I often begin the New Year with a few lofty goals and, like most everyone else, they fall away by the time the calendar page turns to February. This year, I tried something a little different. I spent a couple of hours assessing the past year and planning for the coming year. To do so, I downloaded a small printable booklet from YearCompass and worked through the steps laid out in the booklet. I didn’t answer every question, but most of them, and it was rather interesting and even enlightening in a few areas.
One of the exercises for ending the old year was to go
through your 2018 calendar/planner/bullet journal and note down the highlights
of the year – places you visited, events with family and friends, projects
completed, and accomplishments you were proud of. Create
a record of what made 2018 a good year.
You know how the year just whizzes by and you feel like you didn’t do
anything, accomplish anything – it was all just mundane day-to-day routine stuff? When in actuality you did a lot!
So here’s my list of 2018 Highlights:
- 2 square dance weekends (January in Waco,Texas, and February in Paris, Texas)
- Bonus Room Project – put up dry wall and all that entailed, painted the entire room & ceiling plus the hallway wall, and acquired the oak trim needed to finish off the room.
- 3 weekend trips (San Antonio, Texas, to see The Alamo in January; Hot Springs, Arkansas, in July; Fall Foliage in Oklahoma in October)
- Took on the job of DCMGA Newsletter Editor and successfully published 9 issues that were extremely well received by the membership.
- Rain Barrel Project – completed the installation of 7 rain barrels around the house, along with drip line along the foundation and in several flower beds.
- Veggie Bed Project – completed the building of a large vegetable bed in the side yard and have been harvesting greens all winter.
- DCMGA – successfully volunteered for several projects, including the annual Plant Sale and Fall Festival, the Jr. Master Naturalist camp in June, and monthly Preschool Master Naturalist classes.
- Several local day trips (the DCMGA Garden Tour in May with friends; the Dallas Arboretum to see the Kinetic Sculpture exhibit in July; the Perot Natural Science Museum in Dallas in August; the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens & Japanese Gardens in November to see the spectacular fall foliage).
- Hosted family & friends here in May, June, July, September, October, and November, including Liana’s first ever visit on her own to Grandma & Grandpa’s.
- Bought new mattresses for our bed and the guest room bed.
- Settled up the auction part of my Dad’s estate and closed out the bank account.
- Kept Quicken up to date until August.
- Got new life insurance policies in place for both Bill & myself.
- Made a 17 day road trip in September to visit family in New York and Alabama, and also take care https://www.landbetweenthelakes.us/of leftover auction items in Alabama. Also made a side trip to the Land Between the Lakes in Tennessee/Kentucky, which was pretty nice.
- Created a photo book on Shutterfly chronicling my mom’s 75th year, 2017, and all the milestones of that year.
I also completed several crochet projects:
- 2 60th birthday afghans for cousins
- 2 doggie afghans
- Blocked & starched the 2017 granddaughter snowflakes
- 6 small doilies for Christmas gifts
- A filet crochet panel for myself of a mother cat and three kittens
- A large afghan for myself in reds & golds (almost completed, not quite)
- 2 granny square lapghans for Christmas gifts
- One wedding afghan for a cousin
And best of all, for myself, I lost 22 pounds! I still have 11 more to go to reach my goal, but I’m very pleased with my progress.
Completing this booklet is going to be an annual New Year’s Day project from now on. If you are interested and would like to see what the YearCompass is all about, visit their website and download the free pdf booklet.
Here it is mid-October and I haven’t posted here in several weeks. I’ve been busy with house renovations, yard projects, and Master Gardener activities and meetings. I don’t have any pictures today, but I’ll list some of the things going on.
- Three weeks ago we decided to enclose the upstairs bonus room, turning it into a usable bedroom. So we’ve built a wall, hung drywall, put up a door, and the next step (so I’m told) is mudding and sanding the drywall. I’ve never done any of this before and I can’t say I’m enjoying it, nor looking forward to learning about finishing the drywall, but I am going to enjoy using the finished room. David has friends coming to stay for a visit in late November, so the goal was to have this room ready to use. Unfortunately, the loveseat/sleeper bed that we ordered might not arrive in time, in which case the guest will sleep on the downstairs couch, as he has in the past. Maybe, with any luck, the loveseat will defy predictions and arrive early.
- September 30th was our last day of swimming – the pool temperature dropped down to 82 and that’s just too cold for me. I’m trying to remember to still test for chemical needs, still throw the robot in once a week to clean it, and still check the strainer for leaves. We’ve decided to leave the cover on to catch the leaves, rather than using the leaf net – it’s much more effective at preventing the leaves from decaying in the water.
- I’ve started work on the north back fence flower bed – laid down cardboard and outlined it with landscape blocks. I should have time next week to begin adding some leaf mold and then compost and soil. I have just a couple of weeks to get it done and then transplant particular plants from the south back fence flowerbed.
- The second compost bin has been set up. Next week I’ll move the top half contents of the other compost bin into the one that’s set up, hopefully find some usable compost in the bottom, and then be able to set up the foundation for that bin. It is super convenient to have them just a few steps from the back door.
- This Saturday is the DCMGA Fall Festival. I am helping in the children’s area, the butterfly booth, for 3 hours, and then will float the other hours to see where I can help out. Tomorrow I work with a couple of Master Naturalists doing a two hour program with preschoolers. I tried working with preschoolers last spring and didn’t really care for it, but I thought I’d try again with this new leader, just in case the reason I didn’t like it was due to the way it was organized. Time will tell.
- Plans have been made to travel to Alabama in November for about a week. We’ll be helping the auction crew catalog all of Dad’s personal items for the auction that will be held online later in November. Hopefully that will go well, but neither of us is looking forward to dealing with it all. It will be nice to see Charles, Rebecca, and Liana, though. It’s been over a year since we’ve seen them and that was only a couple of brief evening visits.
- I mentioned earlier that David had friends coming to visit. They are his former roommates from when he lived in Phoenix. We enjoy their visits and won’t mind at all that they plant to stay 10+ days.
- David is looking into applying to the local two year college just a couple of miles from us, probably majoring in database administration. Hopefully he’ll make this leap and get on a better career path.
- My weight loss efforts are beginning to pay off. I’ve been much better lately about no snacking between meals, plus consuming much less sugar – I’m avoiding Starbucks this whole month – and I’m happy to report that I’ve released 4 pounds in the last two weeks. I’m releasing them rather than “losing” them, as I intend to not “find” them again! Someone else can have them!
I had a very special birthday gift last month. David built himself a new computer last February and he happily donated his old computer to me. Bill & David bought some more pieces and parts and worked several evenings fixing the old computer up for me. I’ve been using my new computer for almost two weeks now, and it is glorious! It is so much faster than my old one, which we figure was at least 10 years old, probably older, as we bought it used on Ebay. It also has great graphics – no more jerky screens when I use Quicken!
As if a new computer wasn’t enough, Bill decided to put up shelves for my computer monitors and also build a raised shelf for my keyboard and mouse. That was completed last Sunday.
Here’s the before: And the after:
I am in heaven! No more boxes. I have more flat space to utilize. I’m not chasing my keyboard around as the box it sits on slides one way or the other. I can have multiple programs operating at the same time. No more excuses for not getting work done!