End of the Year Letter 2017

xmas_flowerxmas_flower2To see the full graphics and the Christmas poem described in this letter, check the attachments at the bottom.

Say kids, what time is it? It’s End of the Year Letter time!

I had some guests this year. They included:

1) some welcome out-of-state visitors for the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love
2) a neighbor’s heifer (a young cow) who decided the grass was greener on my side so loved spending the night here while her “parents” were out of town
3) some pretty white wildflowers that when I touched them lovingly gave me a rash
4) some fire ants that loved biting my feet
5) some busy bees that loved being busy inside of my bird feeder
6) an opossum (“possum”) lying by the side of the house that I thought was dead–until I remembered they love “playing possum”
7) and an unwelcome but clever wild mouse that loved the food he took from the shelf, two live traps, and the cats without getting caught. (I did catch him in the third trap, two cardboard tubes I stuck together with peanut butter inside, although to keep him from escaping again I had to cover the tube hole on each end with my bare hands).

My Mom got her formerly fibrillating heart rebooted which helped her a lot.

The year wasn’t without bad news. I lost an uncle, a neighbor’s house burned down, and another neighbor’s house exploded. And I had to file several DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) claims which fortunately worked, but then my computer went kaput.

I got my weight back down, and am weighing helping design curriculum for Abrahamic religions for a religious studies series. I’m finally entering the 21st century by switching my photography from film to digital. I partially built a barn floor, and am working on a special project, writing, editing, and doing graphic design for publications (I created the 21st Centuryesque font used in the heading, and graphics and border of this here letter).

Back to the 20th century, I’ve included the very first piece I ever professionally published, a Christmas poem I wrote when I was 16 years old. Keep in mind I wrote it when I was 16 years old.

Have a Great Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Merry Chanukah, Wonderful Yule, Fine Winter/ Summer Solstice, Terrific New Year!

End of the Year Letter 2017 and Christmas poem

End of the Year Letter 2017 _AL_ digital

What is Christmas (AL)

An opinion of an individual member of The Loveshade Family does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole family.

Alden Loveshade End of the Year 2016

alden_loveshade_aura_explodes-_sYes, it’s that time once again, time for another missive from moi.

This year is perhaps most significant for what has not happened; nobody I’m really close to has passed away.  For that I am very glad.

However, it has been a year for things falling apart and needing repair.  I fixed a gutter that leaked; got a computer working; got a modem working; cut/sawed/pulled/mowed small mesquite trees, wild grasses, and cat’s claw to make a path to the front tank (what those of you outside of Texas might call a “pond.”)  Am I handyman or not?

Well, not.  My intense mowing caused the lawnmower to start puffing out copious quantities of white smoke.  I looked at the mower and discovered what looked like a major problem–there was a hole in its side.  So we checked with the dealer–the hole had always been there.  It was the exhaust.  Oops.

Then just days after the warranty ran out on the television, the sound went out.  Great timing.  Did you know almost nobody fixes televisions anymore?  Just throw it away and buy a new one.  Anyway, this one got fixed, but certainly not by me.

My mom didn’t get a new hand with a carpal tunnel problem, but did get surgery to help fix it.  Mom is scheduling surgery for the other hand.

My long-running animal care gig is over, at least for now.  But I do have a couple dozens puppies–which are also kittens.  Both terms apply to baby mice.  I’m getting a young black-and-white mouse used to sitting on my brown-and-white dog’s head.

In the writing/publishing gig, I published some articles, edited a magazine issue, and did some graphic design for a couple of magazines.  I recently learned a book I helped with five years ago is being published.  Finally.

I finally got dragged to Six Flags for the first time.  I got pushed to try a “mild ride.”  I asked, “If it’s such a mild ride, why is it called ‘Pandemonium’?”

From a recent doctor’s visit, I learned that my weight is the highest it’s ever been.  Oops.  So it’s more exercise and less late night snacking.  And more mowing and sawing.

Have a Great Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Merry Chanukah, Wonderful Yule, Fine Winter/ Summer Solstice, Terrific New Year!

Alden Loveshade

alden.lovehade.org

www.facebook.com/aldenloveshade

An opinion of an individual members of The Loveshade Family does not necessarily reflect that of the whole family.

Photo of Alden on the wall from self-portrait by Alden with graphics from http://cliparts.co added by Vance Lizza.

Alden Loveshade End of the Year 2014

Yes, it’s time once again for what you’ve been waiting for all year: an end of the year letter from me!

This has been another year of ups and downs. My freelance gig writing and taking photos for Yahoo, including Yahoo News and even Yahoo Sports (OK, one article on treading water–hey, I’m a sports writer!), is over. It’s not just me; Yahoo cut their contributor program. I actually sold them an article the very last day they accepted contributor articles. It wasn’t earning me a whole lot of money, but getting lots of little checks was nice, and being able to say I was writing professionally for Yahoo was pretty cool.

But I got some stories and articles published, am beginning to edit a book, and am looking to publish another. And I perhaps reached my solo guerilla editing pinnacle this year. Forget my pointing out errors to megacorporations and the U.S. government. I finally hit the big time: I got a missive from an associate editor at Merriam-Webster that they will review and almost certainly make changes I suggested to a future edition of the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary. Compared to that, correcting the IRS is nothing.

More seriously, I lost an uncle and a cousin. My mom had heart surgery twice, but after three months went back home. One of my brothers has been in longer, and right now is in a rehabilitation/nursing home about 500 miles away.

Less seriously, The Loveshade Family was featured as the Ace of Hearts in the Flying Buffalo deck of cards distributed at some of the biggest gaming conventions in America. And I’m finding myself quoted on increasingly divergent websites, ranging from New York University to Daily Inspiration to Grossmont College to Gunlaws.com to Wikiquote.org. I even found myself on one or two Indonesian sites translated into “Kebencian itu seperti api, ia membakar siapa saja yang memegangnya.” Did I say that?

But everything I’ve done this year pales in comparison to one thing: I figured out how to put up a mailbox. Sweet!

Wonderful Christmas, Great Kwanzaa, Merry Chanukah, Happy Yule, Fine Winter/Summer Solstice, Terrific New Year!

Yours,

Alden Loveshade

Any opinion of a member of The Loveshade Family does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole family.

Public domain image by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration