Saturday, December 31, 2022

2022: The Year in Review

2022 was both eventful and...not, if that makes sense (trust me, if it doesn't, it will). It was a year of change for several of my loved ones. Mom left her lifetime home, Queen B got her first very own place, and the Man-Cub and Shanti moved into the apartment over the hardware store together. Hugh and I didn't move, obviously, but, if we had, it would have been the year for it, apparently.

2022 was neither memorable for amazing things, nor memorable for awful things, which makes it a pretty benign year, and, I'm not complaining. I don't know what 2023 will bring, but I am actually quite hopeful that it will be a turning point toward better things for the remainder of the decade. Fingers crossed.

But, before we ring in the new year, we need to properly say goodbye to the old one, so; here is a look back at the year that was 2022.


January was a month of hibernation, with a heavy emphasis on coziness at home, including a lot of bread baking. I also made a better effort at self-care, which included exercise and better nutrition. That probably lasted until February, if I'm being honest.


For the first time, ever, I decorated for Valentine's Day. Honestly, the only reason I did was because I was too lazy to take down the small Christmas tree that I had put up in December. Well, that and because I was inspired by several bunches of faux tulips that I got at Marshalls; they look so lifelike!

In February, Queen B flew to Denver for her God Daughter's first birthday party. Hugh and drove up for the weekend to join her in celebrating Miss Z.

And, speaking of birthdays; earlier in the week, Queen B turned 26, which just blows my mind, considering she was a toddler just yesterday.


March was a pretty quiet month. I finally took the Christmas/Valentines Day tree down and put out my Easter decorations, including more of those gorgeous faux tulips.

And the Man-Cub adopted a kitten. He named her Princess Leia. Because of course he did.

There was a pretty heavy spring snowstorm that gave Boomer a perfect excuse to wear his new snow boots.


April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and I tried my hand at a balloon garland for the event that we hosted for Not So New Job. It turned out pretty damn well, as did the event, itself.

It was also the beginning of spring, which means thoughts of summer gardening started to flit across my brain. At my request, Hugh started building a set of raised beds for my garden, and, as with all his projects, he started with a design sketched on whatever piece of paper was handy.


Hugh installed the beds in my garden in May and I started planting with wild abandon.

I also opened the porch for the season, which was a little later than I normally aim for, but, was delayed due to late spring snow storms in April.

Toward the end of the month, I flew to Dallas to spend a week with Queen B. We took a road trip to San Antonio, where we spent a few days exploring the River Walk and eating our body weight in Tex-Mex.


June was mostly about relaxing. I spent a lot of time on the porch, in the park with Boomer Dog, and in the garden. I also started growing my own sprouts, which was interesting.

Also, in June, Hugh passed his Boards to become an EMT. Retiring from law enforcement apparently left him plenty of free time to pursue every little boy's dream of becoming a firefighter.


Things really started to get busy in July. Hugh and I kicked off the month with a 4th of July camping trip with all of The Newlyweds. We spent three days 4-wheeling, star gazing, making s'mores. and cooking out. It was a lot of fun and a good way to relax before things got crazy.

The second week of July, I  organized a golf tournament for Not So New Job; it was my third one and I finally feel like I'm getting the hang of it. Also, thank goodness for a great staff and phenomenal volunteers!

The following week, Queen B arrived for a long visit. Our first order of business was a trip to Mayberry for Stampede and to help Mom host her 60th High School reunion. 

At the end of the weekend, Mom came back with us to Petticoat Junction, where we started a search for her new home. But, first, we invited the old gang over for Porch Night.

After looking at a number of houses, Mom put in an offer on a townhouse in Hooterville. Her offer was accepted and I could see a weight lifted off her shoulders.

The Cub drove Mom back to Mayberry and dropped her off to start the process of sorting through over 50 years of life in one house.

We then finished off Queen B's visit with an evening on the lake with Chris and Jana.


Once we had a timeline for when things would get moving with Mom's house (literally moving), we took advantage of the last days of summer by enjoying August.

That meant spending a lot of time in the garden, as well as attending a flower arranging class with the Newlyweds.

We purchased a Blackstone for Hugh and he broke it in with breakfast for Phoebe and her family, who had arrived to spend the weekend and for a senior pictures session for their daughter. It was good to catch up with Phoebe and the pictures turned out great.

I finished off the month with a visit to the cut-your-own flower farm in Pixler with the Newlyweds, several dinners al fresco with the Man-Cub, Hugh, and Shanti, many evenings spent on the porch playing checkers on my Dad's old Carom board, and even more time in the garden.


Hugh and I celebrated our 29th anniversary with a long weekend at The Venetian in Las Vegas. We enjoyed good food, a great show (The Atomic Saloon), days by the pool, the Mob Museum, a gondola ride, and room service. It was a great way to mark almost three decades of matrimony.

(This is also the month that I decided to throw in the towel where it comes to fighting the gray in my hair. I decided to let the roots come in and to tone the rest of my hair to blend with the new growth. It will be a work in progress for quite some time, but I had arrived at peace with it)

Not So New Job hosted its annual Barn Dance and we raised over $30,000 while listening to a great local band, eating BBQ, and visiting with friends.

On the 23rd, the Man-Cub turned 24, which was just as crazy to me as his sister turning 26. We gave him a travel version of the Blackstone and marveled at how grown up he has become.

At the end of the month, Hugh, the Cub, Shanti and I traveled to Mayberry to help Mom and my sisters with a large yard sale. It was bittersweet to part with so many objects from our childhood, but we were very proud of Mom for doing such a great job at downsizing her possessions for the move.

The following weekend, Hugh once again participated in the judging of an apple pie contest hosted by one of the local apple orchards. It was his third year to participate and we were amazed at how much the event has grown.


The first weekend in October, Hugh and I drove back to Mayberry to help Mom finish packing and to supervise the movers as they loaded everything up for the trip to Hooterville. It was a lot of work, as was supervising the unloading of the truck once it arrived at the new house that Monday. I took the entire first week of the month off to help Mom unpack and adjust to her new home.

The rest of the month consisted of visiting the farmer's market with Mom, putting the garden to bed for the season, decorating the house for Halloween, hosting a "haunted" dinner party, and taking in the colors of fall before they slipped away to winter.


Mom, the Newlyweds and I took a charcuterie class in Pixler. I learned some new techniques and discovered some new locally produced jams as well as a truly amazing chow-chow. It was a fun afternoon.

Santa was visiting the local pet store for pictures with pets, so the Cub, Shanti, and I loaded up the dogs and took full advantage of the opportunity. Boomer and Jade were so good, they each got a fancy cookie as a reward.

Queen B arrived for Thanksgiving, and we started decorating for Christmas while I had her here for manual labor. I shamelessly used the Man-Cub and Shanti for that purpose, as well.

We also took advantage of having a full house for Thanksgiving dinner by surprising everyone with a family photo shoot, specifically for our Christmas card photo. Mom, Shanti, and Oscar were great sports; Emily took some convincing.


December was all about family, fun, and Christmas blessings. At the beginning of the month, I took Mom, Oscar, and Emily to the local community theater to see a radio production of Miracle on 34th Street.

I sent out the Christmas cards that we made with the photo taken at Thanksgiving and received mostly rave reviews from family and friends.

Later in the month, Mom and I visited a drive-through live nativity.

Queen B and the Rodeo Princess arrived and we gathered up all the kids for cookie decorating and popcorn ball making.

Mia and Trevor joined us for the 2nd Annual Christmas Cocktail Contest.

And he hosted Mom, Midge, Oscar, Emily, and Shanti's parents and brother for Christmas dinner.

It's been a busy month and a busy half of the year, after the slow start (see why I said it was both eventful and not?). As I said at the beginning of this post; it wasn't a terrible year (2020, I'm still looking at you). It was full of big changes, for sure, especially for Mom. 

At the beginning of '22, I chose Strength as my Word of the Year, and, the good lord saw fit to give it to me when I needed it. I'll be forever grateful for that.

Tonight, we will see the year off in style, with a small gathering of friends and for a fondue party. I don't know if I'll make it to midnight to usher in the new year, but, I'm going to try. I really do have high hopes for 2023.

 23 is my lucky number, after all.