Jan. 1st, 2013

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This is such a strange time of year.  The short days, the brightness of cold sun on sharp snow followed by the bitter nights.  The holidays rich with food and busy with people, but the cold loneliness at other times.  The busyness of work at work and the odd doldrums of quietude.

A brief review, then.

This past year I struggled once again with the joint trouble, but that's boring, so I'll skip it.  Other health issues, ditto. 

I have not been blogging, talking, commenting, as much.  I've been feeling very quiet, mostly, or have been what a dear friend calls cocooning--curling up and resting, recharging. 

I joined my second yarn club and interacted with other knitters (a first for me).  Unfortunately, the club crashed and burned in a huuuuuuuuge way, and our last pattern remains wrong and uncorrected.  The whole mess soured me a bit on knitting, which was dumb of me, but I maybe needed a little break in that hobby anyhow.  I'll be back at the needles soon, I'm sure.  Even so, I made several 'fancy' projects and a bunch of charity hats and socks.  My favorite project of the year was the socks I made for my mom--she has very unusual shaped feet (in part because of wearing too-small shoes in her early years).  They fit her great and she loves them.  I designed the pattern using an outline of her foot and some reference volumes. 

As a present to myself, I bought my first sewing machine, after using my ancient hand-me-down Singer for thirty odd years.  This new Brother sews like a dream and does not use a presser foot!  That means it has no joint impact at all.  I've completed four quilts since I bought it in late November.  As in, from start to finish, yes. 

I put in a glorious garden, including over ten rose bushes, and a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and flowers.  I have transformed my front yard from a barren wasteland of crab grass and dandelions to a pleasant spread of grass and flowers and small bushes.  The grass, I'm happy to say, will shrink even more next year.  (I don't really believe in front lawn grass.)

I turned forty, which pleased me.

I also celebrated a full decade of the Pook.  We adopted him almost exactly ten years ago--the week between Christmas and New Years of 2002.  We have traveled so many paths together.  He is my constant companion, my best friend, my familiar.  Ever curled at my feet, a dark shadow of power and calm. 

This year I made my first full-length comic and posted it for others to see and enjoy. 

I wrote stories and essays and book reviews, but fewer than I have in the past. 

I cooked countless meals and ate at new restaurants and tried new foods.

I took an art class, my first in many years, and completed an art journal--a goal from years past now done.

I did my best to connect, in an appropriate way, with my dad and my sister and my niece.  That cost me effort and emotional reserves, but it was important.  I saw my dad renew his vows on a beach in Mexico, and ate truly delicious tres leche cake and large tropical mangoes. 

I worked hard at work, much of which was both boring and important.

With my mom, I made great progress on our tiny little cottage.  We got foundation work done, put in new insulation, improved plumbing, renovated my bedroom walls, redid the basement, cleaned and stained the porches, and completed redid the bathroom (patched the hole in the wall, ripped off wallpaper, painted, fixed tile, changed the fixtures, regrouted, painted, etc.)

On the last day of the year, I curled under quilts and watched the snow fall.  The Pook was at my feet and coffee was in my hand.  I was sitting on a couch in a house of my own on my own land.  It is small and old, but it is mine, and very dear.  I thought of all my friends and loved ones, thought of the new year ahead, and was glad.

I hope you are glad, too. 

May 2013 bring glorious joy to you all. 

Later, I will talk a bit about what I hope to do in the year to come....

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March 2016

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