Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011, Welcome 2012

As each year comes to a close I usually end up thinking about what we did during the year and I write a summary of the year. I spend the last week of the year going over the calendar for the year and make little notes so I can put it all on this blog. After a little thinking I had a good handle on 2011. I realized that overall Thomas and I had a great year and we are looking forward to 2012. So here is a little recap of our year.

As usual Thomas had a busy January and February with the legislative session. So he is up and at work early and doesn't get home until late. Even though it is a stressful time for him he really enjoys that aspect of his job and I think it energizes him. While he is working his tail off I take care of everything else - the dogs, the house, the bills, the shopping, the laundry - well you get the picture. That is how we start off most years. At the end of February and through the first week of April I made a trip to Texas for T.A.L.E.8. That is a letterboxing event that I try to attend every year. I also visited some friends while there. It was a good trip and I had a great time. Then at the end of March Thomas and I took a trip to Tucson. Mainly for him to get away after the legislative session but we also attended the annual Tucson Letterboxers Gathering. We had great weather and enjoyed hiking in Tucson Mountain Park and in the Catalina Mountains.

At the end of April Thomas had to go to Las Cruces for work and I ended up tagging along. We were there three days and fortunately Thomas was able to find some free time for a little relaxation. Then in July we took a trip to Alaska. The trip was set up as a cruise for a group of letterboxers and then there was a land portion added to it. Thomas and I opted to extend the trip since we were traveling all that distance and we wanted to make the most of it. We ended up flying in to Fairbanks a couple of days early and doing things on our own. Then we met up with the rest of the group and took a bus from Fairbanks to Denali National Park. A day there and then back on the bus to Anchorage. The next day we took a train to Seward where we boarded our ship. The next seven days had us sailing to Juneau, Skayway, Icy Strait Point and Ketchikan and through the Inside Passage before we docked in Vancouver. Thomas and I stayed in Vancouver for a few days before flying home. We had an incredible trip and we met some wonderful people. We will remember this trip for a long time. You can read all about it at Letterboxing Cruise to Alaska Adventure.

In September I went on another trip. This time to the Midwest. I attended a letterboxing event (2011: a stamp odyssey) in Augusta, Missouri. Besides that I spent time in St. Louis and then went on a great road trip to visit some State Capitols. My trip took me to Jefferson City, Des Moines, Springfield, Indianapolis, Columbus, Frankfort and Nashville. It was a wonderful trip and could have only been better if Thomas had been able to go with me. You can read about my odyssey at Missouri and Beyond. And we took one last trip for the year right after Thanksgiving and that was to Orlando. We spent four days at Walt Disney World Resort and two days at Universal Resort. We also had a couple of relaxation days in between visiting all the parks. It was a good trip and Thomas and I made it a point to ride as many of the rides as we could . I think we did a good job of getting that done. That trip is chronicled here.

Through 2011 we also attended some Broadway plays and concerts at Popejoy Hall in Albuquerque with some friends. During the year we saw Wicked, Spring Awakening, The Music Man, Legally Blonde, Fiddler on the Roof, Grease, Cats and Blue Man Group. We enjoyed them all but my favorites were Wicked, Blue Man Group and Fiddler on the Roof. We already have plays and concerts schedule for 2012 - South Pacific, My Fair Lady, Damn Yankees, Young Frankenstein, Manhattan Transfer, Mary Poppins, Les Miserables and The Lion King. It should be fun to see all of these and be able to visit with Louise, Bonnie and Eric.

Our three dogs - Daisy, Buddy and Grim are all doing well. They keep us entertained and they always provide us with unconditional love. We are use to only having one dog at a time so having three dogs has proved to be a little chaotic at times - thankfully when they get all riled up we just put them outside and let them run around the property. They are all great dogs and we love them to death. One really big problem we have is that the dogs tend to fight with the coyotes that live out in back of the house in the arroyo. They have some pretty serious encounters where our dogs have come home with bites, cuts and bleeding. But at times it seems as if they are all playing like best of friends. So we do try to keep an eye out for them and make sure nothing gets too serious.

Thomas also did a lot of work on the yard this year. A couple of years ago we made our wall taller and added gates. This year Thomas had the ponds resurfaced and fixed up and we also added quite a few plantings and a couple of little arbors. We bought new patio furniture and had new cushions made as well. We still have a little work to do especially in the front of the wall by our parking area - we will tackle that this Spring and Summer. Thomas also completed a Master Gardener program at the beginning of the year. He really enjoyed the classes and learned a lot. He may do some assisting with this years class here in Santa Fe, but he hasn't made up his mind yet.

With all the problems with the economy and people being without jobs Thomas and I feel very lucky. We both have good jobs and a steady income. Both our jobs are going well and keep us very busy. Luckily we both have things outside of work that help us to forget about the stress of the jobs when we get home. We are hoping that 2012 provides much better stability for the economy and the country and that our jobs continue to be good.

We are already making plans for some travel in the coming year. I will be attending T.A.L.E.9 in the Houston area in early March. And then in May Thomas and I are going on a cruise with my brother and his wife and one of my sisters and her husband. We are going on a Carnival Cruise to the Caribbean. We leave from Galveston and our ports are Mahogany Bay, Belize and Cozumel.

I am looking forward to 2012 and feel that it will be as good or better than 2011. Happy New Year to everyone and Thomas and I send everyone good wishes.

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