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Oh, Lord!  I will NEVER AGAIN ask someone who’s retiring “How on earth are you going to keep busy?”  It’s EASY!  There are a million things to fill your days.  And since people tell me, “Don’t tell people you’re retired!  They’ll hate you!” I’m going to share a weekend of info that those of you still working can incorporate should you be looking for some fun.  (BTW, I think folks hate me less now that I work part-time!! 😉 ) And for those of you who are retired and looking for ways to fill the time and find fulfillment, here’s a taste of my last weekend.

Saturday morning, I got up relatively early since I had a Citizen’s Climate Lobby Meeting that morning.  I had to finish up the apron with the CCL logo that I made for the group leader since it’s the 5-year anniversary of the group and I wanted to recognize her hard work in getting us started and keeping us going these last 5 years.  I also scheduled bills to be paid and played a couple games of Candy Crush – a horrible addiction, don’t ever start… it’s like cigarettes, just mildly less harmful to your health.  I also checked e-mails and made some breakfast.  I read a bit of my latest book.  I’m finishing Bettyville, a memoir by George Hodgman ~ a great read with insight on the trauma of growing up gay in the Southern US, dealing with an aging parent with dementia and quieting your personal demons.

After the CCL meeting, I swung past the corn stand and picked up some MN sweet corn.  (It’s not nearly as sweet as My Dad’s in Indiana, but it is quite creamy.) Since it’s an unmanned stand and I had only a $10, with corn being $6.50 for a baker’s dozen, I got enough for weeks… so I planned to give some to the local musician I was going to see.  Anthony Miltich was playing from 2:30-6:30 PM at Carlos Creek Winery.  They have a lovely outdoor stage and it’s a joy to spend an afternoon on the sun dappled patio listening to a talented person entertain you.  And lucky me, I ran into the Etniers at the CCL and they were going to hold me a spot at their table.  We had a blast chatting away until they had to leave for a birthday party.  I had brought my computer along, so I typed up some notes from the meeting while I enjoyed Anthony’s songs.  He of course played the David Gray, especially for me. 🙂

I headed out after Anthony’s second set as I had a date with Danny who was sleeping at home after his third shift Friday.  We went to Theatre L’Homme Dieu to see Ring of Fire, a show about Johnny Cash.  And I was thrilled to see my name in the program!!


The show was great and I ran into a friend there and met someone new.  On the way home, we caught sight of the newly waning moon rising over Lake L’Homme Dieu so we stopped to watch her rise.  Then we headed home, had a snack and headed to bed.

So here’s the list of things I can recommend… and this is just Saturday!

  • Become part of a Civic Group. I am loving being a co-leader of the local CCL chapter whose mission is near and dear to my heart.  Here’s more info if you want to get involved. http://citizensclimatelobby.org/
  • Create things – sew or craft or do woodworking or stained glass, find your creative side. Creating gives us purpose and keeps our brain active as well as our bodies. Some hobbies are more physical and some more mental but when you find yourself in that “flow”, there is nothing better.
  • Stay on top of finances and communications. It’s a good thing to pay your bills and even though we are blessed to not have very many, with Dan back to work, it’s back on me to manage the finances.
  • Games, whether online or with friends, are a good way to spend some time.  Though I encourage you to NOT join Candy Crush.  (My son and his friends say this is how the NSA is tracking me. 😉 )
  • Cook some food! Everyone has to eat and it’s often more economical and healthy to cook for yourself.  And with my gluten, soy and dairy sensitivities, it’s just easier.  And more delicious!  I’m a pretty good cook most days.
  • Enjoy local music. Like Anthony!  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Anthony-Miltich/195824980783        Pretty sure the headline photo is a Tom Obert shot from Arrowwood Deck.
  • Talk with friends.  You may never know what an impact they get from sharing time with you.  And, if you get a boost from them, I suggest you let them know how important they are to you.  It means a lot to voice our love and appreciation.
  • Volunteer your time to a good cause… like taking notes for your local Civic Group.  It makes me feel good to know I’m helping and it feels good to be a part of something bigger than me.
  • Enjoy culture.  Here are a couple of our local links.  http://www.tlhd.org/  http://www.alexandriaareaarts.org/ I’m sure you’ve got something similar where you live.
  • Enjoy nature.

Blue Moon 7-31-2015 (3)

Sunday, Dan awoke really early and made some eggs.  Since I have a morning pill, I couldn’t enjoy them but I now had breakfast for Monday!  We headed out for the Unitarian Universalist Church in Underwood where my friends Mikko Cowdery & Sally Avant would be performing for the Welcome, Offertory and Postlude.  We were heartily welcomed and introduced to a few people.  Mikko’s wife, Tudy, walked me upstairs to the nave as we enjoyed the many pieces of beautiful art throughout the church.  We received our programs and found a seat up front.  The service was really wonderful; a discussion of Deepak Chopra’s book How to Know God.  The music was terrific and I was impressed with the hymns and readings.  We’ll definitely be back to visit.


After the service, there was coffee and conversation in the basement and we met some wonderful people, including a brother of a friend in Alec and a local author, whose book we bought and had signed.

Getting hungry, we headed out in search of lunch.  But first, we headed back to Battle Lake where we checked out the local art gallery, Art of the Lakes.  This place is full of wonderful work so make it a stop if you’re headed anywhere near Battle Lake, MN.  http://artofthelakes.org/

Along the way back home, we ran into the local town of Clitherall! Found it! 😉 So we had to stop and take some photos of all the signs. (Hey, here’s something to do in a couple weeks!)DSCF0024

We crossed the Hudson Bay/Mississippi Drainage Divide and passed through other small towns.  Found a local bar that served a buffet but there was almost nothing on the menu that I could be sure would be safe (gluten-free and soy-free) so we headed to Mi Mexico for a late lunch.  Enjoyed lunch (with leftovers for my lunch on Monday, how handy) and headed home for a nap.

I woke up and blogged a while, then took a Skype call with my friends Steph & Steve who have a lovely new baby, Rook.  He is SO ADORABLE!!!

I made some popcorn and watched a movie later and just relaxed.  No worries tonight, though I do work a full day tomorrow.  When your bi-monthly paycheck has only 19 hours, it’s not a burden to fit in the fun around work days.

So here are some more things you can do to find fulfillment:

Over the next few blogs, I’ll talk about some of the other things I’m doing to find fulfillment and some of the bumps I’ve run into along the way too.  It’s been an amazing ride so far and each new day is another passport to adventure.  Hope your life is equally audacious.  And if it’s not, use the ideas above to make an opportunity for a new endeavor!