Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Weekend and 2019 Recap

Since I was out of commission yesterday, this will serve as a weekend and year-end recap.  Friday was a busy one for me.  I found out Thursday that the friend who lost her grandpa (practically father) and mom within 2 months of each other was having a crappy Christmas on top of it.  Her SIL had some kind of norovirus bubonic plague and was quarantined to a bedroom.  Her parents were sick so they couldn't come out to celebrate with them so the big feast they were going to have was put on hold because since one of three of them was now vegan, there was no sense in putting in the effort.  Because the SIL was sick and her mom didn't come, they didn't get Christmas cookies this year.  Well, you know what that meant.  My "rest day" turned into a 4 hour make and bake-a-thon for her and her brother's family of their favorite cookies.  The Mr's color drained from his face when he realized this and I said just clean the house and you're out of it.  (He did offer to make the ricotta cookies but I told him no since it was my decision to do it.)  I got them done, re-crippled my legs and slept hard for 5 hours.  I went to lunch with a friend and we went to a neighboring park chatting for a 4-hour lunch.  I got back home just in time to have 20 minutes to catch up with the Mr before the other friend and her fiance arrived.

The Mr took one for the team and said he would take her fiance' with him to pick up the pizza so we could have some alone time.  I am SO grateful for that time.  She found two tins stuffed full of notes from high school and there's no way in heck I'd want those read in front of the guys.   😂   I gave her some gifts I got and showed her the Christmas cookies for her and her brother in different bags because she was going to hoard hers.  She was very appreciative and I showed her I even bought her fiance' some vegan/gluten-free cookies at Aldi but couldn't vouch if they were any good or not.  When they got back we got to hear about the virtues of veganism for a full hour until she literally got up and put her hand over his mouth when I politely but firmly made it clear we would not be partaking but were happy for him.  I will give him a pass this time because it's new to him and he's excited but I get three effing hours with her in person a year and I'm not spending a third of that time being pressured into a lifestyle that the Mr and I have no interest in doing on a full-time basis.   I will make that politely but firmly clear to her before their next visit if it's still an issue.  The time flew faster than usual and because he's quite chatty and with his accent, you have to focus really hard on what he says so I didn't feel like I got all of the time with her I would've liked but I'll take what I could get.  When we were saying our goodbyes, she hugged me and said: "now it feels like Christmas."  That obviously made my heart happy and I was glad I could bring her some small ray of light in a dark, sh*tty year.  No way was I letting her Christmas be ruined too.

We actually spent a lot of the weekend shopping and it was glorious because all of the crowds were gone!  Sunday was particularly nice because we went out for a fancy lunch, Trader Joe's wasn't too crowded for that time of day so we got that out of the way, rented the movie Hustlers (we rented It Chapter 2 the night before), then later we drove around looking at Christmas lights before people start taking them down with the warm weather.  We rounded out the evening with a few fresh-baked cookies from the dough I had leftover and while watching a horrible Hallmark movie.  It was the perfect breather day (for me at least) with my honey after a week of total non-stop, hair on fire preparations and such.

Every year, I seem to feel like it was an exhausting one since I've hit 40.  Is that just how it is when you hit middle age...you just try to survive it?   I blame it on the year we started doing the "one happy year" project because I don't remember having an onslaught of poo bombs like we've had the past few years since we've had to find things to be grateful for.  Does that just amplify the bad?   I seriously don't know how the 30 of you regular readers stick with me!

I re-read the year-end wrap-ups from 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 and it's like 'how are you still remotely sane.'  (Hint:  I'm not.)  I know a lot of those years were tied up in Grandma's dementia, the resulting burnout and attitude changes from caregivers, seeing people for who they really were, deaths, illnesses, divorce and own our marriage issues thrown in for good measure.   Each year we both seem to have some kind of health crap we're dealing with but thankfully minor so I am thankful for that.

This year has been no different on feeling chaotic and just irritating on many levels- some self-induced, some not.  I was thankful we started off the year in Woodstock VT at a bird sanctuary catching a bird of prey on our hands.  But the Mr got the worst bloody nose of his life during that and we were just petrified the bird was going to peck his face off since blood is kind of their trigger.  March is when the Mr had signs of his heart issue and we spent basically 4 1/2 months before we got any answers on that front.  At the end of April, we went on a cross country road trip which was amazing.  We did a basement remodel which included building a wall, cutting wall tiles that we were ill-equipped for but made work and somehow it all came together.  It was an exhausting few months though getting that done.  Then it was straight into a much needed vacation in the Berkshires/Vermont for the tail end of leaf peeping season.  The MA house inspired me to update our living room when we got back but it just ended up putting stress on me that I didn't need so October is the cut off for any of that.  This year, it seemed everyone I talked to said the holiday season was just "off" and it had nothing to do with the late Thanksgiving, though that doesn't help.  I had to will myself to decorate but was glad I did.  Everyone who visited looked around in wonder saying how beautifully I decorate which warmed the cockles of my heart.  The one casualty this year was our travel ornament tree.  I had zero desire to put it up even with 6 new ornaments for it.

But it's time to scroll the good stuff, so I just went through my One Happy Year document to share some of my best times of 2019.

1/3- big snow came in overnight, couldn’t sleep past 6am so I took a bath in that big soaking tub and watched the snow fall while digging into my calves, packed the rest of our stuff then set a timer for an hour and went sledding down the small hill then the big one a few times, 4k footage before we left, watching the Mr at Funspot and playing some old school video games, Lake Winnipesaukee, BONANZA!,

1/20- breakfast in bed (eggs, bacon, cinnamon swirl toast), “you cook so much, you’re entitled to a shotty breakfast in bed from time to time!", snowshoed, got bins on bottom of shelves organized.

2/10- snow, walked 2 laps in it, when we got back the Mr thanked me for helping him to appreciate how fun snow can be again and how much joy it brings me makes him happy too, watched Real Genius, mailed vday gifts,

4/27- drove a pretty good clip on the trip, lunch, and gifts from Woodsy, Jolly Green Giant in Blue Earth, turbines blinking red in unison in the black of night,

4/28- Corn Palace-lame but Griswoldy, Prairie dog crawling on my lap!, Badlands, Wall Drug props we did in the back,

5/3-  baby bison, being almost alone together in the Norris Geyser Basin, snow falling on us from the trees, good Old Faithful, Dolly Parton cashier at the general store, paying for dinner of and being thanked by older couple at Chop House,

5/5- sweet baby bison in the median of Mammoth, lots of elk and bison, sparring bison, bison stampede over Gardener River bridge and the bouncing of the bridge and clops of their hooves,

7/3- met new gynie-gave her Beekman lotion apologizing for my obese vag, the Mr took off to go with me (and needed the break- his work was being a bag of dicks)

7/28- got started on drywall and got bottom installed pretty well with both outlets, by the end of the day…we had a wall!  Including on top of the doorway and to the right of it.  Holy poop that was a lot and we’re not even done with it!

10/1- took A. the food I made (last time I would see her), watched Scream

10/20- color in the trees on the way to MA, Bartlett’s Orchard had Northern Spy apples, Norman Rockwell Museum, the river path/bridge with beautiful color, watched the Great Pumpkin and Halloweentown, cuddling on the couch and zonking out listening to KCSM

11/23- Singing Bruce song by Rick Springfield,  walking around Toronto, getting to Bruce Dickinson show without incident despite parking crap, seats were better than I bought due to mix up and his show was great, acapella version of Revelations verse, got back to the car without getting robbed or approached in sketchy area

12/14- Mr mailed Woodsy’s box for me while I took a shower since I was crippled, told C. we were dropping off his cookie whether he was there or not, venting about people’s expectations and screaming “f*ck all y’all!” doing double birds, dog at garden place and the sweet older lady who loved hearing about Grandpa restoring the firetrucks when she saw the bag we were buying there.  Made me cry a little.  Walked historic district and got R's candy, napping on the couch with the fireplace on, getting TJ’s and Target done, listening to John Denver Cmas for hygge time

We're planning on spending the evening at home since our days of going out specifically for NYE are behind us.  No need to be out with the drunks on the road.  I'll make a filet mignon for dinner, we've got real and faux wine so I'll decide later which I need.  We'll read our one happy year to each other and discuss which has become our NYE tradition.

I thank you regulars who keep coming back.  I adore you more than you know.  We both wish you a happy, healthy new year!

Are you ready for a new year?  Has 2019 been good to you or handed you your butt more times than you'd like to count?

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  1. I enjoyed our weekend even though it's that time of year where the weekend blurs in with the days you get off work for the holidays too. As for 2019 it was definitely a mixed year. We had some really great moments mixed with some really crappy ones. I guess that could be said about every year though give or take, so it's all good. Goodbye 2019! Hello 2020! Happy New Year everybody!

  2. 2019 has been an okay year for me. I find my patience is growing as I age. My ability to stay in the moment is stronger and I don't get stressed as easily. I made a new friend this year, a good one. That hasn't happened in years. I'm pretty picky so this is not easy for me. I am super grateful for that. A lot of milestone events in my family found our farflung bunch together often which buoys my soul. I plan on reading my happy journal tonight as I reflect on 2019 and look forward to 20/20-- what I am calling my year of vision 😁.
    I will follow you as long as you are here, Anele. You are real and considerate, caring to a fault. I like your decorating style, your sarcasm, your humor, your heart. I know if we lived close by that you and I would be great friends.
    I wish you and the Mr. an awesome 2020

  3. This was a challenging year, but it different ways from other years. Mine was more health related that stretched out the entire year. It was time consuming and overwhelming at times, but my hope is most of it, is behind me now. 2019 was the Year of No for me, and I made huge strides in saying no to things that just didn't fit into what I want in my life now. I said no to get-togethers that would have made me uncomfortable or irritated; no to work demands; no to others' expectations; and no to a lot of negative self-talk. I wasn't perfect in any of it, but I came a long way from where I was the previous year. My faith has grown by leaps and bounds and I'm finding the more I let go of things I can't control, the more things work themselves out when I get out of the way. I'm powerless over people, places, and things, but I'm not helpless, and I finally understand the difference. I've worked hard to unclench my hands around things that cause me to have instant reactions that are more habitual than anything else. I'm finding more freedom in the letting go of old ways of thinking and perceiving things. Again, far from perfect, definitely a work in progress, but it's the one thing that really stands out for me this year. I've had more peace despite the circumstances, and I'm deeply grateful for that.
    Here's to a wonderful new decade. Happy 2020!!

  4. Count me as a loyal reader, although I don't comment much anymore. Happy 2020 Anele and the Mr!

  5. Happy New Year to you both! I think that you have way more readers than you realize. I love your blog; however, I rarely leave comments. I admire both of you because of your authenticity which is topped off by your warm hearts and generous natures. Continue to enjoy your life and take the time to pamper yourself from time-to-time.

  6. You know I'm one of "the 30". I feel special to be part of such an elite group of discerning readers.

    Every year I mean to start a one good thing journal, as well as a list of books I read. Every year I don't follow through. Maybe this is the year? I feel like I need to make it the year. Maybe I'll look for a cute diary/journal to use. Wait... no... then I put it off and then it's 2 weeks into the year and I decide it's too much work to go back and remember and if I don't start at the beginning I don't want to do it at all. So, half used notebook I have on hand already it is.

    I spend NYE with my kiddo and folks. We went downtown to watch the 9 o'clock fireworks (they have another show at midnight but do an early show for families) and was home by 11, in bed by 11:45. First time since elementary school I haven't made it until midnight. Either I'm finally maturing or I'm just getting old.

    I wish I could slow things down too. It seems like last year was a complete blur - and the boy is growing up to fast.

    I hope this year is an easier one for the both of you, and that you find joy in each other and the world around you.


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