Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 in photos

She turned one. Only recently will she approach me. It is almost a year later. She has plenty of hair now

In January we went to Seattle to meet up with Steve's siblings and mom

And I went on the Woman's march in Seattle to protest all things from the Orange man and his hare-brained supporters. My friend made me a pussy hat for the occasion

Indoor bloom

In February my friend and I took a tour of Coast Rica staying the day before in a b&b featuring a banana sofa

this town was full of Cyprus topiaries

relaxing in the tropical heat watching the sunset

saw the 4 main monkey species along with two kinds of sloth, a band of coati mundi and numerous birds

this spring we were inundated with hordes of orioles. Usually there are only 2 of them but this year, 20 draining the hummingbird feeders. My oriole feeder couldn't be filled fast enough

Lots of visits from the grandbabies. After my exercise in the morning I like to sit in my cabana with my coffee relaxing surrounded by my flowers

A friend and I were set on biking from Pittsburgh to Washington DC. Here I am overlooking the Youghiogheny gorge. Note to self: buy panniers. Carrying a weeks worth of provisions on ones back is painful

One of our many bridges. Note wetness. Never had a completely dry day

And tunnels. When I went through this in 2013, it was pitch black

This would have been the middle of the ride but it turned out to be the end

the Potomac was completely flooded. I don't think they were able to open the complete path all summer and there are few detours we could take

We had fun anyway even though it rained on our parade. We took a train to DC, stayed with my good friend, and biked around town and Virginia. A visit to the zoo too.

As usual I gardened. Nice romaine

new glasses

continued to buy vintage classic dresses that I have no where to wear

Though none of my friends could go with me, I did the Michigander up north by myself  and made new friends

Naomi stayed with me part of the time. She loves Torch Lake and Lake Michigan

Harbor Springs beach

Met up with an old friend from my neighborhood

Helped entertain refugees from the Ivory Coast

Summer nights in a downtown beer garden

the neighbors from the fanciest house in the neighborhood invited us over

School began again for the kids: we have a 5th, 3rd, 2nd, 1st and a kindergartener. And Hannah

Steve and I took off to Utah to see how many National parks we could see. This is Zion

On our way to Moab

Arches. Steve is in the middle there

The little baby is my aunt who died this fall at 97. She was doing great until just a few months before her death

My friend and I went to Grand Rapids for their artPrize. They will only have this every other year going forward

I harvested gallons of rhubarb. Still a lot in my freezer. Made anything I could think of from rhubarb. My friends are probably sick of it

took Tessa and Maya trick or treating


More friends from the past

me in Graffiti Alley

Trouble in paradise. The cooper's hawk makes regular visits to my feeders, not for the feeders themselves

We went to NYC this month. For half of it I stayed north in Harlem with my nieces  then down to Brooklyn with my in-laws
Beautiful brownstones

my nieces under the City College of CUNY arch

my running path along the Hudson early in the morning. Crowded as NYC is, no sign of it when I go out

Brooklyn Museum

41st anniversary. Yeah I can fit into still

Steve's brother came home with us: Euchre time

Christmas with 5/6  of the grandbabies. Maya was with her father
It will be another year in just 9 hours. For the most part, it was a good year until I opened Pandora's box. Sometimes ignorance is bliss though now I know I am 'lucky' I opened the box as more are affected than just me. Meanwhile one should never take ones health for granted, it can turn in an instant.

But for now, I appear the picture of health. I biked almost 2400 miles and run quite a bit too. Although I am a pound or two heavier than last year at this time, I think it is more muscle. I had gone from 'borderline' obese to 'thin', a miracle in itself though lots of hard work was involved. Still afraid of it springing back.

We saw lots of pretty places this year and had some visitors that were fun to be with. The kids are doing well. On the whole, we are blessed. Happy New Year to those in blogsphere!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Christmas 2018

NYC windows taken by a Facebook friend. One of my regrets is not exploring midtown during my recent stay

this house is near my niece

A friend and I went last week to a bar in Plymouth that is named after this Bernese Mountain dog that seems to have free rein of the place. Health rules? I think she is exempt because she is a therapy dog

our main Xmas tree loaded with mainly grandkids' presents. Maya picked hers up early as she spent time with her father this year

should have taken photos before opening the presents..not after

Hannah likes to be entertained by her cousins. I'm still scary

Daniel entertaining Hannah

Another Christmas came and went. Less competition with the in-laws this year so it was easier to schedule a time. We did have Julie's father join us. I decided a brunch would be easier but it was difficult to schedule all my duties along with a long run. Fortunately I work very quickly, which my cooking teacher noticed last week when I was asked to help prep stuff for our class. Do I have experience? Aside from years of being a wife and mother, I used to cook for 70 people at a time in the co-op when I was going to school. I have to be fast. Naomi seemed to acquire my chopping skills too as that is now what her main job is now.

Aside from fruit and cold cuts, I made a large frittata, which no one ate (except me) and coconut pancakes, which everybody ate especially with those fancy amarena cherries  spooned on. Maya, who hates most food, now is a fan of the cherries too. I decided that baking bacon in the oven works out way better than frying. No more splatter around my stove.

For weeks we've been trying to balance out the gifts buying and wrapping them. We don't buy presents for each other as buying for everybody else is so time consuming. Are they all happy? I hope so but Steve mixed up two of the presents annoying the recipients. Out again to rectify this. Anyway it was nice watching the kids play with each other. I do like our family gatherings even though they are a lot of work.

My friend is hospitalized again with what would be a minor infection in anyone else makes it impossible for her to breathe without being in an oxygen tent. Recently an old boyfriend contacted me to say that he has been diagnosed with the same leukemia my friend had. The 'cure' would be a stem cell transplant assuming he could find a match. But he is opting out saying that aside from not surviving the 'blast' in which they kill all of your bone marrow, he doesn't want to deal with host versus graft disease which after witnessing what my friend goes through, who is much younger, is certainly a valid concern. So every three days he needs a total blood transfusion. How long can he keep that up? Three years tops. This isn't the same boyfriend who has morphed into  a f***ing Trumpkin but the one after. In a painful attempt to try to understand what 'they' can be thinking, I read his annoying posts. The only bright side is that he has a son, who refuses to call him dad, refutes most of his postings with the Truth.

So one's health is so precious. Things change in an instant as we are finding out on multiple fronts.

A minor annoyance: Naomi intersected with a herd of deer so she has one of our cars. Is the damage enough to consider her car totaled? TBD. The amount they will pay her won't cover much of a car. Perhaps she can have one of our cars and keep the money until she can amass more to buy a suitable car. It's probably time for us to get a new car anyway.

No white Christmas this year for which I am thankful. Maybe another bike ride for this year tomorrow?


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