Another Year Washed Ashore

This started out as a Wordless Wednesday post.

I was going to title it Wordless Waving Wednesday or Wordless Wednesday Waving Goodbye.

Something like that.

It would have included this video…

Did you like that?

Repeat several times if you’re stressed.

If you were drinking a lot of water before you watched the video, my apologies.

Anyhow, as you can see, the post is titled differently from my original intent and I’m typing words.

This is my birthday week. On Saturday, I say goodbye to another year of my life and welcome a new one with open arms (cue Journey song). After not sleeping in because of the continued Costco noise (and now bright lights all night long), I will rise and do whatever the darn tootin’ heck I please! This includes drinking too much coffee, eating lots of food at Oktoberfest, not going to the gym, imbibing in adult refreshment at Oktoberfest, eating more food at my favorite restaurant, and scratching myself in public.

Dad 1961


No, not there.

Allergies. Itchy nose.

Geez, let’s not digress.

As a birthday gift to you, dear friends and followers, I thought I would give you a top 12 list of the last 12 months of my life. Some of the details may be slightly skewed for reader amusement and/or because I can’t remember details and/or because my life isn’t all that exciting.

13) Spent birthday week 2014 with Natasha, riding a bicycle through old, dark train tunnels, yelling, “I can’t see! I can’t see!” Natasha would yell back, “Go toward the light…at the end of the tunnel!” Eventually, we would both find the light and enjoy the beauty of the trail, the gorgeous weather and the fall-colored leaves.

12) Prayed that winter would be short starting in October. Kept praying through March 31st. I wondered why my knees hurt so bad when spring’s warmer weather finally arrived.

Halloween 2014 004

11) Spiked my hair and dressed like a purple bird woman for Halloween. The red birds accepted me into their fold and together we did the ghoulish, ritualistic bird dance of October. Blood was not involved, but I seem to remember a lot of squawking and urges to lay an egg.

10) Had the best Christmas ever. It was filled with trees, cookies, lights, cookies, elves, cookies, wide-eyed children, cookies, ornaments, cookies, presents, cookies, ho-ho-ho’s and the love of family and friends. And cookies.

9) Wore long underwear every day from December 1 to the end of March…because praying for winter to end early in January is futile, much like resisting the Borg or Christmas cookies.

8) Spent several months attempting to find the perfect sweater for mom. While the sea foam green sweater was acceptable, the new black sweater was “for dead people” and not considered a replacement for the old, ratty black sweater with a hole. Eventually, a white sweater was purchased and worn. The ratty black sweater remains in mom’s clutches and, much like her brandy, will have to be pried from her hands with a crowbar on the day she goes to meet her maker.

7) Engaged in a two-week sugar purge and a two-week poetry challenge in February. This is much like completing federal tax returns at 6:00 am without the benefit of caffeine. I don’t know what I was thinking at the time and why I placed myself under that much stress. Some may say I was successful at both, but neither has had much staying power through spring and summer. Even though I had to report to friend Heather of MOSY in April that I wasn’t fond of TimTams’ or Crunchies’ sweetness, I’ve had a difficult time of late saying “no!” to sugar and “yes!” to poetic thought. It doesn’t help that there is a lemon raspberry cake currently in the workplace refrigerator that I bought as a birthday treat…

Oh, poor Mary, I knew her well

Living in no sugar and poetry hell

No more could she take

There were chocolate chip cookies to bake

And this is the end of #7, do tell

6) Mailed paperclips and rubber bands to the less fortunate. Did you know that paperclips and rubber bands naturally reproduce when kept in a dark desk drawer? Yet, there are tens of people that don’t have enough paper clips to make a proper paper clip chain or enough rubber bands to use for safe target practice and hold a motley assortment of items together. It’s so sad. I had thought about setting up a charitable organization to fund the purchase of these items for those in need, but I couldn’t find any sponsors or willing partners to buy into the idea. At least one potential sponsor accused me of being crazy and I had all I could do to sanely explain the desperate PC/RB situation during my 72-hour hold. Thankfully, I was released after providing the doctors and nurses with a case of brightly colored paper clips and a big box of long, fat rubber bands. Still no sponsor, but the employees at the hospital are having tons of fun.


5) Pushed to the boundaries by pseudo dog, Mr. Gibbs. Yes, indeed, he’s quite the handful at times. From singing the songs of his people at 4:00 am, to hanging the computer mouse, to climbing the fake plastic tree on the patio in an attempt to get a better view of the birds, this feline has given me plenty of fodder for WordPress posts this past year. He never quits. Queen Ziva continues to put up with his shenanigans, as do I. Mr. Gibbs’ extreme sociability and incessant inquisitiveness both endears and frustrates. He seems to have become better at avoiding the kitchen counters, but only because Natasha and I have been strict in making him adhere to this rule. He is not left to roam while we are gone because the devil on his left shoulder instigates evil deeds. And, again, Gibbs is incessant. I don’t believe that quality will ever leave him; however, he will never leave my home as long as I live and breathe. Year after year, Gibbs and Ziva tie themselves around my finger and my heart, no matter the trouble or the amount of excess cat hair they produce.

4) The paragraphs seem to be getting longer as the numbers get smaller, so I’ll be concise with this one: Summer love. It’s been one of the most fantastic summers here, weather wise. Lots of sun, blue skies, and warm temps (70’s and 80’s) invaded Wisconsin. There were only a few days with oppressive heat and humidity and so many opportunities to be outside and enjoy walking, hiking, biking, swimming, camping, etc. Even though I did not take a summer vacation this year, I thoroughly enjoyed the days. Fall arrives on September 23rd, but the warm summer-like weather continues. They are predicting above normal temperatures for the next two weeks and a sunny 76 degrees on Saturday. Perfect weather for a birthday and compensation for the polar vortex of 2013-2014.

3) Photographs and video placed a spell on me. The cell phone camera and I have bonded in the last 12 months over beautiful sunsets and sunrises, flowers on the patio, bike trails, Costco building noise, holiday trimmings, white stuff, a mother, a brother, friends, a bicycle, two cats, trees, a box of owl puke and much more. I have to admit that the weekly photo challenges were, at first, a bit daunting. Now I see them as a lesson for the photographer’s eye. While I consider myself an amateur without an expensive camera, I tend to see the world differently since accepting the weekly WordPress challenge. I notice light and shadow that I might have otherwise dismissed and I can’t seem to go for a walk or bike ride without stopping for a photo of anything that catches my attention. I love photography most often when that one special shot occurs, the one that creates a frame-worthy work of art, suitable for birthday gifts.

Peninsula Park 018

2) Friends and family rocked it. This is one of the most special blessings of the past year. I’ve spent most holidays and birthdays with mom, who turned 96 this past August. The brother and girlfriend came to visit over Christmas and mom’s birthday and the brother made a special trip for Mother’s Day. Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas were made special by girlfriend Red’s extra special hospitality and Natasha’s bubbling elfishness and bird costumes. Our apartment building is filled with the nicest group of people that I could ask for as neighbors (and a special biking partner). I’ve hung out with church friends, old friends, and a few that I’ve recently come to know. Although I don’t socialize much with co-workers at the office, I recognize them all as friends, people that I can count on from 6:45 am to 3:30 pm, Monday through Friday. There have also been online friends, those that have gone beyond blogging buddies into email and chocolate-sending buddies. I may not be the life of the party in social situations, but I love being surrounded by people. They make life the best that it can be. I can’t wait to see who might come into my life next as I will certainly welcome new friends with open arms (cue Journey song).

Wow, #2 was a bit serious. I hope none of you were tearing up over that one. The only reason for tears here is that you’ve run out of chocolate or wine or espresso.

1) The year in review is ending as it started…with a bicycle. The lyrics from a Queen song say it best.  There is nothing to add.

“Bicycle, bicycle, bicycle

I want to ride my bicycle, bicycle, bicycle

I want to ride my bicycle

I want to ride my bike

I want to ride by bicycle

I want to ride it where I like”

Trails and Flowers 042

Friends, I hope you enjoyed this birthday year in review. Another year has washed ashore and lay rotting sunning itself in history. Thanks for your continued support and conversation here at Mary J Melange. I consider all of you to be a very special gift of blogger fellowship.

33 responses to Another Year Washed Ashore

  1. Herman says:

    Have another great year, Mary J.
    Mr. Bowie says “Meow!”

  2. Absolutely loved this, and what a good idea to summarise your year into different experiences! Have a wonderful birthday!

  3. Dan Antion says:

    Happy birthday Mary. I remember you writing about many of those moments but it was good to get the recap and see your perspective from the rear view mirror. Enjoy the cookies.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Cookies? Where?

      Thanks for the birthday salutation, Dan. I would say that I’d save a piece of cake for you, but it really doesn’t travel well via UPS. I probably should eat it myself.

  4. I saw what you did. You shouldn’t do that to mathematically-pure friends. I nearly didn’t get past the middle of your post as I got stuck on a cycle of ‘[read previous paragraph] She said top 12. [go back to next paragraph] That says 13. [read previous paragraph] She said top 12. [go back to next paragraph] That says 13……”

    And I can’t believe it’s Septemberfest time again already.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      LOL! You win the prize for noticing the “baker’s dozen.” I was waiting to see who would comment on that first and I should have known it would be you. Sorry I made you re-read the paragraph, but now you can recite it from memory. Isn’t that special?

      It’s Oktoberfest. Yes, this is September, but October starts to get a little chilly around here. Actually, it starts to get chilly in September, but this month has been awesome. This weather can continue into November!

      • Yeah, I can’t help it. It’s like a sickness…

        My German teacher would disagree with you.

        Glad you’re getting some bearable weather. We went from 29C last week to 12C this week. It’s confusing my wardrobe.

      • bikerchick57 says:

        Tell your German teacher that it’s just like my birthday – it’s nice to spread out celebration before and after the actual event – as long as possible. When I’m out in Virginia in October, drinking beer and wine, I’ll sing a German song for your teacher.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Yeah, it’s too bad Freddie Mercury had to die at such a young age. He was so unique and I loved all of Queen’s songs.

      Anyhow, I will rock on this weekend in your honor and because you said so. Love and happiness back to you, Lois.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thanks Beth! The years seem to roll by so fast. I don’t know how I got to be this old or why the past year seems to have gone by so fast. Perhaps I can get time to slow down a bit…but not over winter 😉

  5. Cathy Ulrich says:

    Happy Birthday, Mary! Wonderful tribute to your year. My Mr. Gibbs is named Leo (as you probably know) and, like you, I will keep him in my home and heart as long as we both shall live. Raising a glass of adult refreshment for Octoberfest to you (well, it’s 7:00 am now, I’ll wait until Saturday evening to do that, but you know what I mean.)

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Cathy, don’t you know the rule? It’s 5:00 pm somewhere! 😀 Thanks for the happy birthday and please give Leo a belly rub or chin skritch from me and the kids.

  6. joannesisco says:

    Happy New Year!! Loved your year in review … cookies, friends, bicycles, random challenges – yup, all good 🙂

    1) I’m sorry now I ate the last of the Lemon Meringue Cookies while reading your post. I should have shared.
    2) You are more forgiving than I am. Mother Nature still has a lot to atone for after the 2013/14 Polar Vortex. I’ve put my order in for this fall and winter. We’ll see if she’s ready to make amends.
    3) Thanks for the earworm. Now I’m going to be humming Biiiiiicycle, Biiiiicycle …. for the rest of the afternoon.

    Hope you enjoy the rest of your birthday week!!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      1) That’s okay, I’ve had three pieces of the lemon raspberry cake since Monday. 2) I heard over a month ago that an El Nino was forming in the Pacific. I’m going with that and expecting a milder winter. 3) Hey, I think there are worse songs that could get in your head. In fact, I think you should get on your bicycle and go for a ride. 4) I will certainly enjoy my birthday…guaranteed! 5) I’m finally writing a letter to Costco pending Natasha’s review and approval. Another song was going through my head this morning – Blinded by the Light.

  7. M-R says:

    A wonderful post, M-J my old mate ! – full of positives. GOODONYER !!!
    I shall email you for Saturday if you’re really, really good. [grin]

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Really, really good? Not on your life, especially on Saturday. There’s eating and laughing and imbibing to be had. I think I may even swear. But feel free to still send me an email…that’s a present all on its own 🙂

  8. Happy, Happy Birthday! We’re headed that way again late December. I’ll let you know our schedule. Hope to see you.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thanks for the two “happy’s” Andra. That means double the fun! I’m not looking forward to winter, but I do enjoy Christmas and a visit from my favorite author. Let’s hope we can make that happen.

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