Happy New Year Reflections

New Year’s Eve 2020

Generally New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to review the year…

A good book for dog lovers of all ages! This book has been in the working stage for years and was finally published August 2020.

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Julie, this is a darling book – Mountain Mutts, by Julie Stephens, is a masterfully written book that takes children through the grief process and beyond through the eyes of an adorable puppy named Joy. As a veteran educator and professional school counselor, I appreciate the seeming ease with which Ms. Stephens enables children to understand the sadness of death, the process of grief, and the joy that life still brings. – Carol Shurtleff, M.Ed. (K-12 Counseling) – over 25 year professional educator

Bought 2: Love the Book.  Sending them off to nieces and nephews – Sue Brix

Julie – Thank you so much for the donation of your very sweet book. It made Taffy and I both tear up. Elaine – librarian

Oh, Julie ❤I love it so much. Made me cry a lot Thank you ❤ it’s a beautiful book and I really, really love it. Thank you – I highly recommend this book for any and all dog lovers in your life. Julie gifted me a copy after my Roxie passed, and I cherish it. ❤Jennifer Rightsell

Love this book, so special – Judy Warren

Gently saying goodbye to 2020

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Our Christmas Eve service was held outside because of COVID – it was so special under the stars – short and sweet with candles and carols – this was one of a number of good things to come out of 2020 was we dealt with and worked around COVID. Dressed in layers, neither my husband nor I were uncomfortable in the nighttime air.

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What a great early morning! We took the dogs for a walk on our nature trail (it was -4 but dressed in layers I wasn’t uncomfortable) our glorious moon was still up! Walking the mountains and taking pictures gives me such delight~!


There are always treasures to behold – be it knock you over with the brightness of a full moon, or the tiny, don’t miss it, animal foot prints in the snow

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These are the kind of surprises that especially make living here such a delightful treat! One recent early morning, these moose were hanging around below our home. It was early and cold but I wasn’t feeling the cold as my attention was focused on the beautiful wildlife. We have the perfect natural environment for them so this is not uncommon but at the same time not an everyday occurrence. I didn’t get a good picture. As soon as the male was aware of me he moved them into the trees where I couldn’t get a clear picture. I wonder why the male was with the calf…


The frozen branches look like works of art in our subzero mornings.

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The river turns quite interesting, its own work of art, in our freezing mornings

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Snowshoeing is another pleasurable way to enjoy the winter season in our mountains and use my body – it always feels so good to be physically active. We walk all the time!

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My husband, dogs and I are blessed to live here anyway but especially during this world wide pandemic. We are so fortunate that our lives haven’t changed that much – we get to be outside all we desire. Following the pandemic preventive protocol hasn’t been a hardship for us as we already live in isolation and generally stay home. My husbands’ job as the engineer at the electric is essential. I continue to write for our newspaper.

Our new way to grocery shop since the pandemic started, picking out our purchases on-line and using curbside pick-up, totally works for me! I don’t miss grocery in person shopping at all! This gives me more time as well!

Zoom meetings came to be a very helpful tool in 2020! My husband and I zoomed Christmas morning with our kids and grandkids talking and opening each other’s packages – almost as if we were there in person! What fun! In the past we’ve just talked and sent pictures. We have tried Skype but generally it’s been awful.

Zooming has enabled me to attend writer’s workshops and conferences that I wouldn’t have gone to otherwise. Local meetings are much easier and faster with zoom than in person. Zoom – something else good to come from 2020!

It’s easy to be upset about the changes in your life you have had to make since the pandemic. However, if you are reading this you have access to a computer and the internet and you haven’t perished in the pandemic – all good things. The vaccine is coming. What are other good things to come out of 2020?

***Happy New Year! What are your goals for the New Year? Does your purpose, have your aspirations, objectives, ambitions changed more since the pandemic…have they remained the same…have you given this any thought…generally New Year’s Day is the perfect time to examination our lives and the coming year…be kind…do good works.

“May you live all the days of your life.”  J. Swift

Living in the Mountains

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4 thoughts on “Happy New Year Reflections”

  1. Dear Julie,

    Congratulations on the wonderful Mountain Mutts book! Joy 🤩 Hope many visitors to the valley will buy lots of copies to take home. Yes, so many silver linings in 2020…one stand out is hours and hours and hours with my father during his 90th and 91st year around the sun getting him moved close to family. Very special.

    Happy New Year 🥳🙏🏻

  2. Love this photo of JOY!! 🥰
    Congratulations on getting your wonderful book, Mountain Mutts, published!

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