2021 in Retrospect

At the end of each year, I like to take some time to look back.  It helps me keep life in perspective.  So often, the year passes so quickly and leaves me feeling as though I haven't achieved very much.  Taking time to look over the past year helps me see that I really did accomplish a tremendous amount!  Let's take a look! 

I've journaled for a long time, but this is the first year that I feel like my journal reflects who I am.  It worked better for me than any other type of journalling that I have done, and I am continuing the same format into this year.  I loved doing the watercolor headers for each month, choosing a focus Bible verse as well as listing out the primary tasks that I wanted to accomplish each month.  I do think that this type of journal really helped me to accomplish many of my goals by keeping me focused.  

Like many people do, I choose a word for the year, which was Trust.  I felt like I needed to trust God that everything would work out.  And as usual, when I put my trust in Him, it has!  

I started the journal off with a 2021 page and a verse based on my focus word.  I filled that journal up by the end of July, so I had to start a new one, and did another 2021 page and another focus verse.  I didn't write quite as much in the last few months of the year, so I'm continuing 2022 in the same journal.  I should get about 4 months in it, I think.  

I really wanted to focus on painting this year.  I did a number of small studies, as well as a couple of larger works.  In the lower left, is a larger work based on the small study above it.  I loved seeing my work progress through the year! My favorite painting is the bunny!  I "need" to paint more bunnies!  

Nearly every week during the summer months, I spent a day in the mountains, most often in Rocky Mountain National Park.  I always took my painting supplies along and was able to do so many plein air paintings, both in watercolor and oil paints. 

I also did a fair amount drawing, sketching and watercolor painting at home as well as sketching out ideas for house plans, cards, paintings, and garden plans.  I also swatched all of my watercolor supplies according to the palettes they were in. 

As far as accomplishments go, I really did quite a lot this year!  
* I fixed my old wooden yarn swift, which had been broken for a long time  
*I moved my office into the guest room, and the guest room into the sewing (and now storage room) 
*I completed two books for my big 2018 trip to France (I still have England and the Netherlands to go).
*I scanned several boxes of slides and lots of family photos
*I got the RV repaired and then sold!  
*I published 4 issues of Crazy Quilt Magazine and made the decision to stop publishing
*My son-in-law sanded the front porch for me and I painted the rails  
*I fixed the bathroom ceiling, where a skylight had been removed long before I moved in
*I sewed a few little quilt mats to use on various pieces of furniture
*My sister and I downsized the family genealogy archive from 34 boxes down to 13!!!  Suddenly my storage locker is starting to look a empty-ish! 
*I finished a felted knit pouch I started several years ago
*I made a little pincushion
*I was able to get my garden bed built, installed, filled with dirt, and even got a few things planted!  
*I finished the last of the grandkid's stockings!  
Whew!!!  (And there were a few more that aren't shown, as I didn't necessarily take photos of everything!)

In the spring,  put my house up for sale and went house-hunting.  I made several trips to western Iowa, eastern Nebraska and Kansas in hopes of finding a home in a less expensive area.  I also did. few virtual tours.  I even put in an offer on one of them.  But in the long run, I realized that I did not want to be that far from my family and friends or move to a community where I didn't know anyone, so I took my house off the market and decided to stay put for the time being.  Making this decision, does mean that I must go back to work very soon, which is something I am very anxious about.

Through the course of the year, I took a fair number of photographs.  These are a few of the best ones. As you can tell, I love a good sky, green growing things, flowers, and lovely hoar frost! 

Some of my favorite memories in 2021 revolved around family!  I got to attend birthdays for 3 of the grandchildren!  My oldest son and his wife purchased a new home with some acreage, a long held dream for them! In June, we were able to get the entire family together for the first time in a year and a half!  What joy to all be together!  I loved being able to spend time with the grandkids!  I get to watch them on a fairly regular basis, which sadly will come to an end when I go back to work.  It was so lovely to see everyone at Christmas too!  Unfortunately, everyone in the family came down with covid, either just before or just after Christmas (except me - Thank you vaccinations!) and gratefully, they were all mild cases.  Everyone is now healthy again!  

Mushu is now 2 ½ years old and finally mellowing a little.  We aren't having quite the traumatic/destructive episodes as we had in the first year of his being with me!  He has more personality than almost any other cat I've every known.  Definitely too smart for his own good (or mine!). In August, little Finn joined us!  He is a delight and such a sweetie.  He and Mushu have become good friends and having a playmate has been so good for Mushu!  Finn is a lap cat, which Mushu is not.  I love it!  He often sits with me at the computer, or when I'm painting or drawing!  Truly a sweet companion!  

There wasn't much travel in 2021, other than the very quick trips I made to go house hunting.  But in November, the kitties and I traveled to Tucson to spend Thanksgiving with my sister and her husband!  Mushu isn't much of a traveller (you can see Finn comforting him after a panic attack in the collage above - middle row right), so he'll stay home from here on out, but Finn is a lovely traveler!  

So, though in some ways I found 2021 to be a more difficult year than 2020, it was a good year.  I was able to accomplish a lot of the things that I wanted to, though I didn't get nearly as far as I had hoped to on the big photo/slide scanning project.  Hopefully this year will see that task done!  In all, now that I've had this opportunity to look back and evaluate, I'm really pleased with all that I was able to accomplish!  

One last thing;
** A follow-up note to my last post about the huge fires here in Colorado.  1084 residences were destroyed, 149 sustained significant damage.  Incredibly, my childhood home survived intact!  It appears as though the hundreds of trees and shrubs that my Dad planted helped prevent embers from reaching the house, even though every single house around it was lost in the fires.  So devastating for all.  


Jane Teague said…
You are so diversely talented that your blog is pure joy. Sadly, with only my cell phone to view your collages as a single pic, I can barely make out what you describe. Your art magnifies the beauty of that which surrounds you. Thank you so much for sharing your view! That your childhood house survives is a powerful metaphor for the rewards of thoughtful planning and grace. All the very best to you and your kitties in 2022!
Welcome back Lisa. Reading your posts are such a pleasure, you are looking good and happy. Your kitties, I love the tabby, just like the one I had, the photos and paintings you have made are extraordinary, what colors, what beauties. I am sure your travels have been a rest from the past years dilemmas, and are ready to hit the rat race again. Congratulations, and good luck in all you are ready to do.
God Bless.

LyndaSysko said…
Blessings to you Lisa. In 2017, my husband and I sold our home, purchased a motor coach and practically gave all of our belongings away to friends in order to travel and live the vagabond lifestyle. Long story short and I would love to share it with you, that way of living ended too quickly. In the giving away part, I relinquished most of my crafting supplies and recently decided to rescue what I could not part with from the closet behind our basement bar to see what I could find. In that process, I found your website, blog and a gal who inspired me. You are so different but so much like me! I now live in the mountains right below Genesee CO since 2019. The lifestyle in our home is multigenerational and there is a story to tell about it as well. My fabric scraps are bagged in a bin, 3 new hexigon projects started, 1 crazy block quilt started. In another bin 2 pillow size Hawaiian quilts unfinished, several treasure or paper junk journals going, a shirt quilt cut and ready to start, to mention a few happy places for me to spend my winter days,say! Too long of a post. I would love to get to know you better. So sorry your childhood community, beautiful as it was lays chard. I was devastated for the beautiful people of Boulder County. Lynda

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