May 2018

May 2018

Friday, August 28, 2015

Our Senior Years

Yesterday turned out to be a day of seeing long-time friends. I had lunch with two girlfriends. One I've known for ~30 years and see once every other month. The other I've known for ~45 years and hadn't seen for at least two years. Then, later in the day, hubby met his best man for dinner.

As hubby and I rehashed the day's conversations it struck me just how "senior" we all are. Lunch with the gals used to be all about work challenges and dealing with growing children. Yesterday our lunch conversation was about how we fill our days and deal with aging significant others. And hubby and his friend, who are both still working full time, talked a bit about living with retired spouses.

I think it's safe to say none of us expected retirement to be as it currently is. My friend of ~30 years had planned to do a lot of international travel, but her husband's gout is keeping them much closer to home. My ~45-year-old friend now lives in Florida near her sister who, for years, she didn't like. She lives with a long-time guy friend and hangs out with her sister daily. Hubby's friend's wife was forced to retire earlier this year. She was not mentally prepared for retirement and, currently, is not a happy person.

As for me, in the back of my mind, I always saw myself with a spouse who was also retired. I imagined both of us jointly dealing with daily chores; going to the movies in the middle of the week; working out together; discovering new interests; enjoying local attractions; and taking two-week trips once or twice a year. Instead, hubby hopes to work another four years while I continue adjusting to a slower-paced life on my own.

Maybe in another five years all of us will be more closely embracing the senior years we imagined in our 40s and 50s. But for now, I for one often find myself wondering, is this really retirement?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Halloween Cards

Today I finished my 2015 Halloween cards. I let the cute paper shine and added very few embellishments. And I only used my stash. No purchase necessary!

I love using craft card stock as a base for fall cards.
I used the stamp I bought for Jonah's Harry Potter
birthday party last March to dress up the front
of the envelope. Then I added interest to the
back flap with my Jack-o-Lantern punch backed
with black card stock.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

What Do You Do All Day?

After loading groceries into the car and then hauling them into the house, I had to chuckle thinking about how often I'm asked, "What do you do all day?" Because I'm no longer watching a grandson, apparently a lot of people think I'm just sitting around all day.

Well, admittedly, I do do a lot more sitting now. But, at the same time, I'm also doing online problem-solving or trip research; reading; stitching; crafting; and/or watching movies or television shows. And I love having more time to do all of those activities.

I also have more time to workout now and love being able to do that during the day. No more evening workouts for me, which is good, because most nights I'm in my PJs by 8:00 P.M. Another luxury I thoroughly enjoy.

I also plan, shop, prepare, and serve, on average, 17 two-person meals a week. And since all of those meals are made with fresh ingredients, they require a trip to the grocery store every 5-7 days, and take time and effort to prepare. Something else I'm thrilled to now have time to do. Before retirement, there was way too much eating out.

Of course, there are still also the normal household chores such as cleaning the house and keeping up with the laundry. But now I have time to also iron hubby's shirts. No more taking them to the dry cleaners. And no more longing for a housekeeper. I can now easily keep up with routine house cleaning.

Plus there are always birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays to prepare for. For example, I'm already making to-do and gift lists as well as planning menus for Thanksgiving and Christmas. And I started making fall cards this week.

So, what do I do all day? Oh, not much.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Numbers Are In!

I got the results of my six-month blood tests and there's nothing but good news. All numbers are well within normal range and, best of all, my total cholesterol dropped from 183 to 169!

I don't remember my total cholesterol ever being that low. And I have to believe it's due to the mostly clean eating I've been doing since April 1.

I'm still on Crestor, however, because 169 is still "high." My total needs to drop 10 more points before I get in the "borderline high" area.

But whether or not my total cholesterol ever gets in the 150 range, I'm thrilled with the results of my recent blood tests. If I needed motivation to stick with cleaner eating, that certainly would have done it. But truth is I love how my current way of eating makes me feel, which is reason enough to stick with it.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

First Day of School

Today was the first day of the 2015-16 school year, and Jonah's first day of full-day Kindergarten. He was extremely excited to start school and had a fantastic day. He got off the bus at grandma's house with the biggest smile and kept saying, "It was so much fun!"

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

I'm a Rock Star!

You have to love it when your doctor calls you a "Rock Star." I had a six-month check-up yesterday with positive numbers – blood pressure 126/86; pulse 76; six pound weight lose.

We talked about the clean eating I've adopted and my workout schedule. We also discussed my resolution to continue with my new healthy habits despite the tediously slow weight lose. The doctor's only recommendation on the subject was to "keep on keeping on."

As far as my other numbers, insurance no longer allows a blood draw before seeing a doctor. So I'll visit the lab sometime this week after a 12-hour fast. Then the physician's assistant and I will discuss the results through email or on the phone.

My next appointment is in February 2016 and I'm determined to go to that one, too, without fearing the scale. All I have to do is "keep on keeping on," so I can continue to be a "Rock Star."

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Home Safe Home

Outside The Mucky Duck Captiva
(Elliott 9 and Jonah 5)
We returned yesterday from our annual beach vacation with my daughter's family. For the last seven years we've spent one week each summer in the same beautiful condo on Sanibel Island. Although the lodging is always the same, each year's experience is different mostly due to the weather and maturity level of each of the grandsons.

This year we dealt with a great deal of rain. In fact, the first two days were filled with nothing but showers and thunderstorms. Nevertheless, we still had fun taking nature drives; visiting museums and the library; shopping; watching movies; and reading.

But I'm assuming all the rain was why the no-see-ums seemed especially bad this year. I was bit no matter where we went on the island, indoors or out. (Fortunately, the rest of the family doesn't attract them as badly as I do.) And, as a result, I spent very little time on the beach.

While the family was on the beach, however, I enjoyed quiet time away from the boys. I keep hoping each year will be easier than the last but, so far, each year is just more challenging. This trip there was constant arguing, which resulted in a lot of shouting, pouting, and crying. All of which I tolerate less and less as I age.

Nevertheless, it was a good week of family bonding and another one the boys won't soon forget. And, because of all the storms, my daughter found a lot of shells, which made her very happy. We also saw wild alligators for the first time, and got closer than ever to the many dolphins who live near the island.

Of course, we also enjoyed the local cuisine. I tried more seafood and found I especially like grilled grouper, blackened mahi mahi, and Doc Ford's clam chowder. But I didn't indulge in Pinocchio's ice cream and Jerry's key lime pie with the rest of the family and, as a reward, returned from a second trip with zero weight gain.

And now it's back to reality with only a few days left of summer freedom. But that also means my favorite season, fall, is just around the corner. Love it!