Wednesday, June 29, 2016

My "at least one" Entry for 2016

Well hello!

It's June already. Actually almost July.  I've notice that I have made at least one entry per year to my blog since I started blogging back in 2010.  So, as not to break that record, here is my "at least one entry" for 2016!!

Mmmmmm, where to start?  I've really got some catch-up here...

Well, I'm retired a little over 2 years now.  Still loving it. No regrets.  I have to confess though, that many of the things I started once I retired more or less fizzled out.

Volunteering at the Horse Protection Society proved more than I could handle.  Too old, too city, I can't really say the reason.  Bob says I might have made it had I waited until spring to start. Trying to help care for 100 horses out in 30 degree weather might have just done this city girl in. It was a good tired, though, at the end of a long and hard day. Bob would have to meet me at the door just to help me out of my muddy clothes and boots.  I would be frozen to the bone and too tired to get my own boots off!  He most usually had to help me out of bed the following morning as well. It was much harder physical work than I ever dreamed, caring for those neglected and abused beautiful creatures - and to think it is all done by volunteers. They truly must be angels in disguise!


Guitar went on quite a bit longer, but, it too, didn't last.  I do still keep the two guitars and a ukulele sitting out just in case the bug bites again.! I actually love the idea.  Got frustrated though trying to play clear chords with two numb fingers (cubital tunnel, another story).  I may try it again though. Hopefully, I've got plenty of time!

Piano...well, I don't want to say it didn't last. I'm like a child when it comes to a piano. I can't resist sitting down and banging on the keys. I took some lessons for awhile, but apparently I am not a quick study.  I can play Happy Birthday and that does come in pretty handy.  (Oh, I forgot to mention, I can also play the cupcake song on my ukulele!! Believe it or not, that song comes in pretty handy too!!)

Cooking  - I'm getting better. I'm growing quite a list of things that turn out pretty good pretty consecutively. Bob still tends to go overboard with the praise and I can't help but question his motives.  Is it really that good or is he just trying to make me want to cook more often?  I do know that I make a pretty terrific lemoncello cake, if I do say so myself.  I've only made about a hundred or so of them, so they should be getting pretty good by now. Aaaaaaand, I make my own lemoncello!  How impressive is that!

Gardening - Mark that off the list!  No green thumb for me.  There is good news though, Bob's thumb is green!!  He may not know the name of anything, but if he sticks it in the ground, it tends to grow. He took us to the Rowan County Cooperative Extension last year and we learned to propagate. And so, together, he and I must have propagated 50 different plants.  You do all of this there with their help and then they put your plants in their greenhouse for several weeks to help them get a good start. Then in the fall you go back and pick all these little plants up and bring them home - at least 50 of them! Well, Bob babied all these little plants all through the winter.  He had purchased these cute little plastic green houses and they apparently did the trick.  Come spring, there must have been 49 little plants that had survived winter.  The only problem was, the names of the plants which had been penciled in on these little white tags stuck into each little pot had been washed off, so we didn't know what was what.  Oh, we did identify several of them using the internet, but the majority of them, nobody knows.  And Bob had to plant each and every one.  So we may end up with a tree where a shrub was intended, and vise versa, but since he is just getting started, everything is still pretty much the same height and width!  I guess we've got some time to figure it out!

Ahhhh!  Fly fishing!! Now there's a keeper!! I am here to tell you that I am a fly fisher woman!! I catch fish!! I have my own rod and reel and I can tell the difference between a rainbow, a brown and a brook!!! I know I'm making light here, but I really do think I've found my niche. It just feels right when I'm out there standing in a mountain stream. What's more exciting is that Bob seems to enjoy it about as much as I do! 

Oh, what else?

Life is not perfect, although I know it sounds like it is.  I do enjoy it, though, more than not. I think I told you back in my 2014 post that I had two beautiful new daughters-in-law and six new grandchildren, giving me a total of seven grandchildren. Well I am still feeling very blessed.  My two Davids moved their families into new homes in the past year and both have now attended a dance recital or two (since four of those new grandchildren are girls). Our newest granddaughter (Ann-Margret) is now two years old and just keeps getting prettier and prettier, and the other bookend, my first grandson Nick, makes me more proud with each passing year.  He is handsome, smart and has a heart for God that pretty much directs his entire life. Add to that, three more beautiful granddaughters (Faith, Emma and MariClare) and two more handsome grandsons (Maysen and Parker) - it only goes to prove, Jesus loves me!

(Family pictures to come in a later post!)

Bob is still playing the saxophone and not likely to give that up anytime soon - and I don't want him to.  He plays in two bands and so that calls for a lot of practice - nearly every evening. I get to wash supper dishes most evenings to the sound of music - big band, swing, jazz, beach!!! I have, on occasion, even heard him playing Amazing Grace! <smile>

We lost our cat Gracie about a year ago.  I think I told you about her in my 2014 post.  That was a sad day.  She was not a healthy cat when we got her, plus she had some major trust issues.  It was so heartwarming to watch her become more comfortable with us. She was actually curled at my feet when I wrote that last post. We still have Samantha (Sam). She's healthy and strong and tough as nails!  Her days may be numbered though if she keeps bringing me those awful gifts <smile>.  I know she is a great hunter, but I would just as soon not be gifted with her catch!!

Church has become a big part of my life since retirement.  I've always wanted to be involved in church but nursing with its multiple shifts and weekend work was not conducive. I love my new church - Christ United Methodist, and all the people in it!  It has helped grow my faith in more ways than I can say.  I am going on my first mission trip in just a few weeks!!

Oh, and I still have a great bunch of friends!  There is no way I could do a catch-up entry and not mention them.   Most of us have been friends so long we can't remember not being friends.  Bob and I have been best friends for 36 years - married for 33 of them, and yet, my best girl friend Zandy and I go back 40+ years. Of course my closest and dearest girl friend is my sister Dolly, and of course, we go back even further!

My Friday Night group (Sue, Larry, Jo Ann, Scotty, Trudy, Molly, Bob C, and Victor) has been together at least 10-15 years.  Sue and Larry, though, are in the 30+ year group - Trudy, before that. We still get together every Friday night, and then a few of us get together a couple times during the week. I see a couple of them almost more than I see my own family!

My "Dinner Diva" group (Zandy, Marcia, Jean, Bonnie, Nancy, Ruth, Sandy, Karen, Sherry, and Jane) continues to meet for dinner the second Tuesday of every month.  I've been in this group at least 14 years. Others even longer. Sherry and Jane have come since me, so we do add a few here and there.  Sadly, we've started to lose a few here and there as well.  We lost Sandy a few years ago to dementia. While she is still living, she no longer remembers how important she was to our group. Ruth left us just a few months ago - cancer.  She loved hosting our big Christmas gathering every year and always went over and beyond in the menu and the decorations.  While she was sick this past December, she wouldn't hear of us not coming there as usual for Christmas.  I can't imagine what this coming Christmas will look or feel like without Ruth! I am afraid we are getting to that age...
Christmas 2015 at Ruth's
I've added a couple of new groups in the past two years. One I call my VA group (Carol, Gwen, Mary and Susan). We all worked together at the VA hospital years ago.  We have been getting together for a monthly lunch for about a year now and reminiscing about the good ol' days. Old friends are so special and it is truly a blessing to be able to reconnect after years of separation. It's especially nice too, when you all come to the realization together that these are actually the better days!!

And my newest group - the Reel River Girls!!!  I'll give you one guess as to what this group does! Yep, you guessed it.  We fish!!

And that's that for now.  I know I've not covered everything, but maybe I can make at least two entries in 2016!

Until then, Stay Reel!