Wednesday, April 28, 2010

In Focus

My camera arrived yesterday and I opened the package eagerly. There it was, all snuggled in the box waiting for it's adoptive mom. Then I tried it and tried it and tried it. All the pictures were out of focus...and wouldn't you know, it requires a different type of lens! So, you could believe I was soooooo disappointed. Today at work I talked to my photography buddy who advised me to keep the camera and then proceeded to show me how I could use the old lenses and how to manually focus --- Jeff said that method would work until I could buy the correct lens. OK, so I feel better. But can I do it? Haven't tried it yet.

I'm working my 2 wk notice and have 7 more days. The sheriff is staying away from the office for hours at a time. If things were different, I could find her new routine funny; in fact, it is funny! Stays away and I later see things she did - not sure where - but might be getting one of the other admins to help her or using computers in other areas. Many of the workers are visiting me or stopping me in the halls with well wishes. Nice to be recognized for what I did during my 14 years. There are some wonderful people there and I will surely miss them. But it's time for me to move on to the next phase in my life. It's exciting as well as somewhat scary. With a new camera and the great outdoors waiting for me, I can snap, snap, snap right? Well, if I learn how to manually focus or write another check for a lens. Manually, now that is free - and right now I will play the thin wallet game. So, now I'm off to see if I learned how to manually focus.

I practiced manually focusing the camera. Out of maybe 30 practice shots, I got 4 in great focus. This isn't a game I'd like to play long. Yep, guess I need to do a search for the correct lens.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Cloudy & sunny too

It started out cloudy here, then the sun came out and it was warm in high 70s. It was a great way to start my weekend. Mom came over and we talked and talked and talked and talked. Told her alot of things that has happened in the past 3 years that she didn't know. It was good to finally get them all out in the open. All of them were about work. Well, it was great to talk things out and hopefully now I can get on with my weekend and my life. I have to work two weeks according to the policy, but I plan to do my best, as I usually do, and then walk out the afternoon of May 7. Mom and I are going to the beach May 10 for a week. It will be therapeutic to watch the waves come in and go out and to put some distance between me and the past 3 years.

I drove around this afternoon and looked at the area - people's yards, the flowers, the spring green of the trees. I drove past a local walking trail and promised myself I would pack a light snack and walk the trail one day when I'm newly retired. I want to play the piano more, pet the katz more, dig in the soil more, bake more cookies, read more books, visit my neighbors more, pray more, smell the flowers more, take more pictures, sew more, use my china more, travel more, and breatheeeeeee.....

It looks like the rain is about here now. Wonder if I can get outside to take a few pictures before the drops begin to fall?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Did it!

While I look at a few of our retirement practice pictures from last weekend, I can't help but contrast that time with this week. Well, I did it. I submitted my resignation today and it was sheer pleasure. She gasped for air a second, then wouldn't talk to me for over an hour. Then wanted to know WHEN I had made that decision. Nope, didn't tell her. Many questions later, and I still didn't tell her the truth to any of them. "I need to move on" was about all I could say. When someone has asked me over the past year when I was going to retire, my pat answer has been, "The next bad day". Well, it was Wednesday. Decided trading my sanity for a few buck$ wasn't the way I wanted to spend my life.

Today the Big Suits took us "Assistants" out for Admin Professional's Day to a local Mexican restaurant and it was nice. My sheriff wasn't able to attend which was a delightful situation. I saw how the other bosses/assistants interacted, how they teased and yet respected each other. I can't say that. Survival is the best word I can use. That and make myself leave the rope at home. I look forward to a calmer life with less stress. Perhaps soon this blog can resume its merry way down a happier road. But in the meantime, I must come to terms with the damage done to my normally calm and serene self. Time should heal all wounds. I'm anxious to begin to heal and feel again. I also pity my replacement. If an applicant asks me for advice...I'll probably say "RUN, run as fast as you can!"

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Comparisons and conclusions

We had a great vacation - one that was a preview of retirement, soaking in some peace. that's something that isn't easily found at a place of employment probably no matter where anyone works. Oh, I've had jobs that were fulfilling, rewarding, challenging, fun. My previous boss was a WONDER. Ahhh, we had great times and became good friends, understood each other, shared, laughed, studied together. But then I've had two bosses that were rough.

The first difficult boss was at another facility - and was a classic micro manager. After we discussed this together she knew she would lose me if she didn't change so she was nice about it and I could tease her. I even got bold enough to tell her there was a line at my office door and she couldn't walk in until I gave her permission. She got better but it was sooooo difficult for her. She would stand at the doorway looking like a forgotten puppy with the toes of her shoes slightly behind my imaginary line but taking everything she could muster to stay there. Every time someone came in, she wanted to know all the details of who/why/what. But I could give her "that look" and she would try SOOOOO hard to not ask. I cleaned up the messy books and got her in the black again. She rewarded me with respect and learned to leave me alone.

Then we fast forward to the present. Ahhh, now THIS is definitely a much more difficult and complicated situation and one I'm preparing to launch my way out of as soon as I can. There are a few decisions to make, but actually at this point, decisions can be made after I am out and can think again. Each day is a struggle and while I smile outwardly, I am trying desperately to survive one minute at a time. I'm sure I could write a book but I need to keep it internal for a while at least. Perhaps in time I can get over the hurt and the frustration.

There was a time when I didn't like going to the dentist every 6 months. But compared to this boss, my bi-annual visit to Dr. Tooth today was a pleasure. Wonder if he could use a good employee?????

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Temporary Reprieve

Neither of the campgrounds we stayed in had working wifi. Talk about disappointed. But I ended up enjoying myself anyway: walking, visiting several historic points of interest, eating at some great local restaurants, reading, and making 16 pair of earrings. Sweetz and I enjoyed having some time together and it was nice to just sit outdoors around the fire pit roasting marshmallows each evening and reliving our days. He fished each morning but left me to snooze in as long as I wanted. Not a bad trade-off for being left each morning. Not sure why it's fun to fish, but he threw them all back - said he didn't catch enough to keep for a meal. But he had fun and I'm glad. He met a nice man that we named "The Bread Man" for he threw out rolls for the fish. He had lots of stories of his life and entertained us each day.

One group of youngies from Ontario were obnoxious with their blaring music but fortunately for us they only stayed one night. Not sure why some folk think the entire CG is interested in hearing their musical selections. Seemed to be 3 men and one woman, all drunk as skunks. Perhaps the owner made them move on; whatever, the remainder of the time was peaceful. My favorite musical selection was the one where they drove out the front gate! Good riddance.

We toured the area and visited a couple of interesting historical sites. We had a dead battery one morning as we were planning to do a bit of sightseeing. But AAA got us back on the road in short order although Mr. Angel of Mercy had no personality. Of course, I guess we didn't need personality to get a car jumped. Are people unhappier at this point in history, or is it just my imagination? I smiled, I thanked him, but nothing changed his grim attitude. I had just the opposite attitude from the AAA lady. She even called us back two times to check on us to make sure we were ok while we waited on grim wrecker man, then a third time to make sure "Smiley" came and we got the car running. Wow, I was impressed with that attitude and followup of a customer! Now, it's back to the life as it has been doled out to me. Surely, after this short mini camping reprieve, work will be uneventful and Friday afternoon will speed into my view before I can feel the sheriff's presence. One can hope...

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Yippee, Sweetz and I are practicing retirement. What a life. We are camping off a large lake, people are nice, and the view is great. We lucked out and got a spot right at the end of a row on the water's edge. How nice is that? No internet there, but I'll try to entertain myself another way. Sure will be difficult though since I tend to be hooked on it. We went to Wally World and I got some beads and earrings thingies - so made 6 pair of earrings last night. The first campground was the PITS. There ought to be a truth or fiction guide to go by. So we went out searching and right down the road, maybe 3 miles on the opposite side of the road is another one. Right on this big lake and even though it's $5 more, it's worth the shady spots which are level and more spacious. The lady in the office is nice too, store, paddle boats and canoe rentals. Yep, I think we'll be just fine here. I'm at an internet cafe and Sweetz has gone next door to check out the fishing gear. It's hot today after last night when it was chilly. But that worked out ok since we just flipped on the heat for awhile and pulled out a blanket. Got too hot, so had to turn it off. But being away from work ----- priceless!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Snip Snip

Ahhh, another Friday. There's something that makes a Friday bubble up inside and a smile break out across my face. Especially those in the spring. We have a TON of yellow pollen, it's thicker than I have ever seen it. Enough to choke a horse. We had some rain last night so it cleared the air a bit but my car is hideous and is no longer silver but a blotchy yellow mess. Sure needs a wash, but it won't get one tonight.

Yesterday after work I got my hair cut - a bit different of a cut this time. It has a flippy thing happening in the back, shorter on the sides which flips to the back, parts on the opposite side. I had sketched a rendition of the haircut and showed it to Lori, my scissor lady. She frowns, sighs, questions me, and then proceeds to say she ummmm thought it would be ok on me. But then before she starts with the scissors, she asks me if that's what I really want. When I press her, she finally says it umm will probably be ok. But I can sense her hesitation. She knows I won't like it more than a day but she tried to keep me happy. I just wanted something different, something more of a trendy look for awhile. So, this morning I had to try to salvage the "do" after sleeping on it all night. Sooo, I sit at my desk all day today and not ONE person even commented on the new cut. By this afternoon I am thinking that maybe it looked so bad no one WANTED to comment. Perhaps I should grab my shampoo bottle and jump in the shower. No, I will hold out a bit longer. Surely I can make it two days!

I went shopping for pants today after work. Not sure why, but some stores just aren't worth my walking into. Nothing for anyone under the age of 30 in the entire store. But the second one allowed me to walk out with 4 pair. Sure needed them, although I'm going to have to get my weight under control or will soon be spending my clothes dollar$ in the Big Mama Section. These will be good for now plus later when retirement catches up to me. I'm getting excited to close this chapter of my life and hang up my office keys. I might need to take Basic Retirement Survival Course 101 but surely I have that much under control.

Retired friends are wanting Sweetz and me to take trips with them. Sounds like fun. In the meantime, Sweetz and I will be taking a few days off to ride off in the sunset with the camper to see if we can share the same small space. He wants to fish - I want to read. If we can accomplish this, perhaps we will be ready for Camping Capers 201.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

It's a girl

A son that only calls once every year or so called tonight to say they have a new daughter born tonight at 6:38 their time. At least he had the courtesy to call with that news. Mom is going with the seniors from her church on a day trip tomorrow. She didn't seem excited - I think she'd rather stay home. Must be difficult to keep going at age 88! But she does so well that I tend to forget her age.

It was quite warm today - way too early for hot weather. But it is to cool down to more seasonable temps the next week. Of course, I'm in an AC office all day so don't notice. Oh but I went out for lunch today with a friend. Sure is nice to get out of the mire for an hour. Even got picked up at the back door so didn't even have to drive. She had an MD appt so was in town for the day. Looks like I need to rescue my box of summer clothes. We went quickly from icicles to shorts.

I really need a haircut - can hardly wait until Thursday's appointment. Of course, Lori might run screaming from the shop when she sees me. I want a different cut, ummmm, wonder what will it be? I watched Duke win the NCAA championship last night, great game and was a nail biter till the very end. Butler played an excellent game and sure played like they wanted that championship themselves. Now, we turn off basketball to watch what? Tiger play golf? It would be nice to have some decent role models. Maybe he's changed, guess we'll have to wait and see.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Another Monday

Yep, another Monday, but it went fairly quickly. Hope the other 4 rush by. It's April 5 and I am counting time till retirement. I try not to, but it's difficult to keep my mind off the eventual end of the working period of my life and start the slowdown curve to Oldie Avenue.

Sweetz asked me if I'd like to ride with him someplace on a business trip Sat. We used to take trips like this and it will be nice to get out together for the day. I'll pack a book, a couple of Cokes, and my camera of course. Perhaps we should pack our jammies and toothbrushes and spend the night. I'm wanting to buy another camera -and have my eye on a Nikon D5000 - just haven't gotten it yet. Our little town has no camera shop and our WallyWorld only has small cameras. I'd have to go to a bigger city and get it or I could order it online. I looked online again last night to see if the price was down any. To order it through WM versus an online photography website, the difference was $17. I was amazed. And one was the kit and the other was body only! Wonder how long it would take for it to be delivered. Ummm, before Saturday maybe? Hey, that's a plan!

I've been reading a book on heaven - and it's a fascinating read. We had a bad storm blow through so reading was a good way to spend some time until the thunder and rain stopped. Oh, and I played the piano. I've gotten back to playing more regularly now and it's relaxing and fun. I'm not all that good but I don't mind hearing myself play if that's any indication of my talent. Ooops, I heard thunder again. Might have to unplug my computer again. Yep, I have a surge protector, but I lost one computer even with a surge so I don't really trust them.

We are planning a long weekend getaway the middle of April - will be taking the camper so we can practice the Retiree Road Dance. It'll be short for us but it will be nice to get away even for a few days as I practice retirement.

I baked some chocolate chip cookies yesterday - a nice way to spend some time relaxing. And they will be nice to enjoy on our camping trip later this month. If there are any left!

Yesterday was Easter and church was nice except for the SS class. We were so disappointed in the alternate teacher. I told Sweetz that I couldn't see myself sitting in his class for an hour each Sunday. Gag, not sure what to do now. I'm actually thinking it would be nice to visit the larger church (yep, where our friends are visiting). We still have time to contemplate that before next Sunday. That is, if we aren't spending the night in some distant town enjoying a weekend away. We've decided to enjoy the little things as they land in our laps. Why not, life is short on this sod.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

It's such a beautiful day here! Lovely spring weather that makes you want to get outside and enjoy every minute. Sweetz and I worked outside some this morning and I need to do more of that to help get the extra pounds off my middle. I sit at work most of the day and even when I get home so I really need to be more active during this warmer weather. During the winter I can use the cold as an excuse, especially this past year. Well, that's over now and I need to be more active and push away from the table too.

I plan to do a bit of canning this summer - that is if the garden produces anything worthy of preserving in a jar.
Shouldn't have given so many of my jars away. Hindsight is pretty good. I used to do that for many years, but seems I want to do something productive this year. Maybe even some sewing for myself. Really hate those little maternity looking tops.

I've watched a few birds work on their nests today. Here's a sloppy mockingbird nest in the Lady Banks rose. One bluebird couple checked out Sweetz' bluebird nest. Bluebirds have chosen it each year but I don't know if it's the same couple moving in each year. Guess I need to get them to sign a rental agreement or at least register at the desk so we know who they are. It's interesting how Mr. and Mrs. Blue check it out dozens of times each day until finally deciding it's the best house on the block and would be perfect for their little darlings. Then we get to see them both bringing nesting material while one goes in and the other waits. This is easy compared to the seemingly thousands of hunting and gathering trips they go on when the little ones arrive. Bugs, beetles, and worms better watch out during those weeks!

Sweetz and I ate a lunch of sandwiches and chips on the front porch. Sure was nearly perfect. While there, we chatted about retirement hopes and dreams, planning and dreaming. We want to travel around the country to see some sights and relax. Ahhhh, I sure could use some of that rest. But what do we do with the house while we're away? There's a house sorta behind us that is rented. Ummm, as I watched the lady come out of the back of the house this afternoon and walk around the yard...I had the idea that maybe if we could find a good family, they could rent this house and we could have some income to travel. Would someone take care of it? Ahhh, but there are real estate businesses that would take care of that responsibility for a percentage of the rent. Ummm, definitely something to think about.

I just whipped up some macaroni salad and slaw. We were talking about starting a fire in our fire pit and roast hot dogs for supper. Now, that has a nice sound to it. Maybe we could beat the idea of renting our house around while the hot dogs sizzle. Then do some real serious study while the marshmallows roast. In the meantime I can sit here with the door open and listen to birds chirping. Not sure what they're talking about but I guess they find it interesting. It has a pleasant sound which makes life worthwhile as the day slowly comes to a close. Now, I'm off for the lighter.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

My life generally revolves around work for five straight days and then I begin to pick up the pieces every Friday evening. I'm usually so stressed from my working situation that it takes me awhile to relax and be myself. Then before I know it, it's Monday morning again. This yoyo existence seems to be getting worse but as soon as I can quit work, I hope I will be fine. Stress isn't good on the body and I know that but still find it difficult to find peace except on weekends.

Today is Good Friday and I took the day off - sure was nice to get away from work and do a few fun things. Mom and I went out for lunch at a Japanese restaurant which was delicious. Not many people eating out today - wonder if they just don't like Japanese or was it the economy. I actually was exhausted when I got home this afternoon so took a nice long nap - sure felt refreshing. Mom came to visit right after I woke up and we chatted about this and that until it was time for me to go to the evening Good Friday service at church. It was an inspiring service.

As we went in the door, one of the young men of the church gave each of us a nail. There was a reenactment of the Lord's Supper and lots of music and a one man who was "Simon Peter" who told of his remembrances of his life with Christ. It was a great service and memorable. Sure am glad I went. And now I have a nail to remind me of what Christ did for me.

Sweetz worked in the garden today and suggested we put up a better fence to help to keep out the deer. Seems it will be that or the young sprouts and veggies will be lost as deer feed. We look around and there are weeds, roots, and more weeds. Thankfully, Sweetz loves to garden and work in the dirt so he's planting seeds and little veggie sprouts so we can have lots of fresh produce to eat. I can almost taste a good ripe tomato already. But I must be patient, it takes a long time to grow a big fat tomato.