Saturday, June 1, 2013

Slow Living: May 2013

May 1st looked like this:

9 inches of snow

Yesterday looked like this:

Lush, green and already mowed, twice

I think it's safe to say that were are finally past winter.  :-)  Which means it's time for the May installment 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.

I'm in the process of a nutritional cleanse, so there have been a lot of juices, smoothies, beans and veggie stir-fries.  But before that started there were meatballs from scratch (pretty sure I won't be doing that again anytime soon)  and the last of our spaghetti squash from last year's garden.

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 have to say, there hasn't been much outside of the day job and alpaca shearing.

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.

Hmmm... well, we had the car repaired.  I suppose that counts.  :-/

Miss Wasabi has the sweetest face

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.

I rearranged two cabinets in the Kitchen earlier this year which has resulted in an increased use of re-usable food-storage containers and a decrease in plastic zipper bags.  It would be nice to have one or two larger containers but I'm very happy that all I had to do was make something more accessible to see our behavior change.


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!

We got both snow and rain this month, so I only have one row of seeds and a clump of chives planted so far. I have plans for planting more this weekend, but it will only be a few hours here and there.

Our fruit trees have blossomed.  We definitely have cherries and a few plums in progress.  I don't think we'll get many apples or peaches.  I'm crossing my fingers for pears, but I'm not certain yet if we'll be seeing any of those.  I also have a few volunteer onions.

Cherry Blossom

We sheared our alpacas and I have been shearing for clients on weekends this month.

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.

The Kombucha is still happening but the knitting and spinning are taking a back seat to shearing and the day job.  The yogurt making is also on hiatus until the cleanse is over.

This year's Alpaca Fiber Harvest

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.

Every day I shear, I learn something... handling techniques, nutrition, supply sources.

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.

We were on the receiving end of this one a lot this month.... My Momma spent several days with me to help keep tabs on the puppy while Hubba was in Korea for a race and some very, good friends helped us shear our herd.

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.

I enjoyed my Momma's visit.  The dogs adore her, as do I. :-)

I'm enjoying watching Gunnar grow and learn.  He's doing a great job with the alpacas and big dogs.

Gunnar fitting in perfectly

I'm enjoying shearing... meeting new alpacas and their people and seeing ones I've known for a while.

I enjoyed a visit with a dear friend from Canada who I have not seen in more than a year.


Vivian said...

I'm curious to know what bothered you when you made meatballs from scratch, since that's about the only way I know how to make meatballs.

Do tell us more about the nutritional cleanse. I hear it can get uncomfortable when your body gets rid of the toxins.

Kathy said...

I can't believe the overnight show picture how different it looks. I live in Brisbane and it doesn't snow here so it's so foreign to me for your own backyard to change so much. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

city garden country garden said...

I'm loving the photos of your puppy that you've been posting. His fur looks like it would be as soft as the alpacas!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that the snow we had at the beginning of may is gone - we got up to 31C yesterday. That's a crazy leap in weather.

Good luck with the cleanse!

Christine said...

Nice to hear about your month. I smiled when you mentioned meeting new alpacas and their people. :)

Linda said...

I can't believe the contrast in the first two photos! Sounds like it's been busy at your place! How lovely to have your mum come while hubby was away. I hope he had fun.

Cath said...

It's lovely to be back browsing here after a long blog break. Your snow pic looks like a greeting card. It's beautiful. Your pup has grown a lot since I was last here.