Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Very Important Day

Today is a very, very important day for me. I have decided to retire at the end of this school year and today is the day I sign my retirement papers. This is my second retirement so one would think it is a slam dunk. However, it is always a bit disconcerting to quit working when it has been one of my identities for the past forty years. Ten years ago, when retiring for the first time, I got so nervous at the signing that I had to go home and try again on another day. I laugh now at that recollection. And even though the photograph on this post is one of relaxation and solitude, I really don't plan to be relaxing that much.

I have several projects running around in my head that need to take wing. Yes, we bought a new little travel trailer but I see it as the vehicle that will allow us to give life to our creative endeavors. We have a story project that includes art pieces I want to create; I have a photography project I want to work on; I want to rev up my Etsy store and fill it with more vintage items; I want to become more comfortable with my Canon Rebel; I am planning a new blog with stories of my childhood; I have registered for a soldering class and also a mosaics class; I want to study Spanish, the language of my childhood, so that I am able to carry on a conversation that is more than basic; I want to visit new places; I want to launch myself into the artistic part of my life.

I am sixty six years old; I will be sixty seven in July. I have a lot to do. I work best with a focus and a deadline. I always need to have a goal. I know I will need to structure my days so that I am productive. To be non- productive is not ok; that's the way I was raised. The reason I went back to work after my first retirement is because I did not feel productive. I know now that a schedule is important, even or especially when working at home.

And so today begins the next part of my journey. I will sign my papers today and work until 6pm on June 30. And then the next leg of the trip will start. And I will write about it here. So come along, my friends, and join me on this adventure. I expect that it will be an interesting one as life and art reveal themselves to me.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

It's Warm Out Today

It was a beautifully warm day today and even though it rained for an hour or so, it was wonderful to be outdoors. This morning, before breakfast, I sat on the back steps and just listened to the birds. As I sat there, two hummingbirds buzzed past me on their way to the feeder and at least one hundred gold finches flocked into the garden to begin their daily repast. This is clearly my favorite time of day and I could sit outside for hours sipping my coffee and just watching the avian activity in the backyard. All of the trees, including the plum tree pictured above, are sprouting leaf buds. Even plants that have looked dead for months are coming back to life.

Before the rains came, we mixed up several loads of our special garden mix and prepared the vegetable beds for the spring planting next weekend. As we gazed into the tallest trees surrounding the property, we could see the silhouettes of a flock of cedar wax wings. I expect they had just finished stripping the trees of holly berries, a spring ritual here in these parts.

And so begins the cycle once again. I suppose it is the cycle of life. But I think of it as the cycle of expectation and anticipation as I notice each new bird, each unfurling leaf, each plant coming back to life, and each new flower that I did not notice last year. It keeps my senses sharp, makes me grateful, and excites me about tomorrow.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Play Day

We had a play day today and it was all about Spring. Well, the first part was actually about pizza but the rest was about Spring. We went in search of a new pizza place in order to continue our ongoing pizza research project. That sounds esoteric, doesn't it? Good!! Anyway, we wanted to try Blue Highway Pizza in Micanopy, a little town about 30 minutes from here. We arrived before the really big Saturday crowd and were not disappointed. The thin crust pizza was fabulous and we will definitely return since it was clearly some of the best pizza we've ever had. After lunch, we stopped at our favorite nursery in Gainesville where we found an array of beautiful annuals. I brought home a tray of petunias which I will plant tomorrow. In addition, we selected some seeds for the vegetable garden.
It as a great day; warmer than it's been in months, sunny, and breezy. The nursery was crowded with folks tired of winter and ready to plant just about anything. Upon arriving home, I found the first hummingbird at the back feeder. What could be more perfect....it is officially Spring.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Outdoor Textures And Hope Springs Eternal

Thought I would capture the different textures of garden art that I have in various parts of my yard. I think they look artistic in and of themselves.
And then, there's the little lone flower below that has sprung up in the grass, giving me hope that spring might be actually on its way.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wishful Thinking

No, this is not what my garden looks like now. If I were to photograph my garden, all you would see is brown sticks. Actually my garden looks as if I have taken a blow torch to it, that's all I can say. This photograph was taken in Vancouver during the month of May on a trip to Alaska. However, I remain eternally optimistic and each day, I search for buds and signs of green. I anxiously anticipate the return of the hummingbirds even though they were already here by this time last year.