Monday, May 20, 2019

Life After Retirement

I keep thinking I need to write a post.  Then I get a call from my daughter asking if I can babysit.  Or a call from my other daughter asking if I can babysit.  Or a call from my other daughter...... you get the picture.  I've been doing a lot of babysitting, a thing which I LOVE!  Those little people just have a way of making life worth living. 

I really looked forward to retirement.  I was never what you call "career driven".  I only worked because we needed the money.  That's what happens when you marry a school teacher.  So when the opportunity arose for me to be able to retire, I was very excited!

I had a really good job.  I loved the people I worked with.  They were all so positive and upbeat.  I had a very nice office with a view. I was able to decorate my office any way I wanted which made it feel like home.  I also had my own private fridge in the room next door.  I had the respect of my peers.  I was the office assistant to the dean of our college. I was "somebody". Looking back I can't really believe how I ended up there.  I was working part time in the Geology office when the Dean's secretary had to retire very quickly due to her cancer coming back.  I had filled in for her a couple of years before when she was out for treatments.  Because of the speed of having to replace her I was summoned into the Dean's office.

"I want you to apply for the job", said the Dean.
"Really?  I don't know if I want to", said me.
"I think you're the best person because you won't need a lot of training", said the Dean.
"Ok. But I will only apply if I can be very flexible and be able to take as much time off as I want to help my kids with their kids", said me.
"Ok", said the Dean.

And I was hired.  I made a lot of money, which I really didn't know what to do with because I never really had a lot of money.  I loved my bosses.  I loved being able to be successful in keeping the College going.  I organized and ran Convocation for our entire college three times a year.  I organized and ran 2 major socials for our entire college's faculty and staff twice a year.  I had a very close working relationship with most of the faculty and staff of not only our college, but with the administration.  I felt valued.

Then I retired with a grin on my face.  I was not expecting the feeling of being a nobody.  It was kind of a hard transition to be okay with that.  I was quite surprised.  And for someone like me to feel that loss, I can only imagine how much harder it is for people who are very career driven to suddenly be unemployed. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Poultry Musings

I have basically been a chicken queen for 59 years. My dad owned and operated an egg farm (60,000+ birds) here in SE Idaho for 30 years. I was involved in all aspects of that until he closed his farm. Now I have about 24 chickens of my own.

Here are my 2cents worth of observations:

  • When chickens have been your livelihood you do not get attached. I tried naming my own chickens and can't do it. I just can 't remember or care who was Henny Penny or Olive. And when one of them dies, I shed no tears (and I'm a crier). I just scoop it up and dispose of it. The only time I cried over a chicken's death was when I botched the butcher of it and only half severed its head. I still feel badly about its unnecessary suffering.
  • I find it slightly comical that people actually clean their chicken coops daily. When you have a commercial chicken operation, the shiz gets piled higher and deeper before there is time to scrape it out. There was no such thing as a disinfectant used in any of the coops. Ever. Now that I have my own birds and am working in an office 40 hours a week I find that I still don't care that the coop is not pristine. The birds don't seem to care either.
  • Egg eating chickens are a pain! I did discover a way to break them of it. I got a slightly sadistic pleasure out of poking a hole in one end of a nice strong egg shell, blowing out it's contents and then filling the egg with either liquid dish soap or mustard. I added a few drops of food coloring so that I could identify the culprit. I had to create new "egg bombs" every day for about 3-4 days before the blue-beaked bird had enough and quit eating eggs. I still get the chuckles about it and almost wish I could break another bird of that nasty habit.
  • Lhasa Apso dogs can start to believe they are chickens too and often break into the chicken run just to hang out with his "peeps".
  • Deer fence makes a wonderful surround to my free range birds. Can't see it so the neighbors don't mind, but the chickens don't roam the neighborhood looking for grass that is greener. My orange mesh snow fence did the job too, but was a bit unsightly to the new subdivision that went in across the street from me. My lucky poultry get to hang out under a stand of cottonwood trees that also prevents the resident hawks and owls from swooping down to grab lunch.
  • Everyone should incubate at least one batch of baby chicks. Fascinating! And when every single egg hatched I was congratulating myself on having such a virile roo.
  • After hatching out my own chicks I starting eyeing my hens and wishing one of them would "go broody". I purchased some "broody prone" chicks hoping that in the future I could relinquish the 3x a day egg turning duty to an expert. It will also be nice to have a non-fire-hazard way to keep the chicklings warm after they break free of the shell.
  • Home grown eggs taste a lot better than store bought. Part of that is the satisfaction of knowing you can take care of yourself a little bit better.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Embracing My Age

My grandson, age 4, got ahold of my phone during lunch a couple of weeks ago.  He's a smart little thing and had opened the camera app before I knew it.  He promptly began documenting our outing and took many photos of unsuspecting lunch eaters sitting nearby.  He managed to get many rapid-fire shots, 30 at a time.  I didn't even know you could do that! I had some fun deleting all his photos, but there were a few that I saved.

In fascination I studied all the lines and creases.  When did those appear?  I don't see those when I look in the mirror in the morning. And my eye is really pretty small in relationship to my face.  Or maybe it's the nose that is pretty big.

And how come nobody told me I had a double chin?

Count the creases.  Holy smokes.  As an artist I can appreciate all the character this face exudes.

I guess I've earned all those creases.  I am almost 60 after all.

Little Lou-Lou.  So cute and spunky and fun.  Not a crease or line anywhere.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Twittering With a Canine Accent

I almost forgot that my dog has a Twitter account.  Apparently it got hacked and Twitter sent Oscar a message to change his password.  While perusing through his postings I thought it might be good to put them all on here, kind of a "get to know Oscar" kind of thing.  They are listed chronological with the newest on top and oldest on bottom.  Oscar hasn't posted since March 2012?  What a lazy dog.
  1. Oscar Dog@LordOscar 23 Mar 2012
    Fox in with hens. I scare it away with ferocious barks from safely inside the house. I'm a hero.
  2. Yesterday we had five visitors, all of which I had to bark at furiously. Today I'm exhausted.
  3. Laying on my back with 4 paws dangling limply in the air & tongue hanging out the side of my mouth means I'm supremely happy, not dead.
  4. I sit, lay, shake, & roll over as fast as I can hoping one of those tricks is right & will get me a treat.
  5. My hair's so long I eat it with my food. Get a clue, people.
  6. Big wedding here tomorrow. Half pint people chasing me all day. TIRED!
  7. I just not a morning dog.
  8. My girl is well trained. I woof, she lifts me up, I bark, she gives me a cookie.
  9. Fried Chicken for dinner! .... I mean,picked off chicken skin and gristle for dinner! Yummmmmm
  10. I know what you're spelling. You'd better give me a cookie too.
  11. Recovering from knee surgery. They make me walk! It's ruff.
  12. I get grumpy if I don't get my daily 18 hours of sleep.
  13. New chew toy for Christmas. Awesome squeek, interesting flavor, fits my mouth well. Good job Santa.
  14. Time to dust off my paws and tweet. I've been recovering from surgery. Blew out a knee chasing rabbits. Dang bunnies....
  15. Oscar Dog @LordOscar 24 Aug 2010
  16. What don't I like about going for long walks? the walking.
    1. Cabin in the woods tomorrow. I get the bed.
    1. Chasing a baby bunny under a shed - good idea. Getting stuck - bad idea.
    1. Dog-gone it, I'm hot!
    1. I shall survey all of my domain, until nap time.

    1. Short walks = good. Long walks = I better be carried.
    1. Spring is in the air. Where are the poodles?

    1. Wading through tummy deep snow plus long fur equals clumpy snow legs. and one very cold puppy dog.
    1. Red alert, red alert. small boys coming tomorrow. Must find hiding place.
    1. Just because the santa suit dog coat was 75 percent off doesn't mean you should buy and put it on me. I look ree-diculous.

    1. They made me walk around the block today. A COUNTRY block! In the SNOW. Twice! They are trying to kill me.

    1. New human in the house. Must investigate. Sniff, sniff, owns cat of the female kind, 2 years old, fresh from a jaunt through the woods. hmm

    1. The small humans are gone now. Whew.

    1. Recipe for disaster, Mix a 3 and 1 year old and pour into my domain on Christmas day and you get one grouchy grizzly bear of a pup.
    1. Tummy rubs equal doggy prozac. Its cheaper and calms rub-ber and rub-ee alike.

    1. Steak for dinner. I must use my jedi mind tricks. He will give in and toss me some.

    1. I find that my man cannot resist my intent stare while he eats chicken. He always gives in and tosses me some.
    1. I love my kitty friend. And her ears are delicious to chew on.
    1. Its a cuddle with my mama kind of night.
    1. Shes cleaning out the fridge. Old chunks of steak. Yessssss

    1. I have my dignity. I refuse to beg. ....unless theres steak for dinner, or someother kind of meat, ...or food.

    1. I freezing. Got to cuddle with the kitty, and maybe chew on his ears.

    1. I hate going outside to pee in below zero temps. That christmas tree in the living room is looking tempting.

    1. too much pacing today, my dogs are barking. um, I mean my paws are a teeny weeny bit tender.

    1. Its Sunday morning people. Jeez, cant you let sleeping dogs lie?

    1. Cold night. I think I need to cuddle with the cat. Come here kitty kitty.

    1. Busy day. Slept on couch, slept on floor, chased cat, ate treats, slept on bed, ate treats, slept on chair. Whew!

    1. The only thing better than a dog bone is 2 dog bones!

    1. Roll over and fall out of bed? I meant to do that.

    1. My family came home. Im so excited. Im wiggling and squirming. Ive lost my dignity, but I cant help it. I love my fam.

    1. deep fat fry, deep fat fry, music to my ears.

    1. Turkey! and lots and lots of leftovers. and lots and lots of people to throw me a piece. Happy day!

    1. Im just a little snuggle bunny.

    1. Men working in front of the house. Blood Pressure rising. Must protect the castle. Must eat the men. Or at least bark at them...all day.
    1. Its freezing and snowing and he expects me to pee where? Id like to see him go out in the snow.
    1. They took off my sweater AND my collar. I feel so naked!
    1. I love weekends. More people around to toss me bones, and chunks of meat, and other goodies.
    1. All this talk of being a cat or dog person. What a lot of hooey. Im a dogs dog. You just be a mans man and give me a treat, pronto!
    1. She just took my blanket away. Grrrrrrr She needs a reminder about who is top dog around here.
    1. Go ahead, toss me kitty yum yumm. Treats is treats!
    1. It's not only a dog's life, It's MY life!
    1. I love going for walks. Its not my problem that my paws were barking. and I had to be carried home.
    1. Monday morning blahs. My man needs to be quieter when he gets ready for work. I need my beauty sleep.
    1. Yea, roast beef for dinner. I must practice my sad hungry puppy eyes.
    1. Hard work never killed anyone.....but I don't want to take any chances.
    1. Catnip must be yummy. Pa Cat wont leave it alone. I'll try some. Mmmmmmm....taste like cardboard.

    1. Ears are my favorite chew toy. Especially kitty ears. I just wish the dang cat would hold still longer.
    1. Move over man. Your stealing my pillow.

    1. "nick nack patty wack.........." My new favorite song.
    1. Why do I take my dog food 1 mouthfull at a time into the living room to eat? Cause it tastes better with the carpet fuzz mixed in.

    1. My radio fence collar is off! inch forward, inch beeping.....I'm free!!!
    1. Every time I stand by the cupboard my man goes in the other room and gets me a cookie. I've got him well trained.
    1. "Ding Dong" ARF ARF ARF ARF ARF LET ME AT THE INTRUDER! I WILL KILL HIM! oops, my man forgot the key after our walk and I'm the intruder.

    1. Doorbell! Must bark, must bark, must defend my castle.

    1. Flat noses. Perfect for bumping my man's leg when he brings home fried chicken. Evolution rocks.

    1. Lhasa Apso's are SUPPOSED to have long hair. I'm naked now and it was 17 degrees last night. What was my man thinking?