Winter in the Pacific Northwest is a quiet affair. The rain and cold locks us in much of the time, and this winter has been no exception. In fact, it has gone above and beyond with snow days, ice storms, and freezing rain.

Much of November and December were spent getting jewelry ready to sell, and then the rush of the holiday season came and went. My husband was laid off from his job right before Thanksgiving, and between that, the election, and the stress of Sammy's flirtation with death, there was not a huge amount of joy this holiday season. But we made it what we could, and found joy in the little things.

This year, I expect there to be a lot of sticking close to home and improving our lives locally until DW gets a job and we can breathe a little easier. Luckily, we have gone through tough times before. Granted, we didn't have quite so many bills during those times, but we know how to make do. It is not an impossible task.

I have been getting bits and pieces of time in the studio. It is not well-insulated, so is the same temperature of the outside much of the time, which in these temperatures makes it less desirable to work in. I do have a little space heater which helps a bit. We have been talking about simply converting the garage into an actual room and doing away with the garage door all together--walling it in with a window or french doors. It would be better insulated and more inviting that way.

But, that is far into the future. This year, we will be keeping our budget tight and focusing on the garden beds by the side of the house. Ziggy has been keeping us busy with hikes and meet-ups with other GSPs. We are so lucky to live close to the largest off-leash dog park in the area, and there is a huge group of people with dogs just like Zig Zag. I can't wait until we can get back to hiking and going on bigger adventures! I actually just had my shoulder looked at by a chiropractor because there have been some issues with it locking up, and will have to do some serious modifications to my exercise regime. I see many, many more hikes, walks, and runs in the future--basically anything that doesn't aggravate my shoulder.

While this winter has brought about many feelings of doubt, misfortune, anxiety, etc., I am looking forward to spring and counting our many blessings. I have a wonderful boss and work at a great job amongst beautiful jewelry all day. I come home to a loving, supportive husband and three crazy loving animals.  We own our sweet home. These are just a few of the things I am grateful for on a daily basis. It is so easy to lose sight of those things and let the bad feelings get the best of you.

And now, for some hot cocoa and studio time...



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