Happy New Year!!!

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Happy New Year 2019!

Good Morning and welcome to 2019!!!

For the last ten years (geez that means I have been blogging for 11 years now!) I have written a New Year’s Day post filled with blog updates, new series ideas, and what to expect in the upcoming year, first on my old blog, and continuing the tradition on Ann’s Entitled Life.

And every year I have the same New Year’s resolution – remember to write the current year’s date on all correspondence and checks. Apparently, I like attainable goals. Well, at least I am consistent!

While this is normally a recap of blog-life and what Ann’s Entitled Life is going to look forward to, I would be remiss in not my recapping my personal life in 2018 and all its changes – as that is going to have a major impact on my 2019 blogging-life.

As many of you know, we had a little doggie that was very ill for many years. Mr. Max passed away in November of 2018. We did everything we possibly could to prolong his life while making certain that even though he was ill, he had a good quality of life. He was a rabies titer which meant he could no longer fly on planes, and he could not go to Canada. Anywhere hubby and I traveled together traveled, Mr. Max needed to come with us, and it had to be by car within the continental United States.

Hubby and I took a trip to Europe in 2015 approximately 10 months after Max was diagnosed with GME. It did not go well with him and his dog sitter (she had watched him many, many times for us prior to his diagnosis). She basically told us “no more” when we picked him up.

That disaster grounded us and Hubby and I did not take a trip together without Max until this past October when we flew to Las Vegas to settle his Mother’s house. Hubby’s Mom passed away in September. Hubby was also his Mom’s power of attorney. He was responsible for her health care and making certain that her day to day needs were met, and her bills were paid.

We now find ourselves in a place where we are retired, have no children at home, no grandchildren on the horizon (#@!&^ Sonny-boy), no longer have a second residence, and Hubby is working to disinvest himself from most of his rental properties.

Hubby and I have few real commitments at the moment.

With that in mind, we have decided to travel. The idea is to take those long overseas vacations that we have put off – many of them on our bucket list – and travel for chunks of time before we decide on whether or not to get another dog(s).

Maybe by the time we are done traveling Sonny-boy will finally decide to marry and have children!? One can only hope.

Anyhooooo… that will mean more travel content on this blog, a category I have long allowed to languish.

Our first trip is to the Panama Canal. I had booked this trip before we were even married 13 years ago, but due to extenuating circumstances, we had to cancel. When the ability to travel outside the United States came back to us that was the first trip we booked!

We are not doing the full transit as Mexico held little appeal at the moment (ironically Sonny-boy is headed to Cancun in February), and decided to travel to and from Ft. Lauderdale. As long as we were doing that, we decided to spend some time road tripping in Florida in February, and then on the way home stop in Savannah for five days.

In the fall, we have 6 weeks in Italy scheduled. Well, we have our flights. We will spend some time in Nice, France first, visiting Hubby’s aunt and uncle. Since I love the French Riviera, and his aunt and uncle are wonderful, I was all for that!

We still have not mapped out all our destinations in Italy, no doubt some may overlap with our last trip there, but I am also hoping to spend some time in Venice, Hubby wants to explore his roots in Sicily, and my SIL is going to join us for one week somewhere in Italy, so it should be fun!

In January and February of 2020, we are already booked for our trip of a lifetime: Australia and New Zealand! We are working out how to get there. We decided a cruise was the best way to see New Zealand and tacked on another cruise in Australia although we will be in Sydney for several days before sailing.

Why does “how” we get there matter? Well, we can fly from NYC (1 stop, 22-24 hours), from LA (direct, about 20 hours), hop from Buffalo to Hawaii to Fiji to Sydney, or book a world ticket and stop in Egypt or Greece on the way home.

Lots of choices to make, lots of places to see!

In the fall of 2020, we are looking at Eastern Europe for a month or so. I have not been to Poland or the Czech Republic since there were guard dogs and razor wire surrounding the borders, and the Czech Republic was Czechoslovakia. My family tells me it has changed just a weeeee bit.

Why does any of this matter? Well, last year I swore I was going to take some time to revamp the blog for the way readers read blogs these days (ie, they don’t). I did not make those changes. I couldn’t. I do not think it is in me to just sell-sell-sell. I want to write, I want to help people, I want to fill a need or answer a question. I like to connect with people who read my blog.

I am basically disgusted with Facebook (a time-suck with no return, so it is going to be dialed back a lot), IG (I hate it), and G+ is going away in April (I used to love it, but 2-3 updates ago it became almost unusable, so I am not sorry to see it close). That leaves my blogging time to create content, write my newsletter, and play on Pinterest.

I desperately want to get back to Ann’s Entitled Life being my diary, and not a business. But, I need it to be a business so the IRS doesn’t get mad at me, and so I can pay the blogging bills (my server alone is almost $700 a month!), however, I do so love writing chatty posts and interacting with all of you. It is a real dilemma.

I am hopeful that the travel and garden content can soothe my need to write and the crafts and recipes can continue to pay the bills. We shall see.

That’s about it for now. I want to thank you all for reading Ann’s Entitled Life. I wouldn’t mind if you all commented a bit (ok a lot) more. I love interacting with people who read Ann’s Entitled Life. I’d like to get to know you all too. So please feel free to comment on the blog!!

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And I can always be reached through the contact me page or by emailing me directly!

Do you have any New Year plans? Resolutions? Goals? Ideas?

I wish you all a very Happy, Healthy, Fulfilling New Year. May 2019 be a year of much happiness and joy for you and yours!

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