We just got back from our whirlwind Scandivia vacation! I’m very tired and very happy looking back on these pics.
We started the trip in Bergen, Norway- a beautifully situated city surrounded by seven mountains and seven fjords. I loved this place at first sight! Bryggen, once a medieval wharf! Colorful Hanseatic boathouses (left) lining the Vågen Harbour. I read these buildings have burned several times however the foundations are from the 12th century.
Caramel donuts and reindeer hot dogs. We didn’t eat out much. When we did, it was usually tasty and unhealthy.
For whatever reason, there were at least a couple Norwegian sculpters making creepy bronze babies between the World Wars. This is Sofus Madsen’s Crying Boy. Madsen has several works throughout Bergen.
Fish Market and fish soup, yummm
Bergen is also a pigeon paradise. No head is safe from them.
I kinda think of this as our Troll Tour- troll souvenirs everywhere!
We closed out January camping in Stephen C Foster, Georgia’s certified dark sky park. I made this tiny watercolor (a little larger than a post-it) of the stars reflecting on that ancient, black water since a phone pic would be no good. Seeing the night sky here was truly overwhelming and special. Okefenokee is estimated to be between 7,000 and 10,000 years old. It’s one of Georgia’s Seven Natural Wonders and the name is from Choctaw Indian words meaning “quivering earth” or “Land of the Trembling Earth.”
The plan was to kayak out to Billy’s Island but we were heavily discouraged by park rangers due to the wind being at a near gale. Bummer. We instead took a boat tour. I’m glad we got to get out on the water at all, but I’d love to go back and kayak to the islands and out on the lake in the future.
Hahaaaa!!! Jason’s unhappy face!! The weather was bracing because of a sharp wind on top of the cold temps.
The ranger told us this was the oldest cypress in the area. Wildfires have wiped out a good deal of the surrounding flora.
The sign says it all! The park is relatively small so we were able to walk every trail- all short.
Turkey vultures on the Suwannee River Sill. The dam here was built after a period of drought and wildfires that broke out in the swamp during the 1950s.
My neighborhood in Athens is lousy with deer- I see them in my yard every day. But it still makes me happy to see them wherever I am. These guys were fearless.
Hahaaa!!! Wood forage. He DID throw these fat boys in the small fire ring.
Sunset in the swamp was lovely. No sightings of Pogo Possum or, but we did see Howland Owl, looking down on us on our walk back to the campsite.
It got down to 23° this night but Jason and Jen had a raging fire and I wore plenty of layers so I was never uncomfortably cold. I DID think of the phrase “freeze your butt off,” tho because Jason’s butt probably got below freezing too- it was like a couple of freezer box ham hocks. Hahaaaa!
This little anole was in the picnic pavillion, half frozen to death. As soon as he thawed out, he wanted to scurry to freedom. THEN, when Jason was unpacking his tent, a (presumably different) lizard popped out. Stowaway!
Snow is a rare treat in Athens (maybe more common with arctic warming…) and it was my first day off after 15 days straight. I like my jobs but everyone needs rest. I probably napped a collective 15 hours and it felt great!
Back in early October, when the temps were just beginning to dip from summer to fall, we spent a weekend in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Soaked in a jetted tub of hot mineral water, hiked Lover’s Leap along and overlooking the French Broad River, hiked to the Waterrock Knob plane crash, and went to Asheville to see Warthog, Public Acid, and Scarecrow. We also spent way too long looking for Paint Rock, which is cool that it exists- but not worth trying to make out the remaining pictograph from all the graffiti, hahaa!
I loved the Hot Springs area. This was part of a seemingly abandoned park where Jason finds river glass.
The Waterrock Knob hike to this 40 year old crash site is one of the most rugged hikes I’ve done. Very satisfying to get here and I’m glad Jason isn’t the type of person to give up because there isn’t always a clear path. We read there were two people on the plane, no survivors.
Pieces of the back of the plane
Warthog at Grey Eagle! This show was so great. And Athens crew in Asheville!
Re-doing my post on Weaponized Flesh because I am very excited to see my drawing printed on their t-shirts, fresh off the press this week!! If I can tout myself as the number 1 fan of any band, this is the one! I suggested their name, I drew their logo, I drew the hyena cover art for their demo cassette (currently sold out)- and now that design is available on tees! So psyched! I really love these guys.
First practice! I was there hanging out and sewing my Halloween costume.
Take me back to this perfect day last June! It was my first time visiting the Atlanta Botanical Garden and I can only describe it as VERY IMPRESSIVE AND VERY NICE.*** I loved the carnivorous plants best. Afterwards, we went to our first show of the pandemic! Neon Christ played a free reunion show in the Star Bar parking lot (GG King opening). It was so good to be out in the sun, catching live music again, and running into friends. Also, really cool for me to see the Neon Christ records out in the wild after assembling them at work!
***Pssst- the Atlanta botans may be more of a visual spectacle but I still prefer Athens’ garden. HANDS DOWN. For starters, it’s FREE. But also, it has miles of hiking trails with lighter crowds. Every corner just feels so calm, vibrant, and special. I feel so lucky to have this space in Athens.
Jason’s latest thrashy band is FOODEATER and I have enjoyed every show they’ve played! So far, my favorite show was on the VERY COLD patio at Little Kings with Eddie screaming from the tree of rats. Listen to them on Bandcamp or on Spotify! They just ordered shirts that Nate (bassist) drew, but I made this lil fan tee before shirts were available. River’s Edge clip below.
These were so easy to make, that I feel silly saying I made them! I just printed out pics of VHS movies I love, cut them out, and taped them around foam board cut to size. I hot glued magnets on the back and gave them out as Christmas gifts. Using Agent Cooper for scale. He was disappointed that they were not cat treats even though I kept shoving treat sized things in his face, hahaaa!
We’re a full week into the new year! I touched upon it earlier but my views on goal-setting have changed during the pandemic. For most of my life, I would feel guilty if I wasn’t productive in my free time. And I worried I was somehow deficient for never wanting a “career” or children. Now in my late 30s, I don’t even think of marriage or owning a house as required milestones (I tried and lost both!). I now place a higher value on getting enough rest and remembering my value is not tied to these force-fed ideas of adult accomplishment. What a relief to let that go! It might seem contradictory that I am against hustle culture while also pushing myself to work two jobs (my takehome pay is roughly $25,000 working 45-50 hours a week). I want to clarify that I don’t think I should have to cobble together two entry level jobs to cover my lifestyle, but here we are. I do my best to strike a balance in an unbalanced world. Here are things that I am looking forward to doing or think will feel good, but I’m also making peace with the idea, I never get to everything!
My mindset around goal setting has changed during this longass pandemic. What these boil down to are things for me to look forward to. I’m good with the ones I don’t get to and I’m proud of seeing the ones I do!
• Record 1 Second Everyday. My third year! I cried a little seeing it all together. So much to be thankful for.
• Stretch every morning. Not every morning, but I DID stretch every day and the benefits are evident!
• Go out for dim sum. LOL YES. I ate so much, I felt sick. Still the best meal to eat out!
• Study Spanish. Started Duolingo Spanish! Absolute beginner.
• Spend the night in a dome. Not exactly, but I spend a night in a yurt and that quenched my dome thirst. hahaa
• Bake adorable desserts. Many- I finally made desserts I’d saved on pinterest, including these werewolf cupcakes!
• Compost. As luck would have it, my wonderful housemates HAVE a compost bin. Easy peasy.
• Buy lingerie. Yes!
• Catch peak red diamorpha on Arabia. Gorgeous!
• Pick up litter in neighborhood. Call me the local garbage woman cuz I bought a grabber and picked up trash 5x last year. Satisfying.
• Create photo albums. I printed some photos on Shutterfly. They’re always running promos. Love to have these real books.
• Visit Little Grand Canyon. I’ve wanted to go since I moved to Georgia almost 8 years ago. Little and totally worth it.
• Visit Great Smoky Mountains. Yes! I drove in the North Carolina side after a great trip to Hot Springs and even saw an elk on the drive in.
• Have vacation sex. You bet.
• Cull/organize closet. Done and done!
• Re-visit Paradise Garden. My favorite spot in Georgia.
• Visit Judaculla Rock. Jason had to ask so many people how to find this one. “Turn down that dirt road. When you see a donkey, you want to go left…” Haaaa!
• Read at bedtime. Not as much as I wish, but making time to read again has been a treat. Read some zines, read some horror paperbacks, and the last book of the year I read was Klara and the Sun.
• Re-visit the Rock Garden. Charming as it was the first time!
• Send snail mail. I started the year with handprinted postcards and ended the year with Christmas cards.
• Visit Mexico. Yes! I was so happy to meet two of Jason’s longtime friends. First time in Mexico!
• Dye hair. It has been dyed at least 4 colors since last January.
• Drink Chocolate. Yes! Ordered Condor’s rich drinking chocolate at their new downtown location. Everything they make is a tiny edible luxury and the drinking chocolate is no exception. My sweet secret santa got me Condor this year too.
• Throw a backyard party. LOL, I threw a backyard party centered around Lydian’s friend making us some wild punch that should not taste good but did! Thank you, Zach!