February 23, 2011

Aimless Goals for 2011

Tired of winter?  Just go to Hawaii, right now.
About once a year, whilst locked in mid-winter’s icy grasp, I find myself daydreaming about the indelible pleasures of the other seasons – warm breezes wafting through an open window, falling asleep on a mountaintop in the sun, and, most importantly, not having to put on all my clothing to poop the dog.  Now is the time when I lay out my grandiose plans for the upcoming year; few of which ever come to fruition but all of which look good on paper in February.  The promise of warmer days always seems to fill me with energy for tackling various summer projects, but even as I type this I realize that some of this stuff is just plain work.  And, I always seem to forget that a crucial eight hours of most days are filled with another type of work that is necessary to keep the grocery spigot flowing.  Oh well.  Without further ado, I present my perpetual list of goals that I commit myself to every winter and never seem to follow through on during the summer.


One of the more successful garden years.
My wife and I have kept a garden pretty much every year since we bought our house, with varying results.  As with most things in life, the success of a garden is directly proportionate to the amount of effort invested.  I’ve learned that just throwing seeds in the ground once the last frost passes is not a great way to ensure a bountiful crop; I really need to focus on starting seeds indoors while simultaneously prepping the beds with compost and other amendments, and then keeping that focus to keep the garden watered and free of weeds.  This all sounds relatively straightforward, which it is, but these early spring tasks coincide with the spring skiing season in the North Country, arguably the most enjoyable time to be on a ski hill.  Also, the warming temperatures in southern New England signal the return of two of my other favorite distractions, bicycling and motorcycling.  Anyway, I want to devote some more time to the garden this year as I want to try canning vegetables.  That seems silly since commercially-canned produce is available at a fraction of the cost of what I’m going to lay out for a pressure canner and supplies, but there is something aesthetically-pleasing and anti-establishmentarian about producing my own food that tickles my anarchist sensibilities.


The Woods Hippie on a Vineyard striper mission with Hoagie.
I have a veritable sporting goods store in my basement, including a practically unused 5-weight fly rod, two ultralight spinning setups, and a formerly well-utilized inshore saltwater spinning setup.  All have spent the last few years doing little more than putting out the fishing “vibe” around the house.  I live fifteen minutes from one of the finest trout streams in New England, and I could easily cast a few flies every day before work, but then again maybe I should be pulling weeds from the garden.  I also dream about rigging up a way to transport rods via motorcycle or bicycle because adding another sport just makes everything tastier.  The fishing aspirations may be the first ones to be realized, because Mrs. Hippie always expresses a mild interest in casting a line, so any opportunity to get her out in the woods or streams is a bonus.


Mrs. Hippie ain't afraid to handle some iron, either.
I have always enjoyed wing-shooting and small game hunting but have not devoted much time to these pursuits in recent years, mostly because I've been obsessed with bicycling and trail running during the onset of hunting season.  I've already purchased my hunting license for this year and submitted my bid for Connecticut's lottery for shotgun deer season.  I have never killed a deer but I am excited to spend some good time in the pre-season scoping out terrain.  Most importantly, I'm hopeful for a freezer full of venison steaks and stew meat to carry me through the next winter.  I have a slew of delicious venison recipes that I've perfected on other people's deer meat, this year it's my turn!

Home Improvement

Yeah right.

Enjoy the rest of the winter folks, spring is coming fast.


  1. Plant your Spinach, Broccoli, lettuce, and radishes in early April. They will be done by the end of may. Then rock the Tomatoes and cucumbers.

  2. Good call Savage. I ordered my seeds last night so I'm getting ready.