Happy New Year (Part II)

Happy New Year, С Новым Годом, あけおめことよろ from the end of the world, where mountain lions roam, and where lakes turn pink at night! (Yes, these are real colors. Sometimes the tint is so deep that it's blood-red, but that would probably be somewhat unsuitable for a celebratory e-card!)

I wish you all good health and well-being—physical and otherwise, because everything else we can and should accomplish ourselves.

If my 2011 was about major transformation, at times, traumatic, and 2012—about tying loose ends, then 2013 was, unexpectedly, focused on people and places.

I draw my energy from within and generally prefer solitude. However, in 2013 I've met a number of those who are valuable, and to whom I can show loyalty; occasionally, it even seemed that some I was not even supposed to encounter at all. Visiting my home, physical and spiritual, for the first time in four years also fits into this equation, as does finding new creative inspiration in music and Nature.  

My greatest loss in 2013 was my best friend, Sharikov, a dachshund I adopted when I still resided in Toronto. Despite living up to his naughty Bulgakovite name, it seems that at times he was my only support—as dogs often do.  I know he is giving swans hell in doggie Valhalla now!

As for 2014? I know what I have to do. 

I think...

Happy New Year! (The Russian E-Card)

For almost a hundred years, we, Russians, have celebrated the New Year the way Westerners celebrate (what's left of) Christmas. What was once a religious ban under the Bolsheviks turned into a custom, largely freeing up the Orthodox Christmas--on January 7th--from consumerism.

Of course, many of us living in North America get to celebrate both the Gregorian- and Julian-calendar Christmas as well as the New Year and the Old New Year (on January 14th). And my name day comes up on January 27th, making the first month of the new year quite festive and masking the breakneck pace of Time's passage somewhat.

Toon Dogs

I will fearlessly embrace sounding like Captain Obvious, but in the age of Facebook birthday reminders, we just don't receive enough "snail-mail" postcards. I'm guilty of it too--with a strong penchant of posting images of customized cakes onto people's Timelines (likely causing hunger pains in the rest of the friend list).  So, I've decided to single-handedly (I'm pretty sure any superhero, even Captain Obvious, prefers to do things alone) battle this phenomenon and make customized illustrated postcards for those close to me whenever there's spare time. There never is--so the illustrations are very quick, such as this birthday-card image of my basset hound, Roediger, and his Golden-Retriever sidekick, "uncle" Glacier.

The models, Roediger and "uncle" Glacier, at the latter's house. A washed out and poorly framed "Instagrammy" candid shot makes me come across like a "normal girl" who likes shopping and whatever else "normal girls" do.

As I'm about to hit the "publish" button, I'm realizing, to my horror, that my family members might use this blog against me--expecting similar illustrations for all of their events. (Such is the fate of anyone who can decently format documents in Microsoft Word, let alone has any artistic skills!) Perhaps, I should've registered this domain name under an equally applicable "Nina LongRussianLastName" for conspiratorial purposes!