Friday, 23 January 2015

Goals for 2015

Never mind New Years resolutions, this year I have made myself a set of goals for 2015. These goals are simply things I want to achieve through the year - do more of this, less of that, try some new things and get some essentials done around the house. I plan on revisiting this list of goals every so often and I will let you in on the progress I am making. Does anyone else out there have a list of goals for 2015? What do you want to accomplish this year?

1. Get Betty house trained
My number one goal is to get Betty house trained. Some puppies seem to be easier to train than others. I am sure Betty is not the worst but she has been frustrating. I plan on having her fully house trained as soon as the good weather rolls around. I also hope to have her trained fairly well in the areas of sit, stay and leave it. Right now she is doing pretty well with sit (when a treat is involved) but leave it is a biggie we need to get sorted! I would also like to improve her walking on-leash skills. She loves walks, no doubt about that, but walking nicely without ripping my hand off? We will see!

2. Organize and clean the basement
I started on this almost right away, but whether anyone besides me could notice the difference in the dungeon of doom, its hard to say! I figure this will be a long term project and will require weekly maintenance because of the nature of our basement and the state it is currently in. To sum it up, the house is over 100 years old, the foundation in referred to as a "rubble foundation" and it is in need of repairs and until the repair work is done by a professional (this is NOT the type of foundation fix a DIY'er can or should try solo) the walls continuously "shed" dust, sand and dried mortar. In case the crumbling walls weren't enough of a messy challenge, the main floor of the house has no sub floor, so there is a constant flow of dusty debris raining down through the cracks in the floorboards creating a layer of yuck on everything stored in the basement.

3. Increase the vegetable garden in both size and yields
The summer of 2014 was my first year at growing veggies in the garden and for my first year I think I did pretty well, but improvements can always be made. I am hoping to expand the garden this spring, build some additional raised beds, make better use of the raised beds I already have and try some new crops. I also intend on setting up a dedicated seed starting space in the basement.

4. Attempt canning and preserving what I grow
For a long time now I have been interested in canning and with last summer's veggie garden I had good reason to start canning to preserve some of the veg I was knee deep in! I didn't give it a go last year so this must be the year! I was gifted some canning supplies for my last birthday and I plan on putting them to good use this year.

5. Use my studio space
Lucky me, I have studio space in my home! I hijacked the smallest bedroom to use as my very own creative space and to date I haven't put it to good use. More often than not it has become extra storage space, a dumping ground for stuff. This year I plan on using the space as I originally intended: to get back to making things, working on the artsy stuff that I have always wanted to dedicate more of my time to. To up this goal a notch, I also hope to re-open my Etsy store (pretty sure I said that last year...regardless this will be the year!).

6. Eat more real food, less processed crap and get healthy
I suppose this must sound like a typical New Years resolution of "lose weight", but I am not cutting out anything cold turkey, I'm not starting some crazy trendy diet and I am not setting unrealistic goals or sinking money into gym memberships that will go unused. I know I need to lose weight and make improvements in my life to get healthier and there is no better time to start making those improvements than right now. I am trying to make slight adjustments here and there by cutting back on some things and substituting good foods for the bad ones. I have a target weight that I would like to reach by the end of the year - nothing outrageous or unrealistic for my body type, just something that would make me more comfortable and that might help alleviate some of the health issues I have had that can be attributed to being overweight.

7. Be more active
For starters I need to do more walking, less sitting on my butt, no excuses now that I have a dog to walk! At the moment the weather has not been good for going for walks, its been pretty cold and icy out - too cold to take the puppy out but I should still be getting out there...and I will! In the better weather I am aiming for two walks a day, I need it and Betty needs it, she is a very high energy dog. I expect to start and end my days with a walk with the pooch, along with all the other walking around and physical activity that will take place in the garden. I also aim to use my bike more. This past summer I failed at getting on my bike and I don't know why? There's no shortage of trails around my house. This year I intend on a bike ride a week (once the weather is right). I have not decided yet, but I may look into some exercise classes this year (like I did in 2014). I found some to be really enjoyable and they really made me push myself, the down side was the classes were a drive to the other side of town - there wasn't anything very local.

8. Get my drivers licence
Have I mentioned that I don't drive? Yup, I don't drive, don't have my licence, have never driven a car (with the exception of a spin around an empty parking lot with my dad when I first got my learners permit, which expired so many yeas ago!). Oh, and did I mention I live in a town where you really REALLY need a car to get from point A to point B? My goal is to take my written test for my learners permit (G1), get some practice driving in, take driving lessons and attempt to get tested for my G2 as soon as possible. This one is a big goal for me because I cannot continue relying on other people for drives everywhere, I want to be able to go on a road trip across Canada one day and must be able to share the driving responsibilities with my trip-mates and there are some people (cough *husband* cough) that have said they don't believe I will ever drive, so I must prove them wrong!

9. Finish all the DIY jobs I have started
So there are a couple (okay, maybe more than a couple) DIY jobs that I have started but failed to finish around the house. I am vowing to complete the half done projects before diving into any more. For starters, the shelves in the dining room - the brackets I needed that were back-ordered at Ikea for about 8 months FINALLY came in, I can get cracking! Oh, and there is another unfinished dresser in the basement that needs a coat of paint...the list goes on!

10. Hold a yard sale
I have wanted to do this for some time now and this summer feels right! I hope to hold a yard sale to help get rid of some of the excess amounts of stuff I have in this house - it is scary to think that barely 3 years ago I moved from a 1 bedroom apartment to a 3 bedroom house (with a basement and garage) and I still have managed to over-stuff the place! It's time to de-clutter and let go of things I have been holding on to for far too long.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

2015 What, already?! And a Betty update

So a bit of time has passed since my last post...oh and also Christmas and New Years! I hope everyone had a great time over the holidays and got their 2015 off to a great start! Christmas was good but a little hectic for me, having to deal with the world's craziest puppy and all! Betty has been doing pretty well since New Years but the month of December was difficult. She is one stubborn little puppy that does not want to be house trained and that wants to grab anything and everything with her little razor blade teeth! We started a new puppy class on January 3rd and it has been going pretty well. There are only 3 other puppies and their families attending the class and the instructor could not be more patient, friendly and in love with what he does.Overall Betty is taking steps in the right direction but I am hoping that with her puppy teeth due to start coming out any day now, the biting and random chewing on things will ease.

As for house training, great progress has been made over the past 2 weeks. Betty is not getting me up in the night anymore AND as a bonus she is not having accidents in her crate! She had stopped getting me up in the night at one stage but continued to pee in her crate. I cannot begin to explain how frustrating it is to have to change the blankets and towels in her crate once, sometimes twice a day! Betty is now having very few accidents in the house - when she does its usually because she has been playing and gets distracted and out of nowhere a pee hits her! She is almost exclusively using the training pads stationed at the back door. I would like to get her going outside and abandon the training pads but it has been pretty cold lately and she seems just too small to handle the cold (and when it takes 2 people 10 minutes to get her coat on each time she has to go out I haven't bothered).

One big regret I have with Betty so far has been my lack of picture taking with her. I had grand ideas of getting videos and photos to document every step of her journey with us...that has been really difficult. I am at home with her all day myself and I have been kept so busy running around after her, cleaning her messes and being chewed on that I haven't really had time. She also tends to not want to sit still, and to top it off she is a black dog that doesn't photograph well - especially with our dark wood floors (sometimes she is nearly invisible). It doesn't help that I have a crappy camera and that with it being winter and all, by the time the husband gets home from work and could potentially help with handling the moving target known as Betty, it's just too dark and any attempt at a photo comes out looking dreadful. One of my goals for 2015 will be to get more photos of Betty - its just sad that I have very few photos of her as a squishy teeny-tiny little puppy. I am hoping this winter doesn't drag on like last winter and we can get outside more and snap some photos.

Along with taking more photos of Betty, getting her fully house trained and hopefully morphing her into the best behaved little doggy on earth (yeah right!), I have several other goals for 2015...I will post more about them later and I promise to share my progress with reaching these goals as I go.