EcinaciaA friend of mine was explaining her alternative to the traditional New Years Resolutions. Instead of picking things you want to work on, things that you don’t like about yourself or the world, things that are negative, pick three words that represent what you would like to have MORE OF in the New Year. What a lovely idea!

I’m a big believer in “the law of attraction”, the idea espoused in the book/movie “The Secret”. This is the idea that you get back what you put out. If you are always focused on the negative in your life, the things that you don’t like about yourself, the stuff that drives you crazy in others or the world at large, guess what? You get more of the same. But if you are focused on the good in people and the world, and you practice gratitude for the things that bring you joy, you get more of the same.

BleedingHeartThis idea wasn’t new to me when I saw the film “The Secret”. It’s something I figured out on a gut level a long time ago, as a child of a broken marriage and broken parents, who found joy in an old grandaddy tree down by the irrigation ditch, or a flock of geese flying overhead, or a dandelion blossom, or a warm cat purring in my lap. And I’ve seen negative attraction in action. I dated a guy for a while that had the darndest things happen to him. He had all kinds of money issues. His crappy million mile yellow Toyota Carola was stolen, recovered, than rear ended (it kept running – got to love Toyota). He was funny and dependable on the surface, but underneath, he was always waiting for the next bad thing to happen to him, psychically always expecting the other shoe to drop. And bad stuff DID just keep happening to him.

So, in the interest of attracting good things to my life, I’ve been contemplating my three words for the new year. The one I am sure about is “connection”. I moved to this area in November 2011, and have spent the last year starting to build the connections that ultimately change a place from “a town where I live” into “a community that I’m a part of”. I’m hoping for much more connection in 2013, along with continuing to connect with you, dear readers.

Just for fun, lets look back at 2012, and the milestones at Miles Away Farm.

In January, I wrote a series of posts on my approach to nutrition, and what I’ve learned about diet, exercise and my own body in the last 25 years of reading, testing, and reading some more. For me, it all boils down to Michael Pollan’s quote, “eat food [your grandmother would recognize], mostly plants, not too much”. (And for the record, I’m back on the eating better band wagon as I come out of the butter and cream daze that was November and December).BayberryFrost

In February I planned the 2012 garden, including a spread sheet with projected yields and a harvest form. This year I’m doing the same, tweaking the garden design and focusing more on heirloom vegetables and things that I can preserve, to become a “value added” product.Seeds2012

March brought early spring blooms and warmer weather as we waited, waited, waited to plant.IrisFeb12

April brought baby chickens, hatched from an incubator. And baby ducks and baby turkeys, via the US Mail. It also brought our first rabbits to the farm, compliments of Craig’s List.AnconaDucklings

May was the arrival of our first flock of sheep, a friends eight goats (who came to stay for 5 months) and flowers, flowers, and more flowers.NewSheep

June was all about babies growing up and harvesting the spring garden crops.Beets

We sweated through July, and welcomed our first rabbit babies to the farm. We also butchered a batch of roosters that had hatched out in April. Too many roosters spoils the hen house (at least for the hens).YoungRooster

August brought harvests of wild chokecherries and the first eggs from our April chickens.chokecherry

September found us putting everything we could get our hands on into Ball canning jars or primary fermenters. We also found our first duck eggs (finally)!PearHarvest

In October, we purchased a few more sheep, including a ram, and so are hoping for baby “sheeplings” (as my husband calls them) sometime after the end of February.GardenSheep

In November, we marveled at the number of things germinating (i.e. weeds), and the fact that the world was still green, took stock of the gardening/farmers market season, and enjoyed the last of the fall colors. We also welcomed Gideon and Rossi, our two new dogs, into our lives. RossiGideonYinYang

And December? We got crafty, making macramé hangers and knitting socks. We also enjoyed family and friends, ate too much rich food and drink (homemade Irish Cream anyone? OMG, I swear it calls my name from the fridge) and generally welcomed the holiday season without too much fanfare. Christmas, for me, long ago stopped being about obligatory gift giving (or receiving). YinYangBeans

Forty-six blog posts. A couple of hundred pictures. Recipes for Chocolate Cake, Tomatillo Salsa, Sourdough baked goods, Chokecherry Jam, Red Chili Sauce, Ranch Dressing, Peach Tea and Muesli. How to’s on making fruit wines, planting carrots, and raising rabbits. A year of hard work and wonderful memories.

In 2012, we attempted to live seasonally, and in 2013, we will do the same. As my friend and fellow blogger  Rachel Turiel put it so well, “For me, living seasonally grounds me to the earth, my region and my own life in a deeply meaningful way, especially when the outside world looks like a loud, plastic carnival urging me to Buy More Stuff.”

Miles Away Farm Blog © 2013, where our new year’s wish for you is
“To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.” – Oren Arnold. Welcome 2013.