Monthly Archives: December 2013

Ending 2013 a Bit Wiser?

So another year is coming to a close.  Like every year, there have been ups and downs.  As always, there are parts of the year that I am very relieved to see over and done with.  And there are parts that I want to do my best to remember, treasure and carry with me as time inevitably marches on.

Same old, same old, really.

I hope, as with each old-to-new year, that I’ve learned things of value.  That I’ve gained valuable experience with something that will help me down the road.  That I’ve grown (and not just around the middle).  If I’m being fully honest with myself, I’ve definitely grown around the middle and I’m pretty sure I’ve learned more than a handful of useful, if not valuable, things.  No matter what kind of year I’ve had, I cannot stop experience and progress from happening.  Good thing I’m getting used to it.

Because I’m a List Person and I categorize things in my head before I realize it, these are some of the things I’ve learned in 2013:

  • I’m still thoroughly disgusted with bugs.  Seeing large images of bugs on a projector screen is like being in a circle of hell
  • I like soil.  Soil is most definitely NOT Dirt.  Soil is organic matter. Dirt is what you sweep or vacuum up, and it may or may not be organic. I also learned the difference between Soil & Dirt
  • Turf/grass is mind numbingly boring (to me).  I almost fell asleep, while standing up, during a field trip to a turf farm.  Hence, I love the 2 guys at Eco Lawn, who take care of our lawn and patiently answer all of my questions.  They are worth every penny PLUS they seem to really like turf. Bless Them
  • I like researching plant pathology and playing with microscopes
  • I loved the Master Gardener classes, except the ones on bugs and turf
  • I still don’t know what I want to do with a Master Gardener certification yet but I’m glad I’m not designing web sites anymore
  • I mostly enjoy taking online classes – but I miss face-to-face contact with fellow students.  Still, the convenience and potential is wonderful
  • I’m becoming far more liberal in my political views as I get older
  • I can make bows and arrows but I stink at actually shooting arrows (except on the Wii – I’m really great at Wii Archery)
  • I could definitely help plan kid’s parties but I’m not sure I like working with groups of kids.  I’m more of an idea person
  • I get easily irked by kids who are spoiled, entitled and rude
  • I get even more irked by parents who don’t do anything about their spoiled, entitled and rude children
  • I believe strongly in the power of prayer and positive thinking
  • I think if pharmaceutical companies and medical professionals really wanted to cure cancer, they would do so – there’s too much money to be made in treating cancer (and other diseases) instead of curing them.  I’ve become convinced of this in 2013
  • I’ve lost too many people I love to cancer.  And there’s always someone I care about who is dealing with it
  • I love camping but it would not be fun if I had to do it without an electric hook up.  I have no intention of ever sleeping on the ground again; air mattress or I’m not going
  • I can start and maintain a roaring fire.  Turns out, this is a very helpful skill to have
  • I am learning to say No when asked to volunteer for something.  It’s taken years to get to this point.  I’m working on not feeling guilty when I say No
  • I don’t exercise as much as I should
  • You can never have too many Christmas lights at Christmas time
  • I don’t think I could ever give up cheese or chocolate
  • I could easily work at IKEA.  I know more about their products than most of the employees there
  • I am hooked on the simply awesome  concept of frozen dollops of whipped cream to plop onto hot chocolate
  • I shamelessly collect ideas on the internet, especially Pinterest
  • I watch too much TV
  • I don’t feel bad about how much TV I watch
  • I don’t feel as guilty about buying birthday/thank you/etc cards as I used to. I’ve learned it’s OK to NOT make homemade cards all the time
  • I eat I Love Peanut Butter’s Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter straight out of the jar
  • A teaspoon of local honey a day really does provide allergy relief, as long as I remember to do it every day
  • A neti pot is great, once you get past how icky it looks on YouTube
  • I get choked up when I think of what life will be like without my parents
  • I do the Mommy Sway thing when I hold our cat.  I didn’t know I did this until someone pointed it out to me, but I don’t care.  She’s my fur baby, after all
  • Most nights when I check on N before I go to bed, I spend a few minutes just staring at him, sometimes just touching his hair – I cannot believe my baby is growing up this fast.  I often wonder how long I can get away with this
  • N still believes in Santa and I totally love that and encourage it
  • A moved out in Feb and I miss her being here every day, but I do not miss the tension.  I’m learning to let her go and do her own thing
  • I’m not good at letting people go and do their own thing but I’m getting better with practice
  • I still hold my breath when I see the lower Manhattan skyline
  • I really like how our recent renovations have gone.  I really love our new bathroom.  I’m trying not to get carried away and paint and re-do everything in the house
  • I re-read the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings this summer and realized that I missed at least half the details when I read them as a child and then again as a teen.  So I’ll probably re-read them in about 20 years and see what else I’ve missed
  • I still haven’t read 50 Shades of Grey and am perfectly fine with that
  • I still prefer to read books on paper rather than on an e-reader
  • I am still able to function on 5 hours of sleep a night.  Not sure if that’s a good thing but it seems to be working out OK
  • I liked traveling on the auto train a lot more than I thought I would
  • I learned how to cut up an 18 pound whole turkey into parts.  This is also a very useful skill
  • I would like to take a class (if I can find one)  to learn how to cut up meat the proper way.  This could end up saving us money, too
  • I learned how to pickle just about any vegetable you can think of
  • I bought a PVC tube cutting tool that turned out to be the best $5 I’ve spent in the past few years (see the item about making bows & arrows)
  • I am very happy that N has faith that I can make almost any party or craft or science project come together.  His creativity & confidence – along with access to the internet – make for some fun projects
  • I already have a long “Things to Do in 2014” list and I’m only 80% sure that it’ll all get done

Happy New Year!