Monday, August 26, 2013

This Week In Retirement-New Things

At first blush, the last week or so of retirement might seem  boring, or at least routine the week after moving into a new house.  On some level that's true-my traditional day trips have been set aside, I am in between classes and activities for the most part (that summer is ending and fall isn't quite clear time of year). That's the thing about retirement-some weeks are slow and some weeks are full.  Some folks prefer a similar schedule every day, but I thrive on the ups and downs.

In this case, since I've lived in very temporary quarters for a few months, I find the period to be less drudgery than someonee else might.  Being a person who generally works in short time periods (the exception being massive cooking projects, quilting or some travel activities). This means that in between unpacking I have enjoyed my new yard and patio, explored the new neighborhood and the recreation/educational activities, and planned a one day trip a week starting next week.

The other day I got up at nine and had my morning beverage and breakfast.  I now live just off the ,highline canal meaning that my morning walk is generally beautiful and shady. I spent some time reading my current mystery on the patio (my new series is the Joe Pickett series by CJ Box) on my kindle.  Then I sat at my two large tables and slowly unpacked the sewing room-creating piles in the process. At lunch I sat down with laptop and searched out the local library, recreation centers, adult education and so on. I have a long list-I even found a so called "swim club" and an affordable (yes, I mean it) "country club" that has both golf and an outdoor pool that I will probably join next year.  I miss an outdoor pool in every neighborhood dreadfully. I think this is a budget item worth thinking about.

So far, I have  made a commitment to do the following in the next few months. A few of these commitments I've started on and the rest are to come:
  • I've made a plan for a day trip a week, similar to life in Dallas. While Colorado has a beautiful landscape, I am not "nature girl", meaning country drives are interspersed with cities and museums and architecture in equal amounts.  I may be shooting myself for not leaving my house hunting for a few days and visiting Jackson Hole-I am not a winter sports girl and the season has passed me by.  Most of these day trips require only a sack lunch and my gas and feet.
  • I've researched every festival here (and some in Texas) for the rest of the year. Town and country festivals are generally low cost and give lots of entertainment. I've also researched all the cultural offerings between now and the holidays. Along with lots of discounts and freebies, my big expenses will be seeing the Book of Mormon here in Colorado and perhaps the Eagles at Red Rocks. Because the play is a large expense, almost all entertainment up to the holidays will otherwise be deep discount and free opportunities.
  • I'm ready for a new "artistic" challenge and have signed up for some classes on welding, specifically how to create metal sculptures. To say this is out of my quilting/drawing/painting comfort zone would be an understatement.  It's also more expensive than other hobbies in terms of learning and equipment. If I find I love this new form of art, I'll be exploring how to save money as well.
  • My second so called "artistic" goal is to learn to take my camera to a new level-beyond basic point and shoot. I have a really good digital camera (once my dropsy issue is fixed) and need to learn to use it, use a light box and take decent travel photos.  I've found lots of online help and will begin with that-thanks,  Internet!
  • I've decided to jump out of my comfort zone and that I will convince the others to try a new restaurant each time we eat out.  Budget wise I am for eating out once a month when not traveling. Since we all like almost every type of food known to man, this should be an easy task.  Still, it's easy to get comfortable with the restaurant around the corner. One new restaurant a month is my goal.
  • I've adjusted my long term travel goals to include two different routes to Dallas (one via Santa Fe, the Turquoise Trail and Route 66), and have decided that my snowbird visit to Texas in the spring will not be spent in one place, but at least two-a resort in Hill Country and a beach visit. The rest of the time will be spent visiting family. I know that means I will have less time at any location to meet new friends, but I feel confident. I'm budgeting for that now, and will share how I did when I am finished! I am hoping I can combine craft fairs and teaching opportunities to make a kind of busmans holiday part of the time.
  • I need a deeper volunteer connection. I am still searching for a day a week project that works for me-one where I make really truly needed contribution and where I can be working more "with" those who are in need rather than "for".
  • As always, I am committed to mainly handmade and home made holidays that don't look the part.  I've made my Christmas list and checked it twice(blogs to follow I am sure on all of these plans), and have started work on those memory pages, journals and paper projects. On the decor front, with the help of Pinterest and my own ideas I now have a Halloween mantel, wreath, flower arrangement, and other decor in mind. Most free or almost free with Joann coupons, nature , found items and around the house finds.
  • I've been given the opportunity to teach at two co-ops, and plan to teach a basic quilting class and a steam punk decor class.  This should build customer base and lead to the opportunity for more business-and lead to much of fun for me-and also bring in a tad bit of cash!
  • Finally, while this house is lovely (and I am not Susie do it yourself-er), I do have painting and decor projects ahead. Almost every room will be painted (paying my sister is a win win on this one), just as an example.
  • Not to leave off the long term travel plans (which I'll share more about later), I've kept to my goal of a trip train trip to San Francisco and back, along with a gulf coast trip in the spring.  Now just to choose some dates-is the gulf coast before Texas, or afterwards??

I'm sure that there is more to add to my "must do this fall" goal list (including doing a new budget and schedule now rather than after the first, with my new living situation).  Right now though, I think I have enough to keep me busy, no??

And just to show that into any retirement life, a few glitches must rise:  The new refrigerator was recently ordered (goodbye side by side, hello french doors with bottom freezer!). Since we were unsure of our measurements, we paid twenty dollars to have someone come on Friday to measure both the door and the refrigerator alcove.  He assured us upon looking at our specs that the fridge will fit except that the cabinet above the fridge needed to be raised.  Which we did on Saturday afternoon, lifting the bottom shelf and doors a full inch.  Today the nice delivery men came, hooked up the fridge and water line, put on the doors and removed the plastic and prepared to move the fridge back.  Oops!! Not a chance in, ahem.  We get to keep it for up to fifteen days, and they will replace/exchange for free since their guys measurements were wrong.  I tell myself that at least I have a working fridge even if it is in the middle of the kitchen!  Good bye little cooler with ice. Hello large silver object!!

And now, off to talk with the cable fellow about all our needs and continue look at new flat screens-who knew they actually made televisions that streamed???


  1. I'm becoming such a fan of yours. The plans you have are "dizzying" to my one track mind. Can't wait to hear more, and perhaps I might learn how to accomplish more just by reading your blog. Thanks Barb!

  2. You sound very, very exuberant about all that is going on in your life right now. It would appear this change has been terrific for you.

    I think you are going to love your new French door refrigerator. So much flexibility on what you can put in it. And that deli drawer! I love that hugh deli drawer!

  3. Your post gave me much to contemplate as I find my way as a newbie in my retirement life.

  4. Glad you're settled in and making new plans. I read Box's "Nowhere to Run." It was pretty good -- I should get back and read some more. Currently I'm reading J. K. Rowling's "The Cuckoo's Calling." I wasn't particularly a Harry Potter fan; but this is a good detective story.

    Anyway, thanks for the larger type. I love it!

  5. Wow lots of wonderful plans coming up! You seem to be thriving in retirement (and super busy!). Cant wait to hear about your trip to San Francisco.


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