This year I did a fun journal/photo project that goes along with my annual look back at the year. I used an app called 1 Second Everyday and took a one second video almost every day of 2018. Then, each month, it compiled those seconds into a 30 second video. Then, on New Year’s Day, I put it all together for a 365 second video showing 2018. It was so much fun! Disclaimer: some days I forgot to take a video and used photos or videos from other days. Also, there’s an awful lot of clips of Willow frolicking in the meadow. It also appears that I have only one child since Tabby appears in it a lot but Clark only 3 times from a distance. There’s lots of stirring and frosting and you can see the progression of the 2018 quilt from start to finish. It’s a very fun way to see the seasons and holidays. Not lots of changes from us humans, but since we got chicks in the spring you can see them fully grow into adults.
The year started off dismally with Clark getting a concussion on a ski trip. Fortunately, things did get better…
In the Coop: in the spring we got one dozen baby chicks, supposed to be all female, but one was a rooster. This was a particularly lovely group of chicks to raise as they were all adorably very attached to us and being handfed. And although there’s always an abundance of roosters (in fact, early in the year one rooster killed one of the other roosters), we do love Carl, who is a rather magnificent specimen. Sadly, he is slightly less magnificent than if I had written this promptly over Christmas break-sometime within the past week he lost an eye! We don’t know what happened. The ladies began laying eggs in the fall and we are once again flush with eggs at all times and happily share them with our friends. There are 19 total in the coop: 11 young hens, Carl, Buffy and Quicksilver-the 6 1/2 year old hens, 2 other hens, and 3 other roosters. One project we’ve been working on (with limited success) is fully enclosing the coop so that they do not fly out, which they do all the time. We could clip their wings, but I think I’d rather there was just a lid on. Gordon remains lively and happy out there with the chickens. *sad note, as I wrote this one of the hens died. Unclear what happened, last night she seemed unwell and this morning she made it out of the house, but then stood there with feathers drooping to the ground, hunched, with eyes closed. I moved her to inside the clean dry garage where she quietly slipped from unconsciousness to death. Goodbye, Pepper 😦
Fun & Games: In the fall Tabby began taking trumpet lessons at school and she is doing great! The first concert is in just a couple of weeks. And to everyone’s surprise, including my own, I joined the handbell choir at church. I have found I really enjoy our weekly rehearsals and making beautiful music. And speaking of new musical hobbies, I also taught myself to play the ukulele this year! Not great, just a few chords and one song, but I”ll keep at it.
We continued our wonderful monthly(ish) GameNights and ventured into Season 2 of Pandemic. We all loved the new game The Mind-deceptively simple and entertaining! 2018 was a year in which many, many stingrays were petted. We loved the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, had a wonderful time at the Adventure Aquarium on Tabby’s birthday (feeding stingrays!), and fed them again at ye olde Turtle Back Zoo on a girls’ weekend. We also petted kangaroos which was pretty awesome. But not at an aquarium. 2018 was the year we realized we’ve lived in this house for 15 years which makes you realize which things you never did that you planned to when you bought the house. Well, those things still aren’t done, but we did a massive summer long garage cleanout and also went full framed concert poster decor in some rooms of the house.
Concerts: It made me laugh to read last year’s recap and see my pronouncement about fewer concerts this year. And while that is true, I did still go to a fair number. We finished 2017 with a Darlingside concert and then, not long after, we saw them again in January 2018 (this time at a more rocking venue.) There were two bands that we got to see twice in one calendar year: Courtney Barnett and First Aid Kit. All four shows were fantastic. We also saw Julien Baker, Sloan (my first time at the tiny Boot & Saddle), David Wax Musuem (whole family went, they are so fun), Jill Sobule, Death Cab for Cutie, Tenacious D (so much fun, audience so different from our usual shows), Guster (after a couple years break we got to see our favorite live band again this fall in a little tour they did in advance of their 2018 tour. We were so thrilled when Ryan came into the audience and sang right next to us), Brian Wilson (legendary Brian Wilson, it was both great and also really sad because he was quite decrepit), and the Foo Fighters (a rocking good time.) And of course, our big concert event was Pearl Jam in Chicago. Whenever we went to a show I got my one second clip from there, so it’s fun to see those in the video.
Coming up this year we’ll be seeing Guster on our anniversary (!) and this summer our big adventure will be going to the Newport Folk Festival.
In the Garden: Frankly we’re still floundering here. We put in some tomato plants and the stupid chickens still got in through the fencing and then we didn’t even eat them all. I think we really need to sit down and figure out something for this year. As usual, at least the flowers looked good! Mostly coneflowers and peonies, but I was thrilled to finally add cleome. Our tall birch tree had to come down (it didn’t recover from an ice storm). I definitely slacked a bit on our butterfly garden maintenance this year and could probably do some sprucing up this year with new mulch and adding some plants. We did add fish to the pond and got a new filter for it, so hopefully that will do better, too.
Tabby performed again with her 4H theater group at the 4H Fair over the summer. She was thrilled to be cast as a wicked stepsister in their production of Cinderella. She was super busy over the summer since she also went to camp a lot.
Clark and Paul did lots of things with his very active scout troop. In the early spring they both went to Boston on a really cool trip that included sleeping over on the USS Constitution. All of us went on a Father’s Day canoe trip that was kind of terrible at the time, but we’ve enjoyed referring to all year. It turned out to be hours longer than anticipated and we got horrible sunburns and were exhausted. They’ve also done trips to Harpers Ferry (which included 15 miles of AT hiking) and winter camping. They also went to a Nascar race, which confirmed their lack of interest in car races and was apparently very very loud.
I was very excited to attend the US Open which was very very quiet during play and also godawful hot. It was a very cool experience and I really enjoyed it, plus I went with friends and we just had a really good time. I took tennis lessons again this summer and while I didn’t like it as much as last year (due to instructor), I’m still glad I did it.
This summer we again put up our little pool and it was glorious. I can’t believe how much we enjoy it. No problems at all with cleanliness or filter this year and it was just heaven to float around in it. And take lots of boomerang and slowmotion videos of jumping in.
Our travel this year was our big trip this summer to Chicago. It included a long road trip, two Pearl Jam concerts, and tons of sightseeing. We had such a good time!
I had a great year in sewing! One of the things that was great about 2018 was not taking classes and just being me going about work and home and hobbies. I mentioned the quilt that I worked on from time to time, but what I really focused on this year was sewing clothes for myself. I found it difficult during the busy school year to find time and inclination to sit down and sew, so that became something I really wanted to do a lot over the summer. I even made a list. (of course I made a list.) And I got a lot of it done!
Interestingly, the two things I wanted most to make and bought expensive fabric for I ended up STILL not having made. I’ll make them this spring. And I’d like to try my hand at a dress for myself this spring/summer. This year is going to be the Year of the Dresden, including another quilt and other projects. I’m also looking forward to more embroidery.
I feel a little sad that I barely used my good camera this year-it was all just hundreds of clicks with my phone, which ends up filling up my phone and they’re not organized and I miss the days when I carefully organized everything on Flickr (there will be no easily found best things I baked, best things I sewed, etc. groups.) Here are a few favorite photos, which may or may not have already shown up in the few posts I already did this year:
And of course there were lots of books and happy hours spent reading this year. Here’s a link to my Top Ten Books of 2018
All in all, a pretty good year upon reflection. Signing off with one of my favorite photos of me taken by Tabby this year: