2015 Year In Review

The past couple of Years In Review have been pretty linear: able to be broken down into a chronology of main happenings, with other minor happenings thrown in. This year, there were a few main threads that seemed to tie the whole year together.

Abstract: I visited many health care professionals and got some lingering medical issues resolved (and discovered some new ones). The first half of the year was fraught with house and car issues. I rediscovered my love of film photography. And some other stuff happened, like gardening and being social and potty-training our son.

Now, for the long version…

Health

PHYSICAL THERAPY To fix the disc bulges in my neck and lower back 15
CHIROPRACTOR Monthly, plus whenever I hurt extra lots 14
ORTHODONTIST Every seven weeks, give or take 9
DENTIST Every three months (I’m on perio maintenance) 6
LABORATORY Bloodwork for various reasons 4
DERMATOLOGIST To figure out what that thing on my eyebrow is 3
ORTHOPEDIC SURGEON To remove that weird cyst on my ring finger 3
NURSE PRACTITIONER For a physical and to get referrals to specialists 2
ENDOCRINOLOGIST To figure out WTF that lump on my thyroid is 2
X-RAYS To learn that my spondy had corrected itself 1
MRI To learn that I had a disc bulge in my neck 1

Also: I gave blood for the first time since 2006, and it went surprisingly well.

 

fitness

graph of workout time vs total miles

Over most of 2015 (not counting 29 days when Fitbit inexplicably failed to sync), I walked a total of 690 miles, averaging about two miles per day. The most I walked in one day was 4.8 miles on October 30, when Mom came to visit and we got lost on the red trail at the Metropark because it wasn’t well-marked and was covered with fallen leaves.

I also climbed an average of 11 floors per day.

 

Weight

weight 2015

Despite getting continuous comments and compliments this year, the truth is that I’ve been pretty stagnant with the weight loss in 2015. I’ve been dressing the part more, appreciating my new size (the lower end of size 14, and finally a Large instead of XL), and not being afraid of the lumps and bumps that no one but me notices, anyway.

I think feeling comfortable in my own skin is more of a milestone than losing these last 12 pounds. Although I am looking forward to accomplishing that in 2016.

 

Hairstyles

2015 haircut montage

The running joke at my work is that, sooner or later, I’ll end up with the 1990’s Sinead O’Connor cue-ball haircut.

The woman in charge of the fitness center at work said that the more weight I lose, the shorter my hair gets. Actually, maybe that’s why people keep thinking I’m losing more weight; perhaps the hair is an optical illusion.

 

The HOuse

Good Christ, the house.

It’s not that everything went wrong — it’s just that the things that did go wrong did so in a spectacularly choreographed shit-storm of Are You Fucking Kidding Me.

Home improvements in 2015, both planned and unplanned, included:

  • New gutter in the back of the house in February, after an ice dam ripped the old one down
  • New refrigerator in February, when the old one died
  • New gutter over the garage in February, after the Appliance Center guys hit the house with the delivery truck (that week in February was a really bad week)
  • New central air conditioning unit in late spring, before our old 1980s-era unit gave up the ghost
  • Dryer repair in May, when the thermostat burned out after I accidentally washed and dried an entire pack of Kleenex
  • Washer repair in June, when either the motor or the transmission went out, I forget which
  • A new garage door in October, when it failed to open all the way and I backed our new car into it

 

The Cars

Right around the time all the gutter and refrigerator stupidity was going on, I managed to hit a pothole on the highway. Long story short, we had to replace the entire wheel, and neither ODOT nor the contractor who was working on the interchange at the time would reimburse the $600 cost.

Come August, we bought a new car — our first SUV — and relegated FrankenForte to the backup slot in our garage. We traded in our 2003 Kia Spectra — the first car we bought together, before we were even married — and got about a plugged nickel for it. She was a good car, but her time was done, and we were ready to get a vehicle with some more cargo space and better handling in the winter.

Us and our 2015 Kia Sportage

(Also related to car stuff: In November, I finally got the settlement from getting rear-ended by a semi back in April 2014. Hooray for lawyers.)

 

Parenthood

While I prefer to write about Connor’s milestones in Connor-centric posts on his birthday or half-birthday, some things that happened this year do merit mentioning here.

Around his 4th birthday, in late summer, we took down the baby gate that had been restraining him in his room during bedtime and quiet time. He could get it open, anyway — even the “childproof” lock we’d fastened to it once he figured out how to open the standard gate latch.

We also bought him a “big boy” bed: a new twin bedframe, mattress, and foundation, with an antique headboard from his late grandparents’ house.

Big Boy Bed

The biggest milestone, though, is this: NO MORE DIAPERS. Done. –Well, OK, pretty much done, anyway. He still wears “nighttime underwear,” which is basically a pair of plastic pants that look like boys’ underwear with a disposable pee pad in the crotch. But he even keeps that dry about half the time.

We’re so close to being done with wiping another person’s ass. So looking forward to that.

 

Garage Sales

garage sales 2015

May 22 was Connor’s first real garage sale! (Not counting the few we hit up when he was a baby and we schlepped him around in his stroller.) We just happened to pass a couple of garage sale signs while we were out for lunch that day, and we just happened to pick up a couple of toys for Connor, including a Snoopy squeaky toy and a poseable Boots (from Dora the Explorer).

1st garage sale

June 6 was the Old West End Festival, which we attended with Connor in his wagon. We decided afterward that Connor was not, in fact, ready to skip his afternoon nap. He was well-behaved during the outing itself, but took the entire next day to recover.

June 22 was the Waterville Community Garage Sale — Aaron and I splurged on a Date Afternoon instead of a Date Night that Saturday, and obviously had a good time garage saleing old school.

The one day with three sales in September was when we happened across a couple of estate sales in our neighborhood on the way home from lunch one weekend. We got a nice set of drinking glasses, among other things, and Connor got a bacon-flavored Dum-Dum lollipop. (He let us have a taste. It didn’t suck.)

 

Books

I finished eight books in 2015; I read one of them twice.

STAR WARS GOODNIGHT DARTH VADER (January)
STAR WARS JEDI ACADEMY – RETURN OF THE PADAWAN (February)
STAR TREK – DREADNOUGHT! (March)
STAR TREK – THE IDIC EPIDEMIC (April and August)
STAR TREK – THE VULCAN ACADEMY MURDERS (July)
STAR TREK – THE WOUNDED SKY (early September)
STAR TREK – MY ENEMY, MY ALLY (late September)
PRETTY GOOD NUMBER ONE (December)

Lately, I read books only before bed, briefly, to help me relax (and stay away from the seductive blue glow of my iPhone). I try to stick with light reading — something that won’t engage me so much that I don’t want to put the book down and go to sleep (remember reading each Harry Potter novel as they came out?). All of the Star Trek books (five of the year’s eight) are ones I’ve read literally dozens of times before. They’re like old friends. Aaron has seen them on my nightstand so much over the years that he’s dubbed them Spock Versus The Green Thing, The Glass Spider, and Spock on a Boat (even though the Vulcan in the painting is not Spock. Just sayin’).

The Star Wars books are small graphic novels, received as gifts from Aaron. Quick reads both, but super funny. A++ would read again.

Pretty Good Number One is a memoir/travelogue of one family’s month in Japan. I had to force myself to read only one chapter per night, or I would have easily devoured the book in a night or two. As it was, I had dreams about returning to Japan every night after reading a chapter.

(Tokyo is the only past vacation destination that inspires a feeling akin to homesickness in both me and my husband. We visited in 2007 and again in 2009.)

I should point out that I actually did read other books in 2015; I just didn’t finish them. I’m still working on Mister Rogers Talks With Parents, which was my major focus in the spring. (I’d sit in the sunroom with the sliders open, reading in the late evening light and listening to the crickets and cicadas while Connor slept. It was quite nice.) I also haven’t finished Humans of New York yet — which is silly, really, because it’s mainly a book of photography. There’s no reason I shouldn’t have finished that one.

 

Photography

2015 photo posts by camera

2015 was the year I returned to film photography. I covered about ten miles of downtown Toledo taking photo walks. The Darkroom processed 23 rolls of film for me from 16 different film cameras, and I blogged test rolls from ten cameras. I purchased nine cameras from eBay, most of which require some sort of minor repair.

I ordered 264 prints from Social Print Studio, plus one order each of greeting cards and magnets, and a one-a-day 2016 calendar for my Mom.

I posted 144 photos to Flickr (mostly Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day and special events like Connor’s Birthday or Christmas) and 554 to Instagram (mostly snapshots, and all with my iPhone).

 

Blogging

Totals: 117 non-Twitter blog posts, with 25 comments on 17 posts. The most-read topics on my blog this year were my Operation Braceface saga, the story of my wisdom teeth removal (back in October 2010) and, of course, the perennial favorite Archibald Barasol.

2015 blog entries by category

25 comments on 17 posts

 (I turned off search engine spidering in May, and the analytics graph shows a major dip in site traffic at that time. I turned spidering back on in November, and site traffic bumped back up just a smidge.)

 

Conclusions

There will always be more numbers I’d like to crunch, more interesting (or not) facts I’d like to spew about what I did in the past year. But this was the big stuff: the doctor’s visits, the pictures, the big purchases.

I’ll remember this year as the year I finally got off my butt and went to the doctor for real, and the year I rediscovered my love of film photography.

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