Dec 282014


New Year is probably my favorite holiday. I like the idea of getting a fresh start and a clean slate. I like the idea of consciously choosing a new principal of living and adopting it for the new year. Sometimes I do well with my resolutions, other times, not so much.

A year after Fred and I were married I made it my new year’s resolution to make the bed every morning, no matter what. This one was pretty easy for me keep. I don’t know why, but I purposed to do it and then I did it. Twenty-seven years later, I’m still making our bed every day. Several years later I noticed that I was pretty lazy about changing our sheets regularly. I won’t tell you how long I was apt to go before putting fresh sheets on the bed because I am ashamed to admit the number in public. I will say it was too long. Shamefully so. Since my resolution to make the bed had gone so well, that year I decided to change the sheets every two-weeks, whether they needed it or not (!) This resolution was a little harder to stick to, because of my inherent laziness, but I put forth an effort and I’m happy to report that barring vacations or severe illnesses, I change my sheets every two-weeks like clock-work. For folks without an inner-slob, this will seem silly. But for those of us who struggle with such things, like me, it’s a pretty amazing accomplishment.

For 15 years, maybe a little more, I made a resolution every year to lose weight, exercise regularly and eat healthy. For the most part, I didn’t do so well with those. I always made an effort, and I always gave up after a few days. This year, I’m making my regular resolution to lose weight, exercise and eat healthy. So far I’ve lost 59-pounds, and I’d like to maintain that weight-loss and lose at least another 30-pounds, possibly more.

I’ve considered trying a raw-food fast for a week or two, as a tonic, to speed things up a bit, but I’m not sure that I’m willing to make those sacrifices, especially in the middle of winter. Cold, raw, chewy food is not as appetizing in winter as it is in summer. One of the things I really like about the way I eat right now is that there are so few sacrifices I have to make. If this is not just a diet, but a way of eating that I have to stick to for the rest of my life, then I at least want it to be livable.

One of the things I’m hoping to do in the new year is to try incorporating some of the wheat-free, gluten-containing grains into my diet. I haven’t had any spelt, rye or barley in a year and I’d like to work them back in slowly to see how it affects my weight-loss and my digestion. I have a lot of spelt and barley recipes that I’d like to try out and see if they trigger my desire to overeat. I had avoided them most of 2014, just to be sure I wasn’t eating anything that would throw me off track. Baking tends to make me overeat, but I have been pretty good about stopping when I’m full, so I think I can afford to add back in some of the non-wheat grains to see how I feel. If they trigger me, then I’ll avoid them again. But if they don’t then there is an entire world of baking that I can play around with again, and wow would that be fun (and tasty too :)).

I’m also thinking about trying to add some raw dairy to my diet. I know that regular milk disagrees with me, but I have a friend who swears by the almost raw milk from a local German Baptist (sort of like Mennonite) dairy, and if I can drink milk again, I would like to. Giving up gluten is challenging, but doable. Giving up dairy is so much harder, for me at least. My oldest son will remain dairy and gluten-free because he turns into a monster otherwise, but my youngest son can tolerate barley, spelt and rye without behavioral changes, and my husband loves it when I cook with gluten of any kind, be it barley or spelt or rye. He’s not picky, he’s just happy to get “real” bread. So after trying out the grains, I’ll give this almost raw milk a try and see how it goes. For the New Year, I resolve to be scrupulously honest with myself about any reactions I may have to the grains or the milk, and to desist immediately if they cause any bad effects.

Over the holiday season I’ve been exploring all of the old WW1 cookbooks available for free online, and the old books about Reform Cooking and the Hygienic Diet. They are delightful to read. I’d like to make a New Year’s resolution of trying out some of the old recipes from them and sharing my results on the blog. There’s even old Raw Food books about the Unfired Diet. They are a scream! Maybe I’ll make a book-page with links to all of them.

Science in the Kitchen by Ella Kellogg

Economical War-time Cook Book by Mrs. Janet McKenzie Hill

Unfired food and tropho-therapy by George Julius Drews

I am definitely making a New Year’s resolution to be faithful to my Blog. I hope to update at least once a week, but I know that sometimes that will stretch to 2 or 3 weeks when I get busy like I have been with the holidays. Over the summer I have a few extra busy weeks too. During the winter and spring though, there are times when I can update far more frequently. So I guess I’ll word it by simply saying I resolve to be faithful to my Blog and not to let it fall by the wayside.

Next, I want to scrub my bathtub regularly and shave my legs every week. I’m sure my more fastidious readers are reading with alarm now. I blush at the thought. However I know myself and know that I am want to put off both chores because they take more time and energy than I prefer. I have to slow down my brain and my body and make myself do them. As a side note, I am now slender enough to shave my legs in the shower. If you’ve never been obese you may not realize the absolute luxury this is. If you have been obese, then you’ll understand the secret thrill of having a body that bends and contorts with enough flexibility to accomplish such a feat. Little details like this one are part of the reason I keep going, even when the effort seems grueling some days.

So for the year of 2015 I resolve to scrub my bathtub regularly and shave my legs once a week so that I will never again be embarrassed at the swimming pool by having legs so furry they look more like they belong to an otter than a woman. Not that that’s ever happened to me or anything.  Nope. Never.

Another issue I’ve been working on is choosing not to feel resentful about hanging up the clean wet clothes on the line every single (blasted!) day. Usually I do okay about it, but when it’s cold and the clothes are wet, it is terribly challenging to my fortitude. I have to wear gloves in the winter, plus a coat and hat, and stand out in the wind and the cold, right after the sun has come up, hanging heavy, wet clothes on the line. The wet soaks though my gloves and my fingers get cold. Two loads takes me about 15-minutes, and some mornings it is drudgery. So instead of resenting it, I want to turn it into a gratitude. I am thankful for the opportunity to stand in the quiet, in God’s creation, listening to the birds and squirrels. I am thankful that I don’t have to wash my clothes by hand. I have the luxury of a washing machine to take that drudgery away from me. I am thankful that I live in a state where it is legal for anyone to hang their clothes outside to dry, even if they live in an upper-crust community that foolishly tries to regulate things like that. I am thankful for having such a large nice clothesline to use in the first place. I am thankful that I have so many clothes and linens that I have to wash every day. Truly that is an abundance. I have a choice to resent it, or to be grateful for it. This year I resolve to choose gratitude.

Lastly I want to be more patient, especially with my family and closest friends. I’m not exactly impatient now, but there are times when I know I could be more so. I’ve heard people say “Never pray for patience, because if you do, God will give it to you.” That always made me so mad, because the implication was that God would send terrible trials to teach one patience. I don’t think God works like that. I think he has an infinite amount of patience and that when we pray for patience he can lend us a bit of His, allowing us to tap into His never-ending supply. I think some lessons that God teaches us can be painful. I know there have been some in my life. It’s like he underscores some life-lessons with discomfort, to reinforce the lesson. Like highlighting words on a page, or making them both bold and in italics, so we take note and remember. When we have humble spirits though, when we pray to become and then to remain teachable, life-lessons are much easier to learn and they can be emphasized with joy instead of discomfort. It’s just a matter of remaining tuned-in to His frequency, and maintaining a spirit of willingness. Life-lessons are far more pleasant that way.

So, to sum up, my New Year’s Resolutions are as follows:

  1. To let God be in charge. Of everything. All the time. I may never achieve this outright while I’m still on the mortal plane, but I can still work towards this goal.
  2. To maintain my healthy eating and exercise habits and to build upon them as the year continues.
  3. To carefully add a few new foods (or better versions of old favorites) to my diet and to promptly admit to myself if they don’t agree with me.
  4. To be faithful to my Blog.
  5. To scrub the bathtub and shave my legs weekly.
  6. To faithfully hang up my laundry with joy and gratitude in my heart.
  7. To practice more patience, especially with my loved ones.

Phew, that is a lot more than I thought it would be. I’m interested to see how I do with these things. I’m already thinking up excuses for why I can’t scrub the bathtub, so clearly this particular issue is one I need to bring to the Lord in prayer. The others don’t seem half as daunting.

Anyone else have resolutions they want to share?


  8 Responses to “New Year’s Resolutions”

  1. Hi! Thanks for the recipe book links! I hope your resolutions hold! I laughed about the shaving the legs in the shower, that is true! We don’t have a bathtub so I have to shave mine at summer with a leg on the potty. I haven’ shaven in about half a year and honestly, no problem since it’s winter here and I wore knee highs in GA at summer 😀 I’m fuzzy and okay with it, but when culotte season shows up, bye bye leg fur lol. Chunky ladies are good at contorting to shave their legs lol!

    My resolution is to learn to pray the rosary, be less crabby at everyone, and try to read more. I don’t seem to find the time for books!

    • Hi Chavapermafrost, I hope my resolutions hold too, I am really dreading that bathtub thing. Before I started swimming I didn’t pay much attention to my legs, like you say, knee highs cover a multitude of sins. But when I swim 3 times a week, my legs are pretty visible, even in my ultra conservative swimsuit. I think since I see them so much, it makes me want to take better care of them. Both the tub and the leg shaving though, they are two I need to really work on, in my heart, or I won’t be able to do them.

      Thanks for sharing your resolutions. They always make me feel so virtuous. 😀

  2. Your post makes me laugh! We are so alike! My friend commented that her son, who just went off to college, hadn’t washed his sheets since September (at Christmas break) and I kept to myself that I couldn’t remember the last time I made the kids strip their beds–I really need to work on that too! My husband and I switch our sheets to fleece sheets for winter–so amazingly warm! We had to use an electric blanket just to warm up the bed about an hour before bedtime before the fleece sheet set but now, it’s always warm and feels so good against the hide!!! No more electric blanket use! But I need to get in a regular habit of washing the sheets too! We bought our daughters, who share a basement room, fleece sheets for Christmas so I know those are clean for a week or two!!!

    As far as the fuzzy legs–consider yourself blessed to not have to worry about them so often–God made me so incredibly hairy! I have to shave every other day at least or I have whiskery legs that are prickly and unpleasant not just fuzzy!

    You’ve got some good resolutions there–I try not to make them because I feel bad when I fail but I am trying to eat better as you know–I am glad that I started last year so that it is not a resolution to break but a new lifestyle of better health!

    I did find a Bible for my reader that has daily Bible readings and I am finding that more helpful than just trying to read through the Bible on my own each year.

    I hope you can keep your resolutions–if you want to clean my tub for me have at it!!!

  3. Hey Val, I’m so glad you found a bible reading program that works for you. When I take the time for bible reading it makes the whole day go better. My resolutions are hit and miss. Some of them I find I’m able to do really well with, others–fall to the wayside. I’m pretty good about not beating myself up about it. I’m allowed to try and I’m allowed to fail. Then I’m allowed to try again. If I never try, then I never take any risks, but I never open the door for new experiences either. That is something I’m only learning now, at 45. I wish I’d known that years ago. Oh well. As the saying goes, “I’m still a work in progress.”

    I read a great motivational line the other day–“If it doesn’t challenge you, then it cannot change you.” Wow, I am getting a lot of mileage out of that line. So many of the changes I’m making are a HUGE challenge, but I want to change, so I have to face the challenge and let it do it’s work. Change is uncomfortable, it forces me out of my comfort zones. Change can even hurt sometimes, but it’s that discomfort, that slight sense of wobbliness, that lets me know that I’m changing, improving, becoming the woman that God intends me to be, instead of resting on my kiester, getting fatter and lazier. I want to change, and change is challenging to the safe little rut I’ve allowed myself to fall into. I want more than living in a rut. I want more than being fat and miserable for the rest of my life. To achieve that goal, I have to take some risks and I have to give up some of my old behaviors to make room for new ones. It’s NOT easy, but it’s so rewarding. Definitely worth the discomfort and the effort.

    Good luck with the new year Val, Lets pray that by this time next year, both of us have achieved some of our goals, or are at least closer to reaching them. 😀

  4. It’s so funny you said that about the sheets – I tend not to change ours unless and until something “happens” to them – usually in the form of a co-sleeping toddler fouling the nest in some way! Thankfully (?) it used to happen pretty regularly, but lately we have gone long stretches without changing our sheets. I’ll be the brave one and say the number – a month, maybe longer. The kids beds usually get changed at the same time. And I didn’t even notice until my kids and I were treated to a hotel stay while visiting relatives, and then came back. The switch between the clean hotel sheets and my own was jarring. I stripped the beds that very day!

    • I am so glad that I’m not the only one who has had this problem. My story is similar to yours. When our kids slept with us (we’re co-sleepers too, tried and true) I had to change the sheets because of them, they would vomit, or spit up or diapers would leak, or my milk would leak, it was pretty much a necessity that they be changed every few days when a new stain would arise. When it’s just my hubby and me though, we’re much tidier and I really need the extra impetus to get it done. Before I started doing it on a schedule, I would go way longer than a month (several months, I’m still ashamed to say how many) and it was pretty gross. When we traveled and stayed with relatives they always had nice, clean, soft, sweet-smelling sheets and I realized that I really needed to change my ways. I would like to have clean sheets every night, simply because they’re so pleasant to sleep in, but I’m not willing to do that much laundry, every two weeks is the best compromise I can live with. Thanks for sharing your story, and letting me know I’m not alone. 😉

  5. Ooh, I just found your blog from a comment you made on a book on Amazon (Hard Core Poor). I totally want to dig into those WWI cookbooks.

    Good luck with your new year. Losing weight is hard work. You should be proud of all that you’ve done so far. And losing weight over 40 is no joke.

    I had my second son at 42, and I’m now 44. I lost 26 pounds last year and it was very difficult. About 1/2 pound a week. When I eliminated wheat, sugar and a couple of other things, it started coming off a bit faster, but it’s still not easy.

    • Congrats on the weight loss Marcia. Over 40, it is harder, but it’s still possible. Good to know that 1/2-pound a week is more normal than I thought.

      The WW1 books are awesome. I can lose myself in them for hours at a time. So much knowledge and it’s a blessing to rediscover it.

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