Sunday, January 3, 2016

Sixteen Things to Ring in 2016

Happy New Year! A couple of days late. Blogging took a backseat during the holidays, so here’s my catch-up and holiday posts all in one.

1. Emma is okay for the moment. I almost hate to write that, but it also feels good. It was a wonderful Christmas present. We’re dog-sitting my parents’ dog this weekend. He adores Emma, and she seems to be reveling in the attention and change in routine.

Sweet Emma!
2. It got really cold really fast here. We were running the air conditioner on Christmas Day, which was total bliss. By New Year’s Eve we were running the heat. Winter is my least favorite season, so I’m disappointed that it seems to be here in earnest now.

3. Brie, blue cheese, walnuts, and apricot jam is a truly amazing combination. We had this dish on Christmas, and now I can’t wait to make it again. Nick isn’t a blue cheese fan, so I did half without blue cheese. It’s good without the blue cheese, but with blue cheese it’s amazingly delicious. 

4. I had my yearly MRI to check on the hepatic adenomas on December 14th. I wasn’t really expecting results until after Christmas, but I got them the next day, and they were great. The largest one is now about a quarter of the size it was when the whole thing started two and a half years ago! We’ll continue with a yearly MRI just to keep an eye on things, but it’s looking good.

5. We started a new Christmas tradition with our next door neighbors. We’ve always exchanged baked goods, but this year we swapped out nights of cooking. It was fun, a little different (especially since there seem to be so many baked goods at Christmas), and getting a night off from cooking can be a nice gift.

6. We still have almost everyone’s Christmas presents. For various reasons we weren’t able to see most of the friends and family we normally see on or close to Christmas. The cats are thrilled by this since it means they still have boxes to sleep on and bows to tear up.

7. The upside to not getting to see everyone is that we were able to have a very relaxing day spent in our pajamas. Nick was off for Christmas, and it was wonderful to actually have a holiday together.

It still looks like Christmas here.
8. The downside (aside from not seeing everyone) is that we’re running out of places to stash people’s presents. The cats have already totally unwrapped one, and there just aren’t that many cat proof places in our house.

9. The other downside is that I really, really like one of the presents we got for my best friend Crystal. It’s a really pretty garnet ring. She and I wear the same size ring, so the temptation is real. Very real. But she’s my best friend, and I think she will really like it.

10. My phone/technology issues aren’t going away this year. I tried to call a friend last night and my phone informed me that it had been deactivated. After lots of frustration and on-line chatting with the company I discovered that because I have a new debit card (same account, the credit union just seems to really enjoy issuing new cards) my payment was declined. I had to text the information to my sister because you can only make payments over the phone. I’m not sure what plan I have now, but the phone is working again and Nick has promised to fix everything back to the way it was once he gets home from work tomorrow. 

Not the best picture, but it's a great ring
11. The no-kill shelter we adopted Cookie from makes a video at the end of every year with highlights from the year and information about the number of animals saved. For 2015 they saved over 6,000, which included the ones they took in after the flooding in South Carolina. It was the most successful year yet. 

12. We’ve started a list of all of the things we want to see/places we want to go that are within a day trip from home. There are so many things fairly close to home that we’ve been talking about doing, but never seem to get around to. We’re hoping a list will help.

13. January is Pantry Challenge Month. It’s a good way to get back on track after the holidays and use up all of those impulse buys from the grocery store.

14. We are finally completely finished with AT&T, a.k.a. The World’s Worst Internet Service. We switched to Charter about three weeks ago, and it has been wonderful. Netflix doesn’t freeze, we can both be online at the same time, and it doesn’t take forever to attach pictures now.

15. Despite having a smart phone, I’m still sticking with my usual day planner for 2016. I just don’t get along well enough with the phone to trust my entire schedule to it.

16. Even if you’re not the type to make resolutions for the new year, there’s just something promising about a new, blank calendar. Maybe it’s just the idea of a fresh start.

So what about you? What’s new in your world for 2016? Or what is staying the same?