Birthday Cake Santa Claus

That’s right, this blog is turning a lucky seven today! Seven years ago today I made my very first post in this blog. If this blog was a child, it would be in elementary school right now. My, how time flies!

Today also happens to be the day known alternatively as the Twelfth Night, Little Christmas, Feast of the Epiphany, and Three Kings Day. January 6 marks the traditional end of the Christmas holiday season where it’s time to put all of the decorations away until December.

Here’s are a few of the highlights of what I’ve done this past year.

Did jury duty. Not long after I served, I received another jury duty summons! (Fortunately I was able to get out of the second summons because I had recently served.)

Saw the Wizard of Oz playground at Watkins Regional Park in Largo, Maryland.

Survived the Blizzard of 2016.

Went to Crafty Bastards where I not only saw a variety of interesting crafts but I also saw a former Hecht’s warehouse that was converted to upscale apartments.

Saw giant lit inflatable bunnies at the Washington Navy Yard that was also the gathering point for a 1990’s style rave.

Went to a Pre-Valentine’s Day dance at my church.

Saw a lit-up Valentine House.

Took the opportunity of a Bernie Sanders Barnstorming Rally to do a walking tour around my old alma mater, the University of Maryland at College Park.

Celebrated Leap Year.

Photographed an impromptu memorial that was put up in the wake of the suicide of a man whom I only knew online.

Visited the Pennsylvania and North Avenues intersection (where the 2015 Freddy Gray riots broke out) in Baltimore as well as checking out Penn Station and the Station North Arts District.

Checked out one of the National Cherry Blossom Festival events in Washington, DC at the National Building Museum while also checking out the nearby Chinatown area.

Saw the blooming cherry blossom trees on Crofton Parkway in Crofton, Maryland.

Saw a giant insect hotel.

Took photos during the time I did some volunteer work for Bernie Sanders at a campaign office in College Park that was formerly a florist shop.

Took in the street art in Takoma Park, Maryland.

Photographed the statues and reliefs of Greenbelt, Maryland.

Saw the first annual Light City event in Baltimore.

Briefly appeared in a music video dedicated to Bernie Sanders. That video would be aired on Fox News only to get disparaged by on air personality Kennedy.

Attended the Greenbelt Green Man Festival.

Went to Creator Con in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Attended the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire.

Attended the Crazy Quilt Music Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Went to a pro-Bernie Sanders art exhibit in Washington, DC.

Walked around downtown Silver Spring on Memorial Day.

Went to a Greek Festival where I toured a Greek Orthodox Church.

Did the Open Studio Tour at the Prince George’s County [Maryland] Gateway Arts District in May and December.

Took some photos of the Station North Arts District in Baltimore.

Wrote my observations on what it was like to live without a smartphone for 24 hours.

Saw two separate Alice in Wonderland exhibits in College Park and Greenbelt.

Saw an art house in Hyattsville, Maryland, which I later submitted to and it was selected.

Visited the notorious Block in Baltimore.

Saw a cosplay photoshoot in Baltimore.

Attended the annual Hon Fest in Baltimore.

Appeared in an episode of the YouTube series C.H.A.O.S. (Cartoon Hobbies and Other Stuff).

Proved that, yes, it’s possible to take decent fireworks photos with a smartphone.

Celebrated the 10th anniversary of my first online Internet film, Bees and Lavender.

Checked out the Art in the Park(ing) Lot.

Went to a comic book signing for the new comic book series Kim & Kim.

Made my first-ever visit to the large STEM makerspace known as TechShop in Crystal City, Virginia.

Confronted the demons of my past by photographing my hand giving the middle finger to my old high school.

Did an extended tour of Brookyn Park and Glen Burnie.

Did another extended tour of Glen Burnie while I was visiting my mother in the hospital.

Burned an old wedding present that was customized with my name and my ex-husband’s name.

Attended the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival on the first and second days. Also attended the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade and the third day of the festival.

Went to the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore for the first time since I was a teenager.

Took a few pictures of the Pennsylvania Dutch Market in Laurel, Maryland.

Went to a yard sale that specialized in vintage kitsch.

Discovered an off-beat side street in downtown Baltimore.

Checked out Stary Olsa, a Belorussian band who does medieval folk versions of classic rock tunes like The Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night” and Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall.”

Attended the Silver Spring Maker Faire.

Attended Intervention Con on the first, second, and third day where I saw celebrities like René Auberjonois, Alex Kingston, Thomas “She Blinded Me With Science” Dolby, and Dwight Schultz.

Went to the Hyattsville Arts & Ales Festival on an usually hot and humid September day.

Saw a heavily-decorated Halloween house along Greenbelt Lake.

Attended an adult trick or treat event at Savage Mill. It was the first time I went trick or treating since I was a kid.

Helped out with the Trunk or Treat event at my Church.

Took pictures of the Greenbelt Pumpkin Festival.

Got my first glimpse of the controversial Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC the day before Election Day.

Visited the forgotten graveyards of Greenbelt, Maryland.

Checked out the spectacular Christmas shop at Valley View Farms.

Spent my birthday checking out Christmas Village in Baltimore and this over-decorated Christmas house in Glen Burnie.

Saw the National Christmas Tree in Washington, DC for the first time in many years.

Saw the Christmas lights at Savage Mill (including lights that draped the nearby Bollman Truss Railroad Bridge).

Checked out a brand-new library that has just opened in Laurel, Maryland and it features dinosaur bones lying in a pit in the middle of the library.

Took pictures of the opening ceremony of the Festival of Lights in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Spent Small Business Saturday at the Prince George’s County [Maryland] Gateway Arts District.

Attending a Sunday service at my Unitarian Universalist church that featured a puppet show instead of the usual sermon.

Checked out the fall foliage at the National Arboretum in Washington, DC.

Did a hike around the historic Bladensburg Waterfront Park (where one of the major battles of the War of 1812 took place).

Saw a trompe l’oeil painting in an unexpected place.

Spent Christmas Eve in downtown Washington, DC at Union Station and the National Postal Museum.

Saw some of the Christmas lights in Greenbelt, Maryland.

After seeing this in my neighborhood each Christmas Eve for several years, I finally took out my camera and photographed this tradition: Santa Claus riding around the neighborhood on the back of a fire truck.

Visited both the animals and the annual ZooLights at the National Zoo in Washington, DC.

A few of the art shows, craft fairs, and other arts and crafts-related events I participated in: Took part in a drawing event that was held in the historic Riversdale Mansion in Riverdale Park, Maryland. Attended a few Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School events in Baltimore and Washington, DC. Entered a local tiny art canvas contest. Took part in a charity art show that benefitted those who were displaced by the flood in Ellicott City. Designed my first button during Interventioncon. Submitted a painting to the annual Greenbelt Labor Day Art Show.