Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 recap

in data.

Because I love data.

Books I read this year in total – 130

from the library – 88

on my Kindle – 21

purchased new or used – 21

78 were mysteries – the Meg Langslow series was my favorite & I hated the Hannah Swenson series

9 were romances – Stephanie Laurens’ Black Cobra quartet was my favorite

4 were memoirs – I liked Tony Bourdain’s Medium Raw best

39 fall into ‘other’ – mostly historic fiction, straight fiction or humor with some non fiction mixed in. My favorite was the non fiction Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England

When I wasn’t reading I was taking photos.

I kept a whopping 2619 photos this year. God only knows how many I deleted in addition to those.

1505 were general everyday photos, both random and of events.

I took the most photos of that sort in April – 231 of them

and took the least photos of that sort in September – 24 of them

1114 photos (not including deletes) were needed to complete my 365 project.

68 of those were just of yours truly trying to get one decent photo a month.

December’s photo

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Somehow, in between all the reading & photo taking I found time to

Start 11 craft projects – 5 crochet, 1 cross stitch, 3 sewing and 2 hybrid scrapping

Finish 9 of those projects, only the cross stitch and a pair of crocheted fingerless gloves remain incomplete.

Create 131 digital scrapbooking layouts,

and write 230 blog posts, including this one.

I had made some goals for this year. The big one being to take better control of my photo workflow & use more tags. I did manage most of that. I have a good system in place now to process my photos using Lightroom. But I did fail at the tagging.

2011 will the Year of the Tag!

I had a goal to comment more on blogs & respond more here and since ‘more’ is a rather loosely defined word requiring comparison to some other source & I have no way of keeping track of my commenting I can only say – it feels like I accomplished this goal somewhat. I think I’ll keep it around in 2011 as well because I think that while I did ok, I could do better.

The last goal, which has been hanging around as a goal since 2007, was to accept in my heart that veggies are more than just an inconvenient side dish to be microwave steamed at the last possible second. I believe I even foolishly said something about having one veggie meal a week by May.

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I crack myself up sometimes.

I’m letting this one go. 4 years now I have tried to embrace veggies & it’s just not working well. My kids only eat raw veggies or pureed veggie soup, and zucchini frittatas. Which, granted is more than they ate 4 years ago but I think that is more a result of their growing up than anything I did. I’ll still experiment with some dishes but I’m not going to waste a lot of emotional & mental energy on it anymore.

I’d say something about weight loss, gym attendance, running a 5K, etc but it’d just be from peer pressure, not any great desire on my part. I go to the gym. I hate running outside. I like food, especially fatty food. This is who I am. Should weight loss happen…Yay! Should it not…meh.

I want too say thanks to all my readers this year, both the new and old. Seeing comments appear gives me a lift every day & I really do appreciate all of them & the friendships I have made from blogging.

I hope you all have a wonderful 2011.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Journal Your Christmas

I’m still way behind. I have prompts 6, 10, 12, 14-18, and 26-29 still to do but I am getting caught up slowly but I do finally have more layouts done than undone

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Holiday recap

It’s been a …(insert adjective of the moment here) few days.

My kids have been on vacation since the 16th (thank you weather…not) so they reached brotherly love saturation by the 23rd and have been mostly getting on one another’s nerves, and mine, ever since.

On the 24th we got together with some friends to make cookies

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That evening we set out some cookies and milk for Santa. We also said goodbye to our visiting elf Elvin. The boys were so sad Elvin was leaving they wrote Santa a note asking for Elvin to visit again next year.

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Then Santa came

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Great gifts were had by all

DH got books and a Jedi robe bathrobe

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The boys got movies, Wii games, books, board games, some Kung Zhu pets & Star Wars Legos

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Santa brought the whole family a set of Snap Circuits, which are this geeky engineer toy that let you create electrical circuits that do various things – run a fan, make assorted noises, record voices, etc

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I got some books, both Kindle and dead tree versions, plus $50 to spend on books and I also got this lens,

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which was a drama of it’s own involving Fed Ex’s inability to deliver a package for 5 business days. I’m over an hour from the distribution center, which received my package on the 16th. Weather kept it from being delivered the 16th and the 17th (though UPS was delivering the 17th just fine). Then due to the ‘backlog’ it wasn’t delivered the 20th, 21st or 22nd. Backlog is another way of saying ‘we just couldn’t get to you because you are so far out, maybe tomorrow’. Which is total crap. UPS is also an hour away from me, though in another direction and they showed up 3 times in those 5 days. They also got cookies. I’m 100% positive it only turned up the night of the 23rd because I made such a pain in the butt of myself on the 21st, 22nd & 23rd to their service center. The distribution center called me at 5:30pm that night & said ‘oh I talked to the driver, he said he’s on his way there & should arrive in about an hour’. In other words someone finally realized they had been delaying delivery of my stuff for a week and made some guy take a truck out with it. He did not get cookies. Fed Ex always seems to have some issue or other when they have to deliver to me so I try to avoid them whenever possible.

We laid around & played with our new stuff mostly on the 26th. Though I did venture out to get my hair cut. It was supposed to snow an inch, or 2-4 inches, or  just flurries. Depends who you ask. The snowstorm blew east of us though and all we had were some flurries Christmas morning & a few more Sunday afternoon. Monday was very very windy & affected my internet. The main tower I get my signal from had a pole blow over and it won’t be fixed until Wednesday so I had to wait for DH to get home and reorient our eyesore to another tower.

Now I am getting caught up on some Journal Your Christmas layouts and getting ready for the New Year’s Eve party we are hosting on Friday.

DH will be 45 that day.

How was your Christmas?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Journal Your Christmas

Some more layouts. I have 13 out of 14 done. I’m waiting on some photos for a couple more.

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cookies

I really don’t know why I make cookies before Christmas. The only people around are us and while I certainly think we should have cookies, perhaps it would be best to have fewer cookies. Or to just wait until after Christmas. I end up having to make twice as many cookies now.

We have a big party on new year’s eve every year, ‘big’ being a relative term of course. Anywhere from 6 adults and 7 kids to 10 adults and 7 kids. Plenty of people to spread the cookie calories around.

I made these Friday

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Cocoa peppermint cookies.

There was one left when I went to get one Monday.

The boys and I made these Sunday

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Gingerbread cookies. Trees, stockings, gingerbread men, dinos  & storm troopers.

Cuz that’s how we roll.

Maybe a quarter of them are left

I also made these Saturday

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Peppermint bark crackers.  About half these are still around because I am the only real fan of peppermint bark in the house. Oh DH will eat them & now that the cocoa cookies are gone he is focused on them but they are low on his cookie list.

Friday my friend Mel & I are getting together with the kids to decorate sugar cookies, which is something of a tradition now. The kids only decorate the cookies. Mel & I are a both bit OCD about cutting out the cookies, getting the most cookies cut per rolled out round of dough is something of an obsession & small kids who don’t put the cutters close together or worse – press the cutters into already CUT dough – drive us bonkers. So we send the kids down to their den to play Wii while we roll out & bake the cookies and then mix up icing & call the kids up to decorate when the cookies are cool enough.

Last year we made so many cookies we each had 4 dozen to take home.

I need to make more of the cocoa peppermint cookies for the party.

But I want some now..

But if I make them now I will end up making a 3rd batch on the 30th because we will have eaten them all.

And I have to make chocolate truffles & buckeyes for the party as well, but they will wait until the 29th.

Maybe the 30th.

Or it might be best to make them the actual day of the party, just to make sure some are left.

Damn.

Now I am hungry.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Holiday card photos–take 3

I’m starting to think that, all things considered, it really might just be easier to photograph the boys than it is to photograph their toys.

Little boys, in matching clothes, with Santa hats, in front of the tree, smiling & hugging one another, radiating Peace Love & Joy.

How hard can it be really?

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or you know, maybe bounty hunters with candy canes will work just as well.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Light Returns

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Today the Son/Sun is reborn, turning at last from his long slow descent into darkness to face the light & return. The Goddess is reunited with her Son. They reminds us that all dark times do end, though the journey to warmth and full light may take some time, the promise of it is clear. Summer will come, but first there are the storms of February to get through. The Light is there though, showing us the way, growing stronger day by day.

The Light shows us, that even in the darkest of nights there is the promise of dawn, in the frozen earth, there lie the seeds of life feeling the slowly rising warmth. There is hope, no matter how bad things seem. It is the joy of boundless hope which comes from Mother Earth and her Sun.

The birth and rebirth of all nature,
The passing of winter and spring,
We share with the life universal,
Rejoice in the magical ring.    

~ from the Witches’ Creed by Doreen Valiente

We’ll be celebrating the Light’s return tonight with a candlit dinner in a house that is otherwise in total darkness. During dinner there is small ritual where we decide what traits in ourselves we wish to grow with the Light this season. After that we light a fire in the woodstove & the boys get to run through the house turning on every light we own and shouting “Welcome Sun!” at the top of their lungs.

The bonfire waits until New Year’s Eve when more people can join us.

Merry Yuletide & Blessed Solstice to everyone!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Holiday Card Photos–take 2

When last we left our heroine she was struggling with how to make this holiday card more festive.

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It needed something. There was a decided lack of…holiday spirit.

I know!

It needs bounty hunters

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Because nothing says ‘peace love & joy’ quite like bounty hunters.

Except maybe… bounty hunters with candy canes!

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Ok, yeah. Candy canes. They are festive holiday things right?

Let’s get everyone together for a group shot shall we?

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Enough with the sulking Rex, turn around & face the camera. You WILL play nicely with the bounty hunters for the next 5 minutes.

That goes for you too Bane!

And someone make sure Greenie doesn’t choke on that candy cane will you?

I went to get a couple more candy canes & came back to this.

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Honestly you guys! Can’t leave you alone for a second. Fett is unarmed & not a threat to you. Put down the gun Cody & let go of the candy cane Rex.

Everyone get back in position

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Oh my god Rex! That’s it! You are on time out!

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And you can join him Bane if you don’t knock it off

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There will be peace love & joy in this photo if I have to beat it out of all of you!

Cody, you and Bane act like you can be civil for a few a moments. Put your arms around each other.

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And perhaps not look so annoyed by it Cody.

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Better but I *know* I told you to put the gun down earlier.

And I never said you could pick it back up again, did I?

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See, it’s not that difficult, nobody’s picked up any bounty hunter cooties or clone cooties either.

Now all together as a group & everyone better play nice or there will be NO hot chocolate afterward.

I have all day people.

We can just sit here until bedtime if that’s what it takes.

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Bane: She won’t really keep us here all day will she?

Cody : Oh that’s right. You weren’t here for last year’s card. She’ll keep us here as long as it takes. Best to just humor her.

Greenie: She’s not kidding about the hot chocolate either. And I WANT hot chocolate, so listen to her already or I’ll bite your head off.

Enough chatter! Line up people! and dinos!

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Better.

But geez…

BANE!

You all are really pushing my buttons today.

One last try everyone

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Finally!

(This post aided and abetted by Havoc & Mayhem who were blessed with Xmas break starting two days early due to 2.5 inches of snow & leaving me no time to take these photos unassisted)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Weekly Winners

Holiday d├ęcor.

These guys were playing with the lights

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We’ve got ninjas.

They have candy canes

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and coffee mugs

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Been playing some board games

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and there was a huge traffic pile up behind the snow plows

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For more weekly winners, please visit Lotus at Sarcastic Mom

Thanks for stopping by!