Cleaning house physically, emotionally, and mentally.

Wowsa – not even noon yet and a few good things have occurred already. Reason enough to celebrate this day. 

  • Today is National Ice Cream Day! In preparation, I went to the store yesterday to stock up. And I think the store was onboard because ice cream was on sale for $1.99! Such a deal! I bought a mint chocolate with Oreo cookie crumbles and a strawberry creamcheese ice cream with graham cracker crumbles. So I guess you know what I am eating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner today!! 
  • I was able to take a shower upstairs! Let me explain. Since my knee surgery I could not bend my knee enough to step over the bathtub edge and take a shower. Thank goodness I have a walk-in shower stall in the downstairs bathroom so I could hose off. But today I could step in to and out of the tub. A small, but important victory in knee recovery. 
  • Dog/cat peace accord reached.   Today while I was in the shower, Ziva (the dog) voluntarily waited in her crate. Not hearing any noise, Sunni (the cat) came upstairs and down the hallway to the bathroom. Ziva started walking down the hallway too. And just like that they slowly passed each other without sniffs, snorts, or any aggression.  It has been 18 days since Ziva joined the family and I think the cats are getting closer to accepting Ziva.  Who couldn’t love this face? 

Hope you also find a few things to celebrate the day!

Retirement Notes #1

Since I retired six weeks ago, many people have asked How do you like retirement?

I have not been able to describe it because most of that time has been spent recovering from knee surgery. However, here are a few things I have noticed. 

  • Increase in dirty dishes. Of course, because I now eat all meals at home instead of grabbing breakfast and lunch at work.
  • Fewer miles driven in car. This was expected since my work commute was 52 miles round trip. But I didn’t think about the lower gas mileage I am now getting. Little jaunts around town reduce my previous highway driving miles/gallon. Oh well. 
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  • Shopping on weekdays is less crowded and less stressful.  Doing errands, such as grocery shopping and banking, is so less crowded on a weekday than right after work or on a weekend. Thus takes less time too. 

I am sure more observations will be coming as I settle in to the glory days!

    I just retired. And the fun begins with dealing with the bureaucracy of Social Security and Medicare. 

    Since I am a planner, I read up on what to do, made an appointment with my local Social Security Administration (SSA) office (which took holding on the phone for 20 minutes to get an appointment in 6 weeks), and got everything in place.  Ha! The joke was on me when I did not get verification of my Medicare Part B enrollment for which I had completed the required paperwork in May. 

    After spending hours on the phone, it appears the paperwork was lost. I was told to go to the local SSA office and reapply. So on the last day of June, I headed to their office. I waited about 75 minutes before I got to talk to anyone. 

    This guy acted like I was inconveniencing him by wanting to reapply for Part B. He told me I could not reapply in June, but had to wait until July. ARG!!!!

    Thus on a lovely July morning, I was back at my favorite office. They opened at 9:00, so I was there at 8:40. There were 22 people ahead of me. 

    When the door opened at 9:00, it took 10 minutes to get inside. My bag was searched (ok with me), I walked through a metal detector, and then I was wanded. And because it was my turn or maybe I looked/acted suspicious, I had to lean up against the wall and extended one leg behind me, one at a time, and get wanded again. Okay, I can do that. 

    After checking in, it only took 5 minutes before I was called. Thank goodness I was assisted by a woman who truly was there to help me out. I told her the problem (lost paperwork, having to reapply, previous visit, etc.). She told me that the guy from June had provided me with erroneous information. But she would help me get it figured out. 

    I love this woman!  Within 10 minutes, I had reapplied for Part B and it would start when I needed it to. The information would be in the system within a couple of days so that the Medicare Advantage plan I selected could process that application in a timely manner. 

    I was out of there within an hour!  Now, I just hope that third time’s the charm rings true and everything is properly set up. But I won’t know for a few more days, so please send positive thoughts my way!  

    Freedom for Ziva

    Today is the American Independence day. I am home spending it with the newest family member – a dog I rescued from a nearby shelter. 

    Say hello to Ziva.  Lab mix, ~5 years old.  Since I have been binge-watching NCIS on Netflix, I named the dog after the Israeli character, Ziva David. However, the dog is called  Ziva Dadog

    Ziva was picked up as a stray and no one claimed her. Quite surprising considering she is one sweet pup. She was spayed and is now home with me and the cats. 

    The cats have not quite accepted her yet, but detente is in the works. The cats own the downstairs area and the dog is not allowed there. So far, seems to work.   Ziva is very anxious to please and never leaves my side. She has whacked my legs into submission with her constant tail wags. She knows sit, down, and we are working on stay. My arms have been extended several inches because she pulls on a leash. But we will get better I am sure! She rides well in the car and is crate-trained. Thus when I have an appointment, she stays in her crate, content with a chew toy. 

    She loves playing fetch outside, but tears the skin off a tennis ball. And the huge German Shepard dogs next door do not intimidate her at all. 

    Since I am still recouping from knee surgery, I spend a bit of down time in the recliner. Ziva is more than happy to just rest by my side.  (Her belly was shaved when she was recently spayed.)  So Happy Independence Day to America and to Ziva!  She now has her freedom with a forever family. 

    Comparing Oranges

    When I redid my living room, I reduced seating. But then I found this cute little chair that provide just one more place to plant your butt. 

     
    So it has now been a couple of months and I decided that the orange is too orange. I want a dusky  orange.  Thus I broke out the chalk paint. 

    Unfortunately, I could not remove the cushions. Thus plastic wrap and painters tape to the rescue.   After a couple of coats of chalk paint and a little clear wax, I think this shade of orange is better. 

     This will now match a little side table I already painted. 

     Now I just have to get the light rewired and the reading area will be complete. 

    Caturday – Kindlecat 

    Sunni enjoys a good read too. 

     
    But she reads faster than I do and is always swiping the screen to turn the page. 

    Bidding Time

    Since retirement coincided with knee surgery, I don’t feel the thrill of retirement yet. Am stuck in recovery limbo with my knee getting better, but not enough to do much at this point. 

    So I am bidding time by reading. Here’s the current breakdown. 

     
    The Glassblower Trilogy by Petra Durst-Benning. Great read!!! Story of three sisters in the late 1800s in a small town in Germany. Glassblowing is everyone’s business. One sister ends up in America, one runs the glass business in Germany, and one becomes a creative glassblower. The trilogy occurs over many years and follows the sisters’ lives. Some great historical fiction. 

    The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy.  Wow, I am rereading this masterpiece and wondering why I waited so long to embrace Conroy’s Wingo family again. A superb book which now has me adding his other books to my reading list again. 

    And since I can’t read all the time, I am making use of Netflix. 

     
    NCIS. Yes, I have been watching the NCIS television show, starting at season 1. I am now on season 6 and loving it! Can’t decide who my favorite character is because they are all so perfect together. I will admit that Mark Harmon as Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs does make my heart skip a beat at least once per episode. And Duckie brings back memories of Illya Kuryakin, the heartthrob from the 60s. Hopefully some of you will remember him. 

    Gotta go read!

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