR THE MONTH
We present here some words from those with a birthday this month.
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D. SPECIAL SURFING SITES
1. What Should I Read Next? (WSIRN)
Find senior-related books at our Senior Bazaar
2. Computer Disposal
3 is a candidate hard drive cleaner: get it at
E. OH MY AGING FUNNY BONE
Actual Call Center Conversations!
Questions on Retirement!!
Question: How many days in a week?
Question: When is a retiree's bedtime?
Question: How many retirees does it take to change a light bulb?
"Oh My Aging Funny Bone" is at: http://www.seniorresource.com/jokes.htm
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SPONSOR AN ISSUE
This issue has been edited by Betsy Day (Betsyjday@aol.com).
Aging in Place