Saturday, June 28, 2014

Back at Home

We had a ten hour drive yesterday, to come home from Philadelphia.  Pennsylvania is a wide state!  Then a short time in West Virginia.  Finally, driving south across Ohio (it's very flat) then across the Ohio River and into Kentucky.

We were visiting our good friends.  I ate too much, drank too much wine and gained a couple of pounds.  Now I have to be good.

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Driving Vacation

We have come to visit our friends in the Philadelphia area, where we lived for sixteen years.  It took almost ten hours to drive from Kentucky to Bucks County, where our friends live.

We arrived just in time to attend a graduation party.  Sophie has graduated from high school and is now going to study at Michigan.

Sophie is in the middle here, with her dad and her sister Molly.  Ed and Gayle adopted the girls from China when they were just babies.

There were about one hundred guests at the party.  There was enough food for about three hundred.

A group of friends by the pool…

Someone opened the gate and Harry (the dog) jumped into the pool.

Harry dog paddled around the pool, swimming many laps before we managed to get him out.  Several people tried but he resisted every attempt until Matt, (who also happens to be a Doylestown police officer) got him in a bear hug and carried him back over the fence.

There were Michigan colors (maize and blue my husband reminded me; he's from Michigan, "Go Blue"!)  There were maize and blue M & Ms in bowls and maize and blue balloons in every room.

We visited with our friends' grandchildren, too.  They are a lot of fun to be with.  These are Logan, who just had a birthday yesterday:

These are Sean, who likes to wear his hair like a Beatle:

and their sister, Caitlin:

It was a very nice day, spent with good friends.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Fathers' Day Cakes and Birthday Cakes

This is my niece Molly, age 12.  She loves to bake and wants to own her own shop one day.  Here she is making a cake for Fathers' Day.

This is her sister Sarah, who celebrated her 17th birthday on Fathers' Day.  She is holding an almond cake that she requested for her birthday.

Here is Molly with her Fathers' Day cake…

It was filled with strawberries and creme fraiche.  It was a hit!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Fathers' Day Wishes

This is my dad holding me, when we were both very young.  I was born on his 22nd birthday.  He was a chemist and a math teacher and a computer programmer when computers were brand new.  He was very smart and very well read and no one could beat him at Trivial Pursuit.  He taught my sister and me to play Black Jack and chess, and read to us every night.

Happy Fathers' Day to all.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Good Morning for a Walk

It was perfect this morning, sunny but not too hot, a clear blue sky with no humidity.  We don't get many days like this when summer comes.  So I went for a walk.  I decided to take my camera to prove it!

As I noted on Facebook this morning, in Kentucky they name streets after race horses and jockeys…

In case you don't remember, Aristides won the very first Kentucky Derby in 1875!

There are lots of trees in my neighborhood.  They are essential to me; I can't imagine living in a place without trees.

I like shady back yards.  You can barely see a colorful play structure back there.

I also like screened in porches like this one.  I wish we had one.

Behind some of the houses, there are still farms:

Most families here have pets.  We have cats but there are also  many dogs in the neighborhood.  (I like both.)

We also seem to have a lot of red pickup trucks around here:

We have to go down the street to get our mail from a box like this, no individual mail boxes (I'm not sure why).

Many of the houses on on sloped lots so we have nice walkout basements.

I've always thought this was the prettiest house, but it wasn't even built yet when we bought ours:

It's a little hard to see because of all the trees, but that's a good thing.

And… today is Flag Day!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Where Have I Been?

If anyone still comes here, you might be wondering why I haven't been here sharing photos and ideas.  Truth is, I've been busy worrying and wondering about retirement.  

I had the perfect job in Philadelphia.  It was challenging enough to be interesting.  I liked the people I worked with and the office environment.  After working for large, impersonal, bureaucratic corporations for decades, I was finally in a small, family owned company.  I had a nice corner spot with windows on both sides in an older building where the windows could still be opened.  We had a friendly doorman to greet us every morning.  I enjoyed commuting on the train… no traffic jams or road rage involved.  I could read on my way to work, or chat with friends I met on the train.  There was always something interesting going on in town.  A movie with Bruce Willis was filmed right on the street where I worked.  I could see the city from my window.  

Then we moved to rural Kentucky for family reasons.  I wanted to work but there was nothing available even remotely like what I had before.  I tried to keep busy, I tried to make friends.  I have good neighbors next door and family nearby, but missed the friends I had before we moved.  My friends keep asking me to come back.  My husband still had his job so we had health insurance and a regular income.  Then just over a year ago, he was laid off from his job when two companies merged.  

Suddenly he was retired too, not that he wanted to be.  Our lives have changed dramatically.  We have to figure out how to plan for retirement.  We have savings and investments, but is it enough?  Where should we live?  What should we do?  We have finally gotten serious about planning for life, not just living day to day with everything the same.  Should we downsize?  Move?  Sell?  We have been busy "lightening our load" so that whatever we do we don't have so much "stuff" to take with us.  

So, I have been preoccupied with all the above.  It's not very interesting to write about but now that I have opened up about it, maybe I can share more of it along the way.  It's an ongoing saga… 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Revisiting A Favorite

I posted about this before but I think it bears repeating.  "Moonlighting" was a show in the 80s that was funny and charming.  Bruce Willis was at his best then, I think.

I also love Al Jarreau, who sang the theme song.