Here we are, at the end of another year. This year in particular was a challenge, mostly due to the fact that it seemed like every other day that the world as we know it was crashing down around our ears. That’s why doing a year-end round-up thing is usually so pleasing to me. Even if nobody’s reading/listening, it gives me an opportunity to look back on everything that happened and pick out all of the good parts. Especially the stuff that might not have made it onto the blog. It makes you remember the good things, even when everything else is still pretty terrible.
First up, in January, Dan and I went to the Women’s March here in New Orleans.
We hung out with some of the coolest, nicest people ever and got to see some truly hilarious protest signs.
It really felt good to walk amongst so many people who felt like they just needed to do something. Who are doing things and working hard to make things better. I had a coworker ask me, very sincerely, the day afterwards, “But what is everyone marching for? What’s made them so angry?” My answer: “Everything.” I knitted quite a few Pussyhats for friends and for myself, and Dan and I will definitely be wearing them when we march again this year.
In January, I also finished a vest for Dan, a project that still fills me with pride.
Speaking of Grow Dat (the little farm that Dan’s running through all joyfully), in February, Dan and I really got the ball rolling on getting creative and cooking with our weekly CSA haul.
Every week there was more and more kale, and we rose to the challenge. Seriously, I have never eaten so many greens in my life.
I pickled beets and carrots and daikon and peppers and okra and anything else I could get my hands on. And that’s just a tiny sampling of all of our homecooking. We unfortunately did not sign up for the Grow Dat CSA this year, mostly due to the fact that my time’s going to be even more limited because of school, but it’s definitely helped us to eat better and for me to step up my cooking skills. Do go check out Grow Dat and the Hollygrove Market if you’re here in New Orleans. You’ll be glad you did.
Studying was a huge part of my life this year, having started grad school in January after graduating from nursing school in May of 2015. I did not take many pictures of it, because it is not particularly visually exciting, but school really ran my life this year. I kept working full-time as well, until the summer, because I am a crazy person and thought that I could handle it. Now I’m down to two days a week (but it’s still night shift and still a crazy-busy job), but at least now I can breathe.
In March, I had to go to “intensives” for school, and I got to see what is possibly the greatest billboard advertisement of all time.
You might think that a busy highway is no place for Sir Mix-a-lot jokes. You are wrong.
In April, Dan and I found my doppelganger in the New Orleans Museum of Art.
And we went to a Hootenanny!
Grow Dat hosted this huge party for all of its subscribers and donors this year, complete with bluegrass music and square-dancing lessons, and all kinds of amazing food and cocktails from all around the city. I may have had a whole lot of strawberry punch and donated a large amount of money to buy a tractor, but those kids were so excited that it was impossible to not get super excited about tractors right along with them.
In May, I made some dice bags.
Want to make your own? Here’s the pattern, and here’s the chart for your very own LOTR-inspired monogram on the front.
Then, Bailee and I drove ourselves down to Austin in order to personally hand them to the McElroy brothers.
It was amazing, plus I made an extra-special awful face in that picture, so that’s how I get to remember it for the rest of time.
We got to hang out with my brother and sister-in-law, and I got to meet some wonderful Twitter people in real life and eat brunch with them, which is why I think the Internet was really invented: to eat brunch with cool people in different parts of the country.
In June, I went to San Francisco to visit my best friend, Jonathan, and his wife, Rebecca, who are two of the best people, just hands-down.
We went to a Japanese mall.
We saw Justin Townes Earle.
We saw the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Bay Model.
We saw beautiful water and gardens.
We ate at In-N-Out Burger.
We saw Elvis Costello at the Greek Theatre. (My third time seeing him, and a wonderful birthday treat.)
We saw so much modern art at SFMOMA that I’d previously only seen in textbooks, which blew my mind a little bit.
Warhol, Chuck Close, George Segal, Robert Rauschenberg, Lichtenstein, Rothko, Duchamp, Josef Albers…I didn’t want to leave.
We also watched a lot of the new season of Twin Peaks, so it seemed only fitting that I baked us a cherry pie to enjoy.
What a wonderful trip.
During July, I was deep into the throes of knitting for the Summer of Socks, but I figured that this would be a good opportunity to post some pictures of the baking I did this year. Nothing ended up on the blog, but dang there was some good baking coming out of my kitchen.
And I haven’t posted any pictures of the cats yet!
Bowie and Trip make every year better.
In August, I made a lovely baby blanket for a lovely lady.
And a very cute bunny.
Dan and I also enjoyed the eclipse with Dan’s custom made shadowbox viewer, and a giant welding helmet. Everyone loved science for a whole day. It was great.
In September, Dan and I finished up a masterpiece.
And then we just couldn’t stop doing puzzles. We have three now that need to be framed and hung before we’re allowed to do any more.
Dan also took this nice picture of me in the courtyard of Le Petit Theatre before we saw a show.
In October, we showed some friends from out-of-town around the city for Halloween, which always includes some above-ground cemetery action.
Yep, that’s right, that’s a human jawbone just hanging out. Every day is Halloween here.
I took those same friends to the National World War II Museum, and we had a great, although sobering, time.
The production value of this museum is downright astounding. I highly recommend it, even though I’m not really a huge wartime-history buff, just because everything was so detailed and interactive. Just make sure you plan to spend the whole day there so you can see everything. The place is massive, and the four hours we spent were simply not enough.
This was my favorite fun fact.
I also posted about some awesome socks in November.
And I visited Bailee in Mississippi for her birthday!
We ate all kinds of fried chicken and fancy pastries, listened to Taylor Swift and did our Tarot. A really, really good day.
I surprised myself and made a beautiful rainbow baby blanket in December.
Complete with turtle friend.
And then I made another one.
With elephant to match.
All of these pregnant ladies in my life have such good taste, so I really had to step up my game to give them some beautiful things.
Dan requested apple pie for his birthday (as per usual), so I got my buttermilk crust game-face on.
He also had an extra request this year, and that was that a make peach cobbler for one of his coworkers, a widower whose wife used to love to bake. He’s a good egg, that Dan.
Then, the Summer of Socks was upon us, and I posted all about my super-secret sock knitting escapades, in three installments (1, 2, and 3!).
Then, just a few days ago, Dan and I welcomed a new family member into our lives.
Her name is Turbovicki, and she’s very red and half-electric. We love her.
I have never had a new car ever in my entire life, so I’m having a complicated mix of feelings about it. On the one hand, I feel like I really don’t deserve something so nice. I’m bad about treating myself and doing nice things for myself, because I just don’t ever feel like I’ve done anything special for it. It was a very big decision to even allow myself to think about having a new car.
On the other hand, oh my god if this isn’t the coolest car ever. I’m trying to get over myself and enjoy it.
So, all in all, a pretty good year, full of baking and knitting and schoolwork and love. Speaking of baking…
First thing for the new year will be a new pie recipe, so you can enjoy all kinds of chocolate and cherries to start 2018.
I can’t even express how good it feels to look over all of this and to be able to share it with all of you. I’m always glad to have the outlet of blogging and to be able to share my (albeit small) accomplishments with a tiny corner of the world. I hope that you all had a good year, despite the ongoing garbage fire of a world, and that we can share the upcoming goodness of 2018 together.