Hi friends! It’s Saturday, December 31st. Happy New Year! As I sit at my desk, sipping on a cup of coffee, I find myself reflecting on the joys and blessings, sorrow and tears of 2016. It’s been a hell of a ride, hasn’t it? In the midst of the memories, I have to pause and say, “Thank you!” Thank you for reading! Thank you for following along on this crazy blogging, writing, cooking, adventuring journey. I wouldn’t be here without you. I like to think my little corner of the universe is a safe haven from the crazy world out there. Even though I don’t know most of you, I appreciate each and every one of you. You are MY safe haven. Thank you for that. I’m not sure what the new year will bring, but I’m focusing on the positive. Let’s look for the best of the best and celebrate that every single day. What do you say?
Speaking of the best things, what were the best things that happened to you in 2016? I flipped back through my desk calendar to give myself an over-view (and some reminders) of my highlights for this year. Is that cheating? I don’t think it’s cheating. At my age, sometimes you need a little help remembering. HA! Personally, our family welcomed four new babies, my nephew got married and I was blessed to work from home another year to help take care of my grandchildren.
There were some serious struggles both with my health and with my Moms health. They continue to be issues, but that’s part of life. There were some great life lessons and challenges too. Looking back now, the days I wasn’t sure I’d make it through, somehow I did. It made me stronger. I grew a lot this year, both behind-the-scenes and professionally. Here’s hoping next year will have even more growth and more joy!
Blog-wise, there were 85 new posts this year. Not all were recipes, some were restaurant/cookbook reviews, farm tours, or travel adventures!
By far the most popular post (for the third year in a row) was: Melted Snowman Cookies. I never thought these little cookies would make such an impact every year. I’m fortunate and happy people enjoy them so much!
I won a local Media Award for Best Blog/Podcast of the Year. That was pretty cool!
I was blessed to judge at the Claremont Pie Festival! Mmmmmmm! Pie!
I did six live demo’s this year – three of them at the Orange County Fair!
There was also the “Cook The Books” episode with Denise and Jenni baking Cheesecake from Chef Melanie Underwood’s new cookbook. SO MUCH FUN!
Last year, like this coming year, I’ll be helping teach future Master Food Preservers in our county and doing more live demos in my area.
There may have been a few famous folks tossed in the mix…
and at one point, I had purple and green hair! Ok, so it was just a streak of purple and green, halfway hidden behind my ear, but it was awesome!
Writing this recap has been more about me than anything else. Looking through these pictures I think “Wow! What a great year!” It *has* been an abundant year. I didn’t even include everything! I am blessed beyond measure. I know it. I need to remember it! Earlier, I mentioned some health issues and to be honest, I’ve been battling a major depression for about 18 months or so. Along with blood pressure and weight problems, sometimes life isn’t so fun. So, I am looking ahead to next year with hope. Better health and happiness. Finding those things that are MOST important and focusing on that, instead of the trials.
So here’s to 2016 and it’s lessons. May we take them and move forward to joy in 2017! Cheers!
All my love,