Monday, December 30, 2013

Making Goals for the New Year

We are coming to the end of the year again. The holidays are nearly over and it's time to make resolutions. One of my friends is not making resolutions; she is reviewing the past year's accomplishments. I think that may be a good idea in addition to making goals for the new year. My goals for 2014 are mainly of the outdoor variety. Last year I made my sunny garden, and the time that went into that cut my cycling time way down. This year I hope to add more beach and cycling time to my week without stinting on my gardening time. If I make time for one beach visit and one long ride every week I think I can do it all. I think this will be the year we purchase our kayaks. We could easily entertain ourselves every Sunday paddling around. The dogs would appreciate more walking in my daily schedule.

In gardening goals I have a few plans. I want to get my shrub border properly mulched this year to emphasize it and set it off from the "lawn". I think I have as many shrubs as I want, so mulching will lend it a bit of importance, especially as the shrubs are still quite small and unimposing. I can start a little underplanting too, at least under the shrubs which are tall enough to have an "under". Shana wants to bulk up our front bed for privacy. We are agreed on an arborvitae: Thuja "Green Giant". It's fast growing, good looking, and grows well on the Cape. Shana would like to run the all across the front, which would cut down on some awkward mowing and give me a little more space to add flowering shrubs and some ornamental grasses in front. Also I want a boulder in that bed. I wouldn't mind adding a little something behind my shady bed between my rear neighbors and my bathroom window! I think that there is enough to do this summer without adding another bed.

We will replace the radiators in the living room as they are old and rusted. I would like to replace the bulkhead this year although I think it can go a little longer. I need one additional side chair to be able to serve dinner to six people who are sitting down. That's a thrift shop purchase. I'd like to have two sawhorses and a door for an outdoor dining table (Home Depot) and a sewing table (thrift shop).

In crafting goals my major plan is to knit a sweater. I have a pattern purchased, and two sweater quantities of yarn ordered (maybe it will arrive today!). I could use some mittens - a quick project. I have inserts for pillows for Shana's giant recliner and have only to select fabric to cover them. That will be a quickie project, a single afternoon even if Shana wants piping. I will put a curtain, probably on velcro,  across my desk so that from my reading chair I am not looking at open mixed storage. Thrift shop tablecloths would be the ideal fabric, although I can easily find something suitable at the fabric store. The backsplash area in the kitchen needs to be painted - we have selected a strong blue to emphasize our countertops. I need to seal the countertops. That's another quickie project where the most time consuming part is purchasing the product. I will not be making swants. Ever.

For online goals I have a few items to consider. I would like to try to keep up with a daily photo. That I will probably post to Tumblr. I need to make sure I have a weekly blog post. There are loads of photos which have not made it over to my Flickr account. I took a lot of iphone pictures in 2013. In 2014 I need to get back in the habit of taking some pictures with my actual cameras for better quality. If I check social media only once per day I should be able to devote more time to my goals for real world accomplishments!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

Our personal Christmas celebration is underway here on beautiful Cape Cod. Shana and I have both taken a few days off together to enjoy the holiday. Originally we had intended to use the time for a trip to New Hampshire, but some car repairs and good sense intervened to we are staying close to home. Today we are hanging around the house enjoying restful idleness and a few household chores. I can now identify where all of my sweaters live, and they are all appropriately folded. This does not sound thrilling unless you are trying to get dressed in a hurry. In a few minutes I will be making up a recipe of my go to rolls - butterhorns. Half of the recipe will become cinnamon rolls for our Christmas breakfast; the rest of the recipe will turn into rolls to take to Christmas dinner tomorrow.  Later we will head out for a festive cocktail at a waterfront restaurant and dinner at an Indian restaurant.

Tomorrow it will be coffee and rolls with our breakfast, a walk for the dogs, and I hope to be able to connect for Face Time visits with kids and grandkids. At some point I will bake a pear pie and a sweet potato casserole to take out. Later I will be enjoying dinner and board games with friends, to be followed by a movie (at this point I think it will be The Hobbit).

The 26th and 27th Shana and I will be out and about, maybe to Boston, maybe to Providence. Either way it will be sightseeing and feasting together with no schedule to keep. I hope all my family and friends have a similarly pleasant holiday with love and laughter and NO DRAMA!

 For the convenience of anyone who has been really busy and not  yet selected my gift I am including a few selections from the Boston Museum of Fine Art. I would be happy to accept any or all of these pretty things!

Friday, December 20, 2013

How I Ruined Christmas

In the middle of my extreme efficiency, completing projects and mailing in plenty of time I managed to switch the addresses for outgoing boxes so that they went to the wrong recipients. :( . Of course now the gifts will arrive late because they will have been racketing around the country instead of sitting quietly at their final destination. I am now officially The Worse Mom/Grandma ever. The only saving grace in this fiasco is that the toys for the grandchildren were sent directly from Amazon and have arrived already at the right place.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Signs of Homelessness

Actual signs from homeless people, speech is the voice of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas, but Maybe not a Lot

At the Barnstable Christmas Stroll
It's clearly Christmas here. We have a tree of normal proportions, which makes it the biggest tree we have had for years. It's quite pretty but a little bare because we no longer have two huge collections of ornaments to choose from. Now we have only the very few we thought we wanted as keepsakes, given the fact that we have not had a proper tree in many years. Oh well, it will be fun to pick out some new ones. We did get some lights that look just like the big old fashioned bulbs but are modern ones inside. Very cute. Mitzi has only sampled a few branches. I put one gift under the tree to see what she would do. So far so good. She has never been around a Christmas tree and I don't want to assume too much good behavior.

One evening we went out to enjoy a Christmas Stroll in Barnstable Village. This happens in most of the Cape Cod towns. It consists of an evening or afternoon when local merchants supply snacks or drinks and people come out to listen to Christmas music and enjoy the offerings and decor. It's very nice, and encourages you to visit a lot of local businesses you may not otherwise enter. I sure saw several I will be back to visit and picked up a little gift for Shana.

Most of my holiday knitting
Everything is wrapped except a couple of emergency gifts which I will claim for my own if they are not needed. Out of town gifts are on their way to their new homes and should be there Friday - in plenty of time to go under the tree. I am more organized than usual, and somewhat less grouchy than is usual for me at this time of year. I am so organized that I am even knitting something for myself. This is something I seldom start before Christmas Day - usually early in the day I am debating how safe it may be to wrap damp hand knit items. Apparently having some knitting time during the day results in large amount of knitting getting done.

We are having snow today on top of a week of cold weather. What this has meant for me today is that while zipping out to check the mailbox and pick up my papers I fell on a frozen puddle in the driveway, giving myself a painful cut on the palm of my hand (plus a bruise on the heel of the hand). I am hoping the cut will exempt me from taking the trash out tonight at then end of my shift at A Major Retailer. Not much hope, but some. I have also set my knitting down for the day because my hand is really sore. I suppose I am lucky not to have more injuries because my feet both flew out from under me and I dropped like a rock onto my butt. I'm feeling a bit jolted, but nothing worse than that. All the weight bearing exercise I do in the course of the week is apparently protecting me from injury, although it has done nothing for my crummy sense of balance.