We've had: *inhales* ...A bunch of yard renovation, a wedding followed by a beautiful reception, a graduation followed by a gift Jetta, an empty nest, a funeral, my first first-class seat on a plane (OMG THE FRONT OF THE PLANE, what is even happening?), a great Christmas party, a cookbook published(!), a hip replacement, an amazing vacation, and...a wrecked gift Jetta. *insert super-annoyed-mom eye roll here*
|I've literally taken this across the country in my carry-on, twice.|
I also petted a MOOSE. Yes, I know. Dangerousssss. I'm crazy. Shouldn't have done that. Etcetera. But yeah, I totally did, and I was up on the porch safe behind a big pillar when I did it, and she couldn't get me, and she didn't seem like she cared, so I just went with it. Since no one believes me that we had a totally tame-ish wild moose in our actual front yard (for like weeks, actually--the bushes barely survived it), I did manage to video the whole thing with my free hand while simultaneously watching her for signs of attack-moose mode so I could duck back inside and avoid being trampled or pummeled or beaten to death by her hooves, or whatever happens when mooses attack you. Is "mooses" a word in that case? No idea. When "moose" attack you...that doesn't sound right either. Whatever. Anyway, I totally petted her. And I'm making "petted" a word, too. I'd post the video but apparently it's not in the right format to upload, and I'm too lazy to figure that out, so here are some photos. Maybe sometime I'll post the video in a separate moose-related post...
|what are you doing?|
|Not sure that's a good idea...|
|Ok, whatev. These bushes are too delicious.|
We also had an orphaned baby hanging around a lot. And, a whole other one (I hope!) who decided that our garden fence line would be a good place to...lie down and die. (no photos of *that* but omg what do you do with a dead baby moose? No one wants to help you with that...)
Anyhoo...we're EMPTY NESTERS now, and it's hilarious how many people use that whispery-concerned voice when we tell them that, like we've just suffered a bereavement, and they ask "Soooo, how's *that* going? Are you guys, you know, doing ok?" And we're like, "Ummm, yeah. We're fine with it." Why wouldn't we be? We raised our girls to be independent, smart, capable women, and, voila---there they are; doing life, and rocking it. Our oldest got married last April, and we hosted a beautiful evening reception in our back yard in June for them, followed by our youngest graduating from high school in June and moving to her own apartment in July.
|Are they sweet or what?|
|Purple sky unedited and just...amazing! What a beautiful night!!|
And, since Shane and I started out as best friends who also find each other incredibly hot (I know, awkward TMI), then took a detour into parenthood, we now find ourselves with all this empty house and free time together and, wait--what? --possibly some discretionary money that's just...for us? What's THAT about? When I find extra money in the bank account, I'm immediately glancing over my shoulder and wondering "Wait-what bill did I miss?" Still adjusting to that. And guess what? IT'S FREAKING AWESOME. It's like when we were in our 20s and we could just...get up and go out if we felt like it. Out to dinner. To the bookstore. To Home Depot (yes, girls, we still do that on Sundays). We may even take a road trip sometime.
I know. Crazy.
It helps that we still are best friends who find each other incredibly hot (even though we qualify as what my 80s-highschool self would call "totally super old"), and we still love to do everysinglething together and enjoy each other's company immensely. I love that we have the place to ourselves. I do love when our girls come and visit, and we have a houseful of young people hanging around, relaxing, eating and visiting (and yes, playing on their phones). But then I love that they all leave and go home at the end of the weekend, too. So, yeah. Empty nesting is a revelation.
Ok, what else? Oh, yeah-- I'll just state once for the record that 2017 MORE OR LESS SUCKED, in spite of some terrific bright spots. In general, it was just like one punch in the junk after another. Like, can we get a break here yet? And apparently the answer to *that* question was a resounding "no", for most of 2017. Oh sure, it had its good moments, but seriously...2017 will be remembered as the Year From Hell, more or less. Our youngest graduated and moved out, and we had about ONE WEEK of "whoopie, we're empty-nesters" before Shane was diagnosed with a destroyed hip joint that was rapidly deteriorating and would require a total hip replacement as soon as possible. *cue Jaws music here*
For a guy who works outside, on his feet, in and out of equipment all day every day, this was bad news. Bad, bad. It also meant we skipped all the things last summer that meant walking anywhere. No hunting. No walking around the fair. No wandering around Home Depot. No walking ANYwhere that wasn't 100% necessary, because he was in so . much . pain. And the narcotics and even the non-narcotics that they gave him for the pain made him depressed and super...cranky...to be honest. Even he noticed it. The hydrocodones also gave him terrifying nightmares along with the depression, so he mainly just powered through with Tylenol and Ibuprofen. Not fun-- at all. For either of us.
He dragged his leg around from June through December, barely able to walk some days because of the pain, plus his hip would randomly give out and he'd fall. He did manage to work until December 13th, when he went in for a total hip replacement. To make a long (long, long, painful) story shorter...he came through it with absolute flying colors and was back at work 3 weeks later, on his feet, outside, in the snow, moving logs. My brother actually moved out and stayed with us for most of the winter, and was a huge help at the log yard and as a backup watchdog for Shane, which made me feel a little more at ease watching him go out in the snow to work. I'd send them off to work in the morning and be mouthing to Jesse behind Shane's back "do NOT let him fall down!!" So yeah...that's behind us, thank God. I'm not posting any surgical photos, though. You're welcome.
THEN we took a amazing and much-needed Disney trip to DisneyWorld with a cruise to the Bahamas and back, which was almost literally just what the doctor ordered. Somehow we also rolled the dice with letting them assign our room category, and we scored the BEST stateroom ever, with like 40' of private deck at the back corner of the ship. It was absolute heaven. We've always gotten an inside-mushrooms-in-the-dark stateroom, but this was so worth it, just......so much yes.
|our room was about 3 decks from the top, right side, upper corner. HUGE wraparound deck...|
And of course, I always get home from Florida and immediately start already planning the next time I can see palm trees because - duh - Idaho - palm trees.
As I write this, it is still cold enough to snow here (March 26th) and
We also bought a meat smoker, and I didn't think I would, but I've officially fallen in love with smoking our own meat! So far we've smoked some salmon, our own bacon, and our own ham, and omg-- the taste...can't.even. I die. IT'S SO YUMMY.
|My first smoked ham|
Oh, and if you're still wondering about the wrecked-gift-Jetta from the opening, well, yeah...everyone's fine. The Jetta's not. So, that's probably about all we need to say about that...
|Boyfriend: 1. Jetta: 0.|
Oh, and the Christmas party we sometimes host, where I make like 45 different appetizers that don't need a fork (no matter what Aunt Alice says..), and start baking in like October, was AWESOME. We squeezed something like 64 people in our downstairs, and it was just a lovely time with everyone. Shane's surgery was the following Tuesday, so we wanted to see everyone before he was down for recovery. I'm already looking forward to doing it again this year.
Anyway, I just thought I'd do a quick(ish) update. Hopefully I'll start writing more often, now that 2017 is over and done, and it took its black cloud/punch-you-in-the-junk mood with it.
Plus, there are more of my hippie childhood stories that are too good not to share, so stay tuned.
Thanks for reading, and hope you're all having a lovely start to 2018. It's gotta be better, right?