Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Out with the old....

I can't believe it's the end of 2003. Time has gone by so fast and the past year has been full of both triumphs and failures - all of which held a good lesson or two.

I'm not much for resolutions, but this past week has been a time of reflection and need for change. So with that, I've set some new goals for 2004:

**No new patterns of ANY type - sewing, crochet or cross stitch
**Very minimal craft/needlework purchases - this is a use up my stash year.
**Minimal amount of seed purchases - I need to use the older ones up.
**More canning and freezing and more make-a-mixes. I'm tired of the substandard items I've been purchasing and paying high prices for.
**Better gardening techniques. I gotta get off my duff and weed more!!
**More prayer and Bible study time. I see things fall apart when I don't take the time to Walk with the Lord.
**Back to Family game night - we lost this in the hustle and bustle somewhere.
**Work harder with the children. When I slack off with them, they slack off.
**Less computer time. Yes, the online world has entranced me more than it should. I've dumped a lot of my lists - and there are still more I can do without.
**Tidy up the house. We are in such a small house that anything out of place makes it messy. Time to start sorting and throwing all the clutter.
**With no buying patterns and minimal amounts of needlework plus cutting back on the grocery bill, we should have more $ to put away in savings. I'm hoping at least $50 a month to go there.
**Learn a new craft and try something I've always wanted to do - I'm going to try quilting and make a rag rug. That should put a dent on the sewing stash I have in the attic.
**and finally - lose 30 pounds. I think that is a realistic goal. I could use more off, but 30 is a good start.

Hmmm - that should just about get me back on track :-)

Tonight we are having a nice turkey breast, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and corn. The kids have been drooling all afternoon as they smell the turkey cooking. Tomorrow is the traditional pork and sauerkraut with mashed potatoes. We add hotdogs and bacon to the pot right after the rue is added. It is the tradition of my family - handed from my grandparents and from theirs, with the saying that a person who eats pork and sauerkraut on New Years day, will not go broke during that year. So far, it's worked for us. LOL

With the hopes of new beginnings, I have been watching my favorite heirloom seed site for an updated catalog. Today Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds had their 2004 catalog online. I was looking for a couple of things, and found them. It was hard keeping the purchase to a minimum - so many wonderful and unusual seeds!! I did well tho :-) Jere has a cool bean called the 1500 Year Old Cave Bean. That bean seed was found in a sealed clay pot in New Mexico, and was carbon dated to find it was about 1500 years old. It was planted and found to still be viable! I had heard about this story a while ago, and was thrilled to find seeds of this bean!

So many of the seeds that our grandparents planted in their gardens cannot be found any longer. Heirloom seeds are a passion of mine, because they are just a small piece of history and heritage I can hand to my children. We grow and save what we can. We are always trying new seeds and it's a fun hobby for my son. He's met some wonderful people along the way, one being Brook Elliot who writes for such magazines like Mother Earth News and Heirloom Gardener. Brook and my DS write back and forth, and he treats DS like he's a person instead of a preteen. He takes my DS's hobby seriously and helps him with finding seeds. DS has a growing collection, including some seeds that have been traced back to those that Thomas Jefferson had. He swapped in a seed exchange, and these seeds have come from the family that had originally swapped with Jefferson. Tons of history - tons of cool facts - and lots of great veggies to boot! Coolest thing was finding out what a great gardener Jefferson was. Amazing! And they never taught us that in school. Such a pity!

This new year will be bringing lots of good changes to our family and again pointing us back to our roots. I need to simplify things here and I hope that the changes will make our quality of life better. I miss the farm life - and will just do the best here with what we have.

May you have a wonderful start to the new year.
and in the language of my roots:

German: Prosit Neujahr
Polish: Szczesliwego Nowego Roku
and American: Happy New Year!!!

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