Saturday, January 4, 2014

Resolved

Well, just like that, the holidays are over.

And except for the disappointing fact that I had to cut my visit short by a day because of the snowstorms in NY and New England, I don't have a single complaint.  Especially since I somehow managed to make it through the last 2 weeks without gaining a single pound (pro tip: SHARE the holiday goodies with others, you don't need to eat all of that yourself).

I watched all of season 2 of Downton Abbey.  No, I have not seen season 1.  I have also not seen season 3, except for the very last episode, when Lady Mary has a baby and Matthew has a car accident.  I think I may have seen too much Downton Abbey, though, because when I came back from my vacation, I began looking for knitting projects and decided I want to do this one:

Photo credit: http://www.frenchpressknits.com/2009/10/happy-slipper-day.html
And I also want to do this one:

Copyright: Nemka7 (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/robin-hood-2)
Yes, I have several other knitting projects on the needles even as we speak.  (What's your point?)

Speaking of knitting projects, I never posted the pictures of the baby sweater with those cute elephant buttons.  It came out quite well, I think-- it was a very simple pattern:


(No, my photography skills aren't getting any better.  They probably never will.)

Actually, I've been knitting up a storm over the past two weeks because it has been colder than cold in the Northeast.  It's been North Dakota and Montana and Vermont Cold.  So I found a pattern for a Sweatshirt Sweater, and that's what I've been working on.

For holiday gifts, I also had success making Bourbon & Brown Sugar Mustard (pictured below, on the right) and jalapeno jelly (below, left):


I recently found a recipe for candied grapefruit peel, which left me positively ecstatic.  I eat grapefruit (pink or red, only) like it's going out of style, so the thought that I can perhaps do something with the peel too--something that involves the word "candied"--made me extremely happy.

But the reason I started this post--and gave it the title that I did--was because I planned to talk about my New Year's Resolutions.  As I mention pretty much every year at this time, I'm a bit odd when it comes to such things: I tend to go with the practical rather than lofty and inspirational.

Like, "I resolve to find a new primary care physician."  That kind of thing.

So my resolution for this year is to try to learn to knit socks.  Because I don't know how to do that, and if I did, I think I'd be pretty pleased with myself.  But if I try and don't like it, well, then, that's that.  But if I try it and I like it, I'll be happy.  So we'll see.

I've also resolved to finish one of my resolutions from last year.  In February of last year, I made several financial resolutions, and by February of this year, I will have seen all of them through.  This makes me happy to no end.  Being debt-free and living well within your means, not succumbing to the lure of consumerist crap and buying things that no one needs: nothing beats it.  I wish more people would try it.  I think a lot of Americans are unhappy, and I think this is often one of the main reasons why.  Just my two cents on that topic.

My only "lofty" resolutions for this year are to not spend too much time on work--because as you may have noticed, I kind of get consumed by it from time to time--and to try to travel more, which is sometimes hard for me because I instinctively like to stay home and knit and read and cook and talk to my cats.

But it's important to break out of your comfort-zone on a regular basis, and I know that.  I tentatively have plans to go to Paris in May.  I've been there before, but when I was last there, in 2007, I resolved that I really should return to Paris regularly.  So that's what I'm going to try to do. 

I've also resolved not to adopt another cat this year.  My best friend talked very calmly and sensibly to me about it and I think I've been persuaded.  It's hard, because quite frankly, I would adopt every cat in the entire world, if I could, and joyfully feed and pet and nurture every last one of them.  Even the thought of the many, many litter boxes wouldn't deter me.

I blame my parents: when I was growing up, we had eight cats.  Yes, you read that right.  We rescued one cat, and she had a litter of kittens, all of whom were stillborn, except for one.  Then, she very quickly had another litter of kittens, and we kept all of those.  We subsequently adopted another cat that was initially given to my Grandmother.

So, we had 2 rescued cats and 6 kittens and the general rule of thumb was, if a kitty cat appeared on the horizon, it should be adopted immediately. 

I wish I could have a house full of cats.  In heaven, I will.  A house full of books and cats and yarn and food.

But for now... I have a job and a life.  So maybe when I retire or if I die and go to heaven, but I'm hoping neither of those events will occur in 2014.

Happy New Year, everyone!   

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Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, "Life is short, but there is always time for courtesy."