You'll Appreciate Jewelry You Make Yourself

by Tom Hays

Making jewelry and other items from metal is truly fascinating. It combines a number of skills, most of which are fairly simple to learn, along with some science and a lot of possibilities for art. Get out the jewelry pliers, tiny saw blades and the Dremel, put on your magnifying visor, and suddenly you are in a private world, where you craft a beautiful silver piece or mount a precious stone on a ring of your own design. Jump in! Sign up with a local instructor.

Beyond Playdough

by Tom Hays

Working with clay can be very gratifying. It is one of the earliest crafts humans learned, and it still holds an almost primal appeal. Put your hands on some wet clay, work it around a little, and you will see.

This creative, Anasazi inspired container came from the
imagination of a first time pottery student.

The school of "Jurassic Trout" were easy to make, and a "whale" of a lot of fun.

We all are creative. Working with clay or ceramics is one more way to excercise your creative side. Give it a try. Let that child out to play!

Working With Wood

My grandfather would sit for hours and whittle. Sometimes I would join him on the porch and try my hand. I made a lot of pointed sticks, while he was crafting intricate parts that became violins. We both enjoyed the time.

The smell of freshly cut wood is captivating. Use a tiny cutting blade, a fancy radial saw, or a chain saw, whatever appeals to you. They are all better than the rock tools our ancestors had to use, and they managed to build some pretty neat wooden stuff.

Baby Boomers Discovering Wine Country!

by Tom Hays

It’s not as if baby boomers aren’t acquainted with drinking, partying and having a good time. But as they are entering mid-life, many of them are discovering the joys of fine wine. Wine is an acquired taste, more valued for the nuances of its flavors than beer, which was the boomers’ choice to be chugged in great quantities at a frat party or ball game.

Now that they are older and somewhat settled, the mid-life baby boomers are discovering a variety of new tastes, including food and wine. That discovery has led many of them to want to learn more about the gracious lifestyles found in the prime wine growing regions of the world.

Wine tastings, tours, and visits to Wine Country are increasingly leading to the purchase of a second home or a retirement home in the vineyard regions. A simple lifestyle, based on fresh, locally grown foods prepared by excellent chefs, paired with delicious wines, and presented in a beautiful, small village or country atmosphere is a powerful magnet to the boomer who is entering the second half of his or her life. And for those who are not quite ready to move to Napa, Sonoma or Tuscany, many are ordering food, wine, cheese and other items from Wine Country over the internet to bring a bit of the charm, tastes and treasures to their own life.

Up-scale real estate continues to hold value in Napa Valley and other wine regions. Most have strict ordinances controlling conversion of vineyard land to housing development, keeping the idyllic rural atmosphere that people are seeking in their Wine Country dream home. That bodes well for the future housing prices in these desired areas, in spite of housing downturns in other parts of the country.

Those mid-life baby boomers who can are buying now. Those who can’t are buying as much of the lifestyle as they can, either on visits to Wine Country or over the internet from websites such as

I Need How Much To Retire?

by Tom Hays

I've flunked "Retirement 101" four times. Maybe I just wasn't paying attention. Maybe I have a low boredom threshold. I have plenty of hobbies and I enjoy all of them. But maybe when I am trying "retirement" I have too much time to think about what "might" occur in my future instead of what "is" going on at the moment.

I think about my father, mother and all my other ancestors who lived to very ripe old ages. I can see the financial world changing every minute, the cost of living increasing and the cost of medical care spiraling onward and upward. With only a "comfortable" sized nest egg, it is enough to scare anyone to an early grave!

Point is, I'm just not sure how much is enough. In a perfect world, my wife and I would spend our last dollar on the day we passed on. But, no one can tell me when that will be, or what our cost of living will be between now and then. And, heaven forbid, one of those illnesses comes along later in life that creates huge medical expenses and long-term care costs.

I may have enough. Several times in the past I have thought I did. But each time I eventually realize I have no idea how much of a nest egg will be enough to sleep comfortably every night. (I'm sure Bill Gates does not have this problem.)

So, I go back to work, and I feel better physically and mentally. Besides, making money is fun. I enjoy the game!

Give me your thoughts.

Welcome To Your New Life!

You are invited to join countless others who are coming together in Platinum Pearls®.com . . . . sharing ways to enjoy the rest of their lives, becoming more satisfied, more secure through self discovery and self actualization. The secrets are there, to be discovered and utilized. Shared, they will become a positive force for an entire generation.

Who are you??? There’s a new person born every eight seconds. One of them may well be you! We’ll help you nurture and educate that new person you are becoming. Ahead is a different road, and it will take you where you want to go only if you use the right map. Stop and ask directions.

Not for babies only! While we deal primarily with life factors and life styles of those persons born during the so-called “baby boom” years of 1946 to 1964, the fact is, a lot of people on both sides of those years face those same challenges and opportunities too, and we welcome your participation in Platinum Pearls® programs and membership benefits.

We can all enjoy a longer and happier mature life if we resist becoming “old”. We’d love to have you join the organized resistance!

Please add your thoughts, ideas, methods and experiences. We are all in this together!