Dec 15, 2021

Looking Back

The pandemic of 2020 changed our lives.  The way we work, where we go, and how we socialize.  It brought some people closer together and split others up.  I don’t think anyone was unscathed by its reign.  The “new normal” we were told. 

 When we flipped the calendar to 2021, did we magically think we would get our lives back?  The pandemic continued.  I donned a supply of masks in my car because you never where they would be required.   Vaccine became available and now we were split again by our “right to choose”.  The “new normal” was not as promising as we hoped.  Where we virtually joined together and sang kumbaya in 2020, I witnessed circles growing smaller this past year.  I’ve learned we no longer stand on your own merit but are judged on degrees of separation of the unknowns.  I’ve seen the loss of kindness.  I have felt left out and cried over the loss of friends and the way things used to be.  I won’t cast stones; guilty as charged.  

While a few of my immediate family and close friends may have contacted COVID-19, no one close to me was hospitalized.  I don’t think anyone of us can say we didn’t know of someone who perished from the virus, but at least in my experience, no one close (knock wood).  I do believe the virus is real and I do believe that the vaccine has reduced the number of those infected.  I just can’t get behind the politics of it all.  I’ll save that for another rant, should I have the notion. 

 I am more optimistic for 2022.  The changing of the calendar will have a direct affect on me, as I am retiring from my company after 35 years of service.  I’ll take on a lesser, part-time role with the same company to help with the cost of health insurance.  I’m excited about a reduction in hours and responsibility.  This new position will give me 4 day weekends every week and summers and falls off.  A horse riders dream!  I’ll still work from home which is a plus most of the time.  The minus is the human contact.  I miss people!  But hopefully can reconnect during my days off.    

 I am 60 years old.  I planned for retirement when I took a job with this company 35 years ago.  I always thought I would work longer than 60, but I doubt I’ll have a herd of 7 horses and pull 32-foot trailers when I am 80.  Maybe my herd will be down to 2 by then!  (Big smile).  I don’t want to sit around at 85 with money in the bank and wishing I would have done this or that when I was 20 years younger.  I want to look back and smile. 

Painting a BIG old house is a BIG project!
We’ve spent the last 2 years remodeling our house and will wrap up the outside painting this spring; just ran out of nice days.  I’m looking forward to fixing up the farm in other ways.  I want to put in a wash bay for the horses (and poodle).  My friend, Kathy, gave me some day lilies that I have the perfect place to plant.  I want to stencil the floor on my front porch.  

I have plans with a friend of 40 years to go on a trip together.  My sister, who lives a couple hours away, also retired and we have made a conscious decision to meet monthly for lunch or dinner.  I’ll have more time to help my son work on his house remodel.  And I already have ride trips on the book; one most notable is 2 weeks on the road with a horse – most likely Punch.  I’ll come home for a break, repack, choose another horse and off for another week.  Pray these dreams come true.  

My office is full right now with work equipment.  When I start my new part-time job, I am moving my work equipment to another room in the house and reclaiming my office at home.  I’ve ordered a new home computer and found some beautiful shelving units on marketplace.  I want to add a crafting space, too.  I’ll then start including pictures with this blog.  I still take a lot of photos, just don’t share them much beyond Facebook.  

There are good times to come. 


Dec 3, 2021

Going Hollywood


Five weeks from today will be my last day at my full-time job.  My last day of a thirty-five-year career.  I remember on my 30th anniversary, someone asked me how I could spend 30 years “here”.  I said, “If I didn’t enjoy walking in the door every day, I wouldn’t be here.”  And I meant it.  Oh, it was not always peachy – there were those days – but for the most part, I parlayed this high school diploma into a very good job that gave me the means to retire at 60 years old. 


While I planned to work a few years longer, my company is going through some changes.  I broke my wrist a couple months ago and had to have surgery on it.  I was asked to fill a different role this passed year and it has been difficult.  The idea of going back to work no longer felt good – I dreaded it.  I also realize I will never be younger than I am at this very minute.  My hobby of choice involves messing with 1,000-pound animals and if I can break my wrist as easy as falling off the ramp of my horse trailer, good Lord, how will it be in another 5 years!  I set up a meeting with my boss and informed him I would be retiring January 7th.  I plan to pick up a part-time gig during the off-riding season, but the 40+ hours weekly will soon be over! 


While I hope to spend a lot more time with my horses when I retire, there will be plenty of time for other things.  A couple years ago, I started writing a book.  Maybe I’ll have time to continue it.  Maybe I’ll reactivate this blog – if only for myself.  When I was on leave for my wrist recovery, typing was not an option so I spent more time in front of the television than usual.  Most notably, on YouTube.  I can be pretty ADD and can’t sit still watching long TV shows, but these YouTube shorts were just my style.  While I tend to be a true crimes junky, I found other topics of interest as well.  And it got me thinking that maybe YouTube was a media I could try.  I have had a channel on YouTube where I post video to share to family and friends – maybe I could make it into something more?  Perhaps what I used to share on this blog could now be shared on video.  The REAL Life of a Horsewoman.  It ain’t all that glamorous, let me tell you! 


I have some serious disadvantages.  While I love photography, I’d have to work on videography.  And I don’t have a face that cameras will love (although I did just have some age spots removed by the dermatologist).  I cuss like a sailor.  Is there a bleep button when editing video?  I haven’t smoked cigarettes in almost 30 years but I still sound like I smoke two packs a day!  (Full disclosure – even when I smoked, I never smoked that much!  So, the best thing I have going for me is my love of horses.


Stay tuned, more to come. 


Oct 22, 2021

A Year and 1/2 Later....

So I didn't make the comeback I had hoped to make at the start of the pandemic.  I started a book instead.  But haven't given that the time that I had hoped either.  

Since turning 60,  have been thinking a lot about retirement.  Not wanting to wish my life away, but I have come to the realization the next 10 years will most likely be the best my health will be so I may as well enjoy it while I'm "young(ish)".  So contemplating pulling that trigger sooner rather than later.

I follow a retirement specialist on Youtube and one of the things mentioned was having a plan.  Not about planning for retirement but what will I do when I retire?  While it will be nice to have the freedom to do what I want, when I want, be careful not to go stagnant or get lazy.  Being active = staying healthy.  I know from working at home, its easy to stay in the chair behind the computer screen without even an occasional stretch.  A big no-no.  

More to come in days ahead.  Just curious if anyone is still out there or if I am on my own here.  Either is fine.