My New Year’s Resolutions

So here are my New Year’s Resolutions.

First, to drink less Dr. Pepper.

Second, to eat less pizza.

Third, to watch less TV, Netflix in particular.

Fourth, to get more exercise.

Fifth, to put less carbon into the atmosphere.

NOT! Ha ha, I’m still laughing at this, cause I ain’t doin’ any of this.

First off, Dr. Pepper is a health food and essential for life. It is made from corn. Corn is good for you. If we have a summer hotter than the last one, I will in fact drink MORE Dr. Pepper.

Next, pizza and veggie burgers are also essential for life, so there’s no way I can give those up. And since my kids and neighbors started supplying me with the “Kirkland Garden Burger” from Costco, made with mushrooms and cheese and lots of other yumminess, we may have to add a second “burger night” at Sunflower Farm. Two winters ago Costco stopped stocking this burger (because I guess only people who eat beef burgers eat them year round) so this fall I was prepared and stocked up on them before the winter burger drought hit to avoid my pent-up Costco veggie burger demand that followed last winter’s depravation. Better New Year’s Resolution … buy a bigger freezer!

Now that the ground is frozen I have a bit more time on my hands so I have been reading like a fiend … fiction, non-fiction, heady stuff and trashy stuff. But I’m not giving up TV. I can’t stay awake for 20 minutes if I try reading after dinner so the magic glowing blue light from the box in the corner of the living room shall continue to dominate my evenings. To all those people who say “I don’t watch TV” or “I’m too busy for TV” I say … TV is awesome. You don’t know what you’re missing! Right now we have the Smithsonian Channel for free for a month! So intellectual! But then again, there’s that Kardashian Marathon over on “E”… (kidding!)

I am blessed to be able to heat my home with wood and to have 40+ members of our CSA that depend on me to grow their veggies. Growing this much food requires an enormous amount of physical effort, so I don’t need to get anymore exercise. I spend each and every day trying to figure out how to conserve my strength, optimize the calories I eat and do things more efficiently. Hopefully my awesome neighbor Ken will finally be proud of me. His past criticism of me was that I always found the hardest way to do things!

I think we’ve finally got our carbon emissions in order. We still make some. We have a car. Our car is AWESOME! This little shiny metal box allows us to drive to our local village or the nearest big city and do amazing stuff, like shopping at thrift stores. We find that we drive less and less all the time, but when we do go somewhere, I am in awe of the potential energy in that magic liquid (gasoline) that propels our little four-wheeled miracle machine. What an amazing time in human history we live in.

We still purchase some propane for cooking and hot water in the winter, but I don’t see us cutting that back much further. Someday we’ll have a wood-burning cookstove, but not right away.

Carbon dioxide is what’s heating up the planet and I do put some carbon out there, but not much. We’re close to zero-carbon but I won’t kid myself that I’m there yet. I’ll keep trying.

Here’s what I take from my lack of desire to make any resolutions about changing my behavior, and I don’t say this with any degree of hubris (extreme arrogance). I think it means I’m pretty happy with what I’m up to. I love where I live. I love how I live. I love what I do to earn an income. If I won a lottery I’d give most of it away (and yes, this is a way to tempt fate to finally allow me to win because, well, if I’m just going to give it away surely I should win, right?) I’d buy some more solar panels, enough to charge an electric car. A few things like that, but nothing major.

So much for New Year’s Resolutions. Apparently life at Sunflower Farm is pretty good.

If anyone knows someone in the company that makes Dr. Pepper, please pass along this blog to them. I believe Dr. Pepper should officially be sponsoring this blog. I feel like I mention it about once a month at least! I suppose it would have been better if I had acquired a taste for beer. I think I’d have more luck finding a brewery to sponsor me.

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Thanks to S.S. for the recent generous donation!





3 Responses to “My New Year’s Resolutions”

  • I am a RN. In 2006-2008, I worked with a RN in Kansas City who said one night that her grandfather came up with the formula for Dr Pepper. I personally have loved Dr Pepper since I was a child. I find your blog interesting and entertaining.

  • My resolution this year is to finely retire from my job and move with my three dogs back to Cooperstown New York and follow your example. I will have the house rewired with solar installed and buy a wood stove for the winter. I have a large lawn area that the grass will be removed and turned into an organic garden. I can’t wait to start my compost pile! Oh, and yes, I will be building a chicken coop and getting chickens! I am so excited and can’t wait. Now I just have to get my employer to go along with my plans, but this is the year either way. P.S. I finely sent in my donation yesterday. Thanks for all you do…

  • Gerrit:

    Happy new year to Sunflower Farm! Since retirement I don’t make resolutions anymore either. I like your take on it a lot! Best wishes to you and Michelle for 2015.

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About Cam
Cam Mather and his wife Michelle live independently off the electricity grid using the sun and wind to power their home and their CSA. Cam is working towards the goal of making his home “zero-carbon” and with his extensive garden he aims to grow as much of his own food as possible. He is available to speak at conferences and other events and has motivated many people to integrate renewable energy into their lives, reduce their footprint on the planet and get started on the path to personal food, fuel and financial independence.
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