Goals for 2014

Follow up on my goals for 2013:

  • Lose some more weight. I actually gained, but still down from where I was two years ago. I think losing weight is going to be a goal every year for the rest of my life. I would love to be thinner, but, you know, baked goods.
  • Cook with appliances. Since the baby was born in July, I have really changed my approach to cooking dinner. I almost always have a stock pot on the stove, ready and waiting, and have been using slow cookers more. Now that I am a proud owner of a Traeger grill, I expect even more slow cooking in my future.
  • Become a better home owner. I kept good care of the lawn this year and figured out a system for raking/blowing leaves during the fall. We also got gutter guards installed on the house, which will keep me off a ladder in future years. Lauren and I made our own window treatments and they really turned out nice. I reorganized the garage and my tools while we were building the cornice boards, but I still don’t have a single place to keep my tools and battery chargers.
  • Use my iPad more, especially for reading. The iPad found it’s use this year with Netflix and Comics. I did read parts of a few books, but mostly read on my iPhone. I read through the first several trades of The Walking Dead and Hawkeye, and I have a list of comics to read next. But the iPad found most of it’s use with Netflix. Propped up on the coffee table or an end table, it was an ideal screen to watch while holding a sleeping baby.

My goals for 2014:

  • Master the Traeger grill. As a house warming gift, my parents bought me a Traeger Lil’ Tex Elite grill. It’s an electric smoker that has the cooking area of a 4 burner propane gas grill and I cooked our Christmas turkey on it, which turned out pretty good. I’ve also done burgers (which I screwed up and finished in a grill pan on the stove) and a beef brisket (which was good but needs improvement). I need to start a cooking diary to track my results and experiments, I need a better meat thermometer, I need some warmer weather so the smoker can regulate temperature easier, and I need to find a good meat counter that sells prime rib roast, pork belly, salmon, and larger cuts of brisket.
  • Get rid of some stuff. I recently packed up two large bags for Goodwill out of my closet. I need to do more of that. I’ve got kitchen trinkets I’ve never used and never will, shoes in my closet I’ll never wear again, tee shirts and sweaters that are 10 years old, and boxes of wires and adapters for computers that have died. I’m not suggesting I’m throwing away my Darth Vader Mr. Potato Head (Darth Tater) just because he’s been a box for the last year. Because I’m not. Darth Tater is awesome. But I think it’s time to retire some keepsakes into permanent storage and thin out what we keep in the kitchen drawers. 
  • Play host. As much as our dogs will allow, I’d like to have our friends and family over more often. The last two years my side of the family has come to my house for Christmas and it’s been a pleasure. We’ve had friends passing through town stay with us and that’s been great too. Even if it’s just having friends over for fondue or chili or something off the Traeger, I’d like to open our home a little more this year (which means we also need to buy a dining room table).
  • Organize my house. I’ve moved twice in the last 4 years and some things never made it out of their boxes. Books, photo frames, and some trinkets that used to sit on my desk or nightstand are in boxes. Every closet in the house has stuff sitting on the floor. The kitchen pantry and the master bedroom need better shelving. There are storage boxes with Christmas decorations in every closet upstairs. This is the year for hanging pictures and fixing the organization of the house.