Review of 2012 Goals

So, how did I do with the goals that I wrote out last January for 2012?  I didn’t do badly – I accomplished the things that were important to me and as the year went on, did good with setting priorities and not spending time on things that were ultimately not the direction I wanted.  [Except for my desk, all the photos are from the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens.]

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These are not my accomplishments – those will go into a separate post.  My accomplishments definitely took a turn away from the goals and resulted in a number of these goals getting dropped.

For my own satisfaction though, I like to look over my goals, see how I did, and enjoy their contributions to 2012.  Since I will shortly deleting the 2012 tab for the 2013 list, they were added to this post where I discussed how I set goals and summarized them at the beginning of this year.  For information on accomplishing my goals and determining monthly goals, click here.

Spoiler alert – this is pretty lengthy, so feel free to skip or skim it.  I’ve written it up for my own satisfaction and future reference for setting new goals, determining whether something should still be pursued or if a goal should be dropped permanently.  The astericks are to give a blank line between each goal for some visual space (WordPress removes empty lines in lists).

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  1. Read “Jesus Calling” and its Bible verses each day – Changed
    I didn’t like this book after a while and didn’t feel it was challenging me in a positive way.  I went back to the “Daily Walk” from “Walk Thru The Bible” for a while – they have a great program, but I find that reading through the Bible in a year results in me remembering very little later.  After trying a few other things, I finally settled on using YouVersion, an online Bible and devotional, which I wrote about here.
  2. Take more short trips – Done!
    I did numerous local trips to the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens (earlier walks are listed at the end) and Colonial Williamsburg (this is one of many posts).  There were also overnight trips out of state to Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania; Charleston, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia.  I even got a day trip to Norfolk, Virginia, where I visited the botanical gardens there.  It all helped satisfy my wanderlust and gave me a number of wonderful photos to share over time.
  3. Declutter and organize the house  – In process
    I really, really meant to do this diligently each and every week.  I didn’t have time and I couldn’t face not having a life in order to do this.  Nonetheless, I did make progress, just not as quickly.  Several large and persistent problems were resolved, including old piles of papers and my rolltop desk.  I also hit on a much better method of dealing with the the on-going excessive mail that comes in every day so that I’m not rebuilding the piles as quickly as I dispose of them.  I posted here about my progress this summer.  Below are some before and after pictures of my desk.

  4. Improve my physical self – Partially done
    I had the best intentions of improving my cardio with swimming more diligently.  In the end, I couldn’t sacrifice two hours / three days a week to do it.  I did maintain a good exercise schedule between the gym at work and my lunch hour walks.  My achievement might be less than I desired, but I’m happy to have maintained consistency and done something most days of the week.
  5. Continue to evolve my blog – Done!
    I really had trouble the first few months of this year with not having a random word to use as my prompt as I did in 2011.  Between April and May, I had a major case of discouragement and trying to figure out what to do with my blog.  I wrote about it here and got excellent feedback from my readers.  I thought about it for quite a while before finally posting about it.  Since then, I’ve been much more comfortable with the direction of my blog and what I’m doing with it (remembering my life, sharing it, and being an encouragement to others – click here for more detail).  I also started adding in a great many more photographs after numerous compliments about them and comments on how much they were enjoyed.
  6. Continue taking photos – Done!
    Oh yes, I added thousands of pictures.  I even flipped the counter on my camera, going from picture #9999 back to #1.  In addition to my trips, I took a number of pictures while hanging out in the yard, between the robin who outlasted me and the goldfinches pulling the seeds out of the basil on the deck.
  7. Set up second blog for writers / diarists – In process
    When I switched over to Living The Seasons, I repurposed as a resource for bloggers and diarists in a blog called A Daily Life.  My intention was to write original material and have guest bloggers.  Neither of those worked very well.  I didn’t have time to write material or to even follow up with guests that I thought had something worthy to contribute.  I follow a blog called Everything Scrivener, which reblogs posts about using the writing software, Scrivener.  I find it worthwhile to read and have gotten a number of excellent ideas from it.  I recently had an ah-ha moment to use a similar format for A Daily Life and in 2013, will repost ideas I think are worth knowing and spend less time developing new material.
  8. Scrapbook my life (I found a class to take to help with this) – Dropped
    This class, from the Digital Scrapper, was excellent but in the end, I wasn’t sufficiently interested to keep up with it or do it.  It’s not that it’s unimportant, but my personal journals and blogs contain this material, albeit not in a 24 pages of a photo album.  If I did this, other things wouldn’t have gotten done and so this did not happen.
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  9. Take a self portrait class – Dropped
    I found a really cool class on this, but wasn’t not sufficiently interested to pursue it further.  I read some articles on taking self portraits and made more effort to both take and post pictures of myself, such as these here (last photo at bottom) and here.
  10. Write & publish an e-book – Dropped
    I actually got this underway and enjoyed the process, but ultimately gave it up due to a lack of time.  I shared a small part of my book about doing a daily challenge here.
  11. Participate in NaNoWriMo – Dropped
    It was an idea that really appealed to me, but I’m glad I didn’t do it.  I wouldn’t have wanted to take away the time from the rest of my life to prepare for it.  In November, I spent ten days away from home as my favorite boy toy and I wandered our way down the east coast before visiting our daughter for Thanksgiving.  There’s no way I could have completed this in only 20 days.
  12. Put together more photo albums – Got one more done
    I wanted to put together several albums from last year’s photos from our trip to Harper’s Ferry and from Christmas 2002 (digital photos, all ready to go).  That didn’t get done, but I did put together an album of 2011 photos for sharing with a friend.  I posted it on-line here.
  13. Organize my photos – In process
    I started using Adobe Lightroom this year.  It’s been a frustrating learning curve, but I am slowly getting everything organized and labelled, making it easier to find photos for my blogs and photo albums.
  14. Scan more photos – Dropped
    There are services that will (for a price), scan photos.  I think this will be better than trying to do it myself.  I’d like to do this, but have not yet taken any action.  I would like to do so before anything more happens to these pictures.
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  15. Consider continue writing my spiritual memoir – Undone
    I wanted to find my notes, read over what I’ve done (years ago) and consider whether or not to continue.  On the other hand, I have some really good blog entries that do some of what I intended.  I might still get this done before the end of the year.  Maybe.
  16. Print all computer journals – Undone
    I don’t think this would be hard to do, but I didn’t sit down to do it.  They are backed up off-site and should be safe until I do something further with them.
  17. Scan handwritten journals (at least some of them) – Undone
    This would be so time consuming.  I need to find somewhere to take these to have them done.  On the other hand, I really do not want anyone reading them without first editing.  I should check into getting them cut out of the spiral bound notesbooks so I can scan with a feeder.  I can then have them rebound.  Maybe next year.
  18. Put together a cookbook of favorite recipes – Dropped
    I think it’s a great idea, but it has no appeal to me.  It might if I start cooking again.
  19. What do I want to do about food preservation?  I don’t think I want to can, but maybe dehydrate or freeze stuff when produce is cheap and plentiful? – Dropped
    Too much time and effort for the results.
  20. Stay in touch with my niece – Not as successful as I wanted
    I did really good for a while, but fell off.  We’re both busy, but that’s really no excuse.  She lives out in California and will stay there.  If I don’t make an effort to stay in touch, I’ll have no relationship with her.  I need to make this a higher priority for next year.
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  21. Give the dogs more attention – In process
    By January 10, I realized that giving the dogs attention was contradictory to many of the goals that I set for this year.  I’ve struggled off and on with this all year.  I’ve made effort most nights after work to sit on the couch for a while to cuddle and pet the dogs.  They love it and if I don’t leave the table fast enough after supper, they’ll come to nag me.  I haven’t walked them much – two of them don’t like it and the one that does (the beagle) has a bad back and can’t go for very long.  I don’t think there are any easy answers to this, but I don’t want their lives to fly by without me giving them attention either.

And that’s the review of my personal 2012 goals!

Keeping What Resolution Makes Me Happiest?

Recently on the Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin asked,

What resolution (successfully kept) would make you happiest?

That didn’t take much thought – getting the house decluttered and these piles gone would make me soooooo happy.

Now, I want to enjoy my accomplishments also.  I’ve decluttered quite a bit since the beginning of the year when I set this as a 2012 goal.  Our little extra room in the attic got cleaned early on.  I didn’t think to take a before picture, but here’s how it still looks now.  Before I decluttered it, you could barely walk to the bike and that was all you could do.  The floor was deep in wall to wall stuff and junk.  It looks pretty good, eh?

Thankfully the camera isn’t showing how dirty the floor is! I might have kept it cleaned up,
but I haven’t done quite so well keeping it actually clean.
It’s much more fun taking pictures at Williamsburg than vacuuming.

I’ve kept up on the piles of paper coming into the house.  I cleaned out our master bedroom closet.  I also cleaned out the pantry, getting rid of old and unused items.  Unfortunately, I had to do a second time after it got all messed up.  I’ve been more diligent in keeping it straightened up since the second cleaning, but I think it could use another clean again.

Let’s see – what else have I done since January?  I made inroads in organizing my home computer photos and documents.  I cleaned out files and the fileroom at work.  That felt good and it was nice to not have the files so crammed in.

But I haven’t made much progress on the old piles and it’s frustrating me.  I WANT THEM GONE GONE GONE.  It helps to do this with some company to keep me amused and provide short breaks for lovin’.

My faithful companion. He’s the best company and would rather stay with me than occupy the couch (like another dog in our household). Notice all the boxes as I sorted, organized, and put stuff away?

So a few weekends ago when it was lethally hot out, I spent the weekend working off and on trying to tame more piles.  I realized that huge stack of magazines in my office had no place to go if I wanted to keep them.  I know this is not going to sound very profound, but I really had to start small if I was going to accomplish this.

I decided that one of the shelves in my office had stuff that could be mostly tossed out.  I had literature from our move to Virginia that was no longer applicable.  There were old Photoshop magazines to toss, outdated because of the changes in the software in the last few years.  I also got rid of tourism information from other states we lived in.  If we ever go back, I’ll replace it then.

Can you believe it? A whole shelf open and free.
That is a GREAT accomplishment and really encouraged me.

With a free shelf, I went through the magazine piles on my table and floor.  Many went into a pile to go to a friend.  A few more got tossed.  Ultimately, I cleared a big area on my table and floor between the magazines and reshelving books that I was done reading.  I could spend hours sorting through my books, so I resisted that and only evaluated the books I was putting away.

I also cleaned a bookshelf outside my office.  I’d never transitioned the books to it as planned and it eventually became another pile of stuff.  I put away old receipts, office supplies, stuffed animals, some pantry items (I keep an overflow pantry upstairs), and a bunch of other things.

It’s easy to get derailed with this kind of project, at least for me.  I hate doing it and I dislike trying to figure out what to do with all of it.  What should I keep, what should I toss, what will or will not be important later.  One of the things on this other bookshelf was 5 years of my Dayrunner daily calendars.  Five years!  I think they got pushed around since we moved in here and eventually accumulated in a corner.

I’d put rubberbands around them, which were already sagged or broken.  I’ve never been able to get rid of these and have them going back 15+ years in the unfinished part of the attic.  I still can’t stand to get rid of them.  They have no value.  The phone calls, questions, and projects are long done and stale, even the ones from just a year ago.  If my notes were important enough, they were copied or scanned and put into a permanent project file.

But each time I open up my daily sheets, I’m transported back to work, what I did, who I worked with, my joys and frustrations in the workplace.

So I got my cooking twine and tied them up into a sturdy bundle, got a storage box out and put them in the unfinished half of the attic with the other ones.  Someday I’ll toss them, but not today.  I didn’t want to stop decluttering to argue with myself why I didn’t need to keep them any longer.  That’s an argument for a different day when I’m not getting rid of so many other things.

All those years of history. . . I couldn’t toss them out.

Each time I left the room – to get a box, go up to the attic, whatever – the beagle followed me.  He’s not too big on cuddling, but he’s great on staying in the room and being there with me.

He’s also a restless sleeper and changes positions every 10 minutes or so.  At one point, he took over the easy chair.  I don’t think he looks very comfortable, but he didn’t seem to notice.

Notice how squished his face is? He does that a lot.

I made a huge dent in the piles.  There’s still a lot to go, but I’m happy to have some working room and to have cleaned off the table and floor at least.  I haven’t done much since this weekend.  Between going to Atlanta and doing regular chores the other weekends, it wasn’t a high enough priority.

But framing this question to myself – what resolution (successfully kept) would make me that happiest – plus some success with this goal, is helping keep me motivated to stay after it.

How about you?  What resolution do you need to work on that would make YOU the happiest?

Stop & Go

Today’s theme for Six Word Friday is Stop & Go:

STOP!  Be quiet. . . wait upon God.

Go. . . when the timing is right.

My January goals are doing good, but needing some adjustments.  I’m not able to spend three hours a week organizing and decluttering, but I’ve gotten in a solid one hour each week.  I think that will be good enough.  Instead of ending this goal in March though, I’ll go through June.  That’s still less hours overall, but I should make a big difference in the piles of stuff.

I’m enjoying my class at the Digital Scrapbooker on making up a photo album about myself, but I’m not getting any real traction on it.  That might have been a mistake for this year.

I’ve been working on my book, keeping up my blogs, and continuing to take photos (thankfully not every day though).  Things are lining up for my writing and doors are opening that never existed in the past.

The dogs are enjoying their extra cuddles at night.  There has been some decrease in the blogs.  I’ve been unusually tired after work this week, so by the time I enjoy the warm bodies and the warm fire, I’m ready for bed.

And as I’ve written earlier, I’m doing my daily devotions using Jesus Calling.  That’s led to a variety of prayers, contemplation, and some attitude adjustments.

That’s the Friday update!  The beagle is back at the door waiting to be let out – again.  You never know what changed since 15 minutes ago.

Over at A Daily Life, Kate from Believe Anyway has some questions for you to use and an example from her own blog of writing about when you knew you were loved.

© 2012 dogear6 llc

Accomplishing My Goals

Last week, I shared some of my ideas for my 2012 goals (listed in a separate tab above).  The list is lengthy and more than one person has asked me how I will get all that done this year.

I won’t.  I make up the list of everything that I could possibly want to accomplish.  It’s a reminder and a help in prioritizing my free time. But there is no way that I can physically get them all done.

Here’s the short list of how I will get things done in 2012:

  • Review the list each month
  • Set short term objectives (sub-goals)
  • Look for opportunities to present themselves
  • Use momentum to keep my goals moving forward

At the beginning of each month, I look over my list of goals.  Some are in process and I need to set a goal of what to accomplish for the next few weeks.  I realize that some goals aren’t going to get done and move them to the bottom of my list.  Some will come off because they are either done, done enough, or turned out to not be worthy of my efforts.

I believe in having sub-goals as they are the milestones to completion.  When I review my goals, I list the steps I will need to complete them.  Or at least the steps I think I need, as it is subject to constant adjustment.

For January, I plan to:

  • Do my daily devotional using Jesus Calling
  • Blog daily, Monday through Friday
  • Spend 3 hours a week in decluttering the house, either a little each night or at once on the weekends
  • Do my scrapbooking assignment for this month
  • Start organizing my notes for my e-book, looking into some software to help do it
  • Spend quality time with the dogs

Opportunities have already begun to present themselves.  NaNoWriMo (writing a novel in a month) was on my list last year.  I have to write 50,000 words in the 30 days of November.  That means about 2,000 words a day or six double spaced pages.  I decided that to do it, I’d need to develop 50 chapter ideas, even if later they got combined.  By late September, I barely had 15.  I knew in October that it simply would not happen.

So it’s on the list again this year.  I’ve been reading a great book on outlining your book before you write it called, “Outlining Your Novel:  Mapping Your Way to Success” by K.M. Weiland.  She takes three months to outline her books.  Three months!  And I was whining about doing it in a couple of week in September.  My goal for this month is to complete her book.  Next month, I will start working the various suggestions that she has, probably doing it sequentially in the order she has in the book.

The scrapbooking class has a topic each month for recording our life.  The goal is to do a two page spread each month.  I’d love to do more than that, but realistically, two pages a month is doable.  More is not.  So far, I’ve downloaded the course materials and listened to them.  Next weekend, I will select the pictures I want to use.  The weekend after, I’ll create the pages.

One of my goals is contradictory to other goals – that of spending quality time with the dogs.  I’ve not given them as much attention since moving to Virginia.  The dog parks here are terrible, being not much bigger than our backyard.  I tried walking them more frequently, but the beagle’s back won’t take much walking and my back won’t take the three of them yanking me around.

They’re all getting older – as we all are – but I don’t want regrets.  When we got dog #1 as a puppy, I spent so much time with him that I failed to give cat #1 as much attention as he was used to.  I’m not sure I could have done it much differently as the puppy was high energy and needed lots of exercise.  But I still am sorry that I failed to give cat #1 as much attention as he needed.  I don’t want to repeat that.

For this week, I’ve been going to the couch after supper to give out hugs and cuddles.  All three dogs are showing up for that!  If I’m giving out love, there are volunteers lining up.  But it’s taking up my quality blogging and reading time.  If I give them the attention they need, I might be going right to bed afterwards.  Tonight I’m writing my blog post first, and dog #1 is under the kitchen table, resting his head on my leg and poking my hip when I stop petting him.  He wants me to stop paying attention to the computer and go in the family room.

I’ve done a few one-on-one walks during this nice weather.  The dogs have enjoyed that, although it’s getting harder to sneak out just one without the other one getting upset.  If the miniature pinscher could talk, it would be all over.  He gets excited and then frustrated when I leave him behind, but he can’t communicate to the other one that there’s a walk happening and they weren’t invited to go with!

So I’m still working that goal out as I type one-handed while rubbing a dog’s face.

How about you?  How do you get your goals done?  What do you plan to accomplish in January 2012?

The recent post at A Daily Life is a book review by guest Ellen Olinger, of “Breath For The Bones” by Luci Shaw.

I took this picture the other day along the canal.  The interplay of the light and dark is what attracted me to it, although the shadows could use some lightening.

© 2012 dogear6 llc

Today’s small stones:

We had tostadas for supper tonight.  The flat yellow shells were so crispy!  I love the gritty, slightly greasy feel as I lift it to my mouth.  It snaps off as I bite down, then crunches as it mixes with the soft ground beef and refried beans.  The sharp edges scrap the inside of my mouth as my molars grind it into smaller pieces before I finally swallow it.

What To Choose, What To Choose

Today’s Thoughtful Thursday question asks what I’m looking forward to doing this year.  It was a great question to come after my post yesterday about goal ideas for 2012.

But wow, what to choose?  I have so many things I want to do in 2012.  Eventually I realized that the two things I’m looking forward to were not on my goals list.  That’s not a problem – I can add them to the list.  I forgot to put NaNoWriMo on there too.

So here’s what I’m looking forward to doing this year:

  • Exploring
  • Reading outside on the deck

Reading outside on the deck is about as easy as it gets.  All I need is some good weather (or shade) and something to read.  It might be on my iPad, it might be from the library, it might be a magazine or even an instruction manual.  Not that I like to spend much time reading instruction manuals.  Boooooring.

But the exploring will take more thought.  My favorite boy toy and I took two short trips last year, to Chadd’s Ford, Pennsylvania and to Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia.  We went to Chadd’s Ford to trace the footsteps of N.C. Wyeth and his family.  We went to West Virginia to chase the fall colors.

Both trips were fun.  We hadn’t done that kind of travel for years.  Extra money has usually been spent sending my boy toy on photo trips and vacation time spent visiting with family.  It’s also expensive to stay in hotels, eat out, and kennel the dogs.  But oh did we enjoy it.

I’m not sure I’d go back to Chadds Ford.  The Wyeth’s were actually not as big a deal as I expected and the accessibility was very restricted.  I would go back to Harper’s Ferry.  The picture taking wasn’t quite as good as we’d hoped for, but we just enjoyed being there.

By the way – I’ve made a new friend in Harper’s Ferry since returning from there.  Steam From Harper’s Ferry is a “Victorian/Steampunk themed gallery and print shop” and her blog has detailed historical write-ups about the area.  Check it out!  I’d love to learn about stuff like that from where I live.

So here’s some ideas I have for where I’d travel to next:

  • Concord Massachusetts to retrace Henry David Thoreau’s stomping grounds.  I was there 20+ years ago for a short visit but have never been able to go back.  KittyHere was there earlier this year and said it was a beautiful area to visit.
  • Outer Banks in North Carolina – I’d love to see the ocean.  We were going to do it last fall until the hurricane created so much damage.
  • There are several botanical gardens along Highway 85 as we go to our daughter’s house, in North and South Carolina.  I’d love to visit them.
  • Charleston, South Carolina – I went here on a business trip years ago and was sorry I didn’t stay over the weekend to check it out.
  • Chincoteague Island, Virginia to see the wild ponies (anyone remember reading Marguerite Henry’s books?).
  • Savannah, Georgia – it’s supposed to be beautiful there.
  • Callaway Gardens, Georgia – also supposed to be pretty.

Locally, there all kinds of exploring to do, but I don’t generally keep a running list of those.  My boy toy and I are of the “let’s go out for breakfast and then decide what to do”.  Plus, we still have our passes for Williamsburg and the local botanical garden to use.

I know we’ll go exploring frequently.  Whether we go for several days, I don’t know.  But my list is ready if we decide to take off!

Next Thursday’s topic is how I would like to change the world.

Today’s  small stones is under the photo.  Interested in learning how to use a hyperlink?  A Daily Life tells you how to add it to your posts.

My Mom loved yesterday’s photo!  She thought it would be funny to see the min pin all by himself in the great big bed.  Well you know what, I took a picture of that too.  Here’s you are – 100 pounds of dog in one bed, and 7 pounds in the other.  Because eeew!  Who wants to touch a min pin??

© 2012 dogear6 llc

Today’s small stones:

I opened the linen closet today to take out a washcloth for my shower.  I love having clean towels and having a clean washcloth to use each day.  It’s a big stack of washclothes when they’re clean – about 20 – because I use a clean one every day and I only do laundry every other week.  Their texture is rough when they’re dry, a good way to dry my eyes when that first burst of water hits my face.  What a pleasure though to open the closet door each morning, see that stack of clean washclothes, and smell the freshness of the towels in there.

Goal Ideas for 2012

I’ve added a new tab today that lists my personal goal ideas for 2012.  I don’t do resolutions; I find the idea of goals to be more workable as it gives me something specific to work towards.  I’ve heard goals described as living and breathing and to me, they are.  They need to be adjusted as things change, more information is known, or opportunities come up that were not anticipated.

I had one year at work that I set my goals in late December; a few short months later, an opportunity came up to massively revamp a process.  After discussing it with my boss, we jettisoned the goals and I worked on that for the rest of the year.  It was worth it in spades, but had my corporate culture been set on the “goals must be achieved at all costs”, I doubt that would have happened.  This process involved other groups, who also jettisoned their goals to make it happen.  At the end of that year, we all won an award for the improvements.  It was a highlight in my career.

I apply this to my personal life as well, with one more variation.  Things need to be done personally, but I like my goals to have a big element of fun to them.  Time is too precious to be wasting my free time on things that really stink.  Okay, so I had a different word, but Jaimie is listening to her Mom read this, so it needs to be clean :)

This list of goal ideas is for now until about the end of June.  Around Labor Day, I will review my goals and either delete them or prioritize them better for something that needs to get pushed to the top of the list.

My goals can be summarized as:

Spiritual – daily devotions using Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

Family – stay in touch with my niece

Writing – evolve this blog more, start a second blog as a writer’s resource, write & publish an e-book

Photography – put together more albums, scan more old photos, take several classes

Pets – be more diligent in giving them quality and quantity attention

Get Organized – declutter house, put together a cookbook of favorite receipes

There are other things on my list.  These are the ones most likely to get done.  I will of course, be sharing as I work on them.

* * *

Here is my working list of goals for 2012 as of January.

I do not expect to finish all these goals; rather, these are my ideas of the various things I’d like to accomplish if time, energy and finances permit.  This blog post talks about how I choose my goals and get things done on the list.

  1. Read Jesus Calling and its Bible verses each day
  2. Take more short trips
  3. Declutter and organize the house
  4. Improve my physical self
  5. Continue to evolve my blog
  6. Continue taking photos
  7. Set up second blog for writers / diarists
  8. Scrapbook my life (I found a class to take to help with this)
  9. Take a self portrait class
  10. Write & publish an e-book
  11. Participate in NaNoWriMo
  12. Put together more photo albums
  13. Organize my photos
  14. Scan more photos
  15. Consider continue writing my spiritual memoir
  16. Print all computer journals
  17. Scan handwritten journals (at least some of them)
  18. Put together a cookbook of favorite recipes
  19. What do I want to do about food preservation?  I don’t think I want to can, but maybe dehydrate or freeze stuff when produce is cheap and plentiful?
  20. Stay in touch with my niece
  21. Give the dogs more attention

* * *

Tomorrow is Thoughtful Thursday and the topic is to describe what I am most looking forward to doing this year.  On Friday, I will discuss more about goals and accomplishing them.

Our weather has gotten much colder.  That’s not why these guys are squeezed into the same dog bed.  It’s because the 7 pound miniature pinscher is in the other one and neither of these guys wants to sleep WITH HIM.  And my house isn’t big enough for three large dog beds, which is what I would need.  It’s for sure the min pin isn’t going to sleep in a small bed when he wants to sleep where the big boys sleep.

Today’s  small stones is under the photo.

© 2012 dogear6 llc

Today’s small stones:

Feeling the dog’s silky fur
as I hug and cuddle him
he leans against me, head buried in my shoulder

His nearly hairless belly is smooth beneath my hand
He sighs and chirps, wanting more
Until he’s had his fill and hops away
To lay in front of the fire

(this was the big brown dog in the front of the above picture; the miniature pinscher actually has a thicker pelt on him)