Welcome2016

I honestly am stunned to find it is already January 1, 2016.  It is said that the more you pack into a year, the longer it will feel when you look back.  I am not finding this to be true because 2015 was extremely busy for us with 25 Texas State Parks marked off our list and all the changes that have been made in our life and I am still wondering where 2015 went.

Thinking of this past year, I have so many great memories.  I think the best so far was every time we went to a new park on our list.  Yeah, it’s not just one, but the excitement of meeting the park staff, seeing new places, and finding something unexpected every time makes me happy.  There have been a long list of things I have learned about the Texas State Parks.

Each park is different.  Even though two or three parks may be within 50 miles of each other, they will be completely different from each other.  The landscape may have similarities, but they will have different views.  One place may have a valley and river running through it, while the other may be a flat prairie.  You may find one to be tiny and useful for just spending a few hours away from city life while another one will have many hiking trails and surprises around the bend.  The park staff and rangers at one park may be very relaxed with a few rules but at another park the people maybe stickler for the rules.  No park is exactly the same and it is worth the time to get to know each and every one.

So much history!  History is to be had at each of the parks if you will just take time to do a little research.  This history comes in many forms.  Fort Richardson has the old, well handled building and re-enactments while Fort Parker has a cemetery for a town that is not longer.  Dinosaur Valley has dinosaur footprints, but Brazos Bend has alligators dozing next to the hiking path.  There is so much Texas history to be experienced and help you to comprehend the lives of those who helped make this state.

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So many experiences to be lived.  Each park has many things to do from camping in the park created spaces to the hike in sites, fishing along the pier to boating to fish in a quiet cove, and walking along a sandy beach to hiking a wooded trail.  These are what makes the parks worth visiting over and over.

I could bore you with more, but I should move on to other things.

We have made some pretty major life changes this year that have enabled us to do a bit more.  This time last year we made the decision to move from a 2,000 sq ft house to an apartment only 547 sq ft.  That is pretty big, in my mind at least.  There was so much to do from January to March as we prepared for the move; pulling everything we owned out to decide what was being kept, sold, donated, purged.  I remember how stressful it was to see three quarters of what we owned leaving our lives.  Then when we moved into the apartment we still needed to get rid of much more.  I do believe we are down to what we will be keeping with us until we move into an RV or Tiny House.

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Doing this purge was a good thing for us.  I know it enabled me to get more focused on what I wanted to do with my embroidery and sewing.  It has enabled Scott to have more time with his guitar and gave him the opportunity to start playing with photography.  We both wanted a bit more clarity in our lives to help us decide what was important to us. Even though it is not as clear as we would like it to be, it is better than it was a year ago.

The biggest change for me though has been my health.  I have Fibromyalgia and Depression which I try very hard not to give in to the pain of body and mind, but there are times the pain and depression is overwhelming.  At the beginning of 2015 I was not in a good frame of mind so once we moved to a cheaper place, I was able to leave my job and do what needed to be done.  I have worked on getting out and doing more which helps with the depression quite a bit.  It is amazing how getting out of the house can help.  Many people, and by people I mean other Fibromyalgia sufferers, have told me moving and focusing on things I love to do will help get me through the days of easy pain.  It does help. Granted there are days where the pain is just horrible and a day in bed with medications is the only way through it, but I am now having less of those days.  I believe us having the state parks and the embroidery is helping me with this.

So as we move into 2016, we have decided to do a bit more to better our lives even more.  We are planning to take a couple of out-of-state trips and visit more Texas State Parks.  One of the places we will be visiting is San Francisco in California.  While there we will mark off two National Parks, Yosemite and the Golden Gate Bridge area.  This makes me very happy and I can’t wait to share our adventure with you.

Both of us lived our early childhoods in the state of Arkansas.  We have decided this would be a great place to reconnect by visiting Hot Springs National Park.  This is a very special trip for me because my parents honeymooned in Hot Springs.  They have always said it was an amazing place so I pretty excited about this trip.  This will also make the fifth National Park  we will have visited.  However, it is still to be seen.

As for myself, I am planning to have a full blown online embroidery business up and running 100% by the end of 2016.  I am already painting needlepoint canvases, learning Mountmellick and doing commissions.  I hope to get a small, but reliable embroidery machine to help me make some Christmas ornaments to sell next year.  I loved making the ones in the photo for my family in 2014 and I would love to make plenty to sell at one of the Holiday Fairs we have around the DFW and sell online.  There are so many amazing fabrics and threads out there to use!

So stay with us and help us get through this next year.  We are planning some wonderful things for the blog and our Facebook page.  You have helped to encourage us and we want to have you as part of our lives.  So, let’s have some fun!

Happy New Year, may you have a wonderful life.
Ren