Saturday, December 31, 2011

God bless Seed Catalogues and my New Jenn Challenges

First I would just like to say that I am in love with Seed Catalogues! Seriously! What can be better than diving into a catalogue full of possibilites! Oh the eye candy. The dreamy wonderment of new life!

But I digress.

And now, on to my New Year, New Jenn Challenges! Yay!

  1. I will read 52 books this year. Any books will do but bonus if it is farm/ homestead related! Lol. That makes one book per week for the whole year. Since I am uber busy in the summer and pretty lax in the winter I am going to try to get a few extra's under my belt during the slower months to make up for the lack of time I will have when traveling season picks up again in the spring. I have about 3 months of not much to do before then and should be able to get a fair few of my books finished in that time. Why will this challenge work: because I love to read, have lots of new books that I have been wanting to read and I love to read. This Challenge gives me just a hint of motivation to finish my books in a timely manner. 
  2. I will finish 52 projects this year. By projects I do not mean specifically sewing or knitting or crocheting or drawing or whathaveyou. My projects can be anything that I want, from easy to hard. I may learn a new dulcimer song, knit a blanket, crochet a hat, build a bird feeder, clean out my closet, make a new dog bed for the pups, whatever I want. Most of the projects that I am likely to pick will be easy enough to finish in a few sittings. I will however be doing one long project. I have been wanting to make a quilt for our camper bed since we bought it. Queen size, no frills, simple, beautiful, made by me. It will most likely take me all year to do this project as I will be working on it a bit at a time amongst the other projects. My hope is that I will finish it on New Years Eve 2012 and it will be my 52nd project. Why will this challenge work: because it caters to the fact that I have too many hobbies! If it was 52 knitting projects it would not work. I love knitting but would get bored if I HAD to do that many. This allows me to do lots of different things and work on multiple projects at one time when I have extra time. 
  3. I will learn a dozen new dulcimer songs. This one is an addendum to number two and is the only project I am putting a number too. As much as I love the dulcimer, I am afraid that I will get too bogged down in my other hobbies and my dulcimer will not get enough attention. For me, the dulcimer is a form of meditation. It is soothing to my soul. I feel it is important enough to make it more of a priority, especially during the hectic summer months. Why will this challenge work: because I can work it into my projects challenge easily and it will be a respite from the more intensive projects I am likely to pick during the winter months. 
  4. I will limit my computer time to 2 hours a day. I know this one sounds ridiculous but I tend to get very caught up in the net and this leads to neglecting other things that I enjoy doing. I am not too far from this goal and may alter it later in the year if I need to but for now 2 hours is a good limit for me. This will mean parring down my blog list, getting my news from other sources, and curing my addiction to facebook. I am not limiting tv time because I already don't watch it much. Whit and I enjoy playing Wii games together and I like to watch movies while I knit, crochet and sew. This makes limiting boob tube time pretty irrelevant at the moment. That may change in the future however.   Why will this challenge work: because I need that time to read my books and finish my projects and because I want it to. I want more simplicity and less tech. (I know, gasp!) 
  5. I will get off of my butt for at least 2 hours a day, 30 minutes of which will be intentional exercise time. Since the hotel is not keeping me moving as much during the slow months and so many of my other resolutions are non-active, I feel like it is important to make sure that I get my butt up each day. It makes me feel better and helps with my concentration during other activities. During the summer I am on the go so much that the only part of this challenge I will have to work at is the 30 minutes of intentional exercise. Why will this challenge work: because it will help me to accomplish the rest of the challenges and also give me a chance to get away from my projects a bit. 
The Lineman and I will be working together this year to relearn french. Why, because we both want to learn more languages and we both already knew french once upon a time. Starting with a familiar language seemed like the right thing to do.

I know that this seems like a lot of things to work on all at once and it is! However, it is all doable and most of it is building on habits that I already have, doing things that I already love. I spent a lot of time thinking about this over the past few weeks and I came up with this list in the end because most of the challenges work together with other challenges and all of them work toward my goals in one way or another.

Now to address something that may come up down the line. If a challenge is just not working out and I  feel too bogged down I will just drop it. I will not punish myself or feel guilty about it. The purpose of this challenge is to better myself, which is not accomplished by putting myself down when I fail. I will learn a lot of lessons this year, good and bad, from the attempt to meet my challenges head on. I will learn new things about myself. I will relearn old things about myself too. I know this going in. So I ask that my readers encourage me in my pursuits instead of berating me in my failures. If you don't like what I am doing, don't read my blog. I will not let anyone beat me up this year.

love and encourage each other,


  1. Love you - you rock! The more I get to know you online, the more I wish we'd had a chance to get to know each other better when you were in Norfolk. I love the way you laid out your list and putting it all in writing like that and justifying it will make it harder to go off course.

  2. Thank you Brassy! You are one of the reasons I stayed sane in Norfolk and I too wish we had more of a chance to talk and hang out.