2017 “To-Do” List, Annotated Edition

2017 To-Do List vision-board!

I made this vision board for my Journal Junkies class at Gallery 27. The process was a wonderful meditation on my goals for this new (and honestly rather scary) year. I think I will add this to the annual to-do list process! Click on the picture if you want to zoom in on any of the goals.

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  1.  Grow a garden–a big one. Like I mentioned in TT22, we’ve got plenty of room for a good sized garden and I’d like to really push us this year to grow things we eat a lot of. I want to have a summer full of epic salads and a winter full of garlic & onions. I think we are going to do the raised pallet beds of bag dirt and grow a variety of lettuces and radishes there. I solemnly swear I will plant carrots and NOT PULL THEM UNTIL THEY ARE READY. We have gotten all sorts of inspiration from one of our new favorite homesteading youtube channels, Deep South Homestead. They plant their pepper plants in buckets and keep them growing for 3+ years! I’m also going to beg my Hollar cousins for another asparagus plant. So many ideas y’all!
  2. Finish tee shirt quilt. Pretty self explanatory. I have a quilt going that is basically like a punk patch hoodie only it is quilt size. Like most of my quilts it is all hand work so the progress is a little slow moving. Plus, with our wood stove the living room is mostly too hot to quilt in! Dangalang! I really want to get a quilt project finished this year though, so I must get to it!
  3. Ride bikes with Mr. Smith to the McFadden Farm. This is a lofty goal. The ride from our house to the farm is less than 50 miles one way. Mr. Smith is an avid road rider and although I am not interested (at this point) in riding centuries (and then some) I WOULD like to push myself on some long rides. This goal may not get accomplished until another year but I really would like to get there some day!
  4. Read 50 books. Last year I read 38 books which sounds both like a lot of books and like none. I read 3-4 books at once–but let me explain that. I typically have a fiction book going at the same time as a non-fiction book, plus a graphic novel, and I ALWAYS have an audio book going in my truck. With that many different genres going I don’t get the storylines confused. All that said, it seems like I would get more read in a year than just 38 books. This year I am putting forth a challenge to make myself read more and do less aimless social media scrolling. I’ve also figured out that I can prop a book up while I knit…this takes my love of multi-tasking to a whole new level!
  5. Go on a train ride. I would reaaaaaally like to go on an epic Amtrak adventure out west. There is an awful lot of life to get going though, so I will keep planning that dream trip and probably just go on a regional day trip instead. Pretty much since Mr. Smith and I met we have been wanting to go on the Great Smokey Mountains Railroad. Come hell or high water we WILL be going on one of their rides this year! So there.
  6. Purge the Doom Shack. Ugh. I have so much stuff–don’t we all? Okay, maybe not everybody does, but I know an awful lot of people who do. When Mr. Smith and I found our house we were both pretty smitten with it with a few little caveats (like the old off white carpet…vom). It’s not a terribly big house and that is great (lower costs all around!), but we both have hobbies that require space. We made a plan from the get go to figure out a way to accommodate all our fun. The house came with an already wired out building that we agreed would be my studio (a pole barn will come later for the Mr.) Buuuuuuuut right now it is full of a bunch of crap that I need to mostly get rid of. So I’ve named it the Doom Shack until the purge is complete.
  7. Set up the Pout House. Oh the Pout House. (See Dreamy House post for the story behind the name.) Once I get the purge done then the Doom Shack will get to be my awesome toy shop/art studio/miniature museum/sparkly party palace. Once. I. Get. The. Purge. Done. One bag of bu!!$h*t at a time.
  8. Keep up the blog. I have been at this blog stuff for right at a year! Can you even believe that? I would like to be a bit more regular at posting but overall I am pretty pleased with my progress. This year I want to keep up TINY Tuesday (of course!) and the OOTD posts. I’d like to think up one more post theme that I can keep coming back to. Let me know if you have any ideas! What would YOU like to hear about?
  9. Help animals in need. I am so tenderhearted, ya’ll and I want to do more to help out critters in my community. I’m not ready to add another animal to the family but I would like to foster (which I used to do regularly). After years of living in rentals with STOOPID landlords who hated pets, I am so glad to have my own home with none of the restrictions. Again, with the big yard there is potential to foster dogs as well as cats. With kitten season upon us I hope to be a temporary home for some of the animals who might not otherwise make it.
  10. Keep trying 2-D art. Because it is fun.

 

A few more things I’ve decided to add since the original post:

Learn to identify regional trees. —-> I’ve been meaning to do this for everrrr. I want to learn how to identify at least 20 trees.

Plan and pack an EDC go-bag.—-> These are a good idea for everyone to have on hand everyday, but especially nowadays. I grew up in a family that always kept a tool bag,  gallon of water, and flashlight in the vehicle. In winter there was always a quilt, additional warm clothes, and some non-perishable food. I want to add to that and make up a kit with more gear. If you’re interested, I’ll do a post on the process of choosing items for my EDC (every day carry).

SAVE.—-> I rarely see any “new” advice that rings a bell with me but I saw something on Dr. Oz a week or so back that really resonated with me. (PLEASE don’t judge me on the Dr. Oz thing–it’s on at the gym!) The financial expert that was on said that if you really want something, like a higher price luxury type item, you can totally have it…BUT you should save the same amount as it cost. So if you want a $200 Blythe doll (*cough*cough*) you can have it, but only if you save an additional $200 to your savings. I’m not a big ticket item person like this very often, but I like the idea. I’m going to try to implement the idea, but with a twist. If I get a subscription box that cost $30, then I have to save an additional $15 and donate an additional $15. This way I will force some savings AND some giving. Because we ALL need to be donating to the ACLU! Isn’t that a great idea?

Do a mid-year update—-> I forgot to do this last year! This year I am gonna!

What kind of goals and to-do lists have y’all come up with?

How is your list coming so far during the first month of 2017?

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TT 22: Carlo Rossi, hush puppies & seeds

OMG y’all! I’ve been SO busy!

Like sooooo busy.

Eh, who am I kidding?

If you asked Mr. Smith what I’ve been up to for the past week he would tell you this: laying on the couch reading “that book”. Now you’ll want to know what book I am reading. I try really hard not to over-hype or over-grump on a book buttttt if you are in to post-apocalyptic fiction I am going to tell you to go run and check out Wool by Hugh Howey. When I like a book or a movie I typically say, “It’s worth reading (watching)” so as to not color the experience, but really, this one I haven’t been able to put down.

And that has nothing to do with TINY but you needed to know it so now you do.

ON TO THE TINY STUFF!

I haven’t drooled over enamel pins lately so here are some dreamy ones.

Joy of Cooking        gouda            nachos

I mean, really. This trio is delightful.

Let’s take a special moment for this next TINY item.

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Carlo Rossi Ring

I personally think this ring should be a real thing.

Someone please make one for me!

And now for a humorous childhood tale. Soooo back in the olden days when I was a wee toddler, I lived with my family in a fairly rural part of Georgia. We lived far enough out that we didn’t just run in to town on a daily basis to pick things up; we planned a trip and did a whole lot of stuff when we got there. On these trips my mom and I would do things like go to the public library (though we also had a bookmobile stop in our neighborhood), the thrift store, the grocery store, the liquor store, and on very special occasions we would even share a lunch at PoFolks. Now I guess during this time my mom was on a chablis kick (no wonder we loved The Lady Chablis so much) because every time we made it to the liquor store she ordered the same thing: two 2 liter bottles of the stuff. As a toddler I could perform such party tricks as reciting “The Alphabet of Flowers” AND because I was a toddler I could remember and parrot EVERYTHING, I could also order my parent’s booze allotment. Mom would pull around to the DRIVE THRU liquor store window and I would pipe up in my little kid voice “TOO TOO LEEETER CARLOROSS CABLEEPLEEEEESE”! and I would be rewarded by the lady in the window with a piece of that hard ass pink bubble gum that looked like an extruded flower and lost its flavor once it got soft. I guess maybe kids still get to have such joy in more devilish parts of the country where boozy drive thrus are still open.

Thank you Mom for giving me such a fun childhood. I still remember those honey biscuits at PoFolks and how special you made everyday adventures. That and my weird love for all things Chablis. ❤

On to more TINY.

Like TINY food.

I’m talking about HUSH PUPPIES.

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photo credit Garden & Gun

If you’ve never had a hush puppy I’m not sure that I can even begin to explain to you the delightful wonder that is these tiny appetizer balls of deep fried corn meal magic. Except I just tried to. I can only imagine how adding crab would take this already perfect delicacy and amp it the &#@% up. Someday I will try it and I will tell you all about it. Until then, go find the dive-iest fish camp around and GIT U SUM hush puppies. And tarter sauce. Because that is how you are supposed to eat them. My grandmother told me so.

I haven’t shared a TINY video lately! Here is a squee worthy video of TINY stuff sent to me by my field agent Miss Kelly! Click ^ to see it.

TINY

SEEDS!

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It’s garden time, y’all!

It’s been a while since I got to have a BIG garden, but every garden starts with TINY seeds! Now that Mr. Smith and I have nearly an acre of land, we are planning a pretty big garden. Here are some of the seeds I have picked up for the coming year. I won the Baker Creek Seeds as part of a silent auction for the JRDF. What a win! I’ll keep y’all posted on how the garden grows this years. I hope it will be worthy of several posts instead of TINY TUESDAY!

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 Oh, and Patti Smith says, “Forget about all these–just plant the sweet corn!”

Happy Tuesday y’all!

Tiny Tuesday #21!

Hey there! It’s TINY TUESDAY #21!

Happy TINY TUESDAY from the snowy state of North Carolina!

I’m going a TINY bit stir crazy after being stuck in the house since Friday night. We finally got out today–Mr. Smith drove me to Morganton to get my Mom her cat back (we’ve been cat-sitting while she vacationed). The main roads around here are clear but the secondary and tertiary roads are still pretty icy to be honest. I know you readers from up north may scoff at us down here in the south, but we just don’t have the plows, salt, etc to keep our roads safe. Some of our buses don’t even have heat. Glad to be off another day to keep the kiddos safe and warm.

So yeah, I’ve got a little extra time on my hands for the bloggy ❤

You may recall my field agent TP from last week’s  TT. She is the one who sent in the pictures of the fairy garden! You absolutely must click here to see what she found for us this time. It includes TINY, cats, and funny–three of my most favorite things! Thanks again TP–I love it when you dear readers report on TINY stuff for me to share!

TINY!!

CHRISTMAS!!

HAUL!!

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Num-nomsL’il WoodzeezSquishyPops My Little PoniesAnimal Jam

new TINY toys posing with books leftover from my subcultures class at WWC.

{THAT is a hilarious juxtaposition}

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Duckie posing with the new TINY etch-A-sketch! Thanks Mod Mom!

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A much coveted LOL Surprise doll!

You gotta watch the unboxing videos on these–click here. These dolls are so weird–mine is a spitter in case you were interested. These LOL dolls are selling like hotcakes on ebay so you should snag some if you can actually find them in stores!

TINY!!!

ORANGES!!!

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My mom brought these TINY satsuma oranges back from her gallivanting in LA. Satsuma is also the name of a small community that my dad lived in as a kid. They’re totally delicious–click here to read a little of the history of the TINY fruit!

TINY!!

Paper-bead!!

Earrings!!

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Some of y’all may know that I collect paper-beads–which reminds me that I really DO need to write a post showing off my ever-growing collection of them! My mom asked our friend Cotton Candy (remember her from Tiny Tuesday #8!Tiny Tuesday #9Tiny Tuesday #10 !!!) to make me a pair for Christmas and these are what she created. I’m totally smitten with them. TINY SPARKLE! Yipee!

Hope you are having a fabulous TINY week wherever you are!

And if you’re snowed in like me, I hope you’re only going a TINY bit snow crazy 🙂

 

2017 “To-Do” List

{From 2016’s “To-Do” List blogpost}

Resolutions are weird.

And kind of hard to keep up.

Why don’t we call it a to-do list instead?

Let’s start a new tradition this year and make to-do lists NOT resolutions.  There is still plenty of time to make YOUR 2016 list!  I love making lists and checking things off of them.  I pretty much always have a little notebook going with grocery store needs, crafty ideas, letters to write, and adulting to be done.

I’m pretty motivated to get stuff done, but somehow it helps me get bigger and/or intimidating things accomplished when I write them down.  When I was in high school and college I made these lists at the beginning of fall semester.  These days I do them at the year change, although I’ve also though about making another list on my birthdays.  Maybe that will be another new tradition we can start! 

Here is last year’s list of things to-do! I’d originally planned a mid year update (which is close to my birthday), which honestly might have prompted more work getting done on the list. In fact I am going to add that to this year’s list, haha!

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What did I get done?

  1. Make & use a pinhole camera. NOPE.
  2. Write a new zine. NOPE.
  3. Go to eye doctor. YES! (in March no less but still need to order glasses :/ )
  4. Go to dentist. YES!  This ended up being a pretty big deal. For years I have been thinking about/dreading getting crowns on my 2 front teeth. I finally bit the bullet and got them done and they look amazing. I’ve even managed to pay them off…no small feat on its own.
  5. Set up/load pictures to a cloud. NOPE.
  6. Grow a garden. YES! It wasn’t the biggest or the best ever, but it was a very good start. I’ll probably write a separate post about the garden stuff since I have very big plans for this year’s growing!
  7. Finish top secret quilt. NOPE.
  8. Deal with vintage Etsy stock. SORTA. I went through and purged a bunch of it, leaving just the really cool and probably valuable pieces. Now I need to make an appointment with a couple of stores to try and sell the stuff.
  9. Finish tee shirt quilt. Progressing–definitely got some work done, and am currently working on it since it’s no longer making-to-sell season.
  10. Build doll house. YES! Well, I didn’t so much build it as accuire one and begin decorating it. I look forward to showing more progress as it happens.
  11. Purge and revamp wardrobe. SORTA. I def purged a bunch before I moved but it needs another go round. Doesn’t it always?

Things that weren’t on the list that I enjoyed doing:

I think it’s worth noting some of the things that were not necessarily on my list but ended up being important to me and feel like accomplishments.

Coloring and drawing. I’m definitely a functional artist–nee a crafter. I kinda burned out on my local quilter’s guild but missed one particular quilter; I’ll call her Genie. Anyway, Genie told me about a journaling class/workshop/club that meets every other Wednesday at Gallery 27. I started going and totally fell in love. I’ve had so much fun doodling, coloring, and writing just for fun. It’s definitely weird not to have a finished product that I can wear or sell, but the sensation of accomplishment is just as strong.

Math. You read that right. It’s beyond insane–I know it is. When I got my new job as an assistant 8th grade math teacher I was scared pretty well $hitle$$. I’d merely applied for an assistant teacher job and had no idea what subject I’d be doing. Honestly if I hadn’t been so desperate for a change I’m not sure if I would have been open to trying something so scary. But I did, and OH BOY am I glad. So now sometimes I do math for fun–long division and big multiple digit multiplication and functions. I KNOW THE FORMULAS FOR THINGS LIKE SLOPE! I tell you this to tell you to TRY SOMETHING YOU THINK YOU ARE BAD AT. I mean, something you think you are TERRIBLE HORRIBLE NO GOOD VERY BAD at. Just try it. It may turn out that it could be your new favorite hobby or even career.

Going to the gym. Again, I promise no one has hijacked my blog. It really is Coon-Smith typing away here. This is not a body-shaming thing of any kind. I am confident in myself and how I look/feel/am but the fact is that I have not only put on some weight, but I’ve been leading a very sedentary life. I’m focused mostly on getting my heart rate up to keep the old ticker in good working order. The elliptical machine, y’all. That thing is awesome! In the past, as far as heart health goes, I’ve mostly just jogged and that is ruff on the joints etc. The elliptical is like running on weird mechanical air. I’ve also been spinning–hoping to get enough practice to be able to keep up with Mr. Smith on a road ride sometime in 2017. I’m getting no kickbacks from this post but I do want to mention that Planet Fitness has been awesome for me. The staff greet me when I arrive and leave. No one has creeped me out (fingers crossed on that). No one has given me weird looks about my admittedly weird clothes (I go straight from work and don’t change anything but my shoes). So yeah–the gym has been a *pleasure*? It has.

Here is the list for 2017!

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I’m actually working on a *vision board* to go along with this, so stay tuned for another post where I tell you all about this list!

What are some of the things on YOUR to-do list for this year?

Did you check off lots of things from your list last year?

What did you enjoy that wasn’t even on your list?

TINY Tuesday #20!

Here it is-FINALLY 2017!

Happy New Year!!!

{and more importantly}

Happy first TINY Tuesday of 2017!

I ran across these pics that came from one of my biggest TT fans and dear pal, TP. These are photos that she herself snuck up and took of a real live ACTUAL fairy garden!!! Look at all the wonderful little TINY things that the fairies collected and arranged so perfectly! I especially love the wagon and the flamingo. By the looks of the last photo they must have found a TINY green Monopoly house and are using it as a doll house! Have YOU ever stumbled upon a fairy garden? Next time you do, take a few pictures for me! I’ve heard that the fairies don’t mind at all, so long as you don’t TOUCH anything AND you leave a TINY token of appreciation. Thanks again TP!!!

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TINY!

GEL!

PEN!

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This TINY gel pen came from my secret Santa at work–it has such smooth ink! Also here is my Journal Junkies journal (stay tuned for more about that in my 2017 to-do list post) with a most awesome quote on it. Also I have only just figured out how to doodle on my pictures hence the awkward writing you see superimposed on my book XD

Speaking of gel pens, often when I use them I think about one of my favorite co-workers from an old library job. She was from Nicaragua and Spanish is her first language. Most everything she said made since but sometimes words with a G or J came out delightfully funny. She pronounced gel pens fine but called gel nail polish “HELL polish”. And she called Bojangles (for those of you not from the south this is the holy grail of fast food biscuits and chicken) bo-HAN-glais. I just love funny pronunciations of words.

TINY!

PEACHPIT!

BASKET!

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Pictured with PBR can to show ridiculous scale!

This TEENY TINY peach pit basket actually came from another former library coworker of mine. Her father was a preacher and he made these little baskets. Somewhere in an old TINY Tuesday post I told y’all about having these as a little girl living in Georgia. At some point she and I must have talked about them because she found this one little tiny one in her jewelry box and gave it to me. It is such a treasure and I am so glad to have it in my collection of TINY delights.

Inspirational quote about TINY!

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Gotta love ‘ol RWE. Take a minute to think about it.

I got a bunch of really great tiny doll stuff but I have some of it on my desk at work so I’m going to have to hold off on posting about that until later. Those goodies will definitely be in next week’s edition of TT! I guess this is kind of a short one, nee a TINY one, but I hope you enjoy it.

Until next time, much love from the sutler tent!

 

What did you read in 2016?

It’s the annual WHAT DID YOU READ LAST YEAR post!

Here is the post about the 2015 reading log if you wanna go back in time.

{Fun fact–it was my first post ever on this blog!}

These are pictures of some of my book piles from 2016 at the public library. I only keep track of the “chapter books” that I read, not cookbooks and craft books, etc. There is something so satisfying about a big stack of library books that are new to you ❤

Here is my actual list of books read in 2016:

39 books!

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{beware of mild spoilers}

Stand Out books of 2016:

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Ya’ll, I LOVED this book. I love weird & creepy old photos and the plot had good twists and turns. I couldn’t put it down. That is that. Unfortunately see “Total Duds” section for commentary on the rest of the series.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I know I am like 10 years late to this book party but I can actually remember when these first came out. I was working in the processing department of DBRL at the time and the whole literary world was all aflutter over a book series with a dead author. How do you do a book tour like that? I did not read the series as it came out as I inevitably get disappointed when books are over-hyped. It may be worth mentioning that I listened to this series on audiobook. It was not easy to hear in some parts (graphic violence, sexual violence) but the books were extremely well written and very planned out–the stories wove seamlessly together. I enjoyed all three. It was sad to learn (in the biography that I later read and wasn’t so crazy about) that Larrson had plans for several more books. I have no doubt they would have been captivating as well.

Midnight in Broad Daylight. I posted the picture you see here on my instagram account. I invite you to click here to look at the people who “liked” the picture and even commented on it. This is a book that I think EVERYONE should take the time to read and think about.

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The my overall favorite book of the year has to go to 84 Charing Cross Road which I found in a paperback copy at the dadgum buck-a-pound Goodwill. It’s a quick & easy read that is a true story, or rather, real letters that were sent between the SERIOUSLY FEISTY Helene Hanff and a bookseller in London. Pick up a copy and just eat it up. I am almost 100% sure you will not be disappointed.

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Total Duds books of 2016:

THE REST OF THE MISS PEREGRINE SERIES. I’m not even going to link them here. I slogged through the 2nd book and couldn’t make it past the first chapter of the 3rd. And then I heard about the morphing/switch of the main female character for the movie and I was DONE. Gross. Total bummer. Life goes on.

Danny Champion of the World. When I was a kid, this was one of my MOST favorite of Roald Dahl’s books. Back then I loved that Danny and his dad lived in a “caravan” and ate food out of “tins”. Reading it this go round was totally effed up. This time it seemed like basically the dad was addicted to poaching, did nothing but kill birds in really messed up ways, and lived like paupers in a tiny camper. Oh the difference 25 years and being a vegetarian makes. Sadface.

Serafina and the Black Cloak. I’m bad about getting grumpy over books with lots of hype, and given that I live near the Biltmore House (where this book was set) I guess I was bound to be disappointed. This is another one with a weird father/child relationship and really distressing and seemingly misplaced violence. Not a fan and certainly didn’t read the second installation.

I guess maybe the moral of this story is to be careful rereading childhood favorites. I’m glad none of my ‘grown up’ books were so bad! I absolutely adored rereading the Little House books in 2015, but found I couldn’t get through my once beloved Dr. Doolittle books (the use of the N word made it impossible for me to recommend it to ANY ONE, and difficult to get past despite the historical context).

What did you read this year?

What was good? What was worth cautioning against?

Here’s to 2017 being full of wonderful literary delights…and trashy stuff, too!