I’m going to be honest – 2016 was not a great year. I’m not even talking about anything that impacted the world, although there was plenty to worry about there also. As a personal year, it was not good. Yes there were some bright spots, but this is a year I could do without in a lot of ways.
Jessie. My baby girl. When I first contemplated getting a dog I remember Dad trying to talk me out of it. I didn’t have a backyard and wasn’t home enough for a dog and Patches would not like another animal. I went ahead and looked for a dog, found Jessie and never looked back. She was perfect for me. She didn’t need a yard – she did really well with lots of walks and playing inside. She got along with Patches fairly well and she was happy with me. She gave me a reason to leave work on time each day and I didn’t regret adopting her for a single second. She was such a good dog and we had a lot of good years together. Even though I want to cry every time I think about her and what I lost with her passing, I don’t regret any of it for a second.
Gracie. I still rack my brain some days trying to figure out what I could have done differently so Gracie would still be here. I play the what-if game a lot but I always come back to the same thing. Gracie lived on her terms and there isn’t anything I could have done to prevent her loss. I may have delayed it, but she went out at night a lot and she was happiest knowing she could come and go as she pleased. I’ve stopped checking for her every morning, but I still look now and again. I know she is gone, but I’d like one more day to hug and cuddle her, as much as she would hate it.
Medical stuff: ‘nough said.
The “It worked out ok”:
Leia. Leia is still with us, and I’m never counting her out, but after Jessie, whenever a vet says kidney problems, I die a little inside. We are still treating the poor kitty with medicine and sub q fluids. She is fine with the sub q needles but she really hates the oral medication. Her appetite is iffy and she still hasn’t gained all her weight back, but she is pretty much normal again. She gave us a scare this year and reminded me once again how much these furry ones mean to me. She also gave us problems when we brought Arthas home. She is the protector, the fighter and the one who is not going to put up with anything. My little ten pound kitty would go after the fifty pound dog totally without fear. Thankfully they are getting along now and have come to an understanding that neither is going anywhere, and they each have to be nice to the other.
Grad school. What was I thinking? No, that’s not exactly right, but while I knew school would be a lot of work, especially with a full time job, it is reminding me about how much time I actually had when I wasn’t in school. I love it and I hate it at the same time. I worry with every new syllabus that this will be the class that I can’t do, that I can’t finish or that I can’t juggle. I manage and I will – I’m half way through so there is a light at the end, and that end will open more doors for me work-wise than I would have if I didn’t do this. So while I’m tired and stressed, I know its worth it.
Arthas. As much as I loved Jessie and will miss her forever, Arthas has helped make not having her a little easier. He didn’t replace her and he is nothing like her (except they are both stubborn as anything) but he makes me smile all time time. He had a rough start, and he had a rough transition here with the cats (I’m looking at you Miss Leia) but he has made himself at home and he is happy. He fits and he makes me want to be home when I’m not. He seems to like us and he is happiest on a (slow) walk or chilling on the couch after playing.
Vacations: We weren’t going to do a trip this year, what with Jessie and all, but when Val mentioned Portland and a beer festival, Bob was all in. Once we knew we could go we made plans and had a great time. We also managed to carve out a weekend in New York around Bob’s birthday and made it up to GA to visit Suzanne and family for a few days.
Cooking experiments: I had a few good experiments this year. I had a few that were not so good, but on the balance I’m going to keep experimenting in the kitchen. I may have a little less time than I did when I wasn’t in school, but that’s ok. I’m going to keep on experimenting when I have time if for no other reason than it makes me happy.
Tigger: Despite all of the changes this year, he is doing remarkably well. He has adjusted to everything – the loss of Jessie and Gracie, the addition of Arthas and the changes with Leia without missing a beat. He is still my furry alarm clock.
Farewell, 2016. Please let 2017 be just a bit better.