Tuesday, December 31, 2013


I keep seeing posts with end-of-year summaries of a year's worth of blog posts.  Some of them are quite interesting because I might have missed something the first time, some are very amusing and make me laugh, and some are neither. Such is life...

Here's the thing:  I have availed myself of the Blogger Widget or Gadget or whatever they call that little gizmo which has already done this for me down at the bottom of my blog.  It seems redundant to reinvent the wheel by listing them all again.  If you want to know which of my posts are the most popular, just zip down to the bottom of the blog page!  Some of them were older than this past year, but c'est la vie!  

Hint:  the colors red and yellow are heavily involved.

My year of 2013 was abundant and fulsome,  quite a lot of fun in some ways, and some of those times you have read about on this blog.  Some of the other events of the year which were not so fun, you haven't heard anything about. 

In this year 2013, there have been joys and sorrows, happy times and sad -- in other words, just life being lived.  I had a serious injury as a result of a fall in May (but I am fine now); a minor auto accident (not my fault and no one was hurt); 

new peepers!
two eye surgeries which have enabled me to see very well; and several unpleasant dustups with the ARB over my pergola which got built as a result of some new neighbors behind me having an entire row of trees along the fence line cut down.  

On the other hand, we got two other sets of new neighbors, one a young family next door and another across the street, who are absolutely wonderful!  Our house got some much needed prettying up over the course of the year, 
We left snow in Santa Fe in January, and had snow not long after we returned to Alabama!
and we took several nice little trips during the year just to get out of town.   

A worrisome biopsy in the Spring came back negative.  All good things.

We began our new year of 2013 with an extended stay in Santa Fe, NM, The Land of Enchantment, and we are winding it up and beginning a new one here in Sweet Home Alabama with my son and his new fiancee.  
Both ways are good.  

In all likelihood, we will soon be saying a final goodbye to a beloved elderly relative and that is cause for deep sorrow.  My husband's parents are both about 80 now and are starting to have some health issues which is worrisome, but his maternal grandmother turned 99 in September and is still going strong, "as feisty as ever" as she puts it.  Another 94-year-old cousin of mine is doing quite well living independently, all things considered.  These events are the circle of life coming to a close.

Watching my son and his chosen wife-to-be so hopeful and full of their future plans as they embark on their life's journey together gives me cause for hope and reinforces the knowledge that a new circle of life continues even as these old ones are drawing to a close.  We are in the middle, so they are like interlocking rings.

Sometimes success comes to us later in life, but if it ever comes at all, we are very lucky.  I am ecstatic to announce that at this mature time in my life, I now have a contract with a literary agent who loves a novel I have written, thanks to a fortuitous connection between her and my son.   He also found me a Beverly Hills lawyer who specializes in contracts in this field, having handled book deals for some well-known people, so I am taken care of in that regard.  

I love books, can you tell?
The agent thinks my book has great potential, but of course, there is much work to be done on her part as well as mine so I will be very busy with that project for the next few months.  You may remember that I already have one book published which had a limited run, a biography/memoir about my late mother GENEVA.

I hope it will be "Goodbye to the cane" this year!
It is very likely that I will be getting new knees in this new year, and I tell you these things so that you know that there will be periods when I am not actively blogging.

While I have never have gained a huge following or a large readership, I want you who do read my blogs to know that I sincerely appreciate every single one of you.  Many of your blogs have been so informative and inspirational to me over the last five or so years, and I have made some very nice friends as a result of blogging.  I will continue to read and interact with you as I can.  

I have reactivated my Facebook page so that I can keep up with my globe-trotting son.  You can go over there (the link is on the sidebar) and see if I might have posted anything lately in case you miss me here. The best way to see if there is a new post here is to subscribe. 

I wish the very best for each and every one of you in the coming year.  Here's to a great 2014 for all of us!  Cheers!

I will be linking up these words of wisdom to the following parties, assuming they are partying this wee!

Alma at The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sunday
Nita at Mod Vintage Life for Mod Mix Monday
The Dedicated House for MAKE IT PRETTY MONDAY
A Stroll Thru Life for Inspire Me Tuesday
Kathe With An E's You're Gonna Love It!
 Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays 
No Minimalist Here for the Open House Party on Thursdays
My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
 French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Common Ground for Be Inspired on Fridays
The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday


  1. Ellen, I am certainly a devoted follower. I find your blog refreshing and, always, interesting!!! Congratulations on the future publication of your book. I am a voracious reader, so I definitely will buy and read it!! I hope your knee surgeries go well and that you can walk into the future cane-less!! Hoping for you a very happy New Year!

  2. The news about your novel is sooo exciting! Can hardly wait to read it. Just know 2014 is going to be terrific for you!
    Happy new year......

    1. Thanks Jane. You have "no reply, so I couldn't answer you personally. Happy New Year!

  3. Cheers Ellen!
    All the best in the new year!

  4. I am so SO very happy for you, my dear friend! This post was written so beautifully. So heartfelt. May you and I both spread our wings and fly in 2014.

  5. Enjoyed reading your recap of your year. You have a great sense of balance and flow. Some nice photos to go with the dialogue too. I will be keeping track of you, your knees, and your new book. Cheers! God Bless in this new year.

  6. You'll love the new knees (whenever that happens)...but I have to say, you totally rock the cane with the red boots! Wonderful news about the book, and thanks for the toast! Take care...

  7. I appreciate you and your blog.. Major congrats on the new book. I wish you massive million selling success..

    post when ya can and when ya cant, you'll be sorely missed.

    Sonny G

  8. Nice red cowboy boots there, ma'am!

    1. Thanks! I finally got some new ones this year. But I still have those you gave me for my 40th -- LONG ago!

  9. Love your red boots! You will be happy you had your knees replaced - it's the best gift I ever gave myself! It isn't so much fun during but the after is definitely worth the pain and PT. Good luck!

    1. Thanks -- I am trepidatious! But I WILL do it -- I am tired of being in pain and falling.

  10. Sounds like you've had a pretty productive year! I have never put together a post summarizing all of my accomplishments etc for the year. I bet it is therapeutic though. Sounds like you're in the same boat as me and my husband regarding your inlaws. My inlaws are in poor health and most likely my MIL won't make it another year. She had a stroke several years ago and is now receiving hospice care. Congrats on your potential book deal! You are a book lover like my mom. She has bookshelves filled and LOVES to read and majored in English in college. I bet y'all would hit off immediately! Hope you have a wonderful 2014. Seems like the past year went by pretty fast.

    1. This last year FLEW past! I guess we will see what happens with the book, etc. -- life is always an adventure, but as they say, you are ahead of the game if you are still above ground!

  11. Wishing you a very Happy New Year! I'm having back issues as well as knees. I think you'll feel much better once you have surgery and recover.


    1. Hope you are pain free soon. And also that your coming new year will be happier.

  12. Ellen, that's fantastic news about your book. Congratulations!
    Stopping by to wish you a very Happy New Year! Thanks for the friendship………Sarah

    1. Happy New Year! I hope this year will not be so sad.

  13. OK, that last photo really sums it all up! Funny!!!!!!! I will remember 2013 for you as being the year of the murdered trees, the ARB showdown, and the year of the upside down front doors!

    Seriously, girl...your master bedroom is the hot diggity bomb!!! I love that bright yellow! You must be happy as hell every morning when you open your eyes to that wonderful color!

    I hope all of your relatives continue to be "feisty as ever" and strong in mind and body. It's hard to face the possibilities that exist with elderly parents and other relatives.

    I cannot tell you in mere words just how proud I am of you re: your book. You did it, girl!!! You did it!!! When you get to be all rich and famous and Hollywood, may I still touch the hem of your garment? :-) Seriously, though...I am head-over-heels happy for you!

    Be sure to let me know before you go running off to get your knees fixed. I can be a big cheerleader for you as I have recently undergone all that PT and am headed for more in the coming year.

    You're a cool chick! I'm glad to know you...if only through the written word. Happy New Year, Ellen!

  14. Congrats on the book deal!!! How very exciting and am so happy for you!!!

    Do the knee thing.......I took care of my sister when she had the replacement, a hard recovery but oh my, well worth it......a year later and she is doing great!!! Happy New Year...........xoxo

  15. Sweet Mister will have a knee replacement in the next month or so. Please, keep him in your prayers. Let me know when you're dur for your surgery. I love this piece...meticulous discourse. I so know that we would be friends if we lived closer. Each time I read your post, I find a kindred spirit. Happy New Year! Cherry Kay

  16. Wow, how exciting about your book contract! I will eagerly await publication! And a new daughter-in-law will be a lovely addition to your family. May 2014 be a wonderful year for you and yours!

  17. So many new, wonderful, exciting events happening to you in 2014, Ellen! Congratulations on your new book, I am still trying to find a copy of Geneva.
    Happy New Year to you and yours!

  18. I discovered your blog through Brenda, a mutual blogging friend over at Cozy Little House. I always enjoy checking out the welcome wagon posts she is so faithful to do. Your bookshelf photo drew me right on in. I've been debating doing built-in shelves in my home office, but may resort to buying already built shelving. I'm a book lover and have many boxes in storage, as I've run plumb out of room.

    I'm happy to follow you and see how your latest book project goes. I love discovering fellow writers along the way.

    New Year blessings to you.