Saturday, October 12, 2019

Great first day of retirement  2.0.. we went on a scenic ride with our car group.  Beautiful crisp fall day.  We bundled up and took my convertible.   We had the heat on.  Day started out 34 degrees 8am.

There were about 20 cars.  We stopped at a quaint little rustic bu
rger place.  So fun!

Seems suitable to cone home wash both my car we took and DH garage queen.  Then we washed the summers bugs off my commuter ride.  She took hood care of me, so we washed her up and polished her nice.

I took some of my ground cover I had going in couple pots with my ivy and thinned it out, spreading it out around our ivy trellis.

This ground cover bright green, roundish leaves, loves the sun.  I will find name of it.. and post before and after pics soon.  The ivy trellis is really coming along.

Excited to watch Sheriff Hopper actor from Steanger Things on SNL tonight.  Have a great weekend to al

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Countdown to Retirement 2.0

Or at the very least a long 3 month or so vacation.  I gave notice 2 weeks ago tomorrow, so tomorros is my last day!  Today is my last full day. 

My boss was great, there is still no opportunity to telecommute.  There are too many others like me ready to come in and do the very same thing I have been doing for 6 months.  They have already started to give out assignments to others in my department who are doing the work on part time basis, along with their other assignments.  I figure this is the way they will continue. 

I will spend some time looking, see if I can do something from home down in Retirement Home state area.  It is a smaller area and so won't have big firm like I work at now, may have to get more creative and outside my comfort zone.  That is not so bad.  We shall see.  I do have several projects at RH that will make mowing easier/pretty to enjoy and the insulation will help our utilities costs.

I already told DH he needs to start reading again, stop shopping.  I am trying to lecture my inner 5 year old as well.  But I really think I want to get one of those air fryers.  I will just ponder for a while and see if that idea persists...maybe I will find a Black Friday deal.

I think this time I am ready, for sure for a break.  Like several months, lol.  The difference this time around is two-fold...I am not deciding anything long term, just see how it feels, I can always find something closer to home and 2nd, I think my expectations are more realistic.  I.e. about my level v DH level of activity, about day to day life.  I am more realistic and less concrete.  Trying to remain more open minded - let things settle and sort of sort themselves out...We shall see!

I will miss my friends here at work and my autonomy, but I think I am more ready this time and in all likelihood will find something closer to home, at least part time because our budget otherwise is very tight. 

I will post more soon!

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Expensive and exhaustive weekend

I am here at work this week doing Wed thru Friday, since my DH had dental surgery yesterday.  After he was finished, we got our smoothies and I took him home, fixed soup and some yummy zucchini bread for him (soft foods).  We were so concerned about how quickly our elderly male dog had deteriorated in past 3 days, we took him to vet.

She confirmed he was in congestive heart failure.  Had fluid in lungs, around heart/heart enlarged and in abdomen.  She suggested a medicine for us to see if we can get him to breathe easier and give us some time to accept we are in process of losing him - but more likely to be a more peaceful decline and little longer.  W/o medicine he was struggling to breathe.

That, plus dental surgery + several household problems - was an EXPENSIVE weekend.

Thursday night I got home from work in the city.  I took this cool picture of the moon and planet/star? with the train.

We caught up, I enjoyed a show to relax and then we went to bed.  I heard an owl outside, so I went to open the blinds so I could open the window and the blind broke the bracket.  We could have just replaced the one blind hardware - but they were the ugly thin (and yellowed) cheap looking kind - so we just went ahead and replaced all 3 windows plus door - yikes, cost like $370 and was a LOT of work for DH.  I mostly just handed tools and provided moral support.

Then next morning our dryer broke.  So we googled what might be wrong and DH watched a couple videos on You Tube and off to the appliance place we went!  We got the small part and DH put it it - viola!  Saved $1200 there!  So happy, we went ahead and went to a 'junk' festival in a pretty town about 30 miles away.  SO glad we went, we found a metal trellis that perfectly fit in between our garage and detached carport-turned-shop.  Looks very nice and prevents people from just creeping in there (I watch too many Dateline - type shows!). 

I got some more landscaping finished in my yard.  Some I was NOT planning.  We got over 6 inches of rain on Sunday, washed a bunch of my mulch out - so I will now gradually switch out the mulch to river rock.  Since it is pretty expensive, I will have to do it gradually and perhaps over time, the time saved not always having to replace mulch from a portion of our yard that has drainage it will pay for itself.  You can sort of see the water flow under deck from right and go out the far side.  I need better pictures.

Next day I was going to vacuum but my $600 Dyson (about 4-5 years old) just quit.  We tried getting it to start again, just not working.  So we bought a Shark this time.  Hope it works well and lasts a while!

Now I am tired and broke!  At least this is my last week of work for a while, which makes me have anxiety.  I just hope that my DH and my sweet boy do OK for 3 days without me. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Another Whirlwind Weekend

Worked on another border area up next to my house, doing the same halfway buried brick type paver border.  Only this entire back border next to house, I am just doing decorative rock.  This area does not have gutters, so there is always an area where the water drips and beats down anything planted here.  Not sure why gutters never put here, but I am not spending the money to do that now. 

Also, this border will border on one side, the flagstone patio I am installing in between my deck and back porch foundation.  So, it will look neater and more uniform to include decorative rock here to border the small river rock I am putting around the flagstone for the shallow foundation edges that would make it hard to dig/plant.  I got 1/4 of the work finished yesterday.  My DH was good enough to run and get the 200 additional pavers for me.  I already had gotten 100 last week.  The pavers for all the border and the flagstones will cost less than $400.  The lava rock I got free I am leaving - not wild about it.  But hey it was free and coordinates nicely with the brick foundation trim on the house and the red dyed circle fire pit pad the prior home owners poured and we completed with circular stacked pavers around a metal ring for our big fire pit.

I love working in the yard and was disappointed I had to come to work today and could not keep working!  It was high 70's and pretty high humidity yesterday, but that is much better than the high 80's/low 90's we have had mostly lately.  Check out my cute little figs starting on my fig tree!

Friday and Saturday there was a huge bike rally in our area of the state, so DH and I took off and had fun Friday and Sat.  Friday we took my convertible to the vendor area and walked around looking.  We bought me a good knife for cutting my apples from a local young man trying to get his start as a knife-smith.  We had a sign on the convertible and some guy asked about my car I am trying to sell - cross your fingers he really is interested.

Sat after we mowed the yard (I pulled so many weeds, my hands got tired!) we got the bikes out and rode to a car show and walked around and looked.  It was fun.  Then we stopped and had pizza on the way home. 

Sunday I rode to the city with my sister and we helped my Granny in her new place get pictures, mirror, curtains and shower curtains hung.  We are a little concerned that this retirement place has a conventional tub (?!) and a low toilet, but at least there are things you can do to raise the seat up on the toilet.  All in all, my aunt did a good job moving her mother.  Sis and i just helped with the finish work, then drove home 4 hours!

Then Monday landscaping and yoga.  I was so tired after yoga, I was asleep in like 5 minutes - 8:40 or so.  For my 2nd to the last 3:30am wake up Tuesday and 4 hour drive to work in the city.  One more week after this one!

Hope all you out there have a great week!  Happy October!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019


Remember all the free plants I got last spring...more on them later.

This week last year we were preparing to leave the extended-stay-hotel-from-hell and leave the city to go permanently to our retirement home.  I remember how excited I was, truly just beyond belief it was happening after counting down what seemed like 10 years but really was more like actual 4 years.  I remember thinking it was all happening so fast and it felt rushed, like events that you have looked so forward to but end up going by in a blur and you try to recall in your memories (and pictures).  Big reason why I started this blog was to document the time getting ready and leading up to such a big change in our lives.

Well, fast forward to spring after we retired.  I was restless, we bought a new car, I saw it as leverage to go back to my same work and get a temp assignment, etc.  And here we are approaching 6 months later.  I am giving my notice this week - 2 more week after this week and I am going to enjoy not wearing makeup, packing my lunch, loading my suitcase, etc.  Going to enjoy having a looser schedule and getting my tire body and my complaining tummy back to balance.  Did a stupid thing with my backyard - stacking rocks for a make-shift temp border while we moved our existing azaleas out from house to around the deck.  I plan to put in flagstone area between the deck and the back porch - so the shrubs had to move.  Then I got a bunch of free plants from DH cousin and just put them wherever to keep them alive - but no real plan.  Watered and had great luck with them - but now I want to more formally/permanently situate the landscaping and make it 1)  pleasing to look at but also 2) easier to tend to/mow around.  So I ditched the topple-ing rocks and installed paver bricks length-wise end to end almost flush with the ground/grass to make for easy mowing, while still keeping the grass and plants separate and looking pretty with mulch. 

I have a LOT more to do, but I like doing projects.  We are also going to put more insulation in our attic so we look forward to that - not so much, but will be glad to get it done.

Last evening I did not go to gym after work.  I drove DH convertible and thought my aunt would enjoy a quick little ride before I go to bed.  She did.  Uncle is failing and feeling badly, but not specifically badly as to be diagnosable in er - no actual pain/fever - just feels crappy all over and his spirits are following along.  She enjoys some company to think about something else.  She had served him dinner and gotten him settled in his chair and off we went, just for a quick spin.  Got a few groceries, I got enough coffee to last 2.5 weeks I have left at the office.

We came home and watched our nightly 30 min of TV then I went to bed.  Slept poorly.  Uncle wants the house like an oven, his main complaint at the moment, is, that he is freezing.  It was 75 there last night!  I woke up hot about 4 times!  Poor Uncle, how will he get through the winter.  Happy Fall a couple days late!

Project in progress:

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Coming Up on One Year Since DH Retired

I say DH retired, because I retired for 8 months then went back to work.  But I am coming up on the period of time I committed 4 - 6 months, is nearly 6 months.  Then, I will take 2-3 months off and figure out my next step.

I saw this post this morning and it really made my chuckle to myself.  I am back to eating better and really trying to watch my sugar intake, and I already feel much better.  I can tell that it is going to take me a while to really get my gut health back and stop having gastro issues, body aches and skin issues. 

Other improvements I have tried to make is to be more comfortable just being still/non productive and be ok with myself.  This is probably my biggest challenge to retirement - ME!  My mother always told me I was too hard on myself, my worse critic, etc.  She was right.  Mom's are so smart.  I used to be able to call my mom and in the 1st 5 seconds, she could tell where I was emotionally and what I was doing, what I working too hard, not eating right, not getting enough rest, not enjoying nature, etc.  So amazing.  I miss her every day.

Well, this past weekend was hot as mid summer, DH and I did little except we mowed Saturday and it just wore us out!  So, other than doing a gym workout and couple yoga sessions - we did very little.  I piddled around the house a bit, cleaned, laundry, put together my new coffeetable (and we sold the other one!).  We did downsize an entire Encyclopedia set (my dear husband finally agreed to part with it).  We just don't need - books...they are the weakness of us both!

I gained tons of space on my 4 bookcase set, rearranged our knick knacks so we can really see and enjoy them more.  It was a great feeling - a whole truck load taken to sister in law's store.  Seems like we should not have more stuff to downsize...I wish that were true.  Anyone married to a motorcycle lover seems to have various parts, along with extra boots, helmets, coats...DH also former active camper/hunter/outdoorsman - we have many tents, sleeping bags and various camping equipment we really don't need - I will cull these next spring! 

We did get out our bikes and ride them to Lowe's Saturday after mowing.  I picked out the insulation we will be blowing into the attic in October and the bricks I will be buying for newer, tidier border in my back yard.  While we have decided to stay at our 1 acre yard house for a while, my immediate goal is to make mowing easier, while getting to enjoy my landscaping I have worked so hard on, while I can.

Have a great hump day!

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Salad Day

Just took a break with a friend at work and there was a bunch of left over Greek salad/hummus in the break room - score!  The food was from Zoe's and I just love their Greek dressing!  It had lettuce, tomatoes, diced red onion, feta cheese and Kalamata olives.  So good.

Thursday, DH had an appointment in the city early Friday.  So his folks were going to run by and feed the dogs for us, he went to see Granny and I met him over there on my way out of town - to home.  We visited with her an hour and he went on north and I went on south.  He got home Friday after apt and playing golf with is brother.  I enjoyed my house just me and the dogs.  Was nice.  We watched TV in bed!

Then Saturday I went to my other friend who passed from cancer (in August) - to his celebration of life.  It was fun driving up with and visiting with my sister.  We took DH convertible.  We also got to see lots of our friends, but it was really draining.

Maybe that is why I am just feeling out of sorts.  Sluggish and lethargic.  Plus I am puffy and yucky from eating bad.  I am starting back over on the no sugar thing.  I had gone with out eating red met until Saturday on the way home I stopped for a snack and ended up eating fast food, yuck.  So starting over there too.  Had not eaten red meat for almost a month.  I don't know why I am having so much problem right now eating for wellness.  I went to yoga last night, other than walking and being really busy doing projects around the house (DH mowed without me Saturday - surprised me so much!) I had not worked out officially since last wed yoga - so I went last night and sweated like crazy - then came home - had a light meal and watched tv show - then bed.  I am tired of this schedule, in 3 more weeks I will give my 2 week notice - so 5 more weeks in total.

At least it is still in the 90's and hot!  It was good weather to stay in and organize...last weekend I organized and cleaned out my spice cabinet.  This weekend I cleaned out and scoured the freezer part of the fridge - I need to do free standing freezer next weekend.  And we have a nice 8 by 8 ish storage closet off our garage - I cleaned that out, organized and swept the floor/shelves and re-arranged.  Got rid of a carload of knick knacks...and DH is clearing out his giant collection of encyclopedias so we can offer then for sale at his sister's store and empty out several of our bookcases.  We looked at the small yard house(new house) once again and decided that the storage was just so lacking - we could not do it.  So, we are staying in our current house.  But, DH agreed that we could continue to purge.  If we actually considered this house - we must both be in agreement that we could do with less.  So, I am going to continue to pare down excess and DH agreed, because someday we will want to move and find house with smaller yard (and probably less storage).  Mainly right now, I get tired of cleaning around stuff!

And for my own part...I am going to store nothing in our attic except 4 Christmas and 2 fall totes.  I told DH I was purging down so much, that if/when we do move, I will easily be able to quickly look and decide what I do NOT need to keep.  Experience, not things is my mantra. 

I do not regret that I plan to finish a few cheap money/labor intensive projects around my house that we will get to enjoy and that will make our house and yard look great. 

Oh, I forgot to tell friend at work brought me a bag full of pears.  They are really delicious green pears with a pretty thick skin.  I got them all up and put in bags in my freezer for smoothies because they are pretty small just to try to halve.  I made DH and I pear and spinach smoothies and my little $80 bullet from Walmart did great!  We did not detect the skins or the spinach.  I was very happy with my inexpensive blender. 

Then, Monday we had peach, apple and banana smoothies and they were yummy.  I am going to get another giant supply of apples this week and so I wanted my apples still in the freezer used up.  Hope you are reaping some great produce as this harvest moon approaches!