Monday, May 30, 2011

two weeks of projects progress...

Been a while since I've done an update. I know, I know, no one would mind if I never did another one again, but somehow just making a draft post where I can add any little accomplishments just seems to give me an extra jolt of motivation. And I need all the motivation I can get. :)

The 50x50 Project is definitely where I've made the most progress. I was pretty excited to see that I actually passed the "20 down" mark on one my goals. Of course, there are still several that I haven't even got to check off the first item. :P

*Mission: 50x50

#8--Donate 50 trunkloads of stuff to charity thrift store, etc.
The decluttering is paying off, as we got to haul of trunkload seven.

#10--Support 50 independent local businesses.
We went to Gallea's Nursery to buy a dwarf tree for beside our porch. We picked up a couple of my favorite perenials (daisies and black-eyed Susans) as well. And a dozen jalapeno pepper plants as we never got any jalapeno seeds started. First time we'd been to this nursery, but I have a feeling we'll be back. This marks number eight on this goal.

#15--Try 50 new recipes.
This is the one I crossed the 20 item mark on. In fact, I'm not up to 22 items checked off for this goal. I tried five new recipes in the past two weeks, all of them keepers--seasoned couscous, cola cake, ranch biscuits, cheesecake swirled brownies, and 3-cheese spirals. That last one was a split vote--neither Gray nor Annie liked it, but Max went absolutely nuts over it!

#16--Bake 50 different kinds of cookies.
Knocked number 17 off on this goal. Tried a recipe called Orange Drop Cookies. Thumbs up from everyone. They're a not-too-sweet sort of cookie...though adding a simple orange glaze would be an easy way to sweeten them up if one wanted to. And the recipe makes a ton of cookies!

Orange Drop Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1/3 cup orange juice
1 Tbsp grated orange peel
4 cups flour
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

Cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, orange juice, and orange peel.
In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Gradually add to creamed mixture. Mix well.
Drop by teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto greased baking sheets.
Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes. Move to wire racks to cool.

#20--Buy 50 fair trade gifts.

Our wonderful little fair trade shop, One World Goods, has an really cool selection of handcrafted musical instruments from around the world. And we decided that for Christmas each year, we're going to start buying Rich's oldest brother a different one. (Along with the fair trade chocolate-covered coffee beans we buy him for every occasion. :P ) Anyway, this is the one we picked out for this year. It's a Pacay Shaker. A giant seed pod from the Pacay fruit. Made in Peru. (This makes 5 items now checked off this list. Though this is one of those goals that I know I've forgot to record at least a few things on.)

#30--Do 50 environmentally-friendly things.
Since we put in most of our garden this weekend, I figured it would be a good time to add gardening organically to this list. (Item number nine off this list.)

#43. Read 50 award-winning books.
Finally finished up The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein. Took me a few weeks to finish, but I really, really enjoyed it. Annie finished it up this weekend as well, and said it just edged out A Canticle for Leibowitz as her favorite read so far for our lit class this year. Anyway, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress won the 1967 Hugo Award. And it marks number three on this goal for me.

#46. Read an article from 50 different magazines.
Chris, who is just too damn sweet for words, bought me a subscription to Mother Earth News for my birthday. I got my first issue a few days back, and have since read several articles (gonna be one of the magazines that I read cover-to-cover, I think). Also going to be of those magazines that I hang onto because it's full of handy dandy reference material. Like the article I read in there about cucumbers. Not that we've thus far had any trouble growing cucumbers, but one never we may sometime want to vary the types we grow. Anyway, the article that so far sticks out most in my mind is not the one on cucumbers, but the one on composting human waste. :P This is only the second item towards this goal.

#47--Watch 50 different seasons of TV on DVD.
Finally finished up the first season of Battlestar Galactica. And am loving it! Can't believe I've never watched this before. Number seven down on this goal.

#48--Find 50 new bands I like enough to download something by them.
Number seven down on this goal, too. Noah and the Whales...discovered on an episode of Criminal Minds. Downloaded Rocks and Daggers.

And as for the other projects, well, not nearly as much progress to report.

*Mission: Sell the House

We did manage to get a couple of small things down on our fix-up lists. For one thing, we bought and planted that dwarf tree I mentioned earlier. (Rich had taken out these horrendously ugly bushes from in front of our window last summer, and we're working on redoing the area.)

And secondly, we replaced the trellis for our clematis. The old one had fallen apart so much we couldn't even get it to stand up anymore.

*Mission: Declutter

I can't even express how thrilled I am to have finally finished one room/area of the house!!! The library!!! Of course, we'll have to be diligent about keeping it that way...
Finishing up the library also brings me a big step closer to being able to actually start another one of the projects (tackling the TBR pile) because I now have all my books (and the books I want to read that belong to other family members) from the library catalogued on my LibraryThing. Reason I can't officially start is because I still have other books to add from other rooms in the house. But I'm getting there...


Jean said...

You've been busy! Yay for progress! I should declutter more, but at least I'm not adding to the existing clutter as much as I used to. I hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day doing fun family things. Time for school things tomorrow.

Amanda said...

We are actually in the midst of trying to fix up the house to sell and decluttering too (for moving after the sale, assuming we get a sale). We know we're not going to last in this Texas heat for too much longer, so if we can get into an apartment this summer then we can move in a year after the lease is up! Not sure where we're moving yet. It's got to be somewhere that Jason can find a job. He's looking all over, from Colorado to Chicago to Pittsburg to Boston...

Lu @ Regular Rumination said...

Sounds like you got a lot done! I'm intimidated by the 50x50 project. It sounds so awesome, but also something that would take me a lifetime to finish. You are doing an awesome job :)

Debi said...

I think that is the best thing that's happened around here, too--not accumulating nearly so much clutter! Amazing what difference it makes. :)

I so hope you all can move to somewhere that truly makes you happy!

You know what--the actual working on the 50x50 isn't so bad. In fact, mostly I just keep track of stuff I do anyway. Though I'm sure later on I'll have to focus and make an effort to actually accomplish some of them. The hardest thing so far was coming up with the actual list! :P You really should do it!!! :D

Vivienne said...

I am quite intrigued by your 50x50 project. I can see myself doing something like this, though 50 might be too big a number for me.

DesLily said...

this worked on another blog so it should work here too!! Hooray!!!!

...btw like the little christmas tree . i hope you got the emial with my other comments..

Carl V. said...

What a cool project! Although if I was baking 50 different kinds of cookies then one of my 50 project items would have to be "gain 50 pounds!" :) Seriously!

Glad you did the update because I hadn't caught this when you mentioned it before.

And you've read a Heinlein I have yet to read, very cool! I have Moon on my shelf and need to get to it.

Melissa said...

My house is in a perpetual state of "needs decluttering." No matter how much stuff I toss, donate, or recycle, it just seems to multiply. Once the kids are out of school and I have more free time during the day, decluttering the house is going to be my summer mission. Thanks for the inspiration!

Care said...

I want a cookie! The garden looks great.