My biggest goal for the year is war with the deer. They decimated my gardens in 2018. It was very frustrating. Generally, I don't have problems with them until the fall. This year they munched through my garden in the spring, summer, and fall. It was very disheartening. I will spend the winter making battle plans and stinky smelling sprays.
Focus on seed starting for the vegetable beds. I did not have any luck with my seed starts last year and it hindered my vegetable garden. I may even toy with using a grow light. The greenhouse took it pretty hard with last year's hail storm. Hopefully, I can get it back into shape. I want more cherry tomatoes to broil and freeze for the winter. More canned vegetables for stews. Herbs for my olive oil and herb ice cubes. They work great for cooking. I'm still trying for a giant pumpkin.
On the orchard front... I am super excited about my new fish fertilizer program. I am anxious to see how the orchard responds next spring. I am definitely going to add grapes this year. I am also looking at adding some June berries and adding more raspberries.
I want to add more flower pots to the rose bed and a bench. I also want to make another
Since I finally have some healthy habits for my body, it is time to expand my mind. My brother, sister and I are going to try and read a book every month. My brother calls it the FBC (Family, Book, Club). We will see how it goes. We each picked four categories and then will chose two books out of the four categories. Some months we will read the same books, some months we will read from the same category. I also have to take a college class for my teaching re-certification. I'm a bit grumpy about the cost and I haven't had a college class since 2004. If I'm a bit sporadic on my posts for the next couple of months, it is because I'm either reading a book or doing homework.
In October of 2018, I was honored to be nominated for the Spirit of South Dakota award. It was an amazing experience and a great adventure for my family and I met some outstanding women. I didn't win, trust me I didn't expect to win, just being nominated was an honor. I was in the league of women all over South Dakota who had made a huge impact in the lives of the people around them. The experience did inspire me to be a stronger influence in my community. I am confident that at work I give everything and do my best to make young lives better. I try very hard to be a solid support for my friends and family. Now I need to look at how I can be a more impact in my community. I'm not certain what my niche will be, but the Spirit of South Dakota experience showed me the importance of community involvement.
Well, that is it for my aspirations for 2019. I have some pretty lofty goals this year. I did pretty good with last year's expectations. I'm happy that most of my goals were achieved in 2018. As always, I look back on my goals and whether or not they were successful.
My number one priority this year is my health. I spent way to much time visiting doctors in 2017. I will drink more water, eat better, exercise more, and go to bed when I am sick. I did much better this year. I got a water bottle at work and marked how much I should have drank by 10:00, 12:00, 2:00, and 4:30. It worked very well. I tried to stick to my workout routine. At work; two cardio days and 2 weight lifting days. At home, every Sunday Ella and I went running or snowshoeing. I am certain that has a lot to do with why I was not sick. I did make it a point to get rest if I felt even the beginnings of a sore throat. I can say that I ate better, but not in a healthy way. I found all sorts of wonderful recipes for babka and other yummy foods. Three out of 4 isn't bad.
I want to spend a week off with my husband. Normally, every year we take a week off and do projects together. Our timing was off in 2017 and it didn't happen. I missed it terribly. My husband is my strength. We have fun together and I look forward to our time with each other. We actually took a couple of weeks off together and it was great. We took some time in the summer and some time during hunting season. After 24 years of marriage I can honestly say our marriage is even better than when we were kids starting out. We still have the passion and same sense of direction that brought us together years ago.
Home improvements are again on the list. This will be our 15th year in the cabin and it is time to spruce things up. I am hoping to host several visitors this summer and I want them to be comfortable. I am not going to wait until the last minute and will start in January. This goal was pretty successful. I finally got the bathrooms painted. We had the house stained. I repainted the front door a color we actually like. We also had the stairs from the garage redone, as they were in terrible shape. There were a couple of things on the list I didn't get completed, but still things are fresher than before. We had quite a few visitors this summer and I hope they were comfortable.
To successfully implement a strawberry bed, more grapes, and add a shrub bed. I haven't had a good strawberry bed since we first moved to the cabin. I make wine and hardly have any grapes on the property. Doesn't make much sense. I need to landscape a road that we took out and I want to do it with shrubs and grasses. I finally planted strawberries. They did ok. I would love to get an old sheep water tank for the bed, but where I had them was fine. I didn't get the grapes added, but a friend gave me a five gallon pail from her grapevines. I have another month before I find out how that wine turns out. We decided to wait with the shrubs and see how the old road would hold up with just grass. It is ok. After trying to dig past the top soil we added into the hard packed road, I'm not in a hurry to add anything that requires digging.
Add a butterfly/hummingbird garden somewhere on the property. Hopefully, on the slopes in front of the barn. I had more butterflies this year than I've ever had and enjoyed them immensely. I am hopeful my lost hummingbird found its way south before the freezing weather. I would love to have a buffet for it this year. This project was the biggest success. The deer decimated every flower bed I had, except the butterfly bed. I was so skeptical at the beginning. I was overjoyed by the end of the summer. The bed did fabulous. It drew in many butterflies. I didn't have many hummingbirds and I'm pretty sure my late staying hummingbird from 2017 didn't make it. :( Since that bed was so successful, I may add another to the side of the barn.
Make a barn quilt for our shed. I have been wanting to do this project for several years and maybe if I write it down I will get on it. Simply stated; It did not even come close to happening.
I added a birding goal for 2018. I tried to take a photo of every bird I logged. That little addition made it extra hard. I had 65 photographed birds and 72 total. It was a good birding year. I have to say it took some of the fun out of taking photos of birds when I needed to get one. I look forward to just taking bird pictures for the fun of it.
Well, there you have it. I am very happy with my 2018 accomplishments a look forward to a happy and healthy 2019.