~Out with the Old~

In with the new…..
At this time of year people are thinking of new beginnings, clearing out clutter in our lives & in our closets. This past week I managed to clean out the pantry, back hall, hall closet & a bathroom closet. All the Christmas decorations are neatly put away & organized by color in plastic bins. Still, there are lots of things my H would like to see out of here! Sometimes it’s hard to let go of things, but I’m resolving to try in the new year.

This year has a huge change in store for me, I will be retiring. The official day of my retirement is April 1, April Fools Day. I sure hope that holds no significance! I’m starting the official countdown to retirement…..90 calender days, 58 working days! OH MY…what a change in my live! I’m looking forward to spending more time with Mom & the rest of my family & doing so many new things. Some possibilities are, tap dancing class, yoga or tai chi, taking a photography class, studying a foreign language, doing volunteer work & joining a gym. Finally I’ll have more time to work in the garden & I can blog all day if I want to! At this point I’m really looking forward to this new time in my life & hope that I can keep the negative thoughts at bay, like…I’m old, I’m retired, I’m old! I have to remember that I’m taking an early retirement package & what a blessing it is. I’ll be posting more about my job in the next few months as I get closer to the big day.

Here in central PA we usher in the new year with the traditional meal of pork & sauerkraut & mashed potatoes. Pork and sauerkraut is a Pennsylvania Dutch New Year’s tradition dished out in many midstate homes, firehalls, churches and restaurants. Superstition has it that because a pig roots forward, eating pork on New Year’s Day helps a person move ahead. Yesterday we had my MIL over for dinner because she just loves sauerkraut. She really enjoyed it & I dished up a plate for her to take home. We had a visit from h’s daughter & g’kids and played several games of concentration with the kids. It was fun….Samantha beat us all! I think she’s a psychic five year old! How can she know where the matching card is so quickly ?
Wishing ALL a very good 2008!


  1. Happy New Year Debra!!
    Congrats on retiring early!! You are young!!
    You will have so much fun. Tap dancing is a lot of fun. I can do it. You will love it.
    I know what you mean about the cleaning out. I am doing that this week.
    Have a great New Years Day!

  2. On the same note as the hog rooting forward, I’ve always heard not to eat chicken or poultry today as they scratch backwards into the old year…lol!

    My friend Rosie is having the exact same menu today and mine is more of the Southern traditional meal. The blackeyed peas are simmering away as I type!

    I need to get on that declutter thing as well!

    Have a great 2008!

  3. Esther Sunday says:

    Happy New Year! And, congrats on the upcoming retirement! I wish you many, many years of doing all the stuff you want to do! Love, Esther

  4. BumbleVee says:

    Well, …. good luck on trying to squeeze in all of those new things just because your are “retiring” .. hahhaha…

    I retired early (I am the person who would have preferred if I had never had to go out to work at all!) .. and am still trying to find an extra 10 or so hours in every fun day. Lots of folks told me I would be bored after about 3 months away for the work force. …..yah…right!

    I absolutely love every single day of my new life!!
    There is so much to do…so much to see…so much to try…so much… well, you get the idea.

    Congrats on getting out of the rat race early enough to really enjoy the rest of your life.

  5. Cathy ~ Tadpoles and Teacups says:

    Fun tour of your blog. I enjoyed the snowman comic!
    Have a blessed new year~

  6. Alison Gibbs says:

    Sounds like you guys had fun celebrating 2008.

  7. DebraK, you are an awesome lady! And may I add that every time I see the photo of your “new do,” I like it even more. It really becomes you, with or without punctuation!!! {{GRIN}}

    My Mom started making this pork, sauerkraut, and mashed potato dish several years ago and it has become our traditional New Year’s Day feast! I don’t think my Mom knew at first that it was a Pennsylvania Dutch meal. As you know my hubby is Pennsylvania Dutch, so he looks forward to her cooking it. My Mom and Dad fill the shoes for his parents since they have both passed.

    I was not a fan of sauerkraut when I was a kid, mostly because it was pathetic from a can. My Mom uses frozen sauerkraut and it has won my affection! This is such a delectable dish!

    Thanks for the background on this meal, too! I will share it with my Mom!

    Happy retirement soon and HAPPY 2008! I am looking forward to your many exploits!


  8. How wonderful to be retiring when you’re so young. I hope you get to do all the fun things you’ve never found the time for until now.

    Happy New Year! May 2008 be the best year ever.

  9. Happy New year! That dinner sounds yummy!
    Jen R

  10. That is so wonderful about retiring! And what a perfect time of year to do it, just when the weather gets warm again. I hope you enjoy any new venture you try. Happy New Year!

  11. Terri and Bob says:

    I am so jealous.

    Retiring is just the payment we get for working so hard! You are a lucky girl to get to retire while you are young!

    Can’t wait to see how you feel on APRIL 2.

  12. Mary Isabella says:

    Sounds like so much fun. Happy 2008

  13. justabeachkat says:

    Happy New Year! I wish many blessings for you and your family in 2008!

    That wonderful and exciting news about your retirement, especially while you’re so darn young! Girl, you’ll fill your days up so fast your head will spin. That’s what happened to me.


  14. Happy New Year, DebraK! Retirement is wonderful! It’s been almost 3 years for me and I’ve loved every day of it. I know you will, too.

    PS: How do you include your lovely signature at the end of every post? Is there a tutorial that you can suggest? I LOVE the script and can’t figure out how to do that.

  15. Debra, I am very happy to have met you this year. I look forward to seeing much more of you in 2008.

  16. DebraK you are so very blessed and I am so excited for you on your new adventure…I can hardly wait unitl it is my turn…I know you will never regret the time you will have gain with early retirement..I wish you much happiness and I have to say how much I love your new haircut too…beautiful…
    I was wondering if you recieved your package (giveaway) should have recieved it by now? Please let me know when you do…
    Have a wonderful rest of the week and keep us posted on the countdown…

  17. Kari & Kijsa says:

    Congrats on your upcoming retirement!So exciting with so much ahead for you!! Sounds like a great day with the family! Here is to a fabulous, fun, prosperous, safe and healthy New Year!! **clink**

    kari & kijsa

  18. Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality says:

    Hi, Debra! I’m so excited for you that retirement is April 1st! I know you must be excited too. It truly is a blessing & I know you will enjoy this new phase in your life. We’ll both find some meaningful things to do together!

    We had mustard greens, black-eyed peas & cornbread yesterday. It wasn’t as good as my mama makes, but it was OK. Happy New Year, my friend!


  19. OKGardners says:

    Debra, Congrats on retiring early. Yesterday (Jan. 1) was the 5th Anniversary of my early retirement. I consider my retirement a “permanent vacation” and it is wonderful. You can do (or NOT do) anything you want – at any time you want.

    As I mentioned earlier, I retired early, too. The reason I retired the minute I was eligible was in tribute to my Mom who died at age 59 from cancer. She never planned to NOT make it to the normal retirement age of 65. So…I decided to retire when I was eligible.

    Now we can jump into our car and travel at any given time we decide. Once we saw on the Weather channel that Colorado’s aspen trees had turned golden and we were in the car and up there the next day. It was wonderful!

    Soon you will become so busy doing FUN stuff that you’ll wonder how you EVER had time to work!

    Enjoy your retirement as much as I am. It is just another FUN stage of life. Be happy you have this opportunity.

    Give your Mom a hug for me! I sure miss my Mom. Cherish her as long as you have her.

    Betty in Oklahoma

  20. Inspired Tokens says:

    Wishing you only the best in 2008, and happy retirement!

  21. Congrats on your upcoming retirement.
    Have a Happy New Year!

  22. Feed the bunnies huh? What a softy!

    I’m having a little give-away on my blog my self. No gmicks, just my way of celebrating one year of blogging. Please come over and sign up.


  23. Oh my, you are way ahead of me- I can’t wait to empty our pantry and paint the inside. Congrats on getting it all done, and on your upcoming retirement! Be sure to stop by my blog soon as I am having a giveaway too!

  24. Moron Family says:

    Hi Debra,

    My husband is from Reading, Pa. and we lived there for 8 years. (We now live in the desert in Arizona!) This year, I almost forgot the sauerkraut until my husband came into the room with his little boy face asking if we were not having it! I ran to the cabinet and quick got it on the stove. Oops! But we did have our pork and sauerkraut!

    His family still lives back in Reading, and they send us bayberry candles to burn each year. We can’t find them out here!

    I love reading your blog as I have so many happy memories of our time in Pa. I miss it very much.

  25. Indigo Robe says:

    by the way, Debra… I don’t know why my name came up as moronfamily (that is the old name of our blog – inside family joke) because our new name is:


    I’ll have to have my daughter see why it comes up as our old name!

    ok, I think it’s fixed now!

  26. Congratulations on your upcoming retirement!!!! I’m sure you will be very busy with all your new adventures :o) Happy New Year!

  27. FrenchGardenHouse says:

    Happy New Year, Debra! How exciting to be retiring. You will have so much fun, and before you know it, will wonder how you ever fit W O R K in your life.
    wishing you the best year.
    xo Lidy

  28. Happy New Year…and what a year your’s promises to be! Oh, an actual, really for real retirement! I dream of the day!


  29. Kimberly Ann says:

    Happy New Year and congratulations on the upcoming retirement. I’ve never heard about the tradition of the pork and sauerkraut. I gotta check that out!

  30. Hi Debra, Happy New Year. Congratulations on your early retirement…..you will love it. Time will fly and and you are going to have so many new adventures.
    This year I hope to re-organize and clear out stuff too. Linda

  31. NAME: CIELO says:

    It sounds like many good years are in store for you. Enjoy life, and may the Lord continue to bless you and your family….



  32. Retirement! How wonderful..you will probably find yourself busier than ever but what an achievement..

    I’m cleaning up and out too! It feels good to start the new year organized, at least for awhile.

    Happy New Year!


  33. windycorner says:

    Hi Debra,
    You have so much to look forward to this year-so many possibilities!
    Happy New Year,

  34. Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe says:

    good luck on your retirement Debra- that would be so exciting!
    I have posted pictures of your centerpiece… Y’all come vote!

  35. Happy New Year Debra!

  36. I know you’ll enjoy retirement and won’t think those nasty negative thoughts. I was laid off a couple of weeks ago (I knew for a month that it was coming), and I’m THRILLED! I will have to go back to work, but fully intend to play for awhile!

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