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The New Year Tag for 2018

What did you do in 2018 that you’d never done before?
I’m a hobbit, especially this year. I can’t think of anything major.
Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make one this year?
I made a ton of goals and while I met some parts of the goals, overall I don’t think I made a success. Yes, I’m definitely having goals. I’m trying to make them more general upfront, and then I will break them down into more achievable steps and plans.
My resolutions were…
I posted them around this time last year if you really want to see them.
Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes, my sister-in-law to my first niece (first niece or nephew, is there a group word for that?).
Did anyone close to you die?
No.
What countries/states did you visit?
Florida (the states we drove through to get there don’t count). In other words, back to normal; so much for my dreams (I missing the key ingredient of bravery, since I apparently cannot drive 2 hours in my own state to see the total solar eclipse, over a year, and I’m still disgusted with myself). I’ve been made aware that around this area there are two states, the one you live in and Florida.
What would you like to have in 2019 that you lacked in 2018?
Financial independence.
What date from 2018 will remain etched upon your memory?
My niece’s birthday.
Did you move anywhere?
No.
What was the best month?
All the ones after my niece has been born (the last 3.5).
What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I’m not sure. Maybe spending more time with family.
What was your biggest failure?
All things financial and career (per usual).
Did you suffer illness or injury?
No.
What was the best thing you bought?
I didn’t have major purchases, but I bought a lot of unique handmade and vintage items. I posted about the art fair already. I think I have yet to post about some of the other trips.
Whose behavior merited celebration?
Anyone who didn’t do or say anything awful.
Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Everyone who did.
Where did most of your money go?
School and make-up and skincare, I think.
What did you get really, really, really excited about?
My niece.
What was the best concert you’ve been to this year?
I don’t go to concerts.
What song/album will always remind you of 2018?
I’m so not a music person, should probably work a bit on that. I have listened to the Greatest Showman music, probably the most current music.
Compared to this time last year, are you:
1. happier or sadder? Happier or more positive at least, I hope, I think?
2. thinner or fatter? Ouch, definitely fatter.
3. richer or poorer? Um, less in debt.
What do you wish you’d done more of? 
Saved money.
What do you wish you’d done less of?
Spent money. Shared too many words and emotions at work (i.e. trust no one).
What was your greatest musical discovery?
Like I said, not a huge music person. But I have enjoyed learning about Christmas carols in Stories Behind the Best Loved Songs of Christmas by Ace Collins. And as folk music is definitely my favorite genre, I enjoyed watching and listening to this bluegrass clogging video.
How did you spend Christmas?
With family, I’ll probably post about it soon.
How are you spending New Year’s?
Well, typing this post, I opted not to go with my family to friends. Tomorrow, per usual we have people over (to avoid people having run-ins with drunk drivers) for homemade doughnuts, ping-pong, and board games.
Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
Social media.
What were the best books you read?
The best books were old favorites for fiction. I did enjoy starting Stephen Lawhead’s Pendragon Cycle and Diana Wynne Jones’ Crestomanci books as well as a few others, but no loves there. I appreciated a lot of the health and disease books I read and Sleep Smarter which I want to buy and use like a manual.
What were the best movies you watched?
I Am Dragon, Spiderman: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, Bringing Up Baby, and Monkey Business.
Did you fall in love in 2018?
No.
What was your favorite TV show?
Yeah, I’m NOT a television person.
Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
What did you want and get?
Spiderman: Homecoming, The Hollow Crown, and The Magic of Ordinary Days.
What did you want and not get?
Books with beautiful covers on my wishlist.
How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2018?
Apathetic.
What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Probably watched a movie? And later we did a family month birthday (we have 5 in that month). Apparently I didn’t do a birthday post, not sure why. But I need to work better at documenting memories, it’s disturbing what I can’t remember. I turned 28.
What kept you sane?
Easy books, funny movies, my room.
What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Financial and career security.
Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Hmm, I think I did more fawning on old favs (including really old ones like Gregory Peck and Gary Cooper), Tom Hiddleston, oh, wait. I know a good one. When we watched She’s the Man, my sister and I were drooling over young Channing Tatum (let’s be real, the major reason I wanted to watch that). I also fancied the men in I Am Dragon. But I can’t think of anything that matched my Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Tom Hiddlestown rages (those later two, especially Hiddleston were more like “real” crushes, cringy I know).
What political issue stirred you the most?
We don’t do politics here.
Who did you miss?
No one.
Who was the best new person you met?
Most new people I’ve met have been work people.
Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2018.
Always have an emergency fund.
Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Five things I want to do in 2019:
Achieve financial stability
Implement patterns to make my life easier
Travel more
Maybe get out of my shell more (that’s not really a want but a should)
Develop my talents more.

Fall Fun List Success

  • An autumn festival (already scheduled, just need to ask off) with my grandparents
  • Join in on our family Ladies Shopping Day; I have only been able to join on show-and-tell the last few times. We’ve tried to have 1-2 shopping days with the ladies in Mom’s extended family where we shop at antique stores and consignment shops with a break for lunch and an end of day after snack and show-and-tell showcasing our finds at the end. So much fun.
  • Spend lots of time with my niece and take lots of good photos. Since I’ve gotten a new phone, I’ve gotten some photos and videos, mostly videos. It’s more fun just to talk to her and watch her though.
  • Maybe a autumn hiking trip. No.
  • Buy all my planning stuff for next year. I bought some, not the fun stuff though and that after fall
  • Read tons moreParticipate in Classics Club dare and read 5 more from list. I did read a ton more, just not much from the Classics Club although I did start War and Peace.
  • Work on blog development a bit (Genesis, IP, spam, disclosure). No.
  • Make serious dent in my sewing stash. I haven’t sewn at all.
    • Finish second smocked baby dress ASAP
    • Two more business skirts
    • Fall dresses and skirts
    • Baby dresses for summer (as Christmas gifts)
    • Tons of baby bows and such
  • Make a serious dent in my knitting stash. No, but I’ve done a little at using up some odd balls and leftovers by making one bonnet for my niece as well as two more in different sizes and starting a fourth plus a bit for Christmas.
    • Knit at least one sweater and sweater dress for me
    • Baby sweaters, rompers, sweater dresses. I finished my niece’s shrug and just started her sweater dress, after Christmas
    • Socks for me
    • Baby socks
  • Dress up as Audrey Hepburn from How to Steal a Million for Halloween. Maybe next year.
  • Start working on regency outfit. No, I could have at least make some mock-ups, I have plenty of scraps/muslin for some of that, but I lacked the motivation.

Confused Left-Hander

I was looking on YouTube for left-handed calligraphy videos, when I came across one of those “things that are hard for lefties.” All the comments and sharers are “OMG, yesssss!” Whereas my reactions are more, “I’ve been left-handed all my life, I had no other option, did you just suddenly become left-handed?!!!” I mean, its not like we’ve ever been able to do these another way.

Of course, there are things that when I discover they are harder for lefties, its like a light bulb goes on, calligraphy for instance, once I found leftie oblique cut pens and tried them, I felt all was explained. I pick up most crafts I’m interested fairly quickly, my handwriting can be lovely when I’m not being lazy, so I had been frustrated with this craft and not at all interested in twisting my hand in weird angles. Now I know why I found it so hard and how easy it can be.

I’m just saying its so much a non-issue, that I forget to account for when it will be. We have a straight handle rotary cutter which I can use, so I didn’t even stop and think when I bought a rotary cutter and brought it home. When I tried to use it, I realized with a shaped handle, I’d have to do some odd maneuvering to get it to work. Oops.

Most things, are merely less convenient, but I then I can’t really tell because I’ve always been doing them that way.

But there are some things, I just don’t understand. Writing goes in one direction, it can’t be perfectly mirrored. Some tools have specific places for specifics hands. But cutting can be mirrored with either handed scissors. The first time I understood people meant more than specific handed scissors, I was cutting fabric and the lady teaching me a sewing technique watched me cut and remarked that she was surprised that I could use scissors as her left-handed husband couldn’t. I was so confused as to why, I kept saying, “these aren’t right-handed specific.”

I don’t get that one. All the examples are of scissors that aren’t shaped to the palm; they hardly make those anymore. Obviously we left-handers can’t use those, we can’t put our hands in them. But regular scissors. Are. not. hand. specific. Cutting is mirrored. All the process can be mirrored.

That is why I wonder if there is something more at issue with some left-handed people, they aren’t merely mirror-handed. I think I’m just mirror-handed, only things that are right-handed or directionally specific are different for me. I knit right-handed quite easily. I don’t find the tasks of either hand harder or easier, I learned knitting as fast as any other person. Well, after I realized that you don’t knit back and forth; I had been knitting perfectly symmetrically, blending right and left style, but then so did my right-handed sister (although that may have been my fault), I just got confused, but once that was straightened out I was fine. Crochet on the other hand is much more like writing, and I always try it the left-handed way. I’m not a crocheter although I’d like to be better to make flowers and trim (I don’t care for the look of much else).

Now for commentary on this video. Okay, I know its dramatic and sarcastic. But most of the articles mention similar things (okay, okay, so they are probably all click-bait, but can we have serious discussion?). The scissor thing got me off and running.

I’d never thought about the mug thing; I’m not a big hot drinks user plus many mugs and cups have designs that got all around. I’m thinking I just turn the mug when I set it down and want to see the design.

I use a can opener like a right-hander because there isn’t any other way. That isn’t an angle thing for me, it’s a hand strength issue. I can make the first cut well with my strong hand gripping the bars, but the turning is with my weaker hand. We got a new can opener recently, that new blade makes turning the handle feel like a breeze.

I use a mouse with my right hand, I don’t remember that being hard either. Guys, I swear I’m not ambidextrous. That is REALLY rare.

The pen thing. I write underneath, so I don’t think I smear like that (I do when drawing, but wouldn’t right-handers as well, drawing is mirrored?). I do angle my paper; if I don’t my writing is angled.

Um, guys, notebooks and binders flip. When you write on the front the spiral is under the left-hand, when you flip the page and write on the other side, the spiral is under the right-hand.

Ice cream scoops, ha, this one of those, I don’t even think to consider; I’d just favorited some, I better see if there are left-handed specific.

The credit card thing (I wonder if that’s why I sometimes had to swipe so many times?!!! but not all were on the side, some are on the top), well we are going to the chip, for which we can use the left hand because it doesn’t matter.

I just felt like a long rambling post. I will make another post with links to videos I’ve found on left-handed calligraphy and hand-lettering.

Fall Fun List and To-Do’s

I always love seasonal “bucket” lists, and enjoy reading Hamlette’s to-dos. I’m an inveterate list making . . . and list-ignorer. I’ll probably put up a final quarter to-do list once I’ve formulated it. It will be MUCH simpler than the ones I previously made myself.

Fall Fun/Hobby To-Do List

  • An autumn festival (already scheduled, just need to ask off) with my grandparents
  • Join in on our family Ladies Shopping Day; I have only been able to join on show-and-tell the last few times. We’ve tried to have 1-2 shopping days with the ladies in Mom’s extended family where we shop at antique stores and consignment shops with a break for lunch and an end of day after snack and show-and-tell showcasing our finds at the end. So much fun.
  • Spend lots of time with my niece and take lots of good photos
  • Maybe a autumn hiking trip
  • Buy all my planning stuff for next year
  • Read tons more: Participate in Classics Club dare and read 5 more from list
  • Work on blog development a bit (Genesis, IP, spam, disclosure)
  • Make serious dent in my sewing stash
    • Finish second smocked baby dress ASAP
    • Two more business skirts
    • Fall dresses and skirts
    • Baby dresses for summer (as Christmas gifts)
    • Tons of baby bows and such
  • Make a serious den in my knitting stash
    • Knit at least one sweater and sweater dress for me
    • Baby sweaters, rompers, sweater dresses
    • Socks for me
    • Baby socks
  • Dress up as Audrey Hepburn from How to Steal a Million for Halloween
  • Start working on regency outfit

What I Accomplished in March

My goal lists are not concrete, and I’m trying to focus on the positive, so for now at least I’m going to focus on what I did accomplish even if not many of the exact goals were reached

  • Had a decent job/career month
  • Made great strides in the financial category
  • Sold shoes on Poshmark (I should have made one of my goals for this year to finish all reselling)
  • Finished baby boy cousin’s blanket
  • Started baby girl cousin #1’s baby blanket
  • Bought buttons and finished red scarf
  • Read 6 new-to-me books
  • Re-read 5 books
  • Got a 6 month full Ancestry.com account
  • Made a beautiful and delicious Easter cake

2nd Quarter Goals

Finances

  • Purchase TEFL training and work on other goals

Career

  • Obtain TEFL certification and work on other goals

Health

  • Work on diet, Habits Chart, and other goals

Personal Development

  • Get to 75% on Duolingo and work on a plan for further study
  • Work on soft skills training
  • Study accounting and math
  • Make a dent in my Craftsy and Creative Bug classes

Travel/Explore

  • Explore my state
  • Take some outings with my grandparents
  • Plan some longer trips
  • Learn more about/try if possible travel hacking

Others

  • Spend quality time with family, especially without Internet
  • Finish gifts, give gifts on time, and plan for Christmas

Homemaking/Holidays

  • Work on organizing and streamlining paperwork and files
  • Stash bust craft supplies/use up some toiletry items/participate in minimalist challenges to organize
  • Work on room design and wardrobe

Sewing/Making

  • Make a dent in related Craftsy and Creative Bug classes
  • Work on knitting and sewing to use up all my stashes and to finish projects
  • Work on sewing pattern organization

Reading

  • Read 25-30 new-to-me books
  • Finish all the books I have borrowed as of 3/26 and read 4 of my own unread books

Spring Bucket List

~Get/make a cute baby gift for my brother and sister-in-law’s gender reveal party

~Take several hiking and day trips

~Make this macaroni and cheese

~Go outside more

~Go fruit and berry picking

~Make some Spring treats

~Swim

~Re-read the Penderwicks in time for the new book

~Make an Easter dress

~Splurge on (and use) watercolor and calligraphy supplies

Opinion-y Opinioners

I posed a serious post on , and then I saw this. Oh, I love Blimey Cow videos; they have been so spot on lately, but in such a funny way. I’ve got to have a leetle sarcasm in between practicing to eventually in the distant future have half-way decent interpersonal skills.

 

 

February Goals and Winter Fun List Completion

Well, I think I will just focus here on what I did accomplish especially since I’m not in a position and don’t the personality to make everything concrete.

~I finished sweater dresses for the little girls of a family friend and mailed them off (I’ll get pictures up soon).

~I was good with my money/spending, and I’ve got some good plans in place which I will probably discuss more next month (after I implement them).

~One big school accomplishment (not public yet).

~I got a temporary job for a few weeks (the nicest job I’ve ever had and the only one that I don’t dread going to, in fact I would almost say I look forward to going to).

~I read 7 books (5 new to me, 2 re-reads, and one of those was a borrowed book).

~I am (as of 3/4/2018) at 43% on Duolingo (I think I got up to 46% this month which is 4% from my target . . . and then I let it slip down).

~I already did some puzzles and game days when I made my Winter Fun List, but I didn’t do much after, and I think the only thing I really did was watch the Olympics.

February Goals

I think I got a little too ambitious for February, but we’ll see.

Finances
~Buy TEFL course and work on some other goals

Career
~Start TEFL, work on other skills

Health
~Work on habits chart and lose 5 pounds (try to aim for 50% completion rate on habits chart, at least for most important goals)
~Tech breaks: no tech on Sunday, 5 weekday tech-free days, 5 hour limit for at home days, 2 hour limit for work days, off by 7pm (probably should add tech control to habit chart)

Personal Development
~Reach 50% on Duolingo and equivalent on Tinycards
~Work on math, accounting, EQ, and interpersonal communication library books
~Listen to online library music

Travel and Explore
~Plan, ice skate

Others
~Donate blood
~Finish gifts, plan baby blankets

Homemaking and Holidays
~Digital file conversion and back-up (work through this challenge I mentioned before)

Sewing and Making
~Finish 1-2 Craftsy and Creativebug classes
~Finish gifts, sewing with little girls, unfinished projects, and shadowbox

Reading
~Read 8+ new to me books, 2+ borrowed books, and 2+ unread of my own books
~Read a classic from another country (other than Russia and UK)
~Read from my category list
~Read 1+ Hemingway novel
~Complete most of Brothers of Karamazov
~Read 1+ book toward my U.S. history course
~Read poetry
~Read some essays

1st Quarter Goals

Here are my 1st quarter goals, edited a bit for privacy.

Finances
~Pay off student loan (probably too ambitious at this point)
~Purchase TEFL training
~Emergency fund

Career
~Plan for school
~Complete TEFL training (I’m not sure I will be able to complete it because it is so far in)

Health
~Focus on diet, hydrations, supplements, and meal plan
~Lose 10 pounds (I’ve gained 5 instead, but I don’t think I’ll be losing 15 in two months)
~Focus on stretching with walking, swimming, and abs & gluts work-outs
~Tech vacations
~Get a facial

Personal Development
~Reach 65% on Spanish in Duolingo (and keep pace in Tinycards) and work on geography with Seterra
~Complete two library math books
~Work through a few interpersonal communication, logic, EQ, logic, and critical thinking books
~Work through 1 Craftsy course, 20+ YouTube videos, and one library book on art
~Buy piano D.V.D.’s and listen to 6 new C.D.’s from library (I’ll modify this because I had forgotten our library has digital offerings)

Travel and Explore
~Take an exploration day (maybe in March, I wasn’t thinking of the seasonal aspect)
~Plan some day and longer trips (NYC and Anastasia . . . in my dreams)

Others
~Donate blood
~Family time with no tech
~Finish gifts, start 1-2 baby blankets

Homemaking and Holidays
~Clear out digital files; get Lightroom & start editing
~Use up extra beauty products
~Plan Summer and Spring wardrobe (including proper outdoor and activities clothes and shoes)

Sewing and Making
~Working on stash busting sewing and knitting
~Work on finishing random projects and finish 3 Craftsy courses

Reading
~Read 25 new to me books
~Read 6 borrowed (from other people/the basement, lol) and 3 unread books of mine