jayes_musings: (Gerry -- feather face)
[personal profile] jayes_musings
x-posted to LJ & DW

Okay, so I'm a few days late, but that is thanks to the oldest visiting us from Cali and sucking up our limited data allowance, so the last few days of December internet was switched off. And the first couple of days of January have been busy.

It's the Yearly Round Up!

So, I didn't surprise myself when I said last year that I would fall behind in trying to post weekly updates. Once again, for 2014, I will make that attempt and hopefully succeed better. I think I will due to some things that I'm planning to do and because this year will be far less of an upheaval than 2013.



In 2013, I did:

-- In March, the hubby retired after giving 30 years of service to the U.S. Air Force, the max one can give as enlisted. His three sisters came over for two weeks, two had never been out of the US and one of those had never been on a plane before, so it was a huge adventure for them. We took them sightseeing in Germany in the run up to hubby's retirement ceremony. The youngest also flew out from school in Florida (oldest couldn't make it) and my mum from England. The ceremony was really nice. His former boss -- a retired Colonel -- flew out from the States to retire him, and I was given flowers and a letter from the Department of the Air Force thanking me for supporting him. And then that evening was open bar (the tab on us!) in which hubby wore his lederhosen and got quite trashed, but not as much as one of his sisters. The band that provided the musical entertainment was excellent, including his latest boss...a country and western guitarist trying his hand at rock. Much fun was made by everyone. The last week of March was filled with our house getting packed and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. Then we were officially homeless.
-- April began our long, winding journey home. We took an ICE train from Frankfurt to Paris and then caught the Eurostar to England. And I have to say that the hardest part of that journey was navigating all our bags two stops on the Paris Metro...I do not think they've heard of escalators there. At this point, I want to mention our little stowaway, Travel Bear. He belongs to my mother-in-law and frequently disappears to go wandering. Here he is on the Eurostar.



Then we took three, or so, weeks to drive around the north of England and the Scottish lowlands, in what I call "our mostly Roman tour". Though there were a few other interesting stops, like the Singing, Ringing Tree outside of Burnley and the Angel of the North in Gateshead.
--Bridging late April and early May was our voyage across the Atlantic on the Queen Mary 2. Utterly amazing, not least for the fact the ocean was calm the whole way! I do have notes that I still haven't written up to journal in detail. I'm hoping to get to that as well, soon...finally!
We sailed into New York in the early ours, passing by the statue of liberty with a great view of the Manhattan skyline. We spent two days in New York...and we were sick, having caught horrible colds on board ship, so we weren't that enamoured of the Big Apple, but maybe we'd get the same impression even well.
-- In May, we spent a couple of days with hubby's parents in Pennsylvania and then flew out to California to see the oldest and to catch up with friends from when we were based there. Then we started our journey back to PA in my Mini. First we headed up the West Coast through Oregon, taking in Crater Lake (stunning), then into Washington and Mount St. Helens and Seattle. We turned east passing through Montana and down into Wyoming to see Yellowstone, then back into Montana to take a tour of the Little Big Horn Battlefield, which was both amazing and sobering. Then we headed to the Black Hills and the Devil's Tower/Bear Claw Mountain (made famous in "Close Encounters") to Deadwood, the Crazy Horse monument and Mt Rushmore. If there is one place that we visited that I would like to go back to it's the Black Hills area, absolutely lovely. By this time, hotel life was getting very old, so we began heading back, although a stop in La Crosse, Wisconsin showed us a lovely upper Mississippi town. Bypassing most of Chicago (horrendous tolls!), we later stopped in Dayton, Ohio so hubby could have a good look around the Air Force Museum. I camped out at Starbucks!
-- Then it was June, and we arrived back at hubby's parents and.......that is where we have been ever since, while hubby has job-hunted and we've been looking at houses. We've had some nice mini-trips, like to the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania, Johnstown, and to see The English Beat, but by and large we haven't done much of anything productive as this house pretty much sucks the life out of you. Not only that, where TV is concerned as the in-laws camp in front of them day and night, so to catch up on my shows I have to abscond to Starbucks. While I've continued writing in the form of my role-playing, energy for anything more has been leeched away these past few months (but no more!).
-- There is one more sojourn that I want to mention. In October, and knowing how much I needed a sanity break, [livejournal.com profile] gmnoonie came to visit, and we high-tailed it for a week down in Williamsburg, VA plus a couple of days in Ocean City, MD, and aside from a little sightseeing, we did a lot of nothing much, and some writing.

Onto 2014!

While 2013 was a year of upheaval and suffering (living with in-laws), this new year looks to be taking on a very nice shape. Early in December, we put an offer in on a house, and it was accepted! Then just before Christmas, hubby received a job offer! We close on the house in a couple of weeks and are already planning colour schemes and spent $5k on new appliances. Given that we've lived in base housing or rental properties for the last almost 30 years, having appliances in a home that aren't ancient is a big deal...as is the opportunity to paint walls! The house itself is lovely, only 5 years old...not quite as spacious as I would have liked, but once we finish the basement, it will be! And it sits on 22 acres (nearly 9 hectares), and for a very reasonable price.

Hubby will soon be going to work, and I will be embarking on a new venture.

FIRST: My novel will be finished this year. I know I've said this before, but it will happen this year...and it will be published.
SECOND: I am going to give freelance writing a serious try. I love writing, and I'm good at it. I don't see why I shouldn't also try and make money at it. Do I expect to become rich, or even earn a liveable wage (that's what hubby is for)? No, but I hope to earn something and build. If not, it's back to trying to find a "real" job, which some days I do and most days I don't want to do.
THIRD: I fully intend (HAHAHA) to keep this journal updated, at least once a week. Will I manage, probably not, but I will also be working on a blog (watch this space for further info), which I hope will a) give me fodder and b) remind me to update here as well.
FOURTH: I'm not giving up my RP...I love it, my partners, and my muses too much (plus Hsu would never ever forgive me!), but I will be cutting back a little...or at least slow down a bit.
FIFTH: One of the things I want to regularly update my LJ/IJ/DW with are posts on the books I read and movies I see during the year. The good and the bad, the fluff and the more serious.


So that's the plan...let's see how it goes, huh?

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Jaye

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