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Author Topic: Cruising toward retirement  (Read 2820 times)

ponymare

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Ice, Ice, Baby
« Reply #105 on: February 13, 2018, 02:31:08 pm »

We had our first trip to the Plateau in winter. Saturday was a beautiful day... and we spent it traveling TO Tennessee. :-\

If only we had gotten up sooner. But, as I tell David often... "spilled milk. Let's just move on!"

It was dusk before we got to our Happy Place... and raining on Sunday...so no uplifting view of the distant mountain range.  We still managed to explore a little in the rain and mist. I got a little road walk in. I received a Fitbit for Christmas and had been doing quite well... until I went on vacation.  I DID notice that it tracked much more restful sleep while I was there.  No surprise there!

Monday was David's birthday but I was sworn to secrecy. It's just another day to him and he gets embarrassed if you point it out.  We managed a craft brewery visit and winery tour and had a nice birthday dinner in downtown Cookeville. I really like their downtown area. We also hiked to the back of our property to see if our little water feature was flowing and were surprised to see that there were still icicles on the rocks. Although it was a nippy 22 when we hiked in, it had been well above that recently. So glad we got to see those. And our water feature was running pretty well.

On Wednesday we stopped by Chattanooga to see my husband's sister. His Mom was visiting there as well, so we got to visit with her, too.  It's only a 2 hour drive from Jamestown to Chattanooga. From there we headed home, but I'm pretty sure we left our hearts in the hills!
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ponymare

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New lease on life
« Reply #106 on: March 05, 2018, 02:49:55 pm »

For old furniture, that is! I took the old sofa that belonged to one grandmother and the rocker that belonged to the other and had them reupholstered. I think they turned out pretty well, and though I know the pattern I picked for the couch is not for everyone, it suits me at this time in my life. I need a little pick-me-up to shake me out of the doldrums.

I also have plans to change my curtains in both the living room and kitchen .  I had first thought I'd only need to replace the valances in the living room, but then we decided to use the leftover fabric from the sofa on my kitchen chairs, so I'm changing those to a cheery yellow geometric print.  The living room valances will be a little more tailored and will be red to bring out the red in my sofa.  I'm not sure whether my rocker will be in the living room, too, but it is a red floral. If I put my solid color moss green sofa between my new sofa and rocker, it's possible they can co-exist together. I also ordered some cushions for the sofa in soft ice blue and moss green chenille. With a golden yellow lumbar pillow for the center.  I just ordered them so I'm impatiently waiting for them to be delivered.

The before picture of the rocker is the original needle point pattern that was on it in my grandmother's house. The black and white picture is of all the grandchildren sitting on the sofa in my other grandmother's house. I'm the baby with the blurry hands lol! Mother had the sofa recovered but the material she chose was not pet friendly so I picked a sturdy cotton twill fabric.  With cheery colors! As to the bird pattern I picked, my son's girlfriend told me I picked it because I am getting ready to have an empty nest!  My youngest son recently got an engineer in training position with a company a little over an hour away. He plans to eventually move there, but will be commuting for a little while at first.  So I guess I am "feathering my nest" for the next chapter.
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ponymare

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As the Trailer turns
« Reply #107 on: March 06, 2018, 04:03:08 pm »

So, we are back to the search once again for a day trailer for the boys.

David is still insisting on aluminum even though it would cost a little more initially. We may have found a gooseneck stock trailer in our price range, but it's a long drive to where it's parked.  :-\

Are we still young enough and crazy enough to drive 11 hours one way to look at a trailer?  Stay tuned to find out.  ::)
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ponymare

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The trailer conclusion
« Reply #108 on: March 19, 2018, 09:42:56 am »

Well, it turns out we weren't young enough and crazy enough to drive 11 hours, so we only went 8 hours in search of a trailer.

Just cross posting from the Back Porch (so I will be able to find it some day):

We had been looking for quite some time for a small day trip trailer. Well, I was mainly looking. DH was saying we couldn't afford it, which was true.  But I received a little gift recently and though we longingly looked at a fun jeep, we did "sort of" the responsible thing and bought a trailer. Adulting! ;D

After we traded in our CM 4 horse Drover for our Lakota LQ, we were kind of stuck at the house because it was such a hassle to take the big trailer on short hauls. Not to mention expensive.  Our 2004 CM served us well for 11 years and we had no major complaints with it. It was steel with a galvanneal skin and had very little rust on it after standing out in the elements for 11 years. The floor was still great. The only complaint we had was that the kickboard was made of plywood (behind the wall backing) and years of rain funneling down the sides eventually rotted the wood. Rather than replace the wood, David just tore out the  backing and plywood and painted it with a rubberized paint.  Got a great return on our money when we traded it in.

Fast forward to now. DH kept saying his dream was a 16 ft. aluminum gooseneck stock trailer. But a brand new one just definitely wasn't in our budget and no one seems to turn loose of good used ones!

After looking at several new Featherlites (a 16 ft. bumper pull and a 20 ft. gooseneck) we decided a 20 ft. was too long for our allotted parking space and there weren't any 16 ft. goosenecks close enough to drive to look at. We have a pretty tight parking situation at home (until our sons move some of their cars) and he REEEALLLY wanted a gooseneck to maneuver in such a tight space.

But he looked at trailers every night like reading himself to sleep haha!  I mentioned that since we had really been happy with our CM, why didn't he look at CM's.  I would have been happy with another galvanneal which was cheaper, but he wanted this one to last until we stopped riding, without having to replace the floor. Again, we found that though there were CM dealers fairly close, most of them didn't have aluminums in stock. At this point  he was waffling back and forth, thinking maybe we SHOULD get something with a small dressing room we could carry things in. He started looking at the CM Renegade bumper pull on the CM site. It had slats on the butt side and dropdown windows on the head side. So he did searches for CM Renegades. Naturally most of them that he found were far away! And really more than we could bring ourselves to spend.

Then Wednesday night, after DH went to bed, I found a posting for a CM Fastback on a gaited horse Facebook page and it was very similar to the Renegade except for having slats on both sides.  I was so excited but I couldn't wake him up as he had to get up at 4:30 so I messaged and texted and finally talked to the seller. It was a 2016 and had been used 4 times. I told him I would discuss with DH and call him in the morning.

We had kinks working out the details but we ended up buying it. I was scheduled to be in Nashville with my sons for a weekend festival and DH had to work the next weekend, so we got up at 2 a.m. Friday morning and drove over 8 hrs. to KY! Then DH dropped me off in Nashville and headed home with the trailer. What a long day!

I'm sure Gabe and Sunny won't be as thrilled as we are with the trailer, since they might actually get ridden some this year!  But I am quite happy with our purchase so far. We may buy some plexiglass to put in the sides and we just ordered a trailer hitch lock to put on it, but then we will be set.  :D
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ponymare

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Perplexed by plexiglass
« Reply #109 on: March 20, 2018, 02:28:32 pm »

Looks like there are lots of materials you can buy to use for panels in stock trailers. I read that acrylic was cheaper but might crack in cold weather and would scratch more easily. 

I guess we will be taking a field trip to Lowe's to see what they carry. We think a slightly tinted material would be nice.  Why is it when you spend money, you always end up having to spend MORE money?

Down another rabbit trail, DH decided he might like to get a sound bar for the TV when we get ready to move it from the TV armoire to a wall mount.  My youngest son took the ball and ran with it - insisting on meeting us at Best Buy to look (and listen).  While we were there we idly looked at a slightly bigger TV (43 versus our 37 which was all our TV armoire would comfortably hold).  We bought a sound bar but decided we would wait and see if there were any good sales before purchasing a TV. Later (maybe the next day) my son (the youngest again) started looking at TV's online and found a deal where we could get the TV we had looked at $20 cheaper and also get an E-coupon for $100 that HE could use.  Yeah - where was MY big savings?  ;D So since I am more of a pushover than my DH, I purchased the TV. Then was questioned constantly about whether the E-coupon had been emailed yet!  DH said it was news to him we had definitely decided to buy a new TV. And why did the youngest get the coupon?  I told him that's the way we "youngest" roll! 

On the bright side, the youngest started a new engineering job last week and is learning the facts of life now. I'm not totally cutting ties, but the purse strings will definitely be tightened up, from now on!  ;D  I hope to see a difference!
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ponymare

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Lock it up!
« Reply #110 on: March 22, 2018, 03:06:25 pm »

We received the lock for the new trailer. I hope it works! We've never had a problem but better safe than sorry! 

Now for the plexiglass to keep those wrens from nesting in it.  :(

We've also been having trouble with a particular cardinal.  He keeps flying into the rear view mirrors on our cars and is making a mess. I wonder if we covered them up with plastic bags and rubber bands if he would leave them alone.  I'm afraid he's scratched the passenger side mirror on the truck. >:(
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ponymare

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lock pick (haha)
« Reply #111 on: March 23, 2018, 08:11:45 am »

DH really likes the new lock. If you knew him, you would know how amazing that is! ;)

Here's a pic and a link.  He's going to repaint the trailer hitch. That's the only thing that doesn't look new!

https://www.etrailer.com/s.aspx?qry=DT25013KA
« Last Edit: April 06, 2018, 12:29:50 pm by ponymare »
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ponymare

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old lumber, new TV
« Reply #112 on: March 23, 2018, 08:25:13 am »

Since we are simplifying our lives and trying to create more space in our tiny living room, we decided to mount the TV on the wall. The old armoire will make its way into the bedroom and DH will add some more shelving and a rod for hanging clothes.  IF I get a place cleaned out to put it! That's the plan, anyway(s), as my children would say.

To this end, we bought a bit bigger TV, but not a gigantic one, because the living room is small. DH had brought some lumber home from the little horse stable at my parent's house, since we are getting ready to sell the property and I wanted a memento of my first horse's home. He salvaged part of the door frame, complete with hinges and decided to use that to "frame in " the TV. He isn't done with the project but here is a sneak preview of the project.  He will be hiding all the wires and such. I think it's going to be pretty cool.

He started out working on the project alone, with my occasional assistance holding boards, but my youngest came home and helped him finish hanging and adjusting the sound bar.

I'll get a picture of it centered after the project is complete.


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ponymare

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Bling Thing
« Reply #113 on: March 26, 2018, 04:40:19 pm »

I forgot to mention the first project DH did with the lumber from the old stable.  I had been searching for something where I could hang all my necklaces and earrings, and we had even gone so far as to gather some supplies at the Big Box store but hadn't completely formulated a plan.  Meanwhile I found a galvanized key holder box that looked like something I could use.  The mesh front door on the box looked like a great place for earrings.  When I brought that home DH decided to use some of the old lumber to mount it, and he also added some acrylic cabinet knobs to dress up the lumber a bit.  I was really pleased with the way it turned out and now I can see all my necklaces at a glance.  I had been draping them over a lampshade which did NOTHING for the lampshade and most of the time my necklaces were hopelessly tangled, so I didn't even bother to wear them.  It was a bit of a chore untangling them, but we eventually got them all apart.  I don't have all my earrings on the key cabinet door yet because the door needs a clear coat on it to seal the rust that's part of its charm.  DH is still working on the TV mount, putting in another electrical outlet to hide the wiring and then he plans to paint the hitch on the new trailer we brought home, so he's got plenty to keep him busy on his days off. I have been spending time cleaning out my parents' house with its 55 years of memories, and it is physically and emotionally demanding. I took pajamas from the dresser yesterday and they smelled like my father and I buried my face in them. When I folded my mother's gym clothes I could see the way she used to exercise, her lips pursed in intense concentration as she did her reps. I think I am down to the detritus of old paperclips and pencils, rubber bands and Christmas cards, and I can finally allow myself to let someone help me clean it.   
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ponymare

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Vet check Friday
« Reply #114 on: April 06, 2018, 12:25:14 pm »

Good Friday was also Vet Check Friday for the boys. We used our new runabout trailer for the first time to take them to the vet and it went pretty smoothly but we decided we won't be taking the divider out between them, as Gabe is too wiggly and won't stay still and leave room for Sunny to "hop on the back."  Gabe is so dang long, he takes up a lot of space when he wants to! I think we need to investigate putting a chain or rope at the back behind Sunny.  He's really good in the trailer but I don't like there being nothing between him and the back door.  Something there will just remind him to stay away from the door. Latches seem sturdy. I'm just a worry wart.

We usually just do a farm visit, but I let it slip up on me and he had cows coming to his barn that day so we just slipped in before they got there.

It felt different not hauling around a huge trailer behind us!  But nice!

Sunny heard the neighbor's peacocks and wasn't sure about those screams.  He had acted a bit uneasy when he saw the cows (well, actually just alert) but I think the peacocks unsettled him a little!


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ponymare

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Out with the old and in with the old
« Reply #115 on: April 06, 2018, 02:39:58 pm »

Getting closer to getting my father's things sorted and I keep finding things I "just can't do without."  I know they won't mean the same to others and I guess this drives my need to keep little reminders of my parents where I can see them on a daily basis. 

DH is not sentimental and says he can keep all his memories in his head (and not cluttering up a house is the unspoken ending to that sentence). Good for him. I'm digging in on a few things.

I guess if moving in a few old things didn't consist of re-vamping my whole living room and, heaven forbid, buying a few things to tie it all together, he might be more on board with it! 

My Bye Bye Birdie couch has opened up a whole can of designer worms that refuse to be put back.  ;D

I'm entering my Season of Light and I'm determined to shine in my golden years!
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ponymare

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I got a new attitude
« Reply #116 on: April 23, 2018, 08:44:20 am »

So my new determination to shine and live life to the fullest includes a sea change to be effective. I am starting to feel my almost 59 years and I know I need to start taking care of myself better if I want to enjoy whatever lies ahead.

I had previously lost 25 pounds in 2014 and was feeling pretty awesome when my father started to decline and started to need my assistance quite often.  This included bringing him lunch everyday from his favorite "meat and three" place.  At first I was able to handle the heavy lunch meals with him, but as my duties increased, I started letting my exercise regimen go. I'm so glad I was able to go to Europe in 2015 before I completely derailed my body. I would never make it now, following a group of teenagers around in a fast paced tour. I'm glad my brother was able to be with my father so that I could take that once in a lifetime trip.

However, after I got back, I went further down the slippery slope, feeling sorry for myself at times and rewarding myself with all the fattening things that I loved most. That apparently my body can't tolerate.

The last time I just mainly did a gluten free diet, to see if it would help other problems that I was experiencing.  I didn't really see a lot of improvement there, but apparently just stopping wheat products and soft drinks and exercising was the key to weight loss for me. I didn't even stop eating potatoes (although I ate less) or drinking my sweet tea. 

But after I had lost weight I began having MORE digestive problems than if I ate biscuits and potatoes!  If this was a joke, it wasn't funny!  The stress that I felt actually made healthy food harder to tolerate it seemed.

Anyway, I digress. Fast forward to today. Every time a new month or even new week would start I would vow to start over and do what I did before, but it seemed harder this time. 

When my father died in the fall, I thought surely it will be easy for me now. But it wasn't. New problems created new stress. 

I think I'm finally coming out on the other side. And I will get to that story later.
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ponymare

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New Attitude: Part 2
« Reply #117 on: April 30, 2018, 02:01:09 pm »

Well, part two was supposed to be all about my healthy eating plan - loosely based on Trim Healthy Mama. But at almost the beginning of my new eating regimen,but into my second week of fitness walking,  my piriformis muscle aggravated my sciatic nerve, and before you know it, I was down for the count.


I did dry needling with a low current and electromagnetic therapy, and alternating ice and heat with NSAIDS, but seemed no better. I had thought I was getting better by the second day, but must have irritated a whole new set of muscles or nerves on the other side of my body trying to compensate, and it became excruciating just laying flat on my back. I reluctantly went to the doctor and got a steroid shot, but I was oh so glad I did when I finally experienced some relief.

This past weekend was lovely, too, but I was afraid to get out on the trail with the horses so soon after my remembered agony.  :(  But at least hubby was able to get part of trailer washed and we got the saddle pads out to air.  I resumed my walking Friday, but tried not to overdo it.

I went a little "off plan" during my convalescence as no one else could (or would offer to) make my THM Good Girl Moonshine (a beverage you sip on all day that contains ACV, ginger, sweetener and (my choice) blueberry tea. Or make me vegetables. Because no one else eats healthy food at my house.  :P

I just followed it as well as I could.

But today is another day and soon we will be back in J'town. And I still managed to enjoy the beautiful weekend WITH the horses, if not riding them. Standing beside them is better than nothing at all!
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ponymare

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Spring is in the air and green is in the woods!
« Reply #118 on: May 01, 2018, 03:42:42 pm »

Prepping for our first trip to Jamestown since February. This time will be a horse trip if all goes according to plan. I hope we're in the window of opportunity for viewing the mountain laurel as they are gorgeous this time of year. With our luck we will either be too early or too late, but just being on the Plateau will be enough if that's all we get.

DH got the top of the trailer washed and will finish washing it tomorrow. We didn't use a cover this year and it got quite dirty under the trees. I got the saddle pads out and aired them out. Sometime David washes them with the garden hose, but they don't appear to be in too bad a shape.  I spot cleaned mine with my manely hair and tail shampoo and it looks a little better now.  I want a purple one just like my turquoise one but DH said I can't match every outfit to my saddle pad HA HA!  He also said I don't have enough horses, or ride enough days to need another one. I already have a red and black striped one so I already have an extra.  But I DO love purple!!

I hope the weather is pretty for our trip. It's really starting to warm up here in North MS. I hope we have a few temperate days before it becomes full on summer!
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ponymare

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Auctioning off my childhood
« Reply #119 on: May 03, 2018, 03:19:40 pm »

An online auction of my parents' estate is making it real for me now. It's so weird to see the things I grew up with being auctioned off, but there was no way we could keep it all and the grandchildren didn't want much. They mostly took small items that reminded them of their grandparents, like domino sets and pen knives and books that their grandmother read to them from. 

I think I ended up with the bulk of the furniture and no place to store it all.  But some things were just too personal to sell. I'm even getting a french door that mother hauled from the delta to the hill country after her mother passed away. This door was one of several in my grandmother's living room and two of them led out to the screened in porch where I spent many happy hours playing. She had a little wooden bench with black cats on each end, but I have no idea what happened to that. The screened in porch was the only place you could play in the summertime or the mosquitoes would carry you away! I have no idea what I'm going to do with that door, but if I just prop it against the wall in some room, it will be a welcome sight.

My sister kept her Shirley Temple doll but I put my Barbie Doll and case in the auction and it seems to be drawing some interest. It would be worth more if I hadn't traded in my sister's original Barbie for the Twist N Turn version! Mattel was shrewd!

It's really not as hard as I thought it would be and I think it's because Caring Transitions is such a great company to work with. They are caring and treat your memories tenderly. They have become so experienced, they know what's worth keeping, what needs throwing away, and how to find lost treasures for you!  I've been looking for several months for my mother's short lace wedding dress and an old Brownie camera and they found them for me!

Bittersweet memories! This huge task also tells me I need to get to work sifting through my own house for family debris!



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