Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Getting Ready For 2015

Hello! A pot of soup is simmering on the stove - that'll be our dinner, plus homemade trifle for dessert. (My late mother often made trifle for the new year). A bottle of bubbly (sparkling grape juice, actually) and a platter of homemade sushi await the ringing in of 2015. 

And 2015, of course, means new calendars. I have the big one for the kitchen wall, ready to write in meetings, appointments, vacation days, birthdays and other events that merit our attention. 

But I also have a number of other ways to mark the upcoming year, as seen below:

My collection of daily journals and another calendar. I'll describe them and how each will be used, starting from the top of the small stack.

1. My Gardening Journal, produced by Suncast Corporation (manufacturer of lawn and garden products); thrift store find. The journal has pages for each week of the year, with sections on these pages to keep track of what's blooming, what garden tasks were performed, what garden plans were dreamed up and weather conditions There's ample space in the back to sketch layouts, add photos, and more. One can really pack a lot of info in this slim volume! 

The only thing I don't like about it is that it starts with March; January and February come at the very end. Perhaps the journal was organized this way with the assumption that gardeners tend to look forward to spring as the kick-off for their outdoor efforts. January and February are times to reflect how well their garden work had gone the year before. 

However, I like to think of these two months as a time to start planning ahead for the upcoming growing season. I've already received one 2015 gardening catalog and look forward to more in our mailbox. So guess what? I'll start this journal tomorrow. 

2. The Old Hermit's Almanac, Edward Hays; bag sale portion of the AAUW used book sale this fall. There are short passages pertaining to noteworthy events each day - for example, January 1st has mention of New Year's Day and a few customs associated with it, the feast of St. Clarus and the opening of Ellis Island. Following each write-up is a small space for noting any special occasions in one's life that occurred on the date. 

There appears to be a mix of spiritual and secular info throughout this almanac, and I think it'll be fun to read. 

3. Our Country Diary For 2015, edited by Marcia Leonard, purchased new. Yes, I actually buy new items on occasion! I've ordered each year's version of Our Country Diary starting back in 1994. The diary was in production before then; seems to me I used to see it advertised in the 1980's. I was too cheap to buy one for years but finally started doing so. Now I get a notice every year, around late summer, that the upcoming year's diary is available.

There's a small space each day for writing a synopsis of the day's events; this only takes a couple of minutes each night. There are also extra blank pages devoted to how major holidays were celebrated, but I have to admit I don't always bother to fill these in.

I'm glad I've gotten it for many years now, as past diaries have become good references. "What year did we do such-and such?" my husband will ask, and I'll look in one of my diaries to find the answer.

4. The Cat Lover's Companion, Joan Moore, thrift store find. I'll use this as a food journal - a place to write down what new recipes were tried, what I bought at the farmer's market, etc. 

Two previous years I've used:
I've found two copies of this cooking calendar (issued in 1962) at thrift stores over the years, and of course I'd buy yet another copy should I find it again at a thrift store. I passed on the $37 the MSU Surplus Store was asking for one copy recently. $37! I don't think I paid more than a dollar for either copy I got. 

So for this year, the cat journal will do. Not only are there nice photos of various felines, there are also snippets of information on the species as well. Thus, with this journal, along with the almanac, I'll get a little "book learning" throughout the year. 

5. Family Vacations Calendar 2015 (white calendar on bottom of pile), created by our daughter as a Christmas present. It's been her tradition for the past several years now to make separate calendars for her parents. "Organic Compounds" is the 2015 theme for my husband. Unlike either of them, my chemistry background is limited to a high school course, so I'm fine with a calendar with nice vacation photos we've taken over the years.

I tell my daughter that her calendar is the most important one I have all year, for I use it to keep track of my workouts. I place a sticker on each day that I've done some exercising, along with a brief mention of the workout and how long it was performed. It's a nice way to keep track of my progress and also helps me remember what exercises I've been doing (I vary my workouts to prevent boredom).

And speaking of workouts, I need to do one before I serve up dinner! Happy New Year's Eve, everyone! Have fun but if you're going out somewhere to celebrate, stay safe!

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