Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year!

Just like that, another year begins.  Tomorrow, my kids will both go back to school, and the holiday will officially be over.  We welcomed the new year in frigid cold temperatures.  Emily's birthday is on New Year's Eve, so it's a double celebration.  She invited a friend and we all went out to dinner.  We had planned to go to the fireworks display downtown, but opted for something earlier in the evening.  Dan and I took the girls to the holiday lights exhibit at the Denver Zoo.  It's so beautifully done and there were plenty of hot chocolate booths set up along the way to help us stay warm.  The pathways are trimmed in lights with lighted monkeys and zebras and giraffes and all kinds of animals along the way.  Thankfully, there were a couple of indoor exhibits open so that we could go in and let our toes defrost.  I found myself sipping hot chocolate while staring into the eye of an elephant, grateful for the warmth.

Our indoor Christmas decorations are all put away, for the most part.  I did leave some white lights up on the mantel and my little angel tree is still up, too.  January and February are so dreary, I think it warms the place up a bit.  I may add some hearts to the angel tree for Valentine's Day.

With my new calendar handy, I'm eager to begin the new year.  I'm a list-maker and New Year's is the ultimate time for list making.  I write down every resolution I can think of, then pare them down to just a few. Or more. Some of my items become lists themselves, such as my book list.  Here's a sampling, in no particular order:

Helen of Troy by Margaret George
The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig
The second Fr. Tim book by Jan Karon
The Girls from Ames by Jeffrey Zaslow
Laura Bush memoirs
Decision Points by George W. Bush
Re-read Jane Eyre
The Art of Mindful Living by Thich Nhat Hanh

Another goal for this year is to take part in the 52 Letters, 52 Weeks Project.  There was a time when letter writing was such a habit that I would eagerly look forward to the mail arriving each day.  It's one of my favorite parts of Christmas, getting real mail in the mailbox!  So, I'm going to join the group over at Katy's blog, and put some fun back in the mail!  (BTW, if you'd like something besides bills in your mailbox, send me your snail mail address in an email:)

Other than melting snow and muddy gardens, there's not much else to report from Over the Backyard Fence.  Happy New Year to all!

9 comments:

Susanne said...

The George W. Bush book is on my list for this year too.

Christmas is packed away here too. All except for the Peppermint Cocoa candle. That is just too yummy smelling to put away.

Becky said...

Love your new header! It says "NEW FRESH START" like none I have seen.

I used to be a prolific letter writer. I think those of us who were are now bloggers. What a great idea!

Happy belated birthday to your Em!

Calfkeeper said...

I love snail mail too. I think I've lost quite a few snail mail pals to the computer. Emails just aren't the same thing.

Great blog. Happy New Year!

Frog Hollow Farm Girl said...

Hi Karen, your daughter's birthday celebration sounded wonderful - what an interesting idea at the zoo! New Year's resolutions - mine continue to repeat from year to year and seem to whittle down to being present and thinking more about how I can help others. I fear that I get very wrapped up in my own life, and miss opportunities to help someone else. I'm reading The Girls from Ames right now and when finished would be happy to mail it to you if you haven't purchased yours yet. We are Grinching the house this week - it's a slow go!! Ciao, bella!

Stacy at Exceedingly Mundane said...

Love the new header Karen, it's wonderful!

My husband suggested I leave my Snow Village up for a while, but after a few days, I decided to take it down along with the rest of Christmas. He said "I'd be ok if you left it up all year long!" So sweet. But I think come July and August it wouldn't have quite the same appeal as it does this time of year!

I leave lights in a fake ficus we have all year round. I tend to turn it on a little in January and February, to give that extra light and warm glow :)

Great book list! I am also hoping to read the new Jan Karon book. I need to go back and skim the first one (glad I own it), because it's been so long that I'm not sure I remember it all. Let us know what you think about the others, esp the Bush ones, love to hear your thoughts :)

Good luck with the letter project. I would totally not follow through on that one. I am almost totally electronic these days. I can barely do birthday cards most months, LOL!

Happy New Year!

Claudia said...

Happy New Year, Karen!

xo
Claudia

Renna said...

I really like the idea of the 52 letters in 52 weeks. I love sending and receiving 'real' mail. Not that e-mail doesn't have it's own little thrill, but there's something about that exhileration I feel when I pull an envelope or package out of the mailbox with my name on it! ;-)

I'm going to give some thought today of whether or not to join that project. It would be a commitment to do it on a regular basis, and I have 'commitment' issues. ;-Þ

I like Katy's blog! I subscribed to her in my google reader.

Rizzi said...

HI KAREN,
JACKIE IS JUST ABOUT DONE PUTTING AWAY HER CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS.
I TOOK MINE DOWN TOO, THE LITTLE BIT I HAD IN MY BEDROOM. YOU HAVE QUITE A FEW BOOKS TO READ, THAT'S NICE , I KNOW HOW MUCH YOU LOVE READING. I HAVE A FEW GOOD BOOKS MYSELF, MUST SIT DOWN AND START READING AGAIN. EMILY'S BIRTHDAY CARD WAS MAILED A FEW DAYS AGO, SOUNDS LIKE SHE HAD A VERY NICE BIRTHDAY. I SENT AWAY FOR A RECORD KEEPER, I FORGET SO MUCH THESE DAYS, THIS RECORD KEEPER HAS A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING WITH BIG LETTERS. :)
TAKE CARE, HAVE A GOOD WEEKEND, LOVE, AUNT RIZ

Country Dreaming said...

Getting ready to get the "Winter snomwen" out--the "Christmas ones" are put away.
Our calendars are filled out and we are READY for a great year.
Check my Tuesday post on
"resolutions or not."
Lots of books on my list too.

Have a great one!


Melinda