Thursday, January 14, 2010

2009 High Fives!

Thank you Barbara at Seeking Serenity for mentioning and nominating my blog for this High Five. I have been slow to respond, because I was not quite sure what to do. After checking around I believe I understand it. Celebrating accomplishments! This appeals to me. So thank you again Barbara!

Five Highlights of 2009 in no particular order:

I did it! I finally went to Florence. I booked an apartment through VRBO. The Uffizi Apartment, a gem with a wonderful, generous landlady. I recommend it to anyone. I booked and flew with Ryan Air. Another first. I spent ten glorious days walking the streets (in the best possible way) of Florence. It took me two full days to meander through the Uffizi. I was mesmerized by Michelangelo's David . I stood gazing at him for over three hours, with tears of pure delight at the beauty. I was so taken, I went back to the Accademia for a second day of gazing. I was also lucky enough to attend an open air performance of Carmen. I ate gelato, drank cappuccino and Florentine Chianti. Discovered fried zucchini flowers, YUM! I could gush about Florence for hours, but I must move on…….

I returned to Eau Claire after a wonderful summer at home in Ireland to a childless house, feeling very lonely. Husband said, “Why don’t we call into the pet store and look at puppies?” I had been trying to talk him into a puppy for over a year. Imagine my surprise!!! Well we went to the shop and saw the cutest puppy. Not wanting to rush into anything we went away and thought about it for a few days. Three days later we returned to the shop, a young couple was playing with our chosen puppy. As we waited I noticed an apricot poodle puppy who had been reduced to sell. Husband referred to him as the “bargain bin puppy”. We asked to play with him while we waited. Well, he won our hearts and in a matter of hours was an irreplaceable member of our family. Once again I am experiencing total unconditional love. Such a gift.

Dilin’s Engagement:
The week before Christmas child number three and second son got engaged to his lovely girlfriend Katie! Such excitement! I am thrilled for them both. Katie is a lovely girl who has won all our hearts. Dilin went to her parents and formally asked permission to marry their daughter. Then he went to the jewelers and picked out the most beautiful ring. He took Katie to Irvine Park, known for its Christmas display and popped the question. I am so proud of him! Thankfully she said yes! They came back to the house and we popped a bottle of champagne. No wedding date set yet. But it looks like summer 2011.

Blogging etc.:
2009 saw the birth of my blog. Who would have thought I could have so much fun and meet so many lovely, supportive and kind people sitting at my desk!!! I ask myself on occasion “Why didn’t I do this sooner! “ The blogs I follow have not only entertained me but also given me the motivation to improve and keep writing. Whenever I feel I haven’t an idea in my head, I just have to go through my blog list, have a little read then !Voila! I'm ready to scribble words on a page. My blog and the wonderful supportive comments I have received have encouraged me to be brave and just take the chance! Nothing ventured, Nothing gained! Right.

Life in the Empty Nest:
In 2009 I realized my children flying the nest was not the end of the world. It was the end of a life I had known and loved for the past 28 years. But the family dynamic had changed. My children now have numerous commitments of their own. I can no longer expect them all home for birthdays, Christmas, Easter etc. This was a difficult transition for me. I have finally accepted the fact that they have work schedules, social commitments, in-laws and future in-laws requiring their attention. I am learning to bask in their happiness and discovered to my surprise that this too is good!

So with that I end my 2009 Highlights and pass the baton on to:

Write On
Dispatches from the Deise
Ten Lives and Second Chances
Crystal Jigsaw
Dual Citizenship in SpecFic and Mundania



Sandra said...

Thanks for nominating me!

Susannah said...

Great highlights Ann, your time in Florence sounds amazing, experiences such as that are hard to beat.

(I would have loved to see a photo of Louie!) :-)

Old Kitty said...

Hi Ann

Florence!! How wonderful! And I am so, so, so inspired that you went to that most beautiful place by yourself and actually seeing David. Amazing.

And Louie - awwww - I love the story of how you picked him. Not such a "bargain bin puppy" anymore now that he is with you. Oh there is a story there, isn't there? Actually, I like "Bargain bin puppy" as a title. Hm. It's getting me thinking now...


And of course having all your children all grown up and about to have families of their own and your new life as a blogger and writer - are fantastic achievements.

And thank you so much for nominating my silly topsy turvy blog. I'm gonna have a browse at all the other blogs too as they have such intriguing blog names and I'm very very curious... or just really nosey!

Take care


KarenG said...

Sounds like you had a great year! I personally am looking forward to the empty nest with anticipation.

2009 was the year I started blogging as well, after wondering why in the world people wanted to blog? Especially writers who should be working on their novels lol. However, I found a writing community through blogging that I never was able to find in "real life." But I refuse to twitter!

Anonymous said...

You have had a wonderful year from the sounds of this! Congratulations to your son on his engagement, how utterly romantic.

And the puppy sounds adorable, I'm not surprised you fell in love!

And of course blogging; indeed, nothing ventured, nothing gained. There are so many lovely bloggers out there and I feel priveleged to have met several, including you.

Thank you for the tag, I'll have to have a good think about this one - last year wasn't the best for me!!

CJ xx

Niamh Griffin said...

Sounds like a great year Ann! And yes would love to see Louie too:)

Ann said...

A Picture of Louie is on the way! Thanks everyone for all the lovely comments.

Karen G.: I twitter, but have no clue what I am doing or why. Still I refuse to give it up at least until I have some idea what I'm about.

Old Kitty: I have written a little story about the day we found our "Bargain Bin Puppy" I thought it would make a good title too!

To all, my time in Florence was everything and more than I hoped for.

Barbara Scully said...

Recently I have been having a longing to go back to Italy. My longing increased when Italy featured in a short story i completed recently. And reading about Florence makes me want to go out and book a trip today!

Great highlights Mrs. And your blog is going from strength to strength - judging by the amount of comments. Well done you

walk2write said...

So I'm not the only one experiencing empty-nest/whom-do-I-nurture-now syndrome? A high-five to your five highlights and best wishes for your blog and other writing efforts!

Old Kitty said...


I just wanted to say, hope you get better soon!

Me and the cat are sending you lots and lots and lots of get well wishes.

Take care


Anonymous said...

Ann, just wanted to say thank you for your comments left on my blog - I see you've been catching up and that is very kind of you.

Now, I must get on with your tag!! It wasn't that bad a year I suppose...!

Love CJ xx

Ann said...

Barbara: Do it, book the trip and just go. Italy is the most wonderful place in the world, in my humble opinion that is.

W2W: it is hard isn't it. You just don't know what to do with yourself and your quiet, tidy house. Blogging helps and so does a puppy!

O.K: Thanks for the get well wishes. I hope I am at the end of this whatever it is?

CJ: Looking forward to reading your High Fives!

brigid said...

Hi Ann, love your blog, am new to this whole virtual world but lovely reading other writers stories, your letter a great idea !
I love your quote on your profile, am big fan of quotes,
will visit you again,

Plain Jane said...

Oooohh, I want to hear more about Florence. You should gush more. I only ever get to visit Central America. Florence was the first overseas place I ever wanted to visit and I still haven't.

Catherine said...

Hey Ann, thanks for passing on the High Five baton to me! Not sure if I'd have known if I didn't read your post - is there supposed to be an email notification of these things automatically generated? Not sure, but happily I saw it. I will try to fill mine out over the weekend - I don't usually pass on or do these requested awards as they are pretty time consuming and a bit chain-mail-y but this is nice and not daunting or too much to ask others to do. So I'll give it a shot. Thanks again. Have a look over at my Facebook for the floods around Dungarvan! Pretty grim!

Ann said...

Hi Brigid, Glad you enjoyed my meanderings. I am quite new to this myself. Only started in October. Fun isn't it!!!

Welcome Plain Jane. You may rue your encouragement to gush about Florence. I have only been to Mexico in Central America. Would love to hear about your experiences.

Hi Catherine, was I suppose to email about the High Fives. It never occurred to me that this was a chain thingy. I checked out your photos depicting the flooding and the snow. Very beautiful photos. Though I am sure the flooding and the frozen pipes left a lot to be desired.