Thursday, August 1, 2013

Slow Living: July 2013

It almost seems too soon.... the last week or so has been quite comfortable, weather-wise.  We've had a few overcast and rainy days.  The breezes have been cooler and we noticed that the Cottonwoods are starting to change their leaves.  We are back into summer-like temperatures now, but Fall is just around the corner.

In the meantime, it's the July 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.

We usually spend a lot of time shopping at the Farmer's Market in the summers but this year, with the puppy, we've been spending a lot of time talking to people about our dogs at the Farmer's Market.... or I should say that Hubba has been.  I've been shearing most of those days.

There's been a little bit of vegetable shopping and a small amount of harvesting from our garden, otherwise Hubba has tried out of couple of new recipes for dinner.

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.

We have been making plans for our first Tibetan Mastiff Litter and this summer's alpaca breeding pairings and we are getting a large delivery of peaches later this week, so canning season is imminent.  yay.

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.

Hubba is often unhappy with his haircut and I am an alpaca shearer.  So he suggested that I just cut his hair.  We'd save the cost of two haircuts a month and he doesn't have any issue with telling me how or where to make things shorter or more even.  lol.  So we bought a pair of lower-end clippers... so far, so good.  :-)

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.

The alpaca dog has a tough time with flies on his ears.  We had been using Neosporin to treat the affected areas without much success.  It doesn't stay in place very long and the flies don't seem to care about whatever happens to remain.  So I asked some friends and received some advice regarding fly deterrents.  In the meantime I started putting Vitamin E oil on the affected areas.  I know the Vitamin E will help the areas heal, and I'm thrilled to see that the flies are also avoiding the areas.

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 had a baby.  :-)

and started harvesting zucchinis and our first tomatoes out of our garden.

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.

There was lots of spinning for the Tour de Fleece.

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.

Certainly there's something to include in this category, but nothing is coming to mind.

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.  

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 met some old friends of Hubba's as they were passing through town.  While I had never met them before, I have heard about them for years so it felt like I've known them for ever.  It was such a fun visit.

We also met up with some other friends at a third friend's Distillery's grand opening.

There were a few trips to the river with Hubba and the dogs.


Anonymous said...

I've been trying to get my husband to let me cut his hair too - no luck so far. :) The baby is awfully cute..

Cath said...

Aw, your cria's gorgeous. I would love to learn to spin. Is it very difficult? We have sheep here.

Kathryn Ray said...

@Cath - spinning is not all that difficult... but there are several things going on at the same time... I think of it like riding a bike, it's very frustrating at first but then all of a sudden everything makes sense and it works. :-)

There are some great videos on YouTube. Look up Abby Franquemont.