A very incomplete and haphazard look back...

1.  I made my first hard cheese!  Sort of.  Well, I did make it, but it didn't quite turn out how I'd hoped.  It was a farmhouse cheddar, made with the brilliant press my brilliant husband made.  I fretted and fussed about whether it was aging properly, if the temperature was right, if the humidity was controlled, what about adding a damp sponge, what are those spots, are they mold, should I worry, but cheese is just mold after all... and then it turned out, and it was actually edible!  But a tad odd, flavor-wise, maybe over-aged.  So we were going to cook with it, get creative, but then we didn't, and it sat in the fridge, and then it did get moldy.  After all that misplaced bother, I ruined the cheese at the easiest part and my glory went with it.  Stuck to soft cheeses after that, but there's always next year.

2.  We chased ducks.  Frequently.  With great enthusiasm.

3.  More fun with fermentation... inspired by Sandor Katz, I harvested wild yeast for an Ethiopian honey-wine, and made a control mead as a comparison.  It was very exciting when the bubbles started appearing in the vapor-lock, and I was so good about taking daily notes, being scientific about it - until I wasn't.  They are still sitting in my cupboard, far too many months later.  I have no idea what lives in those bottles now.  They don't look or smell scary, but somehow I don't think they're just getting better with age.  If I ever brave it, I'll post my results.

4.  We chased sheep, too.  And had wagon rides.

5.  Took students on a field trip up to Portland.  We ate from food trucks and felt very urban.

6.  I did lots of yoga, and felt good about myself.  Then I did much less yoga and felt less good.  Cause, or correlation?  Now I'm getting back into it, spurred on by my two-year-old who loves to do downward dog and happy baby, and has invented ocean pose (standing with feet wide, chest forward, arms back, goofy smile).

7.  Two weeks in Europe, cha-cha-cha.  A remote Alpine village and the Eternal City.  With family, food, and fun.  What's not to love?

8.  Summertime:  the park, the hands-on science museum, biking with the trailer, playing in the fountains, hiking at the lake, eating ice cream.  Oh, and rafting!  And a toddler campout, whoo-hoo!  And we borrowed a friend's campervan - oh, the memories.  It was lovely.  Next summer:  back to backpacking.

9.  We picked fourteen pounds of blueberries!  Still making smoothies with them.

10.  Outrage at the world alive and kickin' with a little help from Jon Stewart.   Can't tell you how often I find myself saying, "we saw this guy on the Daily Show..."  I do also catch NPR occasionally and read the Sunday NY Times.  (I share a subscription with 3 neighbors, so there's actually incentive to get up early to get the sections I want first.  That would be the Review and Styles.  And then I get the magazine after everyone else because I like to do the crossword, but they tend to stack up, adding to the general clutter in our house.  It's a good system, overall, though we've never managed to sit together, drinking coffee and discussing what we read.  Someday.)

11.  Learned to play the ukelele.  My debut performance, a duet with my man at our neighborhood open mic:  "In Spite of Ourselves" by John Prine and Iris DeMent.

12.  Back to school for everyone.  Rapped about US history (I'll post that soon) and challenged my students to an Iron Chef contest.  Reaffirmed how good The Outsiders is to read with kids.

13.  Was an Emerald Citizen for Halloween, as part of an Oz group.  My little one was the Lion, and his buddies were the rest of the crew.  We had some princess and witch mamas, too.  It's the kind of thing I swore I'd never do, but I love the parade and it's no fun if you're not in costume, and it was pretty sweet, actually.  Still won't dress up my dog, though.  With the occasional antler exception.

14.  Drumming!  Mostly taiko.

15.  Kicking ass at Celebrity, which is always super-fun, and not actually about the score.  For some reason Jesus shows up in every game - maybe we should read something deeper in that?

Happy New Year!


Stolen Moments

(there's gotta be a million things with that title...kinda makes me want to track them down)

I'm supposed to be somewhere else, doing something else.  Nobody knows I'm here.  Nobody knows what I'm not doing.  It's a rare quiet moment to myself, a moment that feels not-quite-naughty, and oh-so-nice.  I'm enjoying the silence, and the ability to focus on one thing or let my mind wander, as I please, without the constant peripheral scan that is toddlerhood filling the space.  It's just me filling the space, or not filling it.  I know that later I'll regret not having used this time more productively, but right now, this is worth it.  I so rarely get to be irresponsible anymore.

It's delicious.