Hi Everyone, Can you believe that in a few short hours it will be 2019? This year sure has flown by for me. It’s been a year of ups and downs, but at its close, I want to focus on the positive–the things that have stood out for me this year as highlights, events that I am especially grateful for. So here’s my top five:
5. This was my complete year of writing full time. I loved being able to follow my passion on a daily basis. I finished and published four full-length novels, a record for me, and had many more sales than in the previous years of my writing career. I finished book eleven in my Peakview Series and the first book in my new Aspen Ridge Series.
4. I was able to travel to Denver this summer to attend RWA (Romance Writers of America Conference). What a wonderful experience being around so many talented authors and members of my tribe. The classes were excellent and I came home renewed and excited about my career.
3. Lost Valley Ranch–my favorite place on the planet. This November I got to spend a weekend at this beautiful resort high in the Colorado Rockies. I started going to Lost Valley in 1967 with my family on vacation, later worked there when in high school and college, and its been a favorite weekend retreat for me and all three of my children and granddaughters. This time was especially great because I was there with both my daughters, my brother, who had not been there since 1973, and my sister in law and son in law who were first time visitors. What a great family weekend.
2. Time with family. This year one of my biggest blessings was time with my family. I was able to travel to Colorado four times this year to spend time with my son, my granddaughters, and extended family members. I traveled to San Diego for a week this summer to spend time with my oldest daughter at her home on the beach. I got to meet her boyfriend and experience her lifestyle. Most precious of all, I got to spend an entire year living only a couple of miles from my youngest daughter. Whether it was meeting at Starbucks, taking walks with our dogs, or enjoying local events, we had a great time spending moments together. I cherish the time I get to spend with those I love.
1. Merlin came into my life 🙂 Anyone who follows me on social media is well-acquainted with Merlin, my toy Australian shepherd. Merlin joined my family just twenty-four hours after the sad event of the passing on my dog, Laddie, who had been my best friend for sixteen years. Merlin had brought such joy into my life. He’s gone from 3 pounds to almost 15, where he should stay for awhile. He gets me moving–we walk four to five miles a day to try and use up some of his never-ending energy. Not a day goes by that I don’t laugh out loud at some silly thing he does. And at night, he’s there curled up beside me his head on my body. Who knew something so small could bring so much joy.
There you have it, my five highlights of 2018. I’d love to hear yours 🙂 Happy New Year and cheers to an even better 2019!!
In March of this year, unfortunately my sixteen year old, best friend and Shetland Sheepdog, Laddie, passed away. It wasn’t unexpected, after all, he’d outlived his life expectancy by several years. Still, it was hard. I decided to wait a couple of months before getting a new dog, to let my heart heal and to find the perfect new friend. I knew I wanted a toy Australian Shepherd. They were similar dogs to my Sheltie and small enough to make traveling easier.
Best laid plans. The next day, yes barely twenty-four hours after Laddie passed, my daughter found the perfect puppy online. He was the right size, cost, and less than two hours from my home. Yep, we jumped in the car and came home a few hours later with Merlin, the magic puppy, an adorable eight week old toy Aussie. He was a very sweet little ball of fluff those first few days–content to lay in my arms and sleep most of the day.
And then he woke up. I’m happy to report that almost three months later, he is happy, healthy, the love of my life, AND a lot of work. A whole lot of work. I’d forgotten what it was like to have a new puppy, since I hadn’t had one in sixteen years. The last couple of years Laddie slept approximately 23 hours per day.
Not so with Merlin. He has times each day when he goes absolutely crazy, running around the house getting into everything he can reach. He chews on everything! Including me, and let me tell you those puppy teeth are razor sharp. For several weeks my arms were solid puncture wounds. And then there’s housebreaking. One day he’s a star not having a single accident. Yes, he’s getting it. The next day he squats and pees on the carpet right in front of me. It’s a ongoing challenge. And then there’s the high pitched yip that he lets out when he wants something. It can pierce your eardrums.
I’m learning coping mechanisms. Long walks. Several times daily to wear him out (well sorta) Play dates with my daughter’s dogs are good, but even they get annoyed after awhile with his energy. I’ve learned to take him outside a lot. Every couple hours is a must. All this is good, I’m getting in better physical shape than I’ve been in for years!
Anyway, it’s an adjustment. It’s a good thing he’s so darned cute. I can forgive him almost anything. And when he snuggles up next to me and falls asleep, you can’t beat that. Some day those wicked baby teeth will fall out, and he’ll be the best behaved dog on the planet. Pray for me that day comes soon 🙂