Happy New Year!!!
Let us send out the old year old with a misty eye, and welcome the new year with open arms and lots of ideas, hopes, and goodwill to all.
Best wishes to everyone for a healthy, successful, and happy 2011!
It is a tree sculpture made from recycled items, including flattened oil drums. It certainly has put the "green" in the holiday tree! The main tree trunk seems to be a recycled utility pole. I'm enjoying it, and hope you do, too.
I made a larger batch so I could divide it between two recipients and added a sprinkling of pistachios. I love this because the only sweetness is from the bananas and dates.
I added a scarflet to my list of gifts. This is for my biking friend, after she admired the one I wear. She wears jewel-like colors well, so the purple and emerald in this yarn will suit her. It should be finished by Thursday. Love working with large needles :)
Now, on the home front....
Last weekend I gathered (or tried to gather) one common mallow (don't fret - it's not on a protected list). This is the plant my grandmother used to dry, then boil with fruits for a cold remedy. The plants have a VERY tough, woody, strong root, and with the ground being semi-frozen from our early freeze I could not pull it out. It broke off just below the surface of the soil. I am drying as much of it as possible and set the large section of root in a pot of water. The small leaves attached near the base have remained bright green and healthy.
I will post updates about how this goes.
It's Wednesday! Have a great one!
(The second loaf was very quickly put in the freezer.)
Along with the goals I’m working towards for the upcoming holidays listed in yesterday’s post for One Small Change, I’m working towards restructuring my lifestyle to be less focused on the influences of “modern” life by following Sharon Astyk’s The Anyway Project. My interpretation of this project is how you value things, how you let objects draw from your monetary and emotional reserves, and what you are willing to forego to reach a happy balance, all while considering what your actions do to the resources on the planet. (Pretty deep, and maybe off-target from the Project’s intentions, but that is my personal reading of it.) This month was spent just scratching the surface of what needs to be adjusted. Having seven areas for improvement seemed like an easy task. Daily commitments however, such as work, have an impact on this. This is where I stand after one month.
Additions are slowly being made to my small kitchen "pantry". I search the store flyers for storable items when I prepare my grocery list. Rest assured, I do not drive around to all the stores. I pick the one that will give me the best deal for that week and shop carefully, no impulse buys. After all, saving two dollars is a moot point when the trade off is four dollars in extra gas. (Please note that since I live in a city, where there are many grocery stores near me. It is almost silly that Stop and Shop has a store one-half mile from me heading either north or west!) Also, since one of my goals is to drive less, I combine stops into one trip or forego the item.
I’ve updated my old budget spreadsheet. Limits have been set in all categories and I’ve determined how much to set aside each month for emergencies. I've scheduled an automatic transfer from my paycheck into a short-term savings account to build a reserve for property taxes.
I reviewed the allocations in my 401K. One fund wasn’t living up to expectations, so I researched the other funds and found a suitable replacement. (Something that needed to be done, anyway.)
Regarding my drafty windows – I’ve seen a few online photos from folks who have restyled drop cloths into draperies. Considering their weight (thickness) and blocking drafts, I think this will fit my needs and my budget. I just need an inexpensive rod to hold the weight. Also, this week the plastic will go on my bedroom window after the forecasted unusual 60+ degree Wednesday.
Energy, in general - folks who have been reading my posts may remember that I have extensively cut back on energy usage, eliminating a television and the cable provider, using power cords on appliances, and replaced very old appliances, among other things.
Driving – for the next three weeks I’m tracking exactly how many miles I drive, and where (or why). I’m also asking myself “Do I really need to go there?” for each trip.
Cottage Industry and Subsistence:
I’ve gathered all the vintage items that I want to sell and I’m trying to source a consignment shop in this area.
Family and Community:
A nearby town is hosting a holiday evening on Dec 3rd, and I've asked a co-worker to join me. Also, the company holiday gathering is later in December.
I’ll be watching for the continuing ed flyers for the evening classes that start in January.
Find ways to improve my workflow/workload – asked supervisor if a temporary worker in another office could help with a current project.
Time and Happiness:
Maybe something in the continuing ed classes?
There is much more to be done. Being much less dependent on that paycheck and being prepared for emergencies means starting now.
I made half the recipe which gave me 12 tortillas, each 8- to 10-inches across. 11 of them are already in the freezer. The last one is going to wrap a scrambled egg for my breakfast.
Play with your food! Have some fun :)
My in-process vanilla is starting to turn dark. These will be hand-delivered in January, once they've been packaged in pretty jars.
I’ve also started checking grocery store flyers online for filling my mini-pantry. I won’t waste gas by driving from store to store, but will judge the sales each week to see where I can save the most, based on my personal needs/use. I’m planning on a six month supply of non-perishables, including canned goods and bulk bin items that I regularly use (nuts, grains, etc.) Luckily, one of the stores near my workplace has the best buys this week. I’ll drop by before work on Monday, and fill the car at a gas station with lower prices while I’m there.
And, perhaps the most important duty of all, I replaced the battery in my smoke alarm. Have you?
I've started drafting a quilt top with a floral wreath and a floating ribbon. By cutting back on the frills, I think this may work.
After working out the quilting design, I'll start cutting the fabric.
Have a wonderful day!
Now, I'm ready!
Photo from TheCakeMistress.com/blog
I'll be stopping at the grocery store this afternoon for ingredients to make this pumpkin pie breakfast smoothie. Yum! I may not be able wait. It just might be tonight's supper!
It seemed as if the sun was glistening off every surface, like a reminder that we'll do this again next year.
I'll be looking forward to it.
I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Have a great week!