Baby-boomers have the answer to putting a new door on your house?

How many of you feel comfortable putting a new door in your house?  I don't.  That's way beyond the limits of my do-it-yourself capabilities.  Hiring a professional carpenter would cut into the old pension check.  So, what do you do?  We hired a retired baby-boomer with the necessary skills.  It's a real win-win.


Win 1

We went to Home Depot at my friend's direction where we picked out a new backdoor along with a storm door.  A new lockset was added.  With the aid of my trusty smartphone camera, I took pictures of what I wanted, showed it to my friend and he picked them up.  Using the skills he gained from installing many doors at his home and others, he has started the process.  He says, it should take four hours.


Win 2

As our seasons change, we will have a new door along with a storm door that allows us to switch from screens to windows easily.  It's a great upgrade to our house.  


Win 3

Where do you go for your home repair work?  Do it yourself?  Hire contractors?  Do you have retired friends with the skills needed to do it well and but who don't need to charge the big bucks of a contractor?

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Drinking my morning coffee at a shop in central Paris


Drinking my morning coffee in central Paris after flying in from West Africa.


While cleaning out my digital files, I found this picture taken several years ago of me having coffee at a shop by the Arch of Triumph on the Champs-Elysees if my memory is correct.  I had just flown all night and was trying to enjoy some peace and quiet while watching the web.

Looking at recent news maps,  it appears to be close to the recent fracas in Paris involving the satirical magazine.

I vividly remember all the traffic and the attitude of the French who we met.  They must have seen themselves as tall people.  It seemed like they were looking down on us because we were Americans.

Are we the only ones who live so far from their grandchildren?

My wife and I have three young grandchildren.  Two live in another country and one lives a few states away.  We hear plenty of stories from friends about how they see their grandkids several times a week. We can get a little envious and start to wonder if we are the only ones who live so far away.  

Let it be known that we have frequent FaceTime visits with our children and their kids and we have visited each in person.  

This infographic from shows that most grandparents live some appreciaable distance from their grandchildren.  It's just a fact of life.  What are the options?  As retirees, we are looking at moving near our kids in the states.  That raises a whole host of other issues that we are working through.  

Please include attribution to with this graphic.American Grandparents and the Challenges of Distance


Split, Croatia airport
In this photo, we were saying goodbye to our daughter and family just before we get on a plane in Croatia.

They must think that I need to start planning my funeral?


Funeral director direct mail solicitation.
I'm on this funeral director's mailing list.

If you're an older baby-boomer has the nature of your junk mail changed?  It has for me.  A few years ago, I started getting mail from hearing aid dealers, regular offers from AARP and various retirement homes.

Today, I got a shout-up in the mail from a local funeral home trying to get my business when I pass over to the next life.  They want me to be ready.  The mail included a sales letter along with their contact information.

As a 67-year-old old baby-boomer, do I see the need to have a funeral director and funeral arrangements in my life?  No.  I'm in reasonably good health and I have items left to do on my "to-do" list.  However, I realize that life's direction can turn on a dime and I need to be aware.  

That junk mail today from one of the local undertakers, did that.  It made me more aware.

The world is getting to know Friendship House MSU in East Lansing


Group shot at Ask The Experts at the Friendship House MSU
This is a group shot that I took yesterday after a class where a local pharmacist explained how American medicines are dispensed.

Go ahead and ask me about what's been pushing my buttons lately in a positive way?  I'd have to mention Friendship House MSU in East Lansing where I've been a volunteer for more than a year.

It's a place where about two decades ago a bunch of forward-thinking Lutherans saw the need for a place where Michigan State University Internationals could sharpen their English skills through a variety of learning experiences including classes.  They shared their ministry vision and bought a house across the street from campus.

Today, it's a place of learning and refuge for International students and their families from around the world.  

It's staffed by volunteers who are doing it as "love reflectors."  They are just reflecting the love they have received from Jesus Christ.  They are passing it on.  It's just that simple.

I'm really happy that a friend, Rich Bearup, the executive director, asked me to help build their social media presence right after he took the job.  I could say that the place is a real point of light.  It more of a blast of light in a world that far too often is dark.

The world this morning from my living room couch

I'm sitting on the couch in our living room right now looking east for any signs of the sun.  And I've been thinking about retiring this blog.

I started "Daily Grit" in October 2004 as an experiment.  I wanted to wrap my head around the writing style for blogs and around their utility for communicating in all types of positions.  I've learned a lot.

Since then I've written more than 1,700 posts about everything.  Much has centered around my life at that time and about my inexorable move as a member of the first class of baby-boomers towards being a senior citizen.

This morning I went back to the posts I wrote during my first blog year from October 2004 through the next twelve months.  What have I learned as a 63-year-old male?  To help me sort through those lessons, I will continue this blog for a while longer. 

What age are you?  What have you learned?  What have you not figured out yet?  What answers are you finding?

I'll be back.

We've switched from drapes in our living room to Levalor vertical blinds

This is not earth-shaking, but we dumped our drapes in our living room for Levalor's vertical blinds.

Somehow we got in the crosshairs of our traverse rod holding our drapes.  We couldn't restring it and we couldn't get a new one to operate the way it should.  The drapes just didn't hang right.  So, we decided to change.

When we took our coupon to the local J.C. Pennys, we had a very helpful clerk and we had lots of choices.  For less than $300 we had custom vertical blinds.

Installation of the brackets was patience-producing and the valance still seems to be a challenge, but we'll get it.

Here's a photo record of our last steps in getting them installed:

Dumping drapes for vertical blinds in our living room

My "Wes Thorp Video Two Minutes"--Check it out

I'm trying to live intentionally as taught and described by Dr. Randy Carlson.  At times, I've felt like a deer stuck in the headlights of a car.  I'm a member of the first class of baby-boomers who were born in 1946.  That means I'm a senior citizen in training.

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Can I use this blog to help me wend my way through the transitions of becoming a senior citizen?


I've had this blog for a little more than three years.  And during that time I have tried to refine my purpose for it and have tried to identify my potential audience.

If I don't do this, then I'm afraid that this blog will wander out into the ozone of the blogosphere with2146112015_e403515462_m little noise and even less effect.  It's time for me to do it again.

I have firmly entered some heavy-duty transitions in my life and I want to make sure that I know where I want to go and what I want to do.

Then I want to make firm moves to get it done.  It's far too easy to let time slide by without anything to show for it. 


Here goes on my re-purposed thoughts on this blog:

  • First, my most important audience is me.  Yeah, I'm writing it for myself.  Why, you ask?
I'm sixty-one years old and I know the clock is ticking and that the number of ticks I have left are getting fewer and fewer.  More than ever before I want to make time count. 

This means knowing my priorities and devoting my attention to them. In the past, I've been very cause driven.   I've wanted to do my part to make this world a better place to live.

During much of my life I felt that I could best do that through being a newspaper reporter and then through politics.  That experience left me feeling less than satisfied that I was moving towards my goal.

  • This blog is a place where I can throw down ideas and see how they sound.  It might be a full-fledged treatment of what I'm thinking or it might be bits and pieces.  Firming up my beliefs is important to me.  With the Daily Grit, I can write them down on virtual paper and then refine them. 
Sometimes it might sound stupid, questionable, searching, curious.  But, it will be my thought process at work.
  • Second audience for this blog will be others who are searching for the purpose and for their place in the world.  Perhaps, there can be a synergy of encouragement and ideas that can be useful to others.
  • Third audience would be those interested in what I'm reading, what I'm hearing and what I've experienced.  I read a ton of varied fare online and I'd like to share it through links and comments.  I'm particularly interested in my home state of Michigan and how it deals with its serious problems. 
As a member of the first class of baby boomers, I've had a wide-variety of experience.  It's time to start sharing some of that for anybody who might be interested and who might gain from it.

I will continue this effort from time to time to refine my purpose for this blog.  My hope is that it will be valuable for me and for the audiences that I mentioned.

Reviewed again on Jan. 6,2008

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My retirement refirement: Learning Intentional Living from Family Life Communications

Yesterday, I posted about being a sixty-year-old retired baby-boomer and my recognition that it's time to move into the refirement stage.  I don't have this all figured out yet, but I do have some directions.

I know that I have to start moving forward with INTENT.  My wife and I have been monthly financial supporters of Dr. Randy Carlson and his radio program Parent Talk which has transitioned into Intentional Living. 

On the surface, it seems like his intentional life principles are incredibly relevant for people my age.

I will be reading and listening.  I'm happy to see that he has an Intentional Living website.  I will report back.

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