Resolutions for 2014

The solstice has passed.  The last day of December has gone to bed.  The days are getting longer.  It’s all uphill from here.  Things are full of promise and hope at the start of the new year.

What do I hope for in the new year?  Well, lots of things, I suppose, which is why I’m going to make a resolution or two.

Nonviolent Communication

A post or two back, I mentioned Nonviolent Communication.  I haven’t started the book or the workbook, but they have it set up into a self-study. You read a chapter each week, month, or two weeks, and then work through that segment of the workbook.  I am planning to start that the first week of January, and I may be joined by a friend for a small group study.  I’m still deciding on timing, but I think either a chapter per month or every other week will work for my schedule.  A chapter each week is too ambitious for me, I think.  A chapter each month will give me time to get the reading done, practice, work in the workbook, and, of course, blog about it.

Which brings me to my next resolutions…

Blogging

I really kind of abandoned this blog for a while last year.  And through it all, my core readers stuck around.  For that, I am so grateful.  And I’m sorry.  Because there were so many blog-worthy things that I did.  I learned to bake bread, made kombucha, made sauerkraut (which was amazing by the way), moved across the country, learned all about square foot gardening, built three raised bed gardens, learned to be a stay at home mom, sucked at housework, and about a million other things.  This year, I will be better.  This year, I will share these things with you all.  You can expect to hear about the following this year:

  • the whole Nonviolent Communication thing
  • more bread baking (can’t wait to share with you the awesome technique I learned last year!)
  • Square Foot Gardening
  • Garden planning, including companion planting, which I’ve never done before
  • Cooking, even though I take really terrible food pictures
  • The kids
  • Fermentation
  • And goodness knows what else

So, I will definitely try to be better.  Writing helps heal my soul, so it’s important that I keep it up and keep my mind limber.

And for something more tangible:

Garden

Yes, the garden.  It’s ready to go for spring. I need to decide what to plant and when and how and where.  I’ve got big ideas and plenty of space and I know that you will be hearing more about it soon.  It will include veggies, culinary herbs, healing herbs, and some more surprising items that we don’t usually see here in the midwest, but that I miss so desperately from California.  I will also include space for my kids to run, play, pick and eat what they want, and be outside enjoying nature and learning where our food comes from.

Really, these don’t seem like big resolutions.  I’m not promising to join a gym or lose weight or run a marathon or organize my life or anything like that.  But I do hope that, like last year’s resolutions, these small steps will lead to big changes for the new year for all of us.

Do you have any resolutions this year that you would like to share?

Happy New Year!
Happy New Year!

A 2013 Retrospective

It’s that time of year again. That quiet time between Christmas and New Year when the still dark nights and the exhausted post gift giving calm make me ponder the year that was past.

This year I am spending that time out in the country with my Grandma and Grandpa, my cousins, and my aunts and uncles. There are a lot of us, and last night we all joined my grandparents in their cozy farmhouse for a boisterous post-Christmas celebration. The were new faces, old faces, some faces that had changed so much that I hardly recognized them. It had been too long since I had seen my family and it felt good to come “home” to Grandma’s house and recenter and remember all the Christmases past.

Time goes quickly, and I started off writing this post about what all I had accomplished this year. Last year, I set a few goals. Some I reached, some I didn’t, some changed my life.

I wanted to volunteer more. I set a goal of volunteering once per month. That definitely didn’t happen, although I did go one weekend and spend the day mucking stalls for rescue horses. And I did volunteer to be an assistant leader for my daughter’s Daisy Scout troop. I would like to do more, but with the little ones, I think it is best that I wait and give my own children that focus.

I wanted to spend money with intent rather than with abandon. That has become more important following the loss of my paying job when we moved to California. Though I do have a full time job caring for the children now, the loss of my income, which was 30ish percent of our household income was staggering. I’ve gotten better at spending with care, but as with all things, it’s a skill that I continue to practice.

I wanted to learn some more advanced homemaking skills, and that became a very interesting journey. I learned to make bread, which led me to the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes technique. Now fresh bread is part of our daily life. I learned to make Sauer Kraut in a lovely crock that my grandma gave me for my birthday. I made marmalade with my friend Liz using the canner my grandma gave me. I learned to make kombucha. But more than all of that, my friendships with my fellow mothers grew stronger as we learned from each other and taught each other.

The move was painful, and the loss I felt at leaving my community was profound.  But the new year is approaching, so there is time for change and time for finding new happiness and new community.