Obligatory year-end review post

It’s been, as they say, A Year.

At least I made it through this one without any major health scares, surgeries, procedures, and the like. I’m triple-vaxed (two Modernas and a Janssen booster). I got my flu shot. I’ve been coughing and sneezing like mad for the last 10 days thanks to leaf mold, but that’s nothing contagious. I’ve not had so much as a cold all year, thanks to COVID precautions. Yes, I mask when I leave the house. I’ve recently begun using KN95s from MaskC, instead of my previous cloth coverings (from various sources like Etsy and SockFancy). While Illinois has a state-wide mask mandate, I see plenty of scofflaws when I’m out. I can’t trust anyone but myself and my immediate family. So, KN95s it is.

I had to close the business for the months of April and May because we were moving from Wisconsin to my childhood home, here in Illinois. I won’t bore you with the many sordid details (and there are many, and they are indeed sordid). Thank you to all of you who gave so generously when we ran the GFM to help us relocate and pay the associated fees, taxes, bills, and so on. Without you, we’d have sunk.

When I did reopen in June, business was very slow indeed. That’s precisely why I had decided in August of 2020 to file for early retirement benefits. I needed to know there would be some base income every month, and that was the best guarantee. It’s amusing to me, in a sad sort of way, that my business has lessened every year; my clients who were writing series have all finished them, and new ones are few and far between. That has turned out to be not entirely a bad thing during the last year. Work shows up when I need it the most, and really, that’s a pretty good deal.

For now, I’ve settled in to redecorate the kitchen to my taste instead of my mother’s. It’s slow going, but I’m fine with that. Act in haste, repent at leisure. So far I have changed the window valances from a pale print of cherries on a cream background (from Martha Stewart, of all brands) to a rich print of green and purple grapes on the vine. Etsy is a gold mine. Next, I think I’ll hunt for chair cushions. The current ones are past threadbare.

Oh, and there’s a Holstein-Frisian cow-print stand mixer cover on its way to me from . . . Ohio? I think? An Etsy seller. I’m about supporting small business when I can, especially now that I’m officially a small business owner myself.

Right, that’s the other big thing that happened in 2021. I incorporated as a single-member LLC. And three months later, we moved. ::mad laughter:: That meant domesticating the LLC in Illinois, and before tax time I’ll have to dissolve the one in Wisconsin. Never, EVER a dull moment.

So, apologies for this post having nothing to do with grammar or editing or usage or any of my usual topics. It’s been A Year.

And we are still here. Cheers, friends, and here’s to 2022.

The only constant in life is change—Heraclitus

I’m still here.

You may have thought I vanished, or fell ill, or was kidnapped by wild elementary school teachers.

Nah. I’m still here. But it’s been a rough few months.

Back in April we were surprised to find out that someone was interested in buying my husband’s house. (It wasn’t on the market, not officially.) After a whirlwind of papers (thank you, DocuSign) and a house tour, the buyers made a cash offer we couldn’t refuse.

Two weeks later they backed out. I won’t bore you with details. Yes, it was legal. No, we couldn’t fight it.

In the meantime we had set wheels in motion to move to my house, the one I inherited from my dad. Old limestone and frame farmhouse, sitting on four acres, right on the edge of the teeny town I grew up in. In fact, my ancestors built the house. Both the frame part (now the kitchen, originally a 1-room cabin across the road) and the stone part (from a quarry owned by a family down the road, whose descendants still live there). Anyway . . .

We couldn’t stop the wheels once they began turning. We were going to move.

And it got hairy. It’s still hairy, but we’re in the house, and we have a real bedroom and an actual office (shared space, this time), and our second-oldest kid lives with us. They teach 2nd grade in a town about 45 minutes from here. Together we have four cats (you may have seen me tweet about losing the Old Cat Man a couple of weeks back, just after we moved here) and a dog. It’s a houseful.

And it’s wonderful, honestly.

We’re running a GoFundMe that my husband created, in which he explains some backstory. I’ll share the link here, and then I won’t bring it up again. The donors have gotten us to 70% of our goal, which is mind-blowing to say the least; it only went up on the 11th, and here we are 5 days later at nearly three-quarters raised. WOW.

If you want to donate directly instead of through the GFM, you can do that via http://PayPal.me/KarenConlin

Or, if you’d like to work with me on your book or short story or what have you, and you’d like to put the down payment toward our funding drive, that’s great, too. Details for my services are at my personal page here on the site. I’m happy to take an amount as a down payment and work out the details later (like the actual word count, a calendar slot, and so on).

If you just want to share the link, that’s fantastic too. Sharing is free. Sometimes that’s what we can afford to do.

Thank you all for reading. I’m planning to be around more now that things are settling down a bit.

Oh, here’s that link: https://gofund.me/a73badcf

Thanks, everyone.