With the holidays done, the decorations mostly put away, and the daughter settled in her new apartment ready to start a new job tomorrow and graduate courses next week, it’s finally time to get back to picking and blogging.  So I plan on spending my spare time this week scouting out new places for our next weekend excursions.  I have already found a few nearby we have not visited. 

Christmas was quiet but good.  Believe it or not, everything was done before midday on Christmas Eve, a first for me.  A trip to Charleston the day after Christmas to celebrate with family and check out apartments was semi-fruitful.  A trip back a day later was fruitful, though it took a little longer than I had anticipated.  I have never been one to travel without extras - just in case, until this trip.  Guess I thought it was like Gilligan’s 3-hour tour and took only one change of clothes.  Never again will I do that.  I can hear the Great One now, “Haven’t I taught you anything after all these years?”  You taught me well, I just had one of those, “why would I possibly need extras” moments.  Well, now I know and according to GI Joe, “Knowing is half the battle.”

As always, the kids gave me some great Christmas gifts.  Our oldest and his wife found us an Allen’s Seltzer bottle with a Bakelite top which was not only frosted but also still had a paper label intact.  They also found us a Webb’s torpedo bottle, thus filling 2 voids in our bottle collection.  Our middle child or the “one who will choose your nursing home” and his girlfriend gave me a Barnes&Noble gift card apologizing for “not coming up with a better gift.”  As I told them, they couldn't have found a more perfect gift for me.  I’m down to $2 on my B&N account so the infusion was greatly needed – so many books I still want to read.  I know I can get some from the library and I do, but there are some that I want to keep for future reference or just because I may want to read them again someday.  Looking out for the birds, our daughter gave me a Chirp N Chatter gift card.  Now if we can just keep the squirrel out of the bird feeders.  I think he keeps the location under wraps from his furry buddies though, as he is the only one we've ever seen.  He’s a clever little guy, even figured out how to take the top off of my birdseed container on the patio.  Needless to say, it was relocated to the kitchen.  He hasn't perfected picking locks yet, so my birdseed is safe for the time being.         

I hope the Old Year left you ready to embrace the New Year as it inspires you to seek new opportunities, explore new hobbies, and enjoy life in your own unique way.  May 2015 be your best year yet!