Thursday, January 9, 2014

2014 Resolutions

I use New Year's resolutions as a way to stay on top of things I enjoy or want to learn how to do. I also use them as a way to set goals. Resolutions are a good reality check, as well. When I was in graduate school, I didn't come up with a list of resolutions that included cooking or hobbies. Instead they were goals, or hard and fast milestones. My resolutions for the year 2011 we as follows: write thesis, defend thesis, obtain MA, get married.

In 2012, I know I had some resolutions, but I didn't blog about them. Bummer.

You can see my 2013 resolutions here. How did I do?

  1. Baking - I tried a bread recipe. I made it one or two times. I haven't baked bread since March. I collected a naan recipe, one for pizza dough, and multiple for various types of bread. None have been baked = not successful.
  2. Get into a better reading groove - I definitely did do this. My mom and I started reading books at the same time, like a mini book club. Stephen and I have picked out a few books that we waant to read together, like Catcher in the Rye
  3. Run a half marathon and marathon - Check and check. We ran a lot!
Here we are in 2013 and what are my new resolutions?
  1. Buy a house - This is clearly a joint goal with my husband and one that I probably won't blog about much until it is successful.
  2. Teach myself to play guitar - In high school a lot of my friends were musical (as was I) and I asked for a guitar for Christmas. I taught myself "Smoke on the Water" and plodded through a few songs in a beginners book. Then college happened. Then graduate school  happened. Right now my goal is to set aside an hour a week and start working my way through a book about guitar playing for dummies. I'll keep you posted.
I also want to keep plugging away in the kitchen, cooking healthy food and using new recipes. I also want to keep up the running and stay fit. Both of those resolutions are generally a part of my daily living and not something I necessarily need to resolve to do--although some days are better than others. 

At the end of the day (or year), I like being able to sit down and think about where I was as 2013 began and then imagine what I'll be doing and planning for as 2015 begins. Not knowing what 2014 will bring, I leave you with a poem by Seamus Heaney, a great Irish poet who died in 2013.

"Anything Can Happen"

Anything can happen. You know how Jupiter 
Will mostly wait for clouds to gather head
Before he hurls the lightning? Well, just now
He galloped his thunder cart and his horses

Across a clear blue sky. It shook the earth
And the clogged underearth, the River Styx,
The winding streams, the Atlantic shore itself.
Anything can happen, the tallest towers

Be overturned, those in high places daunted,
Those overlooked regarded. Stropped-beak Fortune
Swoops, making the air gasp, tearing the crest off one,
Setting it down bleeding on the next.

Ground gives. The heaven’s weight
Lifts up off Atlas like a kettle-lid.
Capstones shift, nothing resettles right.
Telluric ash and fire-spores boil away.

- See more at:

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Instead of the obligatory 2014 resolutions, I am going to dive in and try to catch everyone up on the end of 2013.

Before Thanksgiving Stephen and I boarded an airplane to Boston. Once in Boston we rented a car and drove straight to New Haven, Connecticut and Louis Lunch for a burger. Aside from fits of hysterical laughter at the thick Boston accents of the toll both workers, our travel was smooth and uneventful. Our reward was the tasty burger pictured. The burgers are steamed, no ketchup or mustard to be found, served on toasted white bread with grilled onions and/or tomato. So good and almost worth the 40 minute wait because they only make 4 burgers at a time.

Despite being so full we could barely walk, we explored Yale's campus. We were able to take advantage of one of the art museums. The main event, however, was the next day. The Harvard v. Yale football game. Stephen and I have always wanted to go to this game, a bucket-list sporting event. Coming from the Big-10, this football game had a different feel. The tailgating was a bit higher class, but the corporate sponsorship was non-existent and refreshing. Yale lost but we saw the game in style.

After experiencing New Haven for a few days we drove around Western Connecticut hitting Milford, Danford and Washington Depot. We spent a night in Hartford and visited the historical Mark Twain home. We ended our trip in Mystic, Connecticut.

I absolutely loved Mystic. For Wisconsinites, Mystic is all of Door County in one walk-able, more historic strip on the ocean. We stayed in an old whalers inn (actually called The Whalers Inn) which might explain my yen to try reading Moby Dick again. We visited a cider mill, an aquarium with beluga whales, several fun dining establishments-including Mystic Pizza-and relaxed.
Top left: Lobster dinner; Top right: The Whaler's Inn; Bottom: Mystic

It was a wonderful, moderately paced vacation. We saw nearly all of Connecticut, a state with so much to offer despite getting swallowed up between New York and Boston. It was a wonderful vacation - our first post-honeymoon!