Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 In Review

On this last day of 2011 I thought is would be fun to look back and review the year as it was documented on the blog. 

It was an unusual year for me.  Lots of changes and improvements to my body, my life, my home, my family, and my business. 


I started out the year teaching a few workshops.  I had a great time meeting so many new friends and sharing what I'm passionate about - organizing.  Click on the tab "Presentations" above to see a list of all of the topics I speak on. 

Several packages were sent out from my Etsy shop.  I like to make each package special and I try to use upcycled paper and ribbon when available.


In the beginning of February, I had the first of two surgeries for 2011.  My recovery was slower than I wanted it to be but I've never been known to do well sitting still.

I made a lot of muffins for the family and to freeze for later.

 We had good success with our winter garden, growing winter crops under row covers

We enjoyed a great visit with our oldest daughter and our two grandsons, visiting from Boston.  We had no idea that in a few short months their prayers would be  answered with a job transfer down to Virginia with Chick-fil-a. 


We added onto our organic veggie/fruit garden by doing some lasagna gardening

We got our order of peeps.  Five golden sex links.  Good egg layers.

Surprisingly, one of my more popular posts of the year was about how I make my brick floor shiny

I get a lot of requests from readers, asking how to organize the kitchen.  While photographing my pantry, I decided to write my favorite Bible verse on the chalkboard paint I put on the inside of the door. 

I found some cute birds that I hung over my fireplace.  This photo cracks me up.  It's just how I feel some days!


On April 11th my life changed forever. I had been prepping for a kidney transplant, hoping to receive a kidney before I needed to go on dialysis.  My friend, Cathy, volunteered to be tested and she was a match.  Our family is so blessed by the gift that Cathy (and her family) gave us.  There aren't  even words to describe how thankful we are.  **Cathy raised over $2000.00 for the National Kidney Foundation on the day before she gave me one of her kidneys by participating in the Kidney Walk - yup, she's amazing. 

Here we are the day after the transplant.  She came down from her room to visit me -they wouldn't let us room together like we had wanted to - you know, slumber party style.  My daughter, Ashley, did a great job blogging about it all.


With a new kidney energizing me, I was ready to get back to work.  Due to some nerve damage during my transplant, my right leg was temporarily paralyzed so I had to get around with a cane and a bit of help.  That didn't slow me down though.  I sat in a chair in the middle of the garden and ordered people around.  LOL

Because the transplant interrupted our garden expansion, we decided it was a good time to experiment with a new technique (well, new to us).  We planted our tomato plants directly into bags of potting soil.  It ended up being the best tomato harvest we've ever had.

Our kids threw us an anniversary party to celebrate our 30th anniversary.  It was a wonderful evening with family and friends.


Not much happened in June except that I went to the doctor and physical therapist regularly, watered and weeded the garden, and worked on products for the Etsy shop.


I made patriotic buntings from for the house to celebrate the 4th of July.

I was able to buy a Weed Dragon for Hubs, using my Swagbucks (see my link on the sidebar).  He's had way too much fun burning up weeds.

I made lots of recipes with our abundance of tomatoes and basil.

Our youngest son joined the United States Marine Corps.  Semper Fi

Thanks to a great physical therapist and my sheer will to beat the paralysis, I was finally able to ride my bike. 


With our grandsons living in Virginia (finally), we get to spend lots of time playing outside with them.  Our oldest grandson happens to be a fantastic tree climber.  J and I wrote a story about his tree climbing adventures, using the photos I took on this particular day. 

Still continued picking tomatoes and canning them.

Hubs and I celebrated my graduation from physical therapy by going on a camping trip.

And. . . we picked and canned tomatoes. . .

Pinterest loves the picture of my milk glass desk accessories.


Some beekeeping. . .

Some chicken wrangling. . .

More bee keeping.

And. . . green tomato relish canning.

With just enough time left over for adventuring.


I was able to sneak a photo of our family's favorite cake before it was completely devoured.

I always enjoy decorating for fall.


Marine Corps graduation at Parris Island, SC was amazing.  I'm so proud of all of our young marines. 

Back home, we visited Full Quiver Farm with the grandkids and learned all about pastured livestock.

After a trip to my local Re-store, I made a lamp using Oma's old wooden thread spools.


December was pretty quiet - by choice.  I was determined to slow down and enjoy the season by simplifying everything.  It was my best Christmas ever. 

Taking time to play, and snuggle, and read.

We took advantage of the mild weather after Christmas to neaten up the yard and tuck some free pine straw (thank you pine trees in the yard) around all of our plantings.

Well, that's 2011 in snapshots and snippets.  It's a year I'll never forget.  I'm not the same person I was when the year started.  I have a different perspective on life and I'm determined to continue growing and improving as the Lord leads me. 

Thanks to all of you who prayed for our family during this past year.  God worked in amazing ways - ways I never could have dreamed of. 

Happy 2012 to all of you.  I can't wait to see what God will do next. 


  1. What a wonderfully awesome year!

  2. What an amazing year you've had!!! Wishing you an abundance of blessing in 2012!


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