Jul 052024
That Fateful Morning

On July 5th, 2023, at approximately 9:30 in the morning, I dutifully hopped (HAH) up into my seat in Levi (our very large Nissan Armada lovingly nicknamed Leviathan) like I was going to the supermarket. Except I wasn’t. At the age of 70 years, 8 months and 9 days I was leaving everything I’d known for decades to start a new life. I was nervous. That’s a fib. I was downright petrified. I managed to hide it from the others in the car, did some industrial strength edibles (legal where we came from and where we were headed) and sat back for the longest ride I’ve taken in eons.

The ride should have taken 5ish hours according to Google’s wisdom. Google apparently doesn’t consider bumper-to-bumper traffic and dizzying mountain roads. It took 9 hours. . . in a car with three adults, one hyper, autistic 5-year-old, an almost hundred-pound dog, and as much crap as we could cram in every nook and crannie. Not something I want to repeat any time soon.

But at approximately 6:30 pm, we pulled up in front of the house we rented sight unseen from a distance of five states away. It looked just like the pics. And just to show what a great neighbor I was going to be, I fell going UP the front steps and passed out not once but twice, proving to the neighbors that I was capable of providing quality entertainment. A UPS guy going down the street, jammed on his brakes, left his truck in the middle of the street and ran over to help. Neighbors came running. My daughter panicked and called the paramedics. They were super nice. After making sure I was just a clumsy old lady and not brain damaged (debatable), they wished us well and left.

That Night and Morning

I didn’t sleep much that first night. We were on a very nice inflatable mattress. . . that leaked. Every hour or two one of us had to turn the handle to pump it up. I don’t think I would have slept well in any case. I kept rehashing the past year or two in my mind, the hunt for finding a new place to live before we were out on the street where we were due to the high prices of everything. I knew we didn’t have much time left. The money was running out. Then this house appeared in one of our desired locations. Then it was gone. They told us it was rented. Then I saw it again. Called and was told their renter backed out at the last second. Got everything moving and. . . we had a new place to live within a VERY short time. Everything went so fast my head spun. We e-signed the lease on June 17th and on July 5th here we were.

Waking up that first morning was strange. I didn’t know where I was for a split second and then it was like, “Oh yeah.” The first thing I noticed was that the air smelled really good. I heard the neighbor on one side leave for work. Good morning things. We only had with us what we could cram into Levi but you can bet the coffee pot was in there. Ahhhhh yesssss. . . .

Keep Going

A day or two later, my husband made the long trek back to pick up what I thought was a very large U-Haul trailer that we had packed before that fateful morning. Except it didn’t fit. . . not all of it. He ended up making four trips back. Every trip back costs me approximately $200 in gas plus the cost of whatever trailer we had on the car. We were trying to save money by NOT using a moving company. It ended up costing more, not to mention the wear and tear on certain old folks. NOTE TO SELF: Just hire the damn movers next time. Plus, moving is not a good sport for a 73-year-old man, not in good shape, who shouldered most of the moving burden. We were blessed with good friends who drove four hours to help us unload two of the trailers. Grateful.


Today is a year since that fateful day. This place is an actual city, but a VERY friendly one. We were used to the back woods. Lots and lots of resources here. We’ve established ourselves gradually here. The people are phenomenal. They are friendly beyond belief, NOT something I was used to. So. . . is it home yet? Not really, but it’s getting there.

Starting over at 70. It CAN be done. You might do it kicking and screaming, like I did. If you need to go, though, step out. It’ll be okay.

Jul 022024

I’m sure I’m not telling you anything new when I say we live in an expensive economy these days. If you have lots of $$$$, by all means buy what you want and what makes you feel good. If you’re retired or on any other type of fixed income, though, shopping can give you the DTs. Trust me. I know. Sadly, there is no longer money for some of the expensive items I love. Thank God I never bought too many, but there are a few. Now I’m learning to give the rest of them up by learning to live out of the Dollar Store.

I wish I could tell you this was my idea. Well, saving money was my idea, but then I found a lady on You Tube, Vivian Tenorio, who does this channel called Vivian Tries. And that’s exactly what she does. She tries out the dupes from the el cheapo stores, mostly Dollar Tree. Yeah, I know it’s the Buck-and-a-Quarter Tree now, but. . . . still much cheaper than most of the places I used to shop. So I watch her. And then I watch her again. She’s also on Facebook under her name.

Now this is all well and good except for the fact that Vivian is a pretty YOUNG lady. Her needs are not the same as my 72-year-old wrinkled needs. But I DO use her as a jumping off point to see what’s new at Dollar Tree and what I might be able to use. I should point out here that I also have very sensitive skin along with the dry, so. . . not everything works for me.

Surprisingly, I’ve been able to use many of the products she reviews. I was just as surprised as you are. I thought it would all go straight into the trash. Tossing a $1.25 product is much easier than tossing a $40 product. Dare I say Estee Lauder? Hmmm. . . .but things don’t always work for me due to weirdo allergies and the aforementioned sensitive skin. Once I find a product that works, I usually stick with it. As they say. . . That Was Then, This is Now.

So if you’re looking to save some money, ride along with me on this new journey. Mainly, I will be reviewing personal care items, but Dollar Tree and other discount stores carry a variety of useful products. In particular, Dollar Tree has a line of recently-introduced goods called “Personal Care.” And let me tell you, they’re not too shabby.

Join me in the shower on my next post. WAIT!!!! That didn’t sound too good. 😂🤣🤣😂 But I will be starting with shower products. And if you want to check Vivian out prior to subscribing to her channel, click below. You won’t regret it.

The adventure awaits!!!!