Monday, April 18, 2016


This morning I woke with a burning desire to write - don't ask where that idea came from! I've been writing, pretty much daily, for quite some time, but not blogging.  I guess I needed a break from being "out there" - that has been going on for ages it seems.

The things I've been journaling about aren't exactly things I want to put out for public consumption, so I really had to think about just what I was being propelled to write about.  So, this blog may meander a bit . . . fair warning!

New Adventures in Retirement

Retirement is the cat's pajamas - the best.  There are still never enough hours in a day, I am still not reading as much as I wanted, and the house is still just as jumbled and chaotic as always.  This doesn't seem to matter one bit to me.  My retirement motto is a simple one:

I'm taking it to heart.  At least one thing . . . every day. Sometimes more; sometimes a lot more!

Since retirement, I have found myself becoming a bonafide wheeler dealer in antiques, vintage, shabby chic, and anything else I find that I think someone else might like.  I started with a small "window" shelf unit in a nearby antique shop, added a small space at another antique shop, then moved up to a larger space and dropped the "window" as I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off.

As I have been a collector forever, having the possible good fortune (or not) of being born into a family of savers, packrats and collectors of just about anything that might be interesting, this whole endeavor is extremely satisfying.  It's like being given a green light to hit every estate, garage and moving sale with a vengeance - I am continually on the lookout for "good stuff".

I've found quite a lot.  The garage is full. And, sometimes I find stuff I don't really want to sell - big surprise.
A mixture of "finders keepers" and items already owned.
It's been keeping me busy, although I have arrived at a place where I don't scan Craig's list every day, nor do I go to sales every weekend.  There's only so much room in the garage!


Recently my husband and I took a mini trip up to Victoria, BC via the Clipper from Seattle.  We went with my aunt and uncle (who are close to my age) and had a fabulous time being tourists.  We started with a fun bus ride out to the Butchart Gardens, where the blooms were spring spectacular, and I bought way too many flower seeds.  (However, they are all planted with hopes for a smidgen of lucky blooms in the not too distant future.) 
My aunt and I talked our husbands into tea at the Empress Hotel, which was the first time for all of us, and truly a delightful treat! David was such a good sport, and posed while drinking his cup of tea! 
One daughter tells me this is her new favorite photo of her dad. :)
I think it's the raised pinky!
We spent one morning exploring the superb BC Museum of History!  We all could have spent many more hours, as it was huge and Smithsonian-like, and absolutely one of the best I've ever visited. Each display was amazingly life-like and very detailed. Very impressed!

One of the last things we did was to watch a movie about our wonderful National Parks in 3-D at the IMAX theater.  As we are in the midst of planning our first major road trip in retirement to Utah, this was a good way to generate even more enthusiasm - and I was already pretty darn enthusiastic about this trip!  We'll be visiting seven of our National Parks, and I am giddy with excitement to hit the road.


So much of life is making me happy these days - opportunities to travel, seeking vintage and antique stuff, spending time with family, and my sweet rescue kitty, Pepper.
She's a bit disgruntled as I woke her from a nap to take a picture!
Pepper is my grief slayer - A couple months after my Dad died, in January 2015, I came home from work and told my husband, "I need a cat!"  My husband doesn't like cats, so he wasn't too thrilled with my demand.  Fortunately, our daughter was home and she agreed with me, so he grudgingly gave in.  Jess and I began to search in earnest, but there were a few criteria that needed to be met. First, this cat would have to be grey, or black and white, as it's name was going to be "Pepper", my dad's nickname. Second, it would have to be sociable, get along with other cats (for when our youngest daughter and her cat Cleo were visiting) be holdable and of course, purr.  

One day I was reading the "available cats" section in the paper and there she was!  I fell in love with the photo and called to make an appointment to meet her.  Somehow our wires got crossed, and when we went to the shelter where this cat was being kept, she wasn't there.  The worker attempted to interest us in some other cats in residence, and actually tried to discourage us by saying "my" cat wasn't very sociable and didn't like other cats.  I was undeterred, and discovered that she was "off site" but would be part of an adoption fair at Petco later in the afternoon.  We waited, then drove over to meet her.

She came right over to us; she let us hold her; she purred - she was perfect!  We learned that she had been found abandoned, locked in a shed a few days before Christmas, 2014.  It was then March - it had taken several weeks to nurse her back to health.  There was no doubt in my mind that this was my Pepper.

After spending a good amount of money on a carrying case, food, toys, litter, scratching post, and collar, we drove home.  She explored all the highest places first.
I don't know how she does it - she doesn't use the counter to get up on the fridge!
She is a short, furry labrador! Pepper greets everyone who comes to the house, with her tail wagging. (He tail wags constantly!) She "talks" to us, and always "talks back" with some sort of kitty retort when told to get off the table, or the counter.  She wakes me with a soft paw caressing my cheek if I sleep later than she thinks I should - about 5:15 am! She loves to cuddle on me while I'm reading in bed (this can be kind of a nuisance!) or will come "tell" me it's time to go to bed if she is ready and I'm not!  

Pepper has saved me, given me a reason to smile, made me laugh daily and filled my world with a kind of love I haven't known since I was a little girl.  (Way different than people love - I'm loved by a few of those critters, too!)

So, I'm happy today.  Happy to be alive, to be retired, to have written a blog post.  This morning I put up and cleaned off my clothesline, so I'm ready to hang clothes outside tomorrow.  And now, I'm going to get back to sewing on a log cabin quilt I'm making for my daughter and her husband for their first anniversary in July.  

It's good to be happy!


  1. Oh, Sandi, I am so happy to see you back on Blogger and that you are happy. I smiled as I read your post because it speaks of finding joy in this new phase of life. Retirement looks good on you.

    I got a new kitten last year also. She is different from any pet I have ever had, and in a way, she saved me also. Her mom brought her out of the woods and put her in my gazebo for me to find. She belonged to me the minute I picked her up. It has been a difficult year, but she gives me the joy and hope that I need at this time of my life. I think animals can live without us, but we can't live without them. We have been blessed.

  2. How wonderful to "see" you again, Sandi. It's been awhile, but it's always worth the wait! Your antique business doesn't surprise me in the least, and I'm jealous of your sweet Pepper. I do hope your hubby has taken to Pepper by now. :-)

  3. So glad to see you back in the Blogosphere! Isn't retired life grand? Missing you.


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