Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Countdown to the New Year

2011 was a great year in more ways than one. Here's a little of what went on in my world.

10 - Airplane flights I took in 2011. (1) Seattle to Austin; (2) Austin to Seattle; (3) Seattle to Frankfurt; (4) Frankfurt to Budapest; (5) Nuremberg to Frankfurt; (6) Frankfurt to D.C.; (7) D.C. to Seattle; (8) Seattle to Orange County; (9) Seattle to Kauai; (10) Kauai to Seattle. Whew! That's a lot of air miles. Best carrier? Lufthansa - hands down. Best airport? Dallas DFW - best layout, short lines and great food options.

9 - Different paint colors I tried out for the new dining room/kitchen remodel. Spouse might insist the number was twice that, but only nine colors were seriously considered. In the end, I used none of them and chose instead to use the existing kitchen paint which I love (Valspar Eddie Bauer Moss) in the dining room above the chair rail to make the rooms flow. Gorgeous if I do say so myself!

8 - Days on the Danube this summer. Enjoyed a week-long vacation with sister Heide and cousin Anna aboard the Viking Legend cruising from Budapest to Nuremberg. Fantastic food, unlimited wine with dinner, and free lattes and mochas all day, not to mention the gorgeous sights and great traveling companions. Heaven!

7 - Days a week I don't need to use an alarm and can sleep in. OK, so I just needed to rub in my retirement just a little. Sorry (not really).

6 - Movies we saw on our motorhome road trip last summer. Can't remember what they were, but enjoyed most of them. We used the Redbox app on my iPhone to find Redbox locations along the road and would pick up a movie somewhere during the day. After we watched the movie in the evening, we'd return it to another Redbox many miles down the road, often in another state. And so on, and so on. Can't beat the convenience or the price.

5 - Blog posts in 2011. Pathetic, huh? But I do have a couple of good excuses. I had been sharing a netbook with my husband, and the keyboard and mouse are absolutely worthless. And I really didn't have much free time...well, that's a lie since I'm newly retired. Regardless, I hope to post more regularly this year, even if I'm the only one who reads it. Now if I can just figure how to post pics from my iPad.

4 - Important women in my life. (1) BFF Cheryl is someone I can always count on. She is there for the good times and the bad times, too. She even surprised us with a beautiful gift of balloons, champagne and chocolate strawberries in our hotel room in Las Vegas on our anniversary. (2) Sister Heide is becoming a better friend with each passing year. As a memento of our trip to Europe, she made a wonderful bound picture book that I'll treasure forever. (3) Daughter-in-love Sandra has a very special place in my life. She always makes me feel welcome in her life and her home, and I truly enjoy the time we spend together. (4) Daughter Sarah overwhelms me with her love, compassion, intelligence, and absolute joy for life. She somehow makes me a better person, too, and I don't know what I'd do without her in my life.

3 - Family reunions last year. (1) The Laurie family reunion (my Dad's family) was in August here in Bremerton. We call it a cousin's party since it's mostly attended by my first cousins and their families, but there are two remaining siblings (of seven) from my Dad's family. We treasure every moment with these two Aunts. (2) Wally's family had a sibling party this summer. It had been a few years since the seven siblings had gotten together, but they have resolved to meet on a more regular basis. They are a fun bunch! (3) The Sachse relatives (my Mom's family) rented a house on the Oregon coast for a week this fall. This is the first time my siblings and our California cousins along with their mother have all been in the same place at the same time. We had a long, wonderful visit filled with memories and much laughter.

2 - Cats that call me Meowm. (1) Dash is a quiet thinker who is afraid of just about everything. She hides under the couch to avoid guests, and has a knack for finding the warmest spot in the house. She is older than her brother, but lets him rule the roost. She is a lover, not a fighter. (2) Trooper is a feisty fellow who lives to kill anything that moves. He continually brings home "presents" and doesn't understand why we won't let them inside. He picks on his big sister when he's bored, but loves to cuddle when he sleepy.

1 - Time I thought about my old job. Before I retired, I thought I would miss my work, my work life and my work friends. I was only partially right; I miss some of my work friends. But the good part is that I now have the freedom to make the time to see the friends I really miss. My transition to retirement, and retirement income, has been smooth and painless. Hoo Rah!

Here's to 2012 - Hope the New Year finds you happy, prosperous and healthy!


  1. Waaaaaait, is that list of women in ranked order? Cuz if so, I should at least be higher than Sandra since I've known you longer! :)

    Seriously, though, I LOVE that you can Sandra your daughter-in-love. So sweet.

  2. You missed your calling. You should have been a writer. Your post even made tough ole me feel the emotion...ok, maybe not so tough. Very sweet, Liz. Congrats on your anniversary and a wonderful 1st year of retirement!

  3. Wow - you're already 3 blogs into the New Year! This is a great summary of your first full year of retirement; you are clearly making the most of your time. I'm impressed. I've been planning to put together a FB album of 2011 and yet cannot quite get to that easy task. You, however, sit down and write out this wonderfully creative and personal essay. Reminds me of some young woman I know in Texas ...