Prince Family Wishing All Happy New Year 2016!
January 1, 2016
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January 23, 2016

New Years Resolutions and my “Victory Garden”

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Hello Friends

2016 with its inherent expectations and optimism is off to a great start! I appreciate the focus a new year gives me to set goals and make changes. One way we can immediately change our circumstances is to make a decision and change where we are heading. I love the power I have over my own destiny!

I’ve taken time to thoroughly “clean house” on things I’ve left undone from 2015. It’s been exhilarating to get the weight of incomplete tasks off my shoulders before embarking on, what feels like endless hours, of bookkeeping for our 2015 taxes.

Diane-Melanie new year's resolutions 2016 New Years Resolutions and my "Victory Garden" Diane Melanie

Girls Retreat November 2010 Diane & Melanie, Gatlinburg, TN

I’ve also spent a heap of time with my friend of nearly 15 years, Diane Helbling, my behind the scenes Prince Chronicles Partner, setting our 2016 Goals for PrinceChronicles.com. I mention her often in posts but I want to formally introduce her because, from its inception, Diane has been intricately involved in the creation of Prince Chronicles. I’ve contracted with her company, Strategic Internet Media, to build the site. To put it simply, Diane is responsible for all things technical and we both contribute to the site’s outreach and its look and feel. I create all Prince Chronicles “Lifestyle” and “How To” content.  She and I just used the 2016 Create Your Shining Year in Biz goal workbook from the Shining Academy to guide our meetings. I highly recommend, Leonie Dawson’s 2016 Biz Goal book to set your business goals as well as her Life Goal book for your 2016 personal Goals. Is it too late? Absolutely Not!! It is never too late to set goals besides, it’s only January! 

 

AffiliateGraphics2016_FB new year's resolutions 2016 New Years Resolutions and my "Victory Garden" AffiliateGraphics2016 FB

 

My 2016 Goals and Resolutions:

  1. Continue taking action on my plan to decrease hunger in my close circle and community.
  2. Continue taking action to secure land to build our home and small family farm
  3. Find opportunities to grow as an actress
  4. Be a better steward of my personal finances
  5. Expand Prince Chronicles
  6. Launch Lyrical Lullaby Lit Series

My Lyrical Lullaby Lit series are lullabies I’ve written for my children. Music stimulates both sides of the brain and prepares children for learning. I’m passionate about how music and movement contribute to whole child development and literacy. These lullabies will be set to pictures not like a music video but rather like a children’s musical book with the written word. I have made a homemade unpublished version of it in the past for my own children but will make them available this year in a digital APP for Android and Apple with hopes to publish them in book form in the future.  

I will be diligently contributing to Prince Chronicles this year and expanding its outreach.

Spencer and I are working together to improve our personal finances by cutting every possible expense, including cable. We are earning more income and spending less. We are no longer adding to our debt.

I will blog about my Acting resolution in the future but in short, whenever I teach for long periods of time, without a lot of activity of my own, I get the bug to get back on stage so I plan to in 2016.

Spencer and I long to build our forever home. He teases me by saying I grow roots out of the bottom of my feet wherever I am. He’s right. While we likely will not be able to move into our home in 2016, we plan to secure the land this year and so long as things remain economically stable, we plan to build our home in 2017. I have this need to have Payton in our permanent home before she leaves for college. I want her to have an adolescent attachment to it. Us wanting to have some acreage is part of a self reliant philosophy we believe in and chiefly related to my life goal to directly impact hunger.

Neely-Garden new year's resolutions 2016 New Years Resolutions and my "Victory Garden" Neely GardenDespite a story I heard years ago in a PTA meeting about a girl with a bellyache, whose teacher, on a hunch, offered her a banana and she nearly ate the bunch, I was still surprised Christmas of 2014 to learn a loved one was surviving solely on Top Ramen noodles. At that same time a friend educated me about the food assistance program offered by my church, a program I benefited from as a child from time to time but knew very little about. I became so grateful for a program that offered assistance to people who fall between the cracks and despite meager meals, are hungry and need additional nutrition. I once was blind but could now see the hunger all around me. A hunger I have come to pen a “hidden hunger” because it was hidden right under my nose. I began soul searching for a way for me to impact hunger in my community and guard my family against it. I learned a great deal about the food system in our country and while we are blessed with abundance, it is a volatile system. Legislation, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, famine, disease, economy/cost of shipping, drought, pesticides, genetic and biological effects and more impact our food supplies. I’ve been taught my whole life to have food storage. While I feel greatly inadequate at it, we do have some. I continued researching the food system in this country and learned that prior to WWII most American families had a garden and hens that provided eggs. During the war people were encouraged to have “Victory Gardens” to provide food for themselves and others. After the war, our German counterparts lined up for their food rations, while prosperity in the states led to a decline in family food production. Raising hens and planting a garden was for “country folks”, while city and suburban communities popped up with neighborhood grocery stores and people who could “afford to buy their eggs”. This led to my idea of resurrecting the “Victory Garden”. Victory over hunger! I believe that if family food production becomes a part of life again we can protect ourselves and others from hunger despite turmoil that constantly threatens us.

Ava-gardening new year's resolutions 2016 New Years Resolutions and my "Victory Garden" Ava gardeningThere was only one problem, I hadn’t the faintest idea how to grow and produce food! I tend to go big, so I bought several books on family organic farming and learned how the super farm has taken over so much that equipment required for a functional 1.5-5 acre family farm is difficult to find. I announced to my family that we would be moving to a farm! They were all on board but I could not immediately change my circumstances. I could only change my course and I did.  If I could have, I would have immediately moved to a farm to begin learning on the job about how to produce and preserve food, chickens and all. My circumstances did not allow this rather I began a long journey that I hope will result in a small family farm with my own “Victory Garden” as soon as possible. A garden I can harvest to feed more than just my own family but have plenty to share. In the meantime I have had an awakening and will do all I can to “lift where I stand” to bring an end to this, hidden hunger.

 

Here are the things I did to combat hunger in my close circle and community in 2015;

  1. Collected food for my local food pantry
  2. Purchased food for my loved one and put him in touch with a food assistance program in his area.
  3. Began to learn to garden by leasing a plot in my community garden (All I had to share was basil but it was a start and my girls loved it!!)
  4. Contributed financially to an Eagle project to build dehydration shelves for the local food pantry
  5. Meals on wheels (I was surprised to see the face of hunger in the home-bound elderly)
  6. I purchased $50-$100 worth of extra groceries for another family most every time I went to Costco
  7. Contribute annually to the food program at church to feed the hungry.
  8. I have worked to change my circumstances to find land to build a home that will allow for the planting of  fruit and nut trees, hens and a garden.

Neely-Veg2 new year's resolutions 2016 New Years Resolutions and my "Victory Garden" Neely Veg2

Neely-Ava-Gardening new year's resolutions 2016 New Years Resolutions and my "Victory Garden" Neely Ava Gardening

 

I do not boast, in fact this list is quite meager compared to what I’d hoped to accomplish to combat hunger in 2016. It makes me glad I didn’t write about my strategy to revive the “Victory Garden” nationwide to combat hunger in communities everywhere.

 

 

With my constant adversity in 2015 I found perspective that rather than starting a “Victory Garden” frenzy in America my journey will be a life-long one.  I hope you will join me!   

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