December 31, 2014

2015 Here I Come

I am so excited for this new year, I can't even tell you. Last year, I pretty much missed the start of the year, and kind of half-assed some goals somewhere near the middle of January.

This year, totally different. I have so many goals and personal desires for this year. I want to make it so much better than the last two years. First, I have picked my "theme words" for 2015:

Grow & Simplify. 

I know, that kind of sounds like an oxymoron, but I can explain! I want to Grow in my knowledge and skills, but Simplify my schedule and how I do things so I don't go crazy. Because I'm tired of feeling crazy.

So! Here's what I'd like to accomplish for us as a household, and my personal goals for this year.

  • Get Chickens
  • Get Rabbit(s)
  • Payoff Truck (we broke down and finally bought one that will actually fit us all. Yes, it meant going back into debt, but we felt it was needed, and have a goal of paying it off in a year.)
  • Eat as much from the Garden as possible
  • Successfully grow potatoes
  • Put up as much food as possible
  • Lower grocery budget to as small as comfortably possible

  • Paint & Decorate Kitchen (this is a personal goal, since it's more of a desire than a need-to)
  • Spin all the fiber that I have right now
  • Finish the knits I have half-started and waiting
  • Redo current knitting patterns (change name & layout)
  • Design more/Write up current knitting designs
  • Watch the Creative Live classes I bought 
  • Cook through the Essential Pepin book
  • Make decent sourdough bread
  • Read through my 2015 book list (more on that later)
  • Simplify our schedule & routine (includes redoing and utilizing Household Management Binder and creating a work flow schedule for Bumblewood)
Did you guys see that first one? That one that says GET CHICKENS? YES! Ben approved getting chickens, and I am so excited!! I will finally have my own flock of chickens! Our goal for chickens is mostly egg laying, but also a source of meat as well. Not our only source, obviously, but we're trying it out here before we go to a bigger scale on our someday-farm. The rabbit was his idea, we're trying out one for meat as well.

I have a big desire to get back into gardening and putting up food this year. For a few reasons - it's cheaper, it's healthier, and I think it's good for my soul. Hopefully we will be able to grow a decent enough amount to lower our grocery bill, which has climbed a lot the last two years. Four hungry boys means lots of food. I will also be looking for other sources for bulk items, as well as revisiting the price list to get the best prices again.

This is the first time I've made such an extensive personal goals list. I figured this year I should just write down all the things I want to do so that I don't forget, and see how it goes. Since my goal is to Grow & Simplify, writing these down will allow me to schedule these activities throughout the year so that I can make time to accomplish them.

The other big one for the year is to read through my 2015 book list. I'm still adding books to it, but I have a ton of homesteading how-to & lifestyle books, some herbal medicine books, and a few others. I'm sure I'll add more as I find goodies at the library.

I think that's a pretty good list for now, and I'll probably be adding a few more as the year goes on and I think of things.

Do you have any goals or desires for the year? Do you pick a theme for the year?

December 29, 2014

In a Nutshell

A handful of hats. Blissful monotony.
Soaps, soaps and more soaps.... And other stuff.
Exploring the mountains

Our new little brat

Well hello there. Nice to see you again!

February was the last time my fingers crossed this space, and it's been a long and interesting year. A year of additions, a year of loss, and a year of getting my butt kicked by just about everything this world could throw at me.

The quick points:
The blog is back to it's old name. It really just fits. Every thing around here comes in little bits, and sometimes slightly larger bits, all to make up the big whole. I'll slowly be fixing all the links, so if something doesn't work it hopefully will soon.

My sister gave birth to her two beautiful baby girls in March, 11 weeks early. Gave us quite a scare actually, but apparently that's how us women have our first babies now. After a long and (thankfully) boring jaunt in the NICU, they were home early this summer. They are perfect and gorgeous giggly little things covered in the most gorgeous dark hair. So many things to knit for them...

We've lost three family members this year,  including my grandpa, which was particularly painful and rather sudden for me. There is still a gaping wound in my chest, but time is slowly moving things around to account for it.

We added a shelter dog to our family. She is a very, very hyper and crazy chihuahua/dachshund mix, but is a sweetheart who loves to snuggle, and has been a really good addition for us, despite the fact that she drives me crazy sometimes. 

The twins started 2nd grade this year, and Duder is in Kindergarten. Munchie doesn't have an official grade yet, but is content to join us in most of our schooling. For the parts he doesn't want to join in, he's usually running around being a "Supie Hero".

Bumblewood boomed this year, with so many fun craft shows and lots of new and wonderful people met. Three stores are now carrying my products, which is really exciting.

And in the end.... I burned out. This year has been so rough on my soul for so many reasons. I hardly did any of the things I used to like doing. I hardly knit. I hardly baked. I barely gardened at all, and putting anything up in jars? Pssh. I was lucky to put a quart of berries in the freezer. I've battled depression. I spent most of my days with the goal "just get to the end of today". My mojo was gone and missing.

Over the past year I have really had to look at and examine myself. I couldn't keep going the way I was going. I couldn't be super woman. I couldn't do everything for everyone. I couldn't make everyone happy. I (and my house) couldn't be perfect.

And you know what? That's ok.

And since I've let go (mostly...), I've found my mojo in bits and pieces. I'm knitting again, simple things. I'm cooking again, in small quantities. I'm dreaming of next year's garden, a small one. And I have a ton of ideas for things I want to do/make/put up. Which is amazing, considering a few months ago I spent most of my time staring out of windows with no desire to do anything. I'm reading homesteading books and I'm excited about it again. I'm working on scheduling things so they still get done without making me crazy to get them ALL done at the same time.

And I've given myself permission to not freak out if the things don't get done. I've given myself permission to breathe. I'm not still not back to my old self, but I'm getting there.

Because it's ok. Life's to short to be perfect.

Here's to a better 2015.

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