20 for ’20 Goals Update

I started my 20 for ’20 challenge early, inspired by a friend’s goals in another group I belong to. I didn’t want to wait until the new year to start getting things accomplished.

Here is what I have accomplished so far:

1. Build a new garage – So far my hubby and I have been trying to look at every angle to this project. Do we truly want to tear down our old garage? Could we salvage it? Could we update it and slowly fix it up in stages? Is it worth even saving? We even looked at ready made Amish built garages. We definitely have crossed the brand new, big and beautiful garage from our list. We just can’t afford that. Any advice on this one guys would be welcomed. Stay tuned.

2 – Major cross-stitch projects completed. I purchased a beautiful new chart from Modern Folk Embroidery a few weeks ago and I am ready to start it. I have a small part of the border done but am working to finish the Autumn House first. The other large project I am looking to complete is the mystery SAL that Modern Folk Embroidery Offers every year. I plan on participating in that. Hopefully I can keep up!

3 – Projects completed in our house (not to include windows). Last spring a part of our garage’s roof blew right off leave our already dilapidated garage leaking. We knew we needed to get the roof repaired but we weren’t inclined to spent a lot on it. With advice from a handyman friend my husband has been working to get the roof repaired himself as best as he can. He hopes to have it done tonight actually! There are at least 3 other projects we want to work on over the winter and Spring which I will write about soon.

4 – Books read a month. After considering my reading goals for the months ahead, I want to include magazines in this category. One of the magazines I read this month was over 150 pages and I read it cover to cover. Here is what I got read in September:

A Glorious FreedomOlder Women Leading Extraordinary Lives By Lisa Congdon – This was a fabulous, inspiring, motivating book about women over forty following their dreams and having careers and accomplishments some into their 90s and 100s. It’s never too late! I highly recommend this book.

Where Women Create – Mindful Studios – Inspiring Wellness and Beauty Magazine – This was another inspiring, beautifully photographed read for me. I enjoyed reading each article sitting on my front porch everyday with my coffee. I was disappointed when I finished it because…I wished it hadn’t ended! lol. I plan on purchasing other editions of this magazine for even more inspiring articles.

Factory Girl Part 3 – By Stephanie Bond – I admit, I enjoy author Stephanie Bond. Her writing is easy reading and sometimes that’s just what I need at the end of the day. Bond is on her fourth serial e-novella. Factory Girl is her newest along with her previous series, Coma Girl, Comeback Girl, and Temp Girl. Each of these series are six months long and you can read ahead or like me read just one excerpt a day. I look forward to my daily Stephanie Bond installment. She also writes full length fiction as well. Check her out!

Magnolia Journal – Fall 2019 Issue – At first I was really engaged in this issue of Magnolia but by the end I fell a bit out of love with it. It didn’t get into the meat of why we aren’t feeling whole and the recipes and decorating ideas were few.

That’s it for books/magazines for the month!

5 – Windows replaced in our house. Nothing on this one yet.

6 – Blog posts a month. Only got 5 blog posts in for September. This post was going to be number 6 but I am a couple of days late. More posts for October!

7 – Movies at the theater with my family. My husband and mother and I went to see Downton Abbey last week! We are huge fans of the series and were very sad when it ended so we were thrilled when we heard the movie version was coming out in September. It did not disappoint! Seeing HighClere Castle on the big screen and all of our favorite characters again made our hearts happy! Even if you have never watched the series I still highly recommend the movie.

8 – Hours a month studying herbal medicine and/or herbology. I only got about 2 hours in studying herbology this month. It’s hard to know where to begin studying because there is so much one can learn on this subject. I hope to have a clearer path to learning on this for October.

9 – Birthday cards sent out to 9 friends. None sent out this month

10 – Small cross-stitch projects done for the year. I worked on multiple small projects this month but I haven’t finished any of them yet.

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11 – New herb varieties planted for the year. I won’t work on this until Spring.

12 – Recipes I teach to my son. I barely saw the boy this month so nothing accomplished

13 – Minutes of exercise a day. Ok I suck at doing this and that’s exactly why I put it on the list of goals. I officially exercised once this month. See what I mean about being terrible at it? I say officially once but unofficially I get a lot of exercise. Setting up and taking down for the farmers market each week is a lot of physical work. My part-time bakery job is great exercise. My gardening is exercise, and going up and down the stairs to help out my church put school supplies away for the year is also fabulous exercise. But it’s not specific targeting exercise that I need. So I will continue to work on this in October. (Hopefully).

14 – Walks a month. Again I only got one official walk in this month.

15 – $15,000 in debt paid off. check out my update in my Not Impressed with my Debt blog series coming tomorrow.

16 – Proper dates with my husband (planned). This is an interesting one. We had two official dates both kind of planned. Basically a date for us is just being together for a couple of hours without anyone else to entertain. My husband is one of those guys that likes to be “on”. If you know him than you know what I mean. A date for me is when I get him all to myself and he is “off” for the night. No one for him to impress but me.

Our first date was getting the oil changed in the Subaru. Fancy huh? It’s an hour drive to the dealership we bought the vehicle at so it gives us time to talk and then we go out afterwards for something to eat. While waiting for the oil to be changed we checked out all of the new models which is always fun and then we went for dinner. We usually try to go to our first date restaurant but unfortunately it had closed 😦 so we headed back closer to home. We had dinner at a local diner and had fun. Hubby even snapped a photo of how much fun we had. Can you tell I am not a big fan of selfies? Of course he posted the photo on Facebook and got some teasing from his friends that I didn’t look too thrilled on our oil change date night and suggested giving me a better night in the future.

Date number two was unexpected but we were given tickets to the musical La Cage aux Folles and boy were they fabulous seats! We really enjoyed this as our date night and my husband loved it. What I didn’t realize was he had never been to a professional production of any kind, ever! We have been together for 12 years and I never knew this. Well that will change now because I love the theater and will plan more dates like this for him and I.

17 – Etsy Listings posted a month. I got 18 listings done this month. Hooray! Check out my Etsy shop here Red Mill Vintage and New Etsy Shop

18 – Books of the Bible read. I am working on the book of Daniel and will give an update next time.

19 – New Recipes tried. The only new recipe I have tried so far is the cauliflower chowder recipe that you can read about here Cauliflower Chowder.

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20 – Visits with people. No visits yet. Now that the Farmers Market is done for the season I can dig into this goal more..

That’s all I have for now. I think I am doing pretty well! What kinds of things are you all working on? Catch you next time! -MM

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20 for ’20 Challenge

I read a blog post by one of my fellow stitchers about 19 for 19.

19 for 19 was a challenge she was doing to motivate herself to accomplish specific goals for the year.

I have done yearly challenges before but none quite like this.

I am coming in late to the game for 2019 so I am going to start 2020 early. Why wait, right?

I like this challenge because I have so many interests and hobbies and 20 distinct goals will help motivate me in all of those interests and hobbies plus starting now will give me 16 months to complete things instead of just 12 months.

Here is my 20 for ’20

1. Build a new garage

2 – Major cross-stitch projects completed.

3 – Projects completed in our house (not to include windows).

4 – Books read a month.

5 – Windows replaced in our house.

6 – Blog posts a month.

7 – Movies at the theater with my family.

8 – Hours a month studying herbal medicine and/or herbology a month.

9 – Birthday cards sent out to 9 friends.

10 – Small cross-stitch projects done for the year.

11 – New herb varieties planted for the year.

12 – Recipes I teach to my son.

13 – Minutes of exercise a day.

14 – Walks a month.

15 – $15,000 in debt paid off.

16 – Proper dates with my husband (planned).

17 – Etsy Listings posted a month.

18 – Books of the Bible read.

19 – New Recipes tried.

20 – Visits with people.

Some of these are pretty lofty goals but I will post about my progress often.

If you did this challenge what would your 20 for ’20 goals be?

Here’s to the next 16 months! -MM

Re-Purposed Outdoor Brick Fireplace

It’s a fact –  I need more planting space in order to meet my 2017 Gardening Goals.

With that being said I got inspired this week to do something with our unsightly old outdoor fireplace. About 15 years ago an apple tree fell on it during a storm and crushed most of the left side. I would have taken the whole thing out but the right side of it has an electrical outlet on it and I didn’t want to mess with having to remove the power line and to tell you the truth it comes in handy when I need to plug in power tools and Christmas lights.

Without a lot of funds and a need for more planting space I decided to gather all of the old bricks that were scattered around the yard and turn them into a potato planting bed.

Potatoes need a deep planting bed. As they grow they need to be continuously buried in order for them to form lots of underground potatoes.

Check out the before and after pics. I even threw in a couple of short videos.


After a couple of hours of work and lots of back filling of a combination of soil and sawdust it was ready to plant. I even planted a few flowers at the base of it. The only cost was the seed potatoes. Everything else I had.

This is a pretty good sized space. I am excited to see how the potatoes do in their new home. As the seedlings start to sprout I will add a few more layers of bricks and more soil until they reach the top of the bed.

I don’t plan on mortaring in the bricks. Right now it is a semi-permanent bed and I plan on keeping it that way.

2017 Gardening Goals: Plant Potatoes– Check!

I’ll keep you updated on this project. Let me know what you think! -MM

Weeks 3 and 4 Pop Bottles Meet Disaster

Mr. Gray is in trouble. BIG trouble. We have 2 kittens we adopted in October of this last year. I was seriously worried about my seedlings getting damaged by the cats since it is an open space in our basement that I grow my plants in. Our beloved cat Bernie, who died suddenly this fall was completely trained to not go near the “kids”.

Oh yes, it happened in the middle of the night, a crash in the basement and a scampering of feet tearing down the hallway past our bedroom door. I knew what the sound was and I just sighed and fell back asleep. I would survey the damage in the morning.

Sure enough Mr. Gray, yes I know it was him, dumped the whole rack of shelves. Nine pop bottles were scattered across the floor in all sorts of disarray. I didn’t have time to do anything with them because I needed to get to the bakery. I would work on the mess when I got home.

Nothing, unfortunately was salvageable. The second set of shelving was still upright so I hadn’t lost everything, but the basil, lemon balm, cilantro, onions, catnip, and others were crushed.

Today I did get 28 pepper plants and 4 watermelon plants transplanted into their own, larger spaces. They are doing well and hopefully Mr. Gray will not get into any more mischief with these guys. Now if we could just get some sun here in Western NY that would really, really help. -MM

 

Seed Starting

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I worked on my gardening goals today and started some seeds indoors. Every year I do this and I thoroughly enjoy it. I take my phone down in the basement with me and prop it on the windowsill and watch Desperate Housewives with my Hulu phone app. Just me, and Susan, Bree, Lynette and Gabby gettin’ dirty with seed starter.

Here are a few pics of what I accomplished today.

Every Fall I dig up my geraniums and pot them and then overwinter them in our basement. Today I cleaned them all up, getting rid of any dead leaves and flowers. Now I will make sure they get plenty of sunshine and fertilizer to get them ready to go outside in a month or so. It is supposed to be mid sixties this week so I might put them outside just for the day to give them a boost.
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Believe it or not this plant is a tomato that I rescued last fall while bringing in the geraniums. It had just sprouted and only had 2 leaves. It has grown steadily and surely over the winter and I just re-potted it this afternoon in it’s new home.
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Last year I posted about starting my seeds in a pop bottle construction container. I liked it so much I decided to expand my pop bottle garden this year.

I started paste tomatoes, regular tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapenos, basil, dill, cilantro and celery. I’ll start cabbages and some other plants in a couple of weeks

Thank you to my wonderful mom-in-law for providing me with the bottles!

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I can’t wait to update you on their progress. I am sure by next week they will have sprouted.

Unfortunately though by the end of the Desperate Housewives episode I was watching, Mike Delfino, Susan’s husband was shot. Damn, he was cute too. Oh well, keep calm and dig in the dirt I always say! -MM

 

2015 Goals Update Week 10

I have been working diligently on most of my goals for the year but I need to get back on track for others. Here’s how I am doing so far.

1. Renovate our only bathroom and replace the window in our son’s bedroom.

After having two different contractors come in and look at our bathroom we decided that we were going to have to work on some of it ourselves. One of the contractors gave us a quote on re-glazing the tub and putting in a new surround and fixtures. His quote came in at over $4500 and the tub re-glazing was only guaranteed for five years. The other contractor took a look and didn’t like the window we had in our shower. I didn’t have much confidence in getting a bid from him after that, thinking it was going to come in way higher than the other one.

I decided that I would re-caulk the tub myself, which was one of the biggest things bothering me about our bathroom. I had already done it twice before and it hadn’t worked, so I decided to try once more. I got a better silicone caulk this time and went at it on my day off.

Here are the before and after pics.

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Pretty yuck right? After spending a couple of hours scraping off the old caulk, cleaning and drying the tub and surround perfectly, I re-caulked the whole thing as carefully as I could. Taking care not to leave any air bubbles or gaps.  The instructions said that we could use the shower fully after eight hours but I left it for about 36 hours before we took our first shower. So far, so good. Nothing has started to pull away from the walls or bubbled.

Replace our son’s bedroom window. Done!

2. Catch-up on and read my favorite daily blog – “Feed Your Family for $100 a Month” by Mavis Butterfield. Also catch-up on and read a really great e-magazine “From Scratch”.

I still am not caught up on “How to Feed your Family for $100 a Month.” I read through about 30 blog posts but I am still behind by about 60. Sigh…

From Scratch is a bi-monthly e-magazine. I did read one of the issues but after reading it I was so frustrated with the poor editing that I have put it on the back burner. I love the information in this magazine and the photos are beautiful, however, if you can’t edit your spelling I tend to not to want to take you seriously. I even wrote an email to the editor but as you can imagine I didn’t get a response.

3. Journal Daily

I have kept up on my journal writing but sometimes I am a week or so behind and by the time I get a moment to write I have forgotten the details of those days. I have resorted to using my Facebook posts and texts to fill in the blanks. My goal is to write daily so I won’t forget anything. I am happy that I have written something for each day no matter how small the post may be.

4. Pay off one of our two credit cards

Here is my major focus this year. I have to say I am completely and utterly frustrated and stressed out about these two credit cards. Almost two years ago all of our credit cards were paid off and I was very proud of that fact. But life happens and yet again we are back in the vicious credit card cycle. When I had my bakery we had to put everything on hold including house repairs and waiting to buy new furniture and many other necessities. After I got my full time job as a bakery manager with a steady paycheck we faced the task of catching up on four years of back repairs and aging vehicles and household items. We needed so many things. Our couch was falling apart, my car died after ten years of faithful service, my husband got into an accident and the deductible was $1000. All of that went on a credit card because I knew now that I had a job along with my husband’s full time job we could afford payments.

Now we have the huge task of yet again paying these things off. I think about them almost every day. We will do it. I don’t know how. But we will. Stay tuned.

5. Organize our attic

Still nothing yet

6. Exercise three times a week

I haven’t done very well with this. I did work out twice two weeks ago. Does that count?

7. Read one book a month

I finally finished Fall of Giants, by Ken Follett. It only took me nine weeks to listen to it. I did also read and finish Takedown Twenty, by Janet Evanovich. I use Evanovich books as a kind of palate cleanser in between heavy novels like Follett’s, Giants. How can you not laugh at Lula and Grandma Mazur?

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8. Send out birthday and anniversary cards each month

All set with March’s birthdays!

9. Make copies of my Granny’s recipes and give a copy to each of our family members.

Nope. Not a thing yet.

10. Digitize my Dad’s family’s photos and make photo books and give CD copies to each of our family members

So far I have about 100 photos scanned and put on disc. It really is fun.

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11. Blog at least once a week

So far, so good!

12. Read the Bible from cover to cover with my husband

I have to admit we are behind in reading our Bible daily. We may not finish it in a year but my husband and I are still reading and growing in the Lord’s Word.

I feel good about my progress on my 2015 goals. Do you have goals? What are they and how are you doing on them? – MMR

DIY Project Finished

I finally finished my DIY project that I was working on a couple of weeks ago. My kitchen shelves.

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Before

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After

All are painted now and dried thoroughly. I put down my favorite shelf liner which is non-sticky and plastic so it wipes clean.

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I also brought down from my attic a box with beautiful crystal and milk glass pieces that have been stored up there for about a decade. They were my Granny’s and she had them on the very same shelves. They were packed away after she died and I decided to bring them out and showcase them again.

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Aren’t they beautiful? I am very please with how everything turned out. Now to make a curtain to hide the containers on the top shelf. Or maybe I could get new containers. Hmmm…  -MM