As the year draws to a close and a new one begins I decided to look back on some of our accomplishments, and we’re pleased with the way our major homesteading goals and accomplishments went this year.
Obviously some were better than others and it’s clear we need improvements in some areas, yet some of our achievements stood out as shinning stars.
— Garden —
We had great versatility and varieties this year, heirloom tomatoes, poblano peppers and a couple different lettuce varieties graced our back and front yards.
The kale came in tremendously and is still producing even after the first snowstorm. We had bad luck with our tomatoes, they came down with early blight. From what I have researched they were probably planted too close together, coupled with a very wet spring and summer.
The black beauty eggplants took to our raised garden bed in the front yard with vigor. We’ll probably pick them earlier next summer, because they turned a yellowy color, I think we left them on the vine too long.
— Travel —
We had the pleasure of taking a holiday to Greece and the Island of Crete. I found the Cretan landscape and way of life to be inspiring and if we could all learn to slow down and enjoy life, love and delicious food we would be so much better off.
Hiking along the Samaria Gorge was “gorgeous,” and the way the locals traverse up and down the nine-mile trek from the ocean to the mountains of Sfakia on donkey is surreal.
As with all our trips we learned, loved and explored our world. Thankful to be back to the green bungalow, but always thirsty for more life changing experiences.
— The Remodel —
The downstairs bathroom remodel took three weeks and with some generous donations of time and resources from family, we stuck it out and made it a terrific and classic addition to a 91 year old house.
We took the walls down to the studs, installed a vapor barrier, and CBB [cement backer board] then tiled the walls and floors. A new vanity was customized by us and we installed a new vessel sink and new plumbing underneath. A fresh coat of white paint was applied to the vanity wall and we tirelessly trimmed and trimmed the moulding.
All in all, we not only gained a beautiful master bath, but grew as a couple and our DIY skills became more adept .
— Caring for others —
On a cool fall afternoon we made lunch for a homeless man. We didn’t know him, never had seen him before. He asked us for change, we didn’t have any, but we went home and made a quick and nourishing lunch and dropped it off to him.
It felt good, made us feel alive and we can count on ourselves to do many more acts of kindness in the next year.
This year has been a tremendous exercise in discovering what we can truly do as individuals and as a couple. We have changed in so many positive ways and decided to never turn down any opportunity for growth.
Here’s to a happy and healthy 2016.