And We’re Back!

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Dear Kristin–

So, where were we?

Okay, we may have possibly dropped off the face of the earth for a few months, which wasn’t exactly our intention. Our intention was to take a little break. But somehow the little break grew into a great big hole. I wonder if our readers missed us?

Just in case anyone is wondering, our current plan is to do monthly posts instead of weekly posts, and each month we’ll both set a monthly goal or two. I find monthly goals a lot easier to deal with than yearly resolutions, don’t you? Not that I didn’t make a New Year’s resolution or two. Once again, I’ve resolved to stand and sit up straighter (I’m slouching as I write this). I would also like to lose ten pounds by the end of the year. Remember the days when we resolved to lose ten pounds by the end of the month? 2.5 pounds a week! Easy-peezy! 

But other than that, it’s monthly goals for me. This year’s blog can be a record of goals set and met (or not met). But we can talk about other stuff, too, right? Of course, all I want to talk about right now is TnT–Travis and Taylor–my favorite couple! Just kidding (I’m not), though I admit I love seeing pictures of them together. Why is that? I try to be a serious person. I read poetry and theology. I’m learning about permaculture. I’m about to turn 60, for crying out loud! But still, I can’t help stop myself from caring about Taylor Swift’s love life and wondering why Kensington Palace is being so hush-hush about what’s ailing Princess Kate. (What is ailing Princess Kate? Does anybody know?)

I guess we could talk about why I’m so shallow. But how about we talk about my attic instead? 2023 was the Year of the Attic, and I’m here to say I made serious progress on it. There are still a couple of hurdles in front of me, a couple of runs to the dump that are going to have to be made before this is all over. The end is not quite in sight, but I believe it’s just over that hill and around the next corner. 

Here’s my February attic goal: I  will put Will’s old (and very heavy) terrarium and accompanying reptile gear up for grabs on the neighborhood listserv.

My other goal is to continue my wine and sugar fast, except for special occasions, a habit I started during Advent. Christmas was a feast, and I did indeed feast on sugar and wine (and other things as well). Feasting in and of itself is fine. It’s feasting all the time that’s the problem. We live in a rich country where we can have whatever we want (within reason of course) whenever we want it. But what I found in December is that I enjoyed the feasting so much more when it was preceded by a fast. 

The question that I’m pondering: What to give up for Lent? Or what practice to adopt? I’m not sure yet, but I have until the 14th to figure it out. 

So, Miss Kristin, what are your monthly goals? Do you have any big 2024 goals as well? Tell us all about them!


P.S. Speaking of Travises (Travii?), my little Travis is turning 16 today!

Dear Frances,

It’s good to be back! I think this will be a wonderful way to have some accountability for our goals. And I’d love to hear about the yearly and monthly goals of our readers as well!

As you know, I like to break down my yearly goals into 3-4 big categories. Since I’ve done it this way, I’ve done a fairly good job of making progress on a number of big projects.

Here’s my list for 2024:

  • Health: Lose weight (again! or still!)
  • Home: Finish kids’s rooms (decor & closets) and kitchen (declutter and refresh)
  • Creativity: Establish a habit of being creative for 15 minutes most days (sew, stitch, paint, doodle, etc)

I honestly didn’t make great strides on these in January, so accountability will do me good! On the health side of things–I’m not sure I’ve ever been as active as I have been in the last nine months! I’ve got my MWF workout group, and I am happy to report that I can definitely tell that I’m stronger. I took up pickleball in the fall and now play 1 to 2 days a week (I even got Gary into it!). Speaking of Gary, his “empty nest” wish was for us to start playing golf as a couple, and I’m now taking lessons and going to the driving range a couple nights a week. I wasn’t sure I was going to like golf, and it’s early on, but so far, I’m really enjoying it! (And it gets me off the couch and out of the house after dinner a couple of nights a week). To top it all off, I just got an e-bike, and it’s been so much fun! We got one for Ben to help him commute from home-work-school, and once I tried it I was hooked! I’m prowling Facebook Marketplace for one for Gary, and then there will be no stopping us!

One thing I love about my early morning workout class is seeing the sunrise.

But sadly, all that activity has translated into zero pounds lost. So, I still need to tweak my diet. I am resisting going back to tracking on an app since I’d like to find something that I am willing to do for the rest of my life. So, I think for February, I’m going to compromise. I’m going to commit to “low-key” tracking, which to me means just jotting down what I’m eating. No calories, carbs, etc. Just a list in a notebook. So I still get a “conscious ping” of, “Do I really want to write this down?” but it’s less work.

In the Home category, I’m going to get serious about the quilt that I’m making for one of the kid’s rooms. I settled on a pattern called “Ridges”, but have made very little progress on it. As a matter of fact, I’m going to double-dip and make that my 15 minutes of creativity most nights. I think that once I get going, it will come together quickly. Learning to make and trim a half-rectangle unit slowed me down on my original momentum, but I think I’ve got it now.

Your attic reminds me of the tent in the Harry Potter books. It just keeps expanding to whatever size you need it to be. I know you made significant progress in 2023, and I hope you wrap that project up in 2024! (I don’t want to even think about my attic…)

And back to Princess Kate–what is her mystery ailment? Will we ever know? I’ve got my suspicions. Would the Crown really not acknowledge a standard female ailment? Or, does she just have the right to some privacy?

Readers–please share your short and/or long-term goals for 2024. We’d love to hear them.


  • Robin Leftwich

    It’s so good to hear from you! Yes, I missed you, I never know when it was Friday (sometimes I was shocked when the further adventures of Maisie showed up!). But I know you are both super busy! One post a month and one goal does seem doable!
    I can’t believe it’s February! Since 11/20, I was diagnosed with colon cancer, had robotic surgery, was cleared from needing any chemo, and am 98% recovered.and I never missed a day of Wordle! So my goal is to continue walking a mile or more each day, and to resume my online workouts next Friday. And to eat better, too many treats have snuck in!
    I also have made my creative goals more doable, not to start as much and to finish things, but we’ll see how that goes! I just watched a Quiltfolk Adventure Workshop on Millifiori, and I’m loving it! The workshop was in the Netherlands, and I’m very intrigued by African Wax Prints, so there may be some ordering done when I get the book I ordered from Quiltmania!
    Congratulations to Travis the Quiltdog in his birthday! My Lab turned 13 on New Years Eve Eve, and she is happily curled up beside me!
    Have a good February!

  • Audrey

    Yay! Glad you’re back and hopefully the updated plan will continue to work for you both as I think your subject matter is always interesting and makes me give some thought to my own life.
    Goals, tough for me right now, my sister (59) has just been diagnosed with cancer in her lungs, spine and brain, so I’m sure that says it all. We’re all praying for comfort and peacefulness for her. I’m all consumed with helping, etc. I’d like to get back to the Y, my weight support group and being able to smile/laugh. It will come, but things have been dark for these last three weeks.
    Creativity, I’m trying to do some knitting and lots of audiobooks.
    Again, glad you’re back.

  • Mari

    Yes, you ladies were missed. I actually was thinking about you 2 days ago, trying to remember when your last post was. Glad to hear your “voices” again.
    I love the monthly goal idea. I started that this year with “Dry January” which included sugar more so than alcohol. I did refrain from both but rarely drink so that wasn’t a big deal. The sugar was a huge deal. I’ve spent 2 years being indulgent- dealing with the loss of my mother in a very unhealthy way! I’m in a better place now and think that breaking the sugar thing by swearing it off for one month was a doable thing for me.
    I think I’ll give it up for Lent as well do I can keep going. Doing so, I lost 12 lbs and don’t have those terrible cravings. Is it bad to want chocolate after every meal including breakfast??
    I definitely need to add exercise to the regimen so February’s goal may be 3 days/week of weight training. I have been walking 30 minutes per day 5 days/week for months but it didn’t change my weight. Still good to move and have stamina.
    Good to read your posts again. Appreciate the inspiration!

  • Tracie

    Welcome back! Frances and Kristin, you’re inspiring me with your goals. Right now I feel like I’m reacting more than planning. I did decide to wrap up a large quilt project and picked a few small ones to keep my creative juices flowing without making a big mess in my sewing room.

    We will be selling our house and building a new one, so there are a lot of changes ahead. When we moved here in 2020, we radically cut back on our possessions so clearing out closets won’t be so hard. February will be a month of clearing out and cleaning up.

  • Kathryn

    I prefer your podcasts but will stretch to read a post. For Princess Katherine my thoughts are that they may have made a error in the surgery and so lengthened her stay. I totally agree she should have privacy though. Would I like to know – of course – but its not for me to know.

    All the best with the goals. The e-bike sounds fun, but being 74 not sure its for me.

  • Mary

    Welcome back! I love the idea of monthly goals too.
    I was able to do The Just Get it Done Clutter challenge and went through all of my books to pare them down in 2024. I donated them yesterday and it feels so good !
    My February goal is to try and learn how to make a photo book for my grandkids- so far no traction on that!
    So glad you are going to continue writing here!

  • Marsha H

    Just happen to check this website and was pleasantly surprised by your newest posts! Good to hear from you both. I understand a monthly post will put less pressure on you.
    Goals? With the lengthening of daylight and somewhat better temps I’ve been trying to get in regular walks. Would also love to get back in the sewing room.

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