So I had plans for the some blog posts that I just haven’t had a chance to get around to, such as post about my lovely Renfrew cowl neck shirt that I made to wear to holiday parties (and did wear…a lot). I will do a full post later, but here are a couple of photos in the meantime.
I also really wanted to write a “year in review” post to highlight some of my accomplishments this year with gardening and crafting.
As many of you know though, my mom has not been well since June. I wrote about it here. She never got much better after that and just before Christmas, she took a turn for the worse. She is currently in what the docs are calling “end stage liver failure” and there is talk of hospice care.
It’s hard to focus on anything besides that right now, but I noticed when I picked up my copy of the $64 Tomato the other night (to try and distract myself), it got me all excited to garden again.
Winters in Seattle are tough, with all the rain and darkness. Gardening represents summer, a sunny and warm time. To me, it also represents growth, hope and pride. It has been hard to not have it as an outlet right now.
So I am forcing myself to write this post right now. There was definitely good and bad in 2012. In my personal life, I had a lot of loss; my mom’s illness and the deaths of too many friends, including my good friend, Damon and my friend and photo mentor, Neil.
My hope is that by writing this it will help me to focus on some positive accomplishments from last year and also on what may lie ahead.
My goal when I started this blog was to write about an entire gardening season, from planning your garden to putting your garden to bed and everything in between. I made it through the whole year and blogged about almost everything I wanted to. Since I started this blog in February, I have published 46 posts. Some of them were guest posts, so thank you Flower, Sarah, Mary, Celina and Kate for guest blogging. I have had 5,417 unique visitors since February, from 10 different countries.
I grew close to 200 pounds of food this year. We ate and shared most of it and preserved the rest.
I canned 6 pints of spicy carrots, 3 pints of beets, 7 half pints of jalapeño jelly, 9 half pints of strawberry jam, 4 pints of sauerkraut (my crowning acheivement), and 4 pints of dilly beans.
I froze 3 quarts of beet chili and 2 half pints of pesto and made one garlic braid out of 13 bulbs of garlic.
I continued to sew and made one Colette Patterns skirt, three Colette Patterns dresses, and two Sewaholic Renfrew tops. I also made a variety of other things for friends, family and pets, including oven mitts and potholders, cloth napkins, a hat and a couple of dog beds. I even participated in my first craft sale and sold a few things (mostly napkin sets).
I also learned how to knit in November and made my first scarf. Knitting has been great for those long waits in the hospital. It’s a great way to pass the time and take my mind of things. It also seems to be helpful in opening up conversations with nurses. They all seem to be interested in that fact that I am knitting and get a lot of comments from them like, “You should sell that”. Ha ha.
One of the best things to happen in 2012 though, is that Matt and I adopted a puppy. We are so lucky to have been able to adopt Wyatt. He is the sweetest puppy. Puppy therapy really is the best.
As for 2013, I plan to continue gardening, sewing, knitting and writing this blog and plan to cover some of the gardening subjects I missed last year, such as watering and pest management.
One thing I am really looking forward to is doing Meg of Grow and Resist and her fellow blogger Oh Briggsy‘s cookbook challenge. I am trying to keep some normalcy in my life right now, so it will be a nice distraction, give me something to look forward to and get me out of my cooking comfort zone. They have picked some really great cookbooks too. The first one is a French comfort food cookbook, the second is Asian Dumplings, and one of them is Jewish comfort food. All things I don’t cook, so it will be a nice challenge and broaden my cooking horizons. Flower and I plan on cooking together, picking two to three recipes from each book, having a little dinner party maybe and then blogging about it. So be on the look out for that starting this month, if all goes well.
As for my mother, I hope she can get better and if she can’t I hope she can find some peace. That’s all I can really hope for right now.