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2012 began with a fun time last New Year's Eve; but the year as a whole dealt some hard knocks for everyone, and it only seemed to get worse as the months passed by. I can only hope, as the calendar begins anew, that we all manage to keep our heads above water. The highlights of the year were relatively modest, and the true highlight was certainly meeting and becoming close friends with Aquaisces Mancuso; and spending many fun times with Panik EVlynn Bedlam. There really haven't been too many highlights of the year that didn't involve these two wonderful persons, between running to conventions and camping and visiting Boston with Nina, Panik, and Jessica Darling; with some great cooking to help keep me occupied for much of that time.

On the other hand, lowlights included spending the first half of the year planning for the National DOG in Texas, then having to give it up because of car problems. (But I did get a terrific new car out of the deal, again thanks to Panik.) And the year has closed with a series of family tragedies, as no less than four close relatives ended up in the hospital; one of them, sadly, passing away.

Is it any wonder why all I seem to do is post to Facebook about cooking? It's rather appropriate that one highlight and lowlight of the year was cooking what may well have been my final dinner with the person who changed my life forever.

Well, I still have a job and I still have (I hope) my health. And I still have my family and a few friends. At least I can be thankful for that.

Hello, 2013.