2016 Year In Review

I started this post in December 2016, but I only got about halfway through my review of the year when I put it aside for more pressing matters. Now, in August 2017, I’m finally acknowledging that I’m never going to get around to finishing this post. I’m going to post what I have and let the rest go. It will be good practice at resisting my perfectionist tendencies ūüôā

January

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I started out 2016 in the midst of a blog hiatus, and in fact the whole month was fairly quiet. I think I was still in recovery mode after Knightley’s passing the previous November. It was a struggle to get out of the house but I pulled myself together for an evening exploring the¬†Canadian War Museum‘s World War Women exhibit. Just outside the exhibit was a knitted display, complete with yarn-covered horse, by my friend Amanda Schwabe. The display also served as a charity knitting drop-off point. The Rideau Canal was open for a very few days last season so I only made it out skating a few times. They did have this intriguing display of notable Canadian women underneath the Bronson Street bridge. This winter is starting off colder and snowier than last year, so hopefully we will have a much better skating season in 2017.

Staying home for most of the month gave me time to focus on the “home front”. I completed the¬†Paper category in the KonMari decluttering process, and finished 5¬†knitting projects: a cabled hat for charity, warm boot socks for the boyfriend, a pair of socks and Kidsilk Haze cowl for myself and an earbud pouch with the sock leftovers. Four of the five projects appeared in this March blog post, but I didn’t get around to photographing the Kidsilk cowl until April. I read 5 books in January: 2 pattern books, 2 non-fiction and 1 novel.

February

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February is full-on winter in Ottawa and 2016 was no exception. There was a lot of snow. At one point I had to dig my car out of a drift that was nearly up to the top of the wheels. The boyfriend and I went skating whenever we could, in both Ottawa and Montreal, although the Canal continued to be disappointingly closed for many days in February. I love to skate downtown, stop in a tea shop to warm up and read a good book or magazine, and then skate back. My legs would be wobbling with exertion by the end of the day. Something about skating with a destination is still such a novel experience for me, and I haven’t tired of it yet.

At home, I KonMari’d my kitchen supplies (food and other consumables like paper towels), which took up several evenings. I didn’t finish any craft projects, but I did read 9 books: 7 novels and 2 non-fiction. The latter included The Corset: A Cultural History by Valerie Steele, which I absolutely loved.

March

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In March I spent my 10,000th day of life wandering around downtown Ottawa and enjoying the sunshine. Wandering in a charming city is one of my favourite things to do, both at home and while travelling. I love just soaking up the atmosphere, different in every city and even in the same city at different times of year. Some surreptitious people watching and a stop at a cafe for tea and pastries rounds out the perfect day.

March also saw a co-worker bring a baby goat to work one Friday, which turned into a day of no work and much squee-ing. The kid had been rejected by the mama goat and so required bottle feeding. As you can probably tell, my workplace is very chill.

The third photo is a “moments before” shot of Easter lunch. I went home for an extended long weekend to visit family, coincidentally in the middle of an ice storm. It was a good time. About mid-month I finished off the KonMari Kitchen category, which involved pulling absolutely everything out of my kitchen cupboards. I also read 10 books: 9 non-fiction and one slim little novel. Apparently I was spending all my time reading, because I didn’t finish any craft projects in March.

April

2016-04-09-17-19-082016-04-09-17-44-282016-04-16-13-53-24With the arrival of spring and actual warmth, the boyfriend and I did some wandering around Montreal’s Old Port. I followed that up with more wandering (and more tea) through Ottawa later in the month. I hadn’t realized how repetitive and minimal my “adventures” were early in 2016. I think I was still very much in recovery mode.

April saw me upping my decluttering game, tackling both Office and Bathroom in a single month. At some point I will do a few catch-up posts to show off all this decluttering, since my last post was the Kitchen one in March. Both categories were relatively small and were very satisfying to get through since I could see the difference in cupboard space immediately.

I finished two¬†knitting projects in April: a Rainycloud I knit on a whim and the beaded wristers that graced a few Yarn Along posts. I read 13 books, a record month: 10 novels (all from Kelly Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series) and 3 non-fiction. When I get really excited about a fiction series, I tend to binge-read the whole thing as quickly as I can, and April was no exception.

May

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Spring finally arrived in Ottawa in May, just in time for the Tulip Festival. Despite the restrictions of full-time work I managed to get out among the tulips one weekend and thoroughly enjoyed myself. The Common Thread Quilt Show on Mother’s Day weekend was another highlight. I always come away from quilt shows in awe of the masterful creations of my fellow quilters, and inspired to jump back into my own projects.

Sadly, May was also the month in which I drove my last kilometer in my beloved old ’98 Honda Accord. The undercarriage rusted out in a way that was far more expensive to repair than the car was worth, and I had to have it taken away and sold for scrap. Final value: $75. It was a great little car and I was sad to see it go. Luckily my mother was in a position to sell me her old car and I was back on the road with minimal fuss.

I tackled the “Linens” sub-category for my KonMari decluttering, getting rid of just a few blankets and towels. I still have a hard time getting rid of things that are too worn to be re-used. My crafty side always wants to come up with some way to re-purpose these things, and I know that otherwise they would end up in a landfill. I’m finally coming around to letting go of the things I will never re-purpose, but it is still a hard choice. I read 11 books in May: 5 novels (all Kelley Armstrong), 4 non-fiction and 2 pattern books.

June

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In June my parents came to visit for the weekend. We admired the work being done to fill in one of several major sinkholes Ottawa experienced that summer, and then took in the exhibit of portraits by¬†Elisabeth Louise Vig√©e Le Brun at the National Gallery of Canada. Le Brun was a portraitist to Queen Marie Antoinette, and painted portraits of many other important Europeans after the French Revolution. Her portraits were the most life-like I’ve ever seen, somehow more vivid and beautiful than mere photographs would have been. I’m glad my parents came to visit while the exhibit was on, because otherwise I probably wouldn’t have made the effort to attend.

I kept my forward momentum in the KonMari process going by tackling my very small pile of DVDs in June. I got rid of about half in the first pass, the second half are on their way out after I copy them to my laptop. I only read 2 books in June, but one of those was the longest book I read all year: Alan Turing, the Enigma. It was a library book and I had to read it almost exclusively for the entire load period in order to get it back in time, which may explain my lower-than-usual reading numbers for the month.

I finished one long-standing craft project in June: mounting and framing my favourite old stamps from a childhood collection. I was very pleased with the result, but unfortunately the frame has sat in a box since then. I’m planning to KonMari my decorations in the next few months and I wanted to wait to re-arrange any hanging frames until after that was done.

This is how far I got before giving up on this post. I’m leaving the rest of the months with bullet points just as a record of the rest of my 2016.

July

  • Spent Canada Day in downtown Ottawa
  • Ran a grueling, hilly 5K in 28min 19sec
  • Made Strawberry Jam
  • Spent a weekend in Toronto with the boyfriend
  • Spent a weekend at the Briars resort with family
  • KonMari: CDs
  • Knitting: finished¬†Lintilla, coasters and¬†Gnomes, frogged Anne‚Äôs Fichu
  • Read 6 books

August

  • Went to the Twist Festival
  • First half of a road trip through the Maritimes!
  • KonMari: Electronics
  • Knitting: frogged Ribbed Lace Bolero, finished a¬†Mother Bear
  • Read 13 books (mostly Daisy Dalrymple mysteries)

September

  • Second half of the Maritimes road trip
  • Started attending First Unitarian (first time I’ve ever attended a church!)
  • KonMari: started Jewelry
  • Read 6 books

October

  • Thanksgiving with the family
  • Hiked the Lauriault Trail and visited Mackenzie King Estate in Gatineau Park
  • KonMari: finished Jewelry
  • Knitting: finished¬†Mom‚Äôs Gnomes
  • Read 6 books

November

  • KonMari:¬†Household Miscellany and¬†Cleaning¬†
  • Knitting: finished¬†Squirrel Trivets and Vivid
  • Read 6 books

December

  • Spent Christmas in Ottawa, Montreal AND Burlington!
  • Knitting: finished¬†Korknisse, a¬†Snowflake and small trivets for Mom
  • Read 10 books
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