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A Truly Retired Day

V is home, so my alone-time retired day is over, but I thought I’d share what it was like to be truly retired today.

While I waited for the guy to fix the cabana, I spent several hours writing my first fiction book (short story – whatever it turns out to be), a romantic mystery about a therapist named Amanda Church.  V named her.  She’s beautiful and 41, widowed, smart, independent, and funny.  (Hold on there Ralph, she’s not real!!!)  I’m up to chapter two.

Of course I read blogs and answered comments and emails, but I wasn’t overrun with emails full of things I need to do, like normal, so I took my time and explored new sites.  I made a few phone calls including an appointment with a man in our area to get learn more about the history of Tulare County.  His family was one of the first settlers, and in fact, started the first school in this area.

Yesterday when I was making a Valentine’s Day card for V I discovered that I could draw in Photoshop.  Now, I am not much of a drawer with a pen and pencil, (Dianne Gray’s gherkin-faced salesman looked pretty sophisticated to me) and have even less control with the palm of my hand, but I actually drew a flower – like you would see a first grader draw.  I actually scribbled all over V’s card, and had a great time. Fortunately I also made him chocolate chip cookies and yummy soup and sandwiches for dinner.

I don't think I'd win any card making contests!!!

I don’t think I’d win any card making contests!!!

So today, I tried drawing again.  This is what I came up with after a couple of hours, maybe.  The time disappeared.

Piggles was my favorite guinea pig of all times.

Piggles was my favorite guinea pig of all times.


So that was my wonderful, lazy, retired day.  What did you do today?


65 replies »

    • I’m afraid we all get SO busy. I have quit posting so many articles because I just don’t have time. After next week, maybe my life will calm down, but even then I plan on spending more time visiting posts as well as posting less myself. 🙂 Marsha 🙂


  1. So glad you had such a relaxing yet productive day, Marsha! My retirement still doesn’t seem like retirement…but I’m having a ball. I’ve downloaded a time-management program and need to read through the pages (when I can find the time :)…right now I think I am trying to accomplish too many things. Today (Sunday) I had a lovely brunch with my husband and then went to our local SCBWI meeting where we share conferences we’ve been to or info or stuff for an hour and then spend the next 3 hours critiquing each others work…so helpful and lots of fun.
    I love your Photoshop piece…one more area I’d love to know more about.:)


    • Marcia, the other Marsha, is my new tutor. I adore her and she sent me some of her work, and it looks better than a photograph. Amazing. I’m just barely started. Like One day old today!!! 🙂 What is SCBWI? Sounds interesting. What did you retire from. I guess I need to get over to your blog and do some more exploring! 🙂 Marsha 🙂


      • Hi…T. O. M., here. I’m busy polishing my halo and basking in the warmth generated by all this adoration! Haha. Can’t wait to tell my husband someone adores me. It’s been SOOOOOOOOOOOOO long!
        Guess I’d better get to “tuting” before I lose my exalted status.

        Vivian, may I ask the name of the time management program you’re trying out? I NEED one. Seriously. I barely have enough time to SAY “time management,” much less accomplish any. I have no clue where the hours go. The universe is playing some kind of Cosmic trick on me. Maybe it’s that “rift in the space-time continuum thing?” (If Captain Kirk said it…it must be true, right?)


        • V says that he read somewhere that it’s actually true, that time does move faster the older you get! I’d better get hopping!!! 🙂 I’ve already been retired 6 months, and it just happened yesterday!!! 🙂


          • Oh, brother. I only have SO many years left, and now I find out they really ARE going by faster? What kind of new hell is THIS? GAH. I’m going to go sit by the fire and suck my thumb for awhile. But with a timer set…I don’t want to waste too much of my remaining time, now that I know it’s zipping by even quicker than it feels like!
            *stomping off now, to sulk and fret over the vagaries of the Cosmos*


          • hahaha I can’t stop laughing at that!!! Too funny! How am I going to get any work done when YOU keep distracting me with funny comments, and wonderful lessons of things I’d rather do than work??? I am enjoying all this WAY too much. Get your thumb out of your mouth and let’s play. Forget the Cosmos! It will take care of itself!!1 🙂 ML


      • SCBWI (Scoiety of Children’s Writers and Illustrators)…for people who write children’s books and/or love children’s books.
        For the past almost two decades, I worked part-time at a local retail store (for our health insurance)…but was a teacher for many years and then continued to offer storytelling and craft programs in local schools and wrote a book for parents/teachers of young kids. Explore away…hope you enjoy my posts.:)


  2. I love the guinea pig 😀 Your drawing is a lot better than mine (I need heaps of practice!) but I’m going to keep trying. It’s not as easy as I thought it would be. Thank you for the mention of my gherkin-faced salesman! I’m pretty sure it’s the best picture I’ve ever done in my life LOL!!! 😀


  3. Ok, I didn’t know you could draw in Photoshop and I’ve been using it for years. I just have a home version now, but used a professional program at the newspaper. I’ve played with it for years and didn’t find this feature – I guess its what you need that comes out. Now I want to find it. Where do I look?
    Your Guinea pig turned out cute!


    • Hi Darla, Yeah, who knew!!! Anyway when you choose new under the file menu, you get a pad file. You can draw or add photos, whatever. I used it to create slides for a PowerPoint. Very cool! M


        • Darla, I’ve got to face it because I will be presenting at the CCSS conference in a couple of weeks, what I plan to accomplish in my presidency of the organization next year. I’ve been thinking about it all year, but now that it is here, I’m petrified!!! There is so much to do, and I’m following some of the best leadership in our organization ever in the world. So I am going to have to be all over power point in the next couple of weeks. 🙂 I don’t mind the program, just getting the thoughts going behind it! 🙂 ML


          • Okay, educate me. What is CCSS?
            And I’m sure you will be great. Just relax and be your charming, funny self. Talk to the crowd like you would talk to your friends or to your blog followers and you will be great. Keep me posted on your progress and how it went. 🙂


          • CCSS is California Council for the Social Studies, an affiliate of National Council for the Social Studies. It is a professional organization for social studies educators from K- college. We are an advocacy group for excellence in social studies education. Thanks for asking! 🙂


          • Yes, and then I went to work for the County Office of Education, first as a Migrant Program Coordinator and consultant for mathematics, and then as a consultant for history-social science. I had a wonderful time, and got to do things that were creative and challenging. I loved my job, but I never wanted to stay working at my job so long that people could hardly wait to get rid of me. I think I timed it just right. The new person who took my place as the history consultant is a dynamic former teacher friend of mine who is going to soar in that position. I am so pleased to stand back and let her fly! 🙂 Marsha 🙂


      • okay, I am significantly impressed. I couldn’t draw squat with a mouse! And I was an art minor! Although, I can’t draw much better with a pencil, which is why I became a photographer!


    • You’re sure to win, then. I actually had a former colleague who won 40 million dollars. She was a math consultant, and they never play the lottery because of the odds, but she hadn’t convinced her husband. She sad it wouldn’t change her, and she would keep working, but two weeks later she quit. Too much to do when you win that kind of money!! She eventually started her own online school. I think we are facebook friends, but no spill over from the big win!!!!


  4. Wonderful!!! YES computer art can be so fun! I did it for years when I was younger with Corel Draw. I still like to make digital art with the old computer and the ball mouse. I know nothing of all the improved and advanced technology in digital artwork and painting now. I just found that I have a lot of trouble with a laser mouse. Anyhow, ADORE your wonderful guinea. I suspected you would do Piggles as soon as I read you were dabbling in drawing on the computer. Well-done!!! And what a lovely card!!! Back some years ago I created a Valentine of Sir and my mum. There was a photo image of my mum there, beautiful, and then a cartoon bumble bee that I taped Sir’s face onto, and some digitally painted flowers. Sir’s character of course says “pllzzzzz bee mine bzzz”. I thought it was the most hillarious thing in the world. Your card is too wonderful lassie, well done, beautiful entry.

    P.S. Your book sounds like it is going to be absolutely thrilling!! (and the note to Ralph was TOO funny)




    • My dear Babs,

      What a cute card. You love to tease your poor Sir!!! Imagine having a bee taped to your face! hahaha – granted a cartoon bee, but Poor Sir. What woman is going to go out with a man who has a bee on his face?!!! Oh right, his wife! But that is so totally cute. It makes me laugh out loud just thinking about it! I was pretty amazed that I could draw at all. I still have to get my children’s book illustrated! Maybe if I can learn to draw??? Meanwhile Amanda has met someone in Monterey. I’m wondering if they went kayaking? I know she wanted to.

      Ralph will be heading over here to meet her pretty soon, just mark my words!!! 🙂 Amanda’s got it all! But she likes Jim. – at least so far. Maybe Ralph will work his way into the story. We’ll see!!!

      What an idea!

      Lots of love,
      Marsha 🙂


    • hahaha That’s not going to happen to you, Sally. You are not EVER going to retire!!! I am working on my Farm Show post right now. – that and answering comments, and watching the Big Bang Theory. Did you have a great day today? 🙂


  5. I like the guinea pig. Maybe I should try that too. I might one day be able to make a stick man look good…. 🙂


  6. Okay, it looks like they have a whole new world of options out there, and I’m not familiar with which ones do which. I did see that WalMart carries the “Bamboo” model, and it looks pretty interesting. Maybe a good thing would be to go look at one “in person,” and talk to someone there (or at Best Buy, etc) who can fill you in on which does what. They appear to all be wireless, which is good, and would mean they ought to work with an IPad. If you do go look at them, let me know what you find out. I’ll be interested in what you think of them. Good luck.


  7. You won’t believe how much fun digital painting can be! It is hard to do with a mouse, though. With a Wacom tablet and pen, you draw with the pen on your tablet, and voila…what you are drawing or painting appears on your monitor. I’ve had one for about ten years, and am thinking about an update, though mine is still working like a champ. You can use them with ANY painting/drawing program, from the Microsoft Paint which comes with Windows, to PhotoShop. And you can use it at any level. It will help you learn quicker. (Should you decide it is something you really want to learn more about.)

    In the meantime, good for you. Your first efforts are cute and fun, and guess what? I know it’s a guinea pig, which puts you MILES above my own first effort. He’s cute!!


    • Marcia, I just went to the Wacom website, but I’m not sure what to order to get started. I have an iPad. Do I need to order another device, or just the stylus? The tablet comes bundled with the software and I already have Photoshop, so I’m not ready to spend a ton more on software I don’t need. What do you recommend? M


      • The tablet plugs into your computer (at least mine does) and acts as your mousepad. The pen is wireless, and you use it like a pencil or other writing instrument. I’m not sure how you would use it with an iPad. Maybe check their Help section. It could be that it’s not a good match, or maybe they have something specifically for iPad. I’ve had mine so long, I don’t know what the newest and best versions are. iPads didn’t even exist when I got mine! hahaha I just know they are still out there, but not sure of which versions would be good. I’ll go take a look, too, and see if anything looks “right.”





Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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