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You can't look backward and forward at the same time.

But I'll try.

This blog covers four major areas of interest, with an occasional post/rant/photo about politics and/or social justice. Both of you already know what a blow Democrats in West Virginia took in November, so we. won't. go. there. As for the other stuff …

Knitting
I actually got a lot more knitting done in 2014 than I figured I would, it being an election year and all. I was busy, but turned out several projects, all of which ended up being gifts for grandchildren – doll sweaters, stuffed toys, a fuzzy scarf. I'm nearly finished with a scarf which will go to a friend "just because."

When I organized my yarn closet the last time, I created several kits – bags of yarn+pattern – and I'd like to get started on one of those when the scarf is finished. I gave away a couple of too-big sweaters last year and need to replenish MY wardrobe.

My granddaughter's dolls have plenty o'sweaters.

Running
As you both know, I don't run much any more. I'll pick up the pace on the downhill portion of my route once in a while, attaining speeds of up to 5 miles an hour at times! Speedy Gonzalez I'm not. I have, however, continued to walk steadily as much as the weather would allow.

My goal for 2014 was ambitious, and I missed the mark by a LOT. I'd hoped to nail 1500 miles, and yesterday made it to 1000. But I hadn't counted on a brutal winter, and I really dropped the ball during the summer.

I am, however, renewed and inspired and ready to rock walk in 2015. I like nice round numbers, so I'm going to walk two miles today to bring the total for 2013 and 2014 to 2,310 miles. My goal for 2015 will be to make the three-year total 3500, meaning I need to log 1190 miles for the coming year.

Reaping
The garden this year suffered. A lot. The deer ate what the weeds didn't smother. I just didn't have time to keep up with it, even though I cut the vegetable space by half. The mint-family herbs took over that bed and I finally just surrendered.

Next spring I'm moving the tomatoes to patio pots. The deer haven't bothered any squash in the big garden, so I'll plant plenty of summer and winter varieties, and hope to add cucumbers and onions. I might try beets again, because I love both the roots and the greens, but I will cover them with netting, in a [probably] feeble attempt to protect them from deer damage.

I'll plant herbs up close to the house and I want to convert the herb bed to a cutting garden made up of annuals, with a lilac or butterfly bush in the center of that circle. I have both planted elsewhere in our landscape and the deer haven't bothered them.

Eating
I continued with a mostly paleo plan in 2014, but definitely strayed. And paid for the straying with aching joints and low energy. I know what works for me. My success in 2013 was astonishing, and I'd like to erase 2014 from memory. I hit my lowest weight in November of 2013 and since then I've put back 30 pounds.

Which means my goal for 2015 is to get rid of those AND an additional 10. I've not followed any plan during the holidays, and have thoroughly enjoyed the treats and sweets I've chosen. But enough is enough. I plan to reach my goal using an 80/20 paleo-ish plan, a regular walking regimen, two rowing sessions per week and two weight-training sessions per week.

My attitude needs to change from "Why can't this just happen all by itself?" to "I can make this happen, one day at a time." Simple. Matter of fact. No drama.

Just do it.

And I have a new little motivator up my sleeve in my pocket to help me just do it. Santa brought a Fitbit One. I've been using it to count steps since I got it, but plan to track the daily walks/rowing sessions AND use it as a food log beginning tomorrow. Are you a Fitbit user? We could be friends – share progress, be cheerleaders for each other. Or not. It's already a pretty good cheerleader on its own.

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YES!

Update on the water: the circuit breaker tripped, either due to a power surge when the electricity came back on last night OR when lightning struck in the area. My neighbor's electric fence control box got hit in the same area. He was able to reset the circuit breaker for us and we have WATER! I think I'll go do a load of laundry. Heh.

It's all about the food

The dieting portion of this blog is temporarily suspended. Continue reading at your own risk.

If you’re going to throw a party, be sure to have good food and plenty of it. That’s my daughter’s philosophy, and I think it’s pretty good advice.

The members of the group who will be here Thursday night are middle-aged and older, so I think mostly traditional appetizers are in order. We’ll have Swedish meatballs and those little sausages cooked in a sweet-and-sour sauce, along with artichoke dip, hummus with vegetables and crackers, a bowl of cinnamon-spiced nuts and a fruit pizza.

Cupcakes are on the menu. Cupcakes sure seem to be popular these days – Google Blogsearch came up with 1,181,447 hits and amazon.com is selling a boatload of cupcake cookbooks.

Mine are plain old chocolate, and will be decorated with the words “Yes We Can” on top. I think some will be iced in blue and some in white, with red lettering.

I’m also making pig candy. I first had this at one of my daughter’s Oscar parties s…

And the winner is …

Kitten with a Whiplash, who left two comments and it was the second (which had nothing to do with the contest) which won the prize. Congratulations, and since the Kitten was the only commenter who expressed any interest in actually winning it, I'm so glad the Universe took care of it. Heh.

What a weekend! But first, how was yours? I hope you did some fun stuff and got some necessary stuff done, as well. It's all about balance.

Saturday was our fun day (but we had to drive, drive, drive to get there and then drive, drive, drive home again, all in one day, boy was I tired). We went to my husband's granddaughter's first birthday party. In addition to a sweet little doll, suitable for ages 0+ (meaning it has no parts that will come loose, and do you know how difficult it is to find dolls for babies when you live in the Middle of Nowhere?), I made her this:


I haven't sewn anything in a month of Sundays, so was a little apprehensive about finishing it on time, but this p…