It's the thing to do, this recounting of the past year. To remember good times and bad, I guess, and there was plenty of both around here.
I started the year as I had done for the past four - visiting Jim in Washington, DC. I went to my very favorite local yarn shop - Fibre Space, we took in the National Mall and monuments, went to the big Smithsonian Air and Space Museum by Dulles Airport, saw an interesting movie (The Imitation Game), visited the Spy Museum (in keeping with the theme of the movie), and ate at all my favorite restaurants. Can I just say, I LOVE DC & Alexandria!
Eh, not much going on. It was a fairly cold and wet month. Good to stay inside and knit. Did you know I knit? Hahahaha! Did a lot of that. On a nice day when Jim was home, we took a stroll along the Atlanta Beltline. It's one of those rail to trails things and is a VERY BIG DEAL here. It's done a great job of adding green space, recreational areas, art installations, and neighborhood revitalization to many heretofore neglected parts of the city. Most of all, it's fun! We stayed until almost dark.
This is a changeable month in Georgia. Cold, warm, cold, warm. And I was still riding every day and....knitting! At the end of the month, Jim and I flew to Florida to visit his brother and sister-in-law who are bi-coastal, with a home there, as well as one near Lake Tahoe. We had a great time in Florida. Maybe we can make it to the other coast this year. Anyway, we did a lot of boating with them. Tim has a BIG sailboat, as well as a nice size motor boat. We did both. Lucy likes either, and swimming.
Such a pretty month. Flowers and grass and singing birdies. Did I get pictures. Um. Well. No. It was Socks & Mittens 8th birthday. They did not have cake. I also did not take a picture of them on their birthday. But here's one from a few weeks before (that I think I already posted on this blog, but whatever.)
They are still characters. Socks has some health problems - he has a heart murmur, and after seven years of vet visits, it turns out he has only one kidney (how did they miss that???), which is starting to have issues. Nonetheless, he's still raising hell all over the house and making life alternatively pleasant and not so much for poor Mittens. They are the best!
Did stuff at home and the barn. Yawn. Life. Snapped this one evening - the moon and two planets (Venus and Jupiter?) Fuzzy, but interesting, I think.
One weekend when Jim was home, we drove up to property we own in North Carolina. We have had this property since 1985. Always meant to build a small weekend house on it, but one way and another life intervened with other plans. But we like going up and traipsing through the woods. Further up the road from us is a beautiful meadow that was once a homestead. There's a trickling little creek, ancient apple trees that still put out some fruit in Fall, and the remains of the old cabin's two chimneys. It's a tranquil site that the owners have let be, building their house further back on another lot. Oh, and there are lots and lots of mountain laurel around. We were lucky and caught it blooming.
Hot. Humid. FIREWORKS! For the first time in several years, it didn't rain like crazy on the 4th, so we went into town, sat in our little town square, and saw the fireworks. Not a huge show, but it's ours, and it's fun. This is the place we ate dinner before heading over.
Well now, August was kind of a locally monumental month here. Jim, living in Alexandria and working in DC for the last five years, came home. He took a local job with a private company and left the Federal government behind. We both are going to miss DC a lot! He didn't think he would, but he does. We will have to go back as tourists, which isn't quite the same thing as being "locals." Anyway, we made the best of it before packing up and heading home. I made sure we ate at all of my most favorite places, we took a long walk along and around the National Mall at night, I shopped 'til I dropped at Fibre Space, we spent lots of time in Alexandria, and we even took a road trip to Mt. Vernon, home of President George Washington. He was quite a guy, that Washington! He even had sheep. Ok, not these particular sheep, but you know.
My birthday month! Not mentioning how many years, but quite a few. One of my best friends got married this month. I am SO happy for her! She and her husband asked me to take photos of their post-nuptial wedding day and I was thrilled to do so. (And I still owe them a wedding album - SOON, I PROMISE!!!) Ah, love.
Well, SAFF, of course. Hali, Diana, and I made our yearly pilgrimage to the Asheville area for this sheepie event. Held in a new venue, it was not the same, but still an exciting and wallet draining experience. We always have such a great time seeing old friends and meeting new yarns. Did you all know I knit? Baaaa! Gracie also had surgery this month to try to correct the lameness problem she's had since April 2014. Love that horse. She needs to get better!!!
So, as part of Jim's new job, he goes places. Lots and lots of place, most of which do not involve me. But every year, his company hosts a party as part of a larger conference. This year, sadly, it was in Hawaii. I know, but someone has to spend their tourist dollars. And I went along!! Hooray. Ok, it was mostly meh, but there was also quite a bit of Hooray! Hawaii is very lovely. We saw lot and lots of beautiful and unusual sights. We went to the Honolulu Zoo, stayed on Waikiki beach, took a boat ride out into the ocean from that beach, circumnavigated Oahu by car, walked part way up Diamond Head volcano (extinct), flew to Kauai, circumnavigated Kauai by car, drove to the world's wettest place (yes, it was), walked along beautiful beaches, ate good food, and flew home. The meh comes from the fact that the first half of the trip was mostly work, but also because Hawaii did not meet my expectations as being a verdantly lush, parrot laden, tropical paradise. Opinions, I has them!! I'm really glad I went, but would rather go somewhere else next time. Oh wait, the next time will be in Orlando. I could do that! Anyway, here's one of my favorite photos from Hawaii. Diamond Head lighthouse.
Hectic. Isn't it always? We had two events on consecutive weekends at the barn. First, our annual Holiday Bazaar & Quadrille Performance. I sold some knitted stuff at the bazaar and rode a horse in the quadrille. Both were fun. The next weekend, we had our annual Holiday Party for the barn. That was fun, too. The day after that, the knitters gathered at my house for our yearly party. Great people, tasty food, and a fun gift swap. Yarn and stuff. You know. We knit. Then it was time for Christmas. I may not be a religious person, but I do like Christmas - family, food, togetherness, gifts. Not the getting of gifts, so much, but I do love to pick out special things and then watch my family and friends enjoy them. That's the very, very best.
And now it's 2016. I'm sure that this year, like last, will be filled with the special and the mundane, the happy and sad, the known and the unknown. My wishes for this year are that I will continue to hold my friends and family close, that my dear pets - Sock, Mittens, and Gracie - will continue in good health, and that any sadness that comes my way will be balanced in equal parts by joy. In short, life should go on as it is intended to do. I hope you will all continue to be a part of mine. And I promise to be a part of yours.
Love from me to you!