Sunday, December 31, 2023

Ending 2023, my year in review. A tough year and glad it's GONE.

I probably should not wish a year to end as the coming year could always be worse, but it's hard to imagine. It was a year full of anguish and hard work. Once I got a breath, more bad news arrived but conversely some really depressing moments ended up positively.

Judy loved her cats!
Early in the year a dear friend passed away and I was named Executor of her estate. Prior to her death I was her Power of Attorney during her long illness. I had never been either so it was a learn as you go experience, emotional but educational and interesting. When I signed the original agreement we lived in the same town but as the years traveled along we had moved 3 hours away, making assisting more difficult. Fortunately I worked closely with her dearest friend to inventory her belongings and gained a new friend in the process.

My Mother-in-law loved Schnauzer's
As soon as I managed to get her estate in order, my mother-in-law passed away after a long illness. My husband ended up practically living with his mother and father for months (they live 6 hours away). I was glad he had the opportunity to do this for his parents. After her passing, we switched gears to figure out his father's situation, researching health care workers for him because he didn't want to leave his home. I discovered a veterans program where they pay for home health care for a certain number of hours a week. It has been a life saver.

A few of our amazing chickens from the past
Oddly, with each human death one of our chickens would follow. We now have no chickens after 10 years of managing and watching out for their safety from hawks and foxes. There is nothing sadder than looking out to an empty chicken yard, but we're planning for our retirement by not adopting more animals as we're determined to flee the coop and travel... ONE DAY. We still have our three cats which amazingly are hanging in there with various senior issues.

In between the ups and downs, I've somewhat neglected my online vintage business but I found time to kick it in gear for the holiday season. Surprisingly I've have a good sales year. I presume it's because I've been selling for 13 years now which gives me an online presence and I also have keyed in on what and where to sell.

My mother still lives with us and is very independent. Shopping for herself and pitching in with packing up goods to ship for my shop. We finally got her to visit our new Senior Center in the Fall to pick up a bridge game or two and the next week we all got COVID so that new venture has been put on hold until Spring. I also developed a sinus infection which was worse than Covid! Shutting me down for a month.

I captured this Bee sleeping in a Crocus
Unfortunately for our pocketbook we had to get a new roof but we're hopeful we will be dead and buried before needing another one! Happy to at least get that behind us because we suspect the roof might have been 43 years old! It was a positive experience and the contractor was awesome so that helped swallow the bitter price pill.

We ended our year with my husband, my mother, and me needing a tooth crown, all in the same week. As I was waiting for the permanent crown a different tooth decided to break. So I'm ending 2023 with a temporary tooth reconstruction awaiting a crown in 2024 (which Cigna insurance pays zero for - they only pay for 1 crown in 60 months - what a racket). So technically my 2024 is not starting well, but we'll just lump that with 2023 since it happened in that year. I am very grateful to my new dentist for stepping up for my two emergency visits.

We didn't have any big health dramas other than teeth, so we can consider ourselves fortunate on that front. My husband is now officially 65 and signed up for Social Security but will not retire for a few more years - wow - seems impossible.

Finishing the year refreshing the dining room in time for Christmas dinner. The table was overtaken with Estate business and my Grandmother's Chandelier was jerry rigged with a piece of wire for the last 14 years! We managed to clear out the stuff, clean and rehang the chandelier, and hang a large painting that belonged to my deceased friend over the table.

I always try to adopt an eco-resolution and this year I'm trying to limit my plastic purchases to #1 and #2 recyclable containers (or better yet - purchase none) since any other number can't be recycled and most of #1 and #2 are landfilled anyway - ugh. I'm also testing our appliance consumption with a device and researching solar panels, an all consuming research project. Better to generate less electricity and waste to begin with!

Wishing you a positive and healthy 2024! Keep the faith that turning the page to a new year can refresh and renew.


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