Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010

It's New Years Eve, still 2010, inching towards a new year. Having a blog I decided to look back and note a few things about 2010.

January, 2010, I made a first effort to regroup myself after Rex's terrible extended illness. I signed up for "The Biggest Winner" 8 week program at Apex fitness center. There were 16 classes where trainers pushed us beyond our known capabilities. It was terribly hard but I enjoyed the challenge. However, I got more of a challenge than I had anticipated. After coming home from one of the classes we discovered our hot water heater had flooded the basement. Because of Rex's weak health, our insurance company put us up in a residence hotel and the restoration on our home began. It was a full month before the new paint, wallpaper and walls were back into place. The remodel turned out beautifully but the disruption was stressful.

February, our beloved little granddaughter, Mackayla had to have her feeding tube replaced in a surgical procedure. I had been watching her when her tube just plopped right out of her tummy while I was holding her. Even with multiple attempts by her daddy to put it back in, the hole had closed up quickly. It made us all sad for her to have to go through another surgery.

In March, Rex and I took a road trip to Dallas to visit our dear friend, Wayne. We hadn't seen him in a long while and he had some special dishes he wanted to give us. It was wonderful to spend a short visit with him but Rex was feeling so poorly we left early and hurried home.

The month of April found Rex in New Orleans for a geology meeting. I sure wanted to go with him but it didn't happen. I was so worried about his health on such a trip. April brought my attention to a writing group that met close to home and I started going to it. I really love how much writing on my book I get done when I go to this twice monthly group.

Rex traveled to Dubai in May. When he returned we planned to go to Iowa to Kelly's graduation (our future daughter in law). However, Rex's mother was diagnosed with 4th stage lung cancer that had spread. So instead of going east we turned the car west and went to the Bay area to see her. While there we had a great time going to Fisherman's Wharf, Ghiradelli Square and wine tasting in the Napa valley. On our way home we made an extra stop to visit Loren Davidson, a troprock artist! He gifted me with one of his CDs and some other fun things he had. When we arrived home, Kelly had graduated and had relocated to Arvada. More specifically she moved into our spare bedroom while she and Matt continued to look for full time jobs.

June brought was one of the highlights of my life. I was Beth's guest on a Twitter Princess Cruise to Alaska. The first days were travelling on the Midnight Sun Express Train across Alaska. We had excursions one could only dream of. We rode in a helicopter, landing on Yanert Glacier. This was the ultimate life-time experience! We rode in a twin engine plane to the summit of Mt. McKinley, ATV'd and we went dog-sledding, whale watching, to a salmon bake, and ziplining. Not only did we have wonderful adventures, the people we were on the tour with were the most amazing group of people I have ever met. After 2 weeks of fun I returned home only to be whisked away to a Winter Park condo for a week. Rex and I had time to just rest and for me to recover from such exhilaration. While in Winter Park, Matt and Kelly and her two brothers came up for a visit. We rented a pontoon boat and had a great day on Grand Lake playing.

In July, Rex and Beth answered a quick summons to come to California to see Rex's mother, Louise. With her cancer she was not feeling well. While there they offered for her to relocate to be close to one of them. She decided to move near us in Arvada. Two days later she was in the car with Rex on her way to Arvada. Her first stop was a lovely independent senior home. She wasn't doing well there so within a week she was settling into a nursing home where the hospice nurses had made arrangements for her to move to.

August brought Rex's brother for a visit from Clovis, California, for a visit with his mother. We hadn't seen Kirk in a very long time so it was fun catching up with each other. The next week Rex and I left for another adventure of a lifetime! We flew to Los Angeles and met up with our dear friends, Chris and David and boarded their 45 foot sailboat for a week of fun and sailing. Into the month of September we sailed to Catalina Island and Two Harbors. While in Catalina, Chris and I bought ourselves Ukuleles! We decided to learn to play together! Living on a sailboat was on my bucket list and I and had the greatest time. Another highlight of 2010!

October was pretty much back to the basics. I watched granddaughters Abbi and Mackayla during the week, worked part time, got to my writing group, tried to get exercise in my day. Rex concentrated on his work, ministry and his writings. Every year in October I volunteer at the Jeffco Action Center's Beautiful Junk sale. This year I was astounded to find a new, upgraded ukulele. I had started going to a monthly ukulele song circle. Having the new uke, I feel I'm now making progress.

November brought us to Minnesota. We had been wanting to visit Beth and family since they moved there and finally we were able to do it! On the way, we stopped the first night in Omaha. Another bucket list item got crossed off when the night security guard at the Comfort Inn gave me lessons and a chance to ride his segway! What fun I had at midnight riding around the parking lot. The day after we got to Minnesota, we were privy to see their first major snow storm of the season. Eleven inches covered the area. That was fine with us, though, as Jeb and Maddie and I worked on my "Wreck This Journal" and played Mexican Train with Grandpa Rex. It was all too short of a trip and we headed home. On the way we found ourselves getting to visit my sweet Aunt Bernadette in a nursing home in Norfolk, Nebraska. It was a wonderful visit and it was to be the last time I got to see her. She passed away December 17, 2010.

Thanksgiving was the transition into the Christmas season. After Thanksgiving dinner we put up our decorations.

In December we were thrilled to go to the Alpine Choral's Christmas concert to see Mary singing. It was a fabulous concert and Grandma Louise got to see her granddaughter singing. I hadn't seen Grandma smiling as much as she did that night. A few weeks later we had another grand event when Rex and I went to Abbi's first dance recital. Seeing our little 2 year old grandaugher on stage was so fun and brought tears of laughter to our eyes. She was in her element and the cutest one there! The very next day brought a huge surprise my way. I was visited at work by Matt and three Applewood Plumbing Heating and Electric employees. They came to tell me I was the grand prize winner of their "Eye Spy" Orange Truck Contest. I had won a new 95% energy efficient furnace, with installation. Total value was $7500. Within the week my new furnace was in and purring! Also December had Rex in the hospital for a night. His on-going chest pain was worrisome but his heart was given a clean bill of health and he was sent home.

December brought a milestone birthday for me! I had mixed feelings about it but it turned out to be A-okay! Mary and Sarah spearheaded a wonderful birthday party for me. Friends and family came and we had a great tropical party. The next day I joined my niece, Julie, my sister, Janet, and Kelly for a joint Birthday tea party since it was also Julie's birthday (she was turning a mere 19 years old!). We all traveled to Eaton, Colorado, to have afternoon tea at Victoria's Tiny Tea Room. Of course, Christmas was only days later so I cooked dinner and the family gathered for Christmas eve appetizers, presents and Mass. Rex served Mass on Christmas Eve and then also on Christmas Day when he preached.

It's now New Years Eve. Rex took me for a fabulous meal at The Fort. It's a famous place and I hadn't been there so it was another Bucket List item checked off. I had the Chef's special (venison) and Rex ordered the surf and turf (buffalo). For appetizers we had pickled quail eggs wrapped in buffalo sausage with jalapeno raspberry dip and my meal came with poached crawfish tails in a spicy tequila cocktail sauce. I now understand why The Fort has the reputation it does. A cannon was shot off during our meal and a costumed mountain man visited our table. Festive balloons added New Year's ambiance and even though it was zero degrees outside, it was worth venturing out in the cold.

May the New Year of 2011 bring lots more fun and excitement! I'm ready!

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