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

Day One

My new life has begun! Three years ago when I laid out my “three year plan” it seemed so far away in the distance. I didn’t think it would ever arrive. Yet, here we are, three (well two and a half) years later. The sale of my business is complete and my new retired lifestyle began today!

It’s been a strange feeling over the last few days. Very hard to pinpoint and describe just exactly how I’m feeling. My man was out of town the last five days so it’s been just me here dealing with all these new feelings. For 19 years I had a specific purpose to fulfill. I knew each and everyday what my purpose was. Each day brought on it’s own different challenges, but the purpose remained the same. Work. I’ve been known to work entirely too hard and too much and way too many hours. I’ve worked since I was 14 years old. I was raised by two of the hardest workers I’ve ever met. That work ethic was instilled in my sister, brother and myself. I wish the rest of the world had that same experience!  The work ethic is still here, although “retired” I am working from home doing transcription work. Today was my first full day home with no “outside work”. I worked all day long! Between computer work and cleaning and reorganizing and Spring cleaning (yes, I Spring Clean during a snowstorm) and cooking dinner it was a full day! Staying busy is definitely helping settle the mix of feelings I’ve been having.

I began this blog a couple of  years ago to help myself deal with the death of my Dad. Writing the feelings out really did help me to deal with all those emotions. The emotions are still here four years later. The four year anniversary of Dad’s death was last week and my mind just kept going back to that last week four years ago. It seems like yesterday, yet it seems like a lifetime ago. Then the purpose of the blog seemed to shift to dealing with being alone for part of the summer while my guy worked out of town. Those days and weeks are hard! We love being together and when we cannot be we both have a difficult time adjusting! The blog gave me the chance to catch him up on my day to day activities. Now, I think it may be time for the purpose of the blog to shift yet again. Several people have expressed an interest in keeping in touch with our many adventures now that they will not be seeing me on a daily basis. I’m no longer a big fan of Facebook. The drama filled posts turn me away. And we always joke that the Facebook world hates us! Our super, sappy, lovey-dovey posts and selfies everywhere we go, faces aglow, big smiles, always so extremely happy… yeah, it’s sickening! So, to keep from flooding Facebook with our happiness, I will use this blog instead! I will post a link to the blog on Facebook and any who wish to follow our journey may. Others are free to scroll past and never click, and that’s fine!

I’ve been asked several times since an end date for work has been set, what our first big trip is going to be … Well…. We’re going to New York City! I have always wanted to go to NYC. Never been before! Want to go see the sights and say I’ve done it. He on the other hand would much rather prefer going just about anywhere else. The big city excitement does absolutely nothing for him. No mountains, no hiking, pollution, noise, traffic, yeah.. totally not his scene at all. I’ve mentioned going before and he’s always shut it down rather quickly. As things with the business sale began falling into place, one night he looked over at me and said, “So, do you want to go to New York City?” I said, “Well, yeah, always have.” He then announced that we would go as our celebratory trip for selling the business. But his promise came with stipulations. We would not set anything or buy any tickets until the sale was complete. Everything done and then the planning for a long weekend trip would begin. We set our time for sometime in April. And so, the concrete planning will begin tonight! A friend that visits NYC frequently has hooked me up with a perfect agenda! All the sights, Broadway show (I’m leaning towards Phantom, easy tickets to get on such a short notice), and all the excitement that NYC has to offer. I can’t wait! Let the planning begin.

And then there’s reality. The reality of this move we are supposed to be making this summer. To where you ask? Well, yeah, we aren’t really quite sure of that yet! We know the areas we would like to be in. But have had 0 luck finding a house in those areas. We have started tossing around the idea of buying land instead and building our house. That option is both exciting and scary at the same time. Most nights we have a difficult time deciding what to eat for dinner, and in building a house there are major decisions that have to be made, lots of them! It is overwhelming and mind blowing at this point. And well, if you know my man you know he is somewhat of a perfectionist type, and from my experience very little about building a house is considered perfect. We have already decided that if we do end up building, we will rent a house/apartment in the area so that we would be able to report to the job site everyday. He will be there for inspection, I will deliver doughnuts and coffee to act as a buffer for his questioning and scrutiny. We still hold out hope that as the housing market opens up this Spring, we will find the perfect house, already built, in the perfect area. Come on universe…hook a girl up!

Dinner tonight was delicious! Weight loss is a big part of my everyday. I go up and down on a regular basis it seems. I go from eating right and living a healthy lifestyle to going out to eat and eating big every night. It’s a hard ride. But I am confident with my new life that I will finally be able to stay on track once and for all! More time to exercise, more time for meal planning and preparation. And once our move is made, I will be all about growing our own vegetables and canning foods to enjoy throughout the year! I can’t wait! So tonight’s dinner plan was Sweet-n-Sour Turkey Meatballs with peppers & onions over Egg Noodles. So yummy! See picture below! And so easy to make! Just popped meatballs, sugar-free grape jelly, chili sauce and peppers and onions in crock pot and done! IMG_1779[1].JPGThe blog will more than likely include more food pics and hiking pics than anything else lol. I will try to keep the sappy selfies to a minimum though. 😉

Have to go start my snow day puzzle now! More to come later!

xoxoxo ❤

 

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