Thursday, February 6, 2020

Goals for 2020

Oh my GOSH this is a month late already, but it's been one of those lists where I kept going back and forth on what I really wanted to accomplish this year.

Enjoy a miscellaneous goal I have this year (photo up top there) and that is to try and keep at least a small bowl of produce in the center of the table as much as I can in the hopes that the son will take a bite out of some of it (he will spin apples and chew on the peel every once in a while, so here's hoping).

And without further ado, here's my list of things (so far) that I want to accomplish.

My Goals for 2020:

Home Goals:

1.  Well, basically the biggest goal I have is lots and lots of home repairs.  I still have a ton of repairing, painting and things to do inside.  This includes, it looks like, replacing the flooring in my son's room as it split all of its seams in the earthquake and after years of abuse, combined with the earthquake, it is just NOT holding up anymore.  I want to look into replacing it with some type of waterproof flooring as he's hard on things and I need something really easy to clean that won't get wrecked by constant spills (which happen).

2.  Replace gutters.

3.  Replace broken doors in the garage.

4.  Build shelves in various parts of the house to replace broken bookcases that are held together by a wing and a prayer anymore and also build more shelves to get clutter up and out of the way (and get books out of storage so we can actually use them).

5.  Find something that works for curtain rods in the den.  Make new curtains that fit the den better.  Hang said curtains in the den.

6.  Try to rip up some of the carpet in the den around the door to the garage and put down a tile pad so that we have somewhere decent to put shoes and things when we get in the house.

7.  Tighten up the cabinets in the kitchen to the wall to make sure they remain steady (some of them have a gap between them and the wall due to the earthquake and I need to empty them out and tighten them up again).

8.  Repair the rock/retaining wall for the driveway.

Financial Goals:

1.  Get the daughter braces.  Figure out a budget to get that paid off as soon as possible.

2.  Freak out only OCCASIONALLY about bills and money (I AM doing better at this...sometimes... *laugh*).

3.  Pay off as many bills as possible.  If not pay off bills, pay down bills as far as I can this year.  We have a lot of bills that have increased or are going to increase (like we just got out property assessment in the mail and that is definitely going to raise our property taxes this year *sigh*), so it's going to be all the more important to watch our Ps and Qs.

4.  Figure out what it will take to reseal the deck and the front porch as both of them suffered a lot during the earthquake and after it (I need to wait for the gutters to get replaced before I can do that, though, as the dripping water from the broken gutters has been hard on both of them).

5.  Get a haircut.  I know that seems like a miscellaneous goal versus a financial one, but since my husband is scared to cut my hair and my hair is about 40% split ends and is down to my waist, I really need to go and just invest in a good haircut at this point.  I'm tired of shutting my hair in doors (sorry to those who love really long hair, but I with my life it just isn't a really good feasible option for me).

6.  Try to figure out a way to save on the grocery budget and get it back under control.

Personal Goals:

1.  Remain calm and keep breathing (I've actually done pretty well at improving at this goal every year, so I'm going to keep it on there).

2.  Try new recipes that are within the food budget.

I'd like to try some new recipes that use frugal ingredients like hamburger and dark meat chicken.  I want to avoid good old fashioned monotony, which has been hard the last year with me being as busy as I am.  I have everything but a nice high quality blender (which I'd love to buy one, but 150.00 is a BIT out of my budget, so I'll continue to make my cheapy blender work for as long as I possibly can.  It's finicky, but it works).

3.  Try to get out of the house more and do more with the kids.

This has been hard because taking trips hasn't been in the budget, like ever, so it's been really hard to scrape together money to take trips and go and do things.  Last summer was a complete disaster trying to get out and do things because of all of the fires that broke out and made it so the kids didn't want to spend more than 2 minutes outside before their allergies started flaring up in a bad way.  But, I am hoping we'll be able to get out and do some things this summer one way or the other.  Hopefully it works out.

4.  Get the son to pick up new foods.

Yup, I'm taking feeding therapy personally.  I hope to have the son pick up at least two new foods this year.  I might fail, but I want to work and work some more at this.  I pray I'll succeed as he needs to get an expanded diet going.  Like bad.

5.  Get more organized.

I'll explain this a bit more in another post, but I'm hoping to keep things more organized on the home making front, so that I can streamline stuff better.  It is so hard since home school started to find time to do much of anything because between school, therapies and things like swimming and clubs we are just constantly going somewhere and doing something.  So, keeping the house clean, getting food on the table within a budget and things have been REALLY hard to juggle around everything else.  So, I'm trying out some new ways to help me get things done, keep organized and hopefully stop myself from going crazy while doing everything.  I know there are people out there that juggle WAY more than I do and somehow make it work and MAN do I hold them in awe anymore as I feel like I'm barely holding it together most days.

Getting organized is even more important as I somehow need to squeeze more time from the day to keep everything running around here, getting everything done AND finding time to repair and paint more rooms to get us more and more complete on the earthquake repair front.   Every room we redo, ever nail I pound back into the wall and get repaired and things the more happy the son is in his environment and that is worth all of the extra work and effort for sure.

6.  Get back to blogging regularly.

I actually not only have goals to get back to blogging on a regular basis, but I also want to expand to blog about things like what we are doing in home school.  Things that I found that I really liked and even things that kind of failed.  I have had more than a few e-mails asking me about what I am doing to teach Alvah at home as other special needs parents would like to home school their kids but are unsure where to start. so maybe I can give a few ideas on things to do.

I think if nothing else it might be fun to share in the continual adventure that is home school.

Garden Goals (Yup, I actually have some)

The last couple of years have seen me not do a garden at all due to all kinds of different things, but this year I am determined to put in a garden again.  Will it live?  Will it get wiped out by more moose?  Or some of the huge amounts of rabbits in our area (we are invaded in my area with rabbits and they keep breeding bunnies.  I had to stop a bunny from jumping into my truck the other day when I stopped to get something at the gas station)?  Who knows.  But I'm determined to at least TRY again.

The plan is to work this into home school, especially with the son.  I am putting together a unit on the plant life cycle and how food moves from farm to table as well.  I think getting dirty and helping in the garden might do him a world of good, not only on the learning front, but maybe JUST maybe showing him that the food we are eating can be trusted and won't do him any harm.

Here's hoping!

I will need to buy seeds or seedlings.  I'm still debating on what to do there.  I'm thinking I might just buy some seedlings from the nursery and then supplement as I need to with seeds throughout the summer.  We'll see what ends up being the final plan.  Just send up a prayer that it will be a decently mild summer and that the animals and bugs will let at least most of the garden live.

And no.  I will NOT be planting cabbages.  The moose will have to look for those elsewhere.

And there you go folks.  My goals for this year.  I know the length of the post, for me, is actually pretty short, but man I have a lot to do this year, so even though it is a decently short list, it's going to take a LOT to get everything done.  Wish me luck!


  1. Perhaps you can plant some seeds indoors to start, then transplant the one that survived into the garden. Beans, corn, and peas can be "planted" in clear plastic or glass cups, with cotton batting in them, so the children can see the seed sprouting!

  2. Oh, I meant to mention, if you are looking for some cheaper dinner ideas, we are getting into more bean based meals at our house. My autistic teen daughter has discovered she likes lentils instead of ground beef. Lentils don't require soaking, are super cheap, very healthy, and easy to store long term in your pantry!

  3. Your list is a fairly long one, but with how hard you and your husband work, I'm sure you'll accomplish a great deal.

    I'm not much of a gardener, although my husband and I manage to grow some vegetables fairly successfully. That said, we moved here last year and know that we'll have to "fix" our soil. Our last house had sandy soil and so we knew what grew best in that, but here we'll have to talk to someone at the nursery for advice on how to amend it and what plants we may have better luck with. Good luck with your garden!

    Looking forward to reading more of your posts this year!

    Pat J.

  4. We also are cooking with more beans as well. I am trying to use up older dried beans and pasta from our stock right now, so I've been serving many meals centred around these lately. So far, so good!

    Rhonda, I believe you used to comment on the Prudent Homemakers site, as I also would comment from time to time. I haven't seen you post there lately, so it's nice to read your comments again. I always found them quite helpful.

    Pat J.

  5. There is always something that needs to be done when you have a house. My husband has plans to remodel the main bathroom this spring in our house that was built in the 70’s. He has already replaced the toilet in each bathroom and installed bathroom fans. Now I am not going to miss the ugly kidney bean shaped tub or leaky faucets.
    We will be starting seeds in packs at the end of March, that way they will be ready to plant at the end of May. We start peppers, tomatoes and various herbs. We plant kale, carrots, spinach, lettuce and snow peas directly in the raised beds. We plant squash, melons, corn and pumpkins seeds directly in the ground in May. I love getting fresh fruits and vegetables from the garden.
    There is always something going on with my kids in school and I have gotten them involved in helping with the garden. They don’t mind helping with the planting and picking berries, many never make it into the bowl, but they hate weeding.
    We have a fence around our garden, otherwise the deer would clear out the garden in one night.
    Sorry that your husband is not confident enough to give you a haircut. I am blessed that not only will my husband do it, he always does a great job on my hair. I take a seat on the stool every couple months, get caped, my hair combed out and he does the full sectioning and trimming my hair layer by layer. I get compliments on my hair and he even gives my mom and best friend their haircuts. He gives my teen boys their haircuts every 3-4 weeks. He does a great job every time on their haircuts, both boys like his work and I have friends ask where I take them. My husband says that cutting my hair is easier than doing the boys haircuts. I suggest rather than asking your husband to give you a haircut, you frame it as a simple trim. Don’t ask him to cut off too much, leave room to have more cut off if need be, tell him that if he doesn’t get it right, you can always have someone else cut it if it doesn’t come out well. I think that would be less threatening to him. Remind him of how much money that you could save versus having to pay to go to the salon.
    Here is a great tutorial on how to cut long hair.
    I myself like that my husband cuts my hair at home as it is so convenient, I don’t put off getting a trim and his haircutting skills easily save me hundreds a year.
    I did splurge and buy a good blender, I love my Kitchen Aid blender, it was on sale in December with free shipping, Merry Christmas to me, lol.

  6. You are way more ambitious than I am! I am impressed! I would suggest watching a few Youtube videos by The Minimal Mom for organization ideas and for free resources for farm to table lessons with your children I would recommend the Virginia Ag in the Classroom website. Check out their teacher link. The National Ag in the Classroom website has good resources as well. The Virginia site is not all Virginia specific. These are resources that have helped me a lot...The Minimal Mom for organizing and decluttering and the Ag websites. Maybe they can help you with ideas. I really enjoy your posts. Thanks!

  7. I hope all your goals work out. I have grown my own veg and fruit for years but I have downsized so no more apart from a few pots on the patio. I always started the seeds indoors in toilet roll middles so as they grew I could just transplant the whole thing. We home schooled our two kids and gardening was very much a part of that.

  8. Your list makes me feel like a sloth...

    I might have told you this already, but...
    My os has Aspergers, and eating disorder is among other things he has. I remember when he was about 8 or 9 and realized he could eat pizza! Pepperoni pizza, nothing else, but anyway. I almost wept, because then he has able to eat outside home: he could eat pepperoni pizza, plain hamburgers and chicken nuggets with fries! you know the feeling - now I can let him go wherever he wants to travel around the world and he's able to eat! I believe there's a pizza restaurant in North Korea, too ;-)
    Some of his restrictions were/are because of allergies: he can't eat bananas (no banana pancakes or banana bread or smoothies with bananas or medicine with banana flavouring) and tomatoes gives him mouth ulcers (canker sores), as well as normal toothpaste (he uses on that is 8€ on pharmacy, there's no cheaper alternatives).
    He lives mostly on carbohydrates (pasta, popcorn...), coca-cola (can't drink pepsi) and cheese, and he takes supplements which are recommended by his nutritionist. He has preferred tablets to liquids since he was 2yrs old. But he also eats tuna, salmon, potatoes, quinoa, carrots, corn, apples, mushrooms, ground meat, chicken (which I or our daughter can't eat), ham, eggs.... He can't eat anything mixed, lasagna is the worst. Pureed soups are no-no, as well as casseroles and like.
    Now he is 20, and he tries almost everything. Last night we had broccoli "wings" and he ate one (cherry sized). Didn't like it, but now he can say "I don't like them" instead of "I don't want to try". He has also tried sushi, didn't like that either ;-)

    About gardening: have you thought about building raised beds? We live in similar climate, not so much moose trouble but hares and deers. You could turn it easily into home schooling lessons: building the frame (how to measure, how to use tools to cut and nail/screw pieces together), you could use any scrap planks. And then another lesson on how to create a good growing soil (small branches, compost, top soil). And it is easier to protect small seedlings and tender plants in frames than in ground. Small enough (for me they can't be more than 3ft wide or I can't reach middle of frames) they are easy to tend - so much less weeding!
    I have never had good luck growing beans until I planted them on frames. I had wonderful frame of corn last summer, and because we have very heavy clay soil, I can grow carrots only in raised beds/cold frames.
    Maybe not this summer, but later.

    I'm itching to get started on sowing and growing, but my veggie path is under snow (even if it snowed last week) and anything vulnerabe to frost can't be planted until June. So I put some (dried) peas, popcorn kernels and sunflower seeds to soak, I'll sow them to small containers (margarine tubs) and eat them as shoots. Os likes pea and sunflower shoots, he eats them straight from the growing container...