At the end of last year, I did a wrap-up of how many "things" I recorded in the year. I decided to do it again for 2011.
Last year's entry was prompted by my reading three books while on our trip to Santa Barbara for Christmas. It brought my total number of books read for 2010 to 40. It was 9 books more than I had read in 2009. I was determined to top that number this year. And I did. Barely. I read 41 books this year, but going by page count, I can't hold a candle to 2010, 15,811 pages last year and a piddling 14,071 this year.
As in 2010, crime dramas topped the list, but I read a greater variety of subjects this year, everything from the fascinating "The Mind's Eye" and "A Loving Approach to Dementia Care" to several first-person stories to dog-themed books, including an old friend ("His Dog" by Albert Payson Terhune) and the ubiquitous Michael Connelly, David Baldacci, and James Patterson fare.
My goal for 2012 is to top both 2010 and 2011 in number of books and pages read, though since I am currently reading a hefty Diane Gabaldon novel, the number of books itself may not rise very fast.
In 2010 we hosted 17 dogs. In 2011 we hosted none until Buddy arrived yesterday. With adopting Polly, I decided to take a break from fostering and I have to admit it has been a nice break. I couldn't pass up the chance to bottle feed another puppy and Buddy is a sweetheart, but I don't see this as opening the door to regular fostering again. Just too complicated with Polly.
We only saw 3 movies in 2010, but 6 in 2011, the latest of which being the newest Sherlock Holmes as our "family movie night" in Santa Barbara (the others were The Kings Speech, The Lincoln Lawyer, Water for Elephants, Midnight in Paris, and The Help). We generally have a family movie night when Jeri comes to town, and we saw two of these movies with Jeri.
In contrast, we saw 43 stage shows, compared with 58 the year before. The lower number reflects the number of shows I had someone else cover for me because we were out of town or because I was busy doing something else (or in at least one occasion, because two shows overlapped and I couldn't get to both). There were also fewer shows at the University this year.
I think we only took two plane trips together this year, the one to China (I'm not including the number (7) of flights we took inside China), and one to So. California to see tapings of Jeopardy and attend the Cal-USC game. We did not see a taping of Says You this year. Walt took a trip to Boston to spend a week with Jeri.
The game was the only sporting event we saw live. It has now been two years since our schedule has allowed us to join the Lamplighters tech crew at Giants games, though Walt saw a baseball game in Boston.
We lost 9 people we cared about this year. Some of them, like Walt's mother and Charlotte's mother, were not really a surprise, since both women were in their 90s, but it was no less painful. But also Walt's mother's cousin, Nora, in Ireland; my dear cousin Kathy; Ned's good friend Brendan; my mother's goodfriend Betty McGlashin (whom she had known since I was a baby); computer friends Laura Morefield and Judy Watt; and a local woman, Kat Fox, who had also been ill for many years. The number nearly reached 10 with the suicide attempt of someone this week, but fortunately death was averted.
And while there was no death involved, the unexplained loss of Peggy was as painful as a death...and more painful than some.
It has also been more than two year since we have seen Steve, which is a big change since we first met in 1999, and saw each other frequently.
The biggest change (other than no foster dogs this year) was in letters written this year. In 2010, I wrote:
There was a time when I wrote lots and lots of letters and was the post office's biggest customer. Now I write lots and lots of e-mails and couldn't even BEGIN to calculate how many I've written, but other than the letters I write to the Compassion kids (121 to the six combined), I wrote only FOUR regular letters this year.
Obviously that has changed significantly this year. I began The Pen Pal Project in March of this year and with few exceptions have written something every day for 247 days, though I haven't a clue how many letters I have written. Suffice to say that when I start a new project, I dive in headfirst and writing letters has been the project de l'annee. I have made such nice friends over the year and look forward to continuing this project in 2012.
I added 5 more children to my list of Compassion children, bringing the total number to 11. Three of these are correspondence children, but I love them just as much as the ones I sponsor financially. I lost 2, Pedro from Brasil and Victor from Bolivia, both of whom left the program.