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.