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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Good morning.
As we head out of Grand Junction this morning, I won't have access to WiFi until we get internet at the house. My android phone and blogger don't seem to get along. So my postings will only be on Facebook. If you can't wait until I return, e-mail me at and I'll friend you on Facebook.  :-)

Friday, August 26, 2016

Day 3

Good afternoon.
It's been a good couple of days. Had a nice room Thursday night in Ogalalla at a Holiday Inn Express.   Today, we made it to Grand junction Colorado. Here's a few pics I took along the way...
Going through the Rockies..
And Glen Canyon...
A good drive with out much construction or any delays.
Tomorrow, Day 4, we should make it to Vegas.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

day one done

Good morning.
We made the first day to Newton Iowa. About 30 miles east of Des Moines. Stayed at a nice best Western. Got a very nice room with my Platinum upgrade. Was an exhausting day. Our 7 1/2 hour trip took just over 8 1/2 hours. Had nearly an hour of stop and go traffic on I-80 east of Joliet. Also several construction zones and heavy rain.
But, we made it safe. Ordered pizza as we were too tired to even go out. I slept nearly 9 hours last night. I think all the anxiety and stress of the last busy week caught up with me.
Today is just a hopefully 7 hr drive to Ogalalla, Ne. just outside of Colorado. Weather is looking good for this segment, and we should both be fresher from the rest. I'm letting Craig sleep in a little after getting him up early most of the last week.
Heard from the guy who's buying Craig's Honda. He's booked a flight for Labor Day. Asked for a copy of the title so he can get insurance on it before he comes out. We'll do that next Monday after we get to Vegas. We should arrive in Vegas Saturday afternoon. Sunday the Hyundai arrives, and then between Monday and Wed. the relo cube arrives. We'll need to get that unloaded. Then the next Monday, the Honda gets picked up. And during all this, we need to get cable and internet. So we'll be busy once we arrive.
So time to get going....

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

the time is now

Good morning.
After a hectic few days, we're ready to hit the road.
The car got picked up on Monday...
The relo cube got delivered and packed Monday....
I didn't think all our 'stuff' was going to fit in this little 'box', but it did with room to spare.  :-)
And picked up on Tuesday afternoon. They will take it back to the main ABF terminal, and put it in a semi heading out west. It should arrive in Vegas in about 6-8 business days. I got a tracking number so I'll be able to go online and monitor it's travel.
We've spent the last 2 nights at a Residence Inn in a very nice 1 bedroom suite, Thanks to an employee discount of a  former customer that works the front desk.
This morning, we'll hit the road on our 4 day trip to Vegas. Our first stop is scheduled for Newton Iowa. Each day is expected to be about 7-7 1/2 hours on the road. A little less than the 10 hour days we did back when we bought the house. But of course, we did that trip in 3 days. That should get us to Vegas Saturday afternoon. Our car is scheduled to arrive on Sunday.
So.....after nearly 3 years of planning, plotting and waiting, The biggest change in my entire life has begun. Retirement, and a cross country move.
I'll try and keep you posted of our progress.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Just about ready

Good morning.
So glad we had a week off after work before the big move! Been packing and getting rid of stuff all week!
Here's what the living room looks like right now in our apt.....

It's been a challenge getting everything packed, but still trying to 'live' here.
But we're in pretty good shape. The relocube is being delivered in the morning, andmovers coming in the afternoon. So we have today and tomorrow morning to finish it up. And we also have a lunch date and dinner date today to fit in. So I'm getting Craig up early today to get things going. We've got someone coming over Monday afternoon for the mattress and Pango chairs and the TV. And one of our apt neighbors is taking Craig's desk. So we have just about everything spoken for that we are not taking with us.
So I better get going!

Friday, August 19, 2016

retirement pics and moving update.

Good morning.
Here's a few more pics from our retirement party.....

Look close at this last pic. Can you see what Craig is doing?  That's just not like him! The beers must have kicked in by this pic.  :-)
We had a large crowd of people coming and going all afternoon. I guess people are going to miss us. Or they came because they're happy to see us go and free food.   :-)
Craig finished up the books for the business, and we drove them over to our accountant. He'll do the final tax return for the Salon. I also got a call from the transport company, and I've been matched with a driver. He's picking the car up Monday morning. Also, the U-pack is being delivered Monday morning and movers coming Monday afternoon.
And no more meals at the apartment as we have dinner plans the rest of our stay here with various friends.  We are going to try and walk every day to balance the extra calorie intake.  :-)
So our move continues to slowly come together. Even the last minute change to take the Hyundai seems to be working out.
And we also had a little luck. The apartment complex is having all the balcony railings replaced. We were on our balcony yesterday afternoon, when the lady from the office came up the walk. She was about to put notices on the doors informing the residents our building was to be done today. I mentioned that we were moving out on Monday, and the movers like to transport all the stuff over the railing instead of going up and down the stairs. The new railings will make that more difficult as they are at least a ft taller than the old ones.
She decided our building could wait until next week. ( there's 36 buildings in our complex and only about a third are done) Not because of helping our movers as much as  concern of scratching the new railing.
So with that, time to go.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

what day is it?

Good morning.
I forgot to post a pic of another retirement gift we got....
It's a day clock. I think this might come in handy. That's the biggest thing I hear about retirement is that every day is the same. If you don't have a regular daily routine like work or volunteering, every day just runs into the next. I think I'll hang it in the bedroom, so when I wake up, I can look and see what day it is.  :-)
I spent most of yesterday boxing up  a good part of the kitchen. We've planned meals for the rest of the time here, so I could pack what we don't need. 3 of the days, we're having dinner with different friends before we leave.
The stylist that wanted the large white pantry cabinet came and picked that up, and we also took a nice walk.
Called the transit company and got that started. We decided we didn't want the car to get there before the 28th. We're still not sure if we are leaving on the 23rd or 24th. Will depend on when ABF can pick up the U-Pack. Won't know that for sure until sometime tomorrow.
So I'm glad we had a week off before we leave. There's more to do than I thought.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

change of plans

Good afternoon.
Well, after trying to sell his nearly new Hyundai , we've decided to take it to Vegas. 
Because it's only 4 years old and only 9300 miles, he just isn't getting any offers.
Sooo, we decide to have it shipped out there. We'll keep the Hyundai, and sell the Honda. It just makes economic sense. Even though the Honda has low millage and is in excellent condition, it makes more sense to keep the Hyundai and sell the Honda. The Honda is 18 years old and who knows what problems might soon pop up. And the $850 to ship is better than what we'd have to lower the price to sell it at this point.
Anyway, I've spent the weekend, (wait, I don't have weekends any more. Every day is a weekend day.  :-)
packing more stuff as Craig finishes the business work. We take our books to our accountant on Friday.
So he can do our business returns next year.
And that's all I have for now...

Monday, August 15, 2016

retirement party

Good morning.
Well, we survived our last day at the Salon. Then cleaned out our station and storage cabinet. It still doesn't feel like I'll never go back even though I know I won't be.
 Here's just a few of the many cards we received over the last 2 weeks...
Then Sunday was our 'retirement' party.
It was held at Reno's West.
And this is a pic of us with the new owner of the Salon
They even got us a cake!
I didn't take any pics as I was soo busy talking to everyone who came. Other people took a lot of pics so I'm hoping they send me copies. There was a very good turnout for our party and Craig and I were just about the last to leave nearly an hour after the 'official' ending time.
So now we go about tying up loose ends and continue to pack and get rid of stuff. Have a whole week, so we should do okay.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

last day forever!

Good morning.
Crazy busy last week of work. Worked 10 hours Wed. and Thur.
A little easier today. AND...the last day of work!    :-)
Craig says...YEAH!!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

getting rid of more stuff

Good morning.
It was a beautiful weekend, and we got some good long walks in.  :-)
 I've started filling in the online change of address forms for the post office. We have 6 address changes i need to make. Craig wanted a change for the 2 of us from the old Grand River address, besides the 2 of us from our apartment. Then we also have 2 business names to change. Our LLP and our DBA.
We also closed another credit union account. This one was at Lafcu. I had that account just for PayPal. I used that account for online purchases that took PayPal so I didn't have to worry about our regular account getting compromised. I'll do that again once we get settled in Vegas.
I've also cleaned out the tall pantry cabinet we have in the kitchen.
It came in very handy for our tiny kitchen, but we won't need it in Vegas. Ont of the stylist at work is picking it up later this week. I also have a microwave and 2-6 drawer storage units to get rid of that sit next to it. The 2 drawer unit at the bottom is already gone. Any takers?
And now, time to get ready for work. I have to leave earlier since I'm walking now. It looks to be a crazy busy last week!

Monday, August 08, 2016

getting closer

Good morning.
 It was a busy end to the work week, and now just one more work week to go.
Got in 2 good long walks yesterday. One first thing in the morning. Walked to Quality Dairy store for the Sunday paper. That was about 1 mile round trip. later we both took a 2 mile walk. Beautiful day.
Patty, (the new owner) and her husband Tom came and picked up Craig's Hyundai.
We are now listing it for sale. Tom will park it in his front yard. He lives on a very busy street, so it'll get a lot of exposure. It's 4 years old and only has 9200 miles on it. I tell people it was only driven by a little old man back and forth to work. Craig doesn't find that amusing, but I sure do!   :-)
So for the last work week, with just one car, I'll walk to work each day. It takes just under 15 minutes from the apartment to the Salon. An easy walk. Hopefully we can get the car sold before we head to Nevada.
I also put some things on Craig's List to get rid of...

Some storage units and a dresser. Was lucky to get one person that took them all.
We are starting to pack up things we don't really need for the next couple of weeks, like coats, sweaters, long sleeve shirts and long pants. We'll start on the kitchen stuff next weekend.
I also went over to the Marriott Residence Inn and made a reservation for a room.
It's a one bedroom suite. Normally we wouldn't have stayed in such a nice place, but I have a customer that works the desk and offered his discount which makes the room a very good value. We need a room after the relocube is delivered, filled and waiting to be picked up. It comes on a Monday, and won't be picked up until Tuesday. We have to be here when they pick it up, and with the apartment empty, I need a nice bed to sleep in.  :-)
So we'll stay at the hotel Monday night, then go back to the apartment and do a final cleaning while waiting for the cube to be picked up.
Looks like today and tomorrow will also be nice so I should get.

Friday, August 05, 2016

another blast from the past.

Good morning.
It's been a busy week in the Salon, compounded by many long goodbyes. With just a week and a half left to work, customers are scrambling to get one last haircut in before we leave.
I got a little present yesterday. A folding picture frame with 2 pics inside.
The left side is 2 little girls I've cut since they were old enough to sit still. The pic was taken about 19 years ago. The right side is the same 2 girls but this pic was taken 2 weeks ago when they came in for their last haircut with me and wanted a selfie. They are now young ladies in college.  I actually cut the entire family, brother, mom and dad. The brother is an intern in a hospital in central Illinois and the girls are majoring in sports medicine and nursing. They've turned into fine young adults. They've friend-ed me on facebook so I'll be able to continue following their lives.
I can hardly believe I ever had that much hair!
I've also hugged more people these last 2 weeks than I ever had the previous 60 years.
So just 6 more days of goodbyes and hugs. Well, then probably more at the retirement party. Now time to get to work.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

why Vegas

Good afternoon.
I was asked why we choose Las Vegas as a retirement destination.
Well.....There were several factors that went into that decision.
First, and foremost was weather. We didn't want those long Michigan winters anymore. Now Ideally, southern California would be the first pick, but the cost of living there was prohibitive. Florida you might say would be a good second choice, but Florida has never been a favorite of ours. It's not a pretty state, it's very crowded and traffic is a nightmare. So you ask, is Nevada 'pretty'? Las Vegas is surrounded by mountains. Everywhere you look are mountains. And, within a few hours you can be skiing in the mountains, or swimming in the ocean. There's a lot fairly close to Vegas. But back to weather....
 While not ideal year around, The temps aren't nearly as hot as Arizona, nor as cold as the Midwest. It's a dry heat so not as miserable as anywhere in the south east. And there's a lot more sun!
We also wanted a city big enough to have a lot of variety and things to do.
 And Vegas fits that bill. There are just over 2 Million people in the valley. And it has all the amenities of any large metro area.
If you look at the map above, the famous strip is that orange dashed line. If you go due north of the strip to that bend in highway 215, our community is just north of that. We're 15 mile from the strip.
Another factor was cost of living. Vegas was hardest hit during the great recession. The home we bought nearly 2 years ago we got for $97,000 less that when it first sold back in 2006.  Currently, our floor plan is selling for nearly $40,000 more than we paid 2 years ago. A good investment I think.   :-)
We have the sheep mountains just to the north of our community.
Just off the highway is the Aliante Casino Hotel. Our community of just over 2000 homes is right behind it. The green you see is a golf course that weaves it's way through our community.
So there you have it. Our choice for Vegas is weather first, cost of living, city size, and sunshine.
And with that, my balcony calls. It's a beautiful day here in Michigan. Right now.   :-)

Monday, August 01, 2016

sad goodbye

Good morning.
It ended up being a fairly busy week in the Salon.
Sunday, we headed over to Muskegon to see my Mom one more time before we move. Will probably only get back to Michigan once every summer. Was hard to say goodbye to her when I left. She understands why I'm moving, but of course, not happy about it. I promised I'd e-mail and call more often. Cut her hair, and took her to her favorite restaurant, Red Lobster. She really likes the Stuffed Mushroom and Cheddar Biscuits. My brother Bruce and his son Ben joined us. Ben is really growing up fast. Then we headed over to the VFW for cocktails and pull-tabs. Had lousy luck as usual. Told my Mom that's why she doesn't have to worry about us gambling away our retirement because I hate losing, and that's what happens 99% of the time. So we just don't go very often.
Got back to Lansing safe and sound despite heavy traffic. But Craig is a pretty safe/sane driver. Not at all aggressive like me. I don't know why I am, but stupid, inconsiderate, people just really annoy me! I'm really trying to be more patient. It's not working too well.
Anyway, time to get on with the rest of our weekend. Weather's looking real nice.