Sunday, January 18, 2009

Resolutions 2009

As we are now three full weeks into the new year, I thought it only proper to post my resolutions for the new year. I think the statistics are that most people who resolve to go to the gym regularly have already bailed on their resolutions by now. I figure it's not much of a resolution if it hasn't held for at least 3 weeks, so why reveal the failures? So, here are the things I'm working on this year:

1. Eat more local/seasonal foods - this is my big one. Inspired by reading Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle," I am learning what veggies and produce are in season at what times and finding recipes to work within those constraints. No more eating Chilean strawberries in December. We'll wait and gorge ourselves on Oregon berries all summer long. I'm also using more canned fruits this winter, since a lot of the peaches and applesauce comes from Eastern Washington. I'm looking into either signing us up for a CSA with a local farm this summer or trying to get one of the community garden plots. Right now we're eating a lot of winter squash, carrots, parsnip, and sweet potato. I consider this a resolution in progress - a challenge to myself to keep learning and making small changes all year long. I'll list some of the inspiring statistics at the end of this post. Small changes - big results.

2. Wash my face every night before bed. You would think my mom nagging me about this all growing up would have instilled a habit. Now that I'm 30, it's probably time to start paying better attention to my skin.

3. Have more patience between 5 and 6 PM. Like many people, this is the frustration hour at our house and ususally one Owen and I spend at home alone. He's tired from a long day at school, hungry for dinner, and wanting attention. I'm no better. So, I'm resolving to replace my whining, pleading, and irritated sighs with a patient voice and lower blood pressure for JUST ONE HOUR. If we can to 6 o'clock smiling, it's much more plesant the rest of the evening. Thankfully, I'm already seeing a difference - at least in my mental mantra on the way to get Owen after work...patience for one hour, patience for one hour, patience for one hour.

4. Work first, blog later. This will be the hard one for me. I always save my posting for the evenings after Owen is in bed, but I have developed a terrible habit of reading through blogs when I should be sitting down and getting work done. I love reading about everyone and catching up, but then I'm annoyed when I finish reading and have nothing else to do, but, well, work! So, I'm going to save blog reading for a reward when I get my work done (or for those crazy long conference calls, but don't tell the people on the other end of the line that!). Thanks for the inspiration simplemom and to Cailean for linking to the post.

A few Local Food Statistics:
- 17% of our national energy use is for agrigulture - and 80% of the agriculture energy goes to SHIPPING the food from place to place.
- If each American ate just ONE meal per week of local, organic meats and produce, we would save 1.1 million barrels of oil each week (barrels, not gallons).
- The US exports 1.1 million tons of potatoes each year. We also import 1.4 million tons.
- Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), where we get 98 percent of our chicken, are allowed to raise up to 1,152 animals in a 6x8 ft room - picture 1,000 chickens in your bathroom. We're still buying boneless skinless chicken from Costco, but I'm hoping our buget and eating habits will allow us to shift to free-range chicken by the end of the year.


Colleen said...

I love them all Alissa! We are trying to do what we can too; I am still hoping to get that garden going this summer! I will have to look into local farms here...if anyone can get anything to grow in this dry state! You are blessed to live in a state so agriculturally plentiful! And that "hour" of the day, we call it "the witching hour." Good luck! These are all awesome resolutions!

Cailean said...

Oh I'm so glad you liked that link too. I have also vowed to organize my day better after reading it. We love seasonal food but don't do a good enough job at it, and I am sooo going to check out that book! Thanks! We call it the witching hour too. Why is it!? It's more like 4pm-6pm around here, which is unbearable! Very inspiring blog post. Thanks!

Alissa Maxwell said...

We are definately blessed by an agriculturally plentiful state - but mostly on the other side of the mountain. That's why I'm not sticking to that 100 mile radius thing, and thinking CSA instead of our own garden.

Jen said...

Sounds like you are doing great on the resolutions! Your patience resolution sounds like a tough one; however, I think everybody is always in the need for more of that. I know I do!! Thanks for the email by the way, it definitely made my week!!

Phyllis said...

I love your third one! Realistic and necessary, but so hard! I need to adopt that one (and #4) for myself. Our hard hour is different, but the concept is exactly the same.

Carmen Goetschius said...

You are awesome. This food stuff is challenging to me and i want to integrate some of these lessons as well! I fear one of these days I will really need to become a vegetarian. Eating within season is what we always did in Zambia-- no Chilean strawberries. Do you have the Mennonite cookbooks on cooking within the season? They are awesome! It has been weird to be back in Manhattan looking at produce-- esp fruits from all over Latin America. None of us in the dead of Winter, here in the city, need to be eating strawberries! Especially if this means exploitation of our neighbors. Sheesh! Sorry about the soapbox! I just think you are great to raise this stuff!

sticker said...

It seems different countries, different cultures, we really can decide things in the same understanding of the difference!
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