The economy is messing with retirement

I remember my mom telling me the economy was messing up her retirement, she was going to run out of money and she may have to work, but said she didn’t have time to work.

This was before she found out she had terminal cancer. After her favorite line was there is no way they are getting out of paying me Social Security, she paid in too long to let it go to waste. She better make it to 62. unfortunately she was 61 1/2 when she died but as a tribute to my very frugal mom I suggested that my step dad get my moms SS because it was bigger then when he is full retirement age start his and he should get the full amount getting some benefit out of moms. Not sure if that is the way it works but I hope so.

Just thinking of mom today


Seconds Please

Personally the thought of getting something for free or next to nothing is exciting. Mom used to call it making money, as opposed to just trading it which is what generally happens. People go to work and trade work performed for a pile of paper or an electronic message sent to a computer that remembers everyone’s messages and allows one to trade little electronic pieces of their message for things like food. There are many who even trade that food for something like karma. In many ways everything is second hand.

Mom was by no definition poor. She lived in a giant house that the family back home said looked like an apartment building, she drove a nice car and was lucky enough to retire when she was 50 and move to the ideal location for her dream home, the Ozarks, halfway between her two daughters one living in Illinois and one in Texas. She loved to share how she accomplished this goal without having any special job or jackpot of funds at any time.

Almost everything mom wore was either homemade or came from a thrift store, except her socks and underwear, for obvious reasons. She never went out to eat unless someone took her saying that she could cook better anyway using vegetables from her own garden. The house was furnished with items she had accumulated throughout her adulthood and put time and love into repairing, recovering, and refinishing. Things found in second hand stores, garage sales or even lying at the curb on trash day not caring, when someone said “that’s gross” she replied that this furniture was real made out of wood not glue and sawdust.

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She pinched pennies, used coupons saved everything she could, and knew the power of compound interest. When she did retire and move to the mountains she had an estate auction to avoid having to drag that mansion of stuff and all that trash that had accumulated for all those years with her. It had somehow become carefully restored antiques worth piles of money, that she made, started as trash that she traded nothing for. Being the foot in the ashtray girl, you know the one that was told to get her fingers out, but stuck her leg up there and put her toes in it because mom never said anything about toes, reminded her that she traded her time for it, she quickly responded that her time had no value to anyone but her so in the same way it was making time.
She was smart and witty, knew what she wanted and how to get it, not counting on anyone to give it to her.

Living without her for almost 6 years now has been one of the hardest phases to deal with, but sharing her stories keeps her alive and reminds us of the power of one person.

What will this story look like 100 years from now? The term for what she did is Freegan. How will it evolve?

36 hours home

Many have asked so here it is.

The trip that had started less than 60 hours earlier ended at 11 pm Monday night.

Dianne was my mom who died of brain cancer just 2 months later. I miss her so much

me and mom. Before I lost 180 pounds yes that is me.

me and mom.
Before I lost 180 pounds yes that is me.

Keep tradition alive

I don’t really mind most hand me downs, In fact I go out and purposely search for them. I love clothes shopping at thrift stores just as my mom did. I have a whole wardrobe of brand name clothes, many never worn or even that still have the tags on them. I love putting on a $100 sweater that I get to cut the tag off that only cost me $2. Sometimes my friends will say yuck how can you wear something that someone else has worn? And I politely tell them that unless they make all of their clothes from scratch, they don’t know that it has never been worn either. In fact they don’t know what has been done to it, especially since the person that might wear it with the tag on and bring it back to the store after is probably not any worse that the kind soul that bought it didn’t like it then donated it to a good cause. So no matter what anyone has to say about it, I love shopping for hand me downs at thrift stores.

My favorite hand-me-down is a tradition passed from my great grandmother, to my grandmother, to my mother, to me, and to my daughter, who I hope will keep the tradition alive. It is our names. My great grandmother was names Theresia, my grandmother was Rosalie Theresia, My mother was named Dianne Rose, My name is Kimberly Dianne and my Daughters name is Katelyn Kimberly. I hope that one day if she has a daughter she will pass on the tradition to her oldest daughter. My mother and grandmother both died of cancer, I hope that is a tradition we don’t share..