First Month Check-in

We’ve come to the end of the first month of this new year. The year still feels new-ish, despite some lingering difficulties from 2020. And it’s a good time to check in with our goals and expectations for 2021. (Notice I didn’t use the word resolutions. Goals sound more hopeful, don’t you think?)

Did you set some goals — general or specific, long or short-term, written down or mentally noted — at the beginning of this year? How’re you doing with them? I’m not here to judge, believe me. Instead, I encourage you to ask yourself that question. And if you didn’t set any goals, it’s not too late, you know. Never is. Like I’ve said before, just make them realistic and achievable.

One of my goals is to create new garden beds before this year’s planting season, complete with rodent-proofing. After several design attempts and pricing quotes, I’ve settled on building them myself (with some much appreciated help). The wood has been purchased, other supplies will be purchased soon, and construction will begin in my daughter’s garage (since that’s where the saw is. 🙂 ) It feels good to take steps toward the final goal. Each step is an accomplishment in itself.

I’ve also made progress on some of my writing goals already (although a few have been put off until after the garden beds are built). Today also marks the end of Storystorm, hosted by Tara Lazar, a realized goal of mine in which I had to come up with a picture book idea every day for the month of January. Challenging! And another goal is to create a collage using a new (to me) painting technique. Again, I’ve taken steps in the direction of this goal. (See the photo above.) It’s been fun, stretching my creative muscles! And it’s been a great distraction on cold, snowy days.

Setting goals and reaching for them is worth the effort. However, life is a process, and sometimes goals need to be revisited, adjusted, and refined. That’s ok.  But I encourage you to care for yourself, and those around you, by living with purpose, setting goals and taking daily or weekly steps toward them. Every small accomplishment can be satisfying. And if you’ve taken steps toward one of your 2021 goals, give yourself credit. Celebrate your success. And have a happy new year!

Gratitude Spiral: Day 350

Today, I’m grateful for a new garden bed area all ready for winter.

I started clearing a section of the lawn this summer, in order to expand my garden footprint. But plans got put on hold and I needed to cover it for the winter. Many leaves, paper bags, and cardboard boxes later, it’s now settled until next spring when the project will hopefully be completed.

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 337

Today, I’m grateful for homegrown butternut squash.

After a groundhog ate my one butternut squash plant within a leaf of its life, the plant managed to come back and produce two squashes this summer. The largest of the two broke off the vine during a windstorm, but turned out to be plenty ripe. I’m thankful for being able to enjoy it with almost every meal for the past week. The smaller one has been picked and will be baked soon enough. Yum!

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 329

Today, I’m grateful for gathering green tomatoes before the frost.

Mornings have indeed been frosty, so it was time to pick what I could and let them ripen indoors. The only question now is who’s going to eat them all when they ripen?! 🙂

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 318

Today, I’m grateful for tomatoes ripening on the window sill.

This time of year there are plenty of green tomatoes outdoors that just don’t seem to want to turn red. But if they’re starting to lighten in color, they may just ripen faster indoors in a sunny window. And who wouldn’t want a fresh tomato in October? 🙂

What are you grateful for today?


Gratitude Spiral: Day 306

Today, I’m grateful for the resources to expand my garden.

We have enough room in our yard to carve out some more garden space and the tools and time it takes to get the job done. I’m thankful for those blessings. And excited for the final results.

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 280

Today, I’m grateful for green beans from the garden.

I was about to give up on my bean plants this summer. The teepee structure I roped together for them got blown sideways during a recent storm and the plants didn’t seem to want to produce any beans. So, I stopped looking. What a surprise to find them covered with beans when I finally checked again the other day. 🙂

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 274

Today, I’m grateful for the challenge of creating a new garden layout.

I’m tired of feeling helpless as squirrels, chipmunks, and a groundhog treat my vegetable garden like their own personal restaurant. So, I’ve asked a local contractor to help design an enclosure to keep them out. Of course, I’m still waiting to find out how much it might cost me. While I wait, it’s fun to map out the best use of the space inside it. Hopefully, I’ll get to implement the plans for next year’s growing season. 🙂

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 269

Today, I’m grateful for fried zucchini.

We’ve only got one zucchini plant in the garden, but it’s producing plenty. When we’re eating it everyday, it’s fun to change up the recipes. For fried zucchini, I slice it up, dip the slices in egg, coat them with teff (a whole grain similar to breadcrumbs) to which I’ve added salt & pepper & other spices, then fry in a pan coated with olive oil. Yum!

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Spiral: Day 252

Today, I’m grateful for the taste of fresh cucumbers.

From garden to table. Need I say more?

What are you grateful for today?