Thursday, January 1, 2015

Wrapping up 2014, It's a New Year!

I'm very much a forward thinker and rarely think about past disappointments. Luckily this year was a pretty darn good year to remember.

Our last 2 chickens.
We didn't have any pet deaths, thankfully, and only lost 2 chickens because they were given back to my neighbors when they returned from Hawaii. It was a sad transfer but their original yard is deep in the forest with lots of worms and Blueberries to enjoy. We hope to get more rescue Chickens and are even contemplating raising Bees! I've switched so much of my sugar consumption to honey that it really does make sense so I'm trying to develop a bee and bird friendly habitat.

My mail carrier is wonderful, I would die w/out Debbie!
My blog title "wrapping up" 2014 is appropriate because this past year I shipped over 400 items from my etsy shops and ebay. Setting lofty goals in 2014, my expectations were exceeded! I've streamlined shipping, designating an area that my friend Cindy helped me set up. My only frustration has been the tape dispenser that will soon be beaten to a pulp!

My favorite flower photo of 2014, one of Ted's Dahlias.
I continue to shop responsibly, bringing reusable bags and mugs everywhere I go. Keeping two bags in my purse and backups in the car! I've also started emailing junk mail companies to remove me from their mailings. Our disposables are showing up in our oceans and is deadly to wildlife.

Lot's of balloon landings around our house on Forsythia Hill.
I still use grocery coupons but have changed my habits to include more fresh organic vegetables and fruit instead of cardboard boxed items. Coupons for produce are far and few between but I still managed coupon savings of nearly $1,200.00. I'm still keeping my life pledge to only purchase organic eggs hoping the treatment of the hen is better.

Crowned Slug Moth Caterpillar hiding in leaf litter.
Gardening for me is constantly evolving. Initially I grew for food, then incorporated flower gardening because of the beauty and diversity. Now my focus is on the creatures that need our plants to survive and how to best support their habitat. I stumbled upon a few interesting critter activities that were totally foreign to me. If I had not been photographing my garden, I never would have noticed an amazingly strange bug and a bee living in my cut Peony stem. I've changed my garden ways of totally cutting back stems and clearing out beds until I'm pretty sure that critters have finished doing their thing. I've also learned that organic and natural remedies for killing "bad bugs" is not always a good thing. A friend informed me that my sprinkling of Cayenne Pepper to deter Deer can harm Bees!

I video taped the refinishing of my freecycle find.
This Spring I will focus on rooting cuttings instead of growing seedlings. Something I've never mastered and have a big fail rating as far as that goes. I'll have to provide bottom head inside and better control the process in order to succeed. I have big plans to put in trees in the front yard, probably Magnolias among others (but husband assistance is required so we'll see how that goes).

Cute Coffee Cup set for sale in my vintage shop.
On the home front, I hope that we find a flooring solution for our basement and paint our shed (a rollover from 2014). We continue to make progress each year with a few minor improvements that seemed pretty major at the time! We still love the kitchen floor that we installed in 2014 and somehow still remain married after it was all said and done.

Wishing you a happy 2015, let's focus on the positive, support one another, and be kind to our amazing planet.

Beautiful barn in Tennessee when visiting the in-laws.


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