Why? Because I have 72 + years of experience.

I was not born yesterday. I have developed a fine-tuned sense of suspicion. I am much less likely to be sold a “bill of goods” than I was even 10 years ago. I also know enough to get confirmation in writing whenever I agree to anything. If I make a mistake, after deciding as wisely as I could, I don’t blame the other party. If I can’t undo it, I live with it and learn from it.

I do not use the same password for every Internet site on which I am registered.

I do not believe there is any chance I have won a sweepstakes, lottery, or contest that I have not entered. And I do not believe that there is anything that is “free.” Nor should there be.

When cancelling a service, I have the confidence to say NO, unequivocally, spoken slowly and spelled-out, if necessary, to any other deal that would keep me tied to that service provider, keep me paying them for anything–especially for something I am unlikely to use–and complicate my relationship with a new service provider.

I have a healthy respect for myself, and while validation from others is pleasant, my own evaluation of my conduct, work, ability, and appearance is my standard. And I have learned that a smile irons out wrinkles better than any cream or treatment.

I have learned that honesty in all my dealings and relationships is easier than trying to deceive anyone for any reason, but I also know that it’s not necessary or desirable to reveal everything. I know how to apologize and how to forgive, sincerely, including myself. But I don’t forget the lesson.

I’ve been married and raised a family, but now I enjoy my own company, and prefer to live alone. However, I sometimes talk out loud to myself, just to keep my voice working. And I CAN be nice to people when I am with them.

Finally, at 72, I may not always like myself, but I wouldn’t want to be anyone else.

Kaye at 72



 By the way, I have my Internet back, courtesy of a new DSL modem! There must be a lesson in this experience, but only time will tell me what it is. I think I am unlikely to draw the correct conclusion right now, even though it may be most obvious one. Meanwhile, I am enjoying being able to work in my little “office”, using my own huge, ergonometric keyboard with the hump in the middle and its special shortcut keys! It’s one luxury that makes typing a pleasure for someone my age. And it’s the one thing I miss most when having to work at someone else’s computer (besides my Trac-ball mouse, that is!)



My Chevy Malibu LS is 7 years old.  Every year I get letters from the GM dealer telling me that my car is in demand as a used/pre-owned vehicle, and I am offered a pretty good trade-in deal. But I don’t want to sell my Malibu.

My Malibu
My First New Car

It is the first (and probably only) brand new car I have ever purchased on my own, and I researched it thoroughly before I decided on it. For the first 3 years, I drove it in my work as a Home Health therapist, and put almost 70,000 miles on it.  But since I retired, I have driven it only where I needed to go–about 3,000 miles a YEAR. I fill the gas tank once every 4-6 weeks, and it gets an oil change once a year, whether it needs it or not. And the tires I bought last year, the 3rd new set, may last as long as I do.
When you keep a car that long, because it runs well and you feel comfortable and safe driving it, you get to know it pretty well. You don’t mind that for several years you’ve had to jiggle the stick shift a bit in “Park” so that the key can removed easily in the 12-o’clock position. You do mind explaining it to anyone who drives it, inspects it, or works on it, because sometimes they forget or don’t think it’s important. And why is it important? Because it may not turn off completely, and the battery will discharge.

I’ve had the AC/heating panel replaced twice, and the AC connecting hoses replaced once. The AC still does not blast cold air in my face on max setting, but I have finally learned how to work with it to get the best from it. (I almost have to talk to it!)

Today I was waiting in a local shop for my state inspection to be done–and yes, I told them about the gearshift. The store was loaded with the newest electronic equipment for sale, and a man who was also waiting started telling me that he had an old truck that still ran well, but the radio was so old that it still had knobs instead of buttons, and it had a cassette deck instead of a CD player.

“It’s a good radio, but I have to fiddle with the tuning knob to make it work. I don’t want to sell my truck, but I can’t find anybody who can fix a radio. They only want to sell me a new one.”

“You need to find an old guy who remembers how to fix that kind of radio, ” I said. ” I don’t think these new ones can be repaired–just replaced.”
Sure enough, the clerk told the man that they did not do any radio repair work, but he thought there was a [certain] place in the next town that might do it.

Well, the registration and inspection stickers are current for another year now. I have the mandatory new license plates for a 7-year-old car affixed. And my driver’s license is still good until 2015. So I can legally drive until my car is 8 years old next year.

Fortunately for us older folks, they still fix people–but I don’t know for how much longer.

A Renaissance Weekend

Kaye in costume
The Wizard's Arrival

On Friday of Halloween weekend ’09, five of us piled into a van and drove for about 8 hours (counting frequent rest stops) from the southern  border area of Texas to the town of Tom Ball, where we had motel rooms reserved. It would be another 30-minute drive to Plantersville, outside the Houston metro area, where the Texas Renaissance Festival has been located for the past 35 years. The idea was to get there early the next morning for Opening Ceremonies–and to get a parking place within a half-mile of the entrance!

My daughter and our friends had decided to treat me, as a late birthday present, to the King’s Feast, a 2-hour 6-course meal with live entertainment upon the stage in the castle. I had brought my costume–a wizard’s robe and pointed hat over  what passed for a peasant dress and short black boots. Everyone else chickened out and did not bring their Renaissance garb, but they thought I looked good in mine, and I was happy to finally have a chance to wear it.

I had brought along my walking buddy, a 4-wheel walker with a seat. I had been training for several weeks for this weekend by walking with the 4WW for a mile in my neighborhood every day that I could. And on Halloween Saturday, my training paid off. Although I must have looked a bit odd pushing this modern device, I was able to walk for 2 or 3 miles without getting a backache or becoming short of breath, as I would have done without it.

Walking Buddy

It is not possible to see everything on the 42-acre Texas Renaissance Festival grounds in one day, and I did not try. I took a few pictures of the building fronts and the people, both of festival performers and vendors, and of  the strolling attendees, most of whom were in costume–some of which were both intricate and elaborate in their authenticity. I did enjoy the King’s Feast, served by very pleasant wenches, with plenty of good food and an abundance of ale. We banged our forks on the edges of the pewter plates to show our appreciation for the gypsy and belly dancers, and the one young ballet master whose leaps and pirouettes could not be tamed to the minuet style.

Kaye in circlet
The Crone in a Circlet

Later at a leather shoppe, I bought a circlet to wear around my head, and I put away the pointed hat for the rest of the day.

The day ended with a fireworks show, and we were already making plans to come again next year. Stiff and bone-tired, I made it to the van, which actually was at least a half-mile from the entrance, I swear!

Lords and LadiesRenFest Strollers
ResFest Strollers
Market Strollers
Looking forward to attending again in 2010!

Rainwater Coffee

OK, I will admit it: I am a coffee snob! But not in the way you might think. I don’t necessarily have to have my coffee beans freshly ground–although that’s nice–and I don’t have enough knowledge or money to argue about the best process for brewing it. I use an automatic drip machine at home and I buy my coffee off the shelf in the grocery store. I am a snob about two things: it must be Colombian coffee, and it must taste good without cream, sugar, or any other adulteration.

Falling Rain
Falling Rain

We had rain this week, the kind where the rain pours off the roof for days, and you want to catch it in whatever container you have and use it for something. Your grass and plants grow better after one good rain than after weeks of watering with city water. It makes your hair shine if you shampoo with it. And it makes the best coffee you ever drank!! After it had rained enough to wash the roof clean (2 or 3 days straight), I caught a pitcherful and poured it into my coffee maker. The water boils before it reaches the coffee, and the filter takes care of any small particles that might be in the sparkling clear water, so in my opinion, it is as safe as what comes from my faucet, which I have to run  though a filter to remove the minerals and chemicals before I can make good coffee with it. And it’s free!

My Coffee Maker
My Coffee Maker

Several factors go into making a good cup of coffee: the right roast, grind, amount per cup, freshness, water temperature, and…the right water. Sometimes you do everything right and it still does not come out perfect. But today it did!

I drank my fill, and poured the rest into a thermos bottle for later. How, I wondered, could anyone think of spoiling such a perfect brew with milk–frothy or otherwise,–cream, sugar, or artificial flavors?

AHHHHHH! Have I teased anyone into trying Rainwater Coffee next time this pure water falls from the heavens? 😉

P.S.-You can boil the water and let it cool first if you think there might still be unfriendly life forms in the rain water.




"Freshly Brewed for You"
"Freshly Brewed for You"