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If you want to follow this blog all you need to do is click on the “Follow” button and an e-mail will be sent to you each time I update the Blog.

Remember I have four blogs and you need to click on each of the “Follow” buttons for each blog otherwise you will not know when something new is posted. The blogs that I publish are: This was my first Blog it has lots and lots of stuff! This is new it is just photos of flowers I took photos of This is a blog about our trip to Italy with my Uncle This is about our trip to Seattle and Canada

Remember! All you need to do is just click on the photo to enlarge!

Hello Marti how is Hawaii.

Hello Marti how is Hawaii.

It's John

It’s John

Italy 2012 – New Blog


I am starting my trip to Italy this Saturday.  Marti and I will be departing the San Francisco Airport (SFO) heading for a brief layover at the Chicago Airport (ORD) before arriving at the Rome Airport (F).  After clearing Italian customs we will head to the Avis Rental Car lot and pick up our rental car.  Now with my rental car and hopefully our entire packed luggage, we will drive to the Airport Hilton Hotel for a restful one night stay.  It is at this Hilton Hotel where we are scheduled to meet with my Uncle Charles and Ginger.

On the next day our drive from the Rome Airport to southern Italy begins.  We will be visiting small villages, cities and points of interest along the way.  I am planning to post photos on my new Blog that was created just for this trip.  I hope you will visit my new blog and see the photos that will be posted as close to the time they were taken as possible.  The blog can be viewed at:

I have named this blog, Italy Land of my Grandparents by John and Marti. It will be here that I plan to explain about why this trip is so special for me.  You will learn how I was able to walk the same earth that all four of my Grandparents walked during their early years.  I am planning to visit the city of Terravecchia.  It is from that city that I understand all of my Grandparents emigrated from when they choose to depart Italy.  Terravecchia, is located in the country of Italy, Region of Calabria, Province of Cosenza.  Terravecchia is a small city with just 413 families, resulting in a total population of 856 people of which 423 are male and 433 are female.

I hope to visit two main places in Terravecchia the church, and the grave yard.  The church according to the internet is named, St. Peter of Vincoli, and it is the only Catholic Church in the city.  I hope to find a grave yard and plan to look for headstones with the names of my relatives.  This family chart may help you to see the purpose of this trip.

Family chart.

My Grandpa Sam and Grandma Jessie (the F Family)

Both of my mother’s parents came from Terravecchia

Had seven Children




Charles – My Uncle who will accompany me on this journey.

James – married Grace; My Uncle Jim and Aunt Grace

Rose – married Frank; My father and mother


My Grandpa John and Grandma Mary (the G Family)

Both of my father’s parents came from Terravecchia

Had three Children

Frank – married Rose; My father and mother

Grace – married Jim; My Uncle Jim and Aunt Grace


My Uncle Jim and Aunt Grace (an F family)

Had four Children

Anna Jean




My dad Frank and my mom Rose (a G family)

Had four Children


John       This is Me!  (the Italian Prince)



Stay tuned at the new web site for photos and more information as I gather the data…….

I Washed a Sweater


I then met Marti and after some time spent getting to know each other we moved in together.  I was retired and she is still working.  I try to help out by cooking dinner, picking up items from various stores, maintaining the home in as neat as possible condition, and doing our laundry.  I not only do the laundry I also fold and put the newly laundered items where they belong.  Things were great, I was feeling like I was contributing and Marti was happy just working on her job.

One day Marti saw a sweater on-line that she just had to purchase.  When it arrived she was so happy.  The very next day she wore it to work.  She just loved her new sweater.  It went with a few of Marti’s outfits, it was soft, and just warm enough for our winter time.  Then one day I saw it in the laundry area.  I sorted it into the cold water load because it had a white base color with multiple colors in the design of the sweater.  With confidence it was placed into the washer.  I heard the washer signal that the load was done and unloaded the washer.  To keep colors from fading faster I hang most cold water items to dry.  Sweaters are always either laid out or hung to dry.  Marti’s new sweater felt just a little moist so I choose to hang it up as I did not think it would stretch.

Something was different but I just was not sure what was different so I completed the wash.  When Marti returned home from work she saw her sweater and quickly took it down.  “What happened to my new sweater” she said.    With pride I said that I had washed it.  She then held it up to her chest.  I now knew what was wrong.  The sweater had shrunk many sizes smaller.  In fact, it was no longer an adult sweater, nor was it a sweater for young ladies, it may fit a small toddler but that was all.  I was crushed what was I to do?  I had shrunk Marti’s new perfect sweater.  I am NOT the Great Washer Man any longer.  I am just the man who shrunk her new sweater.

My Wash Day Story


I have been asked to switch from writing about my trips out of the country to items of interest about me and items of a more timely nature.  So based on these requests I am trying different items.  Please let me know if this is something you like.  Send me a comment, or click the like button.


Some time ago I began to do laundry.  It was not very difficult or so I thought.  In time, I learned to understand the purpose for various soaps, additives and the importance of hot, cold and warm water.  Each time I did laundry I learned just a little more about cleaning fabrics.  I discovered that it was easy to sort laundry so similar items could be cleaned and then dried.  I learned the tricks to made fabric soft and fresh so it felt better than new when it touched your skin.

The biggest secret was the art of folding items of clothing once they exited the dryer. I learned to fold clothes just the way we find them in stores.  I watched the sales staffs fold the merchandise for as long as I dared.  Then I would practice at home trying to do the same with my items of clothing.  When I purchased something new I would take my time to unfold the items and then try and fold it back into the same.  I soon became someone who could fold just about anything that needed to be washed.

With the ability of being able to do laundry and the skill of an expert folder, wash days were not a drag for me.  This ability aided me in my travels because I could pack less and folded items stored much more neatly in my suitcase.  I was the Great Washer Man!

(Tomorrow will be the final part of this story)

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year


I have been busy these last few days. We had our Christmas Eve party and everyone but Steve arrived. It was a lot of fun and the food was very good. Tommorow we are going to the wine country! I will be away for a few more days so just wait until next year. I am planning something just a little different for 2012. I hope you like it.

bye for 2011 – John

Final Planning for retirement and how it started

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Moving forward with my plan required me to identify the things that really make me happy. So then I created another list. This list took much more time than I though. It was not very difficult to identify items for my list, but just how important the items were changed based on the day. It soon became apparent that the things that made me most happy made the people around me happy.

I could babysit young children just for the joy in their parent’s eyes. I could cook for one, two or much more just to hear the laughter and pleasure as they tried the dishes I prepared. I could go on a vacation and enjoy the look in my partners’ eyes as she saw things new and for the first time. I could take individuals to sites or exhibits and see them wonder in amazement. I had time to share with family and friends. I had time to give back and aid my community. Wow, was I happy in my retirement life.

Year One!

Well my first year of retirement life went like this. I purchased a new car, with the plan that it would be my last. I put 22000 miles on it in year one. If I keep this up I will need another car before I am 69 years old. I do not care. I have visited my sisters, my brother, my children, my grandchildren, and my great granddaughter. I went to my daughter’s birthday party in southern California (1200 miles). I spent special time with my oldest daughter and her children (780 miles). We went on a trip to see old friends and old places (660 miles). We spent weekends away from our home at some “Bed and Breakfast Inn” (980 miles). We went to the gold country in California and saw all of the old towns (540 miles). The trips just did not stop. Lucky for me gas reached more than $4.00 per gallon. $75.00 to fill the tank! Just like my grandfather I found myself saying “I remember when gas was $.39 (yes 39 cents) a gallon. Oh well I was having fun.

We planned two trips one to Italy and one to the northeastern United States including Canada. We also planned some smaller trips like a weekend in San Luis, San Francisco, Solvang, and Monterey. We were going to travel and enjoy each other before we were unable to travel. Our only limitation was the fact that my partner was still working and we could only schedule based on her accrued vacation time.

I was board during the day when she was at work so I took over some of the household tasks. I did laundry, I made dinner, I watered the plants, I fixed the bed, and I completed lots and lots of “honey dos”. I was a house husband! I found out just how much I loved to shop for food and how much I enjoyed cooking dinner. I discovered how much I did not like to clean dishes. Heck, I did not like washing pots, pans, silverware, the counter tops or the stove.

Well I had a plan. I was a house husband for most of the days going to the store, making dinner, and planning a take away lunch for Marti. Next I would become a daily shopper so that my food ingredients would always be fresh. In between these two items I would work on any “honey do’s” and write my little blog. I think my plan was good and my path was set. So my real retirement life started.

Finances for Retirement

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Next I needed to stop thinking about my finances and other assets. I had to select someone or some company to manage my holdings. I went about this task as if I were selecting someone to work directly for me. I created a job description and included a list of required work experience. I then went on the search for a financial consultant. I soon learned that there are a lot of people who think they are a financial consultant but in fact they are just sales people.

I cannot say just how often I heard the same type of sales pitch. The only difference in the sales pitches were how good the Company they represented could handle my holdings. Oh lucky me. Just think, if I selected one of these sales people I would pay them a percent of my total holdings and they would follow their Companies guide. Not much thinking and my holdings are held in funds managed or approved by one Company. The Company’s purpose is to increase profit and shareholders’ value; their purpose is not to improve my holdings.
After screening multiple consultants and meeting with more than one dozen, I finally selected someone who met my job description. This person was qualified to manage my holdings. He met all of my job requirements and he was someone I felt I could trust. This person was a degreed individual (in finance) with a CPA. He had years of experience, a successful business, holdings of his own, and past success of his own. He had selected the financial intuitions’ my holdings would be invested with, along with his own holdings. He understood my goals and purpose for the holdings. Another item completed from my list.

With the selection of this person some of my other items became completed with his help and evaluation. He performed an evaluation of my holdings and was able to determine that they should outlast me. He based this on the probability that I would not live past 110. That evaluation solved my item number three concern and that was to determine if I had the resources needed for my remaining years.

Together we then developed my one year finance budget based on my current wants and desires. This budget allowed me two major vacations each year plus two minor vacations. In addition, I could maintain my homes and when going out to eat, enjoy my meal at something other than a fast food burger bar. Heck, I could even enjoy some wine and it did not need to come in a box.

Well I plan to share this information with my children and extended family and I will, just not today.

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