2023 In Review

I am trying to be more communicative because as we are all learning, life is getting shorter and shorter. I guess my new thing for 2023 was the changing of my hair color. I cut it short when I turned 40 and by the time, I turned 50 it was very short.  I am thinking I am going to keep the style in the way P!nk (She’s a singer) does hers. I decided this year that in the Summer/Spring the color for the top would be “magenta pink”, in honor of mom surviving breast cancer for 30 years. In the Fall/Winter the top will be “purple rain purple”. (based on the number of compliments I get on it, I think the whole world loves this color, but it was also mom’s favorite). I keep getting this urge to go blond and I know that is her because she bugged me to do it when she was alive! I just know that cutting my hair short was the best decision I ever made, and I have no idea why I didn’t do it sooner.  I’m not a high maintenance girl and this makes my life so much easier!


Was this a quick year or did I stay so busy that it became a whirlwind? Travel this year: Vermont/New York for pleasure, California, Virginia, North Carolina, and Washington for Work! Can y’all believe I haven’t been to Tennessee this year?  Maybe 2024! I live off a very busy 2 lane highway and the state of NC is planning on widening it.  I have been told that my house is one they will utilize eminent domain and offer me money to take. I am hoping that happens sooner than later so the dogs and I can move to TN. Working from home allows me the freedom to live anywhere if there is an airport nearby.


Sadie, Rocco, and I have taken turns being sick this year. Sadie started with a cough that I had never heard a dog do .That was a first for me.  I am leading the race with my yearly asthma flare up which came much later in the year.  This year I was on 4 weeks of meds to get it to calm down! Rocco came in second with eating bugs that caused him to have barfing fits!!  I have tried to teach him that not everything goes in your mouth and bugs might be protein, but doggie stomachs don’t like it.🤮🤮😷😷


I have taken my time cleaning up mom’s stuff in her room since she passed away because I really have been in no hurry.  I think the more time I spend going through her stuff the harder it will be. However, having a niece that will be a teenager in 2024 and at her mom’s house shares a bedroom with her sister, I see the need a coming! I want to keep some of mom’s clothes in hopes that someday I can fit into them or maybe I will get them put into a memory quilt.  There is going to be a huge sale of 5.5 – 6 size shoes.  The woman had a lot, along with many purses!!! My house is a mess! It gets dusty more often, I can’t keep up with the fur and the upcoming purging of mom’s things. Well, I’m dreading that so much!!!  However, Kamryn has already started planning for her bedroom at Aunt Janet’s house! 


In 2019 I lost my corporate America job and started my own consulting business.  Covid ruined that for me, so I sold my business to my current employer. That decision led me to take a huge pay cut. I figured that God would provide, after all it took me 20 years to really make good money in the corporate world. Starting over with a new company that had only been in business for a year, a low salary was expected.  This led to me learning to curb my spending habits (which when you are single and usually buy whatever you want when you want, that was not easy).  One of the cuts I made were the maids.  (I know you wouldn’t think one person would need it, but one person with a bad back, and 2 large dogs; one who sheds 3 times his body weight in fur…) I need it. In 2024, the maids need to come back monthly. Another issue for my budget is I discovered the telegram app and that I can bring most of those discount chat groups from Facebook with pictures for Amazon, Walmart to one application and see all the good deals!!  Y’all!!!! I now have a shopping addiction! I must ground myself monthly from buying cool stuff and force myself to think do you “need it” if you don’t put it on a Wishlist for later.  Self-control is not my strong point!


This is supposed to be a new year resolution year for me (I make them every two years), but I think I am going to focus more on the ones I have had over the past 6 years: 2018 Learn to crochet! It’s hard for a lefty! (I’ve gotten better but still not pattern ready) 2020 Learn to draw and start Art therapy (I have signed up for a bunch of online classes and have the supplies but really haven’t focused on this one) and 2022 learn to play the piano.  The piano that is in my dining room was important to mom, and I could never get rid of it because that was a “must have” for her.  I can read music, but never learned to play piano two handed so I have made a resolution to learn it so I can play like her. I guess something new I did start in 2021 was a genealogy search.  There were a few reasons I did this; most being that I know next to nothing about the Burke side of the family’s health issues and when you get those surveys about your family medical history, I know nothing about my dad’s, Now mom’s, I probably know more than most, but it is pretty cool to find out I have cousins in Switzerland and Australia. My aunts on my mom’s side made her history easy to import because they dug deep and put some books together, so a lot of the sites already had the information.  If you are curious, I highly recommend it.  I started with “23 and me” basically to find out if I was a risk for some of the illness’s mom suffered with and I want to do the preventive stuff if I had BRACA and other cancerous genes. A lot of the sights will import the DNA test results from other sites and let you build from there. My Heritage DNA is the one I am focusing on mainly! https://www.myheritage.com/site-1590948132/burke


 I lost my singing voice when I had COVID in 2020. It’s been hard realizing that since I’ve been singing since I was 5 years old. I sang mostly southern Gospel with mom but did win a few karaoke contests in my 20’s. Funny, how you really don’t appreciate what you have until it goes away. I think I sound more like a smoker now than I did when I was younger, which is funny considering I have never smoked a day in my life.  Now secondhand smoke, yeah, I was around that a lot growing up, but weren’t we all?


Work is fabulous.  I love the company I work for.  We truly work as a team and help each other out whenever possible.  The 2 biggest differences: 1. We are a faith-based company with an active prayer list chat.  2: We are not corporate and never plan to go that way. Being privately owned and operated creates an environment where we actively cheer each other on for success.  We are in 6 states and have some of the nation’s biggest law enforcement agencies as clients.  I have been privileged to regain some connections with customers I had when I worked as a software vendor, and now I can be myself and their voice to a vendor which I absolutely love. I’ve watched my career go full circle from where I entered the law enforcement world 23 years ago. I never imagined me in this direction. It’s true what they say “tell God you have a plan, and he laughs” …


We are so happy with the Pet Barn for boarding, grooming and doggie day care for Sadie and Rocco. They are 2-3 miles from my house. The dogs love it so much that whenever it is sunny outside, they expect they should be allowed to go!  Most of their kennel workers used to be Vet techs so I know they are in good hands. They send photos, ask questions, and let me know of their behavior when I must travel for work. I would love to have a dog/house sitter, but I have no trust in people and my house has been in such a disarray since mom’s passing that I wouldn’t ask anyone to stay here.  We have great neighbors that watch the place when I travel. Plus, ever since they were robbed around Christmas, we all have cameras everywhere to keep us all safe! I even put in a security system because you never know.


I guess I should include an update on my brother because he doesn’t believe in cards and wouldn’t share much anyway (apparently that is the Burke way, and I didn’t get that gene).  He bought a house and moved to North Port Florida in 2021 when Lowe’s Home Improvement stated his job would be remote. He has worked for Lowe’s for 15 years as part of their IT department and was living in Mooresville prior to moving to Florida. He has a 12-year-old daughter who lives with her mom and family in Mocksville, NC.  I have become the escort to Florida when she wants to go visit him for Christmas and Summer break. We (mom and I) didn’t find out about her until she was 9 years old. She never got to know mom, which breaks my heart.  Well, this year Lowe’s has made the decision to outsource their IT department to India so John will probably be laid off.  They have told the department of their plans but of course if he leaves before, they let him go, he will lose his severance package, so he is hanging in there and looking for a job on the side and hoping to know a start date as soon as possible. It’s very scary starting over when you are over 40 years of age, and ageism is still alive and thriving in today’s world so keep him in your prayers.


For Christmas this year I bought myself a new mattress (coughing and sleeping with 2 large dogs lets one know how bad their mattress really is) and a Tovala Smart oven. Mom always called me a gadget girl, and when I saw this new oven came with a meal service that was equivalent to what I was paying for groceries but eliminated the need of leftovers (which I typically don’t eat and end up throwing away) I jumped at the chance to try it!  You guys know how hard it is to cook for one person???? It’s hard!  This is perfect.  The portions are great, and they have a large menu to pick from.  So far, I am very happy with it. 

Love life- well I know who I am, and I am very comfortable being alone. I don’t need someone to feel complete.  I have unconditional love with Sadie and Rocco.  That is more than most people get their whole life.  I’m not looking for love, if it comes…great.  If not, well I jokingly say mom was married and divorced enough times for me and John.  😊 Well, that’s all I have for this year.  Sadie, Rocco, and I wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy, Health and Prosperous 2024! Buy yourself something special.  You deserve it and no one has you back as much as you do!



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