13 in 13 Update 1/3/12

I’ve been off work for the past couple of weeks, which has been nice.   I did a few small things around the house, did the Christmas thing, spent a lot of time catching up on sleep and relaxing,  spent some time at the dog park and got a lot of reading in.    

So I’m a few days into 13 Skills in 2013.   Here’s what I’ve got done so far:

– Read some books and listened to a few podcasts on meteorology and observable astronomy.   I started compiling some notes and bought a cloud guide off Amazon.  I’ve learned a little bit and scratched the surface on this one.   I’m going to quantify this one by being able to identify weather through the clouds and interpret all the data that a site like Weather Underground (www.wunderground.com) gives.   

–  Ordered two nuc hives of Russian bees from a guy who lives about a mile away from me.   These will be ready to pick up late in May.   I haven’t ordered my hives yet, but I’ll get around to that soon.   This guy is starting a home-based business selling bees and beekeeping equipment.  I’m glad I’ll be able to have someone nearby for “tech support” and to pick up supplies if I need them.   So I guess I haven’t done anything on this one except commit myself to it.    There’s a relatively high entrance cost to beekeeping, so I’m justifying it by unloading a lot of books, cds and dvds I’ll probably never read again on Amazon.   So far I’ve done alright in that department.  

– Winter gardening.   I said I’d consider it a success if I had a salad on New Year’s Eve and that happened on New Year’s Day.   Arugula, spinach, dill, cilantro and green onion.   Very nice.   We’re still going.   I might be able to make it through the winter and get a good start in the spring.   It can get colder than it has been, but usually not that much more.   The days are getting progressively longer too, although the days are still short this time of year.

– Spanish.  Started listening to some instructional podcasts from the beginning.   As long as I stick to it consistently I’ll be fine.   I’ll have to try not to cram a lot into one sitting.

–  Woodworking.   I put knife and jigsaw to wood the other day to get a feel for the saw.   Maybe tomorrow I might try to make something simple instead of just playing around.

– Dairy.   Picked up a bottle of kefir the other day.  It said it had four servings and I meant to just try a sip on the way home.  Ended up downing the bottle by the time I got home.   I’m going to try to make “the champagne of dairy”.   Flipped through a book on cheese making, looks like I’ll probably have to get some cultures and maybe make a press (woodworking!).   Right now I’ve got some yogurt sitting out that I’m going to use to try my hand at yogurt again.


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