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.


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.


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

Young Crafters Series – Evelyn Naujokas

I met friendly, young, Evelyn Naujokas while I was shopping at a small, local, home goods store in a neighboring town. She was watching the store for the owner who was on vacation out of the country and while people browsed she sat behind the counter patiently waiting to cash them out. I noticed she was working on a rag hooking project. This piqued my interest of course, being a stitcher myself.

I struck up a quick conversation with her intrigued by her quiet attention to her project. This was her first rag hooking project, which an older friend of hers had started her on. I asked her a few questions about her experience with the project which she happily answered. She cashed out my purchase and then I was on my way.

A day or so after that conversation with Evelyn I couldn’t stop thinking about her and her WIP (work in progress) so I messaged the owner of the shop, who is a lovely woman and friend and I asked her if the young woman watching her shop that day would be interested in sitting down with me for an interview for my new blog series on young crafters. She said absolutely!

Evelyn and I met a week later at the local library and for almost an hour we chatted about the things going on in her life, most especially her new love for rag hooking.

First let me tell you what rag hooking is. Rag hooking in my mind is a bit different that rug hooking in that you are using strips of old fabric instead of bits of yarn. While scraps of rags helped to use and not waste leftover fabric to make rugs a hundred years ago, now in the twenty first century people hand dye fabric to make it a craft instead of a necessity. A pattern is hand drawn on the canvas to be used and the fabric strips are pulled through with a crafter’s hook to make a raised loop which after hooking many raised loops along the hand drawn pattern an image forms.

I asked her how she became interested in this type of craft considering there are so many other kinds of crafts to learn. She said her boss at the restaurant she serves at part-time hosts a rag hooking crafters group once a month for food and conversation and of course hooking. Evelyn said she used to watch the group and what they were working on and after a few times of her boss observing her watching the group, presented Evelyn with her own rag hooking kit!

A little background on Evelyn….She comes from a traditionally conservative family with three sisters, all of them crafty in some way. They love to go to flea markets and turn their finds into treasures. Each of her sisters and parents have different crafting styles ranging from sign and furniture making, to watercolor painting and gardening. Evelyn is currently a student at Monroe Community College majoring in Interior Design but she also expressed interest in being a Sommelier. A Sommelier is a Wine Steward who works with managing wine selection, purchase, storage, sales, and service in the hospitality industry.

Part of our conversation turned to how rag hooking helped her manage her stress level during school finals and other stressful times in her life. We even talked about her view on social media and the good and bad that can come from using our phones and being on media like Facebook and Instagram. We both agreed it was very easy to waste large amounts of time on social media and browsing the Internet mindlessly. Evelyn said what she loved about hooking was at the end, when the project was done, she had something tangible she had accomplished. She does not get that feeling from scrolling through Facebook. What she did like about social media was seeing new ideas and styles.

I really enjoyed my time with Evelyn and I plan to stay in touch with her to watch her progress on her project.

I think crafting really brings people and their creativity together. I belong to a Stitch-A-Long (SAL) group where a group of us from all over the world, update our progress on our Works in progress (WIP) every three weeks. Now how would I have ever gotten to know these wonderful ladies if not for my stitching?

I plan to post throughout the summer, stories of different people I hear about that are bringing back vintage crafting styles. Believe it or not these types of crafts are not just for “old ladies” anymore. Instagram shows young people with extraordinary talent in long forgotten crafts.

There is so much more I could write about my conversation with Evelyn Naujokas but suffice it to say I think she is a very talented and personally engaging young woman with a good head on her shoulders. Thank you Evelyn for indulging me with my new blog series. It was truly a pleasure!

See you next week everyone with another young crafter’s story! -MM