Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 In Review and my resolutions for 2014

First off, I'm going to look back on 2013. It was a weird year; a lot of ups and downs. 

1. What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?
I visited Madison, WI for the first time to see my brother. Otherwise I had a pretty normal year. I did start trading plants and seeds too, and getting involved in the gardening communities on facebook, which is pretty cool. 

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't think I did, because it was probably to lose weight. I didn't gain any weight but I didn't lose any either. 

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

My cousin Jessica did, at the end of October. 

4. Did anyone close to you die?

This year I have escaped without any deaths from close friends or relatives. One of my great uncles is not in good health though, and I don't know how much longer he'll be around. 

5. What countries did you visit?

I stayed in the US this year. I don't have the time to go out of country right now. 

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

The feeling of inner strength and confidence. I really lost that part of the way through 2013 and once gone, it's hard to get it back. I'd also like to finish my time in academia forever this year. 

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory?

Unfortunately I will probably always think about some difficult work conversations when I look back on this year. 

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

My success at having a container garden and expanding my indoor garden to a ridiculous amount of plants! I started with just a few plants and it's gotten crazy! 

9. What was your biggest failure?

Communication failure at work, although that was at most only half my fault. I do tend to feel more to blame for things than is really the case. 

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I fell in the parking lot in February and busted my elbow. I did two months of physical therapy to try and correct that. 

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Every plant I bought has been a great purchase so far. I also bought some shop lights to set up a good indoor lighting area for my cacti and other high light plants. I didn't have too many big purchases this year, at least not that I remember. Did I get my PS3 this year or last year? If I got that this year then that was a good choice too. 
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?     

I really think that my boyfriend did the best this year. He worked very hard and overcame some stupid shit this year. 

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

I notice that last year I said the US Congress. My answer is the same this year too. 

14. Where did most of your money go?

Good old Hunziker Property Management for the rent. 

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Going home for Christmas. It was such a long year, and such difficulty in the last few months, that going home was a huge thing for me. 

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?

I don't think there really is one. I don't usually have an anthem or anything like that. 

17. Compared to this time last year, you are:
Happier or sadder: A little happier, I think. 
Thinner or fatter: Exactly the same. 
Richer or poorer: Poorer, but not by much. I need to figure out that whole Roth IRA thing. 

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

I wish I had gotten out into nature more. Dan and I do a lot of hiking, but I wish I had gone more by myself too, especially since the summer was so mild. 

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Eating pizza. I am on a pizza moratorium to break this habit. 

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

I went home for Christmas and spent it with my family. I wouldn't have it any other way. 

21. What was your favorite month of 2013?

Any month prior to August was pretty good. 

22. Did you fall in love in 2013?

Yes. Although Dan and I are keeping it casual, there are feelings involved. 

23. How many one-night stands?

None. Don't do those. 

24. What was your favorite TV program?

Intervention finished up this year, which was a bummer. Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures are still my guilty pleasures. I don't really have many TV programs that I follow. 

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

Nope. There are certainly some people I'm more aggravated by, but nothing that crosses into actual hatred. 

26. What was the best book you read?

Way back in January I read the very last Wheel of Time book. I also read all of HP Lovecraft this year. 

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Didn't have one. 

28. What did you want and get?

Plants! Many many plants. So many plants. 

29. What did you want and not get?

I did not move as far along in my degree program as I wanted or expected. 

30. What was your favorite film of this year?

Hellraiser! Okay, it's old but I watched it for the first time this year. I loooove Hellraiser. 

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 26. I don't think I did anything super special. Dan took me out to dinner and we went hiking, and I opened my box of presents from my parents. 

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Being done with school. I am so over school. I am ready to leave academia like whoa. I want to be done. 

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

Same old, same old. Although I did start attempting to wear makeup regularly, and I have started hating pants and wearing more dresses off work. 

34. What kept you sane?

Dan, my kitties, and playing video games! Lots of Animal Crossing and Pokemon. 

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Well I didn't really pay too much attention to celebrities, but I've always been fond of Robert Downey Jr. 

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

The government shutdown really pissed me off, because it was so unnecessary and wasted everyone's time and prevented people from getting paid. 

37. Who did you miss?

My parents, my brother, and all of my extended family. Going home once or twice a year is hard on me. 

38. Who were the best new people you met?

Well I did get to know a few people a lot better, like Brandon, Leah, and Christine. 

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013:

That I need to not take the responsibility for everything in the world, and that I am not responsible for everything going right. 

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
One day I'm here, I'm on top of the world/And the next it's falling in on me/I can get back on, I can get back on-Far Cry, Rush

And on that note, let's talk about my resolution for 2014. It's to take care of myself. I have done such a crap job of taking care of myself, and put my own self care last for too long. So I'm taking care of me this year. I am eating healthy, being active, and putting aside the time and money to care for myself. I've started by chopping off 12 inches of hair and getting it styled today. This year is all about caring for me. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Almost Christmas!

It's almost Christmas! This semester is FINALLY over. It has been so long. Even just this past week has been long. I've been exhausted. I can't talk too much on here about school, but let's just say that I'm really glad this semester is done and that this time next year I'll be doing something else with my life. Graduate school can really grind a person down. But I'm on vacation for the next two weeks! So I'm going to visit my family and spend as much time as I can just relaxing.
Of course I can't make a post without plants! Look at this awesome present my best friends Mike and Tessa got me!
It's a teeny baby Mammillaria cactus and you can wear it as a necklace!!! How cute is that? I'll probably transplant him into a little tiny pot in the next month or two so he has space to get huge! What an awesome present!
So happy Christmas everyone! I hope you all have a fabulous holiday!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Late November Additions

Yep, I got more plants near the end of November. They're all indoors plants since Iowa is now covered in snow and really really cold! 
 Tillandsia ionantha. Sometimes my tillys live and sometimes they don't make it, so I decided to give this one a try. It's sitting next to my little Tillandsia xerographica. So far, so good!
 This is the Lifesaver plant. It's Heurnia zebrina, I think. It's related to stapeliads and makes a flower similar to them, but without the awful smell. It's called a lifesaver plant because the middle of the flower looks like a red Lifesaver candy. I'm looking forward to seeing this guy flower!
 It took me a while to figure this guy out, since he came with no label. I think it's a Haworthia truncata var. maughanii. I could be wrong still, but I'm pretty sure that's the correct ID.
And lastly I bought a Christmas cactus that is about to bloom! It's called "Caribbean dancer" variety. My current Christmas cactus hasn't set blooms this year, so I got this one so I could have a blooming one. It's really pretty and I'm looking forward to it being all pink and pretty!