Garden Overhaul

The peas and fava beans are drying out, so I’ve made the decision to pull them down to plant beets and spinach as a fall crop.

Cleared peas out to get ready for more spinach.

The fava beans got picked, and are left to dry before shelling.

We made soup with our own homegrown carrots, Red Pontiac potatoes, and peas. We used organic vegetable broth, organic celery, and organic onions bought from the store.

Everyone loved it.

All organically grown vegetables to go into the soup pot.

We have a family of zucchinis from a volunteer plant in our grape plant bed that I harvested. I’m planning on baking a few loaves of bread with it, and shredding the rest to put in the freezer so I can make zucchinis bread any time. I’m planning on sending a loaf to my mother and sister in a southern state at Christmas time. Another way I like to make them is to add chocolate chips and make large muffins, yum!

Here is the Zucchini family resting from the heat of the day. They don’t know my plans for them!

We have been working at cleaning the garage the last couple of weekends, and I’ve finally found the afghan my grandmother started for me that someone stuck in the garage a couple years ago. She passed away in 1996. I just need to sew up the strips, and add a border, and it will be done!

Grandma Jarvis’s afghan she started for me. Now finally getting finished.

I went to a yarn store in a nearby town to show off the wrap that I made from their kit. I ended up buying a book ‘Lace One-Skein Wonders’. Perfect for that yarn that I made I’ve been wondering what something special I could do with it.

This picture also has my orientation binder from my new job. It is about a 45 minute drive from home, but I am planning on moving further north in a rural area, so it will be closer then. Job is going great!

Here is the wrap I made, with my mothers afghan behind it. This picture doesn’t show how it sparkles.

This next picture is of the home spun yarn I made, with the book I just bought. I’m planning on making something from the book with this yarn.

We are planning on cleaning the garage again this weekend, and having a new garage door installed next weekend. Then the week after that, we can empty out the back room, paint, and put the new laminate flooring in. We will be pretty much ready to go on the market then. Looking forward to it, but a little scared too.

Bye for now, and God Bless,

Grandma

Very Early Girl

July 10, 2020

Our harvest of Early Girl tomato, and edible pod peas.

Hello to you my readers! This is the earliest we have ever had tomatoes ripen in our garden. Usually, I am nervous that the frost will get them, before we even get one. This tomato has lived up to its name. I am so happy that we will have tomatoes over the whole summer. You may remember in previous blogs that we planted a couple weeks before the frost free date from plants bought in gallon containers, and protected them from the frost overnight.

We also have had several pickings of the edible pod peas, and we love them simmered or steamed until just still slightly crunchy. Another way we like them is simmered in butter, but we won’t go there, because of the calories!

Love these slightly still crunchy.

The mint I harvested and hung to dry in the laundry room, I finally got around to taking the leaves off the stems, and putting into storage jars. I have sampled them, and just thinking about having a hot cup of mint tea, from my own yard when the snow is on the ground, gives me a warm feeling.

Mint recovery

The fava beans have been a dissapointment to me. Although they have fought off the aphids well, they don’t cling on and climb like regular beans, so most have been falling over of their own weight. I also don’t like the texture of them, as well as the flavor. I’m going to let them dry on the plants, and see if I like them as dried beans. I don’t think I will be planting these again, but will return to planting regular beans.

No more fava beans.

The carrots are doing wonderfully, the best we have ever grown. They sprouted well, have evenly grown, and the roots are long and tapered. Growing them in a raised bed has turned out to have been a terrific choice. We should be able to harvest them in a couple more weeks. We are planning on canning them, and it will be great to open them up, and remember this year of the garden.

Carrots galore!

The lettuce has been bolting, and I am waiting for the seed to harvest, so I can save them to plant next year. We havn’t eaten as much salad as we did spinach, so after I take them out, I think I will plant some spinach again. I have been eating the spinach I froze with my eggs in the morning, and am looking forward to many more meals with it, but I also love them fresh for salad. I’m just amazed at how tall the one variety of lettuce has gotten upon bolting, while the Red Sails in the Sunset red lettuce hasn’t bolted yet.

MONSTER LETTUCE

The sunflowers have been getting their heads on them, the Nastursiums are flowering loveley, and the butterfly/pollinator garden is doing well too. As a bonus, I have seen hummingbirds come to the Nastursiums several times. The rose I am dissapointed with. Yes it has some flowers, but it seems to be lacking quite a few leaves. I cleaned out the bed under it, and gave it some organic rose food, and I am hoping that it will do better. I think that the black spot has taken quite a few leaves this year from the wet spring.

Sunflower in the garden
Nastursiums
Pretty Posies
Sore spot in the yard.

Now to the projects around the home. My husband and youngest adult child took of their own accord the project of restaining the newer picnic table. They took it all apart, sanded it down, and went over it twice with the Thompson’s Stain and Water Seal. Last year when we did that, we were dissapointed with the results, because it didn’t seem to bead up. They were planning on covering the stain with a lacker to seal it, but the results have been so much better than last year, and the rain seems to be beading up on it, perhaps they won’t need to. The only thing my husband says is different, is that they sanded it better this year before staining it. Good job guys!

Nice Job!

While they worked on the picnic table, I painted the trim around the windows which the repair man had replaced early last spring, and it wasn’t warm enough for the paint to go on. It looked like he had put some primer on though. I didn’t get pictures of that. I also touched up areas on the garage door. The wood in some places was rotting, so we are going to have to replace the garage door this summer, before we sell the place.

I had a yarn project that I bought from a little store in a nearby small town. I had to buy a very large crochet hook for it, and I just love how it turned out. It was also very quick to work up. The green and white afghan behind it is one my mother made for me. This picture doesn’t show the sparkle that the wrap has in some of the yarns.

I’ve been at my new job for two weeks now, and seem to be fitting in with the other workers well, taking good care of the clients, and doing my rounds like clockwork. In my online training last week, I won the most points for participation, and they sent me the book ‘How many people does it take to make a difference? 1.’ Authors Dan Zadra & Kovi Yamada. I think the really need to send this to the person who gets the least points. I got extra points at the beginning for putting a mask on the drawing of the face they asked us to make.

My family has been excitedly looking at advertisements on the computer through Zillow and Redfin for a new home. I’ve also been looking through the microgreens training course on my computer, listening to the ‘Thriving Farmer’ podcast on the way back and forth to work, listening to a marketing podcast by a woman that calls her business ‘Three Cow Marketing’, as well as signed up for a Patreon show of Rachel Smith who talks about the spinning arts. I want to take my spinning up to a more professional level. The last article she talked about a method called Tailspinning that takes spun uncombed locks of yarn, and showcases them beautifully. I hope that I can learn this method, and that I will someday have my own sheep to do this with.

That’s all for now. I have been pretty busy the last couple of weeks, but I’m back on course now, so hope to keep on top of this blog.

Blessings to all, Grandma.

Coming Home

June 23, 2020

First I thought I would let you know why I didn’t write last week. I was busy because I had interviewed, and I was filling out paperwork for the new job I got. This is all part of the plan to move to a place in the country on a homestead. The job is an hour north from here, where there is more space. We have been looking at property half way between there, and up to there. The high school there is highly rated at preparing students for college, which would be great for our granddaughter. I start the new job next Monday. It is pretty much the same thing I do now in mental health, just with a different title. I’ll keep you updated.

FROM THE GARDEN

Here is a picture of peas in bloom, and peas with pea pods hanging on. We have begun to snack on pea pods from the garden. Not enough for a full meal yet, but they are going to be coming on strong any second now! We are planning to put some of them by in the freezer by blanching them, puting them in ziploc freezer bags, and of course, freezing them. With how many plants there are, we will have a lot. As much as possible, we will saute them in a little butter, and eat them up that way. M-m-m, m-m-m, yum!

Pretty Pea Flower
Edible Pod Peas

The broad beans are coming along, despite some of them having aphids, and some of them falling over, because they don’t hold on to the fence with tendrils. I even picked two bean pods about three inches long, and ate them fresh there in the garden. I don’t plan on growing them again, because of getting aphids.

Everbearing Strawberries

Here is a ripe strawberry. We are getting some, but are disapointed that we are not getting a lot. Despite that, they are delicious. Some, slugs have gotten some before us, and have had to be thrown away. We won’t have enough to make jam with 😦

Carrots Apleanty

The carrots are making up for the strawberries. A well prepared raised bed has done wonders this year, and we should have lots of canned carrots in our cupboard this year. We used three bags of raised garden bed soil, and three bags of sand. If you remember from an earlier post, we had also had to put a screen over the top of the bed to keep some critter from digging in it.

Potatoes are Flowering

Sorry about the finger in the picture. As you can see, the potatoes are doing quite well, and even have some flowers on them. If it goes to seed, I could try saving it, but they would not grow genetically the same. Seed potatoes, are not the same thing as the seed from a potato flower. A seed potato is just a small potato. Stems grow from the eyes on the potato, and up into plants.

Early Girl Tomatoes

The tomatoes are coming along great, and you can’t tell the difference between the one that didn’t have the wall of water, and the ones that did. The cherry sized tomatoes are even starting to get ripe! I’m sure looking forward to popping them in my mouth fresh off the vine, and slicing the Early Girl for sandwiches!

Rose Improvements

My rose is looking a bit sad, but I cleared out the spent daffadill and tulip leaves, applied some organic rose fertilizer, and watered it in. I’m hoping it grows more leaves, and soon.

Curbside Appeal

Just back from the curb in front, I cleared away the weeds, and planted the Marigolds in front, with some Zinnia’s in back of them. This was done the same way last year, and I liked it. I even saved seed from them last year, and this is some of their progeny. It doesn’t look like much yet, but give it a few weeks, and it will look great!

CRAFT TIME

I also spent some time yesterday washing some wool fleece I had won at the guild meeting last year. When putting away the mini greenhouse, I noticed it would be a great place to dry my wool. Good way to find another use for it.

WASHED SHEEP WOOL DRYING

DINNER

And now it is dinner time. I made a good home cooked meal for my hubby, but I don’t eat beef, so I cooked an organic Greek pizza from the store, added some crumbled frozen spinach from the garden, and some organic mozzarella cheese to it. I left the rest to share with my son and his family when he got home from work.

That’s all for now. Have a great week, and may God richly bless you!

Grandma

Aphid Attack

June 9, 2020

Most of the English Broad Beans are doing well, but a couple of them are getting covered up top with a lot of black aphids.

Black aphids galore!

Fun fact. Most aphids are born pregnant! That is how they become so prolific so quickly.

After I saw this problem starting last week, I ordered 1,000 Green Lacewing eggs, and wrote to my fellow Master Gardeners, letting them know I ordered the Green Lacewings, and asked about what I should do. They said to wash the aphids off as best I could with a strong spray of water, and go ahead and release the Green Lacewings.

Last year I had ordered Ladybugs, and didn’t get them to stay around much, even though I released them at night after I watered. I had heard they would come thirsty, and would try to fly to far off places if not released at night with wetness around. So much for the theory. I am hoping that the Green Lacewings will stick around. Although it seems that it is recommended to release a couple more batches bi-weekly, I’ll see how this batch goes. If they stick around enough to help, I will order more.

Here they are aphid attackers on their way!
HANGING IN THE HOOD

The instructions said to hang them up near the troublesome spot for up to 11 days.

The strawberries are starting to come up ripe, and I am pretty excited about that. We have eaten a couple, but hope to have a lot more this year as the plants are much healthier, because I put some rabbit manure on early in the season.

YUM!

I have had to thin the carrot patch several times, and it has been a great addition to the lettuce from the garden for a nice salad. Also, I have found a few small slugs, and saved myself some future grief by getting rid of them early.

Small, but still tastes just like carrot.

The other side of the story here is that we are cleaning up the house to get it ready for sale. I have been helping our granddaughter clean and pack her room this week, and it has been going pretty well. She has appreciated very much the help, and it has been good to spend some extra time with her.

That’s is for this week!

Goodbye, and God be with you, Grandma.

Tea Time

June 2, 2020,

In years past I would wait for my peppermint plants to be just about flowering to harvest them. This would have their essential oils in the flowers be at their fullest for the best flavor. I decided that I might not get that opportunity what with getting ready to sell and move to out future home. Also, if we end up not moving until a few months have gone, it will have grown up again, and I can get in a second harvest. This year also, I have another variety of mint, a chocolate mint.

To harvest them, I cut them with scissors leaving some stem. Then I wrap a rubber band around the stem, hanging the leaves upside down attached to the hanger, and put it up in the laundry room to dry. After they are dry, I have some glass jars that seal that I will store them in.

You can see in the picture the difference in the size between the Chocolate Mint, and the Peppermint. I am sure looking forward to a warm cup of tea this coming winter in my new home.

I worked yesterday in the garden hilling soil up around the potatoes, hoeing weeds, and replanting beans where they didn’t come up.

The Yukon Gold potatoes are on the left, and the red potatoes are on the right.

I dug trenches about eight inches deep to plant the potatoes in. Covered them over with about two inches of soil above the potatoes. Now that the potatoes have grown and gotten large stems above ground, I pulled soil up covering the lower stems of the plants. This way they will grow more potatoes.

Next year I plan on trying the no dig method where you place the potatoes on top of the soil and cover they with straw, putting more straw around the stems as they grow. That will save a lot of effort digging trenches.

The Fava beans have gotten much taller, a little over two feet. Unfortunately, the aphids seem to love them, but I found a few ladybugs on some of the leaves. Not nearly enough to take care of them. So I ordered one thousand Green Lacewing eggs which will be arriving next week. Last year we ordered three thousand lady bugs, which seem to have dispersed, and we don’t see many. Hopefully the Lacewings will stick around. They like aphids to eat, and there is plenty for them. One other thing about the Fava beans, They are flowering! So we will have beans soon!

Flowers starting, soon to be beans!
LADY BUG EGGS ON THE CHOCOLATE MINT

The black stem is actually aphids.
LADYBUG ON THE FAVA BEANS.

The bush beans have been coming up, but some of them didn’t sprout, so I put some of the seeds to soak yesterday in water, and have planted them today where the empty spaces are that they didn’t sprout in.

Filling in the empty spaces where the seeds didn’t sprout among the ones that did.

The bees, butterfly, and humming bird garden is filling up with the plants getting larger. It sure is exciting to see the birds at their feeder, and I am looking forward to when the flowers have opened up, as well as see the pollinating insects flying around.

Bees and butterfly garden.

The Amaryllis that my late brother gave to my mother for Christmas, and she passed on to me, is blooming again. This time there are five blossoms opening up. I took the stamen from some of them, and cross pollinated the flowers. When the seed pods dry up, I will store the seeds in the refrigerator for three months, then plant them. It will be fun to grow more of them. Perhaps I will have a green house at the new place to grow them in.

This is a picture of me in front of the Korean Dogwood tree in my back yard. This was the first tree we planted here. I got the tree in a two gallon pot from a nursery my horticulture class helped out at.

The apron I am wearing my grandmother had before me. I didn’t have any pockets in my pants, so I found it convenient to have my keys, and cell phone in the apron pockets. It was too warm for the sweater I have that has pockets. This apron was perfect, and I will use it more often.

Bye for now, and may God be with you.

Grandma.

Memorial Plant

May 26, 2020. Today, I transplanted two Jade houseplants from way undersized pots, to one big pot. The Jade is from a plant that my grandfather gave me. Unfortunately, the original plant was killed by some malicious neighbor boys several years ago. But we kept some cuttings, and rooted them in some small pots. Now I’ve finally gotten to potting them up into this bigger pot. Good memories of a Grandfather well loved by many.

Next, I planned to plant the marigolds, and zinnias I had started from last years plants seeds. So I got everything together. Some lime, some fertilizer, fish fertilizer, and some bone meal for the Daffodils that I was planting them over. One really important thing was the kneeling pad, so I don’t ruin my knees!

By the time I cleaned out the weeds, and fertilized the area with the bone meal, and lime, I decided it was a much bigger job than I wanted to do myself. I reluctantly put away my things until my husband has time to plant the marigolds, and zinnias with me. I kept the fish fertilizer, and sprayed my blueberries, strawberries, grape vines, and vegetable garden with it.

This is what it looked like last year wit the marigolds and zinnias.
Adding four Tablespoons of fish fertilizer to two gallons of water in my sprayer.
The nasturtiums I started from seed have some beautiful jewels on them left over from the rain.

Every time I have passed by the carrot raised bed, I have pulled weeds, and even thrown out a slug or two! Now the carrots are looking great, and soon I shall be able to take off the screen we put on top to keep out the creature that had been digging in it. I think it was a squirrel that had been sequestering away some peanuts, or sunflower seeds we had been giving it.

Last year we had Jerusalem Artichokes growing in this same raised bed, because they can become invasive. We harvested them, and some we roasted (they were delicious), and others we made seven jars of pickles Jerusalem Artichokes (very good too). We decided we wanted to grow the carrots in the raised bed instead, as the carrots we grew last year in the garden didn’t do very well. So far all is well!

See you again soon!

Grandma

Harvest Time

May 19, 2020

I was watching a vlog, and the author described that the spinach was about to go to seed when the bottom lobes of the spinach become pointed. I looked at the spinach in my garden, and sure enough, the lobes were pointed, so it was time to harvest.

I filled up my largest bowl with spinach, washed it, and spun it in my salad spinner. My granddaughter enjoyed helping spin it.

Your children or grandchildren will love helping to spin it

I got two bags of spinach from each bowlful I collected. Altogether, I was able to freeze 8 one gallon freezer Ziploc bags of spinach from the garden.

One reminder, is to preserve only the best from your garden. If it was not a full leaf with a stem, I did not freeze it, but saved it in a separate bag to be used fresh.

You can use frozen spinach crumbled in eggs for omelets, add to soups and stews for an extra boost of vitamins. My husband, who loves to bake, has a recipe for bagels that uses spinach. I can’t wait to try it!

After I preserved the spinach, I replanted the area with bush bean seeds, and fertilized with an organic fertilizer, one cup of fertilizer for every 10 feet of row. I had two rows, so I used two cups of organic fertilizer. I used seeds from a company that is in our pacific northwest area, so that the seed would be acclimated for our region. I watered in the fertilizer after spreading it.

The Flower Garden

Our flower garden is picking up. The Western Wallflower is blooming orange blossoms, and the native plant Foxglove is starting to bloom as well.

We also have invited the squirrels and birds to our yard. You can see the bird feeders hanging in the picture. We are seeing more different kinds of birds than I have seen here before. Evening Grosbeaks, Western Scrub-jays, and the Housefinch. So much fun! The Western Scrub-jays have been taking bits from my coconut coir basket my Nasturtiums are in that are on our patio just outside our back door. So they are making a nest. Hopefully, we will be able to see the little ones later.

You can see the fence in the background. We have a squirrel corn feeder on the fence post. We put a new corn cob out every other day. We also put peanuts, and sunflower seed in the ceramic ornament that is in the far right corner you can see of the flower garden, for the squirrels. The squirrels use the fence as a super highway to travel the whole neighborhood. One day we saw a Stellars jay, and a squirrel chasing each other in the flower garden over a peanut!

Getting Ready for Spinning

I have a bag of wool that I am working through washing. This is the first time I have used the washing machine to clean the wool, as our last washing machine was too automatic. It also would act up a lot, and it would take forever to get a load of laundry through.

First it is necessary to use a scouring soap and hot water to clean the lanolin from the raw wool. Lanolin is the grease that coats the wool. It is important to not let the wool agitate in the washer, as that would make it felt, and be unusable for making yarn. I put the hot water, wool, and the scouring soap in the washer and let it soak for fifteen minutes.

This is a vegetable based soap that will not hurt the environment.
The wool is in mesh bags for cleaning in the washer.

While it is soaking in the scouring wash, I gently squeeze it a few times to release more of the dirt and lanolin. After fifteen minutes, I drain the dirty soap water, and fill the tub again with hot water, and soak the wool for fifteen minutes to rinse the wool. Drain again, and put on spin to get out the excess water. Spinning does not felt the wool. Then I put it out on the picnic table to dry outside.

This wool has been extra dirty at the tips, and hasn’t been able to be fully cleaned, but it is very long, so I have been cutting off the stained tips, and still had plenty of length to use it.

Tonight is spinning guild night. Because of the Covid virus, our meetings are conducted over Zoom. This is the first time I will Zoom with the guild. I have started on a Mobius cowl that I will share my progress tonight with my guild. After it is finished, I will upload a picture to my next blog. I am making this cowl from my own handspun yarn made from bought roving. It was spun bulky.

I am having trouble with my cable from my phone, and wasn’t able to upload the picture of my start on the Mobius cowl. I will get a new cable today.

Good day to you, and may God richly bless you.

Grandma

What’s in the garden now?

Today, I took the soaker hoses out of the shed that we got from Harbor Freight last year, and wound them through the garden to be able to water the garden without over head sprinkling, and getting the leaves wet. This will allow us to water the garden without wasting a lot to evaporation. Watering early in the morning, or later in the evening will also prevent wasted water from too much evaporation.

This is the soaker hose, with landscape fabric stakes to keep in place.
It is now placed among the plants, including the salad garden pictured here.

Another thing my husband helped me to do, since last writing, was to transplant some tomato seedlings. I had five pots of Roma tomato’s that I had planted some seeds in. I thought I only put two seeds in each pot, and I was going to cut out one of them if they both sprouted, but this pot had eight seeds sprout, and I just didn’t have the heart to cut out seven, to only leave one. How the pot got so many seeds planted in it I don’t know. I thought I was being careful, but I guess being surprised with extra children happens, even to the best of us! This happened with more than one pot too, as you can see here.

These are Roma tomato seedlings.

I had three pots I started with Roma seeds to use for canning, and two I started with Sweetie for a red cherry type. We will see how many I really get when I am done transplanting. I also have four others I bought as one gallon transplants. Two Early Girl for slicing, one Sweet 100, and one Yellow Gold. They are much bigger. I wonder if the ones I started from seed will get big enough by the end of the season to have a crop, or if I started them too late.

This one is the Sun Gold. You can see the soaker hose.

I decided to set a trap in the salad garden for the slugs, which love to eat holes in my spinach, and lettuce. I put a board in the garden among them, and in the morning I looked under it, and have found a few slugs that way.

The Doublefile Viburnum is in full bloom right now, and my granddaughter just loves getting her picture with it. I planted it in honor of my mother’s mother who loved gardening.

I am also listening to the “Thriving Farmer Summit” which has a lot of information that will be helpful when I can get started with making a market garden. I am so looking forward to when we are moved to our property, and I can get started. I know I will miss this place too, as we have been here 25 years this month, and have made a lot of memories.

Bye for now,

Grandma

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.