There’s a reason it’s called Fall.
We thought we were going to have a somewhat relaxing week, at least up until our two full days with K, but we ended up busy every day and were very grateful for the arrival of this weekend. For a couple of days last week it seemed as if we could barely catch our breath! On the upside, the days went by quickly and lots was accomplished. We kept things very low key yesterday and the same today as well. I had another two books come off hold last week (seven in the last two weeks!) so I spent most of yesterday reading and will do the same today.
We got our first severe storm warnings on Wednesday! Boy, was it a surprise when those sirens went off – there’s no way anyone could ignore that sound. Brett and I had gotten home from a walk a couple minutes before they started, and we had noticed the sky darkening as well as the wind getting stronger as we walked, but had no idea big thunderstorms were on their way nor the potential for a tornado! Shortly after the storm arrived over us a lightning strike hit very close to our apartment – we about jumped out of our skins from the explosion! We’re very grateful though for the warning systems in place these days. A tornado passed very close to us in Memphis when our son was a few months old – there were no warnings back then. I happened to be in class on base (in the tornado shelter building!) but Brett had to shelter with our son in a closet under the stairs and listen to the wind sounding like a freight train and the windows buckling back and forth while the tornado passed by – very frightening.
On a different topic, I have been sort of stumped about what to continue to write about these days. We’re not traveling other than locally, and I write about that when it happens, but otherwise not much is going on. I’m not sure I have any great insights on retirement either other than the frugal choices we’ve made and about making the most of what you have. I have absolutely no interest in writing about politics, the economy, etc. I have a couple of posts coming up but overall I think I will be posting less frequently, maybe just once midweek with the Sunday Morning post to catch up on our week. There could be more if something exciting is going on though. Brett and I are still on track to head to Mexico following our time here in Tennessee, but a couple of other ideas have popped up in the meantime (don’t they always?) so they may show up here eventually if we decide they’re a better choice for us. If there’s anything you’d like to hear about, or hear more about, let me know.
Anyway, this morning I am thinking about:
- What we accomplished this past week: 1) Kai finally got his haircut on Monday. We had a bit of a drive each way but the groomer was definitely worth it and she lived up to her reviews. Kai’s scheduled to go back for his next grooming at the beginning of Thanksgiving week, a six week schedule versus once a month. 2) We did our food shopping on Tuesday and have plenty to see us through until the end of the month, although we may have to pick up some more produce before then. 3) I saw the gastroenterologist on Wednesday and got scheduled for a colonoscopy in two weeks. However, it turns out my last one was less than ten years ago and Medicare will not pay for it (and I am not high risk) so I’m going to call tomorrow and cancel: I’ll reschedule next year. 4) We had two fun days with K on Thursday and Friday. K decorated her Halloween House, we watched some TV and read together, we walked (or rode a scooter), and she and I baked two dozen muffins (pumpkin raisin and chocolate chip). For Fabulous Friday we went to Sonic for milkshakes – yum! 5) I was selected to participate in the Beta testing of the student loan forgiveness application, so that has been completed (super easy) and will be in the first group processed.
A busy but fun couple of days with K
- What we’re looking forward to this week: Hopefully this coming week will stay calmer than this past one. We have nothing on our calendar other than picking K up every day after school.
- Healthy eating & exercise: 1) We walked six days this past week, two miles each time. My new walking shoes are very comfortable and have made a big difference in my pace and how I feel at the end of walk. 2) Healthy meals this week included a couple of nights of leftovers (chicken noodle soup and falafel); cacio e pepe and sautéed string beans; pepperoni pizza; fish sandwiches, coleslaw, tater tots and onion rings; meatloaf, roasted potatoes, and broccoli; and chili shrimp with rice and cucumber.
- How we saved: 1) We stayed well under budget with our grocery shopping. 2) We put $5.69 into the change/$1 bill jar. 3) The groomer’s fee was $25 less than we expected, a lovely surprise. 4) All of our leftovers were eaten and no food was thrown out – we focused on cleaning out the odds and ends from the freezer this past week (which is the reason we had tater tots and onion rings on the same night – each bag held enough for one person so I prepared both and we mixed them up).
Before and after
- Good things that happened: 1) Kai went from scruffy to handsome with his haircut. We can’t get over how cute he looks, and can really see how he takes after his poodle dad in his build. 2) Kai also tried out his “bucking bronco” Halloween costume (a gift from Meiling) and it’s a hit! We have to hide the costume though if he’s not wearing it – he growls at the cowboy and tries to attack it. 3) My new HOKA walking shoes are wonderful. 4) The weather is getting cooler, in a good way (other than the thunderstorms). 5) We are very happy about the cost of living increases coming next year to our Social Security benefits as well as Brett’s military retirement. And, that Medicare payment will be decreasing as well. Hopefully the combination of a COLA increase and decrease in Medicare payments will give more seniors some breathing room next year and relieve some of the stress of this past year.
One of the things we’ve been enjoying on our walks is collecting items that we can temporarily incorporate into our apartment decor or for other purposes. Last week’s storm blew down a considerable number or Osage oranges/hedge apples and we picked up a few to display on our coffee table for a short while. There are also pinecones galore throughout the property and we’ve gathered some of those to use at Christmas, as well as some gnarly twigs I have plans to incorporate into a holiday decoration as well. K collects acorns when we’re out, and we’ve picked up leaves, seeds, and other natural items for Brett to sketch (he does beautifully detailed pencil drawings, almost like photographs).
That’s a wrap on a very busy but productive week! I hope it was a great week for everyone and that all are looking forward to the week coming up. It seems as if time is flying by here, but we’re having a good time, accomplishing our goals, and saving for the future. Here’s to another great week (although hopefully a less busy one for us)!