Did you know that the titles of the episodes of the TV show, Friends were all some variation on “The one with…?” The title of the last episode was aptly named, “The last one.” So this is the last post of a year that I’m not sorry is ending. I know I have many things to be thankful for and if my wine glass was half full at the moment I’d say what a great year it was because I got a new job, have a healthy and wonderful family, have loyal and loving friends, and was able to survive the worst recession of my lifetime. But I haven’t started in on the wine yet so my bright side is to say I can’t wait for a new year to begin! 

And just to be trendy (or not, really), I’ll do a little year in review and then put the past in the past and hang out with Ryan Seacrest while I sip hot-chocolate in my warm PJs. 

Highlights of 2009 (for me that is, and if you can stay awake for this riveting home-movie version of a blog post, then you can be my new BFF). 


Had fun watching a million people freeze their butts off on the Mall witnessing our new president get sworn in while I sat in the comfort of my house. Thought it was funny that he messed up the oath and had to perform a do-over the next day. Hoped that Obama would do something to help the 7.6% unemployment rate that was interfering with my raise and bonus. Later in the month, went skiing/snowboarding with my nieces. Aside from falling in a ditch almost breaking my leg, my niece, Julia, ended up fracturing her wrist. I loved being with the girls and they were super fun but that was one day that had more things go wrong then if we turned Grendel loose in a grocery store. My nieces still laugh about it and now I’m wondering if they are laughing with me or at me for that experience. 

Zenia and Julia practice falling.



Times are getting tight and stressful so I took my usual mid-winter siesta in Florida to visit the folks and the sun took away all the bad thoughts. 


Came in like a lion and went out like a pink slip. 



Cherry Blossoms in Washington, DC

Okay, not everything sucked but it pretty much did. I’m usually an optimist and I have a strong faith in God and those two things plus some medication got me through the year. I wonder at the audacity of some people who spend beyond their means, get bonuses for being failures, and who think that money is the thing that will actually make them happy. 

One thing that was nice about April was seeing the Cherry Blossoms in bloom down in Washington, DC. 


Fixed beach house to get it ready to rent. Had to meet with umpteen (not sure what number that represents but let’s say it was a lot) contractors and fix-it type folks. It’s looking pretty good now and available for rent next year. Check it out—it’s right on the beach! 


More visits to the beach. Some of it good, some of it work. Continued to hang out with neighbors and bug them to come out and play. 


This was actually a great month. I had some very soul-refreshing times with wonderful people in beautiful places. I went to Camp Tockwogh to visit my friend Wendy who was volunteering there. Met with some old friends and had a wonderful and unexpected fun time over the 4th of July. 

Had lots of fun at my friend’s (Steve and Sandy’s) wedding. Loads of laughs, love, and good times were had. 

Then went to the OBX with Wendy. Again, very relaxing and super fun. 

Went to Walloon Lake. Stayed for longer than I planned which was great because my Aunt Sandy is fun and it was the most peaceful time I can remember. A much needed break from stress. It’s got me thinking that I need to live in a cabin in the woods. Grendel loved it, too. My parents and I also took a few days and went to Canada. Very nice. 

Wendy blends a yummy concoction in the Outer Banks.


Unemployment numbers hit 9.7%. Yikes! Job search at a standstill. But, I did get to go to family camp at Camp Tockwogh to visit Amy and Jack and all the friends. Had a really fun time but can’t stand the beds. While there I took advantage of grabbing a big ol’ pizza from the best pizza place on the  east coast, Procolino’s. If you’re ever in Chestertown, MD, stop in and say hi to the boys behind the counter. They’ll remember you for the next 20 years. And my friends Ed and Tamara secretly got hitched out in Colorado. And while it would have been awesome to witness that and to make fun of Fast Ed I can’t help but be grateful I didn’ t need to by another kitchen appliance while funds were low.

Playing rainy day games at camp.


Beach with family was great. For the two months after I got back from the beach I was harassed by crazy neighbors about where to put the trash. My friend Marti moved in for a few months and I had a nice time getting to know her better.


Unemployment reaches an all-time high. A whopping 10.2%. I hate the reckless and irresponsible government spending but am grateful for extended unemployment benefits. I ended up applying for a job with an awesome company. Then on Halloween went trick-or-treating with the kids.

The loot.


Got a job! Yippee! Had a great time over Thanksgiving with my family. Was thankful for many things including four different friends’ having healthy babies, two couples getting married, support and love from friends and family and my friend Amy’s new job.


 Started job. Yippee! Had a great Christmas, had nice parties with friends, got to play in two feet of wonderful snow, and wrote the last blog of the year.

Snowing in VA for Christmas.


Well thanks for reading everyone. Tonight I’m going to relax, be thankful, toast some friends, and then maybe start on a marathon viewing of last year’s “Lost” episodes so I can refresh my memory before the final season starts. Got to go, the pizza has just arrived…