Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Experimenting ...

 Not sure where I'm going still but a little experimentation is in the wind. Hoping changing the title but not the URL kept this in your feeds. Current experimentation for attention, as they say.

Sunday, April 17, 2022



This weekend we celebrate Easter. And Passover. And Ramadan.  I wish you a happy holiday no matter what it is or how you are spending it.

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Moving On????

 I’ve been blogging in some location since 2006 when my husband was ill. 

That’s a long time.

 I’ve written about many, many things, many of them more than once.  I’m fairly sure that I have more to say, don’t get me wrong. But I don’t seem to be feeling the urge to come and write.

I told myself that I could just write when I was in the mood, but that mood has been, well, passing me by. I used to have those “I need to write about that” moments. I haven’t had one in awhile. I don’t want to be that repetitive person, and writing once or twice a week about what I have or haven’t done throughout the day is not my style.

On the other hand, blogging is a part of me and I hate to leave.

Because of that not wanting leave bit, I’m not going to say that I’m closing the blog right now. I'll leave it up for me to think on, and for other to view.

I have been writing for a new (as not yet published) blog, articles here and there. Most of them are about making: art, food, and other stuff. A few are about general retirement life. But it’s mainly a maker’s blog and I’m not sure it will fit here. If I publish it elsewhere, I promise I’ll come back and link to it. And to the updated Instagram account.

And if I decide it fits here (with a possible name change), you'll be the first to know.

So for now, I’m going to just leave this here, and see what happens and where.I promise that I will still be following all the blogs, even if I comment rarely. 

I’m among you if only silently.

For now.

Because who knows? I've been back before. And "Making it in Retirement" just might work for a new blog title. ...

Monday, March 14, 2022

Out Among the People


This morning I got out of bed and went to the bathroom with almost no pain or hobbling, even though my in bed stretching was about ten seconds. I dunno if it’s a fluke or good news of things to come, but let me tell you, I’ll take it. I'm even going to try a couple fifteen minute walks and we’ll see what happens.

Lately, I’ve been experiencing what I suppose is spring fever. Even as I’ve been living through that last spit of February in Texas. It’s been a full two years since the lockdown began. I’m triply vaxxed and have had a flu shot. Most of my immediate friends and family are the same. I live in a county and greater area where a good 70 percent of the population is vaccinated. My area removed mandatory masking in all cases except medical facilities a week ago.

While I’m not ready to go flying into the sunset, jump on a crowded plane minus an emergency or go to a large sporting event unmasked, I’ve decided that it’s time for cautious optimism. While I hate that often used “I have to live my life, “ phrase, it may apply in this case. It’s time for me to step out of the box and return to normal or at least the new post pandemic normal.

Spring will soon be sprung and I am ready to be sprung as well.

What does that mean, exactly?  This week I’ll be joining my knitting group this afternoon. Tomorrow I have a church social and a residential Saint Patrick’s Day party. Wednesday I am going to lunch (and have an appointment). Thursday I may go listen to Irish music in the evening.

That list of “places to go” doesn’t include group exercise at the gym, or groceries. Mainly because some of the pandemic changes I embraced  and kept included at home exercise with youtube and grocery delivery with the exception of my Aldi visits (one cannot order from the aisle of shame online).  There are also no large group events like baseball games or huge festivals or large music events. Those aren’t my style and if Idid them I would probably wear a mask depending on crowd size.

I have a large pack of masks in my car, and another by my door. But unless things change a bunch, they sit there for large close in person meetings or other large group up close involvement.  I don’t generally do big crowds and I still shop almost exclusively online with some fill-ins, so I am rarely cheek to jowl or back to back.

On Saturday, I got a pedicure (and more) . I have been craving one for a long time.  But minor surgery on my toe, weather circumstances and a bunch of other things had kept me away. I cannot cut my own toenails, and since the podiatrist only does it every few months, I need help. AND I felt the strong need to be pampered. Just a bit. And so off to the salon I went. I was even willing to enter the Saturday fray, something I generally avoid in retirement.

45 minutes later my feet had been soaked in water as hot as I could stand, my feet lumps and bumps had been dealt with, I had had a full massage of feet and legs at length and had enjoyed a treatment of hot paraffin wax. As well as the nail trim and polish, which turned out to be darker than expected!!  My gal was gentle and happy to push my cuticles instead of trip and be kind to my heel and ankle. I left feeling like a new woman.

By the way, rolling your feet on a cold can or bottle is great.  But the heat from Saturday's treatment was fantastic and I’m now looking at budgeting for one of those foot heater things that plug in.

I decided that since I was out, I would be out and enjoy myself for a while. Next, onto the local Cajun seafood restaurant, where I happily ordered a shrimp po’boy meal that included the sandwich, potato spears and salad. All of which I carried to one of my favorite local hangouts that I’ve discovered so far, Steve’s Wine Bar. 

Then came the real among the people part, where I actually sat down at an indoor table, and ate restaurant food while visiting with friends and listening to a few hours of spontaneous Irish music from about twelve different musicians with instruments.  All of which I did at a very high comfort level.

Completely unrelated to Saturday, but yesterday I was one  very cranky retiree.   I slept poorly (unrelated to my social life but related to pain) and my body always goes whacko with the time change. So it’s been rest, recovery and it’ll be early to bed time.  I come down hard on the side of “stop changing the clocks and let daylight savings time be normal time”.

This week I’m going to embrace the 70 to 80 degree weather. I’ll try 30 minutes of limping outside and see what happens. I’ll go to the above-mentioned events at the beginning and by Thursday we’ll know if I’m ready for more in person Irish music indoors, or if I’ve reached my limit.

Or not.

Wednesday, March 9, 2022


 Trigger warning:  Today's post includes a picture with a large hunk of real meat and copious amounts of sour cream. Vegans and vegetarians upset by such may want to scroll by!

Also, formatting seems to be ignoring me today!

Today I am….

…..learning to be one with the Plantar Fasciitis.  The doctor said something about “give you a shot in the foot” that will “be extremely painful for about seven seconds”. I said no, so I am researching exercises and pain mitigation and all the things. Also back to walking around the house for ten minutes at a time rather than thirty plus outside.

Gotta love Bob and Brad!

…..really wishing Ellen from Medicare Rewards would find someone else to call. No matter how many times I block a number, she finds another way into my voicemail.

…..exploring further air fryer recipes. The first two meals (hamburgers and the baked potato and thin ribeye shown below) were successes in the extreme although I had to add a couple minutes time on each.  Yes, for the record, I do think sour cream is it’s own food group. But I feel the same about spinach.

….Cleaning out my closet after adding a few new things to the mix, tunic wise. Spring is in Texas and I’m behind on my basic clothing replacement shopping.  The things I’m pulling to make room for these will go into my recycle/upcycle bin and hopefully I will find creative uses for them.

….taking a break from my two big quilting projects (the Alice in Wonderland quilts and a Tshirt quilt) to try out colors for three little landscape quilts and a mini beach house wall hanging. I still need some sky choices and I have all the beaches and pretties to put on them once the basic sewing is done. Fabric is all pieces (some already cut) from previous projects that were in the scrap bin by color. I took these pics when my phone was in night mode so they are all soft rather than brigh and clear. Sigh.

Once finished and sky added I see button rocks and cacti on top

I love this and it may be project one

I forgot I had this small piece of sunflowe fabric and had to use it.

I really cannot decide between aqua and blue water here

…..looking forward to the weekend which will include an afternoon of Irish music at my local wine bar, perhaps trying out another breakfast locale, and church and post church social. Maybe a pedicure at the end of the week if I can feel comfortable that she’ll take me at my word when I say to make that foot and leg massage on the extremely gentle side. I’ve placed myself directly in the “I’ll generally use common sense but it’s time for life to move on” crowd. Admittedly I am three times injected and live in an area with about a 70 percent vaccination rate.

…..looking ahead to patio planting and decor. In theory the last freeze should be around the 15th, but I’m aiming to have plants bought and hung and hopefully new patio cushions closer to the first.

And finally, I’m preparing to have a good ole egg salad sandwich for lunch, even if it means that potato will have to wait for another day while I have the rest of my steak. Egg salad (hard boiled eggs), is one of the things I don’t “do” well, and my sister did for me. So when I see egg salad in the deli, I grab it. Please don’t send me your tips. I have, literally, tried every method known to man. Every method.

And then I’ll get outside for a while, even if I can’t walk as such!

Thursday, March 3, 2022

March and Air Fryers and Such

Well, hello there March!! Texas welcomes you.

Mind you, there’s no promise that everyday will be as warm as today’s 78 and there will be low temps at night for another week (In theory plants can go out overnight as of the 15th but I may wait a few).  But Icemageddon came and is gone. Now I’m just counting down to the time change. Count me in the group that wishes daylight savings time would be regular time, I tell you.

I’ve realized since I moved, that when those two cold months hit (yes, I do know cold is relative), I get not a lot done. Even though most of my out of the house commitments step aside and I tend to visit church services via a streaming method, I’m still not going crazy sewing and crafting and creating inside the old abode. The warm weather, for whatever reason, gets me headed into the studio, and intensifies both the creative ideas and the energy to bring such ideas to fruition. Successful or not.

This does not mean that I’ve turned into a scheduled retiree, oh no. Other than meals and bedtime and the promise of at least one morning walking period to get the blood to the proverbial brain flowing, who knows what will get done each day. Does it matter, really? But more gets done, most days anyway!

I’ve finally figured out how to cook steak without a grill, use of the broiler (I’m afraid, don’t judge me) or basting it in a pan (I know it can be done, I just never have). That’s because after listening to all the wisdom from my readers, the people in my town facebook group and other interested parties, I now have an air fryer.

 Rather than getting one with a drawer, I decided to upgrade my toaster oven to a large one that I could bake in and got a fryer/toaster oven combo. In addition to all the cool air frying recipes I will look up (hopefully), I now have cut down on my oven use times ten. My toaster oven holds six slices (obviously not needed) and a nine by eleven pan or a six cup muffin pan. It’s a new world I tell you!  Since the only thawed meat I have in the house is a four back of burgers, guess what the first air fry cook will be? I think I’m going to love this thing, but I’ll let you know!

My old friend Murphy seems to have decided to visit just as walking season arrives in earnest.  I have yet to visit my friendly podiatrist (it’s almost time for my every two month appointment), but I have Plantar Fasciitis or bone spur, something is there. I can no longer wonder if I stepped on a rock. Thank heavens for SAS and Asics, at least they keep me fairly padded for my minimal walking bouts and everything else. Now if I could just remember to take the time to stretch out my darned foot for a while before climbing out of my bed!

This year the beginning of March also means the beginning of Lent. Where I’m supposed to take on something (I have), give up something (not yet), study (doing) and do self reflection (ON going)

 With world events,  I alternate between doing plenty of praying and wondering if simply eliminating the news in all its forms would be more healthy to my mental state. It wouldn’t of course, being aware and advocating and praying is important, but it’s painful to be helpless. As a woman who walked near the wall and no man’s land in Germany in a different time, and remembers the invasion of Afghanistan by NOT the US, I tell myself we were here once before and right (or something along those lines) prevailed. It’s what might happen first that scares me. Lost, sad and worried. Very worried.

First I need to paint over previous mistakes !

Today I am finally starting on those modern wall art pieces, after playing with color mixing my acrylics to a fault to get them to match my pillows and quilt.  

Life is an adventure.

Friday, February 25, 2022

Frugal, Organizational Friday

 My daughter came over earlier this week. Her birthday was last Friday, and she wanted to pick up her birthday gift from me, which was an Ember Mug. She also brought lunch so we could sit and chat. Then she did some heavy lifting for me, and being the opposite of her mother, completely organized my fridge and freezer before telling me not to order anything except milk and fruit and salad till there was more space.

She and her husband asked for vacation time long ago-before Omicron. They decided  not to travel right now, so they had a staycation. In February in Texas. Which meant 80 degrees on Sunday and Monday and then 29 degrees and freezing for two days. Still, they’ve managed dinner, twice, and an escape room so they are doing okay.  They also did a body on the beach mystery box at home, and put together some really giant adult lego things, so all is not lost.

On the frugal/sustainable/organizational spectrum:

  • I’ve been treated to  fine dining. Falling under the frugal  heading/category because my son in law still somehow considers me “company” even though I live here now and refuses any all attempts of cash or my card (I make it up to him). I managed to have the smoked duck breast below and share in three appetizers and have flourless chocolate cake and wine. One of the reasons I am frugal is the good stuff, and I have missed fine dining and experiential food so very much. My last outing was to a French restaurant for my birthday in September.

  • Following a visit from the queen of organization, I now realize that I have enough food in my freezer and pantry (both leftover meals that are frozen and food to cook), that I can probably last 2 full weeks if I just get milk and fruit  and salad (I am finding that for my oatmeal and other things I use them for, frozen blueberries are just as effective.

  • In the process of making my studio a sewing/quilting/mixed media/ and other types of craft space, I have pulled out a bunch of supplies and put them on the back or side of my cutting table. Hopefully I can avoid buying things I don’t need (there are a few things that I do)  and keep supplies at the ready for inspiration. 

  • Creativity leaves odds and ends. Of paper and fabric and yarn. I also have an “open call” to my buy nothing group for fabric leftovers.  This week I started deconstructing the fabric by cutting it into usable sizes for other projects. I want to make at least three quilts for kids in foster care as well as some landscape and arty quilts and this should help. Right now they’re organized by size. Later by color and season as well.

  • The senior center is fully reopened and while I do plan to do some bus tours and take part in classes, I’ve decided I’m not joining the silver sneakers revival. Not free for me and while it would only be twenty five bucks a month, I’ve developed my own routine at home that works. I’m walking thirty minutes (usually outside with my new exercise walker-did I tell you about this?), and doing another thirty minutes of seated aerobics/weight work/ stretching exercises or some combo. I’m happy where I am.

  • I’ve been doing some money earning research here and there as well as surveys-as much for the fun and stretching of my brain as the money. I’ve participated in a bunch of cognitive studies, and while they don’t tell me the results I feel like doing them is challenging to me in and of itself. Plus it’s money toward travel, which will happen. Sooner than later. I hope.

  • Walmart had a sale for only Walmart plus members (free shipping and delivery and fas discount has made it pay for itself). My research told me I dint want a drawer model of air fryer so I purchased a large toaster oven combo that holds a nine by eleven pan. For 45 bucks, less than half price. A planned purchase and one that let's me avoid the oven bending more and more.

The temperature is supposed to be 40 today. But with a north facing covered patio and walk, I figure I’m housebound until tomorrow, no matter how much salt there is.

My arm is fine. I’m at that point where it itches like hell and I am trying not to pull the scabs before they are ready.