Thursday, February 28, 2013

Where Does the Time Go?

When I was working, I measured time by all the reports that were due and by what meetings I had to attend.  Life is so different now.

It's the end of February, and Mardi Gras has come and gone.  Finally got to see Muses Parade.  We got there early and ended up watching Chaos, too.  We stood for five hours!  The next day, I was so stiff, I was walking like a robot.

We also got to see the dogs dressed up for the Krewe of Barkus.  I like to go early to see all of them together at the park,  before the actual parade starts.

That way, you can actually see the dogs instead of trying to see them through the parade crowd.  And you can pet them, find out what kind of dog it is, and find out its name.  Kind of like a crazy costume dog petting zoo...

We also went to the Color Run in City Park.
Runners paid to get a t-shirt and have packets of non-toxic colored powder thrown on them.  It reminded me of the Holi Festival in India.  Just had to go see it in person.  Afterwards, we had cafe au lait and beignets at  Morning Call just as a busload of tourists came in, and we sat next to a couple from Michigan.  Love talking with out-of-towners and hearing about their experiences.

I started taking piano lessons - the course is called, "Play Piano in a Flash."  When I took piano lessons as a kid, I never learned how to play chords.  I read music and struggled to play the notes.  Now I'm playing songs without having to struggle - it's wonderful.

I've been painting and cooking again, too.  People think they'll be bored when they retire.  Maybe so, but not me.  Some days, I'm so busy, I never even sit down long enough to watch TV.

I've been helping with preparations for Vacation Bible School, and we're doing a different kind of VBS:  Welcome to Capernaum.  We'll be showing kids what it was like during Jesus' lifetime.  I helped paint 50 fish, for the day that we're acting out the loaves and fishes.
The cats were involved with the fish, too.  They were all over the table while I was painting.  I just hope they didn't leave too many suspicious teeth marks on the fish.

Yesterday, I made a no-sew vest from a t-shirt.  Found the tutorial on Pinterest.  I also learned how to turn my long scarf into a vest.  Pinterest is like an encyclopedia for the digital age.

OK - gotta go walk Walter, and then meet a friend for lunch at a new restaurant.  Physical Therapy after that, and then communion at the Lenten Service.

Who has time to be bored?

Saturday, February 2, 2013


I don't consider myself a creative person.  If you give me a model, I'll do my best to re-create it, but I wish I could just imagine something in my mind and create a replica of  what I pictured.

I figure that in my professional life, I've worked so long within a framework of what you're supposed to do and trying to dot all the i's and cross all the t's, that there wasn't much room for creativity and imagination.

When I look at magazines and see pictures of things people used to create a whole new use for something that had been discarded, it amazes me.  I think to myself, "How did they come up with that idea?"  For example, Pinterest has the most interesting ideas.

When I go for walks with Walter, I see all the stuff that my neighbors throw out, and sometimes, I ask if I can take it home.  They're more than happy for me to have it.

I've rescued a cedar chest that someone put out on the curb, and I turned it into a cat shelter for the feral cats who live in my backyard.  Every time Walter went out into the backyard, he'd grab the cat beds in the cedar chest, and he'd tear them up.  I finally figured out how to turn the cedar chest on its back with the opening facing the brick wall of the patio, so Walter couldn't get their beds.  It's so cute to see Linus, James Bond, Jr., Moneypenny, and Sally in their little beds in the cedar chest.

You know what they say, "Necessity is the mother of invention."  Sometimes, that's what it takes for me to come up with new ideas.  Maybe the further I get into retirement, the more free my imagination is to develop.  And maybe it's an awareness that I need to develop.  You don't know you don't have something until you realize that you don't have it.  Now that I realize that creativity is not something that I have developed, I can be more open to expressing my imagination.  We shall see...

Practicing Piano

I started piano class this week.  It's an eight-week course, titled Play Piano in a Flash.  I used to play piano when I was a kid, and I took lessons for about five years.  Every once in a while, I'd sit down at the piano and play some of the songs I know, but as time has gone past, I've forgotten how to play!  I even forgot a lot of the notes.

One of the many things I've wanted to do in my retirement is to take piano again.  So now I'm doing that.  I'm trying to practice every day.

My dog, Walter, follows me everywhere.  He was hanging out underneath the piano, and then I glanced down, and his face was looking up at me from under the keyboard.  It made me laugh, so I had to take his picture.  Who can continue practicing when you see that face looking up at you?
Funny Candy

Do you remember these?

When I was at Physical Therapy, I don't know how we got on the subject of candy, but I said I loved Violets.  No one else at P.T. said they liked them.

I didn't think any more about it.

When I went to P.T. last week, my physical therapist, Jeanie, gave me two packs of Violets!  I said, "Violets!  I love these!  Where did you get them?"  She said she saw them at the grocery store by her house, and she thought of me, so she bought them for me.  How cool is that!

If you've ever tried Violets, you either love them or hate them.  Some people say they taste like soap.  I think they're wonderful.  Thanks, Jeanie.

Of course, this led to more talk of the candies of our youth.  Do you remember Chick-o-stick?  That's one of my favorites.  Every time my brother, George, sees them, he buys some for me.  You used to be able to get a Chick-o-stick for a nickel, but now it's a quarter for a very small version of the original Chick-o-stick.  It still tastes like I remember it though.

What about those candy necklaces?  They didn't taste all that great, but it was cool to be  able to eat them while you wore them.

Zero bar was another great candy bar that I don't see that often.  Oh, and those little wax soda bottles filled with syrupy liquid - you'd bite off the top of the little soda bottle, and then drink the liquid.  Again, it didn't taste all that great, but it was just the way you could bite the wax and get the sweet liquid.  Sounds gross now....

And who could forget those wax lips?  They didn't taste so great either, but maybe it was just the texture of chewing the wax.  I don't know.  When I retired, my co-workers gave me two packages of wax vampire teeth with lips, among the 30 other gifts they surprised me with.  Chewing those brought back those sensations of being a kid again.