Thursday, January 7, 2016

A Girl and Her New Toys-The Stuff That Makes The Experiences!

Sometimes it seems like my retirement life alternates between the mundane and those busy, active, mainly fun days.  Certainly this is true of life in general, but sometimes as I do those everyday tasks of cleaning, errands, and putting away Christmas decorations, I ask myself why I'm doing this in retirement-especially when there are all kinds of adventures literally waiting, some in the next room.

Awhile back, one of my favorite money saving bloggers was describing how she kept Christmas simple this year, and gave her  children the gift of experiences (some special classes, and lessons). One of her children received brand new skates.  As she said, not specifically an experience gift, but one that will allow for many new experiences.

I can certainly relate. This year, I was gifted a couple large "toys", one as a group gift from one side of my family. While on the surface these gifts might be considered "stuff", they will enhance my travel, in home hobbies, and encourage/allow me to take on a new skill or two. 

While I try and keep the stuff under control, the truth is that in most cases it is hard to have the experience without at least some attendant stuff. Some experiences require a large one time expense like golf clubs. Most of the time the experience stuff is less . Other times hobbies or interests require the regular purchase of supplies, or  more tools as life become more advanced.  In my case, I can buy some of my experience stuff used or retool things.

Other things, like advanced machinery can cost more. As I advance my quilting and sewing into other areas, I have been looking at a new machine that would allow me to re purpose clothing, make free form cloth art and explore art quits. This particular toy was in my wish list, along with other things like books I want to read, summer time canning supplies for a person with a glass top stove and more. 

All I've had a chance to do so far is remove it from the box and admire!

 It would seem that some family member went searching on Amazon, because low and behold, this was under the tree at our early, pre-travel Christmas party.  Let's just say that it took the common sense of my twenty-six year old to stop me from loading into the car. A car, I might add, already so full I could not see out the back window. I settled for taking it out of the box, and dragging the manual along with me. For those wondering, this is a different kind of machine-one that does overcast stitches, sews together things like pieces of lace and can make raw edges look "nice".  I can't wait to get started! 

Why yes, that is the dog enjoy his Christmas toys!

When I celebrated my second Christmas with my daughter and her husband in Texas, I barely got out of my nightgown, which was perfect. Eddie cooked all day, including smoking a prime rib!  I think the men in my family,even the adopted men, are destined to be the cooks. Among all the other goodies in my stocking and gift pile was this complete art set, which includes pastels, water colors, oils and acrylics as well as regular and water color pencils. I think my kid was trying to tell me it was time to branch out into another area!! Instead of learning about the Wyeth family in a life long learning class, I do believe I'll be learning how to draw-or at least trying to!

Not to be undone by me, my lovely daughter woke up to let the dogs out, and found this in front of the fireplace-put together at two am, this baby was hiding in plain sight in the garage (they still have not finished unpacking). She now has a cruiser to ride around the neighborhood and explore with-perhaps with doggies trailing at the rear?

The other thing on my wish list was a gourmet picnic cooler. Some readers may remember my previous  cooler which went where I went.  When the laborers unloaded my 26 foot U-haul into a storage unit, they moved literally everything. Missed by me, that everything included the picnic cooler used along the way from Dallas, with food inside.  By the time I realized where it was and found it, well................. I was certainly not going to open it up and look inside!!

This time I was looking for a cooler that could also possibly be hung on my suitcase if possible.  I'm looking at a long train trip in a couple of months, and being able to take my picnic basket was something I wanted to do (of course part of the experience will be visiting the dining car, but not for every meal). This one should do that.  I am absolutely the kind of person who is more likely to picnic on the side of the road when the total experience includes real napkins (as opposed to driving through Subway).

Christmas included lots of food, a brief break to go hide from a killer tornado, 80 degree weather on Christmas day, and a full week spent with my daughter and her other half.  What more could a mom want!

Oh, and I am happy to say that other than decorated Christmas cookies, I cooked nothing-that's right nothing- for either the Thanksgiving or Christmas holidays.  It's my kind of vacation.

Tomorrow, the house is going to get it's post decoration vacuuming and cleaning. The tree trimmers are coming to remove a dead tree and do some serious trimming. After that, it's time for sewing and painting and knitting and reading...............and more!


  1. Seems like you're on top of things. I solved my post-Christmas-mess problem by ... leaving town and going on vacation. What you can't see can't hurt you!

  2. I love my serger and so will you. Now that I am no longer scared to use it and have rethreaded it numerous times it is a wonderful addition to my sewing/craft room.

    God bless.


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