How to Buy or Lease a Car During COVID-19

September 4, 2020
2020 Hyundai Kona
2020 Hyundai Kona

My lease on my Subaru Forrester ended in September and I needed to buy or lease a new car to replace it. I loved my Subaru but I wanted to lower my monthly payment by at least $100 and did not want to put any money down.

I did not want to go to dealers and spend hours in a small sales office even with a mask, so I started out doing research on Edmunds and other car review sites. I also called my current car leasing company to get a payoff quote so I could check Kelly Blue Book to see if I had any equity in my Subaru. This is an awesome thing to do because if you do owe less than your car is worth that money can be used in your negotiations. You also need to find out your FICO score, then you can start researching your possible new car and the leasing/cashback deals available.

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash
Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

I eventually got my list of possibles down to the Kia Soul, Honda CR-V or HR-V, Jeep Renegade, Chevrolet Trailblazer and a Hyundai Kona. This took me forever but was well worth it since I would not be test driving a car.

I looked at top SUV’s and then took each one vs. the other, i.e. Kia Soul versus Jeep Renegade, etc. I kept an open Word document and copied and pasted information that I found so I wouldn’t forget what I read.

Then I researched the leasing and current cash back offers and posted those into my Word document.

Kia Soul
Kia Soul

From there I narrowed it further to the Hondas, the Kia and the Hyundai. I made the decision based on reviews, lease offers and cashback offers available. Then I started filling out inquiries on specific vehicles on https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/ and https://www.truecar.com/ which immediately made my phone start blowing up with calls, which I ignored until I started finding places I could text and email. I did not want to negotiate by phone. My plan was to handle all the details of leasing my new car via email and have the dealer deliver my new car and pick up my Subaru for trade.

Honda CRV
Honda CRV

Then began an interesting tug of war between doing things my way and doing things the way the dealers wanted. I honestly thought I would end up with a Honda since the dealer I contacted at https://www.oceanhondanoho.com/ advertised their willingness to do exactly what I wanted. I sent information to them about my Subaru and the two cars I was interested in and received a very cordial response but then the salesperson was off the next day and the person who picked up the ball didn’t do a very good job getting back to me.

Two Kia dealers tried contacting me by phone but when I tried to switch them over to text and email, they just lacked any coherence in their communications.

Then I got a phone call from Adam Hijazi from Downey Hyundai https://www.downeyhyundai.com/. I let the call go to voicemail and then texted Adam to let him know what I wanted to do and to get an email address from him. What followed was a perfect example of what I had been looking for.

I told him what car I was interested in (2020 Hyundai Kona in Surf Blue), that I wanted my payment to be as close to $200 a month as possible with no money out of my pocket. I gave him the details about my Subaru and the payoff on it as well as my FICO score and he came back with a deal that sounded great to me.

Photo by Austin Schmid on Unsplash
Photo by Austin Schmid on Unsplash

He sent me a link to fill out an application for a lease and when I was approved told me that he was sending Eddie over to deliver my new car with the paperwork for me to sign. About an hour and a half later, I was signing the paperwork for my new car and then getting a tour of all the tricks that went along with it like keyless entry and a start button ignition.

The pre-process was a pain in the butt and had me pulling out my hair, but the process from Adam on was smooth as silk. Very impressive, and I never felt disrespected, rushed or pressured.

Lil' Blue
Lil’ Blue

If you are picky, picky about your car you will probably want to try and drive your pick before you start this process although that puts you back in their driver’s seat. For me, I was a little discombobulated by the no-key start and had a little bit of a challenge getting my walker in the back (partly my fault, I should have asked Eddie to show me how to do it), but once I had those down, I enjoyed tooling around in Lil’ Blue and even got a very nice compliment on her as I sat at a park eating my lunch.


COVID 19 and the Elderly

May 31, 2020
Photo by Ravi Patel on Unsplash
Photo by Ravi Patel on Unsplash

Oh my God! That’s me! The elderly! I dislike that word immensely but even more than normal when you put together COVID 19 and the elderly.

That makes me part of the high-risk group living with a bunch of other high-risk individuals.

COVID 19 and the elderly

Luckily I live in an active seniors building managed by a very concerned and responsible company that took steps from the beginning to manage what they could of the problem.

Photo by David Veksler on Unsplash
All Ages Wearing Masks Photo by David Veksler on Unsplash

We shut down all of our activities, reinforced the 6-foot distance and all of our seniors willy nilly are adorned with face masks, some of them fetching and homemade.

We stay in our units although some have taken to walking the halls at 2 and 3 in the morning. Some do manage to socialize by sitting in the courtyard a suitable distance apart talking with their masks on.

The paramedics show up on a regular basis but this is business as usual since some of us are closer to ninety than the minimum age of fifty-five and when you get to that age, shit happens and thank God for the handsome hero paramedics that make the ladies hearts beat faster.

Photo by Maria Lin Kim on Unsplash
Photo by Maria Lin Kim on Unsplash

But COVID 19 and the elderly have not become the end-all of everything here. Life goes on for us all. We struggle to get our groceries delivered or help out neighbors who don’t have cars or a smartphone with getting their supplies in. We smile behind our masks as we pass each other in the hall and do whatever it takes to stay healthy and sane just like everyone else these days,

I personally have never cooked so much in my life to the point that I had to call an abrupt halt this week because I was out of containers and space in the refrigerator. Luckily, I have lots of people I can pass meals on to.

Photo by Светлана Хуснутдинова on Unsplash
Photo by Светлана Хуснутдинова on Unsplash

I have also discovered the wonders of audiobooks. I need to get new glasses so I can’t spend as much time reading as my current time schedule permits (about 20 hours of every day!). Instead, I now have an amazing collection of audiobooks. I recently listened to an old favorite by Mary Stewart called The Moon Spinners. It is set in Crete and as I listened from my chair I felt like I was walking the hills of Crete with the heroine. It was a wonderful listen!

The Moon Spinners

I am very lucky to have windows that face the front of our building which is across the street from a very nice park. I can sit at my table and watch families bring their kids out for some exercise and fresh air and watch as my more active neighbors walk around the park. It is a beautiful view and one I am very thankful to have.

Photo by Katee Lue on Unsplash
Photo by Katee Lue on Unsplash

I wonder in these days of COVID 19 and the elderly how much longer this calm in the middle of the storm will last. When will the day come that I and others in my building are really safe to go outside without a mask? When will we feel safe enough to do so?

I find myself puzzling over the fact that calm reigns so strongly in my little apartment when the world outside seems to be exploding with things that are surreal and remote from where I sit watching the world go by.

George Floyd Photo by munshots on Unsplash
George Floyd Photo by munshots on Unsplash

This week the country exploded into riots and violence over the death of George Floyd whose name is now famous for racial injustice. One hopes that his death will inspire real change but at the moment it instead inspires a deep pain and anger in the black community that I as an elderly white woman can only barely comprehend and feel no real right to comment on.

SpaceX Photo by SpaceX on Unsplash
Photo by SpaceX on Unsplash

At the same time, SpaceX has launched 2 NASA astronauts to dock with the international space station, which marks the first time humans ever traveled to orbit in a spacecraft launched by a private corporation.

Photo by Lucrezia Carnelos on Unsplash
Photo by Lucrezia Carnelos on Unsplash

These two events echo strangely in my elderly brain because I remember as a child watching the 60’s race riots and the 60’s NASA space launches on a small black and white TV and being frightened by both. Isn’t it both strange and ironic that I would be watching these same things happening again some sixty years later?

COVID 19 This isn't forever Unsplash

When Life Hands You Lemons or How to Transition Into Retirement

March 12, 2020
Life and Lemonade Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash
Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

Really? Lemonade is all you can make when life hands you lemons? What about lemon cream pie or these days lemon hand soap so you can protect yourself from Coronavirus.

I recently got slapped up the side of my head with a box of lemons in the form of an offer from my main job to put me on a reduced number of hours and move me out of my very nice 2-bedroom apartment into a much more cramped and roommate-less 1-bedroom along with a significant cut in pay.

Uh, no! No can do. Lemonade alert!

Handicap parking Photo by Robert Ruggiero on Unsplash
Photo by Robert Ruggiero on Unsplash

If you have seen any of my latest blog entries https://indulgentaging.com/index.php/2019/09/15/discovering-new-age-religion-beliefs/ you will know that I have had some health problems that have impacted my ability to work, specifically I have to have a walker to walk and since I am an onsite manager for a senior building sometimes that means I need to do a lot of walking and standing.

My current employer has been more than fair to me by keeping me on payroll and allowing me to work in a modified way for well over a year, so I have no room to complain but Dayum! I was humming along thinking I was back to work full-time but evidently not.

The good news is that I am already doing 99.9% of the job and just need to kick it into gear to cover the rest and God knows the additional walking will be good for me, but what this did do was hit me upside the head with the realization that someday in the possibly rather near future, I might want to work less. What a concept for someone who has spent the last fifteen years working at least 3 jobs at the same time.

So How Do I Transition Into Retirement?

Retirement Photo by Humphrey Muleba on Unsplash
Photo by Humphrey Muleba on Unsplash

And the biggest slap in the head? Where do I go from here and how do I pay for it?

I have always been a hard worker, my sister says workaholic but it takes one to know one and since her daughters are the same way, as was our mother it obviously runs in the family.

So how do you disentangle yourself from work and still afford to live in a country where the typical social security check is a guarantee of living below the poverty level? Do I have to really move to Mexico as I have threatened for years?

For right now that doesn’t seem to be where I am headed. But where do I go where I won’t be totally alone, where I can live quietly but with an internet connection, delivery from Amazon and Instacart, close to my family but still for a cheap-ass price? In California? Am I crazy?

RV Living Photo by Hanson Lu on Unsplash
Photo by Hanson Lu on Unsplash

My sister doesn’t think so. Her plan is for all of us, she and her husband, her brother-in-law and me to live on one piece of property (the retirement compound if you will) separate but close by either with a big house or more likely land with 5th wheels (one of which they just purchased which is a whole other story). Can this work? I think so, but how do we go from here to there when we don’t have any concrete details yet?

What comes first in our quest to make lemonade or my preference lemon pie?

First knowledge-seeking, then planning. Right now I am reading all I can about living the RV life but I haven’t gotten far yet. However, I will be sharing my discoveries with you and would love to hear any stories you have about how to transition into retirement as well.


Discovering New Age Religion Beliefs

September 15, 2019
Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash
Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

Facing death has a way of making you question your religious beliefs and stripping you raw. God and I have had a long history together of me asking questions and Him trying to get answers through my thick skull. It’s not that I don’t want to learn or listen, I just tend to be independent and rebellious. And age has not necessarily tempered that.

First dark night of the soul: at fourteen

Photo by Samantha Sophia on Unsplash
Photo by Samantha Sophia on Unsplash

That year I spent most of the summer talking to the ceiling trying to convince myself that I didn’t believe in God. Luckily, He gave me a warped sense of humor so after I spent so much time focused on the ceiling of my bedroom arguing with God, I thought who am I trying to convince that He didn’t exist? myself? Him? I finally started laughing hysterically and said, “Fine! You win.”

The rest of my teen years I spent going to Bible studies and learning the “fundamentals of Christianity”. I later married a man who decided he wanted to study to be a pastor. That brought about:

The Second dark night of the soul: at twenty-four

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

I never expected to get a divorce. In some ways, to this day, I still don’t know exactly what happened. But I can tell you that one of the instigators was the First Baptist church we belonged to and my stubborn spirit that refused to let my life be stamped everywhere, “First Baptist Approved.” I got so tired of sanctimonious fools coming up to us in the foyer of the church. They never said, “Welcome. How nice to meet you!” Instead, they had a mantra that they repeated until I wanted to scream, “If you died tonight, do you know where you would go?” Oh, I can’t tell you how many times I bit my lip to keep from saying, “Where ever you aren’t!”

So, wrapped up in our marriage was this controlling church and when I left my husband, they sent men to visit me in my hotel room and this is the verse that they shared with me: Hebrews 10:26 “For there is no longer any sacrifice that will take away sins if we purposely go on sinning after the truth has been made known to us.” Meaning they had convicted me and I refused to change so I was damned. It was awful. I just needed time to think away from their badgering.

The irony of it was when I told my husband what they had done, he was so angry because he knew that was the end of our marriage. I would never bow down to that kind of bullying.

What came after that was years of living lightly. I read quite a few books that stimulated some new age religion belief patterns in me, but nothing that ever became as all-encompassing as “Fundamentals of Christianity”.

I discovered and become comfortable with reincarnation in Brian L. Weiss, MD.’s book “Many Lives, Many Masters”. I explored other options in “A Course in Miracles” by Helen Schucman and William Thetford and I enjoyed several books by Jerry and Ester Hicks including “The Law of Attraction”, “The Amazing Power of Deliberate Intent” and “Ask and it is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desires”. All of them would eventually contribute to my “new age religion beliefs and fundamentals”.

Third well not really a dark night of the soul, mainly just a realization at 50 something

Photo by Alexandre Chambon on Unsplash
Photo by Alexandre Chambon on Unsplash

By this time, I was the on-site manager for a senior apartment building in Burbank and we have a variety of religious beliefs here along with different ethnicities. One of my Armenian tenants was trying to figure out who I was religiously speaking. She first asked if I was Jewish and when I said no, she asked if I was a Christian and I suddenly realized that according to the “Fundamentals of Christianity” I didn’t really think I could say yes. I was adrift without fundamentals! And I stayed that way until:

The fourth dark night of the soul, really. It started on December 27th, 2018 when I had a stroke.

Photo by April Pethybridge on Unsplash
Photo by April Pethybridge on Unsplash

And went on for the next nine months as I dealt with a stroke, a bout of kidney stones and an aneurysm that had to be repaired. Five surgeries when I wasn’t supposed to even get close to anesthesia for 9 months after the stroke.

Oh, did I mention that I didn’t even call the paramedics until the following morning? Did I mention that one of the doctors told me I was the luckiest woman he ever met because most people with my heart condition don’t even make it to the hospital?

Did I mention that when they went in to remove the blood clot on my brain, they found the aneurysm that could have burst at any time and most likely killed me but instead they were able to fix it?

Did I mention that 2 famous and younger people than I had strokes and died while I was recuperating?

Did I also mention that I had almost no noticeable damage from the stroke?

Was I fucking lucky or blessed? It depends on who you talk to.

But suddenly I had survivor guilt and an intense need for “Fundamentals”. It just seemed so rude to ask God for help after I basically ignored Him for years. But I really needed help.

I told my sister, who has been the rock in my foundation for the last 9 months how I was feeling with tears running down both of our faces. “Why me, Sis? Why did I survive when so many other people didn’t?” She said, “Because I need you!” Oh my, gushy tears happened after that!

I wish I could tell you I have the answers

Photo by Milind Kaduskar on Unsplash

But I don’t and I am not sure I ever will.

I have a sneaking suspicion that everyone’s answers are different possibly because everyone has different questions. I will try to share my journey to find the “fundamentals” with you and hope you will be inspired to share your stories as well.


My Future Life in Pictures

June 20, 2019
Photo by Charisse Kenion on Unsplash

On July 18th, 2019 I am having surgery to fix an aneurysm in my brain. Am I looking forward to it? Yes and no. Yes because it means when it is over I can start building my life and muscles back up and no for pretty obvious reasons the least of which is cost. https://indulgentaging.com/index.php/2019/04/25/indulgent-aging-through-stroke/

I decided to do a photo collage of what I expect to have and be in my life post surgery so I hope you like pictures!

Photo by Jesse Bowser on Unsplash

Road Trip With My Sister

Photo by Jonatan Pie on Unsplash

One Day A Trip To Iceland

Photo by Joshua Reddekopp on Unsplash

Hiking With My Sister

Photo by Taras Shypka on Unsplash

Online Guru

Photo by Guadalupe Garcia on Unsplash

Regular Exercise So I Am Strong And Sexy

Photo by Elevate on Unsplash

Good Friends To Share Good Times With

Photo by Todd DeSantis on Unsplash

Love With The Right Man

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

Of Course, A Healthy Body Is Necessary!

Photo by Mike Scheid on Unsplash

Also Necessary, A Happy, Healthy Family!

So these are the things I am looking forward to having in my life post surgery, regardless of the time I need to take to make them happen. So exciting to have so much to look forward to!

Health Practicalities of Living

Forest Bathing – Why You Need to do This

June 17, 2019
forest bathing

I have never been a very athletic person. My favorite P.E. classes were folk dancing and badminton. I once almost brained my P.E. teacher with a golf club that I lost a grip on.

My brother and sister, on the other hand, have always been very physically active. The only small place where our lives may have a chance to connect in this area is the art of hiking, a special love of my sister’s. I have to say that the one hike that I went on with her I also enjoyed a lot, so there is hope for change there.

The biggest challenge I face right now is how to hike with a walker. My goal after my next surgery to fix the aneurysm in my brain is to ditch the walker and learn to hike. In case you are unable to ditch the walker, check out these action track chairs! http://actiontrackchair.com/ and terrain hoppers https://www.terrainhopperusa.com/ http://outdoorextrememobility.com/beach-powered-wheelchair-the-beach-cruiser

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Which is why the concept of forest bathing is so compelling to me. Why do I want to shower in the woods? Well, that is not quite what forest bathing is.

Wikipedia refers to it as this: “Nature therapy, sometimes referred to as ecotherapy, describes a broad group of techniques or treatments with the intention of improving an individual’s mental or physical health, specifically with an individual’s presence within nature or outdoor surroundings. One example of a nature therapy is forest bathing or shinrin-yoku, a practice that combines a range of exercises and tasks in an outdoor environment. Garden therapy, horticultural therapy, Kneipp therapy or even ocean therapy may also be viewed as forms of nature therapy. “

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

WebMD has this to say, “Critics often scoff that research about the practice is lacking, but there is growing scientific evidence that getting outside in a natural setting is good for mind-body health. And this back-to-nature movement isn’t confined to forest therapy. Some medical doctors have trained to become forest therapy guides. Other health care providers are connecting their patients to nature in other ways. An Ohio cardiologist, frustrated that he couldn’t convince his patients to exercise, founded Walk with a Doc in 2005, which now has 500 chapters. A Washington, D.C., pediatrician writes prescriptions for his patients to go to the park — as do the more than 300 doctors and other health care providers who have signed on to his Park Rx America program.” https://www.webmd.com/balance/news/20190611/forest-bathing-nature-time-hot-health-advice

Forest Bathing
Photo by Marc Pell on Unsplash

Here are some benefits to forest bathing: it reduces your stress, improves your mood, frees up your creativity, boosts your immune system, reduces your high blood pressure and accelerates your recovery from illness. Sounds like an all around win-win to me!

If you would like to read more about it, you can check out this Kindle book on Amazon: (yes, I do get a small fee if you buy it from this link!)

I hope this motivates you to get out and do a little forest bathing one way or another in the woods, at the beach or in your garden and don’t forget to TURN YOUR PHONE OFF!


Indulgent Aging Through the Eyes of Stroke

April 25, 2019
Living After a Stroke

It has been a long time since I have posted here. On December 27th, 2018 I had a small stroke and considering I made the extremely stupid decision to “sleep it off” and didn’t call the paramedics until the following morning, I was extraordinarily lucky.

Photo by dylan nolte on Unsplash

So much so, that one of my doctors told me that I should buy lotto tickets, take a trip to Vegas and do anything else that I could to capitalize on my luck because most people with my health condition didn’t make it to the hospital alive let alone with very little damage.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Good Luck or Bad?

So I feel lucky and then my luck got even weirder. While they were removing the blood clot in my brain, they found an aneurysm. And then as a side effect of the blood thinners that they put me on, they discovered that I was losing blood in my urine because I had a large kidney stone that I never knew I had. Both now require surgery, but surgery after stroke and juggling blood thinners is a very difficult thing.

So the question is, is this good luck they found all this stuff or not?

Photo by sharon wright on Unsplash

And how do I write about what has been both an amazing and harrowing experience in my life in a blog called “Indulgent Aging”?

Owen Beard on Upsplash

Awesome People

I was talking with the awesome ambulance crew who transported me from Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Burbank to Kaiser’s Sunset Hospital in Los Angeles about that and one of them mentioned that “Of course it was Indulgent Aging since you have ten people surrounding you just ready to do whatever you need to take care of you!”

They were the best and I actually had the head of the crew, James Brown, cracking up in the back of the ambulance when I told him this story:

Picture this only in black and gray and you will see what I saw under the TV

High on the wall in my room there was a television that I never watched but it was in my line of sight and I wasn’t doing much of anything at the time, so I stared at it a lot.

Underneath the television was what looked like the statue of a man with two penises peeing. Now that really confused me. I couldn’t understand why they would put that statue in a Catholic hospital with a crucifix on the opposite wall. I puzzled over that for the longest time.

Photo by luka lojk on Unsplash

Then my sister and brother-in-law came to visit me and I knew they were so worried about me but happy to see that I seemed more coherent than they expected because of my stroke until I started to entertain them with my questions about the two dick statue under the television.

Photo by Mpumelelo Macu on Unsplash

The looks on their faces were priceless. They thought I was totally blowing out another brain cell or three because they could see what I couldn’t namely that the “statue” was the television cord wrapped with a twisty!

Photo by Luis Melendez on Unsplash

Laughter: Truly the Best Medicine

My mom always told me that you have to find the humor in life or it was just too hard to live. She was so right. And two of the main things that have allowed me to survive this experience have been the wonderful people who have helped me and the crazy stuff that keeps me laughing.

Photo by Lidya Nada on Unsplash

So thank you James Brown and crew, thank you to the wonderful doctors and nurses who took care of me in the early days of this stroke adventure at Saint Joe’s and Kaiser and thank you God for my mom who showed me how to laugh through an indulgent life!


Buying New Athletic Shoes

December 11, 2018
Shoes for your foundation

The maintenance man that I work with at our building is an active man in his seventies who sometimes makes me crazy but makes me laugh as well. He has a heart of gold and a gruff manner and gets totally exasperated with all the women in the building who think he should handle their personal “honey-do” lists. Needless to say, he spends a lot of time running around like a chicken with his head cut off…or I guess a rooster with his head cut off! Over a year ago he was complaining about how much his feet, knees, and back were hurting. He couldn’t figure out why this was happening to him and was frustrated that his doctor couldn’t “fix it”. He decided to buy new athletic shoes to solve the problem.

bastian-ignacio-vega-cani-468434-unsplash More shoes

Get Measured!

He bought several pairs of new tennis shoes and was throwing a fit that this didn’t help either. Then he happened to go to a store to buy another pair and the salesclerk measured his feet instead of taking his word for it that he still wore the same size shoe that he wore in high school! Turns out his feet were a half size bigger than he thought. He bought the new pair in the new size and low and behold his feet no longer hurt. He told me this story very sheepishly, but as someone who has an obscene number of shoes that I have purchased trying to find that magical pair that will make me a world class athlete I totally had to keep quiet! https://indulgentaging.com/index.php/2018/10/16/traveling-light/

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash More Shoes for athletics
Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Advice for Buying Your Workout Shoes

Silver Sneakers (one of my favorite sites) has the following advice to offer for finding the best workout shoes:
1. Know your foot structure
2. Know your foot motion
3. Trade cotton socks for synthetic
4. Tie your socks like this (see article link below for details)
5. Slowly break in your new shoes

Workout Shoes: A Guide for Older Adults https://www.silversneakers.com/blog/workout-shoes-older-adults/

Your Feet Are Your Foundation

According to Brian Jensen, DC “Your feet are the foundation for your entire body. They must be able to properly support your body; allow you to stand, walk, run, and jump; and absorb damaging shock that enters your body every time your heel hits the ground. Every athlete deals with structural defects, many of which start in the feet.” Sounds like it is important to pay attention to our structure especially if you are having pain and trouble walking. Check out this article for more helpful information https://www.toyourhealth.com/mpacms/tyh/article.php?id=897

Athletic Shoes for health

Photo by Fidel Fernando on Unsplash

Being able to move keeps us a valid part of the world. It enables us to explore our world, expand our world and keep doing things with friends and family. Talking care of your feet and foundation takes on a whole new meaning when you look at it from that perspective. Let’s keep walking and moving! https://indulgentaging.com/index.php/2018/10/30/regrets-i-have-a-few/