Monday, December 31, 2018

December 2018-The Last

Oh my goodness-it is nearly 2019! New Year's Eve in Omaha has largely been cancelled due to the ice storm, sub-zero cold and ferocious wind headed our way tonight. I'm glad the city cancelled the fireworks event downtown because I was NOT looking forward to risking a slip and fall on ice covered streets. At my age a broken hip can be a damn death sentence. Instead, we're staying in, playing board games, listening to music and hopefully getting to bed at a reasonable hour. 

  So, 2018. What a year it was, too. For Danny, it was wonderful finding out he was mis-diagnosed with both a nut allergy and asthma. And yes, I am still mighty annoyed with the old allergist, but am moving on. He has another year of allergy jabs, and then he's pretty much free to just get on with it, and I am so, so happy for him. The rest of the year I could have done without, but I'm going to stay focused on the happy moments. The kid is pretty grown up for fourteen, but I still buy his clothes for him
God bless Shifty Thrifting and their Teespring shop. I'm never at a loss for a creative gift.

 Anyway, here we are, nearly in January and I've barely scratched the surface of my winter wardrobe owing to our strange weather. I used to divide it into Winter I and Winter II with the first part being largely sequins, sparkle, velvet and other gaudy assorted items. This year though, I've had days that would be too warm for velvet and days where woolens aren't nearly enough. It has been very week-to-week. I shudder to think what January and February are going to be like. Sweater/jumper wearing has been light so far without any need to bring out the heavy hitters like the Irish fisherman's sweater or the Norwegian ski sweater. Personally, I kind of hope I don't need them this year although I know it won't be a good sign if I don't.

 This is a vintage piece from the Amana Woolen Mills (though it is acrylic) in Iowa. They no longer produce clothing, but they do make lovely blankets if you are looking for a nice gift. I have several sweaters and even a wool suit, but this piece is my favourite. It doesn't look like much, but I wouldn't want to be without it.
 Some days though, I just want to wear a scratchy wool sweater with a reindeer on it.
The back is solid blue. Less versatile than the Amana piece, it makes me feel ready for fun whenever I wear it. This year, I wore it for a Christmas Day hike around the NRD.
 It was an absolutely gorgeous day.
It was warm enough to go without a coat or sweater if you are a teenager. He's always hot five minutes after starting a hike. Me? I could freeze to death on a 70 degree day.
 We came home and enjoyed our leftover Feast of the Seven Fishes paella from Christmas eve, and had the Christmas cake Danny made back in August (we've been feeding it brandy regularly). I did the icing and decorating, obviously. An angel is traditional on a Christmas cake...
...I really shouldn't be trusted with gingerbread and royal icing. 
After owning this bracelet for years, I finally remembered to wear it. 

I also, at long last plugged in the electric tea kettle I bought ages ago but was too intimidated to use. In my defence it came with a substantial booklet of instructions and everything was labelled, "CAUTION!" I once gave away an unused, expensive espresso maker because it was too scary-and it had a video tape of instructions to go with the booklet!

Sure, go ahead and laugh but I can think of better ways to injure myself than with pressurised steam. 
The boys surprised me with some wonderful textiles. I bought Mr. ETB a much needed wallet, and Danny some tickets to ballgames this summer. Neither make for great photos, but they were pleased with their gifts. Danny will be getting a new camera for birding/nature photography this year, but December isn't the best time to buy that. Hopefully we'll find what he wants at a price we can manage before the crane migration starts in February. 
 If you look closely, you can see thew quilted skirt depicts scenes from The Iliad. The textile designer is Victor Malta who was never a terribly sought after artist until a few years ago. This was a wonderful find, and I'm so happy to have the circle skirt in my collection. it is a very wide skirt, with an unfortunately tiny waist. That's what button extenders are for!

 Years ago I made Danny an embroidered quilt with scenes from the Iliad on it. Some stories just work well on fabric, I guess.
 This vintage tea towel depicting sites along the Freedom Trail in Boston is too nice to use! I'll be framing it and hanging it in the kitchen.
I had a bit of a scare with my vision this year, but after a re-check it looks like everything is fine. The arthritis medication I take can cause eye problems, so it was a bit worrying over the holidays until I went back on the 27th. Now I can relax. I'm still cross-eyed, but that hasn't got worse over the last year either, so good news all around! This photo really drives home why I need big frames as a distraction from my face. If I wore contacts I'd have to devote more than 30 seconds to drawing my eyebrows on evenly...and I think we all know that isn't going to happen😀.
I've been forced by bad outdoor light to take photos indoors and strangely the best light in the house is on the stairs. I can prop up my phone on the piano, set the timer, and manage halfway acceptable snaps without going outside or bothering anyone to take photos. I'm quite pleased with this as I really prefer to do things myself. I'll have to think of ways to dress up the stairs to keep things interesting.

And that's about it for now. I hope you have a wonderful 2019. Thank you all for tagging along with me here. See you after the ice storm!


Janice said...

I’ve missed reading this blog. After a long stint of silence, my blogger bone is back in action. Glad to see you are well!

Goody said...

Hon, I am SO glad to hear from you! I've thought of you often. I hope all is well, and wish you all the very best for the new year.

Bibi Maizoon said...

Out with the old and in with the new: may you be happy the whole year through!
Not much happened here on New Year's Eve- everybody went to bed except me. A few firecrackers & dogs barking, whoopee! Those electric kettles are standard issue in hotel rooms in South Asia. Danny's misdiagnosis was the best news this year though! YAY!

Vronni's Style Meanderings said...

I hope your ice storm has passed and all is well. It was so mild last night when I stood out in our street at midnight to watch the myriad of firework displays from neighbours' houses I didn't even feel cold - and I didn't have a coat or jacket on!

I'm with you on the 'doing things for myself' re taking blog photos. I finally found my digital camera and its very small tripod after not using it for a couple of years as I always use my phone;only to find it no longer works. I hate asking OH to take photos which is why if they're here I rope in the grandkids....

The skirt looks ace and what a brilliant idea to frame the tea towel; I've seen some beauties in my time and wished I'd though of that. Lovely snuggly sweaters, too. It's funny but I rarely wear sweaters now.

The angel on your Christmas cake looked remarkably like our 'Angel of the North' sculpture up in the NE of England by artist Antony Gormley!

Let's hope 2019 continues to be good news on the health front for you and Danny and I wish you joy and peace throughout the new year.

Mim said...

Happy New Year to you! Do not fear the kettle. If we Brits can cope with them - and 52% of us voted for Brexshit* - I'm sure you'll be fine with one. I honestly don't know how Americans can cope without them.May 2019 bring Danny a new camera and you no more ice storms, which sound horrible.

*Over the break it emerged our government had given £14m to a ferry company WITH NO FERRIES as part of contingency planning. Satire isn't merely redundant, it's actually a sensible alternative to reality.

Polyester Princess said...

Welcome to the modern age! I do admit that electric kettles can be scary. We once had one which refused to automatically put itself off, which was tricky. But I'm not very good with new devices either, especially when they come with extensive instructions! Looks like your Christmas weather was as gorgeous as yours. Love the angel cake! And the bracelet you've finally got around to wearing. Glad to hear your vision is OK. How scary that must have been. Wishing you a fabulous, and hurdle free 2019! xxx

Emily from Etsy said...

Happy New Year! So glad to hear that the vision and allergy scares are a thing of the past.

I have a friend who hosts monthly gatherings at her home. She has an electric kettle in her kitchen, but she never told any of us how to use it. We just added water and pushed the buttons in an experimental fashion. So far, we've never set fire to anything or hurt ourselves.

I could swear her kettle is the same model, or nearly the same, as yours. I'm sure if I'd seen the instructions, I too would have been afraid to use it, and I wouldn't have let my friends use it until they also read the instructions and then proved their competence by taking a multiple-choice quiz. Proof positive that "ignorance is bliss!" : )

Vix said...

Happy New Year to you, the Mr and Danny! I hope you survived the ice and mastered the kettle.
Love your Angel of the North cake and the print on your new skirt is wonderful, what a fab gift.
My eyesight is getting worse but it gives me the excuse of buying more glasses, the bigger and crazier the better. xxx

bahnwärterin said...

happy new year to you and your family!!

fabulous sweaters and such pretty presents! if a circle skirt´s waist is to tiny and if the skirt is long enough just redo the waistband after cutting the "waist hole" sligtly bigger - its a bit of math if you want to make it perfect...... :-D
how went the storm??

Kezzie said...

AHHHH, you made an Angel of the North cake! That is amazing! We see the real thing every time we return to my husband's home town as it is not so far from Gateshead!
I love your festive knitwear- looks cosy!
I like the sound of your New Year celebration- sounds like mine! Board Games are the best!
I do like those depictions of the Iliad! Marvellous!

Beth Waltz said...

As an Irish chum would say: "Goodbye to 'ye, 2018, and it's pleased I am to see the back of ye!" Nothing like eye problems to darken one's view of life, as I, too, discovered.
But as you have demonstrated, Goody, energy spent bemoaning one's circumstances is energy wasted. Better to bird, bake and share the fun of treasure hunting! Thanks for posting "Eat the Blog": I'm looking forward to another year of sharing my morning coffee with you out there in Omaha.

Miss Magpie said...

I'm such a tea addict I don't know where I would be without my kettle! having said that I am trying to cut the caffeine right down in 2019 *weeps*
Love Your Angel of the North cake!

Here's to a wonderful 2019. xx

Goody said...

I was in bed at 9 pm. I am so old ;)Danny stayed up, got himself off to bed. Hope your 2019 is peaceful, quiet, and filled with good things.

Happy 2019 to you and your family. The ice wasn't too bad, and the following days have been unseasonably warm for which I am thankful.

I saw that but the ferry company can deliver pizzas so...that's something?!? Sigh, what a damn mess. I'm positive we would manage to cock it up even worse.

I am growing fond of the kettle as it frees up a burner on the range. At this rate I might go wild and buy a stand mixer next. Happy New year to you!

What finally convinced me was reading an interview with an Australian making fun of Americans that won't use electric kettles out of fear, but all own one stiull in the box. I felt so called out! I was a zserious wreck over my eyes, so that was a big relief to start the year knowing I won't go blind. Happy New Year to you and your husband.

I love that sculpture so much. I regret not buying the Tatty Devine necklace of it, which was limited edition. Happy New Year to you and Jon!

Thank you-and happy new year to you and yours!
I will probably re-do the skirt because where's the fun in something I can't wear? The ice wasn't too bad, and we now have beautiful weather. My sorrel is trying to grow! Such strange seasons these past few years and of course it will only get worse.

I sort of threatened to do the cake as a joke and then went ahead and did it ;)
Happy New Year to you!

Happy New Year to you! We've been thinking of you these past few weeks with the shutdown. God, what a mess and way to start the new year.

@Miss Magpie
I would be a zombie without tea, but I have a seriously low heart rate-so it is probably the only thing keeping my old ticker going! I had to do the Angel of the North as I love it so much. I know some very vocal people don't like it (that's the problem with public art) but personally, I adore it.
Happy 2019 to you. Good luck with the decaf.