Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Nice R&R Retirement Get Away

I planned on doing NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING. I did NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING except sleep, nap, take morning walks, and read. I ate once in a while. It was hot/humid the whole time; luckily the AC worked. There were threats of storms two nights, but nothing happened. There were tornadoes in the central part of the State Wed night.

Harlan County Lake is just over the KS/NE state line between Alma and Republican City NE. Built as a flood control lake, it has served the area well as a recreational lake also. There are two COE campgrounds: Methodist Camp and Hunter Cove, both located on the north shore. Methodist Camp is closer to Alma while Hunter Cove, where I stayed, is just a few miles from Republican City. The Republican River is the main river serving the Lake and is named after the Republican band of the Pawnees that lived and hunted the river valley. I have posted my pictures on my Flickr account - click on the Flickr Update to the right below the swimming fish. Have you fed the fish yet?

I did read 3 of Sue Henry's books on the adventures of Maxie and her mini-dachshund Stretch. I read: The Serpents Trail, The Tooth of Time, and The Refuge. I'll stock up on books from time to time and leave them in the trailer so they are there when I take off. On books I have purchased and finished reading, I'll often leave them along the way - laundromats, campgrounds, small town libraries. Often I'll pick up some in return and take with me to read and then leave somewhere else.

I did leave the campground once - to go into Rep City to have a meal at the Old Mexico Restaurant. When our family lived in Phillipsburg, KS we would occasionally go to Rep City to eat at Little Mexico. Well, it had moved down to the Lake and is now known as Little Mexico on the Lake and wasn't open when I went by so I went to Old Mexico and had THE BEST, the BEST chimichanga I have ever had - even in New Mexico! For dessert I had to try their sopaipillas. Oh my, they were just to die for. I hate those that bring out flour tortillas that have been deep fried and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, honey, ice cream, whipped topping or whatever. Nope sopaipillas are those triangle shaped puffy things of dough and give me a jar of honey and I'll eat till I am stuffed. The owners of the two restaurants are sisters so maybe, just maybe, the food is still good at Little Mexico on the Lake.

When I was getting ready to leave on Thursday, I did discover why I was having so much trouble with my left rear stabilizer falling down at every little bump when traveling. The spring came loose, so when got back into town stopped at ye old friendly auto body shop and the owner fixed it for me.

I did try out a new grill I got. I got a little Coleman Fold 'N Go grill. It takes up much less space and worked pretty good. Wednesday nite I grilled some corn on the cob and a rib eye steak. I found a recipe for chili butter and put that on the steak just before taking off the grill and used it on my corn instead of just butter.

Wednesday night around 9:30 I had an unexpected visitor come into the trailer. A little titmouse, not the bird. His eyes were sooooooo big and his ears so cute, so instead of letting him stay I carefully chased him out. All I would need would be a mouse in the trailer. And, besides there wouldn't be any other little tit mouses around here and he'd get lonely.

Back at home now. Am finding I need a loose schedule of when I do weekly chores - laundry, cleaning, etc - just so I know what day it is! I have gotten use to not thinking of workdays. Have got the trailer cleaned out and almost ready for the next trip - whenever the whim hits me now. Wow, what a feeling. Hate the heat and humidity though. Am going to be working on painting my "trailer quilt" pattern on the spare tire cover. When I came home through KY last year, I saw lots of barn quilts, so I though why not a "trailer quilt". My pattern is, appropriately, called Four Winds. I'll post a picture when I get it done. In fact, am thinking of a "Barn Quilt" tour to Iowa, Illinois, and Ohio sometime. I am also learning how to make ribbon wind socks. Well, until later. Have a good summer.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Burn Uniform Burn

Wanted to do this yesterday, but it rained most of the day. Got it done today. Daughter asked how it felt - Wonderful!

Off to Harlan County Lake Nebraska tomorrow. Looks like it's going to be a HOT one.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Today is the First Day of the Rest of My Life

June 20, 2009. The first day of my retirement - a day long in coming, a day one begins to wonder will ever come, especially when you are in your 50's. The word "retirement" started creeping into my vocabulary around my mid-50's. I had hoped to retire around 62, but circumstances during my 50's changed that. And, I had to pretty much start saving all over again. Here I am today, ready. Maybe not as financially well as I had hoped for, but definitely physically ready.

The one question that I was continually asked is "What are you going to do?" as I mentioned in my previous posting. Martha, a now former co-worker and a sweetie and who (or whom) is much older than I (or is it "me", I like "I"), asked me yesterday how did I feel - like the feeling one gets when a load has been lifted off ones shoulders. Yesterday I was starting to feel that way. This morning I do feel lighter. I would bounce when I walk, if my tired feet would let me.

And something unique happened on my last day of work at the big box retailer. I got to see my first apprehension and arrest of shoplifters. I had heard about lots of other incidents over the 8 years there, but never got to see one. They made it out past the doors (the couple were suspects ahead of time while in the store and the only legal way to apprehend is to let the suspect(s) exit thru the doors, which exhibits the intent of leaving without paying). They ended up having over $1100 worth of merchandise in their carts.

This morning at 11:30 a.m. I am going to burn my uniform from work. It will represent the "work uniform" from all the years I have been in the work force. Picture later.

Well, if this aint't a bummer, it's raining.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


That's it. Everybody at work keeps asking me what am I going to do. Probably not much for awhile. I AM going to take 4 days and head up to Harlan County Lake, near Republican City NE and stay at a Corp of Engineers campground. It'll be getting hot about that time, so no definite plans for the summer.

Right now I am making a special sun shade for the little dogwood tree I planted last May of 2008. Dogwoods are not too common in this part of the country and last year our summer sun was pretty harsh on the little tree I brought back from Arkansas. I attempted to rig up a variety of shades last year. The neighbors were all wondering what I was doing. Then we had a late spring freeze, this year, after the little leaf buds had started showing. I thought the thing was a goner and really didn't expect anything this year. But, lo and behold, towards the end of May a little leaf was showing itself on one limb. Pretty soon there was another and another and another. The ends of the branches are gone but little new branches are starting. So this summer I want to help it get thru our hot July and August. It takes a lot of water too.

Unfortunately, the pink dogwood I brought home for daughter didn't make it. And, it was doing so much better last summer than the white dogwood did.

Then my next project will be to make a sun shade for the west end of our front porch. I enjoy sitting out on the front porch and watch the world driving by, jogging by, biking by, walking by. And, I just sit there and wave.

I do have a project list and I'll get around to the projects when I feel like it. Ah, retirement.

Well, just nine more working days - June 5th thru 8th; June 12 thru 15th; and the last day is June 19th. I know 3 days off and the then one day of work. That's okay.