Vegan, Jane Austen student, Minimalist, Reader, Librarian

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Music: Cecilia String QuartetDvořák: String Quartet #13, 6 Cypresses, 2 Waltzes

2012 has been a year of getting more comfortable in what still feels like a new place to me. I can find my way around Pittsburgh now without getting lost--as long as all my routes are open. 

SouthSide Works, Pittsburgh
Here's a recap of my year:

The Good:

My health. I've been vegan for five years now and I would never, ever go back to eating animals again. We also strive to eat something raw with every meal and, last summer, ate almost exclusively raw with help from our CSA as well as the East End Food Co-op in Point Breeze. Life free of stomachaches, high blood pressure, common seasonal illnesses, insomnia, and prescription drugs is wonderful.

My finances. Since moving to Pittsburgh over two years ago, we have managed to live on only one income. This has resulted in a savings of almost 40% of our income.

Enjoying cultural events in the city. We've taken advantage of some wonderful music and cultural events, from free music performances at the library, to shows by the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. We've also visited downtown's Light Up Night events. And we have  found some good restaurants for those rare occasions when we eat out: Ali Baba in Oakland and Kassab's in Southside.

New Diversions:

Becoming more comfortable & confident in my job. I still can't believe I work at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in the Reference Services department, one of the most highly respected positions (in my opinion); I feel honored. I get to do fun things like order books, answer all kinds of questions, do chat reference, play with e-reader devices (like an iPad, a Nook Tablet, & Kindle Fire), try out new services (such as Zinio for free magazines and Freegal for free music), and write for the library's award-winning blog, all in a day's work!

Jim earned his MBA. After going to school for both his Bachelor's degree and his MBA for eight years, I'm looking forward to more husband attention in 2013. 

Thankfully, the next part isn't as long as the first. Things are looking up!

The Not-So-Good:

Difficulty making new friends. It doesn't help that I'm not a late-night person, that I'm vegan, have no children, am in my forties, and work full-time. I am instead focusing on keeping my Michigan friendships and making sure I don't lose them.

Missing Michigan and that sense of 'home.' It still doesn't feel like home here; it feels like I'm on an extended visit. It's hard to explain. When I visit Michigan twice a year, I'm comfortable with the oh-so-familiar. People ask me for directions and I don't even have to think about it. 

Michigan will always be home
What I Hope to Accomplish in 2013:

Arrange with an attorney to set up a revocable living trust, durable power of attorney for health care, and financial power of attorney. I just wrote about this for the library's blog.

Set a schedule for posting to this blog. Just like I have deadlines for the library's blog, I need to do the same with my own personal blog.

Visit historic places I'm now closer to. We already have a trip planned to Jefferson's Monticello, but I also hope to see Old City Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Gettysburg, and Mount Vernon


  1. melissa machin mazurJanuary 1, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    I always enjoy your posts. Looking forward to seeing more of them and my all of your blessings continue in 2013!

  2. Thank you so much for reading & Happy New Year to you, too!