Friday, December 30, 2011

New Years Goals

This time of year begs for inner reflection for me. Perhaps it happens as a result of life slowing down to a pace that allows for some thinking. No more holiday rush. No significant outside work calling to me. Instead, I spend quiet mornings browsing through seed catalogs. I finish abandoned handwork. I take long brisk walks. I project a little further into the future but this is mearly dreaming not avoiding my present.

Inevitably, some familiar goals seem to call to me. It never fails that I commit to more exercise, better eating, better management of money. Big homesteading goals get pared down to realistic accomplishments once the convergence of time and money impose their realities to the dreams.

This year seems different somehow. We have settled into our community nicely. I have found a group of women to share time with. The kids are doing well in their own ways. We will have to adjust to Tristan not living with us any longer. Mark's career change will make some new demands on our family but in the long run it should be for the better. Because of this change the work we do in our home will take on a more important role in the maintenance of our repsonsibilities. We will have to provide more of our food. We will have to tighten up systems around the homestead to be more energy efficient. Not just because it is the right thing to do for the earth but also for our bottom line.

So it seems that compliling a long to-do list would be in order. I am sure that at some point this will be necessary. The only list I have been working on is a seed list. For now though I would just like to visualise what sort of life I would like to see us make real. This year I would love for a signifcant part of our debt to be paid off. I would love to have a beautiful productive garden that provides lots of good food for us. I would love for my children to be happy in what they do and who they are. I would love for Mark to be successful in what he wants to do. I would love to solidify a path for my own pursuits that will provide some modest income for my family while balancing my time to maintain these other goals.

These seem like lofty goals and I often struggle with the micro -management overtaking the implementation. So I have decided on a new approach for the new year. On January 1st I am going to just live the life I want. I will wake at 6am. Eat a healthy breakfast, find a way to get some morning exercise (perhaps dancing in the living room). I will tackle some procrastinated chore. I will conciously give love to my family. I will try to live the day with intention.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I'm still here!

Well, alas, the computer has really gone caput! We hope to have a working replacement soon, we hope. But while the computer has been dead the homesteading and living lightly is still taking place. I thought I would jut catch up on all that we have been doing since the last time I posted.

  • We grew and harvested 14 broiler chicks. It was the first time we did chicks like this. I think we still have a bit to learn about them. Most of the birds weighed out between 3 and 4 pounds. They averages about 3.00 a pound. Next time we would like to find a breed that will forage better. WE did build them a lovely hillbilly chicken tractor. Constructed from scrap wood we had lying around. I challenged my own carpentry skills and built most of it myself.

  • The garden was so-so. New soil needs some more ammending but I did put it to bed this fall with lots of good compost and lime. Rutabaga was the wonder crop this year. Tomatoes were blighted again.

  • We have a Mercedes diesel/ veggie oil car. Mark is working out the kinks but we should be able to defray our gas costs once it is all up and going.

  • Tristan has a job as a blacksmith at a living history museum in New York state. My little bird is getting to leave the nest.

  • Evan is homeschooling. We found a great group of families to support this effort. Everyone in the group lives close to the land.

  • Mark is considering leaving music education and pursuing his music career. In order to do this we are worling with the Book, Your oney or Your Life.

  • The orchard put out more apple than we knew what to do with so, our to-do list includes DIY cider press this year.

  • I've made most of my Christmas gifts this year and I am done. No late knit sewing and knitting. What an amazingly realaxing feeling.

  • I taught two knitting classes at adult ed this fall. It was wonderful and I plan to teach a couple more this spring.

Well, that seems like a pretty fulfilling life. I hope you all have a great Holiday Season!

Blessings, Karin