Friday, June 19, 2015


I'm playing a little catch-up today. I didn't get to post yesterday. I enjoyed a good workout with my trainer early. The "High Priest", as we call Paul, was there. He was his usual jovial self. He calls me the "Little Rascal". He is in his late-seventies and is a retired Episcopal Bishop. A sweet guy. I love my gym friends.

After my workout, I hit the road for Natick to pick up Nathan, my sister, Jeanne's dog. She's having fun in New York City this weekend with friends, so I volunteered to take my furry nephew for the weekend, making her husband very happy. He's a great guy, but not much of an animal person. We love him anyway. Nathan was ready to go, so we then went to visit my sister-in-law, Cindy, who takes care of her grandson while her daughter and son-in-law work. Melissa lives on the other side of Natick, so it was an easy visit. Plus, she fed me lunch, and I got to baby-bond with Jaxson. He is so adorable.

After a couple of hours, Nathan got antsy, so we headed back to Tiverton. I was craving mocha chip ice cream with chocolate "jimmies" from Gray's Ice Cream, so I got a small cone and a ginger frappe for Larry. The doggie cousins took a little time to get used to one another again, but they are very easy friends. We all went for a walk together, and then had supper. While they digested, and before I made our dinner, I got more weeding done in my new herb/flower garden. This weeding thing is taking more out of me than I anticipated, and taking longer than planned. I want to get to Adamsville, RI soon. There is a woman who sells herb plants there, and I buy her plants every year. I need some rosemary, basil, parsley and pineapple sage. What I can't get from her, I'll get from Peckham's Greenhouse in Little Compton.
Aunt Jean and her daughters

We enjoyed a relaxing night, and this morning I got up early to let the dogs out before heading back to bed for another hour or so. They've all eaten now, and I'm about to head into the shower. We're driving to Wayland, MA tonight for a surprise birthday celebration for my cousin, Lynne, who has come from CA for the weekend. I love my cousins, and don't get to see them often enough. It should be a fun night. Robin said our great aunt and uncle frequented The Dudley Chateau when it was a speak easy many years ago. I can't wait.

I want to get out and find Lynne a small gift that will be easy to take home on the plane. Just a little thought gift is all I need. But, first I need to get in the shower and walk the dogs. Let's get this day started. Tout de suite!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Doing and Thinking

While vacuuming the play room downstairs, I took the easel out of its case that I asked for for Christmas last year, placed it in a temporary location, and drew a picture. Then, I pulled out the "learning the keyboard" book and CD I bought several years ago, and practiced the first lesson on my keyboard. I felt like I finally started to do and learn the creative things I have been wanting to do in retirement.

Once I finished the only cleaning I planned for the day, I popped open a Guinness and put my feet up. "Larry, do you want to go out tonight?" I asked. "Sure, we can do that," was my husband's response. So we ended up having a nice dinner in Fall River, MA at a restaurant on a reservoir, and went to see the movie, Spy, starring Melissa McCarthy. The AMC theater in North Dartmouth was completely renovated while we were in SC, and it is just beautiful! When we buy tickets, we also must choose seats. The seats are really comfy, leather (I think) electric recliners. Watching the movie was like having the complete system in our home! The movie was hilarious, and we were incredibly comfortable watching it. All in all, it was a great day and night. I felt accomplished, and we had fun.

This morning, the Sparrows are nest building in the new birdhouse Larry made. I took some great pictures of them through our living room window carrying grass into it, but have not succeeded in getting shots of them having sex on top of the house. Larry watched them, but I have yet to capture it. I know I could sit there for hours waiting, but I don't need the shot that badly. Before coffee, I went out to cut bouquets of the red Knock Out roses in our front yard. I used the basket my daughter-in-law found for me, so I could feel like an English Lady cutting flowers in her garden in my long flowing dress and big hat tied under my chin with a ribbon.

After some late morning intimacy, Larry hung some pictures in our guest room for me. They are heavy and high, so hanging them was a little easier for him. We'll head out and work in the yard after lunch. It is a gorgeous day. I understand that my life doesn't have to be "jet-setting" or big in a grand-gesture kind of way. Life is about the little things. It's okay to appreciate and do lots of little things, and rest in between to read or nap. I must keep drilling this permission to be smaller, but no less great, into my psyche. I am not small, but my life is getting smaller. My appreciation, gratitude, and accomplishments do not have to be diminished, just appreciated for what they are. As was once said on "Star Trek: The Next Generation", "We no longer have a need for material things. Our lives are about bettering ourselves instead."

This shift is how I want to live out my retirement: delving into my creative side, and having fun. Now if I can only keep my Self convinced it is enough.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Beginning My 66th Year

Beach Roses in our RI yard.
I have been inspired by a cousin to write every day this year. As I approach my sixty-sixth year, I think it is important for me to finally develop some discipline with my writing. I love to blog, and journalling is no different. Beginning today, as I approach my sixty-sixth birthday, I will attempt to do just that.

Writing is a passion for me, and my need for immediate gratification makes blogging the perfect vehicle to publish my work. I also love to take photographs, so my images will also, as usual, be incorporated in my daily logs.

I'm not sure what will come up in this blog, but I eagerly await what my mind will create. How will I approach the year? What changes will be made; will I make? What will remain the same? What permissions will I grant myself? What will I allow myself to let go of? Let's see what happens. I'm already feeling the weight of inaction nagging at the back of my mind. This weight is self-sabotaging, and requires release. I will plow through it until the feeling goes away. Well, it's getting late anyway, and I must clean my house.

Guilt and its hold

Aquinnah Lighthouse, Martha's Vineyard 
The Catholic Church did a great job screwing up my mind. Even though I intellectually realize guilt is a total waste of time and energy, it still controls me. I spent much of yesterday wrestling with whether or not I would join Summer Chorus. In the end, I opted not to join. Once I made the decision and received an email back from my friend, the music director, I felt better about it. I think more than laziness, I just didn't want any nighttime commitments this summer. I keep thinking no commitments is a bad thing. But, it is just a choice.

I felt better about myself yesterday too because I accomplished two goals: I switched out my winter and summer clothes, and cleaned both bathrooms. In addition, I made a delicious supper. Larry and I drank red wine and chatted. It was nice. I have been feeling resentful of him because sitting in front of the television with dogs on his lap as well as his computer is enough for him. I am restless. I can do this easily. I have my whole life. Most of my family does it, as do many of my friends. I just worry about becoming lazy as I get older. Being lazy is easy.

I also did not cancel my personal training session this morning. I am determined to get back the tone in my arms and reduce my "bat wings". I felt good about going. And, I did thirty minutes on my treadmill yesterday; breaking a good sweat and following it up with some stretching. I got fifteen minutes in this morning on the elliptical at the gym before my training session. I will also walk the dogs today. I mentioned my guilt to my trainer, and he said, "Don't do that." So simple; so easy. Don't do that! His telling me this, helped. It is okay to focus on a few things, like wellness and enjoyment. I like to rest and read as well. It is okay!

The music director's email said, "Your jet-setting life is cramping your singing life." I never thought about my life as being jet-setting. I laughed to myself. But, I do love to travel, and we drive regularly between our Rhode Island home and our South Carolina home. I guess these drives are also considered jet-setting. She may be right.

I have always realized that learning "acceptance" is a challenge for me. Not struggling in my life requires acceptance for me too. I have always struggled. I don't have to anymore. I feel guilty. When this nags me, I will just hear Eric say, "Don't do that!" Thanks, Eric. And, thanks Beth, for not being mad that I'm not committing to chorus. I may not go back. I just don't know. Singing brings me joy, and I love it. I may take the year and not commit to anything to see what that feels like, just as experiment. I don't know. I'm thinking about lots of things. I worry there is no passion in my life right now. At least I don't particularly feel passionate about any given thing. Maybe that's okay too.