Grandma always made the best Christmas cookies. Almond cookies and brazil nut cookies, cut out into different shapes and sprinkled with colored sugar.
2013 ended well. The whole end-of-year holiday season was pretty great, starting with Thanksgiving/Hanukkah with John’s folks up in Kalamazoo, winding down with hosting my parents at our house in Dayton for Christmas, and culminating with a quick New Year’s Day visit from John’s Mom and step-Dad on their way back to Kalamazoo from a dance camp in Berea, KY.
2013 may have ended well, but it had a really rough start. In the first couple of months of 2013 we lost both John’s grandfather, and our 18-year-old cat, Merlin. First John’s grandfather had a bad fall, then Merlin had a stroke and we found out that she had advanced cancer, then John’s grandfather got worse and went into hospice care where he died peacefully, finally, less then a week later we lost Merlin as well. (I still miss her.)
In late March we adopted Vena (Ravenna) from a rescue.
John had his 42nd birthday, which we celebrated by spending a long holiday weekend at Cedar Point, and riding all of the roller-coasters as many times as possible.
We went to Pennsic as usual in late July/early August. Every time we go to Pennsic, it gets better and we have more fun then before. So every Pennsic is the best one yet.
At the end of October we took another long holiday weekend and went camping and Hiking in the Smoky Mountain National Park.
And in between all of these events we just lived life… and life was pretty good. Except for the fact that I didn’t do nearly so well on my 2013 goal list as I have on previous years.
1. Finish the project where I photograph, identify and catalog my collection of china and glassware
Well, I am done with the photography, but I am still working on the identification and classification portions.
2. Recode AQalloys. I haven’t done a thing with Brian and Kevin’s company site since I set it up several years ago, and it could really use an overhaul. Not necessarily a design overhaul, but I really should get in and tinker around under the hood a bit. Modernize the code, make it responsive, stuff like that.
Nope. Not even a little bit. I made some content updates, but that’s it.
3. Design and code work on this site. The perpetual project….
Working on it!
4. Garden 5.0. We got the Burpee Seed Catalog in the mail yesterday, and I got all excited about the different varieties of tomatoes, peppers, and everything else that we can plant in the spring. I think that we will put in an order and try to start the garden from seeds again. (Reserving the right to just chuck it all and go to Home Depot and Loews to get seedlings if the whole “starting everything from seeds” plan goes sideways again.)
This one actually turned out well. We started some things from seeds and filled in some things with seedlings from Home Depot/Lowe’s/Meijer. The only thing that we botched was in spacing out the plants properly, and as the plants got older and bigger it got to be more and more difficult to wiggle in between them to weed and to harvest the produce.
5. Get this house in order. We do a pretty good job with maintenance and upkeep, but there are a couple of repair and upgrade projects that I think that we ought to knock out. The downstairs bathroom needs some work, there are a lot of patches of drywall that need to be patched up (mostly on corners that get knocked into), paint that needs to be re-touched, and other little things of that nature. And there are some bigger projects… for instance, I think that this is the summer where we need to do something (replace? clean? repair?) about the siding.
Well, we did some minor repairs, fixed the bits in the downstairs bathroom that needed it, and did some of the paint-touching-up, but still haven’t patched the dings in the corners or touched the siding. We will be doing more of the same in the coming months.
6. Artwork update. I haven’t refreshed the photos that we have hanging in the house in years. I should replace some of the older photos with more recent ones, and I also need to re-frame some of the paintings from my Grandfather. Maybe I should think about getting a digital picture frame?
Nope! This one fell completely off of the radar.
7. Downsize. This goes along with the perpetual project to weed out the library. Really. We have a lot of stuff. We don’t need all of it, and the closets and storage spaces are bursting. We need to get rid of some of it.
Working on it. The most visible progress is in our library where we managed to get the collection down to 2.5 (out of 5) bookcases. We have taken 15+ file boxes of books to Goodwill, as well as several boxes and bags worth of housewares and clothing. And we have thrown out a heck of a lot more then that. But we still haven’t made much of a dent in our possessions. Where the heck did all of this stuff come from!?
8. Get organized. A subset of the downsizing item, actually. If we have less stuff, then it will be easier to organize logically, store, and then find (and use) when we need it. Do we really need two junk drawers in the kitchen alone? I think not. Lets do something about that.
9. Learn how to cook Indian food, especially curries. John and I both like Indian cuisine, and yet (other then a couple of semi-successful experiments) have not tried making it ourselves. How hard can it be? Other than the really long and intimidating lists of spices that every dish requires, of course…
Well, I did a little bit of Indian cooking, but I did a bit more Asian/Island cooking. So I will call this a draw. In any case, tasty food was cooked and then eaten.
And there you have it.