We watched the fireworks at Reunion Tower from the warmth and safety of our living room last night. We drank a very small glass of plum wine and celebrated another year's end. It was a good year. I retired, we did a little local traveling and attended several events. My last surgery was in March and I'm about as recovered as I probably will ever be. I will always, apparently, have significant pain in my left foot, but it's manageable. Some days, it isn't much of a problem at all. It does require care in walking and the wearing of a support stocking for longer periods of being on my feet.
It is 14 degrees outside right now. At 5:00, I put food and peanuts out front for the birds because it is well lighted. Around 7:00, I heated water and put it in the bird bath to thaw the ice. The birds will have a brief period where they can get a drink before the surface freezes again. I put seed on the ground for the juncos and dove. They seem to prefer eating on the ground. The cardinals prefer the ground food as well, but when the squirrels take over, they will use the feeder.
What does 2018 hold for us? We do plan to travel this year. We also plan to spend more time at the lake. Now that I am "recovered," from all the foot surgery, I plan to return to walking and being outside more.
On of my goals is to ride my three-wheel bike to the park more. It was a retirement gift from Norm Steadman, a long-time tenant of the airport. I absolutely love it. He acquired it from LTV when they phased them out. That was about 30 years ago, I think. It is quite the antique but he got it working properly again. Stan put a new seat on it for me and it is just wonderful. It has so much character and history. For the rest of my life, I will think of Norm whenever I look at it.
During the holidays, I started baking again. In the 70s, I made lots of fancy stuff and had lots of dinner parties during my college years. I worked 25 miles from home for the last two and a half decades. The drive took at best an hour each way, sometimes quite a bit more. I was also in school in the 90s and after the turn of the new century, getting a second Associates Degree, this time in Marketing and a Masters degree in Public Administration. My GPA for all these classes was 4.0, a little better than I did when I started college at when I was 17. All that took time away from my hobbies, like crafts and baking.
I took a lot of classes in programming, systems, and software applications. I used what I learned to improve the processes for my job. I wasn't able to pass on sufficient knowledge to my replacement for my innovations to be useful to her. She, like me, will develop her own way of dealing with the requirements of the position. It's good to approach work that way - you need to wrap your mind around a task and find a way to get it done that fits with your own unique skills. I love using formulas in Excel and creating Access databases. Not everyone, however, has my education and experience and love for problem solving.
Now that I've retired, I plan to use those skills to plan our adventures and make our home more efficient. I, who was meticulous about balancing my checkbook every month, haven't bothered with one for years. I created my budget in Excel and use it to balance bank accounts. I pay almost everything on line, so it really is easier.
I use really wonderful recipe software for meal planning, Living Cookbook, but unfortunately, they went out of business, apparently due to a divorce. They were so good while they lasted. You could email a problem to them through the software and they would send you the code to fix it. We have a large group on-line for those who morn the loss of our leader. I now have time to really get organized in my meal planning and grocery shopping. I will have to be much more careful, however, because we lost our freezer in December. We have a large freezer with our refrigerator, but it's tiny compared to what I'm used to. I won't be able to do large batches of soup, huge lasagnas, etc. any more.
This will be the year of the great garage sale, hopefully. When one has 10-11 hour work days with the commutes (Stan worked a little farther from home than I did), you aren't as organized as you would like to be. I have decorations for every holiday, I just can't get to them easily. We will organize and downsize this spring, hopefully. We usually did one garage sale in the fall and donated all the proceeds to charity. When we worked in Grand Prairie, we donated to GP United Charities, then Lone Star Park Charitable Foundation. I am more into the Tarrant County Food Bank and Salvation Army now. I do still have a soft spot for GP United Charities. I volunteered at their facility during Katrina and Rita and really got a sense of how much they do for the community. They are pretty much no frills and all assistance.Well, the sun is bright, the temperature is way too low for Texas, the Cowboys won their last game of the year, and we are warm and happy. What a great start to the year.