Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Summertime Goals

I would say sorry for not blogging more, but 1) I think I might be one of two people who read this, and 2) this summer has been so nice and laid back I haven't really felt the impetus to blog! Anyways...

The dog days of summer are in full swing here in Texas. This means plenty of time in doors, and plenty of jumps in the electric and water bills :-P. But other than the heat and money being tight, it's been a wonderful 3 1/2 weeks since school got out. I can't believe it's already July! I had several goals for this summer, and I feel like I'm just starting to make some progress on them.

My first goal was to learn to cook more than just spaghetti. And I succeeded! Before my husband and I married, my mom's side of the family (mostly women) compiled a cookbook for me of all of their favorite recipes, and my mother-in-law did the same for some of the primary recipes from my in-laws. So, I used one of my grandmother's recipes and made a really good meatloaf! How good?, you may ask. Well, good enough that my hubby was happy to eat it for dinner, and then again for lunch AND dinner the next day! I count that as a complete success! I also made a greenbean casserole that came from his mom's recipe book, and it turned out yummy as well! As for dessert, I made a strawberry layer cake, which required making my own cornstarch/sugar gelatin to mix with strawberry jello for the second layer! I even got creative and decorated it like the American flag (it was for the 4th)! So now, my goal in the coming weeks (once I get paid and can afford to go by foodstuffs just for cooking elaborate meals again) is to try a few more of the recipes out of the cookbooks!

My second goal was to get the gardens in order. My man and I have made a great start on that! I've decided to wait until the spring to plant anything new, BUT we have successfully remulched approximately half of the gardens in the backyard so far! It took nine whole bags of mulch and a lot of backbreaking weeding. Now, we've just got the rest of the back, and then the front to go! We're using a red cedar mulch that looks amazing, even when dried out, smells wonderful, and helps keep the bug population down.

A third goal was to find an exterminator. We ended up going with OnDuty, because they had already installed the in-wall bug system while this house was constructed, and they were the most bang for our buck. I was a bit skeptical about the effectiveness of the in-wall system, but since they've come out, the only bugs I've seen in the house are DEAD bugs! YAY!!! And the spray they used outside was highly effective as well. The only really sad part is that they put poison sheets in the garage and one of our hoppy toads from the garden found his way inside and onto a sheet. He died. I cried...he was a very cute hoppy toad. Hubby was going to bury him for me, but he was stuck tight to the poison sheet, so his grave went from garden to trash can. I'm glad there are no more (or at least fewer) bugs, but I'm still sad about the hoppy toad.

A fourth goal had three parts: 1) get back into a workout routine, 2) eat healthier, and 3) lose weight. The first part has met with partial success, since there was a hiatus of about a week. The second part I feel has been achieved, but there's always room for improvement! The third part I have seen some success the tune of about 5 lbs! Which, granted, I had been hoping for more, but this time, since I'm making a lifestyle change and not just doing a quick diet, I'm ok with slow progress. It makes me hope that I'm adjusting my lifestyle and metabolism enough that whatever weight I lose will actually stay off instead of yo-yoing.

The fifth goal was to paint the garage. HAHAHAHAHA. Yeah, that hasn't happened, and probably won't this summer. 1) Paint is freaking EXPENSIVE and 2) it is freaking HOT in that garage right now! So, maybe, that will be a project for next spring or (maybe) next summer.

Another goal that has been ongoing is the accumulation of furniture for the downstairs of our home. It has almost been achieved!!! We have the couch, coffee and end tables, a kitchen table, and a dining room table! The china cabinet will come next week! So all that leaves for downstairs is the entertainment center! And a new gun safe! And the way we're doing it--saving up the money and THEN purchasing the items--means we will have fully outfitted the main living areas in our house within a year of moving in WITHOU accumulating any more debt or adding an extra bill to our monthly budget (financing). WHOOP! As far as the upstairs goes, my talented husband is working on building the rest of the bookshelves this fall, and then wants to build a Dixie Chicken domino/card/game table for the upstairs game room. We want to get sky chairs and a stand hammock for the library (it totally makes sense if you could see the theme we're developing in there!!!), and I need to finish assembling the furniture/decorating the guest bedroom. So the end is in sight! Or at least it is, as long as we're not talking about decorating the rest of the house lol. I'm gonna try my hand at interior decorating according to our tastes and see how it goes! But that will wait probably til next summer.

Apart from goals, this summer has had a lot of fun times too! There was our 1 year anniversary (not technically summer, but I still count it!), the new grill from my parents as an anniversary gift and all the meals with family and friends cooked upon it, the visits to and from friends who live further away, exciting news (one of my best friends is engaged!!!!), lots of movies watched, video games played, books read, and lots of wonderfully long and alternately active and lazy weekend days with my husband! It truly has been a great summer. I can feel the stirrings of teacherness in me, and I think I'll be ready for school when it starts and even for the professional development at the end of this month and the beginning of next, but for now I intend to continue to enjoy this wondeful, relaxing summer!

And right now, that's absolutely all I'm thinking. ;-)


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