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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010: Year End Reflections

I'm sitting on my back porch in balmy 60 degree weather, enjoying the sunny breeze, typing on my QuickPad. Just this past weekend, snow was on the ground and temperatures hovered at near 18 degrees. Welcome to climate change, or for the disbelieving, unwashed masses, just the normal ups/downs of weather.

Earlier I took the dogs on another long walk, and enjoyed the weather. Rain on the way tomorrow. I've been taking extra long walks with the dogs in order to lose two pounds I gained from Christmas food indulgence! As of this morning, I'm almost there!

At any rate, I wanted to write a year's end summary about 2010, making note of the more significant events in my life. It was a peaceful year, uneventful in some ways, but I did make it through - and at my age, 59, that in itself is an accomplishment. So many never live to see my age, therefore each day is a small miracle.

This past year started with me being back in my house where DH & I lived for 25 years; I was very happy to be back home. And I still am.

A brief list of home-related tasks this year:

1. I did my own lawn care with a battery-operated Neuton lawnmower. No small feat when you consider I'd never mowed a yard while DH was alive. I even managed to rake tons of leaves, cart them to the curb in a wheelbarrow. I only hope I have the stamina to do that next year, since I saved money by not having to hire it done.

2. I had drainage ditches put in to keep the rainfall ruining my carport and had the sidewalk/front entryway improved. Had a nice garden-like shrubbery spot to enhance the front.

3. In the Fall, I had gutters removed, trim work done on one side of the house to improve drainage and eliminate gutter cleaning. Also had new doors put on the garage, some electrical work done in there so I could use the space for the stray cats to eat/sleep through winter months.

4. Rounding out the year in home improvement, I had a new central heat/air system installed with a ten-year warranty (labor & parts). Long overdue as the other system was getting very old.

5. In spring, I wasn't sure I'd be able to sell my other house, so I dropped my medical insurance due to income decrease (losing the rental income). I hoped if the house sold I could use a portion of the money for the pre-existing medical insurance via the new federal program for my state. It was a very loooooooong six months, but luckily I did sell my house and should be getting my insurance card this week. It's expensive: $583.00 per month with a $2,000.00 deductible but at my age, it's sheer folly to be without insurance (especially if you have savings/assets/investments/annuity to protect).

5. In October, I had the triple-flu vaccination, and within two weeks, noticed a swollen lymph node under my arm. It is still there, though decreasing, was never large. I haven't had it checked out due to being without medical insurance and the prohibitive costs of testing. I hope to get that checked next week. I still think it had to do with the flu shot, since I've learned others have had that side effect. But I'm not sure, so I must get it seen by a doctor. I haven't felt ill, other than a brief bout of nausea just about the time I noticed the swelling - two weeks after the flu shot. Otherwise, I feel fine.

6. For Christmas, I bought a Roku and joined Netflix. I'm loving the movies, and may cut back some of the channels I get via cable, saving money.

So those are the main points I want to remember for 2010, a reference for my journal if I need to look back.

Who knows what 2011 holds? January is always a very strange month for me; I've done some wild & crazy things in January's of the past! Maybe I get stir-crazy, not sure...

Thus, another year ends. For the New Year I have only two wishes: good health & living to age 60 so I can qualify for DH's SSI, which will certainly improve my monthly income and, hopefully, allow me to increase my savings.

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