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My biggest project is to learn a new language, Croatian. I ordered books and CDs which say it takes seven years to speak it fluently and two years to understand a fair amount (all with a lot of consistent practice). This is a long project but I began it yesterday after my first workbook and CDs arrived. :)

Another goal is to do more sous vide cooking. I am an adventurous cook but want to put to practice what I have learned about molecular gastronomy (i.e. Grant Achatz, Ferran Adria, Heston Blumenthal).

I am going to make batches of Limencello to have ready for Summer.

Read lots of the e-books I downloaded on my new Kobo. I absolutely refused to buy one because I love books too much but I relented when my husband recommended I get one for our travels. It will be so nice to have it on flights and at our Croatia house instead of hauling around 20 lb of books every time. In 2011 I read over 250 books.

Another thing I would love to do this winter is take a charcuterie class if I can find one.

I need to take the time to draw out a plan for my Croatia house garden. It is pristinely landscaped with ancient trees all around it but I want to plant a few things when we are there this Spring such as olive, orange, lemon and bay trees - things we cannot even dream of growing here. There is a perfect spot for another climbing rose, too.

One of my goals is less waste. Sometimes I find myself throwing out produce from the fridge which is very sad and wasteful. Pain sometimes prevents me from using stuff up in time but it really does bother me that homeless hungry children would do almost anything for those wasted goods.

A related goal is to use everything up in my pantry. I kid you not - I have enough fantastically cool and unique ingredients in there to last at least a year (i.e. Umami paste #5). Easily. Actually, more than a year.

Have friends over more often. I tend not to do it as much because of pain but sometimes friends and a good visit can be distracting! :D

Now it's YOUR turn to share your winter projects and goals.

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My project is to become your friend and come over and eat all the food out of your pantry! Then take a nap as I am exhausted just reading about your goals! B)

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:huh:

I'm with K-ring there...

I guess my goals are: Do well in my StatGen class. Read the statistics and calculus books that are on my Kindle. Do the homework problems in the Probability textbook 'cause I'll never get in to the class. Do the Khan Academy section on linear algebra. Get back into serious weight lifting. Learn how to do a budget, and stick to it.

L2T, throw your 'produce-on-the-edge' into a bag and put it in your freezer. When you have a bunch you can throw it in the crock pot, cook it overnight, and Vi-ola! you have vegetable stock. Give the cooked mush to the chickens, or put it in the compost pile. Find a Croatian with chickens and you can practice your language skills whilst putting veggie scraps to good use.

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I am trying to keep a winter garden up here in upstate New York,zone 6. I bought a book about it, researched online, and I have covered cold hardy vegetables with garden fabric. So far so good, but it hasn't gotten that cold yet. The snow collapsed some of the garden covers last night, so we'll see.

Garden fresh vegetables in December were pretty nice.

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I am trying to keep a winter garden up here in upstate New York,zone 6. I bought a book about it, researched online, and I have covered cold hardy vegetables with garden fabric. So far so good, but it hasn't gotten that cold yet. The snow collapsed some of the garden covers last night, so we'll see.

Garden fresh vegetables in December were pretty nice.

What can you grow that way? Here in Kansas, we have had a mild winter. We could have been growing things, maybe without the cover.

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My goal is pretty simple. I'd like to get a quilt basted and into the quilt frame..and hand quilted by April.

I used to put quilts in shows, but since getting so sick my quilting has fallen by the wayside. I have 2 appliqued quilt tops that need their intricate borders done too. I used to do some quilting every day..it was like meditation to me.

Luvs..learning such a difficult language will be a challenge..but I know you can do it!

I'd like to get to where I quit wasting produce too. I want fresh things on hand..but then don't feel like eating/cooking it.

Maybe I should start a compost bin too?

I live in Ohio..which is zone 6 I think? We have a greenhouse addition on the house, where I'm able to grow Meijer lemons and bay leaf. I have the thermostat set at 55*, so the growth slows down in winter. I drag the pots outside in the summer months and get a big growing spurt. If you have a window that gets good sun you can grow the Meijer lemons. They're self polinating, but I find if I "help" by touching a small paintbrush to each flower I get better yeilds.

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Find a Croatian with chickens and you can practice your language skills whilst putting veggie scraps to good use.

. . . and since you're feeding that Croatian's chickens, maybe you can get a couple of fresh eggs every now and then.

This thread sounds vaguely New Year's Resolution-ish . . . so that's what I'll list . . . :P

I also have on my list not to waste so much food . . . this includes the produce that I don't get around to using and the leftovers from meals that nobody seems to want for lunch the next day. Also, no more "trying" any new gluten-free products that I have found until I use up 75% of the ones I already have in my pantry.

Decluttering!!! If something new comes into the house, then something must leave. I have two waffle irons . . . I haven't made homemade waffles in three years . . . really? . . . I need two?

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What can you grow that way? Here in Kansas, we have had a mild winter. We could have been growing things, maybe without the cover.

My gardening zone is a balmy 1a! On average we get 80 frost-free days per year. Imagine that?! No wonder I cannot wait to move to Croatia (our area is zone 8-9).

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My project is to become your friend and come over and eat all the food out of your pantry! Then take a nap as I am exhausted just reading about your goals! B)

:lol: My list of goals is pretty daunting and some are likely not to be met. However, I am ambitious and have lots of time on my hands. I would rather be busy than lie down and worry about my dumb pain.

Anyway, I would love to have you over! The middle of January would be nice - you would get to experience our fabulous winters (you know, square tires, shoveling the driveway, frozen eyelashes...!) :P

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:huh:

I'm with K-ring there...

I guess my goals are: Do well in my StatGen class. Read the statistics and calculus books that are on my Kindle. Do the homework problems in the Probability textbook 'cause I'll never get in to the class. Do the Khan Academy section on linear algebra. Get back into serious weight lifting. Learn how to do a budget, and stick to it.

L2T, throw your 'produce-on-the-edge' into a bag and put it in your freezer. When you have a bunch you can throw it in the crock pot, cook it overnight, and Vi-ola! you have vegetable stock. Give the cooked mush to the chickens, or put it in the compost pile. Find a Croatian with chickens and you can practice your language skills whilst putting veggie scraps to good use.

Great idea - I should freeze my greens. I like to make my own stock, anyway, so thanks for the idea. I am usually very good at using things up but sometimes not so much. I tend to buy too much to begin with, especially at specialty food stores, where there is produce I dream about. Then I grab those fresh kaffir lime leaves, banana leaves, geoduck, goat, etc. with great intentions. Of course I have never thrown out meat but sometimes produce.

We have more friends in Croatia than here, actually. We live in a very transient town here where very few people put down roots so it is difficult to make friends. However, in Croatia it is the opposite. People there are so very real and down-to-earth and hospitable - sincerely, not just on the surface.

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My goal is pretty simple. I'd like to get a quilt basted and into the quilt frame..and hand quilted by April.

I used to put quilts in shows, but since getting so sick my quilting has fallen by the wayside. I have 2 appliqued quilt tops that need their intricate borders done too. I used to do some quilting every day..it was like meditation to me.

Luvs..learning such a difficult language will be a challenge..but I know you can do it!

I'd like to get to where I quit wasting produce too. I want fresh things on hand..but then don't feel like eating/cooking it.

Maybe I should start a compost bin too?

I live in Ohio..which is zone 6 I think? We have a greenhouse addition on the house, where I'm able to grow Meijer lemons and bay leaf. I have the thermostat set at 55*, so the growth slows down in winter. I drag the pots outside in the summer months and get a big growing spurt. If you have a window that gets good sun you can grow the Meijer lemons. They're self polinating, but I find if I "help" by touching a small paintbrush to each flower I get better yeilds.

I so admire crafty artisans and quilt making has fascinated me for years. Guess what? I am currently reading a murder mystery quilting series! If you like light reading let me know.

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My goals are to get in the kitchen more...I love to cook, but I haven't been doing much of anything lately.

And I think even more than that I have a goal to actually go out of the house. Going out terrifies me right now and I have panic attacks when I try to go out. I do occasionally go to my moms which is less then 2 miles away, but that is very rarely and I get nervous doing that too. I have not seen any of the observations for my daughters dance class this year and last June I missed her recital (another goal is to not miss another recital this year).

My daughter and I are already learning another language for her schooling (American Sign Language) and I would like to be able to learn alot more and actually be able to do it at a decent speed.

There are so many other things that I want to do, but I think I will start with these goals.

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My goal is to get through another day.

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We are adding lighting (strip LED accent lighting) to my yoga studio (converted from our living room) and I'm painting a mural on the walls. 30ft of mural is a LOT to paint! I had hoped to be done by now, but I'm a fairly long way off.

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My goal is to get through another day.

I know what you mean. That is why I almost felt weird typing out an exhaustive list. I am in constant pain and have days where I cannot walk. But I refuse to allow it to prevent me from doing what I love. I find when I do things it helps take my mind off pain. But sometimes you simply hurt too much to do anything. :(

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Aw, I'm just being a whiner. Yeah, I haven't been feeling great, but mostly I'm just tired. I have a good friend who has cancer. Now SHE'S got a reason to complain. This past week or so has been tiring because I've been taking care of her (I've been going to her house each morning and evening to cook for her, clean the house and change her bandages.) I've been trying to run my shop, and of course I've put in extra hours because of Christmas - about 74 hours last week. And because I am the world's biggest procrastinator, I had to do some Christmas shopping, wrapping, and of course I had to cook for myself which is always a chore. I guess a healthy person would find all that a bit overwhelming. I've been doing it all while I was sick. So yeah, I'm whining.

But life is good anyway. I woke up this morning, had a french press full of Dunkin' Donut's coffee, sold a couple of nice guitars, and right now I'm looking out my front window at a BEAUTIFUL sunset. Sorry I complained, life really IS good.

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Aw, I'm just being a whiner. Yeah, I haven't been feeling great, but mostly I'm just tired. I have a good friend who has cancer. Now SHE'S got a reason to complain. This past week or so has been tiring because I've been taking care of her (I've been going to her house each morning and evening to cook for her, clean the house and change her bandages.) I've been trying to run my shop, and of course I've put in extra hours because of Christmas - about 74 hours last week. And because I am the world's biggest procrastinator, I had to do some Christmas shopping, wrapping, and of course I had to cook for myself which is always a chore. I guess a healthy person would find all that a bit overwhelming. I've been doing it all while I was sick. So yeah, I'm whining.

But life is good anyway. I woke up this morning, had a french press full of Dunkin' Donut's coffee, sold a couple of nice guitars, and right now I'm looking out my front window at a BEAUTIFUL sunset. Sorry I complained, life really IS good.

You're not a whiner - just had a less than stellar day! We all have those days. That is a lot of extra hours - no wonder you are so tired. My husband is a chartered accountant and senior partner of the firm and works 80 hours a week for about 20 weeks straight each year and he gets EXHAUSTED! So, he could certainly relate to you. That is one reason why we travel twice a year for 3-4 weeks at a time. He needs sanity breaks!

Running a business would be so tough. I could not imagine doing it - there must be so many stressors!

But I am glad that you were able to enjoy such a beautiful sunset. Sometimes such things can be taken for granted. It is great to find joy in the small things. :)

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Just thought of another project. I do intricate counted cross stitch on linen (about 32-40 count) and have not done it for a couple of years because it is just so darned painful to sit. But going through all my various linens and massive detailed patterns has excited me again. So, even if I can sit and do 20 minutes a day it is better than nothing!

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Just thought of another project. I do intricate counted cross stitch on linen (about 32-40 count) and have not done it for a couple of years because it is just so darned painful to sit. But going through all my various linens and massive detailed patterns has excited me again. So, even if I can sit and do 20 minutes a day it is better than nothing!

Wow . . . you just keep mentioning things on my "to do" list. My SIL got my daughter some counted cross stitch kits for Christmas. That was something I never learned. Mom didn't pick it up until after I left home and Grandma never took it up (these are the two ladies that taught me any needle craft). Mom passed away a couple of years ago and going through her many projects that weren't finished, I found a counted cross stitch project depicting birds. (Mom also sent me down the path to becoming a birder.) I decided I would take it and finish it . . . after learning how to do it, of course. Got my first lesson from my SIL a couple of days ago. I should probably practice on something first before I jump right in on the bird project though.

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Now that I am on the mend physically (but still going to PT and MT twice a week for muscle/joint rehab) I am looking forward to doing more PHYSICAL activities. :) . I even stacked some fire wood yesterday. I have not done that in 3 years! whoohoo!!

We were rehabbing every room in our home by ourselves--painting, wood flooring, slate flooring, etc.-- but when I got very ill in 2008, the kitchen was still left to be done. So, that eyesore is something to tackle--maybe in the fall of 2012! (still building up my muscles)

Now we can concentrate once more on our photography projects and I can work on my writing. I have missed reading --and there are books piled up waiting for me to crack open. Love my books! I also have been trying new recipes--I could not eat for so long and now that I can--man, am I hungry!! :lol: Even my culinary skills got hammered when I could barely use my arms. That was a bummer, for sure.

We can also work more on cleaning out the garage and basement and closets in each room and donating things that are useful. Hubs is a pack-rat and I am most definitely NOT. :lol:

But mostly, I confess I am still pretty whipped from the long unDxed celiac and I am replenishing my energy--so I can tolerate the long drive down to Florida in March to see my friends. We have not traveled since late 2007 because things got so bad---and it is time to get back into living as fully as possible. I love the sun and the surf. B)

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Now that I am on the mend physically (but still going to PT and MT twice a week for muscle/joint rehab) I am looking forward to doing more PHYSICAL activities. :) . I even stacked some fire wood yesterday. I have not done that in 3 years! whoohoo!!

We were rehabbing every room in our home by ourselves--painting, wood flooring, slate flooring, etc.-- but when I got very ill in 2008, the kitchen was still left to be done. So, that eyesore is something to tackle--maybe in the fall of 2012! (still building up my muscles)

Now we can concentrate once more on our photography projects and I can work on my writing. I have missed reading --and there are books piled up waiting for me to crack open. Love my books! I also have been trying new recipes--I could not eat for so long and now that I can--man, am I hungry!! :lol: Even my culinary skills got hammered when I could barely use my arms. That was a bummer, for sure.

We can also work more on cleaning out the garage and basement and closets in each room and donating things that are useful. Hubs is a pack-rat and I am most definitely NOT. :lol:

But mostly, I confess I am still pretty whipped from the long unDxed celiac and I am replenishing my energy--so I can tolerate the long drive down to Florida in March to see my friends. We have not traveled since late 2007 because things got so bad---and it is time to get back into living as fully as possible. I love the sun and the surf. B)

Off topic here, but I just had to say Irishheart...your attitude is inspirational. I don't think that most people would be able to go through what you did and still come across so upbeat.

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Off topic here, but I just had to say Irishheart...your attitude is inspirational. I don't think that most people would be able to go through what you did and still come across so upbeat.

well, thanks, hon!! :) that made me feel good!! I have lots to be grateful for and an AMAZING husband who stuck by me and took care of me and I figure I have been squashed down by illness for so long and I just simply REFUSE to let it own me. There were some pretty dark days there and I was not always upbeat, believe me--I cried and screamed a LOT!!--but then I would just get on with it and I just would not give in.

LOVE2TRAVEL has immeasurable physical pain as well and manages to do so much! We ask each other all the time--how the hell do we do it? :unsure:

Not sure of her answer--but mine is, I am one stubborn chick and I want to go out and play again like everyone else. :lol: This thing tried to kill me and it cost me dearly BUT I am not letting it win.

Thanks for saying this--your kind words have made my day, no, my week!! :)

Happy New Year!!! Cheers, IH

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well, thanks, hon!! :) that made me feel good!! I have lots to be grateful for and an AMAZING husband who stuck by me and took care of me and I figure I have been squashed down by illness for so long and I just simply REFUSE to let it own me. There were some pretty dark days there and I was not always upbeat, believe me--I cried and screamed a LOT!!--but then I would just get on with it and I just would not give in.

LOVE2TRAVEL has immeasurable physical pain as well and manages to do so much! We ask each other all the time--how the hell do we do it? :unsure:

Not sure of her answer--but mine is, I am one stubborn chick and I want to go out and play again like everyone else. :lol: This thing tried to kill me and it cost me dearly BUT I am not letting it win.

Thanks for saying this--your kind words have made my day, no, my week!! :)

Happy New Year!!! Cheers, IH

We definitely have been down a very painful road, haven't we? I am so much like you in that I am extremely stubborn and motivated and absolutely REFUSE my pain to take over my life. Two years ago it did and I sulked and felt sorry for myself and planned every single outing on how I thought my pain would be in two hours or whatever. Now I just go ahead and do things anyway. My chiro told me about hurt versus harm. He said that doing a lot of stuff and keeping active is far better than avoiding it (fear avoidance). Rather than lying in bed all day (for about two YEARS resulting in muscle wasting, etc.) I try to lead as normal a life as I can. Sure, I carry my lumbar support with me wherever I go, I lie down to travel in our car, I stand to eat, I lie down to watch TV...

I also do not allow myself to think about my future. If I did it would scare me into doing nothing again. I used to tell myself, "If I am like this at 40, how will I be in 20 years?" The odd day that happens but as soon as it does I get up and do something I love like cook or read or go for a walk.

My husband cannot get over my attitude. Some days it is bad, I confess, but much of the time I make the best of it. I can usually walk. I cannot stand for long but at least I can stand some. I cannot take a bath because I cannot get in and out of the tub - but I can shower. I have my hearing, my sight, my voice, my tasting ability, my smelling capacity. I have learned to be thankful for little things, too, and try not to take anything for granted.

So, it may sound as though I have a crazy long list of things to do but I am bound and determined to do it, partly to prove I can beat this awful pain. I, too, go for PT and MT each week and have seen countless specialists and so on who tell me I will not be walking in five years. I CANNOT allow that to happen so I try to be busy - not shovel snow or lift heavy objects busy but just doing ordinary house stuff.

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