Tuesday, March 6, 2018

"Working" while we're Playing

We've been doing a lot of "playing" this winter, as we sit out the cold winter weather that the north is experiencing. We could report that Denisa is "working" to make glass jewelry, or that she is "working" on perfecting new line dances. We could even stretch it to say we are "working" to learn Spanish or "working" to improve our pickleball skills. But who are we kidding? All that is really play time.

But we do have a couple projects that do have some resemblance of work. Mark washed the motor home and put two layers of wax to protect the roof. That was work, and he has the blister on his knee to prove it. We've raked the leaves at Denisa's Mother's place, and mowed her lawn a couple times. That sounds like work.

But the biggest project of the winter has to be transferring all of our old video tapes onto a computer hard drive. For over three years we have been carrying around three old video cameras, a VHS tape player and several boxes of old video tapes. The memories captured on these old tapes are getting more fragile and the technology more outdated. We have VHS tapes, 8mm tapes, and mini-DV tapes. It was one of those projects we didn't have time for while we were working. We obviously haven't had time for it since we were retired either.

Mark has spent many hours right in this spot, monitoring the video as he saves it to the computer. Denisa doesn't even pretend to understand the technology that needs to happen to change that old VHS tape to digital media. In the picture below, Mark is watching the screen of the 8mm camera as the image goes to the newer compact camera--which transforms the analog video into digital--where it is then stored on the computer. (Denisa just typed all that as Mark tried to explain it to her.)

The good news is that now we can get rid of two video cameras, a heavy VHS player, and two boxes of tapes. We've been carrying them around in the motor home since we've been on the road, thinking we would have lots of time on our hands to do this job when we retired. Now Denisa is wondering what she can buy to put into that precious space that just opened up in the motor home.

We have also been working on projects at Denisa's Mother's house. We measured, shopped for, and then hung new drapes in her living room. We changed out all her light bulbs to more efficient LED lights. Mark installed roll-out shelves to make her kitchen cabinet space more efficient. We've worked on "honey-do" projects all around her house. She also volunteered Denisa to help host the monthly red hat luncheon at the park. That included decorating the tables for the meal. (We know you are wondering what that thing on Denisa's head is. We don't have room in the motor home for a red hat, so her Mother let her borrow one of hers.)

But most of the work for the luncheon was preparing for the entertainment. We played a version of "name that tune" with old love songs, since we were also celebrating Valentine's Day. Denisa gave the red hatters hints by reading the words to the first verse of a song, or playing the music of the less-familiar verse. Then the women could yell out the title as soon as they recognized it. For the song, "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" Denisa's Mother played the teapot too. On all the songs, the red hat women joined in to sing the more familiar chorus, and everyone seemed to enjoy the show.

Denisa also has a 92-year-old aunt that spends her winters here in Mission, Texas. We've been working on projects at her place too. Because she often gets confused on what day it is, Mark found this new clock for her. It's nice to be able to see the day of the week, as well as the day of the month. We're thinking we need one of these for us too.

Writing about all these work projects is certainly exhausting. But we have had the opportunity to do a little relaxing too. Mark snapped this picture of Denisa doing a little napping under the orange trees right beside our motor home.

We've even had a little time to stop and smell the roses. This bloom was on Denisa's Mother's rose bush before we brought it inside to enjoy it among the grapefruit on our counter.

We're guessing that even with all these work projects, we're not getting any sympathy from our friends still holding down real jobs. To tell you the truth, we don't deserve any sympathy.

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