Monday, January 2, 2017

2016: Year in Review in ABC Order

In January 2015, I wrote a review of my 2014 by going through the alphabet. (Click here to see what I mean). I thought it would be fun to try again. As I review this before posting, I can see that 2016 was a pretty good year for me personally, all things considered. The upheavals of 2013-15 began to settle down. Several of the alphabet titles are the same as '15 and more than one mentions the dogs, but that's because I'm having a hard time thinking of events that match the alphabet. And let's be honest, the dogs are a big part of my life!

Well, let's give this a whirl & see what I come up with.

A - Afghan Hounds
I hate to start off on a sad note, but there is a happy ending. You know my love for this breed; I've often posted pictures and stories of my Blu2.  To my great heartbreak, he crossed The Rainbow Bridge in September. But we were not to be long without a dog in the house; by the end of the month Khaleesi joined our family and quickly settled in as the queen around here. Both those stories can be found in the archives (September 2016).


B - Busy, Baltimore
It was a really busy year! Between the expansion of the ministry my husband directs and my joining the staff of another church, we both found ourselves having to intentionally carve out time for each other and for the hobbies we each enjoy.

Baltimore - I attended a conference there in May. I love conferences! I could be a professional conference-attender for those of you who are required to go but don't like going. I attend every possible workshop, Q&A session, and gather up all kinds of knowledge and materials. Hire me! Also had time to do a little sightseeing, too.

C - Church
On a day trip to Arkansas, I had time to stop at this old church we always pass on our way to other sites there. It certainly looks abandoned. The church in general is going through a shift. While some are thriving, others are shutting their doors. I know one in particular that has actually abandoned her people, not the other way around. I think, across the board, many have abandoned "the church" but not Christ.

D - Death
Again, sorry for the gloom. The news about the passing of so many famous people became a news story itself. 2016 started us reeling in January with the shocking news of David Bowie's death and on it went from there. We lost a distant relative in our own family (and the dog, who was very much family). We said goodbye to some precious friends who all seemed to leave us around the same time. Was there an express train to heaven this year?

E - Earthquakes
Oklahoma set a record for quake activity and finally, finally, decided it was related to fracking. To quote Russell Casse from the movie Independance Day: I been sayin' it... ain't I been sayin' it?

Randy Quaid as Russel Case

F- Fabric Store / Facebook

Another change!! My favorite fabric store went out of business. I actually worked there for awhile in the early 2000s. I was able to collect a nice fabric stash doing that. In fact, I was shopping at their closeout sale when I got the phone call that one of our friends had died. Come to think of it, I was in a fabric store when I found out our Newfoundland died a few years back. Geez. It's like a pattern (no pun intended).

As for Facebook - it's been a very fun tool for reconnecting with old friends, staying in touch with family & out of town friends. But in that volatile election year, wow, some days it sure frayed the nerves.

G - Game of Thrones
How could I not list GoT???  What a season #6 was! Jon Snow was resurrected! R+L really does=J!
Episodes 9 & 10 - wow, just wow. This year I have three GoT things to look forward to! In March we're going to the GoT Experience Concert; in late spring/early summer, Season 7 starts; and some time this year, George may actually release the long awaited "Winds of Winter." Or not. Because - that's George. And yes, don't I wish I had taken this picture myself!

H - Helicopter, Health, Home
We had our first ride in a helicopter in December. Loved it & wish it had been longer!
Health  - we all managed to stay pretty healthy last year.
Home - too busy to do any special projects around the house. We were just keeping our chins above water with the weekly chores. Nevertheless, our home remains our haven. It's our own sanctuary. I love being home. A few years ago, I was able to split my job between working from home & going in the office. It was ideal. Maybe I'll be able to retire in a few years. Well, one can daydream, right?

I - 
I'm using a dream dictionary for Inspiration to find relevant words for my alphabet list. "I" is a hard one. Insurance - yes, it's going up an insane amount but I've ranted about it already. Interview - I did have one early in the year for my new job, but it was basically a formality. I knew them, they knew me.  We went to Illinois to get the dog. We unknowingly got stuck on the toll road and received a gift from the state in the mail this week - an $80 fine, thank you very much. Indigestion - gotta watch what I eat nowdays. Insomnia - sometimes happens. Exercise, magnesium, and low amounts of caffeine help in avoiding it. So the letter I is not very interesting; let's move on...

J - Job
As mentioned, I started a new job in February. One of my favorite people, and a former boss, called to see if I'd be interested in coming back to work for him. While I loved, loved, loved where I was at, I couldn't pass up this opportunity. There was still a lot to learn as new jobs go but I've just about got the cycle of one year under my belt. That's where you go through, not just the daily routine, but every event that comes up annually. Each one has to be learned from scratch. Whew - glad that part's over!

K - Khaleesi
Khaleesi (Khali, for short) is my new afghan hound. She continues to entertain & delight! If you haven't met her yet, click here. True to the breed personality, she is quite a clown!

Kimchi: Just some trivia for you from the Dream Dictionary: To see or eat kimchi in your dream represents an emotional barrier. You are wanting to prevent yourself from getting hurt in a relationship.
Fortunately, I've never eaten kimchi in either a dream or my waking life. I have a Korean friend who enjoys it almost daily. Do you even know what it is?

L - Links 
At our holiday outreaches, church friends from years past (many of whom are going to different churches now) came to help. I am continually amazed to find out that people you'd never imagine are old friends, or even relatives. Tulsa is like a small town in that respect. The people & their histories here are unbelievably interwoven. That's why you never say anything negative about someone - they're probably connected to the person you're gossiping to.

M - Magazine
One of my dolls made the cover of an art magazine. Photos I took of a friend's doll made a prestigious art-doll magazine. I can truthfully say "I'm published!" haha.

N - New
2016 brought, besides a new job, a new - or should I say re-newed - sense of God's presence in my life. Lots of healing, fresh insights, new ways of thinking. That was good. And much needed.

O - October
It remains my favorite month. In October, we spent a week exploring parts of Colorado. It was restful, fun, and beautiful!

P -  Photography, Politics
I got to do the "papparazzi shots" at a friend's wedding. It was beautiful & gave me so many great shots.

Politics: 'Nuff said about that, right? What an insane, intense, surprising year in politics. I did attend a Marco Rubio Rally. Not because I was a supportor (by no means!) but because he was here and it was convenient.

Q - Queen
That's an easy one. We have a new queen in our house. I remain Empress, but Khaleesi is Queen. It took over a week before she ascended the throne vacated by Blu (his chair in my craft room) but since then she has gotten privileges that no other pet before her has enjoyed, such as laying on the couch with us or jumping up on the bed. Although she still has to sleep in her crate, I wouldn't be surprised if she doesn't end up with a special spot in the bedroom when she gets older.

R - Road Trips
Yay! We got to take two road trips together last year. One to the Chicago area to get Khali and the other to Colorado for some R&R. Then I did two short ones by myself. One to see a friend in Arkansas & another to a women's retreat in OKC. Love road trips!

S - Spring, Smokey Mountains
Spring brings such promise, doesn't it? We're really in such an innocent frame of mind, thinking of growth, new life, new possibilities; completely oblivious to what the coming months may bring.

The terrible wildfires in the Gatlinburg area were so sad. Which is an understatement considering lives were lost. We so enjoy spending time there and to see it brutalized by fire was heartbreaking.

T - Television
We don't watch a lot of tv, nor do we have cable. Last year, we tried Netflix again (the first time was long, long ago). We had a good time binge-watching The Blacklist. I also enjoyed The Crown, and Grace & Frankie. We still watch Survivor and our summer lame-embarrassed-that-we-watch-it show, Big Brother.  I really wish Homeland was on Netflix.

I haven't seen any this year. But I'm always looking :)

V - Venus
My hubby got himself a pretty decent telescope year before last. He loves looking at the stars and has become very knowledgeable. I just love how Venus looks like a big diamond in the sky. One of my favorite summer pastimes is to sit on the patio swing and gaze at the night sky.

W - Walks, Windmills
When my Blu2 passed, I thought my early morning walks at Haikey Creek Park were over. When we got Khali, I looked forward to starting that up again. However, she was crazy-skittish and terrified at even putting collar & leash on. I gave her a few weeks to feel comfortable in our back yard, then walked her around the yard on leash. Then we graduated to the front yard. Her natural curiosity got the best of her; she decided maybe this isn't so bad! Then we stepped off the curb and ventured halfway down the street. Well, now we're talkin' baby! All I have to do is stand by the front door with the purple leash in hand and man, she is right there! So I'm back to late evening walks. Haikey will have to wait a year or so because I'm afraid she will go bonkers seeing all the squirrels and I'll end up face-planting.

Walking Blu at the park

Windmills -  I almost forgot - I was going to do a whole post on windfarms. We passed 100s of these things on our trips. I love seeing them.

X - X-ray
Oh dear. My sweetie has turned into Tim the Toolman Taylor. He's had to make a stop at Urgent Care twice in the past couple weeks. The good news is, both injuries were minor and healed quickly.

Y - Year
It's been said again & again...2016 was a crazy year. The whole country was able to agree at least on this one thing! For me personally, it was overall, a good year. There were sad moments, but also some really great things happened.

Z - Zen
I love words. Zen is one of my favorite ones. Although I haven't "reached zen" I am a little closer, in the Christian sense, than I was the previous years. Not a bad way to end my ABC Year in Review!

I wish anyone reading this a most blessed 2017!
This year take time to
be present
and most of all, love.

~all the best, Mystical Gypsy

(all photos were taken by me except for the characters Jon Snow & Russell Casse)

1 comment:

Sammie Cummings said...

Thanks so much for sharing. You are a great story teller. And, beautiful photos to go with the stories!
Have a blessed and prosperous year!