Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Sun Sets On 2015

Saguaro National Monument at Gate's Pass in Tucson, Arizona
The year has come to a close, which means it's time to tackle the Year-End Meme. I found this one to be a little harder this year and had to really reach for a few answers. Some things didn't change (like my truck "wardrobe"), but I'm hoping the rest is semi-entertaining.

Wherever you may be in the world, I hope you've had a good year and I wish you an even better 2016! Thank you for your readership, your comments, your emails, etc.  It's nice to know the things I write about and photograph make some people happy.

See you on the road in 2016!  Here we go...

1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before?
We went on a 32-day cruise! Through the Panama Canal. Went to Cedar Point Amusement Park, which made Ed very happy. Ate at The Tamale Place (which I've been wanting to do since I saw it on Guy Fieri's show). Photographed and witnessed an ocean rescue mission. Went to an ocean race event in Newport, RI.  Had a Twitter spat with a major trucking carrier. And went four-wheeling in Moab, Utah.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? 
I didn't make any last year and I haven't decided yet about this year. 

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes!  My cousin Michelle gave birth in November to the most gorgeous little boy ever!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes.  My old friend Greg died suddenly and unexpectedly. I am still finding it hard to believe he's gone. We drifted apart over the years but he's part of so many of my memories, he will never be forgotten.

And another person (not close to us but who was one of our favorite agents) - Shirley Anhalt - died the week before Christmas. Ed's been working with her for over 14 years and we did a regular run for her four times a year which took us to Newport, Rhode Island, one of our favorite places. She should be an example to all agents - she truly cared about who we were and what we do for a living.  She was fair and always on our side. And she always remembered who we were when we called her office - she knew our names and even our voices, often saying "How you doing, Ed?" before he even identified himself. She will be missed.

5. What countries did you visit?
Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and Columbia.

6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015? 
More time with my best friend Vicki. I'd love for us to do a week-long vacation somewhere. I keep wishing for it but it just doesn't pan out as I'd like. It's definitely on my to-do list, I just hope I can make it happen this year. 

7. What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Our friends coming for Christmas and then staying into the new year.  Definitely the time on our cruise.  I loved Hawaii, but was also very intrigued by Antigua, Guatemala and Cartagena, Columbia.  I'd go back to both place for sure. My Twitter spat with a major trucking company because their training program for new drivers puts all our lives in danger. Our impromptu dinner party, trucker style. Our four-wheeling adventure in Moab.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Driving over 500,000 miles without hitting anything. And maybe writing this wildly popular post - my numbers went through the roof on this one.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Allowing a wedge to come between me and someone I love.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? 
No actual illnesses or injuries.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
This jacket for the snow vacation that we haven't gone on yet.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
The Supreme Court for their ruling in favor of same-sex marriage rights nationwide. I have a lot of very happy friends because of this!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? 
Oh, this one is easy. Donald Trump, hands down.  Not depressing, just appalling. Not out of character for him, but appalling for a human being.

14. Where did most of your money go? 
Well, other than regular expenses, I suppose we spent most of our other money this year on vacation clothing, accessories, a new iPhone, and food.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Again, I don't get three "really exciteds" about anything, but let's see...what makes me super happy? Well, one simple answer is my mother's cat Maezy. She's super cute and just begs for smooches. And I get excited about delicious food - like this, and this, and this, and this.

16. What song will always remind you of 2015?
"Unsteady" by X Ambassadors. I was turned on to it by one of my readers and I've been listening to it and singing it since. Every once in a while I just blurt out the opening of the song, "Hooooold. Hold on. Hold on to me."

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) richer or poorer?
I'm at about the same level of happiness, 12 pounds lighter (my earrings are loose), and due to Ed's meticulous planning and investing, I have a bit more in my piggy bank.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Swimming and water activities.  Even though we went on the cruise, we really didn't have a lot of ocean time.  We went snorkeling only once, and the rest of the year didn't have any opportunities to hit a pool or the ocean.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

20. How did you spend Christmas? 
At home in Arizona, with my mother, brother, sister-in-law, and three nephews. It was low-key, relaxing, and fun. And we kept the menu very simple - Chicken with a White Wine Lemon Butter Herb sauce, Roasted Green Beans, and Oven Roasted Rosemary Potatoes for dinner and then coffee with several homemade treats for dessert.

21. Did you fall in love in 2015?
Since I'm in a long-term relationship, I never fall in love with anyone new. My Eddie is the only guy for me.  And although I've answered this in the past with other things I've fallen in love with, I can't think of anything at the moment.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Still into NashvilleScandalGrey's, and the last season of Downton Abbey. My new favorites are I Love Kellie Pickler and Married at First Sight.   

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? 

24. What was the best book you read? 
I didn't read one book this year.  Magazines, newspapers, articles online, yes. But not one book. 

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? 

26. What did you want and get?
To go to Hawaii.  We went to the islands of Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, and Kauai 

27. What did you want and not get?
I can't think of anything I wanted that I didn't get this year. I'll have to give this one more thought.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 48 years old in Indianapolis, Indiana.  We went to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, visited downtown Indy, and ate tamales.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I think I had a pretty satisfying year, but I think I would have liked to read more books.  Next year.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?
Same answer as last year:  When you spend a majority of your day on the road, "fashion" becomes less important as time marches on.  In the truck, I like comfort, so yoga pants and tank tops or t-shirts.  When we go out to dinner, or shopping, or visiting, I have some easy flowy tops and capri pants with little leather ballerinas - black and silver are my staples.  

32. What kept you sane?
Carrot dogs.  No, I'm kidding, I haven't even tried them.  But I'm going to in 2016! I guess since I spend all my time with Ed, he has to be credited for me keeping my sanity.  Sometimes he's the one who drives me insane, but he always pulls me back!

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I think this year it would have to be Jon Stewart.  I've always been a fan but this year he was in the press a little more than normal because of his show ending.  Watching the last episode was a little on the sad side.  

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Guns.  Oh. My. God.  Enough with the guns already. I'm really tired of hearing about people dying every single day from gun violence. 

35. Who did you miss?
I've kinda been missing my grandparents, on both sides.  I've become more interested in the ancestry of our family over the years and I wish they were around to ask questions of.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
Jonathan and Brooke East. Jonathan East and Brooke Cenicola East were performers in the shows on our cruise ship. We were able to spend some personal time with them and really loved the two of them. They were down to earth, easy-going, and extremely talented. They met at Dollywood in Sevierville, TN and after Jonathan's relentless pursuit, Brooke eventually agreed to a date, which ultimately led to their marriage. What a fantastic couple!  On the same cruise, we met and spent a lot of time with Stephen Crome, the owner of Laguna Tattoo.  He was a definitely plus to our nightly dining experience.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.
That's it's finally time to start paying attention to my health. I've always been incredibly lucky when it comes to health. No ailments, no issues, no lactose-intolerance, no gluten problems, no migraines, nothing.  And as a 48-year-old non-exercising fat chick, I've always been proud of the fact that I've had perfect blood pressure, low cholesterol, normal blood sugar, good eyes, good hearing (although both of those are feeling strained lately), and that I take no medication other than Tylenol for the occasional headache. But a few months ago I had a swollen foot issue that kinda wigged me out. It turned out to be nothing, which the doctor later confirmed, but it did gave me pause. I realized that I really need to pay more attention to what I'm eating and must incorporate some sort of exercise into my life. I will be trying hard to work on both of those things in 2016, because without good health, pretty much everything else is going to suck.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Since this is the year Frank Sinatra would have been 100 years old, I will sum up my year with his lyrics...

Up there, where the air is rarefied!

And my slogan for the New Year...BLISS!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

2014: Thanks, 2014. For Everything.
2013: I Am Gonna OWN You, 2014!
2012: Wrapping Up A Year Of Making My Own Sunshine
2011: Later, 2011!
2010: That’s A Wrap!
2009: Out With The Old
2008: Another Year, Another 365 Days
2007: All Good Things Come To An End
2006: The Symphony Of A Thousand Saws
2005: Suicidal Firewood


Belledog said...

Loved your answers.

Surprised you did not read a book, but you don't seem to have missed much else! Happy New Adventures in 2016.

Marlaina said...

This is one of my favorite blog posts that you do. I should do this. It's a wonderful record to look back on at the end of the year, and then several years down the road. I have been asking people the highlight of their year and I am having trouble thinking of one. A lot of good things, even great things -- we loved Christmas with you in Tucson -- some annoying things, breaking down in a weigh scale on I-95 in Maryland, but a highlight. It might possibly be that after spending 365 days within 2 feet of my husband, except for showers, he still says every night that he loves me. When you get older, it is the little things, right?

The Daily Rant said...

BELLEDOG: I know! Can you believe it? I just didn't make time for a book - I've been watching too much TV in my downtime and spending the rest of my free time on the internet reading stuff there.

MARLAINA: Glad you like it. This year was hard - I couldn't think of any really great answers. And if I don't keep track of things through the year for this post, I forget much of what we did. This is a good way for me to remember and reflect. LOL But I'm with you on the fact that we spend 365 days a year so close to another human. I think that's an incredible feat that most people couldn't endure. And surprisingly, Eddie still loves me too! And he hasn't kicked me out of the truck yet, so I guess I'm good for another year. It IS the little things. :)

Jane@Dentiste Cadieux et Langevin said...

The answer! the way you answer it!