Tag Archives: retirement

No Yarn But Lots of Spring Fever

As you’ll notice, it’s been a month since my last post. I hesitated writing anything as I’m trying to keep this blog focused on crochet as much as possible. But I’ve been in a crochet rut. Actually, more of a crochet gulley, if you want to know the truth. That’s not due to lacking project ideas….I have a bucketful of those. I guess I’m suffering from crochet burnout…….that, and a healthy dose of Spring Fever.

 If you look closely, in the middle of the pic you’ll see a tiny green gem that, someday, will turn into a globe of juicy, red sweetness. The smell of a tomato plant is one of my earliest memories, I daresay as far back as my infancy. I have a picture of my Mother, standing in a garden of tomato plants. I don’t remember her growing other vegetables in her garden, but I do remember the kitchen windowsill lined with ripening tomatoes. I can just barely remember now…I must have been four years old….Mama showing me which ones were ready to eat and letting me eat all I wanted. Her health began to decline a couple years later and she never gardened again, but to this day, the smell of a tomato plant takes me back to those early, carefree days of my childhood.

While the yarn and hook have been sitting neglected, I’ve been outside planting and mowing and pruning. We planted corn, okra, watermelon, canteloupe (Charentais!!!), cukes, squash, snap beans and shell beans. I was beginning to think it would never quit raining long enough to get the crops in before the temps went to 90+, but we managed to get it planted in the last couple of weeks. New to the garden this year are shell beans. I’m trying to get more beans in our diet….did you know beans help lower cholesterol?…..but wanted more variety than our usual pintos. This year, I planted Black Valentine, Jacob’s Cattle and Vermont Cranberry beans. They’re all heirloom varieties, some dating as far back as the 1700s. I’ve learned that, sometimes, old beats new & improved hands-down. In my veggie garden, only the tomatoes are hybrids because they actually do best in my environment. Everything else is open pollinated.

With warmer weather comes home improvement projects. I can’t decide whether to do the bathroom or kitchen first; DH is anxious to redo the kitchen cabinets but the bathroom is in dire need of a facelift. Maybe I’ll just tackle the bathroom while he works on the kitchen. Or maybe I’ll just sit on the bench under the oak tree and watch the chickadees 🙂

 

 

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I Didn’t See My Name In The Obituaries This Morning

This will fall under the category of the rambling post, nothing related to crochet. Consider yourself warned 🙂

Besides crocheting, my other favorite pasttime is cooking. Thanks to the Food Network, my skills have improved tremendously, much to the appreciation of my DH. I intended to post mouth-watering pics, but it seems that I’m having trouble being still today, so that my food looks fuzzy, which is not what one might call ‘appealing’. You’ll just have to use your imagination.

Anticipating full retirement in a couple of months (we’re in semi-retirement phase now), My dh is having a bit of trouble getting into the mindset of not having something to do everyday. It’s a problem I never expected to encounter, he being such an intelligent person with so many interests. But age takes it’s toll and things that used to appeal to him no longer capture his attention. Being the wonderful wife than I am *ahem*, I’ve been trying to help him ease into this idea of not having the pressures of the daily grind and the anticipation of enjoying so much free time to do what he wants at his own leisure. And then there’s trying to keep him out from under my feet, following me around all day long, obviously without direction and so talking to me for mind-numbing hours on end. Try as I might, I just cannot even feign interest in how to repair the door window-motor on a 1998 Pontiac. God love him. Thankfully, however, he’s re-discovered his love of fishing, so I manage to find a few hours of respite to be able to focus on my own thoughts and activities.

I do love for him to be happy, though, and one sure way to accomplish that is with food. Today, I’ve decided to cook one of his all-time favorite meals; pinto beans, turnip greens and cornbread…..simple food that is sure to comfort his body and spirit. The greens are fresh-picked from his garden, which of course make them taste all the better. While I was preparing the greens, I’d put some salt pork in the pot to render and into that I added diced onions, to ‘sweat’. Random thought: I wonder how it came about to call softening onions, ‘sweating’? The images it conjures in my head are less than appetizing. ‘Release their flavor’ would have been sufficient instruction. Sweating is just too personal for my tastes, pardon the pun 🙂

On Thanksgiving Day, after dinner, we decided to run to the nearby park. It’s an old park that we used to play in as children, where companies would have their annual barbecue picnics and families would have their reunions. It seems that many years ago, someone planted a grove of pecan trees in the park and people have been allowed to pick the pecans every Fall. But it become such a popular pasttime that, unless your timing and luck were perfect, there wasn’t anything left to pick up. We hadn’t gone to check the crop in several years, but either our timing and luck were just right or most folks figured it’s just easier to buy them at the store. We arrived to find we had the entire park to ourselves. We’d brought a large coffee can, thinking we’d be lucky to fill it. As it turned out, we managed to fill it and a grocery bag that was in the back of the car. Apparently, it’s my job to shell said pecans, so in the evenings when we’re watching TV, I sit on the floor and shell until I get a cup of pecan meat. I do alot of baking at Christmas time. Yesterday, I made 2 loaves of pecan bread and, today, will make 2 loaves of apple bread. And then I’ll have to shell more pecans.

The weather has turned overcast and it’s beginning to look like winter….as much as winter can look on the Gulf Coast. I’m looking out the window at the battered and brown leaves of the banana trees that need to be cut down and the pine needles and cones that need to be picked up. But that’s for another day. There’s food to prepare and gifts to buy and family to visit. Life becomes more precious everyday as one gets older. My Daddy used to enjoy saying “I looked in the obituaries this morning and didn’t see my name, so I went to play golf”. Here’s to retirement and enjoying living another day. Cheers!