Saturday, June 30, 2012

Slow Living: June 2012

After April and May, I feel like my life is regaining it's balance.  So I've had more time for other things.  It is pretty surprising that this is my fifth installment for the Slow Living Project (7/1/12: updated link) already.

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.

My yoga studio re-opened.  Yay!  And a friend of mine has opened her own yoga studio.  Double-Yay.  So there's plenty of organized yoga back in my life.  :-D

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.

I went to the Estes Park Wool Market earlier this month and picked up a stash of yummy fibers in preparation for the Tour de Fleece that starts today.  :-)

camel + merino

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.

I didn't think much was going on in this category, but's it really is surprising when you stop and think about it.  We've been doing a lot of fixing around here... air conditioning, faucet, garbage disposal, car and the FOT.

Our house was built in 1974.  Which makes this toilet and almost everything else pretty much 38 years old... so we will be fixing lots of things for the foreseeable future.  :-/

F*&#ing Olive-colored Toilet

Between Hubba and I, we had purchased and tried a large number of guts for the FOT.  None of which worked.  I was ready to replace the whole thing, even though we're not ready to embark upon the whole bathroom remodel just yet.  Then Hubba asked our neighbor, The Plumber, to stop by.  He took one look at the FOT, went back to his shop and came back a few minutes later with the exact-right-part.  Sometimes it's just better to call a professional.  ;-)

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.

Regarding the algae in our alpaca's water troughs: both of the goldfish have passed.  I'm not certain what's going on with the snails.  When I last scrubbed, I found only one.  So I need to find a way to get oxygen into the water without  running extension cords from the house.  Is anyone aware of a small, solar-powered bubbler?

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!

While we aren't growing them on purpose, the weeds have been growing very well.  So now that shearing season is over, we have turned much of our attention to them and enlisted a little help from one of Hubba's colleagues.  It has been a lot of pulling and cutting with absolutely no chemical use what-so-ever.  I think we are ahead in the game again. :-)


On to the things we're growing on purpose... most of our seeds have sprouted since last time.  We have tomatoes, squash blossoms, onions, beets watermelon, pumpkin and chiles all growing well.  I think we are ready to start harvesting radishes.  Mmmm, maybe I'll try a couple later today.  :-)

Spaghetti Squash

very bold robin ate all of my nearly-ripe cherries and the rabbits have eaten all of my beans.  Grrr

I have a few plums and peaches and a ton of apples, so I need to get busy on the bird deterrent soon.

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 fixed my Challah Socks and cast on a Wingspan.

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.

This one makes me laugh... Completely out of desperation because I was behind on laundry, I discovered that an old pair of running shorts is waaaay more comfortable than my cotton walking shorts when it's 100F.  I don't know why I haven't been wearing them before.  lol.

Also The Alpaca Dog discovered that he CAN catch mice.  Every morning, while I'm doing the alpaca chores, he heads over to the hay stack and hunts.  It's pretty funny watching 95-pounds of 10-year-old shar-pei and rottweiler chasing mice.  But this week, he caught one.  Certainly there's a lesson in believing you can do something even though the odds are against you in there.

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.

Anticipation Necklace - photo courtesy Criffin Designs

I wrote a post in support of a colleague of mine who is an exceptional artist.  He's offering a terrific blog special for two more months.  You should check it out... especially if you like turning old things into new, beautiful things... which I know you do since you're reading this post.  ;-)

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.

Our family has gotten so big, that we now have "All the Birthday" celebrations a few times a year.  This month, most of us made it to my parents house to celebrate 17 birthdays.  Definitely a fun time.  :-)

Hubba is at the USA Track and Field Trials for the London Paralympics.  It's been years of hard work and sacrifice to reach this event.  I'm excited, nervous, anxious and proud.  It's almost surreal that we will know for sure if we're going to London in just a few days.

Lastly, I am happy to report the that High Park Fire, which started earlier this month, is expected to be fully contained this weekend.  We haven't seen a defined smoke plume in several days.  It's been more of a general haze.

We can't see everything in the distance, but it's whole lot better than it was.

It will still be some time before this fire is completely out and the haze is gone, but containment is a very big deal.  And for that, I am very happy.


Voie de Vie said...

Go, Alpaca dog, go! It's still been a busy month for you on the slow living front. :)

Anonymous said...

A great, fulfilling month. It's quite liberating getting rid off, or when you stop buying, processed foods.
Well done. x

Kathryn Ray said...

I know... here I am thinking life is calming down, but it's still crazy busy. ;-)

city garden country garden said...

Another great wrap up of your month! I laughed so much when you talked about the FOT, I thought it was some strange American thing, until I scrolled a bit further, then it all became clear!! Great news about the fires, they've even made the news here a bit, so things were obviously really bad. And Go Your-Hubba! Hope he gets into the Paralympics, that would be just the most amazing experience ever! :-)

Cath said...

I loved reading your interesting post. You certainly lead a fascinating life. Holding thumbs for your hubby.

Wendy said...

A great month. All the best for your husband.

Linda said...

Good luck to your husband! How exciting! I'm glad to hear the fires are contained. It' so scary when they come close.

Wendy said...

Sounds like fun celebrating 17 birthdays !

Christine said...

Love that image you've created with your dog, thankyou!
And thankyou also for the update on the algae in the water troughs..interesting to see how it will pan out. I've only ever looked for small solar pumps for water features and nearly fell over from shock at the price. Maybe they're more reasonably priced in the States..?

Sorry to hear that you and your man are not going to London. I've been watching a doco on paralympians preparing for the games and find them exceedingly more inspiring than the mainstream athletes. Sending good thoughts your way. xx

Anonymous said...

Oh, I really thought that the gold fish would live and thrive and be happy... Im sorry that didnt work. We have a large pond at the front of our house with native fish(maybe thats the answer?)in it and no bubbler and they are thriving, happy and breeding... Maybe turning the drinking stations into natural "ponds" with plants, fish and the full biodiversity thing happening might be the way to go? Our cat drinks out of my fish tank and she has no ill effects from it... Im sad, I thought the fish was a fantastic idea! - Kara