Betty Boop and I rang in the new year with an evening visit from Audria and Laura, wherein we toasted, got roasted, and launched a flaming chinese hot air balloon that immediately got caught in a tree. We freed it in time for it still to fly high, with much shouting, screaming, a ladder, and a long stick. 

When midnight struck I took a break from painting hatch lids to send up a few aerial fireworks. The launch mortar tube blew to smithereens on the first launch, more smithereens on the second launch (after a quick fix) and into final fragments on the third, showering the driveway and my long-suffering van with exploding magnesium sparkles. 

My omens predict a year of things going hilariously, spectacularly awry. Excellent!

As you see in the picture, Betty Boop is nearly done–a day or two of details and she is ready to rock–hinges, latches, a few dollops of paint. I had figured three weeks to refurbish her. Ha! More like about seven. But without my blind, manic, unrealistic optimism, I’d never start anything. And without all the incredible help, encouragement, advice, and occasional jeering from so many fine friends, I’d never get anything done. Thanks to everyone who has been a part of Betty Boop‘s rebirth. She’ll be floating soon. Happy New Year y’all.