Farewell 2023…

As the New Year is rapidly approaching (time flies when you’re having fun, right??), I think 2023 deserves a proper sendoff. It was a very meaningful year, full of fighting for what was right and spending time with the ones I love. 

Poptart and I committed to give up our “lake days” this year to go spend time with my grandma who truly loved her visits with Poptart. At my age (47), I realize how lucky I was to even have a grandma still around, so even though we didn’t make it to the lake once, the time was well-spent.

It was indeed a crazy year for us and the farm. The beginning of the year was so hard, sticking to my guns in a pursuit of Justice that had already eaten up the previous entire year (2022) and almost drained me of my spirit, but damnit I don’t give up on myself - ever. Thank you, mom and dad, for instilling some intense self-worth! 

Then when that was all done, and as I started reclaiming my time and life and getting involved in things I had no business getting involved in (!!!)  like starting a “simple little ol’ DIY” on our bedroom floor (bahahahaha), we found ourselves living in a hotel for three months while also learning half our house needed to be gutted (yay for me learning how to demo!!) and new flooring systems and foundation work done. Ohhhh yeah, you can go through previous posts for the whole story, but that consumed the rest of the summer and fall and we have a much sturdier home now because of that. We also took advantage of the situation and had all new plumbing installed throughout the house and I had new outdoor plumbing installed to make farm chores easier! While we kept the appliances, we did get a new awesome couch, bed, and cabinets, and we feel a bit more cozy now because of that. The hotel beds made us realize how horrible our old one was :)

My stepdad of 25 years succumbed after a short battle with cancer during this time as well, so it was pretty emotional year for our family.

I also made a commitment to myself to say YES when invited to social things that I’d actually enjoy. So starting in the summer, that is what I did. It is so easy to get caught up in the safety of my own hermit world, but it’s not that healthy long term… check me out at the Georgia Aquarium! 
My 30 year high school reunion!!

….and various Christmas parties!! 

Needless to say we were back in our house just in time to decorate for Christmas, and then it was also holiday market crunch time for me and Fox & the Forest, so quite literally I haven’t had the opportunity to skip a beat all year. 

Just before Christmas my grandma died and we buried her just last week. What a glorious long life she lived having lived 90 years with multiple generations of kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids to send her off with so many stories and love. 

Now, I’m in my busiest season for pet-sitting with folks traveling for both Christmas and the New Year. 

All that to recap last year and one more little thing to squeeze in here… when I was growing up, my mama always made a big deal about having everything ‘together’ - as in organized - for the first day of each year.
When me and my brother were kids, it meant starting the year off right with a clean and tidy room. For her it meant laundry was done, house was cleaned, and that no ‘work’ had to be done if at all possible (although now that we are much older, we see she never actually got a day off her duties as a mother)… She’d say, “whatever you do on New Year’s Day, sets the tone for the whole year”, so you definitely didn’t want to be playing ‘catch-up’ unless you wanted to be feeling that weight all year. 
We have lived on this farm with these animals for almost 10 years (2024 will actually mark the anniversary!), and I’ve never ever felt like things were ‘in order’ here like I have this year. 
Yesterday I spent the day cleaning the barn, getting all the hay I should need for the remainder of the winter, and then stacking it. Who needs a gym when you can load and unload 52 bales of hay all by yourself? 

The rest of the year in between my dog walks, I have a few more trips to the construction dump to offload the remainder of the debris that has been sitting in the yard that I have just been looking at wishing for some elves to take care of (yes, one of my favorite stories as a kid was The Elves and the Shoemaker - ha!), but that’s not happened yet …. 

So I am excited to be closing the book of 2023 with an organized and fully stocked barn, a clean yard, and a revamped little farmhouse! Life has been good to me this year despite the losses of some very important and close family. I grew so much in my abilities to handle stress, and I learned so many new things - most of which required me to learn how to use new power tools. 

I am so ready for 2024! 
So many new things in the works. I am scheduling a weekly spa day for myself - at home of course - complete with a long soak, painted nails, and facials (!!) -  never done this before!!! 
Myself and a couple of gal pals are venturing out and starting a new business that is more fun than work - and after all, isn’t that what the goal of life is?? We bought the fancy vehicle earlier this month… eeeeeeek!

I am focusing on my health - yes very typical resolution, but I started both 2022 & 2023 with that time-consuming ‘pursuit of Justice’ I mentioned earlier in this post, and threw all sensible eating and ‘being mindful’ out the door early on both those years. I feel better when exercise, stretch regularly (I may even try yoga!), plan my meals (hotel living did not support healthy eating either), and watch my gluten intake, so expect monthly GF recipes for sweet treats and baked goods next year! 

Anyway, it’s currently 6am and as busy as this week appears to be, I am stoked about that fully stocked barn and the plans to rid the property of the remaining demolition debris before the weekend! It’s only the 28th, so I’m sure I’ll have a little photo tour before the 1st after the land is all prettied up! 



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