The perennial new year activity is reviewing life and getting it going again with a fresh start or two, with new or old activities. an old activity was blogging and I'm trying to get back to doing that on a more regular basis, if only so I can keep on my e-mail. For older blog posts, you can check out my links to Explorations and Essentials, but it is difficult to impossible for me to continue posting to those at this time and their decline did not help me keep to a regular blogging schedule. Paying work also got in the way and is likely to again, but we'll see what we can do to work around it.

It is said that telling people your goal sometimes helps you achieve them so I thought I would put a few of them here. (I always have more than I can achieve, but if I have less, I tend to achieve less, so more is better and maybe extras will get done along the way)
  • Cook and bake more - My sister does most of the cooking, especially when I am working long hours, but she deserves a break when I can give her one and there are some recipes I want to try
  • Submit at least Red Squad to a large publisher (TOR seems the most likely candidate presently but I need to do some renewed searching in that regard) and maybe submit some other books to other publishers - which requires going through my workshop notes and making appropriate edits.
  • Finish Green Squad and draft Seven Divided (third and fourth books of the space fiction series We Are Seven that starts with Red Squad)
  • Quilt at least three of the quilt tops I made last year and this (I already finished three quilt tops this year, all of them started last year, but the quilting part takes longer so I have probably a dozen tops waiting, plus a few more nearly done, waiting for a border fabric or applique work or some other bit of thing to be done)  One is due in March, one is due in November.  The rest don't have deadlines or destinations, yet.
  • Figure out how to submit a quilt for sale on Etsy.
  • Find a new house.  (Well, that's more a hope than a goal; we already found a house but zoning and such fell through, and unfortunately, the ones that are readily fixed up to be like we want are being picked up by flippers who ruin them and want us to pay more for the privilege of rebuilding them, or they aren't for sale.) 
  • Organize and clean out at least one filing cabinet
  • Gut and revamp the bedroom.
  • Blog at least 52, preferably 100 times this year.
Fresh Eats - Diets are heard to keep up, but a periodic fresh start or a diet-for-a-day now and again can still improve health.  My current "fave", and so far most successful diet is to simply eat 25% less (and eat better) two times per week.  Like many diets, it is still easily undone by the holidays and weeks of neglect, but better to lose now and regain than to gain first and have to lose even more later.  Here are a few fun ways to cut back for a day:
  • Replace morning toast with grapefruit or yogurt
  • Wrap your favorite meat salad in a couple of large lettuce leaves spread with a little ground horseradish instead of bread and mustard or mayo
  • Cut your meat serving in half and put it on top of your potato instead of butter or sour cream
  • Prepare your chopped vegetables for putting on rice (steam with soy sauce and vinegar, stir fry, or whatever you normally do), then spoon them over a row of steamed broccoli (or better yet, asparagus) instead of rice
  • Use parsnip or celery root instead of potatoes for mashing (but this treat is an expensive substitution, so not a ready replacement for regular use unless you are more successful growing them than we have been or you are willing to increase your food budget for the health benefit)
What is your fresh start for the year?
Found some possibilities, then found a cool but incomplete option (a collection of historic buildings that would have been a great museum if we could find a house anywhere in the area, even though it requires a massive amount of work to repair the neglect and bad decision-making that has preceded out interest) but couldn't find a tolerable house/land package anywhere near. Everyone seems to insist that to get what we want in any tolerable combination (and we are trying to be very flexible, knowing that there are plenty of changes that can be made over time if there is any viable core to work with) will cost more than its worth as well as more than we have available to spend. If there's no land worth the notice, they think taking out some walls and spiffing up the kitchen magically doubles the value. If there is decent land, then they think the land and location make up for the dumpy little house, even though land in the area just isn't going for that much and it isn't even good land. And sometimes the price is lower, but never enough lower for the pitiful little unimproved house that isn't of a deign easily expanded and small property at the same time. Really, they think they should magically get a huge profit just for owning the place a little while? The cool package options gave us time to eliminate all of the first possibilities from consideration for their faults and not living up to the cool half package.

So we've reconsidered what we are looking for, again (you can't query for multi-variable relationships in a house search, you have to define one sort of combination of land and house sizes and price ranges unless you want to go through hundreds of totally unacceptible combinations. So, instead of a larger property and midsize house, we're looking for a smaller property with a big house, so that we can take out walls to get bedrooms, library etc that are a decent size, and will deal with the reduced acreage with trees and other means.


10 Feb 2013 03:11 pm
In the past (and sometimes still) I post to and more often on writing efforts, quilting, the creative process, cooking, and other topics. I've tried a few other blog web sites, but so far most of them have proven impossibly slow or otherwise incompatible with my software, computer, internet access and especially the combination. So far this one has gone smoothly without excessive delay, so if I can find a way to sort my posts, this may become a new favorite. Also depends on what it does to formatted text, like recipes, and to what degree visitors can comment, since I like a dialog better than a monolog.

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