Distracted

Ralph sent me the perfect video to describe what he thinks happens just in old age.  I contend that it happens to be my entire life, not just old age – sad for me!

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=6oHBG3ABUJU&vq=medium

Over 20 years ago I wrote these two poems which I think actually were published at the time.

header flower & piggles

Vacation Cleaning Schedule

I want a show case home, small, but neat as a pin. I wipe the kitchen counter, and notice messy drawers within.

So I clean a drawer or two, put things in proper places.  Gosh – something from the garage – I walk a few more paces.

Hmmm.  Guinea pig saw dust bag, I really should clean their cages right now before I forget.  I was right.  It’s been ages.

It’s my garden’s fertilizer, but look at the weeds out here!  I’ll stop right now and pull them up, or they’ll take over, I fear.

Weeds remind me of my yard.  It really does need trimming.  I’ll get the weed eater started at least get the front before swimming.

The spa needs chlorinating.  It’s been three days at least.  I’ll just turn it on and come back.  Whew – I’d better first take my yeast.

Let’s see, what was I doing?  Getting yeast and vitamin B in the cabinet next to the sink.  Toast crumbs and dishes I see.

I want a show case home.  I know just what to do.  I’ll make a list and check things off until it’s cleaned all through.

Now where is my paper?  Back towards the office again, my showcase home is just in sight, it just looks a bit lived in.

The other poem was an experiment in simple rhyming verse.  I tried all kinds of styles of poetry mostly haiku, pantoums, rondels, and limericks.  I’m going to type the verses here all together like I did the top poem because I don’t like the way they are spaced otherwise.

New_Office01r

Distracted

When I have too many things to do, I only want to read.  And when I have a deadline, too, even chores will supersede.

My list will say grade math, and do my lesson plans, but doesn’t doggie need a bath, and my trash put into cans?

My cupboards will be spotless.  My computer will be bare.  The dust that causes such a mess floats once more in the air.

But will my math be graded?  Term papers done on time?  Or will my flowers be shaded by that just-planted spindly vine?

A Truly Retired Day

V is home, so my alone-time retired day is over, but I thought I’d share what it was like to be truly retired today.

While I waited for the guy to fix the cabana, I spent several hours writing my first fiction book (short story – whatever it turns out to be), a romantic mystery about a therapist named Amanda Church.  V named her.  She’s beautiful and 41, widowed, smart, independent, and funny.  (Hold on there Ralph, she’s not real!!!)  I’m up to chapter two.

Of course I read blogs and answered comments and emails, but I wasn’t overrun with emails full of things I need to do, like normal, so I took my time and explored new sites.  I made a few phone calls including an appointment with a man in our area to get learn more about the history of Tulare County.  His family was one of the first settlers, and in fact, started the first school in this area.

Yesterday when I was making a Valentine’s Day card for V I discovered that I could draw in Photoshop.  Now, I am not much of a drawer with a pen and pencil, (Dianne Gray’s gherkin-faced salesman looked pretty sophisticated to me) and have even less control with the palm of my hand, but I actually drew a flower – like you would see a first grader draw.  I actually scribbled all over V’s card, and had a great time. Fortunately I also made him chocolate chip cookies and yummy soup and sandwiches for dinner.

I don't think I'd win any card making contests!!!
I don’t think I’d win any card making contests!!!

So today, I tried drawing again.  This is what I came up with after a couple of hours, maybe.  The time disappeared.

Piggles was my favorite guinea pig of all times.
Piggles was my favorite guinea pig of all times.

 

So that was my wonderful, lazy, retired day.  What did you do today?

 

Blog and Retirement Management

Books are in place.  I’m open for business.“What business?” you wonder, then you advise.  “Well, Marsha, now that you are retired and blogging you ought to blog about things that are everyday here, and other people have probably never seen.”  Great idea – I wrote the first article like that about picking table grapes  – as I came up on it.  It’s soon to be a best-selling book, I’m sure.  So far there are no comments.  I drove by a field of walnuts being shaken.  Dust spiraled into the blue sky giving it that aged look.  I had an appointment, so I had to hurry on.  When I came back, the shaker and the dust was gone.  Missed opportunity, and that only rolls around once a year.

“Marsha, you ought to write a blog about retirement.  Just go day by day and tell people what it’s like to be retired.”   Great idea – so that’s what I do every day when I blog.  I’m doing it.  I’m retired.  Therefore retired people might do this kind of thing.“Marsha, it just seems like retired people are so driven by their schedules, and it’s not as important as the working person’s schedule.”   Yes and no.  I haven’t established a schedule yet.  I exercise every day I’m home.  I fix more meals, and do more grocery shopping.  I write every day, but times vary. I may stop to talk to someone on the phone, do laundry, run an errand for myself or someone else, but I’m still too new at retirement to have set times for retirement activities.  And thus a month has zoomed by and I haven’t accomplished anything of great import other than working on the CCSS Bylaws and Standing Rules, arranging my books, and committing to cyberspace a journal of my life.“Marsha, we could take off for a month and just drive.”  Great idea – we’ll see how that one plays out.I could quilt.  I’m almost set up in the other room – no pictures yet – it’s wall to wall mess right now.  But I’m set up with enough quilt ideas to last me the next 20-30 years without buying a single book, or coming up with a single idea of my own.  AND I have friends who share the interest.  That one has definite possibilities.

I am taking classes on things I want to learn.  Photoshop is first, so today I practiced renaming this batch of photos at the touch of a button.  It wasn’t nearly as easy as when Steve was right there guiding us through it.  Some folders work.  iPhoto acted like it didn’t have any files, therefore I couldn’t choose them to alter, and I couldn’t save altered files to iPhoto.  I did save them all as low quality gifs, and that took about 2 seconds.  The hardest part was finding them after they were done.  They are all supposed to have a watermark on them as well, but I sure can’t find it.  So I still have a lot of work just implementing that simple lesson.Yesterday I spent quite a bit of time photoshopping Puppy Girl into a picture she didn’t get into.  That was quite time consuming, then at the last second, when I thought it had been saved, and saved again, I pressed “do not save”, and it didn’t.  Retirement and learning new skills is frustrating.  I think I should tone her down a bit because this was a picture of her outside in the sun playing with Mama Kitty.  Obviously the tones are a bit more muted in here.  Nonetheless, I thought she came out pretty well.  I used the marquee tool, the eraser tool and the clone tool, and it took about an hour the first time, and about 15-20 minutes the second.I thought I could do book reviews of all the great books I never had time to finish (start) when I was working.  “And Marsha, you could put the reviews in the form of power points, so they’d be ready to use.”   Great idea.  Oh yes, and my newest professional history books are in the car still from my last presentation.  Not to mention the ones I have on Kindle.  Since I haven’t done an official review, just a couple of blog reviews, I’m not sure what that all will entail, but one thing is for sure – I have a lot to read!

So now I feel overwhelmed.  Think I’ll listen to Tale of Two Cities for a while as I load in some more reading material, then sit down to knit a hat before working out.  One thing for sure.  I won’t be bored!!!!

Dawn of Retirement

Usually new jobs start on Monday, but in my case, my new job – Retirement – dawned on the last day of the month of August, 2012.My husband was up before it cracked – dawn that is, and called me to see the sunrise.  He took pictures, then I did.I was invited to go back to work for the monthly honoring of birthdays and other important events, like retirement.  Would you expect that getting up that early, I would be on time?

I had to blog about my wonderful party.  Then I had to read what some of my blogger friends were doing.  It’s only a half hour to get to work, and I knew I wouldn’t have ANY trouble making it by 10:00.  I got up before 6:00, that’s A.M.

At 9:18 a.m., I decided that I’d better get ready.  I left only 6 minutes late, and amazingly, although it was 10:03 when I walked into the building, I wasn’t late!!!  Another wonderful surprise awaited me.

Charlene asked me if I MINDED if they took some time to honor me.   How do you answer a question like that?  I told her I couldn’t handle mushiness – not that anyone would get mushy mind you.  Long ago when I left Oregon, my church friends gave me a going away party.  They gave me the most thoughtful gifts and started telling stories about me, and by the time they finished I had to go to the kitchen so they wouldn’t see me cry.  I couldn’t stop, I was so emotional that I couldn’t breathe.   Although I was excited about the future (back then in the past), leaving was incredibly painful.  I didn’t want to do that again.

Charlene promised, so the stories  at this party were all the dumb, goofy things that people endured with me.  Yes, there were a few, and I was only moved to tears from laughing so hard.  You might not think they are funny, but here they are:

  1. My attorney co-coordinator for Mock Trial and I volunteered to load all the equipment we used that evening into Paula’s car for her while she monitored the trials.  The only problem was that I didn’t remember what kind of car she had, and thought it was red.  (Her new car was black.)  The first red car on the street opened when we tried the trunk.  So we started loading – in spite of the large male tennis shoes and the golf clubs that I had never seen in Paula’s car.  To our credit, at some point we realized that we had made a mistake.  When we looked up to the third floor of the courthouse, we could see Paula looking down at us.  Oh yes, she knew…
  2. Charlene and I were driving together to a meeting with all the instructional consultants from our office.  The meeting was not far from the hotel a little way out of Sacramento at the presenter’s beautiful 80 acre ranch.  The 10 or 15 of us were the only participants.  In all fairness to me (the driver) Sacramento freeways ARE confusing, but in this case we were just talking and sharing funny stories.  When Charlene and I had driven for 30 minutes or more we decided that we must have passed the exit.  We had.  Our boss was not happy when he called, but we were so giddy that I didn’t have any eye make-up left on my eye lashes when we got to the meeting.  No telling where it all was.  I doubt if anyone noticed.
  3. Sometimes I get enthusiastic when I present, and on this one particular occasion I was wearing a pony tail.  I didn’t notice where it was going, but I guess all the participants did.  The rubber band wasn’t in very tight, and I guess my pony tail migrated from one side of my head to the other and back again. All the participants gave me their attention rapt, making me even more enthusiastic.  I thought it was my presentation on the Common Core Standards that was SO interesting, but now I’m thinking MAYBE NOT?
  4. Yes there were others, but you get the idea.

I received some WONDERFUL presents.  AMAZON GIFT CARDS!!!!!  A basket FULL of GOODIES.   Thank you all so much for your generosity.  You are all amazing!

Charlene then placed an hourglass in my hands to show what I had more of on my hands now that I was retired.  I actually thought it was to remind me of what she would expect my figure to look like because now I would have time to exercise and eat right.  Yes I did eat two more of Laura’s cookies for breakfast and another one after dinner along with a diet root beer float.  So I guess the hourglass figure is not off to a good start.

I didn’t cry at either of my retirement parties, but parting – not parties – is hard on me.  I went home and did something I may feel like doing after a big lunch, but never do.  I took a nap.  Did I actually write that down?  It was just a short one.  I’m not saying another word.  On the up side.  I’m not sleepy.  Not even a little bit.

I’ve finished this post.  Wonder what I should do next???  Tomorrow’s a day off work.  🙂

Retirement Day

I went to work in jeans – against the rules.  I’m sorry Mr. Vidak, it was my last day, and I figured, “Why not be comfortable?  I wasn’t going anywhere.  Nobody but my friends would see me, and they wouldn’t care.”

It turned out that I was wrong.  Sonia cared.  “Don’t you think you should go home and change clothes?”

“No, why I’m comfortable?”  I answered a little irritated that she would even suggest it!!!  Keep in mind that I am out of the classroom, and my office is the very back office in what looks like a library and student events warehouse.   Ok, it is a library and student events warehouse, but we live there, too.  (and love being there, BTW)  So why would anyone even know I was wearing jeans, unless Sonia called the jeans police on me?

“But what if someone was planning to take you to a really special place for lunch?” she persisted.

“Are you planning to take me to lunch?”

“I might be.” she answered somewhat hesitantly.

“Are you?” I was really getting irritated now.

“No,” at least she was honest. “But you might want to go somewhere for dinner.  Do you have plans for dinner?”  What I didn’t know was that she was getting desperate. She had plans to get her hair done, not take me to lunch.  She was no longer my secretary, and secretaries are always the ones who plan retirement parties.  I had no secretary any more, so I wasn’t expecting anything except a piece of birthday/retirement cake at our monthly meeting.

With Paula’s help Sonia finally convinced me.  It was less time-consuming to stay in town and go shopping, so Paula helped me, and I came back decently dressed for my non-existent party.  Glenn ordered lunch and we sat at the table in the most warehousy part of the office and enjoyed a wonderful lunch.  (But I was still irritated about getting dressed up for it!!!)

The rest of the day went as I had planned it.  Writing notes for a new person that would take my place, cleaning all the personal pictures and information off my computer, and other last-minute tasks.  I was there until almost 6:00 when my husband and I were planning to meet his business partner and girlfriend for dinner.

We walked to the restaurant from his office.  As we walked in the door, I saw my friend Janet sitting next to my friend Melissa from Fresno (out-of-town).  Then I saw Glenn.  Paula had planned this all for about three weeks.So much fun!  It was all about ME!!!  “I bet you are glad you wore your new blue dress now, aren’t you?” wrote Sonia in the VERY long note on her card!!!  I almost had tears in my eyes reading her card while everyone around me was talking and laughing.Then Laura presented me with a box of just-baked snicker doodle cookies – my favorites cookies, which I promptly hid under a napkin on my lap.  I don’t share well!!!  It wouldn’t be polite to share when there wasn’t enough for everybody.My longest long-time (not oldest) friends had prepared a History Day skit for me with me as the HD entry.  I ended up winning the “All That” Award and a bag of chips.The entire evening was so wonderful, and I’ll never be mad at Sonia again for insisting that I dress up for “work”.  Oh, that’s right I don’t go to work now.What ever am I going to do?