Well, 2016 was an incredibly busy year for Lila. Starting last January, Lila got involved with about 40-60 hours per month of collaborating with management at a local nonprofit. The work is by turns fun, frustrating, and interesting, and Lila learns something new with practically every new project she has worked on in the past year. There’s more where that came from coming in 2017! Lila enjoys the brain challenge, so this will continue for the foreseeable future… and may even get busier.
Then there is Mr. Crazy Pants, the horse. We wrote about him in December 2015, thinking then that he was only on loan and would “go home” in the spring of 2016. Well, THAT didn’t go as planned… and now Lila is an actual horse owner. For probably the next 10-15 years. When you have a horse, well, you may as well ride him, so Lila is also the actual owner of a truck and horse trailer, and once or twice a week, Mr. Crazy Pants and one of his horse friends will load up in the trailer, and Lila and one of her people friends will load up in the truck, and off we go to spend a day on the trails, or making utter fools of ourselves by coming in dead last at some little local horse show. It’s great fun, and also very calorie-consuming (Lila is feeling svelte!), but… it is also very time-consuming.
There is also the sad fact that Lila and Hubby have been in this house for a solid two years and STILL don’t have any landscaping to speak of. Last year we tried a little vegetable garden, which was an abject failure. But we did get the lawn over the septic field smoothed out and looking reasonably like, well, a lawn. Sort of. Sadly, while the septic field now does a reasonable impersonation of a lawn, the front lawn is doing a reasonable impersonation of Hohenfels training area, which is famous for its ubiquitous knee-deep mud churned by tank treads. This is because Lila had a pole barn built in 2016 and the follow-up on that project – adding more gravel to the driveway, putting down mulch and planting around the construction – will be a bit of a project in itself.
2016 was also the year that Lila found out that she is a victim of the Volkswagen diesel emissions cheating scandal, so some time and cursing has already been devoted to car shopping, and Lila isn’t seeing much that she really likes. But alas, at some point soon, Lila will have to sell her car back to VW, and go get a new car of some kind. Or maybe a certified used car, since: 1) the newest cars aren’t all that thrilling to Lila, and 2) the buyback settlement is generous, but it doesn’t actually buy a new car. Lila will have to spend some money that she really wasn’t planning on spending just yet. Her cars generally last at least 10 years, and the VW is only 7 years old… and being diesel, was supposed to last even longer than usual.
If Lila ever finds a decent new car, it will go traveling. Hubby has announced that 2017 will be The Year of Visiting the In-Laws. I guess that means at least two extended visits with a good bit of potential for boredom and grated nerves. Oh joy.
But there should be some fun in 2017, too. The barn owner where Mr. Crazy Pants is boarded is going horse trekking in Europe and has asked Lila to go along. “Well, who ELSE would ride with me for a whole week?” she asked. How could Lila refuse such an invitation? Just not on August 21st, when Lila plans to be somewhere along the 70-mile-wide strip of land from which we should see a total solar eclipse… one of Lila’s bucket list items.
I guess you have noticed by now that Lila has been re-running a lot of articles, and the hectic 2016 schedule was a big reason why. Since 2017 is shaping up to be even more hectic, Lila is strongly considering just publishing something new when she has something new to say. In connection with the nonprofit, Lila does a lot of writing and is a bit wrung out when returning to this blog.
So what do you think? Should Lila continue to re-run articles on Mondays, or remain blessedly silent until she has some new material?
Don’t worry, Lila can continue to post Joan’s articles on Wednesdays… and is still open to your inputs if you would like to publish here!