Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Goodbye 2013 and Hello 2014

What an interesting year! Although I really do feel as if it flew right by me.

Love
Because all things should begin and end with love. It makes for a much kinder and gentler world!


2013 was 24 years of togetherness for me and the hubbs. However, Valentine's Day was 21 years of marriage. It is hard to believe it has been that long, except on the days I am annoyed with him and then it feels MUCH longer, haha
Life
Life was relatively on even keel this year and given the upheaval in 2012, I am grateful to have had time to recuperate. 

I spent the majority of my time focused on school. I have been amazed at at how much more difficult it has been to learn new material. Whoever wrote the adage, "With age comes wisdom", has not had to return to college in their late 40's!

Although I did manage to make the dean's list 2 out of 3 semesters for 2013. Close but no cigar!


Home
2013 saw both small and big changes around My Cozy Little Farmhouse.

The simple task of painting a door and stencilling the window provided a much needed face lift and instant visual appeal.


The monumental project of completely gutting the kitchen, facing countless challenges and slowly transforming it from the kitchen of my nightmares to the kitchen of my dreams.



Garden
The garden was a challenge in 2013. Things most definitely did not go the way I had envisioned.
The weather was...weird. Add to this my lack of focus due to school, the tear out of the kitchen and the invasion of every bug known to man (ok maybe NOT ever bug--it just felt like it--bleh)  the results were dismal compared to years' past.Overall yields were interesting! 


Asparagus  6 oz
Beans  1 lb 9 oz
Brussel Sprouts 2 lbs 3 oz
Cantaloupe 9 lbs 2 oz
Corn 2 lbs 13 oz
Cucumbers 37 lbs 7 oz
Peppers (hot) 4 lbs 11 oz
Radishes 1 lb 8 oz
Squash (butternut) 18 lbs 7 oz
Squash (spaghetti) 7 lbs 13 oz
Squash (yellow) 26 lbs 8 oz
Squash (Zucchini) 41 lbs 9 oz
Strawberries 2 lbs 4 oz
Tomatoes 67 lbs 9 oz

The big winners were the cucurbits! After last year's harvest of 150 of tomatoes I was slightly disappointed in 2013 yield. Not to mention at least half of the tomatoes were due to my neighbor letting me pick her garden so I had adequate quantities to process. The disappointment is slight when viewed in the overall picture that we were lucky and blessed to have food for our bellies. For this I am very thankful!

Canning
Speaking of processing, I did quite a bit of canning and freezing.  More freezer storage than normal because I ran out of jars. I also tried to some new/ weird recipes.

Cinnamon Pickles
Which everyone has RAVED about these!
Cowboy Candy
Spicy, sweet and lotsa heat!
Family
2013 saw many changes in our family as my youngest brother and 1 of my nephews flew the nest to live on their own for the first time.  It was also a reminder to make me feel old! How are they are old enough to live on their own?! 

2013 saw my mom through multiple hospitalizations and several nursing homes. She is now living with my sister as she fights through the end stages of COPD. It also saw my step-Dad through health issues as well. All of these reminders to let go of old hurts, to appreciate your family because life is fleeting. Make the most of what time you have.

And 2013  brought the joyous occasion of my daughter and son-in-law buying their first home which is absolutely adorable!


Reflections
2013 was a challenging year in the sense it pushed me beyond my comfort zone. It was a year of introspection. It was a year of decluttering both in an emotional sense of letting go negativity and physical as I unburdened my house of accumulated things.  Amazingly both emotional and physical purges brought about peace of mind.

2013 was a good year in the aspect that I forged new connections and repaired or strengthened old ones. I found a balance between focusing inward and outward. I realized no wo(man) is an island.  It is okay to let people in and you don't need carry your burdens alone.  Sharing something of yourself doesn't make you weak. (Ummm...I am still working on this)

2013 was a charitable year. I gave more of myself in terms of time, money and gifts than ever before. And it felt good! Even better was when I gave these gifts without  acknowledgement or fanfare, it was the realization of my happy little secret. Whether it was the rescue of a lost pet, lunch with a sick friend, financial assistance to someone in need, or small tokens of gratitude (just because) it made my heart happy and warmed my soul.

As always-- I want to Thank You all-- for taking the time to  connect with me by visiting my blog, pinterest, Facebook, and emailing me. I look forward to every comment, like, tag and share. Whenever I have an opportunity to connect with one of my readers, it makes the world seem not quite so vast.

Expectations
2014 has a lot of expectations.
I will finish my last semester, take my national certification exam and find employment in a new field.
It will see me another year older (and hopefully wiser).
It will bring me hope, joy, sorrow and memories. 
I hope 2014 lives up to my expectations. 
Mostly I hope I live up to the potential gifted to me in 2014.

Happy New Year's  to all my family, friends and followers.
 Be safe. 
Be healthy.
Be happy. 
Be prosperous. 
Be true to you!





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