Monday, October 20, 2014

What we've been up to...

We haven't really gone into detail about what we have been up to since we've been gone and come around again.  We've laughed, we've cried, we've been frustrated, we've been funny, sad, happy and just about every other emotion in between.... So without further ado here's some of what we've been up to in a nutshell...


Late spring and early summer was a time of growth and blossoming... I mean that almost literally because our children grew like weeds.  Our oldest child is looking less and less like a child and more and more like a young man and our youngest is growing taller too.


The blossoming part was also quite accurate,  because for the first time in a long time, I've been able to pursue one of my lifelong favorite hobbies with ChinaDoll...gardening.  Though it required some backbreaking work, massive amounts of soil, numerous hours in the summer sun, and lots and lots and lots of stonework, we've completed a massive garden upgrade. The front, side, and back porch of our house is still awash in vibrant colors, colors that will be accented further next growing season.  We hope to add a stone border in the front and perhaps a water feature in our cottage garden.




Mid-summer nights brought late nights at the pool, fireworks, back porch BBQ's  and  honeysuckle-scented  air full of fireflies. The kids enjoyed summer and after all they had earned it... Sadly summer seemed all too brief this year, the kids went back to school in early August and somehow that doesn't quite seem right. When I was a kid, you got out of school in June and didn't even think about it again until Labor Day. I guess times have changed, but I'm glad that they got some time to enjoy themselves.


ChinaDoll and I have also had some wonderful opportunities to get back in touch with what makes We've slept in, made each other our favorite meals, made love, and given each other our hearts again.  After leaving the service... I was experiencing some difficulty in coming to terms with my identity. I served for 12 long years, and suddenly I found myself a civilian again.  You can take the man out of the military, but you can't take the military out of the man.... As the saying goes, I found myself still hanging onto some vestiges of my uniformed life.  While not always positive, I find myself at ease in my home now and no doubt the military has given me an independent if not always moderate view of life and what it means to have such a wonderful home.



Late summer up to the present day has seen a period of renovation and preparation in the Guardian/Chinadoll household. We recently bought new appliances including a new upright freezer, High Efficiency Washer and Dryer and installed new industrial shelving in our garage to improve our storage options. If winter is anything like last winter was (and they are saying it actually may be worse,) Then we will be prepared. We've been pickling and cheese making, apple-cobblering, pumpkin-patching and generally enjoying the kaleidoscope effect of the autumn leaves.





So there you have it. Our blessed, cozy life in a nutshell. Still lots to be done before the holidays. Looking for work, and working on minor improvement projects while planning major ones.  Thanks for stopping by to read and stay tuned!

ChinaDoll's ponderings:

I've never had a partner who has enjoyed doing the things I do, and have always done all the work alone. Then came Daddy, but with the military in the way, and I still did a lot of things alone, but with his full support, including learning how to better nourish our family.

It's also wonderful to have someone with an eye to the future. I've always been told I shop like Noah, two by two - one to use and one to put back, just in case. Daddy understands that and we are now stocking our freezer with homemade healthy meals for those rainy days. And it is amazing to sit down every single day for family dinners, all of us around the table.

Part of our gardening has been fig trees (my absolute favorite fruit, so decadent fresh, fragrant, halved and drizzled with local honey) and kiwis. Next year we plan to add blueberries, blackberries and raspberries - my other favorite fruits. We're also investigating pallet gardens and vertical gardens to give us fresh veggies and salad greens.

Having Daddy here all the time gives me free-time....and I feel guilty, lol. I actually had time to knit a blanket for a dear friend who is expecting a little miracle after years of waiting, and catch up on that pile of reading that I have had next to the bed. I'm not used to that. And sometimes a little resistant, it seems foreign, but Daddy says that's part of letting him take care of me, and I have to fight the thought that it's just me being lazy and self-indulgent.

We're loving life, and stronger every day.


  1. Hey dear ones...I have no clue as to why but this post never showed up on my reading list...I only knew about it because I was speaking with Minelle and we came over to your blog for me to show her something else. very happy to hear how well things are going with you. It does take a lot of adjustment when your life changes after so long but it is all good isn't it. ;)

    Wish I had known you were pickling...I would have sent you my recipe for sweet pickle relish and yes, it is a recipe I made up. *snort* BTW...have you ever made grandpa's Millionaire's Shortbread? Just wondered how it turned out.

    You two are such a lovely breath of fresh air and I am so happy for you. Take care of yourselves.

    Hugs and Blessings...

    1. Hello Cat,

      It's always a blessing to hear from you. Your kind and wise words are a true gift! Hugs and Blessings to you, and likewise, take good care of yourself too.

  2. It's soooo lovely to hear from you both! Really miss Chinadoll's posts and of course a Guardian post is always a treat.


    1. Hello MM,

      It is wonderful to see you here! It is a treat having you read here!

  3. Good to hear from both of you. I know how hard the adjustment can be. We are several years post retirement and we are still adjusting to some of the changes. It sounds like you are both doing pretty good.

    We have LAND! No house yet and it will be a while before my vision for home is complete but I can finally see it.

  4. So glad to hear from you two, you have been in my thoughts.

    Really enjoyed reading this. Making that adjustment is hard, but I am happy that you now have time to just 'be' as a family and as a couple.

    wow, you have been busy and I love that you are doing these things together :) The garden sounds beautiful and I love the pics:)


  5. Very late to the party, but hope you two are still doing well.