One great thing about writing these wrapups is that I always see that the previous year was busier than I thought, or better than I thought. I did manage to write at least one post every month. I tried to stay away from political commentary, just because I am so sick of it and there are plenty of other places to go for that. This year was tough for everybody with brains and heart. In the end, this blog serves me and me only. My first post of 2017 explains my thinking pretty well. I don’t dwell on it because I have friends with children. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

In January, I had moved my studio into my friend Susanne’s rental house, occupying the little area of the kitchen where the dining table would have been. I enjoyed a lot of sewing there, and good company. Soon I will be moving out as Susanne looks for new digs in the coming year, so I’m consolidating it into my home studio slowly. It’s working out.

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On January 21, I participated in the amazing Women’s March on Washington along with about half a million other people. What a rush!

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In February, this blanket woven and stitched from Sandy’s discarded shirts was well under way. I need to get back to that. The cats were loving our newly screened in front porch. However, Miss Penny from across the street had a much different opinion.

March was mostly about thinking about upcoming trips. The depression was starting to sink in. Theo obviously didn’t have much more time to spend in this world. I made a book from the denim paper I made the previous year and had hopes for gardening in the back yard of the studio house. I tried to ignore growing physical pain because my chiropractor moved away and I was in denial.

Ragged denim book

In April, I worked hard on the front yard garden, spent a lot of time on the front porch, and went to Lake Waccamaw for Easter. Apparently I didn’t write about going to the People’s Climate March in late April! Wow. I’ll have to go back and do that.

People's Climate March, Washington D.C.

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May was bittersweet. We let my sweet Theo go on May 5. He spent a day at home on the front porch eating all the treats he wanted and accepting last visits from friends. He was quite emaciated so I posted a photo of him from when he was healthy. I will probably never have another cat as loving and needy of attention as Theo. Everybody was in love with him.

more Theo

Ten days later Sandy and I left for a two week trip to Ireland, London, Devon, and Cornwall for our 30th anniversary. I wrote it up in June. It would take all day to pick out one photo, so I made a quick decision about one photo from Trebarwith Strand on the Cornwall coast, since I think that was probably my happiest day of the trip, walking on the Coast Path. Afterwards we hiked the opposite direction and climbed a bazillion steps to visit Tintagel Castle.

Treknow/Tintagel/Coast Path

I’d barely caught my breath in June before Susanne, Joseph, and I got on a plane for Oregon where Susanne and I went to Focus on Book Arts and Joseph visited family. I was thrilled with my classes with Jennie Hinchcliff and Leighanna Light! I then spent a day on my own in Portland, visiting Powell’s City of Books and the Japanese Gardens.

Opening one of the twelve hidden containers in the book

Above, from Jennie’s class “Collecting & Keeping: Chinese Thread Books.”

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Above, pages in progress from Leighanna Light’s “Lily’s Book” class.

Japanese Gardens, Portland

Above, Japanese Gardens, Portland

July brought a trip to Lake Waccamaw again and lettuce and tomatoes from my new container garden in the front yard. The woodchuck came back and decimated a lot of the back garden. I was sick and in pain and frustrated.

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In August, I found out that my gallbladder was a mess, but I found a massage therapist who, although she made me cry on the table, fixed my neck and shoulder pain with trigger point therapy. I lost a couple of friends. Sandy and I went to see Lyle Lovett and His Large Band at the Carolina Theater. Lots of figs.

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A trip to Colorado has become a tradition in September. This time we stayed in an AirBNB in Boulder for one night before joining my cousin and aunt on a weekend trip to Cripple Creek to celebrate my cousin’s birthday. There are donkeys that roam freely through the town and they were spoiled rotten! I would love to move to Colorado.

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My gallbladder was removed in early October and I learned a lesson about pain management and trying to be tough. I worked on an accordion book to hang in the Triangle Book Arts show coming up in January.

Deep depression came down like a dark cloud in late October and November, although you wouldn’t know it from the photos. I had a good time that night, although I won’t be playing the bongos again, because Sandy bought us bodhrans for Christmas! The whole #metoo thing got to me really bad. We spent Thanksgiving with my sister at Lake Waccamaw and got to see my brother and nephew. It pulled me out of my funk.

December was better. I took a lot of good photos in the winter storm and began weaving on Cathedral again. I missed having Christmas with my family because of a stomach virus, but over all I feel better than I have in months. My friend Jackie and I went to the Asheville area for a couple of days to deliver “98% Water” to the Folk Art Center for a Tapestry Weavers South show. Tonight Sandy and I are going to a steampunk ball at the Haw River Ballroom with friends. This is very out of character for me to go out on New Year’s Eve, but we are looking forward to dressing up.

Here’s the progress I made from early January to yesterday on “Cathedral.” Not much, but at least it’s growing again!

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