Drive South

Love this song and its especially appropriate today as we head out for Perdido Key, FL, and will traverse I-85 from its start to finish or finish to start, depending on your perspective.

Funny that Sonny Landreth is NOT mentioned in the notes on this video as he is playing guitar also.  We saw him play with John Hiatt a few times.

Semi

On Monday, I went from retired to semi-retired.  Signed an agreement and received a statement of work to do some consulting.  And I went to work yesterday!  I think I will like this engagement as it uses my knowledge and work experiences.  So my retirement lasted 106 days–my hubby asked that I not do anything for 60 days and I made that.

Some may wonder why do I want to work if I don’t have to work for the money?!  The main reason is  I really want something to occupy me though I have found a lot of things to do in the last 100+ days, like gardening, cleaning, organizing, buying a beach condo, and traveling.  I haven’t felt like my mind was engaged.  Do you know how you feel when you are mentally challenged on some task or project?  I like that feeling, maybe there is some adrenaline rush or sense of satisfaction?

Since retired, I have worked soduku, played words with friends, read a TON of books (not really as most are on my iPad!), prepared budgets, organized documents for the beach condo, and still I have found myself just a teensy bit–here is that dreaded word, BORED.  Did you hate when your child would come up and say, MOM, I’m BORED!  My son soon learned to not say that to me as I always found him something to do and he probably didn’t like it much!  A good lesson I learned from my mom.IMG_2429 IMG_0082

Anyway, here are a couple of photos from the community garden.  A little frog on the catch basin, and this after one of the gardeners insinuated that I used PREEN on my garden because it was weed-free and of course the PREEN killed all of our garden frogs!  I think the snake(s) ate some of the frogs, as the hunting was pretty easy.  And we have one water barrel full of tadpoles…  The second photo is the butterfly garden with jo-pye weed, milkweed, clover, etc.  The milkweed started blooming so am on the lookout for the monarchs!

Just Beachy

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I have dreamt and planned to live near the water some day.  Preferable coastal, not necessarily beachfront. And then kind of spur of the moment yesterday, we put an offer on a condo at Ocean Isle Beach, one block off the beach.   After a little negotiating, we have a deal and will close on it in July. Buying it with my sister-in-law, I told hubby this am that he is now in a partnership with BOTH his wife and sister.  He doesn’t think he stands a chance!

We love this beach community and go every year, its very laid back, not too touristy, and family oriented.  DSC_0035

The community has boat docks for fishing and tieing up when the tide is in.  Lovely sunsets too! During low tide, you can go to the western point and find all kinds of shells and sealife in the tidal pools.

I don’t quite have the hang of adding photos in wordpress.  I will keep practicing for sure.

On the work front, I hope to be re-employed within the next couple of weeks, lord knows will need the extra cash now!  I have been talking to a consulting firm and think I may have my first gig!

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I really wanted that shark’s eye however a hermit crab beat me to it.

Music Catsup

So sad to hear about BB King, have enjoyed taking in his shows many times.  Read this article from Oxford American on his passing, Better Not Look Down-BB King.  Always found it interesting that BB either played the guitar or sang but didn’t do both at once.  Says a lot for NOT multi-tasking, doing one thing excellently!

We enjoyed Merlefest this year, though the first day of the festival was not my best day.  First, left the tickets at home, remembered them about 40 miles into the trip, suffered through a VERY unhappy spouse on the long ride back home to get them.  Not sure that I was totally, 100% responsible for forgetting them…

Hot Rise

Hot Rise

Knuckleheads

Knuckleheads

Then, as I posted earlier, had my Nikon 3100 with me Thursday evening to take pix of Hot Rise and my drink cup leaked all over the camera, causing it to not work.  Nikon fixed the camera however all the remaining photos of the weekend come from the iPhone.  My first time seeing Hot Rise!   And ended Thursday evening in the dance tent with Donna the Buffalo.

My highlights were North MS Allstars with Jim Lauderdale.  Earls Of Leicester kicked it, highlight was Sam Bush and Jerry Douglas doing a Tut Taylor/John Hartford tribute of Steam powered aereoplane!

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And Sam Bush Friday night closed with electronic version of Laps in 7. The Waybacks album hour was Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA.  Saturday was a rainy wet day, and we bagged it early.

Finally here is link to review of Dear Jerry Tribute All-Star Cast honors Jerry.  Not sure if we will take in another tribute concert anytime soon.  The traffic at Merriweather was horrific, parked about 1.5 miles from venue, don’t mind the walking just sitting in traffic for so long.  The venue was rocking with people!  We had a good vantage viewing point for the screen but not the stage.  And long waits between artists, so long that 2 bands, RRE and Greensky Bluegrass got bumped from the show.   The show was great and we can enjoy again when out on DVD!

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Gardening patience

Summer keeps teasing us, one day I think she is upon us and the next day, here comes a cool, rainy, springy day. The rain helps the yard and garden, we had a mini-drought going on up until last weekend.  In my plot at the community garden, snap peas did not like the hot weather, and the radishes bolted-forming seed heads and not the radish. Practicing patience is not my long suit, I have resisted tearing them up and planting something else.

snap peas

snap peas

radishes, mesclun, onions, cherokee purple tomato

radishes, mesclun, onions, cherokee purple tomato

I pick lettuce, kale, arugula about every other day. Planted tomatillos, tomatoes, eggplants, and lots of peppers-anchos, habaneros, jalapeño, green bell, and hot.  The garlic should be ready to pull in another couple of weeks.  Had to buy garlic for the first time since last June as I finally used up the last bulb.

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And to add excitement to my gardening routine, this little guy surprised me on the way to the compost pile.  I think its a ribbon snake, about 2 ft in length.  I spotted him right after a gullywasher of a rainstorm and Mr. Slithers was enjoying a bit of the sunshine peaking through.  IMG_2399

A Snails Pace

The Washington Post had this article today on VA hiring VA Ability to Increase Health Professionals.  I read it and recognized the same hurdles my agency experienced over the last several years.  Budget reductions kept coming over several fiscal years and salaries were the biggest expense so after cutting other essentials like supplies, travel, training, and recognition, employees had to be cut to stay within the prescribed appropriation levels.  We had a high attrition rate so  that helped.  The article discusses VA’s attrition rate and how most employees leave within 5 years.  Another issue is the LENGTHY process to hire in the Federal government.  We worked to reduce the hiring process with limited success.  The easier part to expedite was the on-boarding.  The hiring process is just clogged with bureaucratic steps required for every single hire regardless if applicable.  And the staff responsible for hiring had been reduced to the point of being unable to get the work done.  Another article from WA Post on the IRS Staff depleted discussed the impacts of budget whacks that leave managers the only option of cutting employees but expectations are not lowered equally if at all.

While I feel the pain the senior managers are experiencing as I lived it, I sure don’t miss it!  And to end on a humorous note, I loved this column on updating cliches Trite Stuff.  I love a good cliche and these updated ones made me laugh.

“Sending a shiver down one’s spine” or “someone walking over one’s grave” becomes “Getting butt-dialed by God.”

“Heaved a sigh of relief” becomes “Got the ‘text not sent’ message on the hung-over morning after.”

“Covered one’s butt” becomes “ran it by legal.”

“Push the reset button” becomes “wipe the server.”

Catching Up

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So I think my blog’s title was/is a bit ambitious.  Daystreaming? implies something more periodic than once every few weeks.  So I’m thinking about changing the blog’s name or not, blogging in a more disciplined manner or not, will have to figure it out or not.

And those thoughts right there sum up my current state.  Two+ months post retirement and no single crystal clear motivation has emerged-YET!  I laugh at myself because I have cleaned, de-cluttered and organized most of the house and yard and have more on my to-do list.

Since my last post, I have been to Merlefest and niece’s wedding weekend in Atlanta. I will post more from Merle separately, I don’t have my usual supply of photos as I got my Nikon 3100 wet the first night at the show and it quit working.  Did you know you can send it off to Nikon and they will repair if possible?  So I did that and after $225, my camera is due to arrive before the weekend back in working order.

Tonight is the Dear Jerry tribute at Merriweather Post Pavilion which looks like it will be cool weather with lots of rules: no lawn chairs, no coolers, no grills in the parking lot, only one sealed water bottle or one empty reusable water bottle, no picnic baskets, food can only be brought in clear, plastic containers… so much for tailgating or having a picnic dinner on the blanket on the lawn.  It appears these rules serve to ensure you will buy ALL your food and beverages from vendors inside the venue.  Will definitely report back on the show.  Here is an update on the show’s lineup Dear Jerry Concert details.

Back at ya soon-or not!

Beauty

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I love this sign which I found at a consignment/flea market shop.  I may go back and get it as it is so funny/punny!

We are headed to Merlefest this next weekend.  This year’s lineup again includes many of my favorite artists.  Like Sam Bush, Peter Rowan, Hot Rize, Donna the Buffalo, Steel Wheels, North Mississippi Allstars, Avett Brothers.  The biggest challenge will be figuring out who to see and when!  Merle has about a dozen stages so lots of decisions.  Hopefully it won’t be too cold or rainy though we go prepared for all of the above.  We haven’t been out since February to hear live music and this weekend will make up that deficit.

We did get tickets to the Dear Jerry Tribute at Merriweather Post in May.  Thankfully some friends had extra lawn seats as we did not manage to get any through either the pre-sale or regular sale before the event sold out.     Should be a great show.

Plans of Change

Sometimes I’m a bit dyslexic, mixing letters when I speak/write or transposing numbers.  As a kid I said belldoor and some other last then first words.  So as I changed my plans recently, it came out as a plans of change in my mind.  I nixed the hospital volunteering gig, too much structure and requirements for the summer.  And replaced that effort with becoming the co-coordinator for the community garden.  I will spend more time on the community garden then required by the hospital however I set my own hours and tasks! And will be outside-another bonus.

I have planted peas, lettuce (mesclun mix), radishes, red onions, and sweet onions.  The kale wintered over nicely and the garlic planted last fall looks good also.

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I have seedlings of eggplant, a determinate tomato variety, hot peppers, tomatillas, broccoli and some herbs set outside to harden off.  And I ordered some plants that should arrive soon.

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FairyHill

I have started on a fairy garden in my yard.  Some will surely laugh at such, however I love the idea.  Reminds me when I was a child and would make a small garden under a bush at the end of our porch, catching tree frogs to live in my tiny haven.  As I grew older, I would sneak a smoke in the same space until the neighbor across the street ratted me out to my mom.  I guess that was something to see-a smoking bush!  So thankful I kicked that habit years ago.

Not working update

So 37 days into “retirement”, I decided not to call it retirement.  I consider myself in between jobs at the moment without a clear idea what kind of work I want to pursue.  As I ponder this next act, I am reading a lot of different things.  Like this website Encore, Second acts for the greater good.  And then this article in this mornings WA Post, How long do I have? and why one may not want to retire!  I admit to being a bit bored which is probably normal as I went from a fast-paced, stressful environment to an extended vacation!

So to keep busy, I “interviewed” for a volunteer position at the hospital.  And looks like I will start that in May, every Wed for 4 hours.  Over the last few weeks, I have been to the beach, to visit my mom and then to visit son at school. I have my community garden spot tilled and early spring stuff in the ground.  I have seedlings sprouted and getting ready to set out.  On this rainy day I intend to start cleaning and organizing.

While visiting our son, we drove around Claytor Lake State Park.  I think I would like to return this summer if for no other reason to swim out to this platform!

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