For the past five years or so, I have done a really good job of accomplishing most everything I set a goal for. Well, that streak ended this year! I didn't accomplish very many of the goals I set for 2013. I start again this year and try to increase my chances of success by creating a better plan of how I am going to accomplish them.
So, here are the self reliant goals I want to accomplish this year. Some of them are goals I didn't get to accomplish last year, others are new ones:
- Grow my own popping corn. This is a self-reliant goal of mine because we eat a lot of popcorn at our house! I don't want to have to purchase it at the store anymore! Although I bought the seed in time for planting popcorn last spring, it never happened. Looking back now, it was a good thing that I didn't plant them. I am sure I would not have managed to keep them alive. With all the rain we had last summer, I am sure I would have lost them to fungus diseases. With the new raised bed I added this past fall, I have plenty of room to plant popcorn this year. In addition, the spot I want to put them will give the plants plenty of sun exposure to combat any potential disease threats I may have this coming year.
- Make soap from wood ashes. This is also a goal I had from last year. Although I have been making soap for over 20 years, I have never made soap with wood ashes. I didn't accomplish this goal last year because after researching what was needed, I realized I didn't have enough ashes saved up from the winter! This year, with the cold winter we are expecting, I should burn enough wood in my fireplace to get a sufficient amount of ashes. Hopefully, it will be enough to attempt to make soap. We shall see!
- Make more of my own cheese. I have been making cheese for a few years now. This past year, I didn't get the time to make very much of it. So unfortunately, we ended up purchasing more cheese from the store than I made. This year, I want to reverse that! I hope to make the majority of the cheese we eat. I also plan to do more research into making my own vegetable rennet so I no longer need to purchase it.
- A hand crank blender. Over the past two months, I have grown to like my hand crank blender. (I have not grown to love it- it still has flaws!) Still, I am glad that I have it. (You can see my review of the blender here.) I do use it often.
- A carpet sweeper. This appliance became a critical tool for me to help keep my house clean this year. You may recall that my vacuum cleaner broke back in early spring! When it broke, I set a new goal to go without purchasing a new vacuum cleaner for one year. So far - so good, with that goal! It was only possible because of this tool. (I promise an update on my year without a vacuum soon!)
I also have a non-electrical appliance goal that I did not meet. That one was to fix up my treadle sewing machine and use it to make most of my clothes in 2013. I am sorry to say that it didn't even make it on the radar screen! The only dress I made last year was my pioneer dress for The Trek. (You can read about that here.) For the coat I am currently working on, I am using a 13 year old computerized sewing machine and my 23 year old serger. I still have some patterns for dresses and blouses from the 19th Century I hope to make this year. I would like to try to do that on the treadle machine. So, I will add fixing up the treadle machine to this year's goal list.
With all these goals, it promises to be a very busy year! My plan is to add one or two 'to do's' to my personal calendar each month so I stay on track to get them all accomplished.
I will post updates on my accomplishments as I work on each one throughout this year!