Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Slow Living: June, 2014

June has been almost entirely consumed with finding a new job... I have a lot of feelings about this, most of which I'm not ready to share publicly.  So here's my June 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.

Hubba continues to take the lead in this role.  If it wasn't for him, I would probably be starving. lol

We did make it to the Farmer's Market a couple of times.  It's a great socialization opportunity for our dogs.  We love talking to the farmers and bakers and eating their delicious foods.

Photo courtesy, Lovif Patisserie

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 had hay delivered early in the month.

The alpacas love Hay Delivery Day almost as much as I do.  You can see all of the girls standing at the fence watching the guys unload the truck.

I always feel better having a well-stocked barn.

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.

Continuing with the Using What We Have idea and the fact that I haven't been travelling much, I went through my travel bag and used up the hygiene products along with several samples that had been collected.

Also a few old and ill-fitting t-shirts have been turned into rags.

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.

With it being spring and shearing season, I have been using my Neti Pot quite a lot.

Deodorant experiments? Thank you for the comments and advice last month... I have not yet looked into any deodorant recipes, but I will be looking for ones using Mango Butter or Shea Butter as well as lotion bar and soap recipes.  The apparent reason for coconut oil in these products is that it is solid at room temperature and melts at body temperature.... but with my sensitivity, I've been reluctant to try it and am looking forward to trying these other options.

I started a comparison between traditional Incandescent Lights and the new LED lights.  So far, (~1 month) I like the LED version equal to the Incandescent version.  If these LED bulbs really last 7-22 years, I will be ecstatic.

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!

I was hoping for more time to spend in the garden this month.  I did not get it, but my cotton seedling is doing well and my apples are growing.

My cherries got aphids and possibly Hover Fly Larva.  I don't know for sure, but they appear to be eating the aphids and not the tree.

I have also added every Lady Bug I've found to my Cherry Tree because anything that eats aphids is a friend in my book.

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.

A small bit of hat making, but primarily creative Cover Letter Writing and Job Searching.

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.

Thanks to the dogs finding a pair of baby skunks this month, I have learned a few things:
  • Baby Skunks are called Kits
  • Skunks are a primary predator of Honeybees
  • The Great Horned Owl is the primary predator of skunks
  • Kits stay with their mother for nearly a year
  • Surgical Soap removes Skunk Stink beautifully
I also learned about and joined a Shearer's Only group on Facebook which is becoming a great resource.  One of which is learning about a few sheep shearing schools.  I've not sheared sheep before and hate telling the sheep people that I am unable to help them... hopefully one of these courses will work with my schedule.

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.

I do like this category a lot.... it's so great to stop and think about how we've helped or have been helped by others...

At the land fill, which is the sort of place you get in and out of as quickly as possible, someone offered us the use of their de-thatching rake.  We had not brought the right equipment to unload our truck and were having trouble.  We returned the favor by letting them use our broom.  :-)

Also my Day Job Search has been a near-full-time activity.  Several friends and colleagues, many of which I did not expect, have gone out of their way to help me find a job within their companies or within companies where they have contacts.  I've had a few nibbles so far and am feeling optimistic that my new employment relationship, when I find it, will be a good one.

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.

This has been a tough month, but there are a few little gems... a trek for The Best Fried Chicken, going the "back way" to get dog food, happy puppy faces at the fence, and shearing season.


Spinster Beth said...

Those bugs are prehistorically scary looking ... but anything that eats aphids is a friend of mine!

I love how the alpaca have lined up to wait for the hay ... I wouldn't have noticed if you hadn't pointed it out!

Chrisknits said...

Good luck in your search! And more pup pics, can't get enough of them!!!