Category: Life in Retirement

Jun 06, 2021
By Michael Rupured

My Plant Babies

Growing flowers and vegetables from seed this year has been largely successful. Nearly everything came up and, along with garden center acquisitions, found a home in the garden. I love them all, but my home-grown babies hold a special place in my heart. Sweet alyssum was the first of my plant babies to bloom and perhaps the easiest to start. They sprout within a few days, start to bloom in a matter of weeks, and keep producing masses of honey-scented flowers for months. Volunteer seedlings are likely next year and, unlike some self-seeders, are easily managed. Marigolds were next to bloom. I started two varieties: ‘Strawberry Blonde’ and ‘Elevate’. The latter is extra-tall at maturity (30 to 40 inches) with …

May 27, 2021
By Michael Rupured
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Running Man

I’m not one for regrets. For better or worse, my life is the product of the choices I’ve made. What if’ing different choices is a waste of time. What’s done is done. Celebrate the good, learn from the bad, and move on. That said, I wish my early experiences with running had been more positive. My aversion started in grade school. When I tried to run, severe side cramps forced me to stop. I vividly recall my shame for being unable to finish a mile run in Phys Ed class. Trying too hard was the problem. For some reason, I thought all-out was the only option. I got a wild hair in my early 20s during a downpour one summer …

May 10, 2021
By Michael Rupured
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Retirement Bliss

The first four months of my retirement were crazy busy. Remodeling projects kicked off the first week of January and continued well into April. I’m happy with the results and thrilled to have the near-constant disruption behind me. Having to work would have complicated things. Telecommuting would have been a challenge with all the noise and I had no desire to go anywhere. Call me weird, but I want to be home when strangers are in my house. Had I been working, Toodles would have been an issue. I stopped kenneling her when her diabetes was diagnosed and have never confined her to one room. Mostly, she sat with me. Once in a while, she wandered back to check things …

Mar 29, 2021
By Michael Rupured
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No More Waiting

Six months ago, I decided to do some remodeling around the house. I thought everything would be done by the end of December. Shows how much I know. Barring (another) unforeseen delay, the last project will be completed this week. In my defense, work didn’t start until the first week of January. The list of projects expanded too — a lot. One thing led to another until, three months later, Chez Rupured has been transformed. The initial plan was to upgrade the master shower and replace carpet in the bedrooms. Once I got started, I couldn’t stop. Along with new carpet, I ended up renovating the entire bathroom, painting every room, replacing old furniture, and fixing drainage issues in the …

Mar 08, 2021
By Michael Rupured
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Practically Perfect

The home renovation and remodeling projects I’ve been talking about since September are drawing to a close. The bathroom is done, the entire interior has been freshly painted, and the bedrooms have new carpet. I couldn’t be happier with the results. Everything in the house had to be moved — twice. Putting things back was an opportunity to purge and reorganize. Rejects that fit in my car went to the Goodwill store in one of many trips over the past two months. Everything too big for my car vanished soon after being placed by the curb. I’m very proud of the neat and well-organized closet. I hate to brag, but have practically perfect closets is rare. We’ll see how long …

Feb 25, 2021
By Michael Rupured
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Late-winter Veggies

My second attempt at a winter vegetable garden has been more successful than the first. I can’t really take credit. Success came down to an unusually wet and cool September followed by months with only light freezes. The bar is admittedly low. Merely surviving the winter is a success. Months of root growth will pay off later for annual flowers. Any harvest is icing on the cake. My approach to growing vegetables is more than a little random. I don’t have room for a full-on vegetable garden and don’t want more than I can eat or easily give away. Mixing produce in with flowers works for me. Spinach is my biggest success so far. Freshly-picked leaves have been turning up …

Feb 22, 2021
By Michael Rupured
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Crotchety Alert!

An ugly confluence of events has brought my inner crotchety out of hiding. Spring fever, pandemic fatigue, and renovation delays have had me on the brink. Disruptions to my nap routine pushed me over the edge. This time of year is always rough. Solar energy fuels my usually sunny disposition. Cold, dreary days suck the life out of me. Moving south for shorter, milder winters has eased but not ended my suffering. I know. Pitiful. They don’t call it SAD for nothing. Staying home for the past year hasn’t been too bad, but COVID-19 safeguards are getting to me. I may not have ventured out much before the pandemic, but I could. I guess I still can, but I’d rather …

Feb 16, 2021
By Michael Rupured
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Napping

Sleeping in didn’t make my list of retirement activities. Years ago, my internal clock eliminated the need for an alarm. Come five o’clock, I’m up. Getting up so early makes napping a necessity. Toodles is partially to blame for the early hour. She gets her insulin injection every twelve hours. We could do it just about any time, but first thing in the morning suits us. She no longer minds the injections and lets me know it’s time for the afternoon dose should I run late. Getting up at the last possible second used to be the norm. Before coffee was an essential part of my morning routine, I could be showered, dressed, blow-dried, styled, and on my way in …

Feb 04, 2021
By Michael Rupured
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Gardening

Surprise! Gardening made my list of retirement activities. Like nobody saw that coming. Few things make me happier than puttering around in the garden. Starting a flat of seed, turning over ground for a new flower bed, or setting out plants provide instant gratification. The rewards keep coming too — for weeks, months and even years. I’m growing mostly annuals for now. They’re easy, colorful, bloom for months, and I can change things up every year. They’re also high maintenance. I don’t care. I’m retired. Permanent plantings would be more cost effective, but I can’t decide what I want. Even if I could commit, drainage issues need to be resolved first. After a big rain, my lawn resembles a rice …

Jan 28, 2021
By Michael Rupured

Purging

Although I live alone in a 1200 square-foot house, storage is an issue. There’s plenty of space, filled with stuff I rarely or never use. That’s why a massive purge made my list of retirement plans. The remodeling projects somewhat forced my hand. Between painting every room and replacing all the carpet, I have to move everything anyway. No point putting stuff back I no longer want or need. Doing the whole house is the only way to go. Reorganizing one space tends to spill over to another. Managing the spread is the challenge. To move out of the master bath for the renovation, I first had to clear everything out of a hall closet and the tiny, rarely used …