Pioneer Resolutions

happy new year!

There is nothing like the New Year to bring on feelings of failure (for previous unfulfilled resolutions), inadequacy and bionic determination to to change my wicked ways.

My Pioneer resolutions bear no resemblance what-so-ever to my promises of yore.  Not once since our exit from Los Angeles have I vowed to lose twenty pounds (although I could stand to lose more than that since my foray into middle-aged child bearing). Nor have I pledged to keep my eyebrows perfectly arched or my toes beautifully painted. Let’s face it, the important things have changed for me.

My only truly successful year was the year I vowed to drink more champagne. What a lovely year that was!

But I digress. Back to my 2014 Resolutions.Buckle your seat belts cause here they are.

1.   Finally figure out if we’re starting with ducks or chickens in the spring.

                    Chicken Pros                                              Chicken Cons

  • eats slugs and garden bugs                    potential death by neighborhood cats
  • pretty eggs (blue, green, brown)
  • rockin’ manure

           Duck Pro                                                          Duck Cons

  • eats slugs and garden bugs                    Do cats kill ducks?
  • bigger eggs                                                   I’m squeamish about eating duck eggs.
  • more nutritious eggs                                Will all that quacking drive me nuts?

2.   Goat poop, chicken poop, steer poop. Which is the best overall garden manure. Find a good source for it.

3.   Figure out whose right, the expert that tells you to move your tomatoes every year or the one who tells you to plant them in the same place year after year.

4.   Find out why our blueberries aren’t taking off like gangbusters. We’ve mixed special organic fertilizer for them , given then coffee and espresso grounds (fresh from Starbucks!) for the acid, watered them aplenty and praised them falsely. What more do they want, a Beethoven serenade?

5.   Dry our own herbs for year-long use; particularly parsley, basil, lavender and mint as they don’t winter over.

6.   Learn how to smoke bomb our fruit trees if threatened by frost. 2013’s sorry apple supply has made this information a must!

7.   Stop consuming artificial sweetener! I will most probably not succeed 100% here but I have to keep these damaging chemicals out of my children’s bodies. Please let this be motivation enough to 86 them from the house entirely.

8.   Fill the freezer with grass-fed organic beef and free-range chicken. And remember to defrost it in time for dinner.

9.   Learn to fish. This does not include baiting my own hook, taking the fish off the hook or cleaning the fish. This will include eating the fish, however.

10.  Camp. I went to camp for a week when I was in grade school . We slept in covered wagons on bunks but that is as close as I have ever gotten to real camping.

11.  Learn how to use the pressure canner. Follow up by canning ALL of the tomatoes from the garden. No more throwing them whole into the freezer.

12.  Pick more blueberries. 90 lbs. wasn’t enough so double it maybe?

13.  In addition to making our own dish soap, laundry soap, lip balm, body butters, and sugar scrubs (which we already do), learn how to make natural shampoo, conditioner and deodorant.

14.  Learn how to make our own apple cider vinegar–full of the mother!

15.  Utilize all of the dandelions in the yard. Harvest the young greens for salad, make wine, roast and grind the roots for a chicory-style coffee. Anything else, Bueller, Bueller?

16.  Bees–Bees-Bees–We have to start learning because we will have them. Maybe not until the homestead but why wait. Hopefully that will be next year. Think, pollination, honey, candles and lip balm all from one VERY endangered tiny creature. Miraculous!

17.  Grind our own grain. Make our own noodles and bread.

18.  Develop and make our own nutritious and delicious granola.

19.  Get serious with our medicinal garden. We started it in 2013 but didn’t harvest or use anything. Follow through!

20. Get the food dehydrator out of the garage and start dehydrating fruit. Learn how to make a solar dehydrator for greater quantities.

21.  Cook corn bread and stew over an open fire. I dare say this will be too much to do on my first camp out unless we camp in our own   back yard. Amendment to resolution #10: Camp out in the back yard.

22.  Lose thirty pounds.   Drink more champagne!

Happy New Year from The New Pioneers! We are looking forward to sharing our journey with you in 2014! Please don’t be shy if you have any advice for us– we need it.