Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!


I'm not even sure how to do this whole resolution thing, but it seemed appropriate to write down a few goals for the coming year.  We spent a good portion of last year expanding our garden, simplifying our lives and becoming more self-sufficient.  We have plotted out our 1/2 acre farm project and while we are excited about what we can do with that much land, we still plan on getting most of our food from our home garden for at least the next few years.
We have some general goals....less plastic, getting rid of a car (or 2), walking more, using less, yada yada....but I have a few specific goals that I wanted to list (10 of 'em....nice and neat).

For 2009 I plan to....

1. Implement the aforementioned (yesterdays post) pantry product replacement plan (quite the tongue twister don't you think?)  Take cooking from scratch to another level, making my own cream soups and tomato sauces as well as weaning our kids off the processed foods we still buy (frozen pizza tops this list).  Included in this process is learning how to use (and be less afraid of) the pressure canner....my Christmas gift :)

2. Cook at least 75% of our Thanksgiving dinner 2009 from things produced by us.  We figure the turkey and cranberries will have to be store bought, as well as some of the staples.  But things like peas, beans, onions, pumpkin for pie, potatoes, and yams can all be grown in our garden and preserved for the meal.  It's the beginning of our becoming self-sustaining year round. 

3. Expand my cooking skills to include more oddities (for me anyway) things like couscous, spelt flour, seaweed, and miso.

4.  Include our children in the process of getting food to the table.   Annie likes to cook and I need to nurture that more in the coming year as well as helping them all understand the choices we are making.   I want them to see this as something of value and not just another of our 'hippie' ideas.  They seem to be getting it more as they get older, both Sam and Brad are undertaking their own food resolutions this month....Sam is fasting to cleanse his body and Brad is giving up alcohol and sugar to see if it helps him feel better. 
 

5. Purchase and read Seed to Seed so I can learn how to start saving seeds from our garden.  This will save us money in the long run and also allows us to help preserve heirloom variety veggies.  We will be buying most of our seeds this spring from Seed Savers, an organization dedicated to saving seeds and preserving garden biodiversity.

6. (Re-) learn how to knit.  I taught myself to knit in college...made mittens, hats and scarves.  Started up again a few years ago...more hats and scarves.  I still have piles of yarn and quite a few inherited sets of knitting needles. So, I am going to get back on the horse, as it were, and make Steven a scarf and Annie a hat.  She loves the ones with ear flaps and that pattern seems a fairly easy place to start.  Who knows....someday a sweater?


7. Get off the bottled water craze.  We bought our first stainless steel water bottle at Whole Foods this week and plan on buying one a month (hey, they're $23 each...yikes) and filling with filtered tap water. The amount of plastic in our lives is excessive and this is a start towards reducing that commodity. 

8. Help build our chicken coop by Spring '09 so we can move the chicks in as the weather starts to warm up.  We have found an old children's play-house that we can adapt to house the birds....it'll look good, save us some time and effort in building a structure...plus it's free!

...and probably the 2 most important resolutions for the year....

9. Read thru the New Testament of the Bible.  Tho I've probably read all the books at one point or another in my life, I've never read them in order and in a prescribed time frame....thanks to Jim Newman (our pastor) for inspiring me to make this a priority.

10. Find Joy.  Somewhere along the way I've lost it and I am determined to get it back.  Joy that is not dependent on circumstances or the variances of daily living....joy that is from the Lord comes from seeking His will and His face (see item #9)   He is unchanging so I'm the one who's gone off track here.  My goal is to get up each day and seek Him.   Joy will follow.

Hope you are all well and making your own lists of attainable goals for this new year...care to share?

6 comments:

Nancy W. said...

Great resolutions, Maureen. I only posted my sewing goals, but Andy and I went over ours today and one of mine is to be be READING my bible at least 4 days a week, but trying for 7. Good job on the pantry clean out. You amaze me. I'm struggling to get any food on the table no matter where it comes from. We really want to eat at home more than out.

Julie said...

Noooo! Not frozen pizza!!

Seriously, a great list that has given me some things to think about. I'm a couscous fan, especially when it has veggies mixed in with it. Emily helps with dinner now as one of her household duties (I'm trying not to use the word "chore"). We also eat dinner together at the table every night. I hope it's an effort we maintain as the children get older.

Maureen said...

Thanks gals! And I'm not saying we're giving up pizza...I just really want to start making it from scratch. How do you think it'll freeze...tee hee.

ps. we still eat dinner together whenever possible...ie. no basketball game or other activity that takes us away from home...and I love it (they say it makes your kids smarter :)

Jeano said...

Maureen,
You have inspired me (and Jim) to try our hand at growing a garden. I'll be calling you for help!! We so much want to simplify our lives and eat more heathily (is that even a word?).
And, your number 10 on your list... wow, that's where I'm at, too. I want to be joyful again. Everyone in our family, except Rachel, is going to read through either the Bible or New Testament this year. It's a worthy goal.
Thanks for your honesty and inspiration!

Maureen said...

Thanks for the kind words Jean....and as far as the garden goes...give us a call. It's funny because Steve and I were just talking about ways to get people started gardening that would also benefit us (not to sound too mercenary) like going in and doing all the work to get the garden in and then splitting the produce for the first year. You probably don't need that kind of help but we are mulling over some ideas.

...and tell Jim his sermon was wonderful!

diane said...

I love this post from beginning to end. I think we are soul sisters - more than you even know!