Sunday, January 1, 2017

Goodbye, 2016

It's been quite a year for me. For those of you who aren't dog lovers, you can go back to another page now, but for those who are, you will understand the heartbreak I've had in 2016 by losing both of my girls. I rescued Rose in 2004. She was an amazing little diva, long skinny legs, big ears, and soulful eyes. She passed away on February 15th. Our vet estimated she was seventeen years old. I gave her an extraordinary life, but it was like losing a child when she died.
Her little sister Coco was rescued in 2012, when someone threw her out like garbage in my neighborhood. She was a breeder dog, too old to make them any more money. I got her fixed, microchipped, shots, etc., and she was a little doll. She loved to eat, and loved belly scratches. Rose hated her, of course, but they did become friends eventually (mostly when I was not home, according to Mr. Bill). On October 13th, I had her at the vet's to have an eye infection checked, and when I wasn't looking, she fell off the exam table and died of massive head injuries. I will never, ever forgive myself for that.
But, to start the year, in January, I made my first winter trip to visit Krista in Whitefish, Montana. It was like another world, but a very beautiful one.

In March, I flew to Alabama to see my family. Coco flew with me, because she was grieving the loss of Rose, and she was perfect on the trip. Mom loved her.
Krista flew in and met me's almost impossible for me to believe that my daughter is all grown up! I guess all moms say this, but I'm proud of this girl. She is my heart.
In May, I took an impromptu trip to Paris for an extended Girls' Weekend, with friends Lala and Sheffy, and my cousin, Missy. We packed that trip so full with things to do, that we could barely hoist our bags and ourselves onto the airplane to fly home.

In June, I flew to Montana again, this time with my 89-year-old dad and cousin Missy. Dad had wanted to visit his granddaughter in Montana for the longest time, and, thanks to Missy accompanying him, it worked out perfectly. Summer in Whitefish is beautiful, and we all had a great time. About that time, I really began to appreciate the beauty of Montana, and started thinking about retiring there at some point in time.

Isadora likes it there, too!
For the July 4th weekend, cousin Missy and her handsome boy, Riley, drove out for a visit!
In September, as I was getting ready for a two-week trip to France, I was offered a new position with the company I've worked for for the last 22 years. The good news is that it is a remote position, meaning I can work from anywhere...including Montana! Before I left for France, I accepted the position starting the first of October, and immediately began looking for homes online.  But first, a few days in Strasbourg, followed by eight nights in Riquewihr (both in the Alsace region), followed by some time in Paris.  My "French daughter," Victoria, met me in Strasbourg, and off we went! It was a vacation to remember, and so much fun!

As soon as I returned from Paris, I flew to Kalispell, and spent a long weekend with Krista looking at homes. Shocking how expensive they are up there, but I decided that 2017 would be my Year of Adventure...a move to Montana as soon as my house sells here in Dallas.

 In October, I met my great-niece, Kyla in California.  She is the sweetest little thing!
And a few weeks after Coco went to the Rainbow Bridge, I rescued another pup, Maggie. She's a Corgi mix, and has settled into the household like she's always lived here. Although she was microchipped, her owner didn't want her back. Her original name? Coco.
Throughout the year, my photography business continued to grow, and, in many ways, it was good therapy for me.  I traveled to southern California for a session with a lovely family, to the U.S. Virgin Islands to photograph a wedding, and to Waco, Texas to photograph three extraordinarily blessed Spanish Galga dogs. I did many local sessions, everything from a country wedding to senior graduation shoots to Christmas card photographs. And I volunteered several photo sessions to on-line auctions for dog rescue groups, where the money donated goes to help pets in need. I made some great new friends, and goodness knows, you can never have enough of those!

I also was blessed with friends and family visiting throughout the year.  Lots of memories made with Missy, Cindy and Sarah, Leigh Ann, Elaine and Sam, and Kathi.

I wish you all a 2017 that will be peaceful, with good health and lots of joy. Thanks for following along with me; I appreciate it.