Back in July, I posted 10 Half-Year Resolutions. Before posting any resolutions for 2012, I thought a review of my progress on my Half-Year Resolutions was appropriate.
1. Make my own yogurt.
I did buy a yogurt maker, and now, after a bit of trial-and-error, I'm making the majority of our yogurt. We use the homemade yogurt for smoothies and recipes. I strain some of the homemade yogurt and eat that myself several times a week. It is thick, creamy and delicious and I like it better than any store-bought yogurt. I use the leftover whey for baking whole wheat bread and our healthy whole grain "cookies," among other things. However, if my kids eat yogurt in a bowl (with honey or granola), it has to be Trader Joe's/ Straus' European-style Organic Whole Plain Yogurt, because they are very used to that flavor and consistency. At any rate, now we are going through 1 four-cup container of store-bought yogurt per week instead of 3 or 4 containers.
2. Plant something.
3. Buy houseplants.
For the last many months, we've had a basil plant in our kitchen window. I've nearly killed it several times, but I find that basil revives itself very well after long-neglect if you compensate with copious watering for a day or so. I didn't plant anything outside (phooey), but since basil is an herb you can eat, I'm counting my basil plant as a minor success for Resolutions 2 and 3.
It looks like it's dead, but after a little time in the sink with a lot of water...
Ta da! -- it lives again.
4. Take my children outside every single day.
I am doing really well with this one. We go for a walk, play at the park, and/or just play in the backyard every day. On our walks, we often collect natural "treasures," and we've even made nature collages. The weather has been most cooperative. We'll see how it goes once it starts raining a lot.
5. Learn the names of some of the local flora.
I'm sort of half-way to success on this one. I bought a bunch of books on local plants and animals, and have even flipped through a couple of them. But I have yet to take my tree book on a walk with me and figure out the actual names of the trees in our neighborhood. Somehow, I just can't imagine my 2 and 4-year-olds standing patiently while I go through the numerous steps of identification. But we have all become much more observant. I've noticed, for example, that about 75% of the trees in my neighborhood are all the same species -- some type of oak, I'm guessing, since they are now dropping acorns profusely. We talk about the texture of the bark, the size and shape and changing colors of the leaves, and the fruits the trees drop.
6. Hang a bird feeder.
Nada on this one.
7. Learn more about composting.
I've kind of given up on this for the time being, despite the guilt I feel every time I dump a bunch of plant matter into the kitchen garbage. I have two good friends that compost with and without worms, and the more I learn about it, the less likely it seems like it's going to happen at this juncture. And I'm too cheap (at the moment) to buy one of those easy-schmeasy rolling composters.
8. Take my children to a natural place once a month.
During the summer, we went to the beach a bunch of times and my kids absolutely loved it (see photo in my blog header). Lately, we've been lucky to just get to the local county park for a hike, but I think we are averaging about once a month.
9. Try a shampoo bar.
Success! I have completely switched over to shampoo bars, and I've taken my husband and sister with me. I rarely even use conditioner now. Hoping to post all about this one soon!
10. Limit my screen time.
Moving my computer to a more remote location in the house (instead of in the living room) has helped, but I still need to work on this one, especially on the occasional day-long Internet fast.
Stay tuned for Resolutions 2012!