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!

Family

Steph and her family from California arrived Friday evening after many delays en-route.  It is so good to see them and to have them a part of my daily life, even for a short period of time.

We are having so much fun!  We have been to favorite restaurants and on Sunday afternoon we went and saw the local ballet production of “The Nut Cracker”.  The kids loved it (as did the adults).  We had great seats (thanks Steph) and I’m not sure we even blinked throughout the performance.  There were two “guest” ballerinas from the San Francisco ballet company and that was a real treat as well.  We did some research on The Nut Cracker and guess what.  The first performance in the US was in 1944 and was performed by the San Francisco Ballet Company!  I thought it delightful that the first company who presented the ballet sent two of their best to assist in this production.

It hasn’t been all fun and games tho.  The day after they arrived the plumbing backed up!  The plumber came yesterday and now everything is working again.  We are all very happy that the potties once again work!

And yesterday afternoon my 8-year old grandson started coming down with a cold.  Umcka to the rescue and we are hoping to have caught it in time so he’ll feel better faster.

Wishing you and yours all the best this beautiful December!

Home again!

It’s always good to come home.  To reclaim my space and my life.  To see my cats, my garden, my “things”.  While I love to go, I love even more to come home.  I think that is good – if I wasn’t so good to come home then it would be time to move on.

The cruise was wonderful.  It was warm, the scenery fantastic.  But the best part was being with my part of my family.  Mom & Dad enjoyed their first cruise.  My sister and brother-in-law celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary.  And for the first time in years and years, my eldest daughter and I had “alone” time.  7 days of love!

Came home to cold though.  Every morning I’ve awakened to frost!  After sever days in the 90s to say this weather is a shock to the system is a huge understatement.  But warm weather is on the way and soon I’ll be able to plant my garden.

Next week I’ll be selling my soap and body products at the Air Force Base near my home.  So this week I’m getting everything ready.  Yesterday I spent packaging the soap and today making body butter.  More body butter tomorrow, bath bombs and fizzies on Friday.  Weekend resting!

 

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!

Christmas Eve

Well, the children are certainly nestled and snug in their beds (and so are the grandkids)!  This is the second Christmas in a row that I have all my girls and their families under one roof and I am SO excited about it.  In fact – I am the one having trouble sleeping!  By the time Santa come and the kids get up I am going to be so sleepy!  But that won’t keep me from enjoying all the fun.

Today graham cracker houses were constructed:

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And it snowed in the dining room:

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The baking is finally done:

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And even the cat is finally calling it a day:

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Yes, finally everything has come together and now it is only the waiting until Christmas morning!