Friday, January 7, 2022

2021: A Year in Review

You know, it is amazing when you feel like you did next to nothing all year and then you start to look back and realize that you actually did quite a lot!  I was like, "Man!  The year in review is going to be a really short post this year! " and then I started looking back through the year and realized that I actually accomplished a good amount, which really made me feel better about the year AND really motivated me to do better this year :).  So, let's get to the year of 2021 in review!

The House:

1.  I FINALLY started to see the light at the end of the long tunnel when it came to repairing earthquake damage in the house.  We didn't get the gutters in last year, but I at least was able to paint and reorganize and rearrange my master bedroom, which was wonderful to get done.  I adore the new layout to my bedroom, I have to say and it's been really nice having my desk in there as it looks really nice in there :).

Getting the bedroom done means this year all I have left is my hallway and landing, which is all going to be white (but a lot of complicated maneuvering to get to it painted with the high ceiling in the stairway and such), but I have to say I'm excited to get that done.  I also need to repaint the children's bathroom and probably touch up my son's bedroom as he's hard on the paint in his room.  We also need to get the son's flooring done the rest of the way as well.  So, it is going to be busy this summer, I hope.

2.  I made new curtains for my bedroom, which matched the new paint really well when it was all said and done.   

3.  I rearranged the living room to give us more seating, which has worked out well for us.  I was able to bring in my stationary bike from storage and put it down in our den so that the kids can work out on that this winter and try to stay active.

4.  I bought some things for the kitchen, including some new kitchen chairs and am very glad I did.  I will do an update post on some things I ended up getting and how they are working out for me as kind of a update post here soon.

5.  We got a new to us washing machine from my sister-in-law, which has been AWESOME to have!  Its larger capacity has really made washing blankets and things so, so much easier!

6.  I redid my snack closet/working snack pantry earlier in the year.  I'll give an update on how that has worked out as well here soon :).

7.  I redid my spice cabinet and rearranged my lower cabinet in my kitchen so things worked better and were more streamlined.  It is still working great and I'm glad I did it that way!

8.  I managed to make new throw pillows for the love seat and my daughter's room this year (okay, pillow forms in the daughter's room case).

The Pantry:

Sorry, in my mind the pantry is its own thing, separate from the house :).

1.  I worked really, REALLY hard on the pantry and the larder this year to make sure we were as well stocked as we could be to ride the tides of global supply issues and inflation.  One of the ways we did this was by buying a beef and pork pack with our tax return and some federal stimulus money.  The meat packs worked AWESOME to make sure we had a decent variety of food all year and I'm very, very glad we did it.  Just recently I had to buy some more steaks and some more pork chops, but we still have plenty of different cuts of meat to give us a good variety of things to choose from in the coming months this year.  I'm not sure if I'll have to purchase another meat pack come October/PFD time this year, but so far we are doing fine on meat, so I am not worried about purchasing either a pork or beef pack this Spring.

Stay tuned for an update on the freezer inventory situation and what the plan for this year is going to be.

2.  I took every available penny we had and sunk them into buying food last year.  I rearranged the pantry to accommodate the extra provisions (and ended up rearranging the house a few times *laugh*).   I love the new arrangement to the pantry, as it works SO much better than it did and is a lot brighter in there now.

Oh, I also got a question on what lights I used in the pantry as someone noticed that the back part of the pantry is really low (since it is under the stairs, you have to squat walk to get into the back part of the pantry or crawl even).  The main entrance to the pantry has one lightbulb that is hardwired into a light switch ceramic fixture, but the rest of the pantry has no permanent lighting built into it.  

To make sure I can see what I'm doing, I bought a motion detecting light from, I want to say Lowes, that was like 5.00 years ago on a recommendation from my sister-in-law and it has worked awesome (the light you see in the above picture).  To supplement the light and try to make it easier to see in that part of the pantry, I invested in some LED motion detecting puck lights from Amazon a few years ago and they have really helped to brighten the place up that much more, although I've noticed that they EAT batteries compared to the bigger one I bought at Lowes.  I used to have a few "hit and light up" type of puck lights you could move around, but one died on me a long while ago and the other one didn't survive the earthquake, so that is the system I have right now.  I would like to add a few more lights eventually just because I have a hard time seeing fine print sometimes.  It is much dimmer in the pantry than you see in the pictures.  The camera flash combined with some backlit functions on my photo software really help to make it look nice and bright in there.

Stay tuned for more on the pantry this year too.  I have some plans I'm hoping will work out (more on that in yearly goals post here in a bit).

The Garden:

1.  You would not believe how thrilled I am to be able to post positives about the garden from last year *laugh*.

This was my first year trying out a full on container garden and it was a GREAT success!  How successful?  I JUST used my last cabbage from the garden that was stored in the fridge and used it in the beef and barley soup I made a few weeks ago!  I mean how very awesome is that?!?  I still have frozen produce in the freezer from my garden and the local CSA I invested in last year, which is wonderful to have as well.

I am really wanting to expand the container garden this year and hopefully it does half as well as it did last year!  We shall see how it goes!


1.  Well, we started high school with the daughter this year, which I'm still in shock about and we are studying hard to get really good at the driving written test so she can go in (not freak out as she freezes up when a written test is put in front of her sometimes) and get her driving permit.  It's crazy she's gotten this old on me so fast *laugh*.

2.  We have been doing a wide variety of things in homeschool with the son this year and it has been working out well, overall.  He really has enjoyed me reading to him more and absolutely loved "The Jungle Book" and "Treasure Island".

3.  I have continued to study everything I can about autism research, verbal apraxia and all the conditions my son struggles with.  I took a few more classes on LAMP and have been working hard with the program to get proficient in it so that I can talk to Alvah through it.  I am getting better and faster (faster is important with LAMP) and he really does seem to be enjoying me talking to him in this format more and more.  I still can't get him to reply to my comments with more than one word answers, but as the saying goes, "Rome wasn't built in a day".

And now for the cons for the year.  Namely...

My Health Issues:

1.  My back continued to give me real grief this last year and I finally got to a tearing point where I needed to find out what was wrong and try to fix it.  Cue lots of expensive medical tests to try and find out what was wrong with me and then physical therapy to try and help me adapt to my back issues, which after all of the testing they couldn't tell me what caused the back problems but figured physical therapy was the best bet to try and get past the problems.  

Physical therapy did help.  The bills didn't.  I'm still getting bills coming in from the various medical appointments, physical therapy appointments and such.  It really added a huge amount to our debt load, which stinks, but it is what it is.  I've got a lot of work to do to get us crawling out of the new debt hole I created, but I will get us there.  I'm determined.

And because I don't want to end on a down note...

And Honorable Mention:

Despite having next to no mechanical proficiency, I managed to tear apart and fix my food dehydrator which has been sitting broken for three years.  I am still tickled every time I turn it on and it just runs.  No burning smell or anything else that would shout, "You did it wrong, you idiot!"  

And there you go folks.  My year 2021 in review.  On to 2022.  I have a lot of plans for this year and am determined to make a bunch of them a reality (if not all), so stay tuned for that =D.

How about you?  Any goals for this year?  


  1. Good job! Despite setbacks you had a really good year. Wishing you a great 2022.

  2. I think your accomplishments are amazing. Especially on top of the food and home your work with the children. Well done.

  3. Aside from your back, which was terrible, your family had a really great year!

  4. Our big goal is to continue to save every penny we have to get out of this apartment and into a house. Preferably we will buy a house, but I am open to renting as well. The market here in Spokane is crazy, as houses are only on the market a day or two. That is our big goal because others, like growing a garden, follow that one.

  5. Hi, Im new to your blog just having found you today... Wow! You sure have a really good stock pile.. Thats exactly how to do it of you can..We have an extra stand up freezer so I have that stocked with meat and vegetbles etc. Its just me and my husband and I suffer from a swallowing disorder that doesn't allow me to swallow 98% of solids so really it's just him. There is plenty of meat in both freezers for him and I have a well stocked pantry as well...

    last year my family thought I was nuts when I started telling them to "prep'... now they don't think I"m nuts. We also have a few chickens which gives us a good supply of eggs also..

    This year my goals are to get off social media completely, read more, get closer and cultivate my relationship with God, fix the dining room floor and replace the back door. I"ll see how far I get with the house fixing...

    Glad I found you!

  6. Today as I was driving, I heard the creator of the 'autcraft' (minecraft for autistic kids, created by a father of an autistic child) do a ted talk and then get more indepth with an additional interview. The success he is having with kids is great! Some are becoming verbal, etc. They have strict rules about being nice, etc, so it is very welcoming. Might it be something your son would be interested in?