Thursday, December 24, 2009

2009 – Long Recap

Looking back on 2009’s photos, I can remember many lovely experiences, and, thanks to a jumped up level of serotonin in my brain lately, I can focus on the positive during this cold, dark part of the year.  I do wonder though, is this happiness real or is it Lexapro (paraphrasing an old hair color ad)?  Whatever.  The relief from my normal winter doldrums is wonderful.

20090505 Painting Day 2Financially, my retirement pot of gold is up 7.5% during the first year of the Obama administration, which is quite nice after such a long and steep decline during the Bush administration.  My Federal Social Security checks started coming in March, the same month I lost my part time job at the library due to county budget cuts.  All resulting in me feeling almost flush.  As a result, the kitchen has a new range and a new sink.  The kitchen has a new paint job and the cabinets have slidey out shelves so I can find things in the back of low cabinets.  The sliding shelves might be the best “thing” about 2009.

20090619 iPhone 3GS ArrivesSpeaking of “things”, I love my new iPhone 3Gs, delivered by a lovely UPS man on June 19th.  And I love all its apps for photos, maps, knitting, news, weather, shopping lists, email, twitter, and facebook.  It's a little computer in my pocket.  Even with a compass and GPS, I was able to get myself lost on foot in downtown Portland… because I didn’t pay attention to where North was.

20090421 Pt Lobos Clear WaterThere was a vacation to Monterey Bay & San Francisco, including a visit to Point Lobos, my first ever trip to Muir Woods and the musical “Wicked”, and… a San Francisco library card.  Did you know that Muir Woods was the original Bohemian Grove, where rich and/or creative men would collect to drink, put on skits, play music and pee in the woods?  Bohemian Grove is someplace else now, and Muir Woods is still beautiful.  Still, my favorite place to visit is Point Lobos.  No matter what the season or weather, it’s beautiful and the coastal wildlife is a special treat.

20090602 Yosemite El CapitanThere was a trip to Yosemite for Jan’s birthday.  Of course, Yosemite valley will always be an amazing site.  We took a trip to the top, to Tuolumne Meadows, and it was still Wintery in June.  We saw bears out for their Spring stroll.  The valley is still wonderful for walking.  The Ahwahnee Lodge still serves a very, very good lunch with great service.

20090728 Prairie Creek Fern WallA July trip to Northern California’s coast was a pleasant switch from Chico’s summer Heat.  We stayed in a moldy little house in Crescent City.  Even though the house smelled bad, the situation right on the coast can not be beat.  We just tried not to breath too deeply when we were home.  It was foggy, so I got a lot of knitting done, and we discovered the Red Box movie rentals in the local grocery store (Grand Torino was memorable).  There was a trip to Shore Acre Gardens, which were lovely.  The best part of the trip was the times we went to Prairie Creek State Park, where we walked in ferns and conifer forests with old growth.  I do love the Pacific Ocean.

Me Nigel Duffy at the MarketRight after the costal trip I left for Sock Summit in Portland, OR.  What a treat that was.  I got to meet other West Coast knitters and take classes with some excellent teachers.  I talked about it here.  I stayed in a lovely downtown hotel, right down the street from the Portland Art Museum, the Portland Library, and the Button Emporium.  Since I took the train from Chico to Portland, I had no car and discovered that Portland’s public transportation is excellent.  If you like city vacations, Portland can’t be beat.

200907 View from Dining RoomAll year long there was knitting (photos here). An Elizabeth Zimmerman Ribwarmer was the most fun this year.  I learned quite a bit on two baby sweaters, never having finished a set in sleeve on something done in pieces.  It’s all about the finishing – the knitting part is easy.  Most of my knitting was for the Chico Friends of the Library Fall Craft Faire.  I made over 50 felted catnip mice and several scarves and hats.  I still find Ravelry to be the most amazing source of knitting information and community.

20090617 FountainAnd all year long the garden has been a pleasure.  I’m a terrible gardener, but Dan Barth, the best gardener in Butte County, has been working on it for a year to make it beautiful.  It looks better every time he comes.  He comes, stands in one spot and studies the light.  Then he moves plants, adds one or two, and tells me what I should be doing while he’s gone.  What a guy.

There’s more about 2009 – life in Chico, friends, family – but I’m out of gas and feeling like this has been quite long enough.

Every one of you have a very good 2010!

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