December Project Essay
My Month without Chocolate:
The December Project- My Take on Things
Well, we are nearing the close of December and it went a bit fast. I can't believe it's almost over. I wouldn't mind if it was extended, as it might be.
I personally didn't miss town trips at all. I often go many weeks without leaving the Ranch. I am usually the cook and babysitter in my parent's absence. Many times Mom and Dad will go get the necessary shopping done and I stay here to keep things running. That gives me many lessons in patience and child training.
One of the things we learned was that we can't continue to run to town to get this and that. We are hoping to severely limit that habit altogether, even after the close of the year. We will be making any trips to town more efficient and worthwhile, with sufficient lists and planning. That will be more gas efficient and self sufficient.
The children and I have gone a whole December without seeing a single Christ-Mass tree. Can't say we miss that at all! And no “Merry Christmas” salutations to make us cringe. Yipee!
The phrase 'self sufficiency' has really taken on more meaning for me during this month. I guess I knew the gist of the word but it really means a lot more to me now. During about the middle of the month we ran out of butter. That goes fast in our family. So we were able to break into our canned butter. Now, in a ideal situation, the family milk cow would only be fresh (giving milk) a portion of the year ( if you only had one, but if you had two, you could rotate). During that time you would be canning butter and preserving cheese, so that you could have dairy products year round. But if you don't, you end up eating plastic butter from Wal-Mart while your cow is dry. The same with veggies from your garden. You should be preserving non stop during the garden time so that you can have stews and sides during the winter months. And say you go through a drought or late freeze or some kind of hard time, and your garden just doesn't do well, you would still have some backup until you can get your garden up and running. There is no reason why when the stores go down that it should effect our life at all.
The things that we ran out of pretty early were paper towels, napkins, trash bags and sugar. I don't think you can pressure can any of these items, but who knows? The lesson learned here was that it doesn't take 15 paper towels or napkins to wipe up a spilled coffee or milk. Mom has been cutting up old T-shirts for disposable wipes, and we have been keeping a all purpose towel and a dish drying towel on the porch. That was quickly remedied. The trash bags, well, that is still in the air. We are going without at the moment. After this will probably keep buying them until we can find some way to eradicate that problem too. Sugar: You can make sugar from mesquite pods, we heard, but that has not been tried yet. So we are cutting way back on the amount of sugar we use.
All in all, this month has given us time to pull back and think outside the box. I am grateful.
I might write more at the big finale, but who knows?