Changes are Coming

A Look at Our Week

Things have certainly not slowed down this week! Between working, hiking/walking and cooking it has been a full week! During our trip to Ollie’s discount store last week, I stared at the kitchen gadget aisle. I just knew there was a kitchen gadget that I needed and had to have. Finally, I found it … a cookie scoop! It was perfect for making our mint chocolate chip cookies for St. Patrick’s Day! But this baking cookies every week deal is killing the diet plan!

My transcription work is continuing to go well. I am becoming faster each day and learning new tricks of the trade along the way. When I owned the preschool my guy built me the most amazing computer program. It proved to be a business saving tool! I loved it dearly and was always so impressed with how much easier he had made my job. Well, now he’s gone and done it again! I know have a computer program to track my transcription work. It even figures up how much I am making per hour with each job I complete. Quite impressive! (And yes, it may just be $9/hr…but let’s not forget, I made that $9/hr in my pajamas! :))

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The dieting scene seems to be at a standstill. May have something to do with the weekly batch of homemade cookies? We are exercising every chance we can! I make goals for myself with small steps on the weight loss journey. This usually works well for me and helps to keep me focused and grounded. I always share my goals with my guy, because that makes me accountable! My current goal is to lose 9 pounds before our NYC trip on April 12th. I had also made the goal this week that we would not go out to eat all week. We worked really hard on that one. We both absolutely love going out to eat. It’s one of our most favorite activities! We made it until Wednesday night when we broke down and headed out to one of our fave places for Nachos. And then it continued Thursday as we were traveling. Oh well, there’s always next week!

Pic 1: Nachos from our fave place in Boone, N.C.

Pic 2 & 3: Peppers! We LOVE them! We eat them with/on everything! Cannot wait to grow our own!

The House Hunting Scene

We took big steps in our house hunting this week! We are in the process of renting a small 2 BR duplex in Mountain City, TN! This is our favorite location of all that we have visited and ideally where we would like to settle. We will not officially move in until Summer, but will use it as a home base when we are in the area until then.  We are currently waiting for everything to become finalized with the rental. Once this is done we will return to the area and begin setting up house!

We also stopped in and spoke with one of our favorite realtors in the area and began discussing the building process and what steps would need to be made first. We now have a list of local contractors that we will be setting meetings up with to review our plans and ideas. We have started looking at land and will be going to check several out once our housing situation is settled. Our house hunt is not over, we will continue searching for  houses, but are preparing ourselves for what may be our next step.  Exciting times! Scary times! Frustrating times! We are feeling it all!

This video was taken on the front porch of our rental house. I am absolutely in love! Cock-a-Doodle-Doo!

Hiking Adventures

We managed to get several short hikes in this week despite the 2 snowfalls we had! The animals are out and about and just as ready for Spring as we are! The green is beginning to show itself from under all of the brown! Sooner or later Spring is gonna happen, I just know it is! We keep check on a Mountain Laurel tree that my guy pulled another fallen tree off of in hopes of saving the beautiful Mountain Laurel. The tree is looking good so far, no blooms yet, but they should be coming soon.

The first pic is of a big black snake that was stretched out right across the hiking trail. Either she was pregnant and soon to deliver, or had just had a large lunch, not sure which. Now of course I could have very easily stepped over Mrs. Snake and went about by way, and I have no doubt she would have been fine with that, or I could have followed my guy as he just skirted right around her, but I needed a little more distance between us. So, I ended up going way uphill and off trail in order to put much as much distance as possible between me and the snake!

The second pic is from one of our hikes when we took the trails that go around the Danville Braves baseball field.

The third pic is 2 deer we saw during one of our hikes. They stood there still for a few minutes before running away. I love watching these animals in their natural habitats! Not too closely though!

The last pic is one of the small waterfalls on the Riverside trail that we walk on frequently. It is one of my favorite trails and has several bridges and small waterfalls.

Traveling Times

Our only traveling this week was to Mountain City, Tn. but it was a beautiful drive! Once we hit Wilkesboro, N.C. the view starts to change and you can see the mountains ahead. On our drive the mountains were beautiful capped with snow. It is a truly breath taking sight. I cannot wait until I get to see it every day!

Cutler and I will be going to Tennessee this coming weekend to see the family for Easter. Time to take more pictures of our kids since they insist on constantly growing! My guy is staying here solo so he can play in his annual Easter gig at a local church.

 

Sappy  Selfies

Here’s one from one of our hikes this week!

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Have a wonderful week! xoxoxo

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Retirement is a Huge Success!

Our Week in Review

We have worked on finding our new routines this week. It is definitely a different world for me and lots to get used to. I have to stop and think about what day of the week it is and you can forget about the actual date. It has been a busy week as well, I thought retirement was a slow-moving time … not around here!

We are up and at ’em by 9 a.m., which means “sleeping in” for me but not so much for my guy. He may begin to miss his days of sleeping past noon. Too much to do around here for sleeping! We both work throughout the morning hours. I am adjusting well with the transcription work I am doing, getting faster and more efficient everyday. I have a set quota of what I need to make each day and was able to meet my goal every day this week.

Our afternoons are spent hiking/walking when weather allows and we are also in the midst of a complete house re-organization. Three bags have already gone to the Goodwill and only two rooms are complete. Time to downsize and minimize before we have to move it all! The main job in the kitchen was spice organization. Spice storage has been a major issue in this apartment. It takes 10-15 minutes of picking up each bottle in the three locations they are stored in to find the one spice needed. My temporary solution is I have them all stored in a clear bucket now on top of the fridge. My new kitchen will have to have a more permanent solution. Our snow day tradition is to work a puzzle as we enjoy the view. We’ve been saving this one for a while now and finally got to finish it this week. We have another puzzle in waiting, but I’ve had enough snow, so hopefully it can hold out until next winter.

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House Hunting News

The house hunt continues on. Very slow-moving at this point. We check the Zillow website daily for all new listings in our preferred areas. We are thinking more each day about the option of buying land and building our own house. Our next step will more than likely involve meeting with a realtor in these area(s) and seeing what our options will be if we do decide to build. Our plans for the weekend are to scour through our house plan books and gain a clear picture of exactly what we want and need this new house to be. Now, any volunteers to oversee the building process for us?

Hiking Adventures

We were able to get outside Thursday and Friday of this week for two small hikes. Well, they seemed pretty big to me though. It felt good to be out in nature again and seeing the changes in the world around us. A little bit of green was beginning to show! Today’s hike seemed to be a never-ending trek uphill. Felt good finally reaching the top though, well, at least until I realized I was going to have to go down and then back up to get to our start point again. But I survived! Even did a little “bush-whacking” on the way back down. I’m so ready for the weather to break and our warm, sunny days to return.

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And what better way to celebrate a nice long hike??? Ice cream is the only way I can think of! And yes it was yummy, small butterscotch sundae for me and dreamsicle astro for my guy with an all beef hot dog on the side. 🙂

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Traveling Times

Our NYC trip is really going to happen! Flights, hotel and Broadway show have been booked. Our days will be filled with seeing all of the sights and maybe a little shopping. I’m very excited and he is too even though he would never admit it. Usually on our trips I have every detail planned out in advance. Especially our food, we plan entire trips around the food situation. I’m not going that route with this trip, allowing more freedom and spontaneity. But we will eat, no worries there. Send suggestions of places not to miss and we will add them to our itinerary. Our trip is set for April 12-16th.

Sappy Selfies

And here’s another sappy selfie to get you through the week! This was on our hike Thursday afternoon on one of the local mountain bike trails.

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Have a great week everyone! xoxoxo

No Better You Than The You That You Are…

Song Lyrics I heard on my way home: No better you than the you that you are. I disagree!!!!  The song is intended to build women up, has lines about covergirls being too skinny and not eating, how you are beautiful just the way you are. I get that totally! I’m all for encouraging girls and women to see their own beauty. We all have it! But to fall into the “No better you than the you that you are” would mean there’s no room for improvement. And it is my belief that there is ALWAYS room for improvement in us all! I work daily on making myself a better me. To accept the me that I was yesterday is not good enough. I made mistakes yesterday, there were flaws in my character. I’m going to work hard today to try to lessen those flaws. Then do the same again tomorrow.

This thought process is a lot of what is wrong with the world today! Everyone getting the trophy just for participating, always looking for the reward for doing required tasks, the sense of entitlement. It originates in this type of thought process. I work with young children, and as a part of this job I hire younger workers.  The work ethic of today’s youth is practically non-existent! Everyday I am faced with dealing with this frustration. They are so entitled, so used to having the world handed to them on a silver platter, the mere idea of working for what they want never enters their minds. And why should it??? I struggle with this as a mother. I am definitely a less than perfect mother. I have made many mistakes throughout raising my child. I have to fight the urge to blame all of his shortcomings on his father and wash my hands of it. It is a struggle co-parenting though. And a manipulative child can work that in his best interest. I’m grateful that he has a “pseudo” step-dad that attempts to steer him in the right direction. ❤

The diet is going welll meh! Mexican for dinner tonight. I tried a new dish through with grilled shrimp & scallops trying to stay on the diet. It was meh, my mouth watered peering at my son’s cheesy chicken and rice plate though! The pounds are slowly coming off though! Looking good for my June trip goal! Working on laundry tonight and hoping to mop the kitchen floor! Did a little job hunting today and more house printing for my house hunting notebook! Ready for this week to be over and my week away with my love to begin!

xoxo

Summer Time!

Summer is here again! (not the official season, but school is ending, drum corps is starting, so in my book that equals summer!) Summer means several things for me; 1. My man leaves me again and again throughout the summer to work! (We are deeply in love with each other after waiting our entire lives to find each other.) Our sadness at being apart for even the shortest times can be sickening to some. The Facebook world hates us and our ooey gooey sappy posts & selfies! 2. Time to buckle down with the weight loss plan and fixate on a new goal. As of right now my goal is to lose the 10 pounds I have been playing with for months by the time we go on vacation on June 15. About 1 month, 10 pounds, I got this! 3. It’s usually a very busy season for me with work. A lot of repairs and cleaning and prep work for a new school year.

This year will prove to be quite different I predict. I have had a 3 year plan for the last 2 years. That 3 year plan will be coming to an end very soon! My business is now for sale and the house & job search have begun! When I take the time to truly sit and think about what the next year will hold, all the changes, all the dreams coming true, I can’t help but to smile, really big! It is a super exciting time, although stressful, the excitement outweighs all else. A new city, no clue exactly where just yet. Recommendations will be appreciated! We love mountain views! For the right view and the right house, and the right weather we would go about anywhere! I am on the hunt for a stay at home computer job. Scouring the internet for ideas and suggestions. I updated my resume today and began filling out my first application 🙂 My evenings are now filled with looking through houses and job listings. My mind constantly drifting to the new life ahead, making plans, making lists, ready to go!

Ok. An observation I made today upon reading a Facebook article. Our local high school had their graduation ceremony this past weekend. For the first year the ceremony was held in a different venue than the school (to prevent having to change location due to weather issues). Apparently each graduate was given 7 tickets for their family members to attend. 299 students graduated. On the morning of the event, parents were turned away at the door and not allowed to watch as their children received their diplomas. The fire marshal stated the building was at full occupancy and for safety issues no one else would be permitted inside. I can understand safety issues. But, preventing a parent from watching their child graduate??? This I do not understand! After alllll those years of staying up late ensuring their homework was complete, helping them study for all of those tests and exams, all those drives to and from school, and then miss the one glory moment you’ve waited 18 years for. O.k., now let’s do some math. 299 students were given 7 tickets each (I always hated those word problems in school) which equals 2,093 tickets. Add the 299 graduates to that total for 2,392. The school stated it printed 2,500 tickets. Their were 1,737 seats available in the bleachers and 1,000 chairs available for seating. Total seats available is 2,737, tickets printed 2,500. Therefore, there should have been no issue. It is assumed that people either printed fake tickets or snuck into the ceremony without tickets. Both of those acts are shameful, but the part that really bothers me is this: If you were sitting in this ceremony, it is reported that it started at least 15 minutes late due to traffic issues and lines of people still trying to come inside, I can imagine that news traveled throughout the venue rather quickly that parents were being held outside not allowed to come in. In the modern day of Facebook, I’m sure posts were read instantly from people sitting inside. So, if you were one of these families that either printed fake tickets and/or snuck people in illegally, and had MORE than your allowed 7 family members, and knew there was a mother or a father sitting in the parking lot missing their babies big moment. And you still just sat there? Is that really the world we live in?? Also, even if you were in this ceremony legally. You had a real ticket, you were part of a students 7 allowed family members. You were the aunt, or the cousin, or uncle. And you read on facebook that their is a mother sitting in the parking lot outraged by missing their child’s graduation. And you continue to sit there as an extended family member and take up that precious seat??? I am an Aunt. I cherish my nieces and nephew. I was right there to watch my niece graduate last year. And I will be there next year to watch the youngest niece graduate. I was proud  and wanted to witness the occasion.  But I would like to think if I had the knowledge that a parent was missing out on this opportunity and if I gave up my seat they could watch their child, that I would do it without hesitation. It would be a bummer, no doubt. But, I know my nieces heart, she would want me to give up that spot for someone else. I’m trying hard not to judge. I know extended family members that were at this ceremony and did not give up their seats. Maybe this was not an option. It has been stated that the doors were locked and no one was being allowed inside. Perhaps if someone had given up their seat the process could not have been followed through calmly in deciding who would be allowed inside. Our city has quite the reputation for violence recently, perhaps spectators were fearful to cause more drama by giving up seats. However, in all of the media attention, there is no mention of families attempting to give up their seats and being turned down. Again, I would like to think I would have done the right thing and given up my seat, and hoped that enough people would follow my example to ensure that all parents were able to watch their child. I often have to step back when I hear about situations such as this one and think about how I would have reacted. Going along with the crowd and having the attitude of “I’m not giving up MY seat” can be so easy. But we all know that is not the right thing to do . It is not easy doing the right thing, it is very easy to go along with the majority that do not always do the right thing. I watch people tear each other down on a daily basis. Always quick to find the negative in a person and/or situation. Very rarely do they stop to try to even find a positive. I just think the world would have to be a better place if we took a moment to build one another up instead of constantly tearing each other down. Must be the Hippy 60’s Love Child coming out in me!

That’s all for now! If you are reading this, comment your favorite, mountainous city…I need some moving destinations! Peace ❤