A New Era for My Jack Pack!

When I started my blog, I envisioned lots of wonderful adventures.  Instead it seems that domestic duties have had a strong-hold on my life.  Selling the Katy house (it actually took two summers) wasn’t an easy task for me.  But they paled in comparison to losing three of my wonderful fur babies.  Tobago and Martinique died last April (2016).  They were both 12 and I’m pretty sure that they couldn’t survive on Earth without each other.  Losing Fiji this past Monday (5/1/17) was more than my heart could handle.

I had thought that I would simply reduce my pack size down to two.  But my heart simply  has a different plan.  So let the adventures begin.  Cheryl and I are headed to Tennessee this coming week to see if Caroline and Nelson can select a new playmate (or two).  Did I really just say “or two”?  Yep, we’ll simply see what happens.

If they can’t decide on a new sibling, we’ll wait for puppies (due in the next couple of weeks).  It might be easier to pick up a puppy on the trip home in the fall, but I never seem to select the easy route!IMG_1327

R.I.P. Fiji 3/30/2007-5/1/2017



I’m happy the last week is in my past!  Sorting sucks!  I’ve up-cycled or thrown away more in the past month than in my entire life.  I’m actually considering tipping my trash men once the house is sold and emptied out.

I wish I could rethink so many of the purchases that I thought were instrumental in my happiness.  More than that, I wish I could impart my knowledge onto today’s youth!  I don’t want a do-over.  I just wish I could share what little satisfaction you get from an accumulation of stuff once you hit retirement age (or in my case… 55!)

Even the kiddos didn’t seem to care as I collected a huge basket of their well used toys and dropped them into a bag to deliver to my local no-kill shelter.  As long as they have a couple of good balls and a squeaky, they’re happy.  Actually, they’d rather that the weather warm up and they could go chaise the tail on the pool cleaner (they consider it part of their job).

I’m beginning to think that I was right in the beginning.  I have a lot of personal thoughts… just not many I’d like to share.

But I’ve discovered that this would be the perfect platform to use to keep all my mom’s holiday recipes.  She fields numerous telephone calls every holiday from everyone who can’t find the recipe for “_______________”!  I know right now she looks forward to the call.  But it’s probably time to seriously consider an alternate plan!

On that thought, I’ll get back to sorting!

Happy Tails and Happy Trails!

My life in transition… (aka lessons learned on a beautiful Thursday)

I am closing the final chapter in the first book of my life.  While I’ve started many new chapters through the years, I’ve never actually thought that I needed to start a new book.  At this point in my life, I feel that it is time!

Our lives have always been on a fast-track.  We’ve been afforded more opportunities than 99% of Americans.  But that all changes this month as my husband has elected to retire in the same month that he turns 56!  I think he’s tired and it is time for him to rest.  Now instead of climbing corporate ladders, he wants to climb mountains.  Instead of finding oil, he wants to find himself.  I completely support his decision.  Unfortunately, the decision has left me with a life in conflict.

Where does this leave me?  17 years ago I decided to stay home and support his ladder climbing.  Once he had earned his last degree, my income was never necessary.  But you don’t think about all the things that you give up when you leave a paying job.  I still got satisfaction from my daily tasks but I think I tied too much of my identify to my husband.  I truly have missed being part of a work team.  As my husband retires, I’ve decided I want to go back to work.  I know that my income will still not factor in our lives (my husband can make more consulting for a week or two than I’ll make in an entire year).  But something is missing and it’s time I take some ownership and address the problem face-to-face.

My goal in life was always to be a renaissance woman.  Amazingly, I think I’ve succeeded.  The problem has been that my personality tests out as a perfectionist.  It’s easy to be good at and know something about a lot of things.  It’s hard to do any of them perfectly.  I think it’s time that I develop a new goal.

This morning I learned two valuable lessons.  I probably have always known them, but sometimes I need reminders.  As part of our retirement transition, we are selling our primary home.  Two years ago, I decided that I wanted a vegetable garden.  Instead of putting in a small plot and testing the waters, I installed eight giant beds.  Within two months of my getting the garden started, we bought a third home in Montana which required a large portion of my time to get things set up and some construction projects completed.  Today, as I weeded, moused and frogged out eight giant beds, I was reminded to keep things simple.  My second lesson today was about real estate.  17 years ago we sold a home in west Houston.  It was an absolutely wonderful starter home that originally was close to both of our jobs.  It sold today for $208K more than when we sold it and they had not done any improvements.  Honestly, they still had the same wallpaper, light fixtures, flower beds and hand-painted mailbox that I had lovingly installed.  I will admit that I was happy to see that the stained-glass window that I had made for the living room was still there.  We had owned the home for 12 years and made $4,000 when we sold it.  We would have lost money on our second home had my husband’s employer not covered real estate losses for their employees.  While we will make a nice profit on the home we are about to sell, it doesn’t compare with the one we could have made if we’d just set still and done nothing.  I’m not actually sure what lesson I’m supposed to take-away from this experience.  We are not the type of people to sit around and do nothing.  So I guess the lesson is just to be happy and know that sometimes other people just get lucky!

Happy Trails!

What a difference a day makes…

Yesterday was my first day to truly attempt to Blog.  It was overwhelming.  I may have a lot to say, but at this point in my life I don’t think I have a lot to share.

This morning I was greeted by snow flurries… well two or three flakes!  We get to see them once or twice a decade in Houston.  But for me, it was an excuse to pull out my  hooded Free People sweater.  A brick-red and silver combination that is way outside my normal color palette .  One of my favorite frivolous purchases this year.

Over coffee I got to catch up on Bachelor blogs.  I still have not watched the show.  Call me old fashioned; I don’t like the premise of competing for anyone’s affections.  But the blogs on Tuesday are a great way to start the day.

I was also greeted with a new song from one of my very talented neighbors.  I feel certain that Amanda Loving has a place in today’s music world.


Now I’m off to explore a couple more sites to work on content.  Watch out The Skimm and Nuzzel, here I come!