Happy New Year

Many of my blogger friends are doing a year in review, and I was inspired to borrow some of your ideas and do my own.

Hiking

I went on a lot of great hikes last year and that means I spent a lot of time doing what I love.

In January I hiked up Tom Dick and Harry Mountain and got this view, left to right, of Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, and Mt. Hood. {click the image for a larger version}
In January I hiked up Tom Dick and Harry Mountain and got this view, left to right, of Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, and Mt. Hood. {click the image for a larger version}
In February I got this shot of Metlako Falls on the Eagle Creek Trail
In February I got this shot of Metlako Falls on the Eagle Creek Trail
Along the Cherry Orchard trail in February.
Along the Cherry Orchard trail in March.
Hiked to Larch Mountain in April with a women's hiking group.
On our way to Larch Mountain in April with a women’s hiking group.
Hiked above Seattle in April with my brother and his girlfriend.
Hills above Seattle in April with my brother and his girlfriend.
Tara and G went to Oneonta Gorge with me: the trail is so narrow we had to walk in the creek.
Tara and G went to Oneonta Gorge with me: the gorge is so narrow we had to walk in the creek.
I spent 4 days in The Enchatments Wilderness area in Washington state.
I spent 4 days in The Enchantments Wilderness area in Washington state.

Tara

In 2015 I got to watch my only child transition from high-schooler into college student, and to grow closer to the adult they are destined to be.

I took Tara and two friends to check out college campuses.
In the Spring I took Tara and two friends to check out college campuses.
April is animecon time in Seattle and Tara keeps me involved in this world.
April is time for Sakuracon in Seattle and Tara keeps me involved in the anime world.
All Tara's best ballet buddies showed up for graduation in June.
All Tara’s best ballet buddies showed up for graduation in June.
Kumoricon is Vancouver, Washington's animecon, and a tradition in our family.
Kumoricon is Vancouver’s animecon, and a tradition in our family.
Tara got a tattoo of a honey bee
Clenching teeth through the pain of a first tattoo
Tara in a cosplay from the show Gravity Falls
Tara in cosplay from the show Gravity Falls

 

Exploring

I can’t help but find make adventure.

My friend Mads and I went on a coast road trip from Oregon to Vancouver, BC, and stopped at The Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island on the way.
My friend Mads and I went on a coast road trip from Oregon to Vancouver, BC, and stopped at The Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island on the way.
And we went through Seattle on the way back.
And we went through Seattle on the way back.
In April I made some time for appreciating art and met some activist graffiti artists
I met some activist graffiti artists in May.
Portland Rhododendron Garden
Portland Rhododendron Garden was lovely in June
We went back for round two of Disneyland as a graduation present.
We went back for round two of Disneyland as a graduation present.
Tara visits Hansel & Gretel in our favourite local amusement park.
Tara visits Hansel & Gretel in our favourite local amusement park.
Buying a big piece of land and figuring out how to manage it on my own was a big adventure this year, that will certainly continue through 2016.
Buying a big piece of land and figuring out how to manage it on my own was a big adventure this year, that will certainly continue through 2016.

Animals

Domestic and wild animals alike capture my interest. Particularly squirrels.

I fed my backyard squirrels from my hand.
I fed my backyard squirrels from my hand.
This black squirrel was in Vancouver, BC
This black squirrel was in Vancouver, BC
Hunting in Victoria, BC
Hunting in Victoria, BC
Looking for a handout in Victoria, BC
Looking for a handout in Victoria, BC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I sketched this rhino as part of a scholarship lottery for Tara. We didn't win, but we had a ton of fun drawing endangered species.
I sketched this rhino as part of a scholarship lottery for Tara. We didn’t win, but we had a ton of fun drawing endangered species.
A duck in the Rhododendron garden.
A duck in the Rhododendron garden.
My October-coloured cat.
My October-coloured cat.
My chickens got as fat and saucy as possible.
My chickens got as fat and saucy as possible.
I see deer daily on my new piece of property in the country. In 2016 I plan to get some decent photos of the elk for you.

Ranting

Some things build inside me till I have to get it out, and that’s when I pull out my soapbox. Though my blog is typically the place where I simply catalog what I’m doing, it’s also a place to spill out my thoughts and emotions.

The Charlie Hebdo attacks spurred me to evaluate just exactly how I feel about freedom of speech.
The Charlie Hebdo attacks spurred me to evaluate just exactly how I feel about freedom of speech.
On Veteran's Day I talked again about complexities of guilt and pride for those who served, but not in battle.
On Veteran’s Day I talked again about complexities of guilt and pride for those who served, but not in battle.
I finally found the courage to write a blog post about being the mom of a transgender teen.
I finally found the courage to write a blog post about being the mom of a transgender teen.

Photography

I took a few nice ones this year.

This flower was blooming in February
This flower was blooming in February
Sunset in Astoria, Oregon in March
Sunset in Astoria, Oregon in March
I made this portrait of a California Condor
I made this portrait of a California Condor
Wet blooms in The Butchart Gardens
Wet blooms in The Butchart Gardens
The sun lit up a mountain lake in October.
The sun lit up a mountain lake in October.

Friends

I made lots of new friends at the home of a luthier in Gig Harbour, Washington. There is nothing like having friends who can make music.
I made lots of new friends at the home of a luthier in Gig Harbour, Washington. There is nothing like having friends who can make music.

I’ve been saying that 2015 was my Year of the Friend. I relished opportunities to develop stronger friendships and I expect to reap great rewards as the happy memories pile up and we find more excuses to be together. Since you are here, you already know that bloggers make friends as good as anyone in real life. I have learned much from all of you, I have seen sights I couldn’t see any other way. And it’s not merely the dazzling shots of places around the world, but more the perspectives you give me of your lives. Bloggers don’t just post photos, but they comment on the world around them, and it’s in your personal convictions and your love of family and your delight in local traditions that makes me feel so close to you. Thank you, thank you. Or, wado, as we Cherokees say to one another. I truly hope your 2016 is the best yet.

21 thoughts on “Happy New Year

  1. A beautiful summary of your year, Crystal. Thank you for that, for following me, and for continuing to post interesting, quality blogs, with lots of beautiful photos. I look forward to sharing the New Year with you. –Curt

    1. Thanks Jenny! I don’t know how I missed your comment till now. I am looking forward to everyone’s adventures in 2016 too. It’s so exciting not to just rely on my own experiences. There is never a dull day on Word Press because there is always someone doing something incredible and posting photos and telling the story.

  2. Wonderful!! I’m so glad that you did a year in review, and I remember much of it. I simply cannot wait to meet you “for real” someday 🙂 Until that time, we’ll continue to grow our friendship through WP.
    Much, much happiness, contentment, good health, and peace to you, my friend.
    XOXO

    1. I know! It’s getting to the point where there are a couple of bloggers that I’m beginning to get impatient that I have not met yet. Funny huh? I’ll just seize the opportunities when they come up, and in the meantime, as you say, continue to grow our relationship.

    1. Life Is A Journey,
      But My Best Wishes Are The Milestones
      That Will Give You Hope
      And Motivation To Move On.
      Am Wishing You A Joyous New Year!
      With warmth, love and blessings from MiddleMe to you and your readers.

    1. Thanks Andrew! They are great memories. I actually surprised myself with how much I did manage to pack in to just 12 months. I imagine you find something similar when you review your year and see all that you saw, or thought about, or photographed.

      That reminds me, I think you are the one who did a post on what people searched for that landed them on your blog? I’ve been meaning to go look for a new one. I’ve been too busy lately to keep up on blogs like usual, but that is one theme I’d like to see again. People can be so entertaining, and those search phrases are a good example.

  3. Life Is A Journey,
    But My Best Wishes Are The Milestones
    That Will Give You Hope
    And Motivation To Move On.
    Am Wishing You A Joyous New Year!
    With warmth, love and blessings from MiddleMe to you and your readers.

  4. This is absolutely beautiful post. Loved all the pictures, especially of the hikings one. You know it why 🙂 Walking is just such a great fun. I really wish to go for a hike/walk with you once. I am actually motivated by your posts, and tells me to keep myself fit and keep doing what I love. Thank you sharing your year Crystal.

    Love
    Aanchal

    1. We motivate each other! I am constantly thinking when I read your posts, how joyful you are in each new experience. Even when you are cold, or scared of the height, or trying something new, you are filled with a childlike wonder and joy that is just the kind of spirit I want to emulate. I would *love* to hike with you and Ash one day. We’ll plan on it. Not sure when, but it must happen. 🙂

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