Year In Review meme for 2018

Remember these? I copied and pasted the questions from my 2005 LiveJournal entry! They're skewed a little young for me now, I think, but still kinda fun.

1. What did you do in 2018 that you'd never done before?
Take my kids on vacation all by myself (not to visit relatives). It was just an overnight trip.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't make any last year. I find goals more helpful than resolutions, although I don't remember setting goals last year either. I might make resolutions on a monthly or weekly basis this year. I don't have any at the moment.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?
I didn't leave my own country.

6. What would you like to have in 2019 that you lacked in 2018?
Enough energy to tackle more of the little projects I have in my head... especially the ones for which I have supplies lying around.

7. What date from 2018 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The date my honey left on his extended business trip.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting my kids and myself through the year with mental/emotional health intact, the house in fairly good repair, and regular day to day activities continuing as normal.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Losing my temper or giving way with my kids, failing to connect appropriately.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing worse than a cold.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A pair of bright blue Soft Star Merry Jane shoes. Also, the money I spent to take my family traveling was definitely money well spent.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My kids.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
My kids.

14. Where did most of your money go?
After rent and utilities? I did buy a fair amount of new clothes this year. Also, extra-curricular activities for the kids, and take-out food.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
This *is* my excited face. No, I don't get "really, really, really excited;" but I did get somewhat excited about crocheting again, after not doing it for years. Also about taking the kids to the beach last summer. Oh — and having both kids in full day school.

16. What song will always remind you of 2018?
Dunno, I don't keep up.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i) happier or sadder?
At this particular hour, New Year's Eve, sadder.

ii) thinner or fatter?
A little thinner.

iii) richer or poorer?
Not sure.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Talk to people, invite people to get together. Declutter.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Read Facebook, surf the web.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
My parents came to visit.

22. Did you fall in love in 2018?
No, but I remained in love.

23. How many one-night stands?

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Voltron: Legendary Defender; The Great British Baking Show

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I don't hate people. I sometimes hate situations or circumstances.

26. What was the best book you read?
How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish
The Inquisitor's Tale by Adam Gidwitz

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Juice Box Hero by Mindy Hester & the Time Outs

28. What did you want and get?
A camping trip (thanks, love!). A new pocketknife. A living room rug. Some dresses.

29. What did you want and not get?
A games night for grown ups, or a casual dinner party.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
"Incredibles 2." I think the only others I saw this year were "Teen Titans Go to the Movies" and "The Grinch," so there you go.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
On my birthday, I took the kids to a fall festival. I did hire a babysitter the next day so I could go to a painting workshop. I'm... old enough to have two kids in full day school.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Regular chats with friends in an unstructured setting.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2018?
Colorful casual, with fewer screen print tee shirts than in college.

34. What kept you sane?
My "church ladies" group; my kid's counselor.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
And here's the word choice that gives away the British origin of the questionnaire! But, regrettably?, I can't think of anyone. I just don't take in enough media to crush on a celebrity or public figure.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

37. Who did you miss?
My husband.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
There are a few women from my "church ladies" group who come to mind.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2018.
Take initiative. Ask for help. Often, a little is better than nothing. These aren't new for 2018; I've been working on this stuff for years.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"And the days go by / water flowing underground" This entry was originally posted at
  • Current Mood
    nostalgic nostalgic
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I'm willing to let go of:
* homemade pomanders
* rearrange living room furniture
* assemble new bookcases for kids
* clean my own bathroom

I'm determined to do:
* Christmas cards
* put up the tree and decorate it
* gingerbread house — the kit is in the cupboard
* teacher gifts
* thorough vacuuming
* clean guest bathrooms

I'm not ready to give up on:
* a Christmas letter to include with the cards
* homemade ornaments of some kind — I have materials for wooden ones and maybe sock penguins
* purge (donate) toys, reorganize playroom
* launder dog bedding
* special Christmas dinner

This entry was originally posted at
  • Current Mood
    anxious anxious

Parenting on a Sunday

Today, Sunday, I:

Finalized a Christmas trivia quiz to try to keep the kids — all the kids — occupied while offstage at Christmas pageant rehearsal.
Sourced and printed some Christmas coloring pages for the same purpose.
Fed the kids breakfast with no bickering.
Got the kids dressed and at church only a couple of minutes late.
Reinstated an incentive scheme for good behavior at church that allowed me to keep my emotional balance when #2 decided to use crayon on my boot and spend half the time lying down on the kneeler.
Walked the dog. Brought the trash & recycling bins in from the curb.
Experimented with a new way to season chicken breasts (marinated in pickle juice). The kids didn't like it, but at least now I know.
Got us through Christmas pageant rehearsal in relatively good spirits. Chocolate may have helped. Coached #2 through a little stage fright. Helped monitor the kids in the "waiting" room offstage... green room?
Made a fairly quick stop at the supermarket to pick up sushi for dinner for #1 and strawberries for #2. Cooked ramen at home for #2.
Got the dog to eat all his meds and all his dinner.
Got the screen time limits on the Kindle to kick in on schedule at bedtime.
Changed a bedsheet stained from a nosebleed last night.
Held my peace and minimized fighting when #2 decided to attack #1 and me and roll around naked instead of getting ready for bed.
Read a story and poems to kids for half an hour.
(Barely) stayed awake in the darkened room for another half hour.
Washed the saucepan and skillet, programmed the dishwasher, started the bloodstained bedsheet in the washing machine.
Browsed the web for a little while.
Typed this post.

This entry was originally posted at
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    drained drained
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Inch by inch

Today I:

Visited the kiddo's counselor and got some perspective on how I've been relating to the kiddo and ways to improve.
Packed a care package.
Walked the dog only down to the corner. Looked at the sore on his foot.
Searched email for information needed by the person who took over my former volunteer position, and forwarded it along.
Delivered the care package to the collection point (same volunteer person).
Took the kids to a park after school; they chose to divide their time between exploring the little brook there and playing with another family's dog.
Cobbled together dinner from leftovers.
Put the garbage and the recycling out.
Set up the holiday laser light projector in the front yard.
Left all the dirty dishes in the kitchen sink.
Stayed up more than an hour past when I needed to, browsing crochet patterns and yarn.

Very grateful that there was no fighting or arguing today until just at bedtime.

This entry was originally posted at
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    pensive pensive
real life

Another day.

Walked the dog.
Spent three hours on a huge grocery shopping trip.
Served pasta.
Ran dishwasher.

Attended church ladies' meeting.
Booked someone to deep clean the house.
Set dates for crochet meetings.
Took kids to tae kwon do.
Cycled laundry, unloaded dishwasher.

This entry was originally posted at
  • Current Mood
    exhausted exhausted
real life

A day.

Good: I attended my women's church group meeting and made an artsycraft (painted mug).
Good: I bought groceries to enable me to cook dinner.
Bad: I didn't walk the dog.
Good: I was able to defuse tense situations between my young yahoos after school. Nobody got hurt. No property was destroyed.
Bad: I didn't find time for a shower.
Good: I cooked the dinner.
Bad: The kids wouldn't touch my bison & mushroom taco filling.
Good: They did eat other non-junk food.
Bad: I accidentally dripped water on and damaged the book my eldest has been creating over the past couple days, so now I'm obliged to try to fix it.
Good: I washed all the dishes and composed and sent the mass email I needed to send.
Bad: I stayed up til 2 AM browsing the Internet in between dishes and email, because I couldn't stay focused on task.

This entry was originally posted at

Need vs. want

Been reading a whole lot of Facebook lately. It's become something of a guilty pleasure, like junk food. I've noticed people "need" a lot of things... for example, a weekend trip to someplace warm and scenic to counter the gloom of damp and dim autumn; a particular hair color and style; a particular item of clothing. The word "need" is tossed around a lot.

This entry was originally posted at
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    irritated irritable
real life

Same as it ever was

Water flowing underground.

How long has it been since I was posting regularly? Before my second child, I suspect.

So here we are at another moonbase... following the pattern from way back, this would be Moonbase Echo, if I'm counting correctly. We got here in July, the clothes and kitchen stuff are unpacked but not the artwork, husband's books, or my craft stuff.

It's hot. There are grackles, and a few cacti.

I'm hoping that if I start to write regularly, I'll get better at stringing my thoughts together coherently.

This entry was originally posted at
Cooking Master Boy


DeCa had artichokes, and I was curious, so tonight I cooked one for the first time. It tasted okay. It probably would have been better if I hadn't steamed the heck out of it — Joy of Cooking told me to steam for 45 minutes, and probably 20 would have done the job.
What a bizarre food. We go through a lot of work to eat only about 20% of the food item and throw away the rest.
This entry was originally posted at
  • Current Mood
    curious curious

Ten values

From M.C.A. Hogarth:
Let's play a game! You have ten words to encapsulate the values that are of primary and personal importance to you. They should be things that you wake up every day thinking 'these are the things I'm going to try to manifest through my words, acts, and thoughts.'

I chose:

  1. kindness — start from a position of love, make allowances for the people one interacts with

  2. humility

  3. curiousity, desire to examine and explore the world around oneself

  4. honesty, both in relationships with others and with one's own self, i.e. intellectual honesty

  5. generosity

  6. joy — at first I put "positive attitude" and next I thought "optimism" fit better, but here I mean a deep underlying positive outlook on life, even if one has down days sometimes. I recognize that mental illness can wipe this out.

  7. industry

  8. perseverance

  9. creativity, making things, whether that be expressed in fine arts, performance arts, crafts, cooking, tinkering, or whatever

  10. nurture — taking care of things to help them thrive. In my life, this would be my children; but it could mean something like service work or running a business.

The first four or five came easily, but after that I had to do a lot of thinking. It helped to frame this in the form of "qualities I want to exemplify." For example, I just noticed that "justice" isn't on my list; I do value it, but I don't see myself as its agent, or not so much as some other qualities.

One concept I thought of quickly when considering this challenge was the "fruits of the Spirit," as described in St. Paul's letter to the Galatians. I deliberately finished my list before looking it up, but as I expected, several of the values are in common.

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