A Week of Being Spontaneous

We had a newly retired friend drop by recently, and as we were out back visiting together, I slowly realized that he seemed very content to just sit and chat, giving off no signals whatsoever of being in any sort of hurry to leave. Which was totally fine, but which felt very odd to me. As I later pondered why it seemed so odd to sit with someone appearing to have all the time in the world, it dawned on me that once upon a time I had been like that in my retirement, way back in the beginning. Over time however, little by little, my time began to be taken up with a multitude of hobbies and activities that had slowly each taken on a life of their own.

For the most part I like it that way in that I'm a total extrovert, meaning that my energy goes up, up, up when I'm around other people, and down, down, down when I'm off by myself. So on a very practical level, my commitments keep me motivated and moving forward on a day-to-day basis. However, too many commitments can also res…

Monday Musings 9/17

Welcome to Monday Musings, where I share a bit of what's been going on in my little part of the world.

1)  Our backyard is now about 90% completed, with just the balcony stairs and glass panels still needing to be installed. We arrived home last week to this loveliness, and have been outside enjoying it in some capacity - gardening, entertaining, dining, sipping wine, reading, chatting - pretty much daily ever since.

2. I'm also happy that with the approach of fall, many of the activities I enjoy participating in are back from summer break - my Spanish class, my Hiking club, our Lifelong Learning program. We kicked off the return of our hiking club with a pretty challenging eight mile hike that was both extremely hilly and extremely fast. We both did great, but I have to admit I crawled into bed at about 8 o'clock that evening, and slept for nine straight hours, a rarity for me!

3. I'm enjoying the return of sunflower season. I took this photo during our recent visit …

Home Early Due To Hurricane Florence

As my title indicates, we are home from our east coast trip early due to Hurricane Florence, and folks, it feels good!!! We are sooo relieved to be back in the land of no-weathercoastal California that we don't even care that our trip was cut short. A few instances of driving through pounding, tropical storm related thunderstorms while traversing North Carolina and Tennessee earlier in the month, plus a hair-raising drive through rapidly-flooding West Virginia, the result of Tropical Storm Gordon, and we agreed that we had had more than enough of Mother Nature.

Plus, the last two weeks of our trip, scheduled to be spent first hiking along the Appalachians with Road Scholar, then doing same in Shenandoah National Park on our own, were both cancelled as a result of Hurricane Florence. The Appalachians are predicted to get absolutely battered in the week ahead, so Road Scholar called to notify us of our trip's cancellation, followed by news of Shenandoah National Park being comp…

Greetings From The Road!

We are about halfway through our trip, and it has already provided memories and adventures we won't soon forget. Here are a few highlights and observations for you to enjoy until I'm able to get back to regular posting:
We spent the first few days of our trip with our daughter, son-in-law and granddaughters, always a whirlwind of fun, joy, and exhaustion. We day tripped with our oldest granddaughter into DC to visit the Smithsonian American Museum of Natural History, and finally got her to move beyond just the animals on exhibit,  and into the Gems and Minerals exhibit this time as well. She and I had so much fun ooh'ing and aah'ing over the many beautiful and colorful gems and jewelry on display.  The drive to Asheville, North Carolina was pretty, but long. We loved the town once we arrived however - full of pretty homes, awesome craft breweries, great eats, and of course, the amazing Biltmore Estate.Our next stop was Gatlinburg, Tennessee, one of the gateway cities to…

Gone Traveling!

We'll be on the road traveling through Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia for the next month, and it'll be crickets here on the blog as a result until I return. So, instead, I invite you to follow along on our trip adventures via Instagram. Just click here to find me there at WestCoastTamara.

Retirement Seven Years In

We have had several occasions to be with new retirees in the the last few weeks, the result of our circle of friends finally beginning to reach retirement age and join us 'out here.' It's been such fun to see their excitement at finally being able to walk away from the stress of the workplace, and to hear of their plans for how they intend to spend their new-found time, including spending more time pursuing outside endeavors with us, yeah!

All of which has served to remind us how far we've come in the seven years since we've been retired, me first at age 48, then hubby a year later at age 56. Initially our biggest concern was the financials of retirement, as would be expected, but now, having aged to 55 and 63 respectively, our ongoing health and energy occupy far more of our daily concerns than our finances do. Our finances are pretty much on autopilot at this point, with our spending patterns pretty well established. Our health and energy however, are definitely…

Monday Musings 8/20

Welcome to Monday Musings, where I share a bit of what's been going on in my little part of the world.

This Week's Monday Musings

1. We entertained friends last week, and had an absolutely wonderful time. We went kayaking, hiking and biking along the coast, attended Laguna Beach's iconic Pageant of the Masters, which included a surprise behind-the-scenes tour afterward for our friends, and dined ourselves silly. We were so sorry to see them go in that aside from enjoying their company so much, they'd been a most-welcome distraction from our ongoing backyard construction.

And here is a 2011 CBS piece about the Pageant of the Masters for those of you that have never heard of it. It's worth a special trip here to see it, promise!

2. Speaking of our backyard, tremendous project was made! The two patios have been completed, as has the patio trellis. And the majority of the second story balcony build has also been completed, leaving just the outdoor spiral staircase and …