16 for 2016


16 for 2016

This idea came to me from my dear friend Sandra at Wild Daffodil who got the idea from her friend Cathy at nanacathydotcom.  I started listing my 16 things to accomplish in 2016 at the first of January and have just finished it today.

One of my goals was to pick things that didn’t create work for Johnny, things that I could accomplish with my own will.   The resulting list reads more like a list of indulgences.  It’s really good to get away from the to-do list and instead make a for-fun list!

16 numbers

1 stationary and note card set– I love corresponding through written letter and haven’t done much in the last few years, ironically since moving away from friends and family.  I do like making my own cards, but believe purchased stationary is also necessary to have on hand for those times when time is tight but thoughts are free-flowing.  For me, nice paper is as important as the sentiments to be expressed–aesthetics matter.

2 getaways to mainland; Claire on Clare Island, Jenny in Dublin, Fiona in Gort, Denise and Sally in Killorglin, or maybe for a course, event, festival, etc.  So many great friends, wonderful, wild women who have extended invitations to me.  And I haven’t explored Ireland nearly enough.

3 new sewing tutorials– Overdue already is the sewing summer camp lunch bag.  That leaves two more to decide on…

4 how-to projects for HomeFarmer Magazine– When my bird feeder wreath was published in their online magazine last autumn they said to let them know when I had something else to offer their readers.  If I took high-resolution photos, they would consider for their printed magazine.  What am I waiting for?!

5 year preparation for WAW cycle begins– Margaret Maeve and I share this dream to cycle the Wild Atlantic Way of Ireland.  I’m thinking of it being a summer-long excursion, stopping for swims along the way and foraging as well as fine dining.  Five years goes quickly and we’ve many details to work out yet.

6 handwritten letters– I already have four people on a list to write to.

7 hundred dollars saved for a new camera and gear– Is this too much?  Not enough?  All suggestions welcome.

8 no-sugar cooking recipes, tried and tested and perfected– Margaret Maeve and I have been cutting out sugar in our baking, simply by reducing it and upping flour to balance the volume.  We’d really like some new recipes with sweetener substitutes, cutting out the sugar all together.

9 hours of sleep to become my average– Really a normal sleep pattern would be nice.  No more writing until 4am because I feel guilty being on the computer during the day.  Seriously, writing is work.  It takes time and concentration.  Though I LOVE it, I don’t always feel like doing it, and certainly not robbing sleep to do so.

10 jigsaw puzzles completed–  One of my favourite pastimes.  Just to my left are five 2500 piece puzzles and a very hard 500 piece puzzle:

11 ocean swims– another something which I love doing but put off in favour of things I ‘have to do’.  Before starting back to work, I easily did this within a two-week span, so this goal will be helpful to reestablish that routine.

12 sewing lessons offered–  Another summer camp is likely how this will play out.  Gotta get cracking as dates, designs, materials, and finding the students all take time to sort out.  All this planning is more involved just by the fact of living on an island.

13 years of marriage– Both Johnny and I have birthdays on the 13th of different months and we’ve always felt it’s our lucky number.  We’re planning to celebrate this special year throughout, in thirteen different ways?  We’ll see.

14 plants for tea garden– Have I mentioned this garden plan in a past post?  Either way, I will elaborate more in the future.  And, ya, Johnny will likely lend a hand with this one, but perhaps not.  We’ll see.

15-minute meditations– Daily would be great.  It’s not a big commitment, but a big desire which I have put off in favour of busy time things.  I know this would benefit me in all areas, writing, family, sleep, even in my ‘busyness’, yet, I’m very lax about dedicating the time.

16 patches on crazy quilt finished– You’ll get a peak at this in my next post…

That’s all.  Now I’ve told the world…time to walk the talk!  Melissa Xx


  1. What clever list! I never saw anything like that! Back in the day….before full-time job, I used to keep a list of ‘accomplishments”. My goal was to complete a project a month (on average) – some were longer and some shorter – but if I could complete 12 “projects” at the end of the year, I done good!!!!! They included needlework, painting, repair, whatever… just ‘projects’. Good stuff!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great list! After following your posts for about a year now it’s funny how many of these totally made sense when I read them. 🙂
    I love the handwritten letters idea. Nobody seems to do it anymore. I correspond with a cousin who lives in Croatia. My day brightens when I open the mailbox and see a letter from her. She is older and never used a computer. She also doesn’t speak English….Italian only, so Google translate comes in handy. The speed of email and messaging etc is amazing, but there is something heartwarming about getting a written letter. Put me down as the 5th person on that list…I’ll send you my address 🙂
    The list is inspiring and has already got my mind working. Time really passes so quickly when you don’t make a list like this.
    Keep well Melissa.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sadly, very few people do handwrite letters anymore, but I have been fond of it since college days. Was a bit mad about it really. Email is a godsend but I’m with you, completely agree that receiving a letter is more than special. Margaret Maeve pen pals a few people also and I just bought her a card set for her birthday last month. She received a most colourfully decorated envelope from a cousin in America today and it was great excitement for her and all her siblings as well. All that said, I would be delighted to correspond with you via pen and paper so forward me your address whenever suits you.

      How cool is Google translate?! I love the modern technology, but there are many, many skills that really should not be allowed to fall by the wayside.

      Did you notice how much of my list is not actual work? Funny thing, it may be harder for me to complete because it is so full of relaxing and pleasurable things! 😀

      Talk soon!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. sailimo says:

    Great list! I can sympathise with the 9 hours sleep, think that will be the hardest to accomplish. I made a list a few years ago: 60 things to do before I’m 60. Found it by accident a few months after turning 60 and to my surprise I had most done! Learn basketmaking was one of them! Good luck with yours.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’d enjoy a visit to the Dingle Peninsula alright, Ireland’s ‘westernmost point’ as I have heard repeatedly while listening to Philip King’s radio show ‘The South Wind Blows’ Sunday eves on RTE radio 1. His voice, the music, and the way he describes the area make me swoon! My daughter will be seventeen the winter before and I thought that was a good age for us to go exploring on our own. I have zero planned for it thus far so will tick away some of the basic info this next year, like finding out exactly how long is it anyway?! I was assured by someone who has done it could be easily done in four months, just hope it is a dry summer 😀 !

      The tea garden really deserves it’s own post so I won’t elaborate on it too much here, but it’s what it sounds like– herbal and floral for warm teas and fermented kombucha teas.


  4. I LOVE your list! I’m going to really enjoy cheering you on. 15 mins meditation is such a good one. Might pinch that idea for next year. It really surprises me how writing it down and sharing it with supportive blogging friends is so motivating- something magical about that. I don’t think I have ever had 9 hours sleep though, I really envy people who can sleep!
    Lots of variety, it’s gonna be fun! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did 15 minutes today as I didn’t set my alarm properly. It was a stolen moment in the middle of the day when I realized I was home alone in the quiet house. And there was Sunday evening as well, so I am off to a flying start with this one anyway.

      My laptop failed us today also, somethiing about the charger not working and battery has been drained. We have repair insurance for it which has paid for itself over the three times, this will be the fourth, that we have had it serviced. One time my middle child spilled tea on the keyboard, ugh. Anyhoo, my point…I am writing on my tablet/i pad and it is much more user friendly with an external USB attached keyboard (you can buy but I had one lying around from a long since gone pc). I even have a mouse hooked to it as well. At the 1 Euro shop I purchased an adapter to go from the 1/4 inch socket on tablet to regular USB size. They even had a USB strip that plugs four USB cables into it, so could run four things off the tablet at once. Don’t bother to buy the USB mini lamp. Maybe good for a child sneak reading under the bed sheets, but other wise my feeling it is useless, but I digress. Just saying, I haven’t tried writing an actual post, dealing with pics and all, but as regards writing, cutting and pasting, and having multiple tabs open, the keyboard and mouse are tremendous help.


    • It feels really good Cathy! So happy I steered away from listing job after job and instead focused the majority on personal pleasures. I had fun with it and really appreciate your great idea. 🙂


  5. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    Inspiring list Melissa. I have been thinking of one too since I read Wild Daffs post, and you have both given me lots of ideas. Like the sugar free recipes – have been trying those for a while. Find a mixture of dates, prunes and raisins boiled up together make great “sweet” addition to anything fruity like fruit cakes or muffins. Happy baking. And good luck with the rest of the 16 too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I encourage you to go with that notion and make your list. The part about sharing it is very empowering, much more than I expected. So much support and gives much to write about 🙂

      Date bars were one of my favourite treats as a child but I haven’t had them in a long time. Those all sound like great sugar subs. I often see applesauce listed also. If you have any recipes you’d care to share, I’d be grateful.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Murtagh's Meadow says:

        I’ve started a list! – funnily enough the high numbers and low numbers are easy – the ones in between I find more challenging! Yes, applesauce or what I do now is grated apple, carrot or courgette – what ever is at hand or in season. I’ll try and stick one on recipe blog (haven’t looked at that for long time!!!) – problem is I never weigh anything, just throw what I think I need in so need to do that first!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I relate to your baking methods 😆

          The higher numbers had me stumped. Funny how that is different…look forward to both those posts.

          My pc is going to the shop tomorrow. Tortured by phone and tablet right now. I have one post ready to go but may be quiet for awhile, ugh.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Murtagh's Meadow says:

            How cool to bump into you today Melissa – what are the chances of that – perhaps I should ave bought a lotto ticket while I was in town too! Hope you got all you needed and got your computer sorted too.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Ya, it totally made my day! I wanted to give you a hug but did that not so long ago and the person, stiff as a board, said to me ‘I’m not a hugger.’ Awkward. Ha, ha, I think most people like a hug though!

            My computer issue was with the charger so here I sit, typing away on it, new charger by my side. Happy I am! 😀


    • I haven’t made plans to yet but have been asked so there is interest. Would you consider it or do you know someone who would, and if so, what they’d like to learn? Is it beginner or some skills already. Suppose I would offer both, just curious. Thanks for asking and getting me moving on it. 🙂


        • I’d do a post or write you another comment here if an adult class materializes. The children’s take precedence and then there’s my summer job at the hotel, as well as my beloved gardening. The real time spent is in the prep, fabrics, etc, not so much in the class time. Probably more information than you want, but hoping to explain why i haven’t made/had the time to do an adult class yet. Cheers, Melissa


  6. oriana77 says:


    Wow, that quite a list of goals

    #11 – Ocean swimming. You might experience the effects of the Gulf Stream, but the water is still rather chilly. Having lived in Prestwick, not far up the coast from you, I spent many a sunny day in the chilly water.

    # 10 – Love jigsaws, often assisting our daughter. Would be great to see photos of the completed puzzles.

    # 7 – Cameras, cost will depend on what you want. DSLR’s are a little more pricey, but you can pick up some great point & shoots at fairly economical prices.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just realizing I didn’t post this response properly back on Feb 3 so will cut and re-post…

      Ha! The water never feels warm here but I enjoy the cold very much. The hardest part is getting out and dressing. I chatter and shake until getting in the shower.

      That’s nice to hear about you and your daughter doing puzzles together. I did them with my parents too, mostly my dad, and gift them to him via Amazon.com. I’ll def share the completed ones. I think this is the one that I am most looking forward to doing.

      I guess regarding a camera, I’ll have to research (not sure what DSLR is!) and decide on one in mind, pin pictures of it in my space, and start saving until it’s the real deal. I def don’t want to worry about aperature or shutterspeed or the like. I want to take distant photos that have clear definition and aren’t all grainy. Not too much of an ask I think! Thanks for that bit of info. 🙂


  7. Ankita says:

    Good luck on the list. The handwritten letters is an exotic idea. I personally believe such letters carry lot of energy in words and the reader could embrace the same.
    Keep us posted with anniversary celebrations. Living in such a beautiful place I’m sure you wouldn’t go out of ideas to celebrate this special moment. One of the things you could do it simply watch the stars above and cherish the truth how you two came together and were meant to be 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a wonderful idea….perhaps while walking the beach on a clear evening. Nights are very dark here unless there’s much moonlight, but that only adds to the mood of the eve. Not many street lamps and few trees to hinder the view. I’ve always been drawn to watch and wonder about the stars, and here, they are more easily admired.

      I was in the city today and found some lovely writing paper, note cards, and paper to make my own cards and envelopes. It was a lengthy and most enjoyable time spent selecting them. I will be sure to grace them with spirited and positive words! I love the way you think Ankita. Xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ankita says:

        I’m little lunatic while watching stars 🙂 at the moment there are 5/planets aligning across skies and I’m so excited to have a glimpse of it though I’m not able to spot them correctly among hundreds other shining stars but its a fun exercise to do so. I could also see Orion right outside my window after midnight and I hopelessly await them to present their show
        I have always lived in cities; away from country charm and open skies. Even during my stay in Ireland I couldn’t get out roam outside Dublin. Yet even in a busy street whenever I spot a full moon or a beautiful constellation I stand aside for few moments and enjoy the wonder 😀
        You are blessed to live on aran islands. I sincerely hope u spend those quiet moments with your beloved under those stars playfully joining the dots and cherishing your bond that has been known since eons by those stars above 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Thimberlina says:

    A great list! The 9 hours sleep sounds a tricky one for a women, we don’t seem to have enough hours in the day! The 500 pc jigsaw of your island looks stunning, and difficult!! Good luck with everything 🍀🍀🍀🍀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree and think that’ll be the hardest one to achieve of them all. Hope I haven’t set myself up for failure! Well, a girl can dream right?!

      That puzzle was a gift. It’s a local landmark, a must see for all the visitors. I think it will be very tough, but not as tough as getting 9 hours sleep on average 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Deliberate Trailblazing 🔀 | The Aran Artisan


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