Thursday, October 25, 2012

One year of Retirement!

I want to celebrate that it's been a year since I retired!  What have I have liked most about this time of my life?  Accomplishments, is that what is the most important?  At first I was addicted to Pinterest.  Now I don't pin too much, mostly use it as a resource.  In the Spring, I got so busy with selling my dvd Learn to Swim with Miss Bea with a facebook pageanother blog, and my Amazon sales that kept me so busy!  Now I am taking a break from that.  (Except I have an idea to put a special 2 for one sale for the Holidays!)  

The garden and the beach, the birth of grandchild number 5, and being with my kids and other grandkids and husband...  

But still, everyone asks, what are you doing with your time now?  My kids and grandkids love to say that Mimi and Papa have nothing to do!  In this blog, I have written about some of what has been important since my retirement.  I think that when I feel uncertain or anxious at times it is when I try to measure my life, when I try to put a value on it.
5 grandchildren!  Love, love, love!

I am not afraid of time passing.  I am sometimes afraid that I am "wasting" it.  How can it be?  Time is mine and no one can take it away from me because now I choose what to do with it.  It has become more valuable because it is all mine.  No other person is directing me.  Since I choose what to do with my time it I feel responsible never to waste it.  
Last week I didn't have any commitments to my kids and grands, and I realized that I had so many choices of things to do but I wasn’t wanting to do any of them.  All were things on my list, a list that I had made!  Reading them I found that I didn’t want to do any of them!  And I didn't!  God gave me this time to relax and enjoy and I'm giving it back to God!

Caroline at the park
As with many other retired folks, "the worth of time" has been on my mind for that last months...  Bob Lowery in Satisfying Retirement  says, "More than ever, I appreciate the eternity present in this, and every, holy instant."


In her magazine of Sept. 2011, after she stopped her daily show, Opra wrote about her frustration with time as she struggled to start her new TV station:
“Everywhere I turn, new beginnings and big changes abound for me.  The inevitable truth is that everything changes.  We’re not meant to look the same or act the same year in and year out.  Growth brings new potential.  And I know for sure that when you’re open to receiving them, the possibilities just keep on coming.”

Andrew, Lauren, Isabella

My father loved the song, Turn, Turn Turn by the Byrds with the words of Solomon in Ecclesiastes and we used to sing it for him with my sister playing in the guitar.  I even learned to play it on the guitar.  But  now that I am retired, the words have a different meaning.

  1. To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
  2. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted;
  3. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
  4. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
  5. A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
  6. A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
  7. A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
  8. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
In AD Chronicles by Boede and Thoene Cantor explains the words of Solomon to Lily, to look at time as God sees time eternally. From the book about the lepers, page 222:
“Fear not…  Fear nothing. Fear no man... From the earliest days, the Lord has taught his ways to Israel through the prophets.  We can understand any event through the language of God’s Word… We may only see a fragment of his plan and misunderstand… and always, the events continue to unfold beyond our short lifetimes... 

See that?  The light from that star began its journey to your eye perhaps ten thousand years ago.  So it is with everything set in motion on this earth.  Solomon wrote that in each life there is a time for us to be born and a time to die.  There were twenty-eight things Solomon wrote as the Times in our lives between birth and death.  But I tell you the truth: When we follow and believe the master plan within God’s Word, we are beyond the reach of time… 

Every step is marked out for you… just walk.  What you and I do now for God is like the light of that star.  To someone yet unborn you are a distant star.  What good you do now may shine forth, yet it may not be seen or received by anyone during your lifetime.  But then your act of kindness will someday change the destiny of someone far in the future.  A thousand or two thousand years from this moment.  What we do now matters eternally.  The written Word of the Almighty lets us study and see how the eternal picture is unfolding through generations.  Whatever we suffer now?  We can have faith that, in the end, even our suffering will be golden thread in the eternal tapestry….

Our destiny is already recorded in the Book… Everyting matters.  Every word, Deed. Thought, Prayer.  Fear not!  It is time that makes us fear.  Fear of running out of time.  There is no time where we are going… The prayer we pray today…we think God does not hear?  It may yet be answered for our grandchildren, or their grandchildren…

God is the God of the living, not the dead.  No matter what happens in this life, Fear not."

Just live and laugh, like Micaela my newest niece!!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Let's go shrimpin'! (on the Lady Jane)

I've been wanting to go on the Lady Jane since I read about it!  It seemed to me the perfect time when Cristi and Juani came to visit for the week.
Are there other shrimpin' boat cruises out there that do the same?

Video of birds on a wire 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

So much fun fishing AND crabbing!

On our last trip to St. Simons Island, we met up with Cristi and Juani who came up from Ft. Lauderdale.  We wanted to make it a fun trip for them full of fishing and crabbing.  Well, we didn't go out on the boat but had a great time off "Howard's Dock."  We caught 6 big crabs and everyone caught at least one fish and though we only have a 2 hour window to fish, we made the most of it!
One of the things I like about fishing at Howard's Dock is that we don't have to clean up the boat, and since Don cleans the fish, I only have to clean the crabs.
Walking on the beach art sunset

Cristi fishing

Regan the dog stayed with us the whole time.  He tried to eat  the chicken crabmeat.

Can you see the sheephead?

A cooler full of fish and crab.

View of the dock and the marsh.
Male crabs have bigger claws!  We caught all males this time.

Cleaned cooked crab.  Let's eat!

Celebrating 70 years old! - not me!!

I flew down to Ft. Lauderdale to help my oldest sister to celebrate her 70th  birthday.  I was her gift!  Because my husband didn't go too, we had 3 days of sister time.  I love to go down with my husband too but I treasure the times when I go by myself.  We gathered as a family to celebrate her life!  We did lots of shopping at the mall and mostly talking, talking, talking...

My sister, Cristi, Mom, the birthday girl, Ani

Ani and her granddaughter

All of us celebrating with Brunch!

Ani's daughter made a scrapbook with comments and pictures from her friends of her past and present.
Having a relationship with my niece.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Learn to Swim with Miss Bea - Vamos a Nadar: End of Summer Special!

Learn to Swim with Miss Bea - Vamos a Nadar: End of Summer Special!: Only 2 more weeks for the $18 Learn to Swim with Miss Bea special offer! Parents, Miss Bea developed an outstanding step-by-step program ...

Just up and Leave!

Wow!  This is the first time that we retired, we just up and left the house and came here to St. Simons for the week.  Don and I were looking at the calendar and making plans for the day and I suggested that since the kids didn't need us, we had no doctor's appointments nothing else scheduled, we could do a quick gardening and watering and go off...

Last weekend we had Caroline for 4 days and nights while they went to New York to celebrate their 5 year wedding anniversary.  It was so much fun!  We worked on potty training and she went 3 times, one time running and saying "big potty".  Another time I cleaned up a big puddle off the floor...
She slept in the big girl bed for the first time and loved it.  She is such a sweetheart!  I love it when she sings and I can tell by the tune what she is singing - certainly not by the words!
Caroline wins the clean plate award!

Then Tuesday we picked up Lauren and Andrew at the bus stop and then Isabella at day care.  I loved doing homework with Andrew and playing "dance" with Lauren.  Isabella was awake for 2 hours and though I didn't get her "talking to me," I got several with her eyes wide open and smiling!
When it was time for what I thought was time for Isabella to sleep, she would not go down but fell asleep on me and I held her until Brian came home.  What a delight.
Isabella talking to me!
Unfortunately it's been raining, windy and cloudy since we got here, so the beach hasn't been much fun.  Watch and hear the sand blow in the video!  It hurt when it hit my legs when I was walking.  There were only a few brave souls walking and needless to say, I didn't go in the water!

Last night we went to see the movie, The Words.  It certainly gave me much to think about that I usually try not to think about.  My new blog friend wrote about the movie:  I don't agree with all of what Chris wrote though: "but Rory never moved on, and was tormented by nightmares until he focused his grief on another book, one that'd allow him to tell the true story of the manuscript. Rory titled the book The Words."  

Is that clear in the movie, what do you think?

Yeah!  Went boogie boarding tonight.
The tide was high, the sun was setting, the waves were just right for an old retired lady to enjoy without being afraid of twisting an ankle or a knee.  That's me on one of the smaller waves.

Tomorrow we have plans to go fishing so I will add more pictures of all the fish I'm going to catch!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Wedding anniversary - 41 years!

Today, Don and I celebrate being married for 41 years!  

Living retired this last year has been like getting to know and accept each other in ways that we never did before.  

Every day is different and I want every day together to be wonderful and filled, happy and healthy!

Here is a poem I wrote for our 30 year anniversary.

What do you think?

You never did that before!
By Bea Skeens, March 30, 2000
Our love is ever new.
Even after years with you,
There is always more to discover
And so much more joy
To give one another.

What can I do
To make our love grow?
It’s in the giving
That love really shows.

To feel so uncertain
And yet take the risk…
To be understood and needed
Is my only wish.

The comings and goings
In every direction
Hugging and kissing…
More I can’t mention.

We listen and wait
To share with each other
We put aside our busy-ness… 
You’re never a bother.

Accepting the moods
Of silence and caring,
We try to make better
Each frustration together.

When you tell me your problem,
You allow me to be
Your healing and soothing,          
 A mystery to me.

When we feel all stressed out
And just want to scream
We take off together
Refreshing our dreams.

I want you to be happy
In each daily chore
And to feel so fulfilled
That you’ll want to do more.

When I wake up happy,
You don’t give me a frown.
When I share my schemes,
You don’t put me down.

When something upsets me,
You give me that look
That calms and refills me
With the peace that it took.

You open my Spirit;
You stir up the Power;
God’s Love we can be…
Everywhere, every hour.

Thank You, God,
Thank You
That we have each other.
Thank You for making us
To love one another.

Mac and cheese recipes from Rachel Rae

Lauren and I love mac and cheese but I don't eat it often because of the endless low carb diets.  I'm going to try one of these recipes this weekend and see if I can get Lauren to like it.  One change I'm going to have to make is to use orange cheddar cheese.  I don't think that 5 year old Lauren would eat mac and cheese that wasn't orange.  And she likes broccoli but not cauliflower so we'll have to see.  
Since the pictures of the meals are not very pretty, I put this beautiful picture of Lauren to brighten the page!

Which mac and cheese recipe do you use for your grandkids who are mac and cheese lovers?

Cauliflower Mac 'n Cheese

Triple creamy cheeses with cauliflower make for a tasty make-ahead pasta bake that's easy to reheat.
by Rachael Ray | from Week in a Day | on 11/09/10 
Salt 1 pound short cut pasta, such as macaroni, ziti or penne rigate, regular or whole wheat 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) 1 large head cauliflower 1 cup chicken stock 3 tablespoons butter 1 onion, finely chopped 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped 3 tablespoons flour About 2 1/2 cups whole milk Freshly ground black pepper Freshly grated nutmeg 3-4 sprigs fresh sage leaves, very thinly sliced 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 1 cup sharp white cheddar cheese, divided 1 cup Gruyère cheese, divided 1 cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, divided 1 small bundle watercress, washed and chopped
Serves 6

Bring the water to a boil for the pasta. Salt the water and undercook the pasta by 2 minutes, about 5-6 minutes.
While the water comes to a boil, in a covered Dutch oven, heat the EVOO over medium to medium-high heat. Cut the core away from the cauliflower and set the head into the pot. Add 1 cup stock, cover and steam for 12-15 minutes, until tender. Remove and separate the cauliflower into florets. Discard the water from the pot.
Over medium heat in the same pot, melt the butter, then add the onion and garlic. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, until tender. Add in the flour and whisk for 1 minute. Whisk in the whole milk and season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and sage. When thickened, stir in the Dijon mustard and two-thirds of the combined cheeses.
Drain the pasta and add it to the cauliflower. Stir in the cheese sauce, transfer to baking dish and top with the remaining cheese. Cool completely and cover for a make-ahead meal.

Broccoli and Cauliflower Gratin Mac 'n Cheese

Garlic, chives, Dijon mustard, sour cream and extra sharp cheddar cheese are just the right ingredients to highlight the flavors of broccoli and cauliflower for this make-ahead mac 'n cheese.
by Rachael Ray | from Week in a Day | on 11/09/10 


  • Salt
  • 1 small head or bundle broccoli, trimmed into florets
  • 1 small head cauliflower or half a large head, trimmed and cut into florets
  • 1 pound whole wheat macaroni or penne or other short-cut pasta
  • 2 cups sour cream or reduced fat sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup chives, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated or crushed into paste
  • A few drops of hot sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese, divided
Serves 6


Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium heat. Salt the water and add the broccoli and cauliflower florets. Boil the vegetables for 5 minutes, then remove them with a spider or a strainer and drain. Add the pasta to the water and undercook by about 2 minutes, then drain.
Meanwhile, combine the sour cream in a large bowl along with the mustard, chives, garlic, hot sauce and salt and pepper, to taste. Add the pasta and cauliflower and two-thirds of the cheese. Stir to combine, then transfer to a casserole or baking dish and cover with the remaining cheese. Cool and chill for a make-ahead meal.
To heat and eat, place the casserole on baking sheet and bake it in the middle of a pre-heated 375°F oven until deeply golden and bubbly, about 40-45 minutes.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

My grandkids under water!

I loved teaching baby swimming lessons for 35 years, but the most fun of all is teaching my own grandchildren!  Andrew inspired me to make the Learn to Swim with Miss Bea dvd when he was a baby.  He is my main star!  And now he is 8 years old.
Baby Andrew on the dvd cover

Knowing that I would only have a few more times in our neighbor's pool with the grandchildren, I got a cheapie underwater camera and took some pictures.  

Already now the water is much cooler.  

Caroline wouldn't even jump in this last time.  

Caroline is freezing after 15 minutes in the pool!

I had to bribe her with my hat to even get her in the pool and let her dunk me more than usual to get her to stay in the water.  
Caroline just swam to get the hat from the bottom.  We are practicing blowing bubbles.

Anyway, a few weeks ago when it was still hot outside everyone came to swim.

Mimi and grandkids minus Isabella.  (Look for her at the end of this post.)

They went under and through the hulahoop



My kids swim with and without goggles so that they don't get addicted to the goggles.

Read about Andrew's first swim meet.

Durham is not too sure about the whole going under the water thing.  
I don't get to practice with him very often.  
Look at these eyes!
Maybe we'll have hot enough days again to heat up the pool again- and warmer nights!
I'm looking for an indoor pool that's closer than the one I used last year!
Isabella slept the whole time!