Slow Living 2013 - July/August

Hello! It seems to be that time once again to update on all manner of things slow. I must apologise for my absence here last month - I'm so very sorry...will you forgive me?

On the plus side however, we can join our months together and share double the news! If you happened to be more organised than me, please do share your link here from last month so others can enjoy visiting your space...

To read more about this blog link-up and for further insight into each category, please see here. New readers are most welcome to join in, too!

Alrighty then!

July/August 2013

{nourish} Lets see, what has been in our kitchen of late? Probably more things that shouldn't be than should, if I were to be completely honest. I am trying really hard to remove most of the sugar from my diet, but those girls of mine on the other hand seem to be addicted to it. No matter how many savoury delights I try to throw their way, they still sneak into the kitchen and create shockingly good treats. What to do..what to do? Any advice beside the obvious of refusing to buy any sugar at all?

Not to appear completely wicked, we have been loving our curries lately and that pressure cooker of ours is still worth it's weight in gold. With a change around of routines in the house, I have also been relying on the old standby favourites to satisfy the hungry mob each evening. All the better if it is cooked in one pot/wok!


{prepare}With little produce coming from the garden to preserve/stockpile I have been looking at this category in reverse. Anticipating the summer garden offerings to come, I've been emptying out the cupboard by using up preserved fruit, jam and the odd jar of relish. Suddenly I have my jars back again and a blank canvas to start planning the coming season's preserves! In doing so,  I've discovered that I am the only person in the family that enjoys bottled apricots. How can this be??


{green} The biggest achievement for me to list here has been that we have been through our first winter in this house in  6 years without turning the floor heating on. It uses up an enormous amount of energy (at an enormous cost!) and I feel really proud that we have proved to ourselves that we can live without it. A second fire did help see us through the coldest parts of winter, but overall it was just one fireplace that steadily cranked away. I'm looking forward to the warmer weather too so we can finally hang our clothes outside to dry again. Hanging them inside is friendly on the environment but not so good to maneuver around on a regular basis!

{grow} In the garden I am harvesting rocket, kale, broccoli (the florets after removing the central head), the odd cauliflower, parsley and perennial leeks. During winter my turn for hosting veggie group came around again and we were treated to a rare sunny day for the group to pull weeds and mulch garlic. These jobs are always so much more enjoyable when done in good company. ;)
Eggs are still steadily coming inside and the time is coming to plan summer crops..


{reduce} Old jeans were given a new lease on life after a wardrobe clear out. What a great feeling it is not having to buy a pair of those poor excuses that are sold as jeans in shops. Whatever happened to real denim? Ahh, yes, that's right, it's lurking at the back of our wardrobes!

I also treated myself this winter to a yarn swift that I've been absolutely longing for. Choosing to wait until a suitable used one came my way I was over the moon when a spinning friend offered me one of hers that she no longer used for an unbelievably reasonable price!! (Photo soon). There is really something to be said for patience here..and not settling for second best. Often, used is so much better in quality!! Amazing but true.


{create} I can feel things winding down on the knitting front. I have an exciting project to share soon - a cabled vest that I've been wearing just about everywhere! What's more, the yarn was re-purposed from another top that I had made but just wasn't happy with...if you are contemplating such a project my only advice is to DO IT! Wearing this newly knitted piece from an unravelled project brings forth a great feeling of satisfaction and joy when wearing it.  I have also had the briefest of moments to squeeze in a little baby knitting for someone I know. It's quite sneaky and fun to share the gift making with another person too..but shhh, more details on that later, when the gift has been gifted!


{enhance} What I loved most recently was taking some time to repair a friend's jumper/sweater that had enormous sentimental value to her. I was so pleased to be able to help her in this way and her appreciation touched me deeply as it was completely unexpected. Very humbling.

If I were to add something else under this category, I could perhaps note the big decision I made recently to return to study. I always knew there was something lacking in this category of my monthly updates and choosing to study aged care has me certain that I am on the right path. :)
Thus far, the study goes well.

{discover} Stepping away from this space for a time allowed me to discover much about myself. Connecting with myself, my values and my goals has been completely wonderful! There is still so much more to discover, but I am comforted to have a solid feeling of who I am, my purpose in life and the direction I'm heading in.

If you'd like to talk books, I have been guided by pre-teen girl recommendations of late! I recently read The Hunger Games trilogy and Animal Farm (Animal Farm is being read in their classroom). Burial Rights, The Awakening and The Notebook were some others that I was pleased to read recently.

{enjoy} I loved taking time out to enjoy life this month. I learned that when I work hard, I play hard and it's so much more fun than merely waiting for life's enjoyments to come my way. The message? Go out there and squeeze life for all it's worth!

How was your month/s? 

(A Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there and a special acknowledgment to those who are no longer with us. xx)




Comments

  1. Your girls are getting so young adult-ish Chris. Lovely to see your update on the sunny Sunday morning.

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  2. I love those blossom pictures :-)Nothing feels more like spring is coming than all our trees starting to blossom.

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  3. At long last, I am participating! Thanks for being the inspiration :)

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  4. Any spare jars of apricots??? I love them! So it is inherited I guess. Love your blog.

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    1. ahhah! So you are the culprit then! Of course I have a spare jar for you. ;)

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  5. I love, love, love the pice tyre of the lake. I am struggling today (too much to do, hormones, nearly back to school, shall I go on?) and your post has made me slow down and take a deep breath. Thanks.

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  6. i totally agree with the sentiment used is often better quality. someone i knew once said 'buy cheap, buy twice', and i think that applies to so much stiff nowadays, and i also believe thats what the manufacturers want - to feed their greed!. i'm about to move back to NZ and i've already made the decision that almost all the furniture i buy for my home (when i get it!) will be vintage second hand stuff that grandma had. so, like you, i will have to be patient in my search, but that will add to the fun - the hunt!.
    i look forward to being able to participate in these monthly reflections once settled as well.
    oh and finally (cos i've rabbitted on a bit!), i love that photo of the trees and shed reflected in the water!.

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  7. Your break seems to have been a successful one. Nice to see you back.

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  8. Wonderful images. Congratulations on not using the under floor heating. We try to wait until the last moment to switch ours on, and last winter we turned the thermostat down one degree and hardly noticed the difference. Unfortunately we can't go completely with out as the temperatures often drop below -21. Even with the floor heating most winters the pipes freeze.
    Have been debating weather or not to unravel my 'shalom' which I made last year but just doesn't sit right on me, now I'm going to DO IT! Thanks for the advice.
    Did you enjoy The Hunger Games? I only managed the first one as I found it quite distressing. Everyone else in my book club loved it.

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    1. Hi Emma, I did enjoy the first book, although I agree it was distressing. My favourite was the final book - Mockingjay. :)

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  9. Happy to see you back! Beautiful photos!

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  10. Hey Christine!!! Seems like the past months have been break time for a few of us busy mama's!!! Great to hear you have 'emerged' fresh and energetic from the winter hibernation! Perhaps it's the smell of spring in the air or maybe just because I have finally loaded the photos on to my computer and discovered so many things we had done, but I'm feeling the need to share again too! Thanks again for hosting!
    Love that gorgeous pic of the hut in the dam reflection, by the way!

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  11. Welcome back!

    I love your idea of cleaning out the pantry to prepare for summer. :-)

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  12. good to see you back, and gosh I love your blossom photos. The wind is howling here today, and the photo of your reflective dam is very calming in contrast!

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  13. Lovely to read your news again, Christine. Dewdrops on peach blossoms. So beautiful.

    I found myself in the same apricot boat as you this month. I tricked them into loving the apricots by baking them into an apricot cake.

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  14. I always look forward to these posts! They make me look over my own life and areas I can enhance, create, reduce, etc. Very inspiring :)

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  15. What fantastic pictures you included! I agree with your sentiment that used is better than new. I had to make a purchase today that I have been putting off, that of a freezer for my winter food. I began several months ago to research and kept hearing that even the best named brands were failing within 2 years. At a minimum cost of $150 I wasn't willing to put my money on an appliance that wouldn't last. Finally, today I found an older model Kenmore for less than brand new and will last for years.

    As for the sweets, my youngest son went through a phase where he baked all the time, luckily he gave a good amount to neighbors. It depends on what your girls are making, but for cookies and breads I taught him to substitute applesauce for sugar.

    Animal Farm is an old favorite of mine, and while my boys are grown their wives still pass books to me so I've read the first installment of the Hunger Games as well.

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  16. Glad you are back, I have finally taken the plunge and we will see if I did this right! I love the springy photos even though I am so ready for fall. This has been a hot summer and I will need a few really cold months to get me back in the mood for endless sunshine!

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  17. Good to see you back my girl :-)
    Gorgeous blossom pictures, it truly is spring now isn't it. I think I blinked and winter passed by.

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  18. That is one perfectly comfortable cat! And charming friend.

    Congrats on your choosing to venture down a new path, Christine - glad it feels right :)

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  19. What a lovely post, full of so much energy Christine! Great to hear that the study direction you've taken is so right for you. T x

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  20. Love the spring blossoms, too :) We are heading into the glorious colours of fall, so it was a treat to see those pink blossoms full of promise.

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  21. Those pink blossoms are glorious :)

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  22. Hi Christine, nice to hear what you've been up to. And I was wondering what the study was going to be. I can't see your photos today. Very frustrating. My computer has been super slow for a week now. I'll be on the phone to telstra this morning. Glad you're well! Happy spring!

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  23. Yay, I had time to do a slow living post!! Really enjoyed reading about your slow living Aug/Sept. Aged care is such a rewarding profession -the ladies who work with my grandma are absolute gems . Your other skills should come in handy too - my grandma is in a beautiful place that has sheep and alpacas grazing outside the windows and vegetables growing outside people's windows also. For all the old people who miss their farms , it is a place that helps them remember who they are.
    Aren't the blossoms lovely - such a time of promise and excitement.

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  24. I finally got around to doing my slow living post. Great to join in again!

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  25. Have just read your blog for the first time, look forward to going back and reading some older posts, I'm relatively new to this slowing down and living.

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    1. I forgot to say my blog is agluttonouswife.blogspot.com if you feel like a read :)

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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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