December 2022 in Review

So I have this weird thing about not posting the former year’s stuff in the new year. Something about leaving it behind. I don’t know. In any case, this can get tricky, because technically you can’t review a month (or a year) until said month/year is over. It’s only a few days off, though, so I’m going to go ahead and post this, and simply update it with my daily photo collage and any new highlights, news, etc as necessary.

In general, I’ve quite enjoyed December. I got to see a lot of friends and family, including having Laurence back from college and having Morrigan and Katy come in for a few days around Christmas. I took it easy for the month, spending my time mostly on events and gatherings that I enjoyed, without stressing too much about to-do lists. Of course, I also spent a lot of time procrastinating before December, so there were a few days where I had to rush to manage all my Christmas stuff way later than normal, heh. But because I tried to do that all in a few days, I certainly did feel productive!

Christmas itself was delightful. Like I said, two of our kids (plus our amazing future daughter-in-law) were at home with us, and we video-conferenced with our third in Korea. We met Morrigan’s two kittens and had a very laid back year for us because normal events ended up spread out over a longer period of time. That polar vortex caused a bit of anxiety, but our power and water stayed on this year, plus it meant that we got a cold Christmas! (Some years we have an 85-degree Christmas, so this is def better!) We kept plenty of food and an insulated shelter (that sadly went unused) out for the feral cats, and both Lord Grey and the little calico we’ve been trying to trap made it through the cold weather. I was very worried about them out in those temps! Jason went all out on Christmas gifts this year, and I’m so very excited about so many of the things I received. (Honestly, I think he wanted to make up for the fact that there’s been a rift in my family, which is really sweet of him.) I’m especially excited for the cat stroller that I hope to get my babies used to!

Reading and Watching
I read four books this month, despite my original plan to read a whole heck of a lot. That’s just not me in December. The books will keep to the new year! I didn’t watch much this month either, other than our annual rewatch of traditional Gignacery Christmas movies (Rudolph, and Pee Wee’s Christmas Special, heh). I did work on a puzzle while Jason and Laurence watched Die Hard. I didn’t actually want to see that movie, so I listened to it in the same room, ha! I mean, it’s Alan Rickman. I can listen to Alan Rickman pretty much anywhere under any circumstance.

(fave: Kiss Her Once for Me)

Goals
I made my 2023 goals this month, rather than focusing on the dying embers of 2022.

The Ferals
I didn’t think I would have much to say about cats this month. I was wrong. During December, the last of our former fosters got adopted out. Lord Grey, our little feral, began to mew at us and trust us a lot more. A calico that I’d caught on overnight camera a few times began to come to the yard daily the week before Christmas, and as best as I can confirm through FB and Next Door, she’s an unfixed stray. We began trap-training her (or attempting to!) after Christmas, and hopefully soon she’ll never have babies again! King – the giant tomcat who was Shai and Hulud’s father – has been sniffing around and following the calico in and out of the yard, so I know he’s on the prowl. I really wish we could TNR him but we need a bigger trap! Lastly, even though I said I wouldn’t have any more fosters in 2022, I broke. It had been a month since we’d had any kittens in the house, and a little singleton came up who just needed to spend a couple weeks gaining weight! Her name is Petunia and she’s the sweetest, cuddliest, bestest kitty ever. And honestly, I’m kinda glad that I’m going to start the new year with a foster!!

House
Oy. It was not a fun one in house issues. First, our kitchen lights – which were apparently connected to each other so that if one failed, they’d all fail – failed. We had to pull them out (they were old tube florescents) and temporarily replace them with LED fixtures. Eventually, we have to figure out a solution that doesn’t involved super-recessed lights. Then Jason tried to fix a leak in the main bathtub, which was a disaster that involved an entire old pipe bursting all over the bathroom and water gushing everywhere. We had to call out plumbers to rip the whole thing out. Then when they did that, they found signs of old termite activity behind the walls, and we had to call someone out to verify that there was no active infestation. Thankfully, there wasn’t, so the plumbers were able to finish their job, and now we need to get parts of the bathroom re-drywalled (also by a professional!). That last part is still being scheduled, so likely won’t be until January.

Health/Fitness
Here’s a crazy thing: the medication that I’m on is currently on backorder in several different doses with a nationwide shortage. I was meant to move up to the next dose in mid-December, but instead had to move backwards to the entry dose just to stay on the medicine at all! Beyond that, I’ve mostly been trying to slowly recover after having covid at the end of November, doing a little yoga here and there but otherwise not pushing myself too hard. Jason and I took a long walk on our anniversary and saw the Big Tree (including the fire damage), and it reminded me just how unused to walking my feet have become, ha! Maybe if I start walking my cats around the block in their new stroller, I’ll get my feet back to normal, ha!

Favorite Photos
There is a possibility that I’ll redo this section once December is over, if new favorites appear over the next couple days. Why is that different than just waiting to post? I couldn’t tell you. It just is. **ETA: The second photo is indeed updated, as I added two new photos from my grandparents’ memorial on the 31st.

Top, left to right: side-eye under the tree; a Queen; my Jason
Bottom, left to right: on the deck; in bloom; dove by morning

Top, left to right: a homemade plaque left at the Big Tree (not ours, btw – we’re Leave No Trace people); Phoenix (Morrigan and Katy’s kitten) up high; the little grey fox-kitten
Bottom, left to right: portrait of my cousin Joc; in memoriam; Angus in the Christmas sunbeams

Highlights of December
Like I said, it’s been a good month!

  • my new puzzle advent calendar
  • Lord Grey hanging out on the deck! and then getting more comfortable with us more generally!
  • Dexter and Deedee both got adopted in early December; doesn’t look like together, sadly, but at least they both got adopted quickly // Also, Panini (mother of our bistro babies) finally showed up on the list and got adopted within days!
  • hired for my second photoshoot!
  • much improved bloodwork after 14 weeks of Mounjaro!
  • cookie party at a friend’s house
  • new laptop to replace the one that’s almost five years old, and OH MY it makes photo editing so much better and faster!!!
  • dinner out with friends
  • Laurence is home!!!
  • finished my 2023 vision board! (first pic in the blog post)
  • a friend of mine got engaged!
  • holiday gift exchange party with my hiker friends
  • the ridiculousness that is playing Anomia with Laurence
  • making and decorating sugar cookies for Christmas
  • visiting the Big Tree and discovering that someone has left a large painted rock in front of it to say, “Respect the Domain of Father Oak” (pictured above)
  • seeing Morrigan for the first time since Jan 2021 and getting to spend a few days with him, Katy, and their two kittens who are sooooo cute! –>
  • getting to talk (and see via facetime) to Ambrose on Christmas Eve (their Christmas morning)
  • uncontrollable laughter as the family read out the Christmas stories written by the kids over the years, including stories from when they were as young as four years old, and then more uncontrollable laughter as we recounted these stories to my dad, stepmom, and half-sister the next day
  • a new foster kitten – yes, I know, I know…
  • the absolute best chicken-potato curry puff pastry handpies, mmmm
  • finding an interesting Beaujolais Nouveau on sale at HEB, and discovering that it presents bright red almost like raspberry juice, and very distinctly tastes of vanilla – then discovering that this year’s batch of BN is considered one of the best and very limited due to weather conditions; then getting a few more clearance bottles off the rack to enjoy in the future! (ours is pictured center at that link)
  • a lovely memorial service for my grandparents
  • beautiful photos of different members of my family
  • game night with friends for New Year’s

Coming up in January
A new year, hopefully a wonderful new year!

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About Amanda

Agender empty-nester filling my time with cats, books, fitness, and photography. She/they.
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