Don’t call us, we’ll call you

December 5, 2013


Filed under: Personal — llcall @ 11:44 pm

I had a tough time sleeping last night. So obviously, I planned a cross-country road trip for me and Addison to take in 2015.

map of trip

Because that’s what I do. But Neal says I’m not allowed to talk about it. Because that’s what he does. (I guess one day I’ll just say, Hey, we’ll be back in a month; work hard!)

I also started thinking about the last few years of one-word themes. That tradition has been just the thing for me; I never could get anywhere with a bunch of detailed resolutions. I haven’t given nearly as much Thanks this year as I intended to, but at least a few people got some strange and random expressions of gratitude from me, so, you know, that’s good.

As we near the end of 2013, high on my priority list is to write that accounting of how my 2012 one-word theme, Stronger, went. I could look at it as being a year behind schedule, but actually, I think this year was as much about getting stronger as it was about thanks. Maybe giving thanks also makes us stronger. Deep, right?

As much as I’ve loved the yearly themes, I realized that I need to do something different for 2014. I have all these disparate ideas and interests, loose ends and goals left up in the air. I want to give each some time to either be realized or discarded. Enter my monthly themes.

  • January: Organize (Or die!, says Neal)
  • February: Cook (Ack! Did I actually just write that? I think I will devote the shortest month of the year to trying to develop a meal plan that works for us.)
  • March: Research (I’ve got a vision of a paper I want to submit to a conference in May; deadlines help.)
  • April: Quilt (When I was sick, but not too sick, I quilted for fun and relaxation — between the intensity of March and May, I need a low-key April.)
  • May: Write (Remember that whole impression I got, “Write your spiritual history” about 18 months ago? Yeah, I didn’t do that. I didn’t exactly ignore it, but it’s complicated, you know. But after many unexpected requests over that period of time, I know I need to make this a priority in May.)
  • June: Garden (I’m on the fence about this one. I don’t do sunlight very well. Or digging. Or leaving my house. But if I can teach Addison to upkeep a garden, that would be lovely.)
  • July: Travel (I’ve been saving for two years to get over to my family reunion in Hawaii and as of yesterday, the ticket is purchased. Too bad there wasn’t enough money for Addison and Neal — better luck next time!)
  • August: Play (This is my break from classes and I want to make the most of it by spending as little time on the computer as possible.)
  • September: Learn (I have this idea that I should learn something new next year. I was thinking about physics (technically not new since I took it in high school, but all I did was make trouble. Sorry about that, Mr. F) or zoology or astronomy since Addison asks me questions about those all the time. How should I know how the mechanism on the soap dispenser works? — that would be in the physics category, right?)
  • October: Create (Remember that one time I quit my job to do conceptual art? Well, I kind of got stymied with that on account of the fact that to realize my vision I needed a couple of large, empty, white rooms. I still don’t have any empty white rooms, but next year I think I’ll try to create something out of the bits of art I’ve lugged all over the country for the last 8 years.)
  • November: Plan (I’m still a little vague on this one. I was just thinking that I wanted to do some financial planning sometime next year — who wouldn’t, right?)
  • December: Read (It’s cold on our mountain right now; our heater, though working, is somewhat temperamental so it’s also cold in our house. All I want to do is curl up and read the three books I have checked out from the library. It seems like a safe bet that that’s what I’ll want to next December as well.)

Sounds like a pretty full year, but I’m excited! I usually am about middle-of-the-night ideas. What do you think? Doable? Crazy?

Have you formulated any resolutions for 2014 yet?



  1. I’m a little sad that there’s no marker on Pittsburgh. 😦 I’m sure you can rectify that though, since there are only like what, 25 stops… Put a Z on that map for me! 🙂

    On the meal plan. I find I do better if I have a list of doable meals I want to make during the week, get the groceries for it, and then make whatever is on the list whenever I feel like it. List the seven dinner ideas, have lunch ideas, and then make whatever we feel like eating (from the list, knowing that once or twice I’ll do something different). I have a hard time having a set schedule, but this way I know I have the ingredients for what we want to eat. It’s really late so I’m not sure if it makes sense, but hopefully you get the idea. And, I spend less on groceries than if I just guess what we might want to eat.

    I like your monthly themes. They seem pretty doable. Tell us how it goes.

    Comment by Sabrina Gardner — December 6, 2013 @ 3:25 am

    • Rest assured, this was actually just one of many iterations of THE MAP, Sabrina! Another included Pittsburgh and Fallingwater. You have to try all sorts of options when you’re planning an epic roadie! I’m sure I’ll be asking you for more info when February rolls around!

      Comment by llcall — December 6, 2013 @ 3:55 am

  2. Is “K” a marker on Philadelphia? We should be here until May 2015. You guys would totally have a place here to stay if you did! I think I need to stop reading your blog posts about you guys and your mountain–it is making me too jealous.

    Comment by Rachel Cranney — December 6, 2013 @ 1:48 pm

    • Well, I didn’t think that everyone would be scrutinizing that map quite so much — I just threw up one of the many because I figured everyone is tired of my walls of text. But indeed, the Cranneys did cross my mind!

      Comment by llcall — December 7, 2013 @ 6:42 am

  3. So I’m guessing I is where you stop by to pick me up so I can join you and Addison on the second leg of your journey? 🙂

    Love the monthly theme idea. Maybe I’ll try that some year. But not next year. Just this week I came to know what next year is going to be. I’m working on adjusting my attitude in time. SIgh.

    Are you sure Quilt shouldn’t come after Cook? I’m thinking Feb-March might be your most stressful combination. 😉 If you’re collecting tips yet (or at all), I wonder if coming up with a basic one-to-two-week rotation of meals for your family would work. Neal obviously doesn’t need a lot of variety in his diet to be happy, but in a month of focusing, I bet you could come up with 7-14 affordable and doable (and edible) dinners that you can use on a pretty regular basis without getting too sick of them. And maybe just compile a file of easy-seeming recipes to try one at a time when you start to get sick of what you’ve been doing or feel ready to add to your repetoire. (And I would suggest specifically selecting recipes that use similar pantry items from whatever meals become your go-to’s).

    Yay for getting your Hawaii ticket! That’s so great!

    As for gardening, maybe a square foot garden (I’ve heard some people have success with these) or container gardens are the way to go. You could plant and weed in the shade and then just have Neal carry the containers back to the sun as needed.

    Ok, I think that’s more than enough advice. Don’t you just love me telling you how you should complete all of your goals?

    Comment by Victoria — December 7, 2013 @ 3:07 am

    • Yes, of course, I love you telling me how to complete all my goals! How else will I manage to do ALL the things? The container garden seems like an especially good plan, though our next-door neighbors are avid gardeners and want to see our whole yard cultivated.

      Comment by llcall — December 7, 2013 @ 6:46 am

  4. Ambitious, yes. Crazy, no way! I can’t wait to READ all about it.

    I’m sure you have a million offers, but if/when you come through Salt Lake, we have a place for you to stay!

    Let me know if you need ideas about meals/cooking/etc – I have a pretty good rotation of freezer meals going right now (you know how I am…) and I would be happy to share some of my favorites.

    Comment by Kristin — December 8, 2013 @ 11:08 pm

    • You know I’ll be asking for your tips again, Kristin! Though it must be very disappointing after all the work you put in the first time that I am still a failure in this area 🙂

      Comment by llcall — December 9, 2013 @ 6:28 pm

  5. LOVE the monthly themes. I’ve never really been a yearly goal person unless forced to write something down. But I love the monthly goals, it makes to much more sense.

    Comment by enelo — December 9, 2013 @ 2:10 am

    • I’m interested to see how this goes and if I end up liking this better — we’ll see! I can’t wait to hear about your year, especially January!!

      Comment by llcall — December 9, 2013 @ 6:29 pm

  6. Woohoo as the last stop before going home, that means we get to spoil and pamper you guys extra! Also yay on Hawaii!!!

    Comment by kei02003 — December 9, 2013 @ 4:03 pm

    • Don’t you think you’ve pampered me enough for one lifetime? Basically, the answer is yes.

      Comment by llcall — December 9, 2013 @ 6:30 pm

  7. I love the idea of monthly goals. I also love how goal oriented you are in general. You’re just fabulous. I have dreams of meal planning, especially with freezer meals, but they are still dreams. Let me know how it goes!

    Comment by Cassidy — December 12, 2013 @ 2:05 am

    • Oh, thanks! If I achieve any great meal successes, I’ll be sure to pass them along!

      Comment by llcall — December 13, 2013 @ 7:01 pm

  8. I resolve to join you on your road trip! Because it’s going thru Rexburg SCORE!

    Comment by Kristine A — January 7, 2014 @ 6:26 pm

    • Oh yeah, it totally is…I didn’t even realize that at first (since there were many iterations…)

      Comment by llcall — January 10, 2014 @ 2:22 am

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