Friday, December 31, 2021

2021: Checkpoint

 

Lather, rinse, repeat.

1. What did you do in 2021 that you’d never done before?

Got an mRNA vaccine.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Hahahahahaha.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Zero babies.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No, thank goodness.  But so many from this horrible virus.

5. What places did you visit?

Palo Duro Canyon, Texas. One night.  Charleston, South Carolina, with vaccinated family.

6. What would you like to have in 2022 that you lacked in 2021?

Global immunity to and the eradication of the SARS-COV-2 virus. (Still, sigh.)

Fairness and compassion across the globe.

7. What dates from 2021 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

June 4, when we had to take the dog on a car trip because she bit the pet sitter.  March 31, getting my COVID vaccine alongside my son.  August 8, aforementioned son completing his Eagle Scout.  November 12, my baby girl starring in her play and stealing the show.

January 6. Hmph.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Getting everyone in the house vaccinated.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I do not have enough bandwidth to list them all.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Thankfully, no. Let's do that again.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Meh.  The new mattress started sagging immediately and had to be replaced through an incredibly PITA process, so not that. The AC going out in July and costing massive dollars wasn't a choice, and super irritating.  I'll say paying the fee for Sammy's driver's license, because it sure is nice not to have to run his places all the time.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Everyone who got vaccinated. (A theme?  Yes, a theme.)

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Those who could but did not get vaccinated.  Every last one of them. Both those proud of their stand and those who hide it.

As previously stated, basically anyone who clings to arbitrary lines drawn in the sand for no other reason that they were on one side of the line when it was drawn.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Evergreen: Day to day stuff.  Amazon Prime.  Taxes.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Vaccines.  Kids with smiles. Seeing my kids being joyful.

16. What song will always remind you of 2021?

I haven't listened to whatever was current in music maybe ever. Memories by Maroon 5 makes me think of my best friend.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder?  Both. Neither. Ugh.

b) thinner or fatter? Probably the same. Ish.

c) richer or poorer? Poorer. (See: new AC.)

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Laugh. It always feels good and we can always use more.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Worried.  Procrastinated.

20. How did you spend Christmas in 2021?

Christmas Eve Mass, outside because I wasn't willing to go inside with the crowd and it was 80 degrees.  Charcuterie for Christmas Eve dinner, which was significantly easier and got rave reviews.  Egg nog.  New PJs for the kids from the grandfolks (In N Out burger!). Santa.

For the first time EVER, I woke up first, which was still late at 7 AM for Christmas morning, and HAD TO WAIT for these teenage children to get up, get up, GET UP!  There were new phones for 75% of us, and Woot BoCs of delight.  Pigs in a blanket, but sadly, moldy donuts.  Parents house for the great unwrapping. No one was sick and everyone smiled.

21. Did you fall in love in 2021?

Just more. That's good.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Probably Cobra Kai, because we watch that as a family.

23. What did you do for your birthday in 2021?

Beats me.

24. What was the best book you read?

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.

25. What did you want and get?

VACCINES!

26. What did you want and not get?

Herd immunity.

27. What was your favorite film of this year?

Not a clue. No movie theaters for me yet. Probably something we watched with Disney +.

28. Did you make some new friends this year?

Not really.  Come on, 2022.  I need this.

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

SEE QUESTION 26.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2021?

Everything is covered and no food stuck on.

31. What kept you sane?

Honestly, Animal Crossing.

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Nothing fancy here.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?

I believe I've been clear on this so far.

34. Who did you miss?

My best friend. Everyone who's far away.

35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2021.

Take a breath first.

Monday, December 28, 2020

2020: Checkpoint

Well, this should be... something. I don' think I'm too bitter, but when I think about this past year, my face scrunches up like I just sucked a lemon, so we'll see how this goes.  Fair warning.

1. What did you do in 2020 that you’d never done before?

Lived during a pandemic.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Nope.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Zero babies.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

This is the worst question this year. At least it's early in the progression.

My best friend, Sarah, died from metastatic breast cancer. I could not attend her funeral.

Also, hundreds of thousands more from this horrible virus.

5. What places did you visit?

Beyond the grocery store and essential places? Nowhere. One day escape to a state park, outdoors, distant,

6. What would you like to have in 2021 that you lacked in 2020?

Global immunity to and the eradication of the SARS-COV-2 virus.

Confirmed continuation of New Tech High School @ Coppell.

People to be wiser and more compassionate to all others.

7. What dates from 2020 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

The week of March 10: when it all went downhill.  November 8: new dog day.  December 5: see question 4.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Survival. Quite literally.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I'm sure they were many, but let's try to swing this thing upward.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Thankfully, no. Let's do that again.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

The dog?  I feel like I'm supposed to say the dog here.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

We did not destroy each other despite stay at home orders, ridiculous stress, and virtual school, so I'm going to say my family.  Science, for working tirelessly to study this virus and develop vaccines at a superhero pace.  Healthcare workers, for taking care of everyone in unfathomable circumstances.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

The Hatfields and the McCoys of the United States.

As previously stated, basically anyone who clings to arbitrary lines drawn in the sand for no other reason that they were on one side of the line when it was drawn.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Evergreen: Day to day stuff.  Amazon Prime.  Taxes.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Science. Vaccines. Kids with smiles on their faces.

16. What song will always remind you of 2020?

I tried to ask Sammy and Sabrina about this.  All 3 of us came up with bupkis.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder?  Oh, come on.

b) thinner or fatter? Probably the same. Ish.

c) richer or poorer? 'Bout same.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

I have absolutely no idea. There wasn't much we COULD do, so what I did do was all right by me. I will say hugs.  Because we couldn't.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Worried. But it was warranted this year.

20. How did you spend Christmas in 2020?

Christmas Eve dinner. Zoom Mass. Santa.

The kids (ahem, SABRINA) got up earlier that ever before even though they are teenagers (or close enough).  Santa bacchanalia. Parents house for socially-distanced, open window Christmas. Quietish and nice. No one was sick and everyone smiled (or at least I think they did, behind their masks).

21. Did you fall in love in 2020?

We got a dog. She's adorable.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

The only thing I remember watching consistently was General Hospital. Chris and I picked up New Girl as our current together show.

23. What did you do for your birthday in 2020?

Since it occurred right at the start of the pandemic precautions, not too much.  Family togetherness, which is all I really needed anyway. Everyone was healthy (a recurring but important theme).

Oh, and lasagna.

24. What was the best book you read?

The Martian.

25. What did you want and get?

The guest bathtub refinished, finally.  A new computer desk that gives more space to the living room. Kids happy to be in school.

I'm not adding the dog here because I was never really into having a dog, but the other 3 in the house were, so it seems 2020 is the year I wore down to the bone. But she's adorable and doesn't shed, so, yay dog.

26. What did you want and not get?

See question 6.

27. What was your favorite film of this year?

Hamilton.  This is a no brainer.

28. Did you make some new friends this year?

Virtually, since all things happened virtually this year. My friends of the internet and, in particular, a crazy little group of adults who play a silly little game like Animal Crossing who showed kindness, generosity, and a general appreciation for nerdiness, kept me going this year.

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

SEE QUESTION 6.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2020?

Everything is covered.

31. What kept you sane?

Honestly, Animal Crossing.

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Nothing fancy here.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?

I do not have the energy for this one. Just consider me stirred.

34. Who did you miss?

See question 4.

35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2020.

I am blessed.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Visitors

I know in this time of social distancing, we're not really supposed to have visitors, but I just can't seem to get rid of them.

Hundreds.  Incessant.  With so many legs.

Ants.

This has been the wettest start to the year since they started keeping track over a century ago, at least according to my favorite local meteorologist.  And it doesn't surprise me that we get tiny insect squatters after a lot of rain.  It's happened in years past.  But this is a whole new ballgame.  Wettest winter = so many more ants.  And somehow they come in through the roof into our bathroom.  The room has a high, pitched ceiling with a crossbeam running the length of the peak.  Ants like to use that beam as a superhighway, running along it, back and forth, but the dozens and dozens and dozens, until one or several get dizzy and fall to their deaths.  On my bathroom floor.  Into my sink.  On the toilet.  Which is spectacular fun to discover in the middle of the night.  Crunch.

Chris got out the ladder and commenced chemical warfare last night, which did (at least temporarily) close down the bug commute, but he forgot to remove the bathmats before hosing down the room with ant spray, so, surprise laundry!  And then when I went in about an hour later, I looked upon what could only be described as an ant Jonestown.  Now, I don't know how many died from poisoning and how many committed suicide, but it doesn't really matter, because who cares when there's a carpet of dead ants on the floor.  I cleaned that up, and a while later, there'd be another batch.  And another.  Thankfully, the batches are getting smaller, but I'm tired of sweeping and the mass grave wastebasket is filled with little bodies. 

Kids, time for hygiene class!

Monday, March 23, 2020

Not Normal But New

So, what's new with you?

Just kidding!  We're living in a tornado right now, aren't we?  Things changes so fast and furiously that any minute we could get sideswiped by a flying cow and it won't be surprising.  Even for someone as anti-change as I am, I'm at the point where, "Another new and startling piece of information that upends our lives again? Pfft. Whatever."

Since coronavirus blossomed into a mushroom cloud of terror a few weeks back, we've been doing all the buzz words: social distancing, isolating, you name it.  Actually, about this time this became real for the vast majority in these parts, we were on spring break, and Sabrina was down with the flu and strep, as confirmed by medical professionals.  I really thought that would be the worst to happen over spring break, but, well, you know.  Luckily, no one else caught either one of her illnesses and we remain healthy today.  (It probably goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway - it is my sincere hope that it stays that way for us and all of you.)

Spring break came and went.  A second week of stay at home came and went.  The kids have now commenced distance learning, which, thankfully, they are completely ready to tackle.  As much as I am not a fan of 1 to 1 technology in our school district, it has given our students an unexpected preparedness for this situation.  They dove right in today without a worry, and actually wish the schools would roll out further virtual options immediately (they need a little bit of time to put live classes and the like into practice because they hadn't really had to do it in the past, certainly not to this extent).  I sent emails to both principals thanking them and offering my encouragement to keep going.  Last week, Sammy starting taking taekwondo classes via Zoom and Sabrina's Girl Scout troop met via Hangouts.  I even had a virtual happy hour with some neighbor friends (note to self: pour a bigger glass of wine next time).  Granted, we have to learn to stop grabbing iPads out of each other's hands when things aren't progressing quickly enough, but we're getting better.  Technology for the win!

Chris's job is essential to the infrastructure, so he's still going into work.  It's mildly unnerving, but he's not out in the public and has contact with only a handful of people, so I'm trying not to get squirrelly over it.  Plus, if he were isolating at home with us for weeks on end, he would lose his fool, super short term attention span mind and I might have to lock him in a closet to save myself.  My parents are fine so far, as are my other family members and friends as I know today.  I've learned I already isolate/social distance most of the time anyway, so I'm pretty good at it.  I identify for just about every single meme out there right now.

And so, let's circle back to old school blogging.  Why not?

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2019: Checkpoint


Yadda and all.

1. What did you do in 2019 that you’d never done before?

Driven Houston to Dallas between midnight and 5 AM. I'd like not to repeat that ever again.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Nah.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

None babies around here.  Wait, a cousin had a baby this fall and he's really cute.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Woo boy, this has been a year. Sabrina's teacher lost her dad in an accident the day before school ended for the summer, so we went to the rosary for him.  Then, we lost Chris's mom during the Weekend of Misery. My cousin, Chad, passed from leukemia that we didn't know he was enduring, and my friend, Kelly, passed after a very long battle with cancer - both far, far too young.  And this past week, a sweet 11 year old boy from just around the block died.  It's been a lot.

5. What places did you visit?

Houston, Texas; Charleston, South Carolina. Points along the way.

6. What would you like to have in 2019 that you lacked in 2018?

As always: More surplus dollars.  A boatload of patience.  More and closer friendships.  Will power, fortitude, self discipline, and better ways to communicate.

7. What dates from 2019 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

May 23: the day of Sabrina's elementary school graduation ceremony and her being given an award by her peers.  May 24: Sammy's middle school graduation and watching my boy completely break down because he was leaving such a special place.  June 8-10 (AKA the Weekend of Misery): Sabrina gets sick on a Girl Scout trip to NASA in Houston, so we do the midnight ride home (she is fine upon return); Chris's mom passes away while he, Sammy, and my parents are in a car a few hundred miles from their destination of Las Vegas (Sabrina and my flight is mercifully cancelled due to weather); on the return drive, the road trippers stop in Amarillo for lunch, where my father suffers a heart attack (he is treated very quickly and is now doing very well; the boys drive my folks' car back and the folks fly back a few days later). Whew.  August 14: Sammy starts high school and Sabrina starts middle school.  

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Survival.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Evergreen: Letting frustration win, again and again and again.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Thankfully, no. Let's do that again.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

A Ring doorbell.  A new hot water heater to replace the one that gave out but did not flood the house on its way out.  Disney +.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My niece for welcoming our foursome to stay in her house and upend her life for 5 days.   


13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Basically anyone who clings to arbitrary lines drawn in the sand for no other reason that they were on one side of the line when it was drawn.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Also evergreen: Day to day stuff.  Amazon Prime.  Taxes.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Game of Thrones.  Disney +.  Finding useful gifts for people I love.  Awesome bargains I found.  Watching my kids have a blast at the beach.

16. What song will always remind you of 2019?

I know nothing of music this year. Something about an old road?

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? Tough year, but I'm working on happier.

b) thinner or fatter? My mind tells me fatter every time i look in the mirror, but my clothes still fit, so meh.

c) richer or poorer? 'Bout same.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Smiling.  Finding the upside. 

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Fretting.  Being annoyed.

20. How did you spend Christmas in 2019?

Hosted a Christmas Eve dinner for my side of the family, then we went to Mass together and it was lovely.  Except that Chris said he wasn't feeling well.

We came home, cleaned up, somehow got the kids into bed, and let Santa do his business.  We finished much earlier than in the past, and Chris went to bed, and I followed (also earlier than in the past).

Christmas morning was happy.  The kids adored their gifts from Santa, we had donuts and pigs in a blanket.  We had trouble getting out the door to go to my parents' house because we kept forgetting things and having to turn around. More breakfast, then giftapalooza. We all watched Chris turn paler and quieter, then go sleep the entire afternoon and evening. I made him a clinic appointment for the next morning, then tried to enjoy the rest of the day. Epilogue: he had strep AND the flu.

21. Did you fall in love in 2019?

Um, pass.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

There was this little show called Game of Thrones. I watched the whole series the week before the final season started.  I'm glad I did it that way instead of having to wait years to see what would happen.

23. What did you do for your birthday in 2019?

It was a Thursday?  Yeah, I don't remember.  I'm sure my family was nice to me, and that's all that matters.

24. What was the best book you read?

Evvie Drake Starts Over, and not just because the author is an internet friend.

25. What did you want and get?

My Wifi thermostat installed (I've been waiting on this for years).  A new computer desk (see next year's list for said desk assembled and put in place).  A good start to high school and middle school for my kids.

26. What did you want and not get?

Skinnier.  Peace on earth.  Children with consistent table manners.  And where is that rich benefactor?

27. What was your favorite film of this year?

Probably Toy Story 4.  Although Captain Marvel was surprisingly fun.

28. Did you make some new friends this year?

I'm really hoping for a new or strengthened friendship in the future, particularly a local one.  I have lots of friends across the internet, but I'd really like someone close both figuratively and literally.

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Inner peace.

Slightly modified from last year: the ability to communicate anything to my husband (and OK, children) and have him understand instantly and completely.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2019?

Ironing is clearly not a skill I possess.

31. What kept you sane?

Caffeine.  Naps.  TLI.  Long showers.

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Still not fancy. I enjoy following the British royals more than ever, so we'll put that here.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?

Boy, that's a loaded question. Moving on.

34. Who did you miss?

Everyone I lost (which is too long a list this year) and everyone I don't see often enough (which is most everyone). As usual.  
 
35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2019.

Take a deep breath.  Take another.