2017 Goals

No resolutions this year, just simple definable goals.

2017goalsHealth Goals:

  • Lose the last 20 pounds (be The Guy)
  • Keep my blood glucose within ADA ranges and work toward the lower ranges
  • Maintain a minimum of 150 active minutes a week

Creativity Goals:

  • Add six more songs to my guitar competence list
  • Finish a writing project
  • Create a minimum of one good photo a month

Activity Goals:

  • Bike the Cap2Cap from Richmond to Williamsburg
  • Explore the parks nearby
  • Log a minimum of 1000 miles on the bike

Fun Goals

  • Visit five more historical sites
  • Go to the beach at least twice
  • Visit 20 wineries

Real Life Goals:

  • Find a new job
  • Find a new church home
  • Get involved with community group(s)

All of these are doable, one (the 1,000 miles) is a real challenge.  But it will be a very good year if I can hit all of them.  Let’s see how we do.

Hoping that the new year is what each of us desire.


A New Beginning – December 4


Six Months.

We have just passed the six month mark.

Seems like we’ve been here longer.  We have definitely fallen in love with Richmond and the surrounding area.

Great selection of food, entertainment, historical sites, places to get out and enjoy the great out of doors.

Fabulous people too.  This is a truly wonderful area.

The local wine industry still has a way to go to match New York.  On the other hand the weather here is much to my preference (it was 58 degrees yesterday).  No, I don’t miss the snow and cold.  Not even a little bit.  A bit of decorative snow around Christmas and I’m good.

It’s less than three hours to the ocean or the mountains or Washington DC.  Williamsburg, which is one our favorite places in the world, is just over an hour away.  We can be pretty much anywhere in the greater Richmond area in 30 minutes.  There’s a Jazz cafe Thursday evenings at the Virginia Fine Arts Museum.  There are festivals.  So many festivals.  Carytown.  Shockoe Bottom.  Church Hill.  The Fan.

And you know what’s really cool?

There’s still so much more to explore!

Let the next six months begin.

  • I am closing the hunt for rude Virginians.  I think they’re mythological.  No doubt everyone will be rude to me today.
  • NaNoWriMo update:I did not make the 50,000 word mark but I broke 30,000, which is no small thing.  Since I was continuing an existing project I ran into the problem that I have already written most of the story.  I don’t think there was another 20,000 left to write.  Now we begin piecing it together and filling whatever cracks are left.
  • I am actually going to play my guitar in public for the first time (I played a couple times at summer camp but I don’t count that.)  At the Christmas Pageant we will be singing “Silent Night”, which was originally played on guitar.  Kinda cool.  Couple more weeks to practice.  Need them!

It’s a new beginning.

A New Beginning – November 13


NaNoWriMo update:  I am just slightly behind the goal at the moment.   I started off very well, getting as much as 3,000 words ahead of the timeline (we call it “the curve” in my family).  Then I had a couple of things get in the way – The Kid got sick for a day, meetings, just general busyness.  The Kid’s day long sick is a problem because she’s sleeping in the room where my computer lives.  By the time I’d gotten through those challenges I had fallen 2,000 words behind the curve.  Since the goal is 50,000 words a 5K swing is a potential problem.

Fortunately, I’ve had several really good days and I’m now within 900 words of the goal as of yesterday.   That’s pretty happy making.

What is starting to worry me is if there is enough of this novel left to make the monthly goal.  The project I’m working on is my novel “The Hidden Race” which I started as a NaNoWriMo project five years ago.  It was my first shot at the concept and I made the 50K word mark.  Unfortunately a variety of issues got in my way over the next couple years and I haven’t completed the book yet.  For the purists out there I will note that I am doing entirely new writing on the project for this year.

But the problem is that I’m closing in on completing the story telling of the novel.  I am filling in gaps here and there and fleshing out places that were a little thin.  Whether or not it will take 30K more words is the question.  In the end finishing the story is more important than hitting the NaNoWriMo goal.

So we’ll see.  In the meantime my novel writing is inhibiting my blog post writing!  So many words!

And it feels good.

  • 168 days without a (proven)rude Virginian.
  • Fall has finally arrived in RVA.  The colors are not as vibrant as WNY/WPA.  At the same time the colors have been beautiful.  Fall is one of my favorite times of the year.  One of the qualities we were looking for in a place to live is that it have four seasons.  Great to see my favorite in our new home.
  • Still on a break from all the run go look see do.  Which is fine because my job is getting busier, more youth events and things to attend.  Which is cool.  Looking ahead to whatever the next big event will be though.  It’s another part of what makes living here so great.

It’s a new beginning.

A New Beginning – November 6


It’s November.  And once again I have dedicated myself to a month long ordeal and creative experiment.

It’s NaNoWriMo.

That’s National Novel Writing Month.  The goal is to write 50,000 words of a novel in the 30 days of November.  This is one of the great passions of The Kid.  She is, of course, an MFA Creative Writing candidate right now.  Writing is probably the greatest passion in The Kid’s life.  Five years ago she roped me into trying as well.  I have written short stories on and off since high school.  In many ways the short story is my favorite writing length.  The challenge of communicating the story in the span of a few pages, a few thousand words.  In fact many of my stories probably fall into the category of “flash fiction”.  Short-shorts.

So writing a long form story was a challenge.  The Kid assured me that I shouldn’t worry about not making the goal, most folks don’t on the first try.  So I promptly hit 50k with several days to spare.  My plan had been to take a little while off (writing that intensively is exhausting) then write the additional 30,000 words I needed to properly fill out the story.

I had been dawdling along with that task until October of the following year when something interrupted my life.

I’ve tried to go back to the novel a couple times without success.  This year seemed like a good time to dive back in.  I’m writing this five days into November and I’m passed the 11,000 word mark already.  So I’m ahead of the curve.

And it feels good.

  • 161 days without a (proven)rude Virginian.  I do need to note that when Virginians go for the horn on the car they do it with a vengeance.  Do not expect a polite little toot here.  If they feel the need to honk they commit to it.
  • A week into November and I was in shirtsleeves yesterday.  I am absolutely NOT trying to rub it in on my friends north of here.  This is more utter amazement.
  • We’ve really taken a break from the go-go-go lifestyle.  The Kid has the big social life right now.  Which,when combined with NaNoWriMo, is pretty much wiping her out.

It’s a new beginning.

A New Beginning – October 30


“My candle burns at both ends,

It will not last the night,

But ah, my foes and oh, my friends,

It gives a lovely light.”

-Edna St. Vincent Millay

It has been almost six months since we moved to RVA.  In that time we have gone a little crazy with all the options of places to go and things to do.  It’s finally caught up with us.  This week we looked at each other and said “Please, let’s keep this weekend clear”.  We are pooped.  Moving from a largely rural county where most of the interesting things to do are at least an hour away to a place where there is something going on EVERY WEEKEND (and often on weekdays too) with none of it is more than a half an hour away is mind boggling.  Even more amazing is that we haven’t been able to do everything.  Last weekend we chose to hit the Powhatan Festival of the Grape (which was great fun) and missed the local Celtic Festival.

In the end we have to take a little time off to re-charge our batteries.

  • 154 days without a (proven)rude Virginian.
  • Temperatures yesterday were in the 80s.  It occurred to us that local kids don’t have to figure out how to design a Halloween costume that can fit over a snow suit or heavy jacket.
  • Don’t want to short the Powhatan festival.  It was much larger than we expected.  We ended up skipping about 6 wineries because we just ran out of gas.  Plenty of the festival food we have come to expect, plus some cool shopping.  The Kid picked up a cool hat, I almost bought one as well.

It’s a new beginning.

A New Beginning – October 23


Temperature is much on our minds these days.

The temperatures recently have been “cooler”, meaning we are no longer near 80.  Daytime highs are in the low 70s with overnight lows just dipping below the 50s this week.

It’s the middle of October.  My northern born and bred seasonal timeline keeps thinking it’s September.  I was walking around last week, at close to 9 PM in just short sleeves and thinking “It’s a little cool tonight”.  IN MID-OCTOBER.

I’m not sure where that leaves the leaves.  One of my favorite time of year is when the leaves turn from summer green to the flames of Autumn.  Golden yellows, bright reds and oranges are the color of fall.  For that to happen you need one or two good cold snaps.  Temperatures down around freezing with a good hard frost.

Not gonna happen when it only goes down to 46 at night.  So maybe those colors will arrive later.  I’m not sure I see the kinds of oak and maple trees that really bring the colors that I love in abundance here so that may change the fall for me as well.

Might be time to drive west and see what’s happening in the mountains.

  • 147 days without a rude Virginian. But with a caveat.  The other day in Carytown we were walking along when the streak might have been broken.  Now imagine this – two lanes of a one way street.  Car #1 is in the lane nearest us, Car #2 is pulling out of parking spot on the other side of the street.  Car #2 stayed in their near lane the whole time but Car #1 wasn’t having any of it.  Starting well in advance of getting to the secnd car he leans on his horn.  Not a quick little “hey, keep your eyes open” toot but a lean on it and hold it blast until he was a full car length past the other car.  Everyone on the sidewalk was looking at the action and thinking “What is his problem?”.  My problem here is that no one in my group is positive that it was a Virginia plate.  We’re pretty sure but not positive.  So I will err on the side of politeness and just note a (1) until we hit a confirmed rudeness.
  • I am happy to say I am almost totally recovered from my little accident two weeks ago.
  • I was interviewed by two local TV stations last week.  We had a minor break in at the church and they interviewed the staff who was available.  Pretty silly but also kind of cool.

It’s a new beginning.