Dinky Manor

New Year’s Resolutions! Now With Less Money And More 2011!


It’s the New Year already?

But I’m still trying to finish up last year’s resolutions!

Although I had many successes in 2010, such as getting beekeeping legalized in Santa Monica, California and driving fewer than 5000 miles in my car, most of my leftover chores mocking me from my half-done Master List have to do with my 455 zillion unfinished craft and garden projects.

In response to last year’s failure to knit on schedule, I hereby pronounce 2011 The Everything Handmade year, where I commit myself to knitting, sewing, cooking and gardening from scratch.

Unfortunately, I’m not allowed to limit my resolve to just handmade, as there are people in my life who are much more organized than I, who had already thrown down resolution gauntlets for me to pick up with my special resolution gauntlet tongs.

Katy Wolk-Stanley who writes the excellent frugality without desperation blog, The Non-Consumer Advocate, has challenged me to reconnect with my fellow man via the written word–sent by post–with her 52 letters, 52 weeks challenge.

My friend Mary Ellen has issued a fat ass challenge. Or, in my case, a back fat challenge.

Last year I joined my neighborhood old lady gym and actually lost 5.5 inches off my body in my first two months of working out. Then I rechubbed during my month-long bought of bronchitis. I actually gain weight when I lose inches! My goal is to fit into my pencil skirts that haven’t fit properly…for the 3rd straight year. I refuse to buy bigger clothing.

Back in 2009 I challenged myself to save 100k and to blog about my thrifty travails. The 100k experiment was a colossal failgasm on both counts. I only saved 10k that year, and was writing way below my weight class.

The one bright spot that did come out of the 100k challenge was that it inspired other people to try and save a ridiculous amount of money that year. Modern Muse, Julia Park Tracey actually cruised into her 10k savings goal in September 2009 with 80 days to spare. This year Julia has issued a new savings challenge: be $25,000 richer by the end of 2011.

Since I’m starting with about that much debt, in the form of an equity line of credit that was used to bring my house up to rentable condition, my savings challenge will actually be $50,000. Which is super sucky, but whatever. I’m taking Julia’s challenge out of petty spite and a misplaced sense of competitiveness.

So there.

Did I mention that Julia is one of those people who makes everything look easy, even though she has five children? I kind of hate her. Just a little bit.

Also, as much as I’d like to put $25,000 into savings for the future, I’m going to apply that money to my mortgage instead. (I’ve always wanted a 15 year fixed rate mortgage, but have yet to be approved for anything but a 30 year fixed. I bought my house in 1998. Let’s see if I can make my wish come true by creating my own 15 year mortgage by paying off my house by 2012).

Artist, philanthropist, and all around good human, Lauren Bon, has challenged me to produce THE BACKWARD BEEKEEPER, a documentary about sustainable beekeeping and how-to manual for urban beekeepers by providing a $50,000 Annenberg Foundation Grant through her Trustee Signature Project, The Metabolic Studio.

So, dear readers, this year, please help me stay true to my resolutions with your comments! I need your kind words. And an occasional lashing.


Mainly lashing.

By the way–my first handmade project? Resolution Gauntlets. Go. Ahead. I dare you to pick that up. You’ve got no excuse. It’s a free Vogue Knitting pattern.

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