So, it’s already February and I’m just now pushing myself to look at the year of 2013. Whew, where the hell did it go? It was an incredibly rewarding year, and at the same time quite trying. I learned lots about life and business. My fingers flew across the knitting needles constantly. After putting my sweet black lab, Olivia to rest in the fall of 2012, Kirk and I adopted an adult yellow lab, Suzy this past summer. I traveled across the ocean for the first time, signed my first book deal, and signed a contract with my husband for our first house; lots of firsts! For your viewing pleasure, here are some snippets of the year 2013 in my life which you may or may not care about:
TNNA, Long Beach, February 2013. Good times. My awesome boss, Yonca Ozbelli and I made our first trip together and got to know one another a little better. We got to escape cold Charlotte to warmer weather in admittedly seedy Long Beach. And when I say “cold” Charlotte weather, I mean, like, 50 degrees. In February. Yep, I’m from Iowa and I know that sounds ridiculous.
In February, I finally unpacked my favorite xmas gift from my favoritest friend in the whole world, Sarah H: Zombie magnets. Highly recommended. But I don’t have children, so if you do, maybe you should stick with the poetry version. It feels kind of bandwagony to love zombies, but I don’t care. I just don’t.
In March, I was treated by my employers to a trip to Cologne, Germany. It happened to be my birthday, so I thought of it as the best birthday present, EVER! Airports in Europe are friendlier to smokers which I really appreciated, especially after a gazillion hour flight with some not so great company. I found German bathrooms really odd. They have these weird push buttons to flush, or at least the ones in the airport did. There also happened to be a Starbucks just around the corner from our hotel, right next to the pretzel stand. Oh, happy days. Sometimes I feel a little guilty about feeling my spirits lift when I see a Starbucks in unfamiliar territory. Like a walking cliche. But I’m over it. Mochas rock.
The point of the trip was actually not my birthday, but the annual Handarbeit craft and hobby show. That place was lousy with awesomeness, let me tell you. It was maybe half yarn, half fabric and other assorted crafty goodness. I’m not just a knitter and crocheter, but I also love to sew clothing and quilt. I wandered around for hours taking covert pictures and being incredibly inspired.
When I wasn’t wandering around the show pretending to be an American LYS store owner so I could spy, I was busy tearing up clothing shops, touring the ugliest yet most magnificent cathedral you’ve ever seen (the Dom), and eating sausage chased with German beer out of a giant mug. The bad part about Cologne in March: it’s really freaking cold. Like, midwest in March cold. But who am I to complain, really?
After I got back from Germany it appeared Kirk had done no grocery shopping. We had almost no food in the house, so Kirk made hot dogs with crescent roll buns, topped with chili and corn. They were actually pretty good.
Aforementioned awesome friend Sarah H. visited in April. Our fun times included meeting this giant St Bernard and visiting the Mint Museum. The Mint has a great permanent craft floor. I’ve been there a few times and will continue to go.
Kirk and I continue to develop our passion for the best thing about The South: Bojangles fried chicken. Seriously. It’s BO time!
After having been in the NASCAR capital of the world for about a year in May of 2013, Kirk and I decided it was time to immerse ourselves fully. The best part: BYOB. Really! Aside from that, it was pretty much what you’d expect. There were very red necks, yelling, boob cleavage, the works. I’m pretty sure I scratched my NASCAR itch for life with that one trip. But if we do happen to be crazy enough to go again, I’m definitely springing for prime seating.
My first batch of fingerless gloves ready to send to the photographer! Yay! More on this process in posts to come.
In June, we adopted Suzy, a very energetic 2 1/2 year old yellow lab. A friend of a coworker was looking to adopt her out because she found out her young son was allergic to dogs. She’s a “dudley” variety of yellow lab features as we could see due to her lighter nose and eye features. Yellow labs usually have black noses and other features. But if they have chocolate lab in their background they can be dudleys. Dudley. I just like saying it. Suzy is not the cuddlemonster Olivia was, but she is much more athletic and outgoing which is refreshing. Before we finally got fed up with the pit bull attacks at the dog park, Kirk was taking Suzy several times a week where she was able to chase and be chased to her heart’s content. For now, she’s having to settle for two monkeys to wrestle with and walks in the woods instead.
I was stuck in traffic one day in June with yarn and no knitting needles, so I was forced to discover the joys of knitting with pencils. I have this habit of tucking a pencil behind my ear at work and then forgetting about it until I get in my car to head home. So I have quite the stash of sharpened pencils in my car cup holder.
TNNA, Columbus, June 2013. Apparently the most memorable things I had to take a photo of were my scallops and hotel knitting.