Sunday, August 3, 2014

Slow Living: July, 2014

I have really enjoyed this last month off from having a Day Job.  I feel as if I've gotten back in touch with who I am.  Feeling peaceful and relaxed; I have not felt this way in a very long time.  Almost as if I'm actually Slow Living.  It's nice that we have some savings and that the job outlook is good.  Both have certainly helped me managed to not be too stressed about this transition.  ;-)

So here's my July installment for the Slow Living Project, now being hosted by Greenhaven.

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've made it to the Farmer's Market several times last month and the beets have started coming in.  So aside from the the usual early season fruits and lettuces we are now enjoying delicious roasted beets a few times each week... one of my very favorite vegetables.  ;-)

I've been cooking... I mentioned last month that I'd be starving if it weren't for Hubba taking such good care of me... but now, without the Day Job, I feel clear in my mind and able to spend some time working in the kitchen.  I roasted our last turkey and have prepared many egg and lentil dishes coupled with the lovely veggies from the farmer's 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.

We've spent a lot of time this month on the clearing out side of preparations... there is still a fair amount left in our freezer so we'll continue working thru this.

I canned two batches of cherries.  I was attempting to make preserves and conserve, but I made delicious sauce instead.  lol.

Some chicken and turkey bones we've been saving are now stock.

I have also been washing fleeces and preparing roving.  The spinning bug has a hold of me in a big way, so I want to make sure I have plenty of prepared roving to feed it.  ;-)

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.

I've washed a few fleeces this month which helped me use up nearly all of the old liquid soaps we had around.

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.

Deodorant experiments? I did try a coconut-based deodorant that I found at our farmer's market.  I put a sample on the back of my hand... it tingled and turned red.  So it certainly would be an issue in more sensitive areas.... At least I have confirmed that no homemade products can include coconut oil.  :-/

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 this month to spend in the garden.  I had it, but spent it in other ways.  So I'm happy that my cotton seedling is doing well and my apples are growing.  I'm looking forward to processing both of them in October. :-)

The birds devoured my cherries.  I've pretty much resigned to the fact that I will never have any home-grown cherries.  :-/  The birds eat them all a few days before they turn ripe.  But I do really like the  tree, so perhaps I'll just plant a few more, and the birds will be happy.  ;-)

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.

July has been primarily about spinning.

Although, I did finish a hat and started another project.

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 have been admiring so many peoples' adventures in making their own sourdough bread over the last year or so.  Sourdough is by far my favorite and dinner with a friend helped me realize that the starter doesn't need constant care and feeding.  She gave me a small amount of starter and a link to a good source for instructions.

Wish me luck!

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.

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

We were gifted a bunch of fresh sour cherries and a sourdough starter.  Several friends and colleagues have been working to help me find a good day job.

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 last month has really been wonderful being able to pretend to be a full-time farmer and fiberista.  :-)


Linda said...

How lovely that you have been so relaxed this month! How life should be. I'm always fascinated by your spinning, as someone who has played with spinning but not mastered it. I'm not familiar with the term 'roving' though. Enjoy your sourdough!

Kathy said...

The canning of the cherries into sauce looks great. I did a preserving course last December but need to start preserving and gain the confidence. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

Voie de Vie said...

I'm loving that cherry sauce as well! Boy, I see pork and (perhaps) some other white meat with that sauce over it in your future. ;)

Sounds (and looks) like it's been a great month - here's to hoping August is more of the same.

Wendy Meijer said...

Love the hat and your spinning and cherries. Lovely to have a more relaxed month!

Wendy Meijer said...

Love the hat and your spinning and cherries. Lovely to have a more relaxed month!

EMMA said...

Glad you've been having some 'slow living' time - you sound very busy all the same!
Love the hat.
I have a very basic home deo recipe that works ok (great as dry shampoo) which you could try until you find an alternative to coconut oil (all other recipes I have contain it). Just mix up equal amounts of arrowroot and baking soda and dab on with makeup puff or cotton ball. You can also add essential oils if you want it too have a scent.
Enjoy your august