Winter Gloom


It’s been a gray, gloomy winter so far.

We’ve had one, glorious snowstorm and tons of heavy rain. The skies are overcast and the air is heavy. It feels very much like what I imagine a British winter would be.

But I miss my wild, snowy, New England winters. I’m hoping January and February feel a bit more wintery.

This January, I’m working on my New Year’s goals a little slower than usual. My word for the year is “Home” and I’m slowing building a vision around this word to guide my year.

I don’t want my year to be one of unsocial self-indulgence though. As much as I love staying home and being home and skipping out on social events, my goal is a little more nuanced. Instead of making a year of isolation, I’m building a year of domestic-focus and homemaking.

Some of my goals for my “home” year are domestic consistency (building regular habits and rituals to keep my house cleaner, cozier, and more hospitable), redecorating (going step-by-step through the spaces of my house and making intentional changes, and hospitality (especially toward my family).

I’m also hoping to transition to more home-raised, home-grown food, and building more sustainable ‘silvo-pastures’ for our animals. Most of that will be part of a bigger project – the total reorienting of our homestead – this summer. In fact, I’ll probably grow less food this year as I build my new garden beds, open up new spaces, and shift pastures. But sometimes we need to take a step back in order to leap forward into a new and more abundant way of life.

I’ve already started a few of these slow-growing projects, but I’m also spending a lot of time looking into what we need and what we don’t. We’re holding off on making sweeping changes, and avoiding buying anything new for the house for this first month as I clear out the old and look at what we already have.

I’m also testing out new recipes. I made a glorious, delicious fruit cake this Christmas with home-candied orange and lemon peel, dried cranberries, and pecans. I’m making simpler, slower, more old-fashioned meals, and adding a few sides to each meal to bring joy to my husband, who likes variety.

Overall, I can feel the slow changes having a slow, positive impact on our family life. I’m looking forward to seeing improvements and I’m hopeful that 2023 will be a glorious, new year.

What are your goals, hopes, dreams, or resolutions for this new year?

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Maria says:

    Look at all your sumac! We have made many gallons of wine of their berries this year. It is probably the best lighter wine we’ve made (chokecherry being the best red-type) of twenty or so.

    If you even would like, I’ll share here because I am slowwwwwww at emailing back: you might even be able to get a batch going from those, even if they aren’t exactly in their prime (the flavor is water soluble and washes away slowly with rain, but I kind of like it that way versus full flavor, which is almost exactly like grapefruit after fermentation). Just get a five gallon bucket of the furry “berry” heads and fill the rest with water, letting it steep twenty-four hours each time, pouring of through a cloth filter each time til you get as much as you want. Then regular adding of wine yeast and waiting and such.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Masha says:

      I love this idea Thank you! Oh my goodness! These aren’t on our property, but there are a bunch of sumac on a sort of no-man’s land nearby that I may try to gather next year! I am also so slow at emailing, and replying to comments..and basically everything that requires an internet connection!


  2. L says:

    My goal this year is to eat that fruitcake! Sadly, I have probably already been thwarted by time and distance.

    Happy New Year! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Masha says:

      You have already been thwarted! BUT I will send you a fruitcake sometime soon(ish). Along with the recipe! Fruitcakes are such a joy to bake and eat and share!


      1. L says:

        That is AMAZING news, thank you! Fruitcake is the best!


  3. The last few years I have used one of those Word For The Year generators online just for kicks. The last two years the words were Surrender. I tried again. Fiat. So, basically, the same.

    This year with a little trepidation I tried again. Connect. I really like that, especially after my last year of trying to run away from everyone. 🙂 This year I will will focus on Connection. To friends, to home, to God. It’s a good intention for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Masha says:

      Oooh Nice! Connect with me soon! I miss you again!


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