2017: What. A. Year.

Chickadee has been home—intermittently, to be sure, as her college pals are mostly elsewhere, and as often as not, that means I’m kissing the back of her head as she leaves for a day or three to be with them—and that means certain things are assured:
1) Her “debris field” (as Otto likes to call it) is a constant reminder that my child may grow and mature but will always be comfortable and, to some extent, toddler-esque in her childhood home,
and
2) The time will come when she is lounging on the couch, looks up from her phone, sighs with disappointment, fixes me with a baleful stare, and says, “WHYYYYY don’t you ever blog anymore???”

I don’t have a good answer for her, just like I didn’t have a good response for the reader who recently felt it necessary to post on this blog’s Facebook page to let me know that she couldn’t be bothered to follow me any longer if I wasn’t going to write more often. I come away from both interactions feeling chastised and vaguely defensive, although in the case of Facebook my inclination tends toward “Don’t let the door hit you on the ass on your way out!” whereas with my own kid I try to find an actual answer.

There isn’t one. I mean, there’s no one thing I can point to and say, “This is why.” It’s a lot of little things and a few hard-to-quantify things and life and time and dogs and doubt and fear and happiness and having just plain gotten out of the habit. I cannot promise you I’ll go back to writing regularly in 2018. I mean, I might. I don’t know. But I did think a wrap-up of 2017 was in order, if only to appease my daughter.

I never was known for my brevity, even when I wrote every day, and I haven’t written here since… October. So, um, buckle up and maybe grab a snack.

2017: Otto and our marriage
… and at least 10 people just clutched their pearls. Relax! Otto is still my very favorite. We are still married! On purpose!! Have I even mentioned how much I like that guy? (Seriously: SO MUCH.)

2017 marked the year in which my marriage to Otto officially crossed over into having lasted longer than my first marriage. (Officially because I tried to count the previous year, but due to the legal process of divorce taking about a year, that was not correct per paperwork.) This allowed me to stop referring to him as my “favorite husband” and start referring to him as my “longest-running husband.” But then I kind of went back to “favorite husband” because the look he was giving me on that other thing was… troubling. Anyway. I found that cresting the 10-year anniversary made me anxious, mostly because everything makes me anxious. I did, however, manage to finally best my husband—who is a champion gift-giver—when I scheduled a weekend getaway for us as a surprise. He was thrilled. I was excited. And then Chickadee got really, really sick and we weren’t sure we could go, but in the end, we did.

I did manage to mention in passing that we spent a few blissful days in July wandering around Asheville, North Carolina, being tourists and pretend-newlyweds and eating ourselves silly. I want to go back every year. I previously forgot to mention that we met an artist downtown one day when I was taking pictures of his van (hey, he’d painted it and it was awesome, okay?), and he chatted with us for a while and gave us his card and later we visited his studio and I bought a print for more money than I have ever spent on a print in my life. Truth be told, I have never quite been able to reconcile my tightwad tendencies with the reality that good art costs actual money, you know, so this was kind of a big deal. Mind you, said print is still carefully wrapped in bubble wrap and in the corner of our bedroom because I haven’t taken it to be framed yet, but I AM MAKING PROGRESS. (In case you’re curious, it’s this, and not only do I not usually buy art, I’ve never bought a nude before, but we spent maybe an hour in his studio/gallery and this was the one I kept coming back to. Isn’t she lovely?)

Anyway, back to Otto: He works too hard (as always). Some really good things have happened at work and a few not-so-great things and there may be some cool things happening in the future. This year we both spent a little more time pursuing some of our individual interests, which has been good for as as individuals and as a couple, I think. Plus it means Otto has gone back to spending a portion of time doing Car Things and that makes him happy, which makes me happy. 90% of the time I just adore him and feel really lucky, and only 10% of the time do I worry that he’s going to wake up one day and tell me he’s had enough of his life. (To clarify: there is no reason to think he will do that. I am just neurotic. Please try to contain your shock.) When Monkey came home sick and ended up not starting college in the fall my 10% neuroticism expanded by… uhhhh… quite a lot. Otto has been patiently waiting for over 10 years for the chance for life to be Just Us. Not that he doesn’t love the kids and our family, but still. It was an unexpected and stressful change in plans and I worried, because I worry, that THAT would be when he would realize this life is not for him.

He’s still here. He’s still awesome. Have I mentioned how much I like this guy? SO MUCH. In less than two weeks—28+ years after we first met—we will finally start our life as Mostly Just The Two Of Us. Just now, in clarifying that I had the dates right, Otto told me that he’s known me longer than he’s owned his 1966 Mustang (he calls it The Blue Ghost, but I call it The Other Wife), but that he owns two cameras he’s had longer than he’s known me. This is how he measures time. I’m okay with that.

2017: The dogs
I’m not going to sugarcoat this: We’ve owned Licorice for eight years and Duncan for four years, and I think this year Licorice finally resigned herself to the fact that Duncan wasn’t just visiting. (Stubborn, thy name is Licorice.) I keep catching them snuggling. For all of the ups and downs with Duncan’s health issues and the question of How Old Is This Dog, Really?, he is still hanging in there, too. I mean, at this point, Licorice is at least 11, and we suspect Duncan is at least her age (and probably older).

This is the year when mostly-blind Duncan also became mostly-deaf. Chickadee has been calling him Helen (as in Helen Keller), much to Otto’s and Monkey’s collective dismay. This means that he has become both mellower in many respects (remember when he was Bitey McBiterson, biter of faces?)—because why bark at the UPS man if you can’t hear or see him approaching the door? and also I cannot tell you the last time he even threatened to bite anyone—but also a little more needy. After he has his breakfast, Duncan likes to be put up on our bed to snooze a while longer. It used to be that whenever he woke up from that nap, he would just jump down and come find the nearest owner of a set of opposable thumbs to ask for more kibble. Now when he wakes up on our bed, he just stands there by the edge and barks until someone comes to rescue him, because he isn’t confident in his ability to get down. (I can sometimes still coax him into jumping down once I’m there, but more and more often he waits until I lift him down, instead.)

He’s also sleeping a lot more, which is impressive when you consider that he came to us sleeping about 18 hours a day, already. One day a couple of weeks ago I happened to wander through the bedroom when he was sleeping on our bed, and he was an hour overdue for a feeding so I checked to make sure he was still alive, as one does. He woke up and tried to get up and… couldn’t, I guess. He stumbled and collapsed and no amount of urging from me could get him up again, and he was all shaky and twitchy, too. Well, he WAS late for a feeding and hypoglycemia is weird, so I brought some kibble in and hand-fed him, and when that didn’t work, I rubbed some Karo syrup on his gums the way the vet had taught us for “blood sugar emergencies” and when he STILL couldn’t get up, we rushed him to the vet.

The vet has Milk-Bones, you know. Duncan loves him some Milk-Bones. He perked right up and they kept him for observation and ran some tests and charged us a billion dollars (approximately) and all the tests were normal and he was all, “Hey guys, I’m fine, but could I get a few more Milk-Bones over here or what?” So that was all a big mystery and he’s been home since without further incident. I keep bracing myself for the morning I find he’s died in the night but 1) I think maybe he’s just going to live forever and 2) however long he ends up living, I feel confident that his time with us is/was the best of his life because we have spoiled him rotten.

As for Licorice, this year she developed allergies, or maybe just a new allergy, because she was an allergic mess when we adopted her and put her on grain-free food, remember, because why not? Go ahead. Ask me what she’s allergic to. GO AHEAD. The answer is: We have no idea. All we know is that her new favorite hobby is scratching herself until her fur falls out. YAY! I mean, BOO! She goes to the vet all the time (I mean, not alone or anything, but I am pretty sure my visits to the vet with her are funding a pretty awesome boat or summer cabin or something) and gets medicated baths and prescription “short amino acid chain” (fancy, right?) hypoallergenic food and allergy meds and sometimes steroids and even antibiotics sometimes when she’s really done a number on her skin, and… still she scratches. The last time I brought her in the vet started talking about a doggy dermatologist I should probably take her to. I mean, I think that’s what he was saying. I started laughing at “doggy dermatologist” because I thought he was kidding, but he wasn’t, and then I had to try really hard to stop laughing and pretend I was taking it seriously. So.

The medicated baths are the best part, honestly, because she spends the entire bath in the kitchen sink looking terribly disappointed in me for subjecting her to such indignity. Anyone who tells you rescue dogs are grateful has not had to gently scrub an aging, balding poodle mix while she shivers and glares are you.

In summary, the dogs are pains in the asses and expensive and dramatic and difficult and I love them ALMOST as much as I love Otto.

2017: Chickadee
Whoooooooooooo boy, Chickadee. 2017 was a banner year for her. I mean, yes, she turned coming down with mono into a dramatic miniseries, but that’s such a small, small part of what happened for her this year.

Chickadee at nineteen-and-a-half is delightful. Not that she hasn’t been delightful at other times, you understand, but she’s in such a great place, I can hardly believe she’s the same kid who I used to believe might not ever grow up, and if she did, might never be happy. This year she found both her feet and her wings. She has good friends and she’s in love without letting that be her whole life and she finally realized she is smart and capable and can do well in her classes because it matters to her, not because it matters to everyone else. Life still brings challenges, of course, but she meets them now and finds her way through.

I could brag about individual things, like a job she landed or a top grade in a hard class, or how supportive and awesome she’s been with her brother, stuff like that. But eh. Most of the details are unimportant, and anyway, it’s her life. But on the whole, she is happy, truly happy, in the way that people who’ve walked through fire are when they realize that fire will always exist but that doesn’t mean they should cease to, and fire doesn’t get to be more important than they are.

The one troubling bit, with her, is that a few months ago she started having some chronic pain issues we’re still trying to figure out (with lots of doctors! all the doctors!). But I can tell you with confidence that five or three or even two years ago this would’ve thrown her into a very dark place. Now? It sucks and she’s frustrated and she’s still living her life. I am so proud of her; you have no idea.

2017: Monkey
I believe we will eventually look back on 2017 and where it took Monkey and call it something other than Year Of The Splat, but we haven’t come up with anything better than that, yet. This was a hard year for him and there’s no way to gloss over that. He was accepted to his dream college, he graduated from high school, he went to a summer program at his dream school and discovered it was more of a nightmare than a dream. Splat! He came home sick and disheartened and quite simply: lost. Monkey lost himself this year and it was sad and scary and at times awful. But then—slowly, and not even steadily—he came back. He got healthy again and started working on making some changes in himself, and faced the giant, terrifying monster (to him) of choosing his own life based on what HE wants, not what he perceives to be expectations or desires of others. He is still not yet 18 and so much younger than that in so many ways, and I think he—and we—really had to face that in a whole new way, this year.

But the results have been worth it. I see a lot more of the old Monkey, now, than I had in months prior, albeit with some new wisdom and maybe even a little confidence behind his goofy exterior. He drives! He rolls his eyes at us because we’re stupid! HE’S A REAL BOY, GEPPETTO! He is excited to head to Tinytown College next month. He is scared to head to Tinytown College next month. Most notably: He is, finally, READY to head to Tinytown College next month. I believe down to my bones that everything disappointing and hard and worrisome that happened this year was all to bring him to HERE, and that this particular here is the right here for him. I believe he’s going to love college and learn and grow and panic and stress and be okay. I am so proud of him; you have no idea.

2017: Me
Well, hello there. Notice how I am perfectly happy to yammer on about everyone else? It’s a diversionary tactic. I don’t quite know how to sum up my year.

The biggest thing for me, bar none, was being diagnosed with ADHD and starting meds. I vacillate between being profoundly grateful to have finally gotten this sorted out and grieving for Former Me and a lot of the difficult stuff I dealt with when I was younger simply because I didn’t know that my brain works differently (not to mention that there is help available for people like me). I also—totally coincidental, SURELY—came out of a funk and worked on making some healthier choices, lost a bunch of weight I’d gained during a couple of years of stress and less-than-ideal decisions, and came into a place where I feel pretty good. Feeling pretty good always makes me a little nervous, because at least when everything is terrible there’s nowhere to go but up, y’know? But I am slloooooooowwwwwwlly learning how to live this way. I might even like it.

The other big (good) thing is that after years of doing The Vagina Monologues to sort of dip my toe back into performing, this year I decided it was time to branch out. I had a small part in a big show (and, um, learned all about pasties, because why not make your return to the stage be in Calendar Girls and take your clothes off in front of God and everyone?), and then I had a bigger part in a small show, and then I crossed my fingers and told my neuroses to shut up and auditioned for and landed a big part in a big show, for which I’m now in rehearsals. (If you think this former-acting-major, grew-up-in-a-crazy-Jewish-family mother from New York hasn’t been waiting her entire life to play Kate in Brighton Beach Memoirs, you are obviously new here.) Returning to theater has been good for my soul. I didn’t realize how much I’d missed it. It takes a lot of time and energy and then I feel guilty, but Otto has been my biggest champion in reassuring me that this is A Very Good Thing. I’m starting to believe him.

I made a concerted effort to be more social and less hermit-y this year. I even joined a book club. Can you believe I’ve never been in a book club before? Me, a writer, with three or four in-various-stages manuscripts hanging around here, an avid reader, AND YET. So I got invited to a book club and I went. And now I have a dozen new pals and I love it. I also went out more, got more involved here in my community, and continued baking like flour might save the world. I gave away a lot of cookies this year. I think that’s A Very Good Thing, too.

On the flip side, this was a fairly miserable year for me, work-wise, for various reasons. Some of them were out of my control (sick kids! scratchy dogs! family emergencies of other varieties! market changes!) and others weren’t. I will need to start 2018 doing some serious thinking about my career and whether I need to buckle down on some current endeavors or start heading in another direction. I have NO IDEA what makes sense, right now, and have been putting off thinking about it, but… it’ll happen. Soon. Just gotta find my big girl pants and get it done.

2017: In Summary
A lot of stuff happened and some of it was bad and stressful and some of it was good and hopeful. I love my family and my dogs and I wouldn’t necessarily volunteer to do this whole year all over again, but I think we did alright. I’m ready for 2018.

Happy New Year, everyone. Here’s to the next chapter.

41 Responses to “2017: What. A. Year.”

  1. 1
    meghann December 31, 2017 at 12:13 pm #

    As someone who’s been around this watering hole a long time, I have an inkling how proud you are of Chickie. I get a bit verklempt reading about how well she’s doing. Chickie-if ypu read this, I am dang proud of you, too.

    I also feel your pain on dog allergies. When our vet told us that one of our cats was allergic to her own teeth and needed them removed, I’m pretty sure my hysterical laughter was not what she was expecting. Of course our cat is allergic to her own teeth, because OF COURSE SHE IS.

    Happy New Year, Mir and family!

    • 1.1
      Chickadee January 5, 2018 at 5:26 pm #

      Thank you! <3

  2. 2
    Nancy R December 31, 2017 at 12:25 pm #

  3. 3
    ccr in MA December 31, 2017 at 12:27 pm #

    Happy New Year!

    I will be happy if you blog more often, but honestly I can’t conceive of the nerve to scold you for not doing so. You’re living your life, and if you won’t put ME first by blogging about it regularly, well. Good for you.

  4. 4
    Jennifer Joyner December 31, 2017 at 12:29 pm #

    I will not scold you for not blogging (rude); instead, Ibwill enjoy the long-awaited and thorough update, and celebrate all the exciting and great things happening for you and yours (sincere). Blog when you can–we’ll still be here. And tell Chickie–I’d KOVE to read HER blog 😊

  5. 5
    AlisonC December 31, 2017 at 12:42 pm #

    Great to see that it was mostly positive! Miss you round these parts.

    Love to everyone and here’s to an even better 2018

  6. 6
    StephLove December 31, 2017 at 12:48 pm #

    Happy new year to you and yours, Mir.

    I’ve gotten out of the habit of commenting here, but I never stopped reading. I will as long as you’re writing and I have no intention of telling you how frequently you should post.

  7. 7
    Dave December 31, 2017 at 1:01 pm #

    Happy new year! Here’s to posting whenever you feel like it.

  8. 8
    beth s December 31, 2017 at 1:33 pm #

    So glad to see you writing. As for the doggies, have they tried Apoquel? It is the miracle drug that makes our 90 pound baby not a bloody, scratching, chewing himself raw mess. It’s expensive but works and has no long term bad effects that they are aware of so we will continue it forever. Our baby gained about 15 pounds this year and looks like a dog again – he was underweight and had awful skin/fur before.

    • 8.1
      Mir January 2, 2018 at 10:00 am #

      Yes, Apoquel is what is currently keeping her somewhat okay. They keep mucking with the dose, though, because the “high/deal with a crisis” dose works great and the “maintenance” dose means she starts scratching again. So I dunno.

  9. 9
    Annie December 31, 2017 at 1:38 pm #

    Thanks for the update, I’ve missed you! Congratulations on heading back into theatre and landing some good parts. Sounds like life is pretty good. Happy New Year to you and yours!🎉

  10. 10
    Mary K. in Rockport December 31, 2017 at 2:11 pm #

    I check your site every day, and worry when it’s been a looooong time since a post. So I was happy to see your 2017 review today.

  11. 11
    Lucinda December 31, 2017 at 2:36 pm #

    You sound…grounded in a way I don’t think I’ve read before. It makes sense that you would blog less because, while there are still big things going on, you have changed since you first started blogging. Your kids are older, you are older (and wiser), and I don’t think you need blogging as a way to process it all as you did when you first started. You have gone from being newly divorced with small children to happily married with children who are ready to/have already launched. We, your readers, just got to be lucky enough to go along for the ride. If you never post again (although I hope you do) this is an excellent way to end this blog. Wrapping up the past while giving us a glimpse of your wonderful future.

    On a personal note, our birthdays are within months of each other so I have enjoyed reading the writings of an intelligent woman who is at the same stage of life as me (although my kids are just 3 years younger but also a girl then a boy, 17 months apart). I have read your thoughts on issues that I have also faced and it has let me know I am not alone. I was not in a good place when I first found your blog due to pretty serious health problems. You made me laugh when I needed it and gave me hope that I could do this parenting thing when I felt overwhelmed. Hell, I even learned I had ADHD after your post. We will never meet but in your own way, you made a significant impact in my life. Thank you for sharing. Good luck (and I do hope you keep writing but understand if you don’t.)

    • 11.1
      Mir January 2, 2018 at 9:56 am #

      You are nice. Thank you. And I’m so glad you got diagnosed—if your journey is anything like mine, it’s been a whole new life for you, since.

      And yes, I do feel really grounded. Still dealing with… life/stuff/stress, of course, but feeling good. Of course now that I’ve said that out loud a meteor is going to collide with the earth. I apologize in advance.

    • 11.2
      Brigitte January 4, 2018 at 12:55 pm #

      That whole first paragraph expresses what I wanted to say, but much more beautifully than I could have managed!

  12. 12
    Birchsprite December 31, 2017 at 2:38 pm #

    I’ve been reading here for a lonnngggg time! Always happy to see a new post.

    Happy New Year Mir and all your lovely family.may 2018 bring much love and joy to you all x

  13. 13
    Chris December 31, 2017 at 2:53 pm #

    Oh how I’ve missed you…It is so refreshing to read about Chickie who we we’re so worried about and even cried about with you. I miss hearing your stories but understand when you were furiously writing it was probably the therapy you needed and now you are finding yourself back doing theater like you love…I love to read whatever you write and miss it so much but if your heart is happy where you are then so am I….I will have to live without tomato worms and chipmunks..love to read Chickie’s blog too and glad she found love.

    • 13.1
      Mir January 2, 2018 at 9:53 am #

      I wish she would blog. (Her brother, too, but he mostly deals in terrible puns while her turns of phrase are a little less groan-worthy to me.) But apparently she’s “busy” and “doesn’t see the point” and plus “blogging is for old people.” ;)

      • Chickadee January 5, 2018 at 5:27 pm #

        Okay only one of these things is true and really I’m just lazy

  14. 14
    Marika December 31, 2017 at 4:16 pm #

    HNY etc – glad everyone has come through in one piece!

    Just have to comment on the canine dermatologist issue. We spent thousands on vet fees treating our pooch for various skin conditions with no success (and no relief for the poor dog). Ended up at a dog dermatologist after a lot of eye rolling and “SERIOUSLY?”s, who diagnosed him with a beef allergy in about 8 seconds flat. It cost a bit more than a normal vet consultation but got us off the merry go round of throwing $$ down the drain on stuff that wasn’t working and the endless baths and creams and discomfort for our dog. Would suggest you give it a try.

  15. 15
    Lara December 31, 2017 at 6:01 pm #

    I (selfishly) hope you keep blogging but would never scold you either way – you do you! Happy to hear a mostly positive update. Hope 2018 is a great year for you and yours ❤️

  16. 16
    Melinda December 31, 2017 at 7:25 pm #

    Oh my goodness it was lovely to read this update. What a year!
    On the doggie dermatologist I have to tell you that I am a CPA and have had a veterinary dermatologist client for over a decade. I love her but always sort of wondered what brand of crazy people go to a dermatologist for their dog. And then, we adopted a dog with allergies and skin issues and it took me way too long with our regular vet not being able to help before I said “Me! I am the crazy person who takes their dog to a dermatologist!” It took a couple of months but now our dog is no longer itchy and I love my client/veterinary dermatologist more than ever. Our dog has been stable and itch free almost two years now. Totally worth it. Do it!

  17. 17
    Diana December 31, 2017 at 8:21 pm #

    Mir, thank you for this year-in-review update! None of us are entitled to a piece of you, or your writing, but I truly appreciate your perspective on the world and how you are raising your kids (beautifully!). I read here for my own mental health! Here’s to whatever 2018 has in store for us all!

  18. 18
    that person January 1, 2018 at 5:13 am #

    It’s always such a treat to see another blog post. Frankly, your last one was crafted so wonderfully (seriously I marveled the structure of reveals and oohed and aahed appreciatively), that I thought you weren’t writing because you were working on a book. So you were focusing your creative juices into something else.

    Perhaps that’s what’s happening with your return to theatre! I’m so glad that it’s going great for you! It always sounded like something you enjoyed a lot. In general I’m just glad someone whose creativity I admire is having a happy, fulfilled life. :)

    You do you, Mir. <3

  19. 19
    Karen Milano January 1, 2018 at 6:13 am #

    Happy, Healthy, Sanity reigning New Year, Mir – I’ve been reading you since just before your marriage to that awesome Otto and if you post once a year I’ll be happy for the updates. Your honest writing and family have become dear to many of us. We all have our trials, but we don’t all have the courage to share them. I thank you for that.

    Congrats on setting new goals, stepping outside your comfort zone, returning to dreams, reaching for them – You Go Girl! –

    Karen

  20. 20
    Niki January 1, 2018 at 10:26 am #

    So glad to see an update, and boo to the complainers! I’m sorry to hear about Chickie and her pain issues. My youngest was just diagnosed with RA and fibromyalgia in the last semester of their Senior year of college. It sucks, and we are doing everything we can, but they are persevering, and trying to decide right now which grad school acceptance to accept for fall, to fulfill their dream of being a physical therapist. I pray that you guys can figure out what’s going on with Chickie, get the right diagnosis and right treatment, so that she can stay on track to fulfill her dreams as well!

  21. 21
    Liz January 1, 2018 at 12:42 pm #

    Such a big year, and so many changes. Thinking of you all and wishing I could see you in Brighton Beach Memoirs!

  22. 22
    Mary January 1, 2018 at 5:52 pm #

    <3 Sending love your way!

  23. 23
    Meg January 1, 2018 at 6:41 pm #

    Mir, you’re so pretty.

    Thank you for blogging again. It’s lovely to read your thoughts and to hear about how you and your family are doing. I’ve been reading here for many years and always appreciate hearing about your lives.

    But I know you don’t owe me a thing, and you should blog if and when you feel like blogging (I know you know this already, but I assume/hope it’s nice to get it reinforced, also I know I’m using the word “know” a lot in this run-on sentence, y’know?).

    Take care and keep on being awesome. And pretty!

  24. 24
    Chris January 1, 2018 at 7:33 pm #

    Mir

    So nice to hear from you and Happy New Year!

    While I count myself as someone who very much misses your blogging, I am with others that you need to do what is right for you – it feels like writing is one of those things so I have my fingers crossed to hear from you more regularly (once a week?) but you should decide without any need for feeling defensive.

    I am with you on the change and trying to figure out hard things – with a very bad end of the year professional setback, I have spent much time being grateful for my DDs and Otto equivalent and all the other good I still have since as you know, it can be much worse. At the same time, it was so bad I retreated to my hole to lick my wounds for two solid weeks and tomorrow will have to face the music again – with absolutely no plan on how to go forward.

    The good thing about work is usually there are options, even if some of the options aren’t our first choice. Hopefully we can find something that is mostly (sort of? a little bit?) fulfilling but more importantly doesn’t suck while it pays the bills for us and those we love.

    Best wishes to all for 2018 (Is it ok to note I both have missed you and your lovely commentators? This is one of the only places I have seen smart and civil and funny comments – Hi Mir’s dad ! – so I always read them all)

    • 24.1
      Mir January 2, 2018 at 9:51 am #

      It is 100% true that I have the best readers/commenters. Dunno how I got so lucky but y’all are a magnificent bunch and I love you!

  25. 25
    suburbancorrespondent January 1, 2018 at 9:06 pm #

    Totally get the miracle that is Chickadee – when minor setbacks don’t become major existential crises, that is real progress!

  26. 26
    Joanne January 2, 2018 at 10:27 am #

    Oh, please. Good bloggers are hard to find, so when I find one with whom I feel a connection, I will follow until they publicly announce they’re done…. and even then I’ll keep returning to the page hoping to find a change of heart.

    You have loyal followers who will always be with you.

    You have helped so many with the daily trials of raising kids and mothering a family. We will stay here with you.It is great to see you (and the kids) bloom and grow.

    Writing is a habit…. as is checking for blog updates. As hard as it is to start again, it is just as hard to not type in “wouldashoulda” and see if there is a new post. You’ve fallen out of the habit. So what? When you do write, you are still just as god as you always were. We are here for you.

  27. 27
    Beth R January 2, 2018 at 1:43 pm #

    Hi Mir! I don’t have anything clever to add, as the lovely commenters before me have said pretty much everything I wanted to say in a much better way than I could have… but that isn’t keeping me from commenting anyway :) I’ve been with you almost from the beginning, and it’s been an honor to be welcomed into your life at the level you were letting us in. I would love to meet you in person, and we could trade BBM rehearsal stories. Congratulations for everything wonderful in your life, and I hope you’ll still drop by occasionally and keep us updated.

    Cyber hugs to everyone (you too, Mir’s dad!) and I wish you a wonderful 2018!

  28. 28
    Summer January 2, 2018 at 1:49 pm #

    Happy New Year! I love that you are getting back into theater – congrats on the new role! Enjoy it!

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    Mom24 January 3, 2018 at 10:48 am #

    Sooooo happy for you. I’ve been thinking of you, thinking good thoughts, praying for good things. Hope 2018 is wonderful. xx

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    Jeaniej January 3, 2018 at 7:23 pm #

    it’s so good to hear from you and read your summary of 2017. It sounds like a wonderful year. I hope 2018 will be even better!

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    Pip January 6, 2018 at 3:57 am #

    It’s always lovely to see a post from you, but if people start demanding it they’d better pay for it!

    I’m so glad Chickie (or Chuckle, as my phone wants to call her) is on solid ground. She is the polar opposite of me at that age, and as my early twenties read like an example of “How to fail without style”, that can only be a good thing.

    I started reading your blog five or six years ago, but I went back to the beginning and read from the start so to me your kids grew up REALLY fast. It’s great that they’re starting the year positively :D

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    Cheryl January 8, 2018 at 11:48 am #

    With regards to the dog allergy thing, we discovered – by accident – that it was any food we were feeding her, no matter how freaking expensive and non-grain, non-food whatever it was. We had to put her on a chicken/rice/veggie diet post surgery and noticed that when she was on that she didn’t scratch. Put her back on the food that costs more than what I feed myself? and she starts scratching again. Ultimately, put her on chicken breasts that I cooked in the crock pot and shredded with rice and whatever veggie leftovers we had and she never scratched again. It also ended up being cheaper than that gold food she had been eating. Just my experience in case you hadn’t tried that as well.

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    Sharon January 10, 2018 at 6:29 pm #

    Mir, I am happy for you, really really happy. I read and re-read this post and have come back to read the comments. I smile every time. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Your family deserves all the joy this year promises to bring….

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    Von January 11, 2018 at 4:35 am #

    I also had no idea there was such a thing as a doggy dermatologist, until I adopted an old fellow with various allergies. He would scratch his ears, scratch himself, bite and/or lick at different parts of himself. After quite a few visits to our regular vet, trying out different lotions, potions, and treatments, she suggested a dermatologist.

    The first visit to the dermotolgist was $400, only a little more than what I’d already spent at the regular vet with no particularly good results. After two dosage adjustments to his new antihistamine pills, use of a weekly ear wash, application as-needed of an inner ear lotion, and switching to a shampoo for sensitive skin (medicated was too harsh and drying), his allergy symptoms are controlled. There are tests to pinpoint specific allergies, but those would cost $3000 – $4000, so I am happy with symptomatic treatment that works. Doggo sees the dermatologist twice a year now, and each time I get prescriptions for all his treatments with enough repeats to last 6 months.

    If there is a flare-up of any symptom, the specialist is amenable to discussing options over the phone or by email, acknowledging that I know my dog better than he does, without automatically asking me to take the dog to the clinic. We’ve changed only two of the treatments over the past three years, due to availability rather than efficacy.

    I no longer roll my eyes at the very idea of a dog specialist and know that the extra cost is down to…expertise and knowledge. We see the regular vet for regular stuff. Any itchy/scratchy issue is taken up with the dermatolgist.

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