Thursday, July 28, 2016

morning rain

Gracie and I are just back from a glorious walk in the rain.  It wasn’t my intent to be in the rain, but that’s how things turned out.  Since my retirement and because there are no face-to-face classes going on just now, I’ve adopted a bad habit of lying in bed for an hour or so playing games on my iPad and looking at Facebook.  (Admittedly, it’s a huge waste of time but I’ve just not stopped doing it.)  Then it’s hop up, shower, do the get-ready-for-typical-day rut, log into my classes to see what’s going on, then take Miss Gracie for her new-habit morning walk.

Wet cane in the morning rain.

 Anyway, this morning there was a magnificent thunderstorm.  I shut off the alarm before it went off because Someone was already up (the thunder woke him, apparently, and then he woke me with all his morning thrashing around that he does).  I used to always get up before him, so maybe it’s just his way of paying me back.  Long story short, the storm changed my morning routine and I lingered too long in bed.  Rather than dry my hair first, I took Gracie for her walk because the rain had stopped.  Yes the sky was ominous, but we headed off – I take her to a remote road where there are rarely other dogs or people – she is snarly around strangers and aggressive with other dogs…it’s just easiest, plus we oftentimes see deer, groundhogs, and hawks there.  We were less than a quarter mile from the car when the rain started.  At one point, it was like a gully-washer, or frog-strangler, or whatever other name you like to give a hard, down-pouring rain.  By the time we got back to the car, we were both totally soaked.  It was great though…other than I don’t like wearing wet socks.  We came home and straight away I toweled Gracie off and took off my shoes and socks.  She is now sleeping blissfully beside my desk on her little rug, and Molly has made herself comfortable in an inconvenient spot beside my laptop – just like a cat does.  It’s cozy and lovely.  I’m grateful.

Miss Molly will have to move when I begin to work.  

I’m planning to drive to Flemingsburg today to visit Sarah.  I’m not eager to make to trip in the rain, but I miss her.  She has been gone to China and soon we will both be busy, very busy, again. 

Retirement has been great so far, although for the first few weeks it seemed more like vacation…probably because I’d not taken a vacation for a year.  On the first few days of retirement/vacation, I caught up on some housecleaning chores.  After that, cleaning house – all the things I thought I would be doing – just didn’t happen.  They still haven’t happened, and today would be a perfect day to work inside, but here I sit typing a blog post with three papers waiting to be read and evaluated, and a trip to Sarah’s planned for the rest of the day.  What’s wrong with me?  Obviously, no motivation.  That has to be it!

So tomorrow I have training to attend, and a haircut.  Thank the Lord!  My hair is a disaster lately.  Why do I always wait until it’s a wreck to schedule an appointment?  Why don’t I clean house while I have time?  Why don’t I get up earlier in the mornings instead of playing stupid games on my iPad?  I need to institute some time management and muster motivation.  Somehow.  I used to manage my time down to the last minute, and never look at the balance in my checkbook.  That has completely reversed.  Yeah – KYLady has decided to sign off here for now, and get started on something constructive.      

Friday, July 8, 2016

Parting is such sweet sorrow

Officially retired – June 30th was the last day I worked for Big Oil.  It was not the kind of last day I expected.  There was cake and gifts, lots of hugs and tears from coworkers in my office, and lots and lots of phone calls from people, contractors, and vendors I’ve worked with for more than 20 years (some I’ve never met in person).  For one thing, I didn’t know people really cared so much whether I showed up or not.  The other thing is that I continued to get calls for help and requests for me to sit in on meetings…like clear up until I quit answering the phone at 5 PM.  The last two things I did were record my out-of-office voice message greeting and automatic email reply.  Signing off…forever. 

Packing up

So, I’ve been retired now for five business days (Monday was a holiday).  I think because I’ve not had a vacation since last summer, it only seems like a really great vacation so far – the kind I’ve always wanted to take but never did, where I just stay home for a whole week.  I’ve been messing around in the garden, reading, rummaging, and doing some house cleaning…but I’ve not done anything significant yet (besides scrub the kitchen floor…you just have no idea what kind of filth we live in here). 

There’s no rush, right?  Wrong…I have to get my office space cleaned up.  I dragged books and boxes of personal stuff home from the office and stacked it in my “office”…which is really still the dining room with a giant, piled up table, boxes of stuff from my brother’s house, boxes of dishes from my grandmothers (both of them), and just some boxes of miscellaneous crap that I think is mostly kids’ school papers (that I think can be trashed).  It’s such a cluttered mess it’s hard to work in.  Tomorrow – I start on it!  Er…well…maybe Monday.  Tomorrow is supposed to be clear and sunny – if so, I’m taking my kayak out.

I brought my office plants home.  The big one is a bit shaken up.  I set it in the darkest corner of the porch because I was worried that the afternoon sun might not agree with it.  Some leaves are turning yellow so perhaps it’s time to move it where it gets more light.  I good friend at one of the refineries shipped a splendid present to me – a bonsai gardenia.  Alas, it’s already failing; I doubt it will ever bloom before it dies.  It’s planted in a wonderful ceramic oval pot though.  When the gardenia dies, I’ll plant something else in it. 

My porch jungle :)

Corn plant in the darkest corner

Sarah gave me a whole tray of unusual succulents.  Now I must decide whether to repot all my succulents into one large bowl, or maintain two succulent gardens.  I’ve not decided yet, but a bigger bowl is on its way thanks to Amazon.  I can put them all in one, or just put the new ones in the new bowl.  At this point, my mind is not made up. 


My flowers on the back porch make me happy.  The deer don’t eat what is planted on the porch (perhaps they are afraid to climb the steps).  I wish the Japanese Beetles were afraid of the steps.  The beetles eat the petunias and Verbena.  Every time I step outside, there are a dozen or so beetles munching away at my flowers.

Sarah’s friend is going to come and do some building for me.  She says if I show him a picture, he can build anything.  ANYTHING??  A potting bench, raised beds, a little greenhouse perhaps, a fire pit, perhaps some other landscaping, install a door (because I’m too impatient to do it), and do some repairs.  A talented handyman is worth more than his weight in gold.  

Gracie and I are spending more time together.  She’s my shadow.