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Author Topic: Cruising toward retirement  (Read 2538 times)

ponymare

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Fire Pit Fun!
« Reply #90 on: August 10, 2017, 07:26:41 am »

Found a great deal strolling through the sporting goods store last night!  Cast iron "pie irons", originally $16.99 each but we got them for less than $7 each. We got the last two! 

Now THIS is my kind of cooking! Recipes were included and can't wait to try some!

We will probably use them for cooking hamburgers or lemon pepper chicken as well when it's just the two of us.  ;D ;D ;D




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ponymare

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Recipes for fun
« Reply #91 on: August 11, 2017, 11:34:08 am »

Hubby was on youtube looking up recipes to use in our new toy (see above post) and how to season the cast iron properly. Bring on the camping season!

« Last Edit: August 28, 2017, 08:17:21 am by ponymare »
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ponymare

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We brake for mental health
« Reply #92 on: August 28, 2017, 08:05:53 am »

Just back from another trip to TN. We went with our neighbors to a nearby town to view the solar eclipse and it was amazing.  The center line of totality passed through Spring City, TN, and we were there to see the amazing sight!  A total body rush!

The next day we went kayaking at Pickett State Park which is very close to Big South Fork.  It's just a small, leisurely float among sandstone bluffs and arches and it was just what we needed.

Hubby was just coming off of his two week night shift and didn't feel like doing any work on the fencing or water but I know he needed the rest.  Just before we left, though, it made me feel sad that nothing had been accomplished on this trip and I'm embarrassed to admit that I let him know how frustrated I was. I think it was just the sadness of leaving again, and I'm sure he felt the same way, but I sulked a bit and made him feel bad (and me, too). Luckily, I came to my senses before too much damage was done and I apologized for acting so childish. 

I still wished that we had at least gotten the water hooked up, but the mental health break was still much needed and enjoyed.

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ponymare

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Hiking to Hazard Cave
« Reply #93 on: August 28, 2017, 08:16:35 am »

Our last day there we ventured out on our own. Our neighbor had showed up a small natural arch near Pickett State Park and told us about another short trail to a glow worm habitat called Hazard Cave.  We decided to check it out to see if it was hiking friendly enough for some family members to try when they visit. Except for a few steps going down (that became MORE steps, it seemed, when going back up), it wasn't too far and was pretty impressive.  Although we have some big sandstone cliffs fairly near us at Rock Bridge Canyon, these were still pretty cool and it was a beautiful day for exploring. The fence pictured is to protect a fragile plant that is endangered and only grows in a few places.
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ponymare

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Money buys "some" happiness
« Reply #94 on: August 29, 2017, 12:02:57 pm »

I found a new geegaw for my future home in TN, but until then it will serve to "corral" all my stuff that seems to spread itself across my bathroom vanity, no matter how many times I move it. 

I love RUSTIC! This picture is from the store so only the red tiered caddy is mine! They sold out of them quickly.

Another happy while I await retirement - a cute shirt from South Fork Tack in Oneida, TN.  I saw it online and I love purple. And I ALWAYS have trail hair - even when I'm not ON a trail! Virginia was nice enough to send it to me! ;D  I didn't know if they were set up to ship.



« Last Edit: August 29, 2017, 12:04:42 pm by ponymare »
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ponymare

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We have WATER!!
« Reply #95 on: October 05, 2017, 01:50:09 pm »

I wasn't sure we would make it back to TN before our October visit, but we were able to find a few days to escape to our happy place.  Which was good because I was dealing with a good bit of stress and sadness.

We did the tourist thing for a few days and a few short hikes to restore soul and body.

The most exciting thing, though, was finally getting the water hooked up to the meter. DH said that digging was a young man's game, but he got it done, with an ache here and there :-\.  Our neighbor pitched right in to help, as usual, and they made pretty quick work of it. 

It was so thrilling to see the water gushing from the hydrant. I know that seems a little crazy, but I still feel somewhat like a modern day pioneer, improving the land, bit by bit. 

It also helped to mow and trim around the utilities and fence posts, and it made the campsite look much better.

Hopefully, the electric rope will go up this month and we will finally have a home away from home for the boys. 

 

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ponymare

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Daydreaming
« Reply #96 on: October 06, 2017, 10:21:23 am »

Just wishing I was back in TN.  :(

We're headed back in a couple of weeks.  I guess this picture as a screensaver will have to hold me until then.
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ponymare

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A little bit me, a little bit you
« Reply #97 on: October 31, 2017, 03:49:27 pm »

We finally made it back to the spread in October but knew that not much would get done, as we had company coming to visit the Plateau and we had to conduct tours and arrange hikes.

The only real work this trip was adding insulator rings to the wooden posts.  We will use pigtail step in posts between the wooden posts and they already have a place to attach the braided electric rope.  Hubby already sees things he's not happy with so he will probably re-do some of the posts before he puts concrete around the key posts.  He is a perfectionist so I don't know how he ended up with me! :P

A brisk wind was blowing as we drilled holes and attached the rings. B-r-r-r. The next day I could barely get out of bed.  I felt better when we explored a little bit of our woods and discussed placement of future trails to visit the rock shelter.

After we took my sister and her husband sightseeing and hiking, we took them to our back yard to our hidden treasure.

I love my family but I missed getting to ride during those beautiful fall days there. The weather was very nice except for a few night rains and scattered showers on our very last day of exploring.  We still managed to see some more waterfalls and wineries despite the rain.

We can't wait to go back and get a little farther on our fencing project. Who knows when it will get done at our snail's pace, but I am trying to be patient and less anxious.  Boy, do I ever wish I was less anxious.  :-\

« Last Edit: October 31, 2017, 09:30:41 pm by ponymare »
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ponymare

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Best laid plans
« Reply #98 on: November 06, 2017, 03:02:41 pm »

My husband came in this morning saying "okay. have you written your proposal in triplicate on how we would be able to retire and build a house some day?" I think he is as ready to move as I am.

He pointed out that our present house will need a new roof, etc. before we put it on the market in a few years. He is such a grown up.

I think he brought up the subject because I keep asking him to look at house plans I've saved and then, yesterday afternoon, before he left for work and out of the blue, his mom told him "You need to build that house on your property." Without any urging from me, lol!


Right now, I would be happy with just a septic system on the place!  But then we would need to know precise house placement and whether we would have walk out basement, so this opens an altogether new can of worms! A walk out basement is, of course, more expensive but it seems to be so practical for this sloping lot.  And though he says no more multi-story houses, this kind of build wouldn't cut into our precious pasture as much.

Our circumstances and obligations have changed a bit recently and I find that I am, more than ever, ready to pack up and move!  Life can change from one heartbeat to the next.

Until then, I can look at pictures and dream.
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ponymare

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Twinkle, twinkle
« Reply #99 on: November 09, 2017, 11:02:17 am »

A little light in the forest...

Hubby has reduced my report in triplicate to merely a three page report.  Guess I better get to working on that!  I'm pretty sure that the report involves me, promising in writing, to stop spending money on frivolous things and save for my dreams. And I am always telling myself I will do this, but at the first sign of depression, I "buy myself something pretty (sometimes with glitter)." :P

We did look at a design together, that he will totally reassemble  :D, and I told him I could live with a compromise on the walk out basement, as it didn't have to be a big basement.  Possibly to be finished after we move in.

I had thought we might get to go back to J'town soon, but it's looking like that won't happen.  Sometimes I think I'd like to run away.  8)
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ponymare

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I've lost my Merry
« Reply #100 on: December 20, 2017, 08:49:04 am »

Five days until Christmas and I'm really dreading it.  I have never liked to entertain and I always feel so responsible for family visiting from far away (even when they are staying elsewhere). I used to love to cook but now it's just not fun anymore.

My father recently passed away so I'm sure there will be a little sadness mixed in as the children pick out mementos to remember their Meemaw and Pawpaw. I've felt so numb and even guilty for not feeling like I'm  grieving enough, but I really hope that carries me through Christmas as I don't have time for the breakdown yet.

Hubby is wishing we could just go away by ourselves but I can't do that to everyone this year.  Maybe we can do a destination Christmas in the future but not this one.

I need to focus on the reason for Christmas and shift the attention away from my selfish feelings.  Praying for a sea change.
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ponymare

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Ready, set, go
« Reply #101 on: December 21, 2017, 03:47:00 pm »

Four days to go, but I'm feeling better.

The last thing I bought my dad was Mini Snickers so I think we are going to cut them up in slices with his pen knife and eat them like Pawpaw did on Christmas Eve. Although we may just use plastic knives! :P

I've got real desserts, too, but we all know how Pawpaw loved his Snickers! And how he enjoyed eating them with his pen knife! ;D

I'm going to try my best not to stress too much and just enjoy seeing family we don't get to see very often. We have a come and go Christmas Eve service at church and a good friend will be playing the harp accompanied by a violinist. I have a CD of her music and it's very soothing, so that should help keep me calm! 

I'm also not going to stress if we have to bring in lawn chairs for people to sit on. Just let it be enough that we are together.

I have some DVDs that I recently had converted from VHS tapes, so it will be interesting to see those moments from Christmas past! And see Meemaw and Pawpaw presiding over the chaos! I think it will make my heart smile.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2017, 04:25:46 pm by ponymare »
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ponymare

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One celebration down and one to go
« Reply #102 on: December 28, 2017, 02:22:40 pm »

Everything went fairly well for Christmas. Well, as well as it ever does. Washing machine and vacuum cleaner broke on Christmas Eve last year and hubby fell between some hay bales and broke some ribs and hurt his knee right before company came, so this year was relatively great by comparison!

We traditionally have a couple of soups on Christmas Eve and I had decided on, and we had bought ingredients for, vegetable (in honor of Pawpaw) and Back Porch Bean Soup (only because we'd recently had two different  occasions where we served potato soup). When my sister's family came the day before Christmas Eve, one of my nephew's said how good the potato soup was, so of course I decided to change the menu - which  meant I had to go shopping once more.  I went to three stores before I found everything I needed, but the soup turned out pretty awesome. My husband makes a mean pot of soup! I experimented with a new cornbread muffin recipe that called for sour cream and creamed corn and they were delicious (hope I didn't break my arm patting myself on the back). Hubby said it needed sugar, but that's a no-no in a true southern household haha!

I had fun buying presents for the boys' girlfriends because I never get to buy girly presents. A crafter in central MS makes the best bath balms with Epson salts and other essential oils and little surprises inside like a Crackerjack Box does!  I bought the seasonal ones but they have all kinds of cute ones. I bought one for my 5 year old niece that was called This Little Light of Mine and it made the water glow!  One of the boys said "the girl likes bugs" when I asked about his girlfriend so I found a pretty ivory dragonfly necklace on a beaded chain and a cream colored hat that would look pretty with her coloring. I bought another long glittery beaded necklace in a pretty pastel teal shade and a handmade pottery tea light holder for the other girlfriend. The pottery was made in our town by a friend of ours.

One of the girls brought her mini Aussie to our Christmas Eve gathering and she was beautifully behaved. She kept a watchful eye on my two great nieces, as they stayed busy! Mercy was very interested in their activities.

Christmas Day was a little stressful because I realized that I had left the milk for the sweet potato casserole at my son's house (where the soup was served). In addition to baking a big turkey breast to go with the ham my brother would provide, I was in charge of the sweet potato pie, rolls and English peas.  Dinnner was to be served at 2.  I dithered about whether to gather up all my ingredients and mixer and take them to my son's. I really didn't want to, but as the turkey breast was still baking in my oven, I decided I better just bring it all to town and cook at my son's. When I got to my son's I found out that I'd left my eggs at MY house and, of course, neither he or my brother had any and I didn't want to go back to the store.  I thought of several other things that I called to tell the hubby to bring, but then he called ME back to tell me that the batteries were dead on his Dodge and I would have to send my son to get him.  My OTHER son had left the only other vehicle in town the night before and ridden home with us, naturally.  As son number 1 was just about to get in the shower, I decided to go get them myself and just call my brother and tell him we were running late.

I picked up hubby and son number 2 and hurried back to son number 1's house to mix up the casserole.  I set the oven to preheat and was getting ready to put the casserole in the oven when I realized the oven had gone off and was cold as a wedge (whatever that means). By now son 1 is getting out of the shower and says "oh yeah, it does that sometimes." Meanwhile we are supposed to be at my brother's by now.  So we bundled up the casserole and cans of peas and 2 dozen rolls and took them all to my brother's just around the corner. Son number 2 had already dropped the turkey off to be sliced.  Luckily, there were several other latecomers (which is usually the case in any size crowd).

To add insult to injury, I broke my son's can opener (which I had given to him as a gift) and guess I will be buying him a new one. 

But we did eventually get everyone fed and happy.

Here are a few pictures of the ingredients in those bath balms and one of the beautiful Aussie that visited us on Christmas Eve.





 
« Last Edit: December 28, 2017, 02:25:55 pm by ponymare »
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ponymare

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New Year Chill
« Reply #103 on: January 03, 2018, 04:19:04 pm »

We spent an abbreviated time with my husband's family this year due to the chilly forecast and no one we trusted to water the horses and keep the hoses drained in, what was for North MS, record cold.  We ended up driving down Friday, after a detour through the delta to meet friends for lunch. I'm not partial to that flat landscape, but the sunsets are quite incredible there.

We visited Saturday and though the plan was for the big party to be on Sunday, December 31st, most of the parents and children came over to see us before we left for home Sunday morning.

I got in plenty of baby holding while we were there. Friday night I held a 9 day old great nephew, and Saturday I got to hold my niece's two week old son.  The seventh month old was at the age where he just wanted Mom, but I held the little wiggle worm long enough to get a picture and he didn't look too out of sorts!

The horses have seemed to do pretty well during our unseasonable cold snap. That is, as long as hubby keeps the ice chopped out of the trough. They have a free choice bale to munch on, and it has been a dry cold so they are standing, fluffy, with their butts pointed north.

Happy New Year to all the GHS peeps!

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ponymare

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Pieces of my past
« Reply #104 on: January 09, 2018, 01:00:55 pm »

It was a bittersweet autumn with my father's death in September, but we laughed with the children over the memories as each grandchild picked out mementos of their grandparents during the holidays.

My middle son wasn't able to come look when the others did but he said if the Train Dominoes were available, he would like to put his name on those. My boys spent many an afternoon playing dominoes with their Meemaw. She also taught them to play Uno and Phase 10. I remember my grandmother sewing while I played at her feet with Betsy McCall paper dolls. My boys remember playing games with my mother.  She wasn't much of a seamstress, and I am even less of one!  I'm also not a player of games. I did enjoy a game or two of Trouble or Paddleball, but I never was a card or domino player. Meemaw was a fierce competitor. But she also had read-aloud collections of books with stories and poems for young children and she probably read to them as many hours as she played dominoes with them.

But I digress, because I started this entry as a reminiscence from my youth.  Going through items in the house that you lived in for 22 years and then visited daily for 35 more, is a long, slow process.  It's hard to go though old memories briskly and methodically when every clipping, every dog eared picture, and every scrapbook reminds you of yesterday. So you take a moment to reflect. And then another.

We've thrown away bags and bags of trash and still have yet to make a dent, it seems.  I remember my mom doing this very same thing when her mother died, so it looks like she wouldn't have saved so much stuff. :P  I could blame her age and that she was a child of the Great Depression, but I am well on my way to collecting just as much STUFF as she did!

After Mom died, time kind of stopped in the house and Daddy held on to everything, keeping it all as if she would walk back in the door the next day. We sort of worked around him and were just getting up the courage to start throwing things away as unobtrusively as possible.   In an effort to get the last word, he passed away before we could upset his solitary world, and I believe it was meant to be that way.  At 96, you should be able to have things just the way you want them and we tried to make it so.

This weekend I tackled some more debris and pulled out more keepsakes for the grandchildren.  But I saved a few things for myself and one was a shabby old stepstool that I remember from my grandmother's house. I remember being fascinated at how the steps folded inward, and I watched many a dessert being made as I perched on this stool and peeped over my grandmother's shoulder as she briskly stirred, or chopped or simmered this or that.

I took this little stool home to live in my kitchen and every time I look at it, I get a warm feeling of being loved.


« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 01:05:33 pm by ponymare »
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