happy new year

Well, 2005 was certainly an interesting year. Got married. Stanley got a new heart valve and a bypass. As my sister pointed out, any year that you or your beloved is saved from certain death is a good year.

Do I have resolutions for the new year? Oh, yes. Get more sleep, work less, get at least 5,000 steps per day in, play with the dog more, see more movies (we’ve been slacking off), work smarter (so I can work less), exercise and lose some weight, spend at least two weeks of our vacation without working (and take an entire month off) and, by July, be able to walk a mile without feeling like I’m going to drop dead. What else. Um. Catch up and keep up with the bookkeeping, put more into the IRA, and win the Powerball. (Well, I can hope, can’t I?) Finish redesigning our company website. And get the first floor of the house whipped into shape by April. (Or at least get the kitchen painted and the boxes out of the living room ... ) Spend less, consume less energy. Read more books. Spend more time with my photography. See the family more. (A niece’s wedding in July—so two trips to Michigan this year! Stanley is happy about that.) Take more day trips in Connecticut.

We had an interesting dinner as our last meal of 2005. Rice pilaf, broccoli, and flaming tilapia. The tilapia wasn’t supposed to be in flames—Mark Bittman is wrong—two inches from the broiler is NOT far enough away (pulled it out fast enough so it was ok). And pie soup.

Pie soup? Well, I learned something. If you use frozen strawberries in a strawberry apple pie, you need to use a thickener. It tastes really good, it’s just weird to have to eat a pie with a spoon. This is a variation on the pie I made a couple of week ago, apple cranberry with streussel topping, which was tasty but way too sour. So, this time, I decided to make the same recipe, but use strawberries instead of cranberries. And use more spice. This was the first time I’ve ever baked with frozen strawberries. Live and learn, eh? I served it up to Stanley in a bowl with a spoon, and he laughed, but ate it. At least I had some whipped cream to put on top. When I finally master this recipe (my take on it, anyway), I think I will start a new category, recipes, and make it the first entry.

Our first major event of 2006 will be on Thursday, when we get the new fridge we FINALLY ordered. The old one is, let’s see, maybe 35 years old? Maybe older? It will be interesting to see how much of an impact a new fridge will have on our electric bill. I suspect it will pay for itself in a couple of years. Especially since CL&P got a 22% rate increase (17% in January, the rest kicks in March 2006). Whatever happened to competition for electricity? We didn’t get anything fancy or expensive because we don’t have the room for anything fancy or expensive. I would have to sacrifice too much cupboard space for a big fridge. So we got a $400 Hotpoint from Home Depot, 15.7 cubic feet, about the same size we have now.

See what a boring couple we are: we watched a movie, ate dinner in, watched the ball drop and kissed, turned on Coldplay on the telly, I’m blogging and Stanley is reading Salon. The dog is done cowering since the fireworks are over. And I’m quite content with my life.

Now off to throw the towels into the dryer ...

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