Monday, July 18, 2011

Then and now

Last year at this time I was full of plans and excitement. I blogged several times a week. This year, I'm still full of plans, but the newness of my post-work life has worn off. When I got online this morning I though, well, I should post a blog entry but not much is going on. Then I looked back over the last week and realized I was mistaken. Change of perspective, I guess!

I took a basic mediation (NOT meditation!) class in late June, and there was a take-home final exam for those of us wanting to continue with the training to become certified mediators. The instructions said typed, double spaced, not to exceed 40 pages, due by 30 days from the completion of the class (the end of this week). I thought I'd have plenty of room, but ended up with 36 pages. The training manual was available to use, but it still took me about 15 hours to complete the test - two or three hours a day, every day last week. It's been a while since I had a project with a deadline. Even with a subject I'm very interested in, spending that much time on it meant setting aside other things. Not something I've been doing much of, now that I'm not working - setting aside other things!

We belong to a couple of online groups where travelers can post that they need a place to stay for a night or two (see couchsurfing.org and evergreenclub.com). We have had several guests, as well as using the groups when we took our road trip to the midwest this spring. The room we had available was my younger son's bedroom, which up until last Saturday was a conglomeration of unused dressers and beds, with a variety of colors. On Saturday I shopped with my son's girlfriend Keri and then we put the room together, rearranging furniture and putting duvets on comforters and accessorizing with inexpensive items from Pier 1. I'm so happy with the room now, I can hardly wait for the company! I'm grateful to have an "almost" family member with a good eye and a willing heart.






Yesterday I spent the day with a blogging friend I'd never met - her blog is www.onthepondfarm.blogspot.com. Rose has a goat farm and posts pictures and videos of her creatures. I took the bus to Seattle and Rose and I walked about four miles in Seattle, taking the ferry to Bainbridge Island. Light rain fell all day but it was fun anyway, walking and talking and eating. I'm grateful for the variety of friends I've met in the blogging community, for the ferryboats that run in the Puget Sound, and the ability to walk a distance, even with a back injury that is taking longer to heal than it would have 20 years ago.

I've picked at least a quart of strawberries every day for the last week. We grow them in half a dozen earth boxes (see www.earthbox.com) which we've used for a number of years now. They're self-contained and we have no slug or insect issues. Plants love the system. We've had a raised-bed garden for a couple of years now, but we still use the earth boxes for the strawberries. I'm grateful for summer, when we work in our garden and then harvest the fruits and vegetables. The peas are ready to eat this week and I'll get out there this afternoon to pick some. I'm grateful for the garden and how it gives back to us.

I've gotten into the habit of walking to the library, which is about half a mile away. Sometimes after picking up or dropping off a book or two I walk to our little Greek-Italian restaurant and have lunch. I like the owner and his staff and they know us. It's lovely to live in a small town (even though it's really a Seattle suburb and is connected to four other towns). I'm grateful to be able to order books online and get an email when they're ready for me to pick up, and for an excellent restaurant so close to home. I've got two books to drop off today, and one to pick up, so that may be something I do today.

We'll be spending 10 days on the Big Island of Hawaii in early December. We invited one of our daughters and her husband to join us for part of that time. Today we heard they'd like to do that. They'll be scuba diving, and we'll do some snorkeling, and I expect we'll take an overnight trip to Volcanoes National Park, where they haven't been. I'm grateful that grown offspring are okay with hanging out with us.

We're still planning to spend February in Ecuador, so I'll be getting back to the Rosetta Stone Spanish course. I'm grateful to have a sunny winter location to look forward to and that we have the financial resources for the language program.

Still busy, I guess, and still full of plans. I still have trouble believing sometimes that I don't have to go back to work! And I'm extra grateful for that.












18 comments:

Retired English Teacher said...

You always inspire me. You just keep coming up with cool projects and great places to visit.

Teresa Evangeline said...

You've been one busy gal! And all fun, it seems. I love redecorating. I may use that spare room yet. :)

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

What a great way to put an extra bedroom to use! All your projects and travel plans sound like fun. And nope, you don't have to go back to work!

Rita said...

Glad you got all the work done for the course. That was a lot to do. Wasn't so long ago I was an older student in college, so I remember well all the work involved. ;)

Never heard of those groups where you help put each other up for the night. You really have the room fixed up! Nice your son's girlfriend helped you with it, too.

And you got to meet up with a blogger! How cool is that?! The world has sure changed. And there are still a lot of really super people out there. :)

I used to be able to walk to the library when I lived across the river in Moorhead, MN. Now I am not close to anything. I miss that.

You have some great trips lined up! Take lots of pictures for the blog! Have a great week. :)

Out on the prairie said...

I wondered what you were up to, I figured being busy. The garden stuff sounds good. when my kids were small I grew all their baby food products. One year I planted 4 lbs of pea seed after reading a pound of seed would feed one person for a year.Shelling was another issue.I am getting sweet corn and tomatoes.your upcoming trips sound real nice, a family thing is nice.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Wow! You've really had a busy time lately! I loved hearing about your spur of the moment decision to meet your blogging friend for the first time. Your life sounds so full of wonderful things -- training for mediation, reading, enjoying strawberries, going to the library and planning a family trip to the Big Island. And you thought you had nothing to tell us. I'm looking forward to hearing more of your daily adventures!

Olga said...

Congratulations on finishing that exam, I used mediation for my divorce and a couple of times in my work life. We are now entering mediation with our town over a disputed parking lot. I give credit to anyone who can take on the task and it sounds like you will be good at it.
Now, how did you live a full and rich life AND go to work?

Perpetua said...

What a busy, contented and fulfilled life you describe in your lovely post, Linda. Congratulations on finishing the course and doing the exam and on the stylish, welcoming bedroom you've prepared for your guests. Attagirl!

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

I'm grateful for all those links you posted, that's going to be fun to go and explore (especially the earthbox thingie, sounds really cool!). Love the look of your guest room, it looks cozy & inviting & will make some travelers very happy to have such cool people to meet while they have a nice comfy place to sleep too :-) Very jealous of your Hawaii vacation, that's on my bucket list of places to see for sure.

And now I have to ask because it wasn't wexactly clear...did you get the last 4 pages done? Sounds like me with school. They say write an 8-10 page paper & I always end up with 7 lol But in the end somehow I manage to pull it out, I'm sure you did too!

Muffy's Marks said...

You seem to have all your ducks in a row. I really like how the spare bedroom turned out. It looks so relaxing and peaceful.

Judy and Emma said...

It's those daily strawberries that I'm drooling over! :)

Linda Reeder said...

This is an amazing list of accomplishments and plans! And yes, I too am ever so grateful that I don't have to go back to work!

DJan said...

You started this post saying that "nothing much is going on," which is obviously not true. !'ll be watching to see what you end up doing next! And yes, I hope it's with me somewhere, too. I think I'll be spending this weekend jumping, but it's so weather dependent I'll wait to see what happens as we get closer...

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

I'm loving your adventures and relaxing times as well. I just hope that when I retire, I find the same sort of enjoyment.

Arkansas Patti said...

You have really taken full advantage of your relatively new free time.
Some how after reading your blog, I get the urge to get up and do "something." You set the bar high.

#1Nana said...

The mediation training sounds interesting. I had to work with a mediator several times when I was working in special education. Having a good mediation session can save a fortune in legal fees! When will you hear about your test?

Hawaii sounds wonderful. Now that we've bought the RV, I feel obligated to take RV vacations...at least in the near future.

Deb Shucka said...

Such a lot to be grateful for. Such an abundant life you're living. I really admire your spirit of adventure.

Sandi said...

You are very busy, and well planned for future travels! I like the idea of having a sleeping space for travelers. I hadn't heard of that before. It's nice to take an unused space and utilize it, and meet new people, too!