Saturday, January 12, 2013

A New Year, A New Post

Everywhere I look lately, I see "A New Year, A New You!" Am I new?  I feel like I am a little late to the party.  All the "new year" stuff and reflection on the old year seems to happen while I am too busy to reflect.  And hopefully you have not missed me terribly in my nearly 2 month absence.  The end of the year is a busy time at work and in life.  Moving on now... What is new with me? 

I am back at Weight Watchers.  Just a couple pounds to go and I am a back at goal weight and can reclaim my Lifetime member status and go back to swigging vast bottles of wine, eating cheesecake with every meal and sprinkling bacon generously on every entree.  Or not.  I am not a spokesperson for WW (I will leave that to Jennifer What's-her-name and Jessica Who's-she-again). It is just something that works for me. It makes sense in my brain.  I only tell you this to give you fair warning that there may be a bit more focus on weight-friendly meals and snacks in the upcoming weeks.  And since I now understand the new PointsPlus program and have access to the tools again, I can offer my calculation of PointsPlus values, for those of you who care.

I am back at a company I last worked for in December 1999, a company I did not expect myself to work for again.  The division I work in was purchased by this company, so I was part of a large (6000 person) package deal.  The job is the same and so far, so is everything else, except my e-mail address and the name of the company signing my paycheck.  It will be an interesting few months (or years) as the transition continues.  That's all I am saying about that.

We have a beautiful almost-complete new bathroom at our house.  A few smaller projects to finish up in there, but is 90% functional and I love how it turned out. Earlier today I was happily (!) scrubbing the new toilet and new tub.  When was the last time I happily scrubbed anything?  I think my favorite part about the room is the radiant heat in the floor.  Or maybe the tile.  Or the lights.  The tub?  The dual flush toilet?  The gleaming new vanity and sink? Oh, never mind.  I love it all.

I am participating in the Buttoned Up Boot camp which is a 30 day program to help "kick chaos to the curb".  Day 12 and so far, so good.  Today, I took 3 large boxes and 4 full grocery bags full of donations to the library and Goodwill.  One of the things was a Sing and Snore Ernie (not sure why I had a Sing and Snore Ernie, but anyway...).  When Ernie sits up, he proclaims, "I feel great!"  When he lies down and you squeeze his hand, that is when he does the singing and snoring.  He really is quite cute.  (Do I need to go back to Goodwill and buy him back??) So I was driving down the road, with Ernie in a grocery bag in the passenger seat, and every time I stopped, started or otherwise made the truck jostle, Ernie said, "I feel great!"  The first few times, I chuckled and said, "That's great, Ernie!"  By about the 10th time, I was getting a little annoyed and stopped responding.  By about the 20th time, I was grumbling, "Who asked you, Ernie?"  When I got to Goodwill, I warned the kid working there that Ernie was in one of the bags and kept talking.  Fortunately, he seemed to know what I meant and just laughed and thanked me for the warning.

The one other new thing is that I have quit one of my book clubs.  There were lots of reasons for this so it was something that needed to be done.  And now it has been and I don't know that anyone is sad about it.  It was the Friday night dinner book club (formerly Saturday morning breakfast club), in case you are keeping score at home.  We are starting year 17 of the Sunday night book club, I believe (is that right?  If we started in 1997... yes, I think that is right).  We are reading Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer.  And then I am watching the movie, because Brad Pitt is in it and I think he is scrumptious.

Now on to the 2012 predictions in review.  If you recall, last January I made predictions for the then-new year.  You can read the whole post here if you don't remember why I make predictions.  How did I do?  Results are after each prediction below, posted in bold.
  • I will read at least 3 books each month, a combination of challenging/thought-provoking books, comforting re-reads of old favorites, and as-of-yet undiscovered new favorites. I read 44 books total, most of which I blogged about and which were a good mix of the different types. 
  • I will make at least one new recipe each month to expand my menu options, enhance my culinary skills, and explore new techniques and cuisines.  I did pretty well with this, though I will admit I forgot to keep track of the new recipes.  There is still room for growth on the enhancement of culinary skills and the exploration of new techniques and cuisines, but I did much better with the veggies in the CSA this year and tried a number of new things related to that.
  • I will make Christmas gifts. (This will involve gifts for at least 10 people and since what I am thinking of doing involves 2 for each one, I best get started on this prediction soon! Also included in this prediction is "I will spend more time knitting.") If this had been a resolution instead of a prediction, I would have received a "fail".  I only made a couple of gifts for Christmas and it was not at all what I had been thinking of.  I did, however, spend some time knitting and will post some of those things in later blog entry.
  • I will learn to play the bass.  I started out okay on this one, but then lost it somewhere along the way.  Will need to pick it back up again.
  • I will spend more time scrap booking. (The March retreat weekend is already planned. I predict at least 4 other dedicated days of scrapping throughout the year will occur, with family and with friends, at my house and at Archivers or other locations.)  Well, maybe 2 other days besides the retreat - once with my mom and sister and once working with E on a calendar for him.  At least I think that was in 2012...
  • I will write more often, to include this blog, my journal and free-writing exercises. I predicted the blog part, but other writing, not so much.  Maybe in 2013...
  • I will plan, plant, nurture and grow 2 raised vegetable beds.  With the help of E, this was a success.  Well, the peppers not so much, and there was the trouble with the corn, but everything else did well.
  • I will participate in at least one plant swap.  The May city swap.  I didn't plan a fall swap.
  • I will plan the "stump garden". The stump garden has been all drawn out.  Maybe I didn't do it myself, but I contributed my ideas and helped with the beginnings of the planting. 
  • I will start and continue my garden journal.  Errrr... Where is that thing, again?
  • I will visit at least one city I have never been to before. This was a cheater prediction because I had already been to one city (Phoenix) that I had never been by the time I made the prediction, but we did also have our trip to Colorado which involved many places I had never been. 
  • I will spend at least one night in the Hermitage cabin at Amnicon.  Nope, didn't happen.  Maybe this year.  I do so love those little cabins.
That is probably enough for you to read for today.  Look for 2013 predictions soon.  I also plan to blog my top reads of 2012 and post pictures of some of my favorite knitty and crafty gifts given.

Until we eat again,

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