Saturday, October 9, 2010

Rainy night

I believe the rainy season is upon us. When I was still working it gave me the blues. So far this year, it sounds lovely falling out there as I sit, inside, in the warmth and light.

I spent the day at my first Habitat for Humanity build. Working for Habitat as a volunteer is one of the goals I set for my post-work life. I have no experience in construction whatever, but they were glad to have me. It drizzled most of the day and when I got home my hoodie was wet and so was the shirt underneath, and my face and hands were dirty. And I felt just fine, thank you! Tonight I'm a bit stiff, but I'll live - and I'm going back next week.

I spent most of the morning anchoring the ladder for a 20-something paralegal so she could use the palm nailer on the sheetrock. By the time she finished the job she trusted me - that I would stand there below her for however long she was on the ladder, and not get distracted.

In the afternoon I helped put up Tyvek - which I'd seen before but never knew about - by hammering nails into the midrange height. My ladder partner said, "Way to go, Linda!" Yes, I do know how to do nails. It's been a while, that's all. I'm married to a construction type guy, and whenever he sees me doing something like that, he takes over and finishes the job. So I'm glad he was home today reading the paper and taking a nap.

On the ESL front, I got an 89 on my latest lesson plan. In the olden days, this achiever would have considered an 89 a failure, but now I'm glad I passed the unit. I've got renewed enthusiasm for this course now that I've clarified that my goal is to tutor ESL rather than teach a class.

I had my annual physical yesterday, and my doc was delighted by my excitement over my new life. He has a patient who comes in at 80, still wears a tie and goes to the carpet store for a few hours a day because he doesn't know what to do with himself in retirement, while his wife sits there quietly and shakes her head when the doc asks her why they don't travel.

I was chagrined to realized that six weeks of eating what you want results in a six-pound weight gain. I asked the doc if it could be the low-dose hormones I started taking and he said yes, that could be. But that's rationalizing, I think. I'll see how I do over the next week or so when I'm paying attention to what I eat. I have choices in the food area as well as in how I spend my time.

We've ordered a weekly box of fruits and vegetables from a farm north of here - part of my new interest in community-supported agriculture. This week they delivered four carrots, two peppers, two plums, four apples, four pears, a head of lettuce, a cucumber, a zucchini and some kiwi berries. We left it all out on the counter in a virtual cornucopia, so we'd remember to eat it all, and tonight I broke my no-cooking rule and fixed stuffed peppers using leftover wild rice and chopped tomatoes from our garden and old swiss cheese from the crisper and black beans from a can. Wonderful, healthy and virtuous.


#1Nana said...

Congrats on your progress on both goals. I'm spending the rainy day painting the kitchen. Redoing my kitchen was a goal I had when I retired...almost two years ago! I've finally gotten an appointment with the cabinet contractor a week from Monday. All this work because I wanted a new microwave over the stove. I had to use a hammer today also, but I was deconstructing...pulling nails and removing baseboards. I'm thinking I need a new floor too. Where does it end?

Linda said...

I'm no doctor but I think you're doing great in spite of your 6 pound gain. I was just reading that it takes more exercise to keep weight off than it does to loose it. What am I going to do this winter in Oregon. Guess I'll have to put on my raincoat and walk in the rain.

Arkansas Patti said...

I am so impressed with your Habitat for Humanity stint. What a great group and I thought the same thoughts when I retired but there was nothing anywhere near me. I am nail literate also.
Hope this morning doesn't find you more than stiff. Those new muscles can be quite vocal. Keep up the good work.

DJan said...

I really enjoy these posts of your new life. It's wonderful that you are nail literate, I wish I was. I can picture you looking like a modern version of Rosie the Riveter! I also agree that it's easy to gain weight when you've got a new lifestyle. I am pretty active but still struggle to keep the pounds from piling on, it's part of needing less food as we get older, but we still have the same appetite. Oh, and congratulations on the ESL test.

Linda Reeder said...

I'm impressed with your progress toward your goals. I am not good at pounding nails. And ladder holding is out now too, with my arthritic parts. I am struggling now with weight gain because I'm more restricted in my physical activity. Congrats on your ESL progress.

Unknown said...

You're doing great with meeting your goals. Sore and stiff is good as long as you're feeling content at the end of the day.

Nancy said...

It sounds like you have retirement firmly in hand. Learning new things, a healthy lifestyle - important if we want to enjoy our latter years, that's for sure.

Deb Shucka said...

What a happy story you're living right now. It's such a pleasure to read.