Sunday, January 1, 2017

Welcome 2017...

Goals, goals, goals.  I am not much for resolutions, but I like to set goals. I'm glad that blog tradition makes me review last year's goals and set goals for the coming year.  There is nothing wrong with accountability.   I will admit I am struggling this year when it comes to goal setting. I am glad this blog makes me sit down and focus on the upcoming year. 

~Family and friends are always at the top of my goal list.  I don't think I could beat last year with hosting.  We had a lot of company and and loads of fun.  I would like to expand our repertoire things to do while at the cabin including gifts, projects, games, and adventures.  I need more indoor games and kid friendly projects.

~Home improvements are on the list.  I need to update our guest bathroom.  It needs a fresh coat of paint, new curtains, and a new theme.  We have been in the cabin for 14 years and it is starting to look shabby.  The outside of the cabin also needs re-stained.  Thankfully, it is small and shouldn't take long.  It is just it takes some serious acrobatics to get to a few areas.

~Host a barn dance.  We have a new barn and I really want a barn dance.  Maybe we won't dance.  Food, fun, and wine is fine. 

~Landscaping.  We have the new barn and there is plenty of landscaping to do around it.  I also want to add hardscapes like trellises and more garden art.  I am satisfied with my garden plants, now I need to include some art to tie it all together.  

~Gardening goals (this is a gardening blog) are to focus on soil, fertilizer, and water.  I was negligent on my composting this year and it showed.  I need to keep my compost turned so it can enhance my beds.  The clay soil is persistent and it doesn't take long for it to overpower any improvements I make.  I started with a drip watering system in the vegetable garden and then when there were issues abandon the project.  If I don't focus on those little things, all the big things I do won't make a difference.  I also want to include hugelkulture into my beds.  This is the practice of covering wood with soil.  The wood retains water and fertilizes as it breaks down.

~Bring Hygge to my job.  It was a long stressful year at work.  Not just for me, but also for my staff.  I need to take what I learned from Hygge and incorporate it in the education building.  It is easy to get wrapped up in a job where you deal with young emotion filled adults and lots of government red tape.  We need to take a breath and slow down.  

~To use a planner at home.  I live and die by my daily planner at work.  It keeps me focused and on task.  I want to experiment and try using a planner at home for meals, cleaning, and projects.  I'll admit I think this goal will fail (great start huh?), but I will give it a try.

2016 was a busy year.  I am very proud that I met all of my goals for 2016.  That rarely happens.  Here is a recap of my goals and successful outcomes...
~As always, the goal is to make time for family and friends.  Last year we were extremely busy on the weekends and wasn't able to host guests.  Now that we have most of the big projects out of the way, I am hoping we can slow down and share our little piece of heaven with others.   We hosted many guests this year.  We took friends and family fishing and hunting.  My friend from Denmark came out and we went 4 wheeling and did some serious relaxing.  There was also brunch on the porch with Phyllis and Bob.  We even had a surprise visit from my Uncle Chuck and Aunt Nita.   Words cannot describe how fulfilling it is to have company.  Sharing our little piece of heaven with others and teaching kids to appreciate the outdoors is very gratifying.  

~Get a strawberry bed this year and focus on my fruits and berries.  An early frost caused almost no production last year.  About the only thing that produced was the apples, crabapple, and raspberries.  I have an orchard here and one out on the prairie, so I will have plenty to keep me busy.   Despite the drought this year my cherry tree, crabapple, apple, gooseberries and raspberries were fruitful.  The strawberry bed was a fail.  I am cursed in strawberries.  I did get quite a few wild strawberries.  After several years of cultivating an orchard, I am amazed how our ancestors survived when they were dependant on such a fickle food source.
~Finish a quilt that I'm currently in the middle of.  Done and by the deadline of Christmas.  My mom sent a photo and it sits on their bed nicely.

~Do more fishing with my husband.  I really enjoyed our bear hunt/fishing trip last year and now we have our own fishing hole out on the prairie.  We did a lot of fishing and caught many catfish.  It was very fun taking kids out, as it was fast paced fishing.  The smiles and shouts of excitement were worth a million dollars.  Kelly and I took several fishing trips this spring, when there was still snow in the hills,  and it was a great way to spend time together.

~On the flower front, make a few more perennial beds and get control of my slug problem.  I was also pretty successful with annual flowers I started in the greenhouse last year, so I would like to expand my use of annuals.    We had a drought this year, so slugs were not a problem.  I was pretty happy with my beds, especially since we redid the front beds.  They held tough even though we were stingy with the water.

~Always try to be creative.  Pinterest, other blogs, family, and my husband are always giving me new ideas of things to try.   I can't sit still so projects weren't a problem.  I'm pretty excited about my fishing pole holder, caramel apple jam, the quilt, my 7 minute caramels, and flower bed combos.  

~Slow down.  I'm always in a hurry or too busy to do things I enjoy.  More picnics, more yoga, more exercise, more reading, more quilting, more time on the porch. These are all things that keep me balanced and when I don't make time for them I become stressed.   Life is too short to be unhappy.  I did 3 weeklong staycations this year.  Even with guests, I found them to be very satisfying.  It is easy to get wrapped up in work and it is a good reminder that work goes on even if you are gone.   I seriously studied the Danish belief of Hygge and have worked to incorporate the belief into our life.  On the exercise front,  I had the joy of running a 5K with my niece, Taylor, for her birthday.  She was an awesome running partner and I cannot wait to do it again in 2017.  

Although 2016 was a pretty good year overall, it ended on a very sad note with the passing of Gene.  He was a wonderful father-in-law and a great man.  He will be missed.  A wise man told me to learn something from everyone.  Gene taught me a lot; to laugh, see both sides, work hard, honesty, be responsible, and don't be afraid to have a little fun.  I am thankful he was a part of my life.


  1. I don't set goals as I get antsy if I don't achieve them. WE have a couple of projects that have needed doing for a year or two now which we may achieve and them again may not. We have earmarked some new things to grow, Other than that we have short term goals that crop up throughout the year. One thing we do want to achieve is to visit a snowdrop garden in February/March

  2. You are more methodical in your life. No planners here, I write on my calendar and hope to look on it occasionally to make sure and stay updated on my appointments.Life of someone retired, LOL

  3. You have set wonderful goals for yourself. I hope you get started on a great strawberry bed this year! I always thought strawberries would be hard, but now the hard part is controlling them! All the best for 2017! -Jenn

  4. I've done resolutions and goals both in the past, but now I think I'm too old for either. I'm just going to try and make it to the end of the year. These are great goals, kudos to you on running a 5K. Your new barn is beautiful, and will be even more beautiful with your landscaping around it. Sorry to hear about your FIL, it's a gift that you had him in your life.

  5. you have some lofty goals but i think it is good to look forward to achieving goals!!! i don't really view them as resolutions, just "things to do - and look forward to"!!!

    you have a great looking crew, happy new year and may all, or some, of your wishes come true!!!

  6. All very nice goals. Did you go bear hunting this year? Or will you? I loved reading about your pie crust and your rendered fat. I can't wait to see how every thing happens this next year. I enjoyed reading about it all and I think a barn dance sounds fantastic!

  7. You go girl!!! Happy 2017. May you be blessed and joyful in it.

  8. You've got lots of great goals, and I'm sure you'll fulfill many of them! Happy New Year to you and yours!

  9. I always set goals's just my nature. You've accomplished a lot this year and I hope your 2017 is just as successful and healthy! XOXO

  10. Hygge is high on my list for this year. I chose a word to focus on, Strong, and am using Hygge to keep balance. You had a busy, productive year! Good for you. I love the barn dance lan, dancing or not. I hope we get to see pics afterward!


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