Sunday Morning 10/16/2022: All Fall Down

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.
Love my new walking shoes!
  • 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.
Autumn decor from nature

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)!


18 thoughts on “Sunday Morning 10/16/2022: All Fall Down

  1. It’s nice to just read little bits about your weeks like this. Even nomads settle in every so often! I also enjoy your “memoirs”- Navy days, childhoods, hiding w baby under stairs in tornado, your girl babies… and would like to see the nature drawings.


    1. Thank you so much, Jen. It’s been helpful for me to write each week about what we did, etc. Sort of like journaling I guess. Sometimes I think about stopping but I really don’t want to, and guess need to accept for the time being that there’s not going to be as much to write about. That’s life though, isn’t it?

      I will try to share some of Brett’s drawings one of these days. He does these very fine, up-close, detailed drawings of things and I’m happy to see him starting up again.


      1. I’d think there might be a small, steady, minimal pressure income from drawings! I wish I had that talent, but don’t, and have paid for house and yard/plants sketches, cats pencil portraits, sets of notecards, etc.! Artists who can draw people can really do well. Maybe earn a little extra money for your travels (or to replace chewed equipment for naughty puppy!😉)


  2. We enjoy your posts no matter the content. Please keep up the good work! You’re a terrific writer! Your day to day may not seem like something your readers would enjoy but for us it certainly is enjoyable. Your future plans, frugal finds, budgeting ideas, meal planning, health and well-being issues, updates on your kids, grandkids and Kai are interesting to read. Thanks for all your efforts!


    1. Thank you, Lori. I am going to keep writing, but I guess it will slow down for a while, just like our life has here. I always wanted to write about an “ordinary” person living an “ordinary life,” and I guess that someone is me!


  3. I love all your posts no matter where you are. I also get menu ideas from your food. I adore the pictures you are posting if fall, as much as ai liked the Hawaiian and the Mexico pictures. Because of work schedule, it is extremely hard for me to travel, so I travel through you and other bloggers. I like the local sights also. It does not matter to me if it is trees on your local walks, or photos from your time in Australia. I love it all! I look forward to your posts!


    1. Thank you, Cindy, for coming along for the ride and sticking with me. Others have commented about the food posts so I guess maybe I could pick those up again, although the light is awful in our apartment for photography. One of my goals for next year is to try at least one new recipe a month, so I will share those as well as they come up.

      We’re greatly enjoying the change in seasons here, although I occasionally look back at our time in Hawaii with great fondness. It was always so green! But the fall colors are beautiful here, and winter will have its charms as well.


    1. I read the Medicare book and it says 10 years unless you are “high risk,” and I don’t meet any of the criteria for high risk. I just don’t want to risk them not paying for it, because if they don’t/won’t, then Tricare won’t either (we got an expensive lesson when that happened once before).


  4. I agree with the other readers that we like your writing, so whatever you choose to write about, it will be enjoyable. It shouldn’t feel like a chore to you though. When and if you decide to share something with us, it will be well received. I’m still curious about where you’ll decide to settle down eventually and I’ll be following your thought process. I am glad you’re taking your time and pondering all the alternatives.
    I have a feeling that your audience is not into knowing every single detail of your life, nor looking for something super exciting every time when you post. The majority of people live ordinary, often uneventful lives and it’s nothing wrong with that. There is comfort and enjoyment to be found in a more settled, quieter lifestyle. There is a lot of noise out there so I like to be in my home where there is peace and calm and nobody rattles the cages. Personally, I don’t have the expectation that your posts should be wildly entertaining and extraordinary every single time. For me, your pictures and the exchange of ideas about how things are different or similar in different parts of the world is interesting enough.

    Kai looks adorable and if we’ll ever again decide to get a dog, I will be asking you for the contact info of the breeder, if you won’t mind. And K’s big smile with her Halloween house is to die for. She had a blast making it, obviously!

    Stay safe and enjoy your fall days, soon we’ll be changing time and our days will become short. Not a big fan of that.


    1. Thank you, Niculina for your thoughtful comment – I think you’ve hit the nail on the head, and I’m going to keep doing what I’ve been doing, although it will slow down a bit during our time in Tennessee as we’ve slowed down and are not doing as much here as we have in the past. That’s life, isn’t it – one minute you’re racing around and the next it’s almost dead quiet. I need to appreciate the quiet times more!

      We are enjoying Kai so much (although not too happy with him this morning because he chewed through his harness!). The breeder/kennel we used is wonderful; they are located in Indiana but they will transport to other states. Kai is everything we hoped for!

      Keeping K occupied is a major effort – she is so bright and active. The Halloween house was a perfect activity for her but she especially likes “projects.” Of course this means there will be a Christmas gingerbread house as well!

      Stay safe as well, and again, thank you for being such a faithful reader. You all are the best!


  5. I always enjoy your posts, especially your Sunday ones, so I hope you keep those up. Like the others have said, it doesn’t have to be exciting…..I just enjoy seeing what other people’s lives are like. I appreciate that you don’t get into politics or other controversial things; we get enough of that on a daily basis. So keep up the good work and we’ll keep reading!


    1. Thank you, Addy! I have always enjoyed writing the Sunday post as it is a great way for me to reflect on the past week and what we have done and accomplished.

      I’m like you: I like reading about others’ lives and am glad when they stay away from politics and economics. I don’t need to hear about how much people make, but I love hearing how people save and live frugally, no matter their income. I’ve gotten so many good ideas, and learned so much, over the years just from reading about others’ everyday lives. So, for now I will be writing less and focusing on quality over quantity.


  6. I agree with others…I enjoy hearing about your life and can’t remember anything you’ve written about that wasn”t worth reading. As long as you keep writing, I’ll keep reading. 😊

    Cuteness overload at your house! Love the Halloween house, K’s happy face, and Kai is just adorable too. I know shoe comfort is paramount, but finding a great color is always fun, and I love the blue & turquoise combo.


  7. Here’s a Fall craft idea for K and Brett. Google “acorn people” and look at the pictures. It’s fun to look for different types of acorns on walks. K could even make them as Christmas gifts to other family members.


    1. I told K about the “acorn people” and she said, “next year.” This year she’s saving all the ones she collects in a jar. I like the Christmas gift idea – something we can work on together next year.

      Now we need to find time for Brett to sit and sketch. He needs a good block of time to get his mind settled, but we’ve been so busy, even here at home (there’s this puppy that needs to be walked or who always seems to want to play).


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