Sunday, January 1

Looking Back On 2011

Alright. I've rested up and gone through all of my entries from that past year.

I'm so glad I did too. I need to write more often or be 100% sure that I keep up with that resolution to scrapbook this year's events. It reminds where I've been and how I've felt over the past few months and this helps me remember what this journey I'm on really means. Let's recap from the very beginning.

Last year, I was in Florida setting up for a House-(Re)Warming New Year's Eve bash at my folks' newly finished remodeled home with my brother. That was mayhem but fun in its own quirky nostalgic way. I posted at the Pantone Color of the Year being Honeysuckle and DJ Earworm's Annual Pop Mashup. Here are the updates on that:

It's nice to read his notes about using songs that were not only from the end of year Billboard list, but from the weekly charts throughout the year to more accurately portray what was popular over the past twelve months. He mentioned that it was a pretty angsty year of music and sitting here exhausted, I can definitely relate.

I tried hard to think of what my resolutions were last year today while I read over my old entries. What i came up with was that I was tired of how stagnate my life had unexpectedly become and I wanted to strive to be humble and grateful for what blessing I had while adopting the attitude of "Just Do". A year later, while I did start doing more, I was increasingly tested and by the end of it all, I'm just so angry again. My "just do" was meant to help jump start my own life and I've been caught up in cleaning up the messes of everything else while trying to squeeze myself in. I do think I've learned to consistently remain aware and grateful of the positive things that I have been blessed with but my awareness has been raised to new heights about how others have not only forgotten but go as far as to desecrate those same blessings. On top of the physical effort and hurt I've experienced, I feel that my current environment has launched an attack on my personal beliefs and has not let up.

As that is honestly how I feel at this moment, I look back on where I've been and feel that this year has been one that has begun the healing process. I guess right now, the universe is picking at the itchy scab and then sprinkling a healthy dash of salt on deep wounds. My perseverance (how ever whiny, reluctant, or strained at times) was reward by fulfilling new experiences you can't quite put a price on. I took two great trips, tried to make a new recipe each month, and started gardening.

A more in-depth review by month (sorry for switching tenses constantly):
My family and I survived the New Year's party at their house in Florida and I crammed in a few more visits with friends before flying back home to Arizona. I opened my Christmas presents from my desert family and am actually wearing the Super Mario t-shirt I got right now. Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and others were shot during a meet the public event held at a local grocery store. Fourteen others were injured and six people died. Both households came down with bugs that were going around. Our beloved cat suddenly became ill and we discovered that it was the equivalent of a urinary tract infection. We would eventually figure out that his whole family was prone to kidney complications and failure. I joined Stampin' Up! as a hobbyist demonstrator and realized I was on the home stretched with my year of daily blogging.

We experienced a deep freeze across town and much of our plants and the local plants died as a result. There have been many large snowstorms all over the States this winter. We celebrated my Significant Other's milestone birthday with a homemade dinner. The people of Egypt protested and eventually overthrew their government. The world learned of their plight thanks to social networking sites and services. Our cat slowly but surely recovered under the advice of a new vet, closer supervision, tons of spoiling in terms of diet, and subcutaneous fluid injections. I planted gardening by plant a few chili pepper seeds from the fruits from my mother's garden. They soon sprouted indoors. I went to the Tucson Rodeo with FMIL and her best friend and it was my first. It briefly snowed at our house one morning!

I celebrated my blogiversary- one year of daily blogging. I learned how to knit and my first project was a very big scarf. I unexpectedly had my first taste of teaching a classroom on my own and inwardly freaked out because I had no curriculum planned. We also celebrated our kitty's fifth birthday and determined he was in his late thirties in human years. Massive tsunamis hit Japan and Hawaii and the world sat on each watching their plight and praying that their nuclear plants did not completely melt down. I started on making my own recipe scrapbook. It was later scrapped due to my inexperience with cooking and inability to get the recipes just right. Our cat's mother, Goober, falls ill during the late stages of kidney failure.

The spring weather has shown hints of becoming muggy and we set on a mission to get the swamp cooler in working order before the summer comes. Roaches took a shine to becoming our roommates. FMIL and I attended the Annual Fourth Avenue Street Fair. It was my third time there and I love looking at all the crafts and foods. We and Goober's human mom took Goober to be put to sleep due to her advanced kidney failure. This family friend also has our cat's sister and now we're all on high alert with the knowledge that this will probably be how each of their lives will eventually end. I created a handmade card stash and caddy out of a tissue box. The SO and I celebrated our third year of dating anniversary and I finally finished the scrapbook I started two years prior about our first year together. FMIL and I brought new life to old Easter decorations.

 The spring bulk-trash pick-up came the weekend we were celebrating FMIL's birthday and all of the boys and I banded together to completely clean up and rearrange the patio and surrounding area in the back yard. The students finished school, we re-coated the roof to stop the leaks, and I learned to crochet. The SO and I accompanied his father on a spiritual trip to a special hill in rural central Texas over Memorial Day weekend. It was an eye-opening and uplifting experience that I spent the next month digitally scrapbooking. Throughout this month, the state was engulfed in some of the biggest wildfires we have ever had. There have been so many severe and long-lasting droughts all over the world for the past few years.

I finished my first digital scrapbook and had it professionally printed. I started a resolution to cook a new recipe each month starting with my first cookbook. I finally began to crochet amigurumi dolls. This month seemed to be all about baby birds. Doves were born in a nest right outside our front door, two broods of birds were born on the back patio, and baby quails were seen running after their parents all around. I planted cherry tomatoes and parsley indoors. Bugs were eating us alive inside. I have become pretty digi-scrap happy and had to revamp my ever-growing collection. Animal medicine cards have enthralled me by now thanks to our trip.

Summer and monsoon season are in full swing and we regularly were submerged. The remaining family dog received a dry bite from a rattlesnake in the backyard that probably spared the SO and I. I started growing wheat and cereal aka pet grass for our kitty. The four bird's eye chillies have become about a foot tall. Our cat's cousin by association was stung multiple times in the fact by a scorpion in our living room. He was fine after that night. During my preparation for my trip to Florida, I almost killed all of my plants by dehydrating them but initially mistaking their symptoms for over-watering.

In Florida, I had barely any time for personal visit but was on a mission to help my parents host a slew of cousins from New York and Germany. My brother took me to various comic book and hobby stores that we fell in love with, my family insisted on document the ordinary moments like eating dinner and airport arrivals with their new camcorder (a habit we had neglected for the past few years), and a dear friend and I failed miserably at surprising another friend at her theater rehearsal. The cousins visited the sights and beaches of our area and pushed through our language and cultural barriers to bond in what we deemed as "vacation boot camp" where one of the main sports was marathon eating. I rounded up my stay there with all of us going to the Walt Disney Resort in Orlando. We visited with another cousin, Magic Kingdom, Blizzard Beach water park, Epcot, Typhoon Lagoon water park, Hollywood Studios, Disney Quest, and shopping in Downtown Disney and various souvenir shops. The rest of the cousins stayed at my parents' house a week or so longer and went down to the Florida Keys and did plenty of shopping while I headed back to the desert for school to begin for the students.

In my absence, the SO nursed all of my plants back to health and they experienced quite the growth spurt! Each of the chili plants nearly doubled in size while the tomatoes and parsley also took off. Ants have now infested the house in desperate search for any sort of crumbs to munch on. I celebrated my 24th birthday with two birthday dinners. One out to a hibachi grill and the other with a four cheese casserole I made myself for everyone. I also joined Tumblr and it opened up another level of the internet to me. That same night, my entire garden section on my blog virtually disappeared. Rewriting everything while keeping it up to date would take several weeks and much frustration. I decided to custom make a carrying case for all my Cricut things. The SO invested in some equipment to spray an insect barrier all around the house. It has worked beautifully on the creepy crawlies since. The monsoon storms continued and the local washes ran often. I tried to plant jalapeños from grocery store fruit and the never made it fast a few tiny sprouts. The chili plants were named Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff and started showing tiny buds. Earthquakes hit the Midwest U.S. and people on East coast states felt some of the tremors. By the end of the month, we were swamped with many house repairs. Mostly plumbing issues. I stupidly braved the scorching heat and carved out a garden area in the backyard where one once stood.

Ugh, the crawling bugs may now be gone, but there were mosquitoes everywhere! I thought I escaped this when I left the swamp! These bites were meaner than the ones I'm used to so I kept asking everyone, "Why does everything in the desert want to try to kill you?!" Seeds of jalapeños, rapid-grow lettuce, and cilantro were planted. We decided to experiment with the new peppers and giving them different amounts of sunlight by placing them in different spots around the property. With the SO's persuasion (ha!), I planted ten different herbs in a planter outdoors. The tomatoes and chilies have started to flower. I got my Simply Adorned jewelry set from SU! and started making inserts like crazy. We were still getting late monsoon storms. I started an heirloom recipe preservation project for the SO's family. I'm still working on it now. We tried planting Bhut Jolokia chilies and bell peppers from the fruit and the tomato plants were named after Disney Channel characters: Phineas, Ferb, and Perry.

Our cat was sick again and could not keep down any food or water. We never figured out exactly why and it wasn't directly related to his family's weak kidneys but underwent many similar treatments from earlier this year. Negativity, hardship, and drama has surrounded the home live and we struggled to stay above it in our own ways. FMIL and I attended the wedding of former co-worker that has been twenty years coming. Both the big plants are producing a ton of fruit. I finished creating this year's Christmas cards and the SO and I attended the first scrimmage of the basketball season of the University of Arizona Wildcats. With the autumn bulk trash pick-up coming, the SO and I set about clearing the front and back yards of dead plant debris. On Halloween, we received one group of older trick-or-treaters followed promptly by a family of smelly javelina devouring our newly displayed jack o' lanterns with their little babies.

Cool autumn weather has finally come to stay and the fruits are ripening. Stressful events escalate to the point that FMIL, the SO, and I set on a sudden mission to change all of the locks on the house. My stress is at an all-time high while my tolerance level for such tomfoolery is at an all-time low. Despite careful planning on Thanksgiving, the turkey was finished about three hours early and we scrambled to find a balance to keep the rest of the fix-in's on schedule. The jalapeño experiment ends and the plants that have survived are rounded up and put into my garden area. They are less than a foot tall and have started budding! 

I set to work making and collecting gifts, cake pops for the various parties we would attend this holiday season, and finished writing-addressing the Christmas cards. All the cherry tomatoes and bird's eye chili fruits are harvested on a cold and rainy night and I ended up catching a bad chest cold as a result. The SO and I ran a slew of odd errands for ourselves and holiday preparation. I went to three holiday parties in three days and it was such a pleasant and much-needed staycation. Even if it caused me quite a bit of stress because of the neurotic worrywart that I am. The oldest cat, at 16 years old, of the household has developed breast cancer tumors and FMIL, the SO, and I were with her in her final moments. RIP Clown. For Christmas Eve, FMIL prepared a small feast of a beef roast and our Christmas celebration took place the following morning and was a low key event. That was good. We all needed low key this year. I finished up the year with recovering, planning ahead for next year, and rearranging the bedroom and my storage.

Phew. That took me a while what with all the cross-checking of facts and recollecting. I somehow associated the events from the first half of the year with 2010 and that was good to go back.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...