Simplifying Life

I began October with the goal of simplifying my life by organizing my home and doing things to make cleaning quicker and easier.

I began by purging closets and drawers.  I pulled everything out and in very little time separated clothing, electronics, and toys into three categories: keep, trash, and donate.  BUT I am still left with papers I have not gone through to determine what to keep and what to trash.

Pacoffe table with storagepers aside, there have been other accomplishments toward meeting my goal.  I have made specific spaces for storing materials for all my activities: writing, sewing, music, jewelry, painting.  Glass top furniture pieces have been eliminated or replaced with easier to keep clean pieces.  The glass and wood coffee table is now one of those all wood lift top tables with storage.  Nick-Nacks that require tedious dusting have been removed.




Even the outside of my home is being simplified.  No more painting and staining the deck and porches.  Wood has been replaced with composite decking.


Once I have the house done, it’s on to the storage shed.

Now, back to those papers.


Vacationing with Mom

I took the week of September 6th to take my mother on a small vacation.  She has been wanting to visit a few friends and family, so this week she got that opportunity.  Although I didn’t nap much, I did get to sleep in.  My average awakening time was between 8am and 9am. I drove north to get to mother’s on Saturday evening

sep 5 (2)so that we would be ready to depart on our adventure Saturday morning…not too early.

We left after breakfast.

First stop was the Russell Stover’s candy outlet.  Everyone we visited got a box of candy.

From the outlet, it was on to Gloria’s where the jewelry making ensued.  Mom and Gloria repaired jewelry and created new pieces.  Yes, they even drew me into the activities.  I made two necklaces.

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We met one of Mom’s friends and had lunch at Cracker Barrel.  We picked up some of Bob’s peppermint candies while there.

sep 7sep 7 Karen

Virginia Beach to visit with Tracy and Karen.

Karen makes a mean fruit salad.  Tracy was out on the deck cleaning fish caught in the lake earlier this day.  It started to rain, so I wasn’t able to jet-ski.  (Sigh…sad face)

luray museum of the civil war (2)

This is the Virginia Museum of the Civil War.  We stopped here before going on to Luray Caverns where my daughter and granddaughters joined Mom and me.

sep 11 stalactitiessep 11 stalactities reflecting in pool

The underground caverns were beautiful.  We learned a lot about calcium deposits, stalactites, and stalagmites.

On the same property as the caverns is the Car and Carriage Museum.  We took a quick tour before heading into town for lunch.

luray mimslyn Inn (2)

We ate at the beautiful Mimslyn Inn.  The 19th century Georgian Revival architecture was stunning.  My daughter knows all the best places.

We took a quick tour of the Car and Carriage Caravan Museum before lunch.

Going back to Mom’s, we took the scenic route north through Shenandoah Park.  As we drove up and down around the curved mountain road, this black bear decided to cross the street.  Sorry, I wasn’t fast enough to get a good picture.  He only looked in my direction once. luray bear crossing road (2)


Writing – Writing – Writing

Writng, writng, and more writing.  That’s what I’ve been doing between naps.  I have written one nonfiction book and one children’s book.  The nonfiction, Kindness and Caring: a 40 day challenge, is almost ready to be published. The children’s book needs to be illustrated and formatted.

What Do I Do Well, is a children’s book I wrote about five years ago.  It has been illustrated, and will soon be published also.  cover front final (2)Watch for me online and in stores.



Fully Retired : )

Well, it has been almost two months since my official retirement date.  It didn’t seem any different until last week.  As a school teacher, I always had summers off for vacation.  This summer was just as it normally is for a summer vacation other than everyone asking me what I was going to do now and what it felt like to be retired.  What did they mean?  What was I going to do… anything I want to do or nothing at all.  Isn’t that what retirement means… ceasing to work?

Anyway, last week summer vacation ended and students returned to the classroom.  Now, retirement is real!  Now, I feel fully retired.  I miss the cheerful greetings and hugs from returning students.  I miss getting to know the strengths and weaknesses of new students and creating ways to use the first to overcome the latter.  BUT I don’t miss early rising, late evening, and bringing work home.  I don’t miss thinking about going to work sick because it’s easier than making lesson plans for a substitute to follow, especially knowing that you will probably need to teach or reteach the material you left because the substitute decides not to follow your plan.  I don’t miss working lunches.  And I don’t miss the meeting where teachers are introduced to the next educational trend.