Hello…I’m Back!

Hello…I’m Back!

Hello! I am back after a longer than anticipated blog break. I bet you thought I wasn’t blogging any longer and I don’t blame you. There were times over the last couple of months I didn’t think I would return to the blog myself.

Starting with last fall’s devastating wine country fires, life has changed so much. From becoming empty nesters when Tori moved to Oregon, gaining not one but two kids-in-law when both Ryan and Kayla married their sweethearts, to losing my husband’s father – our patriarch – to a terminal illness, there has been a lot to adjust to.

In addition to those life changes, my husband retired after 34 years in the fire service. I mentioned his earlier than planned retirement in my last post and made some predictions about what life would be like.

I expected the bliss of not having the alarm go off at 5:15 am each morning, taking long walks whenever we liked, not dealing the stress and worry that plagued me when Bill went off to fight wild land fires, and no more middle of the night fire calls. And wouldn’t you know, I was 100% right about all of that. It is wonderful to leave that stress behind!

I capitalized on this low-key lifestyle and took a long break from blogging to see what life minus the blog would be like. Would I miss the blog? How else would I spend my time? Will I return to blogging? If so, will it be different than before?

After not publishing a regular blog post since March 31st, I have some insight for those questions.

So as my entree back into blogging, I would like to first share a bit about life without the blog then tell you a little about my new life as a 50-year-old wife of a retiree, stepmother to three great adult kids, stepmother-in-law to two wonderful people, empty-nester and lifestyle blogger.

During the Blog Break

Did I miss the blog?

Yes and no. I missed the interaction with readers and fellow bloggers. I missed having “my place” and creative outlet which is also part of my identity. I missed writing and missed using that part of my brain. I missed the feeling of clicking the publish button on a post I worked hard on and am proud of.

I did not miss sitting on my arse many hours a week writing and linking and editing photos and posting on social media. I also didn’t miss having lots of blog post obligations to companies that I wasn’t that thrilled about. Not doing that anymore.

How did I spend my time?

I spend a lot less time on my butt and a lot more time on the move in nature. Bill and I hike whenever we can which means sometimes 3 or 4 times a week. I love it!

I also read more, cook more, exercise more and am pretty social but with a smaller group of close friends and family. I want to devote time to deepening valued friendships and certain family relationships and less time on Facebook.

I took up crochet, I make my own photo cards, and think a lot about how we can spruce up our home a bit now that Bill is around. If you’ve been to our house, you know the backyard is a wide open space of nothingness (dirt and a chicken coop) and it needs to be landscaped. I spend more time on Pinterest looking for backyard ideas than I do on other social media.

Will I return to blogging?

Yes, today!

Will it be different than before?

Yes, I think it will. It’s not time for me to move away from blogging but it is time to go about it differently. How? I guess I don’t have as much insight on this as I thought. And to be transparent, I don’t have a plan. I’m just gonna blog and see what happens.

New Lifestyle

Retired life for us is weird and wonderful and sometimes even funny. The other day Bill and I were sitting on the back patio and during our conversation, we both realized we didn’t have a clue what day of the week it was. It took looking at a phone to figure it out.

I am sure we will evolve into a routine at some point that will include knowing what day of the week it is, but for now it’s sort of nice not being that tuned into a schedule.

Not having lots of obligations is strange. I know it’s much more foreign for Bill given his 34 year career in fire, especially this time of year. Oddly, not having obligations can create a level of anxiety (who knew?) and we both miss not contributing in some way.

I really miss having Tori around. Even though she was an adult when she moved, I still felt I had purpose in caring for and helping guide her to an extent.

Bill and I do a lot of dreaming about the future which is so fun. We fantasize about buying a big RV and traveling the country, mostly to visit (or bug) the kids who live in Oregon and California’s Central Coast. We also dream about making home improvements, and having a do over of my 50th birthday trip that as canceled last October due to the fires. We also look forward to hopefully being blessed with some grandbabies at some point.

I am excited and interested to see how the blog will fit into our new lifestyle and what kind of content will come from it. Part of me has the urge to plan and over-commit and structure and stress about it like I used to. But I’m not going to let that happen because the new me doesn’t do those sorts of things 😉

It’s good to be back and I look forward to writing about my new Rich Life in Wine Country! I hope you’ve all been well.



  1. June 28, 2018 / 1:19 pm

    So nice to hear from you again! I’m glad everything worked out just fine for the two of you. Till next time!

    • Adrienne Shubin
      June 29, 2018 / 10:09 am

      Thank you, Nancy. It’s good to be on the other side of all that stuff. And we are so happy the kids are doing so well in their new lives too. Hope all is well with you! Thank you for stopping by. xo

  2. Eleni
    June 28, 2018 / 1:22 pm

    So happy to see you back, Adrienne, and blogging once more. Missed you, and look forward to all your new adventures.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      June 29, 2018 / 10:09 am

      Thank you so much, Eleni! It’s good to be back – sort of like putting on some old slippers. Today marks 8 years on the blog…that must be like 80 in blog years 😉
      Hope you are well! Adrienne

  3. June 28, 2018 / 1:25 pm

    I loved reading your story. As a retired gal myself, I took up the blog journey to satisfy my creative side. NOT realizing the many hours it takes, the chase to get followers, etc. I love the new direction you are taking your blog. Best wishes…

    • Adrienne Shubin
      June 29, 2018 / 10:12 am

      Hi Darlene,

      Blogging does take loads of time and it can greatly impact the way you feel about yourself – in positive ways and negative. Today marks exactly 8 years since I began this blog and I think I have finally stopped worrying so much about followers and traffic and such.
      One reason I want to keep blogging is I want to keep my mind active and stay “with it” as far as technology goes.
      Thank you for stopping by and happy retirement to you!

  4. Jodie
    June 28, 2018 / 1:26 pm

    Welcome back, Adrienne! I enjoy reading your blog when I have time.

    We are close to the same age and I can understand the challenges of your many upheavals lately. I am newly widowed due to my husband’s heart failure after 27 years of marriage. It was completely unexpected and my three “children” and I are trying to pick up the pieces and carry on.

    I’m not sure what our future holds but I am trusting and believing that with God’s help we’ll make it. I wish you and your husband the very best as you transition into empty nest retirees! ❤️

    • Adrienne Shubin
      June 29, 2018 / 10:14 am

      Hi Jodie,

      I am so very sorry to hear about your husband’s passing. That must be so very sad and difficult for you and your family. Sending my condolences. Thank you for your kind comment. Adrienne

  5. Jodie
    June 28, 2018 / 1:36 pm

    Yay…I’m so glad to see you back, Adrienne!!
    I know my schedule has changed so much since we are now both “retired” and it’s wonderful!!
    I can’t wait to see what is in store!!

    • Adrienne Shubin
      June 29, 2018 / 10:16 am

      Hi Jodie – I think I could have a blog devoted just to retired life. It’s been much more of a life change than I ever imagined. I love it but it’s taking some getting used to. Being routine-less is just weird for us!
      Thank you for stopping by. I hope you and your family have been well! xo, Adrienne

  6. Joann
    June 28, 2018 / 1:42 pm

    Welcome back Adrienne. Love your new concept on life. Kevin and I retired last year and we’re loving it. We often don’t know what day of the week it is lol

    • Adrienne Shubin
      June 29, 2018 / 10:25 am

      Hi Joann,

      Congratulations on your recent retirements! So you can relate to not knowing what day of the week is. I am glad we are not the only ones! We also have lost concept of time so these days we just say it’s either daytime or nighttime (kidding, sort of!)
      Thank you for stopping by! Adrienne

  7. Rosemary
    June 28, 2018 / 3:51 pm

    So good to hear from you Adrianne… and welcome back! Yes, I definitely missed your blog but I was so happy for you, that you both were having a great time together. After all, that’s what retirement should be about! I also took the opportunity to read some of your early blog posts, which I really enjoyed and found them really interesting… some great tips, recipes etc. Although I’ve followed you for a few years … there’s still quite a few posts I haven’t read …
    Looking forward to hearing from you, whenever you feel like posting … I sincerely hope that yours and Bills hopes and dreams come true … I feel sure they will! Relax, (hikings relaxing! 🙂 ) have fun and enjoy this time!
    Sending hugs! I really am so happy for you! and continue to enjoy hearing from you on IG
    Rosemary xxx

    • Adrienne Shubin
      June 29, 2018 / 10:41 am

      Hi Rosemary,

      What a lovely comment! Thank you so much. I warms my heart to hear you enjoyed some of my older posts. I miss those “hobby” style posts with recipes and homemaking tips. I should do more of those – they are fun to put together.
      We talk about getting an RV every single day, multiple times per day. I am so glad it’s something we are both excited about – it’s not something you want to do if it’s not your thing. That is for sure!
      We are grateful to be experiencing retirement at such young ages – I am 50 and Bill just turned 53. I hope we have many years to enjoy – actively – our retirement. We love to travel and get out into nature. There is so much of the US and Canada we want to see. And we share a love of photography so I think that would be fun to share on the blog.
      I hope you’re having a lovely summer so far. Thank you for your kindness, Rosemary! xo, Adrienne

      • Rosemary
        June 29, 2018 / 7:42 pm

        I am thanks Adrienne… enjoying touring the Carolinas and a little of Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia so much. I feel blessed to visit so many beautiful places … my husbands almost retired but not completely! enough that we are getting to travel together… xxx

        • Adrienne Shubin
          June 30, 2018 / 11:10 am

          Hi Rosemary,

          I am headed to North Carolina in less than two weeks to see my mother. I love it there – so much to see and do and eat!
          I hope you’re trip is going well. How is the humidity and heat? I bet it’s not that comfortable right now. I guess I will soon find out for myself!
          Enjoy! xo

          • Rosemary
            June 30, 2018 / 2:08 pm

            Hi Adrienne… yes, the foods been great … glad I bought some loose dresses for the heat, they’ve worked well with the food too! we’ve actually coped better with the heat and humidity than I thought we would … grateful for air con and iced water! Some days, when we’ve been out in the heat for most of the day, have been tough though! Lovely to visit Little Switzerland yesterday, seemed appropriate, considering my love of Switzerland.., I know how much you love it too! Gorgeous areas to visit .., and live though .., which part does your mum live in? Have a great time!
            Rosemary xxx

          • Adrienne Shubin
            July 1, 2018 / 8:56 am

            I have never heard of Little Switzerland. I will have to look it up. My mother lives about 90 minutes northeast of Raleigh, near Virginia. We will spend most of our time at her home but hoping to take some day trips elsewhere.
            I am trying to buy light and airy clothes to bring with me to NC. Hoping I am successful in that endeavor. I really loathe being hot and sweaty…but you can’t avoid that in the southeast in July! xo, A

  8. June 28, 2018 / 6:00 pm

    Welcome back, Adrienne! I look forward to your posts.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      June 29, 2018 / 10:35 am

      Thank you, Susan!

  9. Beth
    June 28, 2018 / 8:15 pm

    Happy to see you back! I hope you don’t feel pressure to blog in any particular style, you do YOU that’s what I’ve enjoyed most about your blog- your story, not the promotions. Looking forward to hearing from you whenever you feel like sharing!

    • Adrienne Shubin
      June 29, 2018 / 10:48 am

      Love your comment, Beth. I will do ME…that is the most satisfying and energizing way for me to write – from the heart and the gut. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the promotional content. I still like to promote special brands I love and travel experiences but would rather focus more on telling stories and sharing parts of life here in wine country.
      Thank you for stopping by and hope you are enjoying your summer!

  10. June 29, 2018 / 3:27 am

    So many huge life changes, and so many interesting insights about the blog that came from your time off. I’m excited to see where it goes too.
    I’ve been wanting to learn to crochet too!
    I’m imagining you guys right now, pulling up to one of the kid’s homes and having your grandkids run out to meet you – they’ll love love the RV!

    • Adrienne Shubin
      June 29, 2018 / 10:55 am

      Hi K,

      The long break was exactly what I needed for many reasons – but mainly, it was the only way I could assess whether the blog fit into this new life of ours.
      I crocheted when I was a teen here and there. My grandmother taught me how and I took to the basics rather quickly. I bought some yarn and crochet needles a couple of months ago and sort of picked it up again but needed to watch a video to do it right. I am still pretty rusty but at least I can do it, which is more than I can say about knitting…could not figure that out to save my life!
      I want to be at the ready with baby blankets when the time comes! I, too, have that image of our RV and grandkids. Who would have thought I would be excited about the possibility of grandchildren?! Not I!

  11. Alison
    June 29, 2018 / 4:20 am

    I certainly understand that you needed a break, but have missed your posts and am glad to see you back!

    • Adrienne Shubin
      June 29, 2018 / 10:51 am

      Hi Alison,
      I really did need a big ole break from just about everything! It’s been really crazy since the fires last fall – things are still strange and always changing around here where that’s concerned and of course we are already in the midst of this year’s fire season.
      Taking a break gave me a chance to see of blogging fit in to this new life of ours. With encouragement from Bill, and some soul searching, I came to my decision. I am excited to see what’s next for the blog.
      Thank you for the comment. I hope you’re having a great summer! Adrienne

  12. Kimberly
    June 29, 2018 / 8:12 am

    Whatever your new chapter evolves into, I look forward to following. Can’t go wrong with an open mind and open heart!

    • Adrienne Shubin
      June 29, 2018 / 10:56 am

      I agree, Kimberly! That is the way to go – open mind + open heart. Love that!

  13. June 29, 2018 / 8:32 am

    It was so good to see your blog appear in my favorites list again. Although I have never blogged on the same level as you, I have struggled with the do I or don’t I argument. My husband helped me realize that I blog for myself more than for anyone else, therefore I only have to please and satisfy my own creative and expressive desires. Hence, my blog has become more of “MY LIFE” than an informative, educational fashion/decor themed post. I enjoy it more and I think my few readers do too. So, continued blessings to you and Bill in this new phase of your life together. Just enjoy every day and the rest will find its place.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      June 29, 2018 / 11:00 am

      Hi Elizabeth,
      So lovely to hear from you! I am on the same page as you – I am tired of chasing followers and worrying about stats and popularity. When I look back at a all the years I have blogged (8 years today!) what I appreciate most are the friendships made, the memories of my life with my husband, step kids and friends that I have chronicled and the travel experiences I have had – not the numbers.
      Thank you for your comment – it’s been some good food for thought for me. Much appreciated!
      I hope you and your husband are having a lovely summer.
      Kindly, Adrienne

  14. July 1, 2018 / 9:56 am

    Dear Adrienne,
    Over the past few years I’ve visited your blog from time to time and really enjoyed your stories, yet I’ve never commented on a post before. Since I’m very happy you decided to continue blogging, I think it’s about time to let you know how much I appreciate your writing. My favourite posts are the ones in which you share personal insights of your life, home and family. So yes, bring on the ‘hobby style posts’ as you called them in a previous comment. I love reading them because your voice is truly authentic in them. Thanks again for continuing your inspiring blog.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      July 2, 2018 / 10:17 am

      Hi Melanie,

      What a touching comment. Thank you so very much for taking the time to write it.
      The types of posts you enjoy reading the most are exactly the kind I prefer to write and the reason I started blogging.
      Thank you again. I hope you have a wonderful week ahead!
      Kindly, Adrienne

  15. Darlene B.
    July 2, 2018 / 11:16 am

    Hi Adrienne,

    I’m so happy you have decided to continue blogging. Your blog was one of the first I found when my husband and I were planning our CA wine country trip to celebrate our 30th anniversary in 2015. I loved everything about the blog and used so many of your posts to help plan an itinerary for the trip, as well as a wardrobe for the trip. Needless to say, our trip was wonderful and could have only been made better with more time to spend exploring wine country. As a Yorkie lover, Coco and Daisy were just icing on the cake, love seeing those little faces and hearing about their adventures.
    Welcome to the world of retirement and I wish you and Bill every happiness that this new chapter of life has to offer.
    Looking forward to all of your future posts.
    Best Wishes, Darlene

  16. Renée
    July 18, 2018 / 7:03 am

    Coming late to the party…

    I haven’t commented on your blog in maybe years, but I stopped by and found this one of your most enjoyable posts, not merely because I am about to retire, but because you sound so relaxed and thoughtful and down to earth. Taking a long break is probably a good idea in many circumstances.

    In a response to one commenter on this post, you wrote, “I think I could have a blog devoted just to retired life.” I think such a blog, which would include all aspects, would be very interesting.

    All best wishes as you settle into your new life.

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