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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy... New Year?

A new year is upon us and even though I'll quote myself saying at Thanksgiving: 'I'm looking forward to 2011!' --it seems that some of us are still a bit apprehensive... David, on the eve of the new year, stated via his Facebook status update:
best wishes to everyone for a happy and healthy 2011-- here's hoping it beats the pants off 2010!!!!
And tonight, after David and I finished watching a couple of tv shows (which we rarely do), I read on my friend, "K. P. G."'s blog the 'sad yet compelling' post: As It Happens. (it's my favorite of hers since I began reading the blog)

Alas, it's been a tough year for many. And I'm extremely fortunate to say that I am just now beginning to feel the effects of the recession. So, one of my New Year's resolutions is to save $20 every week for the entire year. I know, it doesn't add up to much, only $1,040, but I'll at least be in the habit of saving more regularly. (Additionally, I'd started an 'end of the year resolution,' back in December, to save $100 every month. So, I'll actually be saving $180 every month, grossing $2,160 by the end of 2011.)

Another one of my New Year's plans is to (finally) continue with my wine studies at ICE. It's been quite a while since I'd had my last class, not due to any unwillingness on my part, but due to the fact that the last few classes I had registered for were canceled due to low enrollment. With all the time I'd spent planning my calendar around these classes, I decided to put my wine studies 'on hold' until my schedule freed up again... On January 2nd, I sent this e-mail to a few friends and family:

Hello Friends and Family!

I hope the beginning of 2011 has found you happy and well!

I'm proud to say I've had an exciting year with my blog, FROM BEHIND THE OPEN TABLE, having reached over 8,000 readers since its inception back in December of 2009! And as you know, I've also had the opportunity (and privilege) of taking wine studies courses at the Institute of Culinary Education in Chelsea. With the start of a new year, I've added to my resolutions, plans on continuing my wine studies in anticipation of ICE's "Grand Cru" wine certificate.

Last August, I was the proud bearer of their "Premier Cru" certificate and now, I've decided that the natural decision is to continue my wine studies in anticipation of receiving their Grand Cru certificate--ICE's top level wine degree.
In order for this, I'd have to partake in a 4 week wine course, "Advanced Wine Essentials," beginning in March and in addition, attend 2 elective wine classes before receiving the Grand Cru degree. The total cost, for the three courses, would be $485.00.

Therefore, I am reaching out to you: my family, friends and dedicated followers of my blog to ask for contributions. Anything, even as little as $1 would be greatly appreciated and my wine knowledge will be forever indebted to you! (read: I will bring you a really nice bottle of wine to dinner one day!) You can make a donation, in any amount, through the PayPal donation button I've inserted on the right-hand side of my blog.

And Thank You Again for always supporting me in all my "adventurous" endeavors--here's to a bright and happy 2011!

Pat Bradley

I've raised $85.00 so far. Four hundred more to go.
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