Dogs, Positivity, Time off

Where in the world have I been?

Hello? Anyone out there? It’s me, Sharon. I know, I know. I’ve been gone for almost a year. I can’t believe it’s been so long. So much has happened in a year and yet so little has happened as well.

Where should I start? After I stopped writing, I spent time taking care my boy Ben. He was not doing well, and unfortunately in October, 2020 I had to say goodbye. I lost the dearest, sweetest dog in the whole world. Ben was MY boy. He didn’t quite make it to 14, which was my hope, but he gave it a valiant effort. I miss him so.much.

After two months without a dog, in a weak (very weak) moment, we decided to get another golden. It just so happened that there was a litter born on my birthday… I took it as a sign. (It wasn’t a sign). Before we knew it, we were picking up a new 8 week old puppy. To say the last nine months have been a whirlwind of ups and downs is an understatement. It’s been down right life-changing. This pup is NOTHING like Ben, which I guess is to be expected. No two dogs are alike, right? But we had no idea what we were taking on.

Meet Auggie: Our 10 month old English cream Golden. He is sweet (when he wants to be).

During the last 9 months, we have had to deal with a bunch of behavior issues with this little guy. We found it necessary to hire a dog trainer. ($$$$$). After 12 weeks of training, we can say Auggie has come a long way. Thankfully, my husband has been working from home and has taken most of the responsibility of Auggie. My husband adores him. Me? Not so much, although, if I’m honest, he is starting to grow on me.

Auggie has been our biggest life change, and for that I am grateful. We have remained healthy, and gainfully employed. My “adult” children are doing great, and I get to see my grandchildren all the time. I am fortunate, I know.

Going forward, I will continue to document and share our journey to retirement and beyond (it won’t be long now!) in this space in an upbeat and positive way. (We can all use a little positivity in our lives, right?) I will share how we are saving, spending and gearing up for the next phase of our lives. It’s scary and exciting all at the same time.

I’ve missed you all, and I hope you’ll stick around too.

My best, Sharon

P.S. Let me know you have stopped by commenting below! xoxo

8 thoughts on “Where in the world have I been?”

  1. What a sweet boy!! I’m so sorry to hear of your loss, it’s heart-wrenching isn’t it? I had to get my almost 19 yr old cat put down a few weeks ago and it’s soo painful. 😦 I hope this handsome boy grows on you and you love him as much as possible! Even if he’s a handful.. *wink*


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    1. Hi Carla! I want you to know I still have your bread recipe which I made just last week. I think so fondly of the years we both blogged frequently! I’m so sorry to hear about your cat. 19 years is a long time to have a furbaby, and I do know how you feel. It’s gut wrenching…but it does get a little easier. xoxo


  2. Glad to see you are back to blogging- we also got a dog a year ago- first time dog owners- like having a baby- I totally know what you are going through!! Welcome back- Ellie


  3. Hi Sharon, I am so happy to see you are writing again. Earlier today I got a comment in my email from what I thought was your last post. I haven’t caught up on your writings yet, but will. And I will subscribe so I don’t miss anything going forward. I am glad to see so far that things went pretty ok for you during the pandemic, but I am sorry to see about Ben. They have been ok for us also. Hubby worked all through everything since he is an electrical (big) power engineer. Our daughter was laid off for 6 weeks when things closed down, but went back right away when things opened up again. She is a CPA for a large restaurant group in our area. Her hubby continued to work and they had savings so they did ok. They had a baby last summer so we now have 2 granddaughters. The older one that I had talked about before will start kindergarten tomorrow. Our son started a new job right as things shut down, but he has been working from home. He bought a house last summer and also got a dog. My mom had a stroke in April and we have been back and forth some since she is out of state. I have a retired sister who moved in temporarily and she has done a fantastic job with Mom. Hubby and I went recently to help get Mom moved to a nice assisted living place since my sister also lives out of state and can’t stay indefinitely. Our sibs that live in the same town as Mom are still working.

    I am glad to see you are still on track for your retirement and looking forward to following along with things. We are still on track for hubby to retire when he is 65 and eligible for Medicare. Were you able to pay off your house yet? We have been putting the $$ from paying off our mortgage directly into maxing out our Roth IRAs. And I have saved enough for us to pay cash for a new (used) car for hubby in the next few years and also to remodel our master bath. We had started the process of talking to people, but put everything on hold when the pandemic came and we haven’t started back up again.


    1. Hi Chris,
      So sorry to hear about your Mom. I have aging parents and will be looking into some sort of assisted living facilities in the near future. Not fun for sure. Congrats on your new granddaughter!
      We just refinanced our home with an interest rate of 2.0% after paying down a huge chunk. Our mortgage can easily be paid in retirement now, although our ultimate plan is to downsize. I’m sure I’ll post about this soon…lol.
      By the way, you didn’t miss anything! I just posted after a year today! You are right on time. 🙂


  4. OMFG! Is it really you??? I am so happy you are back.
    Lots has happened in my life this past year.
    My brother died of covid. It was very sad and very quick. We never got a chance to say goodbye or to even see him again. I still cry often over this tragic loss for my family. He was our patriarch.
    Not soon after, my sister-in-law died of covid. That’s two different families who have lost a parent, a mom, a dad, a grandmother, grandfather.
    But to make matters even worse, if that was possible, our dog died!!! She just collapsed in the kitchen and was gone.
    My husband has been out of work for over 15-17 months. I’ve lost track. His whole business evaporated with covid.
    Sorry to be such a downer. Most days I find it difficult to speak let alone write, but I forge ahead.
    My kids, grandkids, hubby, sister and me are all doing well. By that, I mean we are healthy, vaccinated and doing the best we can. We did get another dog. My daughter had purchased an adorable maltipoo for her daughter to keep her company but her husband was allergic, so we adopted the dog instead. This way my granddaughter still has access to her doggie but it’s at grandma’s house now. Raising a puppy fro 8 weeks old has left a indelible imprint on eaten rugs, ripped towels, chewed-up comforters torn to shreds and in-house ‘accidents’. UGH! But the doggie is sooooo cute. We forgive her. LOL!
    We’ve been home most of the time. I make travel reservations but quickly cancel them. I have my fingers crossed we can make the next reservation but now I hear they may frown upon interstate travel. Gosh, I’m sick of New York (which I am sure you have heard about our Cuomo troubles) but it looks like we’re gonna be stuck here. For like forever.
    Other than that, things are great. LOL. I’ve been managing our ‘new normal’, learning to keep a stiff upper lip and make the best of everything. I haven’t lost my sense of humor nor hope. As long as I keep social media and the news off and stop looking in mirrors, I’m golden!
    So glad you are back writing. You’re like a breadth of much-needed fresh air!


    1. Hi Cindi!

      Yes! It’s me! Thank you so much for your kind words! I’ve missed you too!

      First things first. I’m so very sorry for your losses. You’ve certainly been dealt more than your share. Please take time to give yourself the grace to grieve. I’m sorry you lost your dog! I begged Ben to die on his own, but alas he held on and I had to help him along. There is so much guilt that goes along with putting your dog down. Your sweet dog did you a HUGE favor, but that is little solace when you miss your pup.

      Travel for us has been scattered. We started by seeing my parents in upstate NY early May. It was so good to see them after more than a year. We’ve made a subsequent trip to them in July.

      We also did an ‘original six’ trip in May to Destin, FL. We rented a beautiful condo on the beach. My son was meeting us there, and my older two daughters came to surprise him. It was a magical, beautiful time. No masks, people were NORMAL. But, that was in MAY when things looked like we were heading out of the pandemic.

      Our next trip is in September to see Joey for a long weekend. He’s excited to show us his ship, and the area he’s called home (Everett, WA) for the last year and a half. We plan on taking two of the days to hike the beautiful cascade mountains.

      In a fit of excitement that we were leaving the pandemic behind, I booked 5 cruises to take over the next 3 years, but have already cancelled the first one. It was scheduled for this November (to celebrate my 60th!) but I lost my excitement with cruise protocols of masking up, testing and re-testing. Yuck.

      Our second one is planned for February, 2022 — hoping things get better, but I will cancel if things are the same. I tried to plan out the next couple of Februarys to plant myself somewhere WARM, but I may just rent a house for a month in Florida. I could bring the puppy, and not worry about boarding. I’m trying to remain flexible. We also put a deposit on a land/cruise option for Italy in 2023. I’m hoping that things are definitely better by then!

      Yes! Stay off the news! They are in a business to sensationalize everything. Fear sells. And of course, politics will be politics. Crooked politicians have been around since the beginning of time.

      The only way I combat that feeling of helplessness with what is going on in the world is through my faith and practicing an abundance of gratitude. It’s not always easy, but it really helps.

      It was great to catch up with you! xoxo

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