Hope your holidays were swell--ours were, not only because they were relatively stress-free, but also because preparations for them dragged me out from under the depression whose apathy dragon had scorched my will to do anything in life. The fact that it took me until yesterday to post the final 'episode' of lookout life was but one small bit that got run over, first by grey-toned misery and then by holidays. I didn't seem to be alone in this, however: disturbingly/comfortingly, two of my favorite sources of laughter were in the same boat: Hyperbole and The Bloggess had been in deeper than I was, and close friends said they had been feeling much the same way.
So Anyhways, let's get down to the neetty greetty. I made a bunch of stuff. It wasn't a plan to be all homestyle or anything, it just worked out that way. I always make my own cards to send out, with a message revolving around peace:
This year it was an origami dove and Bob Dylan's "Blowin' In The Wind". Are the lyrics 'how many deaths does it take till he knows, that too many people have died' too strong for seasonal cards? I don't think so.
I knit two hats, one for Devon's brother and one for their mom's boyfriend. I took pictures of neither, but let me tell you, they turned out great. Both were made out of really nice wool, one in charcoal, and one red. I lined the charcoal one with windproof fleece, as the boyfriend is thin and always cold, and works in construction. Unbelievably, having knitted hats for 14 years, it was the first that has ever received that treatment. This website is full of all sorts of knitting nerdery, including the method I used.
The leader of the handcrew on Fire in Cle Elum gave me the inspiration for the gift for my brother. Tim is known for his 'creative' project shirts. If you're working around something on fire, you wear a yellow nomex shirt and your green nomex pants. If you aren't working with fire, then it's best to have a long sleeve 'project' shirt that can get hammered with dust and bar oil and saw chips and dirt. Tim chooses exceptional frilly mauve shirts, and sweet western dress shirts, and so on, while most people wear a hickory, or just an old button-down of some kind. He will send me multiple photos in the winter, of his project shirt scores from the racks of Goodwill. At any rate, handcrew leader, also known as Jason, wore a custom yellow nomex on my final day of burning that led to my creating this:
The contrast fabric is an old pair of nomex pants, so technically he could wear this on the fireline. Which was the point, that he could be 'dapper' at all times.
I impressed even myself with this project. It was fun.
Next, I wrapped some presents, in the trademark Betsy-uses-the-scraps-of-last-year's-paper fashion:
Also visible in this photo is our Christmas decoration. Singular.
Then I set the table. I'd like to say I hand printed the napkins, but I didn't. Oh, Little Rabbit, from the Willamette Valley, did.
After Christmas, we went on a roadtrip to see the rest of the family. Our first stop was in Seattle with friends, then to Cashmere to see brother Tim and his family, followed by Weston Oregon, where Devon met Grandma Delph for the first time and was suitably impressed with her awesomeness. After that, we headed down the Columbia Gorge, with a stop at Full Sail Brewing and a 6-mile hike at Multnomah Falls.
That's a loooong drop. The view from the top of the main falls.
I was warm in my middle regions but cold on top, so I made use of my sweatshirt in a creative way, I felt.
Following our swift hike, we headed on to Vancouver to stay with Devon's brother, and then back home. It was a lovely little vacation. So there you have it. January thus far is keeping me busy and the dragon at bay, what with bookkeeping and taxes and tank cleaning and other business-y business, and there's plenty on the horizon. Happy 2012!