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A Holiday Letter

Its been a busy year hear at Leslie Lane. We began the year with a leisurely new years open house with gift exchange with my como friends who also travel for the holidays. Mimosas were served and a good time was had by all.

Columbia had a mild winter and I did quite a bit of winter gardening. I put in tulips and daffodils that i got for a buck at wallyworld and the tulips came out loverly in the spring. I’m hoping the daffodils just got off to a slow start. I had greens under a cold frame and had finished compost by march for the spring beds.

Corri Flaker and I went down to Brazito to the Missouri Wildflower Nursery early and I put in a lot of native wildflowers to launch the spring. The tomatoes struggled and the regular garden got a late start because of our family trip to California in May.

Dad, Myrtle and me rode out in Dad’s big Ford 250 and drove madcap out to Mesquite NV. We rested up for a day and a half and drove on up to the Bay to see John. It was nice to see the Woolsy crew and my biggest disappointment was not making the effort to get out to Concord and see Jeremy and Julie.

We day tripped to Yosemite which is always cool and then tooled on down to Joshua Tree. We camped in BLM land amidst the refuse but the dogs ran free and the target shooters didn’t even come close. Dad climbed a mountain and didn’t get down before dark. John went after him. I set the stage for pretty much a sedentary year by watching from camp.

We did up Joshua Tree and saw the park from end to end. We did a little climbing but mostly a driving tour. Saw a desert tortoise and a rattle snake. The beavertails were in flower. It was a great trip.

We got a room early to watch the season finale for Lost. We had people over to watch every episode. Folks even came over when we were gone. Our 40″ tv is big for my friends.  Well halfway through the season finale the tv lost ABC and i still haven’t seen the end. Our Lost circle is growing so it should be a good crowd for the last season.

On the drive back we stopped by the Meteor Crater in AZ as well as Petrified Forest National Park. We took it easy on the way back and had a lot of fun and saw more stuff.

After our vacation the big event was Harry Train finally moved down in July. I am still hoping to land him a job at my shop. Its been nice having another housemate although I have to admit i miss having a guest room. Had to buy a futon for the living room when John came through in September. With Harry living here started playing a lot of D&D again. Also started rewatching Lost. We’re up to season 5 now and I am looking forward to seeing it again. Planning a big party for opening season on Ground Hog’s Day.

In September John visited every weekend. He floated a chunk of the Missouri during the week a couple times and I bought his canoe when he was done. Its a cute little thing, very responsive, with seat backs and cup holders. “The Cadillac of cheap canoes”, John called it.

Most of my other big purchases were house related. Eric carved out a window between the kitchen and dining room. Really opened it up and put in wood counter top in half the kitchen. I want him to do the other half when he has the time. It came out really nice. Also painted the master bedroom and Harry’s room. I also have windows on order, all of them but the garage and living room ones. I also put in some extra insulation. I used the rake-able kind which was pretty cool, didn’t have to get the blower and allowed me to better target where i needed it. Still need about 5 more bags which i need to buy before the end of the year. I also got 3 rain barrels which Dad has assembled and we will be launching in the spring.

The truck is still running. 168K and a rubbing timing belt make me hesitant to put money in it but will probably invest in a couple new tires anyway. Except for the water pump, the truck had a pretty good year.

With Harry we also added Vinnie, a Persian Kitty with a lot of personality. He nipped our mouse problem in the bud. Some months after that we added Oni, the little white beagle dog who hasn’t pissed all over the furniture in weeks. Dad got her from a homeless guy he gave a pair of pants to once. Its a long story.

Almost forgot I finally quit smoking on 2/10/09. Picked up a big chewing gum habit but am smoke free in a way i haven’t been since i picked up my first pack.

Work has gone mixed. I completed my grant and lost my program. Have been doing a lot of grant writing trying to restore it. Got licensed as a substance abuse counselor and got elected to the steering committee of the Missouri Cadre for Co-Occurring Excellence. I am a vanguardest at last. Nice to be doing organizing again I must say. I am pushing the group on consensus. People are into it. People are hungry for meaning.

Also started doing a group on COD and picked back up doing a batterer intervention group for Family Counseling Center. I got nominated for a Mental Health Champion award but wasn’t the most successful crazy person last year. It was fun nonetheless.

Health wise we all do pretty good. Dad is a bit more short winded and is looking into adding Medicare Part D and maybe a breathing med. I’ve had heartburn a lot and thought about getting checked for an ulcer but have mostly just tried to chill out more. Myrtle continues to breathe hard but she’s still into playing and such.

All in all 2009 was a pretty good year. This whole stability thing is still novel enough to be entertaining. I work too hard. My new year’s resolution was to prioritize self care and i have found that to be hard. This year i am going to walk, walk and write it down. I think i am going to hike some AT this summer and want to start training for it. I am optimistic on 2010 and grateful for all the blessings I have received.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. December 21, 2009 at 2:56 am

    Nicely written. A well done ‘holiday letter’. The format is exactly what you might get with a Christmas card. You should xerox it and send it to everyone you know;>)

    Glad you had a good year…

    (I might steal the concept for a post myself.)

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