New Year Goals 2013…and 2014

Goals are definitely tricky little things. We make these elaborate lists every year full of hope and expectation that each item may be systematically checked off, when the reality is…procrastination, items rescheduled, items abandoned, life getting in the way, time moving too fast, etc., etc., etc.

This is a Year in Review of 2013…and a revamping of my goals for 2014.

1. Taxes. These were finished long ago for this year. Oddly enough, it’s first on my agenda for 2014, as well.

2. Bicycle riding for exercise. Well, bicycles WERE purchased this year, but we’re going to have to end 2013 with only one bike ride. Yeah, one. So, 2014 can only be an improvement, right?? Also, I was terrible about getting enough walking in this year. So walking and bicycling are a big push for next year.

3. Regular blog schedule. This blog entry completes my goal for the year! I am so stinking proud of myself for this one, because it was not easy. I set the goal of one blog every four days, and while I frequently derailed, I not only made up my average with more blogs, I managed to keep things relevant, which is tough. I’m keeping this goal for 2014, as well.

4. Go through clothes: donate/storage/keep. Didn’t happen, and I’m okay with that. This never was a big priority, anyway. If it happens in the coming year, great. Otherwise, it’ll happen eventually.

5. Renew genealogy focus. Spent almost half the year on genealogy, so this was a success. I’ll have a different focus in 2014, so should still get some good stuff done.

6. Get back to querying “101.” I’ve let all the writing, editing, and querying slide this year, because other things simply took over. But instead of jumping back into querying, I know it’s time to revamp the query. I can do better, and I will.

7. Convert VHS tapes to DVD format. Sure thought more of this would have happened this year, but instead…nothing. Got a good start in 2012, and now it’s time to get back to it. If I did two a week all year…that’s 104, which would be awesome.

8. Map out route for road trip this summer. Heck, yeah! Got this done and traveled for a total of four and a half months this year! (The real reason many goals weren’t met this year….). Now, the 2014 goal switches to a road trip in Scotland! I’m looking to hit this is March/April.

9. Edit “$$” and prepare query. I want to accomplish this in 2014. Didn’t get any of it done in 2013, but that’s mainly because I haven’t figured out how to work my craft while on the road. But this is definitely a top goal moving forward.

10. Clear 2nd storage unit. It was the weirdest thing: several times this year we thought this would happen, and then it just…didn’t. Over and over again, either we couldn’t find somebody, or once we did, we didn’t have the funds! So, I guess it wasn’t time yet. Will 2014 be the year? Hoping so!

11. Reorganize garage. Done! Everything looks great!

12. Application for organization. Didn’t happen, and that’s okay. Might not happen this year, either. I’m just going to take it off the list, because it’s just not a priority right now.

13. Return to edit and work on “Blank.” Didn’t happen this year, and not expecting it for 2014, either, so I’m taking it off the list. The other two writing projects are much more important right now.

14. Organize pictures into albums. This will only happen if the storage happens. So I’ll leave it on for 2014, but not expecting a miracle.

15. Hang plates, or store. Another storage-linked goal. If we clear the storage, then the plates that will be displayed can be dealt with, and the ones that won’t can be repacked and stored safely.

I’ve dropped four goals from 2013, so I’ll add four more for 2014:
1. Get back to reading for enjoyment.
2. Finish several small projects. I’ve got a list of about 20 things that need attention.
3, Process all the genealogy data gathered in 2013.
4. Purchase four items I’ve been wanting for several years. This will involve research.

That’s it! What are some goals you’ve set for 2014?

Georgia Travel Pics

While traveling through Georgia, we stopped in the small town of Crawfordville, the setting for the movie Sweet Home Alabama. The section filmed in a barbecue joint (called Stella’s Roadhouse in the movie) was actually Heavy D’s.

Heavy’s does some great barbecue, particularly ribs, but they also make a wonderful Brunswick stew.
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This is the original sign used in the movie.
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A look at Heavy.
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View of the roof and the iron pig up there…or should that be pig iron?
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One of the original Coca-cola delivery wagons. I love the dog sleeping underneath.

Travels Through Georgia, 2013

Georgia has a unique feel to it that can be found in no other state in the union. It’s hard to describe, but with all the trees, hills, swamps, and friendly people, Georgia is just a whole new experience.

Others are free to disagree, but there’s something welcoming and gentle about Georgia that is a completely different change from Florida, South Carolina, and Alabama. Tennessee is just as kind and historic, but it doesn’t sport the charm Georgia exudes from its huge cypress trees, amazing swamps, and strong sense of southern identity.

When I speak of southern identity, I mean the general feeling of lazy summer days, and soft spring mornings, cool fall evenings, and chilly winter nights. Fireflies, dewy lawns, crisp leaves, frosted earth.

Georgia is a state of mind…of history, and beauty, and wondrous allure that can only be experienced in person.

We always enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of traveling through this state, and we freely will admit to anyone that we may be biased. We have a couple of very dear friends whom we have stayed with any number of times over the years. The visits are easy, the conversation interesting, and the silences very enjoyable. They live in an antebellum home in a teeny tiny town with a state road running right through town and in fact, directly in front of their house, but this doesn’t matter because it infrequently sports traffic of any kind.

Not all of Georgia is so slow, quiet, and unassuming. Certainly, Atlanta and Columbus and Savannah all offer very different experiences. But even in the fast-paced, roaring, and bold metropolitan areas you can get a special feel for the powerful and hypnotic, yet agreeably gracious and soothing culture that is Georgia.

Christmas Decorating, 2013

We love decorating for Christmas. It takes us literally hours and hours to do, but the whole process is so worth it.

We do not begin until after Thanksgiving, even when it is as late as it was this year. But then it takes roughly 10 hours per day for 10 days to set everything up.

We could do a lot less…or even nothing at all. But we enjoy opening every box, pulling out every last item. We listen to Christmas music the whole time, and thoroughly love every minute.

Sometimes it’s a labor of love others cannot understand. Why spend so much time on this? Why go through the hassle?

But to us it is not a hassle or inconvenience…or we wouldn’t bother! Some people spend time gardening; others play video games; and still others find some other amusements. We just happen to love decorating.

So if you drive by and wonder who in the world would spend that much effort for such a small time period, I can tell you it’s us. We love what we do, and we love the looks of wonder and happiness on people’s faces when they see the finished look.

But don’t misunderstand: this stuff’s staying up until at least half-way through January. Period.

Florida Travel Pics, part III

Pictures of the Three Broomsticks from our recent visit to Universal Studios Park.
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The entrance, actually featuring three broomsticks!
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Antlers hung above the great fireplace.
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One seating area. All had good views with plenty of light.
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View looking up from below the chandelier.

The food was amazing, very tasty and at a reasonable cost. I was expecting high prices, so this was a very pleasant surprise.