Remembrance of Blogs Past

Sadly, mine fits into that category, since I haven’t made a post in nearly a year. A lot has happened since then.

We have been homeowners for almost a year and we haven’t gone insane or bankrupt. The house is still standing and the yard is more or less in good shape. I’ve kept most things alive, though the heavy rains we got in May killed a lot of our Rosemary bushes. I’ve also discovered that yard work isn’t quite so bad. The drought since the heavy rains means that I’m a slave to the water sprinklers. We still don’t own a lawn mower (there’s not much storage room for one when both cars are parked in the garage) but I do have a weed eater and a blower. Besides, I like the people who mow our yard every other week. We have gotten to know our neighbors on either side of us. One neighbor gave us a patio set that is largely used as a gardening table for me, since the mosquitoes make it so unpleasant to be outside all that long.

Marriage equality for all has been sanctioned by the Supremes, and our country hasn’t fallen apart yet. The days following that decision were very interesting. I didn’t have to unfriend too many people on Facebook, but I know several who did. I hope that in a year or so, we’ll look back as a country and wonder what all the fuss was about. Our neighbors (the same wonderful couple who gave us the patio set) brought over a bottle of wine and want to know when we set a date. They seem to be about my parents’ age, so the stereotype of older people fighting change is just that – a stereotype. And speaking of setting dates, we’re getting our marriage license this week and plan for a ceremony soon.

Our dogs have loved being in their own home. They were always happy wherever we were, but I know they get a special kick of getting outside and exploring their own backyard. One dog tends to go out and focus more on business; the other dog tends to meander (much like this blog) and visits every part of the yard before hinting that he wants to come in. Before we shaved them down this past week, Aspen was hunting for any place that was cool and he discovered that sleeping in our shower on the tile floor was one of the coolest places to be.

In an effort for greater work-life balance, I started working an 80 hour/9 day schedule. This gives me every other Friday off unless a major work event is taking place that day (and then I just switch to another day). Sometimes the work schedule is a bit tiring, but it’s forcing me to at least consider getting in bed earlier, and it is nice getting a three-day weekend every other week. Last Friday, I took the dogs to get groomed. I had to be there by 8:30 (so much for sleeping late), but then I had the entire morning to do as I wished. I decided I wanted to get some more plants for the yard and I had heard that The Plant Shed had a sale, but I wasn’t able to find them. I then went to Archie’s Gardenland, which has been a Fort Worth institution since the 1930s. What a wonderful way to spend the morning. The air at Archie’s was still cool from watering and I was left largely to myself. The best part was that I missed all the traffic! I then got to come back and do some much-needed pruning in the front yard. The three-day weekends are certainly saving my PTO time. I remember working at The Shack and having to put in nine-hour days and working on Saturday (it was our ‘reward’ for being salaried); how times have changed!

Speaking of The Shack, a Fort Worth institution filed for bankruptcy protection this year. We’ve seen it coming for years and it finally happened this year. The training team as I knew it is pretty much gone. My LinkedIn feed is full of former colleagues who have gone on to other jobs or, unfortunately, are still looking. The final holdout from when I started with the department recently took a new position at American Airlines with a nice big increase in salary! As for The Shack, it’s still around, but it’s literally half the company it used to be. If someone asked me today where a Radio Shack store was, I’d have to Google it. All of the west side locations I knew about have closed. Only time will tell if the new company will stick around or if the bankruptcy merely stalled a final closing.

We started going back to the gym and we were doing pretty good, but we’ve had to hold off since Robert had his back issues. He did something to his back when getting out of bed one morning about a year or so ago and he’s had to start getting these spinal shots every six months or so. Now that he’s had a shot, we need to get back in gear. I think we’ll do better this time, since I now have to start eating smaller portions (thanks to gallstones and a possible hiatal hernia) to avoid digestive misery. It’s what I should do anyway and now I have even more of a motivation to do so. Welcome to 45!

Robert recently had a milestone birthday even though he doesn’t even look remotely old enough to have done so. However, a nice side benefit is that he was eligible to join AARP. Hello, discounts! He even got a free membership for me!

There are so many other things that have happened that I can’t remember them all. These were the biggest items I remembered that affected us directly, but feel free to drop me a line if I left something out.

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