2015, Adieu

Wow. I wrote a whopping eight blog posts this year.  There are myriad reasons for my ongoing silence.  The biggest one is that I spend every day in this high-intensity situation and by the time I get home I have no desire to look at another computer or exert the extra energy toward another obligation.  And tonight’s experience would be another reason why – a combination of bad wireless from the porch and the discovery that WordPress “Changed Things” again had me battling photo uploads for long enough that I find myself finally actually finally writing FOUR hours after I first set out to do this.  Sheesh!

But really, the silence has been more profound than that.  So, as we rapidly approach New Years Eve, I would like to bid farewell  to 2015, and express a hearty “Good Riddance” to it, as well as reflect on the Good Stuff.

This year started off well enough.  I mean, Mardi Gras and things!  Yay!  I marched in two parades and it was the first time I’d ever done such a thing!  Yippee!!

And then not long after that, on March 4, MY DOG DIED.
And then a couple weeks after that, MY HUSBAND GOT LAID OFF.
And then we spent most of the year mourning and broke and scraping by and it was stressful and worrisome.

So basically, a good majority of this year was a Bad Country Song:
-“ma dawg died, ma husband lawst his jawb, Ah Lawdy gimme a break y’all..”

So I kinda shut down.  My free-spiritedness died a little.  And writing became a non-thing.  (And then add the technical issues and well, Eff It.)

But you know what?  On top of all the crap we went through this year, there was a bunch of cool stuff too.  So here is my Recap of 2015, mainly in pictures.

These are naked pictures, folks.  (Ooh La La!)  By that, I mean they come straight from the phone camera, un-edited, and in chronological order.  Just as I saw things, just as they happened.  A little messier than my normal style, but I wanted to grab a smattering from my 2015 gallery that I thought best-reflected the year as of yet unmentioned here on Ye Olde Blog.  This is photo-heavy, y’all.  I have to  make up for lost time, you know.

SO.  This year, we started camping. Toby was with us for our first time out, and that was his last hurrah, little fuzzy guy.  I miss him every day, you know.

After that, we went one more time before it got all hot and humid.  This was just after J got laid off – it was a good retreat for a few days and is now one of my favorite spots:

Wyldermarsh (Fontainebleau State Park)

All of this early spring camping brought nature to a forefront and when I did my gardening shortly thereafter I decided to start a two-plant herb garden in my kitchen.

Basil.  I grow Thyme as well.  Both herbs are two key factors in my Lavender Herb Bread, and thus important to have on hand at all times. And I love how Basil looks like tiny little green Elf Boats.

Meanwhile, I started playing Skyrim on the X-Box.  AND NOW I CAN’T STOP ADVENTURING.

Yes.  Yes, I took a photo of my Skyrim character one day in a pique fit of Geeking.  Wood Elf, yo.

Somewhere in there, I relearned that baking was all earthy and relaxing.  Oh, and we started hanging out with the Star Trek people.

So for the first BBQ with the Star Trek folks, I made Earl Grey Cookies.  Hot.

Later on, as spring became summer, I naturally went to the annual Headwashing Voodoo Ceremony at Bayou St. John.

With my friend K – her 2nd one!  I took  her last year just after she moved here from CO.  An initiation of sorts, kind of.  SO now it’s tradition.

(Okay, Serious Break: so somewhere in there along the way, I was over-ridden by Anxiety.  Like, Lose My Shit anxiety.  A combo of losing my dog, and being on a single income, and the 90 tons of ongoing heavy work pressure plus a bunch of other stuff finally got to me and I found a shrink who has been most helpful and awesome  and is a grand guru wizard of redirecting self behavior.)

My mini meltdown resulted in finally taking a week off from work.  That would have been in July.  I realized we were 6 months into the year and I hadn’t taken a single.  Day.  Off.  Work.


So I took a week off near the end of July, and that’s when shit got peaceful.

I started baking.

Lavender Herb

Oh, and did I MENTION that I got into NYX this year?  No?  Well, I GOT INTO NYX THIS YEAR!!!

At the Newbie orientation brunch!

And then I baked some more.


And J and I had a field trip that brought us to the Myrtles Plantation, which was awesome.


And I started delving into my Herbalism a little more.


And then WE JOINED STARFLEET. (I’m putting that in all-caps because it’s just awesome to say.)



All of this baking is no doubt why I have about 3/4″ more hips than I did last spring.  Wheat w/a peanut butter and honey base.

And what the hell – while I’m tapping into my Kitchen Witch why not try making candles?

These two were my first attempts at hand-dipping.  They look like bedraggled parsnips, I know.  The 2nd set came out fantastically, and I used them for witch bottles later.

It was a witchy summer.

The aforementioned witch bottles, for friends in Denver.

Right in the middle of my week off (for real, it was that Wednesday…July 22 to be precise), J got officially taken on as a temp-to-hire at a new job.  See what slowing down and focusing can do?!!  Almost four months to the day of his lay-off.  Since then, he’s been hired full time and is doing wonderfully.  (We’re still playing catch-up, but it gets better and better every month!  That was the best vacation day ever.)

All along the way, I made friends with every lizard to take up residence on my porch.  There were at least 5.


And I finally got to take a work field trip to one of our towboats, which was inspiring.


Oh!  And the Fleurs brought on new members!

New-Fleur meet-n-greet.  Mine is the orange one in the middle.

Oh!  And I marched with the Fleurs in the Midsummer Mardi Gras Parade.  In a swim cap.  And a bathing suit.

I didn’t see an Octopus though.  But I had a big Toucan Floatie around my waist so maybe I WAS THE OCTOPUS this year.

And then suddenly it was September.

My awesome Nyx-Pink Chucks – birthday present from J.

I walked around a lot.

Spotted on the side of an  electrical box just off Magazine St., Lower Garden District

And then I kept on walking, in a 5k marathon with the Fleurs.


Later on in the fall, J and I went to the little Irish Festival just three blocks away from our house.  It was a good time.

We heard good music, including Beth Patterson!  And J bonded with horses.

And then BAM!  It was Halloween.  We had two big events to go to.  The first one was the Anne Rice Ball.  This was a big deal, because she announced that it was likely the last time she would come to this event here in New Orleans.  At one point that night we caught eyes and she waved at me.  I was honored.

Being all Victorian.  Which was fun – especially after binge-watching Downton Abbey with J all Fall.

The second night was the Witches Ball.  I’m really considering joining the Black Hat Society.

Autumn Witchery

And, because this region is absolutely cruel, RIGHT after Halloween came Faire Season!  (I call it cruel because OMG costume and costume and COSTUME AGAIN!)

Anyway, Faire is truly Our Thing and where we really belong.  And I love it that no matter where you live, Faire is perpetually familiar and you find people that you know from other places all over the country.  It’s magic, that way.

Anyway again, the Elves of Wyldermarsh laid siege on the Kingdom of Albright for very numerous weekends this year.  May there be many more to come!

I look totally manic in this “Elfie.”  Must’ve been the mead.

Truly though, I was bummed when Faire season came to an end.  That’s just the mode we’re in, and we miss the outlet.  WOOD ELF, YO.

We held hands a lot.

Faire was great this year too because my Ma-In-Law came out, and we took her out there.  And then we spent some time in the FQ.

Which is when I realized, ” HOLY CRAP.  It’s Christmas time.”


And I was gifted with AWESOME by Ma-In-Law, in the form  of  a Kitchen Aid.  You know, for all that baking!

My first whipped cream!

Then my own Mum had her birthday and we surprised her by Elf-Napping her of a Saturday morn to take HER to Faire.  It.  Was.  Awesome.

And little did Dad know we had a surprise for him too.  We made him a Gandalf robe!

And here’s where I started to go crazy again (and still am!)  Because BAM again, it’s Christmas!  And I have to get ready for Mardi Gras at the same time!  I was making presents and baking bread and working on my Fleur costume all at once, the Sunday before the holidays.  All worth it though, every single thing.

Collecting bows on Christmas Eve.
A walk on the St. Tammany Trace, Christmas Morning.

And that, my darling dears, brings us to the present.  I feel like I maybe blinked ONCE and the year was suddenly done!

I have miles to go before Mardi Gras, because I haven’t made a SINGLE THROW yet, for Fleurs or for Nyx.  I’m  just not that worried about it – it’ll happen.  (My shrink paid off, apparently.)


As I write this, J is up in the woods holding down the forest fort, and will retrieve me when I get off of work tomorrow for a four-day weekend.

We are camping for New Years, and I can’t think of anything better than to finish this year by getting out of town, escaping the crazies, and ringing in 2016 amidst the trees and stars.  A little quiet before Mardi Gras season kicks off next week.  I hope, hope hope, that doing this will bring about a beautiful 2016.

So here’s to low times, and high times, and healing times and growing times.  And adventures and surprises and pointy ears.

This year may have had it’s sandy rough spots, but you know?  There was some cool stuff in there too.  There’s always good with the bad.

Have a happy New Year, everyone, and I wish every single one of you an incredible 2016.



2 Comments Add yours

  1. Cindy Willow says:

    Happy New Year o sis of mine. Love you dearly…find peace in the woods. 🙂

    1. Love you too! Can’t wait to get out there, it’s just what I need right this moment! Happy New Year to you, too. 😀

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