Goodbye Jax and Naomi

Since moving to Texas, we have lost two of our pets who we loved so much.  Jax was David’s Airedale terrier who was 14 years old.  He was a wonderful boy!  He was David’s buddy and loved spending time with him, going for walks, and just being with him.  He was very gentle and loving.  I will sure miss him.

 

Our little Naomi was only 2 years old.  She was sick when we left Wisconsin, but then recovered and then became sick again.  We were concerned it was the same sickness, but sadly it was not related.  She had a very rare form of lung cancer.  We brought her home from the vets and spent a few more tearful days with her, until it was time to say goodbye. It was heartbreaking as she was so young.  I had never had cats before Jasmine and Naomi. Naomi’s name means “pleasantness.”  This was her persona exactly.  She was cuddly, sweet, loving and enjoyed following us around and always by our side.  I’m surprised that I could love a cat as much as I did her.  She would greet us at the door and even play fetch with her plastic springs.  One of the saddest things that still happens is how Jasmine will walk around at night crying for her, looking for her to play with.  We are still mourning, but doing better.  Of course, Jasmine is getting a lot of attention, love and snuggles.  She needs comforting too.

 

Goodbye my sweet companions.

Advertisements

Life in Temple

Life in Texas is a little different than Wisconsin, at least different from Madison that is.  Life is a little slower here.  People don’t seem to be in as much of a rush.  Perhaps that is just because it’s a smaller town, or maybe it’s Southern Hospitality, but either way, I really like it.

When we first moved here and went to the grocery store, my first time out shopping I struck up three conversations with total strangers.  Each one said “Welcome to Texas!” and I think they truly meant it.  I also ended up with three new recipes and was invited to three different churches.  Temple is fairly diverse, not quite as diverse as Madison, but I think because of Scott & White Hospital/Healthcare, more diverse.  I really like it.  I enjoy people and learning new languages, and there is no shortage here.

Temple, Texas, has been ranged a top city for “starting over” and I can see why.  With Lake Belton, Stillhouse Lake, the delicious BBQ, amazing Mexican food and great healthcare, in addition to low cost of living, it really is a great place to move to.  I won’t say that moving here after living in Wisconsin my entire life was totally carefree, and there was more of an adjustment than I had anticipated, but…life here is very good.  And so far, we feel like Texas is now our home.

Enjoy the pictures from hiking at Miller Spring’s Nature Center.  The pictures of the lake were taken when we drove over the dam on our way to the Nature Center.  Beautiful!

 

So I moved to Texas….last December

Life changes and many times the changes are good.  After living in Wisconsin my entire life, we decided to move to Texas.  We had looked previously at moving to Panama and possibly Portugal, but some life changes made us realize we need to stay in the US.

If you’ve never been through a Wisconsin snowstorm, you’re not missing much unless you love cold, snow, ice and a long 2-1/2 plus hour commute to work when it snows.  Other than that, the snow is very beautiful!  I enjoyed it much more when I was younger and still snow skiied and didn’t mind the cold as much.   It was difficult leaving my job of 9-1/2 years with all of the friends I had made.  I enjoyed the work and found it satisfying, but still we felt this nudge we wanted to move.  We knew wherever we moved we would want to have better weather so we could be active all year long.  We also wanted to move somewhere that the cost of living was less.  It was pretty high in Madison.  Having grown up in Madison, I’ve wanted to move my entire life.  Madison is a beautiful city and I feel fortunate to have grown up there.  But, we felt God calling is elsewhere.

We did a lot of research, and I had visited Texas quite a few times because of having relatives who lived there.  I had always liked it.  It is a financially stable state, so to speak, and the winters are not rough.  Yes, the summers are hot, but it is still cool enough in the morning to walk outside.  There are two major hospitals here so I was certain I could find employment.

We sold our house and David came down here to Temple to find a place for us to live before the actual big move.  I was talking with him on the phone one day and telling him how anxious I was feeling about the move and all the changes, even though I wanted to move, it is still a big task to move to another state!  As he was out walking, he saw a little gravel path lead away from the path he was on.  As he was talking to me and I was telling him how anxious I was, he came through the opening in the woods and there at the end was a bench, a little cross made from tree branches and held together with vines, and a concrete plaque on the ground that read “Do not be anxious.  Pray to the Lord and feel His love surround you.”  Philippians 4:6-7.

This brought tears to my eyes, and I’m not a cryer, but it really confirmed this is where we are to be.  After that I felt really good about the move.  And looking back, now that we’ve been here since December 13, it was definitely the right move and we really do like it here  A lot.

Texas is so interesting and different that Wisconsin.  There are a few things I miss, people, rhubarb in my backyard, wild mulberries.  But, we really do like it here a lot.  Since we are not able to move to Panama, this is second best.  The cost of living here is really much less than Madison.  There is fresh produce available in the stores year around, much fresher than what was available in Wisconsin, and avocados.  Oh.My.Gosh.  I’ve had avocado almost every day.  They’re just that good here.

There are a lot of great things here in Temple, and for us, it was the right move.  Here are some pics of our move down.  I go hiking every weekend, and I will be posting pics of the flora and nature often.  It’s just so pretty and interesting!  And, I have at least three coworkers who are fluent in Spanish.  I also can get Rosetta Stone free through my work’s website.  I haven’t tried it yet, but I plan to soon.  I can finally get back on track to learn it!

 

IMG_1111.JPG

This is when the move started to feel real.

IMG_1107.JPG

On our way!

 

 

IMG_1110.JPG

The girls did great!  This is Naomi.  She was sick right before we moved so we delayed leaving by a day.  We ended up leaving at 3:15 in the morning because we couldn’t sleep.  She is doing great now.  She pretty much slept the entire trip.

IMG_1106.JPG

We made it!IMG_1113.JPG

This was our backyard before we moved.  No snow in Texas!  If it does snow, it melts later the same day.  The movers packed my shovel.  I wasn’t planning on bringing it.

IMG_1114.JPG

This was from winter storm Simon.  It wasn’t that cold, only about 15 I think, but it was windy and slippery  It was hard to hike in it without slipping.

IMG_1103.JPG

The plaque near the Chisolm Hiking Trail

 

IMG_1104.JPG

This is in December in Texas.  I think it was about 50 degrees this day.  It does get cooler but not really that cold

IMG_1105.JPG

On the Chisolm Trail in Belton.  Right next to Temple.  IMG_1109.JPG

Lake Belton at sunset.  There’s a road going over the dam, and then a large nature reserve to hike in.  It’s called Miller Spring Nature Center.  I will be sharing pics from there soon!

IMG_1108.JPG

On my way to work.  I’m smiling because it only takes me 10-15 minutes to get to work.  Even in bad weather, which is called rain here.  I’m not making fun of Texans, because after all I am one now.  They do get tornados here, and that concerns me a little.  But still,10-15 minutes!  It took me at least an hour in Madison, and 2 to 2-1/2 if it snowed . 🙂

IMG_1115.JPG

Last one.  My two girls bird watching together right before we moved.  They told me they like Texas too.  There are still birds to watch outside the window and now dogs and children to watch also since we live in an apartment right now.

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Depth

This week’s weekly photo challenge is depth.  This is a photo from when two very good friends of ours (myself and hunny bunny) were married in Jamaica on the beach.  It was an incredibly beautiful wedding.  The bride and groom were both barefoot, as were all the guests.  The bride’s sister created this heart shape out of sand on the floor of the oceanside gazebo where the wedding took place.  It was really breathtaking.  It was a beautiful day, sunny, on the beach in Jamaica.  And my friends were very much in love, and still are.  This was also the first trip my husband and I made, before we were husband and wife.  This was the trip where we fell in love and knew we wanted to spend our lives together.  And, my two friends were instrumental in my husband and I meeting, thus the warm, fond memories of looking at the foot imprints in the sand.  The foot imprints that you do see in the sand on the right side are from the bride.  She kept wiggling her feet as they sank further and further into the sand.  It almost reminded me of Dorothy clicking her ruby slippers together, not wanting to believe she was going home.  It was really that good.  The groom stood solid, holding hands with his bride, unmoving, sturdy and like a rock that he is to her.

Foot prints in sand

Foot prints in heart

The wedding gazebo

The wedding gazebo

New Year and New Beginnings

Feliz Ano Nuevo!  Happy New Year!  I took this pic of us on Christmas Eve to send to hubby’s three sisters in California.  We had a very nice Christmas and stayed home New Year’s Eve and watched movies and played with our new kitty we adopted!  Her name is Naomi and she is such a sweet girl.  We adopted her from a local animal shelter, and we liked her name so we decided to keep it.  Our 2-year-old kitty, Jasmine, wasn’t too sure at first, but they are adjusting and starting to play together now.  She is such a sweety and loves to snuggle!  We don’t have any travel plans for now, but it’s still early in the year and I’m sure we will be heading off to another fun adventure before the year is over.  I wish all of my readers a very happy New Year full of family, love and friendship.  These are the things that matter the most to me and what life is all about.

IMG_0694.JPG

IMG_0740.JPG

IMG_0733.JPG

IMG_0753.JPG

IMG_0757.JPG

My “wild” life

Tommy and Brownie. Charlotte is too shy for pictures. Tommy is the gray fluffy one, and Brownie is the white and orange spotted kitty.

IMG_0368.JPG

IMG_0331.JPG

We live outside of the city, in a development but on the edge next to several farms and farmland. We have a cat colony of three kitties that are in our neighborhood. I’ve been doing a lot of research and have found that feral cats in Wisconsin tend to only live 2-3 years. Unless, they have a caretaker (That wold be me!) then they can live up to 10 years in the wild. My husband and I are both animal lovers. We have our beautiful pretty princess Jasmine, and three Airedale terriers who my husband has joint custody of with his ex-wife. We have a lot of squirrels, chipmonks, rabbits and even a groundhog who lives under our neighborh’s shed. The groundhog’s name is Pete. I wonder if Pete even knows that’s his name. So my husband started putting out nuts for the little critters. We also have many bird feeders for the birds. One day Tommy showed up and we gave him some cat food. So I instantly started researching feral cats in Wisconsin. Turns out it’s ok and even a good thing to help care for them. They are territorial and usually have 3-4 cats in a colony. Ours has three. We don’t really know how old they are or if they are even boys or girls. We plan on taking them to a special clinic this spring that does spaying and neutering for cats just like them. They actually do a lot of good around the neighborhood, such as keeping the vole population down, etc. Tommy hisses and meows, but never shows any signs of aggression. He even sleeps under our porch. Brownie purrs when she comes around and prefers hard food over wet like Tommy likes.

So I thought it was time I shared the rest of my “family” with my page. Someday I will have another post on Chipper the squirrel and Pepper the rabbit.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Nighttime

It’s trickier to take pictures at night, but the rewards are well worth it.

I took this photo in Las Vegas on February 12, 2012, my wedding night! It was such a perfect day, the weather was beautiful, my three sister-in-laws and their husbands all came from California, and really, it could not have been more perfect. I cried through the entire ceremony, which is memorialized on video. But, I didn’t care, because I was so happy, and still am. We had a corner suite at the Vdara right on the strip next to the Bellagio. This picture was taken looking away from the famous Las Vegas strip. I don’t remember the name of the hotel in the background with the red lights, but we had lunch there the next day with some friends of Hunny Bunny’s who had a second home in Hendersonville, a suburb. This picture just makes me smile. I hope you enjoy looking at it too.

IMG_0274.JPG

Once A Week

I will try to blog at least a little bit once a week. I really started this blog just for myself as a way to document this new adventure in our lives for me to reflect on our transition. We have someone coming next Saturday to look at our house. If it doesn’t sell by the end of October we will take it off the market and re-list it again in the spring. I really hope it sells, as I don’t want to spend another winter here. My drive to work is horrible right now as the entire highway is being re-paved. In the winter when it’s snowing, it can take me two hours to get to work. Ugh…just shoot me now! Luckily I can use vacation time to make up the hours, but it’s hard to get my work done when I’m not there. I’m the only one who does my job, and right now I don’t have any backup assistants. I used to have two, but one was fired and the other one is being used in another department right now, and they are only allowed to work so many hours a year, and she just doesn’t have time to help me. Which is quite a shame, as she does an excellent job. Also, with ICD-10 being implemented next October, it means I have some major studying to do to transition our facility. For those of you who don’t know what ICD-10 is, it is the format that medical facilities use to obtain reiumbursement. So basically, you have a diagnosis, and each diagnosis has a number assigned to it, with many variations depending on if it is right sided, left sided, first occurrence, etc.

And…tomorrow is my 50th birthday. I don’t feel 50! Well, most days I dont. Hunny Bunny was so very sweet and sent me a beautiful boutquet of flowers with a balloon to work on Thursday. I was off on Friday, and he wanted to surprise me, and he did! I’m always so touched with his devotion and kindness to me. Ahhh..can you tell we’re still newlyweds? I hope it never rubs off, because I sure do love what we have. Okay, now I’m rambling.

I’m still trying to learn Portuguese and it’s coming along. I started listening to Portuguese radio at work on my smart phone. Every once in a while I can catch a word or two. Lucky language comes easy for me, but not as easy as when I was 15. So for now, boa noite!10636090_10204065339046154_6219464798795956211_n