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  • Writer's pictureWine & Whiskey

No Rigid Routine

Updated: Jul 12, 2021

My Peony Finally Blooms!

I've been practicing being semi-retired for about a year (and slowly Whiskey is practicing it as well). It takes getting used to because I am an avid list maker, multi-tasker, and taskmaster (Whiskey does not love my taskmaster white-board). I still create lists, they are now focused on my own personal list of want and need to-do items. There are client work items as well, but those are fewer.

At one point, I had no list. It was strange and liberating.

Moving toward semi-retirement started to creep into my mind when I turned fifty; it was a pivot to thoughts of letting go. Meaning, giving myself permission to say "no", to push-back against negative people, and not taking on large time-consuming client work.

Most of the fully retired people I speak with are busy with life, and report that they don't know how they juggled full-time work and life. I can mostly agree with that. Although I know that being so busy with work I did not have time to pay full attention to our home projects and the neglect was in plain sight because I had too many balls to juggle at one time.

Over the years, we watched the trees get overgrown and creep inward on our property. Which we accepted because there was no time to thoroughly commit to the maintenance or to enjoy the outdoor spaces anyway.

My Whiteboard When Covid Arrived

When Covid hit it was overwhelming at first due to the uncertainly. Then we took it as a nudge to make changes. We went into action and did final preparations to sell investment properties. Mission accomplished. That was the biggest way to shorten our to-do list and get some freedom. This has been the first spring and summer without a monumental list of seasonal tasks in over twenty years.

This new freedom provided the opportunity to focus on "the grounds". As I've said in a previous post I don't love gardening. I love the end result, but I don't enjoy the process. It is back-breaking, hip pain inducing, and makes my hands dirty. I don't like having dirty hands. LOL.

Once we started seeing results from our efforts and we invested in a large landscaping project done by professionals to upgrade our driveway boundary. Once completed we became motivated to keep going. Here are photos of the efforts.

We had to hire the pros for the driveway project because our attempt was not effective to block out our neighbors unsightly laundry on the line (there is a lot of unsightly over there).

Little shrubs do not hide ugly.

But 8-foot arborvitaes do!

The stone wall was created from stones pulled from the back of our property.

Anyway, that project is over and the plants did great over the winter. Now they are filling in nicely. I've added a few potted plants and garden accents for a little variety.

In a previous post I mention how our little town has everything. Whiskey rented a wood chipper and a brush mower from the hardware store. So after he cut down a few trees he chipped all of the branches. Burnable logs will get split later. The brush mower was used to cut back vine and saplings in areas. The vines are out of control. Whiskey yanked and chipped as much as he could for now; and we'll continue on as schedule allows.

I've been clipping back the overgrown grape vine and fighting with Japanese Knotweed on the patio area. Japanese Knotweed is my nemesis. The peonies I transplanted from a shady area have finally bloomed after two season with no blooms.

The red outbuilding is on our neighbor's property. It is right on the line. Whiskey beat back the jungle up the building. Next up will be to rake that all out and expose the rock and granite ledge.

Since our neighbor will never be doing anything with this building we hung a flag on it to make it a feature. It kinda works to create an interesting element.

My arborist brother-in-law is going to visit late September so I'm hoping he can give some direction on what to do with challenging areas that are overrun with Japanese Knotweed and Sumac.

Okay, so being semi-retired looks like a lot of physical labor so far. Just taking it almost day by day with things and appointments scheduled in here and there.

A mama Robin has made a nest on the ladders, giving us an excuse not to do any work requiring the big extension ladder. Thank you Mama Robin.

Life is a blessing and I'm making the most of it.

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