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Decade in Review

Thanks to this blog, I can look back over this decade - this blog is like its own personal time capsule. I count the last decade as beginning January 1, 2009 and ending December 31, 2019. 

The decade begins with the inauguration of the first African American President, President Obama. I watched the ceremony and blogged about it here. That was the time of the Great Recession and the stimulus package. We had the 2009 March blizzard.  an April Texas Road Trip and a South Africa Trip. At the end of 2009 we lost my brother Andrew. I miss him so. 

I began 2010 with a Photo a Day Challenge   My brother Andrew was an organ and tissue donor. In 2010 we found out that Andy's cornea's were used in a corneal transplant. See here for more information. We did some fishing, and a California Thanksgiving Road Trip. The 2010 Photo a Day Challenge final report summarized the challenge: I missed a total of 13 days out of 365 days. Maddie, our furperson, was my favorite subject. 

At the beginning of 2011 my Gran passed away. She was a wonderful woman. She taught me "about kindness, grace, and class. Who showed me that our actions speak to who we really are. A woman who taught me how precious laughter is, and who finally taught me to enjoy who I really am."

2011 ushered in yet another challenge - the "Eat Less, Move More Challenge." In May 2011 we attended with my mom and dad the Donor Family Tribute. This is for those families of members who had provided organ and tissue donations. It was very moving. The challenge died, we sold our house, and moved. I remember the move to be very stressful. In September, my mom and dad were ready to honor Andy's wishes. He wanted his ashes to be spread in a special spot in the Rocky Mountain National Park. Here is the post about that. We like to visit that spot, especially on his birthday. Mom brings bird seed to feed the birds. 

2012 began with, you guessed it, another challenge. This time it is the 10,000 steps a day challenge. Kevin's sister came for a visit. We did a Memorial Day Road trip, and the Eustis Sausage Festival. That was the year of the devastating High Park Fire

We ended 2012 with a California Thanksgiving Road trip 

2013 began with the passing of my dear mom in law, Jane. During 2013 I explored poetry in its various forms. During the summer we visited the Greeley Freight Station Museum. It was surprisingly entertaining. In August we attended Jane's memorial service. We ended the year with a Thanksgiving trip to Tuscon. We really loved the break. In December Nelson Mandela passed away. RIP Madiba. 

But for me 2013 meant the beginning of something completely different. This was the year Kevin and I got serious about financial independence. We had some amazing conversations about saving and investing philosophy and what we wanted to do in retirement. (Retirement is not just for old people. I plan to make my retirement time count!) Luckily these conversations showed that Kevin and I were completely on the same page. 

2014 continued my exploration of poetry with a Haiku challenge. In June I traveled with a colleague to Kenya on a work related trip. I love to travel. So far we had confined ourselves to mostly domestic travel. On a whim we traveled to Costa Rica, and had a fabulous time. During 2014 we "rediscovered the little things; like the beauty of the haiku, playing ping pong, and puzzles."

Blogging became more infrequent from 2015 onwards. In 2015 we did a cruise to Alaska, and had a fabulous time. Since Costa Rica, Kevin has acquired the travel bug. In December 2016 we did a fabulous trip to Thailand. One of the highlights was signing up for a day's cooking class. 

In 2017 Kevin and I resolved (without the aid of a blog challenge) to lose weight. To date (Jan 2020) we have lost 20 lbs each. We still have some way to go. But this does take work. 

For 2018 Kevin and I planned a 3 week road trip traveling through Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro. This was by far the most ambitious of our trips in terms of independent traveling. In May of 2018 I finally finished my MBA and graduated. 

2019 has been a year with no blog posts. We have been busy. The main focus of 2019 has been continuing with our weight loss/ getting fit path. Kevin has become more involved in table tennis. In December 2019 we traveled to Fort Worth, Texas for the Table Tennis US Open. Kevin competed, and we got to watch some amazing table tennis. 

What will the next decade bring? 

I hope for peace. If that is too much for hope for, I hope for personal peace, and good health. I think I know what is important in life (although sometimes we need to remind ourselves, it is easy to be caught up in all the unimportant stuff.) Family and friendships are the most important things. Stuff and material things do not matter. 



2019 Year in Review

I say it every time, "Can you believe how quickly that year has gone by?" 

I wish that I could slow time down, that I could bottle it up, and save it. But if wishes were wings, we would all fly. 

I did no blogging over 2019. This was not because I did nothing, we were extemely busy, but because I did not have the discipline to blog. 2019 has been a year where Kevin has stretched himself by becoming more active with the local table tennis community. He played in the state games in Colorado Springs in July, and competed in a number of sanctioned competitions in the state. In December we traveled to Fort Worth, Texas as Kevin was competing in the US Open Table Tennis competition. I have really enjoyed being a "support spouse." Table tennis is a great game to watch. (And it is fun to play.) It is a small community of players and families. We have met some great people. 

My brother Mark and my sister in law, Cheryl came out in February. Mark was competing in an archery competition in Las Vegas. Kevin and I joined my mom and dad and we watched Mark compete. I learned a lot about the sport. The bows are really heavy. I don't know how they manage to shoot with any accuracy. While we were in Las Vegas we got tickets to see the Blue Man Group. We had so much fun. The visit was a great reminder of how important family is. 

At the beginning of the year we last our dear fur person - Maddie. She was a very old cat, and lasted three years longer than the vet's prognosis. We selected the "at home" euthanasia option. It was very sad. Our fur people certainly leave paw prints on our hearts. 

It took us several months to feel when the time was right to find another fur person. We ended up buying a kitten from a breeder (first time for both of us.) Darling Rio, a beautiful Ragdoll kitty entered our lives. I then got it into my head that Rio, our new kitten was lonely. We had never had a kitten before as we had always adopted grown up cats from shelters or rescues. I was worried that Rio had no one to play with when Kevin and I went to work. I thought he was depressed. We took him to the vet to get checked out (just in case there was something wrong.) The vet could find nothing wrong with him, so we made the decision to find Rio a baby brother or sister. 

Red entered our hearts. Red is another Ragdoll cat. We again purchased him from a breeder, instead of a rescue. We started the kitten introduction program to make sure that Rio, and his baby brother Red were introduced gradually. 

Then Rio got sick. Red was also sick - but he bounced back. But Rio did not. We learned that Rio had FIP - that is Feline Infectious Peritonitis. It is a dreadful disease that is almost always fatal. We were devastated. In a matter of days Rio had deteriorated so much that we had to make the awful decision. We opted to euthanize at home. Rio was just 10 months old. 

Luckily we had Red. We got him tested, and found out that he tested positive for the virus. The vet explained to us that that didn't mean he would develop the disease, but he might. She also advised us not to introduce a kitten into the household until Red was at least a year. Red is a wonderful kitty. He is currently 9 months old. He loves to cuddle, and sit in the window and watch the bunnies, and the squirrels. Kevin got some books out from the library on clicker training for cats. Every day (or as often as I can) Red and I practice our training. Red, being a cat, is much better at training his humans than we are at training our cat. But he is very quick to learn, and very funny. So far - he can come to me at a signal, sit up and "beg", jump up on a chair, and then jump to another chair. I think it is official - I have turned into a crazy cat lady!

I also re-discovered a passion - writing stories. While tidying my study I came across a manuscript I had written some twenty years ago. It was a children's chapter book about a girl and her toy pig. I even had the old floppy disk it had been saved on. Luckily Kevin had an ancient old computer in the basement, and he was able to extract the files. It was fun reading a story I had written so many years ago. I decided to take the basic story, and tweak it. It is still a children's story, and it is still about a girl. But this time it is about a girl and her cat. I've named her cat, Rio after the Rio we lost. Thanks to Amazon publishing, it is easy and cheap to self- publish. I am currently writing the third book in the series. 2020 will be the year of the self publishing experiment. 

As we begin 2020, I am reminded about what is really important- family and friendships, and the time we have together.