I’ve come full circle, and perhaps another 45 degrees, on the whole New Year’s Resolutions Thing ®. As an adolescent I was intrigued by the idea of making New Year’s Resolutions – or at least I was the first time I heard an adult talking about it. Then in young adulthood  I though, oh puhleeeease, what a crock. Whenever I was asked about my NYR’s I’d reply that I had already, several years ago, made the only resolution I’d ever kept: to never make another NYR. 
Now, I think NYR are a fine idea. Yeah, resolve to “do better,” however and whenever you can and whatever that entails for you. Of course, you don’t have to wait for the start of a new year to do so, but after all, the world is full of arbitrary limits, guidelines and restrictions,  so what the heck.
Some of my resolutions for this year are more profound than others; all shall remain private….
My New Year’s resolutions
(1) stop making lists
(B) aim for consistency
(4-C.7) review basic mathematics
…but for this seemingly hackneyed one which, if kept, has a good chance of turning out to be the most nourishing to body and psyche:
Have more fun.
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Department Of Foodie Segue
☼ Roasted bell pepper and black-eyed pea fritters
☼ Corn muffins
☼ Mediterranean spiced collard greens
My New Year’s Day menu once again included a dish featuring black-eyed peas. I have done this for…decades, I guess. I do this in honor of my father and his heritage: specifically, his family’s tradition of eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day – an act of culinary optimism which was supposed to bring good luck for the coming year.
Despite consuming black-eyed peas every New Year’s day, my father’s family remained dirt poor sharecroppers.  Every year, as I bring whatever black-eyed pea dish I’m making to my family table, I can’t help but wonder: just once, did a brave soul in my father’s family– possibly his adored, spunky younger sister, Lucille – when presented with yet another bowl of black-eyed peas and the directive to, Eat up, y’all, it’ll bring us good luck in the coming year!, look around at the ramshackle farmhouse and her barefooted siblings  and mutter, It still ain’t workin.’
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Department Of The Benefits Of Getting Up And Out Early In The Morning
At any time of the year, but especially in the winter, if you start walking before sunrise and pay attention,  you are occasionally rewarded with a sight like the top (and only the top) leaves of a tree aglow as they are backlit by the rays of the rising sun.
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Department Of The Coop Is On The Loose
Another unforeseen benefit of an early morning constitutional: earlier this week I saw eleven hens (not all in range in this shot), in someone’s front yard at 7:15 am. Were the chickens let out on purpose, or was it a jail corral break?
Either way, if I may anthropomorphize for a moment, they seemed tremendously excited to have new territory to scratch and new bugs to hunt. That particular homeowner (who may or may not be the urban chicken “rancher”) was getting their lawn aerated, whether they wanted it or not.
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Department Of Why The #$!?* Is This Necessary?
This advice, printed on the “anti-mold sticker” in the box that held my new rain boots:
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Department Of Benign Neglect
I think my sourdough starter is active. It may even have the pastry equivalent of ADHD.
Were this crock of starter to be erupting on the White House kitchen counter, the crock who currently occupies the White House would likely be tweeting to North Korea about how MY STARTER IS UUUUUUUGE, BIGGER THAN YOURS AND THE MOST ACTIVE ON THE PLANET.
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Department Of Do I Get A Girl Scout Badge For This?
Yesterday afternoon I was in the sodas aisle of the grocery store, looking for ginger ale for daughter Belle. An elderly woman was ahead of me, hunched over her cart, peering intently at the dizzying variety of Coca-Cola products. She suddenly announced in frustration and disappointment, “There’s no Cherry Coke!”
I wasn’t sure if she was addressing moiself, or beseeching the soft drink deities. In case it was the former, I pointed out a case of Cherry 7-Up to her. She said she’d tried Cherry 7-Up, and it was okay, but she wanted Cherry Coke to go with her pizza (she had a frozen cheese pizza in her cart). I pushed my cart up the aisle, looking for ginger ale and also checking every level of the soft drinks. At the far end of the aisle, away from the other Coke products, I found a case of Cherry Coke…and also found, much to my surprise, how excited I was to have done so.
“I found it!” I exclaimed, waving to the woman. Her watery blue eyes beamed as she pushed her cart toward me. She thanked me profusely and said, at least three times, “You’re a good helper,” as if I were ten years old (or her beloved Labrador who’d just fetched her newspaper).
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May your sourdough starter be the envy of the world’s small-handed despots;
May the new year favor you with an abundance of glowing treetop experiences;
May you be appreciated for being a good helper;
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
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 I think that should encompasse ages 20 – 56.
 Past failed resolutions include, “Be taller,” and “Do not engage in audible eye-rolling when someone mentions their detox cleanse.”
 E.g. you are no more capable of making discerning political choices the day before your 18th birthday than you are the day of your 18th birthday; still, you can’t register to vote when you are age 17 years 364 days….
 Excuse me, make that “tenant farmers,” as sharecroppers was considered a pejorative label.
 My father’s parents couldn’t afford shoes for all six of their children, so as the elder kids got shoes they handed them down to the younger siblings. You got to wear shoes if there were a pair that happened to fit you. My father went to his proverbial grave not knowing that my mother had shared the story, with my sisters and I, of how our dad was embarrassed as a child when he showed up barefoot at school and was teased by the townie kids, who called him a dumb barefoot farm boy.
 In other words, are not looking down at YOUR FUCKING CELLPHONE.