What an eventful year!!! My stepdad Dave had two surgeries to replace veins and increase the circulation in his legs. His recovery is slower than usual, but he’s doing well

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What an eventful year!!! My stepdad Dave had two surgeries to replace veins and increase the circulation in his legs. His recovery is slower than usual, but he’s doing well. I was admitted to the hospital in June with “acute pericarditis.” Frankly, I thought I was having a heart attack and called the EMTs (after putting on the company pajamas, turning on the porch light and unlocking the door). I was glad to find out I had a viral (probably) inflammation of the sac surrounding the heart instead – even if it did put me in a hospital bed on morphine for two days. Pain bad – drugs good! Moreover, I no longer have high cholesterol as I did in my 20s and 30s.

The best news for 2007 is that I’m part of a couple again. Yep, I found a keeper or, as I told him, a non-returnable guy. Finally a relationship that doesn’t feel like work with a guy who thinks I’m terrific and tells me so. Nope, he hasn’t run screaming into the woods and I’m pretty sure that he won’t! (We’re living together, so he’s met the family, met the friends, seen the closets and collections, and heard the stories.) Ron’s a 56-year-old pressman currently working for a printing company in Redmond, his children are grown, and his main hobby is racing. I’ve been to the track (in Elma) and he’s been to concerts with me. Do you remember Dad being part of the Push Truck Association for the Longview track back in the day? The animals all love him, though Erin is still Erin (both flirtatious and jealous). Frankly, none of them lack personality!

Ron’s 89-year-old mother, Esther, moved in under emergency circumstances just after Thanksgiving. We are helping to set her affairs in order and find a suitable assisted living facility close to us and hope to resolve the situation early in 2008. Ron and I have both altered our work schedules to cope with the situation. As a result, our social interactions, including concerts, have decreased somewhat. We did make it to see Brandi Carlile at the Paramount and Marc Cohn at the Moore (both in Seattle).

Since we met in July, Ron missed the time share vacation this year. I traded for time at Birch Bay in June. Nobody was able to commit to spending the whole week with me, but things worked out pretty well. I had a little time on my own at the beginning and end of the week and both Anita and Mom and Dave spent time with me. Mom, Dave and I did quite a bit of sight-seeing, including a day trip to Canada. The weather was good, except for a single evening of severe thunderstorms that put the power out for the whole area. Even then, the show was pretty spectacular and we just went to bed earlier than usual.

This year, I got one new tattoo and turned the one on my ankle into a full anklet. (I don’t know what I was thinking! Ouch! But I really do like it.) I now have a tattoo to represent all four elements: air, earth, fire and water. The new tattoo is of two seahorses with bubbles and kelp on my left shoulder and runs from the top of the shoulder to just above the elbow (and barely bothered me despite taking 3 hours to complete). I also had to have a crown replaced (it came off while I was eating a DOT gumdrop).

My sister moved into the living area adjacent to her shop, replaced her old truck with a Dodge Caravan, and continues to build her business (www.glasscottage.com). I remain in contact with my “outlaws” and things for them are also going well. I hope your year was memorable and 2008 brings you all you hope for (and a Democrat for President).

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