Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Slow Living: December 2012

A Frosty Ridge, Big Thompson Canyon

December has been a little less crazy than the previous few months.... at least I felt able to spend time knitting, spinning and socializing.... that's always a good sign that life is quieter.  :-)

I'm quite surprised to be writing December's installment for the Slow Living Project already.  This has been a great journey this year.

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.

I made it to our Indoor/Winter Farmer's Market for the first time.  I had to go for the preferred dog treats... Miss Wonton loves the dog treat ladies and refuses to eat any others.  So much for not having a spoiled Livestock Guardian Dogs (LGD). ;-)

It is much smaller than the summer Farmer's Market and since it's indoors the dogs are not invited.  There were several of the same vendors and a few new ones.  I was thrilled to find locally, smoked, salmon which I do not remember seeing at the summer market.

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.

Aside from Christmas, I don't think I spent much time making preparations.

Big Horn Sheep, Big Thompson Canyon

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.

We always re-use boxes, packing materials and bows for presents.  It's become a bit of a tradition in my family that the box doesn't mean anything... although, sometimes it does.  So I really enjoy selecting just the right box for wrapping Christmas presents.

insert photo

Our neighbor finished moving out this month and gave us some old fencing materials that he didn't want to take to his new place.  We have a lot of fencing plans so this is great for us.  There's a gate, several posts, some welded wire fabric and what looks like sections of a chain-link kennel.

Many of the mason jars that had gone out filled with yummy apple and peach goodness a few months ago are finding their way back to me... along with a request for their couriers to please be on the gifting list again next year.  :-)

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.

Hmmm... :-/

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!

It's winter... all I can really say in this category is that the thyme and rosemary are not dead... yet.  ;-)

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 feel like I'm back in the groove with the Create Category... as I mentioned at the top, I've had some time and energy available to spend creating...

A cute baby hat designed by Slow Living Participant, Chez of Monarch Place.

A lot of progress on my Wingspan.

Almost a whole Christmas Hat for Hubba....

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.

I've crossed the line into O.L.D.  :-/  I must now bring glasses when going to a fancy restaurant.  The dim light and fancy menu script have become nearly un-readable to me.  :-/

I learned that you can not ship items in liquor boxes via the US Postal Service.  Some have suggested it has something to do with shipping alcohol across state lines, but they can go via UPS and FedEx.  So I don't know why they can not go via USPS.

Lastly, I have been getting to know my new, proper camera.

Noodle saying "Hello"

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.

Hubba and I benefited from the kindness of friends this month.  My truck sprung a leak while I was out running errands at the same time that Hubba was out on a long run.  One friend fetched me and helped me get my truck to the mechanic and another friend fetched Hubba and got him back to his car too.

Our neighbor, The Plumber, fixed our heat on Christmas Eve morning.

We hosted a baby shower for my sister.  The baby isn't coming for another couple of months, but since the whole family was in town for Christmas, we figured why not add to the stress festivities a little.  :-)

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.

An impromptu afternoon with a friend, a fun birthday party, food adventures with friends, a baby shower, Christmas, family visiting from out of town, lots of food, a new camera and a few days off from the Day Job...... December has been a pretty great month.  :-)

Wasabi taking a break


Voie de Vie said...

Happy new year! I'm glad you had a more relaxed December. I was wondering when I read the section about what you're eating from the garden whether or not you ate anything you canned/jarred earlier in the year? :)

Here's to a great 2013.

Kathryn Ray said...

Oh yes, good point. We have eaten some winter squash and apple sauce. Perhaps some jam and butter too... I will have to make a point to keep track of that.

Happy New Year to you too!

Urban Homestead South Africa said...

Your knitting projects are wonderful...snow...gosh always nice to see the opposite hemisphere!

Kate (KnitsInClass) said...

Thanks for the slow living post - I've just started following her blog, and hope to have some slow living posts of my own to show off in the new year!

Kristi aka Fiber Fool said...

I love these monthly posts, Kathryn! Are you going to do a year end overview? I think I may adopt a similar sort of project for 2013, though I don't know how realistic some of the topics will be for me since I'll be living single during most of the growing season.

Your photos are looking fantastic with new camera! Congrats!

katie metzroth said...

enjoyed reading all that! Happy New Year! :)

Wendy Meijer said...

Sounds like a relaxed month

Linda said...

Wow! Fencing material! And I love that your jars are coming back to you. That's great. Btw my eyes are betraying me too! I think I'm still young but the eyes are showing me up. Can't read anything anymore. Late getting around to you coz I don't read the slow living posts until I post mine.