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For 2019…

2019 the big messI don’t do New Years resolutions but I do have a lot of things planned for 2019. My brother and sister in-law got us going pretty good before they went back to China and I want to keep that going. It’s hard to believe we got so complacent over the years and them giving us a kick in the butt was a good thing. I have a problem with making to-do lists because I put too much stuff on them then nothing gets done. But here are some things i hope to get done in 2019…

Health, studies, and home…

I really need to lose about 20 lbs and get in shape. The funny thing is, when I asked my 13 year old what he wants for Christmas this year he said weights and a punching bag. Really? OK I can love that idea. I don’t know where it came from but it’s a great idea. Something the whole family can do together. I don’t have a place to put it so I even decided to do something I swore I’d never do – give up my train table. It takes up a lot of space (hard to believe how big a 4×8 table seems when it’s in your living room) and if I get rid of it we’ll have plenty of room for a punching bag and a weight bench. Also more room to play ping pong…

Last year I got my technician class amateur radio license and started studying for my general class license but never finished. For 2019 I want to get my general class license. Also need to finish my FEMA training so I don’t get kicked out of CERT, and I want to learn to speak some Chinese.

As for home, other than cleaning and organizing there’s not a whole lot of things. I do want to convert our entry hall closet into a second pantry and do a lot of cooking and canning. Maybe even start brewing my own beer.

Yard

My brother and sister gave us a pretty good start on the yard, especially the back yard. We’ve got a nice shed put up (still need to finish the siding) and a chicken coop built (still need to put up a chicken run). My brother also helped me get rid of a huge bush in the front yard so we’d have room for a couple grape vines. So first things will be to finish the shed and chicken run.

When it gets warm next spring I want to put in a couple of grape vines. Hopefully we’ll get a lot earlier start on the garden than we did this year. We’ve got re-bar and PVC hoops over most of the raised beds so I’ll be able to put up Agribon after the last snow. I also want to build an automatic watering system, a water collection system, and put in a fire pit. IF there is time I’d also like to build a rabbit hutch.

Planes, trains, and automobiles…

I have a drone I started and never finished so I need to get that done. I also want to restore one of my grandpa’s control line airplanes. Maybe fly some model rockets with my son…

I’m giving up my train table but not giving up on having a layout. I want to put up a shelf layout in the garage, or at least have a portable switching layout.

I need to get my Buick running. Actually I have 4 vehicles i need to get running but I’ll settle for 2 running by the end of 2019 – the Buick and my dad’s old pickup. Speaking of which, I’ll need to take a road trip to get it. I’ve given up hope of getting my Barracuda running any time soon but I need to at least get it cleaned out (it’s being used as a storage container) and get the engine pulled. Maybe it will be running in 2020…

The Man Cave

I’m in the middle of cleaning and organizing my garage (a.k.a. the Man Cave). I just got a drill press and a band saw so i need to make room for them. I also have a router but I never put up a router table so I’ll need to do that. I haven’t decided whether to put my sewing machine in the garage or the house, but if it goes in the Man Cave I’ll need to make more room.

 

We’re Back…

we-be-backSo much for not paying attention… my web hosting expired (I knew it was coming so no excuses) so my several domains stop working last Friday. Luckily I’d backed up the databases for the important ones, but did nothing else. It took me awhile to get the domains transferred and I’m still trying to figure out the new account interface (cpanel) and domain user scheme. But anyway, we’re back.

As for the garden, we had mixed results but it wasn’t a total failure. We got lots of summer squash throughout the summer and a so-so crop of cherry tomatoes. We also got 8 or 9 butternut squash and 7 pumpkins, but the pumpkins didn’t get ripe before the first heavy frost killed the vines early last week. My salsify experiment was a failure and my wife’s asian bean plants grew into some beautiful and healthy looking vines with lots of blossoms, but no beans. Anyway, hoping next year is better. We got a late start this year, but I have six new planting beds for next summer. I’m going to spend the winter trying to make good soil for them.

Fall is here and I love it…

I didn’t realize it when I woke up this morning, but today is the first day of fall and I’m loving it. We’ll have more hot days yet this year, but today was cool, cloudy, it even rained – well, sprinkled – a little bit. Work is going well, and I have a new rifle on the way – a Savage Axis II in 223. Also parts to convert it to 277 Wolverine in the future…

My older son is taking a ceramics class at community college and my younger son just got glasses today. I’m kind of sad he needs glasses at only 11 years old but happy he can see really good now and he’s excited about getting them, so I guess it’s all good.

We got half of the duplex that our ex-tenants trashed finished (finally!!!) and a new tenant in place, the other side should be done by the end of the month and we have a tenant lined up for that side too.

The best news is my wife is buying a new car this month, so that’s wiping out most of the money we’d saved up for the down payment on another rental house. YIPEE!!! I _SO_ need a break from working on houses…

So next 3 or 4 weeks will be really busy finishing up the duplex and getting my wife a new car. After that, well… I’ve got some vacation time saved up at work, hunting season starts at the end of October, and I’m getting back into a hobby that I used to love but haven’t had time for in many years. I take back a previous statement. It’s not all good. It’s fantastic. Have a wonderful autumn:)

Things to do this year…

I’m not big on resolutions because I never keep them, but planning is a different thing… some would even say that failing to have a plan is akin to intentionally planning to fail. I won’t go that far but planning things does help me keep organized and since the last year had some major changes, I need something to get more focused/better organized/whatever… Anyway, here are 12 things I hope to do this year:

1. Get in shape. In 2013 I was doing great. I joined a gym, cut way back on my drinking, started eating healthy, etc. Then in January of last year my dad passed away and all that went out the window. I dropped out of the gym, started drinking, uhmmm… NOT moderately, and eating, well… which is all stupid. My energy level has gone through the floor, and if I want to get anything done I need to get back in shape – so of all the things to do this year, this is the most important.

2. Homestead the house. In most states, ‘homesteading’ your house gives you a LOT of protection against law suits, creditors, etc.

3. Set up a trust. Another great way to protect assets is to put most of them in a trust, with the trust (not you) owning the assets. If YOU don’t own them, they can’t be taken away, say, as the result of losing a lawsuit…

4. Grow a garden. I’ve already started this actually, with 3 raised beds planted with garlic. I plan a lot more though, with emphasis on stuff I actually like to eat.

5. Raise some animals. I’m going to start with rabbits, and if that works out I’d like to get 3 or 4 laying hens.

6. De-clutter. It’s really hard to get anything done when you’re constantly tripping over junk, and we have a serious junk problem at our house – time to get rid of it.

7. Spend more time hunting and fishing, along with other legal methods of getting wild (natural) food – catching crayfish, gathering edible plants, etc.

8. Learn how to cook and can. I know some basic cooking, but not more complex things like baking bread. Canning will also be great for preserving the stuff I grow in the garden, which leads to…

9. Set up a food store. If the SHTF, it would be nice to know I’ll be able to feed my family, at least for awhile.

10. Spend some time camping and learning outdoor skills.

11. Get my CCW.

12. Start going to church again and regularly studying the Bible. “Man does not live by bread alone…”

There you go, 12 things. I hope they’ll keep me busy and out of trouble…