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

Home Alone…again!

He’s gone once again! Only for a week this time though. It hasn’t been too terribly awful this time around. I’m super busy at work so that helps. It’s always the home time that it hits me. That’s when I miss him the most.

It’s Father’s Day Weekend…so of course Dad keeps creeping into my mind. I was just thinking about how grateful I am for having a Dad like mine. That taught me so many valuable, important life lessons. And I was thinking that if given the chance I’d give anything for just one more conversation. I’d let him talk as long as he wanted! He loved to laugh and make other people laugh, I’d let him tell me as many jokes as he could remember! But I really have nothing left unsaid with him. He died knowing how loved he was. He knew our feelings, how lucky we felt to have him as our Dad. That’s how my family is…we are open and free with our words. Maybe just a little dysfunctional but we do alright.

So..everyone has read about the shark attacks on a North Carolina beach I am sure. Welp my son is going to that very beach next week with his Dad and his family. I’m really trying very hard not to be THAT Mom that freaks out over the thought of him dipping his toes into that shark infested water. We’ve talked about it, and I really am not worried about it. He isn’t much of an ocean water boy anyway.

My favorite TV show comes back on tonight (Yay!) So that’s a big distraction for me. It only comes on in the summer so I have to wait all year for it to come back on. I have a busy busy weekend planned at work …my hope is I’ll be so tired when I get home I’ll just instantly crash! And wake up on Tuesday when it’s time for him to come home again lol!

I’m back on my diet again. More focused, motivated and dedicated than before! I’ve lost 2.4 lbs this week so far! today’s been a tough day for the diet. I’m hungry and want to cheat so bad! So far, so good though! Hope to at least get somewhat close to my goal weight by the end of August when I have a wedding to go to.

I’ve thought a lot about my friend today. I’ve been under the impression that things were going ok for us lately. We’ve spoken and talked at work each day. Things seemed a little less stressed and tense between us. But she makes a point to make it clear that she has no interest in me anymore. I’m sure she feels it’s the treatment I deserve. She posted several quotes on facebook today that I know were meant for me. My first instinct was to find an even better digging in quote to post on mine. But I stopped myself. That’s not who I want to be any longer. Still working on not judging others ..it’s an everyday struggle! But at least I can say I am more aware of when it happens now.

ok …that’s it for now…more later! Have a great evening!

Embrace the positive!

2 things have been on my mind today.

First, is my Daddy…have thought of him all week long. Not sure why…maybe because I’m going to Mom’s this weekend. Driving there always brings him to mind, realizing he won’t be there to say “Hey Girlfriend, I’ve been waitin’ on you”, or  thinking of the drives I took when he was sick and in  the hospital and not knowing what I would be facing when I arrived. Maybe it’s the time of year, like I said in a previous post, this was his most favorite time of year, or maybe it’s Father’s Day. Last year when I went to WalMart at this time of year and saw the Father’s Day cards all on display I instantly had tears in my eyes, I put it off as being so close to his death…same reaction this  year though. Maybe it’s because I’ve been worried about Mom and know how badly she is missing him. Not sure of why, but hes’ been right there in the front of my mind all week long. Reliving the memories I will always cherish, feeling the love that will always be there, crying the tears that always manage to come. I am so very thankful that I was chosen to be his daughter. I will always honor him by living my life in the same ways he lived his. Fully and completely.

Number two, is a facebook post from last night:

“Let go of negative people and thoughts. Embrace positive people and those that build you up. Forgive. Be more judge-mental of self than others. .everyone makes mistakes. Have compassion and have fun!!! Life Is too short to regret. Love on purpose. Live on purpose. Be.”

Wow! What mind blowing, thought provoking words! What a way to live! Describes exactly how I want to live my life. Some parts of it I have managed to take on, other parts I am still working on everyday. Be more judge-mental of self than others…I’m going to concentrate on that one for right now. I know I need work on that and it’s a hard one . Passing judgement is so easy to do. I’ve let go of negative people, I do embrace positive people and love being around others that build me up. So  I’m going to try to stop myself and take the time to realize before I pass judgement. Wish me luck!!

P.S. 3 more days! then we are together again!

What an Amazing Week!

I had a fabulous trip to see my sweet man! It went by very quickly, but at the same time, it was like time was standing still. Nothing else matters when we are together like that. No outside stresses..just each other and time to be together. It’s absolutely perfect! We spent our mornings going on walks and short hikes. (I felt like they were real hikes, until I’ve seen pics of what he has hiked since I left lol) The scenery was beautiful, breathtaking, indescribable. You have to experience it to get it’s beauty. Snow capped mountains, trees as tall as you can see, water falls, streams, rivers, bridges, animals, I soaked up every detail and every second. I’ll post a few pics at the end. It’s ok to step out of the box, remove yourself from your comfort zones from time to time. The old me would have never imagined enjoying this type of thing. But I do truly love it. And it makes me feel amazing! Win Win! The afternoons were spent with us both working. I would sit on the sidelines with my laptop typing away trying to get ahead at work. He would do his thing and I was blown away by the effect he has on the kids he works with. I knew he was something special….but I get to see a part of him that not many get to see. These kids get to see it. They get him totally. And they love him and respect his praise and opinion. I loved being apart of the life he is so passionate about. The evenings were spent with a great group of friends. Lots of laughs and fun times. Being with him every second of the day is the best possible scenario for me. It’s when we are our best! I can’t imagine ever wishing he would go to work, or that I could be alone. It’s just too good when we are together. Which is why it sucks so terribly awfully bad when we are apart! I’ve done really good at staying busy so far. But I’m getting that bummed feeling coming on again! One more week! I can do it! 037 558 512

8:30 p.m. is my favorite time of day!

Today was a rather calm, uneventful day. Lots of time to miss my man! I’m still being extra productive at work preparing for my absence next week. The drama was on the down side today. whew! Hired a new girl that will start tomorrow afternoon. My business is definitely on the way back up! I just hope we can all keep it there! I felt better today! Only had to take Advil once! woo hoo! It’s the little things that excite me! Had 2 good conversations with 2 of my staff members today..feeling good about that! Ya know….I had all these aspirations of all the stuff I was going to get done while he was gone…I haven’t done one thing at home! Maybe next weekend I will get it all done! I can’t wait til he gets home! I don’t remember him being quite this busy or unavailable last year 😦 . The time difference is a killer! When I can talk, he’s sleeping, when I can talk, he’s working …ugh! So that leaves his 5:30, my 8:30 dinner break. Which averages about 5 minutes that we can actually talk! These times are hard I tell ya! Hope they ease up soon!!!

I need my IT guy STAT! I think I accidentally deleted a bunch of files from one of my computer’s at work today. I had tried emailing the files to myself numerous times and it would not work. So I attempted to burn them onto a CD. Well…..I did something…clicked something ….and …..POOF GONE! I went to the recycle  bin and restored the folder ..whew….but…..can’t find it on the computer now and it’s not in the recycle bin and I ran a search and nothing! Oh well….I should have plenty of time next week to re-type everything! I really do miss my IT guy…resetting your own router is hard work!

My mind can sometimes go crazy while he’s away. All these crazy thoughts start slipping in. We just need to be together. Plain and simple! The End!

lol…I’ve deleted this blog twice now….click..click..click…thank goodness for “restore”!!!

Day 1 = 5 minutes :(

Well ….it’s here…..he left early yesterday morning. He was on and off flights all day long…staggered texts here and there….but it felt good. I felt good about it, thought I had a handle on it this year. Today….not so much. He slept all morning my time (there’s a 3 hr time difference now) then worked all afternoon and night. Very little texting today and a quick 5 min chat during his break. This is the part that is always so hard. I went from being #1, his main priority, having all of his time, to plummeting to the bottom of the list overnight. And I’m sick, and I don’t feel good. I was prepared, I knew this is how things would be. Soon as I’m done with my 5 minute pity party I’ll pull up my big girl panties and get over it. Plenty to do to keep me busy.

Re-cap of my day:

Hmm…let’s see….I couldn’t sleep last night because my bed was way too empty (pity party continues), so I’ve been awake since 4 am. Work was very busy…had to cover for someone’s day off. Which means doing their job and mine too! Had an interview this morning. I liked the girl, however, she is a college student, so summer only employment and breaks when she is home. I have another interview tomorrow I’m waiting to see how it goes before I make a final decision. Only need to hire one.

Had to correct 3 staff members today, that is never fun! One of my biggest weaknesses! But I did it! 2 for not following proper procedures and 1 for correcting her tone and way she talks. Ha….then had a call from a customer….the bank was holding their check because it wasn’t signed! Should’ve known I wouldn’t be able to slip that one by!

2:00 p.m. was called by the School Nurse saying my son had fallen while playing football during 2nd period (a long way before 2:00) and he had just now came to the office stating he was in pain. He also told the nurse he had blacked out for a few seconds after he fell. He can be a bit melodramatic at times. I talked to him on the phone and he assured me he was fine. So he stayed in school.

I left work around 4:30 and went straight to the doctor’s office. I have had terrible head pains for the last week. I’ve never had trouble with allergies or sinus problems, but I was diagnosed with a sinus infection. And wow! what pain! My whole face hurts! And the Dr. said I was running a fever (I felt o.k. before I knew that…did she have to tell me?!?) Went to the pharmacy and had my meds filled. Some strange guy kept following me up and down all the aisles while I waited. It was obvious and I was starting to get freaked. So I eventually went and set down and waited. Never saw him again.

Had to go to Sam’s to get supplies for work and went to eat with my son ( I had a salad :)) Then came home and played the new computer game I treated myself to just waiting for 8:30 to get here. I wasn’t supposed to feel like this this year. It  was supposed to be better. There’s always tomorrow…

3 Weeks = 21 Days = 504 hours = 30,240 minutes = 1,814,400 seconds……

We’ve known this time was coming. It comes every summer. He has to go away for work for days/weeks at a time. First trip this year is …..yea you guessed it…3 weeks. Longer than any of the trips last year. He’s working during this time, super focused, busy doing what he loves…living out his passion. It’s a good thing. A part of him I would never want to change or take away. I support him in this and want him to teach excellence to all that will listen and learn from him.

Last years trips were very difficult on us both. We were still brand new. Still working out all of our kinks and learning new things about each other everyday. He found it very hard to focus on his work, he was overwhelmed by how much and intensely he missed me. I attempted to stay focused on work and tasks that needed to be complete….but it was so very hard. Lots of tears, were shed, so many “I miss you”‘s were spoken and typed. We knew we just had to be together. Maybe in a weak moment or two there was a “never again” muttered only to be followed by a vow to never ask or expect him to quit. Then those few last minute flights across the country for a short visit when we just couldn’t stand it any longer.

I’ve wondered all year how different this year would be. From one side, we are more secure and set in our relationship now. We are both confident that we are in this for the long run. We should be able to handle an absence with no changes occurring. After all, absence does make the heart grow fonder. On the other side..we are used to being together everyday now. He didn’t move in until the end of last summer’s tour. We spend every possible moment we can together. He is my very best friend, my sounding board, my venting post, the only true, complete love I have ever felt on this level.

Yes, I do realize I sound like a spoiled brat who is used to getting her way. I am very grateful that I have this amazing man in y life and that I am lucky enough to wake up beside him almost every morning. I have no doubt  we will survive this summer and many more to follow. The excitement of the adventures to come are tempting a change in my mood. Everything wil work itself out and all will be fine. The 3 weeks will be over and done before we know it. But just for today, I get to be sad and have my pity party for one!!! More to come as the summer tour begins.

Welcome to my Odyssey!

od·ys·sey: noun \ˈä-də-sē\

: a long journey full of adventures

: a series of experiences that give knowledge or understanding to someone

The last few years of my life have been quite the journey! I have ended a 13 year business partnership (and 30+ year friendship in the process) in August 2012, a 15 year marriage ended in divorce, and lost my father after a long illness in March of 2014. Each of these events have caused many changes in not only my life and way of living, but in myself and who I am as well. I often say I spent the last 2 years trying to find myself. Thankfully, I do believe I have finally found me! I have gained much knowledge and understanding throughout this odyssey of mine. My plan now is to use this blog to sort out my thoughts on life, put them all down, and if it helps someone else out along the way, all the better!

I have met a truly amazing man that has shown me a love like I have never felt before. His love is so deep and complete, the kind you only read about in romance novels or see in the movies. I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to spend each and everyday with him! We cherish our time together and try our hardest not to take one second for granted! We love our weekend adventures that sometimes take us out of town, or sometimes happen right in our own backyard. Today’s adventure was what started as a simple walk on a rails to trail path here in town. This trail has become one of our favorites due to its beautiful scenery. We were walking a part of the trail that I had never been on today, when we came to a breathtaking stone bridge. You had to lean way over the bank to even see the amazing architecture of the bridge. I wanted to be able to get a picture and he wanted to explore a trail down below. So, we made our way down a steep, rocky cliff to the creek below the bridge. The scenery was beautiful, the camera could have never captured enough of the pure beauty to do the scene justice! We walked along the trail for awhile before returning back to the waterfall. We made our way back up the cliff (much easier than we thought! minus one slip up in the mud!) and headed back to our car. Just another beautiful day spent with my love!  photo(1)photo