Wednesday, January 04, 2012

The Year in Review - Just some Tidbits

Happy New Year! Here we are off and running with new goals, new aspirations, and new dreams. I didn’t write a list of resolutions this year. Several years ago, I sat down with a legal pad, and not only made a list of goals, but actually outlined the steps necessary to meet those goals. It’s a beautiful list – more than six pages long! It’s fun to look at it year after year, and see what’s been accomplished, and what hasn’t.

Several months ago I also came across a little notebook that had a few blank pages in it. I’ve been using it for daily reminders, and will toss it when I’ve used up the pages. But at the beginning of the notebook are my 1993 Resolutions. This is even funnier, because in addition to the common goals of “eat sensibly” and “be frugal” are some that are past their sell-by date, such as “label all video tapes” and “clip coupons diligently”. A few pages further in the notebook are some daily accomplishments, including several days spent “working on labeling video tapes”. I think now that most of those tapes are long gone. And my hardcore couponing went by the wayside when I realized I was spending more money buying name brand items I didn’t necessarily need just to use a coupon, when generic was still cheaper, if the item was needed at all.

But my topic for today was a look back, not forward. I won’t bore you with the vital statistics of how many grams of yarn I knit up, or how many books I read, but instead have these few observations to share.

I did knit up a lot of yarn. That was good. More than 20 pounds, more than in 2010. But this year I also tracked how much yarn came into the house. Even with being on a yarn buying moratorium, it happened. Not in a drunken binge sort of way, but in very carefully considered purchases. And even though I was very restrained, I still purchased almost as much as I knit up. My net use was only 20 balls of yarn. For someone trying to bust stash, this is not very encouraging!

Most of the projects I made in 2011 were not for me. I had several on the go, but what routinely got finished were items for the Etsy shop, or the Craft Barn, or for gifts. That’s ok, but I’d really like to enjoy more of my efforts. And I’d like to make some of the more complex pieces that require attention and aren’t necessarily good “take-along” projects. Still, I can’t say that I made anything that I didn’t like working on.

Books – I listened to a lot of audio books in 2011. I started with audio books several years ago when I got a treadmill. Trying to read a book or look at a magazine while on it made me dizzy, but the audio books held my attention. Often I would go and walk just to hear what happened next. Eventually I was listening while I cooked, or knit, or cleaned. I worked my way through the Agatha Raisin series by MC Beaton, and I’m about halfway through her Hamish MacBeth series. These are light mysteries, and they remind me of when I was a youth, devouring the Nancy Drew mysteries. I would check out three or four from the library and read all weekend.
With audio books, the narrators make all the difference. I enjoyed the readers of the Agatha Raisin series, but was not as impressed with the readers of Hamish MacBeth. I also tried a Richard Russo novel where the reader was so clinical and sterile that I gave up after an hour, deciding I’d rather read the book myself and put my own voice to the characters. Probably the best audio book I listened to during the year was “Montana, 1948” by Larry Watson, read by Beau Bridges. He did a wonderful job not only of portraying  the characters, but of setting the mood, and giving the book the atmosphere of the place and time.

I hope that this year continues to provide new opportunities for enrichment, both creatively and intellectually. I’d like to try to blog more, of course, so be on the lookout for ramblings on a variety of subjects. You never know what will turn up!

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