I love new year. After the tinsel and noise and hoopla (and crazy relatives and stress and whatnot) of Christmas, the clean white promise of new year is a joy. It always feels to me like a new page, a chance to reflect on what happened in the past year and make plans for the new.
Happy New Year!
And, of course, burn stuff.
CAS and I have a long-standing new year's tradition. We write down everything we want to let go of from the past year, then we burn it. For the new year, we each pick a theme word, write it on a box, and put slips of paper with intentions for the new year in it. (Intentions, mind you, not resolutions. Resolutions are doomed to failure. Intentions help focus the mind to make changes.)
That box sits on my dresser all year as a quiet reminder. The next new year, I open the box, see how well I did on my intentions, and then burn the box before creating a new one. I tell you, it's just not a new year until I've seen those scraps of paper reduced to ash.
This year, I have chosen "Nourish" as my theme. A good word, I think, lots of room for interpretation there, as well as several avenues to pursue. I'll nourish my body better this year, and my soul. I'll nourish my relationships, and my connection to the earth. I'll nourish my creativity and my bank account.
I'm on fire with ideas for the new year! If I accomplish half of them, I figure I'll be doing pretty well. So with that in mind, I am thrilled to report some big developments at the Fraudulent Farmstead:
My sister, Ginny, is moving in this spring. We've lived together before, and it worked well. The basement's a studio apartment, so she's got her own space; and we both save money. Also my mother stops thinking I'm dead on the highway somewhere if she doesn't hear from me regularly.
With Gin (and my beloved dog-niece Gabs and cat-nephew Ace) moving in, I'll have another person keeping an eye on the Fraudulent Farmstead. And I said to myself, "Self, what would you really like to see around here?" And I answered, "Chickens."
That's right. I'm going to get chickens. My former BF loathed chickens with an intensity many people reserve for flesh-eating bacteria. What with that and my never being home, chickens weren't an option. But now I'm in the market for three or four hens to provide me with fresh eggs, endless amusement, and reams of chicken poop for the compost heap.
And while I'm at it, I'm planning to plant some fruit trees out front in my slow but relentless quest to turn my useless front lawn (well, "lawn" is fairly generous; maybe "relatively grassy weed patch" might be more accurate) into productive space. I have a lovely little plan drawn up that involves some fruit trees, an asparagus patch, and some vegetable beds. Whether this plan will survive my winter-fevered imagination remains to be seen, but it's a start.
I've splurged by signing up for curbside recycling at $6 a month. I've been bagging my recyclables and keeping them in the garage until I gathered a bunch to drop off at the recycling station. I noticed, however, that the garage has developed a distinct odor of mouse, who may have been foraging among the bags. So now, it's curbside for me.
I've signed up for Farm Fresh Delivery, a brilliant plan wherein someone brings organic fruits, vegetables, and assorted groceries TO MY DOOR. Every other week, a box will arrive on my porch full of vitamins and color, hopefully improving my record of eating at home and also saving me some money.
Oh, and there are other plans too. I'm redoing the basement bathroom before Ginny moves in, and I need a new kitchen floor. Before the dog moves in, I'll have to fence off the veggie garden and the compost heap ("It's an invitation to vet bills, Amy.") and figure out how to ensure that Miss Kitty can reach her food and litter box while making sure that Gabby cannot forage among the Kitty crunchies.
Oh the plans I have!
2009, people! It's going to be a good one!