On the eve of 2014, I think it’s a good time to inventory how things went this year. It’s a great place to start for making goals for the year to come. 2013 was an interesting one — more mellow than 2012, which included our wedding and the purchase of a new home, but it was still full of surprise and adventure.
Between my husband and I, we spent 30 days total in Yosemite, including a 5 day trip for the 4th of July with close friends and a 4 day trip with our dads — it was so awesome to see our dads climb! They did great! We climbed almost every one of those days either in the Valley or in Tuolomne Meadows. We also took a trip to Bishop over President’s Day weekend and headed to local day spots like Mt. St. Helena, Castle Rock, Pinnacles, Cragmont, and Mt. Diablo. For me, this year represented a few major climbing “firsts.” I graduated from 10s to 11s in the gym, maxing out at 11c. I learned how to make, and started using tape gloves for climbing crack outside and (not well) in the gym — doing it well in the gym will be part of what happens in 2014. I led my first trad climb at the Grack in Yosemite, experienced my first hanging belay freakout on Seneca Rock in West Virginia (where Loren and I had our first epic dehydration and hunger fest due to lack of preparation on the rock), and followed Loren up my first real multi-pitch climbs.
Last year’s New Year’s Resolution was somewhat related to climbing — be able to do at least one pull-up by the end of the year. I accomplished that goal mid-year and maxed out at 4 in a row. This year, my new goal is to do 10 by April 1st. It’s a much more aggressive goal, but I’m confident that if I stick with it, I’ll make it happen. We have a hang board in our house, which I use to practice, doing reps assisted by giant rubber bands and then doing a few on my own. To be honest, I’ve been slacking the last month or 2, but I was able to do a pull-up this morning, so technically I accomplished my goal, even if I’ve backslid slightly — quite a bit has happened this holiday season, including 2 unexpected trips to Houston and losing my firecracker of a grandmother to ovarian cancer. Losing Mawmaw was a huge blow, but knowing she’s at peace is the most I could ask for.
This year was also the Year of the Garden in my world. Having never had a yard of my own (when I lived in a rental house in Baltimore, the whole backyard was literally concrete with cinder block walls for fences. True story.), I was so excited to get started on the beautification and “food-ification” of my back yard that I got huge chunks of it done while Loren was away for solo trips and bachelor parties. I had a terrible eucalyptus tree removed from the corner of our yard, dug out all of the pointless shrubs that lined the fencing, decorated the concrete “art” the previous owner of our home left behind with potted plants, and built a small hill for a succulent garden. Building the garden itself was a one-weekend project. On another weekend at home alone, I decided it was time to start growing food. I totally went for it, building my very first ever planter box, mixing and pouring my very first ever concrete to secure the posts, and growing my own food for the very first time. It was such a feeling of accomplishment to build something like this all by myself! (well, I had a little help from the Worm.) After such awesomeness ensued in the back yard, Loren’s creative juices started flowing, and he designed a more complicated box for us to put in the other corner of our yard. We had to get rid of a large, tree-like shrub first (which involved a chain saw!), and we were able to snag some wood from an old deck at Loren’s dad’s house to repurpose for the project. This garden required careful calculation so that everything would fit together properly — as I’ve said before “precise” and “patient” aren’t on the list of the first 10 ten words to describe me, so at some point, I just started screwing boards together, and we completely forewent pouring the concrete. It turned out great though! We more than doubled our food production with this new beauty! It’s so fun to see how quickly things grow — our tomato plants are deceptively large. The front plant yielded a decent amount of heirloom fruit, but the back one gave us about 8 not-so-great Early Girls. Next year, we’ll water less and fertilize with less nitrogen and more potassium.
I’ve already stated a goal on my Facebook page to have 300 likes by my birthday — please help me make that happen, in addition to officially subscribing here on the actual blog! In the meantime, Happy New Year and stay safe and healthy!