New Year’s Resolutions. Or Something Like That.

I’m a bit late to the New Year’s Resolution game. Or at least I am late in writing about it. I do have some things planned. Several personal goals. A few things I’m participating in. Some garden attention.  There will be a lot going on in addition to waiting-on-pins-and-needles for my Dad’s liver transplant.

grow and resist snow and ice robins and hawthorn tree

1) Get My Business Launched.  I am in the process of starting a business doing edible garden design and helping people with backyard chickens, wildlife habitats, and pollinator gardens.  I mentioned I had something up my sleeve back in August so it has been in the works for a bit now and I’m about ready to launch!  Sometime in the next month I’ll fill you in more on this, beg for you to spread the word, shamelessly ask for business, and spill my hopes and dreams.  Stay tuned! Woot!

grow and resist snow and ice hawthorne berries

The robins love the berries

2) Run a Marathon. I’m signed up to run the Seattle Rock n’ Roll Marathon June 23rd.  Yes, I’ve run marathons before. I ran Seattle twice and Sacramento once. Plus the marathons at the end of each Ironman triathlon, but those are separate in my mind from the marathon as a unique event.  They are more intended shuffle than run. If you add it up though, that makes 5 marathons. I like to run, what can I say?

I need to exercise. I crave it. And yet, I’m not doing it. Sure, there are reasons. I have a really hard time not thinking of them as excuses because I am trying to be more mindful of context in my life. While not insurmountable, context does matter. Sick Dad. Soul-sucking job. Parenting. Partner with mystery illness during and post PhD process. Wrist surgery, a herniated disc and subsequent healing process.   It all adds up and, eventually, something goes. For me it was exercising. I fell out of the exercise habit.

I have had some unsuccessful attempts to get my groove on, but what I know is that nothing gets me back in the mode better than signing up for an event. An event just difficult enough that I can’t blow off training.  On impulse one night I signed up. Eeeps. Yep. Marathon pre-training starts Monday.

grow and resist snow and ice storm plum tree

Ice on the plum tree. I hope I still get fruit.

3) Lose Weight. I so hate putting this on the list. It is such a typical new years resolution that I just inherently balk at it. There is such a tyranny of (and obsession with) body size and weight in this country.  I am no weight freak. Just because someone is super skinny in no way makes them healthy, nor is someone a bit heavier necessarily unhealthy.

Other than a time about 10 years ago when I rather quickly gained, and then lost, a chunk of weight, I have been roughly the same baseline weight  (±10 pounds) since early high school– at least 25 years. I’ll never be a string bean nor do I want to be. However, I am 100% certain that at my so-called baseline weight, a weight some would say I could stand to lose 10-15 pounds (or 20), I am in much better shape cardiovascularly than most anyone.

The bottom line for me is that I feel better at my pre-pregnancy weight. And since the Babylady is now 4 it seems it isn’t going away by itself (damn it). Postpartum things got away from me. I was pretty lax. I knew I was training for an Ironman triathlon and was breastfeeding. I just assumed the weight would just fly off me. I mean really? How could it not fall off?  I was breastfeeding and everyone tells you lies to you that you will drop all your weight that way. I was exercising approximately a bazillion hours a week.  Except, it didn’t fall off. Sure, I dropped some during training, but it came on again after training was done. So, here I am, at a weight that feels really uncomfortable to me.  With more excuses that I care to list about why it hasn’t changed.

I know how to do it. I know I will do it. Up till now I’ve lacked commitment and consciousness.

However, know that I won’t stop drinking, restaurants/take out when I want, give up pizza, bacon, butter, or full-fat cheese.  Puh-lease. There will never be any fat or sugar substitutes, or mystery snacks here.  It is all the same good stuff people. You know, just a little less if it.

grow and resist snow and ice lavender

Cool lavender

Which brings me to cooking challenges. You may think such things to be against the idea of weight loss and exercise. And you are wrong. Totally untrue. The more you cook at home, the more you control what is in the food you eat. The better you get at preparing things, the less tempted you are to go out. The more prepared you are to make awesome things, the more likely you are to make awesome things.

Cooking. It is key.

grow and resist snow and ice grasses

Icy, feather grass

4) Can and Preserve More. I was on a canning streak doing Tigress’ Can Jam in 2010. I learned a lot. Made some amazing things (and some awful things). I carried the seasons through the year. It was great.  And then in 2011 I didn’t can much at all. Tomatoes, for sure. But not much else. No relish. No chutney. Sad. This year I’m going to review the end of the month round ups by Tigress (you can see the list of the monthly round ups on her side bar), as well as the lists I made of things I wanted to try. I’ll pick something and preserve it.

Perhaps even more important to me with the Can Jam though was that I got connected with some really fantastic people (and you peeps know who you are) that I’ve come to love and respect more than most people I know ‘in real life.’  It is a fantastic community and I am grateful to those I know. Internet love.

grow and resist snow and ice bamboo

unhappy bamboo

5) Grow it Cook it Can it: Do it!  Caroline realized that in making her kitchen resolutions she had the perfect year-long project of activities to become more accomplished at doing.  At the end of last year she put forth a challenge of “a year of twelve different skills, mainly centered around making foods from scratch that I may not currently be doing, or that I want to do more of, especially thinking about those last few ingredients that I still buy at a store.”  Sounds pretty great right?  First assignment is Pasta. Which is about perfect as it is about top of the list of things I want to perfect. I always have fresh, likely-still-warm eggs on hand. Flour and salt. And a pasta machine. All that I lack is the confidence to bust it out more often.  I want to get good enough to avoid completely destroying the kitchen in a flour cloud.

grow and resist snow and ice robins and hawthorn tree

Robin love

6) Tea and Cookies Cooking Challenge A few days ago I noticed that Tara at Tea & Cookies is doing a cooking challenge too.  It is similar, yet different from the one at Grow It Cook It Can It. This challenge focuses more on things like pie crusts, soufflés, and croissants.  I am excited because I have some weird cooking hang ups. For a long time I would not make things that called for cooking milk. Which is ridiculous, but it seemed so finicky. Of course, it wasn’t. I am the same way about pie crust. I say I can’t make one because it sounds hard. But really I haven’t ever tried. No more avoiding things I know I can do.  First challenge is sourdough, the Ladyfriend’s favorite bread.

grow and resist snow and ice foilage

7) The ongoing adventure to grow more of what we want and need. Erica at Northwest Edible Life just posted a spreadsheet she did to help her planning on how much to plant. I am excited to give it a try and not my usual methods of “Oh just put in as many tomatoes as we can!“, “Let’s grow some completely inefficient use of space corn because it is fun!“, and “I think we should devote a lot of space to eggplant that only I eat just to see if we can grow it!

Those are the biggies for 2012!

grow and resist snow and ice Rhode Island Red, Mountain Mama

Mountain Mama checks out the snow and ice

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12 Responses to New Year’s Resolutions. Or Something Like That.

  1. methylgrace says:

    I can help you with sourdough … contact me offlist sometime.

  2. tigress says:

    what lovely resolutions meg.
    i love staking out the new year and then having fun seeing where it can go.
    your number 7 really resonates with me. it’s a challenge and learning process each year to grow more of what we eat and less of what stresses me out trying to use it up! i am going to check out the northwest edible life link right now.
    bring on 2012! :)

    • Thanks Tigress! I do love making lists- well, about pretty much anything, but beginning of the year lists are particularly awesome! I would frighten my little world if I shared the whole list!
      Bring it 2012…it is already so much better than last year! =)

  3. Inder says:

    Wow, your list of resolutions kicks my list’s ass. Across the park.

    I’m especially blown away and impressed by your business plans. Look at you GO! So impressed. :-)

    • Thanks Inder- you are too nice! I’d love your input on the business website and such if you are up for it!
      I always secretly hope you’ll open an etsy shop doing orders so Lucy can be decked in all the cool stuff you make! =) Sigh, learn to sew is always, always, always on my list =)

  4. Lauren says:

    I am going to check out those cooking challenges, a push to new cooking skills is always useful.
    I think your business plan is wonderful! So many people have these interests but are too scared to strike out and try it on their own. I wish you much luck with it, and if you were local to me, I’d tell everyone about you.

  5. Marie says:

    I just took a lot of the same pictures you just shared from Seattle’s ice storm. The lavender shot is really cool, much better than mine! Good luck on your New Years resolutions!

  6. We are really so similar on the surface that I’m shocked I haven’t run into your blog before! Happy to meet you – I’m Jen. I’m an organic gardener who is striving to get urban chickens passed in her little town. I’m a mom of many (foster and biological and guardian). I’m a triathlete and half-marathoner. Working towards a half-Ironman NEXT year. Or the year after. I cook from scratch and love it. I have cinderblock raised beds.

    It already seems like we should have enough in common to have a great conversation. :)

    • Hi Jen- glad you came by! How did you find me? It does sound like we have a lot in common– plus, I love iowa =) I went to U of Iowa. I was just back in IC 2 weeks ago to drive my parents car there as they have moved there temporarily while my Dad awaits a liver transplant.
      Half-ironman tris are a great distance. I really love them and think they are my favorite.
      Anyway- welcome!

      • WOW! Very small world. You know, honestly, I was just clicking through legions of gardening blogs looking for examples for my post on raised beds/square foot gardens that is coming out tomorrow and I saw a post of yours that I linked up. (It won’t go live until tomorrow late morning – I drank a glass of wine or two and my editing abilities went downhill tonight, so I’ll proof it tomorrow.)

        I live about twenty minutes from U of Iowa and I also went there! I grew up in Des Moines and I’ve travelled all over, but I love the people here. My husband grew up in the town that we now live in.

        I’m sorry to hear about your dad; that’s rough. If you’re here again, you should let me know. We could go out to eat if you get a break.

        I’ve only done Olympics thus far, but I’m eyeballing that half!

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