December 30, 2011

2011 In Review

I was blessed with this idea from my friend Leigh, at 5 Acres and a Dream. She does this every year to document what they have accomplished on their new homestead. It reminds me of the farming journals that used to be kept in days gone by. When you think about it, that is what a blog is...a daily, weekly, or monthly journal of the days of life.

Things that make us happy, frustrated, sad, or just make us think. I have had a lot of that in this last month of 2011, as I am sure you can tell by my recent posts. So here is my year in review:

-It surprised me when I looked back at my posts for this year, that I never did one for the death of my grandmother. I thought I had. I suppose that speaks to the fact that while she was in my life almost daily, for all of my life, we were not close. Truth be told, we fought all the time. We were like oil and water...Or more like gasoline and a lit match. She was 93 years old, and had been going down hill for a few months. Despite my not getting along with her, and my never being good enough in her eyes, I was the only one, other than my mother, to take care of her right up until the end. I was glad I could do it, for my mom. She needed that support. She and my grandmother, despite their different personalities, were very close. I helped bathe my grandmother, fed her, and even held her hand towards the end when she carried on conversations with her dead family. I didn't do it because I am some special person who can put aside all the hurt that I have felt from this woman, or that I caused to her. I did it simply because I love my mother, and she needed it. She would never say so, it is unspoken. There are a lot of things like that with my mom. She won't say she needs something, but you can just tell. This was one of them. And it was a big one. This Christmas was the first time my mom didn't have her mother, and I am sure it was super hard for her. But she never showed it. She smiled, and enjoyed the day.

-February saw me starting my new job. I loved the job itself, but by August when I left due to re-injuring my CRPS affected arm/shoulder, I knew it wasn't the right thing for me. Yes the paycheck was good. And the money helped when I truly needed it. But at what cost? My kids complained constantly that I wasn't there for them, especially my daughter. I spent hours and hours working overtime either at the office, or from home. I was here, in the house, but I wasn't available to them. That was a very high cost to pay, one that I regret. Yes, we need to pay our bills, and be responsible adults. But we also, if we have children, need to be parents. I firmly believe that especially when they are teens, they need us the most. They will deny it. They always do. But that is the crucial time that they start making some decisions for themselves, and they need our guidance.

I spent most all of this year doing a balancing act, that in the end, I knew I would fail at. Working the hours I did, trying to be a single just doesn't work. I wish I didn't have to re-injure my arm to find out, but maybe that was G-d's way of telling me to slow down, and get my priorities back in order.

We did have pretty good success with our garden this year. Lots of tomatoes, green beans, and even a few servings of peas. I learned alot from this 2nd garden:
-Do not neglect a garden for more than a week.....the weeds will eat you and all you planted, alive!
-Weed block, or some other method of weed control is your friend.
-I will be using a more intensive layout in my next garden. We limited ourselves by using the traditional row planting method.
-I do have a green thumb, and while I might kill house plants, I do pretty darn well outside.

August brought my shoulder injury, which really set me back physically. I was limited for over a month on what I could do, since I was stuck back in a sling, and on pain meds. Like last time, I had no good things happen on pain meds. No one would ever accuse me of becoming a drug addict, I can't handle the side effects of the stuff. So now we are back to toughing it out with Tylenol, and naps. The meds that actually help with the pain, and that I can tolerate, are still not paid for by any insurance.

This fall has brought financial struggles. I know we are not alone in this. This is something that everyone is facing. But it has made me more sure of my resolve to get on my own land by June. I may have to move out of this rental before then, depending on finances, but I will be living on that land. That I can guarantee you. Sure hope Sir Jack is up for an adventure:)

Speaking of Sir Jack....we have had some good conversations by email so far. Once this big job of his is done in mid-January, we will be able to be together, and really talk about where we are going from here. I have a good feeling in my gut, from what has been said. But the old adage still holds true: Actions speak louder than words. I pray that he is the man that G-d means me to be with, and if he isn't, that G-d show me that quickly, before I give my heart too deeply.

So, here's to 2012. I pray that you all have a blessed new year, with much joy, love of family and friends, and that G-d watches over you.


  1. I never thought of reviewing our year like this..great job. Thank you for sharing..and keeping life real!

  2. It has been a tough year, but maybe we need that once in awhile so we can continue to appreciate the small gifts we get. I hope you have a very happy New Year....and that it brings you much happiness.

  3. I hope sir-jack is what you want and need. My own daughter never could find a man worth anything except put a new baby in her belly.I enjoy the children,not her boyfriends,they are too needy,she doesn't need to raise them!I DON'T REALLY KNOW WHATS ITS LIKE TO TAKE CARE OF A ELDERLY RELATIVE . YOUR A SAINT FOR BEING THERE FOR YOUR MOM. NOWADAYS ,THEY JUST PUT YOU IN A NURSING HOME .I THOUGHT OF YOU YESTERDAY,MY DAUGHTER AND I WERE WATCHING A SHOW TO CATCH A KILLER . IT WAS IN A COLLEGE TOWN IN NEW HAMPSHIRE. WHERE DART SMITH IS.LOOKS LOVELY THERE . ARE YOU CLOSE TO IT?

  4. Another heartfelt, well-written post, Stephanie. Thank you for sharing. I like the fact that you've been writing more. No matter who we all are, or in what circumstances, the fact that I can constantly learn from my friends in Blogland is making me a better person.

    The very best wishes for a Happy New Year . . . the year you get your land!

  5. Thank you Mama Pea:) I enjoy the writing, although sometimes I think I am boring you all to death lol. I pray that the New Year brings you and Papa Pea much happiness!!

  6. Thank you Simply Scaife:)

    Sue: Couldn't agree more! Happy New Year!

    Judy: No, we live on the NH/ME side of the state, Dartmouth is way up north, and on the VT border. Much the same scenery though.

  7. What an interesting post. You have such insightful reflections. I so much agree about the cost of having a job. People think jobs are just about having money, but that is so far from being true. Love the garden lessons learned as well. Wishing you a blessed new year Stephanie, with plenty of good things to come.