The best of and worst of 2019

The worst – I started the year with a cat passing. Hazel wasn’t my oldest cat so it was a complete surprise and devastating.

Mr brother and Gracie taking a nap.

Just when you think it can’t get worse, it does  – During February my brother and sis-in-law were in a terrible car crash. With their son out of state, I became very familiar with the hospitals, rehabs, doc offices and lousy parking at all of them.

The best – During my caretaker time I found out how much I truly enjoy my brother. He stayed with us for a few days after being released from the hospital (more so I wouldn’t worry). Despite the fact that I don’t like people, it was good. He is an easy house guest. I got to watch a resilient 89-year-old guy (who doesn’t look a day over 70) bounce back in style. (Not fashion style though. He lost a bunch of weight and his clothes looked like clown clothes!)

Then came Sasha — Somehow during all this I agreed to adopt another cat that kept getting overlooked at adoption events. I don’t know how that happens but this was one of the best things of 2019.

Just weird – About the time that I retired from care taking, the weather got wonky. It was wonky all over the world. Spring appeared very late and only stayed for cocktails, flitting off somewhere else for dinner. Summer was ushered in with higher than normal heat and rain (which required buying more hot weather clothes). Lots of heat and godawful rain.

About the time I got used to the new weather normal – Fall brought some health challenges. More docs. More poking and prodding and no specific answers. Just annoyance.

And then it was done – Finally the holidays came. By this time I was exhausted (but feeling better) and just wanted them to be over and by tomorrow, they will be.

Overall it’s a year that I had to practice patience. I’m not good at it but sometimes you have no choice. I also found that silly games on Kindles or iPads serve a calming purpose. Necessity is the mother of invention. I learn that again and again.

There is something to be said about normal routine. It’s comforting like mac and cheese and ice cream. Fuzzy socks and broken in jeans. Sweatshirts and tee-shirts with no itchy tags. I enjoy the excitement of special days for a short time but I like my routine. By the end of the week, all of the decorations except the window candles will be back in storage. All furniture back in place and everything will be normal. Or as normal as it gets here! With any luck I won’t be bored until it’s time to clean the pond in April.

Have a great New Year!

Dreaming of my pond in bloom!

61 thoughts on “The best of and worst of 2019

  1. Happy New Year, Kate! First, very, very sorry about your exceptionally stressful first couple of months. Your brother does not look over 70. You remind me how much I appreciate my brother, too, Kate. You remind me of other lessons I seem to continue to need to learn. I look forward to continue joining you in 2020!

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  2. You truly did begin with some “lows” that turned into relief and gratitude for your brother and SIL’s amazing recovery, and with Hazel’s passing, as awful as that was, your little family expanded with Sasha, and there’s been healing. I think some of that healing may have been facilitated with good Starbuck’s intake, but maybe I’m just presuming!

    Here’s to a MUCH steadier year, with no unwanted excitement!

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  3. This year I put up a couple of strings of lights on the front balcony and that was it… none of my penguin candles or stockings on the fireplace or other Christmassy knick knacks… they are still staring at me from the boxes… maybe that’s a lesson… if they don’t come out of the boxes I don’t have to pack them back in! I can’t imagine how Sasha could have been overlooked at the adoption events… but perhaps she was waiting for you to make up your mind! She is beautiful.

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      • It’s helps that I shop online and can avoid the pet store 😉 After several years, our three have finally settled into an okay tolerance of each other and we don’t want to upset the balance. Not to mention how ballistic they all get when they see another cat in the yard 😉

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        • It’s the sad stories in the shelters that I can’t pass by! My cats have been incredibly tolerant as each new cat came in. I have four, all adopted years apart. I am very lucky. I’ve had a cat that hated other cats. Not fun at all.

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          • I haven’t been allowed to go to a shelter since the last time I went (30 years ago) and brought home Joshua, an un-neutered adult male. Well, he was neutered on the way to my home, but let’s just say the habits of an intact cat never left him 😉 Besides, pretty much all of our cats since (except for Wendy who was found at a Wendy’s) have just shown up at our door … no trips to the shelter needed 😉

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              • One time this gorgeous longhair female showed up in our driveway. She was so beautiful we just assumed she belonged to a neighbor, but somehow we figured out she was a stray. I would have loved to take her in but we had a full house complete with one terminally ill cat. I came home from work one cold night and she was there in the driveway. I closed my heart, swooped her up and took her to the veterinary hospital (only 5 mins from my house and a kinder, gentler place to drop off a stray). The technicians took one look at her and their jaws dropped open. They said they would have no trouble getting her adopted. I wondered if they were going to fight over her 😉 We decided that if she did have an “owner,” that person didn’t deserve her. Sometimes you just know when you can let go of them and when you have to keep them. I didn’t like giving her up but I knew that our vets would be diligent in getting her adopted. Still, everything so often we wonder about her.

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                • One little gray one wandered in my yard a few years back. Maybe 3 months old. Very friendly. I took him in and kept him segregated until I could get him to the vet. I had 4 cats and no desire to have to pill them all. He was just fine. My friend’s stepdaughter adopted him. I had him about 3 days and I cried when I gave him up. Another day and he would have been my cat. He is very happy in his home and I get reports periodically so it’s all good. You are lucky. Our vet doesn’t take strays in although sometimes they come to work to find a carrier with a cat on their doorstep. They do have free roaming cats in their office. Hey, you can’t be a cat vet and not love them!

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  4. Good reflections – it’s been a funny old year and I’m so ready for a new one – bright and shiny to start off and I hope it stays like that. We “de-Christmasized” the house this morning and I must say as much as I like the decorations I like my “regular” stuff even more. One thing about last year that I guess I ignored but no longer can is that 2019 was the first year I felt my age. My body does anyway – in my head I’m “forever young”. It works for me! Happy New Year.

    Hugs, Pam

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  5. Your pond is beautiful Kate – it is something to dream about – maybe five months more?? You had a more eventful year than me, but this was not my best year either. A series of house mishaps starting when the kitchen pipes literally fell apart on the coldest night of the year and I greeted the plumber at 11:00 p.m. on a snowy night … and house horrors, the gift that kept on giving throughout 2019, with the furnace failure just this past Monday morning. I was glad to kick 2019 to the curb. The decade was not so swell either to be honest. The weather is ugly out there today following a sleety mix that settled onto that 1/2 inch of snow – it’s a crusty mess that is not going anywhere fast in these temps. I’m waiting for the sun to go out and I’ll try to chop it away – ugh. I hope your events in 2020 all gravitate to the positive side!

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      • Well I try to put it into perspective, since as angry as I got with each of these successive house issues this year, I know they happen, but they don’t have to be all in one year for goodness sake. However, that said, as annoyed as I have gotten dealing with them or watching money fly out the door, the life-threatening health issues of so many people I know makes me grateful that house issues is all I am dealing with. There has been no shortage of bad news on the health front in 2019. That is why I love my walks in the park so much – it is like a mini vacation to get away from it all. I spent a good chunk of yesterday going through my pictures, all nature related, for posts through the next month – many cute squirrels.

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  6. What a perfect picture of your pond! It is such a beautiful backyard. Makes one feel good to be there and enjoy all that it offers.
    I am so glad your brother and sil came out of that accident as well as they did. When I think of old people, those two do not come to mind!
    Happy New Year to my favorite curmudgeon – you fake it really well, no one would know!

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    • I am so blessed that they came out without any deficits. We weren’t sure about SIL. I was the first one to see her in the ER a few hours afterward and the first thing she said to me was “I want a blanket!” I took that as a good sign. No they are not old people or someone I would call elderly.

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  7. That’s how I console myself when I put away the Christmas stuff–comfy routine! “Oh, look, I can reach the curtains again now that there’s no Christmas tree! Yay! Now the dogs aren’t knocking down ornaments with their tails constantly!”

    Also, I’m looking forward to doing nothing and seeing no one today, after a long week of family, etc.

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  8. Sasha is a best kitty! All the Sassy Cats are of course. Glad you are feeling better. 2019 came with some challenges and 2020 will have them too. I have learned a bit about patience. Staying as close to a normal routine is a key for survival! The last picture… gives me instant peace. Happy New Year to you and the Beloved Husband, Kate!

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  9. So glad Sasha was one of the best things of 2019! I was so glad to see her go home with you. Happy New Year, and may it be a little less eventful than 2019. I like my routines and quiet days too.

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