|Our road on an early December morn|
As I write this, it is 7 p.m. and the Indiana Hoosiers are on t.v. playing Ohio State (ranked #2 in the country). I'm sitting at the kitchen table in the kitchen and Doug is in the living room in front of the t.v.
Here we go:
We rang in 2011 at a party at our friend's, Craig (Doug's boss) & Iliana's. I wasn't feeling too well.
From the 14th to the 17th, I was out in MD with my girls. I went out for a baby shower on the 15th. On the 19the I had a little bit of out-patient surgery, and after about six weeks I was good to go. (This was a procedure I had put off for almost thirty years.) Take it from me, if you need to get something taken care of, do it!
February is an icy, snowy, cold, quiet, month . I always attend the local Theta Antique Show. I enjoy walking about by myself. I go every year. All by myself. I enjoy it greatly.
My first grand child, the little Bee was born in March. She was due to arrive on the 17th, but as mommy was getting into trouble, the doctor called her and said "hey, how do you feel about having a baby today? O.k., yeah. Come in today and we are going to do this." So she was born on March 8. On the way to work that morning I bought a dozen pink roses and then printed out a little sign to display at my desk telling everyone that I was a Grandma on that day and all of the important information about our new arrival. Then that night, to celebrate, I took myself out to eat. (I can't remember what Doug was doing that night, but I wanted to celebrate and savor the feeling of happiness and joy, so I did.) I already had my ticket to fly out to MD at the end of the month, so it was a long month. I flew out on March 31.
I was in MD until April 3. It was heaven on earth to finally hold her in my arms, to breath in her sweet new baby fragrance and just to watch her face as she slept.
On the 16th we met a friend of mine, Christine, and her family at a local winery. They were down from Chicago to visit friends in Indiana. I worked with Christine at a newspaper in Muncie, IN years ago and we've kept in touch. It was wonderful to see her and her family.
On the very next day, the 17th, I drove south to Louisville to rendezvous with a dear friend from North Carolina, Laura and her daughter. They were visiting from North Carolina.
On April 23, I wrote "chick day" on my calendar. Doug and I went to our local farm supply store and came home with a dozen chicks. We were going to get five and then Doug said "oh, we'll lose some, get ten" and I went a little crazy saying "give me one of those, and one of those," and we came home with twelve. To date we have butchered one (excessively mean) rooster and have lost one hen. We have one rooster and nine hens remaining. The next few weeks were spent checking chicken's butts for pasty butt, waking in the middle of the night to go make sure they were still alive, constantly adjusting the heat lamp and general restlessness as I was a nervous new chicken mom.
The 24th was Easter and we found some wonderful morel mushrooms in the yard.
On the 28th, we left our home, animals and new chicks in the care of the very competent Alissa. She is friend and pet sitter/house sitter whenever Doug and I happen to travel at the same time. We appreciate her so.
Doug and I drove from Indiana to Maryland. We were heading east to attend Doug's nephew's wedding and when we were that close to MD, I had to go see my girls. On the 29th, the world tuned in to watch the wedding of Wills and Kate. My daughter in law came home with heart shaped donuts in honor or the wedding and baby Bee and I spent the day in front of the television watching the wedding over and over on every channel that I could find it on. (And it just so happens the wedding was on every channel.) I'm certain it is a day she will remember.
The next day we left to drive on to PA to attend Doug's nephew's wedding.
On May 2nd, I started a new job on campus, moving to the law school. I was excited to be at my new location in the heart of campus and to work for my new boss, a highly respected man.
Doug and I attended chicken class and learned of every malady and terrible awful thing that might happen to a chicken. I think if we didn't already have chickens, we might not have taken the plunge, but we already had twelve of them so what could we do? To date, other than one of our hens dropping dead for no apparent reason, none of the terrible, awful, bad things have happened.
On the 3rd of June I flew to MD until the 9th. I enjoyed taking baby Bee for daily walks in her stroller, giving baths, rocking and reading and generally enjoying being in Grandma Heaven.
On the 18th, my little sister came down to Bloomington to attend the Taste of Bloomington
The next weekend brought us a visitor from far northern IN, my dear friend, LizBeth. Liz has a wonderful mother and I have a wonderful daughter, but LizBeth and I have always had a relationship that is something akin to mother/daughter. I met her at Ball State where she became one of my kids and has remained so.
The next weekend brought us weekend visitors from my home town, John and Kathy, to help us celebrate the fourth of July. Kathy and I have been friends for over thirty years and a few years before I met Doug I went out to Colorado with John and Kathy. Shortly after I met Doug we returned to Colorado and John and Kathy invited Doug along. It didn't seem to matter how I felt about it, he was going. Kathy and I have had many travel, hiking, camping, caving and mountain climbing adventures through the years.
On the weekend of the 23rd, Doug's youngest son got married. The entire family came to Bloomington and it was one of the hottest weekends of the summer. We sat in the sun as they stood beneath a gazebo, saying their vows. We were drenched but quickly headed inside for a meal and dancing. After all of the formal activities were over we all headed across the street to a hotel where some of the family was staying and we spent the rest of the day in the pool.
On Monday the 26th, my professor turned mentor turned friend, Dr. Amy from Ball State was visiting a local state park and spent the evening with Doug and I at our local county fair. We had a lot of fun looking at chickens (and ran into our chicken teacher, there), cows, horses and goats. It was a spontaneous visit and oh so fun.
On the 28th, I headed back to MD. We headed to Deep Creek Lake for the weekend with my daughter in law's family. Baby Bee got to attend her first campfire and watched as we all enjoyed s'mores. I am blessed because my daughter in law has a kind and loving family and they include me with everyone else.
I stayed in MD until the 6th to help out my daughter and daughter in law as the regular sitter was on vacation. It was my joy to be there for so many days and to help with baby Bee. We had daily walks with the stroller and lots of time to sit on the deck and look at the trees. Just like her Grandma, baby Bee loves nature.
September began with Doug taking me to see Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. Oh my. I have loved Gillian Welch for, oh, forever, but had no idea what a talent David Rawlings is.
Doug and I attend Lotus Music Festival here in Bloomington every year. You can buy a weekend pass or an evening pass. It is costly, but very worth it. This year we decided to volunteer the first evening of the festival and then was able to attend the second night of the festival for free. We have decided this is the way to go. We are involved in a community event, get to see the groups the first night as we work and then attend for free on the second night. Because we had not put out a lot of cash, there was no frenzy to fly around and try to see each group in attendance.
I started to write for her magazine in September. (My second piece is about to be published- on this very subject, how I use my calendar as a journal of sorts.)
WE INTERRUPT THIS POST TO ANNOUNCE THAT THE INDIANA HOOSIERS JUST BEAT #2 RANKED OHIO STATE! Doug called me into the living room to watch the final three minutes of the game with him. I had to tell him that in sports, three minutes to a woman is like thirty minutes. There is a reason I cannot watch basketball when the team I want to win is winning. Very quickly, I am sick at my stomach from screaming and jumping like a lunatic. I can't help it. I am a Hoosier, born and raised.
The second weekend in October I met a life-long friend at Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. Becky and I have been friends since age five. She lives in TN and I live in IN so we met in the middle at one of my favorite places on earth. We camped, cooked out, laughed, hiked, got in the cave and had a grand old time.
The last weekend of the month the girls came to IN so that my parents and sister might meet little Bee for the first time. I met them in my home town and we visited with my family then had lunch with my friend Kathy and then headed to Indianapolis where the four of us spent the evening. While my girls attended a wedding, the Bee and I hung out and did downtown with her in the stroller.
On the 10th I headed to MD. My friend Laura from North Carolina and her daughter drove to MD to spend the weekend with us. We all went to the National Aquarium together. My friend's daughter is eight and she and the Bee had a wonderful time together. The Bee had not been with a little person of that age before and she was crazy for my friend's daughter.
At the end of November, my son and his girlfriend came to IN for Thanksgiving. This was her first visit to IN. She arrived a day before my son, so it was nice that she and I got to have a day to visit before he arrived. On the Sunday after Thanksgiving I got on the scales and had my ohmigosh moment and decided to battle the bulge during the holidays.
The first weekend in December we headed north to Goshen, IN to celebrate Doug's mother's 80th. Family gathered from all over the U.S. for the weekend.
On the 15th I went to MD to have Christmas with my girls. They gave me a fabulous gift. This gift is so fabulous that it deserves a post in and of itself, so I am still holding out on my big news and will share with you in 2012.
I got on the scales this morning and was four down from the Sunday after Thanksgiving. I have been up and down and all around but am happy to report that I didn't gain from Thanksgiving to New Year's. How did you do? And don't worry, there is more dieting to come with the new year.
We are ready to head out to our friends John and Jeanna's house to ring in the new year.
This year long report of mine serves as history of my life, but is testimony to more. I am blessed. I am blessed beyond measure, beyond the trips and visits with friends and family that I have mentioned here, there are lunches with gal friends and after work get-togethers and driving to Greenwood to meet friends for dinner half-way and seeing friends for dinner when I drive to Muncie to get my hair done. I am blessed. Pressed down, shaken together and running over blessed. Truly.
I cannot tell you how thankful I am for the friendships I've made here, through my blog. Your patience with me, your support and kindness and love is overwhelming. Over and over I think thank you is such an insufficient expression of gratitude, but thank you.
Oh, and Happy New Year! xo, Cheryl