adventures, by accident


December 2013


The time has come, it seems, to fess up on the pretty mixed job I’ve done on my 2013 resolutions. I’ve revisited my list a few times this year, and I’ve half-succeeded at two of my resolutions, and totally bailed on a third.

The resolution I didn’t follow through on was my hopes to spend some time this year learning Spanish. I did work with an online language program, Mango Languages, through my local public library, as well as some language learning CDs, but … I just don’t have a passion or facility for learning a new language. It feels like a total drag and it made me dread going to the gym, so ultimately I ditched this resolution.

One resolution I followed through on partially was reading fewer repetitive “how to” books. I found I was reading a lot in this genre, and was hearing the same things over and over; and more importantly, I was reading about things rather than doing them. This year, while I didn’t cut back on this genre as much as I would have liked to, I did feel like I read a better range of books overall, so I’m giving myself half-credit. I read a number of books for various book clubs that I wouldn’t have read otherwise, with slightly mixed results, but I’m glad to have been trying new things. I also read some stellar books this year, including Fangirl and Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein, Fanny and Stella by Neil McKenna, People Who Eat Darkness by Richard Parry, and a great range of graphic novels (fiction and non-fiction). I may try to stick to this resolution again this year, and keep pushing myself to mix it up in the reading arena.

The other resolution I’m giving myself partial credit for is using my cookbooks. I certainly did a better job of this than in the past – I tried a number of really good recipes from some of my cookbooks, but I’d still like to work on rotating them and mixing it up a little. The reason I’m giving myself partial credit for this is I managed to do a lot of discarding of recipes this year. If I try a new recipe and it takes, I add it to the rotation; if it doesn’t, I’ve started getting rid of the bookmarks, printouts, or putting a little ‘x’ on the page so I don’t forget and try the recipe again. I do think I did a much, much better job this year of making good use of our CSA veggies, and I’m proud of myself for managing that.

Now that I’ve ‘fessed up, what to tackle in 2014 …



Finals are happening pretty late here this semester, so classes are just today wrapping up, and we only have one day between when students leave and when our winter break starts. For some reason, in my mind I had interpreted this to mean that early December would just fly on by. That has … not been the case. At least on the work front, December has been mostly a grind.

Outside of work, though, the holiday season is bringing the usual flurry of parties and other activities. Last weekend we had T’s office holiday party on Friday, which was fun and I finally got to see the inside of his workplace, and a Belgian-themed dinner party with some friends. It was delicious – I’m so lucky to have friends who can cook – and we had a leek tart, carbonade flamande, and I made profiteroles with chocolate sauce (the ice cream was store bought).


Sunday we got up early to try and track down a snowy owl at North Point State Park (no luck), and got stuck in a bit of a snowstorm coming home. We’d made plans to meet friends for the Mayor’s Christmas Parade, but after that was snowed out, we went for piping hot Mexican food instead. Tuesday I got a snow day (poor T only got a late start) which I used to catching up on my reading for book club Friday (Pigeon English) and do a little baking.

Whole Wheat Banana Walnut Bread
Whole Wheat Banana Walnut Bread
Peanut Butter Brownies
Peanut Butter Brownies (With Sunken Middles)

In anticipation of some upcoming travel – San Francisco with the family for Christmas, Philadelphia with T for Midwinter – I bought myself a new camera and have been getting used to it over the last few days. Cookie hasn’t been well-pleased by this turn of events …


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