Thursday, January 15, 2009

Is it too cold for goals?

It's COLD!!!  I woke up this morning to -22 F outside.  Tonight is to be as cold or colder.  ENOUGH ALREADY!!!  The children are ending up with a 6 day stretch of no school.  They cancelled on Wednesday because of the 6.5 inches of snow and today and tomorrow were called off due to the extremely cold temps and Monday is a holiday.  The wind chill this morning was somewhere around -40 F.  I did make V give me a ride to and from work today.  Even I'm not that crazy! I walk when the wind chill is in the negative numbers but this cold- no way.  We had a high of -6 this afternoon.  Even the dog is reluctant to go outside and wants in quickly again. I would be fine for spring to arrive now.

But we're 15 days into the new year.  Wow! where does time go? I thought I might check in with my goals for the year.  I'm not feeling very productive so maybe this will help.
1. Food Production-  I'm meeting with Roger on Saturday afternoon to finalize the garden plans.  I have my list of what I want  to plant and  what seeds I will need. I don't want to place my order until we have had a chance to talk about it because I don't want both of us to order the same things and then end up with holes and have to find seeds at the last minute- even though we have several great local places to get seeds.  The lettuce in the basement is looking fabulous.  I'm thinking a fresh salad may be in the works this weekend.
2.  Food Security- We've been eating out of the pantry and freezer a lot recently.  We should have our half of local beef very soon (possibly the end of this week- tomorrow?!).  I do hope we get it tomorrow or Saturday- I plan to do a thorough inventory of the freezer when we're reorganizing. I have been realizing how easy it is to forget things in the freezer (How many packages of cherries do we have!!) and not using them up like we should.  V and I collected a few small dry erase boards that we have magneted to the side of the freezer on which we will keep a running tally of the contents- I hope.  My new canner lid arrived yesterday.  I plan to can some beef when it arrives, just to make sure this one works!
3. Home front- no progress here.  I noticed that a house that I called about last fall is back on Craigslist- but now it is advertised as an  estate auction of the house and land.  Oops- that may explain why the messages I left were never answered.  The auction is to be on Feb 19th with a requirement of 15% on the spot and the remainder due in March.  There is no way we could do that- especially since they are now dividing the land differently and are now auctioning the house with 40 acres.  We can't afford 40 acres of prime Iowa farm land.  Four or five- maybe even up to ten- but 40,  Nope, not at the going rate for farm land here.  Sigh.  There will be others.  The foreclosures are up here but I want to make sure we can afford something so we don't end up a foreclosure ourselves.  Hopefully V will find work but otherwise we will need a few months to see how the finances shake out on only my salary before we try anything. V also plans to use the time to tackle some of the repair/prep work on this house.  If we could find a buyer for this place that would make buying somewhere new quite doable since we no longer have a mortgage on this house.  A few years ago the owner of one of the nearby rental properties asked us if we were willing to sell- I wonder if he's still interested.
4. Health- haven't made much of a dent in this one either.  With the cold weather and V being off he has been giving me rides to work more often so I'm not even getting the exercise I am used to getting.  One positive is that I didn't gain any weight over the holidays and have actually lost a pound in the last week.  I have been trying to eliminate mindless snacking.  The grapefruit peels actually do help- I have no desire to eat anything with that much grapefruit taste in my mouth.
5.  Learn something new.  Not really- I will honestly say I haven't picked up the knitting since the holidays. I have been doing a lot of research in my garden and food storage books recently- which to some extent counts. Well, I guess I did learn something new- I made candied grapefruit peel.  That was definitely something new!
6. The 3 Rs- While not really reducing, since it was a purchase- we got a waffle iron last weekend that will eliminate our purchase of Eggo waffles for the boys for breakfast.  I remembered the cloth bags every trip to the store and we still add things to the compost pile- as frozen and snow covered as it is.  

I guess all in all, not a bad start.  But I do have a few areas in which to improve.  I just can't wait for the weather to warm up so I can get the garden started. I've figured out my seed starting dates but even they aren't until March.  (sigh) So long to wait!


  1. I'm glad you got that ride to work! I've got something for you, come check it out.

  2. That is COLD!!!

    We're also enjoying eating all of our preserved stuff, nothing like shopping in the basement (I always tell Mr Chiots, this meal was free).

    You should try yoga to keep fit during these cold snaps. I do Inhale on the Oxygen network (it's on early, I record it). Tell you what, it keeps me in tip-top shape for gardening!

  3. Yikes! I was feeling sorry for myself because we were in the single digits this morning. I have been driving DD12 to the bus stop and letting 4 kids sit in my warm car to wait. Those darn leather car seats are COLD!

    Did you get a new waffle iron? Or used? I have a two-waffle iron, and I want a larger one. We make our own freezer waffles, too. Be sure to post how you like your new one.

  4. Brrrr, that is cold - it puts a new perspective on our single digit/low negatives over here. The schools are also closing here too, it is just too much to have the children out waiting for buses, in the sometimes too-cold classrooms, etc. Glad you got a ride to work - its dangerous to be out in those temps.
    Hooray for the successful lettuce - what temp is your basement? Do you use a grow light? I have sprouts growing in the kitchen now, as they seem to need the warmth/moisture, but would like to start lettuce too as I'm desperately missing my greens this winter (and don't want to raid the veg I've stored yet)....
    And yep, I'd say all that research counts as learning something new - with that information you are better armed to carry out all the other categories. :-)

  5. Jen- Thanks for the award! it's my first!
    Chiot's Run- I'll have to try yoga. I've got a bunch of exercise tapes and DVDs in the basement but I have to make sure the boys clean up the floor before they go to bed. There's nothing worse than stepping on a lego. I did Tae Bo for a while but I'm getting too old for something that Hi impact.
    Matriarchy- We got a new one- I haven't seen any used ones recently and we were ready to take the plunge. We saw a 2 waffle one but opted for the 4 so they would cook faster. So far so good- I'll give it another try this weekend.
    Localzone- I have grow lights in the basement over an old desk. I have heating cables that I use for seed starting in the spring but since lettuce likes it cool I didn't use them for it. The basement temp is probably upper 50s to around 60 and fairly constant- there are only 2 heat vents down there but it is pretty well insulated. I'll try to post more about the growing set up sometime.

  6. I'm glad you took a ride to work too. It's dangerous to be out for long in this "ice age" we're having!

    You are doing great on your goals!

    I'm sending positive thoughts your way to that things continue to improve.


Glad you stopped in. I would love to hear from you.