Monday, April 28, 2014

101 Old Goals Revisited

Almost 3 years ago I posted a "101 in 1001 Days" list (though I could never come up with 101 goals) and it "expires" on May 8, 2014. That's not too far away so I thought I'd check in and see how it went.

Honestly, I never actively tried to fulfill these goals, but it's fun to look back and see that I accomplished the majority of them anyway!



1. Generate a small monthly supplemental income (stipend for playing the piano for Mass)
2. Start and use a sourdough starter (kept it going several months)
3. Renew my consecration to the Blessed Mother (did the 33 Days to Morning Glory consecration)
4. Finish a 9 day novena without missing any days (boo yah!)
5. Go to Mass every day for three months (sadly didn’t make it, but almost last Lent)
6. Help set up irrigation on our property (done!)
7. Exercise 4 times a week for three months (Just barely made the three months, but I did)
8. Lose 60 pounds (halfway there! And confident the last half will be done this year)
9. Make sauerkraut (the Nourishing Traditions way) love this stuff
10. Grow enough basil to freeze pesto (bumper crop last Summer)
11. Go fishing, catch something, and eat it the same night (some day)
12. Finish knitting a scarf (it’s purty)
13. Go swing dancing (does a wedding count?)
14. Make sushi (no, but I ate some for the first time)
15. Spend a night in a cabin at Mt. Rainier (this has been on my to-do list since getting married)
16. Pray the Rosary every day for three months (54 day Rosary novenas are great start)
17. Start an orchard on our property (only in my dreams)
18. Hang a real curtain over the sliding glass door (privacy is a wonderful thing)
19. Paint the chicken coop
20. Render lard (yummy)
21. Render tallow (stinky but good)
22. Take a painting class (I still want to do this very badly)
23. Win a ribbon in the county fair (I’m sure I’d win if I’d ever enter, hehe)
24. Get paid to write an article (this isn’t so much a goal anymore)
25. Finish reading 5 great classics (audio books helped… is that cheating?)
26. Go to the symphony with my husband (sigh)
27. Go miniature golfing (almost, but it was too dark the day we went)
28. Eat a duck egg (I ate a goose egg!)
29. Donate my hair to Locks of Love (14 inches)
30. Shoot a round of billiards (8 ball in the corner pocket… I tried and failed, but it was fun!)
31. Make and use cloth napkins (why did I wait so long to do this?)
32. Get more than 1000 page hits in one day (one or two posts randomly went viral)
33. Go swimming (I need a pool all to myself before I’ll do this)
34. Make kimchi (golly I like this stuff now)
35. Go to a state I've never been to (Nevada, Michigan, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota, Deleware, Maine, Alaska, or Hawaii) – I was a few miles away from Deleware at one point, but I never made it
36. Sleep in a tent (see #37)
37. Drive through a Redwood tree in CA (childhood dream, still haven’t fulfilled it)
38. Make a surprise dessert for a friend (cream puffs make people happy)
39. Sell something in an Etsy shop (I set up a shop… but haven’t stocked it)
40. Be able to identify 10 new constellations (um, Big Dipper… and uh… Big Dipper)
41. Identify all of the countries of Europe and their capitals (yah, no)
42. Study Algebra 2 (I worked through Algebra 1 again, and I’ll start Algebra 2 soon, so I consider this done)
43. Successfully grow 5 new crops in the garden (Herbs were great for this goal)
44. Pay off one student loan (freedom!!)
45. Brew Kombucha and Water Kefir (I make some great kombucha, but the water kefir never tasted good)
46. Go on a silent retreat.  (I was surprised by this one, actually, but I did it!)
47. Make an African dish for dinner (it was disgusting)
48. Go a month without grocery shopping (pantry raids) (I’ve done this twice now, actually)
49. Milk a dairy animal (ooh, so close! I ALMOST got to milk a goat!!)
50. Finish a 30 day photo-a-day challenge (meh, too much work)
51. Sew a garment and wear it in public (BAH hahaha! Actually, I did buy some skirt patterns)
52. Grow enough peas to freeze  (can you believe I grew enough peas to freeze, but I never harvested them?? Epic fail)
53. Read a great author I haven't read before (Victor Hugo and Willa Cather)
54. Go on a spontaneous overnight roadtrip (is it "spontaneous" if you didn’t intend it to be overnight but were forced to from inclement weather?)
55. Grow my own miniature potted citrus trees
56. Work on a Habitat for Humanity house (I got my husband to do it twice, so that almost counts!)
57. Make wine (inadvertently made apple jack…)
58. Get a new hairstyle (I’m ready to do this again)
59. Hang a picture gallery on a wall (I have one in mind, but I still haven’t done it)
60. Learn to play a new piece of classical music on the piano (Moonlight Sonata)
61. Write a piece of liturgical music (well, I wrote the words for an Advent song, but I haven’t set it to music)
62. Make a pressed cheese (I’ve made cheese, but still not a pressed one)
63. Have a definite floorplan for the dream house (it’s narrowed down to 5 options)
64. Build a piece of furniture
65. Build a greenhouse (bought the plastic)
66. Send a letter to the editor (wrote one but never sent it)
67. Successfully start tomato seeds (STILL this goal eludes me!!! And I try EVERY year!!!)
68. Cater a parish event (funerals count)
69. Make a perfect loaf of sourdough bread (the perfect loaf eludes me; this one is hard)
70. Make bakery-quality cannoli (it was phenomenal)
71. Make bakery-quality tiramasu (it made me cry it was so delicious)
72. Climb "the hill" 

41-42 out of 72 is more than 50%. I still have a few days left to milk that dairy animal and hang the gallery wall. I might cram to learn some constellations, too (while sleeping in a tent?).

I'm excited to make a new list for the next 1001 days!

Maybe I'll put "Finish the Love Story" on it.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Poor Dearest Darling: The Silver Lining

Every January I get a bee under my bonnet to redecorate. New year, fresh look. Our kitchen is a lovely shade of wedding mint green, but it's time for it to go.

I have a dozen shades of grey paint chips on the wall that I've been evaluating. Unable to whittle them down, I asked my husband (who is green colorblind) which he liked best.

He examined the options carefully, appeared bemused for a moment and uttered:

"They're all nice, but they all look exactly like what we've got now."

Monday, October 7, 2013

When My Husband Makes His Own Breakfast

My husband makes our breakfast every morning. It's a generous and loving habit he started when we were first married, and he's kept it up ever since.

Normally our fare is something along the lines of bacon, eggs, grits, and coffee. Plain oatmeal on penitential days. Pancakes or waffles on weekends. Donuts on Sundays if the Boy Scouts are selling them after Mass. Hash browns, sausage, and/or biscuits on special occasions, when I make them.

All fairly normal stuff, right?

For the last few days I haven't been able to join my husband for breakfast and wondered what he would eat if I weren't around.

This morning my curiosity was sated when I saw his Breakfast Deluxe Combo: Poptarts, Oreos, and liverwurst.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Vignettes of A Beautiful August Day

May I share a few glimpses of beauty with you on this lovely August afternoon?

Remember back in February when my sweet husband gave me these? Well, it's a whole six months later (to the day), and not only are they still alive, but last night I spied THIS:


*siren noise* We have a bloom, people! We have a bloom! *end siren noise*

And speaking of lovely gifted blooms, please share my joy in this gorgeous specimen...


... given to us by a very very dear couple.

And while we're still on the subjects of flowers, this showpiece is from a rose bush that I thought, last year, was dead!


It just needed some really hard pruning and it rewarded us with exquisite roses.


This one speaks for itself. I don't know what it is, but every year they grow up and every year I'm astounded by the brilliance of color.

And then there's these monsters...


... twelve to fourteen feet tall, and ablaze with golden glory.


The zucchini plants are thriving and, happily, are supplying us with just enough courgettes to meet demand. Four plants were the perfect amount for our little family.

And the tomatoes...


... are juicy and flavorful. They're not my favorite tasty heirloom varieties, but they didn't succumb to any of the viruses that have plagued my previous attempts, either. How does the old saying go? A hybrid tomato in the hand is worth two heirlooms in the Verticillium Wilt bush. Or something like that.

And finally, on the subject of bushes...


Will you take a look at that basil? There's enough there for pesto every night of the week for the next three winters.

We are so blessed with beauty.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Involuntary Plantslaughter

This February I attempted to grow sweet potato slips from some sweet potatoes we gleaned last Summer. Five potatoes were cut in half and donated to the cause of regeneration.

I dutifully kept them in 1" of water until roots sprouted and watched with excitement when, after three months in said water, one of them grew leaves!!

I beamed with pride at my little sweet potato -- no one believed it would ever sprout, and it was beautiful. Sure, the other 9 never made it, but the one that did was thriving.

My husband planted it last week.

Trying to be helpful, I weeded this week.

"Why is there that one huge weed in this otherwise clean bed?"

*snap*