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Movin' on with Nellie: Retirement equals less consumerism and more perks

Posted: Friday, Jun 21st, 2013

One thing about being retired is that I have dropped off the face of consumer consumption.

Instead of buying cases of Diet-Coke, I am making sun-tea aided by the recent hot flashes across the Valley. This is a good thing because recent studies have shown that Aspartame, the non-calorie sweetener, compounds various health conditions including memory loss and by some ONLINE accounts turns to formaldehyde in the body.

I am using less petrol because being retired cuts gasoline costs since driving to work every day is no longer required. This is also a good thing since automobiles are listed at the top with the most polluting factories regarding Earthís ozone catastrophe and global climate change.

With my wardrobe now reduced to ethnic clothing and tired jeans, I donít have to buy new skirts, tops, slacks, blouses, jackets or suits to look poised in a classroom. This change again is good because I am no longer supporting the big box storesí use of Bangladesh sweatshops in deplorable circumstances.

My purchase power has limited purchases of new flowers from the North River Road Greenhouse to scatter around the property; and this change too is good since I will use less H2O to feed the plants and give more opportunity for the drought resistant perennials like Columbines to spread. Of course, a not so good thing is that weeds are conquering my rock covered ďdrive way.Ē I have some help from a young but strong fourth-going-into-fifth-grader named Elijah on the weekends. (Would anyone out there come pull weeds and re-locate my fences for me, too? For free?)

The cost of grocery shopping has risen steadily and being retired helps me squelch buying those Newmanís Own cookies. This limitation is a good thing because Iím fitting into my old worn-out Gloria Vanderbiltís a bit better. And when I have a savory TV dinner from Lean Cuisine, Iím inclined to savor aromas and tastes. I havenít quite mastered eating more slowly, though.

Not only are groceries and gasoline more expensive, but also Internet services and telephones have quadrupled in price from just a few years ago. I was able to shut off my phone and Internet services and install high-speed Internet from Crestone Telecom at more than a 50 per cent savings. That reduction allowed me to keep my cell.

Being retired, I now refuse eye makeup, foundation, and blush. So at City Market I concentrate on fresh fruit and vegetables instead. I am using sunscreen SPF 30 or 50 regularly though. This ritual I do every time I leave the front door to pull weeds, drive to Walgreens or check the post office. A recent episode of skin cancer drove this habit.

I am reading more newspapers online now including the Valley Courier. The online editions are delivered right to your inbox.

In my search for more news coverage of the multiple fires in Colorado, I disconnected my satellite television because promises were not kept and higher bills were the result. However, in its place, I have discovered the instant access to live ONLINE streaming from 9News and 7News and other outputs including KRZA and KRCC, not to mention NPR. I feel like my whole awareness of the world has quadrupled since retiring.

Finally, being retired has beckoned a backyard of musical guests, that is, wild birds that serenade my cockatiel. With my savings, Iíve managed to buy wild birdseed for my fine feathered friends and increase my photography of these angels in the wind.

Being retired has its perks.

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