Saturday, February 6, 2016

Hyacinth and Paperwhite Bulbs

I received a lovely bouquet of tulips for my retirement this week from a dear friend in Milwaukee. And I also received two bulb plants from a dear friend in DC. The tulips are sitting on the dining room table - that was a no brainer! The bulbs, on the other hand, took the two of us to read the instructions to figure out how we can hopefully bring the hyacinth and Paperwhites to fruition. We put the recommended water level in the glass vase, stuck the hyacinth bulb just above the water line, and placed it on the closet shelf, since we don't have a basement or cellar. We will check on it every week over the next few and keep our fingers crossed for any sign of life. The Paperwhites came with the planting soil they required, but first needed to be expanded by dumping the small round disk of dirt into a bowl and adding two cups of water. We planted the three bulbs in the pot with the burlap liner, added some rocks for stability, and put it directly in the sunlight on the kitchen table. So now we will wait and see what happens. The tulips will be long gone by the time the bulbs bloom. And that's what makes each so special - the friends, I mean! 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Yas Bakery and Supermarket in Vienna

We have been near this place many times, but didn't see it until today. We went to lunch in Vienna, Virginia and tucked away off the Main Street was a little establishment called Yas. I immediately recognized the Persian script and told my husband we should stop by after lunch and check it out. So we did. When we lived in Milwaukee, we visited Chicago all the time and occasionally stopped in to the ethnic grocery stores on Clark Street, after we went to Reza's for lunch or dinner. Since we moved to DC, we visit the grocery store in Rockville after lunch or dinner in Yekta. Now there is another option for us. So we stocked up on some bread, postachios, dates, canned stew, several spices, and lovely desserts - perfect with tea! Yas has been there for six years, and it had several customers coming and going while we were there. There was a guy making fresh bread in the back. So if you are ever in the mood for some Iranian delicacies and treats, this is a place to visit. How about a donut peach?!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Comcast Xfinity Equipment Return

What do you do on the first day after retirement? Go to the cable company of course to return equipment. It is an ugly business, but has to be done. The blizzard must have affected the cable reception in one of the apartments. We only had basic service there anyway and were considering canceling it for the last few months. So that was a good reason to go ahead and save at least twenty dollars a month for something we never used. But that meant disassembling existing connections - always a challenge in our house. So last week we pulled the tv out and scooted the cabinet away from the wall to get behind all the junk and disconnect the wires. For whatever reason we were reminded by the service representative that we had another whole set of junk in a never opened box - so technically we had two sets of equipment to return. Luckily I was able to find the box tucked away inside a storage space. Heaven help us if we couldn't find that thing. So after lunch we made our way down north Capitol street, past Catholic university, to a very strange location under and overpass. It didn't take very long, and it was an interesting ride. My husband is relieved to get rid of it all and everything looks so different to me now! I can see a lot of future blogs and stories about this city we live in. What a difference a day makes!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Vacant Chair

After over thirty years in health care in the Midwest and another almost ten years in the federal government, I am retiring today! What more can I say?!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Separation Clearance and Long Hallways

The countdown is on! I have two more working days until my retirement. The closest thing I've come to this experience is when I left my last job in the corporate office ten years ago in the Midwest. All told it was over thirty years in healthcare. It was a weird feeling to walk out of the building one last time, get in the car, and drive home. But I was heading to a new job in DC at the Library of Congress and only had three weeks off to move to a new town and get prepared. Yesterday I began walking the "separation papers" through all three of the Library of Congress buildings obtaining signatures to verify I don't have any books or open accounts. The last stop will be tomorrow afternoon when I turn in my badge and keys. It was another weird feeling. I've passed through all the halls many times over the years and saw a few familiar faces. It feels a bit surreal now that it is happening - but in a good way. I've been thinking about it for quite some time and am looking forward to another new adventure. This one does not include another job in another place. This time my husband plans to meet me at the door and walk me home. Who could ask for anything more?

Monday, February 1, 2016

Too Little, Too Late

Our car is still iced and snowed in from the grim blizzard last week. But the sidewalks are passable. Thank goodness they are or we would go crazy! But we know we still need a car in our lives. On our way home from our usual walk from the national mall we headed towards our house in the neighborhood. On the step of a row house was a snow shovel, delivered to the homeowner and wrapped in clear plastic with mailing stickers. I suppose the person had no way of getting out to buy one so had one delivered. Since most of the snow has or will melt by this week, it just looked funny sitting there after the worst has transpired. But who knows? Maybe he or she has other plans for it? It just reminds me how unprepared people are in this town - in more ways than one. 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Retirement Countdown Calendar - No More Sunday Blues!

I still don't believe it. After thirty years in health care mostly in the Midwest and another ten years of federal service at the Library of Congress, I am retiring this week. I've been fortunate enough to be working part time, three days a week, for the last two years. This has allowed me to slowly work my way in to this new way of life. I also unexpectedly started up my digital art business creating pet portraits on my iPad. So I'll have even more time to spend on that. But whenever Sunday evening came, I still got the blues! Who wouldn't? A lot of people I know had countdown calendars near their desk, or special apps on their phones to remind them how many more grueling days and hours were left until freedom. I worked one up when I thought August of this year was the final date for me. But when I found out that this past December was indeed my eligible date, I didn't hesitate to turn in my resignation notice soon after. So August became February and this will be it. I will always remember the date because I filled in my required papers during the blizzard of 2016, and the actual day is my mom's birthday. After forty one plus years working full time, and several part time jobs before that in high school and college, I'm happy to pack it in. So this week I'll clean out my desk for the last time, and plan on a new adventure. I can't wait!