Saturday, December 31, 2016

A Year in the Life

Looking back to my blog early this year I was busy putting in the bathroom...seemed to take months to get it done.  It has worked out pretty well....over all.  Did have a couple small leaks I had to deal with. 

Gloomy weather does a number on me...It sets the mood to hibernate...rather than the busy bee I normally am, in the gloomy winter weather I am more like a Grizzle Bear, moody and sluggish. One thing is chocolate! I rarely buy chocolate but then come Halloween, and BAM its everywhere till New Yrs is over. I'm suffering  a chocolate hang over--

I'm trying to make this a look back post..and I was about to say lets "Burn 2016 to the ground!"
 Lost so much this year... my son and his girlfriend of 5 yrs broke UP! That means I lost my step grandchild...and the hopes of his marriage and settling down any time soon...sigh.  But look at what I gained...the year was not an entire wash....actually if I cut myself out of other equations of family, friends, and country my personal year was okay....still I grieve with the collective over certain things. 

January: Had me working in the house, shooting the moon,...and shooting off my mouth about the Malheur take over...what a crock that was!!


February: found me in Florida for 2 weeks.  St Augustine, Merritt Island, Canaveral National Seashore, Ft Myers to see the Flamingo, Big Cypress National Preserve, Shark Valley, the Everglades, and the Crocodile, Casey and I camping along the way!!

American Flamingo

American Crocodile

March: Day Trip!  birding down at Bear Island WMA, had a wonderful day there!  So many shore birds I really couldn't ID them all.

 April: zoomed up to NC and along the Blue Ridge Mountains hoping for early spring birds, didn't hit it just right but had a glorious time anyway 4 days of camping and being out in the wilderness, hiking. Did see some awesome birds, rivers, and landscapes!

Gotta Love a Black Throated Green Warbler in early spring!!

yellow prong lower falls

 May: I moved into my house! Still a work in progress but I've had 7 months so far to enjoy settling back into my place...

June: Went to NC to see the Brown Booby another rare bird then we crossed to Eastern NC to wander around Mattamuskeet NWR a combination of camping and one night in a motel.

the brown booby

imm white ibis at Mattamuskeet

July: I found out I was descended from not one, but 2 accused Salem Witches, got my deck built, Mom and I did some Town trips that we hope to get back to doing soon, and then finally my sister came to help out...Annie and I took off for a week after we found out she had a tumor!  

Aug:  Annie and I head  once again up to the Blue Ridge Parkway, the VA section this time for a late summer camping trip, then onto Shenandoah NP, the wild flowers, butterflies, and black bears were amazing, then up to Harper's Ferry WVa, on to the Laurel Highlands of PA for water-falling and camping!  

flowers of the blue ridge parkway VA

our camp at Otter Creek VA

black bears in Shenandoah NP

being tourists @ Harper's Ferry W.VA

Cucumber Falls Ohiopyle PA

New River Gorge Bridge W.VA

Then we went back home for 2 weeks for Annie's surgery and recovery ALL GOOD!

AUG: Later: Soon as Annie was well enough my Sis and I left for a long weekend in TN to celebrate what our family calls Graveyard Decoration, its a get together to remember and celebrate the memory of our past loved ones, and its way to raise money to keep the Cemetery up..

                                                   the Walling Cemetery

Sept:  I went on  the epic Journey that took me through 10 states and added Canada to my Travel List....Since those blogs are fresh in your memories I won't repeat them here!!  The mileage on that trip was about 4,500 and I enjoyed each and every mile...

crossing into Canada 

Oct: We went to Ocean Isle Beach to Celebrate our Birthdays, and to enjoy the ocean! 

                                            Ocean Isle Beach, NC

November: I VOTED, it didn't count, then I started on ripping the shed down, and the Holidays crept in, I made Thanksgiving dinner for most of the family some of then went AWOL to Colorado, the dogs and I  had our first fire of the season...

                                            Casey enjoys the fire

Dec:  and then before I knew it the Red Kettle was up in front of the Food Lion where I shop for food.  I always give a little, not much, as I am on a tighter budget than you would think!

                       Image may contain: christmas tree and indoor          
(facebook photo)

                                                 sis's tree

Altogether I camped 56 nights this year, logged about 8,888 miles,  moved into my house and continue to work on the projects I envisioned,  was able to catch up with and visit extended family I hadn't seen in a long time,  added a ton of stamps to my National Parks Passport books, added a whole bunch of turned pennies to my collections, added 14 new lifers to my bird list, and visited some nearby towns I had never been to! All of the above are how I enjoy spending my time,  these small things make me happy and make my life worth living., and I spent another birthday with my mom and my
personally for me, it was a good year. 

I have some goals for 2017, I will try to outline in the coming blogs. 
Happy New Yr. to all!!

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.


  1. You sure did accomplish quite a bit this year. The house is fantastic and what can I say about your travels and picture? You kept me sane.
    Wishing you another fantastic year with lots of travel and beautiful pictures. Continued good health.
    HAPPY NEW YEAR Sondra!

    1. Thanks JO, I enjoy and look forward to your blog every single post Hope you have a Great New Yr.

  2. A happy new year to you and I'm looking forward to the trips and project updates in 2017.

    1. Hi Dave, I'm always happy to see your updates and thank you for taking the time to come by and leave a nice comment for me! Happy New Yrs to you!

  3. Happy New Year, Sondra! This post is a great trip down memory lane, focusing on the positives. I'm glad it treated you well and that you were able to get out and travel SO much. I always love following along on your adventures. p.s. TWO Salem witches! So cool!

    1. Thank you so much Jen, YOU help me to be positive with your always wonderful blog and your "be who I am" attitude I so admire that quality in people!! And yes the Salem Witch thing threw me for a loop my 7th and 8th GGrand Mothers! Neither was hanged both found innocent. Would be fun to go to Salem and see the memorial they put up for the 20 the killed!!

  4. What a great year for you lady! Your adventures and home look so fabulous. I'm sorry you lost your stepgrandson. Boo! I hope much more love continues to find you along with adventure and peace. :)

    1. My son is 36 and heart broken, he really loved her, I hope he can find peace in his heart again soon. I tried to get him to move back home with me, but he found a room mate who is a K-9 Cop so this should be interesting! Starting over is so hard!!

  5. A pretty good year on balance -- lovely trips, your wonderful home, you contributed to the world with your grave hunting and your blog. You had a lot of joy and some sorrow (one national that I and many others share) -- which is kind of what life is about I guess. I don't think your vote was exactly wasted -- it did count -- we just have to somehow remind Washington that it was NOT a mandate. Hillary won the popular vote.


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