Thursday, February 2, 2023

Ringing in 2023, my year in review

For some reason my year end blog was not posted, so here it goes a month late! 

Another page has turned in the big volume of life. 2023 will be the year when my husband signs up for Medicare part B. We're beginning to talk about easing out of pets and into our winter escape plans to the tropics. 

It won't happen any time soon but the thought of slipping down south for the cold months has its appeal. The low of 6 degrees in Charlottesville, Virginia last week has gotten us thinking of where to go.

I've ended the year with monitoring the heat set up in my new greenhouse. As long as the power stays on it's working great. 6 degrees outside and 49 inside - YES. Success. The first winter for the greenhouse is soon going to be over. Last year my husband spent most of spring building a lean-to so there was no time to use it during the peak growing season. We did have a bumper crop of greenhouse cucumbers in the fall from 6 plants, harvesting close to 100 cucumbers. We were distributing to all the neighbors while making pickles and Tzatziki. I hope we can get some cherry tomatoes and cucumbers going this Spring. In August I decided to lop off the tops of several cherry tomato plants, root, and transplant into the greenhouse planter box to get a head start on Spring tomatoes. All trial and error.

Mom is still happy to be in her lower level apartment in our house. It's working out well and it's nice to not have to drive 2 hours for holidays. We share the cooking duties, Mom creates some of her classic favorites and I bring in the fake turkey. She is independent at 87, having a regular driving route to the hair dresser and grocery stores. I feel like a big part of her independence at this age is her life long commitment to eating healthy, low sugar, and no alcohol. It's never to late to change your diet to minimize the age related ailments that can unfortunately arise.

We're down to only 3 chickens now, our little 14+ years old chicken is still with us. A miracle bird, approaching a world record age! Our cats all have issues, Sylvie with irritable bowel, Gus with arthritis, and Cesar with various ailments popping up. A friend came to visit for the weekend and Cesar decided to lick his arm nearly bald from stress. He is a freaky cat, it was a long recovery but we finally got him to stop after months of trying various tricks of the trade. Inventing the final solution.

One of my joys is to participate in the annual butterfly count for our county. I've totally changed the way I garden from 10 years ago. I used to cut back all the dead plant material from my flowerbeds and compost it. For the last 5 years I have been leaving all the flower seed heads for the birds to dine on over winter. Also leaves are kept in place so when Spring arrives, insect eggs hatch where they fall and the cycle continues. It does seem that we have more and more birds, butterflies and insects. We also plant more natives and I'm no longer interested in what I call hybridized fancy plants. We had a moment of plant fever and Anthony was up for planting many shrubs last year, 3 blueberry bushes, and an apple tree. Our paw paw trees bore fruit this year!

We continue to plan our final home construction project, connecting the house to the garage. It's all pretty simple for the exception of the roof. I do not want Anthony to even attempt it, always scares me. It's also a bit of an architectural challenge and the price of lumber is still elevated. For the time being Anthony has instead decided to insulate his shed, making it more functional. There is always some construction project happening here!

My arthritis is under control. I have a new rheumatologist locally, for 15 years I drove to North Carolina. I'm not thrilled about a new doctor, my old rheumy was the best. I will forever be grateful to him for bringing me out of my RA dark hole. An insufferable disease unless managed. I've been on Enbrel for many years and I'm taking a few supplements, D and Curcumin / Tart Cherry. It just might be helping my bad wrists which are more useable now than in years past. I do have to be very careful to not overdo or push them if I feel any pain. It will require lifelong management.

I have a beach trip scheduled with my oldest friend. If all goes as planned, we'll feel some early warmth come April.

Happy 2023, here it comes!



  1. Your writing is so comfortable and friendly! I will look forward to reading more of your blogs especially when Eddie's sitting in his chair reading on his tablet! Ha!

    1. Thank you so much Carolyn - and Eddie - for reading my blog!


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