Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Life snippets

2019 was a roller-coaster ride.

I know it's been a minute or two since my last post. Life is always the reason. But let's talk about the year that was, shall we?

I realized yesterday that I do not like years that end in the number 9. I remember 2009 was a rough year. 2019 may have been even rougher, but I'm not certain. Time, for most of us, tends to erode the harshness of the edges to where they seem a bit softer than they did at the time we were going through it.

Work was more than rough. Let's just say that it had an impact on my physical health. My health is better now, and a vacation at Myrtle Beach proved to be restorative. We'll do that again in 2020. My view for 8 days last February:

The uptick from the health issues is that I lost 45 pounds this past year. Yay for cute clothes again.

The Holiday Inn sign was put into use:

I'm still in school. It was especially hard this last semester because I decided to take 3 courses instead of my usual 2. But I made it through with straight As, and also portfolioed my way out of an additional 2 courses during the summer. That's a good feeling.

I traveled for work; this year I went to South Carolina for training and Denver for a peer review. While in Denver, I had the best gluten-free pizza experience at Blue Pizza:

Locally, the Hubs and I got to attend lectures with Madeline Albright and Ruth Bader Ginsberg--both were fantastic:
Stage at Verizon Arena before RBG appeared
And some of the best moments were connecting with friends--the first photo is a group of women with whom I used to attend church and we have maintained our friendship for over 30 years. We used to have brunch once a month; now it's once a year. A couple of the girls are missing since it was Labor Day weekend, and the young one on the far right is the daughter of the one on the far left--we gave her mama the baby shower!

And this photo is of two of my besties from high school and me. The one on the far left is LuAnna, Lynette is in the middle and I'm on the right. We played flute together in band and were thick as thieves. We haven't seen LuAnna in over 35 years. It's amazing how years melt away when you get together with people from your past. I picked up LuAnna that morning and we laughed all the way to the restaurant where we met with Lynette. We were there for hours and I didn't want it to end.

More adventures with food. Found my grandmother's shortcake recipe just in time for Ross and Britta's birthdays--it was the one dessert they requested. The fam was all thumbs up:

If you have not made Vivian Howard's tomato pie, you need to:

I talked last year (I think) about the cocktail hour I started for Thanksgiving. Instead of fussy appetizers this year, we opted for a cheese board; it was a hit.

Christmas was spent at my sister's. It was very lowkey and low-stress. Instead of our traditional roast beast and all the trimmings, we had...

We celebrated on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas Day. Christmas Eve was on Tuesday. Get it? Taco Tuesday? It was terrific.

See all those pups in the photo? That little one that Holly is holding? That's Tatum, our new niece.

Isn't she adorable?? The little yorkie-poo weighs less than 5 pounds. She's in the biting stage now which makes her a bit less than adorable, but still...

Meko's irises are still blooming...

We had some great times with our family. Our step-granddaughter graduated from high school. Her quilt is waiting to be completed:

But what about your quilting? they're all asking. Ah, quilting. My favorite pastime. My crack (it's true).

I started and finished one quilt this year.

Ah, there were issues with that quilt. For something so simple, I had to keep shaving off sides to try to square it up, lopping off to the point where I thought it wouldn't be big enough to be a lap-sized quilt. I am so very grateful to Cindy for volunteering to help me get it done. She came over one day and sewed all the strips together while I pieced the star blocks. I finally got the borders on it a couple of days before the retirement party, loaded it on the longarm (from which I had been absent for 19 months) and meandered all over it. Got the binding machine stitched down the night before the party.

We had his retirement party a couple of weeks ago and I pinned on a sleeve so the quilt could hang in the event room.

He was so grateful--he didn't think he was going to get a quilt. That's another story for another day.

I brought the quilt home after the party to finish attaching the sleeve. Here I am in my happy place watching the British Baking Show:

Yesterday, my boss of almost 25 years retired. And yesterday, I gave my now former boss his retirement quilt. I cried.

It felt really good to work on a quilt last year.

Here's hoping I get to work on more than one this year.

And to wrap things up, here's a photo of the Hubs and me at the end of our workout at the gym this morning. He's been roaring through every day for over 2 months; I am beyond proud of him. I joined a week ago and have been there every day since. Between the two of us, we have lost a combined total of 140 pounds. He's lost his in the last 9 months; I lost my weight over the last 10 years.

I've rambled a bit much, but I don't know when I'll have another opportunity between now and next January 1 to sit and visit. We've continued the dethatching process on the house and hope to have it on the market soon. School starts in 3 weeks. I'm heading to Miami in February for work.

And I always want to quilt. Working on the one quilt was extremely soothing to my soul. I think I'll make sure I bank some quilting time soon. Which reminds me! I played bobbin chicken and won:

I wish you a Happy New Year! Go quilt (or whatever you love to do)!

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