A year that I would have never made it through without my husband, family, friends, a few angels on earth, and especially God. I am not good at showing it, but I love all of my family, extended family, and friends so much.
It started with my mom falling right before Christmas last year, and her health, already not good, going downhill rapidly, culminating in a five week hospital stay, during which she turned eighty-five, and her death from metastatic liver cancer June 6, less than two weeks after the doctors found it.
I am an only child with no children, who lived next door to my parents after I married. There are very few days in my whole 68 years that I didn't spend time with my parents or talk to them. My dad left us on Veteran's day 2004, and on Sunday my mom told me she was going home with daddy, and she did early Tuesday morning. To say I'm lost is an understatement.
We also said goodbye to one of my husband's first cousins that we both loved dearly, but he was especially close to her, one of my first cousins, who I always thought of as my sister, another of my first cousins that I loved dearly, and hubby's second cousin. All of this happened within a nine month period, plus several of my friends also said goodbye to a parent.
My cousin, Debra, Aunt Minnie's Daughter
My sister-cousin, Kaylean, and me several years ago goofing around
The day of mama's funeral, and for the first time in my life, I completely lost my voice, which was the forerunner of one of those awful flu/virus things that my husband and I both came down with and were basically in bed for three weeks, while trying to tend to the business that follows a death. Three months later my ears were still affected and I was still coughing, so the nurse practitioner gave me an antibiotic and some nasal spray. The antibiotic caused an itchy rash that I'm still wrestling with almost four months later. Also something bit me on my side a couple of weeks ago that made a puffy place with red streaks running my vein patterns. The bite is much better, but I was supposed to go back to the doctor the first of Dec for a checkup anyway, which got delayed until this week, so we'll see how that goes.
Hubby was up in his fishing boat doing some repairs 3-4 months ago, fell, and hurt his knee pretty bad, but wouldn't go to the doctor for x-rays. Now it takes spells of hurting really bad, but he insists that arthritis has set up in it, because the colder it is the worse it hurts.
As Bettie Davis said, "Getting old ain't for sissies!"
We did have some happy times during the year, as well!
One of my favorite aunts, daddy's sister, Minnie, celebrated her 100th birthday with a party in April. Tons of family and friends came to wish her well, and she enjoyed herself, despite healing over a broken hip. She was the middle child of eleven children and she and the baby of the family are the only two left. She is now in the nursing home, having lost her only child Thanksgiving night. She is still alert and fiesty and will celebrate here 101st birthday April 9, 2018. She is a treasure!
Aunt Minnie at her 100th BD Party
I have participated in a couple of online art classes, as I had time and energy to do it, and I did some sketching. Among other things, I discovered teabag art, which I LOVE, and I learned more about, and practiced, portraiture. I learned that I can sketch, draw, and paint with my non-dominant hand! My art and music helps my nerves and depression, plus it keeps me sane, whether I'm actually painting or finding inspiration by reading about and looking at other artists' work.
Recycled Teabags Prepped and Ready to Paint
Intuitive Portrait on a Teabag
I also published my first calendar for 2018 with thirteen of my original paintings featured, both old and new. I didn't publish them for sale this year, but sent them instead of Christmas cards to extra special family/friends who have been there for me and I feel close to. Everyone seemed to really enjoy them, so maybe next year I'll publish some and do a better job. Maybe I'll offer some for sale next time. A possibility and something to plan for!
My First Calendar Featuring 13 of my Original Paintings
The idea presented itself to start a new blog beginning January 1, and I have one set up and under construction. It's called Shaker's Folly and was going to take the place of this one, but I'm kind of having second thoughts now and am not so sure that's what I want to do. We'll see!
The year has not been without work. I've done some de-cluttering in my house and doing stuff that had to be done in my mom's house. Her freezer went out in the kitchen and we lost everything in it and had to clean up, plus a lot of food stuff in the fridge and cabinets. I've gone through very little else yet. The AC went out and it was too hot, and now there's no heat, and it's too cold, so maybe in the spring I'll feel better and resume work in both houses. A lot to be done!
We had a good Thanksgiving and Christmas with our niece and nephew and their families, and my father-in-law and our brother-in-law. We missed sharing the holidays with mama, but it was so good to see all the kids back at home and under one roof, and to hear the laughter and feel the energy of young people. We are the old people now, aside from my 92 year old father-in-law. What a blessing that we got to share! Good food, great company, and excellent hugs!
Hubby, his dad, and me, at our niece's home Christmas
My father-in-law, wearing his new Christmas hat, and me
My husband has been my rock for almost 48 years, especially after my dad passed away. It's not always smooth sailing, but he has always been here for me, and I love him more than life!
I'm so thankful for all the people and things that God has blessed me with, and I'm looking forward to the new year with hope and faith that He will see me through whatever is ahead of me in the new year, as He did in the past, including this past year of struggles and triumphs.
Resolutions for the new year are a thing of the past for me, because I never keep them anyway. Instead, I try to take life a minute at a time anymore, and I'm trying to live in the moment and savor it as it comes. Not easy, but I'm working on it!
I don't usually do a recap of the year at the year's end, but it just felt right this year. I am definitely looking forward to working more on several active online art classes, more teabag art, and the year long art class, Paint Your Heart and Soul 2018, plus I want to start writing again, and finish several unfinished projects that I got sidetracked on. In my spare time, I hope to finish de-cluttering my home and going through my mom's house and things! And I want lots more music than I've had in a while! It's a lot, and I may not get any of it done, but, hey, it doesn't hurt to dream! :D
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I wish us all the best of new years, full of blessings and gratitude!
See you in 2018!
Peace, Music, and Angels