Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Cookies and Retirement

Well, I'm officially re-retired again! One of the nice things about consulting is that eventually you are through and can be home and making Christmas cookies with your granddaughter! Now if Marsha will give me a break for a while before finding me another job!

We've had a wonderful few weeks...we combined a trip to my favorite casino...Harrah's Cherokee....a trip to Chapel Hill to see our beautiful 7 year old granddaughter...and a trip to Greenville, SC to finish my consulting engagement there. Since Chris and Jen moved to Chapel Hill, I just can't ask Woody to drive 540 miles in one day...we are too old! So Cherokee is halfway. One of the perks of Harrah's is how generous they are with incentives to come and play including free rooms! Of course, usually I pay more than a Ritz Carlton with my losses.  This time came home about $50 to the good!

Riley is almost as tall as I am and I am so hopeful that she will be tall, thin and blonde...which was always my personal goal.  The closest I ever got is one summer I decided to be a blonde which is not a good thing for a swim instructor/lifeguard and chlorine is not a good hair color shade! We had a wonderful time eating and shopping in Chapel the thin thing is not likely either. Nantucket's had a wonderful lobster roll and incredible desserts! It was fun to see Bella the great dane and her new brother Charlie the bulldog. Chris and Jen's house is in an incredible wooded and hilly setting which I love but only because I don't have to do the yard. Chris and I agreed it reminded us of the Knollwood house except our lot there was flat. The trees make it so established even though it's a newer area.

Woody and I both love Greenville...we hit our favorite TJMaxx and our favorite restaurant, Takosushi...and yes, it's southwest/far east so you can have enchiladas or sushi (or bait as we call it in the south). Woody got to go to The Lazy Goat and High Cotton, two of my favorites. Isn't it funny that I seem to blog about casinos and restaurants? And now you know why I still consult on occasion to be able to afford my preferred lifestyle. So my tip for this blog...If you want a really fun retirement, consider a part time job since the market hasn't been kind to any of us!

My consulting work allows me to remain professionally engaged and still feel that I am helping cancer patients...this time a physician practice. I met some of the most dedicated staff I've had the pleasure to work with in a while! There have been lots of challenges, but they've never lost sight of why they do what they do. So keep all cancer care providers in your prayers...and pray you never have to meet any of the wonderful people that spend their entire careers caring for patients and families with this dread disease. I've spent almost 40 years in cancer is the most rewarding thing I could ever imagine...from nursing to education to administration to consulting, I've always loved it.  I guess that this is the passion that everyone tells you to find and is the reason I've not been able to quit working completely.

As we enter this Christmas season, don't forget to put Christ in Christmas. It's not things; it's so much more. Making cookies with your granddaughter, watching your granddaughter climb a tree, missing the grandson you don't see as often, seeing how a kind word and and coffee can help a patient and family deal with a new diagnosis, leaving a little extra tip for the frazzled waitress who may be trying to get through school or care for her family...well you get the idea! I'll let you decide how to put Christ in your Christmas. You'll feel great! Merry Christmas!! 

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