Saturday, December 31, 2022

new year's eve 2022

This is a first for me, writing a post two days in a row...but I wanted to reflect a bit on 2022. As usual at this time of year, I go through my journal and planner and jot down the important happenings, sad events, and highlights of the year. One hearbreaking thing was losing Monkey in February. We had to let him go due to lymphoma in his nasal cavity that came on suddenly. I still miss my big, fluffy "boo" deeply. My heart aches when I see his photos. I miss running my hand gently through that beautiful floof on his belly.

In March, we lost Brian's father. He was in his upper 80's and in poor health, so his death wasn't a surprise, but naturally, it was still upsetting and sad. And one of my best friends lost both of her parents this year ~ her mom in January and her dad in December. 

Of course, 2022 brought plenty of good things, too...a weekend girlfriend's trip; our front yard got some sorely needed professional landscaping; I was able to trap a stray mama kitty and one of her kittens in my back yard ~ and a friend fostered until they were adopted; I had a fantastic 60th birthday; got to spend quality time with my cousin and her 7-year old daughter who flew in this summer from Tacoma, WA; Tim came home for a visit in October; I discovered a (new-to-me) poet's group in a nearby town. 

I don't make New Year's resolutions, but one of the things I would like to do in 2023 is to take weekend trips and visit Tim in California. We haven't been able to take weekend trips or go to California because of Clementine. With her being in stage 4 kidney disease, she needs constant care and subcutaneous fluids, so we can't leave her alone or even have a cat sitter. We know she'll be crossing the Rainbow Bridge in 2023, but of course, we have no idea when. In fact, we're surprised she's made it through the end of this year. When she was diagnosed with kidney disease over five years ago, the vet said she'd probably live only another 1-1/2 years. Then when she lost a fang this past February and we declined major dental surgery for her, the vet dentist said that her gums would get majorly infected from the tooth loss and that at best, she'd probably only live another three months. She not only never got an infection from losing the fang, but she's still with us. Clem definitely has "nine lives"!

Tonight, New Year's Eve, we will be staying home. I haven't been to a New Year's Eve party in about 15 years and I have no desire to go to one again. Not that any of my friends have parties anymore at our age! 😜 A friend invited me and some other girlfriends over for snacks and games and I even declined that invitation. I much prefer to stay safely home in my pajamas, order good food (Thai take-out tonight), have a glass of wine, play some board games, then cuddle up on the couch to watch a movie. Stay up til midnight? Perhaps. I normally go to bed around 11:30 PM, so staying up til midnight would be no big deal. To me, it doesn't hold any appeal and is just another day. How about you?

Thank you for reading my blog in 2022, for your lovely comments, and for your friendship and support. I am thankful for all of you. 

Friday, December 30, 2022

popping in after christmas

A quick hello...

We were supposed to spend Christmas Eve with extended family, but that was cancelled due to a couple of people having Covid. Instead, Brian and I went to my aunt and uncle's house and we had a fun-loving time talking and snacking in the cozy family room next to the fire ~ where Dandy the Pug snuggled up next to Brian. We later moved upstairs to play board games around the dining room table.

On Christmas morning, I made my traditional breakfast casserole and we ate that along with almond kringle from a famous Danish bakery in Racine, WI. (Our local Trader Joe's carries it!) So much sugar and overeating at the holidays; back to our healthy eating as of January 1st.

We opened our gifts to each other and later we video-chatted with Tim and opened gifts that way, too. Would've been a million times better in person, of course, but grateful for this technology.

As always, missing our oldest son, Philip who passed away in 2009. This was our 14th Christmas without him.

How was your Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate in December)?
I know the holidays can be hard and perhaps not happy or joyful ~ for various reasons: Thinking of those loved ones who have passed away, old family hurts, missing out-of-state family or friends...the holidays can dredge up painful hurts. It's OK to acknowledge those feelings, too. Love and blessings to you all.

Hoping to writing an end-of-year post tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Popping in to say hello and wish all of you a happy and blessed Christmas. (Or, if you are celebrating Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or any other holidays, may those be light and love-filled, as well.) 

In my last post, I said I'd show you the Christmas decor in my living room and kitchen. Since I'm late in writing my post and it's only five days 'til Christmas now, I'm sharing just a few photos. I think everyone is probably tired of seeing Christmas decor by now anyway. 

The sweetest present under the tabletop tree, our Clemmie. She is still hanging in there with her kidney disease. She had a vet checkup yesterday and he said Clem still looks like she's doing okay. We'll get the results of her blood tests this week.

We are supposed to be going to my cousin's house on Christmas Eve, but that may be cancelled due to someone having Covid and...we're under a winter storm watch.

Depending on how the storm tracks, we may get quite a bit of snow on Thursday and Friday, but the worst part is supposed to be the 55 mph winds, which will cause white-out conditions.

Then temps are supposed to plummet into the single digits during the day and below zero at night. I like a white Christmas, but not a bitter cold one! And not one where the weather cancels family get-together plans.

If plans for our familynChristmas Eve are cancelled, we'll invite some nearby friends over for appetizers and wine at our house instead.

Christmas Day will just be the two of us. We'll enjoy a peaceful morning with a fire going in the fireplace, my traditional breakfast casserole and an almond kringle, and opening our few gifts to each other. We sure do especially miss our sons this time of year. This will be our 14th Christmas without Philip, and Tim has now been in California for three years.

What are your holiday plans? Will you be gathering with family or friends?
Love and blessings to all.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

my christmas mantel

Minimal and easy is my Christmas decorating motto, and I think it gets moreso that way every year. The less to dig out, fool around with, pack back up, the better. I did have fun decorating my mantel this year though. This turned out to be my favorite part of the Christmas decor.

I had a collection of bottle brush trees, most of them purchased the past couple of years from a local shop, Vintage Art & Findings. Last month I was in Target and spied some inexpensive modern trees that I thought would be an interesting mixture with the bottle brush trees.

I picked up this cute JOY banner at Vintage Art & Findings this year. The felt ball garland I bought years ago at Hobby Lobby.

Added some fairy lights among the trees...

The view at night.

Hope everyone has been staying healthy. Covid, flu and RSV are rampant right now. Brian and I have been sick since right after Thanksgiving, but we're both on the mend. Neither of us had been sick in years, not even a cold, so I guess it was our turn. Thankful for strong, healthy immune systems! 

I'll be back soon to show you my other little bits of decor in the living room and kitchen.