Is it Woo Hoo or Boo Hoo that the New Year is Almost Here?

Something About Nothing by Julie Seedorf Published week of December 29th, 2014

Woo hoo! The new year is almost here! Or is it, boo hoo the New Year is almost here?!

I am very conflicted about whether we should be happy that the New Year is here or sad that the old year is gone.

What does it mean when the old year is gone? It is another year of your life that you can’t get back. Depending on what kind of a year you have had, that might not be all bad but it also means you are older.

What does the New Year mean? It means that we have to find all the paper work and file taxes. It means, if we have a business we have to do more paperwork. It means we have to redo our health insurance.  When the old year ends and the new year begins it means all that paperwork has to also start over and get organized for the new year.

We make New Year’s resolutions for the New Year that most of us don’t keep, and we also resolve to not make the same mistakes in the New Year that we made the year before. We usually don’t keep that resolve either or if we do, we make different mistakes in the New Year.

I looked around on the Internet to check out some other people’s New Year’s resolutions. They made me chuckle. Have any of you ever made these resolutions? I will not bore my boss by with the same excuse for taking leaves. I will think of some more excuses. I will stop buying useless junk online. I will read the manual just as soon as I can find it. Always replace the gas nozzle when driving away from the pump. I resolve to stop poisoning my family with my cooking. These were taken from Random on Fanpop and Lifestyle online. I could probably adopt some of those for me especially the cooking one.

Looking back at the past year, for me, it has been a year of joys and sorrows. We were blessed to spend time with family and also friends we had not seen in a long time. I had three new books published. We were able to complete some long-awaited home projects such as putting my bathroom back together after a pipe-breaking disaster, shingling our garage and installing some new windows so we could be warmer this winter. There was joy being cat parents to our shysters who turn our sometimes tears into laughter.

In the midst of happiness there is always sadness. There is sadness when those you love are in pain and suffer broken relationships. There is pain because we lost many friends this year to death. There is heartache watching more people we love endure illness.  There is emptiness when longtime friends move away.  The year was a mixture of both joy and sadness, and I expect the New Year to be the same.

I have written about my evergreen tree in my yard many times. It grows tall and has more tops than an evergreen tree should have. Every year we wait to see if we are going to lose it. One year during the high winds that tore apart our town that evergreen tree took a big lean toward the ground. We could have let it go, but I begged to try and straighten it so it could stand tall and beautiful again.

Going through my many pictures I came across the picture of the leaning evergreen tree. I looked out at the tree standing tall and proud once again in my lawn. It had recovered from disaster. It may have sprouted another top over the years since I last wrote about it. Each year this tree adds to its branches. Each summer it is filled with nests from birds making it their home. It gives them warmth and comfort and cover. Each New Year so far, this tree has weathered the storms. Looking at my tree imperfect and beautiful as it is, gives me hope for the future of my imperfect resolutions and life.

Woo Hoo! The New Year is almost here. Boo Hoo! I don’t want to deal with all the paperwork. Father Time will soon hand over the duties of time to Baby New Year. You know what they say about time:

Time is like the wind, it lifts the light and leaves the heavy. — Doménico Cieri Estrada

Time is making fools of us again. — J.K. Rowling

Time is a figure eight, at its center the city of Déjà vu. — Robert Brault 

Time heals what reason cannot. — Seneca

Time is the wisest counsellor of all. — Pericles

Time is what we want most, but… what we use worst. — William Pen

Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind. — Nathaniel Hawthorne

Time is money. — Benjamin Franklin

When Time is spent, Eternity begins. — Helen Hunt Jackson 

Time is a circus, always packing up and moving away. — Ben Hecht 

And then of course, time marches on. March on this New Year through the thickness of life. Happy New Year.

Something About Nothing-Vacationing in Albert Lea

English: Albert Lea Lake from Myre-Big Island ...

English: Albert Lea Lake from Myre-Big Island State Park, Minnesota, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

by Julie Seedorf ©August  2012

I vacationed in Albert Lea for two weeks. Technically it wasn’t a vacation as I commuted back and forth to my home to work but it felt as if I were on vacation. The purpose of the vacation was to cat sit our two grand kitties. I never understood the purpose of traveling from town to a lake home every night during the summer as some people I knew did. I now understand the reasoning behind their decisions.

Our little vacation in Albert Lea was a time away from the phone in the evenings. I could relax and read a book and not see all the projects or house cleaning staring me in the face as it did at home. Plus I had the purring of two cute kitties to wake me up in the morning. Plus I decided to take it easy on the cooking for those two weeks.

It was fun living in a larger community for a couple of weeks. I visited the Farmer’s Market and my taste buds fell in love with the scones and bread from the K and K Bakery. I met a talented artist that makes hand-crafted jewelry. Her business name is as lovely as she is Lovely’s By Laura. Her designs caught my eye and I know I am going to be one of her customers in the future. The produce selection was outstanding and there were many talented people sharing their products. I was surprised that I also could buy gluten free products at this Farmers Market. Of course since I was cat sitting I had to buy cat toys and the Farmer’s Market could cover that need too.

My friends, kids and grandchildren all know that usually I can be seen with a coffee cup in my hand. Of course I had to visit the new store in Albert Lea, Prairie Winds Coffee. One of my favorite pastimes is to visit coffee houses and check out their coffee. I wasn’t disappointed. I loved the ambiance of the building and the coffee and the aroma satisfied my coffee cravings.

Shopping also had to be on my list of things to do on my vacation. As I was checking out Northbridge Mall I stopped at Grandma’s Kitchen and had the best maid rite I have had since I was a kid in the 50’s. It tasted like the maid rites I used to order at a little diner in my home town of Wells. While I was there I noticed the Pork Tenderloin on the menu. The owner assured me it lived up to the D’s Drive In pork tenderloins that used to be served in Albert Lea. I will check that out in the future.

I was in heaven. I could choose from so many eating establishments over the two weeks and I did. There were so many choices I can’t name them all.

Since my son in Iowa is a Hy-Vee employee of 18 years working for PDI as buyer I knew I must check out the Hy-Vee store. There is always a helpful smile in every aisle. I chose the natural and organic foods section.  These were foods I normally could not get in my local food market.  I found rice chips with varying seasonings, organic cereals and sauces and more. I found products and juices to try and were new to me. It was a healthy grocery shopping trip.

The Albert Lea Tribune office was also on my list to visit. I took the time to stop in and meet with the editor Tim Engstrom. I had only met Tim once six or so years ago so I thought it was time to see if I remembered what he looked like. I hate it when you reconnect with someone you haven’t seen in years and they don’t age. It must mean they live a life well lived. Tim is one of those people.  It was great visiting with him and getting a tour of the paper.

Each day I had the blessing of driving by the lake since it was only a block from where we were staying.  I could stop, take a breath, take in the beauty and be thankful that for two weeks I had those views every day.

We take our communities for granted. We focus on what our communities don’t offer and fail to see what they do offer daily. We fail to see what we are lucky to have in our communities. This time around I didn’t make it on the Pelican Breeze or to the Freeborn County Fair. I didn’t make it to some hiking trails or community theater. There wasn’t time to check out the numerous churches in the area or the specialty shops. I will save those for another cat sitting vacation.

I can’t end this without talking about my grand kitties. I also had time to write so I documented my visit with my grand kitties for their parents in The Cat Chronicles. You can read it on my blog at justalittlefluff.com. It is not a great literary work just a fun piece from the perspective of a cat.  It was a joy watching those kitties each day. I miss them waking me up in the morning with a paw on my arm or a kiss on my nose. I miss the purring in the middle of the night and the unconditional love they gave us while we were vacationing in their house. What more could I want from a vacation?