What day is it? Who knows and who cares. Welp, my work email was wiped from my phone officially on Saturday - thank goodness. Unfortunately, they seem to have 'accidentally' swept out some of my personal contacts as well. There was not one call or email bidding me adieu - after snuffling around, wallowing in self-pity for fifteen minutes, I pulled up the BGPs and throught, "it is way past time to wrest the apron strings from the mothership." I'm ready for my next adventures. However, all my adventures so far have been involved in dealing with government agencies. I've been mired in calls with the Social Security Admin, Medicare program add-ons, 401K hooha. While I have actually spoken to people(s) about my SS, it is still in limbo. And it is not helpful that every single person I've talked to, who has retired this year, told me their benefits kicked in right away. That was pre-Covid. It's a different reality now. I am at 45 days and processing seems to be stuck on Step 2. After macheteing my way through the totally dysfunctional jungle of the local SSA phone system, I finally got a person who was helpful. My coverage will kick in on November 1, so I won't be faced with a gap. Now, I have to call back the AARP person who has been waiting to help me navigate the stormy sea of Medicare gap coverage. OMG. I tell you, being a member of AARP definitely has its benefits. I am also on a first-name basis with the 401K guy - I know that he's married, lives in Ohio, has two dogs and a cat, likes the area but plays it down to his friends from the East Coast. I must generate motherly vibes. If your mother was Phyllis Diller, that is.
My sleep patterns are all over the place BUT, miraculously (or not), the worst of my anxiety dreams went "poof" after Friday. I doubt if that will last, but it is a very nice mental vacation. I do know that I need to set up some kind of structure to my days or I will turn furry and feral, lapse into my Neanderthal genes and start imagining two-way conversations with the dogs.
I was able to harvest greens (kale and chard) and get a bunch of herbs hung and drying before the heavy rains hit. I am still hoping to get more thyme dried, as I use the heck out of it.
I'm glad I had time to enjoy the week of lovely foliage before we were hit by a fast-moving storm that topped trees, tossed power lines like linguine in clam sauce and ripped all the leaves off. We have been in need of rain, but it would have been more helpful in July and August. Besides gleaning what I can from the garden, I've been putting in hour shifts - getting the fence down and rolled up for the year, yoinking the tomato plants out, etc.
The dogs and cat have seamlessly melded into my retirement routine - or unroutine. I believe that, if I counted, I pick up fleece blankets and re-cover furry bodies at least 50 times a day. Peanut will bounce off the sofa, dragging his blanket behind, then bounce back, curl into a tight, pathetic ball, and stare at me with his beady little eyes. Lovey is more verbal - soft whines and heavy sighs. Obediently, I stagger over and pick up blankets and tuck them back in. I may go mad.
I am still working away on the little stuffies - five bunnies down and I'm working on a pig in a dress.
On Sunday, I had a celebratory dinner with my sister and mother - Connie made the BEST shrimp risotto I have ever eaten, followed by a delectable apple crisp - warm from the oven. Heaven. I have been so glad that soup season is upon us, because I have been wanting to make a recipe that sailed past the eyeballs last week - Vegan Curried Pumpkin Lentil Soup. It did not disappoint - as a matter of fact, I was making little happy noises as I ate it. It was that good. There is no picture because it is not a photogenic soup. You can find the recipe here.
So, ready or not, retirement, here I come.