Tuesday, January 4, 2011

After the Party's Over...

Happy New Year! 2010 was an amazing year for me. I hate to be a braggart but I have a lot to celebrate. It was the best year I've had in a decade filled with bitter disappointments that included the deaths of many family members, serious illness, job losses and other woes. In 2010 my husband and I managed to put the past behind us and take a substantial step forward by relocating to a new area and purchasing our first home. It's been an incredible experience so far and it's changing the way I feel about home, community and family. I'm also enjoying writing for Turner Classic Movies and you can keep track of my film chat over at Cinebeats.com.

Like a lot of people I've got a list of New Years Resolutions or "plans" that I hope to see come to fruition this year. I'm sure that I won't get everything accomplished but I like to dream big so here's my list of New Years Resolutions. I thought I might be able to guilt myself into accomplishing them all if I made them public.

2011 PLANS

1. Organize My Office & Finish Unpacking
My office has been painted but the closet still needs to be organized and I need to unpack. I'm still living out of boxes and it's driving me nuts.

2. Finish Patching & Painting the Living/Dining Areas
We've made a lot of progress in this area recently and I hope we can get it finished up in the next month or two. The previous home owners apparently liked to shoot a BB Gun in the house and patching all the holes seems to be taking forever.

3. Refurbish & Update Our Fireplace
Our current fireplace has an awful stove in it that completely destroys the look of the room. The fireplace also has a crack in it that needs to be repaired. We want to remove the old stove and restore the look of our fireplace but we also want to make it environmentally friendly by installing a new fixture that uses clean-burning fuel instead of wood.

4. Landscape the Front & Backyard.
In the spring we plan to spend a lot of time on the exterior of our home. We want to add lots of rocks as well as plants that don't need much care or water. We'd also like to paint the house, add a new fence and a privacy wall but I don't think we'll be able to accomplish all of that due to our limited budget and time constraints.

5. Create A Small Vegetable & Herb Garden.
I've been eager to start my own garden in the backyard and I've found the perfect place for it. Hopefully I can get it started in the spring or summer.

6. Research My Family's History
One of my biggest challenges while I was moving was taking on the task of emptying out a storage unit that held my family's belongings. When my mother and grandmother passed away I wasn't prepared to deal with the aftermath so everything they left me went into storage and has sat there for many years. My father died when I was a child so his belongings were in there as well. Now that I'm older and have had a lot of time to mourn it's a bit easier to sort through family photos and other precious items like my parents wedding china and my father's tobacco pipes, but it's also extremely frustrating. Besides my younger brother, a few distant cousins and an uncle that I had a falling out with many years ago, I'm the last living member of my family. I have hundreds of questions about my family history that can't easily be answered and the contents of the storage unit complicate the discovery process as much as they enrich it. I plan on spending a lot of time researching my family's history this year and I'll be sharing many of my discoveries as well as family photos and mementos.

7. Learn to Cook Better
I'm a terrible cook but a decent baker. I really want to try to improve my cooking skills this year. My kitchen isn't ideal but we made it much more functional last month so there's no reason I can't start cooking more. At the moment my guy does all the cooking and he's a great chef but I'd like to be able to pitch in more and it's nearly impossible to live in Napa without being inspired to try your hand at cooking.

8. Take Part in More Physical Activities: Bowling, Hiking, Wii, etc.
I really want to start doing more physical activities. I'm in great health according to my doctor but I want to lose some weight. My guy bought us a Wii for Christmas so I plan to use it and I want to start bowling again and doing some hiking in the Napa hills as soon as the weather improves.

9. Open an Etsy Shop
I've been selling and buying stuff on eBay for the last 10 years but I'd like to open up my own shop on Etsy this year. Sooner or later I'd like to sell my own photography prints and artwork but I'll probably start by selling vintage goods. I have a LOT of old comic books as well as toys, knickknacks and other things that I'd like to find new homes for.

10. Take more photos & write more fiction
And last but not least... I absolutely love photography and writing but most of the photos I've taken lately have been tourist-like shots snapped on home tours and all my writing has revolved around reviewing and researching films. I plan to make more time for photo excursions this year and I might take some kind of fiction writing workshop just to get me motivated to write more. I have lots of partially started stories and ideas sketched out but I have a lot of trouble completing anything. I never lack ideas but I sure lack discipline.

To do all of these things I'm going to try and cut back on the time I spend online. Especially at social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook since they can be real time wasters. But I do want to blog more and I really enjoy updating Mid-Century Living whenever I can so you may even see more of me around here this year.

"The dream was always running ahead of me. To catch up, to live for a moment in unison with it, that was the miracle." - Anais Nin


  1. Great goals! It was a challenging year; I look forward to reading more of your triumphs with the above :)

  2. Thanks so much, Gretchen! I'm really looking forward to the coming year.

    And best of luck with all of your endeavors! I'm looking forward to keeping track of the events your planning with the SacMod group. My husband and I really like visiting the area so we hope to spend more time there this year.

  3. Well, you've got quite a year ahead of you!

  4. Thanks for stopping by, Arbo. I assumed that Greg was my only film blogging buddy that read my homebody blog.

    I doubt that I'll accomplish everything I'm going to set out to do but I'll give it a good try!

  5. That IS a challenge you've set yourself, but I'm sure you're up for it! Glad to hear 2010 was so good for you guys. I'm hoping 2011 is that year for us!

  6. Thanks, Sarah! I hope 2011 is an amazing year for you and your family.

  7. Wow! Your list of goals is almost exactly the same as mine- unpacking, walls, fireplace, cooking, etc. Best of luck to you! :)

    We're trying to do a low-water, native plant thing in our yard. There is a little nursery in Martinez that sells CA and Australian native plants. Worth checking out if you haven't already!

  8. Thanks Cheetah and best of luck to you as well! And thanks for the gardening tip. Thankfully we have a great nursery here in Napa that's been here for decades that offers a lot of low water & minimal maintenance plants. If I'm ever in Martinez I'll check it out though!

  9. Just read about the loss of David Nelson- which made me think of your blog..wondered if you were going to write about him?

  10. Hi there! Wasn't planning on it. I'm afraid that I didn't watch the show much so I wasn't a big Ozzie & Harriet fan. Someone at TCM might end up covering it though.

    There's been so many celebrity death's lately that's it's a little overwhelming. I was especially touched to hear that Anne Francis' had recently passed away. I loved her in the TV show Honey West (a favorite) and movies like Forbidden Planet, Blackboard Jungle, etc.



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