Week 39: Farewell to My Fabulous Fifties

Sometimes I really do have to pinch myself to see if I’m dreaming. The weather has been fabulous all week here in Florida and the weeks go by so quickly. My days have been filled with appointments for the house, visits from friends and dinners out. It’s been a wonderful whirlwind that shows no signs of slowing down. It seems Wednesday has become my preferred blogging day down here. So if you happen to be following me, look for Wednesday posts from now on.

So let me dive right into my bucket list. Item # 20 (Entertain friends and family in our Florida retirement home.) We had a fabulous time with our friends from Michigan. They were staying with our friends Dave and Kim but we were able to spend a lot of time together. We had lots of delicious dinners out, fun girls’ shopping day and relaxing by the pool. We were sad to see them go. I also was blessed to have Sammi’s boyfriend Andrew’s parents over for a visit during their stay on Sanibel. It was great to meet their sister and brother–in-law and I had fun showing them around. I also had a visit from another Belleville family who is in the process of building a home in Florida so they popped in with Dave and Kim to check out our house and pool. I really enjoyed everyone’s visit. My daughter Jenna and her husband Kristianth are driving down and arriving on Friday evening. Kristianth will be flying back and Jenna will stay behind for a month with her two dogs. She works from home and she is about to “work from pool.” And bonus: Kobe will be so happy to have friends to hang out with. Mike returns next week and my parents will be coming for a long weekend as well. It has been so nice seeing everyone and I was happy to discover that I really love the way the house lives. The big kitchen island is nice for putting out appetizers and the large doorwall really makes the lanai part of the living space.

#16 (Decorating our Florida home.) Kim and I have done a lot of shopping in search of the perfect home accessories. I think we’ve canvassed most of southwest Florida! It’s been fun but I still have a lot of artwork to select. I did manage to find a nice vase for the front bedroom dresser and some cute desk accessories. I also ordered a digital photo frame online. Digital frames have sure come a long way. It has it’s own email address and friends and family can send photos that you can include in your frame. It can play music, tell you the date and the weather as well as showcase your photos. I plan to fill this frame with photos of friends and family that visit us here so it will be a rotating gallery of memories made in our Florida home.

Digital frame by Pixstar.

#6 (Keep my Duolingo streak intact.) #10 (Keep attending classes at the Alliance de Francais.) I thought I would have a lot more time to devote to French here but it has proven to be the exact opposite. I have managed to keep my Duolingo streak intact though. I am on day # 909. My treat for making it to day #900 was watching a French film. I watched Sarah’s Key on Netflix, which was a combination of French and English. It is based on a book I read a few years ago by the same name. It was good but the book was better. Isn’t that usually the way of it? My FaceTime French classes continue weekly and I am enjoying conversing, however limited my abilities. What an awesome opportunity to have a native French speaker be able to answer my questions. The French that is taught and written isn’t exactly the French that you will find spoken if you are lucky enough to go to France. One funny thing I learned this week is the French term for a six-pack (the abs version) is le tablet du chocolat. I would much prefer a bar of chocolate to a six pack of beer, so I embrace and salute that terminology!

#13 Meditate daily #18 Read 50 books in 2019. I am combining these two because I have been having trouble getting my meditation in and I am reading “10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works.” That is one heck of a long title. It’s by news anchor Dan Harris. He relates how he had an on-air melt-down and how he subsequently found inner peace, despite his initial skepticism. I am half way through and enjoying it tremendously. I am hoping it will re-motivate me to get my daily meditation sessions in as I definitely feel more focused and productive when I do. That alone doesn’t seem to be motivation enough though so I am hoping this little book will work some magic for me. This is book # 11 of my 80 book goal for 2020 putting me 2 books ahead of schedule.

#7 (Lose 10 pounds) I am sticking with Noom and am STILL 1 pound over that goal. I’ve been walking a lot, regularly exceeding my daily goal. I also squeezed in a work out at the clubhouse. I hope to do a lot more working out when Jenna comes down.

I promised to update you on the landscaping. It’s done! It was done in a day and a half. Here are a few photos of the job “in progress” and a few “after” photos. I added a couple of potted plants which I will plant outside once we close up for the season. The red plants on the side between the houses is Red Tie. It is native to Florida and will grow to be tall enough to provide us with some privacy on our lanai. We also will be adding lanai lights to finish off the space and make it more usable in the evening.

I posted this last week, but thought I’d repost for anyone who didn’t happen to see it.
Work in progress
From the right side,
The view from the inside.
The pots I added with Salvia.

I am going to wrap it up here because I have a little online shopping to do! One of my favorite home accessory stores, ZGallerie, is having an online sale. I hope to find a few things to share in a future blog. Have a great and productive week.

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