“No one is more miserable than the person who wills everything and can do nothing.” – Claudius

I have finally found enough courage to go through my 13 skills for last year, looking at those which I have completed and those which I failed to meet.  It seems that each year that I have done this challenge, I go in with hubris, only to fall short.  I know that I could have completed more than I did finish, it is just that my priorities changed so that I didn’t do them.  An example of this is Archery… I intended to teach my son this, yet during a rage he threatened to get the bow and shoot it without permission.  I banned him from using it till after his birthday, when he may be more mature.  Another is martial arts.  I wanted to teach my children self defence, yet after the first lesson they quit (probably says a lot about my teaching style?).

I am not 100% sure that the 13 skills site is still active.  I will email Dorothy to see if she is still keeping it alive, yet I guess it doesn’t matter.  I will still use it to help motivate me to work towards preparedness and skills.

Last year I completed eight of my targeted 13 skills… Music, Curing/smoking Meat, Seed Saving, Carpentry, Money Management, Mushroom Cultivation, Gardening, and Building Community.

This year I made my list way too larger, with 21 planned.  I will try to keep my list more reasonable and manageable.

  • Mushroom Cultivation

I have previously used Mushroom kits to make my mushrooms.  This year I intend to grow them from Mycelium that I have cultivated.


  • Music

I previously set the goal of 5 songs with few errors.  I will now set a goal of 9 songs, with over 85% accuracy.

  • Carpentry

Finish building my fence on the property.  Extra credit will be gained if I also improve on my old Rabbit hutch design.


  • Fitness

This skill is a Bugbear of mine.  I still intend to complete one cycle of TapOut XT (90 days of training).

  • Weaving

I had this in last year, yet never worked towards it, apart from sewing up some old pants to keep them still useable.  As there is no skill for Sewing, so I am listing Weaving as a skill.  To complete this skill I will make a pair of cargo pants from a pattern purchased from a sewing store, along with material.

  • Bio fuel

I have been collecting dog manure to use in producing gas.  I will consider this complete when I can power my BBQ from the Biofuel produced from this waste product.

  • Archery

My eldest child wants to learn this skill.  I will teach him to hit a target and consider this complete.

  • Fire Making

I have experience in making fires at home for my fireplace, yet to be honest I nearly always use a firelighter. I intend to practice the art of building a fire without special flammable equipment, so that I can do so every time. I also wish to learn to use a bow drill to light a fire. Once I have learned how to do this I will be satisfied that I have completed this skill.

In light of my previous failures, I intend to wait a while before I add any additional goals… this way I can focus on a shorter list, helping me to achieve my target.


One Reply to ““No one is more miserable than the person who wills everything and can do nothing.” – Claudius”

  1. I read that you were collecting dog poop to turn into a bio fuel and I was wondering if you have thought of using rabbit poop instead. It is suppose to work better. Also the processed slurry byproduct could also be used as a nutrient rich fertilizer for your garden but it becomes necessary to remove the urine from the poop as it must be fermented and diluted before it can be added to plants

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