Saturday, January 2, 2010

Best Laid Plans

I don't remember what my resolutions were for 2009, if I made any.

It was important to me to experiment with a few things and have some adventures.
Taste the New and see with a Fresh Perspective.  
Luckily, most of my experiments were edible.
Most of my adventures involved fresh air, trees, and kids.
All and all, I would say that 2009 wasn't too shabby, in spite of me being completely broke.
As a matter of fact, being broke has inspired me to be more creative.
Instead of mindlessly shopping at the mall and going deeper and deeper into debt, I was fortunate to search for treasures Mindfully at thrift stores and yard sales...or simply DO WITHOUT! Gasp!
Instead of entertaining Noah with more and more expensive toys and activities, I was able to share the bliss of beautiful parks, fantastic libraries, backyard and kitchen explorations, and wherever else our imaginations might lead us.
I was able to meet our weekly grocery budget of less than $100 with no problem at all by cutting way back on meat. We went from having meat in almost every meal to going meatless almost every meal. This encouraged me to experiment with vegetarian dishes that I'd never tried before...some that I'd never heard of before either.
I started taking joyful trips to the Farmer's Market.
I grew food. I ate the food I grew. I made preserves.
I made gifts.
I began to try to Do It Myself. Make stuff. Fix stuff.
In 2009 I had the Luxury of Time to acquire certain basic skills that I was lacking. Skills for self-sufficiency and sustainability. It has been rather empowering to learn that I can do it myself.

For 2010 I hope to continue learning and growing.
Some specific interests/plans/hopes:

1) I want to learn how to bake bread...the kind with yeast that you knead! Really, I've never even tried to do it before. I think Challah is lovely and delicious. I saw a yummy-looking recipe on The Frugal Girl's blog that I plan to try. I'll start there and let you know how it goes.

2) I want to learn to sew. I was given a sewing machine for Christmas from my wonderful and creative Aunt Beth. She enjoys sewing and quilting and all kinds of amazing craftiness, and I think she's happy that I've finally shown some interest. If only I lived near her...within the same state at least, then she could mentor me, take me under her wing. Sigh. But alas, she's in the sun, I'm in the snow. Luckily, I have a fabulous husband who listened to my request for experiential gifts for Christmas, and he registered me for Sewing 101 at Joann's Fabrics.
I plan to sew curtains for our new place in DC.
 Also, (now here's where I'll surely lose any male readers if I have any...and maybe even gross out squeamish lady readers too) I plan to sew some PADS! That's right menstrual stuff. Eww! Seriously would be less harmful to the environment (all the wasted paper, plastic packaging, adhesive, etc.), no more toxic chemicals around sensitive, er, um, special areas, and I'll save a ton of money too. Feminine products are expensive. I'm getting a Diva Cup too, just thought I'd share!
3) I plan to make my thumb a little bit greener. Which just means that I want to grow more stuff. I don't know yet whether we'll have a yard in DC...we may rent an apartment for a year...may have to settle for housplants and a potted garden...herbs and tomatoes. Whatever the case, I hope to educate myself more and continue to eat things that I grow.
4) I want to make my own soap and shampoo and lotion- free from all the junk that is in the products we buy at the store. I like the idea of cutting out all the excess chemicals...all of those ingredients that aren't even pronouncable. Plus, I think that I'll enjoy the chance to be creative with selecting essential oils and natural ingredients. Maybe I'm just a control freak!?
5) I want to fix the damn zipper on my favorite hoodie.
6) I want to continue to take pictures, write poetry, and blog a little too.

With all this said, I have to keep in mind that "the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry," and I will try to forgive myself if I'm not as productive as I hope.

I did eat my Hoppin' Johns and my Mess o' Greens bring on the good luck and good fortune!
What are your plans and hopes for the year?


Laura said...

Happy New Year to you all! Are you guys moving?? Soon? Feel like I missed something.....maybe a lot. We just got back from Japan.

MaddyG said...

Laura, we're headed to DC this summer...where Michael will finally be gainfully employed, rather than an adjunct-slave!
I want to hear about your adventures in Japan. Did you make any headway with the language? Happy New Year to you and the boys!

Gray Sea

Gray Sea