Slow Living 2012 – Month 8

Once again I’m following Christine’s lead and looking back over the last month to see just how I’ve gone in living the slow life.  It’s now been eight weeks since I started back at work and I’m only just now feeling like I am getting on top of things, our routine is becoming second nature and the girls are settling into a new normality, with a few minor tweaks so that not all their days in childcare were quite so long.  They had been the first to be dropped off and just about the last picked up and neither of them were coping well with that situation.  It meant some juggling of work between Mr Good and I, but it was definitely worth the effort.  Anyway, that’s the fast lane, this post is about our attempts at slowing down around all the hustle and bustle.

{Nourish}
The slow cooker has continued to earn it’s keep in this house, now being used several times a week and taking on some of our family favourites, mostly with success.

 

I have also been baking regularly so I can have a sweet treat with my morning coffee – I have one particular class that I really need a reward after teaching!  I’ve made dark chocolate and peanut butter cookies using this recipe – the easiest recipe of all time.  I used the last of the peanut butter I bought at the farmers market a couple of weeks ago, I haven’t seen the stall since then which is a real pity, Kraft has nothing on this stuff!  I also made the yummiest rhubarb slice, rhubarb courtesy of Di’s Rhubarb, recipe courtesy of Donna Hay.

{Prepare}
More stock, both chicken and beef, all went into the freezer and has been slowly making its way into meals as needed.  Other than that I haven’t been preparing all that much this month.  And you can tell, my jar cupboard is chock full of jars waiting to be filled.

{Reduce}
The best thing we’ve been reducing this month is our mortgage, with me being back at work we’ve been able to up the payments a bit more.  Though the end is still a long way off and progress does still seem pretty slow.  Other than that, it’s still the electricity I’m trying to cut down on.  We should get the bill soon so I’ll be able to see how we’ve gone.

{Green}
The solar panels are up and operating, and with the sunny weather we’ve had for a few days now they are starting to produce quite a bit.  Other than that my greening ways have just been the usual green cleaners, composting/worm farming, shopping at the farmer’s market and eating less meat.

{Grow}
The seeds I planted at the very end of July are doing well and some of the tomato seedlings were in need of bigger homes so have been potted up.  I still have them inside until the evenings warm up a little.  The lettuce have been planted out into a couple of pots (they’ve lost their position in the garden beds this year, but seem to do well in pots).  Nothing else has been planted yet, but that will be happening over the next few weeks.  There are lots of other things coming on a bit faster now that the days are getting longer, the broad beans are in full flower, the root vegetables are looking good and some are getting picked, the silver beet is going gang busters, the herbs are earning their keep, there are lots of flowers on the pea plants and the cabbages are getting there bit by bit.  I have been picking lots of broccoli, a few carrots, a parsnip, the odd pea pod or two, silverbeet and herbs.  On a very pleasing point the flower bulbs that I planted some months ago are starting to put on a show and I’ve been able to pick some and bring them inside.  My grandmother’s freesias which I now have in a pot are almost ready to flower, I’m so looking forward to that and the tulips are very, very close.

 

{Create}
I’ve been continuing my granny squaring.  I’m not yet sure of the pattern I’m going to use, I’ll have to do some experimenting on that front.  It’s not quite the right size yet so I’ll just keep making them and see what I end up with – that pretty much sums up my approach to most things.

{Discover}
I don’t feel like I’ve discovered much this month beyond getting my head around new school curriculum protocols.  I have discovered the beauty of ebooks, not how I’d like to read all my books, but as I don’t want a house full of bookshelves and books I’ve read only once and good if I’m taking the iPad somewhere and don’t want to have to take a book as well.  Actually I’ve been discovering all sorts of great uses for the iPad, especially in the kitchen!  And now I’m on the hunt for some gardening apps to track when I should plant what.

{Enhance}
I really can’t think of anything to fill this category.  I’m certainly more engaged in a community, being the school community I teach at, but that’s my job I’m not sure it counts.  I have all sorts plans in my head about what I could do, but so far nothing is actually happening.

{Enjoy}
The end of the footy season (in that the Bulldogs last home game was played two weeks ago and both our teams are out of the finals) means that we have a bit more of our weekend back, I’m enjoying that!.  We had a lovely family lunch in Ballarat to see my brother and sister-in-law off on another overseas trip and my parents off on their jaunt through Russia, Scandinavia and France.  And I’ve had some very enjoyable market mornings with Miss Three, my sister and another friend, sampling the wares as we wander around, or bolting from stall to stall in torrential rain as the circumstances dictated.

Many others join in this monthly review hosted by Christine at Slow Living Essentials.  Hop on over and see what everyone else has been up to.

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9 Responses to Slow Living 2012 – Month 8

  1. Greatmonth – I “get” the transition of getting back into a work/home rythmn. It takes a while. I’ve had to make the adjustment a few times too, and it always happens eventually.

    I love my iPad for in the kitchen too. I’d like to get the husband to make me a swing arm shelf of some kind, to keep it at eye level.

  2. I think whether you are paid or volunteer, giving to the community is something we can count definitely. Teaching can touch so many at one time and have lasting effects on those you touch.

    I am like you, I’ve greened up so much of my life, from utilities, garbage, and cleaning supplies that now I am working on the financial end as well. This month I cut the car completely signing it over to my son and wife. No more insurance, inspections, registration, and mostly upkeep on something I rarely use now that I live in the center of our small town.

  3. For slow living, you certainly are busy! I can’t believe you can fit so much in – you’re so consistent in your blogging and all the crafty stuff to boot. Amazing!

    Oh, and you need to update your reading challenge tracker – you finished A Suitable Boy!

  4. Stacey says:

    Glad things have started to settle down for you all routine wise now! Congratulations on making more reductions on your mortgage, that’s a big thing. The granny sqaures look great. I have been meaning to finish a blanket for about 2 years now, the problem is as soon as the weather gets warm I get moving more and slack at finishing…one of these days they will be done. Hope you’re well : ) Stacey

  5. Shame about your peanut butter supplier not being at the market. I buy 100% natural peanut butter (made fresh if I like) from a local health food shop. I wonder if there is anywhere nearby for you as well?
    Hmmm, I also have a cupboard full of empty jars wanting to be filled. I really must get onto making some more tomato sauce and chutney.
    Your granny square rug is coming along beautifully.
    I wonder if the ABC Gardening Australia have a I-pad site for growing veggies?

  6. Christine says:

    Nice to read your wrap up, Barbara. Your broccoli is looking amazing! I love that the white cabbage moth is absent at the moment..although it won’t be long until it’s appearing again. I’m with you on the slow cooker – such lifesavers for busy days and completely understand the need for a sweet bite with morning tea. Pity it has to be after a particular class for you, hopefully things improve here. Thanks for joining in! 🙂

    PS – I have a friend who uses ‘gardenate’ for keeping track of her veggie garden, she’s pretty happy with it.

  7. Andrea says:

    Great to hear the girls have settled into the routine of your working days, no wonder the weeks seem to be rolling by for you you seem to be packing a lot in your days. Your Granny squares are looking good, I’m still yet to master the crochet hook . Always interesting to hear what you pick up at the farmer’s markets and how you use the produce……………….

  8. Linda says:

    You are busy! Aren’t slow cookers amazing when life is busy! A good, tasty meal at the end of a big day. I’m with you on the market shopping. It’s such a friendly way to shop.

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