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Thursday, June 13, 2024

An ordinary week - Thriving Week 24

Nice summer cut

Appointments were all completed - dog grooming, haircut, arborist, Pilates. 

Simplified and reduced my Amazon subscription order, hit CVS for Kleenex with a coupon and otherwise just Hubby’s food shopping.

Dropped off things at the closest Goodwill and went inside to check it out. It is almost totally clothing which is disappointing but was very clean and arranged well. Probably won’t bother shopping there. I also checked out the newly relocated and enlarged Marshall’s plus a plant nursery - not impressed with either. I also want to check out the large Natural Foods Grocery and cafe near us.

My SIL is doing better and recovering from her asthma, Covid, and newly diagnosed autoimmune disease symptoms. What a horrible combo to have hit you all at once.

Our son and toddler granddaughter were home alone Saturday night so he invited us to dinner which he and Hubby made while I entertained a teething and tired little girl. She literally fell asleep at dinner after eating. DIL and other granddaughter were on a camp out.

On the spur of the moment we went out for tacos for lunch at the food truck nearby. They have picnic tables and it was a nice day so we ate outside. Just us and a steady stream of construction workers lol. Otherwise it has been too windy to eat outside.

Otherwise just everyday normal stuff!

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Just doing it - Thriving week 23

I’m very happy that my Pilates instructor asked if I would like to get together for coffee and also to meet a friend of hers. Also a neighbor across the street continues to seem open to becoming friends. Working on getting a social life in addition to family life. Btw, school is out here; how about where you are?

I’ve been looking at recipes in two books I got from the library but also have realized that I seem to currently not tolerate eggs well as a main dish. I didn’t know that egg intolerance existed and is more likely the older you get. So I am on a 6-8 week no eggs as protein experiment. I don’t have a problem with them in baked goods though.

This one assumes you have serious medical problems caused by inflammation and sets up doing an elimination diet. We don’t need that but I got a few ideas for different things to cook.


As usual trying for no food waste. We had let an open bag of frozen blueberries in the freezer for too long and they got rather tough. Instead I made 2 dozen blueberry muffins using half whole wheat flour to make healthier.

Good news: Our oldest niece has setting a wedding date and seems extremely happy and the couple well suited.
Bad news: My SIL has been quite ill with a triple whammy of Covid, severe asthma and a newly diagnosed autoimmune disease. Been able to stay at home though which is good.

Trudging on with my never ending to do list for life, home and yard.
  • Paid our estimated taxes online. This time Hubby did it so he would see the process. We are trying to at least become familiar with what each other primarily does so either of us could take it all on more easily.
  • Washed the car windows and discovered the rear wiper is falling apart. It’s on the list for next time the car is serviced as there won’t be rain before then.
  • “Sheared” one of the new yard plants after it bloomed after researching what that means. Hoping it is right!
  • We scheduled an arborist to come asses our options for the neighbors trees encroaching on our yard and house. Talked to one neighbor and he is on board with fixing things and will join us for the appointment. Haven’t met the other neighbor and will wait to see if just our side can be trimmed.
Looking to the next 7 days -
  • No hot weather predicted but thankfully our new heat pump AC took care of this week’s two hot days and I have taken the down comforter off the bed
  • Appointments: dog grooming today, hair appointment tomorrow, arborist Monday, Pilates Wednesday
  • Things I need to do: At least 2 things on my financial to do list, clean front porch and front windows/screens, clean one kitchen cupboard, time at my desk finishing, filing, shredding things
  • Things I hope to do: go to a maker’s fair within walking distance on Saturday, buy a nice fern for the hearth, get bahn mi sandwiches for lunch one day


Sunday, June 2, 2024

Managing our resources: Our Home

Our home plus yard and the objects that make them work and furnish them not only take a lot of time to manage but can be both a source of frustration and well as comfort. Of all material goods it is also our biggest asset and the one needing the most care. 

 House & Yard - We spent our first year in this house fixing lots of things plus adding  upgrades. At this point it is ongoing maintenance and a few minor improvements to make it operate more efficiently and feel like we want it to.
TO DO:
- Have an energy audit done, replace weather stripping on front door, fix attic door, etc.
- Decide when to have patio repainted and railings added

Systems & Major Appliances - Everything is working right now thankfully. The oldest item is the gas water heater and next oldest is the gas stove and I think the dryer is about as old as the stove.

      TO DO:
- As part of energy audit get options for replacing water heater with a gas on demand one vs switching to an electric heat pump vs getting a similar gas unit. Plan for proactive replacement.
- Same for stove. Again question is switch to electric or keep gas.

Service Providers - We have a pretty good list at this time with a few gaps.
TO DO:
- Find service providers for window cleaning and trimming of neighbors’ overhanging trees. 
- Decide if going to have chimney and fireplace inspected.

Furnishings & Tools - Our house now needs some cozying up and replacement of old furnishings. So far with tools we have been able to borrow what we don’t have from our son although some kitchen items may need to be replaced or added.
TO DO POSSIBILITIES:
- Add some indoor plants and possibly other things to the living room to cozy it up
- Add a nice size table and some storage in the family room for games, art, puzzles, etc.
- In office, replace my desk chair and file cabinet and improve closet storage/organization
- Start a list of possible kitchen items to add/replace
- Decide if I want to add a full length mirror and any curtains to the bedroom


Friday, May 31, 2024

Bye May/Hello June - countdown to 75

 I’m going to try to do a “prequel “ to turning 75 on September 1st. Changes in exercise and eating, exploring the area to find some favorites, cozying up our home.

I remember my Dad’s 75th surprise birthday party clearly and he was energetic, happily engaged in activities and relationships, exploring the area in which they lived, using his artistic talents, and generally loving life. Ten years later most of that had dropped away due to health issues but he still had a looking forward positively attitude. He is my role model except for the health issues lol.

I thought I was doing ok in May with exercise and eating but my weight did not drop. I did walk 39 miles outside, exercised more (including a lot of yard work), and did some research on how to improve my diet for this stage of life. This week’s grocery shopping got us back on track with a wider variety of protein, veggies and fruits. It is easy to fall in a rut.

I find the Minimalist Mom’s idea of hushing your house intriguing as I am both very visual and really want to keep things organized and clean. Hushing a room means removing anything not used, enjoyed often, etc. For me it also means congruent colors, a pleasing visual, easy cleaning, etc.

I started with the main bedroom and changed to chair to one a better color, put the dog crate more out of the way since he is rarely in it now, changed the dog’s blanket on the bed to one that is a better color, switched around a couple of pieces of art, and managed to move the hamper into the closet. I like the result although I would like different color sheets and bedspread but that is for later. 

So, here goes June - keeping it simple and focused

  • Push myself to exercise daily and track it
  • Have more protein in meals and fewer carb snacks
  • Cozy up and “hush” the living room, my part of the office and the bedroom closet (the office will be the big project and the living room more fun)
  • Explore the area once each week to find our favorites for walking, eating out, etc.

What are your goals and hopes for the month?

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Hanging out with family - Thriving week 22

Oops, I posted on Tuesday instead of Thursday 🤭 Oh well.

We spent a goodly amount of time with family this past weekend. Got a FaceTime call from my DIL and the girls asking if we wanted to hang out with them and go out to dinner. Then the older girl got on and very excitedly asked if we wanted to meet them for frozen yogurt first. Yes please. 

Then Monday while DIL worked and the older girl went with her for a bring your child to work day, we spent part of the afternoon with our son and the 15 mo old little one. She had her first merry go round ride at a big county park in the hills here. She wasn’t sure about all the noise, lights, and motion but she held it together. Then we went to see animals at the “Little Farm” in the same park. When she saw the cows she said “moo”. ❤️ Back to their house for play in the backyard for a while. Fun for all.

Getting things done - 
  • I have all my preventative care appointments scheduled except for a routine eye exam. After I see the ophthalmologist I’ll schedule that if needed as I do feel like my year old prescription is working still.
  • Scrubbed the patio and topped up the bark mulch until I used up one bag.

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Pup is on a diet & down a research rabbit hole - Thriving week 21


About that rabbit hole! I just read and really liked this book and wanted to see how true to life it was for the historical part. Well, it is very realistic but just touches on a small part of the work that was done by American women near the front line in N France during and after WWI. The legacy of that work is amazing too. Check out these videos for the bigger picture but read the book too. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcADwVNYtJk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLRaop8LtBU

It was a slow week for me as I had barometric headaches and joint aches for days and then symptoms of a virus. I did very little those days. One very good thing about retirement for me is that when I feel yuck I can do very little.

Friday we had a surprise visit from the older granddaughter and our son as there was no school. She got a big kick out of having him stay out of sight and peering in our front window until I noticed her and was suitably surprised which delighted her. Oh to be 7 again. They brought donuts and she made a fancy sign for my free pile for Saturday.


Then she went home and made fancier signs for the lemonade and muffin stand she and 2 friends ran at a park on Sunday. They decided it was to raise money for their schools and Fairyland (an Oakland well loved vintage children’s amusement park). They raised $154 plus all supplies were donated. Happy 7 year olds.

Pup had his annual well dog visit plus one booster shot. The vet says he has “dog fluff” and needs to lose some weight. We will give it a try but he has always had a layer of fat under his skin and only eats when hungry…not sure about the body composition of Cavalier Spaniels (mother) but I do know poodles (father) are lean. His build is more like his Mom’s except he has long legs and back hips like a poodle.

We continue checking off fixing smaller things, decluttering unnecessary items, doing some deep cleaning, and trying to find ways to make maintaining this property and our stuff easier.

  • This week Hubby added caulk around the shower frame where there wasn’t any or it had gaps. I had noticed water coming under part of the frame so now that is fixed.
  • My free pile on Saturday wasn’t as large as I had thought it would be as we are keeping the outdoor rug and umbrella for now while the toddler granddaughter is small. However, I put out 14 items and 11 left for new homes. The rest will be heading to Goodwill soon. I added a couple more items and tossed a few more.


Sunday, May 19, 2024

Managing Our Resources: Our Money

Let's talk money! 

By money I mean paying attention to our investments and income, managing our spending, giving, planning for final years care, and estate/death planning. It's a lot to think about and keep current!

Overall we are in good shape. We monitor our accounts and have designated who will inherit, we have run a survivor’s budget for each of us as income streams would be reduced, we track our spending and plan for large and irregular but known expenses, our sons have been told where we keep important information, and when we moved back to California we had new wills, powers of attorney and health care directives drawn up.

Still we have things to do to make things better for now and the future. My to do list is a collection of shorter and longer term items. The ones I can think of related to managing our money are:

  • Get a second credit card
  • Restart giving to important to us charities and our granddaughters’ college funds both of which were put on hold do to the expense of our move
  • Sit down with our sons and DILs to go over our current important paperwork and how we would like our deaths handled
  • Research cost of elder care resources and assisted living in our current location
  • Set up a revocable trust
Anything on your to do list or that you are really glad you have already done?




An ordinary week - Thriving Week 24

Nice summer cut Appointments were all completed - dog grooming, haircut, arborist, Pilates.  Simplified and reduced my Amazon subscription o...