Saturday, December 31, 2016

Dear 2016

May you fall off of a cliff into a pool of lava.

No love,
Credit: The Awkward Yeti

Enough said, am I right? Let's just move on to my annual resolutions review.

2016 Goals:

*FINISH THAT DANG NOVEL. I DID IT! I finally spit out a rough draft, and I am ready for the long revision process. I can't wait to bring The Children of Mossy Hollow officially to life in a few years.
*Cook one dish out of every cookbook I own. FAIL! Not only did I not do this, I have no excuse for not doing this. I flat out forgot. Booooo!
*Do not bring Coca-Cola into the house! Pasta either! You guys, I did so well for 7+ months. Sadly, I fell off of the wagon in late summer.
*Complete all art projects currently in progress. I didn't complete all projects in progress, but here are a few pics of what I did manage:

Postcard in progress for Twitter Art Exhibit
(It was completed and sent to NYC for charity)


Psychedelic Jellyfish

Ink and Resin Pendants

Northern Night Sky


Zebra panel in progress

Anjou Pear

The Kandinsky-inspired work I promised

I have a lot more in the works. I'll share pics soon.

*Be less wasteful and more productive with my time. YES! I renovated much of my apartment, wrote like crazy, read a lot, and made new friends. I really feel like I accomplished this. Yay!
*For the love of God...achieve goal weight already. Not quite. I have lost weight, but I haven't reached the weight I would like to be yet. I do hope to get there in 2017, but we'll see. I am close, though! I'm weary of making it a resolution, so it's not going on next year's list.


Favorite book of 2016: How To Love by Thich Nhat Hanh
Favorite blog of 2016: Heart and Brain by The Awkward Yeti (Nick Seluk)
Favorite album of 2016: Gosh, I'm not sure I have one. I've really enjoyed Pandora Radio this year, especially the instrumental stations. I like The Piano Guys, David Lanz, and of course an old favorite of mine - Richard Clayderman. I also listened to Dire Straits Radio a great deal.
Favorite show/movie of 2016: Star Wars Rogue One, of course. It was fantastic. This is an oldie for sure, but I also loved seeing Labyrinth on the big screen. It was my first time watching the movie.
Favorite moment of 2016: Meh. I'm going to have to say it's a tie between visiting my nieces in January for Sadie's 1st birthday, and my niece Jo visiting me at Christmas.

In spite of my unbelievable exhaustion, I've made a longer list for the new year.


~ Learn to play the Irish tin whistle via YouTube tutorials
~ Read all books and comics in my possession (not including textbooks)
~ Continue to declutter: unpack what needs to be unpacked, pack what needs to be packed, and get rid of what’s not being used
~ Renovate my 7 year old computer, backup all files, and prepare for a new inexpensive replacement because poor BessieMac is about to croak
~ Organize and knock out all art projects in progress
~ Tighten social media and reduce public presence
~ Take a watercolor painting class if health permits (this may have to take place online from my bed...which is ok)
~ Figure out my late MawMaw’s seafood gumbo recipe

May 2017 be a kinder, more peaceful year.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Rest In Peace, Princess

Credit: James Hance

This is a devastating blow to what has been a year of immense loss in the Fine Arts world. Thank you, Carrie Fisher, for your talent, your humor, your honesty, and your advocacy. You will be missed by so many.

Edit Note: It has taken me awhile to come back to this, but I just want to acknowledge the fact that her beloved mother Debbie Reynolds passed away the following day. It left me pretty speechless. I can't imagine what Billie went through, losing her mother and grandmother within 24 hours of each other. I wish her comfort and peace as she moves forward after this profound loss.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

A little bit of Christmas, in Pictures

I entered the holiday door contest. :-)
(Edit Note: I won! LOL)

I made goodies...mmmm!
(I also cooked a feast, but forgot to take pics!)

I received some really nice gifts from friends and family.
This isn't everything, but many thanks to all who thought of me.

And I...nope. Just kidding. That's not my hand! Haha!
It's my brother's girlfriend's hand. They are finally getting
hitched! I'm happy that I was present for the proposal. :-)

I crashed early, and had to spend the rest of Christmas in bed.
I hated not carpooling to Pensacola, but my body was struggling.
I accomplished most of my plans, however, and I'm ok with that.

I was determined to fight depression and embrace the season.
I cooked, visited folks, bought a few gifts with the little money I had,
and, in spite of my unstable muscles, I had a successful holiday overall.

I hope you all did too, faithful readers.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

A Christmas Visitor!

Yesterday, I had a special guest in my home for the first time:

It's my niece, Jo!

She's five now. In fact, she'll be six in March. She is sooooo tall! I expect her to exceed my measly 5' 5" within a decade.

Jo loves to watch Food Network competition shows. Like myself at her age, she was perfectly content with cookware and utensils from the kitchen to play with. We had a go of the board game Sorry and played a few rounds of Connect 4 also, but the kitchen/dining room was definitely her happy place. :-)

In addition to pretending to cook, she helped me cook for real! We prepped a huge pan of dressing to go into the oven the next day, made a Christmas tree shaped chocolate bar, and baked cookies, which she dipped in chocolate and sprinkles (and they were excellent...very decadent)! Oh, she made a peppermint slushie too, completely on her own. I didn't even realize what she was doing until she gave me the bowl of melted peppermints in water and asked me to freeze it. It turned out perfectly, by the way. The kid is super smart! I regret that I didn't take photos of the food she helped make. My phone was on the charger trying to upload a video (which failed miserably, I might add).

Anyway, we had a GREAT time. I'm so glad I was able to spend the evening hanging out with her. She made a stressful week worlds better. :-)

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

2016 Wrap Party (In Pictures)

It's been a crazy year for all of us, hasn't it? I'm not going to dwell on any bad moments we've dealt with, but I thought I'd share a bunch of photos of my year. I didn't format them to look all pretty, so forgive me if they are a little messy. I did leave most of them clickable for better viewing if you wish.
Away we go...

I unintentionally went red!
I later intentionally tried to go red, but it turned brown.
Beauty is not my thing, ladies and gentlemen.

I won a lovely art prize from a great group called Thalo on Twitter.

I made cute coasters (they're not perfect...a bit sticky, actually).

I cracked up a few folks with my cheesy "Fanta C" joke.

I set up tables in my living room and hosted a family game night.

I started gaming at other people's houses as my health permitted.

I made some new friends. :-)

A friend took me birdwatching, and it was a success!

I tried some new foods this year: Kimchi, Korean BBQ Chicken, South American Tamale, Filipino Chicken Adobo, Iranian Birdnest, Chobani Yogurt, Asian Steamed Bun, deep fried taco, and an avocado smoothie. Wow! I can't always eat, but when I can, I try to make the best of it.

I returned to Muscular Dystrophy clinic for documentation of my peril.

I visited the sculpture garden at the children's hospital.

I nearly lost my mind over the disgraceful Presidential campaign.

I was so tired, but enjoyed my first game convention. I even won a game or two.

I'm still recovering from that last one 2 days later. I'm extremely tired, and spending most of my time in bed because there isn't much else I can do.

I'm super grateful for the outings I've had this year in spite of my failing health. My friends are accepting and accommodating, and I appreciate that.

One thing I didn't post a pic of is one of my biggest accomplishments: NaNoWriMo. I reached my goal of writing the first draft of my novel, and now I am officially in revisions for God only knows how long. Probably years. But I'm happy that I made that much progress in the midst of so many ailments including sleep deprivation, muscle weakness, depression, and incredible stress.

I'm still feeling crappy thanks to the weather. My sinuses and allergies are going crazy. I want to drink Coca-Cola and sleep...that's all I care about this week. Next week, I have holiday plans, including a special visitor. Stay tuned!