Sunday, July 7, 2013


One of the most common questions asked a newly retired person is "What do you do all day?" A good friend and I recently had a discussion about this and came to the conclusion that the given answer is frequently "stuff". 

So what IS "stuff"? For Bob and I "stuff" is pretty much the same every day things that we did when we worked only now we do it at a slower pace and and with more frequent breaks!

When we retired last June we immediately left on our Great Adventure and did not return to Deltona until October. The whole time we were gone felt like we were just on an extended vacation. After returning, the first few weeks were busily spent getting settled back in and catching up on a myriad of neglected chores. Then it was the hustle and bustle of the holidays that kept us busy. After 26 years the old homestead was starting to look and act a bit shabby so new AC and water heater, exterior siding repairs, exterior paint job, pool enclosure upgrade, laundry room and bedroom remodel were all on tap. Whew, all that was time consuming and before we knew it, it was spring again with all its endless lawn and garden chores!

The end of May we packed up the motorhome and headed north to PA for the summer and fall. Relaxation? Think again. Our motorhome site had not been occupied for several years. Major mowing, brush cutting, and trimming had to be completed. Water line had to be restored. Enclosed deck had to be built next to the motorhome to keep the cats contented. 

And all of this had to be completed between the seemingly endless rain storms! 

But now almost every project has been completed. There is time to sit on the deck and watch the gold finches and the chipmunks compete over the bird feeder.

There is time to marvel at the speed and dexterity of the hummingbirds as they dart to and from their feeder.

 There is time to watch my cucumber, summer squash, and lettuce seeds sprout and the daily growth of my baby tomatoes. 

There is time to observe the surprise on the faces of the deer as they discover that their usual path to the creek has been invaded by an alien species. There is time to discover that porcupines climb trees and that the cats definitely aren't familiar with woodchucks.

There is TIME!

And that is our "stuff".  

Friday, March 8, 2013

Belated Happy New Year!

After retiring, my parents frequently remarked that "They didn't know how they ever found the time to work!" I now understand perfectly. Since returning to Florida in October it seems like we have been constantly busy. So here is a synopsis of our retired life up to this point.

Just before we returned home the family was expanded by one. She has since moved to her "forever" home with our granddaughter.
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For a brief period of time we contemplated trading in our motorhome for a 5th wheel and new truck. Then sanity returned! We still have the motorhome. :)

Untitled Wishful thinking!
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Instead we invested our money in home improvement. We had the pool enclosure re-screened and expanded, a new air conditioning system installed, all the windows and sliding doors replaced with more energy efficient windows and french doors, and have completed the laundry room remodel and all but the ceiling in Mike's room. We even bought an electric fireplace!

Screen room addition Home Improvements
New windows New French door Other new French door Transition tile between dining room and laundry New tile in laundry room
Laundry room Mike's new floor Mike's room wainscoting Hallway with new chair rail New fireplace entertainment center

We also had to invest some big bucks in the motorhome having both maintenance and repair work completed. Unfortunately the repair work is still not finished. There was more damage discovered than first estimated and the insurance company is not real thrilled about that.

In October we attended a deployment ceremony for our niece who is in the army. She was to be deployed to Afghanistan but injured her knee just before leaving. She is presently recuperating from knee surgery and her plans are on hold.

Deployment Ceremony
Deployment Ceremony Shara and her Grandmother Swain
Shara and family
Shara and Mary

For the first time we were able to be more fully involved in our granddaughter's extra curricular activities; attending award ceremonies, band concerts, piano recitals, etc.

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Of course we've celebrated several holidays.

Louie's in the Christmas spirit! Holiday Fun
My Christmas village New fireplace decorated for Christmas Darn! Where's the chimney? Christmas dinner with the family. Christmas dinner
H-m-m . . . What's in here? Kitty toys? Back off! It's mine! Leo

Our latest adventure was attending the Daytona 500 with friends and family. This year we didn't have to worry about explaining our absence to our employers in case of rain. And go figure, it didn't rain!

The "500" front row. Go Danika! target= Daytona 500
A boat in the infield?! Bob at our site. Sunset over Turn 1 Alaskan salmon on the grill! The "family"
More "family" Ready to race! Speed Channel filming Craig Adam Richman from "Man vs Food" Untitled
Ready for the Nationwide race. Nationwide race Nationwide race The "500" The "500"

Like I said at the beginning we certainly aren't bored and we can't wait to see what the rest of the year will bring.