MY “2016” YEAR IN REVIEW!!!

merry-christmas-happy-new-year-20171 Here we are at the end of another year! It really is true, the older you get the faster time goes by.  I believe it is good for everyone to reflect upon their own lives because sometimes in the moment you can’t see things for what they really are, but when you look back sometimes you see things differently.  I don’t make resolutions anymore I believe all year through when you need to make changes that is when you should set goals. Otherwise there’s too much pressure and when we don’t complete them we feel worse.  I heard on the news yesterday that only 28% of people still do resolutions.  You do what is best for you!  Every year seems to be so busy for us, here are some of our high’s and low’s…………

Two of our rescue dogs began having some health issues this year.  One of them started having Grand Mal Seizures (vet thinks maybe epilepsy) but we don’t know for sure.  The other one just a month ago was diagnosed with Addison’s Disease and he was born with a birth defect in his front leg called “ELECTODACTYLY” nick named (Lobster Claw) because his paw looks like one. 15326444_10208312593908493_744804841266261232_n115036643_10208066796163703_6915914277773987160_n1-3 Both of our boys are young and otherwise healthy dogs.  They have so much energy.  They love to run around, chase balls, play tug of war, and at the end of the day sleep on the bed with Mom & Dad.  They are the best of friends, it is adorable!  They both require daily medication and once a month one needs an injection.  It breaks my heart to watch him having a seizure, but I am glad that I have been here when it’s happened so I can comfort him.  We got this though, I know the boys will be OK. 🙂  Addison’s can be dangerous, so we watch him closely because they can have what is called an “Addison’s Crisis” which is what happened a month and a half ago when we found out what was wrong with him.

I have mentioned before that besides writing my other passion is animals.  We have cared for over 100 homeless Feral cats on our street for over 13 years now.  I happen to have a lot of extra canned cat food recently (I can’t use it very much it attracts too many predators like coyotes) I mainly use dry food for them.  Also in the donation were a few bags of dry dog food.  I put a message out on FaceBook for anyone in need of food for their pets. Below are a few of the photos from my husband and I distributing that food.  We were able to help about 10 families feed their pets.  This time of year especially is my most favorite time but when you give anytime of year you get so much more in return!

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This summer we also took in and are fostering a neighbors Chihuahuas.  They would be the best pets for someone BUT their worst flaw……They pee on everything.  UGH! So frustrating, but they haven’t known anything else for 6 years so it isn’t their fault.  We have tried breaking them of the habit but no luck.  We hold onto the hope that one day some amazing person will adopt them and work with their issues and love them unconditionally! (Fingers Crossed) The man is slightly disabled but the bigger battle was fighting alcoholism, he became very sick from it.  He and the dogs were living in filth.  The dogs never went outside and were living in their own feces and urine.tims

While he was in the hospital/rehab my husband and I cleaned up his house and his sister gave us a budget to get him some new things so when he was ready to come home it would be clean & livable again. Interestingly enough she lives in Washington and we never met her until months later but through all of this we have a friend for life!  What a beautiful soul she is for all she did to help her brother.  We finally got to meet her for a quick lunch.  She was so grateful for the friends we have been to her brother and how we have helped him not only transform his home but for my husband to help sponsor him and help him on his journey into sobriety.  He has 6 months clean now and we are all very proud of the lifestyle changes he has made.  He never thought it was possible since he needed to drink every single day as you can see in the photo below.  Miracles happen everyday in recovery.img_811113879295_10207305800939298_5536569181499535808_n1

We felt pretty good about helping someone in need.  We knew in fostering the dogs that they might not find a home because of their bad habits, so we built a kenneled area outside next to the chickens and found them a nice insulated dog house.  During the cold winter months though we have a kennel in the house for them.  They seem so happy.  They got to feel sunshine on their little bodies for the first time, they felt fresh air blowing on their faces.  They get to talk to the chickens and run around on dirt and feel grass on their paws.  Something they have never had before.  We knew we were doing right by them. These are the “Chi’s” sporting their winter sweaters! 🙂 14610971_10207959081270898_337457973864164160_n1

My dad had a very rough year.  He had five surgeries, he was very sick a lot of this year.  November he has been living in long term care for 3 years now and he also hasn’t walked in 3 years either.  We don’t believe he will ever be able to walk again, but we remain hopeful.  It is very heart breaking for me to see him live in a hospital setting.  14725736_10207859379378413_6357739666080334962_n2

While I am grateful there are places like this to take care of people like my father I am also saddened and disgusted by the fact that to live with some independence in an assisted living facility for someone like my father to have his own little room would cost between $6,000-$8,000 per month and of course there are more expensive places.  Medicaid and Medicare don’t cover assisted living in case you didn’t know that fun fact.  So unless you have a lot of money saved from a 401-K or someone who has the ability to care for you then this is it.   I love my Dad dearly, I have so much empathy and wish I could do so much more for him…..Maybe someday when I hit the lottery (Wink, Wink) or they turn our book into a movie then I can buy him that independence he needs so bad.  We just celebrated his 76th birthday! 🙂

My book won another Finalist award!  It is so exciting to enter these contests and wait to hear what happens.  I have another seal for my book which is really an honor for me.  I am just an average everyday woman who took a chance, and although it sells very little here and there all that matters is that I did it for me and my husband, and also hoping in sharing our own story that it may help others along the way too. 15170753_10208157361947791_6714566461664445748_n1

We also added a few more chickens to our little flock and then one of our older girls decided she needed to have babies.  Although we discouraged it and tried to stop it she kept going broody so we finally said “let her have a few babies, OH it was so exciting for us to countdown to hatching day, so adorable to watch.  We only let her have three and of course one of those is a Rooster!  We have one of those already and he’s kind of a jerk!  Ya he still scares me…….just a little 🙂

13529241_10207031685446582_8579442950087798395_n214601066_10207982228489564_8331658687392700990_n113315558_10206850614519922_2781466732497271036_n1Well the other Rooster is his son but so far he has a good temperament he hasn’t tried to attack me like his daddy but I keep an eye on him!  We also found a two day old chick with an almost severed leg in our ducks area, so I took her to the vet they made her a splint and I nursed her back to health and saved her.  We named her “Chicken Noodle” other than a few curled toes she recovered completely!  Then we had a neighbors chicken who kept flying into our yard no matter how much we put her back.  We decided to just let her stay.  Then there was a chicken just a few days ago on our street, a few of the feral cats were watching her.  I caught her so she’s also here with us now. 🙂

Our Daughter graduated from College this year.  Although my Dad was not very well during that time it is one thing he had prayed he would be here to see so it was a very special and emotional day for all of us.  Her Uncle came into town to see her and her Dad and I helped fly her other sister into town as a surprise. img_2869

Some of her closer friends celebrated with us and one just had a baby a few weeks earlier.  This was the greatest thing that happened this year for our family!img_2797img_2737  img_8443Such a proud Mom moment!  She is an amazing young woman and I’m enjoying watching her journey unfold!

img_2813 img_2909img_2795 img_2915Every year it seems I learn how to continue to be the most giving loving person I can.  How to help others.  How to be compassionate and empathetic to others.  The lessons life continues to put in my path are blessings to live my best life.  It has removed people from my life by showing me who they really are.  Life has taught me it really is better to have just a few close people that you can trust in your life.  Let’s be honest, I have a lot of people that say “I am here for you” then when you need them to talk or meet or whatever the case may be they just don’t have the time for you.  True friendship and love is about time not existing…….meaning 2:00 AM is the same as noon when you have a person in need of your help.  At least that is how I see it. 

15554667_1763164234006083_1518869815_n1 img_0999Other highlights are we celebrated our 3rd Grand babies 1st Birthday!  I helped my Aunt raise enough money so her beloved dog could have surgery to save her life.  My husband found a Siamese mix kitten in our yard this summer in some weeds and she was very sick, she almost died, we think she had heat stroke.  She survived and her adopter fell through so she made her home here with us (Of course)! We named her Mystique. 13495058_10206968928317693_795035537876207467_n1

I started getting more into writing my 2nd book that I have put off for too long because I have taken the personal attacks on me to heart and I let it prevent me from moving forward with my writing, but not anymore like it or not I am moving at a fast pace and nobody will stop me!

My husband & I celebrated his 4th year of sobriety!  It is so amazing to watch someone who couldn’t drink enough be able to not pick up a drink for 4 years and to have no desire too!  Sobriety doesn’t mean a perfect life because life still happens.  We still have our own problems sometimes.  It is hard for him to not fall back into acting the way he use too when confronted with something that makes him angry.  However as he said, he knows that he has the tools to react differently but sometimes he feels stuck.  So when you remember where you were, the person you use to be and who you never want to be again it lights a fire under your ass to change your thinking and dig into that recovery tool bag.  After all,  you didn’t come this far to go backwards.4-yr-1

As long as you are moving forward and not backwards then mistakes or not you are making great progress.  It isn’t easy for anyone to change alcoholism or not but I know that if you have your mind set and focused on being the best version of yourself and you continue to live a life making amends and being kind then you are in a better place than you once were.  My husband and I continue to go to AA meetings every weekend because it is so important to his recovery.  The friendships and people that have become a part of our lives and have made us part of theirs has been a true blessing.  To walk in and have people greet you with a warm hug because they are genuinely happy you are there is so touching.  We always hear something in meetings that we relate too and that make us think or touch us.  We can feel it when we have to miss our favorite meeting.

I have watched a close friends life completely change in an instant.  I have watched almost daily on the news someone being shot.  I am so disgusted at what has happened to our society.  Road rage because someone is driving to slow so you pull out a gun and shoot and kill an innocent 3 year old child.  Really….. is it worth it that not only did you take a child’s life and destroyed a family but you also destroyed your own family because you couldn’t control your anger and now you spend the rest of your life in prison or are put to death all because people lack patience.  Trump is our next president…..I did not expect that but I embrace change.  I am one of those Americans that are remaining supportive and hopeful because no amount of violent protesting or burning of the American flag will change that.  To me it just makes you look like a big Asshole!

It has been a bit of a crazy year.  I continue to do the best I can for myself and my family.  I talk to my daughter almost daily.  My youngest stepdaughter and son-n-law got orders to move to Belgium for 3 years, they just left last month in November.  No matter how old your children may be you always worry and want the very best life has to offer for them.  We hope they have it easier than we may have had it.  The Millennial’s have there own challenges though, but I am hoping this generation straightens up and starts getting more serious about life.  I have noticed that the younger kids today are being brought up in such a different way than we were.  I feel like there are a lot of self-entitled spoiled brats feeling like life owes them everything.  They are lazier and slower to grow up and mature.  It may just be me, but from what I have seen with our children’s generation and even our grandchildren’s generation that is my take on it!  It’s really OK if they work for things and if they have consequences and are not allowed to run around stores screaming.  I mean some people really need to take control.  It doesn’t help your children to be that way, it really doesn’t.  I have witnessed for myself that as adults it creates a sense of loss for them because they don’t really know how to be adults and it’s very sad.

8a67f16822a74c9f838896571c0acaf71New opportunities may be possible in this New Year for us we have to wait and see where the cards fall.  I know that no matter what happens it is the way it is suppose to be.  I may not always understand it or agree with it but all I can do is learn from it.  In this New Year work on yourselves be the very best you can be.  Be more patient, listen to hear not to respond.  Don’t take anything for granted because everything is a gift and can be taken away at a moments notice.  Always give more than you get.  Help others when you can.  I always try to encourage people to help animals in need.  Get involved instead of turning away in any situation that may be harmful to someone else.  Every night when you go to bed ask yourself this question………have I done the best I could today?  Did I hurt anyone?  Be quick to right your wrongs and continue to do the best you can.  Give yourself a break, don’t judge yourself by your body image, the money you make, the home you live in, or the car you drive.  If you haven’t found recovery yet but are sick and tired of being sick and tired then it is my hopes that you get into recovery, I promise it is life changing and in the best ways possible!  You know what they say……….When one door closes another opens, it is up to you whether you step through it or close it.  There is just so much more to say but I would like to close with this……..  As an unknown author trying to make her place in the world by sharing our personal memoir of our battle with my husbands alcoholism and the devastating effects it has had on our family, I appreciate each and every one of you that take the time to Like my author page, follow me on all social media, and buy my book.  Those that follow or take the time to read my blogs.  It is a daily struggle when your name isn’t Ellen DeGeneres Or Oprah but it is what we love to do, write and share and hope to make a living or a difference.  So, from the bottom of my heart, I am grateful to all of you and as my husband and I continue on our own journey we hope you will come along with us.  We couldn’t have come this far without your support!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year my friends!  Be safe, stay sober!  See ya in “2017”  Wishing you Peace & Serenity………….Harmony15622756_10208404080275595_1863052595413846279_n1

 

 

 

 

 

 

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