New Year…Thankfully

“The hills are alive…!!” ~ Julie Andrews, in Sound of Music
(Photo credit: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

* * *

This past year was, well, pretty crazy.  Parts of it are better just forgotten or shared with my therapist.

The person in that picture should be me.  Alas, I spent most of 2013 managing the remodel at the house, bumping around in a small apartment, or back and forth several times a day between them.  In order to make the most of it, I gave complete strangers permission to pick the fruits of my garden while we were absent.  I hardly dug at all.  Rats.

Fifteen-foot tall tomato plants?  With 2-foot tap roots?  I had four of those.  But I only managed to devour a few of those juicy beauties.  The rest went to hungry contractors or neighbors — whoever got there first.  The eggplant was equally astounding and produced right up to the first cold snap.

Revisiting the Not-Resolution List of 2013, I didn’t do so badly.  Let me recap.

10.  Not bitch about my kitchen.
I should have been more specific to the old kitchen in the house.  I wound up doing more than my fair share of bitching about the apartment kitchen for the 5 months we were there, as the dishwasher never worked right, we had problems with the washer and dryer, and it was just…smaller.  There were plenty of choice words for the new kitchen as well as it was coming together — or at least the contractors who were building it.  However it is I got there, I sure like the end result.

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9.  Not volunteer more at school.
I was virtually absent during the Membership Drive in November, as I was also juggling contractors and home school surprises.  It showed.  I got exactly 3 new members for the school’s PTA, blowing my goal 50.  I know, I know, pretty pathetic.  I made up for it by over-extending myself back in May to both take photos and compile more than 1000 collective photos for a DVD project gift for 125 exiting 5th graders.  Dumb.  I guess that makes it a wash.

8.  Not get a dog.
CHECK.  Another Seymour never came along, but we did manage to rehabilitate a couple of birds and at the same time kill a few carnivorous plants.  My kind of pets.

7.  Not labor tirelessly in my yard.
CHECK.  I would have had to be there to bust that one.  I didn’t flip the compost pile until just last week, even filled in the wicking garden hole with some cardboard and shrub clippings (lasagna method).  I’ll plant in it in spring.  Meh.  I hardly broke a sweat.  But I sure got me some tasty veggies for all that non-work.

6.  Not give a damn about how many spring peaches the woodpeckers  and squirrels eat.
Do you know what more than a year of drought followed up with torrential rains after fruit set?  Fruit drop.  I got exactly 20 sweet peaches, and I was forced to just eat portions of them all because they were pretty beat up (by squirrels and woodpeckers).  So there.

5.  Not obsess over the turf grass in my front yard.
We got hit by chinch bugs, but only in one spot.  I threw my neighbor’s grass clippings and some shredded leaves on the bare patches, and voila.  All fixed.  Turf grass will take it over again by spring.

4.  Not put trash to the curb for the landfill.
CHECK.  The most awesome thing happened in early January:  curbside recycle trash pickup.  Not only that, it’s single source recycling, exactly what I’d been begging for for 7 years.  Downside is our trash bill increased by $50 per year.  Baby steps.

3.  Not do every little thing for my kids when they ask it.
Man, can I be a bossy bitch.  CHECK.  

2.  Not go back and finish college.
CHECK.  I did start up a home school, but I don’t think that counts.

1.  Not Facebook, Twitter, or Pintrest.
sigh  I missed the whole twerking thing.  It was difficult and I feel less of a person not getting to share it with my friends in PTA or on social media.  Still not gonna do it.  CHECK.

* * *

Whew.  That was exhausting.  I should have made my list shorter.

That new kitchen?  Like a little bonus slice of fabulous life every day.  I will not squander it.  

So no list.  No wishing.  No promises.

Just lots and lots of getting dirty in 2014.   Cheers.  It’s nice to be home.  clink

12 thoughts on “New Year…Thankfully

  1. Did I read that right? You achieved 9 of your 10 New Years Resolutions AND got a new kitchen last year! You are one awesome chica!! I don’t think I’ve ever kept a New Year’s Resolution. Of course, I did go vegan, so I suppose that sometimes I can do what I set out to do. Your new kitchen is wonderful!!! Have a great rest of the week! Celeste 🙂


  2. We also downgraded kitchens this year, so I feel your pain — the good news is that the next apartment will enter our lives in May, and a reasonable kitchen is high on the list of must-haves.

    Great news about the curbside recycling — and on missing out on twerking thing. May 2014 be full of such happiness.


    1. At least our downgrade resulted in an upgrade — times twenty! You and Bonnie Lee need to get back to blogging regularly again. The world needs your thoughtful and responsible posts. At the very least, I miss you.

      Good luck on finding that perfect apartment. It’s been a wacky year for you two probably more than me; you deserve the slow down. Happy New Year, Jean-François!


    1. I do, I do. It’s perhaps even more fun to see people’s reaction to the new space when they’ve physically been in it (or even worked in it) before. So contrasting. Mine should have been on an HGTV makeover.

      Happy New Year to you; I trust you had a great stretch off with the kids. Did you ever discover what owl it was you had in the yard?


    1. Well thank you, Peg-o! What a pleasant surprise. 🙂

      Yes, this kitchen is absolutely divine; I appreciate your not hating her because she’s beautiful. I find myself making all sorts of excuses to go in it and work with so much room, functional appliances, and (gad!) countertop galore. Quite a turn-around from the old days. Just one more stretch of “kitchen and classroom closed” for several days as contractors put their last ditch efforts in to finishing (aaaaahhhh!!) at long last. Nearly done.

      Happy New Year to you and yours. Stay warm up there.


  3. Hooray for getting dirty in 2014 and for all of the boundary setting and letting go of 2013! DH and I never did find an apartment with a dishwasher that worked as anything other than a drying rack for hand washed dishes. (When we purchased this home we bought a nice new dishwasher before we even moved in. It’s been the loveliest three years and counting…)


    1. A drying rack. Exactly what we used ours for. Unfortunately, since it technically worked (too well in fact, spray flipped everything upside down now matter what we did), the complex wouldn’t replace. So we just got used to it. With a minimal $75/mo water bill (yikes! Even if we used zero water), we also took to conservation efforts — something we brought back home with us. See? Turning lemons into lemonade.

      Your new year is going to be way better than mine. You have a little dirt buddy coming. Hooray!! Happy happy 2014 to you, Allison.


  4. Wow! What a fantastic post for me to finally return to with my catching up. Thanks for the great laughs-out-loud and abundant nods of agreement. Way to go Shannon! How much more inner peace can we all find by learning to embrace the word “Not”! Check! Bless your heart and your wonderfully witty sense of humor. Big happy muddy hugs to you and yours on this happy new year 🙂 ~Gina


    1. Happy New Year, Gina! Glad to have you back again. I’m hoping that your commenting here is a sign that you’ve posted again. I’ll go have a look-see next. Life is pretty good, even when it’s bad, so I’ll continue to find the sunshine in the rain and enjoy every little bit while I still have it. Cheers, girl. 🙂


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