1. Chickens in the sun.
2. Amelia Pond and Olive Snook
3/4. A delicious gift of quince paste, cheese and crackers for Sunday lunch.
We had a cheerful, sunny break this weekend, so I spent some time outside doing yard work in the company of hens. They like to flock around us humans whenever we're out and about, and if we stand still long enough, one of them will inevitably fly up onto our shoulders.
On New Year's Eve, Seven of Nine laid her first winter egg, and we've collected four more since then. Also, Olive Snook is finally showing signs of eggs to come. Not only are her comb and wattles big and bright red, but she started squatting a week ago. Olive was the only chicken to not lay an egg for us last summer and fall, so I'm looking forward to discovering her first, especially because Welsummer's are known for their dark, reddish-brown egg color.
Anyway, as of today, our holiday break is officially over. We had a lovely Christmas with family, and a quiet New Year's Eve at home, and now we're ready to get back into the swing of things. To stay focused, I've jotted down a few New Year's Resolutions for the year:
1. Continue building wardrobe based on Slow Fashion.
Last year, I decided I needed to beef up my wardrobe a little, which I've done, but not nearly to the degree that I was hoping for. When it comes down to it, I have a hard time spending money on myself, but I know it's worth it because I feel a lot better when I'm wearing clothes I like rather than any old thing that fits. I also find that my clothing Pinterest board, I'd Wear It, has been immensely helpful in understanding the types of clothes I'm drawn to. Some of it, like neutral colors, textures, and natural materials, I already knew, but I'm also quite fond of quirky patterns, big pockets, and pretty color combinations.
This year, I'm going to focus on making, tailoring, and mending my own clothes. I was able to knit a couple garments, and alter some old pieces from my existing wardrobe with my sewing machine to make them fit a little better, so my confidence is growing in that department.
Two hours every weekday, minimum. I'd also like to participate in NaNoWriMo this November.
30 books, minimum (last year was 25, and I just barely made it in time). I'd also like to keep up with my blog list a little better than I have been.
Silence: No more television, texting, or music in the background while writing.
Be Positive: Lately, I find myself drawn to folks who are supportive, inspiring, and full of life - people who embrace differences, and are respectful and understanding of others. I used to spend a lot of time dwelling on the past, and over-analyzing every interaction, and at some point it became too exhausting to continue. I think that was the first step in letting go.
Nowadays I find myself less and less interested in negative people, and less interested in harboring my own tendencies toward judgment and cynicism. I find that I actually have a choice when it comes to my state of mind, and the more I choose to think positively, the more I am able to reprogram myself on a fundamental level. It's pretty cool.
I think, this year, my big obstacle will be in remaining focused on myself and my goals, and not letting people's judgments of my life choices get me down. I know where my path is heading, and I know what I want for the future, and that's all I need to know. Everything else is just other people's problems.
Unplug: I'm going to make a huge effort to keep my phone in my pocket whenever I'm with people, and I'm also going to spend a lot less time on Facebook and other social media sites unless I'm on for a specific purpose. It's just too much of a time sink for me, and there's always so much else to do.
Through last year's Whole 30 Challenge, I discovered my body reacts really well to the Paleo diet. My inflammation decreased, I lost 30 lbs (and kept the weight off after), I felt energetic and happy, and slept better than ever. The only problem? I couldn't adhere to it for any length of time because eating away from home was a nightmare.
This year, to make things more sustainable, I've decided to alter my diet to 100% gluten free and 75% paleo so it's a little easier to go out with friends and eat at other people's houses.
Wish me luck. :)