The year in review

As we face a new year and I face a time of great personal change in addition to the one on the calendar, I figured now would be a good moment for a time of reflection and review.  The year has had many changes, many upheavals, many instances of drama.  I’ve hit lows, highs, middles, and sides.  I’ve had days where I’ve been running insane, working 14 hour days, working 21 days straight.  I’ve had times where I didn’t get out of my PJs or my nightgown for two days.  So I figured this would be a good time to go down the list of things that happened in 2008.  Things both dramatic and mundane, both noteworthy and ordinary, both elated and miserable.

January: The year started with the traditional New Years Day movie viewings.  This year it was Juno and Sweeney Todd. It was interesting–mom had heard of Sweeney Todd but had no idea that it was about a homicidal barber who turned over the corpses to the baker downstairs for inclusion in her meat pies.  How on earth she could have reached the age of 58 and not figured that out I have no idea, especially since she knew the music, but there you go.  Of course, being on vacation that week, I had a bit of a movie marathon.  We ended up seeing the Academy Award winning No Country for Old Men, the forgettable Dan in Real Life, and a slew of others both good and not so good.  Virginia Tech then lost in its bowl game against Kansas, and while watching the game I learned how my cousin split his thumb cutting a sweet potato pie.  Oddly enough, he split the other thumb on a beer glass that same night while telling the story of injury #1.  Managed to sprain my wrist by falling off a stool at my mother’s house, that was fun.  While trying to learn how to use my new Inno XM radio device, I ran across this particularly useful bit of advice for how to make it compatible with my iPod: “Personally, I would duct tape them together. I think you can still get a lot of use out of both of them without any interoperability.”

February: the month arrived with the first of what would soon become a tradition for my friend C and I–the local scrapbooking store, Memories Galore, hosted a weekend long scrapping retreat at a local hotel.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the two of us had an absolutely fantastic time and made some new friends to boot.  I was on a roll and finished my scrapbook for the Hawaiian vacation I had taken three years before.  Other than that it was a fairly uneventful month.  ‘Bout the only other thing that happened this month was cousin discovered he was having a boy.  First of our generation.  Pretty cool.

March: March was emotionally up and down.  For the entertainment factor it was kite month for me, although the AKA recognizes it in April.  The local park has a huge kids fly, and I usually take friends and a ton of photos, this year was no exception.  Wonderful event.  The end of the month (usually around the 31st) is the Smithsonian kite fly, also very cool with tons of people and a lot of fun.  B and NoMH came with me, met my brother, hung out for hours then met up with C, D, and the girls, then hit an Irish pub for dinner.  Not a lot of wind, but the rok battle was really good and there was a segmented dragon with over 100 parts in a chain.  We had a great time.  On the emotional side, mom had a bad turn.  A casual comment from me that her eye looked ‘poochy’ led to a doctors appointment, the discovery that she had a 1″ tumor from her ECD behind her eye, and this explained why she couldn’t see diddly squat–it was putting pressure on her optic nerve.  She scheduled surgery, radiation treatments, and follow up with the doctor only to have the entire thing scrapped the day before the surgery.  Then, of all people, my stepfather found info on a treatment online using Interferon.  The side effects have the potential to be absolutely disasterous, and it’s a big call for quantity versus quality of life during treatment.  I took some time off work but fortunately just the first day or two was filled with heaving, fevers, shakes, etc.  After the first week things were pretty calm with mild side effects–extreme fatigue, some nausea and fevers, but enough to be tolerable.  Final result is that the meds aren’t making the tumors disappear as we had led to believe but they seem to be stagnant, not growing any more.

April: I turned 35.  Kind of a low key birthday until the day of, when baby brother decided to come home for a few days.  Birthday present to me: dinner out with family and B, then he helped me rake leaves for the next 24 hours which was really the best gift ever.  Restaurant was one of my favorites–Avalon, down on Main–and though it was the WORST service we had ever experienced the food was amazing.  Had a few too many Gimlets, but that’s okay because I made baby brother be the DD!

May: May was remarkable mundane.  I gathered B & NoMH to go see The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, which was AWESOME, and took some time off towards the end of the month for my father to visit and do things like power wash the house, cut down trees, fix the gate, etc.  He had been forced into retirement/laid off in April, and had some free time.  So I took advantage!!!  Month also had strawberry picking, a fantastic youth performance at church, and the return of scripted TV aka the return of Girl’s TV Night!

June: What I remember about June is that it was HOT.  I don’t like hot weather.  I hate hot weather.  But hot weather or not, B and I volunteered for the Special Olympics and I had a blast.  Same day was my next door neighbor’s yard sale, they cleaned up and most of it was from Beth buying knicknacks and stuff herself.

July: Yep, July was traumatic for me.  Worked my behind off for SummerFest, and four days later was part of a mass layoff from the company I had worked for for over 11 years.  Oddly enough it was just six days after I posted a blog entry about things I was thankful for.  The last part of the month was spent trying to desperately get in the groove of job hunting.

August: The second scrapbooking conference was held in August, and I was still in shock over being unemployed.  I had interviews galore, but nothing major, and was NOT in the mood to be locked in a windowless room with 50 women for three days.  I had a blast.  Got all the photos of my nephew in a book, and had a great time.  End of the month was the 2nd anniversary of my grandfather’s passing and it was marked by spending time with Nana in the hospital.  Let me tell you, you haven’t lived until you sit in the ER waiting room with a bitter old woman for six hours, then have to sit through the rectal exam (from the wrong side to watch, that’s for sure!), and a colonoscopy prep.  How my mom and her sister got out of this I have no idea, but I was the “lucky” one this time.  For therapy I spent a lot of time in my next door neighbor’s pool.

September: September was a blah kind of month.  Spent interviewing, babysitting my nana, enjoying time with my cousin’s baby, and basically trying not to fall into a funk that was going to be difficult to come out of.  But it was September.  Things that cracked me up this month: Bed broke in half (and not because it was being overused, that’s for sure), not one but two vacuum cleaners blew up on me, the siding was coming off the roof, and I got a flat tire.  Fun fun fun!!

October: October brought employment!  I had planned on a vacation at the end of the month to visit a newly-pregnant C, D, and the girls, visit with my grandparents, and then head to DC for a football game.  But employment! and not of the contract/part time basis that I had been doing since August for Maymont!

November: Work work work! And when not working football.  The 6-2 Washington Redskins dropped three in a row to the Steelers, the Cowboys, and the Giants.  Tailgating became an art form, and we just had a blast.  Thanksgiving was quiet at moms then to R&C’s for the night before working and preparing for the Christmas rush.

December:  Working my ASS off at the store as I got ready for Christmas.  Not in the Christmas spirit at all because I’m too damn tired.  Finish working at Maymont, get laid off again on Christmas Eve.  Stress as usual with the family holiday celebrations, but basically fun.  Finish the year housesitting and enjoying a week of freedom before getting back to the daily grind of job hunting.  NOT a good time.

Here’s hoping 2009 brings some of the fun and craziness but less of the drama.  Have a great year everyone!

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