2013 Projects


Last year some time, when I was putting together my very first homemaking binder (yes! I’m that kind of homemaker!), I also put together a running list of projects I wanted to accomplish . . . eventually.

It was a no-pressure list; I just wanted a central place to keep track of all the bigger projects I wanted to get done at some point. They were all projects that excited me. My main motivation for getting them done was simply my enthusiasm for the task.

It ended up being a really great practice for me, and I was amazed to discover that in less than a year, I’d managed to cross off most of the items. I’d done that without ever being stern with myself or scheduling them into my calendar.

Unfortunately, I tossed the list once most of the items were crossed off and started a new one (transferring the few remaining unfinished items) so I can’t share them with you. They involved various crafts, steps in making our home greener, home organization projects, etc. (One of them, however, was “Get Becoming Peculiar started.” Cha-ching! Got it!)

I thought I’d share my new list with you, just for fun. Many of these projects, I hope to share with you as I finish them, and review their outcomes.

As with my last list, I plan to add items as I think of them. No pressure to complete them within a particular time frame — just as time and energy allow. And if I don’t complete them by the end of the year, I’ll just put them on my next year’s list.

(You’ll notice there’s a heavy emphasis on sustainability, self-sufficiency, and emergency-preparedeness. Thank-you, Sharon Astyk!).

Kathleen’s 2013-ish Projects

  • create a natural remedies kit — illness and injury
  • create three emergency kits: one for minor emergencies, one for more serious ones, and one for the car
  • learn first aid / take a CPR class
  • start a vermicompost
  • make cloth (menstrual) pads (and start using them)
  • switch to cloth “toilet paper”
  • do a for-real budget and start implementing it
  • make my own liquid hand soap
  • eliminate plastic wrap from kitchen; replace with homemade beeswax cotton wraps
  • start food storage projects (from Independence Days)
    • find out where to get wheat berries, oats, and beans in bulk (locally)
    • create a root cellar/cold storage
    • store water

(Sorry my secondary bullets are formatted so weirdly… I can’t seem to change it…).

What do you think? Do they sound  crazy? Have you tried any of these things? Do you have a similar kind of list? What’s on it?

Photo courtesy of Cathdew.
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  1. I’m so excited that you plan on using cloth pads and cloth “toilet paper”! I made the switch a little while ago and love it. Emergency kits also sound like a great idea and something that I really should do as well. I think I’ll write my own list and add that to it.

  2. I just bought my first set of cloth pads a month or so ago (used them once so far of course) but I love it – it’s so comfortable!

    Please share your natural remedy kits – I just added elderberry syrup to our stock, but I want to take it further!
    MollyMakesDo recently posted..Focus 2013: The Year of ….My Profile

    • Will do, Molly! I added elderberry syrup to my stock earlier this year, and we’ve been so happy with it. Both Ben and my sister took it just as they were starting to feel fluey, and both recovered overnight! My Mom, on the other hand (with whom my sister lives, and who didn’t take the syrup), had a dreadful case of flu that lasted for days. Who knows if it was really the syrup that did the trick; but it’s inexpensive enough that I’m willing to make sure we always have it on hand!

      Also, I’ve only heard good things about cloth pads from people who have used them.

  3. I looked into sourcing more of my ingredients locally last year and found Oak Manor Farms out of Caledon. Not sure if they sell in bulk, but many of their items are Ontario-grown and organic. Might be worth looking into further. http://www.oakmanorfarms.ca/oak-manor-farms.html

    I’ve found it challenging to find Ontario legumes — most are grown and sourced from the Prairies. I’ve heard some vendors in Kitchener sell them. I can say though that the ones I have managed to get my hands on were the very best I’ve ever eaten (incredibly tender!)

    • Thanks so much for the resource, Sarah!! And I suspected I’d have a hard time finding Ontario legumes, so I decided that I would settle for Prairie-imported ones if I had to (after doing some serious searching into more locally-sourced ones). I mostly want to avoid the ones sold in superstores if possible, preferring smaller vendors, as well as anything imported from further off that our own Prairies.

  4. Yay for all your projects!

    I attempted and rejected vermicomposting last year after I found two dead worms in the bottom of my pantry, but I imagine you will have much better success :) I also tried and wasn’t a huge fan of the cloth pads, but am totally sold on cloth toilet paper! As a heads up, I found that they made identifying my fertile time a bit trickier (doubled flannel was too thick for my to notice all but the slipperiest time well), so I generally went back to regular TP for a couple days in there, and could go either way during my period. TMI for some people, I imagine, but good to know nonetheless :) Good luck!
    That Married Couple recently posted..Game changerMy Profile

    • Yugh . . . worms in your PANTRY?! That would get me to give up fast!! I’ll have to do some research to avoid running into that problem!

      As for TMI — there is no such thing for me. :) It had crossed my mind that flannel might make fluid observations a little more tricky, but since we’re pretty much always eager to have another baby, I figured it might not matter too much during this season of our lives.

  5. Oooh! I look forward to seeing how these go for you! I wanted to try the worm composting thing a few years back but DH couldn’t stand the idea.

    As for cloth menstrual pads, have you ever considered a menstrual cup? I absolutely adore mine. My cramps went way down and I’d often forget I had AF! Less messy than cloth pads too (though if I’m ever blessed with another pregnancy I’ll make cloth pads for post-partum since you can’t use a cup then).
    Michele recently posted..A Letter to Pastors & Counselors about InfertilityMy Profile

    • I actually HAVE tried a menstrual cup, and reviewed it here: http://becomingpeculiar.com/diva-cup/ I adore it, too. (Side note: I wonder if the disappearance of my cramps is due to using the cup? I thought maybe pregnancy and birth had cured them! Hmmm…)

      Anyway, I thought I’d still like to try cloth pads for light days, when I didn’t feel like using a cup, and I also wanted a thin pantyliner to use with the cup. I also thought that if I was successful in making the pads, I would ALSO use them for post-partum bleeding (if I ever have to use them again). We think so alike! :)

  6. I especially hope that you find the time to make and blog about the beeswax covers and the cloth pads. I’ve been using cloth (and a DivaCup) for a few years now from LunaPads, a great local company out here in BC, but I have some old flannel pajamas that could easily be made into a supplement for my stash.

    And the beeswax=ingenious. I had no idea it was so easy! I’m so excited to try the recipe. I just need a dedicated cookie sheet because I’ve tried wax experiments before with my own pans. It was a disaster to clean off. :)
    Laura recently posted..Hello 2013, Goodbye Facebook!My Profile

  7. Ooo, I love the idea of making a list of projects with no set time line! Genius! I find I get things done with a better attitude if I am not pushing myself to reach a deadline. Maybe it’s the homeschooler in me? Who knows. Maybe I just like to take my time. But I am definitely stealing that idea.
    And the beeswax cloth?! Oh. My. Stars. That is brilliant. And so easy!
    Bekah recently posted..*2013*My Profile

  8. I love lists :) I have one for things to do for the home, and one for non-home-related “bigger” projects I’d like to do.
    This year high on the list is to get a bio-waste bin. We live in a city apartment so composting isn’t exactly easy but last year Lux city council started collecting bio waste once a week. You have to buy the bin yourself, and I still need to work out how to store it all in our small kitchen without it smelling or be just yucky. But I’ve got our waste down loads this last year and bio is now one of the bigger proportions so I feel I should do this.
    Growing more of our own food (on our little balcony!) is another project for the year. And making non-disposable dish cloths. I don’t know why we’ve not done that already! (probably because it wasn’t on a list!)
    fiona lynne recently posted..on my one word for 2013My Profile

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