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-2 + 4 Weeks: Almost Spring #nature #springtime #cats

It’s almost spring here. We had a few days of warmer temps and the magnolia trees in my neighborhood loved it. I was only able to get out a little bit this week so this post will be light on photos.

Work is winding up instead of winding down, and I guess I should have expected that. The Florida legislature goes into session on March 2, and my department’s leaders have been relentless with demands for data. Fortunately I work with a wonderful team of bright and creative analysts and, so far, we’ve been able to meet the demands.

But I feel too old for this. While my younger colleagues can enter data, format graphs, read and write emails, and carry on a conversation seemingly all at the same time, my brain and my body resist. It’s all I can do to keep from screaming, “STOP!” Instead, I ease tension by making snarky jokes about the powers-that-be. (What are they going to do? Fire me?) If I can make my team laugh, at least smile, I feel a little better.

I’m known (for better or for worse) for noting when the emperor is walking around naked. I’ve always been that way. I’ve always had a difficult time dealing with authority, clashing with anyone who tries to rule me. It’s one of the many reasons why it’s time for me to retire. I’m losing my ability to balance my innate distrust of authority with meeting that authority’s expectations of me to do as I’m told without question.

Meanwhile, as I noted above, the magnolias are blooming. These photos were taken on different days, one with some blue sky and sunshine, the other with the threat of imminent rain.

Redbuds are blooming too, making my husband a bit sad. He had planted a Redbud in our front yard many years ago but it never ever bloomed. Fortunately we have neighbors who have been much luckier. The photo below doesn’t do the Redbud tree justice, even after I tweaked it to bring out the color more. Trust me when I say I first gawked at the gorgeous color before taking the photo.

And I can’t overlook our resident hawk. This guy really likes this particular spot. Pretty much every time I come down that street, he’s hanging out, making the squirrels nervous. I call him Cool Hand Luke. I can stand directly under him (but off to the side to avoid being pooped on), and he pays me no mind.

In my own humble backyard, a bromeliad that a coworker gave me a couple of years ago is now three bromeliads and is flowering for the second time.

I’ve never had a bromeliad before so this plant is a new experience for me. I’m hoping the flower will expand more. The first bloom did not.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this little bit of neighborhood nature. On the cat containment front, things are pretty mellow. Raji hangs out with all of us from morning until night. Junior still bullies him but Raji just rolls with it (sometimes literally). He keeps trying to play chase with Wendy but she thinks his sideways galloping is too weird. Maxine just wants to be left alone, as usual.

Recently Raji discovered one of Junior’s favorite spots.

Junior likes to rub his face against a small sandalwood bowl that I put in there for him. Well, now Raji does too. It probably pisses Junior off.

From me, my husband, and our Gang of Four, we hope you all stay well, safe and happy!

Categories: Cats Nature

Tagged as:

Marie A Bailey

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

32 replies

  1. Lovely to see blooming plants! Great photos, Marie. And Raji’s fur blends in well with the furniture. It’s like it was made for him! (Sorry, Junior!) 😁

    Maybe it will make you feel warmer to know that there is snow here (and we’re at zero degrees), snow in Dallas, and the temperature in Houston is 17. I certainly feel warmer seeing the trees budding there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Linda. Definitely an advantage of living in the southeast (emphasis on east) is that we don’t suffer the extreme weather that other states do. Sure, we have our hurricanes and they can be devastating, but we’re used to it (or should be). The kind of weather Texas and other states are experiencing is something nobody wants to get used to. It’s like another Ice Age has descended. I hope it warms up for you soon, and in the meantime you are staying safe and warm ❤️


  2. As I approached retirement, my frustration level at the hassles of work grew ever more. For me those hassles arose more out of the incompetent people within the organization who had driven me crazy for years and who never seemed to be held accountable for their incompetence. It’s something I still struggle with — that they still have jobs while some very good people have been fired over the last year. I never, ever want to go back there — at least as long as those people are there. They suck the soul out of a place.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yup! As much I have enjoyed working with my immediate staff (and even my immediate boss at times), my department’s upper management are skilled at nothing more than politics and that not even very well.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Loved your post and the photos and stories.
    And I do understand how you feel about the workplace and it being time to leave. I also reached the point where I could no longer tolerate the insanity and unhealthiness. We reach a point where we have had enough. Enough!
    I think there comes a point where we realize that life grows shorter and we want to spend each precious moment being more of our authentic selves. Welcome soon to the rest of your life. May it be the best of our lives.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Josaia. Let’s make this the best of our lives! That is how I want to spend my remaining years: enjoying and celebrating each moment, not getting all stressed out over a job.


  4. How wonderful to see the spring trees flowering. That’s not going to happen here for a while.
    I totally understand what you mean about authorities. I’ll just leave it at that. 😏
    I think Cool Hand Luke’s brother was visiting our area the other day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Merril! There’s hope in seeing the trees flowering. We’ve had a couple of cold days and nights lately but not freezing so hopefully the blooming and budding will continue. One year we had a deep freeze right after the azaleas bloomed. The blossoms were all mush the next day and the azaleas didn’t bloom again until the following spring. Are you a stray cat magnet too?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope your buds don’t freeze. I like cats, but we only have our one little boy now, since his “brother” died. He is so attached to me that I can’t see bringing in another cat. We had three cats at one time when we had the two boy kittens and our old lady cat.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Fortunately it hasn’t gotten below freezing down here so I think we might have a colorful spring. It’s a good thing I’m retiring now. I’d miss so much stuck in my little corner. I really didn’t want another cat. We have such a delicate balance with Junior, Max, and Wendy, and Max is old and cranky 😉 But Raji has turned out to be so laid-back with them. He’s curious and wants to get into their personal space. When Max hisses at him, he defers and leaves her alone. When Wendy or Junior swat at him, he falls on his side and acts like he wants to play. They are totally confused by his behavior. I think he’s winning them over, bit by bit. We’ve had him stay inside the house now for two nights and there’s been no fights! It’s working out better than I imagined 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I am without power and using the hotspot on my phone. I could not see your photos but was able to read the text. Got a laugh out of Raij messing with junior. We are currently at 18 degrees outside, and the house is getting colder. Have a great week.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hang in there! You do want to keep your good reputation as “whatever it is” intact so don’t blow it in the last few remaining weeks…Hard I know. Sounds like your humor is helping to defuse the inner bomb. HA!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Marie, I relate to your frustrations as you near retirement. I never liked authority either, and I find that’s my favorite part of retirement–being away from that. Loved the photo of Raji, but poor Junior. Thanks for the pictures today. They are a bright spot after three days of snow and ice. Things are melting slowly today so that’s our good news.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sherrey. Indeed, as my mom has said, just not having to follow a clock is worth retiring. I am so looking forward to it. I’m glad I could bring you some sunshine and flowers. I hope this brutal winter will be over soon!


  8. I understand how attempting to be agreeable with dubious authority figures can take a strain on a person’s well being. You’re going to really love retirement.

    Cool Hand Luke is a great name for a hawk. We have a few around here. When I see them “making lazy circles in the sky” I start singing the theme song from Oklahoma. It’s like stimulus/response with me. 😃

    Liked by 1 person

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