Canada Garden

Sunday, October 04, 2015

This Is As Halloween As It Gets

 We had a wonderful vacation and are back home now.  Everybody keeps asking "are you having fun now that you're retired?"  And the answer is  yes & no.  Yes because we've gone to the lake for two whole weeks, because I am definitely letting go of feeling responsible for everything bad that can possibly happen in a little psychiatric hospital, and because I have a lot more time for pinterest :)
 And no, not so much.  I miss morning coffee when we're all going over what happened last night & what we have to do for the day,  salads for lunch with Nat & Fran,  mid-afternoon chocolate when everybody needs a break from the stress. I miss my team. . .  On the other hand, I have a lot more time for pinterest :)
So today, I bought a few pumpkins and pulled out the halloween stuff from the basement. And I may make a little halloween arrangement for the kitchen, but I think this is about it for now. 

Tomorrow I'll start a week of training for a new part-time job.  'Cause I'm still a social worker at heart and I'm not really ready to be completely retired just yet.  But this time,  less stress and not so much worrying.   Even this little bit of retirement has taught me that :)

Monday, September 14, 2015

Garden Harvest

On this second Monday of retirement,  I had a nice breakfast with my friend Gail.  We talked gardening and family and The Farm and politics and whatever crossed our minds.  And then I went home and made this wreath from all the sedum and amaranthus in the garden.  I think retirement is going to work out okay:)

Sunday, September 13, 2015


 Nat came over for lunch this week and this was our centerpiece.  
This retirement still seems a little strange.
The weather has been better and  it's good to be in the garden again.
I had no idea that lily-of-the-valley made such beautiful seed pods.  
And this is today's Sunday morning bouquet--wired & taped  gladiola florets and sedum. 

I've managed to keep myself busy these first days of retirement--cleaning closets (isn't that what you're supposed to do when you retire?), helping with wedding  flowers at Petals & Co (thank you Michelle!), binge-watching Mad Men every night (we're on episode 40 something of 80 and I can't wait to see the rest).  Tomorrow is Monday.  I  wonder if Gail can go to breakfast? 


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Retirement. . . Who, Me?

It's hard to believe I've been a social worker at our  state hospital for the last 25 years.   My co-workers threw a BiG potluck and said so many nice things to me.  In my wildest dreams, I never could have imagined having such a good job,  such good people to work alongside in such meaningful work. 

 Jefferson Hall had a beautiful custom sculpture made for me--I absolutely love it.  The inscription, "You made a difference" tells me they were listening to my mantra all these years--that our work is important both to our patients and to our fellow staff, that what we do matters.  Yes, it is  difficult and frustrating but it still matters and sometimes, when you least expect it, you get these glorious glimpses of the magic that is really happening while you are leading groups, writing social assessments and making call after call for discharge plans.   Thank you Sara, Janelle, Cary, Kim, and Kamaria. 
 Tami sent me a beautiful edible bouquet from Flowers by Mary Lou.  One of the lasting gifts I gained from my years  at the hospital has been Tami.  She was a social worker on Jefferson when I started work on Douglas all those years ago.  We became friends, we went to Chicago for DBT training together, to Alton for family training, I got to wear a pretty purple dress (it really was pretty!) in her wedding, we went into private practice together, she's been my confidant and cheerleader and she always makes me laugh. 
  Amy and Val gave me a sweet plaque validating all the ups and downs of being a social worker. . . and movie money!   Thank you both--and yes, our hospital needs rebels  and I do love you :)

Sweet e-mails like this one: 
The day is almost here – I am so excited for you. It has been great working with you over the years. All I can say is Enjoy, enjoy, take the time to enjoy each day…
Sweet cards. . . I have been so blessed to have been with the people I have worked with over the last 25 years.  
 Cards  from the patients were especially touching.  Their bravery is amazing.  I got into this field to help other people, but they've helped me so much more. 

I know I've left out so many people  here.  As I'm going through this my advice to you:  make sure you take lots of pictures and make sure you put them somewhere all together where you will know where they are when the time comes.  Do this, otherwise you won't have a picture to go with your thank you to Natalie, Fran, Karen, Greg, Kash, Rachel, Sarah, Don, Carol, Jo-An . . . well, you get the idea. . .
There's Greg. . .
And there's Natalie. . . But wait, where's Fran?!?

To everyone who stopped by to say goodbye, who gave money for that whopping gift certificate (this will be the nicest purse I've ever owned!), who brought food, who sent cards and e-mails, and to those of you I missed because you were busy taking care of our patients--thank you from the bottom of my heart.  

And to Mark, who is always militantly on my side, who got me this job in the first place, who was with me every step of the way, I love you most.