Sunday, September 15, 2013

40 things done?

Okay so by now it should be apparent that I'm probably not finishing this project.  And it's not that I've lost interest, per se...  It's just...  Well, a lot can change in 3 years.  So while I look at the list and still think that I'd like to do all of those things, there are things that I'd rather do more now. And I don't really want to push through doing these things just for the sake of doing them.  I've really enjoyed working on my 101 Things but it's time to admit I've gone about as far as I'll go with it.  But it's nice to have a little place to ramble on and since this blog was themed around my 101 Things project, I've set up a new one that'll also now house my travel blogs (instead of setting up a new one each time.)  So, if you like, you can follow me over to  I can't promise anything exciting.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

December 2012 Recap

Oh December...  What a busy month.  Though I got TWO Things done.  That seems like pretty good progress to me.

So what were they?  Well, I finally finished learning to use the Mac I bought well over a year ago.  And only a few months after a new operating system came out!  So now I have a new book to read for it.  Aside from how long it took me to get through the book, it did really help me figure things out.

The second Thing I did was try acupuncture. As expected, it wasn't really right for me. But it did remind me that we have massage coverage under EDP's benefits so one of my goals for 2013 is to max that out.

Now what about my other stuff?

  • My TBR went up slightly, as it always does in December.  When December finished, I was sitting at 41 books on it.  That means, to finish Thing 14, I need to read about 2 books a month off the pile, assuming it doesn't grow any more.  Sounds doable, right?  Let's hope so.
  • I've tried 67 new recipes - leaving me with 33 more to go to finish this off or just under 3 a month.  Also sounds doable.
  • I've started working on scanning my notes again.  I did a whole bunch of stuff the other day but none of it was notes but at least I'm back in the groove of scanning things.
  • I got an email from MapMyWalk the other day that said my last walk was in November so I don't think I've made any more progress on an extra 200 km with Penny.  I have just about 48 km left to go so I'll need to get an extra 4 km in a month to finish this off.  Totally doable.  
  • In addition to the tickets we have for the Hip in early February, we also have tickets now for Whitehorse is late February so that will finish off five concerts.  
  • I've listened to 386 songs from Rolling Stone's list of 500 Greatest Songs.  Only 10 songs a month or so to finish this off by the time my end date rolls around.
  • My December handwritten letters got done but I still have a few to catch up on.  I've got a little sticky with a few names and once they are done, I'm back on track.  Maybe that's a project for today while I scan notes & listen to songs.  
  • I've been keeping busy with donating rice and reading Wiki articles.  I'm at 136,000 grains of rice donated, an increase of 70,000 since my last update.  And I'm at 124 Wiki articles, an increase of 47 since my last update.  Not bad. 
  • I started reading the Bible, using a 1 year chronological plan.  So far, I'm on track with that.  I think I've discovered that a few books that Catholics consider part of the Bible are missing so I'll have to tack them on somewhere but if I stay on track, I'll be done in November.  
  • Square Mile exploring has commenced.  We're getting really good with the trails around our house and I can easily find my way to the library, LCBO, and a corner store - all within walking distance.  I need to make my map a bit bigger so that I can mark off the streets we know.  Or maybe find a map with the trails, that would also be good.  
  • I've picked a spot for my yearly photo along with a date & time to do it each month. 

Okay, I feel like I have a lot to accomplish in the next 12 months so I'm going to go do something.  Right now.  

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Ages and ages and ages ago (about a year, actually...) I bought a WagJag to try acupuncture.  I finally got around to booking the appointment and about two weeks ago, I had my first acupuncture session.

It was Japanese acupuncture, which is apparently isn't as in-depth as Chinese - the needles don't go in as far, which is good for someone afraid of needles.

I definitely felt really relaxed during the session and after but in retrospect, I think it was mostly because the acupuncturist put a giant heat lamp over my feet to keep them warm (heaven!!) I felt the same as I do coming out of a massage and I certainly enjoy massages more than I enjoyed having needles stuck all over me.  It was an interesting experience but I'm not really into the whole aura thing.

However, it did encourage me to avow not to waste the benefits coverage we have for massages so I have a massage booked at a spa very close to us and if I like the masseuse, I'm setting up a standing appointment.  So see, acupuncture does have very positive benefits.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

So learn-ed

I finally, finally, finally finished the book on learning how to use my Mac today.  It only took a bazillion years.  It took so long that there's another operating system out.  And I'm probably going to upgrade to it tomorrow.  And then I'll have to figure out how to use that one.

FYI - my Mac rocks.  I don't think I could ever go back to a pc.  EDP thinks that it's the most expensive twitter and pinterest machine ever made but he uses it for photos and I also use it for email.  So there.

August, September, October AND November 2012 Recaps

Ack, so I've been horribly neglectful in my monthly recaps but it's just been such a busy few months.

What have I accomplished in the last few months?  Well, I finished all of my recommended books.  I cooked a turkey.  I took a class on basic home repairs.  I preserved a couple of things.  I started exploring my square mile.

I've also removed "Research the history of my house" from my list.  The house we bought is only 5 years old.  It was a model home for the first two years and then the last three years, there was a family living here.  The dad operated his own business.  It seems silly to research a house this young so off the list it comes.  I'm replacing it with figuring out some way to display magnets from our travels.

How are the ongoing things?

  • My TBR is sitting at 36 books, which seems excellent!  I'm really making an effort to focus on the books that are on this list and not new stuff that has come out so I'm hopeful this number will keep shrinking and be down to 25 soon, in nearly 2 years, I've only decreased the pile by 13 books so that might be a pipe dream.  
  • I'm up to 63 new recipes tried - it may be more but I haven't been great about keeping track the last few months and that's all I can remember...  Hosting Thanksgiving helped quite a bit with the number and so has having a bigger kitchen.  
  • I'm continuing to make progress on scanning my old notes.  It's fallen off since we've moved but I'm about a third of the way there.  
  • Penny and I have walked 151.57 km.  I feel like our walking progress has slowed a lot since moving because our regular walks are getting longer now that we have all these awesome trails around us.  Now that it's winter-y, that may change since it's dark when we walk.  
  • I've done a bit of my Wreck My Journal but it does seem like more of a summer activity so I expect progress to be slow for a while.  
  • I made a second transfer to my TFSA from my GSOP to bring my total transfer up to $6,800 and my Things TFSA has $950 worth of contributions to it, meaning I only need to contribute another $2259 to my TFSA to reach $10,000 in contributions.
  • We have tickets to see the Hip in February.  Yay!  That will bring me up to 4 concerts seen, 3 of which will have been the Hip.
  • I've listened to 337 of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs
  • We ordered Chinese food from a new place last night.  It was really good value and the food was tasty.  I think it'll end up being the go-to spot but I'm not quite willing to declare that yet.    
What are a few of the things I've fallen behind in?
  • Well, the plan of reading 1 Wiki article a day and donating 1000 grains of rice a day are no where on track.  It would have to be June 2011 to be on target but I've been saving a tonne of Wiki articles to my Instapaper (so many I got an email saying they suspect I've automated saving things) and I'm trying to remember to work on donating rice when I'm watching TV or listening to a podcast or something.  Right now, I'm sitting at 66,000 grains of rice donated and 77 Wiki articles read.
  • I haven't seen my gran in a shamefully long time.  I know things have been busy with the house but that's not a good enough reason so it's time to step up on that.
  • A couple of months have went by without my handwritten letters.  I have a bunch of people I want to send them to but I keep finding a reason to not sit down and do it.
  • I haven't even attempted an angel food cake lately.  I made a couple of attempts early on that I wasn't thrilled with and that has just been sitting in progress since then.  
  • I'm still slogging through the book on learning to use my Mac but I'm definitely behind because there's a new operating system and I want it but I want to figure out the current one first.  I've picked up my socks in the last month or so and only have 10 chapters left.  I'm motivated to get through it quickly now because the last few chapters have had more tips & tricks and I've got a couple of pages flagged to it's easy to find the tricks.  
  • I've started and falling off sticking to my exercise schedule for a month.  My jaw has definitely finished healing and I'm trying to get on track with this but I never make it for more than a couple of days.  
Wow.  That's a lot of updates.  What's up next?

Well, I need to get started on a couple of longer term things so that I can finish them off in time.  
  • EDP and I have to start playing squash more regularly (we've actually increased the amount we play now that we can book a court online.)  
  • I should start studying for my GRE if I'm going to write it in 2013.  My job has changed in the last few months, though, and there might be some stuff I want to take for it instead so we'll have to see.  
  • I need to find a spot to take a photo of for a year.  Pretty sure I'll do something at our house but unsure what exactly I want to photograph.
  • Should probably get started on reading the Bible.  They have programs that get you through the Bible in a year so I'd need to start that ASAP.  I've looked at this a little bit and would really like to read the Canadian Catholic bible in chronological order but I don't think that's happening.  The idea of chronological really appeals to me, though.  Maybe it's time to look for an app again.
  • Meeting 10 new bookcrossers might be an issue.  I've tried to look for meet-ups around here and it's not going so well.  I haven't been very active on BC so I'm also not as excited about this as when I put it on my list.  
Anything else?  Well, yes, yes there is.  I signed up for a Passport to Pastry class at Le Cordon Bleu in Ottawa next September.  I'm stupid excited for it.  Also, I have a WagJag for acupuncture that expires this month so I really need to use that, though the guy hasn't replied to my emails.  

Wow.  That's REALLY a lot of updates.  

Preserve This!

It's unclear to me if I'm trying to prepare for doomsday or just return to a simpler time when grocery stores and modern food preservation did not exist but I'm really into the idea of a pantry full of mason jars.

To this end, I preserved a record number of things this year.  To be clear, my previous record was 1.  I've done Antipasto with my mom & sister.  Red Pepper Jelly with my mom.  Spaghetti sauce with EDP.  But I think I've only ever done one of those things a year.  Anyway...  With the community garden participation this year, we had lots of delicious, tasty vegetables so I made:

Zucchini Relish - my mom's recipe.  Hers is delicious.  On a fabulous homemade burger, I'd rather have no relish than store bought stuff.  So I made some and it's not as good as Mom's but it's decent.  Also, it's a completely different colour.  Beginning to suspect she gave me a bogus recipe, claiming it's hers but really is trying to sabotage my efforts.  I wouldn't put it past her, she's crafty like that.

Butternut Squash Soup - this only made two jars and I suspect one of them didn't seal properly but one day this winter, we'll have some delicious soup made with squash we grew.  Totally bad ass, I know.

Salsa - the recipe of one of the ladies I work with.  She also joined a community garden this year and also is into preserving stuff.  She turned me on to an awesome book on preserves that turned into three books now sitting on the end table, waiting for me to go through and flag everything I want to try.  But back to the salsa - it was really easy to do, I will probably never buy jarred salsa again.  My salsa is definitely not spicy but I think it would be really easy to split the batch and make some that is more EDP's style and some that's more my style all in one go.

I did also make delicious peach jam for one of my other Things so in total, I did 400% more canning than I usually do.  And now that I'm in my gorgeous, big kitchen, I think I'll have a couple of canning days next year.  I definitely want to do a couple of different jams and I wouldn't mind doing some peaches or pears.  I'm sure a lot of people think canning stuff is old fashioned and why would you do it when you can buy that shit in a store but there's something really appealing to me about knowing what's in the jar and that I can pronounce everything in the recipe.

Moral of the story - I'm gonna can a bunch more stuff next year.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Learning to DIY

Owning a house means I no longer have a landlord to call to fix stuff.  EDP and I aren't the most useless people in the world when it comes to basic repairs but there's a lot we can't do.  So I signed up for a class on basic home repairs for women at Conestoga College.

What a freaking waste of money.  I couldn't even bring myself to finish the course up.  Let's go through a few of the items that made this a complete waste of time:
  • After one of the women cut herself on a handsaw (a minor, minor cut - barely more than a scratch), we were no longer allowed to use jigsaws
  • Not only were we not allowed to use the mitre saws but he wouldn't even explain how to use one
  • The "wall" we drywalled was about 2 square feet
  • Everything was in groups - which is so handy because when I do a basic home repair at home, of course I'll have three other women with me
  • The instructor either over-explained things or didn't explain things at all
There's more, I know there is but I'm getting annoyed just thinking about these few things.  I'm not sure I really learned anything at all.  Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go sign up for every workshop Home Depot offers.