I took a bit of a hiatus from all things social media, during the month of December, choosing to spend time with family, decorate for Christmas, bake and do other fun things. I took many photos of the decorations and trees but haven’t really felt compelled to share them. My house is on the darkish side during the winter which makes taking quality photos a bit difficult, but I will still scatter a few through this post to break up the monotony of all the words! Ha!
2018 was a pretty good year. John had back and cataract surgeries and all were a success. We found a church close to home that we like. We still miss our old church family (they will always be family) but being close to this church allows us to participate more, especially for events in the evenings. We did a few small projects around the house and have many more planned for 2019. We went on a few day trips during the summer but not as many as we normally do.
We took a road trip in November. We traveled up the North Carolina coast to visit our daughter and her family and had a fabulous time! We ate a lot of seafood, laughed together, explored and saw the new Grinch movie which was enjoyable but we saw it in IMAX which I personally do not recommend.
My second knee replacement surgery was put off all year with the help of a cortisone injection! Yay! My goal was to lose some weight before I had the surgery. Success! I lost 21 pounds! I kept all but 3 pounds off during my break from my eating plan which is amazing considering all of the goodies I baked and sampled. My six month fast from sugar and bread was broken and two big things were confirmed. First, I am truly addicted to sugar. I wanted to consume an entire container of cookies after only one bite! Willpower prevailed but it was a struggle. It helps to know that after being without sugar for a week or so, the craving will disappear!
The second thing I confirmed is that my digestive system hates wheat and it hates whole wheat more than white wheat. The villain appears to be wheat rather than gluten since I can eat other things with gluten without a problem. So, no more wheat.
We had a great Christmas with family and friends. We had family over on Christmas Eve Eve after church and our son, grandson, and their girlfriends were all here on Christmas Day!
Last but not least, we changed our minds and opened the door to adopting another dog. We had both said, “no more dogs,” after we lost our Yorkie, Ellie. It was such a long and hard battle to help her fight a genetic condition. Of course, it was worth the effort and she lived two years instead of the six months initially projected. Still, it was extremely hard to watch her suffer at the end. She was with us for almost ten years and the joy of all the healthy years was definitely worth all the pain at the end. Time helps one remember the good instead of all of the heartache and difficulties and our lives are not complete without a dog. So, we are looking at rescues. We are taking it slow and being very thoughtful in our approach. Initially, we had some preconceived notions but now we are going to let God direct us to our new family member. That is how we found every other dog in our family (all rescues of one sort or another) and God knows exactly what we need and who needs us better than we do!
Sorry for the quality of this photo but it is the only one I took of this ornament with Ellie’s photo.
As far as what 2019 holds, who knows? I don’t make resolutions but this year I am going to focus on courage. I think it might look something like a bucket list of things that I have wanted to do but hesitated to try because I was concerned about failure or what others might think. It will include things relative to my art, faith, relationships, and home projects. So, we shall see where courage takes me.
The new header for my blog is from my painting, Remembering the Gullah Geechee. The Gullah are African Americans who live in the Lowcountry region of Georgia and South Carolina. They have owned land in this area since after the Civil War and most are descendants of slaves who worked this land before the war. They developed a creole language, the Gullah language, and a culture rich in African influences that makes them distinctive among African_Americans. Among the things that make them unique are their woven seagrass baskets, which they sell in little wooden booths scattered all along the coast. They are beautiful and reflect a craft that was brought with them from Central and West Africa. I love baskets and one of my favorites is a small one made by the Gullah of the Charleston, SC area. I also have a lovely cookbook from Charleston that is partially written in the Gullah/Geechee language which I love hearing. Much of what was their land is now high rise condos and gated communities along the coast and for that reason, the Gullah/Geechee Nation was formed in 2000 to help protect their lands and the rich culture which is theirs alone.
This is the website of the Gullah/Geechee Nation https://gullahgeecheenation.com/. Below is a video that explains their heritage and a video of a Gullah Storyteller from the Charleston, SC area.
I hope that each of you has a new year filled with the peace, love, and hope that comes from knowing the One whose birth we celebrate in the late days of December and without whose sacrifice, we would be forever lost.