Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Year in Review Part I

The afterglow of a glorious Christmas still radiates throughout the house. The lights on the Christmas tree continue to twinkle, and there are still foil wrapped Santa chocolates in the candy dish. Tomorrow it all goes away. The candy will either go in the trash (highly doubtful) or hidden in the deep, dark back corner of the pantry where hopefully I will forget about it and the Head Gardener won't find it (a more likely option). Really, who throws away chocolate?

 I love to decorate for the holidays. The house always looks so pretty and sparkles and twinkles with the warm glow of blinking lights. I also like the house put back into order, stripped bare for a few days so that it can get a good cleaning afterwards. I like to wait a while before I put back the decor. I enjoy the bare simpleness of the house--for a while. So tonight I am enjoying the tree one last evening.

I have had fun going through my photo library reliving the year. I thought I'd share some of the highlights of the last twelve months. So here is Part I of 2016:

Each New Year always begins with birthdays: Jacob on the 3rd, Son-in-law Grant on the 4th, and the HG's on the 7th. Jacob turned 13 this year. Though I didn't, I thought about sending his parents a condolence card for the loss of their little boy, but then I said "no" for the teen years are a Rite of Passage for both child and parent and should be embraced. I just sit back and chuckle when I hear mom lamenting the rolling of the eyes, the "I know a lot more than you do" attitude. Jacob is a great kid, straight A student, Boy Scout, sweet, and now a teen-ager.

At the end of 2016 I would have a birthday that I would celebrate the end of one decade and the beginning of another. Oh my. I knew that I would be 70 years old one day, and as I told my brother the night before my birthday, I didn't expect it to be the next day or that it would come so quickly.  So I have spent the year keeping my mind active: searching for a great, great grandmother and reading about the historical queens of England. Here you see the passenger list of a 1842 ship carrying Irish immigrants to Canada. I didn't find my grandmother on this list. I've not found her at all.

We had a new floor laid in the living room, kitchen, entry, and hall. I love the vinyl planking. The floor is easily cared for and I don't have to worry about scratches, dents, or dings.

And we made friends with milk cows, too, and enjoyed their rich, creamy milk. The grand kids got to see exactly where milk came from and even got to help out as the Head Gardener was back up milker for the family who owned the cows. Sadly, the family moved to Nebraska, taking their cows with them. I learned to make my own yogurt that I really did enjoy.

 We lost our water pressure and knew that we had a problems, so we hired this very nice man who had special technology to find the underground leak then we found two very nice men with a big machine and a shovel who found the leak in the water line and fixed it.

We added six new hens to the flock of egg layers. Boone took good care to make sure they were fine. They grew up to be lovely ladies. 

Nathan learned how to make pancakes. He loves helping in the kitchen and was thrilled when he mastered flipping pancakes.

The old 2003 Ford F-250 needed a heart transplant. Runs good. I doubt that we will be replacing it anytime soon now. The HG was quite traumatized to see these photos.


The granddaughters hosted a lovely Mother's Day Tea for me. I love that they are learning some of the manners that goes with preparing and serving tea. Grand memories for me, wonderful memories for them.

Next week, we will I review the garden beauties. We had some pretty flowers and tasty fruits and vegetables. 

So now, Happy New Year. We will be traveling to northeastern Colorado to Haxtun to ring in the new year with dear friends. What will you be doing? 

It has been such a pleasure having you visit the Garden Spot, but even more to be able to visit you and to think of you as a "friend," so thank you for sharing your life, offering wisdom, wit, and inspiration through your narratives and the beauty of your images. I look forward to spending another year with you. 


  1. Hello, your grand are all beautiful. I think your past year was great. Happy Birthday to you and all the other January birthday peeps in your family. Love the cows and kiddies. Your new floor looks awesome! Enjoy your day and the week ahead! I wish you all the best in 2017, Happy New Year!

  2. First of all Happy Birthday! How did I miss that? You are so correct about the minimalist look for the first of the year. I love the warmth of the lights etc, and soon it will be gone and very stark in my house. But the living room always gets a good clean this time of year. Looks like 2016 was great and I hope 2017 is even better my friend!

  3. I knew you had your birthday in December, still I forgot the date. So a little late but congratulations with your 70th. I follow you and will turn 70 in the coming year. Great review of the year, especially the grandchildren, always favorites of these grannies.
    Most Christmas decorations remain until the 2nd of January, then I throw all out and cleaning can begin. Strange, but I´m always looking forward to that new beginning of the year, everything clean and crisp. Well the second week of January snowdrops, hyacinths and so on are welcome in our house.
    Wish you a happy ending of 2016 and all the best for 2017!

  4. I loved this, Ann. I've done these sort of posts over the years but I don't know if I have the time or energy to do it this year. We'll see.

    Freeze your chocolates. I do this all the time. Sometimes I grab a handful, melt it down and dip homemade sugar cookies (or store bought) in it. Let cool and enjoy!

    Love your grands. I can't wait to have tea parties with the girls!

    You home is always bustling and I love the improvements. Those floors are gorgeous. I feel the same way about enjoying the emptiness after the Christmas clutter is gone.

    I never realized until I started blogging that 60, 70, 80 years old is nothing but a number. Oh, yeah...some aches and pains and of course loss of loved ones, but I truly believe we are a generation of people who soldier on, stay with the times, get the proper medical care, take good care of ourselves and keep ourselves active and busy. I won't grow old without a huge fight!

    Love to you,

    Jane x

  5. You've had a busy year and it's fun to look back. I've read some of those books about the queens and learned so much. I need to go back and see which ones I missed. We'll take a walk around our neighborhood...it's our tradition! Happy new year sweet friend! Hugs, Diane

  6. Hi Ann,

    Happy Birthday (belated)! My grandmother told me many years ago that the older you get, the faster time goes by. Boy, was she right! It's kind of scary to me sometimes, and it makes me sad, but the only thing we can do is go with the flow and try to make the most of every moment, right? Your grandson sounds like a real sweetheart. :) I LOVE your vinyl planking; that's what we're planning to do in our kitchen, and I can't wait. Yours looks terrific. Love the pics of the milk cows and Boone checking on the baby hens. You're blessed to live on a farm, though I'm sure it's hard work.

    I really enjoyed your year in review, Ann. Thanks so much for your visit yesterday, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Happy New Year -- wishing you all the best!!



  7. Wishing you and yours a very happy new year 2017! ♥

  8. What a sweet idea to remember your year in the blog like that. Love the new floors! It really looks neat and always makes the space look bigger. Happy New Year! May your year be filled with wonderful things!