At the end of 2010, I wrote that I saw all sorts of possibilities that I hadn’t seen before. Now that we’ve had the land for more than a year, it’s really clear that it has changed our lives. In reviewing my answers to the meme, I actually see that it’s become our life and that’s a good thing. One of my friends, visiting us out at the land and talking about what she and her husband do on weekends and what D. and I do on weekends, said that her husband plays soccer and other sports and that she often shops. And then she said, “And you do this.” And it’s true, without reviewing what we do out there, it’s hard to see our accomplishments because there is so much to do. If you do the meme, let me know.
1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
I participated in deer hunting. I didn’t pull the trigger, but I helped with everything else.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I’ve never made resolutions. The closest thing we have now is a running list of things to do at the land.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
I know quite a number of people who had babies this year, but no really close friends. Two close friends are expecting babies in 2012.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
No one close to me died this year. A number of people I knew died this year. The one that bothered me the most was a man I used to work with. I hadn’t seen him in a couple of years. He’d been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. He’d been a very active cyclist and kayaker before this disease took hold. He left behind a wife and a daughter who is currently attending college.
5. What is the most interesting new place you visited?
The Seed Savers Heritage Farm near Decorah, Iowa in October. Their orchard, in particular, was amazing. I’ll definitely want to go back at other times of the year.
6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
A fence to keep the deer out of the garden at the farm.
7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I don’t remember the exact dates of our trip, but one of the best things we did this year was get back to Arizona. It was great to see my friend Melanie and her family and to get to some back to some parts of Arizona that we didn’t have time to visit in 2005 as well as some new places. Dinner and breakfast at La Posada’s Turquoise Room were possibly the best meals we ate all year long.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Really good potato and garlic crops.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Failure to outsmart raccoons. Again.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Ariat Fatbaby boots. Yay for comfortable work boots without laces in which to get burrs all tangled.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
D.’s. I’m so glad to have him as a partner in life and as a partner in the land project. I’ve sometimes worried that I’m dragging him along on my ambitious view of the land’s future and all the work that it entails, but he’s right there with me with ideas, knowledge, skills and strengths that I don’t possess.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I really don’t know whether to laugh or cry about the Republican presidential candidates for the 2012 election.
14. Where did most of your money go?
The land. A pretty good chunk of funds went for paying the electricians for our recent upgrade.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
“The Cave” by Mumford and Sons or any of Adele’s over-played but excellent songs.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
a)happier; b) about the same; c) Kind of depends on how you calculate it
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Hiking at State Parks. This year, we only visited one State Park, once. We never even bought an annual sticker. On the other hand, we hiked our land frequently at different times of the year and different times of day. We’re getting to know it really, really well.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Losing my temper. I probably shouldn’t kick cars when their drivers “park” them across the bike path where it crosses Regent Street because they’re too lazy to stop before they pass the solid line behind which they are supposed to stop. Which is a good Six to eight feet before they roll past the line that puts them IN the bike lane. I did that twice.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
Having celebrated Christmas a week early in Minnesota with D.’s parents and his brother’s family, we joined our friends, Celia and Dave for dinner on Christmas Eve. Christmas morning after making an omelet for breakfast we headed out to the farm to prune the apple trees. We’re not done with this job by any means and we definitely left a mess behind, but at least we have a good start on it.
21. Did you fall in love in 2011?
Maybe with a plan for a house to build on the land.
22. What’s the strangest thing you cooked this year?
We cut up, marinated and grilled the heart of the deer in November. Ours was a fairly simple preparation involving thyme, salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar. I got the recipe from Field and Stream. When we get a deer some other year, I’d like to prepare the heart more like Peruvian anticuchos.
23. What was your favorite TV program?
The unfortunately named, but hilarious “Cougar Town”.
24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
25. What was the best book you read?
Probably “Deeply Rooted” by Lisa M. Hamilton. I also really enjoyed “The Dirty Life” by Kristin Kimball and “Coming Home to Eat” by Gary Nabhan.
26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Identifying the eerie owl sound we sometimes hear at night. It’s an eastern screech owl.
27. What did you want and get?
Better apples from the orchard than we got in 2010.
28. What did get, but not want?
29. What was your favorite film of this year?
The only movie I saw in a theatre was “Sherlock Holmes”. It’s safe to say that if I’d managed to find time to see Werner Herzog’s “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” that “Sherlock Holmes” would not be my favorite film this year.
30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
My 43rd birthday was on a Sunday. I can’t recall what we did. I’m sure we were tired. We spent that early spring day before it out at the farm after a winter of too much snow to drive in.
31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If we’d managed to get rid of the house at the farm. Actually, I guess that’s kind of measurable.
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
I’ve completely lost it since most of my newer clothes have come from Woolrich or the Duluth Trading Company and are meant for outdoor work. I doubt that comparing the merits of various work gloves can be referred to as a “personal fashion concept”.
33. What kept you sane?
Out door time, some evidence of progress with the weeds, books and my bike commute, excepting the two times I kicked cars.
.34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I hate to say it, but Ron Paul is growing on me.
35. What political issue stirred you the most?
Recall Walker and Kleefisch. I signed the recall petitions the first day it was legal to do so.
36. Who or what did you miss?
I miss the time that I wrote anything I wanted on this blog. I need to find a different outlet for writing about the things that annoy me the most.
37. Who was the best new person you met?
My friend Melanie’s friend Kelly. Kelly is a single mom, very committed to the Pro-Life cause, she’s a veteran of the USMC and a Mormon. On the face of it, with my lack of children, my unwavering Pro-Choice stance, my lack of military service and my essentially complete lack of religious beliefs, you might think we’d have little common ground. And you’d be quite surprised.
38. What’s the best thing you learned in 2011?
That we have more native species on our land than I previously thought This includes Indian grass, phlox and shooting stars.