Out with the Old

Out with the Old

2016 was a hard year, wasn’t it?

But despite a million things, it still felt like it flew by.  I guess I’m getting older, because time seems to be accelerating.

2016 brought the end of my marriage.  I sold the house of our dreams.  I had to let go of the dreams we had dreamed up together.  2016 was the destruction of our mixed family.  It meant moving away from my friends and the only neighborhood I’d known since my first divorce.  I guess you could say that 2016 was the end of many things to me.

I’ve been laying low these past few months.  2016 brought the dream that he-and-I could begin to blog together instead of me alone, that we could together turn this blog from a mostly food-and-diet blog into an adventure blog (albeit one where we still talk keto-paleo, but that we now talk about being keto-paleo while travelling and tripping)  And the end of my marriage saw that dream evaporate like a puff of smoke.  As soon as it was imagined, it was also destroyed.

But 2016 had many good things, too.  It brought a new rescue dog into our lives, and her loyalty and instant devotion has been awe-inspiring.  She bonded to me first, above everyone else, and I have had her steadfast at my side throughout the second half of this year.  All of this upheaval has been incredibly hard on her–gaining a new pack, a new home, and then losing the pack as the kids returned to University and my husband moved out, then the loss of her newly-familiar house and the move to an again-new neighborhood–I have been her one constant this whole time and she has given me nothing but love in return.

Despite a marriage in shambles, this year my now-ex and I still managed to fit in one canoe trip and an East Coast Road Trip-of-a-lifetime, and it was awesome despite all the issues in our personal lives.  We managed to set everything aside and just enjoy ourselves and the friends who came with us.  I considered carrying on the blog as if everything was fine (and could have even blogged so many incredible adventures from years past), but the events were too still too fresh to pull that off.  I needed to recede and lick my wounds.

The separation has brought my kids closer to me; my daughter worries about me and mothers me in the most endearing way.  My kids are hugely successful at this thing called life–they are doing great at this thing called life, and I cannot be more proud of them.  It wasn’t a bad year for them at all, even though my daughter also lost the home she’d loved for many years.  She took it in stride, stood by my side and supported each decision I made.  She truly is wise well beyond her years, and she is my best friend.  Because she is identical to me, she understands me on a level no one else possibly can or ever will.

Despite what’s been going on in Hollywood, no one close to me passed away in 2016, thankfully.  Even my geriatric dog is still here, still unchanged.  She just keeps on ticking.

I’ve spent more time with my parents this year, and less time with the people who don’t really contribute anything positive to my life.  I’ve spent more time with one friend in particular who has really been there for me, and less time with another friend whom I adore, but would love to see my marriage re-kindled because she loves us both so dearly.

And despite how alone I felt in the beginning of 2016, when my marriage was beginning to come apart, and in the middle of 2016 when my life was all upheaval and unsurety, the end of this year brought a whole bunch of people into my life who were in the exact same position as I was–separated, alone, with an empty (or nearly-empty) nest.  The end of 2016 has brought me the beginnings of many new friendships and has hinted at the promise that 2017 could be an excellent year.

Certainly a different year.

My hope is that 2017 will prove to me that I am a strong person.  That I am not alone.  And that when I AM alone, that it’s just fine.

I haven’t stopped blogging, but rather, became blogging instead over at Alone, again..  It is a blog full of all the emotions that come with separation, divorce, anxiety, letting go, and then rebuilding.   I hope that it will give strength to anyone else who feels like they are alone in this life, and teach people that solo is strong.  It is freedom.

May 2017 bring me more canoe trips, trail hikes, maybe even a plane trip somewhere exciting and exotic–because these are the things that I cherish most in life, these are the things that make my soul sing.

May any of these trips be with new friends, or solo, and may they all be amazing no matter where or what they turn out to be.

Let life not lead me to new things, but rather, let me take control of my life and lead it by the nose to anyplace I want it to go.  I am now the one in the driver’s seat.

May 2017 be a year in which I truly live life to its fullest.

(feature photo courtesy of http://www.dare-tolive.com/adventure-blood-solo-travel-women/)

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East Coast Road Trip–Acadia National Park

Stop 2 on our East Coast Road Trip took us all the way from Smuggler’s Notch Vermont to to Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor!

Way out to the ocean, to the east coast off of Maine.

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I am told that Mt Katahdin is the tallest peak in the distance–it’s one of those, at least

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East Coast Road Trip–Smuggler’s Notch

It finally happened–we agreed to take that road trip, the one everyone dreams of.  We rented a pop-up trailer, threw the dog in the back, and just went….  Ok, really, I planned meticulously for months, but still…..road trip!!!!

Stop 1 on the East Coast Road Trip??

Smuggler’s Notch, VT.

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Our little rental pop-up, in it’s tiny but perfect site at the Notch.

I had it all planned out.  We had only one night there (even though I had to pay for two—weird park rule)—and there was a mountain to hike there, damn it, so we would make time!!!

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Keto Blue Cheese Dressing

Keto Blue Cheese Dressing

While making buffalo-chicken stuffed avocados recently, I found myself completely out of blue cheese salad dressing–the one and only commercially made dressing that is zero-carb!!  Rather than run out to the store, I figured I’d try to make my own.  And OMG, this stuff is so good, I may never buy blue cheese salad dressing again!  Not only does it taste as good–or better–than store-bought, Making it myself means I can use full-fat yogurt and home made mayonnaise!  Win-win!

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