The Year in Review Post

Well, you knew I had to write this.  It’s that time of year when we look back on the year that was and start planning for the new year.  Some will make New Year’s resolutions they know they won’t keep and I’ll likely renew my resolution to not make any resolutions since I know I haven’t got a chance in hell of keeping one.

Let’s start the review of my 2012.  Short version: it sucked – except for the part where I still have my soul mate Heather; did the trip to Paris; was able to work in my shop; making snickerdoodles last week, and this blog.

2012 will forever be that year in which my life changed and the “C” word engraved its self on my being.  My health in general has not been good and as a result I’ve not been able to do everything I wanted to.  Today while reflecting, I am reminded of one of my favorite books, “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck.  See my “Intertextual Andrew” page for more about it’s influence on my life.

On the title page Steinbeck quotes this line from a Robert Burns poem: “The best laid schemes of mice and men / Go often awry,”

The line is from the poem, To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough and the two lines come from this stanza near the end:

But little Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often awry,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!

Just before my cancer diagnosis in 2011 Heather and I had made our decision to take our grandson on a trip to Europe.  We were going to offer him the choice of what city but knew he would pick Paris.  All through the medical process the big question was, “Will I be well enough to travel.”  All my doctors promised that I would be well in time and they also were able to schedule my treatments early enough in the year so I could travel.

So at least one of my promised joys came true in defiance of the poem.  Sadly other things didn’t work out as well.  I had to skip our summer camping trip because of the hernia surgery and I had to step away from most of my activities in church to save my energy to keeping working at my job and heal.

I am happy that I was able to get some time to get a few projects done in my workshop.  Early in 2012 I made the decision to write every week in this blog and I’ve been able to mostly do that.  Well, at least I’ve posted on most Sundays.  It’s strange but getting the cancer is the one thing that finally unleashed my desire to write regularly.  I’ve always wanted to and from time to time I’ve written a few things, but nothing like this last year.

The WordPress folks just sent out their end of the year report on my blog and I am very happy to discover that people have actually be reading my writing.  I love to write but it’s even better when you find out that people have been reading it too.  In 2012 I’ve had 9,500 visits to this little blog and over 11,000 all time visits.  There are close to 190 comments with only half of them being mine. Thanks to all of you who read and commented this blog.  You really make the effort worth it.

What I do find strange is that my most popular post is the one on our Murphy bed project with number two being a post I did on this crappy little table saw stand I made.  You have to get to my third and fourth most popular posts to read about cancer with, “What to say to a cancer patient” and “First Post Again” where I started my series on prostate cancer.

As in all matters of creativity, none of the posts I really liked writing seemed to make even a little blip on the radar.  So I guess if I want to get to 100,000 visitors to this site I’d better start writing more about Murphy beds and table saw stands.

Actually I’ve considered deleting that Murphy bed post so people will stop reading it. I have considered writing a follow up post to “What to Say to a Cancer Patient.”  I’ve also been thinking about writing a post titled, “Get off my Lawn” but that has nothing to do with this post today.

I generally avoid saying what I plan to do in this blog – mostly because of Mr. Steinbeck’s influence on my thinking about planning but today I am going to ignore my rules and here are some of my plans for 2013:

This blog:

  • Keep writing every Sunday
  • More pictures, people love pictures
  • Do a video or two
  • Keep up my hiking blog

In the workshop:

  • Reorganize it and clean it up.
  • Do more marquetry and get one or two pieces done for a show in September
  • Cabinetry is back on the list – Heather needs some new cabinets in the kitchen and we have a new TV that needs an entertainment center.
  • Start making Christmas presents in March.

At work:

  • Look at a career change to a less stressful line of work that still pays health benefits.
  • Re-look at my early retirement plan.

Around the house:

  • We have to replace the roof this year – long story but it’s going to be a pain
  • Actually have the numbers for my CPA to do my taxes in February.
  • Finish working on the budget for 2011 – er, 2013, well any budget really


  • More exercise
  • Hike in the hills at least once a month
  • No more cancers

I can’t say what will or won’t happen but I am sure that Burns and Steinbeck would predict that nothing that I’ve planned will happen.

Come back next year and we’ll see if anything on that list really happened.

About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I worked in the high tech world doing software release engineering and am now retired. Then I got prostate cancer. Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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8 Responses to The Year in Review Post

  1. If you make Snickerdoodles in the shop will they smell like sawdust?


  2. My heartfelt best wishes for a full and happy 2013. I had to chuckle when I read your post ” except for the part where I still have my soul mate Heather; did the trip to Paris; was able to work in my shop; making snickerdoodles last week, and this blog.”

    I had to chuckle at myself when I first read that excerpt because I thought ..Hmm he made snickerdoodles in his shop? I obviously missed the punctuation marks….LOL Have a great week & looking forward to tomorrow’s post.


    • Andrew says:

      Well, there is something to try to make in the shop – snickerdoodles. Generally I make those in the kitchen but I do have a few heat sources in the shop. I’ll see what I can work up… 😉


  3. YAPCaB says:

    Don’t forget the decision you made to not abandon the blog. It was very wise. There are obviously lots of people who look forward to reading you posts


    • Andrew says:

      Thanks – writing for this blog has become much more that I thought it would. Now I can’t think of going a week without posting something. There will be at least 52 posts here in 2013 – promise.


  4. deb reilly says:

    Best wishes for a healthy and happy one!


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