Monday, November 25, 2013

A new, colder week makes me think ahead to next year

This week blew into Atlanta below freezing which is how winter has finally arrived here. About a week ago it was shirt sleeve weather and I took these pictures of my favorite tree in our personal forest on our city lot. It is a very large Japanese maple that is so vibrant that cars come to a halt when they see it. I love standing under it on a sunny day as you feel like you are in a rose colored world. Now most of the leaves are on the ground - still pretty.

We had a very slow weekend as we both felt a bit off. Just some chores that had to be done and the rest of the time relaxing. I tried to be energetic this morning and went grocery shopping bright and early avoiding the regular stores and only going to Trader Joe's. We are alone for Thanksgiving and going out to dinner so I was just stocking up on food for the next 9 days until I can get back to my regular Wednesday shopping schedule.
Also bought plane tickets for our January trip to LA to see family. Why were they more expensive this morning than they were on Saturday? Who knows. We also are travelling to the San Jose/Oakland area in February to visit our other son and DIL. Then a vacation in Key West at the end of March for us. Lots to look forward to in the first quarter of 2014. We will also be going to NH in July to visit family and then another round of CA visits later in the year.
In addition, I ordered a replacement pair of the loafers I wear daily except in the hottest months of the year when sandals are the norm and a gift for my Mom. The sons and DILs have yet to let us know what they want so I am not dealing with their gifts yet. We send a Harry & David gift basket to my FIL so Hubby will order that soon.
I am thinking of what I want to accomplish in 2014 in non-financial areas (while avoiding cleaning house LOL). I think I'll set some goals quarterly and see how it works out. Here is the first draft.
Exercise (gym, walk, stretch, etc.) every day
Learn to cook some Mexican food
Check out from library each week CDs of music I don’t normally listen to 
Become very proficient on phone
               Take photos and edit them using free software
               Use a large page art paper, collage, paints, colored pencils and markers to journal
Outdoor home repairs/improvements
Celebrate 65th birthday
Shop for summer clothes at thrift/consignment shops
Learn to grill fish and vegetables
Get a book of local hikes and go hiking 4 times
Turn artwork into greeting cards
Make holiday gifts
There will be some year long challenges too. Again the first draft.
Only buy things that are consumable, depletable, a gift or needed for home repair/maintenance.
If must buy something, try to buy it secondhand before buying it new.
Exceptions are for things that are truly worn out and needed like shoes, underwear.
Find free things to do for recreation/entertainment/learning.
Travel as much as time and budget allows 
Eat in unless it is a special occasion.  
Real food, cooked very well, not too much.
Experiment – broaden cooking options.
Make menu plan based on seasonal items and sound nutritional guidelines.
I've pretty much finished our 2014 budget except for knowing how much insurance, etc. costs will increase. I've also charted out the must do and want to do home repairs/improvements that will help sell our house. I'm trying to limit us to the must do's and any want to do's that we will really enjoy and appreciate while we still live here. The reason I'm starting with the outdoors ones is that we are expending a huge amount of energy maintaining the outdoor area and anything we can do to make it easier or better will improve our lives.
I guess I have avoided house cleaning as long as possible and better get on with it LOL.
Have a great week.


  1. Beautiful tree! Some of the maples seem to glow when the sun hits them. I don't know when you are planning to sell your home but you might consider a pre-sale home inspection. My husband does a fair amount of those. It's helpful to be able to fix anything beforehand that a home inspector will call out.

    1. The inspection in advance is certainly something to consider when we get ready to sell in a few years. Thanks for the suggestion.

    2. Gorgeous pics. I noticed on your list checking out CDs of music you don't normally listen to. That is a great idea and something I am working on. I took a course on brain power and aging and one of the things that keeps your brain young is listening to music that is unfamiliar, especially classical. It perks up your brain to hear something it hasn't heard before. You probably already knew this.

    3. Great point about music and brain plasticity! I was going to do it because I get bored when the weather makes me want to stay indoors LOL.