Retirement Agrees with US!
I spend a lot of time making extra money on the computer. I write articles, and I work on Amazon Mechanical Turk for some extra weekly money, as my pension is pretty small.
With the little bit of extra money I make, my husband and I are able to take small vacations. We take weekend trips to the mountains, and I am working on saving for a trip to Italy.
I have also taught myself to cook at an almost gourmet level. I used to buy more convenience-type foods which were quick and easy to prepare, but now I find myself actually making bread from scratch, baking cakes, baking cookies, etc.
I spend a lot of time searching for and purchasing quality ingredients. I have to make trips to specialty stores on many occasions because the regular grocery stores where I live don't carry a lot of what I need. I spend a lot of time searching for the right ingredients to make sure I am not having to make do with something else or omitting key ingredients.
I made Sauerbraten last week, and it is far different from anything my husband and I have ever eaten. It was delicious, but very time consuming. It required actual Juniper berries. I had a very difficult time finding them, and the reviews of the recipe said not to omit or substitute them if I could avoid it. I finally decided to go pick my own from a juniper bush I have in front of my house, and it turned out great!
I spend plenty of time reading, as well. It keeps my mind sharp and prevents me from getting bored. I will read just about anything, and get fully immersed in a good story. It doesn't matter what kind of book it is, or what genre--if it's good, I will read it.
I also spend a lot of time knitting. I have knitted for years, but I have usually only done basic projects--scarves and gloves. I knit a sweater for my husband and my grandson, and I am working on a bigger project for myself. I used to use just simple straight needles and yarn I could purchase at Walmart, but I have grown in my skill, my tools, and my fibers. I plan to learn to spin yarn pretty soon, though I don't know when I will have time for that!
I also spend a lot of time keeping house. I am still amazed at how quickly just two people can mess up a home, but it takes a lot of work to clean up--especially the kitchen after I prepare a good meal. The numbers of pots and pans can sometimes be astounding.
My husband and I also have three dogs, which keep us busy. Two of them are old hunting dogs which we have had for a while, but they still keep us busy. They are old, but still have a lot of energy and are very smart. I sometimes feel like Wile E. Coyote with them and they are the Roadrunner. I am trying to stay a step ahead of them because they are always getting into some kind of trouble.
My husband has kept busy by building a smoker bbq from scratch, welding the whole thing together, and this summer we tour different parts of the country and compete in the Kansas City Barbecue Society. I don't know how well it will work, but it is something fun we both enjoy, and we both love to eat, so if nothing else we will be eating high on the hog (no pun intended).
We also plan on starting a large garden from scratch this spring and summer. I know gardening will keep us very busy as well, and at the end of the summer when it is harvest time, I will can tomatoes and eggplant and we will roast chiles and freeze them. We plan on growing our own pumpkins this year, too, so our grandkids can pick their own pumpkins from our garden at Halloween.
I truly don't know how we ever found the time to do anything else before. We are so busy now, we seldom have any down time.
Retirement definitely agrees with us!