It’s A New Year

comments: 40








Happy New Year, guys.

Eeeee-yipes, am I ever lazy. That's January. I usually lay around. The other day I stayed in my nap dress and got back into bed and put my computer on my lap to work on my cross-stitch pattern and watched TV all day. It was glorious. Andy busted out laughing when he came upstairs and saw me, a stack of dirty dishes next to me on the nightstand. I'm finally starting to get into lockdown. Nowhere to go, no one coming over, nothing to do, no guilt about that! I did feel vaguely guilty about not even getting dressed. I only get to do things like this when Andy is home, of course. Generally he works four 12-hour days in a row, and yes, I am almost shrieking by the end of Day Four, especially when Amelia decides to throw a wobbly right at bedtime. Why is it only at bedtime?! It only seems to happen on Day Four. It's only Day Two today, so hopefully we're good. . . . I can’t take it.

Last night Agatha Kitten was just attacking me relentlessly for an hour! Biting my hands, stalking then lunging at me, and trying to jump up from the side of the bed to get under the covers and claw my feet. What is her problem! She was possessed. She just wouldn't stop. I put her in the hallway and shut the door and then she howled and banged on the door. I'm not kidding. I got up and let her in and she just started biting me again. She is a very bitey cat. It's been so long since I had a baby cat that I can't remember how long this attack-stage lasts. I remember Violet when she was little attacking my feet under the covers, too. That's very annoying. I'm ready for her to start acting a little more mature instead of like a rabid goblin. (And, BTW, she did very well with the Christmas tree and couldn't have cared less about it, but she was absolutely obsessed with the decorated mantel and went up there almost every day and tried to throw things off of it and knocked everything over regularly.) She has no fear and is utterly indifferent to our displeasure. But then she can be such a little lover! Agatha is like a Garbage Patch Kid. First she's sour, then she's sweet. Currently napping sweetly and adorably on the sofa next to me.

I cleaned the house for several hours yesterday. It was so messy. We put all of the Christmas stuff away and I redid my mantel with nothing but a few fake candles, a fake snowy owl, a little vase of fake eucalyptus, and two baskets. I ordered new curtains to cover the shelves on either side of the fireplace (they hold nothing but all of our photo album and old VHS tapes that we can't part with on one side, and a bunch of toys and junk on the other side). I used to have two matching curtains for those shelves but apparently one is lost. I might get two new lamps for the tops of those shelves. We just really need a change. I have two little Ikea lamps up there right now and I've probably had them for twelve or thirteen years. I don't like Ikea lamps because you can really only use Ikea lampshades with them (unless you want to do a clip-on, on the lightbulb). Ikea lampshades are kind of lame. I enjoy surfing Wayfair and maybe I'll do that later.

Andy got his first vaccine on December 26. He gets the booster in ten days or so, depending on his work schedule; I can't remember. So grateful for this. Beyond words.

I got a plug-and-play hot tub for my birthday! It's absolutely awesome. We go in it almost every day. It's really, really good. We need a cover lifter. I don’t enjoy staggering through the mud trying to heft a giant cover onto the table so we can get in when I’m here alone with Amelia.

Currently obsessed with documentaries and reality shows about polygamous cults and other cults. Naturally. Andy was mildly disapproving every time he came in and saw me watching Escaping Polygamy again, goggle-eyed, munching on my lemon cupcake in my nightgown and pointing at the TV like I can’t believe this! But then he'd sit down for one second and start watching it and couldn't look away! I told him! And have you watched Wild Wild Country? Rajneeshees in Oregon. Andy and I are glued. We have one episode left. Incredible story. Well worth watching this. ***Finished it: WOW. What a film. I highly recommend it.

Good times!

I have three embroidery kits I am working on. One is a new 6"x8" seasonal cross stitch (to fit an 8"x10" frame), one is another little hooped wreath (for spring), and one is the embroidered jewelry I was making last year. I'm trying to source everything for that now. I've never done this kind of kit. It will include four pendants with jump-rings and chains, and one pin. I think it's going to be really cool. I am happy with my cross stitch design; I was inspired by woodcuts and I think I have pretty good ideas for all of the upcoming seasons, too.

I hope you are all well and cozy. Tell me what January is like for you.


It sounds like you are making Lockdown your own! We are out of Lockdown here in Melbourne, Australia but we did endure a very long one - 115 days! Phew! Thank goodness for downloadable books and Netflix and Stitching, of course. Enjoy your kitten time - it won't be long until she is full grown and you will miss the kitten antics.

I lived in The Dalles when all that was going down. My friends got Salmonella poisoning because of that. Another friend was the publisher of the local newspaper and published an article saying that the Rashneshees were responsible for the contaminated salad bars, but no one believed him at first.

I so enjoy your posts. Thank you for sharing. We had a kitten three years ago and a squirt bottle with water helped get us through the attack stage. Good luck!

Happy New Year! Love the pictures, especially the Christmas mantel. Would love to see your winter mantel as well. I’m excited to hear about your new stitch kit plans, especially the jewelry kits! I had forgotten about that post with all of those pretties. If memory serves, you have a birthday coming up so have a wonderful birthday, Alicia! Cake is always a good thing, and makes an excellent breakfast in bed 😉. Thank you for posting, your posts are always a treat.

I am crying with laughter over the kitten attacks. Our previous kitty was very much the same way and also had the naughty knocking things off the shelf streak in him (don't ever get a terrarium unless you want to clean up loads and loads of dirt in the middle of the night 🙈). These new babies have each other to attack, so it is much better, but I am still a little fearful for the crazy stage that comes at 6 months.

We are still pretty chill here, though my kids are back to in person school, at least for a little while. I am still catching up on knitted Christmas gifts that were delayed thank to the USPS issues, but alllllmost done with those! And then I can get back to the quilt I put on hold a few months ago.

Also, can I say that I love that you still blog in the way of the good old early days of blogging. These types of posts just don't happen on insta! 💗

We're doing the best we can to keep positive during this frightening time. I'm glad we have a cozy farmhouse in the country, the fire is warming us and we were used to being hermits already having been retired for 10 years. I'm staring a new Lucy blanket called "Meadow". I did a blog post today about my trolley cart all organized with the 15 colors of yarn. I got 3 new vintage jadeite lamps, I also want to add more light to our home during the winters. (photos on blog). I hope your cat gets over that naughty behavior soon. We've been binge watching "The Handmaid's Tale". Sheesh, what a cautionary tale! I'm glad Andy is getting immunized! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Anna Jordan says: January 11, 2021 at 07:56 PM

Oh kittens, they are so lovely and irritating. We have an old lady cat named Ember (she looks like a half burnt out piece of charcoal) who follows us around meowing all day; also lovely and irritating. January is waves of being really busy and really lazy. I read and practice cross stitch in my lazy times, and try to do 3 things at once during the busy. Mostly though, January is hopeful, sprinkled with cups of tea and fires in my fireplace, settling back into calm after the holidays.

I laughed when I read about you spending the day in your sleep dress. There have been a few of those here in PA! Everyone is raving about Athleisure wear, but I think the Amish housedress is woefully underrated. Just wanted to say how much I enjoy your posts and that I can't wait for the jewelry kits. I remember the post from a year ago and when I tried to source all the "hardware" -- It's not so easy to find bezels that don't look cheap or gaudy, but I know you will find the perfect bits and pieces. BTW my cat still attacks my feet and he's six. You'll just have to add some thick socks to your Amish ensemble!

Your life sounds very normal. Normal cat, normal kid (and yes, that fourth day thing is a thing with kids!) and normal laziness. Thank you for your honesty! :) You know what my fear is? Just when I finally settle into this whole quarantine life, the quarantine will be over. I'll be sitting here in my jammies, a newly converted introvert and become utterly confused about how to live outside my bubble!

sandra boyd says: January 12, 2021 at 08:53 AM

Hi Alicia. I so enjoy reading your blog! What's it like here?. Here in Edinburgh it is frozen lockdown. Birdbaths frozen solid each day which is not a normal occurrence and cars sitting idle, covered in thick white frost from days of collection even here by the sea (Firth of Forth): snow further west. Pavements (sidewalks) are black ice and we're not really used to that. I am working from home, glued to Teams except when it crashes globally...Embroidery which for me is competing the winter Craftpod- a serene swan trio of felties and a swan hoop - is filling the dark evenings. I think it will look good hanging up beside the wee winter hoop you designed and I look forward to putting them up on my wall and admiring them. I really like the orange slices and variety of leaves you put into your design. I made sure I had holly and mistletoe stitched into mine as they are favourites too. Knitting for me has stalled eagerly awaiting the arrival of the postie carrying my Kate Davies Shoots hat kit. Plan is to follow that with a PaperDolls top. I am loving KDDs Millerochy Tweed - do you know it? Gotta get through all this somehow and I certainly have plenty of appealing new things to do. What can we do except avoid the news, put off reading the news and craft and make cakes - recommend Nigella Lawson's Clementine cake (boil em up then blitz them and make the cake with ground almonds - very moreish :o) It is great news to hear that Andy has had his vaccination and booster on the way. You must be so relieved. Somehow things will start to get better and sunny days will return. Meantime I eagerly look forward to seeing and making some of your new embroidery. Good luck with the kit-making. All the best to you three for 2021. Sandra.

I always look forward to your posts! I am feeling guilty about taking so long to take down Christmas decorations, but I am doing a little bit each day. I think I am going to use string lights inside for each holiday! I think the pandemic has gotten me trying to make the inside of the house more cheerful since these are such scary times.

Susan Ring says: January 12, 2021 at 01:13 PM

Happy New Year to you all from Meath, Ireland xx I simply adore your newsy blog posts Alicia, which I've been reading for years. They are a ray of sunshine and often a reset button for the important things in life. So glad you are taking time to rest and plan. And wonderful news for Andy and all.
Keep safe and well and cosy. Sending much love, Susan

Janet Conn says: January 12, 2021 at 01:14 PM

Thank you so much for your posts. They make me feel so cozy in these uncertain times. I am laughing out loud at you calling Agatha a Garbage Patch Kid. My daughter calls one of our cats (Alex) a Sour Patch Kid all the time. Saying he is so sweet and then so sour. I am so happy to hear Andy has received his first vaccine. What a relief. Wishing you and your family a blessed January.

All about the lockdown here in the UK. So glad that Andy got the first half of the the vaccine. It arrived in our little town the other day, which was emotional. I shall have to look for some of those documentaries as I'm currently writing a (fictional) book set partly within a cult. I find it a fascinating subject as well, especially how people will follow a person. That charismatic personality. As you say, it's riveting. CJ xx

I love that you called them "Garbage Patch Kids". I think you mean Sour Patch Kids, but your term is more appropriate.

I love the cult content. I also love podcasts where they DISCUSS these docu-series. So entertaining.

My work has told me I'm working from home, about 15 feet from my bed, for at least another year. Daughter to me, "Why don't you wear your NICE clothes anymore?". CUZ WHY.

Kittens are terrors! You brought back all the memories of my male kitty when he was a baby. (He's now 10.) He wasn't so much a biter, but he was wild and tore everything up. He was constantly knocking down pots of plants, no matter where I'd put them. I'd hear crashes in my house all the time. He didn't settle down until he was two. I probably shouldn't tell you that. ;-) But anyway, being a lifelong cat lover and owner, with the biting, don't let her get away with that. Remove your hand gently and say "no" firmly and then engage her with a toy. She has to learn that hands aren't for biting.

Hadn't heard of Wild, Wild Country. I just looked it up and sounds like something I'd really like. I think I'll start watching it tonight!


Jean Stein says: January 12, 2021 at 04:12 PM

I couldn't get the link to your "nap dress" to work, but I've just put "Make a nap dress" on my To Do list for January. I'm hoping I'll be able to answer the door in it, considering that the Amazon delivery guys don't need to see me in a t-shirt. Your blog gives me the gift of quiet appreciation for all of life's wonderfulness, thank you so much.

Im so in love with your table every time I see it. Not the table itself haha but the dishes, table cloth and basically everything you put on it. I am feeling the cleaning spirit too. Been spending the whole week cleaning out the house, garage mostly and selling things. Really hating clutter now we are spending more time at home. Im attempting to blog about my cleaning and reorganising especially my ever growing office area!

Hi friend! Well, our Mouse kitten is a bit like Agatha although I do think now that she is almost 2 she is calming down. Maybe she needs someone to play with her a bit every day? Mouse loves any wand toy. And I've learned not to play with her on my bed because I do not want her to associate that space with attacking because she also has been guilty of that and it's not may favorite.

I'm trying to focus on home right now and not get too bogged down but sometimes I'm getting too bogged down and the things going on in the world have brought up some ptsd for me about my mom's death so I'm sure trying to work through that. I find spending time in the studio, journaling, knitting, reading fireside and cooking are positive ways to focus my energy.

I'm so very glad Andy is in the process of getting the vaccine. I will def get it. My guy works for a pharmaceutical company and his entire job is about the FDA and he has read and studied a lot about the vaccine and feels very comfortable with it which made me feel comfortable as well.

I can't wait to see your new kits. Especially the necklace!!!!

i'm not sure i've ever commented but i've been reading your blog for years. it was the polygamy that made me comment! i love to watch shows about polygamy. i do not like reality tv but will make an exception for plural marriage! please check out "three wives, one husband" and for a lengthy drama there is Big Love. I've watched that over and over.
peace be with your family. the light is at the end of the tunnel but i think were still fairly close to the beginning of the tunnel. i hope not but that is how i see it most days.
love in pdx,
melissa s

Daphne Phillips says: January 13, 2021 at 11:51 AM

Another 'thank you' for your posts; I look forward to them. So many favorite blogs gone, my own included. Sad! Agatha: have you tried a MASSIVE play session with her when sundown starts? My cat Thomas is over 11 and still has a nightly freakout. Daily play sessions (the kind that get him panting and leaping) are essential. Sundown is best, at least for him. Also hot tub note: not sure if this is possible with your setup, or if it's already occurred to you because it is so obvious, but have you tried just folding it over halfway for you and Amelia rather than taking it off? My husband and I only ever open it halfway for the two of us. It's sort of cozy, and way easier to get the lid shut. If we have more than two, we take the lid off, but it's usually us (especially now!) and it is just way easier. Happy new year!

Can you whisper what kind of "plug and play" hot tub you got? I don't even know where to start looking but It's been on my wishlist.

Lovely pictures! I’m a teacher trying my best to teach from home, madness. We have thick snow here in Yorkshire, England, it’s so beautiful. You’d love it.

Mary Ann in Vermont says: January 14, 2021 at 06:35 AM

I check here each day to see if you posted. Just wanting you to know that you bring my heart and soul so much sweet happiness. I love your photos, your writing, your family and pet babies, and all your sharings. With so many happenings going on in our world I find your posts are a big bright beautiful light. Please, keep up your blog as it bring so many of us so much pleasure. Happy New Year, may it be full of all~wonderful things. Keep cozy, gentle, and strong. And, of course, very healthy. xo

January is awful so far. I've been in solo quarantine since August and it's devastatingly lonely. If I had a family I think I would love it, as you do. But I don't. I can't even find a friend to form a bubble with because they are either too exposed for me, or already have a bubble and don't want to add to it. It would help if it would snow.

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at