Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Goals for 2022

Blogging was, once again, delayed due to the weather.  We had a few days that were wind free and then round two started and was blowing hard all weekend.  Bright side, if there is one, is that the winds only reached about 60mph this time instead of 100mph, so while the winds were scary sometimes, at least they weren't as destructive as the first round.  People still lost power as weakened trees went down, but MEA has stated that all power has now been restored, so I was happy to hear that.  As soon as the wind calmed down I ran out and put ice melt on the entire driveway because the wind had managed to batter the ice on the driveway from the ice storm we had into a nice, solid, glossy sheen.  If we'd had ice skates we would have had a great time, but since we were trying to drive vehicles over it, I figured putting down some salt was a good idea, especially since the weather called for snow (which we got about an inch of yesterday) and they are calling for chances of snow for basically the next week.  The ice melt seems to be making a difference, so I am happy to see that.

Right, now that "Wind 2:  Electric Boogaloo" is over, I finally found time to get some goals actually written down and some things done around here.  So, let's get to the yearly goals, shall we?

Oh and as an aside, please enjoy the shot of a calm sunset I took when the wind finally stopped here up top :).  

In general, 2022's main theme on the goal front is "to be more self sufficient".  The world situation is...well uncertain and scary....and I am determined that I am going to do everything in my power to make sure my family can ride the tide of things to come with as little upheaval as possible.  So trying to get more and more self sufficient is going to become more and more important.  That probably means me looking around come Spring to see if I can find someone willing to part with some egg laying hens and getting prepared to be a chicken owner again.  I need to do some checking on feed and bedding prices, though, as everything costs more up here, so I'm not sure how cost effective I can make chickens in our current budget.  I want to be prepared this time.  Last time I took on chickens fast and furious because Shani needed me to, so this time I want to make sure I do it smart if I do it.  You'll definitely see the theme of self sufficiency moving through the goals this year.  So, let's get started on things I want and/or need to get done this year!

Painting Goals:
  • Get hallway and stairway painted.
  • Repaint upstairs bathroom.
  • Touch up paint in son's room.

Household Goals:

  • Get cabinet handles for bathroom cabinets and install them 
  • See about getting cabinet handles for kitchen and install them (wow, I can't believe how uncluttered I managed to get the countertops back when I took this photo.  It doesn't look like that now).  The cabinets are just starting to show wear and tear little bit by little bit so I'm hoping using handles will help to preserve what is left of the cabinet finish.
  • Try and find something to install as a backsplash in the kitchen (I just cook and bake too much and it just beats the paint up, so I'd like to find something that is easier to clean).
  • Install wood stove.  My husband surprised us with a wood stove for Christmas that we can install as a back up heating source, so we need to get that installed.
  • Get new gutters for the house installed.  My husband keeps kicking this goal down the road as he's the one with the gutter installer contact, but I'm determined to get this done this year as the gutters are becoming more and more of a mess and the lack of gutters in places are really wearing on the house.

Financial Goals:
  • Try to stop getting into more debt (and boy I know I'm not alone in that regard).
  • Be more proactive about health (to avoid going to doctors and screwing up goal #1).
  • Pay down bills as much as possible.

Pantry Goals:

  • Can more!  There.  My one pantry goal.  Okay, so it's a loaded pantry goal, but still it is one single goal.
I think I pretty much managed to find all of my empty jars from around the house and now it is a matter of starting to use them more and get back into full scale canning (creative jar storage seen in the photo above).  I'm not going to go too crazy with the canning (as in what I am going to can), but I do want to put up some things that we will use.  Like right now my list starts with canning the frozen fruit in my freezer so we have it to use on pancakes, waffles, on cake, or as a mixed fruit type of cocktail for dinner sides (I have a bunch of miscellaneous frozen fruits that I put in the freezers to stop from going bad, so I'm just going to mix them all together and can them) and things.  

I also am planning on pressure canning (I haven't pressure canned in years as I found it was just too much work and worry with juggling the son as well) some soup and also canning some different beans to use in dishes later on so they are readily available and such.  Since I have tons of dried beans, this seems smart to me.  When it comes to storing the jars in the pantry, I got some nice heavy duty boxes that I'm putting aside so the storage will work easier.  Here's hoping my plans work out in reality.  With the way prices keep going up and the shrinking amounts in cans and other packages (shrinkflation), doing as much for ourselves as possible is becoming more and more of a necessity just as a means for our dollars to go as far as we can make them.

Freezer Goals:

Okay, so some might remember my lofty "freezer inventory" goals I came up with before 2020 made everything spin on its ear.  I'm not going back to the freezer inventory idea, per say, but I did do a bit to reorganize the standing freezer to work better by organizing meats into boxes so that I don't get a broken foot pulling things out of the freezer for dinner (this works fabulously and I recommend it to everyone!) and everything stacks up SO much nicer this way.  You'll notice a lack of beef in the freezer.  That is because, with the exception of the steaks I bought that are on the top shelf wrapped in freezer paper, the rest of our beef is in the small chest freezer in my kitchen.  It just seems best to keep like things with like.  One day soon I'm going to get motivated and move the steaks into the small block freezer in the kitchen, but it just hasn't happened yet.

So, my goals to make the freezer work a bit better for our needs, is once I can the fruit on the top shelf of the freezer there, I want to make the top shelf of the freezer into a shelf for convenience foods (snack foods and the like) and ready made meals and desserts.  I'll get into the things I'm going to make this month in another post, but I have to say that I'm excited at the prospect of having things made and ready to go, especially for the sake of my husband's lunches, so on days when I'm out of ideas we can just grab something from the freezer to pack in his lunch box.

With the potato shortage (no, really, this is a thing) causing problems and may be putting a strain on McDonald's French fries (which gives me nightmares since that is one of the few places Alvah can and will eat), I want to get some potatoes cut up, blanched, frozen and ready to go into the deep fryer so the son will have his French fries.  Man, I hope I can get it dialed in where he will be happy with it as he's super picky about his French fries.  I've always failed at home made French fries before, so wish me luck as I try again.  Here's hoping it works this time as I really don't want Alvah to lose one of the few things he'll eat *fingers crossed*.

Garden Goals:

This year I am planning to expand the container garden so that I can plant and harvest more food this summer.  I need to be sure to be careful and not overload the deck with too much weight, so my husband will be on board to help me figure all of that out as we go.  I am thinking, if I can get them, about putting the patio tomatoes going down the deck stairs on one side, which would give me a TON of tomatoes if they grow well, but it is still an idea in progress at this point.  I am determined to grow more food this year and to keep it as safe from insects and animals (I'm looking at you, moose) as I possibly can.  Here's hoping it all works out.  

So, yeah, my goals are pretty much the same as last year.
1.  Plant Garden.
2.  Have it not fail.
3.  Put up as much as I can for winter when the garden does well.

*Laugh* as goals go, I'd say that every gardener has pretty much the same, but here's hoping it all works out!

And there you go folks.  Some of my more major goals for 2022.  It is going to be a full year and I am DETERMINED it is going to be a good one!  


  1. I keep all my beef/chicken/fish/gr turkey in the basket at the bottom of my freezer. It's easy for me to monitor the inventory that way. All packages standing up on their sides.

    I'm with you gardening/canning. I hope to do more than ever. If I can find lids. I've found none since the pandammit started!

    1. I haven't had a lot of luck finding any locally either. I end up paying inflated prices on Amazon or on E-bay. Those were the only real sources I could find. I'm also sourcing name brand lids as the cheapy ones that Amazon sells and things have high failure rates and honestly no one has time for canning failures.

    2. I was able to order some canning lids from U-line last summer, might try them.

  2. Best of luck with all your goals. You got this

  3. I cannot imagine that your Anchorage prices are that different from the Fairbanks prices...I have priced out chicken supplies vs. eggs and there is no way it is cheaper to have your own chickens. There is a point where if you have enough chickens and can sell the eggs, that you can make it work, but last time I worked it out I would have to have 30 chickens to make it work. And this is with having a yard for them to wander and a garden large enough that in the summer they ate garden remains so less feed. There are a lot of great reasons to have chickens, especially when you have kids, but economy is not one of them.

    1. Yeah, I keep going back and forth about it. It isn't really an economy type of situation. I'm more worried about inflation and availability. The bird flu has had a tremendous break out in Israel and is wiping out a lot of the avian population over there. Israel is a major migration point for birds, so Europe is already panicking about the flu breaking out among the chicken population again and if it spreads over here via migratory birds...eggs could get scarce and terribly expensive, again. So, yeah, I'm torn about it. I like the idea of security at having eggs during the Spring and Summer months, but like you said...the cost up here isn't cheap. So, for now, I'm just going to keep my eye on the situation as it develops (Israel just ordered a ton of eggs from other countries because of the flu) and see how it may impact us and go from there. I mainly just want to be able to move before something becomes a crisis so I'm not left panicking and scrambling :).

  4. just and fyi.. you can totally pressure can potatoes.. we did cubes and "fries".. not sure how Alvah would like them.. but you can do it.. either plain, or (our preferred..) pickled potatoes
    tom brought home several hundred pounds of potatoes one year and I had to start getting creative... lol...
    worked out very well though

    1. Yeah, I saw that on YouTube that people would pressure can the French fry cut. If you deep fry them do you think they'd fry up and taste okay? I don't want to go through the trouble of canning something like that if it doesn't taste like...well French fries in the final stages *laugh*. Alvah is very picky that his fries can't be too mushy or he won't eat them, so I have to worry about too much moisture in the final product, so the idea of canning them makes me a bit nervous.

      Pickled potatoes sound intriguing. Are they like a sweet pickle or more like a savory (like a dill type of pickle) in the end?