2022 recap

It’s hard to believe in a couple days we will be kissing 2022 good-bye. It’s been an interesting year with a lot of changes. I’ll highlight the highs and lows of the year.

Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first. In January of this year, we had to put down our 14 year old Beagle. We had him since he was a puppy. It was hard to let him go, but I feel good we were able to provide him with a loving home the time he was with us.

This year I was diagnosed with arthritis. This was the first year in over a decade that I didn’t log any running miles or do any races. This has been a huge change for me and at times hard for me to accept.

This year I travelled within the United States. Here is the list of areas I visited:

  1. Nevada
  2. Michigan
  3. Illinois
  4. Idaho
  5. Montana
  6. Wyoming
  7. Washington D.C.
  8. Maryland
  9. Delaware

I crossed 4 out of 9 off my bucket list.

My husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary in Yellowstone by Old Faithful. It’s hard to believe we have been married 25 years already and I’ve known my husband half of his life. It’s something worth celebrating.

Our daughter got married this year to a wonderful guy. They bought their first house, have great jobs, and are 100% independent. What a blessing they have been to each other and us.

We tackled some big remodeling projects.

We joined a new church.

This is the first full year ALL of our children are adults and are living their own lives which has many ups and downs. I’ve had to learn to let go of a lot of things and no one is ever totally ready for that.

That’s about all I can think of right now.

What are my plans for 2023? I don’t do resolutions. I want to think I try to be the best person I can be every day. I don’t have any big goals. I want to continue to help others. I want to continue to work on my issues for a stronger marriage and a healthier me. I want to continue travelling and plan on crossing South America off my bucket list in February. Other than that, the rest is just life which I will be writing about as it unfolds.

Happy New Year!!

Gratitude week 155

  1. We were able to get some back burner home projects done.
  2. Volunteer time; it’s always a blessing to share my time helping others.
  3. My daughter and son-in-law got the rest of their wedding pictures back and they are absolutely gorgeous.
  4. I’m grateful that my daughter and son-in-law realized they had a gas leak in their house and fixed the problem.
  5. We have snow on the ground and are expecting another foot of snow this week, so it’s looking good for a white Christmas.
  6. I had my extended family Christmas this past weekend and it went well.
  7. My husband and ALL my kids and their significant others attended. I’m grateful to be surrounded by my children, seeing and talking to them often.
  8. I like all of their significant others.
  9. A double batch of cheesy potatoes fit into the biggest crock pot I own for the extended family Christmas party.
  10. Fires in our fireplace on cold winter nights.
  11. It’s Christmas week and I’m looking forward to time spent with family and friends, the Christmas Eve candlelight service, good food, Christmas trees, and giving and receiving gifts as we celebrate Christmas.
  12. Spending time with relatives I haven’t seen since before COVID.

This uncertainty, part 2

I stressed out for a long time whether or not to get a dumpster. What did I know about remodeling or flooring besides it looking like fun on home renovation shows. They show the before pictures, show someone holding a hammer, then voila it’s done looking amazing. That and one summer when my son was in high school he worked for a company removing flooring. How hard could it be?

I researched dumpsters. I never was really good with spatial things. How would I know what size to get when I can’t even figure out if I have enough room in a parking space? I agonized over the decision. I shut off my computer and walked away for a couple days. Once I got the dumpster there was no turning back. I was committed to finishing the project.

I ordered the dumpster and still worried about it. I was anxious the day the dumpster arrived. The first project I was going to do was tear out the carpet. There was no turning back now. I had already painted my future office a bright light yellow. I took a couple before pictures. I budgeted 15 minutes to a couple hours to tear out the old carpeting. Fifteen minutes, now that is laughable as I think it took over 5 hours. Taking out the carpeting was the easy part. Then I had to pull out the carpet liner. Then all the nails and staples.

I’ve never even used half the tools before. I had zero knowledge or experience going into it which was very scary for me. On the day I started the project we had a plumber over. He must’ve took pity on me because he showed me how to use a razor blade to tear up carpeting and gave me a couple new blades. I don’t think my husband really appreciated his help as much as I did. Never having a dad to show him how to be a handyman, my husband doesn’t really know a whole lot more than I do about these projects. And to think his bio dad was a handyman for a living. What an asshat!

After I did all the painting, removing the trim boards, and tearing up the flooring my husband said he would like that room for his office. He likes the room because it is bright and sunny with a skylight and paint the color of the sun. I am a creature of the dark. I would be happy in a cave with the exception of the bats. We both decided he would be better suited for the bright room and I would be better suited in the room we are sharing as an office right now. We both agreed we weren’t suited to sharing an office. He likes all the lights blazing in broad daylight which makes me feel like my eyes are bleeding. He even has one of those intensely bright ring lights. I might turn the light on if it is dark. He likes to listen to his book or music while working and I like absolute silence. Plus he is on the phone quite a bit.

So I handed the project baton over to him. We found out on of his best friends has a lot of experience with flooring and he will be coming over tomorrow to start working on it with my husband. I had no idea what I wanted for the flooring anyway. Now he can pick what he wants. I would still be willing to help. I am very motivated to have my own office and doing some undisturbed writing again.

Other than that, we are using the dumpster for the carpet and all garbage real or imagined. I even went so far as throwing out some of the fake plastic plants from the previous owner. I went on an anti-plant rampage. When we got back from our trip my two remaining plants got decimated. The large one fell over onto the smaller one breaking the pots. I decided to throw them both out and in the process I sliced up my finger pretty good on the broken glass. If anyone ever buys me another plant I will probably punch them.

We are also getting rid of a whole bunch of junk from the garage. Some of it old crap left behind by my son’s friends when they were roommates. They are a bunch of slobs and have a lot of potential to be hoarders like my parents. The best part of everything is that the dumpster is located underneath the window of the second story of the garage. Because of this I was able to rage clean opening the window and chucking stuff into the dumpster. Or sometimes it would miss shattering everything to pieces on the ground next to it. All in the name of cleaning my friends.

Now I have been thinking about the environment as well in case you were concerned. I have several boxes filled for the thrift stores. I broke down and got rid of the last of the pairs of pants I can no longer fit over my big butt. Then there are the dresses I can’t zip up. But I didn’t have the heart to get rid of one of my favorite miniskirts. I haven’t worn it in years but maybe next summer. Until then it will be hanging up next to my orthotic shoes.

My house has so many projects I don’t even know where to start. But at least I am starting even though I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.

Gratitude week 148

  1. I’m grateful for Ashley’s family letting the blogging community know of her passing. I feel a lot of sadness over her loss. I feel thankful her family provided us with closure and let us know how much comfort blogging provided her in her life. There have been many times over the years bloggers have just disappeared and just left us guessing in worry.
  2. Our friends had their annual Halloween party over the weekend. We also had our annual sailing banquet which we also dressed up for. It was pleasant to visit with friends we don’t see often. I also love to dress in costume. That was probably my favorite part of being involved with community theater, dressing up and being someone else for awhile. Although someone did ask me if I was dressed up as a pregnant porn star. Definitely not the look I was going for. Paul and I dressed up in vintage 70’s disco outfits.
  3. My husband started his month long detox diet. I’m grateful he takes his health seriously.
  4. My son-in-law came back home yesterday after spending two weeks out of state for work.
  5. I finished painting my future office.
  6. We will be renting a dumpster this week to pull out the carpeting and get rid of junk.
  7. I had a good session with my therapist.
  8. Paul and I did some volunteer work. I enjoy helping other people and getting out of my own problems for awhile.
  9. I have been sleeping pretty good lately.
  10. We had a game night with Will and Arabella. We had a really good visit.

Gratitude week 144

  1. My daughter got married yesterday and it was a perfect day!!
  2. It was wonderful to see family and friends who helped celebrate our daughter’s wedding with us.
  3. They couldn’t have asked for better weather for the wedding.
  4. I’m grateful for everyone who was a part of Angel and Dan’s special day. There are so many details that go into planning the perfect wedding day.
  5. I’m grateful to have a daughter who is so organized I didn’t need to worry about all the little things.
  6. I’m grateful my daughter picked the right person to spend her life with. They are a wonderful couple and that is more important than anything else.
  7. I’m grateful the stress of the wedding is behind us now and it is time to move on.
  8. I’m grateful our friends decided to host their annual Halloween party this year. It’s a disco theme. Time to dust off that leisure suit.
  9. I’m grateful to be flying out this weekend for a business/fun getaway. I will be checking another state off my bucket list.
  10. I’m grateful to have a lot of stuff going on the next couple of weeks to ward off some of the after the wedding blues.

1 day

I can’t believe by this time tomorrow my daughter will be changing her name. It seems surreal to me right now. They are getting really excited for the big day tomorrow.

My husband will be saying the dinner prayer and he is really nervous about it. I told him no one is going to remember it unless he accidentally says the f word or something. My son is going to be an usher and he is nervous about that. I don’t feel any different than any other day really. And that is the joy of struggling with anxiety. I’m used to feeling this way. There has to be some perks.

I’ve spent the last couple of days just getting ready. Mom and I went and got our nails done. I made the beds for guests tonight. Angel will be staying over with a bridesmaid. Arabella and Will will be staying too just to make sure they are up and ready in time. Angel is getting ready here with her bridesmaids so I bought some easy lunch foods. I expect somewhere around a dozen people being in and out of the house tomorrow morning. Then we may or may not have overnight guests the night of the wedding.

In a couple hours will be the rehearsal and dinner afterwards. I expect it will really hit me and I will be nervous then. Hopefully we will be able to sleep tonight!

Tomorrow Dan and Angel will begin their married life together. I can’t believe my daughter is getting married tomorrow. I am so happy and excited for them. I hope they will be blessed with many wonderful years together. One more day…

3 days

Today I found out all my closest friends will be attending the wedding. I am pretty excited about that. You know what they say, friends are the family we choose. I have a lot of family I consider wild cards. You never know what you are going to get.

My mom said my brother Luke won’t like the music. There is no doubt about it. After he stopped drinking, he became addicted to faith and very legalistic. He does not listen to any music that is non-Christian and neither does his teenage homeschooled kids. I know he looks down upon my family and views us as a bunch of savages. I also know that religion is where he feels safe from all the crap we experienced so I try not to take it personally. It’s not even that I disagree with him, I totally understand and think it is better for him than drinking too much. But he has a tendency to judge instead of support, the latter something we were never taught to do either.

Luke isn’t the only one questioning the music and other choices regarding the wedding Angel and Dan have made. I told Angel that I trust her judgment. What she really has a problem with is people not trusting her. She’s got this. Music is her thing. She has a music degree and a job in the industry. I can understand why it is so important to her. She said she doesn’t want to take requests because they bog the DJ down when she has a well thought out playlist already made. They will have jazzy dinner music from 6 to 8, dance music from 8 to 10, and club music from 10 to midnight. At the ceremony, they will have several singers and a pianist that hold the minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in music. I told my daughter I think she has this handled and validated her feelings of frustration over people questioning and criticizing. It’s their wedding. Angel said she is starting to feel more excited about the wedding than anxious today.

Other than that, I ironed my son’s shirt for the wedding. If it was up to him it would probably still be sitting in the bag I bought it in laying around somewhere. I can’t remember the last time I ironed. Yes, I have an iron. I got it for a high school graduation gift from my aunt. I remember that because when I opened the gift I was excited to see what was really in the box and it really was an iron. Our house has an ironing board built into a drawer in our kitchen island. It looked well used but it was the first time I used it.

As I was ironing, I started to think about ironing. When did that stop being a thing? I missed the smell of ironing. I started to think again of my grandma who was always ironing it seemed. She had a glass soda bottle with a little sprinkler on top to put little drops of water on the clothes before ironing. If you think laundry is a hassle now, try ironing everything.

My mom also gave my grandma laundry to iron. I remember my mom saying the smell of ironing also triggered my brother Matt’s violent outbursts. In the summer, my mom would iron outside. When she couldn’t do that, she sent it all over to my grandma’s. I had forgotten about that, but it all came back to me today. My mom thought if we could perfectly follow all of the crazy rules then Matt wouldn’t be violent anymore when in actuality all it took was the right anti-psychotic medicine. It’s no wonder why my brother Luke fell into following rules so easily and becomes upset when they are broken. I have to fight against it myself with my thinking if I do everything right I won’t get sick, etc. But hey, nothing about my childhood was normal, except maybe my grandma. To think ironing could trigger violence. How flipping crazy is that?

Anyway, I am excited all my best friends are coming to the wedding. I’m happy for the family members attending, even the wild cards. I’m glad Angel is starting to relax a little and enjoy the last couple of days before the wedding. I know it’s going to go by fast now. I’m glad to report everyone is healthy (except Arabella with mono but she will be there!). Only 3 more days to go…

4 days

My dress fits! Yeah!! The alterations didn’t take too long and I was able to see my daughter in her wedding dress which looks absolutely gorgeous on her.

Angel is keeping up with the tradition of something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. Her future MIL is taking my grandma’s wedding dress and making a little handkerchief out of a piece of it. So, in a way, my grandma will be a part of the ceremony.

I remember when I was 12 years old, I tried on my grandma’s wedding dress. I told her when I got married I was going to wear it. That never happened. My grandma was a short woman and the dress pretty much fit me at age 12. Grandma never had a daughter or even another granddaughter so I ended up with her wedding dress. It was a very plain dress. It sat in a box untouched for many decades. It’s almost been 80 years since she got married. Over time, the dress started to fade. The buttons on the back of the dress rusted and bled into the dress.

I never thought the dress would be used again, but now it is. It’s special to me because my grandma was the number one positive influence in my childhood. I don’t know where I would be today without her. Now a part of her will be with us on my daughter’s special day.

I can’t believe we only have 4 more days to go until the big day. So far the weather is looking really good for Saturday. One less thing to worry about. And our dresses are ready to go, even my grandma’s.

5 days

My dress doesn’t fit. When I first tried the dress on at the bridal store it was a good fit albeit a little snug in some places. I decided to order the size up just to be on the safe side. If anything it seemed like I was more apt to gain weight than lose it. The dress I ordered was a little too big. It was also too long, but I was expecting that. The dress has small sleeves off the shoulder. It was too big in that area so Angel’s future MIL did alterations for a tighter fit in the shoulder area. In doing so she also brought up the chest and now the cups are way too high. I’m hoping it will be an easy fix.

Needless to say, Angel and I are both going back this evening for alterations. Angel is a nervous wreck. I have been anxious too, but it doesn’t even compare to my daughter’s anxiety over the upcoming wedding. I’ve had some rather strange worries too. I’ve been worried about my brother Matt. The other day I even asked my mom if he was okay. It just came out of the blue a premonition he was sick and going to die. I wonder if my daughter’s upcoming wedding triggered in me some memories from my own wedding when we feared my brother could die because he was really sick. That’s the only thing I can think of. I can’t recall feeling this way towards him since I got married. How utterly bizarre.

Other than that, I feel good today. I feel confident in how I look. I have confidence in my immune system. I reminded myself that I was only sick once this year (with COVID) even after being around other sick people. I reminded myself that before I got COVID, I can’t even remember the last time I was really sick. I think it was 8 years ago when I had walking pneumonia. I exercise, eat healthy, take vitamins, drink a lot of water, and don’t do anything fun. I’ve been avoiding groups of people. I’ve taken precautions and the extra steps to strengthen my immune system to the best of my ability. What more can I do? Angel is doing the same yet she worries. Maybe she is more like me than I even thought.

One good thing is I will have a preview of Angel in her dress tonight. I really don’t want to cry at the wedding when I see her in her dress and be a big pile of snot with raccoon eyes. Angel said she wrote me a letter to be read right before the ceremony with the photographer taking my picture. Why?? Oh, why?

I can’t believe we only have 5 days left.

Gratitude week 143

  1. My daughter is getting married this week!!!
  2. My best friend and I found Arabella a beautiful dress to wear to the wedding.
  3. Today is my husband’s birthday. I’m grateful for him and his mother for trying to give him the best life she could as a single teen mom.
  4. I’m grateful Paul’s gift arrived early (when he wasn’t home to see it) since the delivery date wasn’t until after his birthday.
  5. I’m grateful to have the kids home to help him celebrate his birthday. I bought him a pie and we are going to order Indian take out.
  6. I’m grateful for some time to just think and reflect over the weekend. My husband was gone all weekend for work and my son, his roommate, and girlfriend were out of town to celebrate a friend’s birthday. I realized I haven’t spent a lot of time alone in my life. I’ve never lived alone. It was refreshing to have some quiet time. It was nice to do what I wanted. I could listen to the music I like without someone asking me to turn it down or complain about how depressing it is. LOL I finished the book I was reading.
  7. Earlier this past week, I was able to enjoy what the rest of summer was willing to give. Then like clockwork it got dark and cold on the first day of autumn. Nearby areas had frost warnings. I’m really sad to see summer go, but I am looking forward to my second favorite season autumn. The leaves are starting to change colors and that’s simply gorgeous. I enjoy the cool crisp air, campfires, fall cleaning, not having to do the endless weeding, wrapping up in a blanket, pumpkin pie, and fall holidays.
  8. The landscaping company came and replaced all of our dead plants.
  9. My mom got a last minute call on the waiting list for cancelled appointments to see a specialist she had to wait several more months to see. They were able to do some tests and hopefully she will have some answers soon, a lot sooner than waiting until the middle of December anyway.
  10. I’m grateful for my close friends who offered to do things for the wedding. Lisa, who previously worked as a hairdresser, is going to be helping Angel get ready. My best friend Cindy offered to take their vehicle back to their house after the ceremony and drop off the gifts later that evening. Angel asked two of her bridesmaid’s fianc├ęs to help, but one of the guys apparently didn’t feel comfortable driving anything bigger than a Prius. Seriously??!? Our friend James offered to drive people home who have been drinking.
  11. I’m also grateful to have a lot of people we know helping with the wedding such as the florist, the photographer, and the DJ. It’s great to support local businesses. They all gave us discounts even though they didn’t need to.