Friday, January 4, 2013

New Goals for a New Year!

I am a list maker.  I have quite a few daily and weekly lists on the refrigerator to help me manage my life. One of the lists I make this time of year is a list of goals I would like to accomplish during the year.  While this list isn't posted on the refrigerator, it is written down and I review it four or five times during the year to see if I am on track to accomplish each goal.

This list usually includes things I can do or learn to do that will help me in my journey to live a frugal and self reliant life (preferably without using electricity).  Last year I had two major self reliant goals:
  • Make my own vinegar (You can see how I did that here.)
  • Make my own cooking oil (Santa gave me a Piteba oil press for Christmas. I am working on setting it up now. I will post about how to make your own cooking oil soon!)
This year I have three frugal and self reliant goals to accomplish. I think this may be a bit aggressive but I am going to try!
  • Grow my own popping corn. We love popcorn at our house and we purchase a lot of microwave popcorn.  This is not sustainable without grocery stores and electricity. I want to grow and dry my own so I can pop it over a fire. Popping corn also makes great cornmeal when you grind it. I am not an expert on growing corn so we will see how it goes this summer. Completing this goal will mean there can be two additional items I can cross off the list of what I must purchase at the store.
  • Make my own vegetable rennet. I use vegetable rennet now to make cheese but the rennet is in the form of processed tablets that I purchase. This isn't self sustaining either. I want to try to gather my own and make cheese from it. I know it is possible but I have no idea how to do it! This will require some research!
  • Make soap from wood ashes. I have been making my own soap for 20 years. We don't purchase any from the store. However, all my soap is made with commercial lye purchased over the Internet. I am a novice soap maker when it comes to using wood ashes. This winter I am saving all the ashes from the fireplace to make soap next spring.
I also want to complete my journey to convert to all non-electric appliances.  To do that I need:
  • A hand crank blender.(There are lots of times I would like to use my blender but I don't because it is electric. Usually I place the ingredients in a jar and shake it or beat it with a whisk or hand crank egg beaters. I would like a hand crank blender so I can have the convenience of a blender anytime I want to use it.)
  • A carpet sweeper. (Currently I use a broom and/or pick up the carpet and take it outside to shake and beat it. I try to keep the vacuum cleaner use to once a month. Sometimes I make it and sometimes I don't. I believe a carpet sweeper will greatly improve this situation.)
  • To fix up my treadle sewing machine. (I need a new belt, some new needles and the machine needs some general conditioning and cleaning. Yes, I can piece quilts by hand but that takes a very long time. Sometimes I enjoy doing it, and sometimes I want to complete the quilt at a faster pace. The treadle machine will greatly help here. In addition, I have some new outfits I would like to make this year and I really don't want to use the electric sewing machine. Once I fix up the treadle machine, I can save the electric sewing machine for when I need fancy stitching or have a need to replace a zipper.) 
I am very excited about completing my new goals! Since I don't know how to complete them all, I will start doing some research soon.  I will be posting periodic updates on these goals throughout the year. Follow along and we can learn how to do them together!


  1. I think you mean "treadle" sewing machine.

  2. Thank you for catching my error! Corrections on this blog are always welcomed!

    Catching spelling errors (and typos) is a weakness of mine and I am trying to improve! When checking for errors, my brain tends to see what I meant to write, not what is actually there.

    My editor (husband) doesn't always catch them either!

  3. I will be interested to see how the vegetable rennet works out. I would like to try making cheese at home, but figured the rennet would be the stopping point. Bring on the research!


To help eliminate spam on this blog, your comment will be moderated.