Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014 New Year's Resolutions

I'll start the year by not wishing "Happy" new year to anyone.  I have been shaken this past year by the losses in my close circle of friends.  I remember starting out so hopeful in January, little suspecting the tragedies ahead.

Instead I will wish us all a contented new year with the courage and strength to face its challenges, and grace in accepting whatever good fortune it holds.

I reviewed my three simple resolutions of 2013.  I accomplished the reorganizing closets and drawers (with a couple still unfinished, but close enough to call it done).  I launched the upstairs doors and floors remodel, which expanded to include a shower remodel.  That is underway.  And while it's not finished, it will be in the early part of 2014.  So I'll check that one off.

The third resolution was a bust.  Taking care of Becky did not happen.  I had sporadic periods of walking, dieting, trying to focus on new hobbies.  But the distractions this year proved to be too much for me.  I didn't figure out how to take care of my grandchildren and take care of myself, too.  Ice and snow kept me sedentary at the start and the end of the year.  I simply did not figure out how to do this one.

So, for 2014, I have just one resolution:  Find new ways of taking better care of myself.  This is about physical health most of all.  But also about mental, spiritual, and even social needs.  This may sound selflish or self-centered, but that's not my intent.  I will always be a support to my family and friends, no question.  But I simply must do better at taking care of myself, or I won't be around as long as possible to do those things.  I do hope the year brings an ability to return to my music, art, and writing (and reading).  These are things that have brought pleasure and satisfaction in the past, but which became very hard for me to do at all this past year.

The nicest thing I did for myself in 2013 was acquire a fluffy little white dog named Frankie.  In fact, he has been a joy for the entire family.  He's on the couch here beside me as I write, all curled up snoozing as he does a good deal of the day.  I share him with my son's family and they have fallen in love with him, too, and now he spends a couple of days at a time at their house, having his own bed, dish, toys, and food there as well.  He'll offer some companionship in the coming months.

I'm entering this new year with no expectations -- high or low.  I will walk softly and hope for good things while preparing for anything.   

So deep breath, now.  Here we go . . . 2014 . . .

Friday, December 27, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me - 66

Spent my birthday as I have the entire month of December: low-key and mellow.  I'm still tending grandkids as they are out of school until January 2nd.  But it's all upbeat and fun with the boys.  And add my new little Frankie in the mix, and there's not a dull moment.  Received many nice birthday wishes and had a quiet dinner in the evening with family.  I feel content with how I marked my 66th.

I gave myself a big break this year from all the pressures of the season.  I didn't feel like putting up a Christmas tree, so I didn't.  No lights, no village, no nutcrackers.  The only thing I did was buy a bunch of poinsettia plants to place around the house.  It felt festive but calm.  Just what I wanted this year.  And I'll sure appreciate it more when the time comes to undecorate.  Just toss the old flowers out and I'm done.

It's fine to deviate from tradition.  At least for me.  I have enjoyed the season more than any in recent memory.  And since the grandkids were out of school the entire month of December, it was good for me not to push myself harder than necessary. 

I am looking forward to the end of 2013.  And I dare not think too much about 2014.  The years roll around and bring a share of joy and sorrow, success and struggle, comings and goings.  What will be will be.  I'll take it a day at a time. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

How Cold Is It?

No joke, it's far below normal.  And it's only December.  We don't usually see these temperatures until January.  I fear what the rest of this winter holds for us.  It may sound funny, but I'm looking forward to the day we actually get above freezing.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Utah Snowstorm, December 7 and 8, 2013

I don't mind a weekend snowstorm.  I don't usually have any place I'm obliged to be.  Weekdays are difficult because I need to be at my son's house by 6 a.m. to take care of the grandkids.  Utah got quite the storm this weekend.  In fact, St. George in southern Utah even got 8 or 9 inches of snow and will barely make it up to freezing temps today--very rare for them.  We've been below freezing for days now and had one earlier storm that left a few inches.  This one added maybe 10 inches here on the North Salt Lake hillside.  Some of that was lake effect.  But it was not a problem.  After coffee and relaxing, I finally bundled up and took on the driveway.  My neighbor Nils helped out with the very deep hard slush the snowplows had pushed into the entrance of the driveway.  Another neighbor, Tim, ran his snowblower the length of all three of my sidewalks.  Still it took me an hour to clear the main part of the driveway.  I'm just happy I can still do this at my age; and hope to be able to keep it up for some time to come.

We are still not expected to get up to freezing for a few more days.  This is unusual weather this early in the season.  It's technically not even winter yet for a couple more weeks.

Friday, December 6, 2013

And yet another remodel project

One of my new year's resolutions was to do the "Upstairs Doors and Floors" project.  It took me till October to feel I was ready to call the contractor.  I first wanted to clean and reorganize every closet in the house.  Why they took me till October -- well, don't ask.  By the time I called, the contractor was very involved in other projects.  But I have so much confidence in him and the quality of his work, I wasn't even interested in talking to anyone else.  We went over my ideas, added a few things; he gave me a bid and we made some revisions.  But nothing happened until this week.  Suddenly my contractor is free and ready to work on the house.

Now you might think at three weeks before Christmas I'd just put the project off now until the first of the year.  Well, no sir!  I really want to have this project done.  I'm willing to put up with some mess throughout the holidays.  And my contractor is available because most people don't want the house in a mess during the holidays.  He's available, I say, "Let's do it!"

The project was expanded to a new shower in one of the bathrooms, along with paint.  And new baseboards throughout the upstairs along with the doors and casings.  The heat tape is already installed but needs to have an electrical connection done.  And  I absolutely have to make a decision about replacing that carpet or not.  I make a different decision every day.  But one day soon I need to make a decision I can live with.  I'm very excited about it all.

Today, they showed up and did demolition in the shower.  What was a dark closed-in shower with a tiny door, will be all opened up with clear glass wall and door and even a light!

I'm probably not putting up Christmas decorations this year. Or maybe just minimal, and probably not a tree. Don't feel sorry for me. I just don't feel up to it this year and the world won't end because of it. I'll probably resume my old habits next year. My grandkids are off-track and with me all day. And there's the new little doggie, Frankie. This month will be less glittery and more adventure.

And wouldn't it be just wonderful to actually accomplish one of those resolutions!  And I did finish most of another resolution: the Grand Reorganization.  The little remaining of that will be done by the end of the year.  Don't ask about the third one--putting myself on the list.  That one got lost.