2021 A New Year and ALL the Possibilities

2020 has taught me to really appreciate life and all it has to offer as well as ALL it has to throw at me with a positive attitude.  There is always something to be thankful for – even when bad things happen.

While we have some control in our life, we are NOT IN control, God is!  I am stronger than I give myself credit for MOST of the time and when I’m not, it is perfectly fine to ask for help from others in my life, those that love me will help even in the worst of times. The acts of prayer and faith can give me the strength to overcome my own thoughts, doubts and fears.

So with all of this in mind, I’m entering 2021 with a renewed spirit and faith that it WILL be a better year!

AT 12:01 AM tomorrow morning IT WILL OFFICIALLY BE THE FIRST TIME EVER THAT HINDSIGHT IS OFFICIALLY 2020!

Just 3 years ago I underwent life changing surgery that they promised me would get easier and better to live with as time went on. I’m here to tell you that this was only partially true 🙁 SOME days I feel “normal” and can even eat relatively normal, but MOST days I’m still afraid to eat most things and I’m still having some severe reactions that can shut down my day at a moment’s notice.

So, when my friend Martha over at Seaside Simplicity suggested replacing resolutions with 30 day challenges I had to jump in with both feet in an effort to “regulate” my life and have an element of control over my life in general. I’ll even pop back in periodically with a progress report to hold myself accountable.

I don’t normally do “resolutions” per se, but if ever there was a year that needed to be changed it would be 2020.  So for 2021 we’ll call it “life style” changes for the better.

She gave a suggestion link to 100 different ideas to do as 30 day challenges. The challenges were listed with a side note of easy, medium or hard.  As I went through the list I found 19 that I already do:

  • Menu Plan
  • Morning & Bedtime Routines
  • Set a list of Daily Priorities
  • No Alcohol
  • No sugar & No Fast Food – this one gets a side note – sometimes this is just plain unavoidable especially during the pandemic if you had to travel at all, but this is NOT a way of life for me.
  • Stopped watching the news.
  • No credit cards.
  • Started multiple blogs
  • No smoking
  • Make or Build something
  • Make bed daily
  • Practice Gratitude – Pay It Forward
  • Random Act of Kindness
  • Talk to a Stranger – something I do that irritates hubby to no end sometimes!
  • Take a photo EVERY day – also something I do that irritates hubby to the other end sometimes!
  • Read Everyday – I always read as I fall asleep and in the car and in waiting rooms…

And another 66 I don’t want to do 😀 EVER

So that leaves these 15 or so that I am going to try and incorporate into 2021. There will obviously be some overlap since there are only 12 months in a year, not to mention we are hopeful for a BIG move for a new project house in 2021, but I will start with this list and all the good intentions hat go with it. I’ll then adapt as necessary as some are more involved than others. Many are also not just 30 day challenges, but lifestyle changes to be incorporated into a daily life.

  • Keep a Daily Food & Sugar Level Journal so I can continue trying to figure out trigger foods and/or times to avoid the dumping syndrome reactions as well as the hypoglycemic reactions caused by trying to eat “normal” food.
  • Learn to Program this is something that has always intrigued me and I know just enough to work my blog and get myself into trouble sometimes 🙂 so would like to know more.
  • Meditate this is something that I think will help with my health issues and food issues if I could learn to slow down and take things easier on myself.
  • Detox House I really want to be more ecologically responsible with using simple vinegar based cleaning products and staying away from chemically produced products. I’ll be making my own dryer sheets with essential oils and things like this.
  • Learn A New Skill… oil painting, wood burning... Learn to Draw This is also something I’ve always wanted to do better.  Included in this category is learning to paint with alcohol inks.
  • Write in my Journal Daily This category will also help with the meditation I think. I’ll split my time between a regular journal and my faith based journaling. I already do meal plan journaling.
  • Cook a New Recipe Every day This category is one that is ALMOST one I already do, but I want to do even better at. BUT, EVERY day is a super stretch as it leaves no room for pizza or hubby cooking so I’ll settle for 3 weeks out of the month or so. 😀
  • Practice Minimalism As we prepare for the BIG move this one is really important to me. I’m beginning with the Christmas decorations and sorting to donate a good portion of the decorations and artificial tree.
  • Eat Vegan (plant based) for a Month This category is going to take some research, not to mention some coercing on hubby’s part, but I really think there could be some serious health benefits by doing this.
  • 10,000 steps daily I’m usually pretty close to this, but I want to make a concentrated effort for the DAILY part of this statement.
  • Burpees daily & Whole Body Fitness Challenge We joined a gym last year and then the pandemic hit so never got into a good routine. This too will require a little research at first, not to mention some serious discipline to do it at home, but is TOTALLY doable!
  • Clean Up Digital Clutter We really need new computers, something I’m trying to put off until after the move and after I clean up all the files and photos. But, I also want to clean up my blogs and their recipe categories.

EPIPHANIES, GOALS & RESOLUTIONS

I like the idea of having even one epiphany this next year, especially if it happens as the New Year begins. Epiphanies can lead to resolutions and my one and only resolution is the follow through it takes to make those Epiphanies come to life. See the pattern here?  A nice big circle of completion!

While I don’t make a specific resolution list as I believe these lists can be a key to failure when you don’t/can’t accomplish the individual items, I do tend to make lists of the things I need to accomplish as a whole!  This year I am NOT making a list Per Se, but committing to completing all the projects on my desk and in my pending file as soon as humanly possible.  Unfortunately and realistically many of these can only be completed with divine intervention as they pertain to the VA and all the entanglements that go along with the biggest ball of bureaucratic red tape you have ever seen. My aim though is to become the SQUEAKIEST WHEEL EVER and clear my desk!

So I am scaring myself a little (okay ~ A LOT) with this commitment, but remember the age-old question is: ‘HOW DO YOU EAT AN ELEPHANT?’ And the answer will always be “ONE BITE AT A TIME!”  Some bites will be smaller than others, but that’s okay too!

HAPPY NEW YEAR, ONE AND ALL, AND MAY YOU TOO SEE THE LIGHT OF YOUR EPIPHANY!

It also can’t hurt to start the year out with a little old fashioned good luck – Black Eyed Peas.  I am making this year’s batch with the left over prime rib from Christmas – YUMMY!

MANY people swear by starting their year out with black-eyed peas for luck.  I’m not a superstitious person, but hey it can’t hurt!
As a kid I HATED black-eyed peas, but I recently found the Trappey’s brand and they are fantastic! Hubs and I ate them plain and polished off the whole can. In fact they were so good that I can’t wait to try their other beans in soups, field peas, navy, black-eyed peas with jalapenos, etc…
BLACK-EYED PEA CHILI

1 can Trappey’s Black-eyed peas with bacon
+/- 2 cups shredded left over pot roast
1 can original Rotel tomatoes
1 1/2 cups V8
1 small HUNT’S tomato sauce 
1 tablespoon Frank’s red hot sauce
1 package Williams Chili Seasoning packet
salt and pepper, to taste
water to desired consistency*
cheese bread or corn muffins
sour cream and onions to garnish

  • Mix together everything except the bread and garnish in a stock pot.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer several hours until you can smell the chili calling you to the kitchen.
  • Ladle into bowls and garnish.
  • Enjoy!

*I use about 2 cups.  I like to start thin and simmer until thick (2-3 hours) to allow the flavors to blend together.

EPIPHANIES CAN LEAD TO RESOLUTIONS

I too like the idea of having even one epiphany, especially as the New Year begins. Epiphanies can lead to resolutions and one of my resolutions is the follow through it takes to bring those Epiphanies to life.  While I don’t make a specific resolution list as I believe that can be a key to failure, I do make lists of the things I need to accomplish as a whole!


Here’s an very incomplete, but great beginning to the list of resolutions/epiphanies/ultimate goals I want to address in 2012:

  • Make most, if not all of next year’s Christmas gifts by hand and tailored to each person’s likes/dislikes
  • Get my kitchen in order ~ I used to (before the nightmare of the house came to life) make my menus a month in advance. This was really helpful to our budget also. If a recipe called for half of an onion on Monday, I’d make sure to follow it with a recipe on Tuesday that called for the other half. During that time we tried at least 1 new recipe per week so I could try to empty the shoebox (my husband just reminded me that there 3, not “1” of these) FULL of recipes that I’d cut out from newspapers, magazines and such. That never worked because I always filled it right back up, but now it’s overflowing and desperately needs thinning out!!!!!!
  • Limit my craft & fabric purchases to ONLY the items I need to make things using mostly materials that I already own and finish ALL the quilts that are already started.
  • Take a walk daily (weather permitting or not) OR AT LEAST use the treadmill, it’s already here after all!
  • Force myself to eat breakfast ~ today was a bowl 1/2 Cheerios & 1/2 Special K with  bananas.
  • Continue my volunteering efforts, even if it’s just a home project for something I already support.

  • Write some freelance newspaper/magazine articles
  • (Here’s the big scary one I’ve avoided for more years than I care to admit) I will write the novels that have been swirling in my head and doodled on paper for years. I have the plots, characters, synopsis and the settings. I’ve conversed with the characters like they are old friends and family, I’ve developed the towns, supporting characters and walked through the houses and buildings like I built them myself. I know everyone’s likes, dislikes, personality traits and idiosyncrasies. I know all the dogs in town and who rides their bike to work or walks. I know how deep and blue the lakes are and how clear the night sky is so much so that all the stars sparkle bright and appear as if you can reach up and pull them down. All I need to do now is capture it all on the blank pages between the colorfully bound covers that I can see so vividly
  • Try to sell my screenplay (inquiry letters are written and the 1st couple dozen rejection letters are making for a great book).
  • Find a publisher for the cookbooks I’ve written.
  • Try a New Recipe each and every day.
So… I scared myself a little (okay ~ a lot) with this list. But remember, the age-old question truly is:
“How do you eat an elephant?” And the answer will always be ~ “One bite at a time!” Some bites will be smaller than others, but that’s okay too!
Happy New Year, one and all, and may you too see the light to your epiphany!

~*~Resolutions / Goals & Epiphanies~*~

Last year I did an extensive list and find it is now time to review and revise while I put into writing a more extensive GOALS list for myself in 2009.

I like the idea of having even one Epiphany, especially as the New Year begins. Epiphanies can lead to resolutions that help us reach our goals and one of my goals is the follow through it takes to bring those Epiphanies to life.

Here’s a very incomplete, but great beginning to the list of resolutions/epiphanies/ultimate goals I want to address in 2009:

  • 2008 DONE & 2009 STARTED TODAY!! Make most, if not all of next year’s Christmas gifts by hand and tailored to each person’s likes/dislikes

  • 2008 DONE!! Get my kitchen in order ~ I used to (before the nightmare of this house came to life) make my menus a month in advance. This was really helpful to our budget also. If a recipe called for half of an onion on Monday, I’d make sure to follow it with a recipe on Tuesday that called for the other half. During that time we tried at least 1 new recipe per week so I could try to empty the shoebox (my husband just reminded me that there 3, not “1” of these) FULL of recipes that I’d cut out from newspapers, magazines and such. That never worked because I always filled it right back up, but now it’s overflowing and desperately needs thinning out!!!!!!

  • 2008 DONE & 2009 IN PROGRESS ~ Limit my craft & fabric purchases to ONLY the items I need to make things using mostly materials that I already own

  • 2008 NOT WHAT IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN BUT A 2009 PLAN OF ATTACK IS IN THE SCHEDULE ~ Take a walk daily (weather permitting or not) OR AT LEAST use the treadmill, it’s already here after all!

  • 2008 SUCCESS ~ MY DIABETES IS UNDER CONTROL ForceD myself to eat breakfast! And I managed to lose weight too!

  • 2008 WAS MINIMAL due to the continued house issues, but 2009 LOOKS MORE PROMISING ~ Continue my volunteering monthly, even if it’s just a home project for something I already support

  • 2008 WAS A BUST due to the continued house issues, but 2009 LOOKS PROMISING ~ Write some freelance newspaper/magazine articles

  • 2008 WAS A BUST due to the continued house issues, but 2009 LOOKS A LOT MORE PROMISING ~ (Here’s the big scary one I’ve avoided for more years than I care to admit) I will write the novel(s) that have been swirling in my head for years. I have the plots, characters, synopsis and the settings. I’ve conversed with the characters like they are old friends and family, I’ve developed the towns, supporting characters and walked through the houses and buildings like I built them myself. I know everyone’s likes, dislikes, personality traits and idiosyncrasies. I know all the dogs in town and who rides their bike to work or walks. I know how deep and blue the lakes are and how clear the night sky is so much so that all the stars sparkle bright and appear as if you can reach up and pull them down. All I need to do now is capture it all on the blank pages between the colorfully bound covers that I can see so vividly

  • 2008 WAS A BUST but THERE’S ALWAYS 2009 ~ Try to sell my screenplay (inquiry letters are written and the 1st couple dozen, 2ND COUPLE DOZEN rejection letters are making for a great book).

  • 2008 WAS A BUST but THERE’S ALWAYS 2009 ~ Find a publisher for the cookbooks I’ve written

So… I scared myself a little (okay ~ a lot and I mean A LOT) with this list. But the age-old question truly is ~ “How do you eat an elephant?” And the answer will always be ~ “One bite at a time!” Some bites will be smaller than others, but that’s okay too!

Happy New Year, one and all, and may you too see the light to your epiphany!

final blog signature.

~*~*~Resolutions & Epiphanies~*~*~

So I was visiting ‘Yours ’til Niagara Falls’ this morning and have been inspired to actually put into writing a more extensive resolution list for myself in 2008.

I too like the idea of having even one epiphany, especially as the New Year begins. Epiphanies can lead to resolutions and one of my resolutions is the follow through it takes to bring those Epiphanies to life.


Here’s an very incomplete, but great beginning to the list of resolutions/epiphanies/ultimate goals I want to address in 2008:

  • Be ready for book club in time each month

  • Make most, if not all of next year’s Christmas gifts by hand and tailored to each person’s likes/dislikes

  • Get my kitchen in order ~ I used to (before the nightmare of this house came to life) make my menus a month in advance. This was really helpful to our budget also. If a recipe called for half of an onion on Monday, I’d make sure to follow it with a recipe on Tuesday that called for the other half. During that time we tried at least 1 new recipe per week so I could try to empty the shoebox (my husband just reminded me that there 3, not “1” of these) FULL of recipes that I’d cut out from newspapers, magazines and such. That never worked because I always filled it right back up, but now it’s overflowing and desperately needs thinning out!!!!!!

  • Limit my craft & fabric purchases to ONLY the items I need to make things using mostly materials that I already own

  • Take a walk daily (weather permitting or not) OR AT LEAST use the treadmill, it’s already here after all!

  • Force myself to eat breakfast ~ today was a bowl 1/2 Cheerios & 1/2 Special K ~ maybe tomorrow I’ll add bananas

  • Continue my volunteering monthly, even if it’s just a home project for something I already support

  • Write some freelance newspaper/magazine articles

  • (Here’s the big scary one I’ve avoided for more years than I care to admit) I will write the novel(s) that have been swirling in my head for years. I have the plots, characters, synopsis and the settings. I’ve conversed with the characters like they are old friends and family, I’ve developed the towns, supporting characters and walked through the houses and buildings like I built them myself. I know everyone’s likes, dislikes, personality traits and idiosyncrasies. I know all the dogs in town and who rides their bike to work or walks. I know how deep and blue the lakes are and how clear the night sky is so much so that all the stars sparkle bright and appear as if you can reach up and pull them down. All I need to do now is capture it all on the blank pages between the colorfully bound covers that I can see so vividly

  • Try to sell my screenplay (inquiry letters are written and the 1st couple dozen rejection letters are making for a great book)

  • Find a publisher for the cookbooks I’ve written

So… I too scared myself a little (okay ~ a lot and I mean A LOT) with this list. But as she said, the age-old question truly is ~ “How do you eat an elephant?” And the answer will always be ~ “One bite at a time!” Some bites will be smaller than others, but that’s okay too!

Happy New Year, one and all, and may you too see the light to your epiphany!

~*~*~*~HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!~*~*~*~

I’m going to do my traditional list, but I think this year I will be more realistic.


1) Lose weight ~ I know every year EVERYONE says this one. This year I got a head start after the bout of pnuemonia and flu throughout December. I already lost the first 10 pounds.

2) Get organized ~ another one that EVERYONE always says. Once again I got a head start though. Last year was devastating for us with the move, the military red tape, the fraud from the previous owners of this house and probably a few other things. But, I started this past week at putting together the office/studio/workshop and it’s already going well.

A place for everything and everything in its place…


3) Start in January to hand make next years Christmas presents ~ Once again, I started already so the hitch will be to maintain a schedule and actually follow through. Wish me luck. And look for peek-a-boo pictures to come (after all we can’t give away what’s what or who it’s for before next Christmas).

4) Be happy ~ Worry less ~ Smile more ~ Be more productive ~ Spread joy ~ Make a difference

I wish you ALL health, happiness, tranquility, spiritual well being and prosperity in 2008 and may we ALL be able to face our challenges with much strength and grace, and may we receive ALL our blessings with thanksgiving and appreciation.