Mardeeknits’ 2013 in review

This was kind of interesting so I thought I’d share. The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,800 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 30 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Reflections on the Birth of a New Year

Today is January 1st, the first day of a new year. Across America, people will be joining gyms, making resolutions and generally deciding to be a better person in 2014. I’m not against that, but I think moving into the new year without looking back at the past can sometimes be a mistake.

I have to be honest and say that 2013 will go down in my own personal recollection as a really tough year. Not the worst I’ve ever had but certainly in the top 5. It was characterized by a major illness and one of the most difficult kind – when doctors have no clue what is going on, so they really can’t help much. In the end, we finally figured it out and I will go into 2014 feeling much better.

It was also a rough year socially. Being sick (and especially having an illness which affects what you can eat) cuts at the bonds with family and friends, and really tells you who has your back when things get hard. Some people surprised me, and not in a good way. Others have turned out to be the kind of true friends I’ll cherish forever.

So, how does 2014 look? To start with, I’m optimistic that it will be better. I’m not making any real resolutions, merely planning to expand my horizons, continue to work on my health and get out more to meet new people. I’m going to start quilting again, and plan to buy the supplies to make a new quilting frame this week. I’ve joined the local quilt guild and may take some classes at the local quilt shop. I’ve got several quilt tops I hope to finish and several fleeces at the fiber mill that I’ll be spinning. I have a couple of new sweater patterns I want to try. All in all, I’m guardedly hopeful that 2014 will be a good year.

As for you, friends and readers, I hope for you, whether 2013 was good or bad, that 2014 is an outstanding year, filled with all the things that make you happy. I wish you health and hope and the love of family and friends.

In fact, I guess I wish that for me as well.

Happy New Year.

A Christmas Blessing

Here in Colorado, we’re in the midst of a true winter storm. It’s been snowing for hours and while it’s a pain for those who need to get out and go places, it’s also stunningly beautiful. I spent last night on the sofa watching the snow fall and listening to a boys’ choir sing some of my favorite Christmas classics. I managed not to cry during O Holy Night, which was a feat for me because I love that song. I’ve sung it on Christmas Eve in church many times and it always breaks my heart just a little to hear it. They followed that up with Still, Still, Still, which is another of my favorites.

So while I was entering into the holidays with more than a little trepidation, I think I’ve found my Christmas spirit and I wanted to share it with you. You see, for me Christmas has always been a religious holiday, a season in which we celebrate the real miracle of Christmas, which didn’t happen on 34th Street but instead happened in Bethlehem when God became Man and came to live among us. It’s not about the presents and the Black Friday shopping. It’s about faith and family and bringing good things to the world.

This Christmas season , I wish for all people:

* Hope and healing for those who have troubles

* Safety and security for those in danger

* Food and warmth for those without

* Courage for those who face difficult situations

* Gratitude for those who are struggling to find the good in their lives

* Peace for those who struggle with the season and past disappointments

* Blessings and love

Amidst the frustration, worry and fear this season can sometimes bring, I hope you find time to soak in the peace, listen to a choir sing your favorite hymns, and delight in the fact that we use this time of year as an excuse to see people we rarely get to see. Surround them with love, whether they are family or friends, and know that I’m wishing you the same.

Blue Skies

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words so this will be brief. After a couple of days of cloudy, snowy weather, Colorado has decided to turn to its usual gorgeous azure blue.

So today, I’m grateful for this:

Rocky Mountain National Park in Fall. (Taken 10/2013). How can you not love this place?

Rocky Mountain National Park in Fall. (Taken 10/2013).
How can you not love this place?

What are you grateful for today?

Miscellaneous Gratitude

I’m going to try to hang in there for the last few days of 30 Days of Thanks despite falling off the wagon a bit. Today I’m grateful for:

* The fact that my in-laws have found a great place to live and will be living close to us here in Denver starting next spring.

* My son who’s coming home for the holiday tonight (fingers crossed on the weather!)

* My work, although that’s why this will be a brief post. I gotta get back to it!

What are you grateful for?

Pick Yourself Up…

Well, crap. Here I go deciding to be a dutiful blogger and be thankful every day and well…life intervenes. As it somehow always does around here. So, rather than abandon the effort altogether, I’m going to dust myself off and start all over again (in the immortal words of Jerome Kern, made famous by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers).

 

I’m grateful today for family and friends. In what has been a tough year, so many people have reached out a hand (literal or figurative / digital) to keep me going. And here I am, still going.

So thanks to all of you who’ve helped me this year. Whether you simply read the blog or left supportive comments, or you put up with my extended absences from writing due to illness. Some of you even listened to me whine about doctors…

Whatever you did, I’m grateful for it. So thank you. And I hope you have folks in your life to be grateful for too.

TGIF

I’m not usually a TGIF kind of person but I’m definitely feeling that way today. It’s been a rough week. Between a cold that won’t go away and a physical therapist who enjoys his job just a little too much, I’m ready for some rest.

It’s also been a week in which a customer threw me a really tough challenge at work – the kind of thing I usually love because I can really dig my teeth in – but just wasn’t quite up to handling this week. I’ll figure it out, I’m sure, but maybe next week when my brain is firing on all pistons and I’ve had a couple of consecutive nights of sleep.

So here’s to Friday, to a couple of days of rest, and to getting back to whatever my normal is these days. For that, and the fact that a rough week is ending, I’m grateful.

Happy weekend, everyone. Hope this weekend hands you things to be grateful for as well, even if it’s just spending the day in your PJ’s watching old movies, drinking tea with lemon and hugging a box of kleenex. If this cold doesn’t lift soon, I may well join you.