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.