Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A New Year

Happy New Year to everyone!

2012 was a very difficult year, so I'm looking forward to a better 2013.
I spent most of last year in survival mode.  Most days, all I could do was get through the day.  Money was extremely scarce, the roommate (and son) were crazy, and the job was miserable.  It was pretty depressing and sometimes scary.  I was beginning to wonder if I needed to change the name of this blog, because I was beginning to think that the best was behind me.  It's kind of hard to dream and plan for the future when all you can do is survive the day.  And I'm a person who dreams big, and always tries to have something good to look forward to. For me, the anticipation is often better than the event, but I enjoy them both anyway.  So, it was tough not being able to plan for the future, not having anything to look forward to.
So, I've decided that in 2013, I'm leaving survival mode behind, and making some big plans.  Luckily, my autumn and winter bills are extremely low, and I'm getting more hours at work, so if I shop carefully, I'll have enough money to implement at least a few of my plans.  I always have a huge list of stuff I want to accomplish, but I'll only share a few of them with you:
1. Blog: Grow and improve this blog and my photography skills.  I started blogging almost a year ago, and I'm often surprised and touched at the kind and encouraging comments I receive.  I really appreciate my followers and enjoy talking with you.  I just wish you all lived on my street so we could talk in person.  I haven't posted very often during my first year, in large part because who wants to read about someone who is just in survival mode?  Boring, boring, boring.  So, I need to post more often.  I also need to improve my photography skills.  Any advice you can give would be appreciated.
2. Get another job (or a second job).  NOT in retail. 'Nuff said.
3. Train Tallulah.  Miss T. is VERY sweet, but she is 90 pounds of unbridled enthusiasm, and that could get someone hurt, especially since strangers don't realize that she is a puppy (because she's so big), and even those that know her (including me) often forget how young she is, and often expect better behavior from her than a 10 month old pup is capable of.  I'm so glad to have my Sweet, Awkward Doofus, and I don't ever regret adopting her (even when she chewed up one of my Hallmark Snoopy Christmas ornaments from 1982. And my job interview shoes. And 3 pair of socks. And two skeins of yarn. And an electrical cord. And . . .  ) However, a dog that big needs training and socialization, and I need to learn how to control her better. So, I've enrolled her in puppy reform school kindergarten at PetCo.  I'm also hoping that we can meet some younger dogs that she can play with.  I think she's kind of bored with me : )
Her paw is almost as big as my hand!
4. Paint the inside of the house.  Right now, I'm living with the tan paint color that was on the walls when I moved in.  It's nice, but it's just not me.  I'm not a neutral kind of girl.
5.  Landscape front and back yards.  Three things sold me on this house when I first toured it: the large remodeled kitchen, the cozy brick fireplace in the living room, and the huge backyard.  Ever since I read The Secret Garden when I was a girl, I have always wanted a lush English country garden, complete with climbing roses, and all sorts of old fashioned fragrant flowers. Not an easy feat in sunny California.  But I think it's possible, and I'm determined to create that quiet, peaceful, "secret" place in my backyard, for reading, daydreaming, and afternoon naps.
The front and back yards don't look much different now than from when I first saw the house:
The backyard even came with a small potting shed. 
The shed looks tiny next to the tree.
As you can see, the backyard has great potential; it just needs lots of plants, and a lot of hard work.  If anyone has any experience in this, or has any ideas for it, feel free to offer advice.  Keep in mind, I'll be doing the majority of the work alone, on a strict budget.
The front yard is just boring.  
The tree has grown quite a bit, and I've planted lavender in the planter, but otherwise, it has changed little.  It definitely needs more landscaping.
As you can see, I have lots of projects for this year.  I can't wait to see them through to completion.
I hope that 2013 is a great year for everyone.
Thank you for your visit. I look forward to reading your comments.


  1. Have a great new year!
    I hope you'll accomplish everything you set your mind to. :)

  2. Vicki at Two Bags Full is having a Grow Your Blog Linkup. I think it is to get more followers and meet new ones. I signed up just to meet others.
    No one's life is boring. I am a people person and love to read about everyone. You have had a struggle but you made it and that is encouraging to others.
    Loving that little girl of yours. I like big ole puppies.
    Hoping you have a really good new year.

  3. Julie can you believe it is almost a year already?I started my blog on January 19th 2011.Where did the time go?I am looking forward to what you share in the coming year! Your home is beautiful I LOVE your yard it will be a beautiful garden.I am still working on my photography skills too.
    Your dog is so sweet <3 !I also love the new look of your blog!

  4. Wow, the picture of your hand and Tallulah's paw is awesome. She is such a sweet dog. :) I hope you take pictures in puppy kindergarten! We will have to buy her a graduation present when she is all done. I cannot wait to see your projects you complete this year. I love seeing your house as you change things. I too am going to try blogging a bit more this year. I am not quite sure what to focus on and it may end up being a little bit of everything. I would love to help you with your sewing endeavors if you want to dabble in that area this year too. Ok, my comment is longer than some of my own blog posts so I better wrap it up! LOVE YOU!

  5. Also, not sure if you've heard of it but I just started using a website called "bloglovin" that helps you organize and keep up with the blogs you read regularly. Check it out if you haven't heard of it.

  6. You can look in the Community Ed classes to learn about landscaping your yard. They teach you how to lay out a plan, pick the plants for your soil and sun exposure and how to buy in phases to grow your landscape. My husband took it and the professional teacher gave lots of advice that we have stuck to over the 22 years of working on our yard.

  7. Julie please remember that there is ALWAYS something good and wonderful to look forward to. It sounds like you have some great plans for yourself and your home. I really hope that 2013 is going to be a great and happy year for you and your puppy. A secret garden sounds wonderful in the backyard and that little garden shed is adorable too. You should make that a little garden retreat house for yourself. Happy new year.

    xo Danielle


Thank you for your comment. I look forward to reading it!