Monday, December 28, 2009

Independence days- a snowy update

I can't believe that it's almost the end of the year. And what a year it has been. I'm tossing over ideas for a 2009 wrap up post and a look ahead at goals for the new year (and decade!) But in shorter terms, it's been a while since I've done an Independence Days update. We're in the dark days of winter so the options for many of the categories are limited here in the frigid midwest.
1. Plant something- nope. But I have begun the planning for next year. We've been talking about constructing an herb spiral. Actually, I would love to have a double spiral (one clockwise, one counter) with culinary herbs in one and medicinal/tea herbs in the other. I've been compiling my list of herbs. I have also been planning some permaculture plantings (mainly fruit trees) and trying to figure out to best use our land. Many projects will be on hold until we sell our house in town though and can afford to have some major outside work done.
2. Harvest something- Hmm... does snow count?
3. Preserve something- only my sanity, and that has been a close thing these past few weeks.
4. Waste not- mostly the usual. I forgot to put the cloth bags back in the car last weekend and was amazed at how guilty I felt walking out with plastic bags- even though just about everyone else was using plastic. We rarely don't have enough bags in the car. We've got 6 or 7 bags that cycle between the house and car so it is rare that none of them make it back in. Let's see, I also re-used gift bags for wrapping presents for my sister, niece and nephew.
5. Want not- Even though it was a gift for V, I'm counting the chainsaw purchase as a prep item. We're hoping to put in a fireplace or wood burning stove at some point and will use the saw for cutting wood. We've got 3 dead trees on the property now that need to come down. As far as storage- I now have LOTS of cinnamon and vanilla. My parents live near a different bulk store than I do and made a recent trip there. Mom got two huge bags of ground cinnamon that she divided up between herself, my sisters and I. I ended up with about a pound and a half of cinnamon!!!!! I'm going to have to figure out what to make with it. I can't imagine using that much before it starts losing it's flavor. She also gave me a one liter bottle of vanilla- you know, the Mexican kind with the rooster on the label- yum. I picked up a little bit of candy on the after Christmas sales to stash away for sometime in January for a treat for the children.
6. Community food systems- hmm, not much here other than making a donation to the food pantry.
7. Eat the food- no problem here. We're going to try to eat more out of storage in the next few weeks. Finances are tight and with the extra expenses of Christmas gifts and insulation, it's going to be a lean month. Fortunately, we've got enough stores to eat well for quite a while. It will just take a bit of planning and I've been lazy lately.

In other news, I didn't get the job I had applied for. Actually, I'm relieved. I was so on the fence about applying in the first place and this means one less headache I have to deal with. Now I can keep my focus on the things that are really important to me.

I'll try to do a year in review post and new goals sometime soon.


  1. Sorry to hear about the job, but, like you said, sometimes not being chosen can be a blessing in disguise (I am grappling with that myself right now-only I was picked for my promotion and am wondering if it was the best decision to take the job).

    We, too, are on a budget crunch this NY.

    I love the idea of the double spiral. I've been wanting to plant one as well and, other than picking out a spot, haven't had a chance to attempt it.

  2. The cloth bags are still hit and miss with me, so I do feel guilt about not having any, but the grocery store stops have been really hit and miss the past month or 2, so here's hoping to get that back on track.
    My first big purchase of cinnamon was for my preschool class to make cinnamon ornaments. If you don't use it before next Christmas, they smell VERY yummy and probably still would if it were old. I found some of those ornaments years later and they still smell. Good to tie onto packages.

  3. Judy, my friend and I always split a big bulk spice order and keep the extra in the freezer. It really makes a difference - and doesn't take up too much space :)

  4. sorry about the job, but it must of been meant to be that someone else got it...they will get the headaches now!! so all ends well. Perhaps they value where you are and don't want to lose you there!!...debbie

  5. Sorry to hear about the job. i'm glad you found a way to focus on the important things though.
    I haven't done an IDC update in... forever? Just feels like in the middle of winter, there is little to say. Your herb spiral(s) sound so fantastic!

  6. Hi Judy,

    Sorry about the job; although it helps becuase you were never totally sure about it.

    Make some cinnamon granola. :)

  7. I've been having problems finding a job. I'm tired of being unemployed. It's making me a bitter, depressed person. I want to work. I work really hard. I show up, I show up early. I stay late. I do 110% every day.

    No one wants me. DEPRESSING.

    In other news, I had to look up what an herb spiral is and that is really neat! I am going to have to find some space in my yard now.


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