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Showing posts with label retirement. Show all posts
Showing posts with label retirement. Show all posts

Friday, September 25

How to make a real change in your life

In a little while I have to drive to Elgin to pick up my new employee ID in order to have the option to sub for my old school husband thinks it’s ridiculous that I don’t want to sub for the schools here in Huntley. Maybe I will. My former district and buildings are just familiar and much larger. There will be lots more sub jobs there. If I apply to sub for Huntley I’ll have to go through all their new employee hoops too. I interviewed for two other jobs yesterday, both were part time and okay. Neither pays very well. Is it worth it? Do I even want to work? We really don’t need the money. 
I watched a show on Netflix last night called The Social Dilemma about the effects of social media, email and screen addiction. It was pretty shocking and scary. I’m cutting way down. It’s horrible. I don’t want my brain sucked out or all my personal information tracked by giant corporations. I don’t want to be tracked and targeted by marketing companies. 
Last night we went to a store and looked at countertop samples. We’re looking for white quartz like we had at our old house. After that we stopped at our old Denny’s for dinner. We hadn’t been there in a long time. I had pumpkin pecan pancakes and eggs and it was great. Now I have an urge to make a pumpkin pecan crisp. 

I picked up my new ID. That felt good but I’m still not sure I even ever want to use it. I guess it’s just to have the option. I drove back to Huntley up State Street (31) in Elgin and got on I-90 west to Huntley. I stopped at Aldi to get some ingredients and then on the way home drove by and around the Deerpath  facility that one of my interviews yesterday was for. It was for a part time activity assistant. Most all the residents there are physically handicapped and many in motorized scooters. They all have their own little studio apartments there with shared dining and activity areas. It wouldn’t pay well but I like the idea of working there part time and helping those people. It’s about 7 blocks from my house. 
I’ve been feeling so good lately though, do I even want to work and expose myself to others germs? Should I? Or should I just stay home and keep walking my dog and exercising? I’m now a Sun City neighborhood rep and on two other committees and want to be in concert band and chorus when things open back up. Maybe I’ll just find some online job.


Mike is very stodgy and pragmatic and thinks I’m fickle and change my mind a lot. I like to explore all the possibilities and investigate, touch, feel, taste and think things over before I finally decide. I weigh the pros and cons and try to prepare for worse case scenario.
You have to entertain different ideas and scenarios before you decide. Then once you do you might still keep checking and second guessing yourself. Then once you set course you just keep pushing and working and trudging through the deepest snow to get there. Once you’re there you might find it wasn’t what you thought it would be and you move on again. I think the key is to remain flexible and open to change and new ideas. 

1:48pm. I made some goulash and it’s simmering on the stove. I also made some lemon loaf and I cut it up and covered it with foil. I’m crazy about that stuff.
I took Bitzi outside and we dug up and transplanted some more perennial flowers in the front area where we had the tree and bushes taken out. It’s a work in progress. Next year it should fill in better and actually look like something.  I like the assorted perennials “cottage garden” look. Let’s hope it turns out that way and not some hillbilly from hell look.’
I am getting a new IRA and have to move a bunch of stuff so just got an email from the secretary to sign stuff. There has been too much to take care of lately with TRS, job hunting and this stuff.Gaaaah
It’s a beautiful warm sunny day out today. I should go on another walk or bike ride.

Wednesday, September 16


8:34am I have a 9-12 Zoom new employee orientation meeting to allow me the option to sub in the school district I just retired from. ( Silly) but since it was more than 30 days after I retired when I inquired about subbing I have to jump through a bunch of stupid hoops. 

Yesterday we met with a financial consultant about rolling my two 403Bs and my pension lump sum into a single aggressive IRA. I feel better now. It’s gonna be okay.

Thursday, September 10

Breathe deep the gathering gloom

8:40am I’ve been up about an hour. I slept like a slab of cement all night. When I woke up Mike was already up and had taken out the trash and recycling, cleaned up the kitchen,  taken Bitzi outside, fed and watered her and made my coffee. How sweet of him. I made pancakes for us For breakfast. He’s in the shower now getting ready to start work. Most mornings I get up, have my coffee and read his paper The Daily Herald Daily Herald and share a bunch of stories on social media. I try to share sports stories because that’s Mikes department he’s the head of. I try to promote his company in these trying times. 

I canceled my indoor pool slot again today. It’s too damned chilly. We sign up online for one of five daily time slots. There are only ten people allowed at a time. We have to come in wearing our suits and leave wearing our wet suits. We’re not allowed to use the locker rooms. We have to scan our Sun City residents card to be allowed into the lodge then walk a long way down the corridor to the pool / fitness area and then wait to be called up to the desk one at a time and get our forehead temperature scanned, then scan our member card again, then we have to leave our shoes on a tray and enter the pool area. There are no chairs in there to use at all nor are we allowed to use the house pool noodles or foam dumbbells. When we’re done we just towel off and leave. Now that it’s chilly out this is a bigger hassle. 

I’m going to run over to Aldi for a few things and then repot my crazy alien- looking weird overgrown cacti that Sallie gave me Saturday. 

Last night for dinner we had the pork roast from the crockpot, mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, corn and dinner rolls. I thought the roast was fine but not great. It was a pre-seasoned roast when I bought it. I usually steer clear of those. 

Friday, August 28


10:20 am. It’s Friday but no days seem like the day they are anymore. It’s weird but I’ve heard other people say that too. Things are different now. I went for a nice bike ride a while ago and went across the way to Wildflower Lake and rode through the parking lot. I’m not sure if bikes are allowed on the path that goes around the lake, I know golf carts and walkers are allowed. I then rode up past the main Prairieview Lodge and then back home. It was a long way for me just starting to ride a bike again. My bike doesn’t have any gears to shift to make the few small inclines easier.  After I got home I cooled off a bit and then took Bitzi for a walk up to the top of the hill at the park across the street. I’m still sweating but it’s a cool slow sweat now.  I hate when I have the big sweat going and my face sweats. I hate that!  It’s really thick and muggy out there lately. When we moved Mike gave his nice 10-speed bike to his son Casey. I wish he still had it so he could ride with me. Of course he’d be going a lot faster than me with the two very different bikes. Maybe he can borrow the bike back from Casey and if he likes riding can buy a new one.

Right now I’m waiting for a guy from TRS to call me back. I’ve received my last school pay check and now I want to know when my pension stuff kicks in. I’ve called TRS several times in the last few weeks and gotten random rude hags who tried to rush me and cut me off and we condescending. I don’t know whether they have a shitty work condition or what but I’ve gotten some real bitches lately. I just want a few important questions answered by somebody who in polite and knows what the hell they’re talking about. I don’t think that’s too much to ask, is it?

Mike has always wanted to handle the money and pay the bills. That has been fine for him to do that. Of course for almost 20 years I had $600 a month taken out of my paycheck and put in my own private account. I just needed to do that after what I’d been through in my first marriage. About a year ago I finally started having my full check amount deposited into our joint checking account. That was a HUGE deal to the other day Mike got a call from the Nicor gas company saying we hadn’t paid out bill in 18 months and they were shutting our gas service off on August 31. We ALWAYS pay out bills in advance ALWAYS so that seemed completely ridiculous. Still, I couldn’t recall seeing that bill come in the mail. I guess I figured he was paying it online. He looked through all our records, bank statements, credit card statements and found nothing. After  about 9 calls with Nicor we finally found that when we moved and called them to change the address they had written down the wrong address and had been sending the bill somewhere else for 18 months since we moved. But Mike, who pays the bills, never realized we weren’t getting the Nicor bill and we weren’t paying it. So there was a late penalty tacked on but he argued with them and got them to take it off plus a reduction for the mistake. So we just paid $700+ for 18 months of unpaid gas bills...........crazy shit........

It looks sunny outside now. It was overcast to the west and thunderstorms are predicted for late afternoon and evening. I may go to the outdoor pool later if the weather holds out. I really like my water exercise. I’ve been feeling a little drain-y in my sinuses the last couple days and wheezing a bit. Last night I was coughing a bunch at bedtime so I took a Benadryl but I woke up twice coughing with the drainage. I sleep on a wedge pillow for that draining problem but last night it wasn’t helping much. I’m sure it’s the pollen in the air-probably ragweed. I get this every year about this time. I don’t test as allergic to anything but I sure am sensitive at certain times of the year.

So we’re going to the resort in Lake Geneva Monday through Thursday next week. Annette, Mike’s mom, has offered to take care of Bitzi. I think it will be good for her , considering she just had to put down her own little dog last week. I’m sure she and Bitzi will have fun, plus it will save us some money. Mike gives Annette money all the time anyway. He paid her vet bill last week to have her dog put to sleep, a memory paw print plaque and her ashes in a urn........We spent almost a thousand dollars on his nephews wedding with the shower and wedding gift. Seems extravagant to me. My family are so much simpler folks. Oh well......and now Mike is freaking out to me to find out when my pension money will start......I know it will get here. He just frantically ordered me this morning to call and find out exact facts. Whatever.......

I finished the last episode of my rewatching of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale last night. June IS Badass. I love rewatching old favorite movies and series. I’ve rewatched the Sopranos and VEEP and Deadwood many, many times. 

Next week on Saturday I’m going to my daughter Sarah’s in Lewistown and watching the boys. whe I go home I’ll stop in Peoria and see my sister Vicki. I may just come back home on Sunday or stay a day or two depending on how it goes. I should go see my other kids, other sister and some friends too while I’m down there. 

Monday, June 22

Easing into a new life phase

8:33am Monday June 22, 2020

It’s getting ready to rain and storm soon. The sky is overcast and the temperature is unusually cool. The birds are singing outside. I can hear them through the back screen door. It’s a very tranquil soothing sound. The puppy is passed out on the area rug at my feet here in the front sitting room, worn out from her morning of walks and play. She has a vet appointment tomorrow for puppy shots. Mike is at physical therapy and will be back shortly and get to work. I’m going to try to get him to move his laptop and work stuff to the kitchen table so I can get in that office and purge my school stuff I no longer need.

8:57.    I just took his laptop, papers, pens and stuff and put them on the kitchen table as we discussed yesterday. He just came through the garage door into the laundry room, glanced in the office and yelled “ Whoa! Where’d all my stuff go?” Uh, hello.....
All my crazy accumulated teaching stuff is going to take some time to sort through. Trying to move forward into my next chapter. I’ve applied for a few jobs but so far nothing is right yet. I want the job to be something here in Huntley that’s easy and no stress or drama. I’m either under or over qualified for most things that fit my criteria. I may just start my own fabulous little business. There are lots of options I’m exploring.
My ex starts his chemo tomorrow. From what my kids say his condition is really bad and the situation is grim, this is effecting my kids and the dynamic between them.

9:28 I just went out to the big side yard flower bed ( we just put in last year after we moved) and pulled a bunch of grass and weeds and I took my slippers and chopped out a bunch of tiny tree suckers coming up from the tree by the street. Since our house is on a corner the front ( East) and side ( north) are visible to everyone driving by. Many people have commented on my new flower bed. Everyone here in Sun City keeps their yards very nice. 

Tuesday, June 16

Sitting by the lake with an ice pack on my left knee


This morning I took the boys fishing again. Due to my knee issue I didn’t climb down the rocky bank and cast a rod out. I sat in a chair on the hill above where they were fishing with an ice pack and ace bandage on my knee. Something inside my knee snapped with each step as I carried my folding chair to the shade. It’s better than it was two weeks ago with only occasional mild pain. I’m figuring it will heal itself like it always does. This all started in 82 just before I had Samantha. 

After fishing we came home and cleaned up and then went to Costco in Lake In The Hills. Then we came home and the boys helped me chop up stuff and peel shrimp for jambalaya. The base of it is simmering on the stove now. I didn’t make it as spicy as I normally do because of the boys. Tomorrow I’m teaching the boys to the Lake Geneva public beach when they first open at 9. OR maybe we’ll go to the beach, stake out a spot and put our stuff down and then go to my favorite nail place and I get a pedicure and then we go back  to the beach an hour or so later when the water is a little warmer. is warmer. We’ll stay for an hour or two unless it starts getting too crowded. They have been very good about wearing their masks, using hand sanitizer and keeping their distance from people. I’m taking them home Friday morning and meeting Sarah in Lacon. I’m tired. After dinner I have to go water the front, back and both sides of the yard then drive out to the garden and water. The boys want to go fishing again tonight. I’m tired. 

Wednesday, June 10

Chew bone

Mike is getting ready to go to physical therapy for his shoulders. He goes at 7am every Wednesday and Friday. It must be helping as I don't hear him complain of pain or grimace as much. I gathered the trash for trash day and took the puppy out. She only peed and when we came back inside she wasn't concerned much with eating and drinking after being in her cage all night. She's more concerned with exploring, chewing and playing. Bitzi now has a crate, portable platpen, car carrier, chicken chew ring, knitted chew bandana, stuffed dog chew toy, squeaky ball, squeaky bone, collars and leashes. It's unbelievable how many dog accessories we've suddenly acquired now. After nearly five years of not having a pet you forget how it adds up. 

Lola and Henna are still asleep. That's good. They stayed up until almost ten which is late for Henna. Lola has two other sisters and a brother at her dad and stepmoms house. She's bombarded by little kids in both her houses and expected to help with the little ones. Lola is really sharp and more mature for her age. I really missed these girls for those months when their mom( my oldest daughter Samantha) wasn't talking to anyone. Her excuse was her fibromyalgia and nerves but I suspect marital problems were a lot of it. She's been married to Bob, Hennessy's dad, for eight years. Bob is a construction worker. For the last year or so he's been working at a job in Evansville Indiana and coming home for the weekend once a month. A difficult arrangement for a woman I am sure.

It rained and stormed pretty good last night. The grass was wet as I walked around the house with Bitzi. It's hot and humid and the air is thick. I'm having to douse every exposed inch of my skin with mosquito repellant now as I'm some big juicy magnet that attracts them. It's miserable with itchy bites.  

The girls have been taking baths in my jacuzzi tub every night. Last night I took one after they were finished. It's really been getting a work out. I'm going to scrub it out today which is a chore to stretch and reach and scrub. It's good having kids in the house. They eat almost constantly and drag lots of stuff out to the living room. They're pretty good about cleaning up when I ask them. Next week the boys will be here. I haven't informed Mike yet. He's working during the day ( in the little back office) anyway and I'll be tending them. 

7:19 Mike has gone to therapy. I made the bed and tidied up a bit. The puppy is sleeping again although I let her out of her cage. 

My younger daughter said today her dads oncologist is supposed to call to let her know what time to bring him in to get his chemo port surgically installed. Gary wanted to go ahead with the chemo although his diagnosis is pretty bleak. Sarah is the one helping take care of him ( along with her 3 boys at home). Samantha has a pretty shakey relationship with her dad and realizes what a slimy SOB he's been. No matter, I'm trying to help Sarah and take the boys for a while next week. 

Monday, June 8

Starting the next chapter

7:17am Monday, June 8,2020

I've been up about an hour. I took a nice long peaceful shower, got dressed, took the puppy out, fed her, cleaned up the kitchen and living room, filled the dishwasher and turned it on, took stuff out to the recycling bin in the garage, wiped the kitchen counters down and gave the dog a bath in the utility sink in the laundry  room. I toweled her off but she's in her crate now shivering lying on her blanket on the pad trying to dry off. My granddaughters Lola & Henna are still sleeping. 

Mike just got up a few minutes ago. Yesterday he went and played 9 holes of golf with his son Casey at Old Wayne in West Chicago. It's a private club with beautiful huge stately oak trees. Mike used to have a membership there but hasn't for around 9 years. His mom& dad used to live next to the course. He and his dad used to play there. I thought it was a little weird since we have a golf course right here in Sun City but I think maybe in Mikes mind it's like a family legacy thing in honor of his father. Whatever floats your boat. He's taking his son and his nephew. I'm assuming one day he'll be taking Jackson his new grandson. His daughter Shannon had Jackson in March. We've only seen him in person once. Michael always seemed to consider he wasn't a " real grandpa" before because the kids were from my children and he only saw them a couple times a year. I see them more frequently as I go to see them on my own. Now one of his own kids has reproduced but he's still a bit backward in embracing the grandpa concept. He jokes around a lot with the kids and does things for them, don't get me wrong. He isn't a pissy grouchy old goat like my grandpa Goulding was. 

I had mentioned to the girls we might drive up to Lake Geneva Wisconsin today but they obviously forgot as they're still sleeping. Lake Geneva is only 30 minutes away straight north on route 47. 

8:04am  the puppy, Bitzi, was trembling so bad from her bath ( even though I toweled her off) Mike was worried about her shivering in her crate ( she weighs about three pounds now) so I took her out and wrapped her in a towel and Mike used my blow drier on her gently as I held her. I have her on my lap in the front room now swaddled in her little baby blanket from the breeder. She's falling asleep after all that. 

The girls are up now. I'm doing laundry and have some Pillsbury orange cinnamon rolls in the oven. Lola found some Starbucks instant latte packets in the cabinet someone gave me and I never used so she fixed herself one. She will be fourteen on November 11 ( my birthday ) and she's going into eigth grade and Hennessy is going in to  first grade.


Tuesday 10:19am

I just read the above post from yesterday and discovered several typos and grammatical errors and corrected them, cringing and feeling horrified. I really need to stop pecking with one finger so quickly and hit publish before proofreading my stuff. Gaaaah! Damn it all.

I forgot my bag in Lewistown Sunday and will get it next weekend when I take the girls back and pick up the boys and bring them back. I left my IPad in my bag so am just using my phone this week, as if I wasn't screwy enough.

Hennessy & Lola at Lake Geneva yesterday 

Arlo and Milo in Lewistown Friday 

7:58pm Tuesday night

The girls are getting their baths. It's been raining and there's a storm watch until midnight. I'm trying to think of things to do with the girls until Saturday....

Thursday, May 21

Feelin’ fishy

7:03am Thursday

Mike left a few minutes ago to go play nine holes of golf with his work friend Jim at a course in Streamwood. It’s very overcast out and in the low 60s so that doesn’t sound pleasant to me but I hope they have a really good time. I started feeling bad yesterday afternoon when we were over at Mike’s moms in St. Charles. We stopped at Kabobs restaurant and picked up food before we got there. I had a tiny hint of a sore throat when we got there. His mom and I both love Kabobs seasoned roasted vegetable so I sat at the table and ate my container of vegetables. I also had a piece of meat. A piece of roasted potato and a couple forks of rice.After we sat there for a bit my stomach felt a little funny and I also felt a little hot. I went to the restroom nut nothing unusual happened. We sat there for another 45 minutes and then drove home. I started feeling a little worse. Once we got home I had a couple pretty awful bathroom attacks and my stomach felt queasy. I took 2 alkaline shelter. When I went to bed I just didn’t feel very good and my head was draining and I was coughing a bit. I couldn’t sleep very well wondering if I’d picked up a bug somewhere. ( I just watched the movie Contagion a couple days ago.) I still don’t feel very good this morning.

Yesterday morning early I drove to my school district central office to return my school district equipment; my laptop and charger, my school iPad and keyboard case, a few other electronics, a French Horn, my ID, lockdown key and key fob. Two masked women in gloves brought me in to the front lobby and had me stand behind a table and hold up and show them every item I removed from my bag. I was wearing a mask and gloves too. Every item I showed them I then put in a big clear plastic bag. When all my items were in the clear bag they had me seal it shut then put it in a rectangular plastic container, secure the lid, then I had to put that container on a big flat cart and then I was done. Then I went to an elementary school in South Elgin to get a bag of my belongings and leave keys and it was a similar process. Everyone in masks and gloves standing six or more feet away. Pretty weirdly sad. Happy retirement! Now get the fuck out. 

I’m going to take a nice long warm shower and flush my sinuses out really well. I’m sure that will help. I’m sure my ick feeling is just the Kabobs food, the weather, the pollen and the news. This too shall pass.

5:27pm    It’s clouding up like it’s going to rain now. It was pretty warm and sunny earlier. I did a lot of work outside planting my seedlings into bigger pots and thinning out, digging up and transplanting lots of perennials. I spent several hundreds of dollars last year planting perennials in our new yard. There weren’t very many here when we bought the place. I tried very hard to tend and fertilize my new plants so they’d get established. I covered my new rose bushes and heavily mulched the rest for the winter. This spring I initially thought a few were dead but now everything’s showing signs of life. My new little rhododendron Bush is even blooming! My rhubarb I started from seed came up and looks pretty big and healthy. I see a couple of my asparagus plants survived. I paid for a 10’X 30’ garden plot in our community garden but due to coved it’s not open. I have lettuce, radishes, zucchini and tomatoes started in pots on the patio. I have zinnias and morning glories started in pots. I sat in the grass in the backyard listening to the Doobie Brothers on my big rolling Bluetooth speaker. I haven’t sat down in grass for a long time. I love tending my plants.  My daughters both are plant crazy too. I drove to Bartlett to my primary care doctor’s office this afternoon and got a coved-19 antibody test. I’ll have results tomorrow or Monday. Mike is being kind of snappy and pissy. I’m used to it and ignore him. Whatever. 

He has taken a couple days off and doesn’t start back to work until Tuesday. I’ve got to get him to take his stuff out of the back office so I can start the big purge. 

Ten tricks to stay positive

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