Retirement has given me more time to make new friends and find ways to give back to the community. I was asked to join a wonderful organization called P.E.O. Since joining I’ve made several wonderful friends. The whole point of the group is to raise money to support women’s education. Here’s the official description:
“P.E.O. is a philanthropic organization for women. Founded in 1869 as a small friendship society, P.E.O. quickly grew into a diverse, widespread sisterhood with one mission: promote educational and personal growth opportunities for women.”
“Today, P.E.O. is a source of friendship and support for over a quarter million chapter members throughout the United States and Canada. Our sisterhood proudly offers educational opportunities with six philanthropies, ownership of a women’s college, and five programs that provide educational assistance.” (www.PEOcaliforniastate.org)
In February our chapter met and made Valentine cards for sisters who are older or ill and can’t make meetings. It is a nice way to keep in touch with them and a fun time of crafting for us. I don’t know many of the gals we made cards for, but it gave me the chance to make greeting cards. And I am all over that! I brought lots of craft paper, stamps, ribbons, and “stuff” to the meeting. Two other gals brought stamps too, so we had a plethora of materials to get our creative ideas flowing!
I feel very blessed to have met these women and look forward to many activities together. Any of you belong to P.E.O?
Fundraising for our PEO Chapter! It’s springtime and we are ready to party-Bunco style. Our theme was Mardi Gras and there were beads flowing, dice rolling, shouts of “bunco”, and raffle tickets sold for
opportunity baskets. All of this fun went to support women who need a loan or scholarship to start their education or continue it.
Bunco is a dice game where absolutely no skill is involved. You roll three dice at the same time and hope a predesignated number come up. If you are lucky enough to roll three of a kind you win a bunco or baby bunco. Of course, there are other rules, but it’s a fairly simple game. And because it is so simple, there is lots of laughing and shouting going on as players roll the dice .
For refreshments we had yummy cake pops decorated in Mardi Gras colors. Yes, I made them for the cause. Someone else made a King Cake and a decadent bread pudding with hot rum sauce!
In order to raise money for our philanthropy, we designed baskets full of all sorts
of goodies. Each basket had a value of approximately $50. Tickets were drawn and 10 lucky winners went home with baskets. We made a great little profit and proceeds were sent to support scholarships.
Sending cards seems like a lost art these days. We send texts, tweets, and emails wishing our friends Happy Birthday or Get Well wishes. Call me old fashioned, but I like getting cards in the mail! I like sending them too.
Making cards is a relaxing and creative outlet in of itself; but designing something unique for a friend or family member is very satisfying. Over the years I’ve collected printed papers, ink pads, stamps, little embellishments, ribbons etc. Today I have half a closet filled with little drawers of things to create my special cards. I am always needing to clean out and simplify my stash of materials, but it seems to be growing at an alarming rate..
I do love using my Big Shot embossing machine. This simple machine makes some truly beautiful cards by raising paper designs that I use on the cards. It also allows me to use little metal die cuts to create amazing detailed figures. This little bear is sending birthday wishes to a dear friend who happens to like bears. He is nestled within several layers of paper to give added dimension.
The Get Well cards at the right were made on a dotted Swiss embossed background (by Sizzix), and then I used a die cut and stamp to create the ice cream design (by Fawn Lawn). I colored the stamped pieces using Copic markers which blend very nicely. I also layered the actual card with several colors of paper, which adds depth to the final product. Add a little ribbon and there you have it!
I really love making holiday cards, too. I hope to show you some in the future. I just need to take time to take the photographs and then I can tell you step by step how you can create beautiful art.
Being retired gives me a lot more time to make cards. Frankly, I don’t know how I ever had time to work!
When your grown children call and ask you to watch the grandchildren, you jump at the chance and say, “Well, of course!” Perhaps you are more seasoned at watching two kids at a time than we are, but at first it seemed a bit daunting.
Turned out to be a great evening for Grandpa. He really dug in and started his new retired life with energy and enthusiasm. First job, re-learn how to play Candy Land. “C” had just learned the game, but was eager to teach Grandpa how to move the Gingerbread Man. The conversation went something like this, “Now Grandpa, see first you get a card and see the color. Then you move your man, just like this!” Not bad for a 3 year old!! Of course, grandpa had to carefully watch just how many green squares she moved through! It was great fun to be in the other room and over hear and watch this precious interaction.
As the evening went on Dan settled in to watch TV. Ha! Not without a kid. Grandpa and little “D” got comfy and watch football. Good times had by all!
Dan also had the privilege of reading the bedtime story (Jungle Book) and helping with bedtime routines. The girls were asleep by 7:15 and Grandpa was snoring by 7:45. Babysitting can be so grueling! What a blessing to live right down the street so we can share in these sweet moments. Grandma Katie waited up for mama and papa to arrive at 9:30. Retirement is grand 🙂
The Christmas celebration is behind us and yet it is just the beginning of God’s redemptive plan for us. It is truly a time of celebration and reflection on His greatness. I want to challenge myself to intentionally set aside time to be in His Presence and give back by serving in a new way.
Giving God my time is important and yet I often find myself getting so caught up in daily life that I put off spending time with Him. You know, things like laundry, errands, phone calls, computer time, busyness with grand kids and even some church related activities. But these are not spending time in His holy presence, listening for His voice, soaking in His peace, hearing His commands or simply meditating on what it means to be His child. I need to do more than give Him Sunday and my mid-week Bible study. It’s time to prioritize my life so that He is number one in all that I think and do.
God has given each of us talents and riches beyond our wildest dreams. In humility I need to go before others to serve using the gifts I’ve been blessed with. I must begin to ask myself some questions like, how can I give back to my community? Where or who in my community can I offer a helping hand? I hear God asking me to use my teaching ability to help others. But how? I’ve retired from classroom teaching. Perhaps I will look into a literacy program and see if I can help second-language adults learn to read. I’ll keep you posted.
Let 2017 be the year you and I share His love with someone in need. Let us put God first in ALL we do. Let that be our New Year’s Resolution.
We have had a stormy winter season and it has left us with some strange sights. As I walked along the bay the other day, the ground was littered with broken branches and many fallen eucalyptus frawns. These are all things I expected to see after a windy rain storm. Then I noticed a bunch of tumbleweeds. Yes, tumbleweeds along the shoreline! I have never seen such a thing in my 40 years here in San Diego. Don’t you think it is odd for a dry land object to be floating in saltwater? It was just gently floating along in the current.
I’m not sure these gulls know what to make of the big floating blob cruising along their home turf.
Dan is officially retired! The business is sold. So why doesn’t it feel any different? That’s because he’s STILL working!! Despite the retirement party with family (He wanted no part of a big party), apparently there are still projects, loose ends, etc. he wants to see through. Hmmmm. Those of you who know Dan are simply chuckling. Of course he retired, his body just hasn’t caught up with his head decision to retire! Got a love a man with a great work ethic!
Seriously, after finishing up a few loose ends he is free to take on whatever he likes at whatever pace he likes. Lots of time for golf, hiking, volunteering, time with grand kids, travel, home improvement projects, and hopefully a few personally crafted blog entries. I know he wants to dabble in selling a bit of real estate, but mostly I think he wants the ability to decide if it would be a good day to go play golf!
Congratulations Dan! Let’s see what new adventures 2017 has for you. Your family loves you bunches. Happy New Year and Happy Retirement!