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mnhtnbb's Journal
mnhtnbb's Journal
October 8, 2022

There are two extremely popular continuing care retirement communities

in Chapel Hill, NC. One has been around for 40 years--was a leader in the field--and has lengthy wait lists. I just checked it, and the average wait for a studio is 3 years; for a 1 bedroom apartment the wait is 6-20 years (average 13); and anything else (including the cottages) the wait is 11-17.5 years (average 13). There's a declining scale to return the entrance fee; after 50 months, it's zero return and the entrance fees range from $103,000 to $482,000. Then there are monthly fees on top of that. I couldn't find them on their website, but the other comparable place in town has a minimum $3000. single monthly fee, with an additional requirement of minimum dining on top of that ($250/mo).

The other one has more of an ownership option for your apartment or villa, with a guaranteed return of your entry fee, less a 5% marketing fee, updating/remodeling expenses, and some possible appreciation. Their minimum entry fee (buy in) is $133,600 and goes all the way up to $798,500 for a 2 bedroom 2210 sq ft villa with a garage. The single monthly fee, on top of the entry fee, is $3038. mo for a single all the way to $3995. for the most expensive villa. Add a second person and the monthly fee goes up about $1000. per month, regardless of the category of home.

These two places are the Cadillacs around here. There are lots of other independent or assisted living retirement communities that don't offer continuing care. It's a puzzle figuring them out, especially not knowing if you'll be physically challenged as you age, or have memory issues.

My 90 year old uncle moved to an assisted living facility in Pasadena about 12 years ago after my aunt died. He started out with a $4500/mo monthly fee, but when he started having falls, the facility required him to have an aide with him from 7 am to 7 pm daily. Very quickly his monthly fees went up to about $11,000./mo. My cousin ended up moving him out to live with him in Seattle. It was a real shame, because my uncle no longer had the supportive community of younger friends to come visit him, friends he'd had for many years.

My own plan--at 71--is to go feet first out of my little single level house I bought about 18 months ago. It's in a new development. My oldest son lives 10 minutes away and my youngest son lives 20 minutes away. Our family house burned down in 2007, and with all the subsequent moves/rebuilding/selling the rebuilt family house in 2018, I actually had to buy some furniture for this new house. So cleaning this place out when I go should be fairly easy for my sons. If they sell the house after I die, they will divide the equity (and I took out a 2.3% 15 year mortgage when I bought the house after putting 50% down, which either one of them is allowed to assume, should they wish to not sell), which means I won't have thrown $100's of thousands of dollars away on entry fees and monthly costs.

I'm happy where I am now, and basically healthy. I like living alone and I moved from a high rise apartment--which I loved--to a house because of COVID. I can't see giving this up to move to a retirement community. Most of my neighbors are 50ish or older, and it's a very sociable community because we all moved in right about the same time. If I wanted to interact more, I could, right where I am.

The two communities I mentioned are Carol Woods https://www.carolwoods.org/
and Carolina Meadows https://carolinameadows.org/about/

September 28, 2022

William Pitt has been added to the In Memoriam page

with the eulogy written by his Truthout co-editor.


I know many of the threads dedicated to him since his death had people hoping that would be the case.

The eulogy contains a link to the GoFundMe which is raising funds to put in trust for the benefit of his daughter, Lola. If you knew Will, you knew that Lola was the light of his life.

Rest in Peace, Will. You will be sorely missed.


September 26, 2022

Now I understand the push reported in our local paper for RDU to initiate direct flights to India

Apple is building a multi billion $$ campus 10 minutes from the RDU airport here in the Triangle (Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill). This morning there was a report in the local paper about a meeting that was held with airport officials asking for a new direct flight from here to India. Yes, there is a large Indian community in the Triangle, but not nearly enough to fill direct daily flights. There was no mention of the Apple connection. The local airport officials wanted to offer better one stop connections rather than direct flights.

It will be interesting to see how this develops.


September 16, 2022

Proud momma has to crow about the work of my youngest son

Introducing https://www.artofcrimepodcast.com/

"The Art of Crime is a podcast exploring the unlikely collisions between true crime and the arts--created, written, and narrated by Gavin Whitehead", my son, who was awarded his DFA from the Yale School of Drama last spring.

Season 1 looks at six artists who have been accused of being the notorious Jack the Ripper who killed at least five women in the East End of London in 1888. The first two episodes of Season 1 are now available on many podcasting apps--including Google, Apple, Spotify and other podcasting apps--but you may also listen to it (with accompanying musical background) on the website, which also has photos, drawings, maps, transcripts of the episodes, references and other information.

I just finished listening to (S1E1)--The Whitechapel Murders--and I was fascinated to learn more about the victims and their lives in Victorian 19th Century London. (S1E2) introduces Willy Clarkson, Master of Disguise, who was a famous theatrical wigmaker and costume designer in London, as a suspect.

If you are fascinated by true crime--particularly ones unsolved--and curious about the connection of art to crime, please take a listen! (And subscribe!)


Edited to add that the podcast is now available on Google's free podcast app.

September 15, 2022

Wordle 453 ****Spoiler Thread***

Wordle 453 2/6


An existential two! Recently, I've been using starter words that reflect things going on in my life or the world. I've been having a lot of dreams and thinking about dreams. Similarly, doubt has been a force in those thoughts.

This morning Wordle really gave me a chuckle.

September 12, 2022

Watercolor dawn

August 26, 2022

Sunset...then flying home

were 13 Canadian geese, eight minutes later

August 25, 2022

Republicans don't like student loan forgiveness

because they can see where we are headed: towards control of the House and Senate for the last two years of Biden's current term as President.

What does that mean?

Fixing Social Security funding, which means higher taxes for those with higher income.

Balancing the budget, which means higher taxes for those with higher income.

Addressing climate change, which likely means reducing the income of the fossil fuel industry.

Republicans woke the dragon when their politically stacked Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade. They didn't anticipate the anger of women nor did they realize that once Democrats controlled both the House and the Senate that they would be able to fix several huge problems that have been festering for a long time because Republicans are greedy and only care about using government to line their own pockets.

Throwing tantrums about the inequity of student loan forgiveness is one of their last chances to distract voters from what Democrats are about to be able to do after the Election in November: fix problems created by or made worse by Republican greed.

August 1, 2022

Mother Nature's calming influence

A week ago today I spent most of the day in the ER. After a weekend of mild chest pain--mostly pressure rather than pain--and some other symptoms like shortness of breath, nausea, mild dizziness, fatigue, I decided to have it checked out. I've had panic attacks and it wasn't that. I've had indigestion relieved by antacids and it seemed more than that.

I called my son and had him take me to the ER. It didn't feel acute enough to be worth an ambulance ride. And it wasn't. I was discharged after six hours and advised to see my primary doc within three days.

Before I went to see her on Friday, I came to the conclusion that what I was experiencing was a low level of anxiety that finally reached a threshold that would cause physical symptoms. Since the Dobbs decision, the 4th of July parade mass shooting ( and others since), the Jan 6 hearings, on top of climate change, the war in Ukraine, and the never ending presence of Covid, I have been overwhelmed with despair for the future. Together with my primary doc, I resolved to make some changes to focus on the present moment with what I can control in order to improve my health and, hopefully, reduce my anxiety.

One of the things I do in that regard is to watch for beauty in nature. I'm an early bird, so I keep my eye out for color in the sunrise. This morning I took my coffee out on the front porch and watched this develop

A couple of nights ago, I was lucky to watch a beautiful sunset

It is calming to witness the beauty of Mother Nature.

Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: NYC
Home country: USA
Current location: Durham, NC
Member since: Sat May 7, 2005, 11:13 PM
Number of posts: 31,578
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