2017 Goals

It is that time of year again. Time to look back at the past year and look ahead to a new year. I didn’t write down specific goals for 2016 – but I think it helps me focus if I set some concrete goals. Here is my list of things I want to accomplish or do better this year:

  • Be more consistent in writing in this blog. I think it helps me to take time to focus on what I have finished.
  • Be better about posting pictures of Izzy in her blog.
  • Do another “March Challenge.” This time with Will and Ben.
  • Finish the coffee table.
  • Make at least two additional pieces of furniture in the workshop.
  • Install the pool with Susanna and the boys.
  • Finish the patio updates/outdoor kitchen.
  • Install a new door on the workshop and interior walls/insulation on one wall of the workshop.
  • Improve insulation on the workshop and the boy’s play loft.
  • Host a New Years party with Susanna.
  • Go bicycling with the family.
  • Spend a good week with Ben working on his boat this summer.

Of course, I’m sure my goals will change each month – that is the beauty of having ADHD – lots of ideas and ideas. But a list is a place to start.

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Reflections on 2016

This has been quite a busy year. I had been trying to write my year goals down in early January and then see how I do for the year. Looking back at January – I think I forgot to find time and focus and write my goals down. But I can still reflect back at the year and see how I did.

This year brought a big change to the family. Isabella joined us in late February. I think she was the highlight of the year for the whole family. Will and Ben have both made a strong connection with her, and they still fight about who gets to hold her when they come home from school.

Some other positive memories (in no particular order):

  • Taking the boys to Europe for a family vacation. My dad and step mom, Barbara, met us in Copenhagen. After Copenhagen, the boys and I took a train to Sweden to meet up with Susanna and Isabella (and Susanna’s family).
  • Days of fun with a grumpy cat balloon. We would move it around at night and scare each other (it always was a startle to walk into the bathroom at night and come face to face with a grumpy cat balloon).
  • Hosting Thanksgiving at our house.
  • Will volunteering as a preschool helper at the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center. I’ve never seen him so tired as he was after a day of hard work hanging out with a bunch of little kids.
  • Watching Ben make a special bond with Isabella. He was the first one to get her to laugh and continues to be the one that can get her to laugh the hardest.
  • Travelling to Brazil, Australia and the Netherlands for work.
  • Having lots of visitors with the new baby.
  • Building a bed with Will.
  • Watching Will present a report on a paper he wrote about blue crabs in Long Island Sound from research he did over three weeks at Project Oceanology.
  • Working with Susanna on deconstructing a swimming pool and preparing a place for said swimming pool in our rocky/hilly almost impossible back yard.
  • Taking a street photography course in Australia.
  • Susanna cooking the microwave by running it empty for 5 minutes. Then taking the dead microwave apart with the boys to see how it is made.
  • Lots of hiking with Ben to get him in shape for his trip to the White Mountains with my dad.
  • Will complaining the entire second day of our trip to Europe.
  • Leaving my bag on the train car when switching trains trying to get to Sweden. Luckily I was able to run back and grab it.
  • Isabella falling asleep at her baptism in Sweden.
  • Taking a long bike tour around Copenhagen on the rented electric-assist bicycles.
  • Watching Ben do baseball for the first time. Watching Will run cross-country for the first time.
  • Watching Isabella do everything for the first time (roll over, stand up, eat real food, say words, laugh).
  • Jack up the front post of the garage with Susanna’s dad, Dan. The old posts on the garage are starting to rot and cause the garage to sag in sections.

Despite it being a busy year, there are some things I wished I did better:

  • Posting in Isabella’s blog. I had been trying to post a picture a day for a year of Isabella. I lost momentum on that after my trip to Australia. I have lots of pictures, and maybe I’ll take time to go back and post some more, but I don’t think I’ll get one a day.
  • Writing in my blog. Another thing that I lost momentum on after Australia.
  • Woodworking. I didn’t get as much done as I had hoped. I was probably more distracted in the shop than usual. But to be fair, we had a lot going on (guests/vacation/baby) and I did finish a few pieces of furniture (A bed with Will, cutting board with Will and Ben, shelves for Izzy’s room and a computer cabinet for the workshop).
  • Exercise. I got tendinitis in my right shoulder and have been working to get my shoulder pain resolved for the past four months. I think I’m finally on my way to pain-free, but that has slowed me down a bit.
  • Overall, I think I started too many things this year and had trouble finishing things.
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Current River, 1980

Chuck Curtis and his "catch" - Current River canoe trip (1980)

Chuck Curtis and his “catch” – Current River canoe trip (1980)

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Fishing, September 1982 (TBT)

Chuck, Fishing 1982

Chuck, Fishing 1982

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Summer 1977 (TBT)

Summer, 1977

Summer, 1977

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Birthday Cake, June 1984 (TBT)

Looking good for my 11th birthday!

Looking good for my 11th birthday! Notice the cool watch.

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Colorado 1980 (TBT)

Bill and me in Colorado for a family vacation (1980-ish)

Bill and me in Colorado for a family vacation (1980-ish)

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Deconstructing a swimming pool

We had a busy weekend so far. We are catching up on chores – Susanna and Izzy were sick most of the week. And I’ve been falling behind on the small chores. In addition to small chores, we started helping my uncle take down his pool today – we will move the pool to our yard in the spring. We will have to get a new liner, but we should be able to salvage the rest of the equipment and enough decking to complete the project.

Susanna working on cleaning out water from the old swimming pool prior to taking it down.

Susanna working on cleaning out water from the old swimming pool before taking it down.  Looking good in the boots!

In addition to the swimming pool (which too most of today), I was able to replace the well pressure tank on Friday night. The old tank had a leak in the bladder and required constant refilling of the compressed air in the tank.

With a big yard, it is difficult to get WiFi around the whole property. And with a 13-year-old and an 11-year-old (and two adults that also spend way too much time on the Internet) it was time to update the access point. I ordered an access point that I could install on the exterior of the house and had enough signal strength to cover the entire inside of the house. Getting a good access point (EnGenius ENS1750) makes a huge difference in speed and range.  I got the access point attached and the Ethernet cable run before dinner tonight. I do still need to clean up the wiring in the basement, but that will be for tomorrow.

Tomorrow will involve more yard chores and hopefully some workshop time.

Isabella watching Susanna clean the pool. Clearly very exciting!

Isabella watching Susanna clean the pool. Clearly very exciting!

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Photo Challenge (Red)

This weekend’s focus for the boys and me is the color red. We decided to dress up Isabella in a red dress and see what we got. It will be interesting to see what the boys decide to use for their posts today. This is after a little playing around with Adobe Lightroom. I think I could have gotten the reds to look a little better, but time to do chores now.

Red dress.

Red dress.

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Ben and Isabella

Ben taking a picture of Isabella last weekend.

Ben taking a picture of Isabella last weekend.

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