Thursday, February 3, 2022

The Word(le) is SNOWY

Just a few days ago I complained we don't get enough snow to go cross country skiing here in Central Illinois very often.  Mother Nature was apparently listening.  I should have mentioned I don't have my skis any more so.  

I've definitely been caught up in the Wordle craze sweeping Facebook.  I'm not sure which I enjoy the most:  playing and sharing my results, reading other people's results, or all the fun comments.  It's been a free, fun diversion during some wintry weather, and with no advertisements!  My best score was a 2/6 which does not show any skill at all just some quirky luck!

And now my diversion is shoveling snow.

I worked on the sidewalk and driveway (around the vehicles which are parked there) yesterday, twice.  And again, this morning my kid and I worked on the bottom of the driveway and into the street when the snowplow gifted us with a couple extra feet of snow!   I took a broom to the snow on the van, then defrosted and scraped the windshield.  And then we ventured out to the local grocery store, where the shelves weren't completely empty, but it seemed pretty clear that the delivery truck was probably either still in Chicago or in a ditch somewhere (I hope it's the former.)  We had made a shopping trip earlier this week before the snow, but somehow underestimated the amount of food we needed to fuel all the shoveling.  So now we are stocked up again at least for a few days.

Then I shoveled a huge drift on the back of the house so that I could 1 - expose the dryer vent and do some laundry, and 2 - avoid a big mess in the lower level of my home once the snow starts to melt.

It's good I enjoy shoveling snow.  I like the feeling of a good workout and being able to see the results of my work.  It's best if the temperatures aren't hideously cold, the snow isn't too wet and heavy, and the wind isn't howling.  Today's shoveling conditions were about a 7 on a scale from 1 to 10.  And my Wordle score today was 4/6.  Not too bad, not bad at all!

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

The Long Pause

I'm not sure why the heck I stopped blogging about a year and a half ago.  It wasn't intentional, certainly.  I think I just didn't feel inspired.  Or maybe I was weary of the pandemic back in September 2020 and so now that it's over....hahaha..ha..ha.

I am about to go get tested for the virus (yes, you know which one, don't pretend you don't) again for the 3rd time in a month.  Got tested before Christmas because I had just been on a crowded Amtrak train and wanted to spend part of the day with family.  (I got to do that!)  Got tested a couple weeks ago after a potential exposure at the gym.  (Still negative.)  Now another possible exposure, five days ago, so here I go again.  

This morning I reread my posts from the first several months of COVID-19, as the first cases appeared in my area, as I stopped working for a while then returned to work.  I revisited the things I missed early on while we all hunkered down to avoid getting sick.    Even though the pandemic is still around, with more cases than ever and the highest local rates of transmission to date, I am able to enjoy many of those things I missed back in 2020.  I missed my book group, and we have been able to meet in person again, outside during good weather, and indoors after we all got vaccinated.  I missed hugging my mom, which we are able to do again, now that we are vaccinated.  I missed in-person church, which we have again though without holding hands and singing, and we all wear masks and sit far apart.  I've been able to travel safely by camping in my van when the weather is good (as in temperatures above zero which excludes today.)

I feel that same tension many of us feel between being cautious to stay safe and wanting to live life as fully as possible.  Instead of going out for drinks with 2 friends a few weeks ago I had them over for some wine in my living room.  Not completely risk free, but not being in a room with 30 strangers.  (It was more fun and cheaper, too!!)   Instead of longing for pre-Covid days, I find myself longing for the summer of 2021 when most of us were vaccinated and neither delta nor omicron had moved into town.  

I've paused from blogging, but not from living.  I am grateful to be able to hike, to be with friends in small groups, to have a fire in my backyard firepit.  I don't live alone (one benefit of late motherhood, here I am a retired person with a teenager in the house!) so I don't get as lonely as I might.  I think we have all learned to live with more uncertainty and (most of the time) be okay with it.  I know I am more grateful than ever for small blessings.  

Friday, September 18, 2020

I Promise to Stop Soon

 I know all I'm talking about lately is my retirement.  It's like I think I invented the concept!  But I have been pretty excited about just working a few days a month and having more free time.  Probably when the weather turns cold and unpleasant I'll be less excited about sitting around and reading in front of my fake fireplace.  Or maybe not.  But for today I'm still blabbing on about it.

Here are photos my lovely sister Jill took from the crazy balloon and honking festival she organized.  Of course she didn't get to be in any photos.  Because she was doing all the work AND taking the photos.  

I was so surprised I ran out into the street barefoot and without a mask!

Susan and I demonstrating the proper corona hug...still forgot I didn't have on a mask.

Ron rescued me, giving me a balloon AND a mask.  Whew!  Here are some fun photos of my friends who showed up!

Thanks everyone!  And now I'll stop talking about it for a while!!

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Retirement Day 1

 Earlier this week I decided to change my alarm sound to make getting up less jarring.  I changed from some annoying Ding-ding, Ding-ding sound to what I thought would be a soothing melody from an album of Asian Meditation Music.


My phone doesn't really let me control the alarm sound volume, so it was like a blaring tune with crickets screaming in my ear on Wednesday morning.

Wait, not that kind of cricket!  Here we go:

That's the cricket.

Wednesday evening Mr. Main Squeeze and I were watching the Cubs play.  I mentioned I needed to change my alarm sound again to something that wouldn't be so...alarming.  I decided to try a waterfall sound.  I changed the alarm, and then 5 minutes later I realized I don't need an alarm!

Of course I will need one some days.  But the idea I can sleep in if the dog, the cat, and the neighbor with a car with no muffler who goes to work at 630 a.m. will let me was a bit of a shock.  But a pleasant shock, not like crickets screaming in my ear at all.

I went to bed happy in the knowledge that I could try to sleep in and that the Cubs won in the bottom of the 10th!  

Cricket images courtesy of and

Friday, August 14, 2020

Retirement a go go

It's time.  In one month more or less I'm retiring.  Sort of.  I'll still work 'on call' about 1 day a week or slightly more. I'm ready.  After 30 years as a physical therapist. 20 years working for my current employer, and 16 of those in home health I am definitely ready.

Two years ago I stepped down from my job as a Preceptor training new employees, and just went back to a clinician caring for patients.  I cut hours back a bit as my dad's health worsened to help care for him.

And now I'm ready for work not to be the main focus of my time, my life, my energy.  Not ready to give it up completely for several reasons, not the least of which is I still enjoy what I do. But not willing to spend most of my waking hours working anymore.  Life is short, we know that now even more than before.

What will I do?  Some travelling and camping.  Some volunteer work. More time meditating.  More time learning.  Maybe more blogging?  Who knows?  I'll certainly walk more regularly at White Oak Lake!

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Things I Miss During the Pandemic

I miss blogging!

I went back to work May 18th and since then it's been a bit harder to find the right combination of time and energy to write.   I don't really want to write about work, and with HIPPA laws I can't really tell any of the interesting stories, like the one about the alleged boa constrictor....ooops

Right this moment I'm watching a rerun of a Cubs-Dodgers game from the 2016 postseason.  Anyone who has ever met me, or heard of me, or seen me from a distance must know I love baseball and I miss baseball!

I miss hugging my mom.

I miss my book group.  We tried Zoom, but we kind of lost our way.  I'm still reading even though the library has been closed.  (I miss the library too.)  I use AXIS 360 or Kindle and get books to read online.  I have a couple reliable friends who are generous with their recommendations.  But I miss sitting around Pam or Susan's  living room with wine and snacks and talking about everything under the sun including, eventually, the book.  And I miss the organic process by which we choose the next book and the date we will meet.

I miss hugging my mom.

I miss summer music outside around town.

I miss going to the Normal Theater for films.

I miss going to Heartland Theater for the 10 Minute Plays in the summer.

I miss hugging my mom.

I miss going to coffee shops and hanging out while I finish my documentation at the end of a work day, sitting in air-conditioned comfort instead of in my hot car.

There won't be a baseball All-Star game this year for the first time since 1945, but I won't miss that too much.

I miss in-person church, holding hands at the end of the service and singing Go Now in Peace.

I miss walking the labyrinth together with my meditation group.

I miss my daughter's viola recitals (though I like my private living room concerts.)

Did I mention I miss hugging my mom?

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

No Regrets

 I, like many friends, recently got addicted to Schitt's Creek during this pandemic stay-at-home period.

I finished Season 5 on Netflix.  I thought there were only 5 seasons.  Then I realized Season 6 will come out on Netflix in October.

Then, in addition, also, next...I realized I could purchase Season 6 on various sites.  

How bad did I want to watch it?  Well, I wasn't sure.  

Then I remembered Covid-19 and risk groups that I belong to...not really happy to be in those groups today, but here I am, a card-carrying member of the over-60 group, and the PWD (person with diabetes) group.  No regrets about those groups, but realizing the fact of the matter....


That's such a weird thing to write.  Not sure how I feel about this.  But while I'm getting my feet under me about my feelings, I am going to finish watching Season 6.  

The Word(le) is SNOWY

Just a few days ago I complained we don't get enough snow to go cross country skiing here in Central Illinois very often.  Mother Nature...