Looking back at 2013

As each year starts, I select a word or words to guide me in the year ahead.  For 2013 “Experiencing Miracles” were the words I picked, or should I say those words picked me?  I got myself a jar and each time a miracle occurred this past year, I wrote it on a piece of paper and tucked it in the jar.  Each of us can set our own threshold for what a miracle is.  To me, it is something outside of the ordinary and very special.  The threshold is high, but not beyond reach.  I like to live my life where miracles are an easy part of how my life unfolds.


My 2013 Jar of Miracles

What an amazing year this has been.  I definitely experienced far more miracles than I usually do:

  • 1/1/13 I begin a project to simplify my life and reduce my trash which now is a part of my everyday life.
  • 2/14/13  One week without make-up and no one got hurt.
  • Grow plants from seeds for the first time since I was a child.
  • Reconnected with Chriss Lemmon as a spiritual teacher.
  • Rox & John watch my kitty, Karma, and my home while I am out of the country for 2 months.
  • On the Camino I begin to ask “What if I don’t have to control things to feel safe?”
  • Got up when I fell in the water on the Camino.  This involved getting up from sitting on the ground, with a 25 pound pack on my back, a bum knee, with no help and no stick.  I think those angels on the Camino definitely had a part in this one!
  • Met Ron on the Camino!
  • Walked 550 miles on the Camino and a total of 1,000 miles this year!
  • Lost weight and got more fit.  Broke the 200 pound barrier!
  • 9/27/13 Ava is born!

Here is an update on some miracles that occurred:

My granddaughter, Ava, is now 3 months old and such an expressive and adorable baby. She has lots of love around her from her Mom and Dad, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and friends.  She truly has been an amazing addition to our family!


Ava and the Kilkenny Clan on Christmas Day 2013

Ron and I Skype almost daily.  He is coming to Portland to visit for a month in March.  We became great friends on the Camino and were attracted to each other, and afterward we agreed to try out a relationship to see how that works for both of us.  This is a true miracle, as I have not been in a relationship for more than 15 years and we live 8,000 miles apart. And it does somehow feel right, supportive and good for us both!  If all goes well in March, then I plan to go to Australia in October to attend his daughter’s wedding and see Australia for my first time!


Rainy day in Burgos Spain with Ron on 6/19/13

I am staying below 200 pounds, but haven’t been walking as much lately during this cold weather.   I experimented with running and did OK, but I am back to walking versus running for now.  I did 3 raw cleanses in 2013 and each one taught me new things about myself.  I like how I feel on raw food, but I am still mastering how to keep a high raw intake between cleanses.

Rare photo of me running at the Zombie Apocalypse

Rare photo of me running at the Zombie Apocalypse – October 2013

My simplification experiment continues to move forward.  Here is a  photo of me holding up my typical trash for a 4 week period.  I also have reduced my recycling and will soon be doing a more in-depth blog about the 2013 simplification experiment.

4 weeks of Trash as of 3/25/13

4 weeks of Trash as of 3/25/13

The magic of the Camino is not easy to put into words.  I feel like I let go of needing to control things to feel safe and out of that came a man who makes me feel very safe and with whom I am able to be myself!  I now know I can do almost anything I set out to do, if I just break it into smaller steps.  If you keep thinking about walking 500 miles, it can weigh on you, but if you just get up and walk each day, it adds up, and soon you are arriving at Santiago.  The friends I have met on the Camino and the lessons learned I hold close to my heart.  Ron is putting together a “proposal for the committee” that he and I belong to. Yes, it is just a two person committee, but that is part of what makes it fun!  He will be presenting his proposal about another walk for us to do in 2015.

Stone to take to La Cruz de Ferro

Stone I left at La Cruz de Ferro


7 of the 8 Aussie friends I met on the Camino – Patrick, Cheryl, Ali, Liz, Stuart, Liz and Rose.


Me and the 8th Aussie from the Camino, Ron.


Arriving in Santiago de Compostela Spain on 7/14/13

Friends and family have added a richness to my life that I treasure beyond words.  I am grateful for a lot of fun events shared in 2013.  Here is a link to a video which recaps many of my 2013 experiences.  The song in the video talks about burning dollars and counting stars.  To me that is about letting go of material things in favor of the good times with friends and family.  Please know that I count each of you as “my stars.”

So my life is rich and full.  In fact, so full that going back to the work world is just not something on my current horizon.  I can’t wait to see what 2014 holds!  Thanks for being a part of this journey.  I wish for you a blessed year ahead...now off to figure out my word for 2014!


  1. Jane Wolfe says:

    Great summary of your year. This year Norman and I are going to start a jar for miracles. It seems we have so many to celebrate already. You have been an amazing role model for us. Every day that you focus on health and well being is another day that we learn lessons from you. Here’s to a great 2014 for all of us. Big hugs!


    • Thanks Jane, You and Norman inspire and teach me too. I am grateful to call you friends. As I looked back at the hikes we took in training for my Camino, those were some awesome memories. Much nicer to hike with someone than alone. Blessings to you both as you fill up your jar in 2014!


  2. thanks Kathy for sharing your life! Wonderful and so happy for you. Sheri


  3. Miriam says:

    I loved reading this! It’s so wonderful to see all of your growth and great experiences from 2013!


  4. Tricia Peterman says:

    Thank you Kathy for a most intersting and inspirational blog. I was waiting for this and it was well worth waiting for. It obviously reflects you and your growth. I loved getting to share in hearing of your miracles. I like the idea of putting them into a jar and that way you can treasure them and not forget them. Connecting with you and spending time with you is always a blessing to me. Thank you for being one of my miracles.


  5. Nona says:

    Very nice Kathy! I think the universe sent you to the Camino so you and Ron could meet. I can see in the photos how happy you are when you’re with him. You light up! Here’s to even more miracles for you in 2014!


  6. Jeanne Bullion says:

    So much fun to read this and great new insights into my friend Kathy. Inspired me to start my own blog – 2014 is going to be a great year!


  7. Penny Guinther says:

    Wonderful summation of your year and miracles. Can’t wait to hear what you word for 2014 will be. Thank you for being in my life!


  8. Lori Nye says:

    Loved the words – blown away by the video! So glad you are in my life girlfriend! Let’s make some fun memories together in 2014.


    • Lori, Hopefully you noticed that you were the one that generated a lot of the fun things I did in 2013. Thanks for being you and adding all your special touches to events and times together.


  9. River Cheung says:

    Enjoy to read your ” Experiencing Miracles of 2013″ . I can’t wait to see your another miracle life’s experience in 2014.


  10. Barbara says:

    Loved your video! You inspire me:)


  11. Colleen Holland says:

    This was so beautiful to read, Kathy. You have an incredible way with words and expression, and I love being a part of your journey. Your honesty and insight are very unique; thank you for that. With love, Colleen xoxo


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