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The end of yet another year fast approaches

We took down our few holiday decorations today (actually just a few holly branches, a string of purple lights, and our cards) and I was struck again how quickly this entire year has just flown by. Each one seems to go faster than the last. We’ve had a lot of changes this year and lost a member of our critter family when we put Wednesday down. Chances are that we will probably lose Cricket some time soon (honestly we expected her not to last until the end of the year but she’s hanging in there) and we are also looking for a better home for Maggie. It’s not fair to her to live such a constrained life because she came into a house already full of broken pets, and we just can’t afford to keep going further and further into debt to take care of everyone.

Not having a fenced yard with a dog who likes to run like a gazelle is nerve-wracking but there’s no way we can justify spending money to fence yet another place that isn’t ours. The fact that some of the neighbors don’t take the care that we do in keeping their animals in their own yards causes us a great deal of stress. We don’t necessarily think that Maggie would start a fight, but she would certainly be able to finish one and would get the blame for it regardless. Especially at this time of year, when we get up in darkness and come home to darkness, it’s scary letting the dogs out the door when we can’t see what is out there. We just have to hope that there isn’t a cat, or a 100 lb German Shepherd standing outside the house somewhere.

So 2008 is rushing towards us and we have this feeling that this is going to be another year of changes for us. Partly because of the animal stuff mentioned above, but maybe more than that as well. We’ve cut down so much on the clutter around here and are still working to clear out even more. There’s no reason to lug around all this junk that we have no attachment to. This year we made even more of a point of recycling everything we can and we now take our own bags into the grocery store, and are buying much less processed food. We’re trying very hard not to buy cheap “made in China” products but quickly discovered that this is harder than it seems. The important thing is that we are trying, and over time it gets easier.

We aren’t sure what the future will bring with our jobs; the small-town computer shop where we work has had to contend with a brand-new Staples store opening in town, with a super Wal-Mart and a Best-Buy soon to come… at the very least, the shop will have to change the way things are done to stay afloat. I’ve had this growing feeling that I am perhaps not quite on the path that I am supposed to be on, that there are talents of mine that are going to waste spending all day running here and there and fixing computer catastrophes, and being in a perpetual state of having to be reactive without ever having the time to think proactively and put my creativity to use is just wearing me down. By the end of the day we are so beat we just come home, feed ourselves and the critters, and go to bed. There doesn’t seem to be any time for ourselves, let alone for writing, working on the website or all the other little projects I used to do. I guess we’ll see what the new year brings.

We’ve settled in comfortably into the house… we’ve made it a very homey, cozy place and really enjoy having the big living room with those patio doors overlooking the mountains. The landlord had a screen door put on the patio and we put up a crystal that makes rainbows dance all over the room when the sun hits it. We have a huge assortment of wildlife that comes to visit every day, titmice and chickadees and cardinals, several squirrels that give the cats a fit by coming up on the deck, and our resident pair of wrens that like too hop around on the deck and peer in the windows. There’s also blue jays, crows, doves, and tons of assorted finches and sparrows. Nadine the chipmunk has been absent for a few weeks, we assume she is hibernating.

We hope that this new year brings good things for everyone and some needed positive changes in the world.

A surprise this morning!

December 26 Snow!

It seems to be meting quickly but it was a nice change… we apparently had an early morning visitor as well:

Tracks in the snow

My guess is a squirrel? We leave crackers and nuts out for them sometimes so he was probably looking for a snack.