Last year I decided to try something new, because I was depressed about the rampant discord in our country and the massive amount of rancor (a feeling of deep and bitter anger and ill-will) coming from so many people in this country, who I really thought knew better. My decision was to try and be mindful of the good in life and make a record of it on little 3X3 pieces of notepaper. Every time something nice, good, wonderful, interesting, funny or weird happened I would write it down, fold it up and toss it in a jar. Hopefully, at the end of the year I would have a jar full of happy memories to prove to myself that something good did happen during the year.
The following is a mix of the best of my written and photographic recordings of the past year.
January 1, 2017–Happy New Year’s! It snowed today!
January 4–I went on a photowalk around the farm in the freshly fallen snow. Such a different, serene view!
January 5–Saw two coyotes in the Morgan’s cow pasture this morning. We often hear the coyotes howling at night, but never see more than one or two in the daytime.
January 24–Went out for pizza and beer with Janice Barthlomew and her mom at Abbey Pizza. Good times! (Abbey Pizza benefit for the Sigl family’s loss of wife and mom.)
January 24–Saw the elk two times today. It’s a big herd with young. The herd was much more visible this year with more young than usual.
January 25–I brought Matrimonial bars to the SIG event (Spring Into Gardening) and a man sought me out to ask for the recipe…for something I baked!
January 26–Sun is shining! Temperature got up to 85 degrees upstairs.
January 27–There were some interesting wave-shaped clouds over the mountains just before sunset. These, I found out later, are called Kevin-Helmholtz wave clouds.
January 30–Started an on-line photoshop course called Photoshop Artistry, which makes art from a collage of photos.
January 31–Today I FIXED my computer, after breaking it last week. Installed the correct Wacom TAB DRIVER so the mouse works again and figured out that MS Edge will let my Wacom Pen work with Adobe Flash! 😀
February 23–First wine and food pairing class with Diane of Delish with Diane. Lots of fun, wine and good Caesar Salad! This was a six-week course and every week we had something delicious to eat, great wine, and lots of laughs.
March 1–Laura got a big raise and a new title! 😀
March 2–Saw a Bald Eagle early this morning–he landed on top of a tree in the cow pasture.
March 12–Lovely warm day spent weeding and trimming. Saw the elk herd in the pasture.
March 25–Joined an interesting group–The Cloud Appreciation Society.
The Cloud Appreciation Society was founded by Gavin Pretor-Pinney from the United Kingdom in January 2005. The society aims to foster understanding and appreciation of clouds, and has over 42,000 members worldwide from 115 different countries, as of January 2017. Yahoo named the society’s website as “the most weird and wonderful find on the internet for 2005”. The group and its founder were the focus of a BBC documentary Cloudspotting, based on Pretor-Pinney’s book The Cloudspotter’s Guide. (Wikipedia)
Upon joining, I received a certificate (member 43,001), a nifty enamel pin and a Cloud Selector Identification Wheel, plus every day they send me a photo of an interesting cloud formation with an explanation of what it is. I don’t remember why I joined, but I have been enjoying it immensely. You too can join at https://cloudappreciationsociety.org/
April–NO MFP Training! 😀 (Sorry Sara R.)
April 15–April, the giraffe, had her baby! Too cool. Live video was posted by the zoo and many, many people invested many, many hours waiting for that baby’s arrival.
April 16–Alternate Universe–There is a Sabbath setting on the refrigerator. The panel stops working=NO WATER! Happy Easter!
April 19–A pheasant came to visit us–very friendly. We bought it some food and haven’t seen it since.
May 1– Last day of Delish with Diane. A lady in the class, who homeschools, asked me to teach art to the kids in her homeschool group. Nice to be asked, but I turned her down.
May 7–Going to Ireland!
May 25–Home from Ireland! We had the best time–two and a half weeks of a perfect vacation. We drove from Dublin clockwise around the entire island and ended in Dublin. The people of Ireland are very friendly and the scenery is gorgeous.
We found Smithwick’s ale to be the best in Ireland and at a Slow Food Festival near the Cliffs of Moher I won a bottle of Irish Peat Wine as a door prize. Hmmm…it didn’t taste like peat though.
June 27–Started pottery class–great fun! Started on a slab cup and attempted a pinch pot.
July 1–Bruce was the cover boy (with article inside) for our local electric company’s magazine, Ruralite.
July 10–Finally finished a pastel painting. The subject is a photo that a friend posted on Facebook. Next painting up is a photo I took in Ireland of a mama pig and piglets in a barn.
July 17–I found my Photoshop Brushes that I thought were lost forever! Oh, Happy Day! Also, 7-17-17, all the sevens, and my Grandmother’s birthday.
July 26–Threw my first pot on the pottery wheel. Short cylinder, difficult to do, but fun!
July 27–Bruce installed new sun covers for the kitchen and greenhouse/conservatory. They are very nice and keep the kitchen much cooler!
August 15–We planted a peach tree in our orchard and got a small but very delicious crop this year. These are Elberta peaches.
August 21–Today I’m sure that Laura bought us a fine bottle of Port in Porto, Portugal! Yum! 😀 (update Christmas 2017–I was right!)
August 21–Total Solar Eclipse Day! We had about 97% totality. It got as dark as it does at dusk.
August 22–The glaze on my coil pot came out just the way I wanted it. Yahoo!
August 24–We have a beautiful new marble countertop in our bathroom! The second photo is the previous countertop. We also put in new fixtures and a spiffy shower door.
August 28–Laura made it home safely from trip to Portugal/Spain and had a great vacation!
September 7–Smoke has cleared and skies are blue–partially. Air smells sweet. 😀 The fires were fierce in Oregon this summer and we mostly avoided the smoke until the end of summer when the winds shifted and we were enveloped in a cloud of smoke for weeks. It made for some interesting photography, though.
November 15– Pottery class is winding down for the holidays. This is my favorite piece since we began.
December 14–I finally figured out how to use the Scan Function on the printer to make it put the image on the computer! 😀
In the end, this project was a good decision on my part–I didn’t always have something good to write, but when I did, I mostly remembered to write it down and it was fun reading all the notes at the end of the year. Some things I remembered and some were a good jog to the memory and some things were silly, but still good. Best of all, it reminded me that in spite of it all seeming like life is awful, there are still many, many good things that happen too. I have no trouble remembering the bad that happens and dwell on it too much, but now I have a way of keeping happy alive.
I wish you all a year of many happy memories!