2014 in review and plans for 2015!

Wow – can you believe that the first month of 2015 is almost half over?  I’ve neglected this blog for far too long, often being tempted to forego posting totally in favor of FB.  But, while I enjoy FB it certainly isn’t the same as putting pen (fingers to the keyboard) to paper (monitor) and seeing what transpires.

If I could sum up 2014 in one word it would have to be “TRAVEL” – and yes, all in caps.

  • I was able to go to California 3 times to see my daughter and her family.
  • I saw my daughter in San Antonio about 8 times.
  • I went to Georgia and saw my eldest daughter & family.
  • I went to Hilton Head, SC with my eldest and her family.
  • I took my Mom to see the Dalai Lama in Atlanta where I met up with my eldest daughter & her hubby.
  • Another trip to GA and my daughter and I went to see OneRepublic.
  • I went to Indonesia via Hong Kong.

Now, no matter how you look at it, that is a LOT of travel!  2015 won’t hold as much travel, but in October my California daughter & family will meet me in Kauai for nearly 2 weeks of fun in the sun!  We’ve rented a house on the northern shore, just steps from the ocean.  I cannot wait.

My folks had a lot of health issues in 2014, which reminded me that the decision I made to move here was the correct one!  2015 and they are both doing well.

Christmas saw my eldest and youngest visit.  It was nice, really nice.  We did miss the middle daughter greatly tho.

My fibermyalgia worsened and then I was finally able to get some relief with new meds.  And joy-oh-joy — I have osteoathritus in my hips and thumb joints.  What is all of this teaching me?  I have to MOVE more!!  Tonight my Mom and I start water aerobics.

Speaking of exercise – 2015 will be the year.  My lazy bum is back on the treadmill (mainly thanks to iFit which is having a Jan challenge of walking (or running) a mile a day each day in Jan with pre-programed routes).  While I am missing some days, I do enjoy the days I do the walks.  Yoga has entered my life again (more than just thinking about it, LOL) and on Wed my oldest daughter and I do a practice together thanks to Skype.  Next month I want to add weights back into my routine as well.

I stopped the soap business (although I still make soap for myself) and started making quilts again.  I even purchased a long-arm!  My middle daughter in So Cal and I will be doing FaceTime sewing dates.  I’ve also become a volunteer seamstress for NICU Helping Hands, a non-profit out of Dallas.  We take donated wedding gowns and turn them into burial gowns for premie babies that don’t survive.  It is certainly a bitter-sweet task but one where I hope the garments I make can, to some small degree, help a grieving family.

I picked up a second consulting job.  Between the two I’m pretty busy!

2014 saw us have to put our Siamese cat to sleep.  She was 18 and went into total kidney failure.  That was hard.  My youngest daughter and her boyfriend came home to be with her (and me) at the last.  Then then thoughtfully invited me into their home so I wouldn’t have to be alone that first week.  What a comfort they were during that time.  2015 will see a new Siamese kitten entering our lives.  Hopefully in April.

In mid-March I’ll be heading out to So Cal to visit my daughter & family there and watch the grandkids while their Mom goes to a conference for Breast Feeding.  Hopefully I’ll be able to pick up the new kitten (breeder is in San Diego) and bring her back with me when I return home.

So, that’s 2014 summed up and 2015 planned out.

I am so grateful that I have such a life and that my family and friends are with me always!

California Update

Life is truly amazing and I am enjoying the heck out of this little vacation.

Sunday was Ms. S’s birthday, and we had such fun celebrating her birth.  Her hubby made her breakfast in bed (isn’t he the greatest) – pancakes topped with delicious fresh strawberries!  We went to the restaurant of her choice for supper and came home and ate home-made red velvet cake (delicious doesn’t even begin to describe that cake).

We talked, watched a movie with the kids and just spent the day celebrating life!

Today we leave for San Diego where she will attend a 2-day conference.  We are planning to get food to go (not fast food tho) and going to the beach to enjoy it and watch the sun set.

Life is so good right now and I feel bathed in love.

On a sad note, one of my very, very good friends is saying a final farewell to her Mom.  Her Mom passed away just before Christmas and today is the memorial.  If you are reading this, please send out prayers, love and strength to all who are needing special help today.

Home again!

I am home again – it’s been about 6 weeks of traveling and tons of fun!  I spent time with two of my daughters, caught up with dear friends and even went to visit my sister.  I clocked up an amazing 5,290 miles on my car’s odometer.

While I was gone my sister and brother-in-law painted my living room, dining room and office.  After months of trying out what color(s) to paint in those rooms I finally settled on “Enchantment” by Valspar.  It is a light, creamy yellow — almost like thick cream.  The two huge oaks in front keep those rooms rather dark I wanted a color that would brighten things up.  And it does that!  It is lovely.  All I have to do now is to paint the trim (which will be a bright white), move the furniture back and enjoy the “new” rooms. Thank you Sis!!

I have decided to do my gardening this year in raised beds.  My Dad and I went yesterday and bought the lumber and earth for the first bed.  It is going to be 10′ x 4′ and 8″ tall.  (Not so raised, but it’ll do for this year).  Can’t wait to put them together and get the first of the seeds in.

But I got to confess, after all that fun and traveling I am SO tired!  It is almost 7pm and I’m all tucked into my bed, soon to be in dreamland.

Sweet dreams, friends!

Inspiration

Do you have days were things are just blah? Or days were everything is Ok but you’re a bit restless? I do. More than I care to admit. I keep busy, too busy perhaps, but sometimes I just feel that I’m lacking something. And I think that something may be inspiration.

And when those days come, even more than other times, I pop over to my friend Kate’s blog Inspired. She is full of positive energy and her writings (and photography) always make me smile and think. Not a bad thing.

If you haven’t visited Kate, please do so.

And Kate, thanks!!

Almost mid April –

can you believe it?  This month is flying by.  And so much is going on.

My youngest daughter, who is attending the University of Texas in San Antonio has just won an amazing scholarship for her final year.  It’s through the computer science department (her major) and is in information assurance.  She’ll get most of her tuition covered, her room and board AND get a generous stipend as well.  During the year she’ll be testing programs, doing some research and other work in that field.  Although it is through the computer science department it is funded by the federal government so she is practically guaranteed a civil service job when she graduates.

And if that wasn’t wonderful enough, another Texas University has “hired” her for a summer research position – again in their computer science department.  The other university is about 30 miles from where she is now, but they are going to provide free room and board and give her a generous stipend for the summer.

And I am so looking forward to this weekend.  The son of a friend is getting married and we (two of my daughters and I) are attending the service and reception.  I’ve known this lady for over 30 years — and to many of you it may not seem like a big deal.  But since meeting her I have moved 16 times (from England to Maine, Guam, Japan, New Zealand, Colorado, California, Germany, California, Germany, Japan, Germany, California, Germany, Okinawa, Illinois, California) and she has moved many times as well.  How we managed to keep in contact for all this time is nothing short of a miracle.

The wedding should be so interesting – not only getting to see my friend and her family again, but the bride is Russian and most of the guests will be Russian – and the wedding ceremony is Jewish (I’ve never been to anything Jewish).  So this weekend is full of all sorts of “firsts” for me.

Then on Sunday I’ll be driving to Point Mugu and working there next week.  I’ve already got two appointments to look at apartments.  Did I say I was excited?

And SoapGecko is doing great.  I’m slowly building the business – not only getting new customers but having repeat customers!  And I’m receiving a lot of requests for special orders.

Yes, I believe 2011 is a good year.