This year, 2013, has been a long one for me. I have had to think about myself in a different way, and learn to live my life differently. I have re-invented myself many times over my sixty one years, but this one has been the hardest of changes to make, partly because I liked the old me, and I wasn’t ready to change things.
By January 2013, we had moved out of the RV we had lived in for the last 13 years, and into our little house that be bought the year before. We had not intended to make it our full time home for at least a couple more years. I guess we were just lucky that we had decided to buy it when we did. After moving in, we painted the sewing room and got it a little more organized, but I haven’t spent much time in there in the past year. My chronic pain is worsened by the side to side motions used while sewing. You just don’t ever realize how physical an activity is until it makes you hurt more to do it. I try not to think about it too much.
The best thing that happened all year was the birth of my grandson, Parker on January 31. He was a long awaited addition to my daughter’s family–her first born son Spencer is eleven years old. Then, ten days after Parker was born, Emily suffered a stroke that required brain surgery and kept her hospitalized for almost a month! It was hard on me physically to go and be with her, but I went as often as I could. She has almost fully recovered now and has gone back to work as a biology teacher at a public high school.
In March, we finally hung some pictures on the walls in the living room, and celeberated Fabgrandpa’s 64th birthday with a family gathering at Red Lobster. April brought me a VIP blogger opportunity with Glutino, a gluten free company whose products I love. I wrote my first post for them about pretzels. Oh, and I found a new way to package birthday money to make it more fun for the recipient to receive!
My birthday is in May, and I had my debilitating surgery on my birthday in 2012, so May 24, 2013 was the one year anniversary. We celebrate both my birthday and my survival by taking a trip to Tampa, Florida to visit a friend. We also officially listed our RV trailer for sale.
June was a pretty good month. We learned what a locavore is, and decided to start visiting local farms for our veggies. Best decision ever! We found many local farms within a 2o mile drive of us, and went every week to a different one in July. There was also news of a sweet reunion!
Throughout August and September we continued going to local farms and farmer’s markets, until the wet weather affected the crops so that there was not much to sell, and the farmer’s markets had to close for the season early. My Mother was admitted to the hospital in August, and spent two weeks there, then another 4 weeks in a rehab facility. While it was a tough decision for us to make, it really made a huge difference in her recovery to have her in rehab. She is walking better now than she has in several years due to the physical therapy she received.
I sent my granddaughter, Amelia, a princess dress in September. She loves anything pink and frilly. I also made my Mother’s famous golumpke recipe for the first time. I turned out so good. Then in October, I made Apple Butter for the first time. It was hard on me to do, but it tastes so good!
November and December were quite busy, blog wise for me. My grandsons came over once a month for a craft day. We called it Pinterest In Practice. It was fun to see how the Pinterest version looked compared to what really happened! It was also fun to get to know my older grandson better, since I had been a long distance grandmother for the majority of his life. I was also doing my Holiday Table Gift Guide, which turned out to be a huge success, with great products to review and give away. That gift guide was so successful that I decided to do a second one, for family gifts, because I was being offered so many good things to write about.
While all these things were happening in my life and on my blog, I gained a lot of new followers, and increased traffic by about 200%. That is an amazing leap. While I know a lot of that will go away when the giveaways are over, for those of you who stick around, I will be so glad to have you coming back to see what I have to say.
I am working on changing the look and feel of Fabgrandma, the blog, so if you come to visit me here, don’t be surprised to see it has changed. And it may change again. To my old friends and faithful readers, thank you for putting up with the commercials so often in the last two months. They help me stay online and gives me something to write about when I can’t possibly write another word about my personal situation. I am still trying to find a way to be myself, differently. I know I can do it, but it is taking me a long time. I still have pain every day, and still am going to the mental health center on a monthly basis. The things I am doing to help myself cope with myself are working. Your comments help me feel better about what I write, so keep them coming.
I hope we have a wonderful 2014. I have some new ideas to go along with the new look. The new year will bring in the theme of 14 Things, a series of posts each listing 14 things that fit the theme of the month. It is shaping up to be a fun thing so far. And, starting in January, I will be writing a once a week column, called Dear Fabgrandma. You, my readers, will have a huge part to play in the column.
First, I will take questions from readers about anything they need an answer for. Whether it is love advice, how to do something, or whatever else you may want to ask, I will publish your question and my answer to it. If I don’t personally know the answer, I will ask one of my blogging friends to write a guest post to help you out.
Then, after the column is published, you, the readers, will be able to give your own answers to the question of the week in the comments on the post. So, if you have a question, or would like to be considered as a guest poster for a week, use this contact form to send me the info. You can remain anonymous if you wish, so no one will know who is asking, except me.
Happy New Year!