Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Slow Living 2013 - June

A monthly review as we make our way towards living a slower, more meaningful life. To join in, please leave a link to your own blog post written in this theme in the linky box below and enjoy taking a moment to see what others have been up to. Thanks for visiting!
Full details for this blog link up here.

Sooo...I hear you ask, what on earth did June bring for us? Well, taking into account a little bloggy holiday last week, quite a bit as it turns out. The weather turned chilly and the fires burned hotter. Frosty mornings followed by gorgeously clear, blue skied, sunny days were a real treat. Read on to catch up on our month of June...



Slow Living June 2013

{Nourish}
This month we've been enjoying having fresh, homemade sourdough back in our kitchen again. What is it about a warm loaf of bread steaming it's delicious aroma through the house that makes one just sigh with contentment? Soups have been a real feature lately too,  the current favourites being lentil, good old reliable pumpkin (with homegrown pumpkins, yay!), spicy laksa and a German style chicken and dumpling soup that I love, love, love. We are also enjoying some local organic lamb again which is really nice!

{Prepare}
Wow, where to start. June actually saw me doing some preparation on the food front. With the return of soups and winter meals, homemade stock is back! The eldest and I have been baking in large batches for school snacks and freezing the results which is such a time saver during the week. The girls can just grab their snacks and go, which thaw out just fine by lunch time. I also enjoyed delving into a cheesemaking book and had a play with some homemade mozzarella and a few other dairy products. Such fun! If a little messy..


{Reduce}
In the kitchen I've been using up loads of leftover whey (from homemade cheese) into soups and bread. Outside, my husband kindly filled a trailor load of bark and fallen branches and placed it on my next hugulkultur bed in progress. Such good material to start off a new garden bed! Inside, I've unraveled a jumper that I no longer wear to knit into something else which appeals to me more..I am ploughing my way through pattern options now..


{Green}
I'm not sure if it's the winter cold or not but my skin has suddenly become very dry, in particular my hands. Olive oil is a quick, easy fix and being so dry, the oil is soaked up like a sponge. Lemon, ginger and honey tea is still around and I have converted the 11yo to my lemon tea drinking ways, it's her current season's beverage of choice! She has stripped my lemon tree bare!


{Grow}
Well now, some exciting news from the garden. We have our first little crop of mandarins ripening. Just a handful but proof that our tree is on it's way to hopefully one day providing us with more of this winter treat. Elsewhere, we are harvesting plenty of rocket, broccoli and eggs, lots and lots of eggs. If you happen to see me coming towards you with a carton of eggs anytime, please don't run the other way, you really are doing me a favour by taking some off our hands!

{Create}
It is very much the season to be inside, warm by the fire with a good project to work on. I finished a jumper/sweater this month which was a gift for a friend. (Details here). Little knitted doggy coats and a baby pinafore (also a gift) are keeping my hands busy and my mind soothingly calm. It is so wonderful to become completely absorbed in a pattern, lost in my own world as I work away and in such a calm state that nothing seems to phase me, not even the bickering of holiday going children.


{Discover}
Hmmm, what to say here. I suppose my big achievement here for me this month was taking some time to look deep into myself and asking questions..big questions about life, death and everything in between. While I still don't know the answers to some of my questions, it was good to get to know who I am a little better. I think sometimes we can get so sidetracked in the details of life, we lose track of who we are and where we are going. Knowing who we are is important and being comfortable with this even more so.
During my soul searchings, I happened to make a really huge decision - to return to study. :)


{Enhance}
Supporting a local organic farm this month was a really nice feeling. As was passing along some spinning supplies to a (hopefully?) new spinner. I also cared for our neighbour's hens while they were overseas - it's so handy now, we help each other out when the other one is away. A great arrangement!

{Enjoy}
This month I loved celebrating the winter solstice. Nothing beats a raging bonfire on a clear night with happy kids running around! Two good veggie group friends also celebrated milestone birthdays, 40 and 50 and so combined the two and held a 90th! Very nice celebrations I must say.
Other than that, there is nothing I can say I enjoy more right now that a really warm fire inside!! Give me this and I am in a state of bliss.

So tell me, how was your month? 

32 comments:

  1. Hi Christine,
    Lovely post as usual, thank you. I am now making stock with your method of freezing odds & ends and using the crockpot. You mentioned german chicken & dumpling soup - is there a recipe you could share?
    Loving that raspberry red sweater - knit-envy!
    Cheers, Barb

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    1. Hi Barb, thankyou for your comments. The chicken soup is very basic, really just a broth of stock with shredded cooked chicken and small golfball size butter and flour dumplings added. Delish! Noodles are optional. ;)

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  2. Thanks for the link to your ravelry page. You have some lovely projects there. I especially loved the hand dyed unravelled sweater wool cardigan. Some very similar things going on at your house and mine. I suppose that's not too surprising since our season's are the same and we appear to enjoy similar things. All the best for a great July!

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    1. Thanks Kate, that short sleeved cardigan was such fun to make and is worn all the time. A spinner in my local spinning group is making a beautiful pale green version with yarn dyed using peach leaves - beautiful. It' very tempting to make another..but it's the same old story - too many projects, too little time!

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  3. Oh gosh that sweater is lovely - what a lucky friend you have! I eventually organized myself to link up this month. It doesn't get that cold up here in the tropics, but early in the morning for the last couple of days it has been cool enough to wear a scarf for my morning walk!

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    1. So great to have you joining in again, africanaussie! :)

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  4. Those mandarins look delicious and oh how I was sitting around that warm bonfire. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

    www.oursimpleandmeaningfullife.blogspot.com

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    1. Yes, we wait impatiently for the mandarins to ripen, Kathy. :)

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  5. Hi Chris, I look forward to hearing about your studying plans.

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    1. Scroll down a little further Rose and your wish is my command. ;)

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  6. You seem to have really mastered the art of Hugulkultur beds Christine. Are the results different between those beds and your other ones? I wish I had enough space (and the odd fallen tree) to give them a go. I wonder if it's worth trying it at a really small scale?! My June has been really busy with work so I'm not sure that I have much to write about for a post this month (might have to plead that the chickens ate my homework!) but I do completely agree with you about the calming effects of knitting, it's definitely kept me sane this month :)

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    1. Totally different results in the hugelkultur beds over regular beds, Tobi! There is so much more growth going on (provided wildlife is kept away)..the results have totally blown me away. So good to have you relate to the meditation that IS knitting! Keep well. :)

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  7. Hmmm. Wonder what you're studying. The cheese sounds good! I haven't tried cheese yet. I don't know how you find time to knit, spin etc. I can't remember the last time I picked up the needles.

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    1. Uhhh....maybe it's because I'm pretty slack at folding the washing, Linda! Yes, that is definitely it!!

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  8. I'm not certain where you live, but those mandarins are looking yummy. Also, loving the lanterns - but I'm a leafy sorta gal anyways:?)
    Smiles

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    1. The lanterns looked so beautiful when they had all been lit! Perfect for a solstice gathering.

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  9. Do tell!!!! What are you hoping to study? So excited for you :)

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    1. I have enrolled to study Aged Care, Sherri. :) Here goes!

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  10. I love the 90th birthday, how fun!

    Your soups and bread sound delicious... and of course the lamb. We did not get one this year but we have a couple of legs left from our last one.

    A friend and I were chatting about your veggie group idea recently, not sure if we'll make it happen but certainly fun to talk about it. :-)

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    1. It's starts with talking, Kathryn and then one day the group will happen. I really hope you get yours up and going, it is so nice to have regular contact with likeminded souls.

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  11. Studying sounds challenging and exciting - do you mean proper full-on college or part-time from home? If the latter, I recommend checking out Coursera.com - you can participate in university modules for free online in your own time.

    The lanterns look awesome, too! Did you make the wire handles and if so, would you mind sharing the method?

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    1. Yes, the study is online, Nickie. I think I have heard of Coursera..hubby was mentioning it a few months ago.

      The lanterns were made at my daughters' primary school - helped out by volunteers. Can't give you specifics on the handles but I'm sure they'd be on youtube or pinterest. ;)

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  12. Your sweater turned out beautifully - I need to pick up knitting again soon. I'm starting to miss it. Beautiful lanterns, too.

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    1. Thanks, Heidi. Those lanterns really made the evening! So beautiful..

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  13. I understand what you mean about having surplus eggs Christine, four hens is about two more than we need to keep us supplied.

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    1. Yes, once your quota is over things get chaotic, don't they, Jan! Too many egg cartons - not enough space in the fridge..ahh! :)

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  14. Oh mama, making a decision to start studying is a big one and I'm thrilled for you.
    I know what you mean about the asking oneself of those big questions. I've done a bit of that lately too and it feels incredibly freeing when you do. (A looong one day chat on all the big things, little things and everything in between pretty please?)
    And I did think of you at winter solitice time, wondering if you had your big party...of course you did :-)

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    1. Sooo freeing to let oneself go and ask questions and I would LOVE a chat sometime, Brydie. You are a beautifully caring soul. x

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  15. You have busy, busy, busy again I see!
    I "meditate" by sitting in the back yard and watching the chickens do chicken things with a cuppa of some sort. Caught up in my own warm wee world talking to chickens to the amusement of the neighbours whose balcony overlooks that part of our yard!
    I love the lanterns too! I might make some to take to a BBQ in the weekend - its a great idea! - K xx

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    1. Yes I hear you on the chickens, Kara - so relaxing to watch! Looking forward nto visiting your space and reading about your month. :)

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  16. Seems my comment disappeared, but lovely to link up and love the little lanterns.

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  17. Oh dear, I am soo late with my June post. I enjoyed your post Christine. You do seem to knit very fast. Impressive.

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Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

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