We started out the year experiencing one of the coldest I can remember. Of course that is when my sister and brother-in-law were here to enclose our patio. Chuck's words were, "It's so cold there are no degrees!" Not the usual for Oklahoma winters, but it was a crazy weather year all over the world. We got the room closed in and set up the aquaponics system. We spent several months playing with that system and trying to figure out the secrets to success. Mostly it was an expensive learning experience, although not as costly as some or as it could have been.
I did a LOT of art and wrote a LOT of letters throughout the year. I participated in National Letter Writing Month in April and gained a couple of new pen pals from that group, then later I joined a small group called the Secret Snail Mail Society. There are about 14 women in that group, and there have been many weeks that had it not been for them I wouldn't have gotten any mail at all! Between Swap-Bot, Instagram, SSMS, and my regular pen friends, I have kept the USPS hopping this year. I sent out over 1,000 pieces of mail between January 1 and today, December 27.
My art journey has been so fun, beginning with my first gelli-printing session in January and ending with a number of wonderful art journals filled with friends' artwork. I really pushed out of my comfort zone, have done things I never thought I would do, and enjoyed the process immensely. I don't seem to need to do it every day, but I really miss it if I don't get to do some art during a week.
I spent much of the year being in pain of one sort or another. I even spent a few weeks during the year hobbling around with a cane, but in October things turned around for me and I am doing so much better I can hardly imagine the other state now. I won't say I am 100%, but compared to the 40% I was most of the year, I'd say I'm up to about 75% now.
I felt good enough in November that I convinced Ornery to go to Florida, where we enjoyed several warm and sunny days enjoying the gulf coast and some shopping. That was a turning point for me, and ever since we have been back home, I have seen little improvements almost every day. It has really given me hope.
There were other events through the year that I should probably mention:
- Ornery's mom was in an accident on Mother's Day and broke a rib, so she stayed 8 days with us while she recovered
- We finished our first year as landlords and were really sad to see our first renters move out. We are still looking for a new tenant, five months later.
- We listed our house for sale, then removed it from the market, but not before painting almost the entire interior.
- Since deciding to stay, we have really revamped a lot of our living space to be more accommodating to our lifestyle.
We are really excited about some of the goals and plans we have made for 2015. I mean REALLY excited! Even Ornery, who isn't much of an emotional guy, seems to be pretty stoked about them. Stay tuned, because a lot of them will be revealed right here. Some may be a bust, like our aquaponics experiment, but it seems all learning comes at some cost, so I guess that is to be expected. Hopefully some of them will pan out.
I don't plan to be as absent from blogging as I was this year. Things change, ideas come and go and life seems always to be in flux, but we are committed to giving some of our goals a good chance to succeed. And for that to happen there are a lot of changes on the horizon. We are trying to keep the most important things going, and focusing on them, which means a lot of the less meaningful and productive things will no longer take up our time. My outgoing mail for 2015 will (hopefully) be less than 1/2 what it was this year. My time in the studio will be budgeted, and I have added other things to my schedule so I won't let things fall through the cracks, such as writing, gardening and household chores. I'm hoping to add a lot more photo content to this blog, and help with Ornery's new blog, which will be up and running in a couple of months.
And, I'm finally going to write my first book next year. I think 2015 is going to be great!