Saturday, December 21, 2013

2013 - The Synopsis

This year really flew by for me.  Jason found a video game job in Austin early in the year and left Denver to return home finally. I was laid off from my first video game job in August which is sort of a right of passage in this industry as I've learned from Jason. Unfortunately I wasn't able to find another Austin-based game job so I went back into contracting doing database analysis and design work.  I get to work from home 3 days per week with my current contract which totally makes it worth it.

We had a big scare recently with Abby, our German Shepherd.  She developed pneumonia again like she did a few years ago.  We caught it earlier this time but she hasn't responded as quickly to meds as she did last time. We thought we were going to lose her last week she was in such bad shape, but after bringing her home and nursing her back ourselves, she finally appears to be turning around. I am still back in care-giver mode, like my years with Nick, checking temps, giving neb treatments, giving injections, doing chest PT, checking poop, monitoring food and fluid intake. It has brought up a lot of difficult things for me personally but it's all worth it seeing her getting better and better each day.  She still has a mass in her lung and we're waiting to see if her lungs clear up or if there is something else going on with that one lung that is causing this.  Keeping our fingers crossed.

Besides the replacement of our downstairs toilets, painting the master bath, a few ceiling fans and finishing Jason's game room shelving/lighting, we haven't done much in terms of home improvements this year.  Nearly all of our landscaping died due to the ongoing drought and a tree felled by strong winds.  We had a sprinkler system installed last year but we still haven't replaced the landscaping. That's top of my list for next year before it gets too hot.

I've been busy as usual taking classes on anything and everything under the sun.  I took a CHL handgun class, a couple glass-blown ornament classes, a hand-built pottery class, airbrush painting classes, leather working classes, novel writing classes, silver soldering class, and dance lessons (swing, salsa, two-step, etc). And of course I was busy doing all sorts of weaving, and beading, and crochet, and knitting, and quilting, and chainmaille, and viking knitting, and leather working, and writing, and sewing, and basketry, and sculpting and even learned a little bit about 3D digital modeling!  

As my hair continues to fall out, I finally decided to ditch the extensions and cut off my long hair yet again. The first time I did this, although I asked for a edgy short cut, I consistently got "soccer mom" cuts.  I hated it and finally decided to foot the bill for extensions to get my long hair back.  But the thinning hair made extensions no longer viable so I had to take the plunge again.  Fortunately, this time, I had a fearless stylist and she gave me this crazy awesome asymmetrical cut that I absolutely love. I get a lot of strange looks but also some very cool comments. One of my friends said I'm the only person she knows that could pull that haircut off.  LOL.  Not long after I got it, Jennifer Lawrence cut off her hair in something pretty similar so it's all good.  

Jason and I played video games together: Defiance, Warframe, and Path of Exile.  I played PoE a little on my own, but nothing compared to my time spend last year on Borderlands 2.  We've watched a ton of films together and also listened to Ender's Game start to finish as we drove from Denver to Austin when he moved back home.  I've read a ton of books, but I'm learning that I can read a book on Audible at triple speed (I wish they offered 4x speed actually) and get through way more books that I can "read" read instead of "listen" read. I read slow but have very high reading comprehension scores.  I apparently have off the charts audio comprehension skills though because what sounds totally understandable (and sometimes not even fast enough) to me, Jason says sounds like the Chipmunks. I love that I can read fast like my super smart genius friends now but Audible books are way more expensive than Kindle books.  Sigh.

I still haven't completed my first novel.  It's a joke at this point.  I took a class that was called Book in a Week (BIAW) and it really did help get me through some difficult parts of my book, but the class started the very week I started my new job so the conflict simply didn't allow me to dedicate the time to the class and my writing that I'd have liked.  Hopefully I can take the class again, because it seems that class-imposed sense of urgency, and daily required reporting of words (count) written, really worked for me.  I still have a huge huge fear of failure when it comes to my story telling abilities so this will continue to be my Achilles heel. 

My plans for 2014?  More classes of course (pottery on the wheel, airbrushing, and mosaic classes for starters and hopefully BIAW again and maybe even a piano class since I'm just self-taught or learning a second language sounds fun!), more reading (forever looking for romance authors who know how to write a bad-ass female...not "kind of" assertive/strong, but STRONG women), more writing (PLEASE, let it come!) landscaping replaced and irrigation system repaired (mowers broke a few), reorganization of the office/spare room (which has been a total disaster area for over two years now), getting an electrician out here to wire up an outlet in the garage for my kiln (long, long overdue), getting the garage emptied out so that we can park in there again (and so I can use my kiln safely) which includes selling the practically new front-loading washer and dryer I didn't like, and setting up the daybed I bought for the office/spare room.  Hopefully we'll travel to Oregon again next summer.  I'd love to meet my new niece up in Wisconsin too (my brother's 3rd child).

My wish list (it's the exact same this year as it has been the past few years since the only things I really want are insanely, and I'm mean insanely expensive. I'd really like to find a folding floor loom that I like better than my current Ashford 8 shaft loom or alternatively find some sort of weights that I can attach to the base of the shaft frames since the Texsolv heddles are not heavy enough to create an effective shed (the lower half has little tension and the shuddle falls through too easily when weaving standard tabby let along anything like a waffle weave. My dream would be to get an 8-shaft Schacht Mighty Wolf or Baby Wolf loom with stroller.  I'd also love to finally get my hands on a long-arm quilting machine and frame for a king size quilt.  I now have 2 completed quilt tops that I need to quilt.  Perhaps I'll look up the gal in Round Rock with a couple Gammill Classics that she rents time on and see if I can try that option again.  Less than ideal but better than having unquilted quilt tops just sitting around for years. Hopefully there will be a few good games released this year that Jason and I can play together and many movies to enjoy together too.  And maybe I'll make it into the gym this year so that I can resolve my chronic dislocated rib once and for all!  I am such a good couch crafter/potato though, I get so much accomplished while watching movies or listening to audio books while crafting on my couch. :)