Gibbs Sends His Congratulations


I’m still wondering how retired life got so busy, but it’s not a complaint. I rather like it this way because it beats spending too much time on the couch, watching mindless TV, in the midst of winter.

Speaking of winter, my brother sent me this photo on Saturday morning. It snowed in Colorado, up to a foot in some places. This was my chance to laugh at his predicament and enjoy the cool 64F (18C) day in Wisconsin. No snow here, thank goodness. I might have thrown myself off the balcony if I awoke to a similar scene.

Nope, instead we had a warm number of days in May that encouraged me to trek to a few greenhouses and buy the foliage that will adorn the balcony during the summer. One of my early favorites is the dragon wing begonia, which I grew last year.

This year, the begonia was in a hanging pot, flowering, and I chose to start big. Other selections have included ladies’ purse, impatiens, alyssum, torenia, fuschia, black-eyed susan vine, and a couple others. I’ll share additional photos when everything has had a chance to grow a bit, as I didn’t go big with the rest.

The weather also took me out on the bike, which you all knew it would. Not as much as I’d like due to other stuff and weather, but three local adventures are better than none. It was interesting to see that in a matter of a week, many trees went from bare to leafy green or flowering. It’s amazing what a few days in the 70’s and 80’s can do for spring renewal.

Then there’s Gibbs.

Naughty, naughty Gibbs.

Normally, I have to keep crunchy plastic things out of his way as he’ll chew the heck out of them, but he has now found paper envelopes. This envelope is for a wedding card and thankfully, the bride knows Gibbs well. I’m going to take the advice of a couple of friends and write “Gibbs sends his congratulations” with arrows pointing to the holes. Since the happy couple have both a dog and cat, I foresee a laugh of understanding when they open the envelope.

Most often, Gibbs behaves himself, probably because the time he sleeps and eats and watches the birds takes up more time than the boring hour that he finds an envelope or tries to sneak into the kitchen. He has been going out on the patio more often since he has spaces that allow him to hide and relax and ponder the meaning of life.

In addition to TV/Food/Wine Thursday with Natasha, which has turned into a bi-weekly quest to find and try new recipes (the Greek kabobs are delish), I’ve been back to volunteering with Loaves & Fishes, packaging take-out meals and helping with the flower garden once planted.

Then there’s physical therapy for my back, physical training with a trainer (I got too soft and weighty over winter) and sessions with the chiropractor and massage therapist to keep myself upright and moving. I’m a lot of work these days. The older I get, the more my body likes to swear at me and be resistive. So, I keep fighting back.

Got the Medicare card in the mail, so I’m officially old in September, I guess. Don’t feel my age, regardless of what I wrote, but will enjoy a free gym membership (when I decide to go back to a gym) and perhaps find a few other benefits from age.

So, that’s it for the latest and greatest from yours truly. The next six or seven weeks will continue to be busy as Memorial Day weekend is coming up, Natasha and I are engaging in Iron Chef with another friend, Natasha’s daughter is getting married and biking buddy and I will be headed to Missouri for our biking trip.

I’m hoping that July will be a bit more serene and I can write with more frequency about adventures and misadventures, and whether or not Gibbs continues to offer congratulations to others with his teeth.

31 responses to Gibbs Sends His Congratulations

  1. lois says:

    Well, of course Gibbs saw the crown on the envelope and thought it was for him. All hail, King Gibbs!

  2. henhouselady says:

    Retirement has kept me busy too. I like it that way. Enjoy the senior citizen discounts when you can find them. Tell Gibs to post his own mail.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Busy keeps us out of trouble…right? Well, most days. As for Gibbs, he said he only likes to chew envelopes as the stamps always stick to his paws. Whatever…

  3. dweezer19 says:

    I love your list of flowers, Mary. My fuchsia has been outdoing itself. We called those begonia Angel wing down in Texas. It was another favorite of mine. Normal begonia leaves get kind of puny in the heat. I think your friends will get a chuckle out of Gibbs’ ‘signature’. Everyone gets a voice right? 😂Sounds like you have a lot of fun things planned. Stay safe! 🤗

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I’m excited to see how the fuschia and torenia fare this summer as they are new to the patio. I think everything else will be fine and being on the patio is a great way to keep Gibbs from having his chewing voice for while.

  4. Joanne Sisco says:

    Reading about Gibbs makes me smile 🙂 … and of course it’s nice to catch up with you too! Purr, purr to Gibbs ❤️

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Gibbs would purr back at you, Joanne, but he’s too busy sleeping and staying out of trouble. I hope all is well with you and you’re getting out to hike.

  5. murisopsis says:

    I can relate to Gibb’s penchant for chewing letters – my Fida cat thought that all plastic was to be shredded! Had to store bread in the oven… Sounds like you will be very busy the next couple of weeks! Hope the PT helps so you can go and do without pain!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I wonder what it is about cats chewing plastic, if it feels good on their teeth or if it’s a way to get our attention. I am curious to know.

      The PT is helping, but there’s more to come!

  6. I was a bit confused for a second thinking the snow was early until I remembered we’re in reverse seasons. 🙄

    It’s good to be busy in retirement. Keeps you alive and young. (Although I’m slightly depressed at what may be awaiting me at the next Significant Birthday. I’m not ready to fall apart!)

    I would love a greeting from Gibbs. I think your friends are lucky.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Yeah, May is not the month in North America when we expect snow. I suspect my brother will be biking by the weekend – it’s supposed to be 70’s and 80’s there after Wednesday.

      While I’m trying to stay upright and breathing, I leave out an envelope especially for you and Gibbs and see what happens. Although maybe I shouldn’t encourage him.

  7. Hi Mary – ah, it’s so nice to read about your adventures outside. I’m with you in being mighty thankful that we didn’t get the snow your brother did in Colorado! That’s a wonderful idea about signing congrats from Gibbs. He’s such a charmer, I bet it’s hard to stay ‘mad’ at him. Enjoy your spring – the trees are bursting with leaves everywhere. It’s so nice to see green grass and bright colored flowers. It’s a happy time of the year. Happy trails to you.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I can never stay mad at Gibbs, even though sometimes I would like to. I say that he’s “naughty,” but in reality, I think his instincts and actions are only that of a cat being a cat.

      I love this time of year, Shelley, the spring green of tree leaves, the flowering shrubs and the many varieties of flowers and plants in the yards and at the greenhouses. It all makes me smile broadly!

      • It is hard to stay mad at the cats – when I say, “Ugh” my two cats run. Cat instincts and actions keep us entertained!
        YAY for spring – I agree, it’s a smile broadly time of year!! 😁

  8. Dan Antion says:

    This one slipped through a crack in my inbox. I’m glad to see that you had some nice weather, not the freezing I heard about in other parts of the Midwest or the snow – snow in late May??? – I don’t get it. Also good to see the bike out.

    I’m very happy to hear that you’re back volunteering. That always seemed to be a part of Mary, and I’m sure it was hard to be away from that particular service.

    I hope the trainer can get you moving without the kinks and cracks that seem to come along with that Medicare card. Moving is key (unless you’re Gibbs). It was nice of him to sign the card for your friends.

    Have a great week!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      No worries about the crack, Dan. I haven’t blogged in over two weeks, so you probably weren’t expecting a Monday post. As for the snow, that’s what brother gets for moving next to the mountains. I didn’t feel sorry for him at all. :-p

      I’ll start checking out and watering flowers at the garden later this weekend, if everything has been planted. I really enjoy this during the summer because along with biking and going to the physical trainer, it helps me get up and moving during the day. I need that after our long winter. You have a great week at well!

  9. Herman says:

    Well, of course Mr. Gibbs was the star in this post…

  10. Ally Bean says:

    Your dragon wing begonia is pretty. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen one here, so I’ll make a note to look for one. Gibbs is a punk, but we all know that, don’t we? Hoping your efforts to make your body behave itself are working. I can understand why you’re busy.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I first had that begonia last year in a smaller plant. It took awhile for it to take off, but when it did, it was gorgeous. I hope you find one.
      I never called Gibbs a punk, but I may have to start when he misbehaves. 😼

  11. Susie Lindau says:

    Love your photos!
    We got tons of snow here in Boulder, but the intense sunlight melted all of it the next day. My trees and flowers survived. Whew!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thanks Susie! Glad your flowers survivèd the snow and I hope thats the end of the white stuff for you until next winter.

  12. JoAnna says:

    It’s nice to have friends who will appreciate Gibbs’ congrats on the envelope. Relaxing with the cat to ponder the meaning of life, sounds tempting, but I can also understand the need for more body work as we age. I just went back to physical training and boy am I sore. Keep up the good work!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thanks JoAnna! I hope to keep doing what I’m doing for awhile, so have to keep in shape. Gibbs gets his share of love and couch time with his human!

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