New Year’s Eve is tomorrow…Where did the time go?..How do we celebrate now?

Yesterday while on a walk, we spotted this White Faced Heron.

Early this morning it dawned on me that tomorrow is New Year’s Eve.  With no big plans to celebrate, except for an event on New Year’s night (more on that later), we’ll spend the usual celebratory night at “home.” 

Perhaps, we’ll celebrate with a glass of wine on the veranda, (if the skies clear) and do as many do throughout the world, have a quiet evening at home often heading to bed before the stroke of midnight. 

Leftover from Halloween?

Its not very exciting but Penguin only has a few bars with most locals celebrating at private gatherings or, as the case for many, not celebrating at all.  Rolling into the new calendar year is not necessarily an event of significance to many throughout the world when many nationalities have their own particular calendar:

New Year’s Eve:
In both the Gregorian calendar, currently used in the United States, and the Julian calendar, which was used until 1752 in the British colonies, the last day of the year is December 31st.”

Masses of yellow daisies grow along the road.

Here is an interesting link as to when and how each country throughout the world celebrates their interpretation of the beginning of the New Year. Many  countries celebrate both their own spiritually based acknowledgement of the New Year and also the New Year those of us in Australia, the US, parts of Europe and other countries have adopted over the centuries as indicated in the above quote.

In our old lives, each year we enthusiastically celebrated New Year’s Eve with a theme based party at our home.  For days, I’d prepare a wide array of foods for the party and decorate our home befitting the theme based occasion. 

Fluffy yellow blooms.

One year we did a “tacky 70’s” theme party.  Along with our guests we dressed in bellbottoms, flower printed silky shirts and chunky heeled shoes while disco music blared in the background.  For the food, I made 70’s type of appetizers while we encouraged guests to bring their favorite 70’s type foods.

From cookie cutout baloney sandwiches to pickled eggs to homemade White Castle burgers to gruyere cheese fondue with chunks of baguettes for dipping, we had every imaginable dish as a result of a huge turnout.  For a list of 70’s type foods, please click here at this great site.

These flowers are so dark they’re almost black.  We’d seen these in new Zealand as well.

Our last such New Year’s Eve party occurred in 1999 with the fears of something awful occurring as the New Year rolled over to the year 2000.  For the first time, we had a poor turnout especially with the icy and snowy weather.  It was that year we decided we’d most likely discontinue the huge New Year’s Eve house parties. 

From there, on several occasions, we got together with friends and neighbors or stayed at home keeping the festivities low key.  This time of year in Minnesota was often bitter cold.  The idea of heading out on the icy roads with the potential of drunk drivers spinning out on the highway didn’t hold much appeal.

Wishing well planter in side yard of neighboring home.

I suppose in part for many, aging in itself is reason enough to lose interest in celebrating New Year’s Eve, whether we acknowledge it or not.  No longer is the idea of drinking copious amounts of liquor well into the night as appealing as it was in our younger days.

With few friends in this area, its unlikely we’ll do anything more than enjoy one more pleasant evening together, feeling blessed and grateful for the quality of our lives, for those we love and for each other.

Rocky beach on a cloudy day walk.

Moments ago, Tom mentioned it was two months ago today that we left Bali on a “red eye” flight arriving in Sydney spending one night in a hotel.  The following day we boarded the 33 night cruise circumventing the Australian continent.  Wow!  How the time flies! 

As for where we were one year ago please check below for our “Photo from one year ago today, December 30, 2015.”  Please have a safe and happy end of the year.


Photo from one year ago today, December 30, 2015:

When we walked through the Pacific Harbour, Fiji neighborhood, one year ago, we crossed this river.  For more photos please click here.

Happy New Year!…Do we make resolutions? Do you?..Acceptance of aging in today’s world…

Riverfront property in the neighborhood.

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Tom explained the only resolution he ever made years ago was to quit smoking, which lasted for eight months when he purchased a pack of cigarettes at the Minnesota State Fair the following summer. He no longer smokes.

My resolutions of the past were always the same, common with many women and men; lose weight, exercise more, or smarter. I always worked out but never understood why I didn’t lose 10, 20 pounds, or more as shown in yesterday’s photo.

Now summer in Fiji, more and more flowers have begun to bloom.

I never understood why working out 90 minutes at least five times a week had no apparent bearing on improving my health other than strength and cardiovascular endurance, until 2011 when I changed to my current way of eating. I’d already lost about 50 pounds in 2004 and kept it off for seven years through a very difficult-to-follow, low calorie, low-fat diet. 

But, why didn’t my blood lipids improve on a low calorie, low-fat 1400 calories a day diet?  It was only after I began this low carb, high fat, grain, sugar, and starch-free way of eating in August, 2011 that my lipids greatly improved along with my health. 

Pretty blooms in the neighborhood on one of our walks on a few less rainy days.

From 2011 on, I no longer had to count calories and monitor how much I consumed by eating only to satiety.  My ravenous hunger was gone along with years of pain and disability, enabling us to travel. 

Basically, I eat food in its natural state; grass-fed, free-range, organic, without grains, sugar, starch, and chemicals. (Although I’m able to consume small amounts of full-fat dairy; quality cheeses, real cream, sour cream, cream cheese and, yogurt without additives, sugar, and fruit).

Modern house in the neighborhood with a name of its own.

With Tom following along in this way of eating, now at his lowest weight in many years, not smoking, and feeling healthier than ever, he doesn’t feel compelled to adopt any new resolutions to tackle. He’ll eat what he likes on the upcoming cruise and once we settle again, he’ll return to our healthy diet. (I maintain each of my food restrictions while on cruises with the help of the usual conscientious chef and other staff, never experiencing too many obstacles).

As a result, we can’t think of a lot of resolutions we feel compelled to make in this new year. Sure, we all have personality flaws and areas in our emotional lives that could prompt thoughts of a resolution. 

Several times we’ve walked along to road, beside the local golf course.

When one is happy and enjoying good health, it’s difficult to muster the motivation to make any major life changes. Are we cocky? Not necessarily. We’re simply content.

It’s ironic how as we’ve aged, we’ve learned a few basic life principles that may have been instrumental in easing many of the realities of aging and adding to our level of happiness:
1. We don’t need to analyze everything
2. What we perceive others may say about us may stem from their own experiences
3. We have choices we can make for our own happiness which others may perceive as selfish and that’s about them, not us.
4. Life is shorter than we imagined so live every moment to the fullest 
5. Physical signs of aging can be minimized with good health. But gravity is more powerful than anything we may try to do in an attempt to postpone it, so accept it with grace and dignity.

One of the green on the golf course.

6. Avoid disharmony. Baloney…that “stuffing it” is bad for one’s psyche. Doing so gives us an opportunity to think over the situation later in a calm manner and if one can put aside ego and apologize, accept and rewarm the relationship, harmony and happiness is retained. No snipping! We’d bite our tongues before being snippy at one another.  Ignore grumpiness rather than get involved in it.
7.  Avoid stressful situations by planning ahead as much as possible. When unexpected situations arise, breathe, think and come up with a mutually agreeable solution.
8.  Don’t worry in the middle of the night. Everything is easier during the day when we have an opportunity to work on a solution. (It’s only been in the last year that I’ve learned to do this and am still working on it after considerable improvement).
9.  Take risks and stretch ourselves while making safety and health the first priority. Fear is good when it protects us, not so good when it’s irrational and immobilizes us.
10.  Appreciate, be humble, thank your God or higher power every day. Pray, as well as take action, for the things we want to achieve.

The road along the golf course.

The above may not apply to everyone although we’ve found these ten points to highly contribute to our sense of well-being making us grateful and fulfilled while making these the best years of our lives. 

None of the above has anything to do with traveling and exploring the world and everything to do with exploring and developing our own personal growth and horizons.  We’re never too old to grow and learn. 

Happy New Year, everyone! It’s New Year’s day here in the South Pacific; very hot and humid with pouring rain. In three days the journey continues…

Photo from one year ago today, January 1, 2015:

Raging sea with heavy mist on this date one a year ago on the Big Island of Hawai’i. For more photos, please click here.