Sunday, April 10, 2011

Retired, passed and planted

This has been an interesting week (well, more than just 7 days ago).

I went to a retirement party last weekend. It wasn't the usual retirement party I have attended before. First off it was not at work. We already had a lunch thing for the retiree. This was a party she was throwing for herself. The lady retiring is my favorite coworker at my new work location. As soon as I started there she said she was retiring in 6 months. The other coworkers are also within a year to 5 years of being able to retire. I am the embryo on the block.

So I was the only person from our department to attend her party. She rented a cabin for the weekend at this park. Some friends stayed there and others had their own camp sites. They grilled, had drinks and even fished. The husband won a burger challenge - a 3 pound burger (it looked bigger than that) and fries eaten in 30 minutes and it was free. The people watching thought he was going to puke. His second burger challenge win. Now he is on two web sites for being a burger champ.

It was nice to be out and having fun. I have become a shut in since the husband has been working weekends. He was interviewed for a job that has weekends off and applied for another with week hours. I miss our wandering drives where we go nowhere in particular and see all sorts of sights.

A huge thing this week was I took my exam for my license. I spent all last Sunday studying. I paid for online practice tests. It definitely helped since the test is not like a regular multiple choice test. I got nervous worrying about passing. People had wished me luck, which was nice. I didn't want to have to tell them I failed. I took the test and they give the results right after. I PASSED! Out of the two sections I got the minimum score on one section. But I passed. I was so excited. it was a rare excited moment for me that I texted everyone I could think of. I was so relieved. I really didn't want to pay all that money again.

I took the whole day off to take the test since it was in the big city. I was done before 11 am. I sat in the parking lot thinking what should I do with myself. Then I thought of where could I go. I haven't gone out into the world by myself like that in so long. Then I thought of the used book store that I hadn't been to in eons.

I drove to the book store. It was awesome to get to smell old books and see the shelves and shelves of possibilities. I couldn't think what I wanted to find so I wandered the aisles like I used to years ago on my trips to the book store. I wandered around every aisle. I wore myself out. I always get confused about what the price of the book is when it isn't written on the book. So I found a couple copies of Viktor Frankl's book Man's Search for Meaning. One copy they had caught my attention because of what was written inside it. A father wrote to his daughter that he read the book while in Vietnam and found it meaningful to him. That struck me. I read the book and have since referred it to others because it is such a unique book.

I wandered and wandered in the book store. I found biographies and just knew that something would draw me in. I went down every aisle. They had a ton of biographies. I found a few interesting ones, but nothing smacked me in the face. I was disappointed because I have found so many awesome books just wandering that store. It must have been a fluke. I spent a whole $6, so I was very well behaved.

After the hours spend wandering the book store I was starving. Another thing I don;t like doing besides not liking to go out in the world on my own much, is eating in a restaurant by myself. I picked a place the husband doesn't like to go to much, but I like and had lunch. I looked around and there were more people eating alone than people eating with others in there.

While out and thinking about how years ago I would be too self-conscious to do those things I was impressed with how little anything bothered me. I have my moments when I don;t want to do something. I still avoid some places where I know there are a lot of people. I still do things with large crowds, I just know to keep out of smooshy places where I feel overwhelmed. I was proud of myself and getting out in the world. I really have become a recluse on the weekends and it bugs me.

The husband, since he works at a home improvement store, has been bringing home the deals. No major home projects yet. He has brought home plenty of plants. We have berry bushes, a birds of paradise palm type tree, dogwoods and flowers. We have been cleaning up the yard and planting. He moved a fence the other week which opened up the front yard. He trimmed trees. Some had limbs that touched the ground. We cut back the Jasmine that hasn't come in since he moved here. We brought two types of Jasmine this week - his fav Night Blooming Jasmine and Confederate Jasmine. They will take over the fence. The previous owners had a big piece of fence plopped in the middle of the yard. We connected the other fence to it and it had a huge effect on the front yard.

I decided to get creative with a planter. I found a wore out wheel barrow out back. It was falling apart with holes in the bottom. I filled it with rocks, then dirt, then cheap flowers. The husband found some cool globe LED solar lights. We stuck one on each side and now the wheel barrow is a planter, light and decoration. Usually I kill plants or they dry up in the harsh weather. In this yard the previous owners put water spickets all over. I just need about a zillion more hoses to cover all areas.

Yesterday I finally got some tomato plants. This will be my first attempt at growing food. I want to turn an old bathtub the husband has in the backyard into a planter for them. I haven't started the project yet. That involved the husband dragging the tub to the front yard, throwing in the dirt and planting the little guys. Then the real work begins. I have to tend to them until they give me sweet tomatoes that may end up to be way more than I can eat since the husband doesn't eat tomatoes. He does eat ketchup and sauce, just not raw tomatoes. I know, what have I gotten myself into?