Monday, September 1, 2014

Slow Living: August 2014

It's almost as if it turned August and Autumn on the same day.  We've had a few (very) warm days, but the nights are cooling off, the air is crisper and the early trees are changing their colors.

I also secured and started a great new Day Job this month, so I have a lot to talk about in my August report for the Slow Living Project.  :-)

NOURISH: Make and bake as much as possible from scratch. Ditch overpackaged, over-processed convenience foods and opt for 'real' food instead. Share favourite links/recipes/tips from the month here.

The Farmer's Market continues to be a favorite way to spend a morning.  We have a few vendors that we visit each week and often meet up with friends when we're there.  Then the delicious vegetables and treats are enjoyed at home during the week.  I feel less disappointed that I did not plant a garden when we shop at the Farmer's Market.

Hubba made a Shrimp Creole feast when we had southern house-guests.  With one being from Louisiana, it was a risky move, but he outdid himself and our near-Cajun guest was pleased.

PREPARE: Stockpile and preserve. Freeze extra meals or excess garden/market produce. Bottle/can, dehydrate or pickle foods to enjoy when they are not in season. Aim to reduce dependency on store bought items especially those known to contain BPA and other suspect additives. Stocking up on dry goods when prices are low counts too.

With starting a new Day Job this month, I prepared several meals in advance and froze them.  Also two lug boxes of peaches have been put up for the winter.

REDUCE/Reuse/Re-purpose/Repair: Cut down on household waste by re-using, re-purposing and repairing. A ladder into a strawberry planter? A sheet into a dress? Share ideas and project links here, allowing others to be inspired.

Earlier this month I started reviewing my blog drafts.... there were well over 200 started but not yet published blogs posts!  I spent quite a lot of time reviewing, revising, consolidating and deleting... and now I'm down to .... let's just say less than 200.  This one is going to take more time, but I do feel better knowing there are only 2 pages of drafts instead of 3.  ;-)

I also cleaned out and organized my closet so I have a bag of things ready to take to the thrift shop.

Hubba fixed up and traded his old lawn mower for some help he needed with his racing chair.

GREEN: up our lives. Start (or continue!) using homemade cleaners, body products and basic herbal remedies. The options are endless, the savings huge and the health benefits enormous.

Since I am no longer working remotely I felt I should revise my work attire inventory.  I didn't feel it was appropriate to show up looking like I just finished my farm chores.  ;-)  I did most of my shopping at two thrift/consignment shops.  It was my first time really shopping for clothes since we moved to the farm in 2009.  I am happy to say that both shops were lovely and that I no longer miss my favorite such shop in New Mexico.

GROW: plant/harvest. What's growing this month? What's being eaten from the garden? Herbs in a pot, sprouts on a windowsill or and entire fruit/vegetable garden -opt for what fits space and time constraints. Don't have a backyard? Ask a friendly neighbour or relative for a small patch of theirs in return for some home grown produce, they may surprise you!

I've been watching my cotton bloom and begin developing bolls this month... I'm so excited for the lint to come in.  :-)

My apple tree is testing the strength and flexibility of it's limbs.  I'm certain we will have plenty of apples to share when they are ready.

CREATE: to fill a need or feed the soul. Create for ourselves or for others. Create something as simple as a handmade gift tag or something as extravagant as a fine knit shawl. Share project details and any new skills learnt here.

I have continued to spin in August.

DISCOVER: Feed the mind by reading texts relevant to current interests. Trawl libraries, second hand shops or local book shops to find titles that fill the need. Share titles/authors of what is being read this month.

It's been heavy on the discovery this month, learning about my new job.

ENHANCE: community: Possibilities include supporting local growers and producers, help out at a local school/kindergarten, barter or foodswap, joining a playgroup or forming a walking or craft group. Car pooling where possible and biking/walking instead of driving. Even start up a blog if you haven't already - online communities count too! Or maybe just help out someone trying to cross the street! The rewards for your time are often returned tenfold.

My Momma came over to help process peaches one weekend and another friend helped me handle our dogs at a big show.

ENJOY: Life! Embrace moments with friends and family. Marking the seasons, celebrations and new arrivals are all cause for enjoyment. Share a moment to be remembered from the month here.

A new Day Job, a Dog Show, putting up peaches, a day trip to my childhood home, the county fair... all wonderful and fun things this month.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Time Off

The last time I had a vacation, it was 2008.

It was the first time Hubba had ever seen me truly relaxed.

I tried to take a vacation over New Year's Eve at the end of last year.  It was not a vacation!  I was sick and had to work every day.

I don't mind working hard.  I've had a full-time day job since I graduated college.  I often had more than one part-time job while I was in school and I have been paying income taxes since I was about 11 years old.  Then, of course, we moved to our farm in 2009.

So while I didn't long for the type of vacation I had in 2008.... a week of relaxing on a Bahamian beach... I desperately wanted an extended period of un-scheduled time.

I'm happy to say that I've had that for much of the last two months.

It didn't exactly happen the way I wanted it to, but the reality is that it was wonderful.  I'm relaxed and very excited about my new employment relationship.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Dog Show: Greeley Kennel Club, 2014

My how things have changed in a year.

The Greeley Kennel Club Show was my very first dog show in 2013.  Gunnar was just barely 6 months old and likely the youngest dog entered in the entire event.  I was a nervous wreck.  He won his first major on the first day and I could not believe it.

Me and Gunnar in 2013

This year at 18 months, he won his 3rd Major and only needs one point to finish his Championship!

Gunnar today

We also brought Mochi, who was trying to start a new fashion trend with her puppy-coat mane, shoulder pads and wooly britches. ;-)

Her sister was sporting a similar hair do, so I had to confess that she was right to keep her accessories.  ;-)

A good friend of mine helped me handle the dogs in the ring and I could not be more grateful for her help.

The dogs handled well.  Although Mochi (and two of the other girls) deposited commentary in the ring on the first day.

Gunnar and Mochi

Mochi loves being groomed, but did not enjoy the grooming area at the show.

Gunnar's favorite part continues to be meeting people and especially seeing his breeder.  I need to get their meeting on video one day.  :-)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Tibetan Mastiff Photo Contest

I, along with a few of my Tibetan Mastiff friends, and many other Tibetan Mastiff People I don't know have entered a Tibetan Mastiff Photo Contest.

Gunnar and Miles

The photos have been submitted for spots in the 2015 Tibetan Mastiff Info Calendar.

Miles and Mochi

The calendar is a fund raiser to support which is a tremendous resource for those interested in or fully engulfed in the love of Tibetan Mastiffs.

Miles and Noodle

The entries are primarily candids taken by the dog's people, so you can really get a sense of how these dogs are on a daily basis.  Take a look, vote for your favorites, and if you're so inclined order a calendar or two.


Voting ends August 31st.

Wonton, Gunnar and Miles

Thank you. :-)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Fiber Arts Friday: Palindrome Scarf, part 5

My Palindrome Scarf has continued to be a good project for distracted and tired situations.  ;-)

It was at 33 inches last time and now, with about 75% of the first burgundy ball consumed, It's at 42.5 inches.  That's 11 weeks and 9.5 inches, so my pace has slowed down a bit.

I have about 17.5 inches to go in order to reach the 60 inch target length.  So I should now finish closer to New Year's.

Be certain to check in with everyone else over at Fiber Arts Friday.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Putting Up Peaches, 2014

We picked up our peaches on Friday afternoon.

My Momma came over to help.

We made jam, pickles and froze some.

36 pounds pounds of peaches put up for the winter.  :-)

Friday, August 8, 2014

Fiber Arts Friday: Bandit's Yarn

The yarn I made from our Medium-Silver-Grey Herdsire, Smokey's Bandit, did not win any ribbons at our county fair.  :-(  However the judge did leave some nice comments. :-)

I have to admit that the other yarns were better than mine.  So there are a couple of things to keep in mind over the next year.  ;-)

I've started spinning a second skein and am planning to make this gorgeous hat for myself.

I have definitely gotten more selfish with my knitting over the years.  When I first re-learned how to knit, I only wanted to make gifts for people.  Since then, my threshold for knit-worthy has gone up... a lot.

Over the last year or so, most of the things I start are intended for me.  Some still become gifts for those deemed to be knit-worthy, but I am keeping my projects much more often.  :-)

Be sure to check in with the other Fiberistas over at Wisdom Begins in Wonder for Fiber Arts Friday.