So let’s get the negative stuff out of the way, shall we? We almost lost our dear cat, bobby last spring. We had quite a scare when a urinary infection escalated into a difficult surgery that he almost didn’t make it through. Paying for his treatments took a bit of a toll on my savings account but I figured that money was for a rainy day and by god, that was a very rainy day. Those few weeks were really hard but the little brat is back to his usual self, we’re just being extra careful.
Now onto the highlights of 2017.
In the beginning of the year, I visited my sister in Australia. It was the farthest trip I had ever taken and the first time I had traveled across an ocean. I stayed around the southern part of the country so I didn’t see the more tropical areas, though that is definitely on my to do list for a future trip. We drove along the coast, saw koalas in the wild and got to feed kangaroos at an animal park. We got to see the hundreds of tiny penguins come in from the ocean after sunset. I took my first (ocean) surfing lesson, taught by a French man ironically enough. I loved taking a morning walk to the beach with my coffee, or heading there to see the sun set in the evening as we dipped our toes in the water. My curly hair never looked as good as it did on those days it touched the salty water. On the last week of my trip, we flew to New Zealand for a wedding and while we were there, visited the Hobbiton movie set. It was really such a magical experience and it was fun to spend it with my sister who is just as much of a LOTR fan as me. See all my Australia photos here and Hobbiton here, but honestly they just don’t do these trips justice.
I had forgotten that I wrote this in my new years resolutions, but I wanted to create more this year. I guess that’s one resolution I stuck to because I took 2 pottery classes and a calligraphy class in 2017. The pottery classes were so much fun and relaxing, I can’t wait to do more in the future. After designing my own chrismas cards at the end of 2016, I had really been wanting to work more with my art supplies. My calligraphy classes really got me back to working with pen and paper. On top of that, I took out my watercolours to work on some wedding invitations and even used them to make my Christmas cards this year. I also picked up Matt’s grandfather’s film camera this summer and started playing around with shooting on it. It definitely requires more time to get the lighting right on the shot and of course patience until the film is developed. But I love the surprise of seeing the photos days or weeks after taking them.
One more thing I have been creating this year is preserves and fermented vegetables! After taking a class this fall, I was hooked and have since been making kimchi regularly and made some pickled beets and carrots to be enjoyed this winter.
I have been keeping up with my other resolutions for the year. I’ve been continuing to make efforts to reduce waste when grocery shopping. It is completely ridiculous to think that we wrap up our food (or buy it already wrapped for us) just to get it home, and throw it out. Mind boggling. So in an effort to reduce this waste, I have been making an effort to visit the farmers market more often (easier in summer) and bringing my own reusable bags. I’ve invested in lots of cute cotton bags from dans le sac and they are perfect for buying dried beans, flours and rice. It’s really not that difficult to make small efforts, especially when you live in a city with so many options.
I’ve been exercising regularly, (less so since the temperature has dropped) eating well and even gave up coffee this year. I’ll have a latte here and there but I’ve traded my morning cups for matcha and home made detoxifying teas. We had some fun camping trips this summer/early fall, and I have already saved the date in my calendar in march when the reservations open up for the next season so we can get the best spots. Another big thing that has changed this year is that I gave up my smart phone for a dumb phone. I bought a well designed phone that only does texting and phone calls. No photos, no emojis, just a simple phone. I still use my Ipad in wi-fi to post and keep up with Instagram and use other apps that require a smartphone, but it’s been nice to be able to take a step away from constant distractions. People still can’t believe me when I tell them.