Thursday, December 31, 2009

101 Things in 1001 Days

The last day of the year...and what a surprising year it was for us.  If someone had told us we would sell our home and move to the woods temporarily we would have been very surprised indeed.  It's true that life is full of surprises and yet, I still like to plan some things each year.  I put together this list (quite quickly as I don't like to spend too much time on the actual details) and S noticed when he numbered it for me (I've no idea how to use Word table) that I had more than 101.  Quite a few more.  But then I somehow lost my Creativity section (again...I've no idea how to use Word table) and couldn't remember what I'd had on it when I went to type it in now I'm down to 112.  Seems a good number to me.  ;-)

So, here's my list of things I want to accomplish.  It is funny to me to notice how different this list is than a list I would have had any other year - no garden improvements or house renos or improvements - living in a temporary home certainly frees up time to add more recreational pursuits on the list.  In some ways I found it a little bit difficult to make a list like this not knowing where we will be living or when we will be moving but most things I put on will stay the same even once we get our new place.  The only thing that would differ is that there would likely be a few less camping trips. Anyway, a very fun exercise.  Would love to hear from anyone else doing something similar.

I'll be coming back to this list often and marking in bold the items I have accomplished.  Anyone want to join me in 101 things in 1001 days?


1. Find and buy our farm!! And in the meantime…trust that all will be well

2. Plan new garden for said farm. (see whole other 101 list just for new garden – so exciting!)

3. Get chickens

4. Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful. Know this and live this!!! Now…before moving again.

5. Go easy on yourself this first Spring without your home and your springtime garden and rituals


6. Empty 1 freezer by April 2010

7. Consistently keep 3 week menu plan (new plan of keeping weekly dinner plan working well)

8. Shop at grocery store only once every three weeks

9. Listen to music whenever cleaning (order CDs from library)

10. Use up all 2008 canning (by June)

11. Keep inside of car clean and organized. Check each Monday.

12. Make homemade perogies monthly. Freeze extras. (I laugh, ha ha, at the thought of extras)

13. Go back to making homemade tortillas (make lots and freeze)


14. Re-read Jane Austen

15. Read (or re-read) all of Elizabeth Gaskell’s books

16. Read (or re-read) all of Leo Buscaglia’s books

17. Read one inspirational/motivational book per month – ask friends for new suggestions

18. Read a book from a new (to-me) Canadian author

19. Re-read Stretching Lessons

20. Read a book (fiction) from bestseller list

21. Read a book (non-fiction) from bestseller list


22. Increase local food %. Figure out what % at now and improve by 10 % by end of Summer 2010. (100 mile challenge)

23. Reduce garbage from one small bag a week to less by changing cat litter to wood chip product

24. Handmade/no paper wrap Christmas and Solstice 2010

25. Buy nothing new for 3 months- Feb, Mar and April 2010. Then…do it again.


26. Start reading “classics” aloud each morning again – everyone takes turns

27. Learn a new bird each month with E

28. Learn one new word a day with both boys

29. Research Britain trip – each pick top 10 must-see/do things

30. Stick with learning routine of mornings for “bookish” and afternoons for creativity/activities/friends/outdoors

31. Brainstorm with W re Teen learning workshops – start Feb 2010

32. A Writer’s Book of Days – do two exercises per week with W

33. Continue with W’s brilliant idea of each doing a “priority” each week

34. Savour, Savour, Savour each moment with my boys each day…they go by only too quickly!!

35. Write a letter to the provincial/federal government

36. Write a letter to City Council

37. Go to “lake” in Spring 2010 to learn more about building, car repairs and welding

38. Make homemade rootbeer with boys, Mom and Dad – Spring 2011

39. Take mushroom course with E Autumn 2010

40. Make 6 new mixed CDs for road trips


41. Solitary walk (or with four-footed companion) 3 times a week

42. Enjoy bi-monthly massage from S

43. Make another sun bonnet just for fun

44. Get rid of any clothes I don’t LOVE and feel good in!

45. Spring 2010 Nettle Cleanse (as soon as nettle is up)

46. Sing…every day!! (dancing is good too)

47. Continue practice of turning off phone in the mornings

48. Host Girls Night each Spring , Fall and Winter (at least)

49. Re-watch The Up Series

50. Watch The Waltons

51. Find a beautiful shawl at thrift store


52. Visit D and S at home this Summer

53. Visit C and A at home this Spring

54. Holiday with family in tropics

55. Send photos and updates every two months (at least) to family members

56. Take more family photos to capture each holiday/trip/event


57. Learn to make own soap – Spring 2010 (how about Spring 2011) - Did it (finally) Dec 2011

58. Make lovely fold-up shopping bags for self to keep (do not give away!)

59. Find refillable source for dishsoap to reduce plastic bottle

60. Continue to always eschew dryer (no hard feelings) even in wintertime ;-)

61. Learn and use one new “weed” each month during growing season

62. Make own “herbamare” from own herbs

63. Read more on off-the-grid living and “green” remodelling

64. Make own Mozzarella

65. Make extra cloth shopping bags and give away to people (strangers, even!)


66. Camping – Conkle, Wasa, Rathtrevor, Long Beach, Glacier, Haleakala, Blanket Creek, Cape Lookout, Florence

67. Hot Springs – Ainsworth, Halcyon

68. Vancouver Island Camping trip with boys

69. Morel hunt in fire region – Spring 2011 - but no luck finding any

70. Hike – parts of Juan de Fuca trail with boys

71. Hike – High Rim Trail in entirety (overnight/with packs) with family

72. Hike – Cathedral Park overnight with S

73. Hike – Illicilleweat Glacier with family (overnight this time at alpine hut)

74. Hike – Mt Robson

75. Hike – Mt. Revelstoke with S(overnight)

76. Hike – Haleakala crater

77. Hike – West Coast Trail Summer 2011

78. Bike – Part of Trans Canada Trail Summer 2011 and another part Summer 2012

79. Snowshoe twice each Winter (2010 - 1/2) (2011 - 2/2)  and downhill skied too!

80. X-Country ski twice each Winter (2010 - 1/2) (2011 - 0/2)

81. Practice archery Spring and Fall

82. Try rock-climbing with boys Spring 2010

83. Sunrise at Haleakala (and sunset a bonus full moon!)

84. Kayak Bowron Lakes circuit with Family Summer 2010 (or 2011 depending on move)

85. Kayak (on own or with friend) while boys mountain bike on Summer weekends

86. Snorkel with turtles and dolphins and octopus and Humpback song, oh my!

87. Body board in warm tropical waters.


88. Take one bag to thrift store each month

89. Sort through trunk and box of childhood stuff and let go of some

90. Start and complete photo albums…or be very nice to S (neck rubs?) while he does it!

91. Use up or give away any fabric that is not a natural fibre and sort remainder

92. Go through recipe binder and toss any recipes I won’t use and try the rest in 2010

93. Start using household binder again for menu plan, grocery list and daily to-do list

94. Keep computer cleaned out and up-to-date (delete, delete, delete)

95. Go through binders from work and college and Chuck Stuff Out!


96. Have a candlelit dinner

97. Write a thank you letter to someone I appreciate them

98. Dinner out with S - 2 times (2/2 )

99. Time on own with W each week

100. Time on own with E each week

101. Identify 100 things that make me happy,write them out and frame



102. Make duvet cover for E out of favourite old t-shirts (striped)

103. Knit plain beanie for S

104. Knit woolen toque for D

105. Make felted sweater quilt

106. Finish Einstein coat by May 1 2010 (decided not to make at all)

107. Make embroidered bookmarks for rest of family

108. Make embroidered tea towels for gifts

109. Have all main gifts (Solstice and Christmas) done by December 1 each year


110. Make time for guitar again each week. Learn 2 new songs on guitar (Long, Long Time and Edelweiss) by December 31, 2010

111. Learn one new Christmas song on piano by December 2010

112. Tune harp!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I love these days following the holidays.  After all the busy-ness and focus of preparing (gift making, treat making, preparing for company, etc) it feels good to have more time to do our own things.  We've been enjoying daily walks in the woods and feel very blessed to be in the SUNSHINE almost all the time. 

Living this high above the valley amazes me and, no matter how often I see the beautiful view or how often we're in the sun, I feel constantly blessed (a far cry from our old home in the shade of the mountain in wintertime).  We make a point of stopping each day (several times a day, actually) to enjoy the view and the sunsets and to be out in the sunshine each day too.
There's been time for sledding each day and time for reading.  Lots of time for Lego and Lego stop-motion animation.  Time for enjoying the tree each evening by the fire.  Usually we get rid of our tree quite soon after Christmas but this year we want to keep it as long as possible.  I'm sure part of that is just from living in a bigger house where there is more room for a tree but most of it is that I can't think of anything  lovelier than sitting by the fire, looking out at the snow and having the tree lights twinkling.

Dog has been slighty interested in all the going-ons.

But not overly so. ;-)

Time for felting slippers (for S not, as it may appear, for a giant)

Time for enjoying these days of cold, crystal snow and long shadows.

Time for walking with the boys and on our own. 

Observing creatures.

(these rabbit "highways" are everywhere here and signs of squirrels too)

Enjoying natural "snowcones" and caught in the act of enjoying. ;-)

And talking, dreaming and making plans.  We always do at this time of year but this year we are even more motivated to make goals, I think, in part, because we are already in the midst of such change.  I've been inspired by Rebecca to make a list of 101 things in 1001 days.  I worked on it last night while my guys were all out at a film festival.  I've got a rough list that I'll add a bit more to tonight then I'll number it, print it out and post it close-to-hand.  I've always been a goal-setter and a believer in writing down specific goals with steps towards accomplishing them.  This habit has served me well in living a life I love to lead.  I've never done a list with so many goals before though so am interested to see how this works for me.  The rest of my family is interested in making lists too so we will be enjoying that task over the next two days as well.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Almost Ready...

Almost ready...

A few more gifts finished.

One just about complete.

A last minute decoration made while chatting with good friends.

A trip to town for food to feed us and our company over the holidays...and for cane sugar candy canes for sweet, little (or not so little anymore, I suppose) boys.

And a crazy notion to make one more gift for my love...if only I could find where I put the knitting needles I need.  ;-)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Yesterday we celebrated Winter Solstice in this temporary  home of ours - this house above the clouds. I love the sense of deep connection to Nature and her seasons that comes from celebrating the solstices and, as a sun-lover, I especially love Winter Solstice when we celebrate the day that marks the return of the sun.

Happy Solstice to you and yours.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Knitted Solstice Gifts and Cranberry Decorations

The other day a friend sent me this link on making some cranberry tree decorations.  We just happened to have some cranberries and wire on hand for making them so E and I set to it.

You can make circles.

Hearts., any shape that pleases you!?!?

They are very simple to make and look lovely tucked on the tree.

I've been enjoying finding these tiny little pinecones on my walks and decided to use some for a package decoration.

There has also been some Solstice gift knitting happening whenever I had a moment to myself.  I kept these projects tucked in my bedside drawer away from prying eyes. ;-)

And now we are ready for Solstice and have only one more Christmas gift to make and two more to finish off.  Plenty of time.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Felted Mice and Apple Pies

When I saw E's mice I knew I had to make some too.  Yesterday I got round to giving these poor creatures some eyes (they really were three blind mice) and what a difference it made.  I think they are adorable.

I also wanted to make a few more headbands and decided to try some reversible ones this time.  I did them a little differently because I didn't have interfacing and I wanted to just stitch them together and then turn right side out. 

It was also edging well past time to use up the last of all those apples we picked so we decided to have pie.  E peeled, W made the topping and I did the rest.  And...since we had the oven on we figured we might as well make two.  Right?

And now I need to get busy on a little Solstice knitting. Eep, where does the time go?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Half Eaten Gingerbread Men Ornaments

I came across these gingerbread men last year when I was looking for gift ideas and thought they were adorable but didn't have time to make them. This year when we got our big tree I started looking for ornaments to make and came across them again and decided I must make them.  The directions are here and they are such fun to make.  I made one.

Then some more.

Then more.

Here they are.  Now I'll just attach a hanging thread and put them on our tree.

I just love their little faces.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

WIP Wednesday

I've got all sorts of projects on the go right now and so does the rest of my family.  It's a regular Santa's workshop these days.  This scarf is for myself and is another attempt to use up my stash of thrifted yarn - a multi-coloured cotton, a cotton/silk blend and a lovely soft mohair.

This is a gift for my mom (to go with the bookmark and some other goodies).  This is an old favourite blouse of hers which she no longer wears.

I decided to make a pretty rag bag out of it.

It is all done except for some handles.

And these fellahs...there are plenty of these fellahs in progress.  They are pure fun!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Gingerbread Men, Solstice Treats and Wooden Breadboards

We like to make gingerbread men each year.  Yesterday we decided we would have a baking day.  We started off with gingerbread men and then realized that most of the cookie cutters had not yet been unpacked.  Where to look?  Did I really want to dig through the boxes in the storage closet to find the gingerbread man cutter or should we just make stars since we had that cutter?  Thankfully W and S went searching and found my old cookie jar filled with cutters.

We rolled out the dough and then the boys and I got busy.  This year W had decided that he wanted to start a new tradition that his friend had told him about.  He wanted to cut out a gingerbread man for each person spending Christmas day with us and decorate it to look like that person.  He and E were thrilled because this meant...ICING.  W informed me that he had never used icing on cookies at home (poor fellah).  So they mixed up different colours and had some serious fun with this.

I made stars and heart to go on the tree.

Then we decided that we would make our dog some treats too.  We used to always make him biscuits but haven't since we started feeing him raw several years ago.  These ones are banana/nettle/carrot/molasses biscuits and does he ever love them.  (we decided it would be cruel to make him wait 'til Christmas to taste them)

Since we had a serious mess going we started on our Solstice bird treats.  We had some cranberries and apples and decided to thread these into little hanging ornaments.

We also couldn't wait 'til Solstice to put these out so we put them out right away and we'll make more for Solstice. ;-)
Since my favourite taffy was such a hit with the boys I thought they should probably try homemade Nanaimo bars too.  Big hit!

S was busy too.  He made his annual treat of whipped shortbread and he was also busy in the garage making some bread boards out of walnut slabs we've had on hand.  He plans on making a table one day but decided to use the smaller bits for boards for gifts.  They are beautiful - too beautiful to cut on, perhaps?

Edited to add recipe for Dog Treats

4 1/2 cups "flour" (I use a combination of mostly oats with wheat flour, barley flour or rice flour depending on what I have on hand)
1/2 tsp baking powder (optional)
1 cup-ish fruit or veg.( mashed banana, grated apples or carrots, cooked and mashed pumpkin or sweet potato are some to try - this time I included the nettle left over from my infusion too.  I mash whatever I am going to use with the rest of the liquid ingredients and then add it to the dry.
2 -4 tbsp oil
3 Tbsp molasses (this part our dog really loves)
2 Tbsp peanut butter (I sometimes add this and you could add egg if you like)

Put dry flours and oats in bowl with baking powder.  Mix all wet ingredients together (I run this through the vitamix) and then add to dry.  Mix to make a fairly stiff dough that you can roll out and cut into shapes.  Depending on the combination of fruits and veg you use you may need to add a bit more flour to your mix.  We like to cut them into heart shapes.  Bake in 350 oven for 20-20 minutes depending on how thin you roll them.  You want them to be crunchy.  Share with your furry friends.  :-)  When E was little he took great delight in making these and then eating them as well, it tickled him to share treats with his dog friends and to be able to say he was eating dog biscuits.  Go figure. ;-)