While I don’t normally do “resolutions” (and if I do, I usually do them at the begging of the “Celtic” New year at Samhain in early November), I am ready to kick 2014 to the curb and look forward to 2015 being a new and awesome year.
2014 seems to have been a year filled with more challenge, tragedy, illness, death and trauma for just about everyone I know than any years in recent memory. (as I write this, one of you is in surgery having a large, rare and malignant tumor removed from around your iliac vein and artery and another also with cancer is planning your own memorial)
Without offering up platitudes which those who are still struggling/grieving may not appreciate, I will just say that for me, that pesky phoenix metaphor holds true. While just about every area of my life went up in flames (all at once) last year and it seemed overwhelming for a time, it is allowing me a fresh start on a lot of levels.
I enter 2015 in a much better place career wise-I love my job and have benefits again. Small business, which contributes to society in a meaningful way seems to be my sweet spot between working for a soulless corporation for benefits and working for a non-profit with no competent leadership and no benefits.
While I’m pretty sure the debacle with the scummy mortgage servicer took a year or so off of my life, I ended up in a better position in a modified mortgage which has left me with a 1.25% decrease in interest rate and a 25% decrease in monthly payment.
While I very much appreciate (you’ll never how much that meant to me) those of you who offered to help, it was something I needed to do on my own and the end result was much better than if I had accepted help and tried to deal with the status quo. It also helped me learn to navigate a corrupt system that is designed to victimize hard working people and reward the worst of the worst 1%. I am using that knowledge to write a guide to help others who are in the same situation. I have already been able to use my experience to advise others.
I extricated myself from a “relationship” which made me feel bad about myself every single day (and Yikes! Did I ever wait far too long). While I still have work to do on myself and my habit of putting my own wants/needs/self-esteem aside in favor of others’ I feel that I am stronger for it and can only hope that moving forward, I am able to make healthier choices for myself.
So yeah, I’m still decompressing from it all, but looking forward, things look pretty darn good. I managed to “rise from the ashes” once again and sooner or later the scent of singed tail feathers will dissipate.
I plan on filling my life with more friendship, love, hiking, cycling, running, backpacking, music, art and dance.
I wish all of you a happy, healthy, 2015!
I put together my annual year end slide show, which those of you not on Facebook haven’t seen yet.
It just goes to show you that 2014 had a lot of high points despite the challenges, and most of them involved you, my friends and chosen family (a lot of you are in it)
I’m still waiting on proofs from the book; I ordered a bit too close to the holiday rush. I will let you know as soon as they are ready.
New Years Eve – First Night!
Don’t forget First Night on New Year’s eve. The forecast is for clear and no snow so once the indoor venues close at 11:30 and everyone moves to the square for our fiery countdown to midnight, it will be comfortable (if you’re dressed warmly, unlike we performers)
My fire siren friends and I will be in the parade with our LED toys as well as in the fire spectacle at midnight. It’s going to be awesome this year!
An article on first night was just posted in last Friday’s Trib
Every year I ask for help with my out of control human, and every year my pleas are ignored. What am I going to have to do to get some help here? Come barf up hairballs in your shoes? Don’t tempt me, I’m that pissed off and desperate.
Let me tell you just how bad it’s been…
She is more out of control than ever (yeah, I know I say that every year, but her insanity far outreaches imagination) So much so, that I couldn’t get her to sit still long enough to let me dictate the holiday letter until the Lunar (Chinese) New Year… Seriously? It’s the year of the snake. I don’t like snakes (or rats, or monkeys, or dogs or any of those other weird animals they use to celebrate)
The beginning of the year was fine, she was recovering from the 2nd surgery she had which included getting fixed “while they were already in there”. It’s about time, everyone should spay or neuter their human, there are far too many of them running around and they breed like rabbits, especially the stupid ones.There was some celebration about not having cancer; that’s a good thing. Someone’s got to feed me.
After that, we had a wicked ice storm which made it impossible to safely drive anywhere, so she was home a lot to pet the kitty which was perfect. She was super stressed when the huge tree in the back yard bent over and touched the ground (and laid on the house, the grape arbor, the greenhouse and the neighbor’s yard) but it sprung back to life after the big thaw. (she now calls it “the magic tree” what a weirdo)
Then she went back to work which really pissed me off. She’s working for an environmental non profit running the internship program and managing a farmers market. Do you think her farmer friends ever send anything home for the kitty? NO! Jerks! She’s still writing and photographing for that magazine too which is an acceptable activity since the writing part keeps her home where I can yowl for attention and lay on her keyboard.
She’s still bellydancing which just looks silly, although I do enjoy napping on her fluffy skits and batting around her jingly things. She’s still fire dancing too (which she actually gets paid to do. Seriously?) I secretly laugh when she burns herself. She’s also found a new way to burn herself, blowing glass… For some reason, dipping a long pipe into 2100 degree (f) molten glass and blowing into it is a big deal in this city… something about a madman with an eye patch named Chihuly who grew up here. Some people are actually silly enough to buy the stuff she makes. She’s also still playing with clay which she then glazes and fires. Seriously, what is it with this woman and fire?
She did another triathlon which really ticks me off because that means she’s spending way too much time out of the house running, cycling and swimming when she should be home petting the kitty.
She’s still playing that stupid violin too. I hate that thing. Even worse… she has friends that play instruments and they come over to the house. There was even a [gasp] accordion here the other night. She met these weirdos contra dancing. I don’t know what that is, but when accordions start showing up (the next thing you know, it will be a banjo), you know your human is hanging out in the wrong circles…
She’s still hiking, backpacking and finding any excuse she can to wear a tutu… (they are nice to lay on)
Oh, my human turned 50 in October, isn’t that super old for a human?
Shouldn’t she be slowing down? I mean really, 50 is practically dead right?
I’m not much of a late night party animal; I get up early and hate the idea of sleeping half of the day away because I stayed up all night. I’m a creature of the sun, I love sunrises… I go to bed early.
But on New Year’s Eve there is no choice but to stay awake until (well after) midnight because the local asshats can get a buttload of illegal explosives (you really can’t call M1000s and tennis ball bombs “fireworks”)
I will often go to First Night, but there was too much ice up where I live (I walk down) and it was only 17 degrees last night so the thought of being in an mostly outdoor venue (or being in and out of several venues being that bundled up just didn’t appeal to me)
My plan was to attend a few early events, get home before the roads refroze, spend the night working on my New Year’s collage art project and be cozy in my jammies well before midnight.
Ah, the best laid plans.
First, I went over to Molly’s and we celebrated Moscow Near Year with a toast at 1:00 PM. (GMT +3)
After that, I headed over to my favorite event, Don and Paquita’s GMT New Year where we toasted at the highly civilized hour of 4:00 PM (hey, it was midnight in London 😉
My plan was to get out of there before the roads refroze (not that my neighborhood ever thawed) but I ended up staying way later than I normally would. We had a great time.
Before I was getting ready to head home, I got a text from Francine inviting me over to Pistachio House for a game night.
“What the heck?” I thought, I’ll stop by for a few minutes and then head home for my leather recliner and jammie time.
I scooted home, got a package off my porch, locked up the chicken coop, rinse out my ailing sinuses (because asshats all over town are ignoring the burn bans) and walked over.
One way to know when you’ve lived in the frozen North too long is when you wander out into 24 degree (and rapidly dropping) weather without even considering a hat, gloves or scarf) It was only four blocks and I wasn’t go to stay long right?
First, there was microbrew, then fabulous home made lasagna (two helpings)
We played the most hilarious game… “Redneck Life” (a spin off on the old game of Life) You get hitched, devorced, re-hitched, end up with bunches of little red headed step children (all named Darryl) by trailers and junk vehicles (normally by going into deb at “Uncle Clem’s Check and Scram” and by picking “let’s go rednecking” cards (you may get lucky and get a redneck revenge card). The person with the most teeth at the end of the game wins.
I am SO buying this game!
No way could I leave while this game was going on.
We finished the game (I had six teeth left) at 11:50 and I beat feet across the frozen tundra to get home.
I know it sounds lame, but I always have to get home just before midnight so that I can watch the Space Needle fireworks. (I never actually go because the crowds are too huge and the traffic way more than I want to deal with)
This is just the coolest fireworks show every year, it always stunning and coreogaphed to music.
I finally got to bed around 2:00 AM (I NEVER stay up that late) when the asshats with their illegal explosives finally got cold and bagged it for the night. I slept for about 6 hours.
Molly and I were going to waddle around Pt Defiance today but I was sinusy, she was wheezy (sub freezing smoky air) and we were both too tired. We’re going to try for tomorrow.
I ran a few earrands; I needed an optic cable to hook up the new HD sound bar to my TV and a basic iPod dock/charger to attach into it for a complete (and cheap) “home theater system”. I also got some flea treatment for BadKitty, she’s been scratching a lot lately and a “Love Glove” which is a mitt with which to brush her. She has long thick hair and needs to be brushed, but she gets very bitey, so the mitt tricks her into thinking I’m just petting her.
Yes, I’m LATE again, doing this on Friday and never got around to venting venting for WTF Wednesday, but I’m ready to squee with glee.
In honor of Pop Fiend’s attempt at decreasing drama for at least one day a week on LiveJournal by promoting “Drama Free Thursday” (for those who aren’t aware, my blog is crossposted to LiveJournal, my self hosted WordPress blog, Blogspot, and Facebook), I offer up my own “special” (in a rode the short bus kind of way) contribution, “Things that Make Me go Squee!!!
* Things that make me go squee!” may has become a regular Thursday spectacle production because “Squee” rhymes with “Drama Free”, and I’m trying to do my part.
So in the spirit of putting “good juju” out there, here are the current things that make me go “SQUEE!!!”
I am LOVING my wonderful little house on the Hilltop which is often filled with friends/chosen family, art, music and love.
*no, it doesn’t look quite like this today (although there is quite a bit of frozen graupel and ice still on the ground and roof, I just love this picture)
Here is a shot of said “thunder graupel” as we were getting pounded.
I had the best Christmas ever which started out with 16 friends/chosen family sharing Christmas Eve in my home, several visits to others on Christmas Day and even more Boxing Day events, culminating in a friend and I having margaritas in my hot tub.
girlfriends came over on Monday for a fun stitch and bitch session, I baked my infamous “wild blueberry scones of doom” complete with devon cream, Julie brought home made peppermint marshmallows and some wicked Barcardi 151 rum balls and a great time was had by all.
I’m 3 ½ balls of Chunky Mochi yarn into a 5 ball scarf. I’m hoping to be able to wear this (my first ever knitting poject) next week.
Holiday cards are still arriving. Some are photos, some are hand made, some are all glittery (ooh! Shiny!) Winner for “best card of the year” goes to the hand drawn one on yellow ruled paper that has a diagram for a raccoon trap for a chicken coop. (I keep them up year round, so no worries if they’re “late”)
I appear to be the only person on the Hilltop who thaws and rotates my hummingbird feeder during hard freezes, so every bird in the hood is here, fighting over the feeder, perching in trees and in the case of this little guy, hanging out on my holiday lights on the porch.
BadKitty wants a hummingbird very VERY badly
I am enjoying a cozy morning in front of the fire with a latte in the mug that my friend Kelly sent me for the holiday (and the other hummingbird feeder thawing)
I’m going to celebrate GMT +3 New Year (Moscow time) with my BFF this afternoon.
After that, I’m going to a GMT New Years Eve party at Don and Paquita’s
Then I’m going to be safely home and off the roads before tonight’s hard freeze (OK, it’s still hard freeze right now, but the roads will thaw for a couple hours this afternoon)
I was going to go to First Night with friends tonight, but with temperatures in the 20s and so much ice still on the ground up here, I’m going to just hunker down here at home to work on my annual New Years collage art project. I’m ready for some quiet time as we transition out of the holiday season. (that, and I have three parties to attend next week so I need some sort of break)
Happy New Year all!
And here are little smilies for all the squees left unsqueed
And of course, the greatest squee of all…
I am blessed to have really GREAT friends in my life