Sunday, January 1, 2012

Welcoming 2012 OR A Traditional Gal Ring In

It was just last year at this time, I was chattering on about how I have "grown up" dinners out with my friends for NYE, and how my childhood days of doing jigsaw puzzles with my parents were long gone. 

The ringing in for 2012 was supposed to be more of the glamorous same: my boy-bestie Michael and I had plans to enjoy delicious Thai eats and treats at Orchid Thai of Winter Park with a large group of friends and then migrate down the street to Wine Room for some sophisticated debauchery and a midnight champagne toast.

Sometimes though certain events in life change even your best laid plans. 

This is Chubby. He is my baby. And he has cancer. 

He was diagnosed with an inoperable abdominal tumor just over two months ago. As he has been his normal self the all this time we are just "riding it out" for the time being. (He is also 11 years old, which for a large dog is very elderly) But on Friday night he took a turn for what looked like the worst. A urinary tract infection I'd been treating him for the last week didn't seem to be clearing and he was getting very reluctant to eat or drink water.

Needless to say, I did not feel comfortable leaving him with my parents (which is what I typically do when I travel and he can't come along) and with the vet's office closed for the holiday weekend I didn't have any other options.

Plan B consisted of joining my parents for their annual puzzle building party on NYE. And since Chub and I were the honorary guests, I even got to choose the puzzle.

 It's a good thing I also chose to tackle this 1000 piece monster with a generous pour of vino, because this vintage French print is tough. In fact I am may have cried out "inconceivable" and very nearly swore "impossible" a few times as we sorted the frustratingly similarly colored pieces and began tackling the border.

We worked on this puppy (while my sick puppy snoozed on a cushy stack of quilts) long past Lady Gaga's performance on ABC's Dick Clark's Rockin Eve and the famous ball drop. Dad even got in on the action with a magnifying glass after a few flutes of champagne! Sadly, we only finished the border in all that time. (Did I mention this puzzle was HARD?)

New Year's Day has been more of the same. Puzzle, puzzle, yoga to stretch out the kinks in my back and neck, then more puzzle time.  (Plus plenty of cuddle time with Chubby, of course!)

Note the serious progress here. 
Two of the three types of text are finished and attached to the border!

I finally took a break for a delicious helping of my family's traditional Southern Good Luck Meal.

Black Eyed Peas over Rice with Collard Greens 
(Plus a side of tomatoes with mayonnaise. Told ya it was southern!)

And now, this puzzle, like many good things in life, is coming along slowly but surely.

My New Year's Celebration this year may have been a bit more "slow and traditional" than recent years past, however I'm really happy with how it has turned out. All too often I feel I'm rushing around like madwoman, neglecting to slow down and enjoy the moment. This weekend (and most of my holiday vacation) has been the perfect time to stop, spend time with my family (furbabies included) and enjoy the little things life has to offer. Things like cooking a meal with those you love, snuggling with a stinky but sweet dog, reading a book for the sheer joy of it, and the frustration, but ultimate success that comes from working on a puzzle!

I think the Rolling Stones said it best, "you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you'll get what you need"

I hope the start of 2012 has brought you and your loved ones great joy and celebration.

Love to all,
~the "you know, a celebration doesn't have to be fancy to be just what you need" gal, Jess


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