Friday, April 30, 2010

as the worm turns

You know, I kind of hoped that time would slow down a bit with retirement. Not so. Time still flies, but it is a lot more enjoyable.

I've been working in the yard (I just read an earlier post from January, and I did mention that as one of my intentions for the year), though the digging in the clay part is getting old. There are times I do miss the soil of my old place in Burleson. Sigh. There's something therapeutic about digging in the dirt, isn't there? This week I've put in a few perennial plants, a pittsporin, a couple of hens and chicks, three sweet broom bushes, and a hosta. A couple of weeks ago I recycled an oleander Nolene had pulled up, and put it in my back yard. I also have tried digging up and planting an off-shoot from a crape myrtle. Don't know how that one will do.

And I found worms while digging! I hadn't really thought about it, but there's a whole subterranian level of life. If you're going fishing, you can come turn some soil for me and keep whatever worms you find!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

road trip

Nolene and I hit the road on Sunday for a quick trip to see Sister Sue and family in Arkansas. We got home yesterday afternoon, and a good time was had by all.

We managed to get in some geocaching. Nolene and I picked up a couple of caches at a roadside rest on the way. Virgil has just recently gotten started, so we helped him hide a cache as well as we found a few. Sue's knee was giving her problems, so she didn't make it out with us, but we had a good time.

Troy's out and about on his wheelchair tending the lawn, despite having been in the hospital recently. But his lawn is looking really good...wish mine was doing that well. This is nothing new, he takes great care of it. And he doesn't let being in a wheelchair get in his way... he's been known to push the lawn mower with one hand, and steer the chair with the other. He's had a riding mower for awhile now, so that's not an issue anymore. :)

On the way home, we decided to take a scenic route rather than head straight in to Dallas. We got off on 259 to head over to Longview, then before we got there, took off on 154 to 155 through Gilmer and Winona to bring us out on I20 a little closer. I've got to make that leg of the journey again, it was so scenic. And full of history too. We stopped at 2 historical markers along the road, and would have stopped at more but Nolene was in a hurry to get to some facilities, if you know what I mean. I bet we passed at least 10 markers on that 20-30 mile stretch, and I'd like to go back and take a look at them.

I've discovered I'm feeling aches in places I didn't know could ache. I've been putzing around in the yard, and dug holes in the clay to plant a few things, along with pulling some weeds. Guess I'm starting to get a bit older, the way I hobble. You know, Sally Fields has been doing a commercial for Boniva. She's about my age, and as I see her sitting on the pier with her feet dangling, I find myself wondering how she does on getting up. They don't show that part. Does she have to hold onto something to get herself into a standing position? On the rare occasion I find myself flat on the ground with nothing to hold onto, it's not a pretty sight to see me rolling over onto my knees and trying to appear nonchalant while I get up.

Ah well, such is life.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

this way....or that?

I think one of the things I like about quilting is that you have options. Just because directions may say to lay the pieces out one way, you can switch them around a bit and come up with something different.

I've gotten a start on my black and white quilt, using the "Domino Effect" pattern in the book Super Simple Triangles by Nancy Smith and Lynda Milligan. It calls for 192 light and dark half-square triangles, which come together by 4's to make 48 blocks. Once they come together in 8 rows of 6 blocks, they will have a red border, then a black border. I'm about 1/4 of the way along with the blocks, but I can start to see the pattern emerging.

This is the pattern in the book:

By switching the squares around a bit, I come up with this:

Be interesting to see what I finally decide on.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

time flies when you're having fun

Things have been steady around here. I know I haven't gotten bored yet.

I'm keeping Elise daily till the end of school when her dad is on summer break, and Rhett and Ashlynn on Mondays. They're also till the end of school when their mom is on summer break. Then I'll be on summer break! I'm enjoying this time to spend with the grandkids, and passing my influence on to them. ;)
Been getting a few things done around the yard too. Got the fence replaced after a couple of
really strong winds showed me just how bad it was needed. Then when that was done, David started putting in a planter along the back. He put in a retaining wall/planter last year for me, and I had some timbers left. I'll need to get about 5 more for it to be finished. I put out a lot of weed killer on the "lawn" about 10 days ago. It was pretty well overtaken with weeds. Now I need to see about getting some grass coming in.

I planted a few perennials, and Rhett helped me plant some seeds my secret sister had sent me. They've started sprouting, and it will be fun for the kids to see the growth each week when they come.

I was really pleased with myself yesterday because I painted the patio ceiling when Elise was taking her morning nap. I've been intending to do that for close to two years now, so I can finally cross it off my list. In some ways that list is getting shorter, but it still keeps growing. Guess that's just the way it is.

Finally getting back to some sewing, though I don't have a picture handy right now. I've made a start on my black/white quilt. I've been gathering fat quarters here and there, and secret sis sent me several in the last package, along with a quilting book that had a great pattern that used b/w's. If I get a pic tomorrow I'll edit this, but I'll have plenty of time. This won't go together overnight. There are 190 half square triangles, and I may have a third of them sewn. I can already see I'll have more shopping to do!

Guess that's it for now.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

here's the retirement posting

Elizabeth said, "I haven't seen a posting yet about your retirement." Since I've been referring to it for so long, I wasn't going to go into it. But, since she mentioned it, here it is.

We start working, usually not knowing if we'll be there 6 months or as in my case, 25 years. Over the course of those years, life happens. The longer you're there, those you work with become a second family. You experience major life events together...marriage, children, divorce, death, graduations, grandchildren...everything life has to offer. Anyway, here's just a few highlights of the last 25 years.

I started with the City in 1985 as a Police Records Clerk. Don't see many gray hairs to speak of, probably wearing contacts in those days.

Here are pictures of the kids about that time. I took a job with an evening shift to be able to spend more time with them, and it worked out well. (I'm not sure if Elizabeth's sticking out her tongue, or sucking on a lollypop...either way, she won't like this one being on here!)

These are in that time frame of Summer, 1985. Look how young they were!

Work was good, and I enjoyed the people I was with. Every year at Halloween, we had a witch's brew luncheon, and several dressed up. I'm Count Dracula, second from the left. Not sure of the year on this one, but I had transferred to City Hall in the Human Resources department by then. Probably around 1990-92.

By the time I transferred back to the PD in 1998, the kids had pretty well grown up. That's how it is, you go to work, blink your eyes a couple of times, and your kids grow up. They graduate from high school, and in Robert's case, go in the military...all while you're working.
In 1999, Reggie died, and I was so glad I had my work family. They were there whenever I needed a shoulder to lean on, and there were more than a few times I did. I didn't have my camera out to record for posterity the time I had 5 or 6 of the guys in my bathroom working on a remodeling job for me, but I wish I had. Reggie had already started tearing apart the bathroom, and I did as much as I could towards finishing it, but when I burst out in tears one day at work in frustration over not being able to find someone to hire to do what I couldn't, my guys stepped in. A few hours on a Saturday morning, and life was smooth again.

Our division worked community events, and although I only was required to participate in a couple of them each year, they were fun. I've always said it takes a special person to work as a "civil servant", and each in our division were indeed special. Here I am with my two Ken's, Debra's got the big smile on her face, Gwen's in the dunk tank, and Keith's encouraging the crowd to try and dunk her.
I've quilted off and on over the years, and made several baby quilts for various co-workers. I also made this wall hanging using patches of the various divisions and activities. It was raffled off at one of our award banquets, and now hangs in the Records division. So I guess a part of me is still there!
I was fortunate also to be part of "the girls". You know how it is...lunch with the girls, bridal showers, co-workers who know as much or more about you than even your closest family members. I couldn't have asked for a better group.

Probably needless to say for those who know me, but as much as I wanted to retire, it was hard to leave these people. I think I was shedding tears every time I turned around the whole month prior to my leaving.
To all of these fine people I say, "thanks for the memories".

Edited to add: After this was posted, the kids took me to dinner to celebrate my retirement. Little did I know, I walked into a roomful of friends and family for a surprise celebration. I couldn't have asked for a better end to my career.