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7 + 4 Weeks: Nature, Neighborhood, and Cats

Seven weeks to my desired employment termination date, but another four weeks to my actual termination date. This is one example of why I don’t commit myself to specifics, why I’m a pantser and not a planner. I had planned on February 4 as my last day as a state government employee; now it’s March 4. Fortunately, that extra month is just to accommodate unused vacation leave.

It’s all still good. Since I turned in my resignation letter on Friday, it’s also all very official. Surprisingly, I seemed to be the only one in my office not surprised that I was planning an early exit. Granted, I didn’t discuss my plans with anyone, and I guess I played the part of a dedicated public servant well enough that no one could imagine my leaving, even when I was handed one good reason after another.

But so it goes. Right now I’m taking some time off (just a week). Let my staff miss me a bit or learn that they won’t miss me as much as they think they will.

One of my goals with my retirement is to become more fit. On Sunday I pushed some limits by going for two walks, or rather, one walk and an amble.

In the morning, I walked around my neighborhood. I take these walks alone, sometimes picking up trash but always on a mission: exercise. Up and down hills, focused on burning calories rather than smelling roses. But fall colors and blooming camellias have finally come to Tallahassee, so I couldn’t resist taking a few photos.

I walk in my neighborhood almost every day, and Sunday must have been the peak time for changing colors. A few red maples add a royal richness to the hood and several camellia bushes sport white, pink and red blossoms. We have a white cameilla bush in our yard but my husband inadvertently planted it in a shady spot so it doesn’t bloom very much. Once in a while it deigns to give us a blossom or two.

Later, my husband and I ambled at Timberlane Ravine, a spot that has quickly become a favorite. Often times we are the only people on the trail. A loop and a half (roughly two miles) is a good distance for my husband to get some exercise before his back gives out. It was late afternoon and the light, as expected, was lovely.

Here is my husband hugging a spruce pine. I love the gentle bow in its trunk as it leans toward the sun.

In this photo, we’re looking up at the interstate which skirts a border of the trail. If you look closely, you can see a semi zooming by.

This photo was taken just because of the light.

Well, I hope you enjoyed these excursions to my outdoors. I am so grateful to live near these small havens of Nature.

We’re expecting a mild cold front to come through. Junior, as you can see, is perfecting his tail wrap to keep his toes warm. As usual, Maxine is not impressed.

We’re making good progress with Raji. We’re having petting sessions before his meals, and he really seems to enjoy it. He purrs, kneads the rug, and occasionally flops down so I can better scratch his ears. I’ve even been able to gently tug his tail without him getting snippy with me. He’s going back to the vet on Thursday for a follow-up. Let’s hope we don’t lose too much of our progress with him.

Until next time, stay well and stay safe!

Categories: Cats Nature

Tagged as:

Marie A Bailey

Writer, blogger, knitter, cat lover, and introvert.

29 replies

  1. Junior’s tail wrap is pure perrrrfection.
    Let’s hope Maxine stays ‘unimpressed’ with either of the boys once Raji gets fully acclimated into house-kitty life…that way a sense of calm might rule the roost. Notice the use of the word ‘might’.
    Enjoy your vacay!

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    1. Ha ha. Maxine is so unimpressed in general. She actually has met Raji (she slipped into the garage and they nose-kissed). She was unimpressed, and Raji was just very curious. Maxine has always wanted to be an only cat. She has to settle with being simply the oldest cat, although we have nicknamed her “She Who Must Be Obeyed.”

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    1. Indeed I do. You’ll like this: I’m on vacation but decided to join a work meeting today since the topic was something that my staff were feeling anxious about. They could have done the meeting without me, but (1) I was happy to give them moral support and then (2) I was more than happy to say at the end, “Okay, I’m going back on vacation. See ya!”

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  2. So you have to turn in a letter of resignation when you retire? I’m glad you “dropped the bomb” and got it done. I’m sure it’s a relief. Thanks for the beautiful walk. I love the red maples too!

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  3. I just cleaned my cache and now I can’t like your post. Maybe that isn’t why, but it’s the only reason that comes to mind. So between Feb 4 and March exit do you stay home? Because it’s vacation time? How does that work. I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOU. You deserve this open time ahead! I had no idea you have fall color by you. I never imagined it. How beautiful! We do not get that in AZ.
    BTW, I got your email. Thank you!
    Raji is really coming around. What a sweetheart. And that tail wrap around the toes is so cute. Cats are so wonderful.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I do want to use up as much of my vacation time as possible. Right now I’m planning on taking the month of February off, but if my boss needs me, I’ll break up the time. Why not? I’ll be free of the job starting March 5 🙂 Raji is a cutie. I’ve already started calling him Snugglebunny although he doesn’t snuggle … yet 😉

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  4. There were people at work who knew of my retirement plans years before the day finally came. That you were able to keep it quiet so effectively … I tip my hat. Fortunately, as far as I know, those who knew of my dreams and plans never said anything to the big boss or the bigger boss or the biggest boss of all.

    Is your retirement date close enough for you to believe it is real? It’s such a wonderful feeling when you get that close. Finally! And once you get there, you’ll discover that you can breathe in a whole different way.

    Meanwhile, I am so envious of you living so close to these areas you walk through. It’s my objective to move somewhere that provides me much easier access to nature. I’m not there yet.

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    1. I had mentioned to some colleagues that I intended to resign sooner rather than later, but since I never offered up a date, maybe they didn’t take me seriously. My husband didn’t want me to share too much, in case my boss heard and decided to show me the door before I was ready. March 4 will be my last day, but it became real for me when I emailed my resignation letter. We are pretty lucky that we have some parks we can walk in. Sadly the city and outlying areas are in a frenzy of development so we’re grateful for the nature areas we have left.

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    1. Thank you, Cheryl! Either I really haven’t gotten out much in the last 30 years or north Florida is enjoying an unusually colorful fall. We went to a nearby wildlife refuge yesterday and saw plenty of blazing red maples among other foliage. Those maples are gorgeous!

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  5. Congratulations on your upcoming retirement! Love the beautiful photos, and camellias are a favorite flower. They seem to do well out out in California in the shade, or at least partial shade. Enjoy those walks!

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  6. Junior’s tail wrap is exquisite! I’m not certain I’ve ever seen a cat do this. It isn’t wholly unexpected that with the winding down toward retirement that you feel somewhat anxious and a few admin things get messed up or go askew. That’s management for you, and soon you don’t have to deal with management any more! I loved today’s photos, especially the colors and the camellias. You’re a couple of months ahead of us on the camellias. Counting down the weeks and days with you, Marie.

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