{A New Year} reflecting on the last few months, part 1

2013-lets-do-thisI have not been here (no excuses) as I already told you what is up. I spent nearly all of October in Connecticut. I found peace, quiet, and allowed my body to heal. My week long stay in the hospital during August took it out the best in me. For an entire month, I was under the Doctor’s surveillance. It took me another month after that to feel like myself again – even now, I am not so sure. Every time I went into the City, my nervous system felt more jangled and my heart was heavier with grief, so I made the decision to stay out in the woods surrounded by the spectacular Fall color show that Mother Nature provided. ABCDDesigns-on-instagramautumn-in-northwest-connecticutHurricane Sandy hit our area the last week in October. This is the second year in a row that the festivities around Halloween have been foiled by a super-storm. We were without power in the City for 8 days. They were hit a lot worse than we were in the Country. We were without power in Connecticut for 7 days. Luckily, I had stocked up on water and towns within 15 miles of us had power. I’d make trips into town to charge our cell phones and grab a hot meal.Hurricane-SandyDuring that time we had much needed downtime together. Even though it was freezing cold in the house, we were eating strange combinations of thawed leftovers from the fridge, and we emptied all our pantry stuffs – it was great to see the Mr for seven days straight! That week, I learned to make a fire on my own, and the we decided that it was time to commit (once and for all) to getting a dog. (Yay!)we-made-the-best-of-the-power-outageknitting-by-the-fireFact is, we’d been courting dogs at the local shelter and searching the internet for the last two years. The time never seemed right, and we were also dealing with my allergies. When it came down to it, we knew we wanted a big dog and a breed that wouldn’t make me congested and covered in a rash for the next 12-15 years. In the end, we decided to get a Standard Poodle. (Psst! You can see lots -and lots!- of photos of him on the Tauren Poodle tumblr page that I started for him.) I am posting mostly from my cell phone, so they aren’t always the best photos, but it is a fun way to see him growing up if you start at the bottom and scroll up.
power-outageThat week when the power was out, we worried a lot about my sister’s first visit to Northwest Connecticut. We even booked her a room at the local B&B out of fear she might freeze. As luck would have it, she arrived an hour after the power came back on! My sister visited our home for the first time because she was taking part in the parenting program at the Option Institute in Sheffield, Massachusetts. Option is about a 20 minute drive from our town, so she stayed at our place. We had a great time together and laughed a lot. my-sister-visited-northwest-connecticutNor-Easter-Voting-and-Donating-to-those-in-needAnne booked her trip after I received three days and nights at Blackberry Farm as a birthday present. We were scheduled to visit the week before Thanksgiving and had to leave town before my sister did. The trip was amazing in every way. Who knew hidden in the Smoky Mountains (about thirty minutes outside of Knoxville) that a place so magnificent existed?!Daytime-activities-at-Blackberry-Farmfoothills-cuisineJust shy of five months since my dad’s passing -on what would have been my parents 45th wedding anniversary- my mom finished writing condolence thank-you notes. We had nearly a thousand people show up to mourn the loss of my dad. Thanks again to everyone who reached out in our time of such great sorrow. (Shame on me, I still have thank-you notes to write.)condolence-thank-you-notes-thanksgiving-in-Northern-MichiganWith Christmas so close to the Thanksgiving holiday, we typically do not travel for turkey. This year being the first without my dad, we decided to go to Michigan and spend the weekend with our family at our farm, a place that he loved dearly. So much has happened since Thanksgiving weekend. Since this is the longest blog post EVER, I will save the happenings from December for a second installment.bowling-in-northern-michiganThe Friday after Thanksgiving, I flew to Minneapolis to pick up our puppy. His arrival has helped to change the focus from grieving to moments of pure joy. As a matter of fact, a few days after we got him I heard myself reply “I’m great!” when the woman behind the meat counter asked me how I was doing – that hadn’t happened in months. Happy New Year, indeed~Tauren-Poodle-the-Christmas-PupImages are my own instagram photos with exception of ’2013 let’s do this’ via tarafirma on Instagram, and ABCD bowling via my cousin, @Spice Miser on Twitter.