This will not be a 10,000 word event, chronicling every time I went through a closet door and fought a battle, although that might be a tad bit more interesting than reality. You’re already disappointed, I’m sure, but I hope to give you the Reader’s Digest version of the year that was 2013 in the life of a crazy cat lady who wishes she still had the resemblance of the flat and sexy stomach in the picture of my Viking Princess alter ego. I’ll hit the highlights and throw in a few links to some of my favorite bloggers and oldie-but-goodie posts from MJM.
January 2013 – It’s a new year and it’s cold. I have a cold. The remaining warm fuzzies of Christmas are dwindling, but excitement remains in the air due to football playoffs. I have full expectations of wearing my #12 jersey all the way to the Super Bowl. Then January 12th hits and the end of football season comes to the world’s cheeseheads. I am suddenly depressed and muddle through the rest of the month…working, eating, sleeping and being sick. The cold bug turns into bronchitis and I finally learn what it means to “hack up a loogie”.
February 2013 – Another team (not the Green Bay Packers) wins the Super Bowl. Depression and muddling continues and so does winter, no relief in sight. Another winter seems to go by while my downhill skis are motionless in the closet. I accept a fitness challenge from a local trainer and squat, push-up and abdominalize myself for 28 days.
March 2013 – Mary J Melange arises from the sea of blogdom on Blogger, followed by a move on the 17th to the WordPress community. Suddenly, I have focus and a smile appears on my face. The swirling thoughts in my head and strange sense of humor appear on the internet and a collective groan and eye roll is heard around the world. One of my first followers is Herman from Hands on Bowie. Bowie is a beautiful, gray, British Shorthair feline who you almost feel you can touch through the wonderful photography of his human. I love this blog and you will too if your priorities are cats, coffee and dark chocolate.
April 2013 – Not much to report here. Winter hangs on and on and on. I follow The Jackie Blog and run The Gauntlet with other followers to keep the backside moving.Spring finally shows up at the end of the month. Gibbs is ecstatic with the opening of the patio door and writes his first blog. Mom is overjoyed that I can take her out to lunch without fear of the “s” word falling (that’s “snow,” which is unspoken in Wisconsin between April and October).
May 2013 – I learn the correct spelling of tomorrow and my boss raises the flag. Finally! The emails I send out at work are flawless. It’s also time to go shopping for patio plants, which makes my heart extremely happy. I’ll take one of those, and those, and that, and these here and…. I also take a week’s vacation for spring cleaning and Gibbs gets himself in trouble. I am also reminded of the incessant shedding of cat hair into the carpet.
June 2013 – The beginning of summer is upon us and I have another cold. This time it turns into a sinus infection. I’m super busy at work and go a little crazy attempting to prepare for an early July camping trip. Craziness abounds. I take solace in the writing of posts and the the gorgeous photography of Cathy at Large Self. I also find delectable dessert and rice recipes at My Favourite Pastime (the cool thing is that conversions are given for American non-metric cooks so I don’t have to think too hard about grams versus cups). The antibiotics finally kick my cold’s arse and I pack up my Hyundai with fishing poles, a tent, and foodstuffs for a week of camping.
July 2013 – My bestie girlfriend Natasha teaches me about fishing fuel and fishing hook forgiveness. I blame her later for the Oreo habit I will develop…crack cookies. The remainder of the month is infused with mountain bike riding, walking in the sun, and trying to make sense of the tornado that has visited the top of my desk at work. Oh, and my mom asks me if I changed my name because she thinks I’m her sister, which is a question that will continue into the coming months.
August 2013 – Mom turns 94. Brother and girlfriend make a trip from Virginia to celebrate. The “kids” make their annual trip to the vet. I share motorcycle memories with Life on the Bike and Other Fab Things and the rest of my readers. And I rue the end of August, because it always signifies the end of summer in my world.
September 2013 – I set a monarch butterfly free. His name is Frank. (He is in Mexico at this writing, enjoying the warmth while I enjoy the arctic freeze of the frozen tundra. I should have packed my bags and followed Frank.) The end of the month arrives quickly, but not without a birthday celebration in warm and sunny Chicago. I eat too many Chicago dogs and have way too much fun.
October 2013 – It’s the month of ghouls and goblins and strange people dressed in bubble wrap. It’s also another busy month at work, so Minute Moments is a fun and quick read at night when I’m trying to revive my squishy brain matter. Natasha keeps me going by dragging me to the pool for mental water therapy when the squishy brain matter begins to ooze from my ears.
November 2013 – This is a month of Thanksgiving, when I honor breathe and life, I find perspective and remember an emotional moment in Washington, D.C. A cat is named in my honor and thankfully she’s adorable. The brother and girlfriend come to see mom and help me decorate her abode for Christmas. We go out to eat and have quality family time. I begin to gather ingredients for several thousand dozen cookies and haul out my 257 boxes of Christmas decorations.
December 2013 – It’s my favorite time of the year. I love the white snow, Christmas carols, goodwill and a well-lit Christmas tree. I also look forward to posts from three awesome bloggers: The Regular Guy NYC, Margaret Rose Stringer, and The Accidental Cootchie Mama. Mr. NYC reports on local cuisine and beer brewing classes, Margaret is a sassy Aussie with a scaredy cat and Trekkie tendencies, and Andra is a Cootchie Mama who gave away fabulous CD’s in December and is married to a cheesehead (she gets extra points for that).
December had its highs and lows. The lows came in the realization I needed to fix a broken tooth and put new tires on my car ($ka-ching$), but the highs came with personal blessings from friends and the blessings that local families received via the outpouring of love from my small church. I spent Christmas Eve with good friends and good food, and was able to take mom out to lunch one warm day during the holiday week. The weeks of Christmas and New Years haven’t allowed much down time, but it has also offered me the opportunity to sleep in on my days off, go to the gym at any time of the day and have a glass of wine at 2:00 in the afternoon.
So that’s it. The year of 2013 has been filled with family, friends, work, church, camping, Oreos, and cats. And my fellow bloggers. While the year has been far from perfect, I am ecstatic at facing 2014 head on. Today, I came into the age of smart phones and the intent on finding a part time job to help pay for teeth and tires and vet bills and vacations. I’m looking forward to heading back to work and commiserate with my co-workers over our holiday over-indulgence, dysfunctional family stories, and cool adult toys that we can’t operate because they are smarter than us.
And then, I shall head back through the closet, ready to fight the battles of Melangia…one day at a time!
Happy New Year! Happy 2014!