Monday, January 12, 2015

Review of My Year in 2014: Blog Edition

Wow, what a year 2014 has been!

I had to make a big decision at the end of 2013, and when I did, it changed my life for the better.  I owed it to myself to put an end to the daily grind, make time for deep breaths because there were too many times when I was so stressed, I would literally forget to breathe. Now I will just enjoy the small things that each day brings.

Here's the good, the bad, and more good from 2014:


Spending the day at Disneyland with this adorable boy made my month.  Kyle was 8 months old at the time, and this marks his first trip to the Happiest Place on Earth.  My husband and I had such a good time with our grandson, we decided to buy annual passes to the parks knowing we'd be with him on future visits!  FYI - I used to work here backstage years ago in the Planning Department.  I was an executive assistant to the director.  Basically, I followed him and his team to the rides, took notes on things that needed fixing, and when done, rode them to make sure they were in tip-top shape!

With so much free time now, Gerry and I decided it was time to play tourist in our own city, San Diego! We hadn't been to the zoo in ages, and it was time to see the big changes to the animal exhibits.  See-through panels were changed-out, pens were enlarged, more flora and fauna added to the enclosures, extensive flowing rivers and waterfalls added.  They were beautiful! We also make it a point to dine at places we'd never been and to go out to the cinema more.

Samantha Brown is my go-to girl for lots of travel information.  She inspires me.  I had the opportunity to hear her speak at the San Diego Travel Show, and I have to say that Samantha is pretty, witty and has lots of wonderful stories to tell.  I also have wonderful stories to tell and I began to seriously think about blogging.  I shared in an earlier post why.  I want her life!  For now, I'll share my stories on my blog.

My husband and I do our best to live a green lifestyle.  We care about our environment so we recycle, reuse and reduce. Every day.  For years we've been doing this, and our children (now adults) do this, too.  We don't think about it.  We just do it.

We went a step further and decided to learn how to compost.  The Master Composting class was a six-week course sponsored by our city. We now have a compost bin in our backyard that is making great soil for our garden.  A bin full of red worms sits on our back patio, too. The wrigglers are making great liquid fertilizer with their poop!

Gerry and I flew to Knoxville, Tennessee, to visit our daughter, Lindsay and her husband. They live in a beautiful home, in a beautiful state.  I felt right at home.  The true purpose of the visit was to do a road trip through Tennessee: Knoxville, the Smoky Mountains, Nashville and Memphis, and to see many interesting places in between.  The trip was easy, educational and wonderful!

Another thing about the month of May:  I decided to become a blogger!

The month of June was a very sad time for my family, and for all of San Diego.  Our beloved San Diego Padres baseball superstar, Tony Gwynn passed away.  He was full of life, full of laughter, charitable, he was Mr. San Diego.  We have fond memories watching him play baseball and coaching the San Diego State University baseball team.  The moment we learned of his death, we dropped everything and headed to Petco Park where a grieving crowd was growing.  It was 10am.

So in the month of July, we found yet another set of kittens in our backyard!  For the past several months, we'd been hard at work trapping cats and kittens - all in the same family - so that they could be spayed or neutered.  This feral colony just kept multiplying faster than we could trap. Crazy!  But finally, with this last litter, I took lots of time off from work to arrange the pick-up of traps, set them up, and pray that any remaining non-sterilized cat or kitten would wander into the traps, then drive miles and miles to whatever locations volunteers were set up to do the surgeries.  Our diligence paid off.  After devoting a lot of time to the task, and having lots of patience, all eighteen feral cats were finally caught and sterilized!!

Gerry discovered, through a Facebook contact, that he and I were qualified to receive space available airline tickets to anywhere in the world!  That meant we no longer had to pay full fare or use any of our airline points for travel.  We're ex-flight attendants with Braniff International (no longer operating) and I was also with American Airlines, and this qualified us.  Woohoo!  So to celebrate my birthday, Gerry whisked us off to Hawaii, Oahu to be exact, and we had a fabulous time!

I had my fourth foot surgery, and it wasn't fun.  The worst part of this whole process was having to be on my butt for weeks, except to use the bathroom.  To learn more about my different foot surgeries, read about it here.  It's so important to take care of your feet.  They are what carries you through each day of your life.

In September, my family and I suffered a tremendous loss.  Our beautiful and sweet cat, Quincy, crossed the Rainbow Bridge and so now he is pain-free.  Quincy died on the first day of the fall season.  I can see him running free with his buddies, Big Paw and Yankee, and chasing those fiery red and golden leaves falling from the trees, and with the sun always on his back.  Quincy, so shy but so loving, just loved the sun!  We love and miss him so much.

A group of us decided to explore two popular wineries in Guadalupe Valley, Mexico.  Most of us had not gone across the Mexican border in years, even though it is just minutes from our homes in the South Bay area. Needless to say, I was excited.  I love visiting wineries and coming back with beautiful bottles of wine, and participating in tastings and enjoying a delicious lunch is always fun, especially when you're doing it with good people.  We visited L.A. Cetto and La Casa de Dona Lupe.  Great wineries!

Dias de Los Muertos in San Diego is a November highlight.  Celebrations happen all over the city, but my go-to choice of location is to Old Town.  It's a family tradition to meet up in Old Town early in the morning, grab the free public parking spaces before the city puts up the "pay for parking" signs.  We take a leisurely stroll, grab a cup of coffee and chat before the festivities officially begin.  People also arrive early to get their faces painted in the traditional skull face designs or to get dressed in their dance attire for dance performances throughout the day.  The restaurants and bars fill up with patrons, and the day ends with a Day of the Dead procession to the cemetery.  I celebrate Dias de Los Muertos more than I celebrate Halloween Day.  So much fun!

December was filled with parties - two birthdays, a baby shower and three family Christmas events.  Wow! My side of the family, including the babies, is huge.  My husband's side of the family is even more huge!  It's so awesome to be surrounded by family and friends.  This is my own family.  The only missing member is Kyle, 18 months old, who is taking a well-deserved nap!

Well, that's my year, in a big nutshell.   What's yours been like?

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