Ups and Downs, Good and Bad, Yes and No…


I feel so very fortunate to be able to say that the Year 2019 was more good than bad.  Being on social media, I see that many others cannot say the same thing.  I did experience some downer moments but for the most part 2019 treated me pretty well.

The year started off great as we had just welcomed Nik and Lexi into our family right before 2018 ended.  What started out as a temporary arrangement turned permanent as we fell in love with them.  They have grown into happy, healthy and funny cats.  We couldn’t imagine our lives without them.  Lexi is our Queen, and except for the fact that she scratches where she shouldn’t she is absolutely perfect.  Nik is a big boy – big and masculine, yet he sleeps so funny – like a baby bunny rabbit or something.

Early to mid January we got news that we would have never expected.  After a few weeks of back and forth trips to the Vet, our JB was diagnosed with a form of nasal cancer.  I have never been so devastated and heartbroken in my life (as odd as that sounds, having lost both of my parents to cancer).  We were told in Florida that JB was around two years old, but during his cancer diagnosis the Vet here in Pennsylvania said he was closer to ten years old.  This was such an unexpected revelation.  The crying I did when I found out, I didn’t really realize it was possible to go through something that hurt so bad.  We were lucky enough to have him with us for almost five months after his diagnosis.  I loved that boy with my whole heart and soul and I miss him every day.  Still.

From good to bad to good – the day after my birthday in April, I was watching the news and I heard meowing.  I thought it was in the basement, so I went down to investigate.  Nothing.  (At this point, I should note that our basement isn’t exactly sealed – there are openings in the foundation, however small.) I then went back upstairs and heard it yet again.  I made a final trip to the basement, to the area where I thought the meowing might be coming from.  Issuing a last-ditch request to come out wherever you are, walking towards me was the smallest little kitten I had ever seen.  His ears weren’t even fully up.  He is my miracle boy – we learned together.  Kittens of three weeks old (that’s about how big he was) need help to do everything – to pee, to poop, to eat – all of it.  Besides being my miracle boy, he is my success story.  His name is Malenky, which means little one in Russian.  Though now at nine months he’s not so little anymore!  He’s black and white, and he is beautiful!

People said to me that where there’s one kitten there’s probably more.  They were right.  About three weeks later, I heard a noise when I was in the basement.  I didn’t think it was anything – this time there was no meowing.  Imagine our surprise when Jeff opened up a dresser drawer and three kittens were in there!  We were in shock!  Initially, the plan was to get these three new additions homes – I was able to find a home for one of the little girls – my ex husband and his girlfriend took a Tuxedo and named her Gilly.  That left us with two – all black Boris and black and white Tuxedo Tasha Jean.  There were no takers, so we kept them.  And I am so happy we did!  Boris is the crazy relative you’d meet at a wedding, acting the fool.  Tasha is quiet, laid back – the absolute perfect lady!  I love them so much, and it’s been great for Malenky to have siblings his own age.  The antics the three of them pull has us laughing each and every day.  Combined with Beavis and Stanley, seven cats seems to be the perfect number for us!

My cats and my family (friends are included in the family term) are everything to me.  Yet my interest in hockey is pretty strong.  The 2018-19 season was supposed to be THE year for my Tampa Bay Lightning.  They finished first overall in the entire league, and Nikita Kucherov (our Nik’s namesake) was on fire.  All the promises of this season ended when they lost in the FIRST round of the playoffs.  And they didn’t just lose – they lost BIG.  Four straight and it was terrible.  It was the worst buzz kill of any sports experience I think I’ve ever had.  For a year that had the promise of a potential Stanley Cup to end the way it did – I think the team is still suffering the after effects of that horrible loss.  I am a Bolts fan forever and for always – some things from last season should be remembered, but some – just no.  Not at all.

My hockey heart is pumped up as the New York Islanders announced they would FINALLY retire the number of my favorite player – John Tonelli.  It certainly has taken them long enough.  Better late than never though.  The banner with his name and number will no longer only be retired on my leg (as a tattoo) but will be raised to the rafters at the Barn – Nassau Coliseum, where SO many Tonelli milestones were achieved.  We have our tickets, and we will be there!  February 21st cannot come fast enough.

2019 brought some bad current events.  There were church shootings, school shootings and bombings.  We had fires and floods and mudslides.  There was a terrible attack that thankfully turned out to be something fraudulent and made up.  Jussie Smollett was a storyteller who caused time, money and resources to be wasted on a sham.  It’s fortunate that this was a farce and it wasn’t real – that something so awful never happened.  We lost many famous people, including Don Imus, Carol Spinney (the voice of Big Bird), Doris Day, Luke Perry, Valerie Harper, Lil Bub and Grumpy Cat.

Yet 2019 had some notable good things, too.  Speaking of Sesame Street (above), it turned fifty.  A 95 year old WWII Veteran in Oklahoma earned his High School diploma.  There is new technology that is able to possibly detect breast cancer five years sooner.  A man on his last day of chemotherapy in North Carolina hit the lottery for $200,000.  And we had little Baby Archie come into the world on May 6th.

It was good Jeff and I were finally able to get back to Florida.  Yet it was bad (if you could even say it) that we were only there from Thursday until Sunday.  I am so very happy to have gotten my old job back here at the hospital.  Yet I just wish Jeff and I had more time off together – it is hard when you work opposite shifts.  We worked on getting our bathroom up to date, yet we still have the rest of the place to go.  Patience, woman…patience!  I have to have my extra large kidney stone removed – surgically, sadly.  The good part of that is I will never get that kidney pain again.  My youngest son got engaged which is a very good thing, and my oldest son graduated from College, which is also a very good thing.  Our oldest cat, Beavis has lost a significant amount of weight.  This could be considered a good thing – since he had been pretty overweight at one time.  But it could also be bad, despite the fact that the Vet said all is ok – how can a living thing lose half of it’s body weight and have things be alright?  The good thing is that his mood and personality hasn’t changed – he’s the same old happy, laid back boy he has always been!

So we will bid farewell to 2019, and will be ready to welcome 2020 with open arms.  I’m lucky – life is good, and I don’t expect anything to change.  Still, though – fingers (and toes) crossed!  Happy New Year!


Published by lifeissmashingalways

58 year old Mom with three great sons, and SIX great cats and their wonderful Dad, Jeff... LISA is my name. Life Is Smashing Always comes from the letters in my name...

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