Monday, July 1, 2013

Slow Living; June 2013

Usually I'm very prepared for these monthly reflective posts, but today has me surprised it's July.  I think this year is taking off without me.  ;-)

Anyway, here's my June installment for the Slow Living Project (link updated).

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 cleanse is over, the Farmers Market has started... so the eating has been pretty good this month.  :-)

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 got off to a very slow start in my garden this year, and missed the window for beans and peas. A few people have suggested giving them a try anyway, but I think it's too hot now.  The back garden is as planted as it's going to get and the front garden is waiting for some time and attention. :-(

We bought hay and had it delivered.  This will feed our alpacas until the end of August.

Most of my non-dayjob time has been spent preparing for and shearing for clients.  I am still booking new clients and have had to make sure that my sharpening rotation is ahead of my shearing schedule.

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 reused baling twine, T-Posts and wood stakes in the garden as well as many of the plant markers.

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, I have no idea.  I may have said that last month too... must spend some time thinking about this one, because I know we're not as green as we could be.  :-/

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!

The back garden is planted.  We have tomatoes in progress, the herbs are looking great and we'll be harvesting our first zucchinis in a few days.

Also Miss Apple is VERY pregnant.  Her due date is still a week away, which means we really could have a brand new cria at any time.

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 knitting, spinning and kombucha are still happening, but are taking the back seat to shearing and spending more time outside.  However, the Tour de Fleece started last weekend so spinning is ramping up a bit.

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.

One of the things the Nutritional Cleanse taught me is to take time in the morning.  To take an easier, softer, slower approach to the day.  This may sound silly but before the cleanse I was waking up, making coffee and going to straight to work.  During the cleanse I had to be mindful about eating breakfast and I found that I enjoyed the process of making and eating breakfast in the morning.  So rather than having less than 15 minutes between waking and working, I was spending closer to an hour.

Since the cleanse, I'm back to drinking coffee, but I am still making and eating breakfast.  Now I am also spending time reading non-electronic media.  I'm thinking about re-subscribed to a couple of favorite magazines and have started into the books on the shelf that have been waiting patiently to be read.  I think this is putting a better intention on my day.  So rather that starting with the stress, chaos and electronics of my IT day job, I am starting with ink, paper and subjects that are important to me on a personal level.

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.

Shearing season continues.  I've met several new clients this month and have helped them with their alpaca fiber harvest and in one case, their first-ever alpaca fiber harvest.  I have also done a little mentoring for a Cattle Shearer who is interested in learning to shear alpacas and llamas.

I was on the receiving end again when our neighbor gifted me with some extra squash seedlings.

I donated a truck load of spent hay to my friend's garden.  She came and helped me rake up a couple of the alpaca corrals and load the truck, then I helped her mulch her garden beds.  It was a very fun afternoon and a win situation for the both of us.  :-)

We've also collected Tibetan Mastiff fiber to be spun.

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.

Met a friend's momma that was visiting, had visits with family I don't see nearly enough, spent some time with Gunnar's breeder, gardening, fibering, sunshine, wool festival and art museum. June has been pretty full.


simply bev said...

I have to agree - the days are flying by! Can't believe it's July already!

city garden country garden said...

I loved your tweet today about the alpaca that fell asleep while you were shearing it!

Your comments about the extra things that you discovered as a result of the cleanse were really interesting. It's funny how changing habits for a while makes everything look a bit different.

Nickie said...

I totally agree about the benefits of easing into the day gently! It makes such a difference - I wonder if it takes us that much time to 'warm up', like an old computer?

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of having a softer, slower approach to the day. Good luck with all the shearing!

Christine said...

Yes, hard to believe the year has half gone!

Very interesting to read of your cleanse, I definitely agree with you about starting the day with breakfast but ink and paper could get more of a look in here over screens.

Wendy Meijer said...

love the idea of easing into the day gently and your basil looks fantastic !