Last year was such an exciting time for me. This blog developed beyond my wildest dreams and as I saw more of you trickle in, I realised what a powerful tool the internet is. Just think, anyone of us with a blog has the potential to reach thousands of people with the press of a button. I want to thank you for the support you've given over this past year and for the wise and interesting comments you left. It is my privilege to go into this newest of years with you at my side. I think we'll discover many more things to interest us and help us live to our full potential.
Thank you also for adding my feed to your readers, for reviewing me on blogged, for linking to me, or whatever you did, and for just being so willing to help.
I have been asked by a couple of people in the past week to talk more about my home management journal. I have written about this in the past but it's an ever evolving thing, always taking me to new places, recording different things and it deserves another outing.
When I first started living as I do now it took me a very short time to realise that unless I organised myself and recorded all the new things I was hoping to do, I would sink like a stone without a hope. Enter my notebook. It was my first journal. But less than a week into it, I knew I had to find another way. Some of the things I started doing, I didn't continue with, or changed a lot, and my notebook was turning into a real mess. So I grabbed an old ring binder I had here and started punching holes in sheets to enter then into the binder. I also added a few plastic envelopes. I had these left over from my old office, I would never have bought more plastic. Anyhow, the envelopes have proved to be very handy to hold smaller bits of paper like receipts and old seed packages.
Your home management journal will hold the written information you need to run your home efficiently. It will change as you progress and you might update it quite often. That is good! It shows you're changing and thinking about your changes as you go. All our journals will be different because, ideally, they'll reflect the stage of life we're at, the way we live, the number of people in our family and all the hopes and plans we have for the future. Include computer printouts as well as your hand written notes, receipts, meters readings and contacts lists.
Here is a list of what I have in my journal and what you might have in yours. Remember though, make your journal suit your life, and don't be tied down to a list.
If you have a statement about what you want your life to be, how you hope to change, or your dreams for the new year, this should be the first thing in your journal so you see it all the time. After that, any written statement that inspires you. I have this in mine, it's from Walden by Henry David Thoreau:
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience ..."
Good eh? It takes my breath away whenever I read that. So, on to the list...
Recipes - main meals, jams and spreads, bread, sourdough starters etc.
Preserving/canning recipes and when you put up your jams and preserves.
A table of volume, weights and temperature conversions.
GARDEN and PETS/ANIMALS
Fruit and nut tree catalogues.
Your garden plan.
Ideas for the next planting season.
Moon planting calendar.
Record of planting - fruit trees and vines, vegetables etc.
Record of rainfall
A record of your vegetable and fruit harvests.
Number of eggs collected.
List of hen's names and when they were added to the flock.
Reminders for tick and flea treatments.
If you have a price book, that can go into a plastic pouch next to your budget so you'll always know where it is when you go shopping.
Grocery flyers and coupons.
This year's calender - with room to record various important events like birthdays, anniversaries and graduations.
Current bills that need paying, as well as older bills you want to compare with the next bill that comes - like water, gas, phone and electricity bills.
Recipes - green cleaners.
Ideas for gifts.
Knitting and crochet patterns.
List of knitting abbreviations.
School newsletters and info about school
In your plastic pouches - letters and cards received, seed packages, receipts.
Any ideas you're currently working on, written out or mapped.
Meters readings for water or electricity.
Cost estimates for future projects.
Emergency phone list - doctor, hospital, ambulance, police etc
The name and contact details of your local politicians and councillors.
As you can see, your home management journal can hold whatever you need to run your home efficiently. Your journal will document not only your transition to a simpler life, it will also record your history, and as you look back through it, you will see for yourself just how far you've come.