Kelly has arrived

Kelly has arrived in Salmon Arm!

He drove away on Sunday morning. It was a 4-day drive of fairly easy lengths each day. He stopped when it was dark and camped for the night wherever that happened to be. The cats seemed content in the camper. Samson was discombobulated but will recover. I’m next…31 more days!


Six More Fridays

Kelly is now officially retired. Yay! Freedom 55 for my hubby! 🙂
…and you know that I’m not rubbing it in that I get freedom at 52 right?

Yesterday the College posted my job. Boy oh boy, does it ever feel strange to see that. I have SIX more Fridays! Whoop whoop!

Just to add some balance to that, here’s your choreography fix for the day. Maybe Kelly and I will give this a try, whatch’ think?  (can you see Kelly smirking? What’s that? He fainted? Yeah, that’s about right!)

Blogging Doldrums and a Rant

I have been stuck in the blogging doldrums these last several weeks. I think that life has simply gotten very focused – like a laser through a pin hole since we’ve been living at the lake. Any time I may have for writing this blog happens either on coffee/lunch breaks at work or after 8pm in the evenings. I suppose that doesn’t sound so bad if you’re reading it on paper. In fact, I had lunch with a friend yesterday who suggested I could write blog posts in the evening instead of quilting. Yes, I guess I could. I did it all summer, after all!

But now it is mid-October in the Yukon. That means it’s dark when I leave for work at 7:20 in the morning and it’s dark when I get home at 7 in the evening. It means we eat dinner at 7:30, and it is often soup out of a can because we are too hungry to wait any longer than that. It means the cabin is lit with propane lights that cast the loveliest, softest yellow light you ever saw, and when you go outside to visit the outhouse, you need a flashlight to get there and back. It means the woodstove is popping and crackling.  It means hanging a flashlight in the shower at 9pm to wash under water we’ve heated on the wood stove. I guess the problem is that all of that darkness and wood stove and golden gaslight makes me sleepy, and I just…don’t feel like it. Any inspiration I got during the day has long fled my brain. I want to sit on the couch and work on my stitchery and watch an hour of Big Bang Theory reruns that Mr. C downloaded onto the laptop before taking my book to bed. And once there, I’m out like a light by 10pm.  And you know what? I don’t think that sounds lazy and lame at all.

But it does make for slow times in blogland over here at NitaDances.

I will tell you one thing that has been on my mind lately, though. As you all know, I am retiring very soon. In fact I only have SEVEN more Fridays! I drive away from the Yukon eight weeks from tomorrow. And something has been bothering me …

It has come to my attention that there are an awful lot of Eeyores out there. I am amazed at the number of people who, when hearing that I am retiring, give with one hand and take away with the other.

“Congratulations!…I’ll never be able to retire, I have this and that and the other thing to pay for (in the biggest woe is me tone of voice, which instantly turns the conversation away from my good news and onto the sad situation of my colleague.)

What I would like to say to you Eeyores is that it isn’t about you. If it were my birthday, would you say “happy birthday, Nita…too bad I’m older than you are and will never know the joys of turning (name your age) again”? I think not!

Mr C and I are not rich by any means. We do, however, happen to be pretty good at managing our money. We will be living on a skinny budget indeed in order to make this happen, because money is not the only indicator of wealth. And maybe, just maybe, it is the lifestyle choices we make that determines when we can financially afford to retire.

Stop trying to burst my bubble, okay?

There are also an awful lot of Absolute Negative Nellies out there, too. People who say things like:
“huh…well goody for you”
“must be nice”

To you Negative Nellies…well, let me say that I sure do resent the tone in your voice. Because it IS good for me. And it IS nice to be retiring at 52 instead of 68.  For heavens sake, my choice is not a reflection on you, and I don’t know why you feel threatened by it.  Get over it.

If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.

And now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, here is a picture of the breathtaking sunrise we had the other day. I pulled off the side of the highway on my way to work to take the photo.


Nine More Fridays

On the ninth Friday from today I will walk into my office, sit down at my desk and turn on my computer for the last time. Holy Crap! It doesn’t get much more real than that, eh?

excuse me while I remove my sweater…the sudden surge of adrenaline and happy dancing has brought on a mega-watt hot flash…

And in other news:

September 27




Looks like fall is arriving in Salmon Arm, too. 🙂

Just Write {7} Two pairs of boots

At the end of the day today, when work is finished and I am back home, I am going to kick off these shoes which hurt my feet even though they are Romikas and cost a fortune 10 years ago.

Every now and then I forget and put them on (they’re still practically brand new though they are a decade old, after all) and wear them to work, as I thoughtlessly did this morning.

In honor of my retirement, I am going to toss all of my uncomfortable office shoes and buy myself a pair of beautiful leather boots – the kind that barely come to your ankle. The kind that feel like gloves on your feet, so when I go walking around my new town, to the grocery store and the library, meandering across the railroad tracks and down to the wharf, my feet will carry me in elegant comfort: practical and proud and damn fine looking.

And I am going to buy myself a second pair of boots – sturdy hiking boots so that my feet can carry me in safety and comfort up hill and over dale, on hidden forest trails and across high alpine meadows. Working boots for my working- gal feet.

Damn right.


This is my 7th installment of Just Write, an exercise in free writing your ordinary and extraordinary moments. I am linking up with The Extraordinary Ordinary.

what early retirement means to me

“You think you can. You think you can’t. Either way you’re right.”

I came upon this quote on Tamara Reddy’s blog, Early Retirement Journey and it jumped right off the page at me. I’ve been feeling some trepidation lately…worries that the small budget we’ve set for ourselves won’t be adequate, worried that I will be bored, worried that I won’t make new friends. People keep asking me what I plan to do in my retirement, which sends me into a bit of a panic because I haven’t been able to formulate a coherent answer.

But today I feel good, and I’m reminding myself that these are normal fears for someone who is making such a big change – leaving my daily routine, moving to a new part of the country and all that that entails. I would have to be crazy if I didn’t feel nervous about it! Phew! I’m okay! I’m normal!

And I know that it will be okay because, really, it is only my circumstances that are changing, not my attitude. I have always lived a big life, and now I will have the time to explore and enjoy the things I love to do even more…live even bigger!

What do I plan to do with my retirement? Well, I am a healthy 52 year old woman and my husband is a healthy 55 year old man and we both look forward to being active together. We both enjoy walking with the dog, and look forward to living in a climate where we will be able to do these family walks most of the year ’round.

We don’t do much hiking these days because of time constraints, but when we spent a month in Australia a couple of years ago we went hiking almost every day, and we hiked into places that I had no idea I was physically capable of going. And I loved it!  Both of us are looking forward to throwing the camper on and driving into nearby provincial & national parks to check out the trails. I’ll start off slow and train up to the steep hikes, getting stronger and fitter with every outing. And then there are our bicycles, and believe me we have plans for using those!

I love yoga and Pilates, and I’ve included classes into the budget. I figure I can meet some new friends this way, too.

And as you read in my last post, I would like to do some teaching or coaching in the local dance community (assuming they’ll have me, of course!)

I also look forward to having time to write, and get involved in a writer’s group. In fact, I’m taking another creative writing course right now and loving it.

I would like to do some volunteer work as well, and I’m interested in working with children. Maybe I could be part of a food-for-learning program and help prepare & serve breakfasts in the schools. I’m sure the volunteer possibilities are endless.

And music, of course. We will definitely be involved in music – I almost don’t even need to mention that one, it’s so obvious!

I haven’t even mentioned my love of handwork, and you know that knitting and quilting are going to be high on my list.

I  am going to have a fabulous garden, including fruit trees (apples, cherries, plums anyone?)

I want to experiment in the kitchen and make interesting meals together with my husband, and share those meals with new friends. I look forward to reading a good book from cover to cover. And if I want to do something I will, and if I don’t want to do something, I won’t.

Whatever I end up doing, it will include participating in my new community. And, hopefully, I will make a positive contribution.

And if we get homesick for  the Yukon, we can drive the truck & camper up whenever we want and stay for as long as we like.  The cabin at Fox Lake will be there waiting for us.

I am falling in love with the endless possibilities.