Sunday, January 01, 2006

2005 Highs and Lows

2006. Wow. Seems like it was just yesterday that I was in Atlanta, ringing in 2000 with friends. I graduated with my MS degree 8 years ago. My undergrad was 10 years ago! Where does the time go? I blinked and all of a sudden, the calendar says it is 2006. I'll turn 33 this year. I graduated from HS 15 years ago. My oldest nephew is 15. Time does fly faster the older I get. Why is that?

Some highlights and lowlights from the past year. Fortunately, the highs outnumber the lows!

*After ending a relationship at the end of 2004, I dated more this year than I have in a while. Increased number=increased chances of finding that special someone, right?
*I completed my first year of teaching.
*I was chosen as "Beginning Teacher of the Year" for my campus, selected by my colleagues.
*I graduated with my M. Ed. in Special Education in August with a 4.0.
*I was able to travel to visit friends a few times over the course of the year.
*My dad will recover from the injuries he sustained in a motorcycle accident in September.
*My 15 year old nephew moved in with my parents--I've gotten to know him a little better lately.
*Once again, I was able to spend a week at a very special camp with some pretty remarkable children and teens.

*Two campers from the above mentioned camp passed away within about a week of each other. One had been in my cabin her last 2 years at camp. The other was younger, but I was paired with her for the big Holiday Parade in 2002.
*My parents were involved in a serious motorcycle accident in which they lost 2 close friends.
*Most of my spring was spent recovering from pneumonia-I didn't miss much work, but my time away from work was spent sleeping!

As for 2006, I know there will be some big changes that are just around the corner. I've made an important decision and am now focused on following through on this decision. I'll elaborate more later. It's still to soon. 2006 looks to be a great year with lots of positive changes in my life!
Another thing I want to do in 2006 is update my blog format. I'm sick of pink, and I'd like to personalize it a little more, but I haven't had time to really put anything into that.

I know I said I'd post pictures/recipe of my dip from last night, but I forgot to take pictures. It's a yummy dip with artichoke hearts, spinach, olives, Rotel tomatoes (1 can w/ habaneros), cream cheese, shredded monterey jack/cheddar blend, green chiles, and half and half. Not light at all, but it does have veggies and calcium! :) I'll post the exact recipe for anyone that wants it.

For breakfast, I wanted pancakes. One of my favorite reference-like cookbooks is Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything. I use this when I am looking for just a basic recipe for something--I've made scones, biscuits, hush puppies, and cornbread...just to name a few. It's a great resource for a good no-frills basic recipe for many things that I don't make often.
I made Light and Fluffy Blueberry pancakes. I realized I had no milk (well, I have some, but it's severely out of date. Gross). So, I subbed powdered milk. I halved the recipe as well. I used my cast-iron to cook it in, as it is very well seasoned and I don't have a proper griddle. Here are the results:

Slightly crispy, light, and fluffy, this was a recipe I'll repeat. The lightness comes from the egg whites that are gently folded into the batter. Of course, I had to have bacon with my pancakes. I like it crispy!

Finally, weekend dog blogging #15 hosted by Sweetnicks. Here are my pups at a New Years Eve get together last night, along w/ their friend Abbi. Have I mentioned that Harley is a lap dog in a 140 lb. body?

OK, so I'm a bad dog-mom. Harley had just a little bit of my bubbly. He liked it. Peanut did not give in to peer pressure and turned her nose up at the cup.


linda said...

Sounds like 2005 has been a full year for you. I am sorry, but I just had to giggle at the picture of you and Harley ~ quite the lapdog ;D

Cate said...

OMG, Harley looks HUGE in that picture!

Jeff in MD said...

OMG, that is *the LARGEST* lap dog I have ever seen!! That's a whole-lotta-love! What a sweetheart!

Joe said...

Wow! That's a big doggy!

Jenn said...

Happy New Year! Harley looks quite comfortable there on your lap. I went to Houston for Christmas, we came back Friday so I haven't been around either. My beef/mushroom soup from CL Jan 06 tasted even better today- well worth dealing with the snobs at CM.

Jenn said...

And, I need to know- what are drunken cherries?

Jennifer said...

Linda--everyone at the party I went to (and the dogs WERE specifically invited) got lots of giggles out of Harley. He's such a mellow fellow.

Sweetnicks--He is a solid boy. Aren't your Bernies about his size?

Hi Jeff and Joe!

Jenn-drunken cherries are just that. They are cherries and they are drunk from consuming way too much alcohol. All the better for eating. :)

You can use anything, but I drained the jar of cherries of the juice and filled it up with Hot Damn 100 Proof. They are now very cinnamonny cherries, with a kick.

bourgogne said...

i want a HUMUNGOUS dog like your lapdog! my lulu is very cute and all, but she is all about play play play. harley is adorable.